Your Medicine is in Your Pantry

This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2016

Your Medicine is in Your Pantry
Source:GreenMedInfo.com
Karta Purkh Khalsa
February 27, 2016

Food has been the medicine of humanity since the dawn of time. Many herbs that we associate only with seasoning our food are, in fact, potent herbal medicines.

The distinction between herbal food and herbal medicine is actually quite subjective. There is a wide area of overlap with the two categories. If you think of all the plants we consume, for whatever purpose, as being on a spectrum, from food on one end, to medicine on the other, you will see what I mean. On the food end would be plants like potatoes and carrots- potentially medicinal, but mild and safe. The other end of the spectrum contains medicine plants like opium poppy and foxglove, the source of digitalis- definitely not food, but clearly serious medicine.

The gray area is in the middle. Take echinacea. None of us would consider sitting down to a delicious bowl of echinacea soup. Yuck. But you could. And it would be safe. How about parsley? In a salad, it’s a food. Used as a juice to treat edema, it’s a medicine.

The truth is, herbal medicines have about the same chemical components as food plants. Herbal medicines are just selected from plants that have greater concentrations of active ingredients, making them more convenient to use.

European herbal medicine, the tradition from which contemporary American herbalism mainly derives, does not see much overlap between food plants and herbal medicines. Foods you eat, spices make the food taste better, and herbal medicine you take in a tincture. Asian medical systems, however, make no distinction between the two. Food is just less concentrated herbal medicine, and every meal is viewed as a chance to get in more healing herbs. In fact, the Chinese word for the medicinal brew that people use daily to maintain their health is “soup.”

The complex cuisines of China and India began, thousands of years ago, as recipes to get healing herbs and foods into people. Gradually, as the process evolved, complicated mixtures of food ingredients, herbal medicines, and flavorings coalesced into a tasty amalgam that warms the soul, heals the body, and pleases the palate.

For example, Indian food typically starts with a combination, a “masala”, of onions, garlic, ginger, and other various spices, selected for their medicinal virtues, and taste. Since many of these herbs can cause gas, additional herbs, such as fennel and coriander seeds, are added to counteract that tendency. Ginger and mustard, for example, speed up the digestive process, so that the meal is efficiently processed and moved through the digestive tract.

Although the list of herbal medicine foods is huge, here is a selection of remedies that are easy to find, and particularly effective.

The carrot and parsley family (Umbelliferae), in particular, is a huge source of edible plants and good tasting medicines. These plants grow all over the world, and are used in a broad range of cultures. This group of plant medicines has unusual chemistry, so they make their way into the kitchens and medicine chests of many native medical systems. The seeds are typically the medicinal part, but various parts are used, depending on the plant. Some well-known members of this family include parsley, coriander (cilantro is coriander greens), fennel, anise, cumin, and dill.

Plants in this family contain compounds that act like calcium channel blockers, benefiting angina. Herbs in this family generally have estrogenic action, especially the seeds. The popular Chinese herb dong quai is in this family. These parsley relatives are prized around the world for treating intestinal gas, a property herbalists call “carminative.”

Fennel

In my personal clinical experience, I would pick fennel seed as the premiere carminative in the world, especially for adults. Literally, I have never seen a case of painful gas that was not relieved by fennel seeds, provided of course, that the dose was high enough.

Fennel contains creosol and alpha- pinene, substances that loosen lung mucus and help clear the chest, benefiting asthma. (1) Recent research shows that this spice also lowers blood pressure. (2)  This herb has been used for centuries to promote lactation, which makes sense, from what we now know about its hormonal action. It will also hasten a period. As a bonus, it increases libido.  For gas, try chewing 1 Tbs. of the tasty seeds, or brew a tea with 1 Tbs. seeds in a cup of water. You may use the powdered seeds as a seasoning, or in capsules.

Of course, you can also steam the stalk as a delicious celery-like vegetable. The properties are similar, but milder than the seed.

Dill

Dill seed is, for gas, for children, what fennel seed is for adults. Called “the secret of British nannies,” dill is the active ingredient in the famous “gripe water,” the colic remedy taken round the world in the British empire.

Dill seed is truly miraculous for infant colic. It can save a parent’s sanity. Dill promotes menstruation, so it can be used to encourage a late period. For adults, dill, along with fennel, treats heartburn. (1) The weed is milder. In a pinch, fennel and dill can be interchanged. For infant colic, brew 2 Tbs. dill seed in 1 cup of water, cool, sweeten, put in a bottle or dropper, and serve to the screaming baby. You will carry a sleeping tyke back to bed.

Parsley

Ever notice that green sprig of garnish at the edge of your plate? Usually discarded, that parsley is one powerful herbal medicine. While the seeds, leaf, and root of this plant are all used for food, the main herbal uses come from the leaf.

Parsley is a source, as you might expect, of phytoestrogens, so it has potential for treating osteoporosis and amenorrhea, and for promoting lactation.

This medicine has a long history of use with the urinary system. Research shows that it is diuretic (3), and it has a long history of herbal use in treating bladder infection.

Parsley treats angina. (1) Crushed, and applied to a bruise, it heals. It inhibits the release of histamine, so is useful for allergies and hives. It prevents and treats kidney stones. (4)  Parsley is a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals. It is a rich source of boron and fluorine, critical minerals for bone health. It contains 3.5 times as much vitamin C as oranges, and twice as much calcium as broccoli.

Because parsley is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, it is an effective treatment for cramps, such as leg cramps. (5)  Three ounces of parsley contains about 3 mg of boron, the dose suggested for bone health. In my clinical experience, a dose of about 2 ounces per day of parsley juice treats edema very well.

Parsley leaf is widely available in capsule form, both as a single herb, and in combination. It works well as a digestive aid combined with turmeric. A typical dose would be 2-9 grams per day, but, of course, this herb is very safe at any dose.

Thyme

Thyme contains anti-aging chemicals. (1) Historically, this herb has been used for headache.

Thyme is known as a general antimicrobial, especially for bacterial infection, and an expectorant, which also treats fever, so it is a well-known treatment for diseases like the flu.

One ingredient, thymol, has antiviral properties, and is also antispasmodic, so it is used in headache and cramps. (6)

Use thyme as a tea, or gargle.

Basil leaf

Originally from India, this spicy herb has grown to great popularity around the world. There are many varieties of the plant, but they all basically have the same medicinal qualities. One famous variety, “holy” basil, is a standout in the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia. Historically, basil has been used as a digestive aid, to relieve gas and speed digestion, and to warm up and mobilize stiff arthritic joints.

Basil is a pungent herb that increases body heat. It is used to treat respiratory conditions, like the flu, and to lower fever by sweating. Since it’s also an expectorant, it can be used for conditions like emphysema and asthma. (1)

A member of the mint family, basil contains antibacterial compounds. (5, 8) Recent studies have shown that basil appears to prevent cancer. (7)

Basil lowers blood pressure. Basil contains antiviral compounds. (1) A common folk remedy for warts is to apply crushed basil directly to the wart.  Use basil liberally in food, such as pesto, or brew in tea. For a headache, try chewing several fresh basil leaves.

Black pepper

The herb is known only as a humble condiment here, but in Asia, it is considered to be the foremost detoxifier and anti-aging herb.

Black pepper is a warming digestive remedy, which has a carminative action.  This herb increases circulation, and lowers blood pressure. (1)  This medicinal herb also contains compounds that prevent osteoporosis.

While black pepper has been esteemed as a detoxifier, particularly in Ayurveda, recent research has begun to bear this out. At least in rats, pepper seems to increase release of carcinogens through the liver, reducing cancer. (9) Piperine, a main active ingredient, protects against liver damage almost as well as milk thistle. (10) This alkaloid is also getting a reputation for increasing bioavailability and absorption of nutrients.(13) For example, in one recent study, scientists measured the absorption of turmeric active ingredients. Administering the turmeric along with Piperine increased bioavailability by 154%, and reduced the time for absorption by half. (14)

Black pepper reduces free radicals. It is antioxidant, and prevents the depletion of glutathione. It also prevents the destruction of other antioxidants, such as vitamin A. (11)

Pepper is used in Ayurveda to release sinus congestion. (12)

Black pepper is available in the health food store as a supplement. Use 50 mg per day or more of extract standardized to Piperine.

Use black pepper as a culinary spice. An excellent Ayurvedic preparation for sinus congestion is to boil 10 peppercorns in milk, strain, and drink.

Nettles

That’s right- the stinging nettles you dig out as a pesky weed. Even though less well-known as a food here, nettles are quite edible and tasty. The sting is neutralized when the plant is dried or cooked. This vegetable is prepared like spinach, and has a similar, but saltier, taste. Please don’t harvest this vegetable unless you know what you are doing- the sting, before being neutralized, is painful.

Nettle is a favorite of European herbalists, who use it as a general nutritive tonic, similar to the way alfalfa has been used in American herbalism. In addition, it has been historically used to treat childhood eczema, respiratory conditions, and to strengthen the circulatory tissue. (16)

Recently, nettle has been getting attention in natural healing circles for the treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).(17)

You will find nettle in the health food store in capsules. Most people find that about 2 grams will relieve an allergy attack.

Fenugreek seed

This little legume is getting a lot of attention lately for its many medicinal virtues. It is a very rich source of soluble fiber.

It is a very effective diabetes treatment, promoting substantial reductions in blood sugar, both from its fiber content, and the presence of other metabolically active components.

Fenugreek seed lowers total cholesterol, while increasing HDL.

It contains very high amounts of choline and beta carotene, both of which have been linked to Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. (1)

Fenugreek contains the phytoestrogen diosgenin, which has gotten attention lately for its role in preventing breast cancer.

Use fenugreek liberally as a spice in foods. The dose shown in experiments to control blood sugar was much higher, about 100 grams per day. That’s a lot of fenugreek, which can be bitter in those quantities. In scientific studies, the fenugreek seed was often baked into a flat bread, or cooked into a soup. I have had good success with having people soak the seeds overnight to soften, and the just chow down, perhaps mixed with a mild food like oatmeal.

However, one recent study showed significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides with a dose of 2.5 grams twice daily, a dose that can easily be taken in capsules.(15) Fenugreek can be found in the health food store as whole powdered herb in capsules, or as a standardized extract.

With such a rich selection of healing foods to choose from, there should be little problem putting together a menu of delicious medicinal recipes. Use these foods daily. You’ll like making you cupboard in to your medicine chest.

Food Medicines

Plant Use Dose
Tomato Antioxidant, Anticancer, Prostate food, as sauce, juice
Rosemary Antioxidant, Anticancer, Detoxifier 1-2 cups tea, per day, food
Onion Asthma, Antioxidant, Anticancer (stomach) In food
Cinnamon Circulation, menstrual cramps, digestion up to 10 grams per day of medicinal quality cinnamon, in capsules, two days before, and during, menstruation, for cramps
Celery Lower blood pressure, increase immune response 4 ribs or more per day
Artichoke Liver detoxifier 1 globe per day as food

References

1)         James A. Duke, The Green Pharmacy, Rodale, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1997.

2)         Abdul Ghani AS Amin R The vascular action of aqueous extracts of Foeniculum vulgare leaves. J-Ethnopharmacol. 1988 Dec; 24(2-3): 213-8

3)         Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, 1993.

4)         Blumenthal, Mark, The Complete German Commission E Monographs, The American Botanical Council, Austin, 1998.

5)         Cass Ingram, DO, Supermarket Remedies, Knowledge House, Buffalo Grove, Ilinois, 1998.

6)         John Heinerman, Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, and Herbs, Parker, New York, 1988.

7)         Karthikeyan K Ravichandran P Govindasamy S Chemopreventive effect of Ocimum sanctum on DMBA-induced hamster buccal pouch carcinogenesis. Oral-Oncol. 1999 Jan; 35(1): 112-9

8)         Lachowicz KJ Jones GP Briggs DR Bienvenu FE Wan J Wilcock A Coventry MJ The synergistic preservative effects of the essential oils of sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) against acid-tolerant food microflora. Lett-Appl-Microbiol. 1998 Mar; 26(3): 209-14

9)         Singh A Rao AR Evaluation of the modulatory influence of black pepper (Piper nigrum, L.) on the hepatic detoxication system. Cancer-Lett. 1993 Aug 16; 72(1-2): 5-9

10)       Kaoul I and A Kapil. Evaluation of the liver protective potential of piperine, an active principal of black and long peppers.Planta Medica 1993. 59: 413-417.

11)       Shanmugasundaram KR et al, Amritabindu for depletion of antioxidants. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 1994. 42(2): 83-93.

12)       Yogi Bhajan, The Ancient Art of Self-Healing, Silver Streak Publishers, Eugene, Oregon,1982.

13)       Khajuria A Zutshi U Bedi KL Permeability characteristics of piperine on oral absorption–an active alkaloid from peppers and a bioavailability enhancer. Indian-J-Exp-Biol. 1998 Jan; 36(1): 46-50

14)       Shoba G Joy D Joseph T Majeed M Rajendran R Srinivas PS Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers. Planta-Med. 1998 May; 64(4): 353-6

15)       Bordia A, et al, Effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale Rose.) and fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum L.) on blood lipids, blood sugar and platelet aggregation in patients with coronary artery disease.  Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 1997, 58(5): 379-384

16)       David Hoffmann, The New Holistic Herbal,  Element, Longmead, England, 1983.

17)       Mittman P Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica dioica in the treatment of allergic rhinitis. Planta-Med. 1990 Feb; 56(1): 44-7

Read More At: GreenMedInfo.com

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© [May 27, 2016] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter

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The Health Benefits Of Ginger

HealingPowerHour
Dr. Akilah Schäfer
June 10, 2016

Dr Akilah El presents “The Health Benefits of Ginger”. Ginger is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices. It has been review widely regarded for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Find out why and how ginger can benefit you in this video.

The Ultimate Antibiotic: Oregano…Why You Should Get Some Now To Help Protect You During Hard Times

Oregano oilSource: NaturalNews.com
Isabelle Z.
June 10, 2016

Antibiotics have been getting a lot of bad press lately – and for good reason. Besides their many harmful effects, they are vastly over-prescribed, and are leading to the evolution of deadly superbugs that can’t be killed. This is leading many people to seek out natural alternatives, and one of the best herbs that boasts antibiotic properties is oregano.

If you’ve ever wondered how people survived before modern medicine, the answers can be found growing in the world’s mountains, forests and jungles. Native to the Mediterranean, oregano oil was first used for medicinal purposes in ancient Greece, where it was noted for its antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. While some people only know it as a spice for pizza and other Italian dishes, it remains a popular treatment today, and can be used for a number of problems, including colds and flu, arthritis, ear infections, sore throat, diarrhea, tuberculosis and rashes, to name just a few.

Antibiotics and antioxidants in one

Oregano oil is a lot more potent than the dried version, but both carry health benefits. According to the USDA, oregano’s antioxidant capacity is somewhere between three and 20 times higher than all other herbs, and it’s believed to have four times the antioxidants of blueberries.

In one recent study, oregano easily beat the 18 antibiotics that are currently used in treating MRSA staph infections. It has also proven effective to treat norovirus. This food-borne illness is notoriously difficult to treat, but the carvacrol found in oregano can break down the virus’s tough external walls.

It has also been shown to help expedite the death of cancer cells, which means it shows some promising potential for cancer treatment.

Conditions that can be helped by oregano

Respiratory issues: Oregano oil can treat problems such as bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia and asthma. It can also get rid of sinus buildup.

Digestive problems: Oil of oregano can be used to treat food poisoning, which makes it a useful oil to carry when traveling. It can also be used to combat ulcers, bacterial infections and parasites.

Pain relief: Some people use the oil externally for muscle soreness and pain relief, and it’s particularly soothing for joint pain thanks to its warming properties. It should be mixed with a base oil first to avoid skin irritation.

Oral health: Oregano oil contains thymol, which is used in mouthwashes to fight bad breath, plaque and bacteria. Add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush away the bacteria!

Allergies:
The oil has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can help the body fight against external allergens.

Immunity: If you want to boost your body’s defenses against sore throats and colds, take two or three drops daily mixed into water or juice.

Congestion: Oregano oil can be diluted in a carrier oil or lotion and then applied to the chest area to relieve congestion. You can also add a few drops of the essential oil to a handkerchief and inhale it to relieve nasal congestion.

Dandruff: A few drops of oregano oil can be added to shampoo to help eliminate dandruff, or it can be mixed with coconut oil to create an anti-dandruff scalp massage oil.

As you can see, oregano’s many healing properties make it ideal for tackling a number of different conditions. The next time one of these issues is plaguing you, why not give oregano oil a try? You could save yourself from taking medications that have some very scary side effects, and you might even be able to avoid taking antibiotics! Oregano is just one of many herbs that Big Pharma doesn’t want you to realize works just as well as its own toxic medications, but with none of the adverse effects.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

Recognize These Signs of Stress

Source: iHealthTube.com
Dr. Doni Wilson
May 17, 2016

What can physically happen to our body if we don’t address the issues of prolonged stress? Dr. Doni Wilson explains what some of the warning signs might be and what can happen if stress is left unrecognized or untreated. Many of us think immediately of heart issues being a sign of prolonged stress, but learn to recognize these signs of stress too!

Find Out How Important Digestion Is

Source: iHealthTube
April 23, 2016

Dr. Isaac Eliaz discusses digestive health. He explains why it’s so much more than possibly having an upset stomach after eating certain foods. Find out what the body is doing during and after digestion and how it can affect so many different systems in the body, including your mental health! You never knew how important digestion was.

Magnesium — A Key Nutrient for Health and Disease Prevention

S0urce:Mercola.com
Dr. Mercola
December 28, 2015

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. More than 3,750 magnesium-binding sites have been detected on human proteins,1 and it’s required for more than 300 different enzymes in your body.

In short, magnesium plays an important role in a wide variety of biochemical processes, including the following:

Creation of ATP2,3 (adenosine triphospate), the energy molecules of your body Action of your heart muscle Proper formation of bones and teeth
Relaxation of blood vessels Regulation of blood sugar levels Activating muscles and nerves
Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats Serving as a cofactor for RNA and DNA It’s also a catalyst for neurotransmitters like serotonin

As is the case with vitamin D, if you don’t have enough magnesium, your body simply cannot function optimally, and insufficient cellular magnesium levels set the stage for deterioration of metabolic function that can snowball into more serious health problems.

For starters, magnesium is critical for the optimization of your mitochondria, which have enormous potential to influence your health, especially the prevention of cancer.

In fact, optimizing mitochondrial metabolism may be at the core of effective cancer treatment. But your mitochondrial function is also crucial for overall good health, energy, and athletic performance.

Optimizing Mitochondrial Function with Magnesium

Mitochondria are tiny organelles, originally thought to be derived from bacteria. Most cells have anywhere from 1 to 2,000 of them. Your organs need energy to function properly, and that energy is produced by the mitochondria in each cell.

Since mitochondrial function is at the very heart of everything that occurs in your body, optimizing mitochondrial function (and preventing mitochondrial dysfunction) by making sure you get all the right nutrients and precursors your mitochondria need is extremely important for health and disease prevention.

As explained by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., in the video above, magnesium plays an important role. Patrick has done extensive research on the link between mitochondrial metabolism, apoptosis and cancer, and on the effects of hyperthermic conditioning on muscle growth.

High-intensity interval training helps optimize athletic performance by increasing your oxidative capacity, meaning the ability of your muscle cells to consume oxygen. Your oxidative capacity relies on your mitochondria’s ability to produce ATP by consuming that oxygen inside the cell.

As noted by Patrick, “You want your ATP production to exceed your ATP consumption, in order to enhance or maximize your performance and avoid muscle fatigue.”

You can increase your oxidative capacity in two ways:

  • Increasing the total number of mitochondria in your cells by engaging in high intensity interval exercises. However, in order for new mitochondria to be created, you must have sufficient amounts of magnesium.
  • Increasing the efficiency of your mitochondria to repair damage and produce ATP. This process also requires magnesium as a co-factor.

Common Causes for Magnesium Deficiency

A century ago, we were getting an estimated 500 milligrams (mg) of magnesium from the food we ate, courtesy of the nutrient-rich soil in which it was grown. Today, estimates suggest we’re only getting 150 to 300 mg a day from our food supply.

As noted by Patrick, eating a diet rich in calories and poor in micronutrients (read processed foods) is a primary risk factor for magnesium deficiency, for the simple reason that magnesium resides at the center of the chlorophyll molecule.

Chlorophyll, as you may know, is what gives plants their green color. Most Americans eat far too few fruits and vegetables, which may explain why more than half of the American public is deficient in magnesium.

In addition to not getting sufficient amounts from your diet, magnesium is also lost through stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and prescription drug use (especially diuretics, statins, fluoride and fluoride-containing drugs such as fluoroquinolone antibiotics).

Magnesium levels can also decline in the presence of certain hormones, such as estrogen. If you have elevated insulin levels — which an estimated 80 percent of Americans do — you’re quite likely to have low magnesium levels.4

Increasing your magnesium intake may actually go a long way toward improving your condition, or warding off insulin resistance and diabetes in the first place. In one study,5 prediabetics with the highest magnesium intake reduced their risk for blood sugar and metabolic problems by 71 percent.

A second study6 also found that higher magnesium intake reduces the risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes.

According to the authors, “Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk.” The mechanism by which magnesium controls glucose and insulin homeostasis appears to involve two genes responsible for magnesium homeostasis.7

Magnesium is also required to activate tyrosine kinase, an enzyme that functions as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions and is required for the proper function of your insulin receptors. Last but not least, digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease and leaky gut impair your body’s ability to absorb magnesium, which is yet another cause of inadequate magnesium levels.

As noted by Dr. Dean, it’s quite possible that magnesium insufficiency is part of why health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure are so prevalent these days. It may also play a role in fibromyalgia,8 magnesium deficiency is a well-recognized factor in migraines.9

Continue Reading At: Mercola.com