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Showing posts with label Health Benefits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Benefits. Show all posts

Therapeutic Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage



By Dr. Tonya Cremin;

Most people are familiar with deep tissue, hot stone, or sports massage and the therapeutic benefits they have on the mind and body. But many aren't aware of another type of therapeutic massage that helps to release toxins in your body - manual lymphatic drainage.

Lymphatic drainage is a gentle form of massage that stimulates the lymphatic system to promote the removal of bodily toxins and waste and encourages a healthy immune system. To fully understand the benefits of lymphatic drainage, it helps to learn more about the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is an extensive drainage network that helps keep bodily fluid levels in balance and defends the body against infections. It is made up of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph - a clear, watery fluid that contains nutrients - throughout the body.

Lymph fluid flows through the lymph nodes, which act as filters trapping anything harmful that the body doesn't need. This includes bacteria, viruses, damaged cells, or cancer cells. When bacteria or other immune threats are present in lymph, lymph nodes increase production of infection-fighting white blood cells, which can cause the nodes to swell. The human body has between 400-700 lymph nodes depending on the person.

The lymphatic system has no "pump" of its own to move lymph through the system. Rather, regular body movement and breathing function to move liquid lymph through the vessels and filters of the lymph nodes. For people who get too little exercise and eat too much processed food, the lymphatic system can easily be overtaxed and not function efficiently - leaving your body susceptible to infection and disease. By stimulating the lymph nodes through massage, it helps to clear any blockages and gives the lymphatic system a boost keeping it running healthy and strong.

What to expect

Lymphatic drainage is a specialized hand technique that consists of very gentle and rhythmic movements, administered by a highly trained therapist. Each stroke slightly moves the skin in the direction of the lymphatic flow to encourage the drainage of fluid and waste.

Depending what your complaints are, the focus of a lymph massage for general immune stimulation is typically on the upper body, including the face, neck, and arms. After your lymph massage, it's important to drink plenty of water, reduce your salt intake and avoid alcohol.

Benefits

Lymphatic drainage massage can benefit just about everyone. The benefits are many and include:

Detox: At the end of winter the body benefits from lymphatic drainage to reduce the sluggishness brought on by consuming too many starchy, high fat foods and getting too little exercise.

Headache: Most headaches including those resulting from sinusitis have a component of congestion that responds well to lymphatic drainage. Once tissue is decongested, blocked fluid and blood flow improve, reducing pain and discomfort.

Promote healing: After surgery or injury, tissues may be swollen and sore. Lymphatic drainage will help drain the tissues, reduce inflammation and improve healing.

Pregnancy and after: There is often fluid retention in pregnant women and lymphatic drainage can improve comfort especially in the legs and feet.

Reduce swelling: After long periods of immobility such as air travel, fluid tends to stagnate in the tissues making them puffy and tender. This condition responds well when fluid is reduced with lymphatic drainage.

Reduces scar tissue: lymph drainage regenerates tissues to reduce scarring at surgical incision sites.


Your question: Have you ever tried a lymphatic drainage massage? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Tonya Cremin, Physician of Osteopathic Medicine and founder of Fairfield County Integrative Family Medicine and Healing Therapies, provides a whole-life approach to preventive healthcare and care of chronic and acute conditions. Dr. Cremin treats patients with osteopathic manipulation (OMT or OMM), to help with pain or other medical conditions. Additionally, her specialized training allows her to confidently advise patients regarding use of a wide variety of complementary and alternative modalities, including, but not limited to, nutrition advice, use of herbs and supplements, acupuncture, yoga, and hypnosis. To learn more, visit http://www.integrativefamilypracticect.com.

Health Benefits of Steam Inhalation



By Kyla Miller, R.H.N.;

Steam inhalation is a method of introducing warm, moist air into the lungs via the nose & throat for therapeutic benefit. Essential oils are often added to provide additional relief. Ancient Egyptians recognized the good therapeutic effects of inhalation therapy through the use of public baths. Steam inhalation has since become a simple and effective home remedy for various health issues.

Respiratory Benefits

Inhaling steam is a great treatment for respiratory complications and is recommended for dealing with common cold, flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and allergies. Dry air passages are moistened, and mucus is loosened/eliminated easier by coughing or blowing the nose. The moist air also alleviates difficulty breathing, throat irritation and inflammation.

Natural Expectorant

An expectorant increases the amount of secretions, resulting in clearer secretions and as a result, lubricates the irritated respiratory tract. The inhalation of steam significantly benefits the lungs and throat by acting like an effective natural expectorant. This helps to relax muscles, thereby relieving coughing. Inhaling steam is also necessary for preventing excessive drying of the mucous membranes.

Improved Circulation

When the body’s temperature rises, blood vessels begin to dilate. This encourages blood flow and overall circulation in the body. The increase in circulation can provide relief from headaches and migraines. The rise in temperature can also strengthen the immune system by stimulating the circulation of germ fighting white blood cells.

Reduce Stress

Stress causes the inner layer of the blood vessels to constrict. Steam inhalation triggers the vasodilation of blood vessels. When blood vessels dilate, blood flow is increased, promoting relaxation. Further stress reduction can be achieved by using specific essential oils.

Pore Cleansing & Rejuvenation

As previously mentioned, steam inhalation improves circulation which can also improve the skin’s appearance. Additionally, the topical application of steam can be beneficial. Sebum is the natural oil that lubricates and moisturizes skin. When pores are clogged with sebum and other particles such as dirt and makeup, acne breakouts oftentimes appear.  Steam softens these plugs and opens pores so that sebum can flow naturally and remove impurities. Steam also loosens the dead skin cells on the skin allowing new cells to emerge. The result is a soft, youthful glow.

Essential Oils

Many find that aromatherapy provides more relief than steam alone. To alleviate symptoms, essential oils may be added to the steaming water. These are generally used sparingly, with only 2-3 drops being used at a time.

  • For upper respiratory and sinus congestion: peppermint, and/or eucalyptus
  • For stress headaches: chamomile and/or lavender
  • For relaxation: chamomile, lavender and/or lemongrass
  • For oily skin: chamomile, lemongrass, lavender, rosemary, anise, and/or fennel
  • For dry skin: fennel, rosemary, sea buckthorn, peppermint and/or comfrey

Enjoying Steam Inhalation

If you do not frequent day spas, you may be looking for alternative ways to enjoy steam inhalation other than a steam room or facial. Thankfully, steam inhalation does not have to be complicated or expensive. A common method of inhaling steam is to boil a few cups of filtered water and then pour the steaming water into a large bowl. Essential oils can be added at this point if desired. Next, a towel can be placed over the head, while leaning over the bowl of water, breathing deeply through the nose for approximately 15 minutes. Humidifiers also provide a gentle form of steam inhalation.

Use Caution

Since very hot water is used, there is a burn risk associated with inhaling steam. For this reason, it is typically not recommended as a treatment for young children. Many doctors also advise against steam inhalation for pregnant women or people with high blood pressure and/or heart conditions.


Your question: Have you ever tried steam inhalation? (post your comments below)

Sources: 
1.    M.A. Shehata: History Of Inhalation Therapy. The Internet Journal of Health. 2009 Volume 9 Number 1. DOI: 10.5580/10d8
2.    D. Ophir, Y. Elad: Effects of Steam Inhalation on Nasal Patency and Nasal Symptoms in Patients with the Common Cold. PubMed. 1987 May-Jun; 8(2):149-53
3.    V.A. Worwood: The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. New World Library. 1993

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About the Author : Kyla Miller is the co-founder of guidinginstincts.com. She has overcome illness through dietary/lifestyle changes, and practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and is currently studying to become a Reiki Master.

Do You Kombucha?



By Beth Anderson;

If you don't drink Kombucha, do you know what it is? Kombucha is a fermented health beverage made from sweetened tea, yeast, and bacteria. It is considered to be a longevity drink and has been consumed for thousands of years all over the world. In case you are wondering, there may be a trace of alcohol content in Kombucha but it is less than .5% if it is fermented properly. Kombucha has been growing in popularity in the western world because of its health benefits. Kombucha provides glucuronic acid and B vitamins which assist the body in the detoxification process, and beneficial bacteria which assists the gastrointestinal process.

The specific benefits that you will receive from drinking kombucha result from the body working more efficiently and healing itself. Many people report digestive improvement within a day or two. With all of kombucha's probiotic content, everyone is sure to receive digestive benefits at a minimum. Regular drinkers of kombucha report other dramatic results such as less inflammation, lower blood pressure, more energy, and many more amazing results.

If you are new to kombucha and want to try it, it may be wise to start with a small portion of 4 ounces a day and work up to 16 or more ounces per day. Plain kombucha has a sweet/tangy taste with a slight vinegar suggestion in the taste, and it may be somewhat fizzy, so don't shake it! There are many flavors of kombucha available from traditional plain to green, ginger, cranberry, or other fruit flavors. Don't expect a sweet fruity flavor when you try it however, there is a hint of these flavors in the drink without the sweetness. Even though kombucha is made from sweetened tea, the sugar content is fructose and should be around 8 grams per 8 ounces. Keep it simple when you start drinking kombucha!

Kombucha originally came from China and spread throughout Asia during the first century B.C. Kombucha has as much Vitamin C as orange juice but only 10% of the sugar - it also contains many other acids, enzymes, and vitamins in living form and bioavailable. This is much better than taking a pill made from chemicals and dead substances that may not even absorb into the body.

Have you tried Kombucha yet? Kombucha is available in most health food stores, markets, and groceries now in many flavors. If you get ambitious you can even brew your own!


Your question: Have you ever had kombucha? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Beth Anderson is a Holistic Health Coach at http://www.HolisticHealthHotspot.com/ Beth is helping people experience healthy, happy, meaningful lives by providing nutrition and lifestyle education, holistic health coaching, and by helping others learn to make informed choices based on facts, self-reflection, and honesty. Check out Beth's daily smart nutrition, health, and lifestyle tips! Find Holistic Health Hotspot on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/HolisticHealthHotspot

Green Food - Its Health Benefits



By Madeline Innocent;

The health benefits of green food cannot be over-emphasized. Most green food is a complete food, with all the macro vitamins and minerals, many of the trace minerals, its high in protein and contains omega 3. Not only that, but all this is in perfect balance so your body knows exactly how to digest and utilize it.

Many people understand the value of the super green supplements, such as blue green algae. And these are undoubtedly the most health beneficial supplements to take. But you can also get most of your daily requirements from eating a large amount of greens daily.

The common greens available in the grocery stores are silver beet, spinach, kale and collard. New choices coming in include tatsoi, warrigal, lambsquarters and others. But there are many in your garden, that you don't have to buy and are quite safe to eat as long as you don't use chemicals on the garden.
 

Dandelions, as with all greens, are very rich in macro minerals and vitamins. It supports organ health (especially kidney and liver). Dandelion has been used in ancient cultures for its health benefits, since the dawn of time. (My horses always look healthier during the dandelion season, on which they graze heavily.)

Gotu kola, also known as Asian pennywort, is rich in minerals and vitamins, as you would expect. This perennial plant has been used by ancient cultures in Asia to heal wounds and burns, to improve mental clarity, to bring calm, to improve digestion, to revitalize nerve cells, to improve respiratory problems, to reduce varicose veins and more.

Nasturtium was once considered a weed, along with dandelion and other beneficial plants. Not only are the leaves rich in minerals and vitamins, they improve the immune system. The flowers always improve the appearance (and nutrient value) of a salad dish.

Other beneficial greens, often thought of as weeds, include clover, stinging nettle, wild radish, wild mustard, purslane, plantain, chickweed, yellow dock, malva and lovage. There are countless more, depending on what grows in your area.

Herbs are also a green food and their addition to your dishes not only improves the taste, but adds nutrition. Dill, parsley, cilantro, bergamot, mint, fennel, basil, shiso, stevia all add extra quality to your health.

All greens contain alkaloids, which gives them a bitter taste to a greater or lesser extent. These alkaloids protect the plant from being over-eaten by grazers or pickers, and so ensuring their survival. In small amounts, they do you no harm. But if you consume a lot of the same plant for any length of time, they can start to harm. The key is to vary the greens, to rotate on a daily basis, not to consume the same one type every day.

Then there are the medicinal herbs, which need to be eaten in moderation, as they have higher levels of alkaloids. These include milk thistle, salsify, sweet cicely, hosta, horsetail, ginkgo, calendula, aloe, borage, comfrey, hollyhock, oca and more.

In ancient, and not so ancient, times, people would forage in the wild for their food. This included foraging for herbs and greens. In a safe, chemical-free environment this provides you with variety, health benefits and freshness.

Other benefits of green food include:

  • keeping your bowels healthy 
  • de-toxing your body 
  • creating an alkali pH, which is essential for health 
  • satisfying your appetite, preventing constant hunger

The best way to consume greens is raw. This is most palatable in a green smoothie. However, lightly steamed greens daily is better than no greens at all.

By appreciating the benefits of green food, it easily becomes part of your daily diet.


Your question: How often do your consume green food? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Madeleine is a natural health consultant, specializing in homeopathy. She treats both people and animals. She is as passionate about natural, wholesome food as she is about a natural approach to health. She writes weekly articles about how to achieve natural good health with simple, home prescribing and diet. Madeleine has been writing on natural health and homeopathy since 1997. Her hobbies include being with animals, being in nature, self development, empowering others. She likes to be able to laugh at herself. For more information, visit: Homeopathy

Zucchini: The Latest Super Food



By Brenda Neugent;

A member of the summer squash family - and notoriously one of the most prolific garden producers - the zucchini is low in calories and packed with fiber, which should earn the versatile veggie a place on the latest list of super foods.

While it doesn't hold the same places of honor as the pomegranate, the acai berry, the blueberry or the sweet potato, the zucchini has as many of the health benefits. It's just a little more humble!

The zucchini has just 36 calories a cup, and can be cooked in a variety of different ways, from steamed and sauteed to stuffed, grilled and baked, allowing you to add it to almost any meal from breakfast stratas and omelets to pastas at dinner.

Fiber king

One medium zucchini has 10 percent of your day's fiber, making it an excellent choice to keep your digestive health strong while reducing your risk of cancer and keeping your cholesterol low.

Make sure to include the skin to get the most out of the zucchini's fiber benefits. Most have thin, delicate skin that is tender whether it is served cooked or raw.

All about the vitamins

And don't forget the vitamins and minerals found in this truly super food.

A one-cup serving of zucchini offers more than 15 percent of your day's Vitamin C needs. An excellent antioxidant, Vitamin C is great for skin, nails and hair, and helps fight the effects of free radicals.

It also contains almost 10 percent of your recommended Vitamin A daily allowance. A powerful antioxidant, Vitamin A targets the skin and eyes, and helps the body better fight off infection.

That same cup offers a good dose of Vitamin K, about 8 percent of your daily requirements, which is necessary to help blood clot effectively, along with a few B vitamins, essential for metabolism and energy.

Hats off to the minerals


The zucchini has more potassium than a banana, which might make the classic yellow snack standby obsolete.

One cup of zucchini contains 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium, which helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke while building strong bones.

That same cup also contains 20 percent of your daily allowance of manganese, vital for building bones and connective tissue, boosting blood clotting factors and maintaining brain and nerve function.

In addition, zucchini offers a touch of calcium, a must for building strong bones and helping to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.


Your question: How often do you eat Zucchini? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Brenda Neugent invented her first zucchini recipe after an endless supply showed up in her first garden, and she's been experimenting ever since. A longtime newspaper editor and writer, she is now venturing into the world of freelance. This is her first book.

Benefits of Gardening: Healing the Mind and Body



By Jared D. Ingram;

Gardening is one of the many small pleasures many people, especially those who live in the suburbs, can indulge in. Gardens not only beautify the environment but also help people in so many different ways. Having a garden of you own is a great thing to have in any home. It gives you a space to relax and ease your mind while at the same time provide a space to simulate your senses.

There are many benefits of gardening that one can get out of this simple task or hobby. Mentally and physically - both can benefit well from gardening. Here are some of the benefits people can get out of gardening.

It Helps Fight Depression

Gardens have that special vibe that uplifts the mood of any person. It has actually been a prescribed activity of many psychologists and psychiatrists to many patients to help them overcome depression, anxiety and stress. Gardens have the healing effect on people and with constant exposure to such, people feel less stressed and actually feel better. This is one of the many benefits of gardening that people can get. If you are fighting some form of depression - mild or severe - do some gardening stuff and you'll be surprised at how much better and happier you'll feel over time.

It Can be a Form of Exercise

Exercise is also one of the many benefits of gardening. The positive effects of exercise to our bodies are undeniable. But many of us hardly have the motivation to do so because of the muscle fatigue and the feeling of soreness after some time of working out. Other people get bored with exercising because it is not something that they want to do but they have to do in order to stay fit and healthy. If you find yourself bored and undetermined to exercise, try gardening instead. The constant motion and activity to plant, arrange and dig earth are all forms of physical activity that can be considered as exercise. It has less monotonous movements and more appealing than other forms of exercise as you see results in not just your body but in your garden as well.

Reducing Stress

One of the many undeniable benefits of gardening is reducing stress. It has been common knowledge ever since that some form of greenery can uplift the spirit and reduce any stress. It helps ease your mind and provide a sense of tranquility you won't get elsewhere. In gardening, you engage yourself in an activity that can take your mind off your stressors and give you something more beguiling to focus on. And when you see great results after, it gives a sense of fulfillment that can reduce stress levels as well.

Heals the Mind

Aside from fighting depression and reducing stress, one of the many benefits of gardening is to heal the mind. The different sensory stimulants found in a garden stimulate people with all sorts of mental illnesses. It helps them heal their mind.

The benefits of gardening are irrefutable. It is an activity that anyone can engage in - not just the elderly. You can find peace and serenity with gardening.

Your question(s): Do you have a garden? If, so what other health benefits has it brought you? (post your comments below)

Health Benefits Of Sea Vegetables



By Dr. Linda Posh;

For decades nutritionists have touted the health benefits of sea vegetables with good reason, as the benefits of more than a few of these plants have proven to be absolutely profound. Low in calories and abundant in vitamins and minerals not to be found in land derived foods, sea vegetables stand in a class all their own. For centuries, sea vegetables have been a part of the human diet, particularly for those living in coastal regions. Given that the marine waters where sea vegetables grow is remarkably similar to the constitution of human blood, the health benefits go without saying.

In China, sea vegetables as a food and health source have been traced and recorded as far back as 800BC. Modern cultures with easy access consume seaweed fresh, dried or use it as a seasoning, side dish, or condiment.

A recent study conducted by the University of California revealed that the addition of sea vegetables to the diet may help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Sea vegetables have the potential to boost immune system function and have been proven to do so in multiple laboratory studies conducted across the globe. Sea vegetables have been credited with increasing energy, improving general well being and accelerating wound healing while maximizing the body's metabolism and anti-aging defenses. Sea vegetables are noted for their anti-inflammatory effects and may help in the treatment of certain skin conditions.

In addition to some all important minerals such as iron and iodine, sea vegetables are rich in trace elements which can have a profound effect on human health and well being. Zinc, boron, tin, selenium, chromium, antimony and bismuth, are just a few of the essential trace minerals so badly missing in our modern diets but readily available from the sea. In addition, sea vegetables contain an unusual amount of full spectrum vitamins, including E, A, C and B12. Also, we are happy to find that sea vegetables are rich in certain enzymes and almost the full range of essential amino acids.

Sea vegetables grow in predominantly rocky areas or on coral reefs. Sea vegetable growth can be found up to the highest reach of the tide on cliffs or up estuaries. Sea vegetables can grow 4 feet below the water or as deep as 200 feet. Existing as very simple organisms with a powerful punch, sea vegetables form the basis for a worldwide business that brings in over six billion dollars annually. Given the potent powers of this simple yet complex marine life, it is easy to understand why.

Your question: How often do you eat sea vegetables? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Dr. Linda Posh MS SLP ND. "Doc Posh" brings a fresh perspective to natural health and nutrition. She packs a solid educational background with degrees in organic chemistry, psychology and a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders. The Dr. sports a diverse work history including experience and expertise in acute care neurorehab services, special education, autism support services, spinal cord injuries, senior rehabilitation services and currently consults to both patients and colleagues in natural health. Recently, she has been in the laboratory, formulating revolutionary whole food nutritional supplements. Sign up for Doc Posh’s newsletter. Get the latest in health care discoveries, consumer deception and more. Visit Nutra-Resources.com for the finest in liquid vitamins.

Health Benefits of Noni Juice



By Cori Young;

Noni (Morinda Citrifolia) is a deciduous creeping vine with twining stems and white flowers which is native to Malaysia, Australia, and Polynesia, is gaining popularity in the west due to its apparently wide ranging health benefits. Part of the Madder family, Morinda's thick, intertwined purple roots are harvested in the spring and fall for use in herbal medicine and to make the increasingly popular noni juice.

The Polynesian culture has long used morinda to treat a wide variety of symptoms ranging from respiratory problems, poor digestion, and highblood pressure to menstrual problems and immune deficiency. Rich in vitamin C, noni juice also contains the hill spectrum of amino acids, as well as naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, beneficial alkaloids, co-factors and plant sterols.

Recent research suggests that noni root compounds contain natural sedative properties and may lower blood pressure. Biochemist, Dr Ralph Heinicke, asserts that proxeronine, an alkaloid precursor to a vital compound called xeronine, helps in the normalization of abnormally functioning cells. Heinicke claims that noni juice provides a safe and effective way to increase xeronine levels, which can be decreased by anger, stress, trauma, disease and injury.

"Rich in vitamin C, morinda provides natural antioxidants that support the kidneys, increasing the flow of urine to flush toxins from the body. It works to correct problems with the structure of proteins and cells. Working at the cellular level, morinda solves problems within the body ranging from cancer to digestive distress." - From Prescription For Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis A Balch, CNC

Depression

Morinda contains antidepressant compounds in the form of two sugars, inulin and nystose, as well as succinic acid, a compound created from simple sugars. Morinda also contains xeronine, which brings about a feeling of well-being by opening brain receptor sites to receive more endorphin hormone.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

There is promising evidence that morinda helps reduce inflammatory conditions while strengthening bones and ligaments. People with rheumatoid arthritis report relief from pain and swelling as well as an increase in mobility.

Menstrual Problems

Traditional Chinese medicine has prescribed Morinda for centuries to treat irregular menstrual cycles in women, especially when accompanied by pain in the lower back or pelvic area.

Other Benefits

Studies show that noni stimulates the immune system, regulating cell function and cellular regeneration of damaged cells. It's also been shown to increase stamina and endurance and is thought to be beneficial in treating impotence and infertility.

Morinda works slowly, and is best taken daily over a period of six to eight weeks for best results.

Your question: Have you ever tried noni? (post your comments below)

Sources: 
  • Noni (Morinda Citrifolia), by Rita Elkins. M.H.
  • Prescription For Herbal Healing, by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC
  • The Way of Herbs, by Michael Tierra "Ralph Heinicke, Ph.D., a biochemist, discovered that noni fruit contains an alkaloid ..." see page 171
  • Some chemical constituents of Morinda Citrifolia, by Levand O, Larson HO. Planta Med 1979;36:186-7.
  • Morinda citrifolia (Noni): A literature review and recent advances in Noni Juice research. Acta Pharmacologica Sinica ,an international montlhly journal, ISSN 1671-4083, 2002 Dec, Vol. 23, 1127-1141, by Wang, M-Y, West, B., Jensen, J., Nowicki, D., Su, C., Palu, K., Anderson, G.
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About the Author: Cori Young is a writer and herbalist living in the Pacific Northwest. For more information on natural health, visit her website, Natural Thyroid Remedies

5 Health Benefits of Dandelion Tea



By T Paul Buzan;

If you think the dandelions that bloom in your lawn every spring and summer are nothing but annoying weeds, think again!

Throughout much of the world dandelion is cherished as a nutrient-rich food source and medicinal herb.

In recent years dandelion has gained acceptance within the western scientific community as an antioxidant and cancer-fighting agent.

To cite one example: A study published in 2011 by the International Journal of Oncology reported that dietary supplements that included dandelion as an active ingredient were effective at halting the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Not too shabby for just an "annoying weed", right?

Thinking about including dandelion as a part of your healthy lifestyle? One of the easiest ways to get your daily dose of dandelion is with a cup (or two!) of hot, delicious dandelion tea.

Need more convincing? Read on to learn more about the health benefits of dandelion tea.


5 Reasons to Drink Dandelion Tea

1. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels. The University of Ohio published a report showing that tea made from dandelion can act as a stabilizing agent on blood sugar levels. If you're diabetic drinking three cups of dandelion tea a day can help you manage your condition.

Of course, always check with your doctor before making changes to your dietary routine.

2. It is nature's top diuretic. Put simply, you'll be making tracks for the restroom after a cup. Wait. How is the urge to urinate one of the health benefits of dandelion tea?

Well, a diuretic will flush nasty toxins out of your kidneys and help you lose excess water weight. Great news if you're on a detox plan or trying to shed a couple of pounds.

3. It will help you get slim. When used as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise, this tea can boost your body's ability to lose weight.

Dandelion promotes bile production. Bile is a fluid made in your gallbladder that aids digestion and flushes nasty toxins out of your body. Couple that with this tea's diuretic properties and you're looking at a powerful weight loss herb. Small wonder that many diet pills include dandelion as a key ingredient!

4. It helps your skin look beautiful. One of the lesser known health benefits of dandelion tea is its ability to help skin conditions.

Because of its detoxification properties dandelion tea is awesome at ridding your body of toxins. This makes it an effective tool against acne and eczema. A cup of dandelion tea cleanses you from the inside out, and it can also be applied directly to your face as a toner.

5. It benefits your vision. Remember how your mom would tell you: "Eat all those carrots! They're good for your eyes." Well, mom was right. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, a nutrient your body converts into Vitamin A and one that's necessary for good eye-sight.

What mom might not have known is that dandelion has more beta-carotene per 100 grams than carrots! Oh, if only we'd been armed with this info as kids, right? Can't you imagine telling mom: "I'll skip the carrots, thanks. How about a cup of dandelion tea instead?"

And there you have it. Five health benefits of dandelion tea and five convincing reasons for brewing up a pot.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and here's to a happy, healthy YOU!

Your question: Do you consume dandelion tea? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, T. Paul Buzan has been living in and writing about South Korea since 2007. He specializes in travel, food, and health writing and strives to both inform and entertain in every one of his articles.

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha



By Ron Butters;

It is very challenging to balance modern life with our body's need for proper nutrition. Even when you do make an effort to eat a varied and balanced diet, the abundance of mass produced and overly processed food products on grocery store shelves often undermines your efforts and good intentions. One possible solution is to add wholesome herbal supplements to your diet to help your body fight the stress of poor diets and provide badly needed vitamins, minerals and rich natural compounds. Picking herbs that are known to have an adaptogenic effect on your body is the best place to start. An adaptogen has a wide spectrum positive impact on your body and it will aid all the systems in your body to function at their optimal levels. To this end, one of the best adaptogens is Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera.

This wonder plant is a native of South Asia and a staple herb in the ancient Indian field of Ayurveda. The name Ashwagandha is derived from Sanskrit and translates literally to mean 'Horse Smell'. This name underlines the herbs potent smell that is reminiscent of a wet horse. Just as Ginseng has played a central role in the ancient Chinese traditions of health care, Ashwagandha has played a central role in India's indigenous health care traditions and culture. Sometimes the herb is also referred to as Indian Ginseng; however the two plants are not related, while Ginseng belongs to the 'Panax' genus, Ashwagandha belongs to the 'Withania' genus. The main active compound groups responsible for Ashwagandh's immense health benefits are alkaloids and steroidal lactones.

As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha promotes the body's natural ability to resist and counter environmental stresses. The human body has a tremendous ability to fight stresses whether they are caused by poor diet, environmental toxins and pollutants, disease or mental and physical stresses. However the increase in stress is inversely related to the body's ability to cope. This is where Ashwagandha is so beneficial. It helps maintain proper nourishment of the tissues, muscles and bone against the background of stresses impacting the body. The herb also supports the immune, adrenal, circulatory and reproductive systems aiding them to function at optimal levels. Such a wide spectrum impact helps the body to leverage its natural ability to fight stress and heal.

A study conducted in India also revealed that anti-oxidant levels in the body increase upon taking Ashwagandha. Specifically, levels of glutathione peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase were shown to increase with the ingestion of Ashwagandha. These anti-oxidant properties of the plant are also thought to give it an overall anti-ageing (or rather age fighting) effect on the body. Furthermore, since anti-oxidants neutralize free radicals, Ashwagandha may also play a role as a preventive agent against certain types of cancers.

Those individuals prone to anxiety and panic attacks may also benefit from Ashwagandha. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety in various studies. The exact mechanism by which Ashwagandha helps alleviate anxiety symptoms is not understood, but one theory is that compounds in the plant attach to GABA receptors in the central nervous system; hence Ashwagandha is thought to have a similar impact as GABA towards fighting anxiety.

Since time immemorial, Ashwagandha has been prescribed by traditional practitioners in India to treat various conditions related to sexual function and infertility. Its positive impact on the reproductive system can be largely attributed to its adaptogenic properties. As an adaptogen, Ashwagandha improves overall vitality and stamina, which in turn would aid in increased semen production. Furthermore, since the plant aids in fighting anxiety and thus promoting calm, it is believed that the overall calming effect increases mood and helps in promoting sexual performance and desire.

Athletes may also benefit from using Ashwagandha. During times of extreme exercise, the body is exposed to tremendous physical stresses that tax all its systems. Ashwagandha promotes better oxygen flow to muscle cells allowing for greater strength and endurance. The body is also better able to counter the effects of stress hormones which are released during periods of intense exertion.

Ashwagandha provides all the aforementioned benefits to health without any significant known side effects. It is truly a wonder, and has been proven effective through its long history of use in India spanning many millennia.

Your question: Have you ever consumed ashwagandha? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Learn more about the Health Benefits of Ashwagandha at http://ashwagandha.wisepooch.com/Ashwagandha-Health-Benefits.php - the foremost portal for information on this plant.

Shilajit - The Miracle of the Himalayas



By Yulia Berry;

The resin like substance known as Shilajit has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an all important component in the preparation of many different remedies. Also called asphaltum, mineral pitch and girijj, Shilajit is actually decomposed plant matter that has been undergone centuries of intense pressure in the mountains before it slowly oozes out during the summer heat. The resin is soft and slimy and pale to blackish brown in color. It has a heavy consistency and in soluble in water. It can be found in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan, where it is harvested, purified and then used for a wide range of health concerns.

Purified Shilajit contains many different biochemical substances including fulvic acid, humic acid, uronic acids, hippuric acid along with benzopyrones, phenolic glycosides and amino acids. Indian Ayurvedic healers have used it for large number medical problems from arthritic pain to sexual dysfunction. It has proven to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal treatment for arthritis, rheumatism, gout, back pain and any other joint related problems. It has also been found useful in elevating mental fatigue and strengthening the nervous system, helping out with disorders like depression, stress, and even epilepsy.

Here are some other things that Shilajit has been used for:

Better Learning
It is believed to help with concentration, enhancing overall intelligence and learning skills.

Stomach Problems
-It has been used to treat abdominal disorders including stomach pain, indigestion and constipation. It has also been helpful with piles.
- It is said to help the liver function better, allowing for better a metabolism and waste elimination.

Immune System Function
It is noted as having strong anti microbial properties, helping to purify the blood and strengthen the immune system

Blood Pressure
It is also believed to be useful in helping to control bloodpressure.

Breathing Problems
It has even been used to help treat cases of asthma.

Urinary Tract
It has helped relieve symptoms such as Dysurea and burning micturation

Diabetes
Shilajit can help metabolize glucose in the blood stream

Kidney Function
It is believed to help the kidneys function better.

In the Ayurvedic System of Medicine, Shilajit is a very important substance used for all manner of treatments including the ones mentioned above. It is also believed to help with the overall strength and endurance of men and has even been called the "Indian Viagra" for its power to help regulate the sex hormones and allow for proper functioning and higher sperm count. It is also given to patients that are recovering from a prolonged illness or surgery and can help with the absorption of vitamins and minerals in people who are suffering from a deficiency.

Your question: Have you ever experimented with Shilajit? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Yulia Berry is an independent health researcher and author of the best selling e-book on aloe vera - Aloe - Your Miracle Doctor. She distributes a weekly newsletter regarding great home remedies and has written another popular e-book 'Pharmacy in Vegetables' and dozens of natural health articles published on hundreds of websites worldwide.

Goji Berries - The Longevity Fruit



By Sue Roberts;

Goji (pronounced go-gee) berry food products are quite the rage these days. They seem to be popping up everywhere, as either an ingredient in trail mix or crunch bars or alone as a juice, tea or dried fruit. Goji berries, or wolfberries as they are sometimes called, are far from a new food, though, having been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to cure a variety of ailments.

The nickname “Longevity Fruit” comes from the fact that in Northern China where the availability and consumption of the fruit is high, there are over 16 times the number of people over 100 years old as compared to the rest of the country. These centenarians tend to be much healthier and more active than their counterparts in Western culture.

Ancient folklore has it that a Chinese man who ate Goji berries lived to the ripe old age of 252 years! No wonder its known as the “Longevity Fruit”! One source has also coined the nickname “Hallelujah Berry.”

Is there any truth to these claims?

As is the case with many herbal and dietary supplements, sufficient scientific evidence to prove therapeutic benefits is not available yet. Here’s what is known: Goji berries are nutritious foods that are considered pretty safe for everyone except for pregnant or lactating women. They should avoid consuming Goji berries until more is known about how this food actually works in the body. [ed’s note – from research I have conducted elsewhere, it seems that Goji berries are not only safe for pregnant and lactating women, but also recommended at a dose of 10g per day.]

It is recommended that individuals limit their consumption of Goji fruit to 10g to 30g per day, due to the selenium content which can be toxic at high intake levels.

It is believed that Goji berries may act to lower blood glucose, thus it is recommended that other herbs and supplements known to reduce blood sugar, such as ginger, kudzu and fenugreek, should not be consumed along with Goji berries in order to prevent hypoglycemia. As a precautionary measure, herbs such as ginger, ginseng, turmeric and valerian should also not be taken along with Goji fruits because of a possible combined anti-hypertensive effect.

Just how nutritious are Goji berries?

Consider this. Goji berries are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. By weight, they contain 68% carbohydrate, 12% protein, 10% fat and 10% fiber, with 370 calories per 100g. They also contain 33 minerals, 18 amino acids and 6 vitamins.

Want more specifics? Take a look at these impressive facts:

Nutrient Content per 100g dried fruit*

Calcium - 112mg
Potassium - 1132mg
Iron - 9mg
Zinc - 2mg
Selenium - .05mg
Riboflavin - 1.3mg
Vitamin C - varies, 2mg –100mg
Beta-carotene - 7mg
Zeaxanthin - varies, 25mg –200 mg

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfberry

This fruit is so good for you it must taste awful, right? Wrong. Goji berries have a flavor that is quite pleasing, like cranberries, raspberries and strawberries all wrapped up together.

Before you run out to the health foods store to buy some, keep in mind that Goji berry food products can be quite expensive. If you are willing to pay the price, tap into the nutritional powerhouse contained in Goji berries, maybe you’ll live to be 252, too!

Your question: Do you eat goji berries? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Sue Roberts, MPH MS RD/CN is a certified nutritionist and registered dietitian. Get a copy of her free ebook, "The Secrets of Weight Loss Supplements: What You Need to Know" at http://www.YourOnlineNutritionist.com.

Importance of Enzymes



By Junji Takano;

You hear the word "Enzyme" nowadays, and very often you see posters and ads with a word "enzyme" on it. Even everyday products such as washing detergents have enzymes on it. But what is "enzyme" and why it is important in our living?

During the postwar time, scientists thought that carbohydrate, protein and fat are the three nutritive substances in dietetics which are necessary to live. However, carbohydrate alone is not enough for proper metabolism. They then added vitamin and mineral to make up five nutritive substances. But then again, minerals were not digested. So, they added an overlooked substance, food fiber as the sixth nutritive substance.

These six nutritive substances are very important. However, other than the vitamins and minerals, there was one very important thing to keep life alive. It is the enzyme.

Enzymes are essential to sustain life. They work together cooperating with vitamins and minerals and act as a catalyst to accelerate chemical reaction because most chemical reactions in biological cells would occur too slowly. Enzymes don't only act as a catalyst. When the body has an abundance of enzymes, it can protect itself and repair the damage from almost all degenerative disease disorders! Without enzymes, we age more quickly, get disease earlier in life, and acquire physical impairments and mental retardation as our bodies degenerate. Neither a human being nor an animal can live without enzymatic function. As it were the leading part of the life activities and it is the source.

If we take supplements in the correct form, most people would assume that the nutrients are being utilized to give the body the support it needs. Wrong. Without the assistance of digestive enzymes, many of the nutrients from the supplements are going to be used just for energy by the metabolic enzymes to clean up the bloodstream. It will not support the body's normal daily needs, creating another cause of deficiencies.

More than 5,000 enzymes are known. To name different enzymes, one typically uses the ending -ase with the name of the chemical being transformed (substrate), e.g., lactase is the enzyme that catalyzes the cleavage of lactose. In the near future, more enzymes will be named.

Each enzyme does one work. Therefore, 5,000 enzymes do 5,000 different works.

Enzyme weakens when it's heated. This is the reason why we are causing virtually all of our own disorders and diseases every time we eat a cooked or processed food. When we eat cooked or processed foods we're eating dead or denatured foods. Dead foods have no living enzymes and most nutrients are diminished significantly. Therefore, you should practice eating raw foods which contains enzyme.

What kind of food contains more enzymes? RAW fishes, meats, vegetables, fruits and specially fermented foods contains great amount of enzymes. Fermented foods have more enzymes called vegetable enzyme.

When eating broiled fish or roasted meat, try to add raw vegetables that contain rich vegetable enzymes which will help digestion.

Remember that lack of enzymes in the body, makes the blood dirty, and it is the base of many kinds of diseases.

As what I mentioned previously, protein alone does not work as energy in the body, because the body does not absorb protein itself. Protein should be processed and disassembled by enzymes, specifically, amylase (the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates).

However, if amylase enzymes are not enough, the sugar called "glucose" which hasn't been digested is absorbed as it is, and floats inside the blood. This sugar which hasn't been digested makes the blood sticky, and sticks red blood cells together.


Even big red blood cells can pass thinner blood vessels because of its flexibility. However, if the blood is sticky like the above left figure, blood won't pass efficiently. Then, various diseases may appear. This all happens because of overeating and eating only cooked and processed food reducing enzymes significantly.

Researchers found that the younger people had 30 times more amylase in their saliva than the older people. This is the reason that when we're young we can handle a diet of bread, pasta and cooked foods without much problem. But this type of diet can cause rapid aging and depletion of enzyme supplies.

There are people who eat a well-balanced diet, yet remain thin (unhealthy). And there are people who eat less or are vegetarians, yet remain fat. So you understand that these maybe due to functions of enzyme in the body.

Bear in mind that when you feel weak, tired or sick, eat more of easily digestible foods with full of enzymes.

Things to Remember:
  1. The source of most health problems can be traced directly back to improperly digested foods.
  2. The human body is designed to break down only half of the food we eat.
  3. Cooked and processed foods overwork and drain the human body's energy.
  4. Improperly digested food particles in the bloodstream distract the protectors and repairers away from doing their job.
  5. Fat is the best source of energy, fully digested fat is good fat.
  6. It has been clinically proven that the more enzymes you take the more quickly your body can restore, repair and strengthen itself.
  7. The combination of digestive enzymes, vitamins, ionic minerals and clean water gives your body the support it desperately needs.
  8. We have a choice, to add to the body's ability to protect or repair, or to continually and slowly drain the body's energy and enzyme reserves. Your choice will be a determining factor in your long-term health.
Your question: Have you ever taken supplemental digestive enzymes? (post your comments below)
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About the Author: Junji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968, he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first electrostatic therapy device for electromedicine that effectively eradicates viral diseases, cancer, and diseases of unknown cause.
Click here to find out more: http://www.pyroenergen.com/
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