Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Risks of drinking Aloe Vera juice

Any Side Effects Of Aloe Vera Juice?

Aloe Vera is not without possible side effects. Reported side effects include allergic reactions, liver dysfunction, nausea, dermatitis and strangely colored urine.

However, these side effects are rare and may well be the result of drinking too much of the juice. It is unwise to drink Aloe Vera juice as if it were orange juice. If you stay to the recommended dose, you should be fine.

Nevertheless, it is important to pay attention to any side effects and stop drinking the juice if you detect a reaction. Aloe Vera juice is not a magic potion or a cure-all.

Indications

Indications that you should avoid Aloe Vera are if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have kidney or heart disease, or are allergic to garlic or onions. It is also inadvisable to give Aloe Vera juice to children as they can experience toxic reactions.

For most people, the health benefits of Aloe Vera juice outweigh any risks, however it is important to use this supplement wisely and pay careful attention to your body’s responses to it.

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Dandelion - Taraxacum Officinale (Medicinal Herbs)

The Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale, Weber, T. Densleonis, Desf; Leontodon taraxacum, Linn.), though not occurring in the Southern Hemisphere, is at home in all parts of the north temperate zone, in pastures, meadows and on waste ground, and is so plentiful that farmers everywhere find it a troublesome weed, for though its flowers are more conspicuous in the earlier months of the summer, it may be found in bloom, and consequently also prolifically dispersing its seeds, almost throughout the year.

From its thick tap root, dark brown, almost black on the outside though white and milky within, the long jagged leaves rise directly, radiating from it to form a rosette Iying close upon the ground, each leaf being grooved and constructed so that all the rain falling on it is conducted straight to the centre of the rosette and thus to the root which is, therefore, always kept well watered. The maximum amount of water is in this manner directed towards the proper region for utilization by the root, which but for this arrangement would not obtain sufficient moisture, the leaves being spread too close to the ground for the water to penetrate.

The leaves are shiny and without hairs, the margin of each leaf cut into great jagged teeth, either upright or pointing somewhat backwards, and these teeth are themselves cut here and there into lesser teeth. It is this somewhat fanciful resemblance to the canine teeth of a lion that (it is generally assumed) gives the plant its most familiar name of Dandelion, which is a corruption of the French Dent de Lion, an equivalent of this name being found not only in its former specific Latin name Dens leonis and in the Greek name for the genus to which Linnaeus assigned it, Leontodon, but also in nearly all the languages of Europe.

There is some doubt, however, as to whether it was really the shape of the leaves that provided the original notion, as there is really no similarity between them, but the leaves may perhaps be said to resemble the angular jaw of a lion fully supplied with teeth. Some authorities have suggested that the yellow flowers might be compared to the golden teeth of the heraldic lion, while others say that the whiteness of the root is the feature which provides the resemblance. Flückiger and Hanbury in Pharmacographia, say that the name was conferred by Wilhelm, a surgeon, who was so much impressed by the virtues of the plant that he likened it to Dens leonis. In the Ortus Sanitatis, 1485, under 'Dens Leonis,' there is a monograph of half a page (unaccompanied by any illustration) which concludes:
'The Herb was much employed by Master Wilhelmus, a surgeon, who on account of its virtues, likened it to "eynem lewen zan, genannt zu latin Dens leonis" (a lion's tooth, called in Latin Dens leonis).'

In the pictures of the old herbals, for instance, the one in Brunfels' Contrafayt Kreuterbuch, 1532, the leaves very much resemble a lion's tooth. The root is not illustrated at all in the old herbals, as only the herb was used at that time.

The name of the genus, Taraxacum, is derived from the Greek taraxos (disorder), and akos (remedy), on account of the curative action of the plant. A possible alternative derivation of Taraxacum is suggested in The Treasury of Botany:
'The generic name is possibly derived from the Greek taraxo ("I have excited" or "caused") and achos (pain), in allusion to the medicinal effects of the plant.'

There are many varieties of Dandelion leaves; some are deeply cut into segments, in others the segments or lobes form a much less conspicuous feature, and are sometimes almost entire.

The shining, purplish flower-stalks rise straight from the root, are leafless, smooth and hollow and bear single heads of flowers. On picking the flowers, a bitter, milky juice exudes from the broken edges of the stem, which is present throughout the plant, and which when it comes into contact with the hand, turns to a brown stain that is rather difficult to remove.

Each bloom is made up of numerous strapshaped florets of a bright golden yellow. This strap-shaped corolla is notched at the edge into five teeth, each tooth representing a petal, and lower down is narrowed into a claw-like tube, which rests on the singlechambered ovary containing a single ovule. In this tiny tube is a copious supply of nectar, which more than half fills it, and the presence of which provides the incentive for the visits of many insects, among whom the bee takes first rank.

The Dandelion takes an important place among honey-producing plants, as it furnishes considerable quantities of both pollen and nectar in the early spring, when the bees' harvest from fruit trees is nearly over. It is also important from the beekeeper's point of view, because not only does it flower most in spring, no matter how cool the weather may be, but a small succession of bloom is also kept up until late autumn, so that it is a source of honey after the main flowers have ceased to bloom, thus delaying the need for feeding the colonies of bees with artificial food.

The blooms are very sensitive to weather conditions: in fine weather, all the parts are outstretched, but directly rain threatens the whole head closes up at once. It closes against the dews of night, by five o'clock in the evening, being prepared for its night's sleep, opening again at seven in the morning though as this opening and closing is largely dependent upon the intensity of the light, the time differs somewhat in different latitudes and at different seasons.

The young leaves of the Dandelion make an agreeable and wholesome addition to spring salads and are often eaten on the Continent, especially in France. The full-grown leaves should not be taken, being too bitter, but the young leaves, especially if blanched, make an excellent salad, either alone or in combination with other plants, lettuce, shallot tops or chives.

The young leaves may also be boiled as a vegetable, spinach fashion, thoroughly drained, sprinkled with pepper and salt, moistened with soup or butter and served very hot. If considered a little too bitter, use half spinach, but the Dandelion must be partly cooked first in this case, as it takes longer than spinach. As a variation, some grated nutmeg or garlic, a teaspoonful of chopped onion or grated lemon peel can be added to the greens when they are cooked. A simple vegetable soup may also be made with Dandelions.

The dried Dandelion leaves are also employed as an ingredient in many digestive or diet drinks and herb beers. Dandelion Beer is a rustic fermented drink common in many parts of the country and made also in Canada. Workmen in the furnaces and potteries of the industrial towns of the Midlands have frequent resource to many of the tonic Herb Beers, finding them cheaper and less intoxicating than ordinary beer, and Dandelion stout ranks as a favourite. An agreeable and wholesome fermented drink is made from Dandelions, Nettles and Yellow Dock.

In Berkshire and Worcestershire, the flowers are used in the preparation of a beverage known as Dandelion Wine. This is made by pouring a gallon of boiling water over a gallon of the flowers. After being well stirred, it is covered with a blanket and allowed to stand for three days, being stirred again at intervals, after which it is strained and the liquor boiled for 30 minutes, with the addition of 3 1/2 lb. of loaf sugar, a little ginger sliced, the rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon sliced. When cold, a little yeast is placed in it on a piece of toast, producing fermentation. It is then covered over and allowed to stand two days until it has ceased 'working,' when it is placed in a cask, well bunged down for two months before bottling. This wine is suggestive of sherry slightly flat, and has the deserved reputation of being an excellent tonic, extremely good for the blood.

The roasted roots are largely used to form Dandelion Coffee, being first thoroughly cleaned, then dried by artificial heat, and slightly roasted till they are the tint of coffee, when they are ground ready for use. The roots are taken up in the autumn, being then most fitted for this purpose. The prepared powder is said to be almost indistinguishable from real coffee, and is claimed to be an improvement to inferior coffee, which is often an adulterated product. Of late years, Dandelion Coffee has come more into use in this country, being obtainable at most vegetarian restaurants and stores. Formerly it used occasionally to be given for medicinal purposes, generally mixed with true coffee to give it a better flavour. The ground root was sometimes mixed with chocolate for a similar purpose. Dandelion Coffee is a natural beverage without any of the injurious effects that ordinary tea and coffee have on the nerves and digestive organs. It exercises a stimulating influence over the whole system, helping the liver and kidneys to do their work and keeping the bowels in a healthy condition, so that it offers great advantages to dyspeptics and does not cause wakefulness.

Medicinal Uses

Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders.

Dandelion is not only official but is used in many patent medicines. Not being poisonous, quite big doses of its preparations may be taken. Its beneficial action is best obtained when combined with other agents.

The tincture made from the tops may be taken in doses of 10 to 15 drops in a spoonful of water, three times daily.

It is said that its use for liver complaints was assigned to the plant largely on the doctrine of signatures, because of its bright yellow flowers of a bilious hue.

In the hepatic complaints of persons long resident in warm climates, Dandelion is said to afford very marked relief. A broth of Dandelion roots, sliced and stewed in boiling water with some leaves of Sorrel and the yolk of an egg, taken daily for some months, has been known to cure seemingly intractable cases of chronic liver congestion.

A strong decoction is found serviceable in stone and gravel: the decoction may be made by boiling 1 pint of the sliced root in 20 parts of water for 15 minutes, straining this when cold and sweetening with brown sugar or honey. A small teacupful may be taken once or twice a day.

Dandelion is used as a bitter tonic in atonic dyspepsia, and as a mild laxative in habitual constipation. When the stomach is irritated and where active treatment would be injurious, the decoction or extract of Dandelion administered three or four times a day, will often prove a valuable remedy. It has a good effect in increasing the appetite and promoting digestion.

Dandelion combined with other active remedies has been used in cases of dropsy and for induration of the liver, and also on the Continent for phthisis and some cutaneous diseases. A decoction of 2 OZ. of the herb or root in 1 quart of water, boiled down to a pint, is taken in doses of one wineglassful every three hours for scurvy, scrofula, eczema and all eruptions on the surface of the body.

Technorati Tags: Dandelion, Medicinal Herbs

Monday, December 10, 2007

Comfrey - Symphytum Officinale (Medicinal Herbs)

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) is a perennial herb of the family Boraginaceae with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves that bears small bell-shaped white, cream, purple or pink flowers. It is native to Europe, growing in damp, grassy places, and is widespread throughout the British Isles on river banks and ditches.

Comfrey has long been recognized by both organic gardeners and herbalists for its great usefulness and versatility; of particular interest is the "Bocking 14" cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum). This strain was developed during the 1950s by Lawrence D Hills, the founder of the Henry Doubleday Research Association (the organic gardening organization itself named after the Quaker pioneer who first introduced Russian Comfrey into Britain in the 1910s) following trials at Bocking, near Braintree, the original home of the organization.

Other species include:

* Symphytum asperum, Prickly Comfrey, Rough Comfrey (synonym: S. asperrimum)
* Symphytum bulbosum, Bulbous Comfrey
* Symphytum caucasicum, Caucasian Comfrey
* Symphytum grandiflorum, Creeping Comfrey (synonym: S. ibericum)
* Symphytum orientale, White Comfrey
* Symphytum tauricum, Crimean Comfrey
* Symphytum tuberosum, Tuberous Comfrey
* Symphytum x uplandicum, Russian Comfrey, Healing Herb, Blackwort, Bruisewort, Wallwort, Gum Plant. (S. asperum x officinale, synonym: S. peregrinum)


Medicinal uses

Dorothy Hall writes that 'Russian comfrey and garlic could together, according to natural health usage, almost halve the present ills of western civilization' . An extravagant claim perhaps, but comfrey did indeed have a wealth of medicinal uses in bygone days. Contemporary herbalists view comfrey as an ambivalent and controversial herb that may offer therapeutic benefits but at the potential risk of liver toxicity.

One of its country names for comfrey was 'knitbone', a reminder of its traditional use in healing. Modern science confirms that comfrey can influence the course of bone ailments.

The herb contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. Comfrey was used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from bronchial problems, broken bones, sprains, arthritis, gastric and varicose ulcers, severe burns, acne and other skin conditions. It was reputed to have bone and teeth building properties in children, and have value in treating 'many female disorders'. In past times comfrey baths were popular to repair the hymen and thus 'restore virginity'. Constituents of comfrey also include mucilage, steroidal saponins, tannins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, inulin, vitamin B12 and proteins.

Internal usage of comfrey should be avoided because it contains hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) (Note, there are also non-hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids.). Use of comfrey can, because of these PAs, lead to veno-occlusive disease (VOD). VOD can in turn lead to liver failure, and comfrey, taken in extreme amounts, has been implicated in at least one death. In 2001, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against internal usage of herbal products containing comfrey.

Excessive doses of Symphytine, one of the PAs in comfrey, may cause cancer in rats. This was shown by injection of the pure alkaloid. The whole plant has also been shown to induce precancerous changes in transgenic rats.

Technorati Tags: Comfrey, Symphytum Officinale, Medicinal Herbs

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pomegranate Juice as natural Viagra

Did you know that there are so many natural herbs and fruits that are as good as Viagra or maybe better. Especially in some African countries where they have different types of these herbs to improve your sexual life.

Now we have pomegranate juice, nearly half the men who drank it for a month in the American study said they found it easier to rise to the occasion. It is thought the juice is rich in antioxidants which increase blood supply to the testicles.

Just like drugs for impotent, the antioxidants raise levels of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood-vessel walls.

Researcher Dr Christopher Forest, of the University of California in Los Angeles, said "Pomegranate juice has great potential in the management of erectile dysfunction."

Pomegranate have already been hailed a super fruit capable of reducing the risk of heart disease and preventing prostate cancer. The fruit is believed to have more antioxidants than any other juice, tea or red wine.

Pomegranate Fruit Facts


Medicinal properties:The pomegranate has been traditionally used as medicines in many countries.

Diarrhoea
Pomegranate juice is a mild astringent, used to treat diarrhoea, and reduces some fevers.

Anti-parasites
The root bark is used to treat intestinal parasites, mainly tapeworm. The alkaloids narcotise the tapeworms so they lose their grip to the intestinal wall and are expelled. These alkaloids are also very toxic so they should not be used for self-medication.

Antioxidant
Pomegranate contains many phytochemicals with antioxidant action, such as ellagic acid. Ellagic acid has anticarcinogenic, antiatherogenic and antifibrosis activity.

Skin Whitening
Studies have shown that ellagic acid can suppress UV-induced skin pigmentation when applied topically or when administered orally. Mineka Yoshimura and colleagues have shown in their study "Inhibitory Effect of an Ellagic Acid-Rich Pomegranate Extract on Tyrosinase Activity and UV-induced Pigmentation" (Bioscience, Biotechnology, Biochemistry, 2005) that pomegranate extract has skin-whitening property. This effect was probably caused by the inhibition of proliferation of melanocytes and melanin synthesis.

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Bilberry - Vaccinium Myrtillus (Medicinal Herbs)

Bilberry is a name given to several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium (family Ericaceae) that bear tasty fruits. The species most often referred to is Vaccinium myrtillus L., also known as European blueberry, blaeberry, whortleberry, whinberry (or winberry), myrtle blueberry, fraughan, and probably other names regionally.

The word bilberry is also sometimes used in the common names of other species of the genus, including Vaccinium uliginosum L. (bog bilberry, bog blueberry, bog whortleberry, bog huckleberry, northern bilberry), Vaccinium caespitosum Michx. (dwarf bilberry), Vaccinium deliciosum Piper (Cascade bilberry), Vaccinium membranaceum (mountain bilberry, black mountain huckleberry, black huckleberry, twin-leaved huckleberry), and Vaccinium ovalifolium (oval-leafed blueberry, oval-leaved bilberry, mountain blueberry, high-bush blueberry).

Bilberries are found in damp, acidic soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the world. They are closely related to North American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries in the genus Vaccinium. The easiest way to distinguish the bilberry is that it produces single or pairs of berries on the bush instead of clusters like the blueberry. Another way to distinguish them is that while blueberry fruit pulp is light green, bilberry is red or purple. In this way you can also distinguish the bilberry eater from the blueberry eater by his red fingers and lips. Bilberry is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see list of Lepidoptera which feed on Vaccinium.

Bilberries are seldom cultivated but fruits are sometimes collected from wild plants growing on publicly accessible lands, notably in Fennoscandia, Scotland, Ireland and Poland. Note that in Fennoscandia, it is an everyman's right to collect bilberries, irrespective of land ownership. In Ireland the fruit is known as fraughan, from the Irish fraochán, and is traditionally gathered on the last Sunday in July, known as Fraughan Sunday.

Bilberries were also collected at Lughnassadh in August, the first traditional harvest festival of the year, as celebrated by the Gaelic people. The crop of bilberries was said to indicate how well the rest of the crops would fare in their harvests later in the year.

The fruits can be eaten fresh, but are more usually made into jams, fools, juices or pies. In France they are used as a base for liqueurs and are a popular flavouring for sorbets and other desserts. In Brittany they are often used as a flavouring for crêpes, and in the Vosges and the Massif Central bilberry tart (tarte aux myrtilles) is the most traditional dessert.

Medicinal uses


Often associated with improvement of night vision. Laboratory studies have shown that bilberry consumption can inhibit or reverse eye disorders such as macular degeneration, but this therapeutic use remains clinically unproven.

As a deep blue fruit, bilberries contain dense levels of anthocyanin pigments that have been linked experimentally to lowered risk for several diseases, such as those of the heart and cardiovascular system, eyes and cancer.

In folk medicine, bilberry leaves were used to treat gastrointestinal ailments, applied topically or made into infusions. Such effects have not been proved scientifically.

Technorati Tags: Bilberry, Vaccinium Myrtillus, Medicinal Herbs

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Aloe - Aloe Vera - Aloe Barbadensis (Medicinal Herbs)

Aloe Vera (syn. A. barbadensis Mill., A. vulgaris Lam.) is a species of Aloe, a genus containing about four hundred species of flowering succulent plants and native to northern Africa. It is a stemless or very short-stemmed succulent plant growing to 80-100 cm tall, spreading by offsets and root sprouts. The leaves are lanceolate, thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with a serrated margin. The flowers are produced on a spike up to 90 cm tall, each flower pendulous, with a yellow tubular corolla 2-3 cm long.

Aloe Vera has been used externally to treat various skin conditions such as cuts, burns and eczema. It is alleged that sap from Aloe Vera eases pain and reduces inflammation. Evidence on the effects of Aloe Vera sap on wound healing, however, is contradictory (Vogler and Ernst, 1999). A study performed in the 1990s showed that the healing time of a moderate to severe burn was reduced when the wound was treated on a regular basis with Aloe Vera gel, compared to the healing of the wound covered in a gauze bandage (Farrar, 2005). In contrast, another study suggested wounds to which Aloe Vera gel was applied were significantly slower to heal (Schmidt and Greenspoon, 1991).

Aloe Vera's beneficial properties may be attributed to mucopolysaccharides present in the inner gel of the leaf, especially acemannan (acetylated mannans). An injectable form of acemannan manufactured and marketed by Carrington Laboratories as Acemannan Immunostimulant™ has been approved in the USA for treatment of fibrosarcoma (a type of cancer) in dogs and cats after clinical trials. It has not been approved for use by humans, and, although it is not a drug, its sale is controlled and it can only be obtained through a veterinary doctor.

Cosmetic companies add sap or other derivatives from Aloe Vera to products such as makeup,tissues, moisturisers, soaps, sunscreens, shampoos and lotions, though the effectiveness of Aloe Vera in these products remains unknown. Aloe Vera gel is also alleged to be useful for dry skin conditions, especially eczema around the eyes and sensitive facial skin.

An article published in the British Journal of General Practice suggests that Aloe Vera is effective at treating athlete's foot.

Whether or not it promotes wound healing is unknown, and even though there are some promising results, clinical effectiveness of oral or topical Aloe Vera remains unclear at present.

Aloe Vera juice may help some people with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. Side effects can occur and consulting a doctor before ingesting any form of Aloe Vera, including Aloe Vera juice, is highly recommended.

Technorati Tags: Aloe, Aloe Vera, Medicinal Herbs

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Alfalfa - Medicago sativa (Medicinal Herbs)

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), also known as Lucerne, Purple Medic and Trefoil (from Spanish Alfalfa, ultimately Arabic: البرسيم الحجازي; al-fasfasa), is a perennial flowering plant cultivated as an important forage crop. In the UK, where it is not all that widely grown, it tends to be known as lucerne.

Alfalfa is one of the most important legumes used in agriculture. The US is the largest alfalfa producer in the world, but considerable acreage is found in Argentina (primarily grazed), Australia, South Africa, and the Middle East. Alfalfa has a wide range of adaptation and can be grown from very cold northern plains to high mountain valleys, from rich temperate agricultural regions to Mediterranean climates and searing hot deserts.

Alfalfa lives from three to twelve years, depending on variety and climate. It is a cool season perennial legume, sometimes growing to a height of 1 meter. It resembles clover with clusters of small purple flowers. It also has a deep root system sometimes stretching to 4.5 metres. This makes it very resilient, especially to droughts. It has a tetraploid genome.

Alfalfa is native to Iran and neighboring regions, where it was probably domesticated during the Bronze Age to feed horses being brought from Central Asia. It came to Greece around 490 B.C. being used as a horse feed for Persian army. It was introduced from Chile to the United States around 1860. It is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay, but can be made into silage, grazed, or fed as greenchop. Alfalfa has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops, being used less frequently as pasture. Like other legumes, its root nodules contain bacteria, Sinorhizobium meliloti, with the ability to fix nitrogen, producing a high-protein feed regardless of available nitrogen in the soil.

Its wide cultivation beginning in the seventeenth century was an important advance in European agriculture. Its symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and use as animal feed greatly improved agricultural efficiency. When grown on soils where it is well-adapted, alfalfa is the highest yielding forage plant.

Alfalfa is a plant that exhibits autotoxicity, which means that it is difficult for alfalfa seed to grow in existing stands of alfalfa. Therefore, it is recommended that alfalfa fields be rotated with other species (e.g. corn, wheat) before reseeding.

Its primary use is for dairy production, followed by beef, horses, sheep, and goats, but it is sometimes used for human consumption. Alfalfa sprouts are used as a salad ingredient in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Tender shoots are eaten in some places as a leaf vegetable. Human consumption of older plant parts is limited primarily by very high fiber content. Dehydrated alfalfa leaf is commercially available as a dietary supplement in several forms, such as tablets, powders and tea. Alfalfa is believed to be a galactagogue.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfalfa

Technorati Tags: Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, Medicinal Herbs

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Medicinal Herbs Reference

Since the beginning of time, herbs have played an important part in the diet and well-being of every major culture. The people of the ancient world relied heavily upon various herbs for their medicines.

Many of these plants were their chief therapy, offering comfort and healing during illness and disease. Written historical records list many medicinal plants in the early Materia Medica from ancient China, Babylon, Egypt, India, Greece and other parts of the world. The ancient Egyptian medical text Payrus Ebers, written in 1550 B.C., lists over 800 medicinal formulas using herbs.

Hippocrates, known as the "father of medicine", used herbs extensively with his patients and wrote about their healing benefits. And even today, some 25 percent of prescription drugs in the United States now on the market are derived from plants.

In fact, many of today's most popularly used medicinal herbs were once listed in the official monographs in the United States Pharmacopoeia (U.S.P) and the National Formulary (N.F).

There are over 2,000 herbs currently used somewhere in the world. The World Health Organization (W.H.O) estimates that 80 percent of the world's population relies mainly on traditional medicines, most of which utilize medicinal plants. Trying to decipher all of them can be a daunting tasks. Some herbal books make an attempt at presenting hundreds of these herbs and can be confusing. This article is composed to be quick reference guide that presents the properties and specific uses of 25 of some of the best researched and most popular herbs used in Europe, Asia and North America. It is up-to-date with the very latest research and application of each of the herbs.

The information provided in this article is for general reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for the advice of a medical doctor.

Herbs listed by Common Name and Botanical Name:
ALFALFA, Medicago Sativa
ALOE, Aloe Vera / Aloe Barbadensis
BILBERRY, Vaccinium Myrtillus
COMFREY, Symphytum Officinale
DANDELION, Taraxacum Officinale
ECHINACEA, Echinacea Augustifolia / Echinacea Purpurea
FENUGREEK, Trigonella Foenum-graecum
FEVERFEW, Chrysanthemum Parthenium
GARLIC, Allium Sativum
GERMAN CHAMOMILE, Matricaria Chamomilla
GINGER, Zingiber Officinale
GINKGO, Ginkgo Biloba
GINSENG, Panax Ginseng / Panax Quinquefolium
HAWTHORN, Crataegus Oxyacantha
MILK THISTLE, Silybum Marianum
PASSION FLOWER, Passiflora Incarnata
PUMPKIN SEED, Cucurbita Pepo
ROSEMARY, Rosmarinus Officinalis
SAW PALMETTO, Serenoa Repens
SCHIZANDRA, Schizandra Chinensis (Schisandra Chinensis)
ST. JOHN'S WORT, Hypericum Perforatum
SIBERIAN GINSENG (ELEUTHERO), Eleutherococcus Senticosus
TURMERIC, Curcuma Longa
VALERIAN, Valeriana Officinalis
WHITE WILLOW BARK, Salix Alba

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Adaptogens - A natural source of energy - Herbal energy

Provided by Psychology Today

Today's modern lifestyle requires a tremendous energy output. Caffeine and sugar are quick fixes, but neither is healthy in the long run. In the search for a way to maintain stamina, many health-conscious people are turning to herbal tonics and supplements. Certain energy-boosting herbs can provide profound long-term benefits for heath; they are known as adaptogens. They help your body adapt to internal and external stress, calming your nervous system if it is over-reacting, and giving it a gentle boost if it's sluggish.

The most popular adaptogen is ginseng, a root that comes in several varieties, such as Korean and Siberian. Siberian ginseng first showed up as a terrific stress-buster in Russian studies in the 1960s. In Chinese medicine, this herb symbolizes the vitality of the earth. It has a beneficial influence on the cardiovascular system, helping regulate blood pressure and cardiac rhythm. It also regulates the nervous system and increases alertness and energy. Another adaptogen is schizandra, a Chinese tonic herb used to help individuals recover from exertion and improve endurance. It is considered somewhat weaker than ginseng. Research suggests its calming effect on the central nervous system helps counteract the jitters if you've had too much caffeine.

Licorice, another amazing herb, is known to increase energy and to act like a natural cortisone, calming fatigue and allergies. Licorice actually helps your body preserve its own natural cortisone, stimulates your adrenal glands, and has has antibacterial properties. It should be noted that licorice can raise blood pressure in some individuals, so if you take this herb regularly, it's best to be monitored by your doctor to ensure health and safety.

Unlike caffeine or prescription stimulants, herbs work gently to give our bodies energy. Next time you feel you're dropping like a hot air balloon running out of gas, give the double espresso a break and try a few herbs on the rocks.

Source: medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=35716

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Green tea ingredient may promote healthy weight loss

By Jennifer Warner

Need another healthy reason to drink green tea? Aside from fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, a new study shows that drinking green tea may also fight fat.

The study showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea.

Researchers say the results indicate that substances found in green tea known as catechins may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.

The findings appear in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Green Tea: Fat Fighter?

Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea come from the same Camellia sinensis plant. But unlike the other two varieties, green tea leaves are not fermented before steaming and drying.

Most teas contain large amounts of polyphenols, which are plant-based substances that have been shown to have antioxidant, anticancer, and antiviral properties.

However, green tea is particularly rich in a type of polyphenols called catechins. These substances have also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, but recent research in animals show that catechins may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.

In this study, researchers looked at the effects of catechins on body fat reduction and weight loss in a group of 35 Japanese men. The men had similar weights based on their BMI (body mass index, an indicator of body fat) and waist sizes.

The men were divided into two groups. For three months, the first group drank a bottle of oolong tea fortified with green tea extract containing 690 milligrams of catechins, and the other group drank a bottle of oolong tea with 22 milligrams of catechins.

During this time, the men ate identical breakfasts and dinners and were instructed to control their calorie and fat intake at all times so that overall total diets were similar.

After three months, the study showed that the men who drank the green tea extract lost more weight (5.3 pounds vs. 2.9 pounds) and experienced a significantly greater decrease in BMI, waist size, and total body fat.

In addition, LDL "bad" cholesterol went down in the men who drank the green tea extract.

The catechin content varies by amount of green tea used and steeping time. But general recommendations, based on previous studies on the benefits of green tea, are at least 4 cups a day. Green tea extract supplements are also available.

Researchers say the results indicate that catechins in green tea not only help burn calories and lower LDL cholesterol but may also be able to mildly reduce body fat.

"These results suggest that catechins contribute to the prevention of and improvement in various lifestyle-related diseases, particularly obesity," write researcher Tomonori Nagao of Health Care Products Research Laboratories in Tokyo, and colleagues.

7 Green Tea Weight Loss Benefits

By Jessie Mcfarland
Many a times we have heard that drinking green tea or taking green tea extract is beneficial for weight loss. Research experiments carried out over the years have confirmed its beneficial effects as an aid to weight loss. Here are the known green tea benefits.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #1

Green tea helps to increase the metabolic rate of our bodies thus causing a greater calorie burn. Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation. Green tea is especially known to be effective in burning a particular harmful fat called visceral fat, which is linked to diabetes.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #2

Green tea extract is rich in polyphenols called catechins and recent studies shows that the ingestion of tea rich in catechins leads to both a lowering of body fat and lower cholesterols. Scientists found that green tea can prevent the fat cells from multiplying and enlarging.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #3

A derivative of green tea leaves known as epigallocatechin gallate (ECCG) is known to act as an appetite suppressant. Studies have validated a drop in the food appetite on a group of small animals as a result of taking the extract.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #4

Green tea by itself carries only about 4 calories per serving and its caffeine level is low. Therefore green tea is a great alternative to drinking coffee. It also acts as a diuretic, so it helps to shed the first pounds of water weight quickly.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #5

Green tea is known to aid in slowing down the processing of complex carbohydrates into simple sugar thus delays the conversion to fats in your body.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #6

Green tea contains Vitamin B, C and thiamine. This will ensure that our brain cells have sufficient energy to protect the nervous system from being over stimulated. A good nourished brain will surely help in achieving your weight loss goals.

Green Tea Weight Loss Benefit #7

Drinking green tea has been known to increase endurance level. Studies conducted by scientists found that caffeine and catechins benefit from the presence of each other as a synergy to aid weight loss. Drinking green tea along with an exercise program, your weight loss will be significantly higher than just doing each alone.

Now you know the benefits of green tea, go ahead and enjoy it. The benefits far outweigh any side effects if any.

5 Herbal Weight loss Options

By Andrew Gee
These days, there is a great need for overweight Americans to lose those excess pounds. Being healthy would not only lead them to have a healthier lifestyle but it will also literally lighten their load, and improve their overall well-being.

There is a long list of dieting options available. There are exercise programs, exercise machines, dietary supplements, dietary food and drinks, diet pills - there are even soaps which claim to help you lose pounds while you bathe.

One other available option to shed off those unwanted pounds is to go herbal.

Herbal weight loss products have been in great demand for people who want to lose weight the natural way. However, when you take herbal supplements to lose weight, you would have to wait for a longer time for the results because of the more subtle effects of medicines which came from plants and natural herbs.

Here are some herbal weight loss options that you might want to consider:

1. Herbal weight loss products

There are a lot of herbal weight loss products available in the market now. You can check out the Internet and you will find a lot of herbal weight loss pills and products.

Be careful, however, as there are some products which claim to be safe and natural because they are herbal, but some actually have side effects because of non-extensive research on the effects of these products.

Here are some ingredients and chemicals which make up some herbal weight loss products that you should watch out for, as they might have harmful effects to your health:

> Senna. This is an herbal laxative. Senna is a main ingredient in weight loss teas, and it works by stimulation the colon. The downside effect of this herb is dehydration. It can also lead to colon problems and can become addictive. Some people, when addicted, are unable to perform bowel movements without it, so watch out.

> Chromium picolinate. This is a synthetic compound found in herbal weight loss products. Chromium is a nutrient which helps regulate blood-sugar level. However, this ingredient, when taken in high doses, may cause damage in the chromosomes. It can also lead to dehydration.

> St. John's wort. This supplement increases the production of a chemical in the brain. If not used properly, it may cause eye and skin sensitivity, mild gastrointestinal distress, fatigue and itching.

Although a lot of herbal products claim to be safe and natural, it is better to scrutinize the ingredients and research about the effects of the product itself before going for these herbal dietary pills.

========SIDEBAR========
When it comes to the subject of self improvement, I fully understand (through my own experiences) that it is a lot easier said than done. However, you are here, right now, because you have a desire to improve your self or you are at least interested in this subject. Perhaps you are reading this to help a friend or colleague - great. If this article helps you or you help a friend, paying it forward is what lif'e all about so we all win.
======END SIDEBAR======

2. Organic food.

In Wichita, Kansas, organic food has found its way to more homes and restaurants. Organic food devotees believe that consuming organic goodies help their bodies as well as the environment.

A person who buys organically raised eggs and vegetables claim to be healthier, and they are not spending money on doctors and prescriptions as these keep them healthier and away from the hospital. This could also be an option for weight watchers, as organic food is known to be kinder to your weight than chemically-processed food products.

3. Green Tea.

Studies show that intake of green tea, or green tea extracts burns extra calories. Also, green tea with caffeine can increase fat burning by up to 40% thereby reducing fat.

This is one good option for those who want to lose weight. In a study done, people who took green tea were found to lose 2 to 3 times more weight than those who did not drink green tea.

These results show that green tea is a natural product for the treatment of obesity. Thus, it also makes for a healthier dietary option, not to mention the good effects that it has on the body as compared to caffeine. A cup of tea gives an emmediate energy lift without the side effects of caffeine.

4. Immortality Herb

This herb, whose scientific name is Gymnostemna Pentaphyllum, is known to have the following benefits:

> increases healthy blood flow
> reduces artery blocks
> aids healthy blood pressure
> increases the rate of fat burning

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

There are pills and food supplements whose main ingredient is apple cider vinegar. Here are the benefits of taking this herbal option:

> weight loss
> improved cholesterol level
> improved high blood pressure
> helps prevent rheumatoid arthritis

NOW is the time!

O.K. you have read the article. Now is the time for action. Without action, this article adds no value whatsoever to your self improvement. But remember, without action, you cannot blame this self improvement article or any article for that matter. So, take action NOW.

Even if only one piece of advice, one piece of information, one tip makes a difference, then the whole article has been worth it for all of us. NOW is the time!

Be the person you want to be, you deserve it!

Are you ready to drop those extra pounds you've been carrying around? You don't need to jump on any current diet craze and you don't need to start exercising for hours each day.

Green Tea - An Herbal Wonder

By Patricia Zelkovsky

There are more than a hundred varieties of teas, but you may be surprised to learn that most teas have medicinal benefits, specifically green tea. If you are a tea drinker, you may be benefiting from its herbal tea remedies at this very moment. How about a cup of green tea as an herbal remedy?

Green Tea is fast becoming the tea of choice as one of several herbal tea remedies. Well known for its antioxidant properties, it also has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties as well. According to Jennifer Warner, "...drinking green tea may also fight fat. A study showed that people who drank a bottle of tea fortified with green tea extract every day for three months lost more body fat than those who drank a bottle of regular oolong tea." If that isn't an incentive to drink green tea, what is?

You've had a stressful day at work. The heat is overwhelming, and you just want to get home and relax. Have a cup of green tea. It will calm your nerves; detox and de-stress your body. No doubt you've seen all of the new green tea products in your local supermarket. Lipton, specifically, came out with green iced tea. How terrific is that?

Continuing research on the beneficial properties of green tea to human health has produced several new findings. "Most notable is a study by Japanese scientists of the Saitama Cancer Research Institute relating the delay of cancer onset with the consumption of green tea. The study shows that early stage breast cancer spreads less rapidly in women with a history of drinking five or more cups of green tea a day. As a result, there is a lower recurrence rate and a longer disease-free period."

Green tea antioxidants have been shown to have a direct effect on lowering cholesterol levels as well. Green tea also causes carbohydrates to be released slowly, preventing sharp increases in blood-insulin levels. This promotes the burning of fat. Many scientists believe there is a connection between all of the components of green tea; and these combined properties account for its health-enhancing properties. Unfermented green tea leaves, by the way, are the most natural way to gain these benefits.

Did you know that green tea can even help prevent tooth decay? Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria, which causes dental plaque. On another front, skin treatments containing green tea from deodorants to creams are starting to appear on the market. For those of you who have been drinking green tea for some time; good for you! It's time for the rest of you to consider its beneficial affects as well.

Patricia is a health focused content author, today helping you learn more about Green Tea Benefits

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Patricia_Zelkovsky

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Herbal eBooks

This booklet is intended to give practical advice for using Herbal and Kitchen Remedies to help treat common minor ailments. It gives suggestions, dosages (including children’s dosage), and safety advice for using these remedies in an A-Z format.

Download A Herbal First Aid ebook, by Lettitia Derrington

Friday, August 31, 2007

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