Here’s what research shows about the mental health benefits of ginger


Image: Here’s what research shows about the mental health benefits of ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that also offers other health benefits. In fact, the versatile plant can even help boost your mental health.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) comes from the rhizome or root of a flowering plant native to China, but the spice can grow in any area that is warm and humid. Aside from its use as a natural remedy for digestive disorders, ginger can also be used to address arthritis, memory loss and dementia, and muscle aches and pains.

Thanks to scientific research, experts are beginning to understand how ginger works. To date, research has identified over 100 compounds in ginger. More than 50 of these are antioxidants, which is crucial to brain health since the organ is vulnerable to free radical damage.

Ginger is often used as an anti-inflammatory, making it a popular natural remedy for arthritis. The plant’s anti-inflammatory property can also help people with brain disorders like ADHD, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, brain fog, and depression, which are often associated with chronic inflammation of the brain. Experts believe that ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects on the brain are due to two unique compounds called 6-shogaol and 10-gingerol.

Like the Indian spice turmeric, ginger also has a compound called curcumin. This compound is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral. Curcumin is a potent herbal brain supplement ingredient that can help address anxiety, brain aging, depression, and neurodegenerative diseases. (Related: What Happens To Your Body When You Start Eating Ginger Every Day.)

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Ginger for brain health

Your body is constantly under attack from oxidative stress. Oxygen in the body splits into single atoms with unpaired electrons, and electrons can often be found in pairs. These atoms, called free radicals, scavenge the body to find other electrons so they can become a pair. When these atoms are paired, they cause damage to cells, DNA, and proteins. Studies show that free radicals are linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, and Parkinson’s, among others.

Your brain is prone to free radical damage since it requires a lot of oxygen. Free radicals are caused by common factors like:

  • Air pollution
  • Fried food
  • Grilled meat
  • Lack of sleep
  • Radiation from your mobile phone and computer
  • Stress

Antioxidants in ginger can also protect the brain from further damage and memory loss after a stroke.

Ginger increases the level of two of the most important brain chemicals: dopamine and serotonin. Depression is strongly associated with deficient levels of both chemicals.

Dopamine is called the “motivation molecule” because it helps you focus and be productive. Dopamine is also in charge of your pleasure-reward system. Meanwhile, serotonin is known as the “happiness molecule” because it helps sustain a positive mood.

The spice is traditionally used to treat memory loss and dementia and research has determined that ginger can help improve other cognitive functions besides memory. According to a study, healthy adults given dried ginger supplements showed improvements in attention, reaction time, and working memory.

People with diabetes also rely on ginger as a natural remedy because it can help control blood sugar, especially if you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Ginger has antioxidants called gingerols that enhance insulin sensitivity and prevent certain neurological diabetic complications.

Ginger is an effective remedy that can minimize the pain of migraine headaches. The spice has similar effects to sumatriptan, a commonly prescribed migraine drug that narrows blood vessels to the brain. But unlike sumatriptan, which is associated with negative side effects, ginger can relieve migraines without any side effects.

Suggested ginger dosages

Ginger, which comes in many forms, can be used as a food and as a supplement. Ginger supplements are available as capsules, crystals, essential oils, extracts, loose powder, and tinctures.

A typical dose of ginger is one gram, and the best way to ingest this dose is by taking two ginger capsules. Most supplements contain at 500 milligrams (mg) per capsule.

Below are some ginger dosage equivalents:

  • One teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger root
  • Two droppers (or two milliliters [ml]) of liquid ginger extract
  • Two pieces of crystallized ginger (about a one-inch square and 1/4 inch thick for each piece)
  • Four cups of ginger tea (Make the tea by steeping two teaspoons of grated ginger in 32 ounces of water for five to 10 minutes.)

Possible ginger side effects and interactions

When consumed as a food, especially fresh, ginger is considered very safe with little to no side effects. However, when too much ginger is consumed in other forms, especially powdered ginger, it may cause side effects such as bloating, gas, heartburn, and nausea.

Ginger also functions as a blood thinner. Avoid taking it as a supplement if you take blood-thinning medication such as warfarin. If you take diabetes or high blood pressure medications, talk to a healthcare professional to determine adjustments to your medication if you want to take supplemental ginger.

Ginger is a versatile herbal remedy that can help relieve digestive upset, and it also offers various benefits for brain health and function. Add fresh ginger to your diet or take it as a supplement to enjoy its many benefits and improve both your physical and mental well-being.

Visit Healing.news to read more articles about ginger and other natural cures that can help improve your mental health.

Sources include:

BeBrainFit.com

LiveScience.com

Scientists study Canadian medicinal plants to explore natural cures for diabetes


Image: Scientists study Canadian medicinal plants to explore natural cures for diabetes

Diabetes is a complex disease that leads to a wide variety of complications, one of the most common of which is diabetic nephropathy (DN) or kidney damage. A team of researchers from Canada sought to identify natural extracts, found in the eastern James Bay area, with potent anti-apoptotic properties that can prevent kidney cell death characteristic of DN. Their study was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

When it was first recorded in ancient Egypt, diabetes was considered mainly a rare disease. Today, it has exploded into a worldwide epidemic, with about 422 million sufferers on the planet in 2014. The prevalence of the disease is known to be spreading steadily, particularly in mid- to low-income countries.

One of the most dangerous complications of diabetes is DN, which is usually a precursor to kidney failure when left unaddressed. It is just one of the many results of the abnormal apoptotic process that occurs as a result of diabetes.

Apoptosis or cellular death is a natural process that’s essential to the continued balance of the human body. Because of it, old, dysfunctional cells are replaced by new ones. A proof of its importance is how its absence can cause the development of severe diseases, such as cancer.

But as with everything, too much apoptosis is hardly a good thing. In diabetes, the cells go through apoptosis at an abnormal rate. It usually starts with the death of the pancreatic beta cells, the cells responsible for producing the hormone insulin. The insufficiency in insulin results in a jump in blood glucose levels, which leads to more cellular death. Apart from kidney cells, those in the liver and the nervous system are also at a considerable risk.

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DN is one of the most common offshoots of diabetes among the people of the Cree nation in Canada, according to the study’s authors. This has prompted them to look into potential natural treatments that are readily available in the area. They compiled a list of 17 plant species:

  • Balsam fir – Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.
  • Speckled alder – Alnus incana subsp. rugosa (Du Roi) R.T. Clausen
  • Creeping snowberry – Gaultheria hispidula (L.) Muhl.
  • Ground juniper – Juniperus communis L.
  • Sheep Laurel – Kalmia angustifolia L.
  • Tamarack – Larix laricina Du Roi (K. Koch)
  • Common clubmoss – Lycopodium clavatum L.
  • White spruce – Picea glauca (Moench) Voss
  • Black spruce – Picea mariana (P. Mill.) BSP
  • Jack pine – Pinus banksiana Lamb.
  • Balsam poplar – Populus balsamifera L.
  • Labrador tea – Rhododendron groenlandicum (Oeder) Kron and Judd
  • Northern Labrador tea – Rhododendron tomentosum (Stokes) Harmaja subsp. subarcticum (Harmaja) G. Wallace
  • Tealeaf willow – Salix planifolia Pursh
  • Pitcher plant – Sarracenia purpurea L.
  • Showy mountain ash – Sorbus decora (Sarg.) C.K. Schneid.
  • Mountain cranberry – Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.

Extracts were obtained from specific parts of the different plants. The researchers then took cultures of Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells, which are cells from a cocker spaniel that are used for biological studies involving the kidneys. They induced damage on the MDCK cells by the administration of a hypertonic medium. This particular step was performed in the presence or absence of each of the 17 plant extracts’ maximal nontoxic concentrations. After 18 hours of treatment, the cells were examined to determine the cytoprotective and anti-apoptotic effects of the extracts. The researchers then looked at the effect of the treatment on the activity of caspases-3, -8, and -9, all of which play an important role in apoptosis.

After the test, the researchers identified Gaultheria hispidula and Abies balsamea as having the most potent cytoprotective and anti-apoptotic effects. The said extracts prevented apoptosis by blocking the activity of caspase-9 in the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway.

Curcumin reduces the effects of a high-fat diet


Image: Curcumin reduces the effects of a high-fat diet

Diets high in fat are known as major contributors to many health diseases, such as heart disease, and cancer. Researchers at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in India discovered that taking curcumin supplements minimizes the damage caused by a high-fat diet.

In their study, the researchers looked at the beneficial effects of curcumin on inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance in high-fat-fed rats. They examined two groups of rats: one group fed with a high-fat diet only and another group given a high-fat diet with 200 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) body weight of curcumin every day for 10 weeks.

The researchers measured the rats’ food intake, body weight, and biochemical parameters at the start and the end of the study. After 10 weeks, they also measured the oxidative stress parameters in skeletal muscle and liver triglyceride levels.

The results revealed that the high-fat diet increased the body weight and liver fat. It also increased the levels of plasma glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-c), and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

The high-fat diet also increased inflammation and oxidative stress in skeletal muscles. It also increased liver triglyceride content and caused fat buildup in the liver.

However, the supplementation with curcumin significantly improved these changes. Curcumin supplementation significantly reduced body weight, liver adipose tissue, glucose, insulin, and insulin resistance. In addition, it decreased plasma levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, VLDL-c, and inflammatory markers, and increased HDL cholesterol. Moreover, it reduced oxidative stress, hepatic triglyceride content, and liver fat deposition.

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With these findings, the researchers concluded that curcumin could improve lipid levels, oxidative stress, inflammation, and insulin resistance caused by a high-fat diet.

Curcumin and turmeric

Curcumin is the active ingredient of the spice called turmeric and is responsible for most of the spice’s health benefits. It takes up about two to eight percent of most turmeric preparations and gives turmeric its distinct color and flavor.  Here are some health benefits of turmeric and curcumin backed up by scientific evidence:

  • Cancer: One of the most notable benefits of turmeric and curcumin is their ability to prevent cancer. Turmeric and curcumin may help prevent cancer by reducing the activity of colon and other cancer cells. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that curcumin inhibits to the DYRK2 enzyme. Inhibiting this enzyme stops protein complexes known as proteasomes that contribute to cancer development. This action interrupts the proliferation of cancer cells, reducing tumors, and slowing cancer’s growth. This is beneficial for preventing proteasome-addicted cancers, such as triple-negative breast cancer and multiple myeloma.
  • Antibacterial: Turmeric and curcumin have powerful antibacterial effects. They have been reported to inhibit the growth of many disease-causing bacteria.
  • Antifungal: Studies have also reported that turmeric and curcumin have antifungal effects. They can disrupt fungal cell membranes and could be used with other fungal medicines for better effect.
  • Diabetes: Turmeric and curcumin can improve blood sugar metabolism and potentially reduce the effects of diabetes in the body.
  • Heart disease: As mentioned in the Indian study, curcumin reduced bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. These effects, which were also seen in earlier studies, can cut the risk of heart disease.
  • Liver health: Turmeric and curcumin can also protect the liver from damage caused by oxidative stress.
  • Obesity: Research has shown that turmeric and curcumin may inhibit the inflammatory pathway related to obesity and may help control body fat.
  • Osteoarthritis: Plant compounds in turmeric, including curcumin, can decrease inflammatory markers and relieve osteoarthritis symptoms, such as pain and stiffness.

A potential remedy for rheumatoid arthritis may be found in this Ayurvedic medicine


Image: A potential remedy for rheumatoid arthritis may be found in this Ayurvedic medicine

The classical Ayurveda medicinal system offers a potential remedy for the often crippling pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Indian researchers recently tested the efficacy of two Ayurvedic medicines – Bhallatakadi Churna with guda and Bhallatak guggulu – in relieving the painful symptoms of the chronic autoimmune disease.

Ayurveda describes rheumatoid arthritis as “Amavata.” Over the centuries, many herbal remedies have been devised to treat this disease.

Ama is a slimy substance similar to mucus. It is produced by digestive and metabolic problems and clogs the channels of the body. Ama combines with the harmful substance vata to create amavata, an agonizing disease that can cause deformities.

The Ayurveda’s description of amavata matches etiopathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Modern medicine traces the disease to inflammatory mediators that injure the micro blood vessels in the joints.

Researchers from the Government Ayurvedic College – Burhanpur (GAC Burhanpur) and the National Institute of Ayurveda (NIA) tested an Ayurvedic medicine prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis. Bhallatak guggulu yoga is made from four herbs that prevent inflammation, control immune response, scavenge free radicals, protect cartilage, and exhibit anti-arthritic activity.

Furthermore, the researchers hoped to improve the management of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, thereby allowing the latter to enjoy higher quality of life. (Related: Natural remedy for rheumatoid arthritis found in this traditional Chinese ethnomedicine.)

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Two Ayurvedic medicines tested on rheumatoid arthritis patients

The clinical trial involved 60 patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the age range of 20 to 60 years, with many of them being 41 to 50 years of age. The majority of them (85 percent) were female. They were randomly divided into two groups of 30 participants.

The first group received daily doses of 2.5 grams of Bhallatakadi churna with guda, another Ayurvedic medicine recommended for treating Amavata. The second group was given 500 milligrams of Bhallatak guggul medicine, the primary target of this study.

The intervention period lasted for three months. Every 15 days, the researchers performed follow-ups on the participants.

At the end of the trial, the researchers analyzed the results of the Ayurvedic therapy based on the following criteria: body ache, loss of appetite, listlessness, heaviness of body and joint, thirst, fever, indigestion, and pain.

Participants also rated the pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness of their joints. Finally, the researchers measured the effects of either substance on the rheumatoid arthritis factor, the antiseptrolysin O titer, and C-reactive protein level of the patient.

Effects of Bhallatak guggul on Amavata considered to be statistically significant

The researchers found that Bhallatakadi churna with guda and Bhallatak guggul were both able to improve the primary symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Statistics-wise, the effect of the two Ayurvedic treatments were considered to be very significant.

The results on general symptoms – which included pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the joints – were also regarded as statistically significant. So were the effects of the trial medicines on the rheumatoid arthritis factor, the antiseptrolysin O titer, and C-reactive protein of patients.

The data matched the etiology of Amavata as described in the Ayurvedic classics. This supported the similarities between the description of this disease and the etiology of rheumatoid arthritis.

Bhallatak Guggulu is made up of four herbs: Haritaki, Bhallatak, Tila and Guda. Each herb played important roles in stopping the pathogenesis of Amavata, thereby alleviating the symptoms of the disease.

The researchers concluded that both Ayurvedic regimens were able to provide significant relief for patients with Amavata. However, patients who received Bhallatak Guggulu enjoyed faster and greater improvement of their symptoms when compared to the Bhallatakadi churna with guda treatment group.

Therefore, Bhallatak Gugguli was considered to be the superior Ayurvedic remedy for reducing the painful effects of rheumatoid arthritis.

Additional articles about Ayurveda-based natural remedies that can alleviate rheumatoid arthritis can be found at AlternativeMedicine.news.

Sources include:

Science.news

EasyAyurveda.com

IJRAP.net [PDF]

IJAM.co.in

10 Herbs You Can Grow Indoors in Water All Year Long


Herbs often have medicinal, relaxation, and culinary properties, and it is great if we can have them throughout the entire year in the home.

 In fact, we can! We will reveal a way to grow certain herbs in the kitchen and provide a pleasant flavor in it. What best about it all is that you do not need to water them regularly, nor change the soil, and they will be still as flavorsome as if grown in the garden.

Yet, you will need to sow dill, mustard and cilantro seeds in a soil and then transfer them to water, as a soil herb cannot be transferred to water as the roots are different from the water roots.

This is how to grow herbs in water:

Put some herb cuttings in glass bottles with plain water, and it is best to use spring water if possible, as it is high in minerals. You should not use chlorinated water, as the bleaching chemical can damage the plant tissues. You should leave some tap water to air overnight or store some rainwater.

Choose a glass bottle, a mason jar, or even a plastic bottle for the herbs. Yet, use colored bottles or warp a piece of paper around the bottle as the roots should not be exposed light.

The darkness will help you avoid algal growth on the bottle and on the root. The narrow-mouthed containers support the cuttings and keep them upright.

Yet, avoid narrow or tight-fitting ones as the mouth of the container should support a free transition of air for the roots to be able to breathe.

You should pick soft cuttings roots, and cut some 6-inch sections from the growing herbs. Put them in the containers and remove the lower leaves as they can rot in the water and spoils it.

You can change the water once a week in the case of herbs like rosemary cuttings. As soon as the roots start growing, within 2-6 weeks, you do not need to change the water.

To stimulate the rooting, place some willow branches in warm water overnight, and then use them as a soothing hormone mixture. You can use some rooting hormone powder as well.

Here are 10 herbs you can grow in water:

  1. Rosemary – The root of the semi-woody cuttings of rosemary need more time, but the new shoots in the spring grow faster. Keep the plant in a sunny spot.
  2. Sage – You should take some sage cuttings in the spring and place them in water. Place the herb on a bright spot in a well-aerated place as it is prone to mildew.
  3. Peppermint – This herb is high in the volatile substance menthol which provides a cooling sensation on the skin or tongue and does not change the temperature. Just put a few fresh cuttings in water, as it is the easiest herbs you can grow in water.
  4. Tarragon – You need some spring cuttings after new growth appears, and place the herb on a warm and bright place. Tarragon can be of various types, and the French one is best for culinary purposes while the Russian is better to be used for salads.
  5. Basil – This herb is easily grown in water. Place the cuttings in water before they start flowering and place the container in a sunny place.
  6. Spearmint –Peppermint is a natural hybrid of spearmint and it is easily grown in this way.
  7. Thyme – Take some newly grown, green cuttings, in the mid-spring or early summer before the thyme starts flowering, place them in water, and spray the parts which are under the water to avoid its drying. As soon as it is grown, cut the stems to boost branching.
  8. Oregano – Place the fresh cuttings of oregano in water and pinch the growing tips as the herb grows.
  9. Lemon balm – You should pick several cuttings in spring or fall, and place them in water in a bright spot. After 3-4 weeks, the cuttings will develop roots. Change the water often, or you can keep the plant outdoor if the weather is warm. You can prepare tea from the leaves.
  10. Stevia – You can add stevia to some beverages and teas. Just place some stevia cuttings from actively growing branches in a container full of water, and keep it in a sunny and warm place.

9 Herbs That Naturally Kill Parasites


There are many powerful herbs that are used to treat parasite infections; however, taking them without adhering to the basics of a healthy lifestyle is like putting the wagon before the horse.

 Herbs Parasites

Before we dive in, know that it is not advised to take any herbs unless you’ve been working with a professional or, even better, a functional medicine doctor with experience in parasitic infections. It’s ideal if you have been practicing a holistic lifestyle for some time. That is because the first and most critical step for healing an infection is getting your immune system up and functioning optimally.

From there, one of the very last steps is going to be experimenting with herbs. To help this process, if you suspect you have an infection or are running a routine yearly cleanse, here are some of the best natural food and herbal remedies for parasites.

The Best Herbs & Their Benefits

Fresh Garlic 

Herbs for Parasites

This might come as a surprise, but do not underestimate this common household herb. It is actually among the most effective herbs for ridding the body of any unwanted organisms. Garlic is able to slow and kill over 60 types of fungus and 20 types of bacteria, as well as some of the most potent viruses.

Garlic has a history of killing parasites and controlling secondary fungal infections. It also detoxifies while gently stimulating elimination, and has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasite toxins. The active components in garlic that kill parasites are allicin and ajoene. (1) These compounds can kill amoebas including one-cell varieties, as well as pinworms and hookworms.

Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin, converting it into allicin, the active component contributing to its success for killing parasites.

To get the most out of garlic, be sure to use it crushed or juiced. Start off with 1 clove and work your way up to as many as you can stomach. (2)

Cucumber Seeds

Cucumber seeds have been used as an all-natural treatment to remove tapeworms within the digestive tract. The powder of cucumber seeds can be used to treat tapeworms but also consumed even if you do not have a parasite, as a preventative measure.

That is because cucumbers are of course are also a vegetable. They are effective due to enzymes within the cucumber and seeds that kill tapeworms. Look for heirloom cucumber seeds, grind into a powder and add 1 tsp. to a smoothie daily during your cleanse. (3)

Papaya

Sugary, tropical fruit is typically not advised when dealing with parasites. However, this particular fruit has a strong ability to destroy many parasitic worms, including most intestinal worms and tapeworm. The most powerful part of the fruit is actually the seed.

The University of Maryland Medical Center advises a mixture of honey and papaya seeds, which has been found to clear stools of parasites. If you are going to consume the fruit for its benefits, it is best to remove the skin and ferment in apple cider vinegar for one day. You will want to eat eight ounces of the cultured papaya and drink 2 ounces of the brine for 4 days.

When it comes to papaya, the most powerful part of the fruit is actually the seed.

Chaudhary MD, a neurologist and practitioner of Ayurveda, suggests this papaya smoothie recipe: Take the seeds from an average-sized papaya and grind them in a coffee grinder. Next, add a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil. Then add about a cup of coconut milk and the rest of the papaya; finally, blend until smooth. Drink the smoothie each morning for at least 7 consecutive days. (4)

Clove

Clove Essential Oil

Cloves contains the most powerful germicidal agent in the herbal kingdom, known as eugenol. It also contains caryophyllene, which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs.

Cloves are tremendously effective in killing malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, scabies and other parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungi, including Candida. Cloves also destroy all species of Shigella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. It is best consumed with black walnut hulls and wormwood. (5)

Raw Pumpkin Seeds

These are able to kill eggs, and they contain a natural fat that is toxic to parasite eggs. Curcurbitin in pumpkin seeds has shown anti-parasitic activity, since it has the ability to paralyze worms so they drop off the intestinal walls.

Chinese scientists used pumpkin seeds to treat acute schistosomiasis and tapeworm infestations. Many parasite formulas contain pumpkin seed, but it doesn’t do much in just a few capsules. You need half a cup at a time to really work. Grind in coffee grinder and add to salads or smoothies. (6)

Turmeric

Turmeric Spice

This is perhaps one of the most powerful herbs and is helpful for just about everything. It boasts powerful properties. it is an anticancer, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, worm-expelling, and an overall body purifier. This is a very safe herb to consume regularly for maintaining health as well as to use medicinally. Pair with coconut oil and black pepper for improved absorption. (7,8)

Ginger

Ginger Herb

A family member to turmeric, ginger has many similar qualities. It also increases circulation and helps all digestive issues. It is particularly good for gas and nausea associated with parasite die-off. It also improves stomach acid production, which kills parasites and protects us from getting infected in the first place. Fresh ginger is better for eliminating mucus, while ground ginger is better for warming the digestive system. Take both. (9,10)

Cayenne

This hot pepper is a powerful anti-fungal. The best cayenne has the ability to destroy fungus, mold & parasites on contact! It increases circulation and health, and also increases effectiveness of other herbs when used in combination with them. Try sprouted pumpkin seeds seasoned with ginger and cayenne for a delicious snack and a medicine for treating intestinal bugs! The best is African Cayenne. (11)

Green Hulls of Black Walnut

These have been shown to have powerful effects on killing many varieties of parasites. The dried and ground green hull of the black walnut contains tannin, which is organic iodine, as well as juglandin.

Black walnut has been used for centuries to expel various types of worms, including parasites that cause skin irritations such as ringworm. It oxygenates the blood, which also helps kill parasites.

You can find black walnut growing in the wild in abundance.

Black walnut is very effective against tapeworms, pinworms, Candida albicans (yeast infections) and malaria. It is also effective in reducing blood sugar levels, and helping the body rid itself of toxins. Best of all, you can find these babies growing outside in the wild in abundance. I have a tree in my front yard that gives more than I can use! Your best bet is to take an alcohol tincture of it three times a day. (12)

Don’t Forget Probiotics

Remember to take probiotics at the end of the day during a parasite herbal protocol because parasite-killing herbs knock out everything, including good bacteria. The best probiotics are food-based, such as sauerkraut, kefir and raw yogurts.

Also, remember to get plenty of rest while on a parasite cleanse. First of all, sleep is incredibly healing and needed for repair and rebuilding. You will also want to drink plenty of clean water. Any activity that promotes rest, relaxation and builds energy is a wise move for boosting the immune system!

9 Herbs and Spices With Proven Health Benefits


9 Herbs and Spices With Proven Health Benefits

Even when our food choices aren’t the best, herbs and spices do more than just improve taste.  They give any meal a nutrition boost.  And according to a new study they may even reverse the damage from an unhealthy meal.

Researchers from Penn State University cooked up coconut chicken, cheese bread and a dessert biscuit for six men. The subjects were aged 30 to 65 and overweight but otherwise healthy.  On one day the meal was served plain.  On another day researchers added two tablespoons of a blend of nine herbs and spices to the meal.

After each meal the researchers drew blood from the subjects every 30 minutes for four hours.  They found that antioxidant activity in the blood increased 13% after the spicy meal compared to the plain meal.

The spices and herbs also decreased post-meal insulin levels by 21% and triglyceride levels in the blood by as much as 31%.  That in turn could reduce heart disease risk.

The spices used in the Penn State study included garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon,cloves, paprika, turmeric, ginger and black pepper.  Besides heart benefits, each of these spices has its own proven health benefits.

9 Herbs and Spices With Proven Health Benefits

1. Cinnamon Balances Blood Sugar

Cinnamon normalizes blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics by improving the ability to respond to insulin. It works by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after eating.  In one study people ate about a cup of rice pudding with and without a teaspoon of cinnamon. Adding the cinnamon slowed the rate the stomach emptied from 37% to 34.5% and significantly slowed the rise in blood sugar levels.

And a 2003 USDA study found that after 40 days of eating between just 1 and 6 grams of cinnamon (about 2 teaspoons), type 2 diabetics reduced their blood sugar levels by 18-29%.

2. Garlic Slows Atherosclerosis

The Penn State researchers noted that studies associate garlic use with a 38% decrease in the risk of heart problems.[i]  Other studies show aged garlic helps slow the progression ofatherosclerosis.[ii]

Most studies showing the heart benefits of garlic use doses of 600 to 5600 mg of garlic powder, 9 to 18 mg garlic oil, 1000 to 7200 mg aged garlic extract, or 4 to 10 grams of raw garlic.

3. Rosemary Protects Eyesight

A relative of mint, rosemary has traditionally been used to stimulate the immune system, improve digestion, increase circulation, boost memory and act as an anti-inflammatory.

Animal studies show it acts as an antidepressant, improves type 1 diabetes and evenprevents weight gain from a high fat diet.

A recent study showed that rosemary also protects against age-related macular degeneration.

4. Oregano Reduces Viral Activity

You may know oregano as the essential herb for Italian cooking especially for tomato sauces andpizza.  But it’s also a powerful medicinal herb. Studies show oregano supports the immune system, and has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. It also increases liver regeneration.

The oil from oregano contains an antiviral compound called carvacrol.  It can significantly reduce viral activity within 15 minutes of exposure.[iii]  Look for oregano essential oil standardized to 60-75% carvacrol.

5. Cloves Fight Pain

Cloves are rich in eugenol which has been proven to fight environmental toxins and inflammation. Studies show it may also trigger programmed cell death of colon cancer cells.  And the oil is an effective mosquito repellent.

Cloves are also a mild pain killer.  They’ve been proven to be as effective as benzocaine as a topical anesthetic.  That’s why it’s added to over-the-counter sore throat sprays and mouth washes.  It’s also a good addition to your homemade toothpaste.

6. Paprika Battles Multi-Drug Resistance

Paprika is more than a decoration for deviled eggs. It’s made by grinding red chili peppers and is full of vitamin C and carotenoids. The carotenoids from paprika have been shown to combat ulcer-causing H. pylori and help reverse multi-drug resistance.

Use paprika as a rub for meats and fish, or add a teaspoon to hummus for extra spice.

7. Turmeric Improves Memory

There are now over 600 documented health benefits to eating turmeric.

Researchers in Taiwan just added one more.  They found that just one gram of turmeric at breakfast helps improve the memory of people in the early stages of diabetes.[iv]  The turmeric improved working memory over the following six hours.  Other studies have found that turmeric also reduces the risk of dementia.

8. Ginger Soothes Muscle Pain

The Chinese have used ginger for thousands of years to treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea.  Today it is known to relieve nausea due to seasickness, motion sickness, morning sickness and chemotherapy nausea. One study showed ginger root to be more effective for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy than Dramamine, a commonly used over-the-counter and prescription drug for motion sickness.

Ginger also contains anti-oxidant compounds known as gingerols which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to reducing muscle pain from exercise, they have been shown to reduce pain and swelling, and improve mobility in those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Gingerol have also been found to:

9. Black Pepper Reduces Cigarette Cravings

Black pepper improves digestion by signaling the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. It also helps prevent intestinal gas and acts as a diuretic.  And inhaling the vapors from black pepper has been shown to help people stop smoking.

You may see black pepper added to some of your supplements. That’s because one of its active ingredients piperine enhances the bioavailability of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients

Herbs to treat inflammation: The 10 most powerful natural medicines that really work


Oftentimes, the knee-jerk reaction of the medical community to inflammation is to dole out drugs to reduce it. In fact, there is a whole classification of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, available by prescription and over-the-counter. NSAIDs are associated with a variety of risks, according to new labeling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (1), including an increased risk for cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

Inflammation

Fortunately, you can use herbs for inflammation instead of dangerous drugs.

#1 Black Pepper
People refer to black pepper as the King of Spices because of its intoxicating, rich aroma and complex flavor. Black pepper owes its distinctive pungent flavor to piperine, which also provides an astonishing anti-inflammatory effect. Piperine inhibits the expression of a gene associated with arthritis and the spread of cancer, MMP13. Even at low doses, piperine reduces inflammation by depressing prostaglandin production. Furthermore, piperine significantly suppresses the perception of pain (2) and arthritis symptoms while decreasing inflammation in joints.

#2 Cardamom
As the Queen of Spices, cardamom also reduces inflammation. Part of the ginger family, cardamom is native to India and Sri Lanka; healers there have used cardamom to reduce inflammation for centuries.

#3 Cayenne
Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin. Exposure to capsaicin causes body tissues to release substance P, which your body usually releases immediately after tissue damage. Capsaicin does not actually damage tissue — this chemical only tricks your body into acting as if damage had occurred.

Repeated exposure of one part of your body to capsaicin will deplete that area of its substance P, which increases tolerance to capsaicin in people who regularly eat hot peppers.

Reducing substance P in one area of your body also decreases your sense of pain in that part. Capsaicin cream products take advantage of this effect to reduce arthritis pain in joints and other sources of chronic pain. Best of all, the capsaicin in cayenne pepper can help protect your stomach (3) from ulcers associated with NSAID use.

#4 Chamomile
Ancient physicians Dioskurides, Galen and Plinius recommended tea to relieve inflammation of the mouth. Chamomile is a sun-loving plant whose flowers smell like fresh apples. Oil distilled from these flowers contain a-bisabolol and chamazulene cyclic sesquiterpenes, which directly reduce inflammation. Chamomile oil also contains bisabolol oxides, farnesene and spiro-ether that have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.

#5 Ginger
Traditional medicine has relied on ginger’s anti-inflammatory powers for centuries. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (4), there is also evidence that ginger eases pain associated with that classic inflammatory disease, arthritis. Additionally, ginger eases stomach upset, nausea and vomiting.

#6 Turmeric
Turmeric gives curry its flavor and yellow color; food manufacturers also add turmeric to butter and cheese for color. Healers have used turmeric for more than 4,000 years to relieve inflammation, treat digestive problems and fight infections.

The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, is an antioxidant that removes dangerous free radicals from the body. Free radicals cause cell damage that leads to inflammation, including damage to cell membranes, negatively affect DNA and cause cells to die. Additionally, turmeric lowers two types of enzymes known to cause inflammation.

#7 Aloe
Aloe not only reduces inflammation but also eases pain and promotes skin repair and healing. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the anti-inflammatory effects of aloe gel are superior to 1 percent hydrocortisone cream.

#8 Celery seed
Celery seed works to reduce inflammation by acting as a diuretic, which means it helps the body get rid of excess fluid by increasing urine output. Celery seed is especially effective in treating inflammation caused by arthritis and gout, a type of arthritis.

#9 Green tea
Green tea contains polyphenols, micronutrients that work in the body to prevent certain disease mechanisms — such as inflammation — from happening. The main polyphenol in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Together, EGCG and the other polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

Green tea is especially helpful in reducing inflammation in the digestive tract. This natural herb may reduce gastrointestinal inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Green tea may also help with arthritis by reducing inflammation and slowing down cartilage destruction associated with the disease.

#10 Pomegranate
Pomegranates contain flavonols, a type of antioxidant, which seem especially helpful in reducing inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. In that condition, inflammation contributes to the destruction of cartilage. Pomegranate seems to block the production of an enzyme associated with cartilage destruction.

The next time you struggle with inflammation or the medical conditions caused by inflammation, try using an herbal remedy before resorting to dangerous drugs and chemicals. Herbs are highly effective in reducing inflammation and carry relatively low risks for complications.

Add fragrance to your home using simmering waters infused with spices, herbs, & fruit.


 

Here’s the thing. I’m married to a man who hates artificial scents of any kind. That goes for air fresheners, candles, perfume, soaps and anything else that is scented. We buy unscented everything. I could probably buy a car with the money I’ve saved on perfume throughout the years of our marriage.

Turns out that King-Man may just be ahead of his time. I’ve recently been reading about air fresheners and their harmful ingredients. Many of them are especially hard on people with allergies and asthma. One more thing to stay away from.

But, the air in my house gets stale sometimes. Or, the day after I’ve cooked with garlic, that aroma that was so appealing when I was cooking becomes very unpleasant. I want to walk into my house and have it smell pleasant. Nothing overpowering or even that noticeable. Just pleasant.

There is a simple, all natural, truly lovely solution. That is to fill the air in my home with subtle scents of spices, herbs, and fruit. All I have to do is simmer some sweet smelling ingredients in water. The steam fills the air with a pleasant scent. Truth is, I did this many years ago on the advice of our realtor when we were selling our house. Realtors often advise sellers to bake cookies or boil cinnamon water right before a potential buyer drops by. That inviting aroma goes a long way to leave a good first impression. Why I didn’t continue scenting the air in a similar way for our own enjoyment, I don’t know.  I’ve now got a simple routine going that keeps our house smelling pleasant without staleness or day-after garlic odor.

Keeping the supply list simple. I only used items available at the grocery store or in my yard for these scent recipes. I want this to be easy and inexpensive so that I can set up a sustainable routine of pleasantly scenting our home. These recipes are simply guidelines and don’t have to be followed exactly. In fact, I change them up all the time based on what I have on hand in my kitchen or yard.

 

Fragrant items for naturally scenting your home:

  • citrus — I’ve tried other fruits. Some of them smell good initially, but they don’t hold up for more than one use. Citrus is sturdier, longer-lasting, and gives these scent recipes freshness. Lemons and oranges are particularly fragrant and have the best staying power in these scented waters.
  • herbs — Any herb can be used for making a room scent, but the ones that are sturdier and on woody twigs hold up the best. My favorites for room scents are rosemary and thyme.
  • pine or cedar twigs/needles — There may be other fragrant trees that will work, too; pine and cedar are the two I’ve tried for their appealing, fresh fragrance.
  • extracts — A touch of vanilla or almond extract improves most room fragrance mixtures. Mint extract has a nice fresh scent.
  • spices — You can use ground or whole sweet spices. The whole spices look prettier, if your scented water will be in a location where it will be seen. I have found that cinnamon sticks and whole cloves have the most scent staying power. Cinnamon sticks can be rinsed off and reused several times. They keep on giving.

Natural Room Scents

By Monica

Ingredients

  • Citrus, sliced — lemons, oranges, limes (may use peel only, if preferred)
  • Herbs — rosemary, thyme, & bay leaves
  • Spices– whole cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice (optional), anise (optional); may substitute ground/powdered spices
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered)
  • Extracts–vanilla, almond, mint
  • Pine twigs (or other fragrant twigs)

Directions

Use a pint (2 cup) jar, container, or pot to combine scent waters. Add ingredients to container, cover with water, and choose from these options:
–simmer on stove top, topping off with more water as it evaporates
–add heated mixture to a slow cooker, fondue pot, or something similar that will keep mixture heated. Preheat waters to a boil (in microwave or on stove top). As water evaporates, always top it off with HOT water to keep the temperature as high as possible. Higher heat = more fragrance.

FRAGRANT COMBINATIONS:

1. Orange, Cinnamon & Spice. 1 orange, 2 cinnamon sticks (or 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon), 1/2 tablespoon whole cloves (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves), 1/2 tablespoon whole allspice (or 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice), 1 anise star (optional)

2. Lemon, Rosemary & Vanilla. 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, 2 lemons, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

3. Lime, Thyme, Mint & Vanilla. 3 limes, 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme, 1/2 teaspoon mint extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

4. Orange, Ginger, & Almond. 1 orange (or peel from 2 oranges), 1 4″ finger of ginger, sliced (or 1 tsp ground ginger), 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.

5. Pine, Bay Leaves, & Nutmeg. Handful of pine twigs or needles, 4 bay leaves, 1 whole nutmeg, outer layer grated into mixture.

Scented waters may be refrigerated between uses. Reuse for 2-3 days, or as long as they still have a pleasant fragrance.

 

Source: http://www.theyummylife.com