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.

Here are some natural interventions that slow down (and sometimes even reverse) cataracts


Image: Here are some natural interventions that slow down (and sometimes even reverse) cataracts

Regardless of your actual age, your eyes are often the last thing that stays young. However, this is only possible if you regularly follow a healthy diet.

Preventing and reversing cataracts

While cataracts are linked to poorer eyesight and even blindness, they are believed to be an inevitable part of aging. However, certain modifiable risk factors and natural interventions may help slow and even reverse this condition.

  1. Curcumin (turmeric extract) – There is significant data that confirms the health benefits of curcumin in the animal model of cataract formation. Study data revealed that curcumin, a highly therapeutic polyphenol that’s responsible for turmeric’s bright yellow color, can help prevent the formation of cataracts.
  2. Don’t use cholesterol-lowering statin drugs – For more than 20 years, data from animal research has determined that statin drugs are linked to cataracts. In the post-marketing surveillance of statin drug users, findings have shown that when taken, “either alone or in combination with other drugs which inhibit their metabolism,” the drugs increase the risk of cataracts in individuals who take them. An identified mechanism for the cataractogenic potential of these drugs is the fact that they can gain systemic distribution in the body, which happens when they pass through the blood-brain-barrier and enter the eye itself, specifically, the outer cortical region of the lens where cholesterol synthesis is critical. This mechanism is responsible for the damage in the lens. (Related: 8 Eye issues you can’t afford to ignore.)
  3. Lutein – According to a two-year double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study, lutein can help improve visual function in individuals with age-related cataracts. Sources of lutein include egg yolks, kale, and marigold.
  4. Wheatgrass – Data from a 2005 study, which was titled “Aging reversibility: from thymus graft to vegetable extract treatment — application to cure an age-associated pathology” and published in the journal Biogerontology, wheatgrass can potentially reverse lens opacity linked to cataracts. Researchers explained that for the study, the lens opacity of old dogs who received oral dosages of wheatgrass for one month was measured before and after the treatment. The results revealed that there was a 25 to 40 percent reduction of lens opacity. The study authors posited that the wheat sprouts can help in “the recovery of age-related alterations and in treating age-associated pathologies” because they contain “regulatory acid peptides, a remarkable level of highly energetic phosphoric radicals and antioxidant molecules. These compounds in wheatgrass can potentially help reduce lens opacity.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are dense and cloudy areas that can form in the lens of your eye. A cataract often develops when proteins in your eye form clumps that prevent the lens from sending clear images to your retina.

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The retina works by turning the light that comes through the lens into signals. The signals are then sent to the optic nerve, which is finally sent to the brain.

A cataract forms slowly and in time, it will interfere with your vision. You might get cataracts in both eyes, but they rarely form simultaneously.

Older people often develop cataracts. The National Eye Institute reports that more than 50 percent of individuals in the U.S. have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery the moment they turn 80 years old.

Some common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision in the affected eye
  • Frequently needing changes in prescription glasses
  • Halos surrounding lights
  • Increased sensitivity to glare
  • Trouble seeing at night

Some underlying causes of cataracts may include:

  • Certain diseases (e.g., diabetes)
  • The long-term use of steroids and other medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Smoking
  • Trauma
  • Ultraviolet radiation

Don’t wait until your eyesight starts to worsen. Follow a healthy diet today to delay and maybe even reverse your cataracts.

Find more ways of taking care of your eyes naturally at Healing.news.

Sources include:

GreenMedInfo.com

Healthline.com

Pomegranates are some of the best foods you can eat to prevent cancer


Image: Pomegranates are some of the best foods you can eat to prevent cancer

Why do you need to make pomegranates a part of your diet? Apart from being refreshingly delicious, pomegranates are packed with vital nutrients and offer many health benefits, among which is protection from cancer.

Fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet. A significant chunk of their nutritional profile is composed of antioxidants. These are compounds that fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that tend to accumulate in your body because of factors like natural body processes, your diet, the presence of disease, and your environment.

High concentrations of free radicals in your body lead to oxidative stress, which damages your cells and tissues. The effects of oxidative stress can range from prematurely aging skin to serious diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

Antioxidants modify free radicals and turn them into harmless substances your body can either process or expel without incident. In this way, they are an essential part of a substantial protection against cancer.

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. One cup of its seeds gives you 30 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C, known as one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature. Pomegranate peel and juice also have an abundance of punicalagins. These compounds have antioxidant properties that are three times more potent than those of either red wine or green tea, which by themselves are known for being antioxidant powerhouses.

But the cancer-fighting benefits of pomegranates do not stop with their antioxidant load. A review of the fruit’s value in cancer therapy, published in the journal Pharmacological Research, emphasized its anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anti-angiogenic, anti-invasive, and anti-metastatic properties as great reasons it is so effective against cancer.

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Inflammation is, under normal circumstances, actually a good thing. As part of your immune response, it tells you that your immune system is up and functional. It becomes problematic when it is prolonged and persistent, becoming a risk factor for cancer and a number of other diseases. The punicalagins and other antioxidant compounds found in pomegranate are linked to reductions in inflammatory activity in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is a key factor in metastasis or the proliferation of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Once cancer has metastasized, it becomes a lot harder to treat, so preventing angiogenesis is an important step in disrupting the disease’s progression. The extracts of pomegranate peel have been confirmed, in a study published in the journal Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, to have both antiangiogenesis and antiproliferative effects against melanoma.

Pomegranates can also induce apoptosis, or cellular death, according to research published in Growth Hormone & IGF Research. At the end of the day, cancer cells are simply mutated cells. Causing them to undergo the natural process of cellular death by administering substances with apoptotic effects is considered one of the safest ways to kill tumor cells and treat cancer. In the study, pomegranates were shown to cause the death of prostate cancer cells.

Other health benefits of pomegranates

Here are yet more reasons to eat more pomegranates:

  • Pomegranates lower blood pressure – Hypertension increases your risk of dying from a heart attack. Some studies have found that drinking pomegranate juice for two weeks can effectively reduce your systolic blood pressure.
  • Pomegranates reduce joint pain – The discomfort caused by arthritis can be debilitating. The anti-inflammatory compounds in pomegranates can help mitigate the damage caused by osteoarthritis on the joints.
  • Pomegranates treat impotence – Impaired blood flow is considered one of the reasons behind erectile dysfunction. The antioxidants in pomegranates help improve blood flow and may even aid in improving erectile response.
  • Pomegranates protect from infections – The compounds in pomegranates have been shown to protect against bacterial and fungal infections. Among the microorganisms this fruit can boost your resistance to is Candida albicans, the cause of yeast infections.
  • Pomegranates may improve memory – Some studies indicate that pomegranates can help improve the memory of those who have just gone through surgery. Other inquiries found that it can enhance both visual and verbal memory.
  • Pomegranates improve exercise performance – One study found that taking pomegranate extracts 30 minutes before exercise can improve your blood flow. This can delay the onset of fatigue and improve your workout’s efficiency.

 

Sources include:

Science.news

ScienceDirect.com

Cancer.gov

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 1

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 2

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 3

Healthline.com

Yoga reduces pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain


Image: Yoga reduces pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain

Chronic non-specific lower back pain, a condition affecting thousands of people, is often treated using over-the-counter medicines that can do more harm than good. But did you know that there are safer and more effective natural treatments available for this condition? Studies have suggested that yoga is an effective way to treat chronic non-specific lower back pain.

To evaluate the effects of yoga on chronic lower back pain, researchers from Cochrane conducted a review of yoga and chronic non-specific lower back pain studies. The studies included in the review involved 1,080 participants aged between 24 and 48 who had chronic non-specific lower back pain. The trials were carried out in various parts of the world, including India, the U.K., and the U.S. The researchers also compared the effects of yoga classes that involve back exercises to non-back exercises.

The findings of the review showed that yoga practice may improve symptoms of lower back pain and enhance back-related function compared to other exercises. The researchers also noted that practicing yoga for three months may reduce pain and practicing it for over six months may improve back-related function.

“Our findings suggest that yoga exercise may lead to reducing the symptoms of lower back pain by a small amount, but the results have come from studies with a short follow-up,” said Susan Wieland, lead author of the study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

The researchers concluded that practicing yoga may help reduce pain and improve back function in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain. They added that their findings will help people make better choices about their treatment options in the future. (Related: Treating chronic lower back pain with yoga and physical therapy.)

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Other natural treatments for lower back pain that you may have overlooked

There are many natural treatments for lower back pain. However, some of them, like the following, are often overlooked:

  • Release your feel-good hormones: Endorphins, one of the feel-good hormones, can be as effective as any synthetic pain medication. When the body releases these hormones, pain signals are blocked from registering with the brain. They also help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression – all of which are associated with chronic back pain and which often worsen the pain. Aerobic exercise, massage therapy, and meditation are some ways to promote the release of endorphins in the body.
  • Get adequate sleep: Although most people with chronic back pain suffer from sleeping problems, the lack of quality sleep also makes the pain worse. Thus, it is important to address sleeping problems, too.
  • Use cold therapy: Applying cold compress can help reduce lower back pain. It works by reducing inflammation, which is a common cause of back pain. It also acts as a local anesthetic by decelerating nerve impulses, which prevents the nerves from causing pain and spasms.
  • Use heat therapy: Like cold therapy, heat therapy can relieve lower back pain. It works by stimulating blood flow and inhibiting the pain messages being sent to the brain. You can take a hot bath or shower or use a heating pad or hot water bottle.
  • Stretch your hamstrings: Tight hamstrings also contribute to lower back pain as they stress the lower back and sacroiliac joints which, in turn, cause more pain. Try to gently stretch your hamstrings at least twice a day to relieve lower back pain.

 

Sources include:

Cochrane.org

Spine-Health.com

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

Green, leafy vegetables can decrease your risk of glaucoma by 20%


Image: Green, leafy vegetables can decrease your risk of glaucoma by 20%

Research provides another reason for you to eat more leafy greens: They prevent the onset of a serious eye disease called glaucoma. In a study published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers suggested that eating green leafy vegetables every day may cut one’s risk of glaucoma by 20 to 30 percent over many years.

Glaucoma is an eye problem that typically occurs when fluid in the front part of the eye increases and causes pressure, which in turn damages the optic nerve. This condition can result in loss of vision.

For the study, the research team followed about 64,000 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study from 1984 to 2012. They also followed over 41,000 participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study from 1986 to 2014. The participants were all aged 40 and above and did not have glaucoma at the start of the study. They had eye exams every two years.

Throughout the follow-up period, nearly 1,500 participants developed glaucoma. To determine whether diet played a role in the onset of the eye disease, the research team evaluated the diet, particularly the consumption of green leafy vegetables, of the participants. Then, they grouped the participants into five according to how much green leafy vegetables they consumed. Those who consumed the most amount of green leafy vegetables averaged about 1.5 servings a day, or approximately one and a half cups each day; while those who ate the least amount averaged about one serving every three days.

Although there was an association between consuming more leafy greens and a lower risk of glaucoma, it did not prove cause and effect. However, study leader Jae Kang explained that green leafy vegetables contain nitrates, which are precursors to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide plays a key role in regulating blood flow to the eye, and in glaucoma, there is an impairment of blood flow to the optic nerve. As an individual eats more leafy greens, the levels of nitric oxide in the body also increase.

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Kang is an assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Preventing glaucoma with diet

Earlier research has suggested that eating the right foods may help cut the risk of glaucoma, prevent the disease, and help keep eyesight healthy for many years. The study, published in the Archives of the Spanish Society of Ophthalmology, assessed the diets of people in two American ophthalmological studies, and in a study from Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

These large population studies found that consumption of foods rich in retinol, which is a form of vitamin A, helps lower the risk of glaucoma. However, there was no evidence that a diet rich in dietary fats promote the development of glaucoma, although too much fat intake is generally known to cause obesity and cardiovascular disease.

As the researchers dug deeper, they observed a link between lower rates of glaucoma and greater intake of leafy green vegetables, especially cabbage, carrots, fruits, and fruit juices, especially orange-colored fruits like peaches and apricots. In addition, the Spanish study suggested consuming flavonol-rich foods, such as green tea, dark chocolate, coffee (without sugar and little cream), and regular black tea. However, those who already have well-established cases of glaucoma should consume little or no caffeine because it can increase intraocular pressure and worsen the disease. (Related: Reduce glaucoma risk by drinking more green tea.)

In the study, the researchers provided a set of guidelines for lowering glaucoma risk:

  1. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables.
  2. Patients with hypertensive glaucoma should not consume too much salt.
  3. Avoid high-calorie diets to prevent body fat increase.
  4. Try eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish and nut as they seem to reduce risk.
  5. Drink small amounts of liquid throughout the day. Don’t drink large amounts in one shot.
  6. Drink red wine and green tea and eat dark chocolate moderately.
  7. If you already have glaucoma, do not consume caffeinated drinks.

Read more news stories and studies on foods that keep the eyes healthy by going to SuperFoods.news.

Sources include:

Consumer.HealthDay.com

FoxNews.com

What Really Happens When You Take Antibiotics?


antibiotics_infographic-503x1024Antibiotics: One of the most prescribed drug in the modern world! The evidence that proves how harmful this practice can be has been available for a while now. Taking routine course of antibiotics and moreover pouring them into our food has been leading to serious and dangerous side effects, which greatly affect everybody’s health and well being. There are instances when antibiotics can save lives, so they have their place. But switching from specific, well determined and occasional use to a broad use and even worse, to a  ”preventive” measure, in humans and animals, is totally insane and looks like extermination.

Below you have strong evidence which confirms my statements:

Antibiotics As Prescription Drugs

People became so uncomfortable these days whenever they have a sniffle or infection. They all want it to go away, right away, at any cost! Immediate relief for a life of damaged health.

But common infection doesn’t equal antibiotics!  Our body simply doesn’t work like that.

The whole length of our digestive tract is coated with a bacterial layer providing a natural barrier against invaders, undigested food, toxins and parasites. If this “coating” (mucosal barrier) gets damaged, well….you get the picture! These beneficial bacteria protecting the gut wall also work against invasive pathogenic micro-organisms by producing antibiotic-like substances, anti-fungal volatiles, anti-viral substances. They engage the immune system to respond appropriately to invaders. Our healthy indigenous flora has a good ability to neutralise toxic substances from our food and environment, inactivate histamine and chelate heavy metals and other poisons. Again, this is all possible IF the “barrier” is intact…Without a well functioning gut flora, the gut wall not only becomes unprotected, but also malnourished.

The variety of functions and the essential role of an intact mucosal barrier, a healthy gut flora, make this the root of our health. We simply can not thrive without a healthy digestive system.

What is the clinical reality these days? A vast majority of people have a damaged gut flora and a major culprit to this is: ANTIBIOTICS!

Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride offers a well researched summary of the most common disastrous health effects which directly involve antibiotics :

  • destroy beneficial bacteria in the human body, not only in the gut but in other organs and tissues
  • they change bacteria, viruses and fungi from benign to pathogenic, giving them an ability to invade tissues and cause disease
  • they make bacteria resistant to antibiotics, so the industry has to work on more and more powerful new antibiotics to attack these new changed bacteria. A good example is tuberculosis, where wide use of antibiotics has created new varieties of the Mycobacterium Tuberculosis resistant to all existing antibiotics
  • they have  a direct damaging effect on the immune system, making us more vulnerable to infections, which leads to a vicious cycle of more antibiotics and more infections

Since babies are born with a sterile gut flora, the mother esentially “downloads” her gut health / flora into the baby through breastfeeding. No wonder why digestive problems are usually shown to get worse with each generation, considering the mother’s poor gut health and bottle feeding.

Penicillins and other antibiotics with “-cillin” at the end of their name have a damaging effect on tow major groups of our resident bacteria: Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. This group of antibiotics allow bacteria normally found only in the bowel to travel to the intestines, which predisposes the person to development of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other digestive disorders.

Tetracyclines and other “-cyclines” have a particular toxic effect on the gut wall by altering protein structure in the mucous membranes, making it vulnerable to invasion by pathogenic microbes and alerting the immune system to attack the changed proteins, starting an auto-immune reaction in the body against its own gut. They also stimulate the growth of pathogenic Candida, Staphylococci and Clostridia.

Aminoglycosides (Gentamycin, Kanamycin, Erythromicin) have a devastating effect on beneficial bacteria such as physiological E.coli and Enterococci. A prolonged course of treatment with these type of antibiotics can completely eliminate such beneficial bacteria from the digestive system, leaving it open to invasion by pathogenic species of E.coli and other microbes.

Antibiotics In Food

The problem of antibiotics overuse actually grew to proportions because it comes not only from prescription drugs, but from conventional food everywhere as well! This way, we are exposed indirectly to antibiotics since we are born and their negative effects are real.

Farm animals and poultry are routinely given antibiotics, so all the products made out of these (meat, milk, eggs) will also provide us with a constant supply of antibiotics AND antibiotic resistant bacteria, developed by the animals in their bodies, together with the toxins these bacteria produce.

Many large producers of meat and poultry feed antibiotics to their healthy food animals simply to offset the effects of overcrowding and poor sanitation, as well as to promote faster growth. Every year, nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics are sold for use in food animals. In fact, up to 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States go to healthy food animals.

Farmed fish and shellfish have antibiotics added, as well as a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains, legumes and nuts, which are sprayed with antibiotics to control disease.

Anti-bacterial Cleaners

Germs do not cause disease! Nature never surrounded her children with enemies. It is the individual himself who makes disease possible in his own body because of poor living habits… Do mosquitoes make the water stagnant; or does stagnant water attract the mosquitoes? We should all be taught that germs are friends and scavengers attracted by disease, rather than enemies causing disease… As their internal environment is, so will be the attraction for any specific micro-organism… The germ theory and vaccination are kept going by commercialism. Dr. Robert R. Gross

Modern times brought along the common belief that everything has to be disinfected and sterilized. But it’s been proven by numerous studies that constant use of conventional sanitizers and antibacterial soaps is also killing the beneficial bacteria existent on our hands, that is meant to actually protect ourselves from disease. In other words, resistant bacteria – “superbugs” – will develop, and a former common cold will morph into a much more virulent and harder to treat infection.

Facts Of Antibiotic Overuse And Solutions To An Imminent Global Danger

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently announced the new CDC statistics on the advance of the highly drug-resistant bacteria known as CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae). The reports are frightening:

  • Healthcare institutions in 42 states have now identified at least one case of CRE.
  • The occurrence of this resistance in the overall family of bacteria has risen at least four-fold over 10 years.
  • In the CDC’s surveillance networks, 4.6 percent of hospitals and 17.8 percent of long-term care facilities diagnosed this bug in the first half of 2012.

The U.K.’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies released a report in which she calls resistance a “catastrophic threat” which poses a national security risk as serious as terrorism. She warns that unless resistance is curbed, “We will find ourselves in a health system not dissimilar to the early 19th century” in which organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, joint replacements and even minor surgeries become life-threatening.

In March 2012, researchers published a report drawing a link between bacteria on chicken and antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs). They compared E. coli samples from animals in processing plants to the strain of E. coli that causes urinary tract infections and found chicken to be the source of the bacteria. Last summer, the story gained major traction with the release of a related study by some of the same researchers who found that retail chickens had very high levels of antibiotic-resistant E. coli; about 85 percent of UTI infections came from this E. Coli strain.

Another published study from Germany concluded that methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is rarely found in pigs that are raised without antibiotics. Similarly, the farmers who live and work with these pigs were less likely to have the strain of MRSA commonly associated with livestock than farmers who worked with pigs who were regularly administered antibiotics. As one of the most notorious multidrug-resistant superbugs, MRSA is responsible for an estimated 19,000 deaths and 360,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States alone.

In September 2012, researchers at Stanford University concluded that consumers eating meat and poultry raised without antibiotics are 33 percent less likely to contract antibiotic-resistant infections than those who eat products raised conventionally.

Considering all this, how can YOU actively participate in the change of these serious events?

…STOP taking antibiotics with the first infection, rely on NATURAL, effective, safe and powerful antibiotics with NO side effects. My favorites are raw propolis, grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil, echinacea, Manuka honey.When you really need to take a course of antibiotics, always follow with a course of probiotics, to counteract the negative effects and maintain a healthy gut flora.

…buy and eat only ORGANIC meat, eggs and dairy or at least which hasn’t had antibiotics added (you can find this on many product labels now)

…stay clean using natural, green cleaners for your body and house, and avoid anti-bacterial soaps, as well as harsh, toxic chemicals. The Cleanwell sanitizers for example are absolutely fantastic and extremely effective, they come in many sizes, smell good and last a long time.

…live a healthy life, eat whole food and take responsibility of your own precious health, so you don’t end up in hospitals and long-term care facilities, which are the most exposed to never ending disease.

 Resources:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/03/uk-cmo-report/

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/03/cre-cdc/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9921927/Antibiotics-are-ticking-time-bomb-warns-medical-chief.html

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/18/3/11-1099_article.htm

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/fpd.2011.1078?journalCode=fpd&

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3273000/

http://www.pewhealth.org/projects/pew-campaign-on-human-health-and-industrial-farming-85899367226

http://www.pewhealth.org/news-room/in-the-news/state-of-the-science-superbugs-and-public-health-85899422917