Saturday, October 8, 2011

Foods and Herbs that Lower Blood Pressure

Yes a proper diet, regular health check ups and medication can help you lower blood pressure. But to be more effective, it's advised that you also start consuming foods and herbs that lower blood pressure. The two main reasons of high blood pressure among individuals is obesity and stress. The consumption of artificial and processed foods increases weight and the constant deadlines at work takes a toll on your health by increasing the stress levels. Now the best way to avoid high blood pressure, is to start consuming a balanced diet which is filled with foods and herbs and also start exercising on a regular basis.

Lowering Blood Pressure
Lowering Blood Pressure: Foods and Herbs

Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common health ailments which affects more than 50 million people in the US alone. Blood pressure is basically the force of the blood against the walls of arteries. If a person is suffering from high blood pressure, the heart of that person works much harder and the victim is also prone to many cardiovascular diseases. The list of foods and herbs that lower blood pressure given below is useful for people who are trying to control this situation.

According to the latest reports from the latest medical universities in the world, people who consume more than 800 mg of spinach per day have a very low chance of suffering from high blood pressure. Spinach is an excellent source of folate and magnesium. Both of these constituents help in lowering blood pressure.

Many people are not big fans of avocados, but you can use them in making your favorite dips and sauces. Also lower the consumption of chips and eat carrots with dips. Avocados and carrots are a great source of potassium which helps in lowering blood pressure.

One of the best herbs to lower blood pressure, turmeric is a very popular herb from the Indian sub continent. It's found in almost every Indian home. Not only is it an excellent wound healer, it also boosts metabolism, reduces cholesterol, regulates blood circulation and purifies the blood.

Fish is the best example of foods that lower blood pressure quickly. Salmon, cod, tuna and halibut are excellent sources of potassium which is good for the blood. Fish is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids which keeps the heart healthy. While buying make sure you always select fresh fish.

Medical reports and journals often say that eating nuts like pistachios, almonds and walnuts is very good for the heart and it helps in keeping the blood pressure under control. People suffering from high blood pressure should consume nuts daily. They are a high source of saturated fats and antioxidants, both are considered good for the heart.

Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers will love to know that flavonoids contained in it lower blood pressure by increasing the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxides helps the body muscles to relax which means more blood flow. Dark chocolate also keeps your cholesterol level under control. If you are overweight, make sure you eat only little chunks of chocolate which would be enough to lower your blood pressure.

Garlic Chives
Garlic chives come from the same family as garlic but are not as spicy as garlic cloves. They are a popular herb used in Asian cooking. They have a high content of vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, vitamin A, and riboflavin. The oil of garlic chives is used for the treatment of wounds and cuts. Chives also make the heart healthy, regulate blood flow, and lower blood pressure.

Most people identify potatoes as a vegetable which increases fat levels in the body. But most of us overlook its health benefits and this vegetable is often prepared in unhealthy ways. Potatoes are a great source of potassium and fiber which is very healthy for your heart.

So these were some of the foods and herbs which you can consume to lower your blood pressure. It's not always safe to opt for medication, going the natural way has a long term and positive effect.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Herbal Detox

Herbal Detox - Feel great and eliminate harmful toxins
After over-indulging, many people think of going on a detox for a week or so, with the thought that they will go right back to eating whatever they like right after that. While it is certainly a good idea to give the body a break and a chance to heal, eating a variety of organic herbs and vegetables on a regular basis will keep the body in excellent health. Be sure to check with your naturopathic physician before taking any herbal remedies, especially if you have serious health problems. Some herbs are toxic if taken in excess.

Herbal Detox
Herbs with Detox Properties
Burdock is an herb that is used as laxatives, detox agent, diuretic and tonic. It can be used in combination with other herbs to help detoxify the body. The herbs are very effective when it is used by itself, it should be used in very limited quantities.

Burdock root can help reduce the build up of heavy metals in the system, they will not. It cleans the body of unwanted toxins. It will also help reduce the risk of immune system problems in the future. The safest way to use burdock is an herbal tea made from two or three times a day.

Known in other parts of the world as coriander, ciltrano is a member of the parsley family and is widely used in Mexican, Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cooking. All parts of the plant are edible, but the leaves and seeds are commonly used in cooking.

Ciltrano has been shown to contain antioxidants, with the leaves having a stronger effect than the seeds. The herb can help remove heavy metals from the body. Eat the leaves raw in salads.

Nettles have some really great detox properties. It is a powerful blood purifier that drives out toxins and metabolic wastes by stimulating the kidneys to excrete more water. Nettle tea is said to clean out the entire intestinal tract while activating the body's natural defense mechanisms. Drink the tea on its own or with lemon.

Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is said to help protein synthesis in the liver. Milk thistle may protect the liver against toxicity from medications known to cause liver problems, alcohol and other drugs. Some herbalists use the herb to treat liver damage from hepatitis, long-term alcohol use and industrial toxins.

Milk thistle may be taken as a tea or in capsule form.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Asparagus Nutrition Facts

Mother nature has endowed many nutritional and beneficial herbs for the betterment of mankind. We also have been wise enough to use these for health reasons! Asparagus is one such perennial and oldest known herb to the human civilization. In the primitive days, it was found in the regions of west Asia, some of the European countries and a few parts of northern Africa. However, speaking in today's terms, it is found in almost all the parts of the world as a vegetable crop. Asparagus is actually a genus and asparagus officinalis is the flowering plant that hails from this family.

With growing importance of health and fitness in the modern world, the common man, has begun researching on the nutritional plants, herbs and their extracts. You can therefore see information sources like the Internet, newspapers, health magazines and health and fitness channels on the television, often emphasizing on their importance, nutritional facts and health benefits. Asparagus is another important topic of discussion in this regard, as there have been many searches in the recent past, insisting on knowing, asparagus nutrition facts, for both steamed and cooked asparagus. Therefore we intend to learn about asparagus nutrition facts, calories in asparagus and also the health benefits of the same, through the write-up given below.

Asparagus Nutrition Facts
Asparagus Benefits

It is now established that, asparagus is nutritional. However, what are the health benefits of asparagus? Here's some discussion on the same.

- The antioxidants present in asparagus, help prevent the growth of cancerous cells in the body.

- Mineral content in asparagus juice is also helpful in controlling blood sugar levels.

- Asparagus is also good for the heart. Sufficient quantities of asparagus juice with some raw honey mixed, if consumed twice to thrice in a day, is healthy for the heart and also helps in heart enlargement.

- Asparagus has also been found to be preventing multiple sclerosis, bladder and urinary tract infections.

- Asparagus is also helpful for people suffering from high blood pressure, as it lowers down the blood pressure levels.

- Moreover, it is also beneficial for nursing mothers, as it helps increase milk generation.

- Asparagus also possesses antiviral and anti fungal properties.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Diuretic herbs

Diuretic herbs are also referred to as aquaretics because they increase urination without depleting electrolyte. These herbs reduce the water retention capacity of the body by causing the individual to urinate more frequently than usual. These herbs decrease the water retention by clearing the excess water present in the tissues. The process of clearing the excess water present in the tissues is referred to as forced diuresis.

Diuretic herbs are used in treating many diseases naturally and most of the times they do not have any side-effects on the human body. The herbs are used as a remedy for many diseases, like, kidney diseases, hypertension, edema, urinary tract infections, etc. The herbs can also be used for the treatment of excess fluid retention, drug overdose, promoting urination, etc. These herbs should be consumed under the supervision of a herbal practitioner or a person qualified in medicine.

Some of the diuretic herbs include saffron, sage, hops, fennel, chicory, mint, hops, skullcap, yarrow, golden seal, dandelion, nettle, marshmallow and spearmint. These herbal diuretics are safe and consumed by many people. Information related to a few of them is underlined below:

Linden: It is used as a medicine for headache, cold, fever, cough, high blood pressure and infection. It also reduces the smooth muscle spasms along the digestive tract and it is used as a sedative drug.

Yarrow: It eliminates the toxins and unwanted fluids present in the body via urination. The volatile oil of this herb creates a strong inflammatory effect.

Dandelion: Dandelion, a natural herb, cleanses the liver and blood stream. It amends the performance of the spleen, pancreas, kidneys and liver.

Green Tea: This herb is used as a stimulant by many people. It helps to heal wounds, controls bleeding and also improves heart health.
Stinging Nettle: The root of nettle plant consists of primary diuretic properties, however, other parts of this plant are used for the purpose of cleansing human system.

Consumption Diuretic Herbs
Many herbal diuretics can be taken in the form of capsule, tea or as an extract. Some of them can be consumed raw or can be eaten with salads, like mint, dandelion, sage, chicory, etc. For making tea using herbal diuretic, add a teaspoon of dried herb to a cup of boiling water. The tea should be steeped for 10-15 minutes in the container. After steeping, strain it and finally add honey to it. It is advised to have 1-4 cups of diuretic herb tea every day or 1-3 capsules per day can also be consumed. Before consuming the herb, its property should be well known and it should be consumed accordingly. Most of the herbs can be consumed in the form of capsule or tea; but it is always better to consult a herbal practitioner before taking any such step.

Side Effects of Diuretic Herbs
Different natural diuretic herbs have different side-effects. They are safe only if taken in moderate amounts. Over-dosage of the herb can give rise to problems or symptoms, like, reduction in blood volume, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, etc. If the above symptoms persist, discontinue the consumption of these herbs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Side Effects of Herbs

Herbs or herbal medicines have gained considerable popularity as an alternative treatment for alleviating a number of health problems including heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and even certain types of cancer. However, various studies and researches have highlighted the possible side effects of several herbs, if taken in excessive amounts or in combination with some conventional medicines. Though it is not possible to discuss the side effects of every herb in this article, here is an account of a few important adverse impacts of some commonly used herbs.

Side Effects of Herbs

Side Effects of Herbs
Though, nobody can question the health benefits of herbs and their efficacy in controlling and preventing a number of ailments, many studies have revealed that their excessive use can have severe side effects. Angelica, garlic, goldenseal, ginseng, chamomile and gingko are some of the most commonly used herbs that can inhibit blood clotting. So, if you have any disorder associated with blood clotting, then you should not take these herbs without consulting a physician. Besides this, people who are taking anticoagulant drugs like aspirin and warfarin, for preventing the formation of blood clots inside the arteries, need to be more vigilant. This is because, these herbs have the same effect as that of warfarin or aspirin and therefore can increase the risk of bleeding. This can lead to serious conditions, especially if taken after surgery.

People with the autoimmune disorder should also be careful while taking herbal medicines. Autoimmune disorders are usually treated with immunosuppressant drugs that suppresses the immune system. On the other hand, herbs like echinacea (a Chinese herb) and goldenseal, have a stimulating effect on the immune system and hence, can counteract the effects of these medications. Herbal laxatives like senna, used for inducing regular bowel movement, can also have adverse effects on the health. If senna is taken for over a long period, it can cause chronic diarrhea, muscle weakness, irregular heart rhythm and damage to the kidneys and liver.

Besides these, many of the herbs such as aloe, garlic, green tea, etc, used in the treatment of several diseases, can produce allergic reactions. Green tea contains caffeine, an excessive intake of which, is associated with anxiety, irritability, insomnia and nervousness.

Comfrey is another popular herb that has been used to relieve a number of disorders like indigestion, stomach and bowel problems, thyroid disorders, hernia, cough, lung problems, hemorrhage and even cancer. However, some recent studies have shown that the consumption of comfrey can be dangerous, as it contains a compound, known as pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA), which is hepatotoxic and carcinogenic. Accumulation of pyrrolizidine in the body can cause blockage of the hepatic vein and liver failure.

Licorice is widely used in making candies and also in treating many diseases including colds, sore throats, bronchitis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome and even tuberculosis. But, an excess consumption of licorice candies has been found to be harmful for the liver and cardiovascular system. Over-consumption of licorice causes hypertension and oedema and is particularly not recommended for people with hypertension and kidney problems.

So, we can summarize that like conventional medications, herbs also have side effects. Therefore, herbs should be used carefully and in moderate amounts for medicinal purposes. In addition to this, it is equally important to consult your physician regarding the benefits and side effects of herbs, to avoid any serious consequences that can arise from the over consumption of herbs and herbal medicines.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How to wildcraft your own herbs

Many people who have an interest in natural and alternative health care that needs to be educated about the use of herbal supplements. Some people take this interest further and learn all they can about the herbs, the best I can to make your own herbal preparations. Herbs that may be the best for the needs of each person is an herb that grows in the local environment and, indeed, in one house of its own. Harvest your own herbs from the local environment, called the wildcrafting organic wildcrafted herbs may be the best resource for herbs that can be obtained.

Why Wildcraft Your Own Herbs?
Wildcrafting your own herbs is probably the best because you can be assured of freshness and vigor of the plant. You know the herbs that are organic. You know where they came from. Do you have a better idea of the condition in which the herbs were grown. You know the herbs that are clean and free of debris when harvesting because you are a person who cleans them.

Why are your own herbs wildcraft supply is normal if there was a famine crisis, or even to strike a commercial truck driver slowed the bus may be a day or longer. In difficult and stressful time, the immune system is compromised, and illness. Wildcrafted herbs have your own supply on hand to prepare your family for emergencies.

How To Identify Herbs For Wildcrafting
One of the best resources available for identifying herbs and wild plants in any locality in the United States is the county extension office. Some states offer beautiful, picturesque websites full of photo images to help you identify various plants and "weeds." Most have brochures, handouts, and field guides which may be helpful to take on herb walks. Often attached to county extension offices are Master Gardener's clubs, which are run by volunteer plant enthusiasts. Some of these volunteers may be valuable resources as you learn how to identify and wildcraft your own herbs.

Another excellent resource for identifying herbs in the wild are books written by herbalists on the topic of foraging. Authors such as Stephen Harrod Buhner, Tom Brown, Jr., and Nancy J. Turner provide a wealth of information on the practice of foraging. When selecting resources, do your best to find material written for the area in which you live.

Drying and Storing Wildcrafted Herbs
The best time to wildcraft herbs is in the morning after the dew has dried or in the evening, in dry weather. Collect your wildcrafted herbs in carefully-labeled paper bags. It is very easy to get herbs confused, especially once they are dried. Clean the dirt and debris off of the plants once you get them home. You may dry your herbs outdoors in the shade, or indoors by making small bundles and hanging them upside down on a drying rack or from a cord or clothesline. Never dry herbs in direct sunlight, as they may lose some volatile oils in the process. Always label the herbs.

Dry the herbs until they crumble easily when touched. Storing herbs before they are completely dry can cause them to get moldy. Once your wildcrafted herbs are dry, store them in well-labeled glass jars with lids. They will last almost indefinitely if kept in a cool, dry place.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thai Herbs Amazing

What Makes Thai Herbs Amazing?
There are many things that are typical of the brand and have done for the country. These are the Muay Thai, Thai silk, Thai Rice, Thai fruits, and of course Thai food. Ingredients that make Thai food is 'herbal' in Thailand, in conjunction with 'spices' are cleverly mixed in Thai food. Thai food as their main ingredient.

Thai Herbs Amazing
Although most herbs are used are used as condiments or seasoning materials, Thai hers are somewhat different from all other herbs. They have characteristic taste and aroma that are not found in other herbs. They have characteristic taste and aroma that are not found in other herbs. For example, ‘Horapha’ or Thai basil (Ocimum basilicum), the same species as the well-known sweet basils, has distinct aroma and flovor from that of other sweet basils and is well suited for several Thai dishes, which cannot be replaced with other sweet basils or other herbal materials. These dishes include ‘Kaeng Khieo Wan’, ‘Kaeng Phet’, ‘Phat Makheua Yao’, stc. Similarly, ‘Kaphrao’ or Thai holy basil (Ocimun tenuiflorum), has a distinct flavor and aroma from other holy basil (which has rarely been used as herbs as herbs in other countries); it has made Thai dishes, such as ‘Kai Pat Bai Kaphrao’, very well known to the Thais as well as foreigners. ‘Maeng Lak’ or hairy basil (Ocimum americanum) is indispensable in ‘Khanom Chin Nam Ya’ and ‘Kaeng Riang’. ‘Makrut’ or kaffir lime (Citrus hvstrix) whose leaves are used in many Thai dishes, gives a unique aroma and flavorl it is a major ingredient of the world famous Thai soup, known as ‘Tom Yam Kung’. Like Thai spices, Thai herbs are uniquely blended with Thai dishes such that they are inseoarable. ‘Tom Yam Kung’. For example, is world famous because it contains a blend of many herbs (and also a few spices), among them kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass stem, limejuice and chili (the last three, although not the leafy nor soft flowering parts of plant, but are treated here as herbs since they come from fleshy part of the plant). Two other related types of Thai dishes, ‘Yam’ and ‘Phla’. Will not taste as good without such herbs as kitchen mint, lemongrass and lime.

Thai Herbs Amazing
In addition to adding flavor to Thai dishes, most of the beneficial health properties of natural herbs. Therefore, it is fair to say that Thai herbs. With a beautiful green, they are good, they are added as a seasoning or garnish to make and delicious Thai food and beautiful natural gtomach on their stomach with the features and their freshness.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Burdock Root Tea

Burdock root is native to Europe and Asia. It has been a main ingredient in a number of herbal preparations. It is sweet in taste and has a sticky texture. Traditionally it has been used to treat fevers, cold, urinary tract infections and rheumatism. However, it lacks clinical evidence. Burdock root tea has been used as a diuretic and also in the treatment of cancer. Both leaves as well the root of burdock is used to make tea. We will see, how to prepare burdock root tea, but before that we will read on benefits of burdock root.

Burdock root tea
Burdock Root Tea Benefits
Tea made using burdock root helps in treating indigestion and other stomach problems. It is also known to strengthen and tone the stomach. Burdock root can also be used to treat urinary tract infections, bladder pain, gout as well as fluid retention. Glandular conditions, like swollen glands, etc. can also be treated with burdock tea. Burdock root uses, include treating a number of inflammatory conditions, rheumatic conditions, liver conditions, along with hepatitis, jaundice and liver problems.

Apart from these benefits, burdock also helps in stimulating secretion of bile. The use of burdock root tea for acne, especially teenage acne, is well know. Consuming burdock root for acne for a period of three or four weeks will help in dealing with persistent acne.

Burdock root and leaves can also be combined with dandelion root to make tea, which is an extremely effective liver cleanser and stimulator. Burdock also helps in treating respiratory tract conditions, along with asthma, skin conditions, like boils, eczema, scurvy, etc. fever as well as cancer. It is also known to neutralize and eliminate poisons from the system and also sciatica. Burdock combined with sarsaparilla is known to treat a number of skin ailments.

Burdock Root Tea Side Effects
Burdock has a laxative effect on the bowels and it can also stimulate the uterus, hence, it is recommended, that it should not be consumed during pregnancy. Handling burdock can also allergic reaction in some people. If you are allergic to pectic, then it is recommended you stay away from burdock root to avoid any allergic reaction. If you are currently, taking any medicines, then do not consume burdock root extract or tea, as it may effect the efficacy of the medication you are on. Diabetic or hypoglycemic patients are cautioned, that you may not want to take burdock root tea, as it may cause surge in blood sugar levels. One of the burdock root side effects is that it can also cause alterations in sodium and potassium levels. Consumption of burdock can slower the heart rate and cause dry mouth. At the same time, it may also interfere with the absorption of iron.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Toothache Plant

Toothache Plant Description
Toothache plants grow at a fast rate and exhibit perennial growth pattern under favorable conditions. The slender stems are erect and shoot upwards within a short time. Similar to other members of the Asteraceae family (e.g. sunflower, daisy, gerbera, etc.), the flowers of toothache plant are borne in head inflorescence. These attractive blooms are a blend of vibrant yellow and red colors. At one glance, the shape of these flower heads look like human eyeball. Thus, this herb is colloquially known as eyeball plant.

Toothache Plant
The interesting plant name is given with respect to its typical use as an age old remedy for relieving toothache. The leaves and flower heads of this plant contain spilanthol, an active component that imparts analgesic property to these plant parts. Thus, simply chewing the leaf or flower provides a numbing effect and reduces toothache. Apart from this toothache plant benefit, it is also appreciated for culinary applications. Fresh shredded leaves are sprinkled for garnishing salads, while whole leaves can also be cooked like other leafy veggies.

Tips for Growing Toothache Plant
A characteristic feature of this medicinal plant belonging to aster flower family is tolerance to frost and cold climatic conditions. It can be propagated easily from viable seeds. So, you don’t need to spend much for buying plantlets from nursery stores. However, the choice for starting from seeds or young plants is up to you. If you don’t like the hassles of sowing seeds, inducing them to germinate and transplanting them, then purchase healthy plantlets from a trusted supplier. Here’s how to grow toothache plants from seeds.

Toothache Plant
- First of all, select the plantation area of this tropical plant. It performs best in full sun to partial shaded condition, hence select a plantation site that meets this light requirement. Also, the selected area should have enough room to support optimal growth of this ornamental cum medicinal plant.

- Loosen soil and remove unwanted plants from the planting site, which otherwise will compete with toothache plant seedlings as they germinate. For poor garden soil, supplementing a decent amount of farmyard compost is a good idea. Then, sow toothache plant seeds sparingly in the prepared soil.

- Water the area frequently to ensure quick sprouting of toothache plant seeds. If the area is exposed to full sun, soil will dry out soon and delay germination. So, you need to monitor the soil regularly and make it moist at all times until sprouts develop. As the seedlings develop a couple of leaves, consider transplanting them.

- In case there are less seedlings, just thin out the weaker ones, making sure that the spacing between two young plants is 18 inch. Or else, uproot them gently without injuring the fragile roots. To make your task easier, uproot healthy seedlings with an appropriate garden tool and retain some soil along with the roots.

- Grow toothache plant seedlings in the same region by making planting holes (size should be sufficient enough to hold root balls). The ideal space between two toothache plants is 18 inch. Lesser than this will cause crowdedness to the plants as they grow and attain full size. Also, providing enough room allows proper light penetration and aeration to the plants.

- Water the newly transplanted toothache plant seedlings regularly to keep the soil moist (not soggy). Make sure you check for signs of weakness, withering and alike problems. After the plants get established to the soil, they become more tolerant to dryness and you can minimize the watering frequency.

- Let the toothache plants grow undisturbed for the first few weeks. When you notice development of lustrous green foliage, you can train them to induce bushy growth habit. Just pinch off the top parts (a few inches) of the plants and follow the same care level to enjoy large blooms.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Horse Chestnut Extract

Horse chestnut is a deciduous tree also known by the name, conker tree. Closely related to the buckeye tree, its usage in herbal medicine has been known for centuries. Today, it is cultivated on a wide scale in temperate climatic conditions. Nearly all parts of this tree (leaf, bark, flower and seeds) contain therapeutically active chemicals, and are used for medicinal purposes. When we say horse chestnut extract or horse chestnut seed extract, it is a processed product derived from the seeds.

Horse Chestnut
What is Horse Chestnut Extract?
For isolation of horse chestnut extract, the seeds are processed under sterile and controlled conditions. It contains active ingredients in pure and concentrated form. Of the several active chemicals, the most valuable component is aescin (also spelled as escin). Chemically, it is a blend of triterpenoid saponins, which are neuroprotective, anticancer and anti-inflammatory in action. Other useful constituents are favonoids, tannins, coumarins, phytosterol, amino acids and citric acid.

The therapeutic property of aescin is thinning of blood, and reducing the risk for leakage of blood from the capillaries. Overall, it strengthens the blood vessels and enhances blood flow. In the standardized form of horse chestnut seed extract, the percentage content of aescin is maintained at 16 - 20 percent. In alternative medicine, horse chestnut seed extract is mentioned to be a safe product for consumption, provided that it is unadulterated, dosage is correct and intake period is short-term.

Horse Chestnut
Horse Chestnut Extract Benefits
The application of horse chestnut extract for varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency and other blood circulatory conditions is documented in herbal medicine. In chronic varicose insufficiency, blood from the legs is not circulated back to the heart as it should. Other than treating circulatory diseases, this seed extract is claimed to be effective for other medical problems. For your reference, the purported horse chestnut seed extract benefits are highlighted below.

- Horse chestnut extract is effective for treating painful hemorrhoids.

- Use of this extract is also documented for treating edema. It increases fluid loss through urination, thereby minimizing water retention problems.

- In treating chronic venous insufficiency and other circulatory problems, the effectiveness of horse chestnut seed extract is compatible to using compression stockings (a medical hosiery).

- Its anti-inflammatory property makes it an excellent remedy for treating sprains and injury related tissue swelling.

- Poultices prepared with horse chestnut extract is applied for combating eczema symptoms, skin ulcer and alike skin conditions.

- Other claimed benefits of this extract include treatments for diarrhea, skin sores, fever, whooping cough, back pain and arthritis pain. However, there are very less scientific reports that support these claims.

Monday, September 5, 2011

milk thistle plant

how to grow milk thistle plant
Milk thistle, a flowering plant, belongs to the Silybum genus. They belong to various regions in Europe, Middle East, and North Africa. This plant is grown because the different parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes. Although more research is required, milk thistle is known to be used for liver disorders, diabetes, depression, gallbladder issues, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, and many other health conditions. Apart from these advantages, many people eat the leaves and flowers of the plant as salads. Even the seeds of the plant are roasted to use instead of coffee beans.

milk thistle plant
The milk thistle plant is also known as holy thistle, elephant thistle, blessed milk thistle, and ivory thistle in other parts of the world. The tube shaped pinkish-purple flowers bloom annually and its leaves are green with little white lines that resemble veins. The stalks of the plant can grow tall given the right environment and care. Even though there are only 2 species of this plant, there are many hybrid varieties that have been discovered due to the 2 species. In order to grow this plant, there are certain factors like sun, soil, watering requirements, and fertilizer that need to be taken care of. So read the rest of the article to find out how to grow milk thistle.

Planting Milk Thistle
Milk thistle grows from seeds, so you have to begin with planting them in a pot inside your home. With the fingers, push the seeds inside the soil. If you are planting any of the annual varieties, the best time of the year to plant the seeds is early spring. As for the biennial varieties, plant them during early summers. The seeds require germinating, which takes about 2 to 3 weeks and once they do, it is time to transfer them outdoor. You will require seed trays filled with potting soil. Plant 3 to 5 seeds together and water them on a regular basis. Once germination occurs, start the transferring process. Annual varieties need to be transplanted outdoors after the last frost and biennials get transplanted outdoors close to end of summer.

milk thistle plant
In the garden, you need to choose an area where there is sunlight for about 8 hours a day but the plants grow in partial shade. Since the plant is resilient, there is no soil preference for growing milk thistle. To ready the soil, you need to fertilize it and remove any and all vegetation so that the plants can grow properly. You can even plant the seeds directly in the garden. All you have to do is rake the soil about 1’’ from the top and spread the seeds around. Rake the soil again and slightly cover the seeds with the soil. This way, even with harsh winds blowing, the seeds won’t blow away or around the garden. Water the garden so the soil is damp and keep watering the seeds till they germinate. Once the sprouts begin to grow, you don’t need to water them too often. Just keep in check that the leaves don’t wilt. Remove weeds from the garden so that milk thistle plants can have enough nutrients to grow properly.

To keep the aesthetics of your garden alive, you need to prune the stems from the top when the flowers begin to wilt. Whether you are growing milk thistle plants for brightening your garden or milk thistle benefits, follow the important instructions mentioned above on how to grow milk thistle. Follow them properly and watch your garden flourish with milk thistle plants all around.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Banaba Leaf

Benefits of Banaba Leaf
You might have heard about banaba extract, which is nowadays used as a dietary supplement as well as herbal remedy. This extract is prepared from banaba leaf, produced by the banaba bush (Lagerstroemia speciosa). It is a plant native to certain parts of southeast Asia, especially, countries, like, Philippines and India. Grown for ornamental purposes, this plant is now found in many regions across the globe. The leaves of this plant are said to have medicinal properties and in Philippines, it is also used as a herbal medicine. Nowadays, banaba leaf extract is available in almost all parts of the world and is used as a dietary supplement as well as a herbal medicine.

Banaba leaf extract
Banaba Leaf Facts
The name banaba may not be familiar for you, but, you might have seen queen crepe myrtle, which is also known as giant crepe myrtle. Banaba is the local name for this crepe myrtle, in Philippines. This bushy plant may grow to medium-sized trees with a height of up to twenty meters. Banaba tree has mottled flaky bark and its leaves are oval in shape with a waxy finish. The flowers are usually produced during the summer and the fall. Banaba flowers have a wrinkled texture and are formed in clusters. The colors may range between red, white, lavender, purple, etc The green fruits of this plant turn brownish in color, as they ripe. As mentioned above, it is widely grown as an ornamental tree, but, banaba leaf is used for medicinal purposes too. Let us take a look at the various aspects of banaba leaf benefits.

Benefits of Banaba Leaf
Banaba leaf is said to have various active ingredients that are beneficial for remedying certain health problems. The most important among them is corosolic acid, which is claimed to have blood sugar lowering properties. Apart from that, banaba leaf contains phytochemicals, like, reginin A, flosin B and stroenin. These compounds are also said to play an active role in the blood sugar lowering property of banaba leaf. Even though, there is no conclusive evidence to prove the effectiveness of banaba leaf in lowering blood glucose levels, various studies and trials conducted on animals as well as humans, support this claim. The most important health benefit of banaba leaf is its so called use in treating hyperglycemia, diabetes, etc.

Banaba leaf
While, the traditional use of banaba leaf is in the form of banaba leaf tea, nowadays, it is available in the form of banaba leaf extract. This extract, prepared from the leaves of this tree is said to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels too. Even this claim is supported by animal trials, wherein, overweight mice were administered with banaba extract for a certain period of time, after which the mice were found to lost body weight as well as body fats to some extent. So, banaba leaf extract is also promoted as a weight loss supplement.

In short, banaba leaf is one of those herbal remedies that is nowadays used as a dietary supplement as well as herbal medicine. As there is no scientific proof for the same, you must always seek the opinion of your doctor, before using this product. Even though, it is claimed to be a safe, some of the users may develop banaba leaf extract side effects, like, hypoglycemia. It should not be used by pregnant and nursing women, those who are taking medications for diabetes and hyperglycemia and those with heavy menstrual bleeding. Even those people with hypoglycemia must avoid use of banaba leaf. The above said information is only a brief overview about banaba leaf and if you intend to use it for medicinal purposes, it should done under the strict supervision of a qualified herbal practitioner only.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a staple of alternative medicine that are useful for treating conditions such as dandruff, athlete's foot and acne. There are several products that contain tea tree oil on the market for advertising in a range of benefits. Tea tree oil can also be purchased as an oil.

The History of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree is known to the world of science is Melaleuca alternifolia and it grows wild in Australia and parts of Asia. Leaves of the tea that was used by the indigenous people of Australia and Asia to make a sort of tea. It is traditionally used to make "tea tree oil" common name.

Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has been used by indigenous peoples in modern Western culture is growing and recently have begun to focus on the use of tea tree oil. The indigenous people will use tea tree oil that allegedly wound healing and infection on the skin, tea tree oil today is used to treat acne and other common skin conditions.

The reason for this is that tea tree oil effective substances called terpenoids, which have been proven effective in killing both bacteria and fungi.

It is a place that serves tea tree oil to a fungicidal effective in treating athlete's foot. Athlete's foot is a fungal condition, and tea tree oil is very effective at treating athlete's foot and other similar conditions.

Tea tree oil
Tea Tree Oil and Claims of Healing
Tea tree oil has also been alleged to be effective in the treatment of minor cuts and injuries take a long time aboriginies Australian tea tree oil to treat minor injuries, scrapes, and tea tree oil is still used for this purpose today.

Tea tree oil is available in a variety of preparations, including shampoos, creams, ointments, lotions and soaps.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kola Nut

If you're one of those who like to go in for herbal remedies as a form of treatment for most common ailments, rather than depending on synthetic and chemical products, then the kola nut might be a great alternative to look into. The kola nut is a native to the African continent and grows on the Cola nitida, Cola vera and the Abata cola plants. These nuts have a high content of caffeine, which gives them their unique bitter taste. For many years, the kola nut was used as one of the main ingredients in cola beverages. But other than adding flavors to certain drinks, there are several other kola nut benefits as well. An extract of these kola nuts is used for treating several ailments that include indigestion, asthma, cough, depression and others. In the following article, we shall look at some of these kola nut extract benefits and get into the details of the kola nut side effects as well. Continue reading for more details on this herbal medicine.

Kola Nut Benefits

The nut of the kola plant is cultivated and the extract removed for usage. This extract is then used as a treatment for several ailments. It has several properties that are known to aid the human body. Here are some of the benefits of the same:

Kola Nut
- It has varied properties and the most important one is that it acts as a great stimulant.

- It energizes and lends an instant boost of energy. It is therefore used as one of the prime energy supplement ingredients in energy drinks.

- It suppresses one's appetite and therefore has been known to be quite successful in leading to weight loss.

- It leads to relaxing of muscles and therefore brings a calming effect as well.

- It helps ease the pain of patients suffering from asthma and bronchitis by dilating the built up mucus and freeing the airway.

- It helps to treat migraines and headaches in patients.

Kola Nut - Herbal Medicine
- It has been used as an aid for digestion in many African cultures. Chewing on the seeds or consuming the extract of the kola nut is known to increase the content of gastric acid in the intestines which in turn leads to improved digestion.

- Kola nuts are also used as an aid to improve heart health. Kola nuts help to reduce high levels of blood pressure and prevent heart failure.

- They help to increase metabolism and therefore help to keep indigestion and weight gain away.

- It helps in dealing with diarrhea.

- It has been known to work as an aphrodisiac for both men and women.

- It helps in relieving depression, toxins of the body and lead to endurance and stamina.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Make Morning Special with Herbal Tea

In ancient times, importance and usage of herbs were too high due to medicinal properties. They have become part of our lives through our cultural traditions and folklore. Whenever any person used to get ill or suffered from any dreaded or critical diseases was given herbal medicines only. If you really wants to know and study different aspects of herbs then must read herbalism books and scripts. Similarly herbs do have played a major role in the preparation as well as development of teas since the ancient era. These different types of tea leaves were beneficial in treating certain ailments showing their positive effectives in the human body. Consumers of herbal tea are increasing day-by-day now. It is also known by other names such as tisane and ptisan. They are herbal plants which are used for preparing teas with the help of infusion process. They don't contain the tea leaves of camellia Sinensis plant. You can extract three different types of teas such as black tea, white tea and green tea from the camellia sinensis plant only. Medical experts and science have proved that it has helped in relieving the patients suffering from depression and stress.

Natural Herbal - Tea
Experts say that utility of herbal tea is more through whole leaves than processed tea bags in the market. They say the difference lies in the persistence of the plant oil which usually gets washed during the processing method whereas directly consuming whole leaves let the user to sip concentrated tea, tasty and original one. So make sure that you can prepare such types of tea by using fresh and dried herbal leaves. They are available in local market or through online shops.

Herbal Tea

This tea is valued more because of the infusion process. If you really want to know then it's quite simple to understand even. First, you boil one cup of water and then pour it onto the dried herbs or tea bag. Later on steep them for a short duration and then filter and began sipping. If you're under medication then must inform your physician as about the type of herb you're consuming. Each herb is of different nature and medicinal properties. Several brand and stores can be seen online that are designed for people who wants to taste quality and saving altogether. When it comes to tea then brands like Lipton, Celestial Seasonings, Yogi Tea, Traditional Medicinals, and Bigelow Tea are the best and for accessing them stores like Teavana, Whole Foods, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, Amazon are beneficial. So, make your mother's morning special with herbal tea.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Medicinal Herb Called Dokudami Has Many Health Benefits

Dokudami, also known as Houttuynia Cordata, is a plant that has a lengthy history as a healing agent. It is also used in cooking, as well as in teas like dokudami cha, which translates literally to "Houttuynia cordata tea". This tea is created with a mixture of the Houttuynia cordata and Oolong tea leaves and Job's Tear's, which is a tall tropical plant that bears grains. The plant itself can be found in many Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and southern China. It grows mostly in moist, darkened areas and can be found at all times of the year, in any season.

So what health benefits does this tea leaf offer? That depends entirely on how it will be used, either internally or externally. In Asia, dokudami is considered a "cure-all" medicinal herb. If taken internally, it is believed to help with the following: cervical infection, coughing, enteritis, gastritis, infected sores, cystitis, chronic bronchitis, lung abscesses, pharyngitis, snakebites, urinary infections, and tumors. If used externally, it can be used for abscesses, analgesic, bone growth simulation, boils, diuretic, snakebites, swellings, hemorrhoids, mild laxative, urinary antiseptic, and detoxification. Now some of that is probably legendary folklore, but there have been studies conducted that add some scientific backing to how dokudami functions as a medicinal herb.

One of the health benefits of dokudami, that has some science behind it, is that it can help fight asthma, as well as allergies. These disorders are both caused too much histamines being released. It can also remove free radicals from the body that are not supposed to be there, ones that come from processed food, pollution, and chemicals in water. Free radicals are believed to cause cancer and speed up aging. Dokudami has also been found to fight off bacteria that are harmful to the body. It is especially useful in fighting off two types of bacteria that cause acne.

Another benefit of dokudami is that it helps to boost the immune system. It does this by increasing the amount of lymphocytes, a white blood cell, that are made. It can also help reduce inflammation. Back when SARS was going on in China, dokudami was selected as one of eight aids to help treat it. It can help treat an infection within 24 hours of receiving an injection. Another thing dokudami can do is reduce swelling, which is due to it reducing inflammation. So a lot of what the tea leaf is believed to be able to cure may simply be old wives tales, but it does have some scientifically verified benefits.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Computerized Herbal Medicine Resources

Computerized Herbal Medicine Resources - Best Three Ways For Using Them On The Net

Herbal Medicine Resources are downright different from standard Herbal Medicine Resources. With the web, online Herbal Medicine Resources have become common. I have utlized internet Herbal Medicine Resources for ages now. I can say that internet Herbal Medicine Resources are significantly different from standard Herbal Medicine Resources.

Herbal Medicine
It is important to understand that although typical Herbal Medicine Resources are, for the most part, systematized alphabetically, internet Herbal Medicine Resources are not. Internet Herbal Medicine Resources, however, employ something known as "latent semantic indexing". This means that specific data could be uncovered under numerous subject lines. Here's an example, information filed under Emotional Fatigue Syndrome could also be found under "Chronic Fatigue" or "Epstein Barr Virus". With all this info, its apparent to see why folks might have an arduous time. With the correct information, working with an internet Herbal Medicine Resource should be uncomplicated.

Here we'll find 3 courses of action for you to use to get the most out of your experience.

1 - Be Specific
Several users search for extensive terms and never discovery what they are looking for. The explanation for this is because the net has so much information these days that you really ought be particular. Take this for example if you're looking for data regarding bicycles made by Harley Davidson, do not use the search key term "bike". That will prove be too nonspecific Wou will want to be more precise. Try using a searchterm like "bicycles made by Harley Davidson". Every now and then, the more specific you are the more fitting your search results will be.

Also, try using bigger key terms. "Long Tail Keywords" are search words with appended search keywords that you can use to zoom in on just what you are searching. Try adding adjectives and descriptive words to your search. For instance, instead of inputting "Elephants" try inputting "Grey African Elephants".

Chinese Herbal Medicine
2 - Be Careful
Know that there is a massive amount of substandard quality, erroneous garbage out there. When utilizing the facts you've found, be aware of the starting point. A lot of sources are written by users like you and me. You'll uncover that they may or may not be experts on the info that they're providing. In like manner, a lot of the facts on the www has not been confirmed. Always make sure that you are working with a creditable source.

3 - Be Determined
If you do not discover the information that you are looking for the in the first place. Try again! Sifting through all that information can be hard to comprehend. But it's said that practice makes perfect. The more that you use basics 1 & 2, the better you will get at utilizing online Herbal Medicine Resources. Each and every time you'll get faster and faster/ Try using distinctive keywords, synonyms, and parallel keywords. Take this example, in place of seaching "Naturopathic Remedy" try "Naturopathic Cures". The information superhighway is an abundance of knowledge. You only need to know how to use it.

Three ways you can get the most out of working with an online Herbal Medicine Resource. Whether you're doing internet research or reading for amusement, be sure that you are specific, careful, and determined. Follow the principles outlined in this article you will get higher quality research when using an internet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Herbal Pain Relievers

The pain can be caused either by injuries or by trauma. More often than not pain is accompanied by inflammation. Therefore, we will see the herbal pain relievers, which will not only bring relief from pain, but also from inflammation.

White Willow Bark
It is a natural pain reliever. The makers of aspirin were inspired by this herb to make a synthetic version of the herb. However, the natural white willow bark does not cause gastric side effects, which are often seen in patients taking aspirin. Along with pain relief, it also helps to reduce inflammation in the joints.

Ginger Root
Ginger Root
Ginger root is a widely used herbal remedy as it has warming properties and also helps to improve blood circulation. It is helpful not only in treating pain associated with arthritis, but also menstrual cramps and backache. It can also be used to treat sore throat. It is not only an analgesic, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Valerian Root
Valerian Root
Valerian root is used as a skeletal relaxant and for chronic pain relief. It can also be used to treat headache, cramps, insomnia, shingles, neuralgia, stress and trauma. It has antispasmodic properties, along with it being a sedative as well.

This homeopathic pain relief is said to be especially useful in treating soft tissue injuries and bruising. It helps in alleviating general muscle pain relief and the pain caused by sprains. Arnica can also be used externally as a preventative medicine to avoid injury, before exercising or racing. Therefore, it is seen, that arnica is used as a topical agent, but care should be taken in not applying it on open or broken skin.

Before taking any one of the herbal pain relievers, it is important to have a word with the health care professional, to avoid it reacting with the prescription drugs. In some cases, the effect of the prescription drugs may be reduced, due to the use of these herbal pain relief agents. If you are on prescription, do not stop the use of prescription drugs, without consulting your physician.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Natural Pain Relievers - Herbal Pain Relievers

The pain can be caused either by injuries or by trauma. More often than not pain is accompanied by inflammation. Therefore, we will see the herbal pain relievers, which will not only bring relief from pain, but also from inflammation.

It is not per say a herbal pain killers, nevertheless it proves to be beneficial in treating pain. It is present in all types of hot peppers. It is actually the chemical, that is responsible for heat causing element in peppers. Capsaicin helps to reduce the sensitivity temporarily of the nerve receptions in the areas being affected with pain. It is said to reduce pain caused by arthritis, migraine pain, etc.

Fish Oil
Fish Oil
Although there is a lot of hype around fish oil for treating pain, research has indeed proved, that fish oil does indeed help to treat pain. The research also point to the fact, that people were able to stop taking prescription pain killers completely, after they started taking fish oil supplements everyday.

Turmeric is widely used in the Indian sub-continent, to make curry. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a powerful ingredient, which helps in fighting against chronic inflammatory conditions. Therefore, turmeric is often used with other herbal pain remedies to bring relief from pain.

Devil’s Claw
It is used in rheumatoid arthritis pain relief. It is used for natural pain relief for osteoarthritis, tendonitis, neck pain, back pains, etc. Patients were able to go off painkillers, after starting taking devil’s claw. It not only helps in relieving pain, but it is also useful in improving the overall quality of life of the patients.

This herbal pain relief medicine is very effective in preventing and suppressing inflammation causing chemical reactions. It is made from frankincense tree bark resin. Boswelia is often recommended in Ayurveda for arthritis treatment and also treating inflammatory bowel problems.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moringa Plant

Commonly known as the Drumstick or Horseradish tree, and botanically known as Moringa olefeira the Moringa tree, is one of the most useful trees that has its roots in India. After its discovery, the Moringa plant was grown in parts of Asia, Africa, both the American continents and also Europe. Right from the roots, stalk, fruits and flowers, all parts of this tree are used in some or the other way and hence it is a true gift of nature to mankind. Other than using the pods of this tree as a daily food item, there are many medicinal and industrial applications of it. To enrich you with some more Moringa plant benefits and uses, I have put together some information about it in the following paragraphs. So take a look!

Moringa Plant
Moringa - Almost a Kalpavriksha!
The word "kalpavriksha", means a tree, every part of which is of some use. One such example is the coconut tree and the Moringa plant no less. It is also one of the most useful plants found in nature. Like the coconut tree, every part of even the Moringa plant is of some use and hence it won't be wrong to call Moringa, a kalpavriksha. There are many Moringa plant uses with respect to nutrition, soil control, agriculture, water purification, cattle feed, industrial applications, medicine for humans and livestock, etc. Mentioned below are the various benefits and uses of the Moringa.

Moringa Plant
Growing Moringa Plant
It is not a difficult task to learn how to grow the Moringa plant. Since it was found growing in the wild when it was discovered, this tree can be grown with minimum maintenance. There are many uses of this plant and thus growing Moringas is definitely beneficial. The Moringa plants are very adaptable and therefore can grow in any weather conditions, without much extra care. Moringa oleifera or Moringa stenopetala seeds can be used to grow Moringa trees. The former are brown, winged and relatively easier to obtain, while the latter are tan. Moringa oleifera plant can reach to a height of around 12m. It is advisable to grow it to a height within your reach so that harvesting the leaves and pods remains easy. And now about the uses and benefits of Moringa plants.

Medicinal Benefits of Moringa Plant
Almost every part of the Moringa plant has some or the other medicinal property. The Moringa seeds, oil, flowers, bark, sap, roots, leaves, etc. are used to heal many health problems. They are said to be effective for disorders like cancer, nervous conditions, gastric ulcers, skin diseases, fatigue, impotence, edema, cramps, diabetes, hemorrhoids, headaches, hay fever, sore gums. Extracts from the Moringa plant parts can be used to treat acne, age spots, pimples, black and white heads and patches on skin. The health benefits of Moringa also include lowering blood sugar and increasing lactation and bone density.

Nutritional Benefits of Moringa Plant
The edible parts of the Moringa plant are its pods or the fruits, known as drumsticks. There are used in various delicious food preparations. The leaves of this plant contain nutrients like vitamin C, beta carotene, iron, potassium, proteins and various essential amino acids. They are great substitutes for spinach leaves. The very well known Moringa oil is extracted from the seeds, and is used in cooking and in ointments.

Uses of Moringa Plant
The Moringa plant also has industrial applications where its various parts are used in production and treatment of commercial products. Its seeds are used in water treatment and as cleansing agents. They are powdered and used to clean turbid water. Research shows that methane gas can be produced from the leaves of Moringa plant, which is used in biogas plants as a biofuel. The dried leaves of Moringa can be used as fodder for cattle and livestock. The oil which is pressed from the seeds is used in cosmetics and perfumes, and also a lubricant in mechanical industries.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Unfolding The Realm Of Herbal Medicines

Possibly there can be innumerable ways to cure the illness or to repair the body from an ailment. Many therapies and medicinal ways are suggested, but the natural one is more embraced with grace. Herbal medicines and ayurveda therapy are one of them. So let's go today with natural herbs and explore to know what they have in them that the others don't have. Over the years medicinal herbs have been an alternative against many medicines and therapies. It is the most ancient form of health care known to humankind and has been used by most cultures throughout history. The current scenario is that most of the people are in favor of herbal medicines. Perhaps people are fed up of other stream of medicines. Now it is the time to rejuvenate & refresh your body, mind and soul with these herbal medicines. The herbal medicines are also called Herbalism and is of traditional medicine practice that have been practiced by many human civilizations all around the world. Peeping more into the concept of herbal medicines, herbalism is also referred to as herbology, botanical medicine, medical herbalism and phytotherapy.

Herbal Medicine
Briefing more in the history of medicinal herbs it can be said that these natural and alternative medicines were used thousands of years ago. From the archaeological survey it is evident that the civilizations of the bygone era used herbal plants as part of traditional medicine. The Chinese usage of herbal medicines dated back to 2800 BC. Imagine for almost 5000 years, herbal medicine was used for treating various ailments. Today the natural therapies and herbal medicines have taken giant leap to become a full fledged separate industry. People are favoring and emphasizing more on herbal medicines over synthetic medicines. So the more older & effective they are, more reliable they are.
Let's find out whether the reasons suffice for resorting to herbal medicines. Here are few reasons why people go with the medicinal herbs & natural herbs.

- Herbal medicine is cost effective and less expensive than the medicines bought from an allopathic pharmacy

- Another merit of herbal medicine is that it can be bought without a prescription. They are available in any health store

- Herbal medicine and remedies are more effective than allopathic medicine for certain ailments

- Herbal medicines are used to prevent various ailments

- Herbal medicines are everywhere

- Many herbal remedies today boost the immune system or prevent the signs of aging among maturing people.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Is Kanpo

What Is Kanpo? - Traditional Japanese Herbal Medicine Practice
Kanpo is a word that refers to a traditional system for herbal health science and herbal health formulas within Japan. This is actually an integral part of the way of life and the way of health throughout the country of Japan. Throughout the centuries, this has presented the Japanese people with a unique approach for using herbal formulas to improve health and well being. Originally, this science of herbal medicine was unknown outside of Japan, but now these herbal remedies and herbal teas are becoming increasingly well known throughout the rest of the world as the health benefits become glaringly apparent.

Kanpo is a modern system in Japan for herbal medicine practice. Scientists in Japan have spent the last fifty years working closely with doctors in order to apply modern testing methods to these medicines in order to validate their use. In this way, they have been able to determine which traditional herbal formulas are actually capable of doing the things that they were purported to do. Many different herbal formulas exist as part of this system, and the recent validations of their effectiveness have allowed their popularity to spread to other countries across the globe.

There are a wide variety of different herbs and herbal concoctions that are approved for use as part of the study and practice of Kanpo. This study of herbal medicine is essentially an adaptation of the traditional herbal medicine practiced in China. Four different herbal medicines were approved in 1967 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan. Since then, numerous others have been approved. There are currently more than 150 different types of medicines offered as part of this traditional herbal medicine practice. As new traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines are validated, they are added to this list.

A leading creator of medicine in the Kanpo style is a company called Tsumura, which is responsible for making 128 of the currently-available medicines. The most common type of herb found in this medicine is known as Chinese liquorice root or Glycyrrhizae Radix, which is found in 94 different medicines. There are a number of other common herbs including Zingiberis Rhizoma which is ginger and Paeoniae Radix which is Chinese peony root. Each has different medicinal capabilities, and so these herbs are mixed into the medicines in different concoctions to treat a variety of different ailments ranging from the very simple to the very complex.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Medicinal Plants in the Rainforest

Medicinal Plants in the Rainforest: There are thousands of rainforest plants used for medicine

- Trumpet tree or Cecropia peltata is widely used in traditional medicine in Central and South America. Every part of the tree is useful. The plant is helpful in treating various diseases which include respiratory illnesses and rheumatism.

- Clavillia or Mirabilis jalapa, a perennial herb which is mainly used to kill viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This plant offers many active compounds like triterpenes, proteins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and steroids.

- Curare or Chondrodendron tomentosum is a large poisonous vine rich in alkaloids which help in muscle relaxation. The alkaloids are also used as an arrow poison. It is used as an anesthesia and also to treat fever, bruises, edema and kidney stones.

- Suma or Pfaffia paniculata is a large vine which spreads on ground with an extensive root system. It is considered a tonic and an adaptogen which helps the body to resist adverse influences of various factors. Suma root is recommended as an appetizer. It also enhances blood circulation, balances blood sugar levels and improves the immune system, muscular system and memory. Suma root is rich in saponin. (up to 11%). Saponins are beneficial in lowering blood cholesterol and they offer many other benefits too.

- Cocoa tree or Theobroma cacao has more than 150 chemicals in its leaves, seeds, fruit, and bark. Various parts of the tree are used to treat anxiety, fever, fatigue, and coughs. Since hundreds of years, the plant is being used to treat kidney stones and cuts and burns, etc. According to recent researches, polyphenols present in chocolate can prevent heart diseases.

- Annatto/Lipstick tree or Bixa orellana has been used for making things like insect repellent or medicines for lowering blood pressure or even for preparing love potions. Recent researches have approved its use in various medicines and beverages or other useful things. The plant is also used to treat snakebites. Bixin are the carotenoids or the plant pigments, present in the oil of the plant which protects against UV rays. The plant is found beneficial in treating heartburn.
Endangered Plants in the Rainforest: Innumerable number of plants in the rainforest are at the verge of extinction. Orchids, rafflesia, some bamboo species, triunia robusta are some of the examples. According to the statistics available, 23 species are extinct in the wild, 151 species are endangered, 274 species are vulnerable and 688 species are rare. These plants are in danger of extinction in the next 10-50 years unless strict action is taken to reverse their decline. Long-term effects of fire, weeds and pests on plants, grazing pressure from domestic stock and animals such as rabbits, changing fire patterns, the spread of weeds, loss of natural habitat through land clearing for pastoral purposes, urban development and agriculture are the main causes of decline of species.

Rainforests are virtual libraries of chemical invention where drugs like quinine, muscle relaxants, steroids and cancer drugs were found. So many new drugs are still to be discovered. Researches are going on to discover effective drugs for AIDS, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and Alzheimer's, etc. According to the expert's estimations, we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day, due to rainforest deforestation, which equates to 50,000 species a year. With the disappearance of the species of the plants in the rainforest, human beings could be deprived of many possible cures for life-threatening diseases.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Types of Plants in the Rainforest

Carnivorous Plants in the Rainforest: Plants which obtain nutrients from animal matter are known as carnivorous plants. Venus fly trap and the pitcher plant Nepenthes rafflesiana from south east Asia are the best examples of carnivorous plants. Nepenthes rafflesiana grows as high as 30 feet and has pitchers of about 12 inches in length, They have a cavity filled with either sweet or terrible smelling nectar that attracts insects and they are always overcrowded with digested insects! The biggest flower in the world is seen on the trees of Rafflesia, which grow in the Indonesian rainforests. The most amazing fact about the pitcher plants is that they also eat small mammals and reptiles who try to steal the insects from the pitcher.

Rainforest Plants
Strangler Plants in the Rainforest: Stranglers mostly come from the fig family. They are also called 'killer trees'. The seed starts growing as an epiphyte, high in the trees. Epiphytes are the trees which derive moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and usually grow on another plant. But they are not parasitic on it. The list of epiphytes includes orchids, philodendrons, ferns and bromeliads. The aerial plants have so called 'air roots' and air is the source of nourishment for them. Poison ivy vines have many small aerial roots. The seeds of these plants are borne and transported by birds and monkeys which eat the fig fruits. The seedlings develop long roots down to the ground and start surrounding the host tree. They grow quickly and the growth eventually suffocates the host, resulting in its death. The host tree leaves a huge upright strangler which has a hollow core. This is the best example of how plants adopt themselves to survive in the given specific environment. The strangler fig uses an adult tree as its host so that it doesn't have to struggle for light and nutrients at ground level.

Lianas in the Rainforest: Ninety per cent of the world's vine species are found in tropical rainforests. Lianas are climbing vines which are present throughout tropical rainforests. The thick, woody stems of lianas are of various lengths (up to 3,000 ft) and shapes. They need sunlight for survival and so they climb upwards towards light after beginning the life on the forest floor. For this they depend on trees for support. They bind themselves to trees with sucker roots or tendrils. They climb up while growing, by winding themselves round the supporting tree's trunk. They jump to other trees or start wrapping themselves around other lianas, after arriving at the top of the canopy layer of the rainforest. In this way they create a network of vines which provides the shallow-rooted, top-heavy trees, a very strong support. This helps them to survive against strong winds. Rattan palms, philodendron and Strychnos toxifera are some examples of lianas. The deadly poison strychnine is obtained from Strychnos toxifera. Rattans from Asia have thorny stems and they grow as tall as 650 feet (200 m). Baskets, ropes and wicker furniture is made from them.

Plants with Stilt or Prop Roots: Mangroves grow in wet, muddy soil at the water's edge. They need a good support as there is always the risk of tides and flooding. They develop several aerial pitchfork-like extensions from the trunk which grow downwards. With the help of these stilt roots, they anchor themselves in the soil trapping sediment and acquire the required stability.

Plants with Buttress Roots: Rainforest trees have shallow roots as the soil has maximum nutrients left at the surface level. Therefore the tall trees develop buttressed roots to obtain the required additional support. Such roots grow out from the base of the trunk, sometimes as high as 15 ft above the ground which also help to absorb more nutrients from the soil by covering more area. Read more on Amazon rainforest plants

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