Herbal Healing – Celery

Celery
Reduce high blood pressure, Lower the risk of cancer

Celery has been used for centuries in Asia as a folk remedy for high blood pressure. In the West, it took one man with high blood pressure and a bit of persistence to persuade researchers at University of Chicago Medical Centre to put this remedy to the scientific test.

It all began when a man named Mr Lee was diagnosed with mild high blood pressure. Instead of cutting back on salt as his doctor advised, Mr Lee began eating about four stalks of celery per day. Within a week his blood pressure had dropped from 158/96 to 118/82.

At the time, assistant professor of medicine and pharmacological and physiological science at the University of Chicago (W.J Elliott, M.D., Ph.D.) decided to put celery to the test. Researchers injected test animals with a small amount of 3-n-butyl phthalide, a chemical compound that is found in celery. Within a week, the animal’s blood pressure dropped an average of 12 to 14 percent.

As a result of this research, Phthalide was found to relax the muscles of the arteries that regulate blood pressure, allowing vessels to dilate. In addition this chemical reduced the amount of “stress hormones” called catecholomines, in the blood. This found to be helpful because stress hormones typically raise blood pressure by causing blood vessels to constrict.

If you have high blood pressure and would like to give celery a try, you can try this strategy recommended by Oriental health practitioners for centuries – eat four to five stalks every day for a week, then stop for three weeks. Then start over and eat celery for another week and repeat this cycle until your blood pressure is under control.

Another important research on celery was done by Cooks College, Rutgers University of New Jersey. They found celery help prevent cancer. Celery contains a number of compounds that researchers believe may help prevent cancer cells from spreading. Celery contains compound called acetylenics and this compound has been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. In addition, celery contains another compound called phonolic acids, which block the action of hormonelike substances called prostaglandins and some prostaglandins are though to encourage the growth of tumor cells.

You can eat celery leaves, along with stalks – the leaves also contain the most potassium, vitamin C, and calcium. Celery seeds, which are found in the spice section of supermarkets, provide another nutritional bonus – one tablespoon of seeds, which can be added to soups, stews, casseroles, contain 3 milligrams of iron, 17% of Daily Value.

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Herbal Healing – Parsley

 

ParsleyRelieve urinary tract infections, Boost kidney function, Prevent birth defects, Ease premenstrual discomfort

There is probably no other green as universally recognized as parsley. Each year, tons of this aromatic herb placed on dinner plates worldwide, only to be scraped away with leftovers. To most people, parsley’s purpose is to garnish. But parsley’s original intent is much more important and noble and modern world discovering what natural healers known for centuries.

Parsley’s healing magic can be found in two compounds it contains, myristicin and apiol, that can help increase the flow of urine and passing more urine helps remove infection-causing bacteria from the urinary tract.

This same diuretic action can also help prevent premenstrual bloating. Nibbling parsley in the days before menstruation can help increase urine flow, thus removing excess fluids from the body before they cause discomfort.

Even though parsley is generally used in small amounts, it has as much healing power, tablespoon for tablespoon, as many of the more healing foods. For example, a half-cup of fresh parsley contains 40 milligrams of vitamin C, 70% of the Daily Value. That’s more than half the amount found in a whole orange.

Parsley is also a good source of folate, with half-cup containing 46 milligrams, more than 11 % of the DV. You need folate, a B vitamin, for producing red blood cells and helping to prevent birth defects.

Parsley is nature’s original breath freshener, and it’s also a delicious way to cleanse the palate.

While dried parsley available everywhere, fresh is much better, because it retains more of the healing volatile oils. Even though parsley is best known as a culinary herb, you’ll get more of its healing benefits by using it as a main ingredient. The Lebanese salad called tabbouleh, for example, typically calls for up to 1 cup of fresh chopped parsley. Or you can add half a bunch to a garden salad. Using whole springs will provide a pleasant texture, along with a celery-like flavor. Italian flat-leaf parsley has a stronger flavor than curly parsley.

Wash the parsley when you get it home from the store, discarding any bad leaves or stems. Then dry it, wrap it in a moist paper towel, and store it in a loosely closed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

You can also make delicious kidney-cleansing parsley tea – steep 1 handful of fresh parsley in 2 cups of boiling water in teapot or covered glass jar until cold. Drain and store in the refrigerator, drink ½ hour before meals and ½ hour before going to bed to detoxify kidneys.

Herbal Healing – Papaya

Papaya

Aid in digestion, Prevent heart disease and cancer

On the outside they look like yellow or orange avocados. On the inside, you will find beautiful yellow-orange flesh that tells of the healing power within.

Papayas are packed with carotenoids, natural plant pigments that give many fruits and vegetables their beautiful hues. But carotenoids do much more than look pretty on the plate. They can, literally, save your life.

The carotenoids in papaya are extremely powerful antioxidants. Studies after studies shown that people who eat the most carotenoid-rich foods like papayas have significantly lower risk of heart disease and cancer.

Many fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, but papayas are way ahead of the pack. In one study, German researchers rated 39 foods according to their carotenoid content. Papayas came out on top, with half a fruit providing almost 3.8 milligrams of carotenoids. By contrast, grapefruits have 3.6 milligrams, and apricots 2.6 milligrams.

Papaya also contains a number of protease enzymes, such as papain, which are very similar to enzymes produced naturally in the stomach. Eating raw papaya after a meal makes it easier for the body to digest proteins, which helps to ease an upset stomach.

Papaya plays role in preventing ulcers as well. Recent German study confirmed that people were less likely to get ulcers when they were given papaya for several days. This particular study concluded that having a little papaya each day helps counteract the irritating effect of aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.

When buying papayas remember that it should smell sweet and fragrant, even before they cut. If the smell is weak, the taste will be disappointing also. When it needs a little time to ripen, its best to store them in a cool, dry place. But don’t put them in the refrigerator, since cold literally kills the flavor.

You can add papayas to fruit salads, but not to gelatin based fruit salads. It’s not a good idea to combine papaya with gelatin. The enzymes in the raw fruit will break down the proteins in gelatin – just eat it fresh while preserving vital nutrients of papayas.

Herbal Healing – Grapes

 

Grapes are rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium. Grapes contain flavonoids that are very powerful antioxidants, which can reduce thedamage caused by free radicals and slacken ageing.

Grapes have vitamins, minerals, fiber and even proteins and could play an important role in ensuring a healthy and robust life.

Benefits: Some of the health benefits of grapes include the following:

Asthma: Due to its eminent therapeutic value, grapes can be used for cure of asthma. In addition to it, the assimilatory power of grapes is also higher. It increases the moisture present in lungs.
Heart diseases: Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots thereby reducing the chances of heart attacks. In addition the antioxidant present in grapes prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
Migraine: Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraine. It should be taken early in the morning, without mixing additional water.
Constipation: Grapes are very effective in overcoming constipation. They are considered as a laxative food, as they contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose. They also relive chronic constipation by toning up intestine and stomach.
Indigestion: Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relive heat and cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach. They are also preferred as they constitute a light food.
Fatigue: Light and white grape juice replenishes the iron content present in the body and prevents fatigue. Though, the dark grape juice might not give an iron boost and on the other hand, decrease the iron levels. Drinking grape juice also provides you with instant energy. The anti-oxidants present in grapes also provide the needed boost to your immune system.
Kidney disorders: Grapes can substantially reduce the acidity of the uric acid and helps in the elimination of the acid from the system, thereby reducing the work pressure of kidneys.
Breast cancer: Through a latest study, it has been discovered that purple colored Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and stall the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
Macular degeneration: Grapes can prevent the age related loss of vision or macular degeneration. Three servings of grapes a day can reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 %.
Prevents cataract: Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and age related problems.
Blood cholesterol: Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has the capacity to bring down cholesterol level. Saponins present in grape skin can also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties and can protect you from infections. They have a strong antiviral property against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.
Anticancer properties: Grapes are found to have strong anti cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol present in grapes. It is particularly effective in colorectal cancer and breast cancer. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins present in grapes have properties of an anti-proliferate and can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents. Grape juice not just prevents the risk of cancer but also suppresses the growth and propagation of cancer cells. The pigments contained in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body.
Thus, grapes play a pivotal role in preventing innumerable health disorders and can be used as home based remedies for several ailments.

Herbal Healing – Hawthorn

 

Used to promote the health of the circulatory system, treat angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia and has been found to strengthen the heart. Hawthorn is widely regarded in Europe as a safe and effective treatment for the early stages of heart disease and has been used for a number of ailments including angina, myocarditis, arteriosclerosis, nervous conditions like insomnia, and diarrhea. It has also been indicated for strengthening blood vessels, vascular insufficiency and blood clots, restoring the heart muscle wall, lowering cholesterol and to aid digestion.

Hawthorn is widely regarded in Europe as a safe and effective treatment for the early stages of heart disease and is endorsed by Commission E- the branch of the German government that studies and approves herbal treatments. It is used to promote the health of the circulatory system and has been found useful in treating angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. It has been found to strengthen the heart and stabalise it against arrythmias.

There is also evidence for cardiovascular system improvement, particularly in clinical parameters associated with angina, congestive heart failure and acute myocardial infarct. This may be due to the herb’s antioxidant activity. Its use in the treatment of hepatitis in modern Chinese medicine is supported by the demonstration of hepatoprotective activity in animal studies.

Animal and laboratory studies have found that hawthorn contains active compounds with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are substances that scavenge free radicals; damaging compounds in the body that alter cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can also increase their number.

Free radicals are believed to contribute to the ageing process as well as the development of a number of health problems including heart disease. Antioxidants found in hawthorn can neutralise free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Congestive heart failure

Hawthorn has primarily been studied in people with congestive heart failure (a health condition in which the heart is unable to pump adequate amounts of blood to other organs in the body). Of six well-designed trials, four studies concluded that hawthorn significantly improved heart function and three found that the herb improved patients’ ability to exercise. Patients in five of the six studies reported that hawthorn significantly improved symptoms of the disease (such as shortness of breath and fatigue). One study found that hawthorn extract (900 mg/day) taken for 2 months was as effective as low doses of captropril (a leading heart medication) in improving symptoms of congestive heart failure. A large-scale international study is currently underway to determine whether hawthorn extract reduces the risk of death in people with this disease. Results are expected at the end of 2002.

Atherosclerosis

Animal and laboratory studies demonstrate that this herb has antioxidant properties that help protect against the formation of plaques, which leads to a health problem known as atherosclerosis. Plaque buildup in the vessels that supply the heart with oxygen-rich blood may cause chest pain (angina) and heart attacks while plaque buildup in the arteries that supply blood to the brain may result in stroke.

Chest pain

Hawthorn berry preparations have been shown to combat chest pain (angina), a health problem caused by insufficient blood flow to the heart. In one early study, 60 angina patients were given either 180 mg/day of hawthorn berry-leaf-flower extract or placebo for 3 weeks. Those who received the hawthorn preparation experienced improved blood flow to the heart and were also able to exercise for longer periods of time without suffering from chest pain.

High cholesterol

Studies using rats suggest that a hawthorn tincture (made from the berries) may be a powerful agent for the removal of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from the bloodstream. The tincture of hawthorn berries also reduced the production of cholesterol in the liver of rats who were being fed a high-cholesterol diet. Studies to determine if hawthorn will confer the same effects in people are needed.

High blood pressure

Although hawthorn has not been studied specifically in people with high blood pressure, considerable evidence supports the cardiovascular benefits of this herb. Studies suggest that hawthorn can be taken safely by people with hypertension who are also taking blood pressure medications.

Herbal Healing – Garlic

Garlic’s health benefits and medicinal properties have long been known (1).

Garlic has long been considered a herbal “wonder drug”, with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague! It has been used extensively in herbal medicine (phytotherapy, sometimes spelt phitotherapy). Raw garlic is used by some to treat the symptoms of acne and there is some evidence that it can assist in managing high cholesterol levels. It can even be effective as a natural mosquito repellent.

In general, a stronger tasting clove of garlic has more sulphur content and hence more medicinal value it’s likely to have. Some people have suggested that organically grown garlic tends towards a higher sulphur level and hence greater benefit to health. In my experience it certainly tastes better so I buy organic whenever possible whether or not it’s best for my health.
Some people prefer to take garlic supplements. These pills and capsules have the advantage of avoiding garlic breath.
Modern science has shown that garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic, albeit broad-spectrum rather than targeted. The body does not appear to build up resistance to the garlic, so its positive health benefits continue over time.

Healthy Antioxidant
Studies have shown that garlic – especially aged garlic – can have a powerful antioxidant effect. Antioxidants can help to protect the body against damaging “free radicals”.
Side-Effects
Raw garlic is very strong, so eating too much could produce problems, for example irritation of or even damage to the digestive tract.
There are a few people who are allergic to garlic. Symptoms of garlic allergy include skin rash, temperature and headaches. Also, garlic could potentially disrupt anti-coagulants, so it’s best avoided before surgery. As with any medicine, always check with your doctor first and tell your doctor if you are using it. 

Herbal Healing – Strawberries

Health Benefits of the Strawberry

The USDA recommends that every American eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, but unfortunately, most people don’t even come close to that. Adding fresh strawberries to your diet, whether they are in salads, smoothies, or on their own, is a great way to get the servings of fruit you need for a well-rounded body and a healthy immune system.

What’s so nutritionally good about strawberries?
Strawberries contain a range of nutrients, with vitamin C heading the group. They also contain significant levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight free radicals. These antioxidant properties are believed to be linked to what makes the strawberry bright red.

So what are these weird free radicals? Free radicals are elements that can damage cells, and they are thought to contribute to the formation of many kinds of cancer.

In addition to vitamin C, strawberries also provide an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese, as well as folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

So many uses for strawberries!
Strawberries are among the most versatile of fresh fruits. Unfortunately, they are quite perishable as well. So purchase fresh strawberries only a few days before they are to be eaten. When strawberries are in season locally this is rarely a problem. But at other times of the year, it may be necessary to make due with frozen strawberries, which lose much if not all of their nutrition.

At the produce section choose strawberries that are plump firm and free of mold and have a deep red color. Unlike other fruits, strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked, so be sure to choose the ripest, reddest strawberries, as they will provide the best taste and the highest nutrient density. Many people find that medium sized strawberries are sweeter and more flavorful than larger ones. When buying pre-packaged strawberries, be sure that the berries have not been packed too tightly, as this could cause them to be crushed or otherwise damaged.

Handle strawberries properly and store them well after they have been purchased. Like all fruit, strawberries should be washed thoroughly prior to eating or storage. Any strawberries that show signs of mold should be discarded at once, as they will contaminate the remaining strawberries. The strawberries should be placed in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and kept in the refrigerator. Fresh strawberries will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Herbal Healing – Blackberries

Blackberries – The Natural Way to Fight CancerThe cyanidin-3-glucoside flavonoid in blackberries reduced the growth and inhibited the spreading of malignant tumors in skin and lung cancer

By Alexandra Lupu, Health News Editor

25th of September 2006, 12:56 GMT

A recent study conducted by researchers at the US Agricultural Research Service and the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that a certain compound in fresh blackberries is extremely potent against cancerous cells and malignant tumors. The particular compound is a flavonoid, the water-soluble flavonoid cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) more exactly.

Flavonoids are a class of naturally occurring plant compounds that function as antioxidants. They are plant pigments and, even if they are not labeled as essential nutrients, they enhance the processing of vitamin C, which is itself a powerful antioxidant. Flavonoids are also needed to maintain capillary walls and protect against infections. Deficiency of flavonoids may lead to easily bruising.

Flavonoid compounds are present in berries, apples, onions, wine, teas, red grapes, oranges, lemons, cherries, green vegetables, blue-green algae and many other foods. Flavonoids do not only protect against free radicals that oxidize the cells, but also block carcinogen agents in the environment, slows the development and spreading of cancer cells in our body etc.

Even if previous studies showed that almost all fruits and vegetables may contain efficient anti-cancer compounds, researchers failed to pinpoint what are the exact plant antioxidants which destroy tumor cells and how they really work: “Little is known about the active ingredients in these antioxidants and how these components exert their effects on the inhibition of cancer growth,” stated the team involved in the current study.

In lab studies conducted on mice, researchers found that the C3G flavonoid was very effective against skin cancer. The mice suffered from skin cancer before scientists started to give them C3G supplements. After a certain trial period, researchers found that the blackberry compound was active against malignant skin tumors and reduced the growth and spreading of tumors.

The same test was conducted on mice who suffered from lung cancer as this is one of the most likely forms of cancer to spread and “infect” other organs in the body. C3G flavonoid supplements proved to be very efficient in the case of lung cancer, too, as it inhibited the growth and spreading of tumors.

“These findings demonstrate for the first time that a purified compound from blackberry fruit could inhibit tumor promoter-induced cancer growth in mice and pave the way for additional investigations on the mechanisms of how fruits and vegetables promote health benefits in humans. This research is helpful to other scientists and useful to produce industry and consumers,” concluded the authors of the study, Cell Biologist Min Ding and Plant Physiologist Shiow Wang.

The Slow Start of a Long Race

I like that title. Not for any reason other than its prosey-ness. Today I woke up and all I could think of was that block and how I can’t stomach the idea of leaving things the way they are. I know on the one hand that it was a set up and any reaction would have only caused problems for me but on the other when I think of those people, snarling and gloating, I want blood.

I haven’t gotten over it and I won’t. Not until its been set right.

I have been through a lot more turmoil since the last post, not much progress. I still haven’t found a job or a place bt I have taken more steps towards the Big  Picture things. I have accepted that things with my kids father are OVER and it still hurts bt I’m not going to give it any power. I push thoughts of him to the side now.

I have stopped smoking and drinking. Period. As in, I vowed after the last time I drank that I would never smoke or drink again and I won’t. I drank some tequila and went somewhere very important to me and made a total asshole out of myself. When I think about that, the shame is just too much. I feel like I will never recover from that.

I have a few projects I am working on but the theme of this year is Transformation. I fasted with very little failure in February. It was great and I am going to do that every year. I started eating healthy bt I do relapse occasionally. I have a little over six months to get it together.

Emotionally, its still hard. I am super lonely. None of the men on my three man wishlist have showed up. I supplement real love with my fan club. I have fans now, dear journal. Three of ’em in fact. Two are out of the freaking question just on GP. The third is out of the freaking question because I am older and wiser and I don’t want to give “polygamy” a shot. He’s upfront about it which is supposed to be a good thing bt for me is just like “Whew! Thanks for the warning! See ya, twouldn’t want to be them!” Speaking of which…I’m going to start doing that to weed ’em out. I am going to start pretending I’m okay with the idea just to hear where they really stand and as soon  I hear something I don’t like, I’m making tracks postehaste, lol.

I’m never going to find a man, smh…

Change Gon’ Come

I feel like my plane is in holding pattern, circling and circling, waiting to land.

This was a hard year, a fucked up year. After not sleeping out of my own bed more than 5 times in 20 years, I have lived in five places this year. Right now I am living in a shelter apt on Flatbush avenue, a fucked up little spot with two rooms and bare walls, a jail cell it looks like…

I am going to try the drugs for my mind and my body. I fasted for 10 days one time and at the end of the fast my stomach was still big and hard. Thats not natural. I can’t shake my depression… no matter how much I tell myself to getittogether.

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