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 – 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 – 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.