Herbs

now browsing by category

Herbs can heal or poison. LeanMachine sorts out the difference.

 
Posted by: | Posted on: December 5, 2019

Black Cohosh Better Than Prozac for Menopause

© 27th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/black-cohosh-better-prozac-menopause

Posted on: Wednesday, November 27th 2019 at 4:45 pm

Do you feel fear or worry regarding the onset of menopause, either for yourself or someone you love? Antidepressants and hormone treatments may be the popular prescriptions, but before you take medications with serious risks, learn about the incredible results of black cohosh for those pesky, sweaty, hot flashy nights

Even in the modern day, there are abundant myths and mysteries surrounding menopause, the period in a woman’s life that occurs 12 months after her last menstrual cycle.[1] Perimenopause, the transition period before menopause, is marked by hormonal changes leading to the cessation of menses.[2]

Both phases, hereafter collectively referred to as menopause, are characterized by physical and psycho-social changes that lend to the stories surrounding women’s behaviors, thoughts, and feelings during this time of transition.

Menopause can range from a few months to several years in duration and is spurred by decreased estrogen production in the ovaries. These hormonal shifts can have associated and, at times, unpleasant side-effects, which may be managed through holistic or pharmacological interventions, or a combination of the two modalities.

Historically, some have prescribed to the belief that “the change” brings about an unwelcome and inevitable reality, both for women and the men in their lives. Is it any wonder that the “fix” has become to prescribe mood-altering drugs, or to attempt to “put back” the hormones that the passage of time is depleting? In truth, this natural cessation of fertility need not be synonymous with a distressing or unpleasant experience.

Antidepressants are widely prescribed for menopause symptoms ranging from depression and low libido, to anxiety and social isolation. Instead of directly addressing the emotional aspects of aging, empty-nesting, and our physiological need for strong social bonds, modern medical dogma is to simply prescribe a “magic pill” in hopes that these uncomfortable feelings will disappear.

Beyond the emotional and psychological impacts, vasomotor symptoms are commonly experienced during perimenopause up to full menopause. Changes in body temperature such as flushing and night sweats are frequently reported, and the condition known as “hot flashes” can onset. According to a 2008 study,[3] nearly 80% of peri- and postmenopausal women reported experiencing some or all of these symptoms.

Medicating Menopause: A Risky Prescription

A popular treatment administered to menopausal women in the U.S. is ERT, or estrogen replacement therapy. While it may seem natural to replace fading endogenous hormones with an exogenous supply,  warning bell has been sounded regarding potentially harmful side effects.[4] ERT has been linked to cancercardiovascular disease and stroke, among other concerning outcomes.[5]

Another prescribed treatment for vasomotor symptoms is gabapentin, known by the brand name Neurontin, an anti-seizure drug used to treat nerve pain and conditions such as restless leg syndrome. Also prescribed for anxiety, gabapentin has a high potential for addiction and misuse,[6] and can have undesirable side effects such as slurred speech, blurred vision and impaired motor function.[7] Even worse, Neurontin has been linked to cases of suicidal ideation[8] and respiratory failure,[9] among other serious side effects.[10]

Another option frequently prescribed are the broad spectrum of mood-altering and antidepressant drugs. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, SNRIs are often the first course of treatment when a menopausal patient complains of depression, lethargy, or hormonal issues.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are 2.5 times more likely to be prescribed an antidepressant than men.[11] Nearly 23% of woman ages 40 to 59 are taking antidepressant medication in the U.S., more than any other age-sex group.[12]

Validated by Science: Natural Options for Hormonal Balance

While natural options for managing menopause may not be routinely prescribed by allopathic physicians, science has validated that black cohosh is a viable treatment for several discomforting symptoms of this life-changing transition.

This double-blind placebo-controlled study, found that black cohosh (scientific name: Cimicifuga Racemosa) was “equipotent” to mixed-estrogen drugs for relief from vasomotor symptoms, and for improving markers of bone metabolism, a factor related to osteoporosis.

What’s not equal when comparing most plant medicines to pharmaceuticals are potential adverse effects. Premarin®, a popular mixed-estrogen drug, has a warning label that cites increased risks of heart attack, cancer, blood clots and stroke,[13] while studies involving a 12-month course of treatment with black cohosh root (the part of the plant used in herbal formulations) show it was administered with no known adverse effects.[14]

Another impressive study pitting black cohosh against a popular prescription involves Prozac® for treatment of postmenopausal symptoms. The 2007 study, published in Advances in Therapy, compared questionnaires from 120 healthy women with menopausal symptoms who rated such factors as quality of life, depression scores, and frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms like flushing and night sweats.[15]

Women in this study were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups, with one group receiving fluoxetine (generic form of Prozac®) and the other group receiving black cohosh. The women were surveyed before, during and after the study, for a period of six months. They kept daily diaries recording the number and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats, as well as completing several standardized questionnaires.

Results of this study showed that black cohosh reduced overall scores for hot flushes and night sweats better than Prozac®. At the end of the sixth month of treatment, black cohosh reduced the hot flush score by 85%, compared with a 62% result for fluoxetine.

By the study’s end, 40 women taking the prescription drug had discontinued the study, while only 20 women in the black cohosh group discontinued, potentially speaking to benefits gained from long-term use of herbs, the reverse of which is true for many pharmaceutical drugs, which are contraindicated for longer periods of use.

Managing Change Gracefully

Placebo effect dictates that the beliefs we hold about our health and treatment options have significant impact on our experiences. Be aware of any negative beliefs you might hold about menopause; despite popular opinions and superstitions,[1] there is no mandate that this phase of life must be a difficult one.

With improved psycho-social awareness of the stressors women experience mid-life, and better understanding of naturally effective treatment options, we can begin to view menopause as a celebration of life rather than the death of fertility. It’s the dawning of a new cycle, a time ripe for giving of your experience and wisdom. Protect your vitality with naturally effective plant medicine and enjoy all the seasons of your life.

To learn more about black cohosh and other natural treatment options for menopause, explore the 79 abstracts and 38 natural substances that are compiled on GreenMedInfo’s Research Database.


References

[1] Menopause and Hormone Replacement February 25, 2015 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279050/

[2] The North American Menopause Society, Menopause 101 https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal

[3] Frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms among peri- and postmenopausal women in the United States. Williams RE, Kalilani L, DiBenedetti DB, Zhou X, Granger AL, Fehnel SE, Levine KB, Jordan J, Clark RV. Climacteric. 2008 Feb; 11(1):32-43. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18202963/

[4] Project Aware https://www.project-aware.org/Managing/Hrt/benefits-risks.shtml

[5] Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Sep;173(3 Pt 2):982-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7573295

[6] J Exp Pharmacol. 2017; 9: 13-21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5308580/

[7] Toxnet, Gabapentin https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+7364

[8] Pregabalin-induced self-harm behavior. Tandon VR, Mahajan V, Gillani ZH, Mahajan A. Indian J Pharmacol. 2013 Nov-Dec; 45(6):638-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24347781/

[9] Recurrent hypoventilation and respiratory failure during gabapentin therapy. Batoon SB, Vela AT, Dave D, Wahid Z, Conetta R, Iakovou C, Banzuela M. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001 Apr; 49(4):498. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11347805/

[10] Pfizer, Neurontin https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/neurontin/adverse-reactions

[11] U.S. CDC, NCHS Data Brief No. 76, October 2011 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db76.htm

[12] U.S. CDC, NCHS Data Brief No. 76, October 2011 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db76.htm

[13] Pfizer, Premarin https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.com/en-us/patient/premarin

[14] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Black Cohosh https://nccih.nih.gov/health/blackcohosh/ataglance.htm

[15] Adv Ther. 2007 Mar-Apr;24(2):448-61.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17565936

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted by: | Posted on: November 23, 2019

5 Natural Heartburn Remedies Proven to Beat Drugs

© 30th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/5-natural-heartburn-remedies-proven-beat-drugs

Posted on:  Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 12:30 pm

Here are five natural heartburn remedies that went head to head with drugs and won

Whether you call it heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, or just indigestion, the discomfort is unmistakable. It’s a sour taste at the back of your throat… a burning sensation in the middle of your chest… a persistent dry cough… a painful sensation in your stomach.

Over 60 million Americans get the symptoms at least once a month. And millions every day reach for over-the-counter antacids like Tums. Others rely on histamine blockers like Tagamet (cimetidine), Pepcid (famotidine), or Zantac (famotidine).

Heartburn is now so widespread that the third leading class of drugs on the market is proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These drugs include Prilosec (omeprazole), Nexium (pantoprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole).

Proton Pump Inhibitors were originally prescribed for short-term treatment of peptic ulcers. But today long-term use of these drugs is common for the relief of heartburn and acid reflux. And they’ve been associated with a long list of serious side effects including:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Deficiencies of magnesium, zinc and calcium
  • Increased bone and hip fractures
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Vitamin C Deficiency
  • Gastric Cancer
  • Myopathies
  • Cognitive malfunction
  • Food allergies
  • Clostridium Difficile Diarrhea (C. Diff)
[View the entire list of 30+ adverse effects on GreenMedInfo’s Acid Blocker Research page.]

And none of those pharmaceutical remedies get to the immediate triggers or the root cause of acid reflux. Some aren’t even very good at relieving the symptoms.

Here are five natural remedies that went head to head with drugs and won.

1. Melatonin Beats Prilosec

Brazilian researchers conducted a single blind randomized study of patients suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Every day half the patients took 20 mg of omeprazole (Prilosec). The other half took a supplement containing melatonin as well as l-tryptophan, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, methionine and betaine.

After just 40 days 100% of the melatonin group had a complete remission of their symptoms. But only 65.7% of the Prilosec group got relief.[i]

Another study of 34 GERD sufferers found that melatonin accelerates the healing effect of omeprazole and therefore shortens the duration of treatment and minimizes adverse side effects.[ii]

And a case study published in Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine reported that a 64 year-old woman with GERD wanted an alternative to PPIs because she already suffered from osteoporosis. Her doctor found that after 40 days on 6 mg of melatonin she was able to discontinue her PPI without returning symptoms.[iii]

2. Gluten-Free Diet (GFD) Rapidly Improves GERD

Foods containing gluten are a frequent cause of heartburn. Eliminating gluten can resolve the problem.

A study in Argentina evaluated 133 adult celiac disease patients and 70 healthy controls. For four years the participants answered questionnaires about GERD symptoms.[iv]

At the beginning of the study 30.1% of the celiac patients had moderate to severe GERD compared to 5.7% of the healthy controls. After just three months on a gluten-free diet, celiac patients rapidly improved their GERD symptoms. Their symptom rates dropped to those of healthy controls.

And Italian researchers found that a gluten-free diet resolved non-erosive reflux disease in celiac patients after just eight weeks with no recurrence at 12, 18 and 24 months.[v]

3. Ginger Better Than Prevacid

Researchers in India compared ginger to lansoprazole, sold under the brand name Prevacid.[vi]

In an article published in the journal Molecular Research and Food Nutritionthey found that one compound in ginger was 6 to 8 times more potent than Prevacid at inhibiting acid production. In addition, ginger has powerful antioxidant properties that protect fats from oxidizing and shield DNA from damage. The researchers concluded that specific fractions within ginger have “potential in-expensive multistep blockers against ulcer.”

4. Acupuncture More Effective Than Proton Pump Inhibitors

When PPIs prove ineffective for patients, doctors typically double the dose. University of Arizona researchers compared a second dose of proton pump inhibitors to acupuncture treatments in GERD patients. In a 4-week randomized study of 30 patients, half were assigned to take a double dose of their PPI. The other half took their normal dose but received acupuncture treatments twice a week.

The acupuncture group experienced significant decreases in daytime heartburn, night-time heartburn, and acid regurgitation. They also significantly improved their general health. Those taking a double dose of their PPI did not have any significant changes.[vii]

5. Water Lowers Stomach Acid Faster Than Drugs

Greek researchers tested various antacids and PPIs against drinking a glass of water to reduce stomach acid. They gave 12 healthy subjects a single dose of either water (about 7 ounces), an antacid, Ranitidine (Zantac), Omeprazole (Prilosec), Esomeprazole (Nexium), or Rabeprazole (AcipHex). Then they monitored their stomach acid for six hours.

They found that far and away water worked fastest to decrease stomach acid taking only one minute to be effective. The antacid took twice as long and the drugs took anywhere from 50 to 175 minutes to match water.[viii]

For more information on how to relieve symptoms of acid reflux, read Heartburn Solved: How to Reverse Acid Reflux and GERD Naturally.

Originally published: 2014-09-28

Article updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Ricardo de Souza Pereira, “Regression of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms using dietary supplementation with melatonin, vitamins and aminoacids: comparison with omeprazole.” J Pineal Res. 2006 Oct;41(3):195-200. PMID: 16948779

[ii] Tharwat S Kandil et al, “The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease.” BMC Gastroenterol. 2010;10:7. Epub 2010 Jan 18. PMID: 20082715

[iii] Melvyn R Werbach, “Melatonin for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease.” Altern Ther Health Med. 2008 Jul-Aug;14(4):54-8. PMID: 18616070

[iv] Fabio Nachman et al, “Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in patients with celiac disease and the effects of a gluten-free diet.” Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Mar;9(3):214-9. PMID: 20601132

[v] Paolo Usai et al, “Effect of gluten-free diet on preventing recurrence of gastroesophageal reflux disease-related symptoms in adult celiac patients with nonerosive reflux disease.” J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Sep ;23(9):1368-72. PMID: 18853995

[vi] Mugur N Siddaraju, Shylaja M Dharmesh Inhibition of gastric H+, K+-ATPase and Helicobacter pylori growth by phenolic antioxidants of Zingiber officinale. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Mar;51(3):324-32. PMID: 17295419

[vii] R Dickman, E Schiff, A Holland, C Wright, S R Sarela, B Han, R Fass, “Clinical trial: acupuncture vs. doubling the proton pump inhibitor dose in refractory heartburn.” Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Nov 15;26(10):1333-44. PMID: 17875198

[viii] Karamanolis, G et al, “A glass of water immediately increases gastric pH in healthy subjects.” Dig Dis Sci. 2008 Dec;53(12):3128-32. PMID: 18473176

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

Better Than Zoloft for Depression: Rhodiola

© 30th October 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/better-zoloft-depression-rhodiola

Posted on: Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 5:00 pm

Will doctors ever opt for an herb over a drug for depressed patients? It may sound unlikely but researchers from the University of Pennsylvania think they should consider it

In a randomized placebo-controlled trial doctors tested the herb rhodiola rosea against the conventional antidepressant therapy sertraline (Zoloft) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).[i]

A diagnosis of MDD means a patient exhibited two or more major depressive episodes, depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks. In addition, they show signs of significant unintentional weight loss or gain, insomnia or sleeping too much, fatigue, diminished ability to think or concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of death.

The study looked at 57 adults diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The patients received treatments of either rhodiola rosea extract, sertraline, or placebo.

After 12 weeks there was no statistically significant difference between the rhodiola and the Zoloft. Compared to the placebo, rhodiola patients had 1.4 times the odds of improvement while the Zoloft patients had 1.9 times the odds of improvement.

Other evidence is mounting that Zoloft and other SSRIs are no more effective than placebo for depression symptoms.

In the Penn study the researchers concluded that rhodiola may possess a more favorable risk to benefit ratio for individuals with mild to moderate MDD because it produced only half the side effects of Zoloft. In fact, a whopping 63% of patients on Zoloft reported side effects – most commonly nausea and sexual dysfunction. That compared to only 30% of patients on rhodiola.

The authors suggested that “herbal therapy may have the potential to help patients with depression who cannot tolerate conventional antidepressants due to side effects.”

An earlier placebo controlled study found rhodiola effective for patients with mild to moderate depression.

Rhodiola rosea is a hardy yellow flower native to the arctic mountains of Eastern Siberia. It’s sometimes called the “Root of the Arctic” or Tibetan ginseng.

Ancient healers used rhodiola to treat infections, anemia, stomach upset, and depression. In the old Soviet Union scientists used rhodiola to help soldiers improve mood, brain function and physical performance.

Human studies show that just one 200 mg dose of rhodiola helped volunteers improve their exercise endurance.[ii]

It’s also been shown to relieve mental fatigue. In one study of doctors on night call just 170 mg of rhodiola per day for two weeks helped the doctors think and remember better, concentrate, calculate, and respond to audio and visual cues.[iii]

And taking 100 mg of rhodiola every day for 20 days helped students improve their capacity to work, their coordination, and their general sense of wellbeing. Their learning ability increased 61% and their fatigue levels dropped by 30%.[iv]

Another study showed rhodiola may be helpful in smoking cessation.

For more information visit GreenMedInfo’s page on rhodiola/Tibetan ginseng. For an extensive list of natural anti-depressive agents take a look at GreenMedInfo.com’s depression page. Or, read a summary article titled, 23 Natural Alternatives for Depression.

Originally published: 2015-06-08

Article updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Jay D. Amsterdam et al. “Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Phytomedicine, 2015 Mar 15;22(3):394-9. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2015.01.010. Epub 2015 Feb 23.

[ii] De Bock K, Eijnde BO, Ramaekers M, Hespel P. “Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance.” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307.

[iii] Darbinyan V, Kteyan A, Panossian A, et al. “Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue—a double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty.” Phytomedicine. 2000 Oct;7(5):365-71.

[iv] Spasov AA et al. “A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen.” Phytomedicine. 2000 Apr;7(2):85-9.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

LeanMachine Notes:

I have been recommending Rhodiola for years to my patients, with a high degree of success.
This Solgar brand is high quality, coming in a darkened glass container for purity and freshness.
I am told the American Astronauts were sick after landing from prolonged space missions, while their Russian counterparts were out playing tennis, their recovery attributed to Rhodiola.

Posted by: | Posted on: November 18, 2019

Effectively lower blood sugar levels with a natural plant extract

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/lower-blood-sugar-levels-3178.html

help-blood-sugar-levels

(NaturalHealth365) According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, close to 30 million Americans – almost one in ten – have type 2 diabetes. And, an alarming 84 million people have prediabetes – elevated blood sugar levels that can progress to diabetes (with possible complications including kidney disease, heart disease and stroke).

In light of this growing epidemic – and amid the pressing need for effective, non-toxic interventions – a just-published study offers hope by showcasing the ability of clove extracts to safely lower elevated blood glucose levels.

Cloves, a common cooking spice, have been utilized in Ayurvedic and Asian healing systems for centuries to treat digestive disorders, influenza and tooth pain.  To learn how these potent little dried flower buds can help normalize and regulate blood sugar – and help to ward off diabetes – keep reading.

Alert: Prediabetes affects over half of all those over 65

What is prediabetes, exactly, and why is it dangerous?  Prediabetes exists when glucose (blood sugar) levels are elevated (over 100 mg/dL), but fall short of 125 mg/dL – the conventional medical threshold for diabetes.

The condition can often be reversed with weight loss and increased physical activity – but experts point out that roughly 30 percent of people with untreated prediabetes will go on to develop diabetes within three to five years.

And, although prediabetes doesn’t meet the medical standard for diabetes, it can still feature dangerous after-meal blood sugar elevations, or “spikes.” These spikes are associated with harmful effects such as neuropathy (nerve damage to feet), vision loss, kidney damage and heart disease.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

In people over 65, post-meal blood sugar spikes appear to impede cognitive function, as well.  Not particularly good news for those who may already be coping with varying degrees of age-related mild cognitive impairment!

It’s official: Cloves promote better blood sugar control

In a new study published in May 2019 in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers evaluated the effects of clove extracts on adult volunteers.  The participants were divided into two groups: those with normal fasting glucose and those with prediabetic fasting glucose levels.

Fasting glucose levels are measured eight hours after ingesting food.  And, participants were then given 250 mg of clove extract after a meal for 30 days.

The team found that the clove extract lowered fasting glucose levels of the prediabetic participants – but did not alter the desirable fasting levels of those with normal glucose.  In fact, the clove extract reduced after-meal glucose by 21.5 percent in the “normal” group – and by a substantial 27.2 percent in the prediabetic group.

The team concluded that cloves can be used to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, particularly in those with less-than-optimal glucose control.  It should be noted: that if cloves help to keep prediabetes in check, that’s highly significant – as prediabetes can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, even when it doesn’t develop into type 2 diabetes.

New study confirms earlier research on the blood sugar-lowering effect of cloves

Researchers have long suspected that cloves could be useful in addressing diabetes.

Past studies have shown that cloves increase the secretion of insulin, the hormone that ferries sugar from the blood to the muscles. Previous research has also shown that clove extracts benefit liver function – essential in blood sugar control – as well as antioxidant status.

And, in 2006, Pakistani researchers found that clove extracts improved the function of insulin and lowered glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.  Cloves were also found to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol – but did not reduce levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.

By the way, the amount used in the Pakistani study was modest: the equivalent of one to two cloves a day.

Cloves reduce blood sugar with three different mechanisms

Cloves, scientifically known as Syzgium aromaticum, are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and strongly antioxidant.  In fact, researchers have reported that cloves contain 30 times more antioxidants than blueberries, often considered the “gold standard” of antioxidant foods.

Along with gallic and ellagic acids, catechin and quercetin, cloves are particularly rich in eugenol, a compound with antibacterial and analgesic effects.  However, some scientists credit a compound called nigericin in cloves with increasing the uptake of sugar and promoting the secretion of insulin.

Specifically, cloves reduce blood sugar by enhancing the uptake of glucose into muscle cells, by inhibiting digestive enzymes from releasing the glucose from refined sugars and starches, and by inhibiting the production of glucose in the liver.

This three-pronged response makes cloves uniquely helpful for decreasing insulin resistance and managing blood sugar.

Reverse prediabetes with healthy lifestyle choices

Experts say that the current epidemic of diabetes and prediabetes is driven by obesity, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle.

An organic diet (high in antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruits and unrefined grains and free of refined sugars, GMOs and unhealthy fats) just might be your best bet for preventing diabetes – along with maintaining a healthy weight and getting sufficient exercise.

As the latest study shows, cloves may also be helpful in managing blood sugar.

Of course, clove extracts are available in tablets and tinctures.  You can also make clove tea by boiling a teaspoon of powdered cloves for 8 to 10 minutes, straining and cooling. For an added health benefit, add cinnamon and cardamom.

Many studies used a teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves, and natural healers may recommend amounts in this range.

As always, consult with your integrative physician before supplementing with cloves – especially if you are already taking medications to control blood sugar.  Note: of course, don’t stop taking prescribed medications unless specifically advised to do so by your physician.

As the scientists noted in the groundbreaking new clove study, type 2 diabetes is a “tremendous public health issue.”  And, spicy, aromatic clove buds just may hold the secret to better blood sugar control – thereby striking a blow against this dangerous disease.

Sources for this article include:

CDC.gov
LifeExtension.com
NIH.gov
Healthline.com

Posted by: | Posted on: October 11, 2019

Benefits of turmeric shown to neutralize cancer cell growth, study reveals

Reproduced from original article:
https://www.naturalhealth365.com/benefits-of-turmeric-3147.html

benefits-of-turmeric(NaturalHealth365) A common spice frequently used in Asian cooking may hold the key to slowing down the growth of cancer cells.  To be clear, we’re talking about the benefits of turmeric.  And, its value is being touted by several major medical institutions like, the Mayo Clinic.

Diving deeper into the research, the National Institutes of Health published a systematic review about the anticancer effects of curcumin – the main active ingredient in turmeric.  But, that’s not the only one: there are over 1,500 PubMed studies that illustrate the value of turmeric – in the fight against many forms of cancer.

Understanding the benefits of turmeric for cancer patients

Worth mentioning again, curcumin is an antioxidant and the main active ingredient in turmeric.  Antioxidants are compounds frequently found in plants and known to protect the body’s cells from the onslaught of activated molecules – known as free radicals – that are believed to cause a variety of diseases and disorders.

According to the American Cancer Society, benefits of turmeric can be illustrated by the fact that curcumin has demonstrated some anticancer effects in the lab by interfering with several significant molecular pathways believed to be involved in cancer presence, growth, and spread.  Research results have shown curcumin inhibited the formation of cancer-causing enzymes in animals, according to the American Cancer Society – which added that curcumin can kill and slow the growth of cancer cells in vitro.

It has also been shown to reduce cancer growth and shrink tumors of lab animals.

Why is curcumin so effective at preventing cancer cell growth?

A 2011 study looked at the benefits of turmeric by taking advantage of the fact that curcumin stays in the intestine rather than absorbing into the bloodstream, leading researchers to investigate whether it might reduce the number of cancer precursors in the rectum and colon.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

They found that smokers who consumed 4 grams of curcumin a day had fewer abnormal crypt foci following the study than smokers who took only 2 grams a day, who showed no change.  Research continues on whether curcumin can actually reduce the prevalence of colon and rectum cancers – leaving patients cancer free.

Science is looking at ways to slow down the progression of cancer

In the most recent study, Onio and German investigators analyzed tissue samples of mesothelioma tumors from patients at three geographical locations across the United States, comparing patient mortality and the specific type of mesothelioma suffered.

While mesothelioma has been linked to asbestos exposure, many of the 43,000 people killed worldwide by this cancer on an annual basis have never been exposed to asbestos. While widespread, treatment options have remained limited, with less-than-optimal results.

Senior research author Afshin Dowlati, MD, Professor of Medicine – Hematology/Oncology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, was quoted in a statement by the University confirming that better ways to treat mesothelioma are necessary.

“We now understand the mechanisms that drive cell proliferation and growth in malignant mesothelioma,” said Dowlati, a member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, referring to the study’s findings.

It is believed that many cancers, mesothelioma included, are triggered by the action of an intraceullular protein and transcription factor known as STAT3.  STAT stands for “signal transducer and activator of transcription.”

A signal transducer and activator acts as a pathway for instructing growth and survival of cells throughout the body. The term “transcription factor” refers to a protein that controls genetic information that tells cells how to perform.

Cancer is linked to the presence of STAT3 because the transcription factor has a reputation for providing misdirection that sparks the onset of human cancers and then fuels their continued growth. However, the protein inhibitor known as PIAS3, which stands for “protein inhibitor of activated STAT3,” has the ability to slow, and even block, the ability of STAT3 to spur cancer growth.

Has science discovered the true ‘anticancer’ power of curcumin?

Investigators were able to link levels of PIAS3 with STAT3 activity in each tissue sample. In addition, the researchers assessed the impact of curcumin and peptides extracted from PIAS3 on malignant mesothelioma cells in vitro.

Curcumin and PIAS3 peptides raised PIAS3 levels in the study, which inhibited the cancer-causing activity of STAT3 – even killing off mesothelioma cells.  These latest findings are believed to provide  proof that these two compounds are effective in treating malignant mesothelioma.

The research is characterized as representing the first steps toward an actual clinical trial for treatment.

A potential treatment strategy for cancer patients is on the horizon

The medical community has long observed that mesothelioma does not progress consistently in patients even when stages, grades and clinical presentation of the tumor are very comparable. This suggests that the presence of PIAS3 in patients could serve as a marker because its expression was found to have a positive impact on patient survival, based on the study’s findings.

The results have led investigators to suggest that PIAS3 activation could be a therapeutic strategy for mesothelioma patients.

“Mesothelioma patients who have low PIAS3 and high STAT3 have a greater chance of dying early,” explained Dowlati. “On the flip side, those patients with high PIAS3 levels have a 44 percent decreased chance of dying in one year, which is substantial.”

The scientists believe these findings may lead to further investigation of what role PIAS3 could hold in inhibiting other cancers that are caused by STAT3 action.  Of course, on a practical level, an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is the key to reducing your risk of cancer.

On a daily basis, do the best you can to consume as many antioxidants as you can – in your diet and supplement routine.  Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins, such as household chemicals, indoor air pollution and wireless (microwave) radiation.  Stay well hydrated with clean (purified) water and stay physically active.

Remember, your future health is counting on you to make healthy decisions – today.

Sources for this article include:

MayoClinic.org
NIH.gov

Posted by: | Posted on: October 9, 2019

4 herbal remedies designed to eliminate the threat of urinary tract infections

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/urinary-tract-infections-3143.html

urinary-tract-infections

(NaturalHealth365) Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common form of bacterial infection, triggering emergency room visits for roughly a million Americans every year.  Women are far more susceptible than men, with fully one third of women experiencing a UTI by age 24.

Western medicine attempts to treat UTIs with broad-spectrum antibiotics – which can cause a variety of toxic side effects, as well as contributing to the growing global epidemic of antibiotic resistance. These dangerous drawbacks have caused many scientists to stress the urgent need for alternate, natural therapies for UTIs.

Below, you will find four time-honored herbal remedies, the benefits of which have been validated by recent scientific research.

Discover the leading natural preventative option for urinary tract infections

Cranberries have a well-earned reputation for helping to ward off UTIs. Extensive scientific studies are now revealing their intriguing method of action.  And, while researchers used to credit the benzoic acid in these tart berries with creating an environment in the bladder that is unfriendly to the growth of pathogens, many now believe that benzoic acid must share the infection-fighting credit with the proanthocyanidins.

Proanthocyanidins, a group of natural pigments and antioxidants, are found in intensely-colored fruits and vegetables – and are in particularly good supply in cranberries.

The primary cause of UTIs – a bacterium known as E.coli – makes its way from the anus to the urethra, where it then adheres to mucosal cells in the urinary tract.  Researchers have discovered that the proanthocyanidins in cranberries actually attack and disable the structures on the surfaces of the bacteria that make cell adhesion possible.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

Without attaching to the urethral lining, the infection fails to take hold.

In one impressive study involving female adult participants with chronic urinary tract infections (an average of six a year), 400 mg of cranberry extract a day completely eliminated UTI incidence – with no side effects.  How’s that for effectiveness?!

Cranberry appears to be equally beneficial when taken in the form of juice.  In recent research, cranberry juice performed nearly as well in preventing UTIs as trimethoprim, an antibiotic.  If you decide to go the “juice route,” opt for unsweetened, organic cranberry juice – in the amount of at least two cups per day.

Cranberry extracts, however, have the advantage of being more cost-effective than fresh juice.  But, ultimately, the best way to access the benefits of cranberries depends on your personal taste – and your financial situation.

Marshmallow root is a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and diuretic

Revered in herbal medicine for its ability to ease sore throats and coughs, marshmallow root is also gaining traction among integrative healthcare providers as a treatment for UTIs – and for good reason.

This natural herb is high in mucilage, a natural tissue-soother.  It also has potent anti-inflammatory effects to alleviate swelling in the mucous membranes lining the urinary tract – thereby making tissues stronger and less susceptible to toxins, infections and damage.

In addition, marshmallow root increases urine flow, helping to flush toxins, and also combats bacteria – making it a useful ally against E. coli.  And, finally, marshmallow root contains high levels of antioxidant glucuronoxylan – which helps to protect against disease-causing oxidative damage.

While marshmallow root is indeed an ingredient in the sugary white confection roasted over bonfires, you need a more concentrated supply to get the herb’s full benefits.  An integrative physician may recommend addressing UTIs with one to two teaspoons of powdered marshmallow root per day, taken with at least 8 ounces of liquid.

Alternately, marshmallow root is available as a tea, which can be sipped in the amount of one-half to one cup, four times a day.

Uva ursi contains a host of infection-fighting phytochemicals

Uva ursi, also known as bearberry, has been used by herbal healers for close to two thousand years to treat infections and inflammations of the bladder and kidneys.  A natural diuretic and antiseptic, uva ursi alleviates inflammation and strengthens the lining of the urinary tract.

But that isn’t all.

The herb is also rich in tannic acid – which has proven antifungal and antibacterial properties – and contains a compound called arbutin that helps regulate the pH balance of urine.

Finally, uva ursi contains allantoin, which is often used as a healing, skin-soothing ingredient in lotions and ointments.  Uva ursi is available in capsules (or powders) and natural health experts advise a formulation standardized to 400 to 800 mg of arbutin.

You can also make uva ursi tea by simmering a tablespoon of dried leaves in 2 cups of water for 40 minutes, then straining and cooling. Drink three to four times a day.

Keep in mind: Uva ursi should not be used long-term, or in high dosages. As with the other three remedies, always consult your integrative doctor before taking it.

Corn silk: An old-fashioned herbal remedy exhibits therapeutic powers in clinical studies

Corn silk, long treasured in folk medicine as a home remedy for UTIs, has some serious scientific credibility backing up its low-tech, homey image.  In fact, it turns out that these silky fibers have powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

In a study published in Journal of Complementary Medicine Research, 42 adult participants with UTIs were treated with an aqueous extract of corn silk, and followed up after 5 days, 10 days and 20 days.

The patients experienced significant reductions in the pain and in the frequent, urgent urination that can accompany UTIs – along with a decrease in the number of pus cells (a sign of infection) in the urine.

There were no reports of side effects, leading the team to characterize corn silk as “effective and safe.”

Corn silk can be easily brewed into a tea. Simply add a tablespoon of dried strands to a cup of almost-boiling water, let the mixture steep for 15 to 20 minutes, then strain, cool and drink.  Plus, natural healers may advise drinking one or two cups of corn silk tea, two to three times a day, to combat UTIs.

Remember, don’t attempt to treat urinary tract infections – or any other medical condition – with these natural remedies without first consulting an experienced healthcare provider.  UTIs can sometimes progress to serious kidney infections, manifested by fever, chills and lower back pain – which require immediate medical attention.

To prevent UTIs from taking hold in the first place, natural health experts advise staying well hydrated, avoiding antibiotic overuse, wearing cotton underwear and avoiding irritating bubble baths and commercial vaginal hygiene products.  Of course, eliminating refined sugars from your diet can also lower the risk of these uncomfortable infections.

Marshmallows, cranberries, corn silk and bearberry (uva ursi) may lack the multi-syllabic, official-sounding monikers of the latest drugs cooked up by big pharma.  But, these herbal strategies can still offer wonderful results.

Sources for this article include:

GlobalHealingCenter.com
Bibliomed.org
HerbalWisdomInstitute.com
LifeExtension.com

Posted by: | Posted on: August 2, 2019

6 homegrown teas to experiment with this summer

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked – August 02, 2019
Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/gardening/homegrown-teas.aspx
homegrown tea

Story at-a-glance

  • Several easy-to-grow herbs and plants can be used to make tea, using either fresh or dried leaves
  • Six easy to grow varieties are traditional tea plant (Camellia sinensis), mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass and anise hyssop
  • White tea, green tea and black tea all originate from Camellia. The differences between them have to do with when the leaves are picked and the level of oxidation that occurs during the processing of the leaves
  • Peppermint tea is said to help relieve stress and promote sleep; lemon balm tea has anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, antibacterial and antiseptic properties, and lemon verbena tea is commonly used as a sleep and digestive aid
  • Lemongrass has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and pain-blocking benefits; anise hyssop has sedative properties and has been used as a traditional remedy for chest pain associated with coughing and the common cold

Summertime is the perfect occasion for iced tea, but while store-bought tea may be a staple in most homes, you can also grow a variety of plants perfect for making your own tea.

Six easy to grow varieties are traditional tea plant (Camellia sinensis), mint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemongrass and anise hyssop. The leaves from most of these plants can be used either fresh or dried, hot or cold, with or without a natural sweetener.

Camellia sinensis tea

Camellia tends to be a slow grower, but given full sun to part shade, acidic soil, a good balance of nutrients and lots of water, it will usually grow into a productive bush. According to the American Camellia Society,1 Camellia can be cultivated in most moderate zones in the U.S., but will fare best in Zones 7, 8 and 9.

White tea, green tea and black tea all originate from Camellia. The differences between them have to do with when the leaves are picked and the level of oxidation that occurs during the processing of the leaves.2

White tea is made from young buds; it’s the least processed and has the lowest caffeine and highest antioxidant content. Green and black teas are made from the larger, more mature leaves. Green tea processing involves steaming the leaves before drying them, while black tea requires a lengthier process involving fermenting and drying to maximize oxidation.

For home use, simply snipping off a batch of leaves and leaving them to dry will produce a tasty “white” tea. Alternatively, use them fresh. Simply grind them lightly between your fingers, or rip them before steeping to release a bit more flavor. For a bigger flavor boost, steam the leaves for three minutes first, then dry them before using.

Mint tea

There are over two dozen species of mint, including spearmint and peppermint. Modern Farmer3 suggests “experimenting with different flavored varieties, such as grapefruit mint and chocolate mint,” to find your favorite brew.

The telltale aroma and taste of mint comes from the menthol oil found in resinous dots on the leaves and stems of the plant. Peppermint tea is said to help relieve stress and promote sleep.4 Mint leaves are packed with antioxidants and easily grown in an enclosed garden, containers or even indoors, providing you with fresh, organically grown leaves whenever you need them.

For growing instructions, see “How to Grow Mint at Home.” To make tea, you have the option of using fresh or dried leaves. A simple iced mint tea recipe from The Spruce Eats5 calls for 2 cups of water and 15 fresh mint leaves.

Optional ingredients include honey for sweetness, and lemon slices and/or lemon juice for garnish and added flavor. Simply steep the leaves in boiled water for three to five minutes. Add sweetener if desired, then chill before serving.

Advertisement

​Save 28% on a Joint Formula 90-Day Supply​


Lemon balm tea

Native to Europe, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is now widely available and can be grown in home gardens, too. Lemon balm, which is part of the mint family, is said to have a flavor resembling green tea with lemon.6

Lemon balm tea has anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can make it useful for conditions such as arthritis, headaches, infections and the common cold. It also contains compounds with nerve-soothing effects, and can be helpful for alleviating stress, anxiety and depression.

A simple lemon balm tea recipe from Organic Facts7 calls for adding 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon balm leaves to 2 cups boiling water. Infuse for up to 10 minutes, then chill for a refreshing summer beverage.

You can also use dried lemon balm leaves, although the drying process may cause the leaves to lose some of their flavor. When drying lemon balm leaves, you’ll want to avoid light and heat.

Mother Earth Living8 suggests cutting around two-thirds of the way down the plant’s stem, then hanging the bunched cuttings upside down in a dark, dry place with good air circulation. The leaves will dry and turn black in about two days.9 To make the collection effort easier, you can tie a paper bag around the bunched cuttings.

Make sure the bag has holes punched on the sides as poor air circulation could cause mold growth. Use a rubber band to close the top of the bag and hang it in an area where there’s enough air circulation. Once the leaves are dry, they’ll fall to the bottom of the bag.

Lemon verbena tea

Another lemony favorite is lemon verbena. If you’re in Zones 9 and 10, it’s grown as a perennial shrub, but you can still cultivate it as an annual in more northern climates. To get the most leaves from your plant, give it regular prunings, as this will make it bushier and prevent it from getting too leggy.10

Its flavor is similar to lemon balm, but sweeter. According to the Mexican Food Journal, Mexicans drink lemon verbena tea “as a sleep aid and to help reduce indigestion.”11 To prepare it, all you need is three to six leaves to 4 cups of water.

A stronger tea is typically recommended if you’re serving it iced. While most teas call for adding the leaves after the water has boiled and you’ve removed it from heat, the Mexican Food Journal suggests placing the leaves in the water from the start, and allowing them to boil for about 15 minutes. Honey, agave nectar or stevia can be added for extra sweetness.

Lemongrass tea

Lemongrass is easy to grow, requiring minimal attention, and can be used fresh in either hot or cold water for a refreshing summer beverage with anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and pain-blocking12 benefits.13 Many will simply take a long blade of rinsed lemongrass and place it whole into a large glass beverage dispenser filled with cold water. Cucumber or lemon slices can also be added.

To make tea, cut the stalk as close to the ground as possible (the lower white part of the stalk is the sweetest). Rinse to remove debris, then cut the stalk into 2-inch pieces.

Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the lemongrass stalks. Allow to steep for at least five minutes. Drain out the stalks before drinking. As with all other teas, it can be consumed hot or cold. Sweetener is typically not needed.

Anise hyssop tea

As its name implies, anise hyssop has a sweet licorice flavor. It’s part of the mint family, and is also known as licorice mint.14 If licorice isn’t high on your list of favorite flavors, you can still add it in small amounts to other teas. Modern Farmer15 suggests blending it with mint or one of the lemon-flavored herbal teas described above.

Anise hyssop has a long tradition of use among Native Americans, who claim it can “relieve a dispirited heart.” Mixed with elk mint, it’s also been used as a traditional remedy for chest pain associated with coughing and the common cold.”16,17 It also has sedative properties.18

For a full-strength anise hyssop tea, Taste magazine suggests adding five to eight fresh stems with leaves and/or flowers to 8 cups of boiling water, using a French press:19

“Gently rinse the plant parts with cool water to remove dirt and debris. Fill a large French press halfway with the anise hyssop (leaves, stems, and flowers). Add the boiling water and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully press down the plunger. Pour the tea over ice into a pitcher or glass. Garnish with anise hyssop leaves and flowers to serve.”