Saturday, July 12, 2008

Can Natural Herbal Remedies Help Cancer Victims?

Herbals: Can Natural Herbal Remedies Help Cancer Victims?
It is always difficult to promote the use of natural methods to treat this disease. Cancer is a very serious disease, which kills millions of people throughout the world and particularly in the West. Traditional medicine wants to arrogate to itself the exclusive right of scrutiny and treatment in this area. Yet the results are far from satisfying.

The cancer continues to defy the technology of modern medicine and remains, after decades of intensive research, an enigmatic disease, responsible each year of millions of death. While a few types of cancer are now successfully treated, several others remain extremely difficult to fight and are a major cause of mortality. More than ever, finding new ways in which we can improve the effectiveness of current anti-cancer therapies is of paramount importance. The naturotherapy is one of those means. "

Many oncologists recognize naturaltherapy as a preventive mode in order to avoid the development of cancer. They also recommend regular consumption of certain foods as a method to support conventional treatments for those who are undergoing cancer treatment, radiation and chemotherapy. However, for some, herbal remedies or natural cancer treatments have no positive effects on cancers, either preventive or curative.

A global study on a large scale has shown that if each person consumed at least 150g of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables per day, the risk of cancer would be decreased by 30%. If there were a pill that would fall by 30% the risk of cancer, it is likely that everyone would consume it. Why not try natural remedies? In fact, most plants used in natural remedies can grow in your own backyard (Astragalus, Burdock root, Green tea, for example). Along with natural cancer alternative and/or conventional cancer treatment, alimentation plays an important role in your recovery from cancer.

A good alimentation has not only a significant role in cancer prevention, but can also provide the cancer patient who must undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the means to fight against the aggressor. No treatment can work properly without a healthy diet, either conventional or natural cancer treatment.

The remedies exist in the form of dried or fresh plants for preparation and capsules or liquid ready to use. Of course, it is illegal in the USA to claim that a natural remedy can treat cancer, but we believe it is unfair not to mention these methods, which are supported by some doctors and testimonials patients, have no anticancer properties.

By: Remy Vixamar

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Black Tea for Healthy Gums

Black tea, popularised for many health benefits has now been praised for aiding healthy gums. In fact the tea is not only good for healthy gums but also for healthier teeth and combating bad breath.

Black tea is the most popular of the three well known teas; black tea, green tea and red tea. Researchers from the University of Illinois have determined that the tea is conducive to general oral health by combating bacteria present in the mouth. Min Zhu and Christine Wu who are two of the researchers on the project said that the presence of theaflavins and catechins which are polyphenols have the effect of inhibiting bacteria growth in the mouth, although it takes up to 48 hours for the bacteria to be killed.

These two active compounds also prevent bad breath by restricting the production of hydrogen sulphide, the bad breath creating agent, by stopping the enzyme that produces the sulphide from performing correctly.

Other useful abilities that black tea performs are the reduction of dental cavities due to fluoride being present and by tannin that wards off the plaque creating bacteria that erodes away the teeth enamel.

In a different study sponsored by the National Tea Research Foundation of India, it was discovered that the black tea polyphenols can reverse changes in mouth cell DNA that are responsible for developing cancer. Oral leukoplakia which is a pre-cancerous state of cells in the mouth and is discerned by the presence of plaque or white patches is reduced simply by drinking black tea.

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Herbal Hair Loss Remedies That Offer Hope

The hope for Herbal Hair Loss Remedies,Herbs hold an obvious appeal for many people because they support the body's natural healing mechanisms to target the cause of the problem, as opposed to merely tackling the symptoms. It would be wrong to present herbal hair loss remedies as a miracle solution for all sufferers - there is however growing evidence to support the view that some herbal remedies offer real hope to many people.

Let's examine the case for some of the more popular remedies to determine if they're worth trying.

Ginkyo biloba this popular herb is thought to improve blood circulation to the brain and skin. Herbalists believe that the increased flow of blood to the brain area delivers more nutrients to the hair follicle thus promoting hair regrowth. The recommended dose is 120-160mg of dry extract each day spread over three doses.

Green tea (Camellia sinesis)
it is thought that catechins found in green tea may inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase that converts testosterone into hair-unfriendly DHT. It is therefore believed to be effective in preventing and treating male pattern type baldness. You should drink several cups of green tea each day or take it in capsule form as instructed by the manufacturer.

He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)
also known as Fo-Ti, this Chinese herb has traditionally been used to reduce hair loss. It is found in many commercial preparations, or in tea and capsule form.

Pygeum (Pygeum africanum)
derived from the bark of an evergreen, it works in a similar way to green tea. It is widely used to treat prostate problems and male pattern baldness. Users should take 60-500mg per day in pill or capsule form.

Saw palmetto (Seranoa repens)
this is the current treatment of choice for many men due to its ability to protect the prostate, slow hair loss and encourage hair regrowth. It forms the core element of many commercially prepared hair loss treatments but can easily be obtained in its pure form. The recommended dose is a 160mg capsule twice each day, but make sure the ingredients are made from the berry extract not the dried berries themselves.

Stinging nettle (Urtica diocia)
this has long been favored as a means of preventing hair loss due to its ability to block the conversion of testosterone into DHT. It can be taken in pill or capsule form with an optimum dose of 50-100mg per day. It is particularly effective when combined with pygeum and saw palmetto.

Herbal Hair Loss Remedies That Offer Hope.
by By Richard Mitchell

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Natural Remedies For Ulcerative Colitis

Having ulcerative colitis is a symptom that can cause you to miss out on certain ideals in life that you may be interested in maintaining. You may be too familiar with things such as pains and cramps coming up while you are trying to work, diarrhea hitting you when you are moving towards another area or flares that cause you to remain uncomfortable. If you want to begin to fight your symptoms, you can begin by looking into remedies for ulcerative colitis. This will allow you to control and stop the disease from taking over your life, allowing you to enjoy it instead.

Beyond the medications and surgical options, are also natural remedies that can provide you with a sense of relief. It is important to remember that you will want to find a type of remedy that works for you, whether it is a prescribed medication or a natural one. If you don't, ulcerative colitis can continue to flare and can turn into a threatening disease. While it is considered chronic, the inability to maintain it can make it even worse. Because of this, it is important to find something that maintains and clears the symptoms in order to keep them under control. If you are uncertain of how much to take of a natural remedy or are uncertain of whether it will help you, make sure that you check with a medical physician or find sources of knowledge that can provide you with more information on how to care for your body.

It is said that one of the easiest cures for ulcerative colitis is to begin with changing your diet. By adding in fibers and by reducing fats and sugars, the sores and inflammation will sometimes disappear. However, you will also want to add in specific components in order to balance out the problem. For instance, fish oil, fatty acid and folic acids can all help to relieve the pain and provide less flares from occurring. These particular natural remedies can also help if you have flares and also have constipation, allowing for your intestines to stay calmer, even though you have IBD.

Another set of herbs and natural remedies that can help, include things such as aloe vera, chamomile and boswellia. All three of these ingredients work in order to calm inflammation and can stop the ulcerative colitis flares from occurring. These herbs can also combine together in order to work as a cleansing agent for the body, which will provide you with a fresh start towards your nutrition in relation to the disease that you are fighting.

With all of these options, research has shown that 80-90% of those who have taken the herbal remedies have had positive results in controlling and maintaining their ulcerative colitis. The result among any type of remedy is less inflation, pain, cramps and diarrhea that is associated with the disease, allowing for a natural change in health.

If you are looking for remedies for ulcerative colitis, you will want to begin with finding the natural cures that are available. Knowing the different components, how they work and what they can provide you will allow you to stop the IBD and to begin living your life without the severity of difficulties that may occur.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

For Herbal Hair Loss Remedies For External Use

Herbal Hair Loss Remedies For External Use now expand that theme to include some potentially useful herbal remedies for external use.

Aloe vera
- some Indian tribes of Mexico attribute their thick, healthy hair to regular use of aloe vera gel which they rub into the scalp and hair each night. Herbalists believe that the herb activates the production of nitric oxide and contains an enzyme known as superoxide dismutane. Some experts feel that these two substances combine to stimulate hair regrowth in those suffering from male pattern type baldness.

Onion (Allium cepa)
- this has a high sulfur content that is believed to have hair-healing properties. Some herbalists believe that rubbing the scalp with half an onion before washing hair encourages hair growth.

Red pepper (Capiscum)
- a popular folk remedy that involves the application of a red pepper poultice to the scalp to act as a skin irritant. This draws blood and nutrients to the scalp and encourages the release of histimines to stimulate cell division and hair regrowth.

Safflower oil (Carthamus tinctorious)
- Eastern health practitioners believe that safflower oil applied to the scalp acts as a vasolidator that dilates blood vessels. This allows more blood to deliver nutrients to the hair follicle thus creating an environment conducive to hair regrowth.

Herbal Hair Loss Remedies For External Use
By Richard Mitchell

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Olive oil-rich Med diet may protect against diabetes

Consuming a traditional Mediterranean diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, olive oil and fish, may reduce the risk of developing diabetes by a whopping 83 per cent, says a new study.

Interestingly, people who adhered strictly to the diet were also found to have the highest prevalence of risk factors for diabetes such as older age, a family history of diabetes, and a higher proportion of ex-smokers. Despite being expected to have the higher incidence of diabetes, but this was not the case.

"These higher risk participants with better adherence to the diet, however, had a lower risk of diabetes, suggesting that the diet might have a substantial potential for prevention," wrote the authors from University of Navarra, the Hospital Virgen del Camino, and the Hospital of Navarra, all in Pamplona, Spain.

The study is published on the British Medical Journal's website

The Med diet, rich in cereals, fruits, legumes and whole grains, fish and olive oil, has been linked to longer life, less heart disease, and protection against some cancers. The diet's main nutritional components include beta-carotene, vitamin C, tocopherols, polyphenols, and essential minerals.

"The findings are consistent with our previous report of an inverse association between a Mediterranean diet and the metabolic syndrome," wrote the authors.

"The metabolic syndrome is closely associated with a generalised metabolic disorder of insulin resistance, which is one of the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes. Therefore a high biological plausibility exists to support the causality of our findings," they added.

An estimated 19 million people are affected by diabetes in the EU 25, equal to four per cent of the total population. This figure is projected to increase to 26 million by 2030.

In the US, there are over 20 million people with diabetes, equal to seven per cent of the population. The total costs are thought to be as much as $132 billion, with $92 billion being direct costs from medication, according to 2002 American Diabetes Association figures.

Study details

The SUN study, (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra, or the University
of Navarra follow-up), involved 13,380 graduates with no history of diabetes. All the subjects completed a 136-item food frequency questionnaire to give the researchers vital information on their dietary habits. Follow-up questionnaires were completed every two years.

Over 4.4 years of follow-up 33 new cases of type-2 diabetes were documented. On the ten-point scale of Mediterranean diet adherence (0 to 2 for low adherence, 3 to 6 for medium, and 7 to 9 for high adherence), the researchers found that people with the highest adherence were 83 per cent less likely to develop type-2 diabetes than those with the lowest adherence. Moreover, a two-point increase on the adherence scale was associated with a 35 per cent reduction in diabetes risk.

Protective constituents

The Pamplona-based researchers identify virgin olive oil as a key constituent in the Mediterranean diet for diabetes protection, noting that studies have reported it may protect against insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.

"Apart from olive oil, adherence to an overall Mediterranean-type food pattern is related to lower plasma concentrations of inflammatory markers and markers of endothelial dysfunction. These biomarkers are predictive of the future occurrence of type 2 diabetes,"
they stated.

The high intake of fruit, vegetables, fibre, and fish may also have a significant role to play, but these are not generally considered by the authors.

"The limited number of cases of diabetes and the possibility of under-reporting, however, requires that further larger cohorts and trials are needed to confirm our findings," they concluded.

Source: British Medical Journal
Published online ahead of print, Online First, doi:10.1136/bmj.39561.501007.BE
"Adherence to Mediterranean diet and risk of developing diabetes: prospective cohort study"
Authors: M.A. Martinez-Gonzalez, C. de la Fuente-Arrillaga, J.M. Nunez-Cordoba, F.J. Basterra-Gortari, J.J. Beunza, Z. Vazquez, S. Benito, A. Tortosa, M. Bes-Rastrollo

Olive oil-rich Med diet may protect against diabetes
By Stephen Daniells

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Camalina herbal healing hot compress boosts circulation, accelerates healing

Camalina herbal healing hot compress boosts circulation, accelerates healing for most good of natural herbals.
Thai people have a long tradition of natural healing, and their hot compresses, known as herbal bags, are a favorite remedy around the world. "Herbal heat revival," also known as the herbal bolus treatment, is believed to calm the nerves and redirect the body energy in a way that is vital to good health.

The herbal bag uses a combination of 10 selected Thai herbs in one compress. Each herb works its specific healing when absorbed into the skin. They include 30% zingiber cassumunar (a type of ginger), 20% turmeric, 20% citrus hystrix, 10% citronella grass, 5% tamarind leaf, 5% ginger, 5% Borneo camphor, and 5% menthol.

The treatment claims, "the unique Camalina system of warming up the compress but not heating the fragile herbs themselves ensures that they are never subjected to direct heat."

These are the stated benefits of the Catalina herbal heat bag, according to The Herbalist:

• May assist in the relief of muscle pain, aches and tension.
• May assist with symptoms of abdominal pain such as feeling bloated.
• Helps in the relief of the common cold and a stuffy nose (inhale the fragrance at nighttime).
• Helps to reduce signs of swelling and muscle inflammation.
• Assists in the reduction of stiffness in the joints.
• Helps to stimulate peripheral blood circulation

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Green banana fibres could give noodles nutrient boost

Resistant starch from the green fruits of plantain and banana may boost the fibre content of foods such as instant noodles, suggests new research.

Noodles formulated with durum wheat flour and isolated plantain starch contained resistant starch levels double that obtained in standard noodles, report researcher from Mexico and Venezuela in the journal Cereal Chemistry.

"Noodles containing the plantain starch exhibited a limited digestibility due to their relatively high resistant starch content and a moderate in vitro predicted glycemic index," wrote lead author Perla Osorio-Diaz from Centro de Desarrollo de Productos Bioticos del IPN.

"They may represent a dietary option for sectors of the population with particular caloric and glycemic requirements such as diabetic patients and overweight individuals."

Starches can be divided into three groups: rapidly digestible starch (RDS, digested within 20 minutes), slowly digestible starch (SDS, digested between 20 and 120 minutes), and resistant starch (RS). The latter is not digested but is fermented in the large intestine and has 'prebiotic' properties.

Resistant starch can be found naturally in cold cooked potatoes, pasta and rice as well as baked beans and lentils.

Noodle formulation

The researchers tested plantain because the RS content is reported to be around 50 per cent, which was attributed to the "granular structure" of the starch.

Noodles were prepared using different durum wheat flour and plantain starch ratios of 90:10, 80:20, and 70:30, and compared to control noodles prepared using 100 per cent durum wheat flour. All noodles were salted with two per cent salt.

Analysis of the cooked noodles showed that as the plantain starch level increased, the total starch (TS) decreased. In addition, the soluble fibre fraction was higher than the insoluble fraction in all the samples prepared, added Osorio-Diaz.

"These composite noodles exhibited higher indices than the control sample, a phenomenon that may also be dependent on the product physical structure. Results indicate that in spite of the increased starch digestion rate, plantain starch noodles are a better source of indigestible carbohydrates than pure wheat starch pasta," she concluded.

Nutritious and delicious?

Formulating the foods and quantifying the resistant starch content is only one step along the path towards functional foods, however. In order for consumers to accept the foods, the taste must be acceptable.

Recently, Spanish researchers reported that formulating bakery products with resistant starches does result in products with modified sensory properties (LWT - Food Science and Technology, doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2008.01.012).

"Although resistant starch producers claim that the sensory properties of bakery products are not modified when resistant starch is used, the results obtained in this study demonstrated that some differences did appear," wrote the researchers from the Instituto de Agroquimica y Tecnologia de Alimentos (CSIC) in Valencia.

Source: Cereal Chemistry
May/June 2008, Volume 85, Number 3, Pages 339-343, doi: 10.1094/CCHEM-85-3-0339
"Composite Durum Wheat Flour/Plantain Starch White Salted Noodles: Proximal Composition, Starch Digestibility, and Indigestible Fraction Content"
Authors: Perla Osorio-Diaz, A. Aguilar-Sandoval, E. Agama-Acevedo, R. Rendon-Villalobos, J. Tovar, L.A. Bello-PĂ©rez
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Study hints at milk thistle's heart health benefits

A crude extract from milk thistle reduced the oxidation of LDL cholesterol by up to 86 per cent, indicating significant potential to boost heart health, says a new study.

The in vitro study found that the milk thistle extract protected LDL cholesterol against oxidation in a dose-dependent manner, a result with potentially important implications since the oxidative modification of LDL has been reported to be a major part of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, and subsequently cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the cause of almost 50 per cent of deaths in Europe, and reported to cost the EU economy an estimated €169bn ($202bn) per year.

"Thus, it is possible that the extract prepared from the fruits of an easily accessible plant could be useful to prevent the progression of atherosclerotic events," wrote lead author Sunny Wallace from the University of Arkansas.

"However, before important conclusions that could lead to prevention strategies are drawn, it would be of interest to determine the atheroprotective effect of silymarin in vivo using an atherosclerosis-prone apolipoprotein E or LDL receptor knockout mouse model."

The results are reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Study details

Wallace and co-workers tested both the crude extract and purified forms of the major flavonolignans compounds that make up silymarin, the key flavanone in milk thistle, including silichristin (SC), silidianin (SD), silibinin (SBN), and isosilibinin (IS).

At doses of the milk thistle extract of 38, 75, 150, and 300 micromoles, LDL oxidation was inhibited by 18, 73, 82, and 86 per cent, respectively, said the researchers.

The individual flavonolignans were also associated with reductions in LDL oxidation with 300 micromole doses of SC, SD, SBN, and IS reducing LDL oxidation by 60, 28.1, 60, and 30.1 per cent, respectively, report Wallace and co-workers.

"These results showed that silymarin and SBN, likely through antioxidant and free radical scavenging mechanisms of action, inhibit the generation of oxidised LDL," concluded the researchers.

Significant further research is necessary if milk thistle and its extracts can be seen as providing a benefit to cardiovascular health. Indeed, the researchers identified animal studies with mice as the next step.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for a long time as a food in Europe. Young leaves are used in salads, the stalks eaten like asparagus, and the heads boiled like artichoke.

According to the Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (Canada) milk thistle ranked 12th among the top selling herb supplements in the US mass market, with sales of over $3m in 1997.

Previously, silibinin has linked to similar benefits against lung cancer (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 98, pp. 846-85) and liver cancer (World Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol.13, pp. 5299-5305).

Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Volume 56, Issue 11, Pages 3966-3972
"Milk Thistle Extracts Inhibit the Oxidation of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) and Subsequent Scavenger Receptor-Dependent Monocyte Adhesion"
Authors: S. Wallace, K. Vaughn, B.W. Stewart, T. Viswanathan, E. Clausen, S. Nagarajan, D.J. Carrier
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