Friday, December 6, 2013

Konjac



Scientific name: Amorphophallus konjac

Other names: konjak, konnyaku, konjaku, devil's tongue, snake palm, elephant-foot yam, voodoo lily, konnyaku (yam cake)

Description:

Konjac is an underground tuber (that looks like a horseshoe) from a perennial plant that has an elongated central corm and  purple bipinnate leaves with numerous leaflets. It abundantly grows in the cold mountains of Japan and China and is processed into flour and used in East Asian cuisine. The gel form is transparent, odorless and used in Western foods as a vegan substitute for gelatin. the konjac glucomannan (KGM)is white and deliciously made into various types of foods like konjac noodles, konjac cakes and also used as a food additive and dietary supplement.


Health Benefits:

Konjac foods are alkaline food that has various dietary uses and health benefits.

It contains essential amino acids, carbohydrate, fatty acids, folic acid, dietary fiber. as well as vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, pantothenate, niacin) and minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, selenium and calcium).


Medicinal Properties, Uses and Indication:

Anti-diabetes: 

Konjac fiber has been medically proven to lower the blood sugar level and treating diabetes by increasing blood insulin and reducing the burden of islets. Because of its molecular weight and high viscosity, konjac fiber can delay the absorption of glucose and effectively reduce postprandial blood glucose.


For diabetic patients:

In a 200ml water, add 5 grams of konjac flour and stir. Drink 15-20 minutes before meals 3 to 4 times a day.



Promotes Weight Loss / Improves carbohydrate metabolism:

Konjac foods promotes satiety and makes you feel full because glucomannan absorbs water and will increase up to 200 times of its original volume. Konjac also has almost no calories, is very high in fiber and is a component of weight loss supplements.

For weight loss:

In 250 ml warm water, mix 3-5 grams of konjac powder and drink it 15 minutes before meals. Drink it 2 to 3 times per day.


Prevent arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases
Reducing LDL cholesterol/Lowers plasma cholesterol
Reducing Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Regulates bowel movement
Regulating the gastrointestinal tract/Bile/Good for the liver
Detoxification

Glucomannan which is the main active ingredient in konjac food does not remain in the stomach is effective in inhibiting the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and bile acid. It also prevent food from interfering with digestive enzymes. Konjac fibers also promote intestinal peristalsis, cleans the stomach and removes toxins.

The glucomannan fiber also acts as a prebiotic in the intestine for Lactobacillus bifidus growth.


For Detoxification:

In 200 ml water, add 5 grams of konjac powder, stir. Drink 1 to 2 times.


Konjac also helps in healing Cancer and is a good diet during cancer recovery and is good to use in raw foods diet.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Cohosh

Scientific name:Actaea racemosa

Common Names: black snakeroot, bugbane, bugwort, macrotys, rattleroot, rattleweed


Description:

Black cohosh is a wild plant native to North America and is related to the buttercup family,
peony and larkspur.  

The fresh or dried roots and underground stems are commonly used to treat a wide range of
ailments like rheumatism, arthritis and muscle pain.  It is also a traditional remedy for
menstrual irregularities, premenstrual syndrome and gynecological conditions like menopausal
symptoms (hot flashes, palpitations, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms that can
occur during menopause). The stems and roots of the black cohosh are made into strong infusions
(teas), capsules, solid extracts used in pills, or tinctures (liquid extracts).


Parts used: roots and underground stems

Medicinal properties:

Black cohosh contains aromatic acids, salicylic acid (anti-inflammatory), isoflavones,
formononetin, triterpene glycosides, acetin and 27 deox yactein, tannins, resins and fatty acids

Controls the symptoms of menopause:

    Headaches
    Hot flashes
    Mood changes
    Sleep problems
    Heart palpitations
    Night sweats
    Vaginal dryness

Ease PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps, uterine and ovarian pains

Induce labor

Relieve arthritis pain

Lowers blood pressure - components in black cohost can dilate peripheral blood vessels and lowers

blood pressure.

Antispasmodic to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels

Anti-inflammatory

Black cohosh is an emmenagogue which is an agent that promotes menstrual or uterine bleeding.


Counterindication and Side effects:

Side effects from black cohosh which occur in high doses include:
Upset stomach
Headaches
Prolonged use may cause liver disorder

Counterindicated in the ff:

Pregnant women unless used to induce labor
Women with Endometriosis
Women with Breast cancer
Women with Uterine cancer
Children under 18
People with liver disease
People with high risk of stroke or blood clots
People with seizure disorders
People allergic to aspirin
  
Black cohosh is different for blue cohost(Caulophyllum thalictroides) and the 2 should not be
confused.

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THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TRYING THIS AND AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mangosteen

Scientific name: Garcinia mangostana.

Description:

The plant of a mangosteen is a tropical, evergreen tree that reaches to 20-60 ft in height. It is native to
Southeast Asia and commonly found in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and even in South America.

The fruit is deep purple and round shape with a light green calyx at the stem end. It has an outer tough rind
about 7-12 mm thick but inside the fruit has soft, white, juicy flesh that are sectioned like oranges. The rind is
inedible as well as the seeds. The fruit is deliciously tangy, sweet and juicy.


Health benefits of Mangosteen:

Mangosteen is rich in dietary fiber and very low in calories and has zero amount of saturated fats.

It is rich in vitamin C and minerals such copper, manganese and magnesium, potassium.   It also has some B-complex vitamins like thiamin, niacin and folates.

 
Medicinal properties:

This fruit has been use in traditional medicine to heal infection, treat inflammation, and improve one's stamina.

Today, scientists and doctors agree on the medicinal properties of Mangosteen.

Mangosteen contains alpha-mangostin (a very potent antioxidant), gamma-mangostin(powerful anti-inflammatory), garcinone E (strong anti-tumor agent).  It also has a powerful antioxidants and immune system boosters called Xanthones and other potent natural compounds like catechins (antioxidant that's five times more potent than Vitamin C), polysaccharides(anti-cancer), quinones(anti-bacterial), stilbenes(anti-fungal) and polyphenols (anti-oxidant).

Mangosteen is helpful in preventing a wide range of diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease,
Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's cancer and other chronic diseases.

*Anti-allergenic - helps prevent allergic reactions

*Anti-cancer - Mangosteen has powerful antioxidants to combat cancer cells.

*Anti-Inflammatory - Mangosteen fruit has strong anti-inflammatory properties and is used in treating
hyperkeratosis, psoriasis, eczema and other skin diseases.

*Anti-microbial
The extracts of mangosteen are use to treat tuberculosis, urinary tract infections, infected wounds, malaria,
gonorrhoea and syphilis.

 *Good for the Heart
Mangosteen is cardio-protective as well as anti-atherosclerotic that helps prevent the hardening of the arteries.

*Good for the Kidneys
This fruit is also anti-calculitic that helps prevent kidney stones.

*Helps in Weight loss due to rich fiber content

*Immunostimulant - Mangosteen helps the immune system fight infection.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Taro (dasheen) Root


Scientific name: Colocasia esculenta
Description:

Taro is a root crop cultivated in tropical and semi-tropical regions, in wetlands like paddy fields or in dry land that has a steady source of water. It has a mild sweetish nutty flavor. Some varieties are white while others have a light purple color.  It is eaten in many places around the world particularly Africa, Southeast Asia, northeastern countries like China, India, Japan and South Korea and even the Himalayas such as Nepal. Spanish and Portuguese colonizers introduced Taro in South America.  In the Caribbean, it is often substituted for plantain. It is also used in the cuisines of Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon and Turkey.  It was popular among early Romans up to the fall of the Roman Empire when trade with Egypt stopped. It‘s also sold in Asian stores in the US.


In some parts of the world, Taro is the main starch of a meal as in Africa and Polynesia. It was in Japan, too, until it was eased out by the preferred rice.  It is served on tables around the globe for breakfast—boiled plain, fried, roasted--as a snack-- sliced in chips and fried or sprinkled with sugar.  Taro root is also cooked in a variety of savory dishes such as curries, combined with lentils or cooked along with the stems and leaves in vegetable stews and soups. When sweetened and mixed with other ingredients, it is considered a delectable dessert in China such as cakes and ice cream.   A favorite dessert cum filling snack in the Philippines is a mixture of taro and other tubers cooked with rich coconut milk, sugar and flavored with ripe jackfruit strips. When dried and milled into flour, taro makes tasty pancakes.

Taro cannot be eaten raw so has to be cooked thoroughly to leach out harmful calcium oxalates.  Toxic and highly insoluble, calcium oxalates can cause gout and kidney stones. Why then do people still eat taro? The secret is soaking it in water overnight to lessen the oxalate crystals.  If you’re in a hurry, just add a pinch of baking soda and it will do the trick.


Health Benefits:

Taro is a staple food in many cultures due to its high caloric content—142 calories/100 gram. Compared to potatoes at 93/100 grams, it’s a higher source of energy.  Moreover, it has 3 times more dietary fiber that is essential for good digestion and regular BMs.   Good news to diabetics and dieters! Taro has a low glycemic index, meaning once it’s digested, the level of glucose in the blood rises gradually not abruptly. In short, the supply of energy is steady, no peaks and crashes that cause hunger, no sugar rush at all.  Not only is it a good source of energy-giving carbohydrates, it also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals. The root is easy to digest while the leaves contain lots of vitamins A, C and some protein.  When displayed as an ornamental indoor plant, it is known as “elephant’s ears” due to its broad leaves.


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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Melon

Scientific name: Cucumis melo L.

Description:

Melon grows on the surface of the ground and is a climbing vine.  It originated in Africa and southwest Asia then gradually spread in Europe and other parts of the world. The fruit is round to oblong shape with netted skin and rib-like, grooved sections called "sutures". Its flesh is salmon-colored to rich orange color that is sweet, succulent and have a musky aroma.  At the center is a small hollow cavity filled with seeds enmeshed in a mucilaginous substance.  The seeds are small off-white color and are edible. The rind is greenish-orange.

Melons are culinary fruits that belong to the family Cucurbitaceae ( e.g.cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew melon, gourds, squash...).  These can easily cross-pollinate and have many different hybrid melons and varieties namely: European cantaloupe, North American cantaloupe, Persian melon,  Japanese melon, Korean melon, Sharlyn melons,  Muskmelon (C. melo),  Horned melon (C. metuliferus), Casaba, Honeydew, sugar melon, hami melon, Kolkhoznitsa melon, winter melon, Santa Claus melon, Tiger melon, Canary melon, true muskmelons...
           
Parts used: Fruits and seeds

Preparation:

====Multicolored melon-ball salad====

You may pick from any varieties mentioned above to make a delicious salad.

Open the melon and remove the seeds.

Scoop the melons into balls.

Use each half as a basket in which to serve the multicolored melon-ball salad.

Topped with fresh, chopped mint.


=====Melon Seeds Snack=====

Put the seeds in a fine mesh wire strainer.

Rinse under tap running water.

Gently remove the gelatinous substance by gently pressing the seeds against the strainer using a spoon.

Drain and let the seed dry.

Place the seeds on a cookie sheet or baking pan and roast it in the oven for 15-20 minutes( 160-170F) or until brown.

sprinkle with salt and eat as a snack.



======Melon Juice======

Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds.

Scoop out flesh and put in a blender.

Add lemon juice.

Add sugar or honey to taste.

You may also add other fruits like peaches or a ready made yogurt.


Medicinal properties & Health Benefits:

Melon is an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids) and is one of the fruits that give the
highest source of vitamin A.

Melons are also abundant in vitamin C, one arm of the now-famous disease-fighting antioxidant trio. Another arm that's well represented is beta-carotene. Researchers believe that beta-carotene and vitamin C are capable of preventing heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions. No matter which way you cut them, when it comes to nutrition, melons are number one.


The abundant vitamin A content, alpha-carotene (lutein), beta-carotene(beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) makes it a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent lung cancer, colon as well as oral cavity cancer.  It is good for the eyes, mucus membrane and skin. It is also a valuable source of lycopene that reduces the risk of prostate, pancreatic, breast, and endometrial cancers. Melons are also rich in Vitamin C, B vitamins (B1, B3, B6, and folate) as well as vitamin K. Aside from vitamins, melons have electrolytes and minerals like folate, magnesium and potassium to help regulate body fluids and control heart rate and blood pressure.

Melon is a good source of fiber and is a natural weight-loss food.
The seeds are a good source of omega-3 fat(alpha-linolenic acid)

The zea-xanthin content provide antioxidant and protects from age related macular degenerationMelon also has anti-inflammatory properties like the presence of cucurbitacins (cucurbitacin B and cucurbitacin E) as well as the high concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) an anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.


In other words, Melons are beneficial for the following conditions/diseases:

Cancers (especially lung, colon, pancreatic, prostate, oral cavity, breast, endometrial cancers)
Heart Disease, Atherosclerosis, stroke, blood pressure
Inflammation
Weight loss
Eye conditions (e.g. age-related macular degeneration)

THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TRYING THIS AND AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.



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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SOURSOP aka GUYABANO



Scientific name: Annona muricata var. subonica
Other names: guanĂ¡bana, guanavana, guyabano, graviola,  custard apple, Brazilian pawpaw, durian benggala, nangka blanda, nangka londa, mullaatha.

Description:

Soursop or Guyabano is a fruit-bearing tree that is native to Central America, Caribbean, South America and sub-Saharan African countries.  It is also grown in parts of Southeast Asia. Guyabano is just a small evergreen tree of usually about 5 to 7 meters high. The leaves are oval-shaped, pointed on both ends and with smooth, shiny texture.  The flowers are large white or yellow or greenish-yellow that bloom all year round and emits a pleasing scent.

The fruit of the soursop (guyabano) is green, obviate, pear or heart-shaped and covered with soft spines.  It has thin skin and the fibrous edible pulp is soft & whitish with sweet-sour citrusy flavor. The black, hard seeds
inside taste awful and are indigestible. The guyabano pulp is usually eaten ripe or made into juice, smoothies,
sorbets or ice cream.


Parts used: Fruit & Leaves


Health Benefits:

Soursop is one of the healthiest fruits available to us. It has high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, potassium, phosphorus, iron and dietary fiber. Because of the presence of these vitamins and minerals,
guyabano(soursop) is known to have lots of health benefits, it is a potent antioxidant and it enhances the immune system.


Medicinal properties:

Traditional medicine have used not only the fruits of the guyabano/soursop but also the bark, leaves, roots,

flowers and seeds to treat many ailments like asthma, wounds, infection, eczema, inflammation, arthritis,

rheumatism, heart disease, liver problems, wounds, stomach spasm, dysentery, scurvy, hematuria, urethritis and

even to remove head lice.

~Guyabano seeds (pulverized)

*It is toxic and is for external use only

*The seed oil is used to purge parasites and kill head lice. It is also used as a skin astringent.


~Guyabano leaves (minced and boiled)

*Treatment for eczema and skin diseases (poultice of mashed leaves and sap applied directly on skin)

*Used as wet compress to treat pain and inflammation of the joints like arthritis, rheumatism

*Treatment of pimples (The sap of the young leaves may be applied directly)

*Treatment of fever (decoction of leaves taken internally)

*Tranquilizing and sedative properties (Drinking boiled guyabano/soursop leaves may help induce sleep)

~Guyabano fruit (juice/shake or smoothie)

*The guyabano fruit is diuretic and can treat dysentery, scurvy, hematuria and urethritis
  
~Guyabano bark, roots and leaves (minced and boiled)

*To treat diabetes
*Tranquilizer and sedative

~Guyabano leaves and roots

*Treat colic and convulsions

1. Anti-Cancer

Annonaceous acetogenins are the compounds found in Guyabano extract that has the ability to inhibit the enzyme processes and the growth of malignant cells. It is known to kill the different types of cancer cells found in colon, pancreatic, liver,lung, breast, ovarian, cervical, prostate cancer and lymphoma. Researched showed that this compound is many times stronger in killing cancer cells than the commonly used chemotherapy drug. And unlike chemotherapy which can harm the healthy cells, Soursop or Guyabano can kill these malignant cells without damaging the healthy cells.


How to make Guyabano Tea:

Boil 1 liter of water.
Add 1 cup of shredded air-dried guyabano leaves (air dried guyabano leaves have more medicinal properties than

fresh leaves).
Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Drink within 7 hours after making the tea to benefit from its medicinal properties.

30-3-30 Rule

It is best to drink it 30 minutes before mealtime.
Taken 3 times a day.
For 30 consecutive days.

To get the full benefit of the treatment.

For maintenance, drink one glass for 5 consecutive days then stop for 2 days then resume drinking for 5 days.
Repeat the process. You may taper it when the cancer cells are gone.


2.Good for the Liver
Guyabano enhances production of endogenous antioxidant that is beneficial to hepatic tissues.

3. Anti-Depressant
Guyabano contains compounds like annonaine, nornuciferine and asimilobine that possess anti-depressive effects.


Cautions and Adverse Effects:

Internal consumption of the concoctions of leaves, seeds and barks are not recommended for young children, pregnant and lactating women.

The annonacin content is a neurotoxin associated with neurodegenerative disease and  might be linked to the
development of atypical Parkinson's disease.  Thus taking guyabano in large doses is not recommended for people with suspected Parkinson's disease and those with motor control problem.

The hydrocyanic acid found in leaves can be harmful when taken in high concentrations.

THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TRYING THIS AND AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Watermelon

Scientific name: Citrullus lanatus

Description:

Watermelon is a succulent fruit made of about 93% water and is subtly crunchy. It can be round, spherical or cylindrical in shape with thick light to dark green skin that is sometimes striped. The red flesh is dotted with black seeds that are somewhat flattened. The plant is a scrambler and trailer flowering plant that bore yellow flowers.

It is native to Africa, cultivated in Egypt & India and eventually spread over time to Europe, North America and Asia.

Watermelon is related to cucumber, cantaloupe, gourd, squash and pumpkin.  It ranges in size from a few pounds to even about 90 pounds and has more than 1200 different varieties, however, all of these varieties belong to  Citrullis lanatus species. The flesh can be yellow ( Yellow Crimson) red (Carolina cross), orange (Orangeglo) or white (Cream of Saskatwchewan).

Parts used: Fruit (rind, flesh & seeds)

Health benefits:

Watermelon is rich in phenolic antioxidants like flavonoids, lycopene(carotenoids) and triterpenoids(Cucurbitacin E) which makes this fruit a good source of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that is beneficial to the cardiovascular health as well as to our bones.


This fruit is also rich in citrulline which is an amino acid that is converted into arginine which helps improve the blood flow.

Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C, Vitamin A (beta-carotene, a free-radical scavenger), potassium and magnesium. It also contains Vitamins E, D, B complex vitamins and minerals like calcium,iron, flouride, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

The watermelon seeds are dried, roasted, seasoned and eaten as a snack.  It can also be grounded up into cereal or made into flour to make bread. The seeds contain iron and zinc.

The watermelon rind also contains some nutrients and is cooked as a vegetable or pickled.

Another benefit of eating watermelon is that it makes your body alkaline. A body that is acidic is prone to sickness while an alkaline body promotes balance and wellness.


Medicinal properties:

1. Good for the Heart

As mentioned, watermelon is a rich source of lycopene which is an antioxidant that helps fight free radical compounds.  Lycopene specifically protect the blood vessels and arteries from hardening.
To maintain a healthy heart needs to follow a diet lows in fat, cholesterol, and rich in antioxidants such as (lycopene), which works to fight free radical compounds. Thereby protecting the vessels and arteries from hardening.  There are more lycopene found in watermelon that in tomatoes.


2. Controls blood pressure

Watermelon is an excellent source of potassium and manganese which aids in blood pressure regulation.


3. Reduces weight

Eating watermelon is filling yet it is low calorie and consist mostly of water along with tons of nutrients.


4. Anti-Cancer

Watermelon is rich in antioxidants such as the above mentioned lycopene, citrulline compound, vitamin A(beta-carotene), vitamin C and vitamin E. These compounds play an active role fighting cancer such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.  It protects the cells from free radicals damage, fights cancer cells and maintains the elasticity of the blood vessels.


5. Good for eyesight

Because of its lycopene, vitamin A and betacarotene content which helps promote good eyesight.


6. Fatigue and muscle soreness

The high levels of citrulline found in watermelon helps relieve the soreness and regulate the vascular tone.


7. Fight Infections
Because watermelons are rich in vitamins and minerals, it helps the immune system and treats infections in the body as well as inflammation of the joints/arthritis.


8. Good for the Kidneys

Watermelons are diuretic. The rich potassium content also helps reduce uric acid, removes salt deposits and prevents kidney stones.





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