Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Parsley

Scientific name: Petroselinum crispum

Other names: Common Parsley, Garden Parsley, Hamburg Parsley

Description:

Parsley is native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia)and widely used elsewhere as an herb, a spice, and a vegetable. It has numerous leaflets and a rosette of tripinnate leaves about 10 to 25 cm long and grows as a biennial. The leaves are often used as a garnish. Many dishes are served with fresh green chopped parsley sprinkled on top. It is also used as a condiment, food and flavoring. Root parsley is eaten as a snack or is added in soups, stews and casseroles.

The oil of the parsley seed is used as a fragrance in soaps, cosmetics and perfumes.

Parts used: leaf, seed, and root 

Health Benefits:

Parsley is packed with vitamins and minerals namely vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, choline, folates, calcium, iron,
magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and copper. Parsley's high concentration of boron and fluoride can also help prevent bone thinning and osteoporosis.

Medicinal properties and uses:

* Antibacterial
* AntiCancer
* Antirheumatic
* Carminative
* Diuretic
* Emmenagogue
* Vasodilator

Parsley can be used fresh, juice or in teas

Parsley Juice
Put fresh apples and/or carrots in blender, osterizer or juicer and add a bunch of parsley. You may also juice parsley alone but this takes a whole lot of parsley to get just a small amount of juice.

Parsley Teas

Place fresh parsley leaves in a mug and pour boiling water. Leave the water and parsley to steep for 5 minutes.


Parsley have been used mainly to remove kidney stone, bladder infection, and as jaundice medications.  It also prevents gas and bloating, helps stimulate the appetite, improves digestion, increases urine production, reduces spasms, and increase menstrual flow. Both parsley leaf and root can be used in teas to help gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatism.

Parsley can also reduce fatigue and swelling of eyes by dipping a cloth in an unsweetened tea and placing it over closed eyes for 10 minutes. Leaves and roots are pounded into paste and mixed with a small amount of water or tea and applied on head to repel head lice. For external use, the paste can also be applied to ease bug bites and stings. It is also known to to help speed up the disappearance of black-and-blue marks/bruises.

Parsley contains a large amount of chlorophyll which acts as a breath freshener. Simply chew fresh sprig of parsley after meals.


Precaution:


Fool's parsley and parsley piert is different from parsley so be careful not to confuse parsley with fool's parsley and parsley piert.

Concentrated parsley extracts should be avoided by those with kidney problems and women who are pregnant because it can stimulate the uterus.World's Best Supplements, Beauty products and Health Beverages

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sargassum Seaweeds

Medicines from Natural Sources

Scientific name: Sargassum muticum

Description: 

Sargassum are generally brown or dark green in color and consist of a holdfast, a stipe, and a frond. It has branches, leafy appendages and berry-like structures that are actually gas-filled (oxygen) structures, called pneumatocysts which are filled mostly with oxygen and help keep the fronds afloat.

Sargassum is a genus of brown (class Phaeophyceae) macroalgae (seaweed) in the order Fucales and family Sargassaceae. They generally inhabit shallow water and coral reefs and are distributed
throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world.

It is edible and has a slightly bitter, salty flavor.


Health benefits of Sargassum seaweeds:

Sargassum seaweeds are nutritious and rich source of bioactive compounds such as vitamin C, B12,
carotenes (provitamin A), carotenoids, dietary fibers, proteins, and minerals (sodium, calcium,
magnesium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur and phosphorus, iodine, iron, zinc, copper, selenium,
molybdenum, fluoride, manganese, boron, nickel and cobalt). Sargassum have some compounds that are not available in terrestrial vegetables and have many biologically active compounds like
flavonoids, pheophytine, polyphenols, terpenoids, sargaquinoic acids, sargachromenol, sterols and
sulfated polysaccharides.

The highest iodine content is found in brown algae.


Medicinal Properties and Indications:

Sargassum has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, anti-microbial
properties as well as anti-tumor, fibrinolytic, immune-modulatory, anti-coagulant,
hepatoprotective and has anti-viral activity.

Endemic Goiter and Hyperthyroidism - Sargassum seaweeds contains iodide, which has wonderful therapeutic effect on iodine deficiency induced endemic goiter and can temporarily inhibit hyperthyroidism.

Atherosclerosis - This seaweed has high sodium alginate sulfate content which can resist
hyperlipidemia, lower serum cholesterol and reduce atherosclerosis.

Weight loss - Sargassum has virtually no calories and high in dietary fiber thus is helpful in
losing weight.



Important warning: Please note that all medicines, including herbal medicines, should be taken
only on the advice of a qualified practitioner/doctor. You should not treat yourself on the basis of
any information given here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Canistel or Chesa Fruit

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Scientific name: Pouteria campechiana

Other names: egg-fruit, canistel, yellow sapote, boracho, toesa

Description: This tropical fruit may be nearly round, with or without a pointed apex or may be
somewhat oval, ovoid, or spindle-shaped.  It has a yellow-orange color and has the texture that is
relatively firm and mealy that resembles a hard boiled egg yoke but the taste of a bland, dry
pumpkin-pie dessert, more or less musky. The plant is an evergreen tree native to southern Mexico
and Central America and has leaves that are alternate and mostly grouped at the branch tips.  The
flowers are fragrant, solitary or in small clusters.

The ripe fruit has been made into shakes, custard, eggfruit nog, jam, marmalade, cupcakes,
pancakes or grounded as flour.


Parts used: bark and fruits

Nutritional value:

Chesa or Canistel is actually considered a super food and is rich in amino acids-tryptophan, methionine, lysine (nearly as much protein as the avocado) and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, carotene (provitamin A), niacin, riboflavin and high amount of dietary fiber, phosphorus and calcium.

Medicinal properties:

The decoction of the bark is used for the relief of fever. It is also applied on skin eruptions.

A preparation of the seeds are used to remedy ulcers and heal seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blueberry

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Scientific name: Vaccinium corymbosum



Description: Blueberries specifically the northern highbush blueberries are native to North America.  They are perennial, deciduous, woody shrubs which are slow-growing, upright, multi-stemmed and spreading branches. Blueberry trees have flowers that are long bell- or urn-shaped white to very light pink; dark glossy green leaves that turns to brilliant red, orange, yellow, purple and/or burgundy during autumn. The fruits are 6.4–12.7 mm diameter blue-black berries.

Blueberries are eaten fresh or sold processed as individually quick frozen (IQF) fruit, purée, juice, or as jellies and jams.

Parts used: fruits/berries, leaves

Nutrition Facts:

Blueberries are low in calories yet packed with vitamins especially vitamin C, potassium, manganese, copper, iron and zinc. Blueberries are among the highest anti-oxidant value fruits, it is also rich in dietary fiber, anthocyanins and various phytochemicals.

Medicinal properties and uses:

Blueberries have a number of medicinal properties that have been used for generations to treat and prevent digestive orders, improve circulation, maintain eye health, and reduce inflammation.

Antioxidants have been shown to help prevent a number of long-term illnesses such as heart disease, high blood cholesterol, cancer and eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Blueberries are also brain boosters and can help with memory loss and increased circulation, which may help to combat the start or progression of degenerative diseases like Parkinsons and Alzheimers. It is also a laxative and helps to treat diarrhea, ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), colic, fever, varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Vitamin C aids the formation of collagen, maintains healthy gums as well as a healthy immune system. helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries, and promotes iron absorption and a healthy immune system.

Traditionally, blueberry leaves have been used to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tamarind

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Scientific name: Tamarindus indica

Description: The tamarind tree is native to tropical regions of Africa, particularly the Sudan, but it has spread since to almost all tropical areas of the world. The tamarind pods are about five inches long which contain seeds and a sweet&sour pulp.   It can be consumed as a raw fruit, candied, dried and ground into a spice or when it is fully ripe it can be added to dessert.

Parts used: Pulp of fruit

Health benefits:

Tamarind has many nutritional components such as having  a significant level of vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium and manganese. Tamarind is also rich in dietary fiber such as tannins, mucilage and pectin.There are also a number of organic compounds that make tamarind a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Medicinal properties and uses:

Tamarind fruit is also cathartic, febrifuge, antiseptic and refrigent. It is used as an Ayurvedic medicine for gastric problem, digestion problems and in protecting the heart.

Good for Digestive Health, Bile disorder, Constipation, Diarrhea: Tamarind is a natural laxative. It is also a bilious substance, that stimulates the activity of bile and help dissolve food faster. Studies have shown tamarind to be effective against chronic diarrhea as well.

Sunstroke: Two tablespoons of thick tamarind paste is an excellent home remedy for with mild sunstroke.

Healthy Heart: Tamarind is effective in reducing blood pressure and blood cholesterol. The potassium in tamarind may be responsible for the reduction in blood pressure while the fiber content is responsible for the reduction in cholesterol by scraping excess LDL cholesterol from the veins and arteries.

Nerve Function: One of the most significant vitamin elements of tamarind is the B complex especially the high quantities of thiamine. Thiamine is responsible for improving nerve function,
as well as muscle development.

Weight Loss: Tamarind has a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA) which inhibits an enzyme in the body that specifically helps store fat. It also suppresses the appetite by increasing the serotonin neurotransmitter.

Tamarind is use as a gargle for sore throats.
Tamarind is a good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer.

Caution: As with all the medicinal plants found on this website. It is best to consult your doctor before trying any supplements or medicinal plants.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Goji Berries


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Scientific name: Lycium barbarum

Common names: Goji, goji berry or wolfberry

Description:

Goji berries grow on an evergreen shrub found in China, Mongolia and in the Tibetan Himalayas. This berry is a member of the nightshade family (Solonaceae), which includes other common vegetables like potato, tomato, eggplant and pepper as well as some poisonous plants like belladonna and deadly nightshade.

They are bright orange-red, ellipsoid about 1–2 cm in diameter.  Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour that is usually sold dried and looks like bright red raisins.

Goji berries are eaten raw, brewed into tea, or used in smoothies or made into juice. 

Health benefits:

Goji berries have vitamins, antioxidants and all essential amino acids.  It has the highest concentration of protein of any fruit and loaded with vitamin C. Gogi berries have the highest
carotenoids than any other food; have 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium, sodium, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, polysaccharides, betaine, peptidoglycans and has twenty-one trace minerals.  It is also high in fiber.

It also has natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds.

Goji berries are typically sold in dried berry form when used in traditional Chinese medicine also one should consult a doctor before taking it.

Medicinal Benefits:

Eyesight:

Being rich in zeaxanthin which is an antioxidant, Goji berry protect the eyes and decreased the likelihood of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Cancer:

Goji berries prevent cancer. Studies show that those treated with immunotherapy in combination with goji polysaccharides saw their cancers regress.

Diabetes Control:

Studies suggest that the fruit extracts of goji berries possess considerable hypoglycaemic properties.

Some studies using goji berry juice found possible benefits that included:


*a feeling of well being and calmness
*better athletic performance
*better quality of sleep
*cardiovascular protection
*lowering of cholesterol
*protection of brain cells 

*protection of the liver and skin
*Weight loss


Precaution: Little is known about the safety of using goji supplements or consuming goji juice in the long-term. It may increase the risk of bleeding and may interact with diabetes medications and/or anticoagulant drugs. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Banaba

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Scientific name: Lagerstroemia speciosa.

Common names: Queen's flower, pride of India and queen's crape myrtle and Banaba.

Banaba is a deciduous tropical flowering tree that grow up to 10 meters high. It has large green oblong to elliptic-ovate leaves, smooth and spatulate. The flowers or Banaba are racemes, 6-parted and colored mauve-pink to lavender, purplish lilac. Petals are obovate, shortly clawed with margins that are undulate and hardly fimbriate. Banaba or Queen's flower, crape myrtle bears nut-like fruits that are obovoid and arranged in large clumps.

Parts used: Leaves, fruits

Medicinal properties and uses:

Banaba contains corosolic acid/triterpenoid glycoside acid that act like insulin by lowering the blood sugar in the body. Banaba also contains a lot of dietary fiber and minerals such as magnesium and zinc.

The leaves has Valoneic Acid Dilactone (VAD) which acts as an inhibitor of xanthine oxidase to lower uric acid levels and is effective against gout.

It is also rich in tannin, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and saponins.

Banaba is used in folkloric herbal medicine for the treatment of the following:

Blood pressure control
Cholesterol level control
Diabetes
Diarrhea
Gout
Kidney stones and other kidney disorders
Weight loss

Preparation of Banaba herbal tea:


Dry Banaba leaves and fruits for about two weeks; cut Banaba leaves/fruits into pieces. One cup of water for every cup of Banaba leaves and fruits.

Boil, strain and let it steep for 30 minutes. Take the Banaba herbal tea for 4 to 6 times daily.

Precaution:
It is recommended to consult your doctor before taking any herbal medicine.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Pomelo

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Scientific name: Citrus decumana, Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis


Common names: shaddock, pomelo, suha, pamplemousse

Description: Pomelo is a large citrus fruit 15–25 centimetres in diameter and weighing about 2.2 to more than 4 lbs.  It has the consistency of grapefruits without the tart flavor. It is pale green or yellowish in color while its edible flesh inside is pulpy & white, pink or red and has very thick albedo (rind pith).

The peel is used to make marmalade or candied.

Parts used: Fruit, peel, leaves

Nutritional value:

Fresh fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds like vitamin B & C, potassium, iron, magnesium, lycopene and dietary fiber. The rind has flavonoids, limonoids,
and terpenes.

Medicinal properties:

Studies show that pomelo is antimicrobial, antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

Anti-Aging - Pomelo has high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants and pomelo also contains spermadine (a rare chemical found in human sperm) and linked to anti-aging properties.

Anti-depressant - The extract of leaves showed psychostimulant effect and increased in norepinephrine level in the synapses thus helpful in lifting up the mood.

Blood Pressure - Pomelos are a very good source of potassium about 37% of your daily requirement. Potassium is a vasodilator which helps release tension of blood vessels and promotes increased blood circulation and oxygenation of organ systems. It is also good for the heart.

Body Cramping - Potassium is important in the fluid balance in the body and prevents muscle cramping and stiffness.

Diabetes - Pomelo Juice yields insulin like substance and is rich in lycopene and vitamin C.

Digestion - Pomelo contains about 25% of your daily requirement of fiber. This promotes healthy digestion and eliminates problems like constipation and diarrhea.

Dyspepsia - Peel or rind, dried or in decoction, used for dyspepsia.

Immune System - Being rich in Vitamin C this fruit helps to fight off infections, colds, coughs, fevers, and other microbial, viral, and bacterial infections.

Weight Loss - Pomelo contains Carnitine pamitoyl-transferase a “fat-burning enzyme” that can help you reduce your weight.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Asparagus



Scientific name: Asparagus officinalis

Description:

Asparagus is a herbaceous, spring vegetable and flowering perennial plant with stout stems and much-branched feathery foliage. The "leaves"or modified stems are  needle-like cladodes(branchlets) in the axils of scale leaves. The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculated.

The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, axillary, fascicled, solitary or in pairs.

Parts used:

Roots and seeds of ripe fruit

Medicinal properties:

Asparagus has been used as a vegetable and medicine because of its diuretic properties, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, mild aperient, sedative, laxative, demulcent and the green resin it contains is believed to be calming to the heart.

Asparagus is high in vitamin B1, B6, B12, Vit A, C, E, K, calcium, magnesium and zinc.  It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, beta-carotene, rutin, niacin, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, selenium and chromium. Asparagus is low in calorie and sodium.

This vegetable is also a natural free radical scavenger and antioxidant.

Medicinal Uses:


Asparagus is considered a useful supplement for hangovers.

Anti-Cancer: Asparagus has sarsasapogenin O, and seven known steroids which demonstrated significant cytotoxicities against human A2780, HO-8910 and other tumor cells.

Asparagus also alleviates pain caused by rheumatism, chronic gout and the green resin is used for flatulence, calculous affections and cardiac dropsy.

Water in which asparagus was boiled is good for rheumatism and the roots are considered a powerful diuretic and used also for bronchial catarrh and pulmonary tuberculosis.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bee Balm

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Scientific name: Monarda didyma

Common names: Horsebalm, Bergamot, Wild Bergamot, Scarlet Monarda, Oswego Tea, Mountain
Mint, Horseming, Elk Medicine, Sweet leaf

Description:

Bee balm is a perennial plant and a member of the mint family. The flowers are long, tubular that are clustered in a solitary, rounded head of dark-red calices. The flowers range in color from pink to crimson red, red and light purple hues. The stems are about 2 to 3 feet long that are branched while the leaves are aromatic/fragrant minty that are dark green, oval to oblong lanceshape. The preferred habitat are open woods, thickets, dry rocky hills and found in Eastern Canada and Maine, westward to Minnesota, south to Gulf of Mexico.  Bee balm is edible as well as medicinal and used as an herb.
Bees delight in the nectar of the flowers, earning the name "Bee Balm".

Parts Used: leaves, flowers

Medicinal uses and properties:

Bee balm is the natural sources of the antiseptic thymol (the main active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas and used to treat mouth and throat infections.),carvacrol, rosemarnic acid. It has excellent antibacterial qualities & strong antiseptic properties used for skin infections and minor wounds.  The herb also has carminative properties and used to treat headaches and fevers, colds, colic, nausea, delayed menstruation, general stomach upset, insufficient circulation and as a relaxant diaphoretic. The bee balm can also be use for psoriasis, eczema and can be used as an insect repellant.

Bee Balm Tea Recipe:

Place ¼ cup bee balm leaves and flowers in a teapot. Add one quart of boiling water.Cover and steep for about an hour until cool. Strain and discard leaves and flowers. sweeten to taste, take at bedtime. You may also want to chill and serve over ice.

Precaution:

Not to be taken by those with thyroid problems, pregnant or lactating women. It can also cause skin irritation and cause sensitivity to the sun so it is advisable to test it first on a small area of the skin before applying. Just like in all the post here of medicinal plants, it is still best to consult your doctor before using medicinal plants.