Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sargassum Seaweeds

Medicines from Natural Sources

Scientific name: Sargassum muticum


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

Medicines from Natural Sources
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.