Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Uses for Parsley

When it comes to herbs, traditions have changed, varieties have increased, but through it all, Parsley has just stayed Parsley, flat or curly leaf, nothing major and no need for change. Use it as an herb or use it as a garnish, it does not matter people still love it. Often used fresh or dried, fresh is more popular and has very easy access when purchasing it or growing it. Storing it is simple, just wrap it is a damp paper towel and place it in a baggie and store it in the fridge. Parsley is used for all kinds of sauces and salads. Parsley can pretty much be added to anything and is used often to color pestos but it is very frequently used as a garnish.

Throughout history, parsley has been used for cooking as well as for medicinal purposes but has also been used for a lot more. Early Greeks used Parsley to make crowns for the Olympian winners. Hebrew tradition uses Parsley as part of Passover as a symbol of spring and rebirth. Parsley tracks all the way back to Hippocrates who used it for medicinal purposes for cure alls and as an antidote for poisons.

He also used it for ridding kidney and bladder stones. Many of these prior claims have been validated through modern science and it is true that Parsley is rich in vitamin A and C and is also shown to clear toxins from the body and reduces inflammation. Parsley has three times the amount of Vitamin C than oranges do!

Back in much earlier times, any ailments that was thought to be caused from a lack of Vitamin C was treated with Parsley such as for bad gums and loose teeth, for brightening what were considered dim eyes. The Greeks almost feared Parsley because it was associated with Archemorus, who too was an ancient Greek. Ancient tales tell that Archemorus was left as a baby on a parsley leaf by his nurse and was eaten by a serpent. For this reason the Greeks were terrified of Parsley which sounds kind of silly now but it took a while for them to get over that.

Parsley was also used to regulate menstrual cycles because parsley contains apiol which mimics estrogen, the female sex hormone. Parsley was also used to ward off Malaria and is told to have been very successful in doing so and it aided with water retention as well. Although these are old wives tales as some might call them when you consider them for just a minute they really do make a lot of sense.

Some of these old remedies still are used in part today such as the use of Parsley for kidney stones, as a diuretic, for rheumatoid arthritis, as a stimulant, for menstrual regulation, to settle the stomach, and as an appetite stimulant. You can purchase Parsley juice at herbal stores and it can be very healthy for you although it might not taste the greatest it can be mixed with other juices to enhance the flavor. Dried Parsley really has the least amount of nutritional value to it.

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Medicinal uses of Oregano

If someone says Oregano, it is likely that you will think in terms of cuisine. You would be right as most people do think of Oregano is sauces and so forth. However, there are actual medicinal properties to Oregano as well. Oregano makes a luscious cup of savory tea that works well for gas, indigestion, bloating, coughs, urinary problems, bronchial problems, headaches, and swollen glands and to induce and regulate a woman's menstrual cycle. Others swear that is can cure fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and same jaundice.

In the capsule form the leaves are dried and then crushed and placed into the empty capsule shell. Further, even others use the dried leaves by crushing them and adding just enough water to create a paste like substance and use it for a cream to apply for arthritis, itchy skin, sore muscles, and swelling. For a relaxing and soothing bath use Oregano leaves in the bath water. Finally, some people make Oregano oil and claim it helps rid toothaches.

In Jamaica people burn Oregano scented incense to ward off coughs and other respiratory distresses. Oregano has been used in ancient Greece and many other places across the globe where people have found a different use for Oregano besides cooking. Oregano is a perennial herb that is relative to the mint family and it is a very important culinary herb that is used in a lot of Greek and Italian cuisines. For cooking purposes it is the leaves that are used and while some like nothing but a fresh Oregano sprig, most will agree that the dried Oregano is much more flavorful.

Especially in Italian cooking you will notice a distinct relationship between the uses of Oregano in combination with Basil. The two always seem to create the perfect marriage especially in a tomato sauce. Oregano is also used on many vegetable dishes as well as a seasoning on various meats. The Greeks would never consider cooking with Oregano in their pantry. The famous Greek salad boasts its flavor of Oregano. No one could imagine eating a piece of pizza without a taste of Oregano added to it.

Oregano is commonly mistaken for Marjoram as the plants look very similar. Outside of the kitchen Marjoram and Oregano are best friends and do a lot together. The pair has quite plentiful properties in the areas of antioxidants and antibacterial. Together they are not only a great combination for flavoring food but also for preserving it too. Because both of their oils are perfumery they are placed in many different soaps and lotions. They are also used in combination for many potpourris and home décor.

There is no denying that Oregano has been around since ancient times both in and out of the kitchen. It had many medicinal properties then and it still does now. It was used in the kitchen and it is still used there now so those from ancient times started a tradition that is still followed to this day. Oregano's uniqueness is fully utilized in many different ways and will be for years to come.

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Information on Marjoram

Marjoram is the dried leaves from an herbal plant called the Origanium hortensis. The name Marjoram is a Greek word that means "Joy of the Mountain." Ancient Greeks believed that if Marjoram grew on a grave that person would enjoy eternal happiness. The taste of Marjoram is a bit sweeter than that of Oregano. Many people believe that Marjoram is, in part, a species of Oregano. Marjoram is a pretty user friendly herb that is used quite traditionally in Italian, French, North African, Middle Eastern, and American cuisine. Marjoram compliments quite nicely sausages, various meats, fish, tomato sauces, salad dressings, breads, stuffing's, and salads.

Marjoram is a relative to the mint family. You get the most flavors from Marjoram if you use the fresh leaves rather than fried marjoram. One big difference between Oregano and Marjoram is while Oregano tends to prosper in taste the longer it simmers in a sauce or stew, marjoram is the opposite and should be added into the dish as late as possible. Although Marjoram is sweet and mild, it is also at the same time minty and has a hint of citrus. The biggest Marjoram exported in Egypt. Marjoram blends very well with Bay Leaves, pepper, and Juniper. While all vegetables can benefit from a hint of Marjoram, it seems to work best on adding and enhancing the flavor of cabbage and legumes.

Many people find a great benefit from Marjoram in aromatherapy oils. Marjoram is said to have a soothing and warming effect with a spicy and warm scent. This explains why it is so popular with those who enjoy the many benefits of aromatherapy. Many times for aromatherapy oils it will be mixed with lavender, bergamot, and cedar wood. Beyond the great world of aromatherapy Marjoram has many other beneficial uses too as it is used as an analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and as a diuretic. The many uses of Marjoram include treatment for anxiety, arthritis, bronchitis, bruises, colic, constipation, digestive problems, gas, insomnia, muscle aches and pain, PMS, Rheumatism, sinusitis, and sprains.

Quite often people use Marjoram on a daily basis in various forms. Some prefer it as a tea which has been used throughout history for easing such ailments as hay fever, indigestion, sinus congestion, asthma, stomach upset, headache, dizziness, coughs, colds, and disorders associated with the nervous system. Some even use the tea as a mouthwash. One or two cups of marjoram tea per day have proven to be extremely therapeutic. Marjoram can be made into an ointment or salve by crushing the dried herbs into a paste, adding just a tiny bit of water. This is a common way to treat sprains and Rheumatism. Even still, some will mix the Marjoram into a paste and then into an oil to use for tooth pain or gum issues.

Marjoram should not be ingested internally in a medicinal or herbal form during pregnancy but can be eaten as an herb that is added to food. As you can see, Marjoram is a very essential and beneficial herb that was used in ancient times and is commonly still used today.

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Golden Seal Herb

Golden Seal is a perennial herb that is part of the Buttercup family. Golden Seal is used for a lot of medicinal purposes in a variety of ways both topically as well as internally. There are actually quite a few ways to purchase Golden Seal, in a bulk powder, salve, tincture, or a tablet. Internally it is a great digestion aid and if gargled with it has been known to remove canker sores.

Golden Seal has been around since times of the European conquest of America but has remained very strong because even today it is used for anti-catarrhal, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter tonic, laxative, and muscular stimulants. Herbalists say that if you are trying to ease gastritis, colitis, duodenal ulcers, loss of appetite, and liver disease, Golden Seal is what you might want to look into which is available at all herbal supplement stores. Golden Seal is very bitter so it stimulates bile secretions, stimulates the appetite, and aids in digestion.

Golden Seal has been around since the mid 19th century but is now threatened because Golden Seal is one of the most over harvested herbs. It keeps getting harvested and harvested but never replaced. Golden Seal which also goes by the name Yellow Root is often combined with Echinacea and prepared for easing the symptoms of colds. It is the underground root of Golden Seal that is harvested and dried to make teas and both liquid and solid extracts that are then turned into bulk powder, capsules or tablets.

Scientists claim that there is no evidence to support the use of Golden Seal for any ailments or medical condition whatsoever because of the very small amount of berberine that Golden Seal contains. Regardless of scientific claims, Golden Seal is one of the most widely sold herbs on the market today.

Although a very controversial subject, many people believe that the reason that Golden Seal is standing solid ground in the marketplace is because it is used primarily for the purpose of masking positive drug screens for people who are required to take drug tests for work or through law enforcement agencies. Many claims there is no validity to this claim but still many people are buying it because a friend told them that it worked and for that matter it is promoted in High Times magazine for the sole purpose of covering bogus drug screens. The claim is that because THC which is the active ingredient in marijuana is fat soluble it stores itself in the kidneys and becomes water soluble. Two to three days prior to a drug screen, you get some Golden Seal, follow the directions and it's a guaranteed pass.

If Golden Seal is one of the most popular herbs on the market today then someone has to be keeping them in business and it is true that many people are turning to herbal remedies in an attempt to heal themselves naturally rather than load up with a bunch of prescriptions that have nasty side effects.

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Benefits of Ginseng

Out of all of the herbal supplements on the market today, Ginseng is the most widely used. In earlier times Ginseng went by a different name, "man root." because the root resembled that of the shape of a man. To this day many people believe in the powers of Ginseng as they believe that it has healing and mystical powers. The Ancient Chinese thought that when a plant resembles a human body part that it would have a healing effect on that part of the body. In other words if a plant resembled a hand it would have the ability to heal the hands. But since Ginseng resembles the entire body it is thought that is can bring balance and well being to the whole body.

Ginseng contains complex carbohydrates, is an anti inflammatory, an anti oxidant, and has anti cancer elements. Notice today that many energy drinks contain Ginseng which is because it is known for creating energy, this was brought to the forefront by the Chinese but Americans have a different plan for Ginseng which is use it for mental lucidity and treating stress. There has been a growing relationship between Ginseng and its ability to strengthen physically as well as mentally and maintain good balance.

It was the Russians who actually made that discovery however the Asians have discovered that Ginseng helps mental improvement, eliminates anemia, and helps prevent diabetes, neurosis, coughs, asthma, and TB. Further they found that it can be very beneficial to the liver and can also reduce the effects significantly of a hangover.

There has been more recent research on Ginseng than on any other herbal supplement, ever. The concern is that many times when people purchase Ginseng at various stores it may have been over processed and therefore not as effective. The best way is to make sure that you are purchasing authentic Ginseng and in order to do that you may have to purchase the Ginseng root. Oddly enough, with all of the research and studies that have been conducted on Ginseng the FDA has yet to endorse it. It is known that people who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, bleeding or clotting disorders, or diabetes should not use Ginseng unless they speak with their physician first.

While it is true that Ginseng is most widely recognized as a medicinal herb it is also used quite frequently in teas and in cooking. Most people are aware of the infamous Ginseng tea but many are not aware that Ginseng is sliced and put into soups and often boiled and mashed, added to stir fry dishes, and added to boiling water when making rice. It is much more common for cooking in Chinese, Korean, and Asian foods.

Often Ginseng is used when cooking chicken and mushroom dishes. Many people also use it in desserts for some added zing. It is often used in soups, salads, and even jellies. It seems that most people who enjoy the benefits of Ginseng for cooking are vegetarians but it might be becoming more popular since people are now learning the true benefits of this very popular herb.

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Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo is one of the oldest tree species that are alive and the leaves are one of the most studied leaves in clinical settings today. Ginkgo Biloba is an herbal form of medicine and in Europe and The United States is one of the biggest sellers. Many traditional medicines contain Ginkgo and are used for enhancing memory and to treat circulatory disorders. Scientific studies all support and validate these claims. Newer evidence shows that Ginkgo might very well be effective in treating decreased blood flow to the brain, especially in the elderly. There are two types of chemicals in Ginkgo leaves, flavonoids and terpenoids, which are thought to have very strong antioxidant properties resulting in aiding those who have Alzheimer's disease.

While the Ginkgo plant is still in tree form, it produces fruit that is not edible; inside of the fruit are seeds that are poisonous to humans. Most of the studies that are currently being conducted on Ginkgo are being done on the leaves of the Ginkgo (GBE). Although many components of the Ginkgo tree have been studied only two have been directly related to the big success of Ginkgo, as mentioned above. This is why Ginkgo is showing a much more structured relationship with treatment of Alzheimer's and Dementia. Because Ginkgo is so effective in improving blood flow to the brain and because of its antioxidant properties, the evidence that Ginkgo can help these patients is extremely promising.

It is suggested that Ginkgo truly can improve cognitive functions such as thinking, learning, and memory, improve activities of daily living and social behavior, and lessen the feelings of depression. Further studies are showing that the flavonoids can also help with retinal problems, people with circulatory problems in their legs, memory impairment, and tinnitus. Many doctors are recommending Ginkgo for treatment or discomfort associated with altitude sickness, asthma, depression, disorientation, headaches, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and vertigo.

Ginkgo may also reduce the side effects of menopause, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. The option of Ginkgo has a lot more appeal these days then the options of prescription medication which has unpleasant side effects. Children under the age of 12 should not use Ginkgo and in adults it usually takes about 4-6 weeks before you will see any significant results. There has been a relationship developing between Ginkgo as an anti aging aid since it is such a powerful antioxidant that wards off the free radials.

It is very common and becoming even more so for healthy people to include Ginkgo as an herbal supplement on a daily basis for better concentration and enhanced memory. People claim that in general they feel that Ginkgo reduces any mental fatigue that daily life has a tendency to bring forth. Many men are taking Ginkgo to improve impotence as well as increase fertility. The Chinese have used Ginkgo Biloba for many years and have found great success with it so it seems that they might be on to something here because this herbal remedy looks like it going to be around for a very long time.

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Frankincense History & Uses

Since farther back than anyone can remember Frankincense has been used for medicinal and religious purposes. Early Egyptians used Frankincense as part of their embalming process, the Greeks used it as an antidote to hemlock poisoning, and the Chinese used it for trading as well as for internal and external purposes. Today, Frankincense is used mostly for aroma therapeutics but many have also recognized it as an anti inflammatory, antiseptic, and a diuretic. Some medical research has been done showing a relationship between the possibility of Frankincense and the treatment of osteoarthritis and may have some anti cancer fighting agents.

Frankincense has also been shown to help with anxiety, disappointment, hysteria, emotional fatigue, nervousness, congestion, anti inflammatory, immune deficiency, insomnia, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, aphrodisiac, emollient, indigestion, carminative, antiseptic, expectorant, sedative, tonic, and anti tumor.

Frankincense has been around since ancient times and is even mentioned in the Bible. The Jews offered up Frankincense in ceremonies. It seems that different regions use Frankincense for different reasons; the Chinese use Frankincense to treat leprosy, Egyptians used Frankincense to pain women's eyelids, hair remover, and perfume. The main contribution of Frankincense is for respiratory distress and although it was once taken internally but no longer is but now is rather used as more of incense and when it is infused with vapors it can help laryngitis.

Frankincense comes from a tree called the Boswellia Thurifera which can be found in Africa and Arabia. To get Frankincense, they split the trunk of the tree and allow the resin to harden before it is harvested. Frankincense is commonly used in the practice of Wicca which is a religion that practices witchcraft. They use Frankincense for perfumes and believe that it corresponds well with certain days such as Sundays and Wednesdays. What Wicca's call a solar spell is affiliated with Frankincense in the form of oil or herbs are used for spells and formulas that are related to solar issues.

These spells would be used for such purposes as physical energy, protection, success, and putting an end to specific legal issues. When you refer to Frankincense in the form of essential oils it is very expensive and is usually diluted with other oils or jojoba oil. These combinations are also used by the Wicca's when casting spells. Some people prefer to substitute Rosemary for Frankincense.

Ironically enough never forget that Frankincense was one of the beautiful gifts that were brought to baby Jesus on the night of his birth by one of the three wise men. This is also used to increase menstrual flow, to treat syphilis, for unsightly scars and stretch marks, and breast cysts. Further it is used to treat acne, boils, and skin infections as well. Frankincense is one herb that is not edible and is not known for use in any recipe contrary to those who believe that Frankincense is used in Indian cuisine. It is not known to be used in any cuisine at all but it is extremely helpful for the practice of aromatherapy.

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Home Remedies Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is an aromatic herb that has properties that provide great relief as a decongestant and an expectorant. For centuries Vick's which is made as a Eucalyptus rub is applied to the back and chest of a person who has a common cold or any other respiratory distress. It is known to loosen the mucus in the chest so that it can be coughed up and expelled.

Eucalyptus also has some antibiotic association with it. Eucalyptus has both internal and external uses. Internally it is the leaves that are used for herbal teas that are able to assist people by acting as a diuretic, an anti-diabetic and also has some anti-tumor properties. The Eucalyptus oils are almost never used internally or ingested but on rare occasion a doctor might use a miniscule amount for nasal congestion, bronchial disease and other respiratory problems.

Externally, Eucalyptus is used as a vapor rub and while it is recommended that it be rubbed on the chest and back area it is also good for inhalation in such ways as steam vaporizers. Some even boil water and drop a teaspoon of vapor rub into it so an ill person can breathe in the fumes which will help to break up the congestion in the lungs. Quite often people have used the very same rub for sprains, bruises, and muscle aches and pains.

Never underestimate the power of Eucalyptus oil as it can be beneficial for many reasons. First it is a very powerful antiseptic, it is used to treat pyorrhea which is a gum disease. It is often used to treat burns too. One thing you can bank on is that insects do not like Eucalyptus so if you mix some with water and put it in a spray bottle you can be sure that bugs will stay away. A small drop on the tip of the tongue is said to take away nausea. Many people will soak a cloth in Eucalyptus and put them in their pantries or closets to fend off bugs and roaches. Another quick tip is a few sniffs of Eucalyptus is said to help someone who has fainted and when mixed with cinnamon is known to alleviate the symptoms of the flu.

Eucalyptus is also commonly used for aromatherapy too because when mixed with other oils it is extremely beneficial. The effects of Eucalyptus are stimulating and balancing and the scent is very woody. For the purposes of aromatherapy it blends well with Juniper, Lavender, and Marjoram. Eucalyptus when used in aromatherapy does the body good as it helps to relieve mental fatigue, improves mental clarity and alertness, sharpens the senses, refreshes and revives, stimulating, energizing.

It also has great effects on the body as it feels cooling; it relieves pain and sore muscles, breaks up congestion, and reduces inflammation. Eucalyptus incorporated with aromatherapy offers pure enjoyment. Inhaling the fragrance of Eucalyptus can reduce stress and lessen depression. It makes for an overall sense of better well being. Eucalyptus is great for both bathing and also for massage oils.

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Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is an herb that is extremely effective and holds multiple purposes. There are nine different species of Echinacea but the one most commonly used and referred to is the Echinacea purpurea. Many people take Echinacea everyday to prevent colds, flu, and any other types of infections that might be running rapid at the time as Echinacea has been known for strengthening the immune system. Some people also use Echinacea for the treatment of acne and boils. The entire Echinacea plant including the roots are dried and made into teas, juices, and tonics.

While many swear by the power and strength of Echinacea there is no scientific backing that gives these claims any validity whatsoever. The Natives used to use Echinacea for many different things including the treatment of poisonous snake bites and insect bites. Back in the 1800's Echinacea played a very large part of United States medicine and then spread to Germany where they too used it for many medical purposes.

It was then used as an antibiotic and continued on until better antibiotics were made available. For years Echinacea sort of lost it's pizzazz but more recently gained back its popularity. Many think the reason for that is because there is still no cure for the common cold.

There are many various parts of the Echinacea plant that are used to make medicine but most often it is the roots that are of the most value. Echinacea can be administered in many different ways such as in a tablets, capsules, juice, tea, extracts and tinctures. Some are made from the flower in full bloom and others are made from the root itself. Echinacea is also available in a topical solution or cream that many use for creams, lotions, mouthwashes, ointments, skin washes, and toothpastes. Further it is becoming quite common to add Echinacea to particular cosmetics as an anti aging remedy but that claim has no validity at all as there is no relationship between anti aging and Echinacea.

Echinacea is an extremely beneficial herb for helping the body rid itself of microbial infections. When combined with other herbs such as Yarrow and Bearberry it is said to work great combating cystitis however Echinacea has yet to be endorsed by the FDA for safety or effectiveness. Those who use Echinacea for the common cold swear by it and it is recommended that for the most effectiveness you should begin taking Echinacea when you notice the very first symptoms of a cold and then stay on it for three weeks and stop taking it for one week.

There are some who would be at risk if they took Echinacea such as people with multiple sclerosis, white blood cell disorders, collagen disorders, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders, or tuberculosis. Heed caution also if you have any plant allergies; take other medications, or herbal remedies. Children should not take Echinacea, nor should pregnant women or nursing mothers.

Also, people who are on steroid medicine including betamethasone, cortisone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, triamcinolone, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, azathioprine, or other immune system suppressants should avoid the use of Echinacea.

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Benefits of Dandelion Root

The Dandelion is an herbaceous plant that really is much more than just a nuisance in your yard. For all purposes, the Dandelion leaves are at their best just as they emerge from the ground and they are very distinct as nothing really resembles this at all. Depending on when you harvest the Dandelion leaves will determine the bitterness of them but it is an appealing bitterness.

These leaves that are considered an herb blend nicely with salads and do well either sautéed or steamed. Many claim the taste is similar to that of endive. People who are into eating the fruits of nature claim that it is perfectly acceptable to eat the Dandelion flower as well. Some claim that they make outstanding fritters if they are battered up and fried and make a colorful contribution to any stir fry.

Dandelions leaves are actually extremely nutritious, much more so than any herb that can be purchased in the stores. They are higher in bets carotene than carrots are and they have more iron and calcium and iron than spinach does. Dandelion leaves are also full of vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Dandelion root is one of the safest and most popular herbal remedies on the market and is widely used today.

Traditionally it can be made into a tonic that is known for strengthening the entire body, especially the liver and gallbladder because it promotes the flow of bile. Dandelion root contains taraxacin so it reduces the inflammation to the bile ducts and reduces gallstones. It is commonly used for Hepatitis, liver swelling, and jaundice. It also helps with indigestion.

This plant also goes by the French name, Pissenlit. Ironically enough when used in the tea form made by the leaves or the root has a tendency to act as a diuretic on the kidneys. Over the counter diuretics have a tendency to suck the potassium out of the body but not the Dandelion leaves. Dandelion root tea has helped some actually avoid surgery for urinary stones. Dandelions are really just good for overall health and well being so just about anyone could benefit from a cup of dandelion tea. Many herbalists say that incorporated the Dandelion plant into dinner each night will assist in easier digestion.

When you take a Dandelion plant and break the stem you will find a milky white substance inside. This substance is great for removing warts, pimples, moles, calluses, soothing of bee stings, and blisters. Some other things that Dandelion has been popular in the past for is making Dandelion jam and others use it for a coffee substitute when it is roasted and ground Dandelion root. Many also drink Dandelion wine.

Today, Europeans use plenty of Dandelion roots to make herbal medicines and find it hard to believe that Americans refer to this highly beneficial plant as a weed when it has such positive benefits for the liver, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and the stomach.

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The Effects of Cloves

Health Benefits of Cloves

Cloves are definitely one of the most distinct herbs around but ironically enough, cloves have been around forever and are not finished doing business just yet. Usually if you can not get your hands on some cloves, Allspice can be a substitute. Cloves have some preservative properties to them but they work well as an antiseptic, expectorant, anesthetic, or an emmenogogue, working well on the kidneys, the spleen and the stomach.

Some make a combination of cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, and marjoram for a hot tea that helps bronchitis, asthma, coughs, a tendency to infection, tuberculosis, altitude sickness, nervous stomach, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, indigestion, dyspepsia, gastroenteritis, the side effects of lobelia, and depression. Sometimes people mix cloves with hot water, again making a tea and claim that it helps them get a good night's sleep.

Cloves and ginger is a sure way to settle the stomach and stop vomiting. If you combine equal parts of cloves and basil it is supposed to detox meals from the body. Cloves have been used for failing eyesight and tooth problems. It was used for earaches very often throughout history as putting a little warmed oil of clove on a piece of cotton and in your ear was certain to rid any earache. Mostly, cloves are known for being warm and spicy but also have a strong relationship with pain relief, easing nausea and vomiting, and improving digestion. Cloves also kill intestinal parasites and act as an antimicrobial agent against fungi and bacteria. It has also been suggested that cloves have antihistamine properties as well.

Do not be too quick to pass off the possibilities of cloves and aromatherapy as the two have a very strong bond between them. Since cloves have such a positive and stimulating effect on the mind they pair up great with other oils for aromatherapy purposes. In the 16th and 17th centuries cloves were worth their weight in gold however it is the clove oil that is most essential. In Indonesia many people smoke clove cigarettes and that did spill over into the United States for a while but lost most of its vigor when it was found that clove cigarettes could cause adult respiratory distress syndrome.

The word clove comes from the Latin word "clavus" which means nail. If you have ever looked at a clove you will notice that it does resemble a nail. Many people use whole cloves when they cook ham by sticking the spiky part around the outer edges of the ham for extra flavor. Indian curries can not do without cloves but it is also used in pickles, sauces, Worcestershire sauce, and even spice cakes that are baked from scratch.

Throughout history cloves has never been forgotten but has lost some of its popularity. Some still use it as a spice and some for minor dentistry and even still more for the purpose of aromatherapy. People still look at cloves as an "old fashioned" herb. For some families it has been passed down through generations and in the pantry still sits a jar of whole cloves for that special ham dinner.
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Cilantro Used to Heal

Cilantro is a very fast growing herb which can be grown just about anywhere. It is a relative of the carrot family and is sometimes called Chinese parsley and Coriander. Cilantro actually is the leaves and stems of the Coriander plant.

It has a very strong unique odor and is relied on heavily for Mexican, Asian, and Caribbean cuisine. Cilantro also resembles Parsley which is not surprising since the two are related. For thousands of years Cilantro has been around, first in Egypt, India, and China and then it was introduced to Mexico and Peru where it is still used with chilies when making masterful food dishes. It has since become very popular in certain parts of the United States as well. Today, Cilantro has lost its popularity in Europe as most Europeans are repulsed by the very smell of it.

Cilantro is a Greek word that means "koris" which in English means bedbug oddly enough because it is said by many that Cilantro smells like a bedbug. The Chinese did not seem to mind because they add Cilantro to their various love potions because to them it symbolizes immortality and has aphrodisiac properties to it. Many also say that it is an appetite stimulant. Cilantro is very easy to find in pretty much any local grocery store or fruit market any time of the year.

Cilantro has an interesting history to it and has showed up many times throughout history. Keep in mind that Cilantro is also in part Coriander, and some seeds were found in King Tut's tomb. It is also mentioned in the Old Testament and was used by physicians dated back as far as Hippocrates. The Ancient Egyptians used Cilantro for such things as headaches and urinary tract infections.

Cilantro can also mask the scent of rotting meat and it was used for that purpose quite frequently by earlier cultures. It would be fair to say that Cilantro is an herbal plant that has two identities since Cilantro is what the plant is referred to in its earliest stages and when it is fully developed it then becomes Coriander. Cilantro grows very quickly but also dies very quickly but it can easy grow in a pot on your windowsill. It is always best to harvest Cilantro before it bolts or blooms. If you wait too long to harvest Cilantro what will happen is that you will be harvesting Coriander because it will then be all seed.

Today, Cilantro can be found just about anywhere in the United States and is a garnish on almost every plate served in an upscale restaurant. The odd thing about Cilantro is that most people either love it or they hate it, usually there is no in between.

Those who hate it claim that it has a soapy taste while those who love it claim that it is a strong taste that Cilantro delivers but they do enjoy it pungency. Cilantro is sold as fresh and if you find it in a dried form do not waste your time with it because drying it causes it to lose its entire flavor.

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List of Healing Herbs

Benefits of Chamomile

Uses of Chamomile

Chamomile is an herb that has been used for thousands of years for many ailments including gas, diarrhea, stomach upset, sleeplessness, and anxiety. It can also be used topically for certain skin lesions. The Chamomile plant has flowering tops and these are what are used for making tea and other herbal remedies that include Chamomile.

When Chamomile tops are stewed and then drained the liquid is a deep yellow color and can be lightly sweetened if preferred. It has a very unique taste to it and many women used to make sure they always had a few baby bottles tucked safely away in the refrigerator in case their baby got gas. It was used before the days of over the counter gas relief drops and although there is no scientific validity to it, it always seemed to make the baby stop wailing and fall fast asleep.


It was also given to women for menstrual cramps in the days before Midol and Pamprin. Chamomile also has some calming properties to it so it can be very beneficial to sip on during the day if you are feeling anxious or if the muscles in your body are tense from anxiety and stress it is said that Chamomile can help to relieve that.

Chamomile produces an oil that when isolated turns a very unique bluish color and this has very distinct anti-inflammatory properties to it so it has been known to work very well on skin infections, eczema, and inflamed skin. This would be Chamomile in its topical form rather than the flowers or the tea from the flowers. Again, remember that Chamomile was around for a long time before many over the counter and prescription medications were so readily available. For years all many people had to rely on was herbal remedies that were likely passed down from generations and possibly continued to be passed down even after the newer medications did come to the forefront.

Often when small children had bug bites, diaper rashes, or eczema, the mother would fill a stocking with Chamomile and oatmeal and let it soak in the tub with her children. It was very effective in stopping the itch and improving the diaper rash. Chamomile was also used in combination with other herbs for a lot of other purposes such as if one felt nauseous, a combination of Chamomile, shredded licorice root, fennel seeds, and peppermint would cure that pretty quickly. Because Chamomile is part of the Ragweed family you should not ingest it if you have an allergy to Ragweed.

Some people love to sip a hot cup of Chamomile tea with no ailments at all, just because they enjoy it. Pregnant and nursing mothers are advised to stay away from all herbs but Chamomile is the exception to this rule. It is completely safe for anyone to drink at any time. It has even been known to help teething babies too. On a final note Chamomile has been known to be an excellent hair conditioner and to sooth scalps. When mixed with a bit of lemon and sunshine it has also been known to give subtle natural highlights to hair.

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List of Healing Herbs

How to Use Catnip

Healing Power and Uses of Catnip

"Catnip" is the common name for a perennial herb of the mint family. Catnip is native to Europe and is imported into the United States. In North America it is a common widespread weed. Catnip is most popular with cats and the reaction that it causes in them when they receive some dried nip from their owner. They roll around in it in all of their glory. The fact is that humans do not smell what cats smell when it comes to catnip so humans do not react the same way that cats do. It is known that the chemical nepetalactone in catnip is the thing that triggers the response. Apparently, it somehow kicks off a stereotypical pattern in cats that are sensitive to the chemical.

In humans catnip has been used for several ailments including the treatment of colic, headache, toothache, colds, and spasms. It is also known to induce sleep in most people but it others it can have a counter effect. Catnip also has antibacterial properties to it too. In the 15th century the English cooks would season meats with catnip and also add a pinch to salads. Many people also prefer catnip tea to Chinese tea. Some of the agents in catnip also act as a very effective cockroach repellent. It has actually been proven to be more effective by 100% than DEET.

When taken orally, catnip shows a great benefit for anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness. Nepetalactone is the active ingredient in catnip and is commonly used as an herbal sedative. Because of this it is also great for easing migraine headaches, stomach complaints, and also reduces swelling associated with arthritis, hemorrhoids, and soft tissue injuries. Catnip can be purchased in a liquid, dried, or a capsule form. It is the dried form that is commonly brewed into a tea. Folklore has it that if catnip is smoked it might produce minor hallucinogenic effects but that has since been disregarded. It was also said that when children would throw fits that catnip would be able to calm them and also stop children from having nightmares.

Some claims have been made that catnip is a distant relative of marijuana. There really is no validity to this claim except for the way that the cats act when they roll around in the nip which looks like they have a buzz. When the cat rolls around in it a euphoric effect is displayed but if the cat eats any of the nips, he is certain to fall fast asleep. Catnip has been called the mysterious herb by many. It is related to common kitchen herbs like thyme and sage, and can be easily cultivated as a houseplant.

Another fact about Catnip is that as much as cats seem to love it is as much as mosquitoes hate it. These are all the things that make catnip such a unique herb that it has the ability to entertain cats, it has medicinal properties, there are a few funny myths about it and is an insect repellant all in one.

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Benefits of Burdock

Burdock is a plant that is related to the daisy family. It is also closely related to Echinacea, Dandelion, and Feverfew. Burdock is an herb but it is one that has been much neglected when it comes to getting attention. Back in ancient times the Greeks used the roots, the seeds, and the greens and used them for healing purposes. Throughout the Middle Ages Burdock was used for both food and medicine.

Today, Burdock is still used for such things as easing liver problems and digestive disorders. It was also found to be very effective for cleansing the skin for problems such as acne and also to assist in digestive problems. To this day throughout Europe the stalk and the greens are still eaten because they hold such valuable nutrition and vitamin values.

As more and more research is being done on Burdock many new and interesting discoveries are cropping up. A relationship is being examined between Burdock and its anti fungal and anti bacterial properties, and even more important it is showing signs of possibly being able to fight against tumors and could be a cancer fighting agent as well. Research has shown that since many of the cancer causing compounds are in almost all foods which are then eaten and stored in the human fat tissues that Burdock might very well be of help in fighting cancer because of the role that it can play in depleting these mutagens.

Burdock is also very helpful in strengthening the immune system when it has become weakened by environmental factors. When mixed with other herbs such as Dandelion and Ginger it can be a very powerful blood purifier. The most unique fact about Burdock is that it has a very high amount of inulin which is a natural occurring chemical within the body that mimics actions of insulin. Because of this, Burdock has been successful in helping combat hypoglycemia and pre diabetes conditions.

If you look for Burdock in the market you may find it called gobo instead as that is what some refer to it as. It is often combined with other vegetables or added to Tofu. Some boil Burdock while others sauté or deep fry it. Many have said it might not be such a good idea to look at Burdock before you eat it because you might change your mind about taking a bite.

It looks thick, dark, and woody but indeed the opposite is true when it comes to the taste. Burdock is well recognized as a health food because it has low calorie content and a high fiber intake. It is also loaded with potassium, iron, and calcium. People claim that Burdock tastes like nothing else. In other words it has a taste all of its own.

The best description that people can agree on when it comes to the flavor of Burdock is that it is sweet yet earthy, with a tender and crisp texture. It is often added to stews, soups, and stir fries. In the form of food, Burdock is highly nutritional and full of vitamins but in retrospect Burdock is also an effective herb for bringing the body back into balance.

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Belladonna Medicinal Uses

Belladonna is not an herb that you are going to want to stock your pantry with. While it has its benefits, this is an herb that can be very dangerous and sometimes even fatal. It has some medicinal properties to it and has an interesting history but it can be very dangerous. The nickname "deadly nightshade" is a good clue of its potency. There is however a tincture that comes from this plant that is used for medicinal purposes. Belladonna is a perennial herb that is native to Europe and Asia Minor but is now grown quite often in the United States, Europe, and India. When the plant is in full bloom the plant is harvested and then dried for use.

The most important contribution from Belladonna is atropine which is an important agent that is useful in dilating the pupils of the eye. This has proven to be very beneficial. Even small doses of atropine can cause the heart rate to increase. Some cough syrups are known to contain atropine and are used for bronchitis and whooping cough. Further it is used to soothe the stomach lining prior to an anesthetic being administered and also for peptic ulcers.

Belladonna goes by many different names but has been used for over 500 years. While growing in the wild, which belladonna commonly does, a slight dose can be fatal. In the earliest times when Belladonna was first used it was cosmetic purposes. Women felt that if they used it to dilate their pupils that they would look more sexy and alluring. That is why the name Belladonna means "beautiful lady" in Italian. Yet, it is still used in many eye doctors' offices across the country to this day.

Belladonna also has other great benefits for purposes of what it is used for today as it has the ability to dry up bodily fluids such as breast milk, saliva, perspiration, and mucous. The alkaloids in Belladonna are used for many conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders such as colitis, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, colic, diarrhea, and peptic ulcer. It also works for asthma, excessive sweating, excessive nighttime urination and incontinence, headaches and migraines, muscle pains and spasms, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease, and biliary colic.

Quite often Belladonna is used as homeopathic remedies such as the common cold, earaches, fever, menstrual cramps, sunstroke, toothaches, headaches, sore throats, and boils. How the patient ingests and how much they ingest is determined by a few various factors such as their symptoms, mood, and overall temperament. When Belladonna is administered for homeopathic use it is highly diluted because of the toxicity level of it.

No one should ever use Belladonna as a self help measure and it should only be taken under the care of a qualified doctor. The doses given of Belladonna are always in very low doses. When Belladonna is prescribed it is either added to sugar pellets or mixed with other types of drugs and is available by prescription only. So while it is clear that Belladonna is an extremely dangerous herb it is also very beneficial when used correctly.

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Herbs Basil

Healing Power of Basil

Originally, Basil was not the most popular herb in the bunch. Actually there were some who simply hated it, mainly the ancient people. The name basil means "be fragrant" but still various cultures battled with a love hate relationship over basil. Americans and Romans loved it while Hindus plant it in their homes as a sign of happiness. On the contrary it was the Greeks who despised it most but those from India and Persia were not too fond of it either. One place that took a special liking to Basil was Italy and to this day not many people prepare a classic pasta sauce without the Basil.

To this day basil and tomato sauce have formed somewhat of a marriage almost globally. Basil is very easy to grow as long as the temperature does not fall below 50 degrees and is in full sunshine. It is popularly used both in the fresh form as well as the dried. A rare known fact about Basil is that the longer it simmers in a dish the more the flavor intensifies. This makes sense as to why people simmer their pasta sauces for so long, to bring out all of the rich herb flavors. Normally in pasta sauces Basil is used in combination with Oregano. However, Basil is not just used for pasta or tomato sauce, it is also used for flavoring fish, vegetables, meats, and soups.

If you decide to grow an herb garden, you can thank the Basil plants for keeping the flies away as flies are also part of the group that does not care for Basil. Another interesting fact about Basil is that it was considered a royal herb with a strong association pertaining to love. Basil had a relationship with how men of a much earlier time planned on proposing to their fair maidens. The man would bring a branch of Basil and if the woman accepted his gift she silently agreed to love him and be faithful to him for eternity.

Basil is related to the Mint family and just knowing that should give you a good idea that it will have many medicinal uses as well. Right away most people associate anything mint with aiding the digestive system and also for its anti gas properties. Herbalists use Basil quite commonly for health ailments such as stomach cramps, vomiting, constipation, headaches and anxiety. When Basil is used for these purposes it is generally made into a hot tea for drinking. Some also claim that a nice hot cup of Basil tea can contribute greatly to a good nights sleep. At herbal stores you can also purchase Basil capsules as well if you do not care for the taste of the tea.

Basil is still one of the most common household herbs used today and in most areas of culinary art it is a necessity there too. When used in its freshest form, Basil is torn from the plant and then just minced up with a knife. Usually somewhere nearby the Basil you will find some olive oil, garlic, and someone getting ready to prepare a fantastic tomato sauce.

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Balsam of Tolu - Healing Power

Balsam of Tolu is an herb that comes from a very tall tree that can be found in Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. This herbal plant has also been called Balsam of Peru because it was originally exported primarily from Peru but that is no longer the case. The resin of this tree is what is most valuable and is retrieved in the same fashion that one collects the valuable properties from a rubber tree by tapping into it. The gummy resin that comes from the tree is then turned into balsam. Today, the main exporters of Balsam of Tolu are El Salvador, Columbia, and Venezuela.

In earlier times it was tribal groups from Mexico and Central America that used the leaves of Balsam of Tolu to treat such common ailments as external wounds, asthma, colds, flu, and arthritis. Some native Indians used the bark in a powered form as an underarm deodorant while others found it best for lung and cold ailments. Those who originated in the rainforest tribes used Balsam of Tolu quite frequently for many medicinal purposes such as abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, headache, rheumatism, sores, sprains, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, and wounds.

As this herbal plant grew in popularity, it was the Europeans who wanted in on the action and soon the Germans were using it for pharmaceutical purposes as well. They found that Balsam of Tolu worked very well for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic purposes so they immediately started using it for such things as scabies, ringworm, lice, minor ulcerations, wounds, bedsores, and diaper rash. Today, it is used very often in topical salves for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, and scabies.

It can be found in hair tonics, antidandruff shampoos, feminine hygiene sprays and as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and perfumes. In the early 1800's, the United States wanted to utilize Balsam of Tolu as well but used it mainly for treatments as cough suppressants and respiratory aids used in cough lozenges and syrups, for sore throats, and as a vapor inhalant for respiratory distress.

Balsam of Tolu has a vanilla like smell and taste and it is used mostly for flavoring cough syrups, soft drinks, confectionaries, and chewing gums. Balsam of Tolu is widely available now in the U.S. The essential oil distilled from the gum is sold in small bottles and used topically, in aromatherapy. The fragrance is considered to be healing and comforting. It is useful for meditation and relaxation which is why it has become so popular amongst the world of aromatherapy. Balsam of Tolu has a very unique aroma which makes it excellent for exotic floral fragrances.

Generally its topical use is recommended for skin rashes, eczema, and skin parasites such as scabies, ringworm, and head lice. Balsam of Tolu is considered sensitizing oil which means that it is more likely to cause an allergic reaction to the skin or be a skin irritant than other herbal oils might be in people who are sensitive or commonly have allergies to plants and herbs.

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Uses of Asafoetida

Asafoetida has been also referred to as the "Food of the Gods." The main part of this plant that is used is the resin which makes up a volatile oil. The history of this herb is amazing as it was used frequently back in time by Alexander the Great for flavoring. That was back in 4 B.C. still in early times, Asafoetida was used to treat gas and the bloating associated with it. Carrying through time the resin gum is used often for vegetarian dishes that are prepared in India. Today, it is one of the main flavorings in Worcestershire sauce.

Asafoetida is an herbal plant that has many diverse uses such as an aid for digestion, a remedy for headaches, an antidote, and an expectorant. Asafoetida has been known to be used on some mental impairment but not very often has it been shown to make any significant difference except for mild anxiety. Therefore it focuses primarily on bodily functions where it can do greater good.

As mentioned earlier, it works on gas and the bloating associated with it but further it also eases indigestion, rids stomach cramps, and helps with constipation, which is Asafoetida's contribution in the digestion department. When it comes to headaches, when Asafoetida is mixed with water it is showing great promise for the treatment of migraines and tension headaches. As an antidote, it works great for snake bites and an insect repellant when it is mixed with garlic.

As an expectorant the Asafoetida oil helps to rid the body of excess mucus and eases the respiratory system. Many use it for whooping cough, asthma, and bronchitis. Where expectoration is a problem asafetida helps in expelling accumulated cough. Some mixtures that seem to blend together well for coughs and as expectorants are roasted fresh resinous gum powder with real ghee or a mixture of asafetida powder with honey, white onion juice, betel nut juice and dry ginger.

Asafoetida has a very unpleasant odor to it, so bad that many call it the "Devil's Dung." The foul odor comes from the resin that is removed from the plant's stem and root. Asafoetida is a species of the fennel plant but a relative to the carrot. The wicked odor is formed from the organic sulfur compound found as part of the essential oils. When it comes to the value of the Asafoetida tree, the older, the better and trees less than four years of age are virtually worthless.

When buying Asafoetida in the marketplace it will likely be available in three different forms, one is called tears which are commonly sold in Chinese pharmacies and characteristically may have fragments of root and earth. It is also sold in a paste which is very commonly used as a condiment for flavoring such dishes as curry, to flavor beans, sauces, pickles, and many use it as a substitute for garlic.

A few other unique things that Asafoetida is used for is that if used in recipes regularly it has been suggested that it may increase the chances of male fertility. Often it is used for toothaches as well.
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List of Healing Herbs

List of Healing Herbs

Here are my blog posts list to Healing Herbs:

Uses for Parsley

Medicinal uses of Oregano

Information on Marjoram

Golden Seal Herb

Benefits of Ginseng

Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba

Frankincense History & Uses

Home Remedies Eucalyptus

Benefits of Echinacea

Benefits of Dandelion Root

The Effects of Cloves

Cilantro Used to Heal

Benefits of Chamomile

How to Use Catnip

Benefits of Burdock

Belladonna Medicinal Uses

Herbs Basil

Balsam of Tolu - Healing Power

Uses of Asafoetida

What are the Health Benifits of Alfalfa

What are the Health Benifits of Alfalfa

Alfalfa, which is a perennial herb, has a long list of dietary and medicinal uses and research has proven that Alfalfa might lower blood levels of cholesterol and glucose. Many take Alfalfa supplements orally and is has been proven safe except in a small percentage of people where it produces lupus like symptoms. In the seeds and sprouts of Alfalfa, amino acid L-canavanine is present and that is what is thought to cause this reaction. However, this is not present in the leaves of the Alfalfa. The whole leaf and the herb are what are rendered from the Alfalfa plant.

Since the sixth century the Chinese have used Alfalfa to relieve fluid retention and swelling. The Arabs were the first to find Alfalfa and they named it "the father of all foods." The leaves of the Alfalfa plant are very rich in minerals and nutrients, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, and carotene. The Arabs first fed it to their horses because they believed the Alfalfa made them swift and mighty. Alfalfa has been an animal crop for over a thousand years but is also used as an herbal medicine.

Alfalfa is a good diuretic and also a good laxative. It also works well for urinary tract infections, and kidney, bladder and prostrate disorders. The latest and greatest discovery of Alfalfa is the benefits that it might provide for lowering cholesterol because there are certain agents in Alfalfa that stick to cholesterol which keeps it from remaining in the blood stream. Further, it may also have a very strong relationship with lowering blood sugar levels.

When it comes to Alfalfa it is something that many people enjoy in their cuisine. It is good in salads and some people eat it as a vegetable all alone. Many people claim that eating Alfalfa is a big part of eating healthy. Besides wheat grass and algae, Alfalfa has the most nutritional value. It is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and has all of the required digestive enzymes.

It is warned by avid Alfalfa lovers that you likely will not like the way that it tastes in your mouth, it may feel like it is burning the tip of your tongue and you actually might just completely dislike it however, they urge you to not give up because it is an acquired taste and you will begin to like it. The best news is that soon after eating it regularly you will find that your appetite for heavier foods will diminish.

Alfalfa is also great for reducing fevers and is very good for the blood. It contains natural fluoride and prevents tooth decay. Alfalfa makes a great tea because when the Alfalfa leaves steep in the hot water it is a source of nitrogen. The tea is not only made for human consumption because people who grow Irises and Delphiniums just love Alfalfa tea because of the great effect that it has on the plants when used as a foliar spray. Many with a green thumb also use Alfalfa as mulch for their flower beds.
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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Natural Weight Loss Remedies


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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - The Cross Training Support Program

The Cross Training Support Program is rather unique in that it advocates that weight loss can be helped with Aromatherapy, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Exercise, Nutrition and Lifestyle Changes, Crystals and/or Homeopathy. In other words, complementary therapies are the cross training.

As with all plans to lose weight, you will still need to eat less and exercise more. Consume less sugar, simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. It's just as basic as that. No matter what other supplements or capsules you take, the bottom line is still you have to work to get it off. At the root of obesity is a physiological and psychological problem.

It seems about 66% of adults in the USA are overweight or obese. It that isn't scary enough, about 25 million young people are either overweight or on the brink of becoming so.

What does cross training suggest you do? They offer a 12 step program if you will that covers all the natural remedies for losing weight. The first is think of your weight loss as a lifestyle change, not a diet. Don't count calories (that's a radical one), just replace high fat content with low fat content. Eat low on the sugar index, to avoid highs and lows in your blood sugar that can lead to increased insulin production and conversion of calories to fat. Don't drink - it's fattening. Exercise, no way around it. Drink lots of water. Eat more frequently during the day. Take vitamins. Cut back on meat products. Reduce your portions. Believe in yourself and what you are doing. Sleep well. Overcome fears.

The 12-step cross training program for losing weight isn't anything we haven't heard before. It doesn't offer lotions, potions or pills. It offers a plain old reasonable common sense natural remedy for losing weight. Are you up to the challenge?
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Natural Weight Loss Remedies

Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - St. John's Wort

While there are definitely any number of natural remedies for losing weight on the market, the question really becomes how effective are they and how safe are they. The answers to both of those questions would need to be researched carefully before you made any decisions. One thing to also remember, if you happen to be morbidly obese, many of these natural remedies for losing weight are likely not for you. As with any weight loss venture, you need to make sure you talk to your Doctor before you start any program.

One rather controversial herbal product that has a history of actually being used as an anti-depressant, seems to also be another contender in the weight loss arena. St. John's Wort, also called Hypericum, Klamath Weed, or Goat Weed, has been used for centuries to treat nerve pain, mental disorders, malaria, insect bites, wounds and burns. Amazingly, there are over 370 species of the genus Hypericum worldwide. It was also used by Native American as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent.

In the twentieth century St. John's Wort (named for its traditional flowering and harvesting on St. John's day, June 24th) has more commonly been used to treat depression, anxiety, and/or sleep disorders. The part of the plant used to make preparations is the top of the little yellow flower and is usually used to makes teas and tablets.

How does St John's Wort help you lose weight? That's the funny part - it does and it doesn't. It seems the herbal remedy itself does not help you lose weight. However, how it makes you feel by improving how you feel about yourself, does cause you to lose weight. Being in a better frame of mind may cause people to eat less. Bottom line is any change in your eating habits after taking St. John's Wort will have more to do with any psychological improvements and not the herbal remedy.

Here's the most interesting thing though, there are natural remedies for losing weight on the market that feature St. John's Wort as the main active ingredient. The way it's presented implies St. John's Wort is the key proponent to your anticipated weight loss. It isn't, and this is a misrepresentation. So once again, do your research before you start taking any natural remedies for losing weight. Also, pay attention to any side-effects that may result from the herbal remedy you are considering.
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Natural Weight Loss Remedies

Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Pyruvate

It seems we all Pyruvate present in our bodies, as it is formed during the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins. The claims for this natural remedy for losing weight are that it reduces fat, prevents the fat loss yo-yo effect, reduces cholesterol and increases endurance. All very beneficial things, if they actually come to pass.

And now down to business, does this work or doesn't it? Again, you would definitely need to do your own research as there seems to be at least three difference answers to that question - yes, no and maybe in some cases. Some say it works but only at high dosages (22 - 28 grams daily when the recommended dose is 500 micrograms to 1 gram). Some studies show that 23 per cent of the people who participated actually lost weight as opposed to some claims of a 48 per cent weight loss (roughly 2 to 3 pounds, not significant).

Now, on the other hand, another body of research says pyruvate does affect weight loss by burning fat and boosts energy. And this, good for high-end athletes and body builders, it kicks up the transport of glucose and protein into muscle cells and boosts exercise performance levels. Translation: helps them get toned and have more energy.

Once again, the jury is out on whether Pyruvate is truly effective or not. One thing you can take to the bank is that Pyruvate can be found in red apples, cheese and red wine. That's not to say go out and stuff yourself with any or all of these foods. But it does indicate that small amounts may be just fine, where larger amounts may be problematic. In the final analysis, more study is needed to determine if Pyruvate's claims of decreasing appetite and helping you lose weight are actually valid. What is certain, is this product is highly touted as a natural remedy for losing weight. The decision is up to you. Weigh all the options with care.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Leptoprin

The bottom line with natural remedies for losing weight is that if you stop taking them, the weight comes back. You have not learned anything about how to properly lose weight and maintain your loss. You have tricked your body into perhaps losing some fat and likely some water - but have not addressed the underlying causes as to why you may be overweight in the first place. If there actually were a diet pill that worked for the long term you can bet major drug companies would be selling them. They aren't!

Leptoprin (Anorex) has Calcium Phosphate, Commiphora mukul extract, Garcinia cambogia (HCA 125mg), L-Tyrosine, Acetylsalicyclic acid - 162.5mg, Dipotassium phosphate, Sodium phosphate, Disodium phosphate, Phosphatidyl choline, Scutellaria (root), Bupleurum (root), Epimedium (herb). You might be asking, as you should, why a diet product would have aspirin in it (something people on Coumadin dare not take).

Leptoprin is something called a Stack. The ECA (ephedra, caffeine and aspirin) stack is supposedly a thermogenic product - meaning it supposedly melts your fat away by boosting your metabolism. And while it may boost your metabolism, it is more than likely to give you a bad case of the jitters with two stimulants tag teamed together. It's like taking speed, as there is only a minimal difference between methamphetamine and ephedrine/ephedra.

The side effects for a product like this are many - irregular or accelerated heart beat, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, seizures etc. And yet these products are labeled all natural. This is misleading as people then think they are also harmless. Again, as with any natural remedies, read the labels, search for the names of the list ingredients on the Internet, check for drug interactions, talk to your Doctor and/or your Pharmacist. If you're considering taking something like this, it is better to be well informed, and have your Doctor know what you are doing. In the long run, you would best be served by a visit to your local Weight Watchers group and find out how they can help you with a truly natural weight loss program.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Herbal Diuretics

Hundreds upon hundreds of people have at one time or another struggled to lose weight. It's a really important issue for many since society places such value on being thin. Do you realize that over 300,000 people a month search the Internet using the term weight loss?

Billions of dollars have been spent on weight loss and the weight loss industry is making money hand over fist. Oddly enough, even though there are all these natural remedies for losing weight on the market, obesity is on the rise. People and children are fatter than ever. The natural weight loss remedies gear themselves to people just like this - praying on their dreams to be thinner, their frustration at not being able to lose and their confusion over what will or will not work for them.

If you have ever read any of the labels for natural weight loss products, you'll likely realize more than half the ingredients have names you likely do not recognize. And most definitely you will not know how they interact with one another, and with any drugs you may be taking. That's the bad news. The good news is you can lose weight, but you need to do it the old fashioned way - change your diet and get exercise. There is simply no way around that.

Back to reading labels, and trying to figure out what is in the product you are looking at. Many of the over-the-counter weight loss products have a variety of herbal diuretics in them, and most of them are derived from caffeine (which is a stimulant). Some of them have juniper seeds (can cause renal failure), equistine (a neurotoxin - can cause brain damage), horse tail or shave grass (convulsions/hyperactivity). There is also dandelion, hawthorn and green tea.

By themselves, herbal diuretics don't provide enough water shedding to give you an effective water weight loss. And while not considered to be toxic (on their own) when mixed with a variety of other compounds they can have serious interactions with drugs you may be taking already to achieve weight loss (like Lasix). In addition if you are on lithium or digoxin herbal diuretics have a history of interacting with these medications.

Herbal diuretics trick you into thinking you are getting thinner. You're not. You are merely losing water weight. If you take these kinds of products too long, the loss of water will leach sodium and potassium from your body. The best method to achieve the same effect is drink lots of purified water. You'll lose excess water weight, hydrate your skin, and get other health benefits.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Guarana

Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is another herbal promoted as a natural remedy for losing weight and is made from the seeds of a plant native to Brazil. The seed of the Guaraná is a central nervous system stimulant with thermogenic and diuretic properties.

Basically what is in guarana is caffeine - up to two to three times the amount of caffeine that coffee has. Guarana is the richest-known source of caffeine. You can find guarana as a major ingredient in energy drinks, which don't state there is caffeine in the drink, but rather say it provides an energy boost. Rather an understatement, as it's more like a major buzz. Coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine, Coke or Pepsi 36 mg, and Energy Drinks any where from 169 to 259 mg. That's a rush.

Guarana falls into a category of weight loss supplements called thermogenesis right along with ephedra, caffeine and salicin. Basically it boosts your metabolic rate, causing your body to burn calories faster plus curb the appetite. Body fat that isn't burned is stored on your hips, thighs, stomach, etc.

If you are going to go for this kind of product in your weight loss journey, you will need to find one strong enough to curb your appetite, that zips up the metabolism to burn more calories, create heat to burn more fat, and doesn't give unwanted side effects such as: jitteriness, nervousness, or heart palpitations.

Taking a higher dose doesn't mean you lose weight faster. Instead, you just have more side effects. With thermogenesis based products drink more water (due to the heat factor), do not skip meals (low blood sugar), and do not take late at night (it will keep up awake) What you also need to remember with products that stimulate is stimulants burn calories, but increases heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine suppresses the appetite, but gives you the jitters, mood swings and tension.

What to choose? You will face some hard choices when it comes to deciding what might be the right natural remedy for losing weight for you. Guarana (or caffeine) may suppress appetite to a certain extent at high levels. On its own it's not a very effective supplement to create thermogenesis. Combine it with Ma Huang (Ephedra), and it appears the caffeine extends the appetite suppressing action of Ephedra and increases caloric expenditure. But you might not want to be combining two powerful stimulants together. And you most definitely do not want to be taking this if you are on blood thinner medications like Coumadin.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Guar Gum

So many people these days want a magic bullet to lose weight, actually fervently pray for such a thing. Unfortunately, there really is NO magic bullet for weight loss, other than good old hard work to make it happen. No matter what else you choose to do, you still need to change your eating habits, and increase your exercise. Why are these natural remedies for losing weight so popular?

There are numerous reasons why the natural weight loss industry does a booming business every year. Over weight and obese people want something they can lose weight with immediately. It's easier that doing the grunt work. They have decided they don't want to be fat any longer and want instant results. They may have tried other weight loss avenues and given up. Herbal remedies are easy to obtain without a prescription. They appeal to people because of the outrageous claims made about weight loss. People think natural can't hurt you and that natural means safe - and it doesn't.

Hundreds of weight loss products have soluble fiber in them, meaning in theory, the fiber will absorb water in your gut, decreasing your appetite, making you feel full and not eat as much. Guar gum (from the cluster bean Cyamopsis tetragonolobus) is one of these fibers used as a natural remedy for losing weight. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. Normally, you would find this thickening agent in foods, dairy products, sauces and ice cream. Used in food it is quite easy for the body to assimilate it. Used in diet concotions, that is another kettle of fish.

Since it is capable of sweeling up to 10 to 20 times in the stomach when taken with fluids, it is supposed to make you feel full, cut your appetite, making you eat less, and thus losing weight. Unfortunately, there have been many instances of esophageal blockages with this product. Like Glocomannan, Guar gum has also led to gastrointestinal obstructions. Research indicates that this product was banned in the US in over-the-counter natural remedies for losing weight in the late 1980s. In addition, Guar gum was also proved ineffective in losing weight. However, with the exploding weight loss market, always be sure to read labels before you buy something. You will find that many things are called by other names and if you do not know what they are, you could buy something that will either by a waste of your money, or cause you more problems than you ever wanted.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Garcinia (Hydroxycitric acid - HCA)

Garcinia Cambogia hails from India and Southeast Asia and is a pumpkin shaped fruit with a chemical structure similar to citric acid. Also called Malabar Tamarind, you will find this as a condiment in curry dishes.

HCA apparently does reduce appetites and promotes weight loss in animals, as proven by several studies. However, when humans were studied, it was found HCA did not burn excess calories. In fact, it was labeled as no better than a sugar pill. Many claims on diet and weight loss remedy packages insist there are no side effects for HCA. No one seems to be sure whether there is or isn't which doesn't bode well for HCA as a natural remedy for losing weight.

Bottom line? It's really unclear whether or not HCA offers weight loss benefits or not. The best that can be said about it is that it likely won't hurt you, although no real studies have been done addressing whether or not it's safe to take long term, or take at all. One double blind study found of 60 overweight people who used 440 mg of HCA 3 times a day showed weight loss. Yet another study (also double blind) of 135 overweight individuals who got either 500 mg of HCA or a placebo 3 times a day bombed out - showed no effects re: weight loss. The best available data today shows this product is not effective for weight loss.

You will definitely have to think long and hard about this particular product, even if you choose to use it in combination with another weight loss remedy. If you are gong to be spending money to buy products with dubious track records, then you are likely getting what you paid for. Try and thoroughly research HCA or any other natural remedy for losing weight to find out the pros and the cons before you take a leap of faith into something that might not work.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Ephedra

Most natural remedies, or over-the-counter (OTC) herbal medicines for weight loss have appetite suppressants in them. That only makes sense, as you want to stop eating as much. The appetite killers trick your body into thinking it's not really hungry. Short-term use isn't bad. Long-term use can lead to serious problems. Despite taking any of these natural remedies for losing weight, you still need to make major changes in your diet and exercise program.

One of the more commonly used OTC natural weight loss remedies is Ephedra, aka Ma-Huang harvested from the Ephedra sinica plant. Interestingly enough, this plant has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years for asthma, hay fever and the common cold. Native Americans and Mormon pioneers drank Mormon Tea, brewed from Ephedra. In 2004, it was banned after it came under fire for dangerous side effects and was cited as the culprit in several deaths. As of February 2007, the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra is illegal in the USA. If you think this would work for you in your weight loss program, then the best thing to do is talk to your Doctor. It's better to be fully informed than to get a nasty surprise.

Ma Huang or Ephedra has been commonly found in herbal dietary supplements for years. It also happens to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine (speed). Its greatest claim to fame was that it suppressed the appetite so you would not eat as much - which would mean you'd lose weight, but it has not been clinically proven to be effective in weight loss. Which is also interesting, because Ephedra is a stimulant and thermogenic. The brain is stimulated, heart rate increased, blood pressure increased and bronchial tubes expand. The thermogenic properties cause an increase in metabolism, which will usually start to burn off body fat. While this all sounds good, the down side to this natural remedy for losing weight is that it could literally kill you. Either because of the side effects, or because of a drug interaction with something else you may be taking. Seriously consider if this is really something you want to try.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Dexatrim

Many will remember the almost famous Dexatrim weight loss capsules. They've been around in so many different formulations it is almost difficult to keep up with them. They've so far been through three reincarnations, none of which seems to be all that effective in terms of being able to lose weight.

Formulation number one contained phenylpropanolamine and was banned in 2001 because of its links to strokes. Formulation number two came out awhile later, and its main ingredient was ephedra also recalled in 2002 because it was cited as causing strokes, heart attacks and death. The manufactruing company is now on incarnation number three and the main ingredient this time is Bitter Orange Peel extract. - now known as the other Ephedra of the weight loss industry.

The Bitter Orange is combined with a few other proprietary ingredients - which usually means they've just selected other herbals to combine and boost the main ingredient - such as Yohimbe Bark (side effects like bitter orange, high blood pressure, palpitations, headache), Siberian Ginseng (safe), Licorice root (high doses cause high blood pressure), and so on. If you have been counting, there are at least three ingredients in this that can cause high blood pressure. Can you imagine the effect it may possibly have on you?

Various formulations of Dexatrim have various ingredients in each, all of which would need to be checked and cross referenced. For instance, in one of their blends, the main ingredient is green tea extract - the only herbal ingredient that has been shown to suppress appetite without side effects. But you certainly do not need to be buying a formulation with green tea extract and several other dubious weight loss products when you can buy a whole box of tea bags for about three dollars.

Even though the company that makes Dexatrim (Chettem) has reinvented its weight loss products three times, it still isn't something that is considered to be safe or effective for long term weight loss results. The only long term effective weight loss program is eating less and exercising more.
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Natural Remedies for Losing Weight - Dandelion

The lowly Dandelion, the usual grass destroying culprit in our yards that gets cut on a regular basis with the lawnmower, is known by a variety of names such as lion's tooth, fairy clock, priest's crown, swine's snout, blowball, milk gowan, and wild endive.

In addition to medicinal uses, dandelion can be used as a food and beverage. Leaves can be used raw in salads and sandwiches, or for tea. Roots can make a coffee substitute and the flowers can be used for wine and schnapps.

In Europe, the dandelion was used to treat fevers, boils, diarrhea, fluid retention, heartburn, and various skin problems. The Chinese used dandelion to treat breast cancer, inflammation, lack of milk flow, liver diseases, and digestive problems. As far as weight loss is concerned, the dandelion is considered to be a natural diuretic. It may produce significant weight loss by decreasing body water. However, it can cause allergic reactions and heartburn.

Weight control is definitely an obsession worldwide. In the US alone, two-thirds of the adult population is overweight and one third is classified as obese. It is any wonder that the natural herbal weight loss industry now offers more than 50 supplements and 125 proprietary products for weight loss. The question is have they been thoroughly tested to see if they live up to their claims.

Dandelion has been around for a long time, and thus has a history to support its claims. Those who support the use of dandelion in weight loss claim it may flush out the kidneys, boost metabolism, and cut your craving for sweets. How? Eating the leaves raw in a salad, or making tea and drinking it three times a day. These may trim pounds in short order thanks to the diuretic effect, but continued use can cause dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. You need to read all you can about any weight loss products before you try them. For safe weight loss, your best bet would be to use the tried and true methods of changing your eating habits and exercising more.
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