Archive | March, 2011

The Cancer Fighting Polyphenols Found in Tea Leaves

04 Tea leaves

The polyphenols are found in the camellia sinensis plants, which are crushed and then fermented into common teas, such as green tea, black tea and the oolong tea. These polyphenols have been extensively studied to determine the extent of their benefits.

The studies showed that they contain about 10 times the amount of antioxidants than what are found in our fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants are a powerful ally in the fight against ailments like cancer.

The ones found in the green and black teas are different than the antioxidants that are found in fruits and vegetables. Green and black teas contain flavonoids, such as the catechins, that can seek out and destroy chemicals that damage a body’s cells, and cause cancers to form.

Tea is also thought to defend against toxic chemicals that we see with inhaling tobacco smoke. They protect cells from these nasty enemies and prevent them from damaging our body’s cells.

Tea can defend against other ailments like blood clot formations, high cholesterol and it can possibly delay the onset of diseases like diabetes. Polyphenols are also known for their aid in weight loss programs and in the defense against halitosis and dental problems.

They can also improve skin conditions and they are possibly linked to aiding in the delay of Parkinson symptoms. The benefits don’t stop there, though. It’s reported that tea can help reduce your chances for skin cancer – and in some cases, by using the tea extract in lotion form, you may be able to block the damage from the sun.

Tea is known to slow the growth of already-formed tumors, it protects your bones from frailty, and even boosts your immune system so you can lessen your chances for colds, throat infections and flu symptoms.

With the results of these studies on the polyphenols, it’s recommended that you drink about 8-10 cups of green or black tea daily in order to reap from their health benefits.

Balance the cups with caffeinated and decaffeinated teas to prevent the side effects of caffeine. Some experts are considering these teas with powerful antioxidants to be healthier than drinking water.

Water doesn’t provide you with the polyphenols that the teas do, which offer us tons of health benefits as well as nutrients. By adding these teas to your health regimen daily, you can increase your chances of a healthier lifestyle and decrease your chances for contracting diseases, ailments and some types of modern-day cancers.

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How Herbs Play a Part in Naturopathy

naturopathy

More and more consumers are taking their health into their own hands and using naturopathic medicine to treat what ails them. Taking a natural approach, using herbs and other non-synthetic treatments, gives the consumer a whole body healing approach, rather than the dominant single-symptom treatments doctors seem so fond of in modern medicine.

Naturopathy allows you to treat your entire body to put it back on track to good health. It combines the mind, body, and spirit in all treatments so that your internal and mental state gets back in balance and has a stronger ability to stave off infection and heal faster than usual.

For thousands of years, our ancestors have practiced naturopathic medicine because it’s all they knew and had on hand before the culmination of man-made prescriptions took root.

Herbs today are being used in conjunction with spiritual rituals to treat hundreds of human illnesses. Your body was designed to be able to heal itself, as is evident with the natural antibodies you produce when infection strikes. But sometimes you need a boost, and herbs deliver what the body sometimes can’t.

Naturopathy uses herbs to help the body heal faster by boosting its natural abilities, not introducing foreign substances into the body that you eventually build up an immunity to over time.

You’ll notice that if you follow the teachings of naturopathic medicine, you won’t be sent on your way with an herb or two in your pocket to take care of the problem. Instead, you’ll be encouraged to live a better life spiritually and mentally, as well as take care of your physical health in all areas, such as diet and exercise.

Herbs can only do so much healing. If a consumer isn’t willing to take the necessary steps to eliminate bad things from their diet, or implement a positive outlook on life, then the disabilities ailing them will continue to return time and time again.

Those who use herbs to continue on a path to naturopathic treatments are people who believe in non-toxic therapies. Synthetic prescriptions are not natural to the body, and can sometimes produce disabling side effects on their own.

As the medicinal form of naturopathy develops even further over the coming years, you’ll see an increase in the number of other treatment paths who use a whole body approach and believe in treating the person, not the prognosis.

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Historical Health Benefits of Tea

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Tea starts its debut in the medicinal sense in the ancient times of China and Japan. Tea was popular – not only for the delightful taste it provided – but for offering health benefits as well.

It was commonly used for ailments such as headaches, depression-like symptoms, boosting energy for those who were fatigued, and even to aid in improving eyesight.
As the story goes, an emperor was presented with a cup of hot water that had turned brown from a leaf that had dropped into a pot of boiling water.

He was pleased with the taste of it and from that point on, tea was born. It was also ground into a paste-like substance and was applied to reduce pain and inflammation as seen in rheumatoid arthritis.

It became popular with Buddhists as a means to stay awake for long periods of meditation. As the centuries came and went, tea evolved, but kept its medicinal purposes. Instead of drinking the tea to rid themselves of their ailments, our ancestors started to ground up the leaves and boiled them with food such as rice, ginger and milk.

Tea is also reported to have been used for things like normal aches and pains, digestion problems and as a means of boosting a body’s immune system to defend against any foreign bodies that enter our bodies.

It was an historic belief that tea also held religious properties that enabled those who drank it to elongate their life expectancy. Tea traveled to many different countries and its medicinal benefits came along with it.

Tea was used for everything from skin problems to joint pain to mood enhancers. It became the choice of treatment for the strange diseases and ailments that plagued citizens around the world.

In many cases, the tea helped decrease one’s chances of contracting these diseases and lessened their suffering once the disease took hold of their lives. Tea became popular and was used throughout medical history.

Its uses expanded to include spiritual healing. One would drink the tea for the purpose of obtaining peace and serenity for the mind to balance it with the body and achieve oneness with nature as they saw it.

Over the years, tea has found its way through many more countries and its uses became more apparent. It was used in the high societies as a sign of a distinguished person and people drank it for sheer enjoyment.

In recent years, the medicinal purposes have come more to light. Tea been linked to help decrease our chances for diseases and eliminate some problems like pain and bad breath.

Tea has been around for many centuries and its medicinal purposes have withstood the test of time as they continue to be used today. This shows how insightful our ancestors were centuries ago by the fact that today’s researchers can use advanced science to test theories that have long prevailed.

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Using Natural Herbs to Curb Hot Flashes

hot-flashes

For women suffering from hot flashes during menopause and perimenopause, finding a cure is often a long process. But amid all of the synthetic treatments on the market, none compare to natural herbal treatments that have been used for centuries by women in the know.

Hot flashes, which are noted by increased heat and flushing in the face, is common among women approaching menopausal age, and some are afflicted by severe symptoms. Finding relief in the form of natural herbs helps eliminate stress that accompanies the problem.

While hormone therapy is used by many women, others prefer the natural route, taking doses of Vitamin E and Vitamin B to aid in the easing of symptoms. But herbs play an important role in natural hot flash therapy.

Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is used in whole seed and oil form to help ease hot flash symptoms. While there is no hard scientific evidence to back up the support of this claim, women have used it successfully for years.

Evening primrose oil is another herb commonly used to treat hot flashes during menopause. However, this botanical is sometimes accompanied by side effects such as diarrhea and nausea. It’s important to talk to your doctor before combining evening primrose with other medications, such as blood thinning drugs, because it could cause adverse reactions.

Soy products such as plant estrogen, which is found in isoflavones, contribute an estrogen-similar effect to the body to weaken hot flash symptoms. Many women concentrate on using soy-based food products to treat hot flashes, not soy supplements.

Another herbal remedy for hot flash symptoms during menopause and perimenopause is the use of black cohosh. As a short-term remedy, it works well. But side effects can include an upset stomach, so it needs to be used carefully.

With so much controversy in the news about hormone replacement therapy, it’s important that women find reliable natural ingredients they can use to treat various symptoms associated with menopause.

The herbs mentioned here only serve as a small reminder of natural cures you can find to treat a single symptom – hot flashes. There are dozens of other herbs that can help alleviate the other menopausal symptoms women have to endure over the years.

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Depression Is No Match for Herbal Treatments

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More and more consumers are approaching their doctors about getting natural herbal advice for their depression rather than being placed on synthetic anti-depressants. The most common herbal remedy is St. John’s Wort.

The best thing about using an herb in place of a prescribed anti-depressant is that the side effects are fewer in number and severity. You can’t take St. John’s Wort in conjunction with another anti-depressant or with certain other medications, so make sure you consult your doctor if you’re taking anything else before you add St. John’s Wort to the mix.

The NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) is helping consumers get educated about the use of St. John’s Wort to treat depression. They believe it’s best used to treat mild to moderate (but not severe) forms of depression.

What’s not yet known is exactly how St. John’s Wort works to treat depression. It’s believed that it might prevent nerve cells from reabsorbing serotonin, which is the chemical messenger in the body.

It’s been used and studied by scientists in treating mental disorders for centuries, but still remains somewhat of a mystery, even though its effectiveness in treating symptoms of depression such as mood swings, loss of appetite and energy, and sadness has been largely documented.

The reason consumers are turning to herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort is because synthetic drugs have a high incidence of side effects, such as dry mouth, headaches, sexual dysfunction and insomnia. It’s also a less costly treatment than high-priced prescription medications.

You can buy St. John’s Wort in capsule form, as a tea, or as an extract. You have to be careful about the quantities you use in taking St. John’s Wort, because high level doses can impede the treatment process by causing dizziness, upset stomach, and a sensitivity to sunlight.

St. John’s Wort isn’t the only herb being used to treat depression. Damiana, Ginseng, and Valerian root are also used to improve depression symptoms such as insomnia and stress.

Regardless of which herbal remedy you wish to try in treatment for your depression symptoms, it’s important to get the guidance of a doctor skilled in herbal remedies to ensure you’re ingesting the correct amount and type of herb for your personal needs.

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