9 Anti-Aging Herbs – Natural Health

9 Anti-Aging Herbs – Natural Health

9 Anti-Aging Herbs

Aging brings many changes: physical, psychological, hormonal, even cultural. Wrinkles develop around our eyes, we forgot the occasional name and getting around isn’t as easy as it used to be. As we age, our immune systems also become less efficient, leaving our bodies more susceptible to free radicals. At this stage ini life, herbs can be a big help. Packed with antioxidants, these nine anti-aging herbs have been shown to boost brain power, protect eyes, relieve joint pain and treat a number of other age-related ailments.
gotu kola
Gotu kola improves memory and boosts brain health.

Anti-Aging Herbs

Ginkgo is one of a handful of go-to anti-aging herbs. Because it improves circulation to the brain, ginkgo can boost brain function as we age. Studies have shown that ginkgo helps improve memory, protect brain cells and repair nerve tissue damage in the brain. Take 120 mg two to three times daily.
Gotu kola is another anti-aging herb that can improve brain health. Long used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve memory, studies have shown that this rejuvenating tonic herb can increase mental abilities and behavioral patterns. Take 600 mg of dried powered leaves three time a day.
Milk thistle offers protection for aging livers. The high number of environmental toxins that we encounter every day puts extra stress on our liver, which is responsible for filtering out all those toxins. Milk thistle produces an ingredient called silymarin, which protects the liver by preventing damage and encouraging growth of new cells. Take 175 mg of this anti-aging herb two to three times a day. (For more on strengthening your liver to help it remove toxins from your body, check out this excerpt from Debra Lynn Dadd’s book “Toxin Free.”)
milk thistle
Milk thistle strengthens the liver, helping it to better remove toxins from an aging body.
Turmeric offers many benefits to an aging body. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful for treating arthritisimproving brain health and preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Like milk thistle, turmeric also offers support to the liver. Take 1 gram of dried ground turmeric daily.
Bilberry protects our eyes from age-related degenerative eye disease by preventing damage to the retina and strengthening capillaries and connective tissue in the eyes. Bilberry is also high in antioxidants, which help prevent damage from free radicals. Take 240 to 600 mg daily.
Black cohosh: Aging also brings hormonal changes. For women going through menopause, this means hot flashes, migraines, mood swings and insomnia. Black cohosh can help regulate estrogen levels, balance hormone production and relieve menopause symptoms. Take 80 mg of black cohosh extract or 10 to 60 drops of tincture.
turmeric in a bowl
Turmeric can ease arthritis pain, improve memory and support the liver.
Saw palmetto: If black cohosh relieves the aging ailments of women, then saw palmetto is the anti-aging herb for men. Studies have shown saw palmetto to be effective at treating prostrate problems, particularly a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in which enlargement of the prostrate narrows the urethra, causing poor urinary flow, painful urination and other problems. Taking saw palmetto can decrease the size of the prostrate, relieving some of these symptoms. Take 320 mg daily.
Garlic: Apart from its antibacterial and antiviral properties, garlic is also good for the heart. Studies have shown garlic to help lower high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels and prevent blood from clotting in blood vessels.
Ginger has many properties that make it a potent anti-aging herb. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can reduce pain from arthritis. Ginger is also well-known as a digestive aid and immune booster. Try making this simple ginger tea.

Read more: http://www.naturalhomeandgarden.com/natural-health/9-anti-aging-herbs.aspx#ixzz27yqeIirq


The Surprising Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

The Surprising Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

The Surprising Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

Papaya Seeds BenefitsWhile most people throw them away, papaya seeds and not only edible, small amounts of them in your diet can be surprisingly good for you.
 Keep in mind though that chewing half a teaspoon of the seeds is not like eating papaya fruit. They have a strong flavor, more like a cross between mustard and black peppercorns. If you can handle that, ahead are some of the main health benefits of papaya seeds, followed by some interesting ways to add them to your diet.

Papaya Seeds, Worms and Other Parasitic Infections

Like green papaya, the seeds contain high levels of proteolytic enzymes like papain which can help rid your body of parasites. In the same way that papain breaks down protein waste, it may also break down parasites and their eggs.
Good levels of digestive enzymes in your diet are also believed to help normalize the environment in your intestinal tract, making it less hospitable to worms and other parasites. Green papaya capsules and high-strength powder are a simple alternative if you don’t have the fresh fruit and its seeds available.
The seeds from papaya also contain a unique anthelmintic alkaloid called carpaine that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. There is much more detail on the parasite problem and a specific treatment to get rid of them in How to Use Papaya Seeds for Parasites.

Papaya Seeds as a Treatment for Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is a disease, often caused by excessive alcohol consumption over many years, wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems.
Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for liver cirrhosis. One method is to grind up around five dried seeds in a pepper grinder, or crush up fresh ones in a mortar and pestle, and mix them with a tablespoon of fresh lime juice. Drink this down twice a day for a month. Many cirrhosis sufferers have had dramatic improvements with this powerful natural treatment.
Obviously consult your doctor first if you are being treated for cirrhosis of the liver, especially with regards to the papain enzyme that may interfere with medications.
Even for people without such obvious liver damage, a small amount of papaya seeds taken regularly is said to help with liver detoxification. And anything that can improve the vital functions of the liver will be likely to improve our health in general.

Papaya Seeds PregnancyAntibacterial Properties

The seeds of papaya are believed to have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on our digestive systems. Studies have shown an extract made from them is effective at killing E coli, Salmonella, Staph and other dangerous bacterial infections.
Once again, their potent digestive enzymes like papain can help change the intestinal environment to one that is more favorable to the ‘good’ bacteria and less so to the bad ones that can cause so many health problems.

Precautions and Warnings

As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme rich green papaya. There is also some animal research suggesting they may temporarily reduce a man’s fertility. I’ll leave it up to male readers whether they currently consider that a good or bad thing. Regardless, as with any substance with a strong physiological effect, it is best to take regular breaks rather than using it continuously for several months.
The side effects and warnings for papaya enzymes on the previous page would especially apply to papaya seeds as well so keep that in mind if you are currently dealing with any of the health conditions mentioned there.
Papaya seeds with their high levels of carpaine and papain and other digestive enzymes are powerful. You don’t need many at a time, certainly not a whole fruit’s worth. After you scrape them out of a fresh fruit, it’s best to keep them in a sealed container in the fridge if you’re using them regularly, or in the freezer if only occasionally.
The next page will look at using papaya seeds for digestive health, including some unusual ways to add them into your diet.

Recession Proof Beauty: 10 Homemade Facial Scrubs

Recession Proof Beauty: 10 Homemade Facial Scrubs

Recession Proof Beauty: 10 Homemade Facial Scrubs

Due to popular interest, our Recession Proof Beauty series continues where we left off — organic, homemade face treatments.
Today, we will focus on scrubs.
Exfoliation is essential to anyone’s skincare regimen, yet often the most hyped over-the-counter scrubs are costly and anything but chemical-free. The recipes below are not only all natural; they are cost-effective. Most importantly, they are fun to prepare in your own kitchen and leave you with tingly clean skin as a refreshing result!
Note: The scrubs listed work for all skin types, unless stated otherwise.

General Scrub Procedure

  1. Tie hair back.
  2. Wash face.
  3. To open pores, steam face over hot water or press warm cloth to skin for a few minutes.
  4. After preparing scrub, apply it to face (and neck if desired). Avoid eye area.
  5. Optional: Use a facial loofah, sponge, or brush to maximize exfoliation.
  6. Rinse off with warm water.
  7. Enjoy results!

Basic Baking Soda Scrub

Perfect for everyday use.
2 to 3 Tbsp. Baking soda
Small amount of water
Mix the ingredients into a paste.
Using a circular motion, apply to face and gently scrub.

Basic Cornmeal Scrub

Slightly more potent than the baking soda scrub, this works best on a 2 to 3 day interval.
2 to 3 Tbsp. Cornmeal
Small amount of water
Mix and apply in the same manner as baking soda scrub.

Rose Almond Face Scrub

To brighten and soften skin.
1 tsp rosewater
1/2 tsp almond flour or finely ground almonds.
Mix into paste and apply.

Oatmeal Scrub

A stimulating, thoroughly cleansing 3-in-1 scrub! Smooths, tones, and hydrates.
1 Tbsp. ground oatmeal (use steel cut oats, not instant)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. yogurt
Combine and apply.
Optional: let your scrub double as a mask! Let it sit a few minutes before scrubbing and rinsing.

Azuki Bean Scrub

Banish your blackheads. Especially effective for combination and oily skin types.
½ cup dried azuki beans
Grind beans. (Having a small coffee grinder set aside specifically for beauty recipes is a wise idea).
Add a little water to the mixture and apply.

Milk and Honey Scrub

Maximize or minimize its moisturizing effect at will.
Choose your dairy:
1 tsp Skim Milk (Oily skin)
1 tsp 2% Milk (Normal or combination)
1 tsp Cream (Dry)
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp ground almonds

Banana Scrub

A very finely textured, delicious-smelling scrub. Can double as a mask.
2 tsp mashed banana
2 tsp rolled oats
1 tsp milk
1 tsp honey

Honey Sugar Scrub

If you have ever used a body sugar scrub, you know how amazing they are. Work the same magic on your face!
1 tsp. of honey
1/2 tsp. of sugar (either cane or brown — both work well)
Blend in bowl. Apply.
Rinse very thoroughly, as this recipe can be slightly sticky. 

Pumpkin, Sugar, and Spice Scrub

By Care 2.com’s Healthy & Green Living shares this amazing (and Thanksgiving appropriate!) body scrub concoction (which also works wonders for the face):
1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Blend in a bowl. Apply mixture to face (and body, if you really want to indulge yourself).

“Eat Your Greens” Facial Scrub

A great organic recipe by The Green Beauty Guide:
2 tsp organic wheat bran
2 tbsp organic oatmeal
2 tbsp olive oil soap, finely shredded
1 tsp dried parsley
1 part dried lettuce
Shave your favorite plant oil-based soap.
Grind parsley and lettuce with pestle in mortar. (We have tried this – you can also blend it in a processor).
Add soap shavings and mix thoroughly.
Whisk in the oatmeal and wheat brand and continue stirring until thoroughly mixed.

Black Tea Benefits

Black Tea Benefits

Black Tea Benefits
Black tea is often known for its caffeine content and seldom known for its health benefits. The black tea we drink deserves some more credit. Black tea is not only rich in antioxidants but is also good for our hair, skin, etc.
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Black tea comes from the same plant; Camellia sinensis plant, just as the other kinds of tea such as green tea and oolong tea come from. Black tea is the tea variety that has been oxidized the most and is a tea type retaining its flavor more than other tea types. However, black tea is often not given much credit for its health benefits. In fact people often ask how can tea be healthy if it contains caffeine? It is true that tea contains caffeine, however, the amount of caffeine present in tea is very little, even lesser than coffee. This low amount of caffeine enhances blood flow to the brain without over stimulation of the heart. Moreover, this low level of caffeine also helps sharpens one’s concentration ability and mental focus.

Heart Health
A study published in February 2009 journal of hypertension suggests that black tea consumption can conduce to a healthier heart. The research conducted on 19 healthy men revealed that drinking black tea over long periods helps increase blood vessel reactivity, while reducing arterial stiffness and blood pressure. This in turn enhances a healthy heart condition.

Soothes Stress
According to a new study conducted by University College London (UCL) researchers, it is stated that having a cup of black tea daily can help counter the everyday stress of life. In this research, people who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in their bloodstream after a trying event. Thus, black tea is seen to have effect on the stress hormones in the body. However, researchers are yet to find out which are the ingredients in tea that cause the relaxing and de-stressing effect in black tea drinkers.

Black Tea and Antioxidants
Black tea contains ten times more antioxidants than found in fruits and vegetables. Black tea is rich in polyphenols, an important antioxidant which destroys the harmful free radicals formed as a result of metabolism. These free radicals are cell damagers, which can lead to blood clots, cancer and atherosclerosis. Thus, antioxidants from tea help protect our cells from damage.

Gastrointestinal Benefits 
Black tea is also known to relieve diarrhea and maintain the health of the digestive tract because of the tannins it contains. The tannins in black tea decrease intestinal activity and release an antidiarrheal effect on the digestive tract, which helps alleviate the pain associated with diarrhea. Steeping black tea for a complete 15 minutes and then drinking it unsweetened is a popular diarrhea remedy.

Weight Loss Benefits 
Is there any link between black tea benefits and weight loss? Well apparently there is a connection. Tea accelerates the weight loss process by boosting the body’s metabolism rate. Moreover, it also blocks the fattening effects of carbohydrates.

Tea contains a small amount of caffeine which is not good for the developing fetus as its underdeveloped metabolism cannot handle caffeine. However, most doctors say that having a cup of black tea everyday in moderation is not harmful. To be safe it’s better to consume only limited amounts of tea during pregnancy. Moreover, don’t forget to consult your gynecologist regarding this issue.

Hair Care
Rinsing your hair with black tea helps darken the hair and add shine to it. To add shine to the hair, people generally brew two cups of black tea and rinse dampened shampoo hair. The tea rinse also helps increase bulk of hair, slows down hair fall and enhances hair growth. 

Skin Care
Black tea is a wonderful astringent. To tap this benefit all one has to do is prepare some black tea and splash the warm tea onto your face. It’s effect is fantastic! Moreover, tea is also beneficial if you are struggling with face or body acne. Black tea can be used on skin portions where you know a pimple is about to erupt. Just steep a black tea teabag in hot water and when it has cooled down, place it over the blemish for 10 minutes. Then, remove the teabag and do not rinse the tea off the blemish. The tea will work and heal the blemish.

Researchers from Berlin state that adding milk to black tea reduces its antioxidant, vasodilating and anti-inflammatory effects. So if you want to tap most of the benefits of black tea, think twice before adding milk to your cup of black tea. Whenever you read about any food item or beverage’s health benefits, it’s important not to get impulsive and consume or drink too much of it. The key to tapping the most benefits is having it in moderation!
By Priya Johnson
Published: 3/4/2010
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/black-tea-benefits.html

Health Benefits of Lemon

Health Benefits of Lemon

Natural & Organic Health: Food Benefits, Directory, Nutritional Value

Health Benefits of Lemon

Health benefits of lemon include treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems,fever, hair care, skin care, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, overweight, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure. Known for its therapeutic property since generations, lemon helps to strengthen yourimmunity system and cleanses your stomach. It is not only a blood purifier but also enables body to fight diseases. Lemon juice, especially, has several health benefits associated with it. Useful for treating kidney stones, curing heart strokes and reducing the body temperature, lemonade helps you to stay calm and cool.
Health benefits of lemon are due to many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B,phosphorous, proteins, and carbohydrates present in it. Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoid, a composite that holds antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. It helps to prevent diabetes,constipation, high blood pressure, skin care, fever, hair care, dental care, indigestion and many other health problems. Studies conducted at theAmerican Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can cure kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which can prevent formation of crystals.
People use lemon to make lemonade by mixing lemon juice with water. Many people use lemon as a washing agent, as it can remove stains. Lemon can also repel mosquitoes.  Drinking of lemon juice with olive oil helps to get rid of gall stones. Lemon is well known for its medicinal control and is used in many different ways. As per the results reported in a study of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, lemon provides human guard against inflammatory polyarthritis and arthritis.
Various health benefits of lemon can be described as under:
  • Indigestion and Constipation: Lemon juice helps to cure problems related to indigestion and consitpation. Add a few drops of lemon on your dish (take care lemon does not go well with milk), and it will aid in difestion. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and a cleansing agent. A good drink post lunch or dinner is fresh lemon soda (also called fresh lime soda in many places). The recipe is add lemon juice, some cold water, soda, salts (common salt or rock salt) and sugar/honey (if you want it sweet), and mix it in a glass. You can also add some mint leaves or crushed fennel seeds for added taste. Drink this whenever you have a heavy lunch/dinner. 
  • Fever: Lemon juice can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration.
  • Dental Care: Lemon juice is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums. In addition, lemon can also be used in regular cleansing of your teeth. You can look for a toothpaste containing lemon as one of the ingredients, or add a drop of lemon juice on your toothpaste. Some people also rub their teeth with the outer shell (the inner side touching your teeth) of a lemon after removing the juice. Take care – if you mouth starts burning, quickly put some water in your mouth.
  • Hair Care: Lemon juice has proved itself in the treatment of hair care on a wide scale. Lemon juice if applied on the scalp can treat problems like dandruff, hair fall and other problems related to hair and scalp. Lemon juice if applied on the hair, gives a natural shine to hair.
  • Skin Care: Lemon juice, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon juice can be applied to stop sun burn also. It helps to get relieved from bee sting as well. Lemon juice can also be applied on the skin for acne and eczema problems. It acts as an anti ageing remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Drinking of lemon juice mixed with water and honey brings glow to the skin. If you search thoroughly in the market, you will find some soaps containing lemon juice also.
  • Burns: Lemon juice if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
  • Internal Bleeding: As lemon has antiseptic and styptics properties, it can stop internal bleeding. You can apply lemon juice on small cotton and place inside to nose to stop nose bleeding.
  • Rheumatism: Lemon is also a diuretic and can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.
  • Weight Loss: If a person takes lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well. Read more
  • Respiratory Disorders: Lemon juice assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma. Lemon, being a rich rich source of vitamin C, helps in dealing with respiratory disorders.
  • Cholera: The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon juice, as it acts as a blood purifier.
  • Foot Relaxation: Lemon is an aromatic and antiseptic agent and is useful in foot relaxation. Add some lemon juice in warm water and dip the foot in the water to get foot relaxation.
  • Corn: Lemon juice can dissolve lumps on the skin. It can be applied at the places where the skin has been hardened up. Drinking of lemon juice with water can facilitate the patient to get rid of stones.
  • Throat Infections: Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections as it has an antibacterial property.
  • High Blood Pressure: Drinking lemon juice is helpful for people suffering with heart problems as it contains potassium. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as provides relaxation to mind and body. It reduces mental stress and depression.  
Lemon: Nature’s Boon
Lemon has proved to be nature’s boon to the entire mankind. It gives solution to many health related problems. It has its own set of antiseptic and natural medications. Make sure you eat atleast one-fourth or half lemon daily.

Health Benefits of Carrot

Health Benefits of Carrot

Health Benefits of Carrot

The health benefits of carrot include reduced cholesterol, prevention from heart attacks, warding off certain cancers and many others. Most of the benefits of carrot can be attributed to its beta carotene and fibercontent. This root, which has a scientific name of Daucus Carota, is a good source of antioxidant agents as well. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and potassium.
Both adults and children like carrots because of its crunchy texture and sweet taste. Even though the color of original carrot is orange it grows in other colors including white, yellow, red or purple.
The health benefits of carrot include the following:
  • Prevent heart diseases: In a study meant to reveal therapeutic value of carrots researchers at the Wolfson Gastrointestinal Laboratory in Edinburgh, Scotland revealed that cholesterol level reduces by 11 percent if seven ounces of raw carrots a day is taken for thee weeks. High cholesterol is a major factor for heart disease. Since regular consumption of carrots reduces cholesterol level it is good to prevent heart related problems. A group of Swedish scientists discovered that root vegetables can reduce the chances of having a heart attack. A study conducted at the Mario Negri Institute of Pharmacological Research in Italy found that those who ate more carrots had one third the risk of heart attack as compared with those who ate fewer carrots.
  • Prevent cancer: Beta-carotene consumption has been linked to reduced risk of several cancers, notably lung cancer. British researchers discovered that increasing beta-carotene consumption from 1.7 to 2.7 milligrams a day reduced lung cancer risk more than 40 percent. The average carrot contains about three milligrams of Beta-carotene. In a study, researchers found that eating fiber rich carrots reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 24 percent. Another study shows that women who ate raw carrots were five to eight times less likely to develop breast cancer than women who did not eat carrots.
  • Macular degeneration: This is a common eye disease of elderly. It impairs the macula. Researches found that people who ate the most Beta-carotene had a forty percent lower risk of macular degeneration compared with those who consumed the least.
  • Improves eyesight: Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrot is rich in vitamin A it is good for improving eyesight.
  • Stroke: A carrot a day reduces stroke risk by 68 percent. Many studies have strengthened the “carrot effect” on brain. Studies conducted on stroke patients revealed that those with highest levels of Beta carotene have the best survival rate.
  • Diabetes: Carrot is good for blood sugar regulation because of the presence of carotenoids in carrot. Carotenoids inversely affect insulin resistance and thus lower blood sugar.
Carrots have antiseptic qualities and therefore, can be used as laxative, vermicide and as remedy for liver conditions. Carrot oil is good for dry skin. It makes the skin softer, smoother and firmer. Carrot juice improves stomach and gastrointestinal health.
Thus, carrots, as raw fruits juice or in cooked form, are good for your health.

Top 10 Herbs to Manage of Fibroids | MSN Arabia Lifestyle

Top 10 Herbs to Manage of Fibroids | MSN Arabia Lifestyle

I suggested some of these herbs to former employees of mine and in their cases their issues were reversed. I specifically suggested black cohosh and vitex(chasteberry)

Top 10 Herbs to Manage of Fibroids

Top 10 Herbs to Manage of Fibroids

A fibroid tumor is a solid, bumpy growth, usually benign (99% of the time), located on the outside wall, inside wall, or in the muscular tissue of the uterus. The general technical names for such a growth are myoma or leiomyoma. Clinical studies indicates that fibroids are aggravated by an excess of oestrogen in the body and that fibroids can be shrunk successfully simply by getting the oestrogen levels back into balance.
The first step in addressing uterine fibroids is identifying the precise cause. Levels ?-estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone should be measured over the 28-day menstrual cycle. More in-depth tests of estrogen metabolism would include measurements of the estrogen metabolites 16-alpha-hydroxy-estrone and 2-hydroxy-estrone. The former is strongly active and stimulates tissue growth, whereas the latter is a weaker metabolite and may slow cell proliferation.
Naturopaths, or those doctors who deal in natural medicine, will often proscribe herbs that will balance your hormones, regulate your period, and reduce inflammation in order to help shrink fibroid tumors. Some of the best herbs to accomplish this are the following:
1. Chasteberry: Chasteberry is an herb that is also known as Vitex agnus-castus. The plant is a deciduous shrub that is native to Mediterranean, European and Central Asian countries. Vitex has slender leaves and dark purple berries that have a long historical and medicinal use in ancient Greek and Roman times. Monks commonly ingested this herb during the Middle Ages to help suppress sexual desire, which led to the inception of its more common name–chasteberry or chaste tree. According to herbalist Jessica Godino, chasteberry can help to regulate female hormones and stimulate your pituitary gland. This herb specifically helps to increase progesterone and decrease estrogen, which makes it an effective remedy in cases of excess estrogen. Vitex does not contain specific hormonal building blocks. Instead, it contains constituents that help to nourish your endocrine system and enhance your body’s ability to obtain hormonal balance naturally.
2. Red raspberry: controls excess bleeding, replenishes lost vitamins and minerals. Red raspberry is very useful in supporting the body return the reproductive organs into balance. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea effects makes red raspberry a powerful herb for menstrual problems. It is also rich source of nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B, C and E. Numerous studies indicates that red raspberry helps to manage blood sugar levels, helping you keep your energy levels high throughout the month.
3. Motherwort:  It contains Leonurine which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus, preventing cramping, and reducing menstrual pains. Motherwort relaxes the uterine muscles, regulates menstruation, balances hormones and reduces heavy bleeding especially when mixed with red raspberry. To prepare a infusion, pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day as needed.
4. Siberian ginseng : prevents heavy bleeding. Used for over 4000 years in Chinese medicine, ginseng is used to combat anemia caused by heavy bleeding and maintains energy levels. Like red raspberry, Siberian Ginseng contains properties that support adrenaline gland and enables the body to cope with physical and mental stress. It also reduces blood clotting especially when mixed with red clover. Red clover: helps the liver get rid of excess estrogen.

5. Goldenseal:
 reduces inflammation, keeps uterine tissues healthy. It contains high levels of a compound called alkaloid berberine, which tones the uterine wall tissue and hinders the development and growth of fibroids. The suggested daily dosage for goldenseal is 400 mg. Goldenseal should not be used on a daily basis over a long period of time. You should consult your physician before taking an herbal supplement.

6. Echancia:
 controls benign tumors and reduces inflammation. The rich content of polysaccharides and phytosterols in echinacea are what make it a strong immune system stimulant. The polysaccharides act as immune stimulants by increasing the levels of white blood cells. They also inhibit the breakdown of cell walls, so that pathogens cannot easily invade cell tissues. Echinacein and several isobutylamides are responsible for the local anesthetic effect and some of the anti-inflammatory activity of echinacea.

7. Licorice root:
 is used to treat fluid retention, helping with bloating and weight gain during menstruation. The Mj?lbolsta Hospital found people taking Licorice over 8 weeks retained less water and normalized blood pressure levels. Licorice Root is also used to calm the digestion, and when combined with Red Clover, supports the liver in breaking down excess estrogen. It assists the adrenal glands and it has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.

8. Black cohosh:
 relieves menstrual pain, and works with problems linked to menopause, protects liver and is an anti-inflammatory. Phytoestrogens are the primary nutritional supplements used for balancing women’s hormones. These are plant-derived estrogens that, although they are not identical to human estrogens, weakly stimulate estrogen receptors. The most well-known phytoestrogens are black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and soy isoflavones. Interestingly, phytoestrogens can help with both low estrogen (by acting as a weak estrogen) and high estrogen (by competing with stronger estrogens for the limited receptor sites). Black cohosh has a long history of use for hot flashes, the most difficult symptom of estrogen-deficient menopause.

9. Dong Quai:
 protects liver and is an anti-inflammatory. Dong Quai has two very different effects on the uterus, it has the ability to stimulate contractions and also to relax the uterus thus inhibiting contractions. Which effect you get depends on how you prepare the herb. Dong Quai’s relaxing effect on the uterus comes from the volatile oils contained in the root. Volatile means that the oils are easily destroyed. When the desire is to capture them, brew a medicinal tea or infusion. “Studies indicate that dong quai hot water extract regulates uterine and intestine contractions, relaxes the uterus and even inhibits spasms.”1 The relaxing effect of Dong Quai is useful for dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).

10. Dandelion, Milk Thistle, Yellow Dock Root:
 metabolize estrogen and rid the body of excess
You can use any one of these herbs or combine them to make a tea. Prepare by adding a small handful of herbs to a pot of boiling water. Steep for five to ten minutes and drink three times a day. Alternatively you can buy these herbs in capsule or tincture form. By taking them regularly, fibroid tumors have been known to shrink within two months.
NOTE: Exercise is an important element for helping the body to rid itself of toxins. Paying attention to your diet is another essential ingredient for health, with concentration on green super foods such as algae and wheat grass. Blackstrap molasses and apple cider vinegar are excellent choices for cleansing the body, with molasses helping with heavy bleeding. Placing a warm castor oil pack on your stomach is another alternative that can help to reduce the size of fibroid tumors. 

Okra nutrition facts and health benefits

Okra nutrition facts and health benefits

Okra nutrition facts

Okra, also known as “lady finger” or “gumbo,” is a highly nutritious green edible pod vegetable. Botanically, this perennial flowering plant belongs to the mallow family and named scientifically as Abelmoschus esculentus.
The plant is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions around the world for its fibrous fruits or “pods.” It grows best in well-drained and manure rich soil. The plant bears numerous dark green colored pods measuring about 5-15 cm in length. It takes about 45-60 days to get ready-to-harvest fruits.

okra pods okra plant
Okra pods. Okra plant with pods.

Internally, the pods feature small, round, mucilaginous white colored seeds arranged in vertical rows. The pods are harvested while immature and eaten as a vegetable.

Health benefits of Okra

  • The pods are among the very low calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in okra pods help in smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.
  • The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the green vegetables with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh pods are the good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring.
  • The gumbo pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily-recommended levels. Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals.
  • The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
  • The pods are an also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients: Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), Fresh, raw pods, Nutrition value per 100 g. (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 1.5% 31 Kcal
Carbohydrates 7.03 g 5.4%
Protein 2.0 g 4%
Total Fat 0.1 g 0.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 9% 3.2 g
Folates 88 mcg 22%
Niacin 1.000 mg 6%
Pantothenic acid 0.245 mg 5%
Pyridoxine 0.215 mg 16.5%
Riboflavin 0.060 mg 4.5%
Thiamin 0.200 mg 17%
Vitamin C 21.1 mg 36%
Vitamin A 375 IU 12.5%
Vitamin E 0.36 mg 2.5%
Vitamin K 53 mcg 44%
Sodium 8 mg 0.5%
Potassium 303 mg 6%
Calcium 81 mg 8%
Copper 0.094 mg 10%
Iron 0.80 mg 10%
Magnesium 57 mg 14%
Manganese 0.990 mg 43%
Phosphorus 63 mg 9%
Selenium 0.7 mcg 1%
Zinc 0.60 mg 5.5%
Carotene-ß 225 mcg
Crypto-xanthin-ß 0 mcg
Lutein-zeaxanthin 516 mcg

Selection and storage

Fresh and immature okra pods are readily available in the stores all around the year. The pods feature attractively rich green-color and have neutral flavor. In the store, look for crispy, immature pods and avoid those with over-ripen, sunken appearance, discolored spots, cuts and too soft.
Once at home, place them inside the refrigerator. Eat them while they are fresh to obtain full benefits of vitamins and anti-oxidants.

Preparation and serving methods

In general, some of the hybrid varieties are subject to insecticide/pesticide spray. Therefore, wash the pods thoroughly in the water in order to remove dust, soil and any residual insecticides.
Trim the top stem end using a paring knife. Some prefer trimming tip ends as well. Then, cut/slice the pod as desired.
Here are some serving tips:
pickled okra pods okra pods stir fry
Pickled gumbo pods with baby-corn, and beans.
Photo courtesy: wharman
Okra pod stir fry with onion, tomato, and green chillies.
  • Okra pods are one of the widely used vegetables in tropical countries. Chopped, or sliced pods are stewed or fried (fritters) under low heat oil in order to soften their mucilaginous content. They then, can be mixed with other vegetables, rice, or meat.
  • In Caribbean islands, okra is cooked and eaten as soup, often with fish.
  • The pods can be pickled and preserved like in other vegetables.
  • Okra leaves may be cooked in a similar manner as the greens of beets or dandelions. The leaves are also eaten raw in salads.

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