Could fennel be your missing link

(NaturalHealth365) Fennel puts your immune system into action, while providing a crunchy and slightly sweet refreshing taste to your meal. This plant has its popularity from Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. It has an appealing appearance with white to pale green bulbs and long green stalks reaching upwards.

Discover the rich history of a popular herb

Fennel is closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander, which shows its delightful ties to some very healthy plants. You can actually eat the bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds of this nutritious herb. Best of all, fennel has the power to blend well or enhance the flavor of other foods.

Over 2,000 years ago, Roman medicine states that Pliny the Elder (a natural philosopher) included over 20 uses for fennel in his encyclopedia “Naturalis Historia.” It’s been held in high esteem in ancient Greece to enhance longevity, strength and courage. During medieval times, it was used to ward off witchcraft and spells – but (I think) it just protects your health and thus seemed to have “magical” powers.

Easy to grow, healthy and delicious

Part of the reason for its popularity from ancient times till present days is its ability to grow in average soil from easily propagated seeds. The stalks are bountiful and grow in mass – reaching up to five feet. The bulb of the fennel plant was prized for its flavor as well as its medicinal value.

In England, King Edward 1 purchased 8 ½ pounds of fennel seed for the month – the seed was used as a condiment and appetite suppressant. The Puritans in America would bring handkerchiefs with fennel seeds to nibble on through long church services to starve off hunger; which led to the name “meetin’ seeds.

This should be taught in every medical school

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fiver. With only 27 calories per cup (and zero cholesterol) fennel is one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Just a side note: fennel is “carminative”, which means it prevents formation of gas in the intestinal tract.

Researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found anethole (anti-inflammatory phytonutrient) a chief constituent of fennel which blocks both inflammation and carcinogenesis, the transformation of regular cells into cancerous ones. The fiber, folate and potassium protect both cardiovascular and colon health. The fiber of the plant removes carcinogenic toxins from the colon. The folate and potassium keeps the cardiovascular system in good order.

The health benefits are amazing

Fennel is used to treat flatulence, bloating, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, low milk production in nursing women, premenstrual syndrome, bad breath, sinus congestion and chronic coughs. Grown throughout Europe, and the near east since ancient times, its medicinal uses have been well documented. Today, the United States, France, India and Russia are the leading cultivators of fennel, making it available at most supermarkets.

The recipes for fennel are endless as are its health benefits, so these are some easy ways to incorporate them: sauté with onions, use in a salad, braise them to accompany main dishes or toss some in olive oil for pasta dishes. You can use all parts of the plant, chop the leaves to add flavor to potato salad, cream sauces, and garnish a soup or stew. The bulb can be eaten raw in salads adding both flavor and crunch. It is great in all kinds of braised meat dishes and as a flavoring for a bullion soup.

Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy

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Health Benefits of Rhodiola

(NaturalHealth365) Rhodiola is a Russian herb, which demonstrates remarkable abilities in supporting cellular energy metabolism.

Rhodiola known also as Arctic root or golden root grows in high altitudes in the arctic areas of Europe and Asia and is used in traditional medicine. The authentic Rhodiola rosea species used in clinical research is wild crafted from the Altai Mountains of Siberia.

For centuries it has been used in Russia and Scandinavian countries. Studies of its medicinal uses have appeared in scientific literature in Europe. In Russia, it is used as a remedy for fatigue, poor attention span and poor ability to recall events.

There have been double-blind, crossover human trials that showed rhodiola increased mental performance in the areas of short term memory, concentration, and audiovisual perception. In another human trial it showed the ability to provide more energy. Rhodiola is used by athletes for added exercise endurance.

Rhodiola is thought to promote higher levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and CP (creatine phosphate) in the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cellular power plants. This may be the ultimate cell rejuvenator. At the same time rhodiola provides a powerful weapon against aging. It comes as no surprise that energy is needed for all organs to function at their peak. As people age they lose some of their physical strength, and their cells loss some of their ability to produce energy. One of the places you can see the decline is in mental functions.

Adaptogen

Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb. The characteristics of an adaptogenic herb refer to the fact that the herb demonstrates a nonspecific enhancement of the organism’s ability to resist a stressor. Adaptogens recharge the adrenal glands, which cover the upper surface of each kidney. The adrenals synthesize and store dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These compounds are responsible for what occurs during the fight-or-flight reaction.

Rhodiola increases and improves resistance to stress. This alone has an effect on a person’s lifespan. Besides the favorably effect on stress, it has been shown to restore organ function, boost immunity, and help with depression, and anxiety. There also is some research that it may help with sleep disturbances.

Adaptogenic herbs are plants that show they can exert a normalizing influence on the body, without over-stimulation or inhibiting normal function.

Physical Performance

Rhodiola has been used in Russia and Scandinavia to cope with the cold Siberian climate and the stressful life that comes from living in harsh conditions. In recent times athletes have been known to use adaptogens to help with endurance and performance.

Rhodiola minimizes oxidative stress-induced muscle damage in athletes for 24 hours after strenuous activity. Rhodiola has been used by populations living high in the Himalayas to enhance their resistance to the effects of oxygen deprivation. This herb has been shown to increase oxygen delivery to muscles. The end effect is to boost endurance and performance. When exercise capacity and endurance is improved the overall condition is improved.

Stress Response

Rhodiola mitigates and delivers a favorable response to stressors. This herb has been shown to have the ability to circumvent the severity of generalized anxiety disorders. This has become a widely common occurrence. The symptoms of this problem include: difficulty with concentration, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep problems.

It sounds as if rhodiola is the answer for the modern plague of stress. Stressed humans have become the norm in today’s society. From burnout to fatigue the population is suffering from compounded mental and physiological generalized disorders. Anything that can lead to improvements that translate to better motor performance, mood, and cognitive function is a welcome addition to our arsenal of natural compounds.

About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

Cayenne Pepper Powerful Healer


(NaturalHealth365) Cayenne pepper is hot in many ways. Some of the key findings show this form of pepper to be second to none in its ability to heal.

Cayenne pepper comes from the dried pods of chili peppers. The other names for the chili peppers are: African red pepper, American red pepper, Spanish pepper, and bird pepper. It is multiculturalism in use. Cayenne peppers are related to jalapenos, habaneras, bell peppers and a few other peppers. It is sometimes called capsicum, which is its Latin derivative.

The herb is named for the capital city of Cayenne in French Guiana, a country on the northern border of Brazil in South America. The cultivated varieties of cayenne are grown in a variety of moist, nutrient rich soil in a warm climate. They grow well in sub-tropical and tropical parts of the world. They can also grow in temperate climates with proper care. Chili peppers are truly multi-purpose. They are an aid to healing while severing as a flavor enhancer.

Nutritional Composition

Cayenne pepper is loaded with beta-carotene; the bright red color gives that fact away. It is also high in the B complex, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin K, niacin, iron, potassium and manganese. It’s hard to believe that this small plant has such an array of nutrients.

Health Benefits

The health benefits are so numerous, which means that this plant can be used for most conditions. Cayenne is also revered in the alternative health community and widely used by medicinal herbalists.
Cayenne pepper is very healing for the digestive system, heart, and circulatory system. It not only gets things flowing, but it can rebuild the tissues. It increases peristaltic action in the intestines. It is used by herbalist for stomach aches, cramping, and other intestinal disorders. What it is best known for is what it does for the heart. Dr. Christopher a known master herbalist used it to save people in the mist of a heart attack. Cayenne tea which is a teaspoon of cayenne in hot water would feed the heart. Warm tea opens up the cells, to accept the cayenne faster.

Chili Peppers other Benefits

Chili peppers have the potential to help with weight loss, and are now being studied for use in treating high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, hair loss, and pain. In animal studies in the 1980’s capsaicin showed in a five-week period a reduction in plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides and the total ratio of good cholesterol was improved.

Hot Stuff

The Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating of the cayenne pepper is important, because it gives a measurement of cayenne’s powers. Most run 30,000 to 50,000 heat units. This takes getting use to. It is best to test the water with a very small amount added to warm distilled water. Capsaicin is the main component of chili peppers, which produces the hot sensation. It is also an active ingredient in several topical preparations, for temporary pain relief.

Spicing up your life and maximizing your health may be finding a way to heat up your culinary skills. Chili peppers will undoubtedly spice up your cuisine, while keeping your arteries open, and heart strong.

About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.

Benefits of Saffron

(NaturalHealth365) Saffron is commonly used to add flavor and color to food. This spice is a rich source of minerals including, copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. It also supplies vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C. Saffron is the taste of health.

Saffron has compounds such as crocin and safranel which are part of the family of carotenoids. This includes beta carotene which gives saffron its color. The compounds of crocin and safranel have anti tumor effects. This carotene plays a major role in preserving eye sight, preventing Alzheimer’s disease, improving circulation, and helping arthritic conditions.

Research

Studies have been done that show that macular degeneration patients, who were fed a diet containing saffron, began showing signs of improved vision. The reason is that saffron affects the genes, regulation the fatty acid control of the cell membranes.

Saffron greatly boosts immunity by aiding in the maturation of white blood cells, as well as accelerating the levels of enzymes that help the body to track down toxins.

New research indicates that saffron has a significant chemopreventive effect against liver cancer in animals. This was published in the September issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. What the study shows, is that rats with diethylintrosamine (DEN)-induced liver cancer were given saffron, it both inhibited cell proliferation and stimulated apoptosis.

This is extremely noteworthy, liver cancer is the fifth most common cancer. What makes this so interesting is that most of the population comes in contact with the substances that can cause liver cancer.

The major risk factor for contracting Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or liver cancer is chronic hepatitis B and C, iron overload, fatty liver disease, alcohol abuse, and exposure to environmental carcinogens (DEN), which is found in tobacco-smoke, cosmetics, gasoline, and processed foods including milk and meat products.

Saffron’s Potential

Like the many plants that display chemopreventive properties, saffron’s potential is just beginning to be understood. As the value of plants becomes increasingly understood we will see the next-generation of pharmaceuticals based on plant compounds.

Unleashing the power of saffron will not take using nutritional supplements in lieu of incorporating it into our meals.A formula that offers the biologically active components in a capsule will vary wildly, getting the important nutrients in the plant means taking the time to consume the most complete form. The critical nutritional benefits that are seen in a majority of scientific studies are looking at the herb in its whole form.

While the researchers are calling for further investigation of saffron extract to see its mechanism of action, we should be spicing up our life with this golden yellow gem.

About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease thru non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.


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