Monday, April 30, 2012

Ital Blends products made in Jamaica




Check out these great products and more on the ital blends website http://www.italblends.com/. Made in Jamaica all natural I recommend the body polish awesome.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Use Herbal Remedies to Treat the Cold and Flu

Use Herbal Remedies to Treat the Cold and Flu

Benefits of almond oil

Why not try almond oil directly from Jamaica, I will post the details in the next post

Benefits of almond oil


Benefits of almond oil

Almond oil can be used for beauty and health purposes. There are numerous benefits of almond oil. Read on to find about the secrets of almond oil.

Shriya had a severe hair fall problem. Every time she saw a broken strand of hair she would press the panic button. Bathing time was an ordeal. She would not want to look at the drain to find her fallen hair in circles. She tried several hair products, changed her shampoo, followed some hair tips but her hair fall worsened day by day. Finally her grandmother's recommendation came to her rescued her. Her granny started giving her a head massage withalmond oil twice in a week and her hair fall reduced remarkably, making her hair healthier and long.

Almond oil is a rich source of vitamin E and is beneficial in many ways. Almonds are treasures of some essential minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Almonds have high contents of fats. Raw almond oil enhances the taste of the food including salads, grains and toasts. Besides being a nutritious food, almonds have many cosmeticbenefits. Almond oil is pale yellow in colour and it is extracted from almond kernels. Apart from vitamin E it also contains vitamin D and other nutritious components.

Almond oil for the skin

Sweet almond oil is one of the most popular essential oils used in aromatherapy. Pure almond oil can be used as carrier oil in aromatherapy or massage therapy. Almond oil is suitable for any skin type. You do not have to worry how it will react on your skin type. Listed below are benefits of almond oil for the skin. Beautiful skin will be no more just a dream.
  • Improves complexion and retains glow
  • Moisturises better and deeper
  • Soothes skin irritation and inflammation
  • Delays ageing process
  • Lightens dark circles
  • Relieves dry and itching skin
  • Nourishes the skin. Makes it smooth and soft
  • Cures chapped lips and body rashes

Almond oil for the hair

Pour a few drops of almond oil in your palm. Dip your fingertips and apply gently on your scalp. Massage slowly in small circular motions and feel the comfort.Almond oil adds luster to the hair making them healthy. Due to cosmetic benefits of sweet almond oil it is used in many beauty treatments. Following are some benefits of almond oil. Every woman fancies beautiful locks and it is possible with the use of almond oil.
  • Nourishes hair and smoothes hair cuticles
  • Makes hair long, strong and thick
  • Massaging with almond oil adds shine to the hair
  • Controls hair fall

Almond oil for the health

Eating raw almonds can give you innumerable health benefits. There are many other uses of almond oil. Consuming almond oil is beneficial for digestive system. When used in aromatherapy it has calming and cleansing effects. Almond oil also releases pain. It is used as an effective painkiller. Following are some health benefits of almond oil.
  • Regular consumption of almond oil helps reduce cholesterol
  • Nourishes the brain and nervous system
  • Enhances intellectuality and endurance
  • Application of almond oil provides relief to strained muscles
Now that the cat is out of the bag, you can use almond oil daily and add it to your hair care and skin care routine. Let a few drops of almond oil work like a magic spell to transform you into a more beautiful you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Basil- A Wonderful Remedy For Acne And Blemishes

Basil- A Wonderful Remedy For Acne And Blemishes

An Alkaline body-The secret to your best health (Purelife Jamaican Herbs) | Crazy Jamaica

An Alkaline body-The secret to your best health (Purelife Jamaican Herbs) | Crazy Jamaica


Get an Alkaline body-The secret to your best health

Alkaline Body Balance: The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Yourself

How to maintain a healthy alkaline body balance for optimal health.

What many people don’t know is that many of the foods they regularly consume negatively affect their alkaline body balance. The human body is a naturally alkaline environment. When an individual consumes an overly acidic diet, they throw off their body’s healthy pH balance, which makes them susceptible for illness and disease. In fact, when the body’s pH balance is too acidic, an individual is at an elevated risk of suffering from heart disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.
Another reason why an individual should work to promote a healthy alkaline balance is because cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment. On the pH scale, which ranges from one to fourteen, fourteen being highly alkaline, the human body should be about an 7.4 to 7.6 naturally. At a pH of 8.5, cancer cells can no longer survive. Therefore, a high alkaline diet can potentially decrease one’s risk of cancer or even help fight the disease.
How to Control the Body’s PH Levels Through Diet:
The best way to support a healthy acidic-alkaline balance within the body is to consume diet that is composed of 50% to 80% alkaline foods. For proper nutrition, it is still necessary to consume some acidic foods. These foods should just be limited to less than half of one’s diet.

The Facts:


  • The typical diet is not always a good one. Plagued with an abundance of fats and sugars, our blood pH is often too acidic, making our bodies easy targets for all sorts of health problems. Bringing the blood pH to a slightly alkaline state could help you stay healthier.

Your pH

  • You can buy testing strips (for urine or saliva) at drug stores to see for yourself whether you have an acidic blood pH. Because it is not good for our blood to be too alkaline or too acidic, you should find out your pH level before you decide what, if any, changes you want to make to your diet. According to health website MedicineNet.com, a normal blood pH is between 7.35 and 7.45 (slightly alkaline). A pH of 7 is neutral.

    Top 10 Secrets To Alkalizing The Body For Radiant Health

    alkalising greens
    NEWS FLASH: 6 out of 10 Americans are overweight and over acidic!
    Dr. Robert Young author of “The pH Miracle” has shown that fat is actually an over-acidification problem. What does that mean? The body creates fat cells to carry acids away from your vital organs, so these acids literally don’t choke your organs to death. Fat is saving your life! Fat is actually a response from the body to an alarming over-acidic condition.
    Here are some aspects regarding pH you may find useful. The body’s pH is measured on a scale of 0 – 14. Midrange at 7 is where the pH is balanced. Anything below 7 is acidic and a state where your body does not function as designed. Above 7 is called Alkaline. Alkaline is the state in which your body thrives. Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment.
    With that said: when you remove acid toxins from your body, you will:
    FLUSH Fat Fast resulting in easy weight loss GAIN Muscle Mass WATCH your skin glow ENJOY maximum energy all day, everyday.
    Here’s how to rid your body of that over-acidic state:
    Alkalizing Secret #1 – Drink Pure Alkaline Water – lots of it! Pure water meaning water that is filtered. At a minimum, you should be drinking 7 ounces of water for every 10 lbs of your body weight. So, if you weigh 130lbs, you need to drink a minimum of 91 ounces of pure water (that’s about 3 liters). Pure water meaning water that is filtered – the finest choice is an alkaline ionization unit (Jupiter is one of the finest on the market). If you don’t have this resource available, distilled water is a great choice with reverse osmosis coming next. Alkaline water means water with a pH over 7.5. Alkaline water adds oxygen to your water and helps to neutralize acids. A simple way to alkalize your water is with a dash of baking soda. There are also wonderful alkalizing agents you can purchase to buffer and alkalize the water.
    (P.S. Avoid: coffee, black tea and sodas. – These drinks are highly acidic and do not count towards your daily water intake)
    Alkalizing Secret #2 — Eat Celery…. This is one of the most alkaline foods you can eat. It quickly neutralizes acids. Eat it before, after or during a meal. Celery is so high in water content that is also works as an excellent thirst quencher. Celery is excellent for digestion.
    alkalising greensAlkalizing Secret #3 – Eat Green Salads – forget the cheese and croutons! Always have a green salad on hand. Make a huge salad every 3 days and keep it in your fridge to make it very easy to alkalize your body. Some greens that have the highest water content are: cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, and onions. A great dressing would be cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with some lemon juice. Keep this in a bowl in your fridge (tip: add cucumbers and tomatoes right before eating). Eat a HUGE salad with every meal!
    Alkalizing Secret #4 - Switch from cow’s milk, to almond, soy, or rice milk. Cows milk has shown to produce an abundance of mucous in the human body. There are also few adults who can metabolize the protein in cow’s milk properly. This protein, casein, is what a cow’s metabolism needs for proper health, not for a human beings health. Also note that most dairy cows are injected with hormones such as the Bovine Growth Hormone to increase their milk production. Many of these hormones have potentially horrific side effects that can be passed on when consumed. Almond, soy and or rice milk are excellent alternatives to dairy. They are well worth trying out.
    Alkalizing Secret #5 – Avoid artificial sweeteners! This includes: NutraSweet, Sucralose, Aspartame, Saccharin…. Not only are these acidic they also have other highly detrimental effects on the nervous system and neurological disease. Saccharin even tells you right on the package that it may cause cancer.
    There is one natural sugar substitute that has had no reported side effects: Stevia.
    Alkalizing Secret #6 – Eat a grapefruit in the morning wait 15 minutes before ingesting a carb or protein. Grapefruit, similar to lemons, is also alkalizing when ingested. Some people believe grapefruit to be a miracle fruit and I tend to support that group. Grapefruits have a very high water content and are highly alkalizing. Eat one first thing in the morning, and wait 15 minutes before eating a carbohydrate or protein (one or the other – do not mix). (The 15-minute suggestion is in accordance with proper food combining and allows your system to more easily digest.Another great way to start the day is to drink a glass of water(room temperature) with freshly squeezed lime or lemon.This can be done instead of the grapefruit to help get the body alkalized.
    Alkalizing Secret #7 - Eliminate consumption of red meat, pork, lamb…substitute chicken, turkey or fresh fish in small quantities. Red meats, pork and lamb are highly acidic a very low water content, not to mention being hard on the digestive system. If you must have meat, opt for chicken or turkey. Fresh wild fish is another excellent route to take.
    Alkalizing Secret #8 - Reduce stress daily by adding yoga, tai chi, meditation, and proper breathing. An additional factor that adds to acidosis (acidic bodies) is stress. When the body moves into stress mode the digestive system shuts down and toxins cease to be eliminated. Thus the more toxins you keep in your system, the more the body will store them away (acids) in fat cells! Anything we can do to calm the mind/body will have a huge impact on alkalizing the body.
    Alkalizing Secret #9 - Drink a top quality super green supplement. : Organic super greens are known to be some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They infuse the body with easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, amino acids chlorophyll, enzymes, phytonutients and alkaline salts that help neutralize acids in the blood and tissues.
    Alkalizing Secret #10 – Minimize/Avoid…. processed and refined foods. That means anything made with white flour and white sugar or food coloring. Our bodies were not designed to digest these chemicals and so it must do one of three things: 1. Eliminate them (if you are not hydrating properly this is very hard to do) or 2. Neutralize them by pulling alkaline buffers where it can – like from your bones leaching calcium, or from your blood, leaching iron. Or: 3. Park them away (in fat cells). Bottom line here – stay away from processed food as much as possible.

BUY HERBS and SUPER GREEN FOOD

BUY HERBS and SUPER GREEN FOOD

Monday, April 23, 2012

Health-Tips: Health Benefits of Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Health-Tips: Health Benefits of Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)


Health Benefits of Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Health Benefits of Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), a native of India, is widely used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking. Lemon grass is a perennial, which means once you plant it, the grass comes back year after year. Depending on the area you live in the plant will go dormant in the winter. In harsh climates the plant will need to be potted and wintered indoors. This aromatic herb is used in Caribbean and many types of Asian cooking and has become very popular in the United States. Most of the commercial crops for the United States are grown in California and Florida. Lemon grass is also used for medicinal purposes.

Other Names (from theepicentre.com)
French: Citronnelle
German: Zitronengras
Italian: erba di limone
Spanish: hierba de limon
Indian: bhustrina, sera
Indonesian: sere, sereh
Lao: bai mak nao
Malay: serai
Sinhalese: sera
Thai: takrai
Philippines: Tanglad

Culinary Uses
Lemon grass is available in ethnic markets such as Asian and Mexican. Select fresh looking stalks that don't look dry or brittle. Store fresh lemon grass in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed plastic bag for up to 3 weeks. You can also freeze it for about 6 months without any flavor loss.

In addition to fresh, lemon grass may be purchased dried or powdered. The dried product has to be soaked in hot water and reconstituted before use. The powdered variety is useful in teas and curries but it's not a good substitute for the fresh product. For best results in recipes use the fresh herb.

Medicinal And Other Uses
This grass is rich in a substance called citral, the active ingredient in lemon peel. This substance is said to aid in digestion as well as relieve spasms, muscle cramps, rheumatism and headaches.

Lemon grass is also used commercially as the lemon scent in many products including soaps, perfumes and candles. A related plant, (Cymbopogon nardus) is the ingredient in citronella candles sold to ward off mosquitoes and other insects.

Health Benefits of Lemon Grass

Lemon grass is a perennial plant that is native to India and Nepal; it has a light, lemony scent and flavor, with a hint of ginger. Lemon grass is one of the wondrous herbs; it is very useful as medicinal plant and a delicious food flavoring. Few knows that the other name of Lemon grass is citronella, a popular scent in perfume, candles and soaps. Citronella is known for its calming effect that relieves insomnia or stress. It is also popular as a mild insect repellant.

In a study that was conducted it has shown that every 100g of edible lemon grass, when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the powerful anti-oxidant that scientist believe can help prevent cancer. In another study it has shown that lemon grass oil has the potential as topical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision. Researchers note that lemongrass oil’s antioxidant qualities and ability to inhibit the enzyme that promotes the growth of cancer cells are promising.

Health Benefits of Lemon Grass:

It contains an antibacterial and antifungal properties
It helps to detoxify the liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder and the digestive tract.
Helps boost the immune system
Helps reduce uric acid, cholesterol, excess fats
It helps alleviates indigestion and gastroenteritis.
Helps improve the skin by reducing acne and pimples
It helps tone the muscle and tissues.
Helps in menstrual troubles
Helps reduce blood pressure and improve blood circulation
Helps reduce cellulite
Act as sedative for the central nervous system.
May help prevent color cancer.
Helps in reducing fevers
Help in flatulence and colic
Relieves arthritic pain and rheumatism

Lemon grass for Cooking: The leaves and base of lemon grass are used as a food flavoring especially in Southeast Asian dishes. The long thin grey-green leaves are tough and fibrous, the outside leaves and the tips are usually chopped very finely or discarded from the dish before it is served.

How to Use Essential Oil: Apply 2 drops of concentrated lemongrass oil per ounce of organic unrefined almond oil, olive oil or any of you favorite oil. You can use the mixture to your skin as massage oil, lotion and moisturizer. As a relaxing scent add 1 – 2 drops in a cloth and inhale to relax your senses.

How to make Lemon grass Herbal Tea:

Fresh Leaves: Pour 2 cups of water to ¼ cup lemon grass leaves, then boil and simmer for 3minutes. Let is cool and drink.
Dried Leaves: Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried lemon grass leaves. Steep for 5-10 minutes before drinking.

Benefits of Sunflower Oil


http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sunflower-oil-benefits.html


Sunflower Oil Benefits

Sunflower oil benefits, especially, when they are considered in light of heart diseases, give it an edge over the commonly used cooking oils. To know more about the usefulness of this oil, read on...
  •  
  •  
Whenever you hear that someone you know has had a heart attack, the first thing that dominates your mind, is the thought of joining a gym and reducing the quantity of fatty substances such as cooking oil in your food. Other alternative is to start using sunflower oil for its health benefits. Maybe, you are not aware that you are already reaping the benefits of sunflower oil, as it may be in the use in your household. If it is so, then you have a reason to rejoice. The sunflower oil is well appreciated for the benefits it brings because of its health enhancing nutrient contents.

Sunflower Oil
You can choose from the two types of sunflower oils, viz. linoleic and high oleic, that are available in the market. High oleic sunflower oil is known to be rich in the monounsaturated acid. But, it is the linoleic type containing polyunsaturated fat, that we commonly know and use as sunflower oil.

Effects on Health
Saturated fats found in coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil can resist temperature ranging from 180 to 200 degrees Celsius. They are difficult to break down completely during metabolism and are carried by the blood to different parts of the body and get deposited. This causes health problems like embolism, atherosclerosis, joint pains and birth defects. This does not mean that all the types of saturated fats are bad. In fact they are needed, in small quantities, for the proper functioning of the brain and body. However, in large amount they may increase the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels in the body. It is one of the factors that is liked with the heart diseases and strokes. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and World Heart Federation has recommended replacing these fats by the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats are present in the sunflower oil and provide energy and at the same time, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by maintaining the ideal LDL/HDL (good cholesterol) ratio in the blood.

The chemical bonding in the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, is weaker than that of the saturated fats, such as butter. This is the reason for their low melting point. At room temperature, most of the unsaturated fats (poly and mono) remain in liquid state, unlike saturated fats. The monounsaturated fats or fatty acids have low melting point than that of saturated fats, however it is higher than that of polyunsaturated fats.

Phytonutrients
The presence of the phytochemicals, such as choline, phenolic acid makes sunflower oil, the favored oil for cooking. These chemicals are known to prevent heart diseases. The presence of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, along with vitamins in high quantity makes it a healthy oil.

Skin Care
It is found that in the preterm infants having low birth weight , sunflower oil is useful in reducing the risk of infections. In these babies, there is always a risk of infection because of their underdeveloped immune system and organs such as skin. Sunflower oil works as a protective barrier, when applied to the skin.

Fights Free Radicals
One of the benefits of the sunflower oil is that it acts as an antioxidant, due to the presence of vitamin E in it. As an antioxidant, it neutralizes cancer causing free radicals.

Vitamin E, in the sunflower oil, acts as moisturizer and helps the skin cells in retaining water. For this reason, sunflower is often used in cosmetic products. Sunflower oil, through vitamin E, also prevents rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and colon cancer. Folate or folic acid present in sunflower oil, helps the body in the manufacture of new cells. Magnesium helps in preventing muscle cramps, while tryptophan helps in relaxing the brain and promoting sleep by helping the body in the production of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. In addition to the nutrients mentioned above sunflower oil also contains following nutrients:
  • Vitamin B
  • Palmitic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Lecithin
  • Tocopherols
  • Carotenoids
  • Selenium
  • Proteins
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
Fast lifestyles and increased levels of stress coupled with the target driven professional life is taxing. Fatty diet, instant foods and lack of exercising also adds to the situation. As the first step in changing your lifestyle, choose a healthy cooking oil.
By 
Last Updated: 9/19/2011

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Perfect Skin Care for you: Aloevera for soft skin {Skin Care}

Perfect Skin Care for you: Aloevera for soft skin {Skin Care}

Design a Tea : Discover Tea and Other Questions - StumbleUpon

Design a Tea : Discover Tea and Other Questions - StumbleUpon

Tea Recipes - StumbleUpon

Tea Recipes - StumbleUpon

Health Tips - Home Remedies That Work at WomansDay.com - Womans Day - StumbleUpon

Health Tips - Home Remedies That Work at WomansDay.com - Womans Day - StumbleUpon

Erowid Medicinal Herb Vaults - StumbleUpon

Erowid Medicinal Herb Vaults - StumbleUpon

14 natural items for your alternative first aid kit | Matador Network - StumbleUpon

14 natural items for your alternative first aid kit | Matador Network - StumbleUpon

You need a little bit of Jamaica in your life

You need a little bit of Jamaica in your life

Friday, April 20, 2012

Castor Oil for Hair, Castor Oil Hair Growth

Castor Oil for Hair, Castor Oil Hair Growth


Castor Oil for Hair



Best Castor Oil to Use on Hair

Castor Oil for Hair:  A popular hair growth oil is the Jamaican Black unrefined applied to roots and scalp regularly.  Keep reading to find out more.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil is the best kind to use for your hair.  You can typically find castor oil at any grocery store or drugstore.  You may remember getting castor oil as a child as a regular daily supplement.  I sure do and I don't have pleasant memories of it!

But, castor oil is a wonderful oil to use for hair treatmentsand the benefits to your hair are astounding and well worth it.  

However, if you have difficulties in finding Jamaican BlackCastor Oil in a drugstore, you can check out online retailers to get the purest form of this oil.  The reasoning behind looking for black castor oil is to have an unrefined oil.  

Using the unrefined or purest form of castor oil for hair will ensure that you get the best results because the oil is still closest to its natural state.  The color will typically be darker and the scent will be much richer.  It generally does not have a scent.  Now, let's find out the benefits of this oil.

Benefits of Castor Oil

  • Castor oil contains Omega-9 fatty acids which help moisturize the hair and the scalp preventing both from becoming dry.
  • Does castor oil help hair grow?  It sure does.  Regularly applying castor oil to your scalp and roots to eliminate dry hair and promote regrowth of hair within months. It will also help to thicken hair that is thinning out.
  • Helps reduce and prevent damage.  Also can hide the appearance of damage while trying to improveyour hair's health leading to thicker, fuller hair over time.  
  • You can also experiment with adding some castor oil to your conditioners for a deep conditioning treatment.  You'll have to experiment with the amount of castor oil to use to avoid greasy hair.  I would start off with a small amount like a teaspoon or less.
  • Castor oil is versatile in that you can mix it with other oils to still receive the benefits but avoid the super-thick consistency.  Try mixing it with Sweet Almond Oil to make it a lighter oil that is much easier to spread and gives it a nice scent.
  • You can also experiment with castor oil for hair on your ends. This rich, thick oil will help your ends becomes shiny and hide the appearance of frizzy, damaged, and split ends.  Over time, as you trim damage away, you'll notice your hair won't develop split ends as easily. Since it is so thick, you may want to mix it first.






Castor Oil Homemade Recipe

Castor oil can be used in homemade recipes just like many other oils.  One thing to note:  Don't applycastor oil full-strength to the rest of your hair because it may be difficult to rinse off thoroughly due to its consistency.

Here's a castor oil for hair recipe that works well for those experiencing any type of hair loss or hair thinning:

  1. Apply to the scalp and roots of your hair.
  2. Put on a plastic cap
  3. Wrap your hair in a towel
  4. Let the castor oil sit in your hair overnight
  5. In the morning, shampoo your hair to remove the treatment making sure to get your scalp clean
  6. Proceed with your regular routine

You'll want to repeat this treatment once a week for 6-8 weeks to notice a difference in hair loss or thinning.

As you can see, castor oil for hair has many benefits in that it helps with hair growth, thinning, and is versatile to use in hair recipes.






Herbs For Depression

Herbs For Depression


Herbs For Depression – What Herbal Remedies To Use For Depression Treatment

The use of herbs to treat various health conditions has been around since human beings first began to conceive of medicine. Today, many of these herbal remedies have been forgotten or ignored in favor of more modern, manufactured drugs made legitimate by years of studies and clinical trials. Recently, however, an increasing concern over health and natural cures had led many back to using these herbs for depression and other health conditions.
Due to the limited amount of study, most of herbs for depression do not have any scientific evidence to support the claims being made of them. The only proof to their effectiveness is the hundreds and sometimes thousands of years of use in folk medicine. Luckily, the health industry is paying more attention and has begun to take herbal remedies seriously, putting time and effort into performing studies that may justify their healing reputations.
Most of herbs for depression act in one of two ways – either through improving health conditions which contribute to depression or by directly affecting the levels of chemicals in the brain. In addition, herbs often have other healthy properties, such as high levels of antioxidants, which promote overall health and general well-being. Below are brief descriptions of some of the most well-known herbs for treating depression.

St. John’s Wort

This herb has been used for thousands of years to treat mild depression, nerve pains and other mental conditions and is now being looked into as a safer alternative to manufactured antidepressants. While it has not been approved by the FDA, in Europe it is considered a prescription medication for such problems as anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. Recent studies have shown St. John’s Wort to be effective in cases of mild to moderate depression, even comparable to some antidepressants.
St. John’s Wort must be taken with caution, however, as it has been known to interact with drugs such as birth control pills, anticancer medications, anticoagulants and HIV medications. Some side effects may also occur, including dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Ginkgo Biloba

Popularly known for its memory enhancing capabilities, Ginkgo Biloba is also an effective depression remedy. Studies have been conducted that show it to be useful in dealing with mild to moderate cases of depression. It is believed that it does this by counteracting problems that inhibit blood flow to the brain and cause depressive moods. Ginko Biloba has also been shown to be effective for altitude sickness, asthma, allergies, PMS symptoms, and many other conditions.
Due to its blood-thinning properties, Ginkgo Biloba should never be taken in conjunction with anticoagulants. Nor should one use it before any surgical procedure, due to increased risk of bleeding.

Lavender

Lavender has long been one of the most commonly used herbs for depression. It has a calming effect on the nervous system which helps to reduce fear and anxiety. Studies have also shown Lavender to act as a catalyst for other antidepressants, allowing lesser dosages to work just as effectively and bringing their effects on quicker. Lavender’s only commonly known side effect is headaches.

Saffron

Another traditional herbal cure for depression, Saffron has a long history of use in the Middle East. It works by increasing serotonin levels in the brain and consequently elevating mood. Studies have begun which show it to be as effective as many antidepressants in treating mild to moderate levels of depression, though more studies are needed to confirm these findings. Saffron can be very dangerous in large doses, however, and should be taken only as recommended.

Valerian

herbs for depressionAnother tried-and-true herbal depression remedy, Valerian has been used to treat emotional disorders as well as to reduce anxiety and phobias. It is a powerful sedative and has also been used for insomnia. Side effects include, obviously, fatigue and lethargy, as well as headaches, dizziness and upset stomach. Due to its strength, Valerian should not be taken by pregnant women or children, or mixed with alcohol or any other sedative medications or herbs.
While the above herbs may be the most common in dealing with depression, there are dozens of others that help in similar ways to reduce depression-promoting conditions and elevate mood. Some of these are:
Basil, Black root, Borage, Bog myrtle, Cardamom, Ceanothus, Chamomile, Chervil, Damiana, Dog rose, Ginseng, Hawthorn, Heather, Kava kava, Lady’s slipper, Lemon balm, Motherwort, Mugwort, Nettle, Passion Flower, Pimpernal, Primrose, Rosemary, Sage, Sedge root, Thistle.
As with any medications or supplements, herbal remedies carry risks of negative interactions with other drugs as well as the possibility to aggravate certain health conditions. A doctor should be consulted before using any of the above remedies if there is any doubt as to their safety.
When buying herbal supplements, make sure to always buy from quality suppliers. Due to most of these herbs not being FDA approved, they are not regulated in the same way that other medications are regarding the standards for their manufacturing and contents. There are also no standardized dosages, which can be risky if one does not know the potential side effects.
One should also always remember that while these herbs for depression will help to alleviate many of the symptoms of depression, getting to the root cause of the problem is essential in creating a permanent solution and ending one’s depression permanently.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar



In all likelihood, you have a bottle of sparkling clear apple cider vinegar in your kitchen. Most probably you have also heard of all the health benefits of this wonder vinegar. You use it for marinating the meat, chicken and fish. Almost all the salads that you make contain apple cider vinegar. You make a conscious effort to put in a little extra every time, so as to gain from all its healing properties. If you have been using your sparkling clear apple cider vinegar for all the health benefits that are often associated with it, the news is not very good. Your 'sparkling, crystal clear' vinegar does not have all those health benefits that you have heard of.

The Real Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (abbr. ACV) is a type of vinegar, made from cider or apple must, which has a characteristic amber color to it. The organic and unfiltered vinegar that contains all the health benefits is not a clear vinegar, but is exactly opposite of that. It is not a clear liquid, but has got a brownish tinge to it. If you try looking through it, you will notice a cobweb-like substance floating in it. This is known as 'mother of vinegar', and means just one thing - this apple cider vinegar is of excellent quality with all the nutrients and health ameliorating properties intact.

Would you buy a vinegar from the supermarket that is not clear, has got a brown tinge to it, and most of all you find something floating in it. In all likelihood, you will never buy it and that is exactly the reason why manufacturers distill the vinegar. In the process of distillation, the pure vinegar is steamed to get the sparking clear vinegar that is eventually made available at the supermarket. This steaming process however, destroys almost all the important nutrients that it contains. What it does do is give the vinegar an excellent eye appeal which prompts you to pick that bottle of 'crystal clear' apple cider vinegar in your kitchen.

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

There surely must be something really healthy in using apple cider vinegar, since historical records suggest that even The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used it back in around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar. So what are these apple cider vinegar benefits which have earned it the tag - 'wonder drug'?

Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. The vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulfur, iron, and fluorine. All the much-talked about organic apple cider vinegar health benefits are attributed to the presence of these very nutrients that it is laden with.
  • Apple cider vinegar contains a significant amount of pectin in it, and therefore this vinegar is known to help in regulating blood pressure and reducing bad cholesterol in the body.
  • It extracts calcium from fruits, vegetables and meat, when used salad dressing or to marinate meat, and thus contributes in the development and strengthening of bones and teeth.
  • Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium, and therefore it is used for the treatment of a variety of ailments including hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, sinusitis, and a permanently running nose.
  • With its potassium content, apple cider vinegar is also known to tackle the problem of stunted growth which can be attributed to potassium deficiency. The potassium in this vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body.
  • The beta-carotene in apple cider vinegar helps in countering damage caused by free radicals, helping one maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance.
  • Apple cider vinegar is good for those who want to lose weight, as it helps in breaking down fat to facilitate natural weight reduction.
  • Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which is helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, and help in relieving joint pains. (The dissolved uric acid is eventually eliminated from the body.)
It is claimed that apple cider vinegar is helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, along with a host of many other ailments. No wonder then many know apple cider vinegar as the 'Wonder Drug'.

How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for its Health Benefits?

You need to make sure that you use only the natural, organic variety of apple cider vinegar; the sparkling clear variety will have practically no health benefits. Propagators of this wonder drug claim that the best way to have this vinegar is first thing in the morning. You can mix two tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of water, and drink it. This solution may taste slightly acidic, and may not seem to be the best way to start your morning, but once you know of the immense benefits that follow, it will not feel all that bad.

Many find that following this routine first thing in the morning helps in eliminating constipation, which is one of the prime causes of many diseases. Constipation is also the cause of headaches - leading to a bad mood, deprived sleep, and a lethargic feeling the whole day, at times. Once this problem is solved, all the other symptoms vanish immediately, making you fresher and extremely active whole day long. Following this morning regime helps minor skin rashes vanish and the skin texture also improves, leaving you radiant and glowing naturally. Having that chilled glass of lemon juice can be substituted with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and water. Some prefer the taste as is. If the taste is too acidic for you, you can add honey to give it the sweet tinge. Adding honey will only improve the health benefits of the solution.

You can also enjoy the benefits of this wonder vinegar in several other ways. You can use apple cider vinegar while preparing salads by substituting the oil that is poured over a salad with it. Not only will the salad have a tangier taste, it will be much healthier as well. You can also use this vinegar to pickle an assortment of fruits and vegetables. Marinating beef, pork, lamb, fish and a variety of meats is almost a daily process for meat eaters. If you make apple cider vinegar the prime ingredient in the marinade with an assortment of herbs and spices, it will not only help in flavoring and tenderizing the meat, will also add a whole lot of nutrients to your diet.

While there are no serious side effects of apple cider vinegar, it being a vinegar can deteriorate your dental enamel and cause yellowing of teeth. Similarly, lack of information about its ill effects on the health of pregnant women and children only means it is better kept away from them. Though there have been cases wherein people have complained of upset stomach and nausea, such cases are very rare. All in all, apple cider vinegar is considered to be the safest of all vinegars available, and diluting it with water only makes it safer for your use.

Natural or Processed? So, after reading this article, what will your next bottle of apple cider vinegar be? Will it be the sparkling clear, eye-pleasing, nutrition-less apple cider vinegar; or will it be the organic, unfiltered, "mother" laced, nutrition filled, healthful apple cider vinegar?
By 
Last Updated: 12/2/2011