Traditional Naturopath Podcast #58

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 58 – (01/05/13)
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Show Notes:
The benefits of the humble fruit – lemon! Also, a long list of benefits from a long list of natural, healthful herbs! Join Dr. Bill as he reviews some findings of studies in the field of herbal remedies!

The Healing Power of Herbs!

This is a neat, consise article by Michael Castleman in Natural Health Magazine on the many benefits of herbs! I have maintained for a long time that herbs are simply food, however, it is a form of food that does far more than simply nourish our bodies, they can also expedite natural healing!

Herbs that Heal

“Herbs are hot and getting hotter. Years ago, anyone interested in using or ‘prescribing’ plants for medicinal purposes had to rely on folklore and anecdotes. There was little proven, reliable research on herbs (and most of it was in German). But with public demand, studies have mounted and we now have proof (even among U.S. scientists!) that herbs are viable treatments for many ailments.

‘Herbs won’t replace pharmaceuticals, but research shows that for many conditions, herbs work well and are less expensive than drugs,’ says integrative physician Frank Lipman, M.D., founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City. And unlike drugs, which just use the active ingredient, herbs usually don’t have side effects, Lipman adds. ‘The herbs are still in a whole, natural state and the other parts of the plant often mitigate the side effects,’ he explains.

Here, then, are 22 herbs that have been proven to treat 25 common conditions. Stick to the dosages specified here, in the studies or on the label—and make sure to tell your doctor about any herbs you plan to take, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, have a chronic condition or take medication regularly; remember that even though herbs are natural, they can still be contraindicated.

1. Aloe vera for burns Aloe vera is the herb for minor (second-degree) burns, confirmed by a Surgery Today study. Apply 100 percent pure gel to burns several times a day—or, better yet, keep a potted plant on your windowsill and snip off a thick leaf, slit it open and apply the gel to the burn.

2. Black cohosh for menopause A study published in the journal Menopause found that black cohosh may prevent bone degradation and stimulate vaginal lubrication. Previous meta analyses have indicated that the herb, which is an option for women who can’t take estrogen, worked better than a tranquilizer or estrogen for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. ‘The vast majority of studies show benefit,’ says Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas.

3. Boswellia for arthritis and joint injuries In a study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy, researchers gave people with osteoarthritis of the knee an extract of boswellia (5-Loxin). After three months, the herb group showed significantly greater relief than a placebo group.

4. Chaste tree for PMS A study published in the British Medical Journal involving 178 women with PMS found that chaste tree berry significantly reduced symptoms including irritability, depression, headaches and breast tenderness when taken over three menstrual cycles, especially when combined with St. John’s wort. (Note: Chaste tree may decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.)

5. Cranberry for urinary tract infections (UTIs) Cranberry prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder long enough to cause an infection. A Phytomedicine study showed that women who had contracted six UTIs within the past year went for four months without developing an infection while taking a cranberry capsule daily.

6. Evening primrose oil for eczema Evening primrose seeds contain an oil with a high concentration of compounds rarely found in plants: the essential fatty acid gammalinolenic acid. There are more than 30 human studies reporting its benefits; in one, 1,207 patients found that the oil helped relieve the itching, swelling, crusting and redness of eczema.

7. Feverfew for migraine prevention A double-blind study published in the journal Cephalalgia showed that patients who took feverfew decreased their average frequency of migraines from 4.76 per month to 2.86 per month.

8. Garlic as an antibiotic and for cancer prevention Garlic’s antibiotic compound, alliin, has no medicinal value until the herb is chewed, chopped or crushed. Then an enzyme transforms alliin into a powerful antibiotic called allicin. Raw garlic has the most antibiotic potency, but garlic still has benefits when cooked. According to the National Cancer Institute, preliminary studies suggest that garlic consumption may also reduce the risk of developing several types of cancer, especially those of the gastrointestinal tract.

9. Ginger for nausea and vomiting A Danish study showed that new sailors prone to motion sickness had less vomiting, thanks to ginger, than a placebo group. (Take a 1-gram capsule of powdered ginger root about an hour before embarking, and another every two hours or as needed.) Meanwhile, research published in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 88 percent of nausea-plagued pregnant women got relief taking 1 gram a day of ginger powder for no longer than four days.

10. Ginkgo for Alzheimer’s and antidepressant-induced sex problems In a landmark 1997 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers gave 202 people with Alzheimer’s either a placebo or 120 milligrams a day of ginkgo extract. A year later, the ginkgo group retained more mental function. From upstairs to downstairs: In a University of California at San Francisco study, investigators gave 209 milligrams of ginkgo a day to people suffering from antidepressant-induced sex problems (erection impairment, vaginal dryness and inability to reach orgasm). The herb helped 91 percent of the women and 76 percent of the men to return to normal sexual function.

11. Ginseng for immune enhancement and diabetes Ginseng revs up the immune system. A University of Alberta study found that subjects taking daily doses of ginseng got fewer colds and less severe symptoms than a placebo group. Ginseng also reduces bloodsugar levels. A study in Toronto, Canada, found that Korean red ginseng improved glucose and insulin regulation in well-controlled type II diabetes. (Diabetes requires professional treatment, so consult your physician about using ginseng.)

12. Goldenseal for digestive-tract infections Goldenseal, an herbal antibiotic, is often marketed in combination with echinacea as a treatment for infections, but it is effective only in the digestive tract, not for colds or flu. At the University of Illinois in Chicago, researchers tested goldenseal against H. pylori, the bacteria that cause ulcers, and the herb inhibited bacterial growth. For gastrointestinal infections (e.g., ulcers, food poisoning, infectious diarrhea), ask your doctor about using goldenseal before trying it.

13. Lemon balm for anxiety and herpes Science has shown that lemon balm is tranquilizing. The herb and its oil have been used in Alzheimer’s units to calm agitation. To decompress after a tough day, try a cup of lemon-balm tea; for extra benefit, mix with chamomile. Lemon balm also has antiviral properties and has been shown to reduce the healing time of oral and genital herpes. German researchers gave people in the early stages of outbreaks lemon-balm cream or a placebo. The herb group had milder outbreaks that healed faster.

14. Milk thistle for liver health Silymarin in milk thistle seeds has a remarkable ability to protect the liver. This herb has been shown to help treat hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis. ‘In our analysis,’ Blumenthal says, ‘a clear majority of studies support milk thistle for liver conditions.’ Because most drugs are metabolized through the liver, herbalists recommend the herb for anyone taking liver-taxing medication.

15. Psyllium for digestive problems Psyllium is a tiny seed that contains mucilage, a soluble fiber that swells on exposure to water. For diarrhea, psyllium can absorb excess fluid in the gut. For constipation, it adds bulk to stool, which presses on the colon wall and triggers the nerves that produce the urge to go. When using psyllium, drink plenty of water.

16. Red pepper for pain relief Capsaicin, the compound that gives red pepper (cayenne) its fiery flavor, is a potent topical pain reliever, found in a German study to reduce pain by 50 percent versus placebo’s 23 percent. When rubbed on the skin, it causes mild burning but that sensation desensitizes nearby pain nerves and soothes pain in deeper tissues.

17. St. John’s wort for depression For mild depression, St. John’s wort often works as well as some antidepressants, but with fewer side effects. ‘We recently concluded a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on St. John’s wort, and 21 of 23 studies support it for mild to moderate depression,’ says Blumenthal. Studies showing benefits have used 600 to 1,800 milligrams a day; most have used 900 milligrams a day. It’s not clear if St. John’s wort is as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac or Zoloft. St. John’s wort interacts with many drugs, including possibly reducing the effectiveness of birth control pills. Depression requires professional care; ask your physician about St. John’s wort.

18. Tea for heart health Tea, particularly green tea, has rocketed to prominence as an herbal medicine. It’s high in antioxidants, which help prevent heart disease. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers tracked the consumption of green tea by 40,530 adults over an 11-year period. Women who drank five or more cups a day reduced their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 31 percent and from stroke by 42 percent, compared to those who drank less than one cup per day.

19. Tea tree oil for athlete’s foot Tea tree is an Australian plant with an antifungal, antiseptic oil. In a double-blind trial, 158 people with athlete’s foot were treated with placebo, a 25 percent tea tree oil solution or a 50 percent tea tree oil solution for four weeks. Results showed that the tea tree oil solutions were more effective than placebo. (In the 50 percent tea tree oil group, 64 percent were cured; in the 25 percent tea tree oil group, 55 percent were cured; in the placebo group, 31 percent were cured.)

20. Turmeric for arthritis and joint injuries Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory. In combination with boswellia, ashwagandha and ginger, it may treat osteoarthritis, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. And a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research in March found curcumin to be comparable in efficacy to a prescription anti-inflammatory for treating rheumatoid arthritis.

21. Valerian for insomnia Studies have shown that valerian aids sleep, often as well as pharmaceutical sedatives but without risk of addiction. In a study in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, the treatments were equally effective.

22. White willow bark for pain relief White willow bark contains salicin, a close chemical relative of aspirin. A study in Phytomedicine followed people with severe back pain for 18 months. In the group taking white willow bark, 40 percent were pain-free after just four weeks; the same was true of only 18 percent of the second group, who could take whatever prescription drugs they wanted. Like aspirin, willow bark can cause stomach distress, and shouldn’t be given to children.”

Lemons May Help Fight Breast Cancer!

Lemons are amazing in many ways! Lemon are alkalizing for the body, and we are gernally all to acidic. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C. Lemons are good for your liver. As a cleanser, lemon can be used to clean your bowels. In 1747, naval surgeon, James Lind cured scurvy with fresh lemons. The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones. And, these are just a few of lemon’s benefits! Now, it seems that lemons might be beneficial in fighting Breast Cancer!

Another Natural Aid To Fight Breast Cancer

Lemons are useful for many things as well as cooking and slicing into drinks. They have natural health giving properties (as do other citrus fruits) and have been previously been cited as being helpful in digestion, weight loss and more importantly as this new study shows they may also be helpful in colon, liver and pancreatic cancers as well as leukaemia.

A new study has shown for the first time how limonoids, the natural compounds present in lemons and other citrus fruit, impede breast cancer cell growth which makes adding them to your daily diet a clear priority for breast cancer prevention and supports past studies which showed fruit consumption may lower breast cancer risk.

Why the answer is a lemon

It is their limonoids content that has shown this preventive effect and showed their ability to decrease the growth/viability of cancer cells by as much as 44 percent. Each limonoid was also tested for its ability to induce programmed cell death of the cancer cells and one of the most potent was found to be limonin glucoside – which is by far the most abundant limonoid in citrus juices.

The limonoids were also tested for their ability to inhibit aromatase, which is key in limiting the estrogen that Estrogen Receptor cells can use for growth.

A lemon a day?

It need not only be lemons either: a recent American study did show that women consuming about 75 grams daily of grapefruit (fruit or juice) saw a 22 percent reduction in breast cancer risk if they had never used hormone replacement therapy. However if you are on statins then grapefruit juice or fruit is a contraindication so choose lemon or oranges instead. Preventing breast cancer is not the only reason to consume lemons: the juice of half a lemon in warm water first thing in the morning helps a sluggish digestive system, aids slimming and leads to a brighter complexion.

If you only ever use lemons in a gin and tonic, then think bigger, and wider. A recent European study showed that consuming four or more 150-gram portions per week of citrus fruit decreased the risks of throat cancer by 58 percent, oral cancer by 53 percent, stomach cancer by 31 percent, and colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

Lemons are not the only fruit

While the limonoids in the latest study are based on lemons, they are also found in the peel, pulp and juice of all citrus fruits. Citrus juices contain approximately 90 to 300 mg per liter of limonoid glucosides (orange juice: 300 mg/l, grapefruit juice: 200 mg/l, lemon or lime juice: 90 mg/l). Citrus pulp and peel contain up to 500mg/kg of limonoids, so if you freshly squeeze your juice, be sure to include as much pulp as possible. Citrus seeds can contain up to two percent by weight of limonoids, with grapefruit seeds being the richest source.

Your breast cancer protection plan

Taken together, these recent studies suggest that women wanting to reduce breast cancer risk should consume at least 75 grams daily of citrus fruit or juice as part of a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle, and that further benefit may be obtained by concentrating on liminoid-rich orange and grapefruit as whole fruit, or pulp-rich juices. Grapefruit seed extract is also available as a supplement and may be worth considering if you have a high family risk.

The protective role of progesterone in preventing the proliferation of oestrogen as it balances out the excess oestrogen and limits its damaging effects is well established. Having good hormone balance is essential for overall health and particularly for women with a family history of breast cancer it may well make all the difference.

Further reading:

These articles can help to understand the role that excess oestrogen (oestrogen dominance) plays in breast cancer when not adequately balanced by progesterone.

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2010/03/15/what-is-oestrogen-dominance/

http://www.bio-hormone-health.com/2011/05/18/natural-progesterone-as-a-preventive-for-breast-cancer-by-dr-david-zava/