Please Note…

Any discussions of supplementation, or even natural food sources, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No supplement, or food, that is discussed should be construed as being intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent, any disease.

You should consult your own, local healthcare provider in regard to any change in your diet, or health regimen.

How to Help Boost Your Immune System

From the “Natural Cowgirl Blog” – Margaret Durst, A.K.A. “Natural Cowgirl” – This natural health blogger has some great info on steps that you can take to boost your immune system so that you will be ready for “flu season.” But, remember that your immune system should be in top shape at all times, not just special times of the year, when people are more aware of chances of flu.

Natural Immune Boosters

Margaret’s Natural Health Blog – From the “Natural Cowgirl Blog” – By: Margaret Durst, A.K.A. “Natural Cowgirl” – “Now is a good time to start building your immune system for flu season. Whether you are concerned about colds or flu, there are some great natural strategies for you to use to build your immune system.

Let’s review a bit about viruses and immune function. Viruses are opportunistic and function like scavengers. If the host is healthy and there is nothing to scavenge, the virus will not be successful.

An average body is somewhat easy to bring into balance and keep well. You want to make sure you are eating well balanced meals, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. If you are concerned about decreased immunity due to stress and what I call fast living (which we all do from time to time), my typical immune recommendations will work well for you.

I love a product called Elderberry Defense. It is a combination of Elderberry, Vitamin D, Echinacea and Olive Leaf. This is what I give my son. He doesn’t get sick enough to miss school unless he doesn’t take it. This comes in a chewable gummy form for kids and in capsule form for those who can swallow. Both work well and are a repeat favorite among mothers.

I am also a big fan of Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed Extract. One of our bestsellers is a product called Defense Plus. It is a blend of Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin C, Echinacea and several Mushrooms. Defense Plus is my ‘go to’ remedy for almost anything infectious if you can swallow big pills. Some people take one per day of either Defense Plus or high quality Olive Leaf to stay well.

I personally take Olive Leaf – I have for years. The last time I got really sick was when I ran out of my favorite brand of olive leaf and took another one that I no longer sell.

There are other products worth mentioning that work. Colostrum, Thymus Extract, Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, Astragalus, and Probiotics are all good immune builders. On the average body, any of these, or any combination will work.

It’s the ‘not’ average bodies that will have trouble. These tend to be out of balance to begin with. They tend to be overrun with problems of congestion, inflammation and excess acidity. They are hard to balance as they tend to be a disease waiting to happen.

Bringing these bodies into balance is more of a challenge. I would recommend a whole body cleanse along with some diet changes for these types of bodies. The 2 key problems I see are yeast/fungus and eating too many refined foods – mainly white flour and white sugar. Balancing the diet and getting rid of yeast /fungus will give a virus less to scavenge. With some balance restored, this kind of body will respond well to typical immune builders, but may have to double or triple the average dose to get results.

I can usually predict the first outbreak of a cold or flu virus in the school. It will be after our first bout of cold rainy weather and it is usually after Thanksgiving. It seems to be the combination of rich food, virus exchange with cousins, and cold weather that keeps us inside (Vitamin D deficiency) that yields the first wave.

Cold and flus outbreaks also come from ‘fast living’. This is when we really need to be prepared. This is when we get run down from things like following the football team to all of their games while continuing all of our ‘normal’ activities.

Watch for times of decreased immunity and boost yours naturally so you can stay well and enjoy life.”

NOTE: For the products that she mentions, check out her on-line store: http://www.vitaminranch.com/

These Onions May Be Good for Your Heart

These “tearless onions” are related to garlic, and therefore, are good for the cardio-vascular system.

‘Tearless’ Onions Could Help Fight Heart Disease

Bioscience Technology – “Onions, a key ingredient in recipes around the globe, come in a tearless version that scientists are now reporting could pack health benefits like its close relative, garlic, which is renowned for protecting against heart disease. They published their laboratory analysis, which suggests a similar heart-friendly role for the tearless onions, as well as a possible role in managing weight gain, in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Colin Eady and colleagues note that the onion has a unique chemistry that leads to its tear-inducing effects when cut. Its pungency has driven cooks to don goggles, clench wooden spoons in their mouths and try other usually futile techniques to prevent crying at the cutting board. An answer could arrive in the form of a new type of onion that makes less of the protein blamed for making eyes burn and tear up. Eady’s team has developed such a version, which instead makes a sulfur compound similar to one found in cut garlic that may be the key to its cardiovascular benefits.

Many people eat garlic cloves or take it as a nutritional supplement in pill form to reduce the clumping of platelets in the blood, which can lead to blood clots and clogged arteries. Garlic also has been shown to reduce weight gain. They wanted to know whether the new onion might also have similar positive effects on health.

The scientists found that in lab tests, extract from the tearless onion significantly reduced platelet clumping, compared to regular onions or even garlic. Other results showed that the new onion had about the same anti-inflammatory properties as the original. Also, preliminary testing in rats showed that the tearless onion could help control weight gain – more so than regular onions or garlic.”

Vitamin Use Cuts Down on Cancer Deaths

The media has been ranting of late that there is NO benefit to vitamin usage, It is practically a mantra with them. Yet, the actual studies that are being done say otherwise!

Vitamin use is associated with lower breast cancer death

“Breast cancer is a condition feared by women worldwide even though in many cases there are effective treatments. Medical News Today notes that breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in females across the world. MedPage Today reported on Oct. 10, 2013, ‘Vitamin Use Tied to Lower Breast Cancer Death.’

An analysis of data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) showed postmenopausal breast cancer patients had a significantly decreased risk of dying of the disease if they consumed multivitamins with minerals. Overall, use of multivitamins with minerals has been found to be associated with a 30% lower likelihood of breast cancer mortality in women who were taking the vitamins at diagnosis.

Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, PhD, has said ‘This large prospective study among U.S. older women showed a consistent association between multivitamin and mineral use and lower breast cancer mortality.’ In an earlier analysis of WHI data an association between multivitamin use and the risk of developing breast cancer was not seen.”

Traditional Naturopath Podcast #59

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 59 – (09/10/13)
Click on the “Play” button (the black triangle pointing to the right) below to play it as Streaming Audio.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download MP3
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Save)

Show Notes:
Dr. Bill discusses plant extracts that control blood sugar and fight fat! He also gets into his personal 139 lb. weight loss (so far!) How did he do it? Also, the aronia berry is bursting with antioxidants! Check out what we call ‘chokeberries’ in NC!

Aronia berries: High in Antioxidants!

Once again, a demonstration that natural, healthy foods have tremendous benefits to us!

Aronia berries: North American fruits bursting with antioxidants

“(NaturalNews) Aronia is a North American shrub that bears fruits which resemble dark purple-colored cranberries. Despite their ordinary appearance, however, these fruits – which are commonly called aronia berries or chokeberries – boast an unusually impressive nutritional profile. Indeed, a couple of years ago, many mainstream newspapers – notably the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail – ran stories claiming that aronia berries were the healthiest fruits in the world. While these claims are debatable, research has shown that the regular consumption of aronia berries in preserved, dried or juiced form provides us with numerous health benefits.

The benefits of aronia berries

Incredibly rich in antioxidants – The aronia berry is bursting with so many antioxidants that it is almost inedible when raw due to its extreme sharpness. Indeed, the USDA gave the raw aronia berry an ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) score of 15,280 umol per 100 grams, meaning that it contains almost three times as many antioxidants as the blackberry, acai berry and blueberry and one-and-a-half times as many antioxidants as the cranberry and blackcurrant. Even when sweetened and made into jams and spreads, aronia berries still contain more antioxidants – including essential flavonoids and anthocyanins – than any other superfruit. Antioxidants inhibit the activity of cell-destroying free radicals, thereby guarding us from cancer and other degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and macular degeneration.

Rich in dietary fiber – Aronia berries are an excellent source of fiber, making them effective natural laxatives that can help remove accumulated matter from the colon. Consequently, they can also prevent colon cancer while promoting natural weight loss in overweight individuals.

Iron and vitamin C – 100 grams of dried aronia berries provides us with 93 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron, which plays a critical role in the body’s oxidation processes and can only be acquired from external sources, since our bodies cannot make it. 100 grams of dried aronia berries also provides us with 34 percent of our recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which plays a central role in the formation of collagen and has numerous anti-aging benefits.

Boost cardiovascular health – Aronia berries can boost blood circulation and blood vessel strength thanks to their ability to neutralize free radicals, which are a leading cause of cardiovascular issues. They also prevent the formation of blood clots, thereby minimizing the chances of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

High in quinic acid – Aronia berries contain unsurpassed levels of quinic acid, making them even more effective than cranberry juice for treating urinary tract infections. Moreover, quinic acid increases the acidity of urine, thus inhibiting the growth of kidney stones.”

A Plant Extract That Fights Fat and Helps Control Blood Sugar

This is an amazing article! Click the link for the references to the information!

Shed Pounds by Inhibiting Cellular Fat Storage

“Health authorities are warning about the devastating consequences of obesity, yet doctors remain in the dark about what causes people to accumulate so many fat pounds as they age.

Through a series of well-designed studies, scientists investigating certain plant extracts found they can block fat storage at the cellular level.

In a significant scientific advance, a potent new weapon has been identified to help safely induce weight loss.

This article describes how a novel dual plant extract favorably modulates six pathways that fat cells use to trigger weight gain.

When tested on humans in a placebo-controlled study, those taking this dual plant extract lost 4.05 inches of abdominal fat and dropped 11.4 pounds after eight weeks…with weight loss observed as early as 14 days.1

Cells that store fat are called adipocytes. They are deposited throughout our bodies.2,3

As we age, adipocytes tend to expand and congregate in areas that are cosmetically unsightly and detrimental to our health.

Of greatest concern are the adipocytes that deposit deep in our abdomens. This ‘visceral fat’ represents more than fat stored on our waistlines. Visceral fat is chemically active tissue that churns out a torrent of pro-inflammatory cytokines.4

Those with bulging belly fat suffer constant bombardment from toxic cytokines that trigger the metabolic syndrome and its deadly consequences.5,6

This widespread problem led scientists to seek out plant extracts that specifically interfere with adipocyte fat storage in our abdominal anatomy.

Sphaeranthus indicus

How Unwanted Fat Storage Occurs

Excess calories transform to fat deposits in adipocytes7 through a multi-step process known as adipogenesis.

When fewer calories are consumed, fat is released from adipocytes to meet the body’s energy needs.8,9 This is known as lipolysis.

A dual plant extract has been studied based on its ability to simultaneously inhibit adipogenesis (fat storage) and enhance lipolysis (fat breakdown and release).

Mangosteen fruit

Like any other cell, adipocytes develop from undifferentiated stem cells. Premature, developing fat cells are called pre-adipocytes. When you ingest more calories than your body needs, ‘young’ pre-adipocytes respond by maturing into ‘adult’ adipocytes.7,10-12

‘Adult’ adipocytes take up excess fatty acids from your bloodstream and begin expanding. It is this process of fatty acid uptake and adipocyte expansion that ultimately results in obesity and its pathologic consequences. Every excess calorie contributes to the maturation and growth of fat cells in this way. Past a certain point, adipocytes distend and become bloated, much in the same way your belly does.

Not all adipocytes are the same. While fat cells distribute throughout your body, those that store in your abdomen—producing so-called visceral fat or belly fat—are more than just storage ‘containers.’

Belly fat cells are chemically active. They form fatty tissue capable of releasing detrimental pro-inflammatory cytokines.4

In obese individuals, the mass of excess visceral fat deposits generates a pro-inflammatory flood of cytokines. This cytokine release then incites a cascade of harmful effects that, if left unchecked, contributes to the onset of multiple degenerative diseases.5,6

So unwanted body fat storage happens when pre-adipocyte stem cells mature in order to store excess dietary fat (adipogenesis) while the ability to break down stored fat (lipolysis) diminishes.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: INHIBITING CELLULAR FAT STORAGE

  • An obesity epidemic continues to rage in this country, with more than two-thirds of the American population overweight or obese.
  • Conventional medicine has yet to offer any safe, long-term, practical solution.
  • Cutting-edge researchers continue to identify novel natural weight loss—inducing agents.
  • Among the most recent is a dual plant extract containing extracts of the flower S. indicus and the mangosteen fruit, both native to Asia.
  • When combined, the resulting dual extract blend was found to favorably influence six distinct biomolecular pathways by which fat cells trigger weight gain. In placebo-controlled clinical trials involving obese subjects, this dual extract safely induced total weight loss of 11.4 pounds, a decline of 2.05 in body mass index (BMI), and a reduction of 4.05 inches in harmful visceral fat after just eight weeks.
  • Combating Surplus Body Fat Storage

Searching for natural interventions that would effectively inhibit fat accumulation (adipogenesis) and enhance fat burning (lipolysis), scientists evaluated more than a thousand plants for evidence that would meet this criteria.13

Two plants whose extracts demonstrated significant biological effects were:

Sphaeranthus indicus flower (S. indicus)
Mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana).

Control adipocyte cells not treated with S. indicus display lipid accumulation.

Adipocyte cells treated with S. indicus inhibited fat accumulation.
In the laboratory, S. indicus and mangosteen extracts powerfully impeded adipogenesis.

When cells were treated with S. indicus alone, fat storage was inhibited by as much as 65%, compared with control cells. Photographs (below) show a markedly visible difference between the two cell groups. The control cells show a bloated, ‘foamy’ appearance, bulging with fat droplets, compared to the smaller, more naturally contoured cells treated with the S. indicus extract.13

Each of these extracts also enhanced lipolysis (or fat burning), by as much as 56% compared to control cells.13

Having identified these unifying properties in the two extracts, the researchers set out to determine if they would exhibit enhanced effects when used in combination.

They found that the S. indicus and mangosteen extracts favorably modulate the activity of six genomic pathways involved in fat cell formation and breakdown.13

Remarkably, these extracts reduced gene expression that promotes adipogenesis while favorably influencing a gene involved in desirable lipolysis.

The box on this page shows how these plant extracts, used alone and in combination, positively modulated the markers involved in unwanted cellular fat accumulation by inhibiting adipogenesis and promoting lipolysis.

Given these observations, researchers recognized that this novel blend of plant extracts could result in significant weight loss via three distinct mechanisms:

Preventing ‘young’ fat cells (pre-adipocytes) from developing into ‘mature’ fat cells (adipocytes);
Reducing the amount of fatty acids adipocytes could absorb;
Speeding breakdown of bloated adipocytes’ existing fat stores.
The next step was to determine if these plant extracts would induce weight loss in experimental animals and—more importantly—obese humans.

Preventing Obesity in Rodents

When young adult rats are fed a high-fat diet they rapidly gain weight—just as humans often do.

To investigate the effects of the plant extracts that worked in cell studies, scientists fed a group of young adult rats a high-fat diet. Half the rats received the dual plant extract while the other half served as the control group.13

At the end of eight weeks, the control group rapidly gained weight. The rats fed a high-fat diet and given the dual plant extract, on the other hand, reduced body weight gain by an impressive 700%.13

This is not surprising considering these same plant extracts blocked fat accumulation by 48.5% and 65.9% in the cellular model.13

This study demonstrated that these plant extracts decrease diet-induced obesity in young adult rats. The real challenge, however, is whether these same plant extracts are effective in humans who are already obese.

HOW THESE PLANT EXTRACTS COMBAT ADIPOCYTE OVERLOAD

The novel blend of S. indicus and mangosteen extracts inhibit expansion of new fat cells while promoting breakdown of lipids in existing adipocytes. Laboratory studies demonstrate the following molecular mechanisms that enable these two plants to combat adipocyte overload:

1. Adipocyte differentiation-related protein (ADRP): Stimulates lipid accumulation and lipid droplet formation in fat cells.13,14 Reducing levels of ADRP is considered a novel strategy for preventing or reducing dangerous fat accumulation, especially in the liver.12,13,15,16

2. Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein 4: Also known as aP2, this transports fatty acids into fat cells for storage. Increased levels of aP2 are associated with lipid profile abnormalities that lead to atherosclerosis; they may also be an independent risk factor for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.8,11,17-25

3. Perilipin: A protein that coats lipid droplets in adipocytes, thereby protecting their fat contents from being broken down. Inhibiting perilipin thus promotes lipolysis, contributing to a reduction in adipocyte fat content.9,26-28

4. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1): Produced primarily by endothelial (artery-lining) cells, PAI-1 plays a key role in blood clot formation and breakdown.29 It is also secreted by adipose tissue.30 High levels of PAI-1 thus correlate directly with abdominal obesity, body weight, and body mass index or BMI.31 In the presence of this novel plant extract blend, PAI-1 levels were ultimately found to decline significantly.1

5. PPAR-gamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma): A primary metabolic ‘sensor’ that triggers adipogenesis in the presence of excess calories.32 Reducing PPAR-gamma activity helps prevent fat cells from becoming bloated and dysfunctional. 7,9,14,33-36

6. Beta-3-adrenergic receptor (3AR): Gene expression for this recently discovered receptor was increased by the dual plant extract. It regulates fat breakdown (lipolysis) when an energy boost is needed. Switching on the beta-3 receptor spontaneously and dramatically increases fat cells’ energy expenditure, burning up unused fat in the process.6,37-41

Researchers have demonstrated that the six genomic pathways involved in fat cell formation and breakdown (described above) are favorably modulated when exposed to S. indicus and mangosteen extracts.17 This provides a scientific basis to explain the anti-obesity effects observed in human clinical trials.

Chart 1
Adapted from: FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011 – Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.

Chart 2
Adapted from: FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011 – Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.
Weight Loss Findings in Humans

Human weight loss studies comprise an active arm that received the potentially effective fat-reducing agent and a similar group that received an inactive placebo.

To evaluate the effects of these two plant extracts, 60 obese adults were recruited and divided into two groups. One arm of 30 patients functioned as the placebo group while a second group of 30 patients received 800 mg per day of a combination of the two plant extracts. Both groups followed a 2,000-calorie- per-day diet and were asked to walk 30 minutes five days a week.

At the end of eight weeks, the group receiving the two plant extracts showed the following improvements:1

  • Reduction in total body weight of 11.4 pounds. This was 3.7 times greater than the placebo group.
  • Reduction of 4.05 inches in the abdomen. This was 2 times greater than the placebo group.
  • Reduction in body mass index (BMI) of 2.05. A decrease 3.9 times greater than the placebo group.
  • This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the kind the FDA mandates before it approves new drugs. The charts on this page reveal the magnitude of the weight loss and belly fat reduction that occurred in the group receiving the dual plant extract compared to placebo.1 (See Charts 1 and 2)

In addition to the favorable results seen at eight weeks, researchers were impressed with the reduction in waist and hip circumference, as well as lost body weight that occurred within the first 14 days! In fact after only two weeks, the average weight reduction was 4.6 pounds.1

At eight weeks, the dual plant extract group showed reduction in the waist-to-hip ratio that was 2.2 times greater than the placebo group. This is an important improvement as it indicates dangerous visceral belly fat is being lost.

These findings are supported by a second, similarly designed trial involving 60 obese subjects. They were divided into three groups that consisted of a placebo arm, an active arm receiving one plant extract, and another active arm that received a dual plant extract. All participants followed a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet and were asked to walk for 30 minutes five times a week for 8 weeks.13

After eight weeks the group receiving the dual plant extract experienced statistically significant changes in their abdominal circumference, total body weight, and hip circumference similar to those seen in the first study mentioned above.13

These confirmatory findings indicate that this novel dual plant extract may enable aging humans to safely shed unwanted body fat stores. No major adverse events or side effects were reported in either study.

Protection against Coronary Thrombosis

Most sudden death heart attacks occur when a blood clot forms in a coronary artery, choking off oxygenated blood to a portion of the heart muscle.

A protein called plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) inhibits the normal breakdown of arterial blood clots.29 High levels of PAI-1 are observed in obese individuals and are associated with increased heart attack risk.30,31

When studying the dual plant extract, researchers measured serum levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Those receiving the dual plant extract showed a 24.3% reduction in dangerous PAI-1 levels, while the placebo group showed a 2.4% increase.1 (See Chart 3)

Those supplemented with the dual plant extract had a 60% drop in triglyceride levels compared to baseline.1

Chart 3
Adapted from: FASEB J. April 2011; 25:(Meeting Abstract Supplement) 601.9. Presented at Experimental Biology 2011, Washington, DC. April 10, 2011 – Program No. 601.9, Poster No. A278.
Subjects given the dual plant extract increased levels of the key metabolic hormone adiponectin.1 Adiponectin regulates how much sugar is in your bloodstream and how quickly your body breaks down fat. In terms of fat loss, high adiponectin levels are desirable. Higher levels of adiponectin are associated with decreased deposits of body fat and a reduced susceptibility to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.42

The dual plant extract group showed trends toward reduced glucose and cholesterol, which are expected to occur in response to loss of belly fat and body weight.1

The loss of visceral fat in the dual extract group— 4.05 inches, amounting to twice the decline observed in the placebo group—is compelling.1 This is important because visceral fat releases a storm of pro-inflammatory cell-signaling molecules. Excess visceral fat is a known risk factor for a number of serious health threats, ranging from systemic inflammation to increased risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease.43-45

Taken together, these findings indicate markedly reduced vascular disease risk in obese individuals taking 800 mg a day of this dual plant extract.

Summary

Obesity arises from the increased size of individual adipocytes (fat cells) due to enhanced lipid (fat) accumulation. It worsens as greater numbers of pre-adipocytes transform into dysfunctional, bloated adipocytes.

The novel blend of plant extracts described in this article favorably influences six distinct pathways by which fat cells trigger weight gain.

In cell culture, these plant extracts reduce the ability of progenitor fat cells (pre-adipocytes) to transform into bloated fat cells. These studies also show that components of this dual plant extract reduce the amount of fatty acids taken up by adipocytes (adipogenesis) and facilitate the breakdown (lipolysis) of fat stored in existing adipocytes.

In a placebo-controlled clinical trial involving obese humans, this blend of S. indicus and mangosteen plant extracts safely induced weight loss of 11.4 pounds, along with a decline of 2.05 in body mass index (BMI) and a reduction of 4.05 inches in harmful visceral fat.1

While our medical establishment has failed to offer any safe, long-term, practical solutions for today’s obesity epidemic, natural agents are now available that substantively augment the effects of a sensible weight loss program.

POTENT ANTI-DIABETIC PROPERTIES

Long prized in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for their weight loss-inducing properties, scientists confirmed that extracts from Sphaeranthus indicus (S. indicus) and the mangosteen fruit (Garcinia mangostana) exert an anti-diabetic effect in humans.

S. indicus has been used for centuries to combat diabetic symptoms, protect the liver, quell inflammation, boost mood, and aid in digestion.46

Diabetic lab animals treated with S. indicus extracts exhibit substantial reductions in blood glucose, along with enhanced liver and pancreatic function.47,48 In insulin-resistant mice, S. indicus extracts lower blood sugar and triglyceride levels while facilitating more efficient uptake of glucose in muscle tissue.49 Diabetic animals treated with S. indicus exhibit significantly lower levels of tissue oxidation,50 a major underlying factor in most life-threatening diabetic complications.48,49

The mangosteen is an edible fruit that grows throughout South Asia. Like S. indicus, parts of the fruit and its juice have been used for centuries to combat diabetes and obesity. One vital mechanism is its ability to block the critical metabolic enzyme alpha-amylase that breaks down starches into sugar.51 Alpha-amylase blockers limit the spike in blood glucose levels that would normally follow a carbohydrate-rich meal. Mangosteen extracts also inhibit enzymes involved in synthesizing fat molecules.33 It is this combination of blocking sugar uptake and blocking fat production that accounts in part for its weight loss—inducing properties.

Mangosteen extracts have an additional, noteworthy benefit. They have been shown to effectively limit the inflammation that typically accompanies fat cell accumulation.6,52 This inflammation contributes directly to insulin resistance. In one compelling study, levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein declined significantly53 in obese individuals consuming mangosteen juice after only 8 weeks.”

Traditional Naturopath Podcast #58

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 58 – (01/05/13)
Click on the “Play” button (the black triangle pointing to the right) below to play it as Streaming Audio.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download MP3
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Save)

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/

Traditional Naturopath Podcast #57

The Traditional Naturopath Podcast – 57 – (11/10/12)
Click on the “Play” button (the black triangle pointing to the right) below to play it as Streaming Audio.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download MP3
(Right-Click on the Link Above and Save)

Show Notes:
The FDA says plain walnuts are drugs! The FDA adds a warning for statin drugs. Thyme, a good treatment for acne, NC threatens to arrest a blogger! Vitamin D lowers blood pressure, Raspberry Keytones may reduce fat cells, Black Tea may be heart healthy!