This is for information only, and is not medical advice. The informtion is not intended to replace medical advice offered by medical physicians.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Wheatgrass? What's not to like?

Wheatgrass? What's not to like?
by Marcus Martinez

The health benefits of wheatgrass juice have been documented since the 1930s. It juices every cell in the body and has a hand in the health of the heart, digestion and energy supply.

Chlorophyll and Haemoglobin

The effects of wheatgrass are attributed to its high chlorophyll content - over 70 percent of the plant's solid content is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is a plant's version of haemoglobin, which is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen in humans. Chlorophyll and haemoglobin are similar in structure, the main difference being that in harmoglobin the central element is iron (which gives our blood the red color) while in chlorophyll it is magenesium. Chlorophyll converts sunlight into energy, which is stored in the plant - a reason why wheatgrass juice is sometimes nicknamed 'liquid sunshine'.

A Powerful Antiseptic

Chlorophyll is a powerful antiseptic and detoxifying agent, explaining why wheatgrass has been used successfully for a variety o finternal and external infections (e.g. sinusitis), as well as to hasten skin grafting and wound healing as a gargle for sore throats and to prevent tooth decay, and in bowel cleansing programs. Research also indecates chlorphyll has anti-mutagenic properties, and therefore may be able to inhibit or reduce cancer formation.

Vitamin-rich Superfood

Wheatgrass contains vitamins (A, C, E and various Bs), amino acids, antioxidant enzymes that aid in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, minerals (calcium, magnesium, iodine, iron, manganese, potassium and selenium), plus it's a good source of MSM, a sulphur containing molecule that reduces inflammation and allergy-type reactions and detoxifies the body. Enthusiasts who take it regularly often comment on the energy 'hit' they get from wheatgrass; this is most likely a combination of teh concentrated nutrition present and its detoxification properties.

Research Briefs

• Thalassemia Major. This hereditary disease affects the harmoglobin in red blood cells. Patients are usually dependent on repeated blood transfusions and are at risk of anemia, spleen enlargement and bone marrow problmes. An Indian pilot study (2004) found that taking 100 ml of wheatgrass juice daily dramatically reduced the transfusion requirements of patients with thalassemia major - by over 25 percent in half the patients in the study, and by over 40 percent in thress cases. The average interval between transfusions also incrased by 29.5 percent.

• Foetal Haemoglobin. A wheatgrass extract has been used in a preliminary trial at the Murdoch Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. The extract was tested on cells to see if it could cause a significant increase in fortal haemoglobin. (This harmoglobin develops in the foetus and has an extremely high affinity for oxygen. After birth it is not so essential and the levels fall in adults to only around two percent of our total haemoglobin.) The trial found that using the wheatgrass extract over a 5-day period suggested a 3 to 5 fold incrase in the production of fortal haemoglobin. This could explain why some thalassemia patients in the Indian study experienced benefits from the juice although it also indicates these benefits are not due to the chlorophyll content, as the extract contains almost no chlorophyll.

• Ulcerative Colitis. A 2002 double-blind Israeli study showed that regular use of wheatgrass juicecan be useful in the treatment of active ulcerative colitis. Patients took either 100 cc of wheatgrass juice or a placebo daily for a month. Treatment with the wheatgrass juice was associated with significant reductions in the overall disease activity and in the severity of rectal bleeding.

User's Guide

Wheatgrass is widely available at juice bars, health food shops and cafes. You can also buy wheatgrass sprouter kits from healthfood stores and juice your own sprouts at home.

When drinking wheatgrass juice, mix it well with your saliva before swallowing - this improves digestion as well as supporting oral hygiene.

Please visit Naturopedia.com for more on natural health and healing. Click here for the original article.

Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Natural Health Choices

Natural Health Choices by Lambert Klein

With all of the health issues saturating the internet, perhaps it's time we look to a more natural health in our daily lives. Recently, I had the opportunity to view Qi Gong, a meditative exercise which brings calm and balance within. Used for 4000 years by the Chinese, it has become an effective and proven way to achieve health and well-being.

Qi, pronounced Chi meaning life force; and Gong, meaning exercise.

It comprises slow moving motions which not only heal the body, but the mind as well. Modern medicine, while necessary for certain diseases, cannot come close to Qi Gong in providing the body with increased energy and physical health.

These gentle breathing, stretching and strengthening movements activate the Qi energy and blood circulation in your body, helping to stimulate your immune system, strengthen your internal organs, and give you abundant energy. Qi Gong can be practiced either in a sitting or standing position, and anyone can engage in these simple and effective exercises in as little as fifteen to twenty minutes a day.

Instead of deriving assistance from unnecessary drugs and stimulants; using our own bodies as instruments for change can occur. It seems as if we have become more dependent upon drugs to treat ailments than listening to our bodies. This is not to say diseases can be treated using this method; but certainly stress and other problems which sometimes incapacitate us can be dealt with differently and effectively.

Subliminal messaging CDs are becoming more popular; whether they actually help or not is up to the individual. However, meditation has been around for thousands of years, and yoga has always been a favorite among those who seek alternatives to pills and other conventional methods.

It seems to this writer we have to find our way back to a simplistic lifestyle, where stress and worry have no place to invade our minds and spirit. This may sound naïve, but evidence has shown that meditative practices are effective.

Upon a visit to a big city, one tourist remarked, "Why is everyone rushing around? Where are they going?" No truer words were spoken. Our lives, admittedly, are stress filled; with both parents working to pay the bills; save for a house or their kids college education; with the high cost of rents and oil; trying to meet deadlines at work on a daily basis; it's no wonder everyone is tightly wound. Eventually, it will catch up with all of us.

To this end, maybe it's time to find a balance; a way in which we can live life to the fullest and still achieve the goals we set. It's a question we all need to answer in our own way.

Join us at Think Healthy Forums and learn or teach about natural healthy

Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net

Natural Remedies help Soothe Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Natural Remedies help Soothe Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome by Marcus Martinez

If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you do not have to live in constant discomfort. Studies have show that through diet, supplements and lifestyle changes, one can reduce and even eliminate most symptoms.

• Fiber matters. Adequate dietary fiber is important, but what is more important is the adequate consumption of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps prevent diarrhea and constipation as well as regulating intestinal spasms and easing cramps and pain. Good sources of soluble fiber include raw or steamed vegetables, apples, pears, berries, unprocessed rolled oats, barley, rye, brown rice, psyllium husks and seeds, and spelt products. Insoluble fiber includes wheat, bran, nuts, legumes and salad greens, is best avoided initially until IBS symptoms settle down. These foods may be reintroduced later as digestion improves.

• Glutamine. Glutamine, a type of amino acid, has a particular affinity for the digestive and nervous systems, helping to heal an irritated gut lining and reduce allergic responses to foods.

• Slippery elm. This herb is a bowel normaliser, meaning it can be used for both constipation and diarrhea. It settles the gut, alleviating cramps, wind, reflux and acidic indigestion.

• Aloe vera. Taken just before bed, aloe vera juice is very effective for constipation. It also has a mildly detoxifying effect, helping to heal and soothe the gastrointestinal tract. It can be taken together with glutamine and slippery elm.

• Probiotics. Maintaining sufficient good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract is important for healthy digestion. Probiotics can be bought in powder or capsule and should be taken twice daily before meal. Lactobacillus plantarum is also very effective. Boosting your digestive enzymes can aid the absorption of nutrients in the body.

• More herbs. Strong fennel, ginger and peppermint teas help alleviate wind, pain and nausea. They also increase gut motility. These herbs can be taken in tablet or capsule form if you do not like the taste of the teas.

• The right fats. Essential fatty acids (EFAs), especially the omega 3 fatty acids, reduce the inflammation associated with IBS. Eat oily fish regularly and/or take a fish or flaxseed oil supplement. These oils also have numerous other health benefits for the immune and cardiovascular systems. Flaxseed oil also reduces allergic tendencies. If you have a sensitive stomach, take oils in small quantities at a time and always with food.

Foods to Avoid

• Dairy products. Many people with IBS have a shortfall of laxtase, the enzyme that breaks down milk sugar. Stick to dairy free options, such as soy, rice, almond or oat milk. Most are available in organic and low-fat versions.

• Gluten. May present in wheat and also some other grains.

• Sugar, and artificial sweeteners, especially sorbitol.

• Red meat, which is high in saturated fat and hard-to-digest animal protein.

• Caffeine. This causes the bowel to spasm. Choose fruity hearbal teas, brewed beverages made from roasted carob or nuts, or white tea, which has only a mount of caffeine.

• Alcohol, especially on an empty stomach. Alcohol-free wine and beer are better choices.

• Soft drinks and carbonated beverages, including mineral waters, which can cause bloating and wind.

Please visit Naturopedia.com for more on natural health and healing. Click here for the original article.

Article Source: ArticleBazaar.net