Andrographis The Herb For All Seasons

Andrographis The Herb For All SeasonsPicture Thanks To ICS

The andrographis paniculata is an herb that has been used in Chinese and oriental medicine for centuries. Widely grown throughout many parts of Asia, the herb is used for treatment for a number of ailments including throat and other infections. Known for having a very bitter taste, the roots and leaves are often made into a tonic and was in use long before antibiotics came into being. In India, the plant is known as “Maha-tita” which means “king of bitters”. The plant is used often in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine in India and is said to have antibiotic, anti-malarial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and is even used as an anti-venom for snake bites.

Due to its availability and low costs, the herb has been used extensively in local village medicine all over southern and eastern Asia. It is even said to have a positive curing effect for some forms of cancer, though this is still under study by scientists.
The plant has been found to have anti-cancer and immunomodulatory (immune system treatment) affects on the body and is therefore being studied as a possible cancer treatment.

There is even some hopeful indication that the plant is beneficial in treating HIV related viruses.

Found in a variety of locations and climate conditions and altitudes, the plant is usually dried and ground into a powder before being made into a tonic or elixir. It’s extremely bitter taste is its main drawback in regards to its use as a medicinal herb.

Additional benefits of the herb include protecting the liver when large doses of analgesics such as paracetamol are used. The herb is often known as a common drug called Kalmegh or “green chiretta”. It is also used to reduce to durations of viral ailments like colds. One of the best places for finding versions of this herbal remedy is through India medicinal remedy sources.

Health & Organic Tea

Organic TeaMore and more people are discovering the benefits of drinking various types of organic tea. Whether it be green tea, Chinese medicinal teas, herbal teas, or specially blended “weight loss” tea, those seeking the maximum “cleansing” benefit of these special kinds of tea are choosing the “organic way” to insure receiving the utmost health benefits without danger of pesticides and other chemicals that may possibly be found on regular, commercially grown and processed tea.

Green tea, for example, is derived from the plant species known as camellia sinensis , which also is made into a number of other teas, including black, oolong, pu-reh or medicinal tea, and white tea. The final type depends on when the tea is picked and processed afterwards. Green tea is known to many for its high levels of anti-oxidants, as well at it’s successes in preventing and treating various forms of heart disease and cancers. Many green tea drinkers in oriental countries consume as many as eight cups of tea per day; the result being a mush lower incidence of prostate and other cancers than by people living in western countries. The high anti-oxidant levels found in green, together with a diet consisting of more fish and vegetables and less meat a dairy fats account for this trend for less cancers and heart disease among Orientals.

Pu-erh tea is also derived from the same plant as green tea, but is processed differently to give a different taste. Being a darker tea, it is claimed by many to be al alternative to drinking coffee, yet maintains many of the same benefits of green tea. Pu-erh tea has much less caffeine than coffee; and is often aged in caves to give it a strong, natural flavor. It is recommended to drink at least one glass of pu-erh tea with every meal, especially the main meal.

Oo-long or wu-long tea undergoes a special fermentation process to give is a special light, sweet taste resembling flowers. Oo-long is often served in fine Chinese restaurants as a desert tea to cleanse to palate following a meat of fish meal. Organic brands of Oo-long tea are supposed to be free of any chemicals that might be used in the fermentation process. This tea is often recommended as an aid to digestion, and many drink at lest four cups of tea daily.

Other types of tea derived from the camellia sinensis tea plant include Baozhong tea, a cross between green and Oo-long tea, and white or yellow teas. Baozhong tea is reputed to undergo less oxidation in processing and is said to contain the same beneficial anti-oxydents as green tea with the medicinal qualities of Oo-long tea. White tea is actually derived from a sub-species of the camellia sinensis plant and is dried and steamed immediately after picking. It is known to be high in anti-oxidents. As it comes from only one province of China, it is not as well known as other types of tea.

As with all types of organic food and beverage products, true organic teas must bear the proper organic label. Those sold in the U.S.A. and are at least 95% organic must be labeled UDSA Organic; and those which are 100% organic must state this fact accordingly. The most beneficial value of all of these teas results from drinking several cups or glasses per day, combined with a diet high in whole grains, vegetables and fish.

Two Beverages That Can Prolong Your Life – Red Wine & Green Tea

Benefits of Red WineTwo common beverages that many drink frequently may actually prolong your life. These beverages, green tea and wine fermented from red grapes are both rich and antioxidants as well as highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels.

Green tea, containing an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG for short) has been found highly beneficial in preventing and treating a number of cancers as well as reducing blood cholesterol levels. Persons who drink at least 4 to five cups of green per day, after allowing the tea to ‘steep’ for at lest 3 minutes, have obtained health benefits far exceeding those who drink ordinary and ‘black’ teas. And caffeine levels are much lower as well. Drinking green teas is relatively new to Western cultures; but Asian people, such as the Chinese, have known of the benefits of drinking green tea for hundreds of years. This may explain why many Asian cultures have higher longevity rates than Western counterparts, as well as much rates of cancer and cardio-vascular disease.

Drinking Red Wine is also very effective in lowering blood cholesterol and this benefit appears to come from the poly phenol Antioxidants and Flavonoids found in the skin of the grapes. In many southern European counties, including France, Spain, and Italy, where large amounts of red are consumed regularly, blood cholesterol levels in many people are much lower even though high quantities of meat and dairy foods are consumed. These Antioxidants and Flavonoids are also found to prevent premature aging and actually slow down tissue degeneration, one of the prime causes of premature aging. Drinking at least 5 ounces of red wine daily, or a good quality grape juice made from red grapes, will prevent formation of fatty plaque deposits in the blood vessels, one of the primary causes of heart attacks.

Naturally, watching what you eat along with drinking these healthful beverages is also very important. But in countries like France, where people love to eat such high cholesterol foods as goose liver, cheese, and various kinds or red meat (often consumed raw) drinking two or more glasses of red wine at meals seems to neutralize the effects of the cholesterol. Of course, everything must be done in moderation, including drinking wine, which usually contains between 10 and 12 percent alcohol.

Asian people who live in coastal areas, consume large quantities of fish, which is highly effective in preventing buildups of saturated fats. This, combines with drinking several cups of green tea daily explains why many Asians live well into their 90’s with surpassing age 100 not at .all uncommon.

In short, the secret of living longer and looking younger may be found in what you drink on a daily basis.

Green Tea – Natures “New” Health Secret

It seems that many people are now discovering the health benefits derived from drinking green tea. Known to the Chinese and other Asiatic peoples for centuries, green tea, found to contain high amounts of Catachin Polyphenols, otherwise known as anti-oxidants, not only are excellent fighters of Cardio Vascular disease, but have also been found to be effective in the treatment of many kinds of cancer.

One of the most important of these antioxidants, Epigallocatechin Gallate, usually known by the initials EGCG, appears to not only inhibit the growth of many cancer cell, but actually destroys them. In comparison with people in western cultures, Asian people who drink large amounts of green have been found to have reduced risks in contracting diseases like cancer of the esophagus by as much as 60%. In a manner very much comparable to French and other Southern Europeans who drink large amounts of red wine, green tea reduces blood cholesterol levels dramatically and helps prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries, as well as blood clots – one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes.

Why is green tea much healthier than regular processed tea? The secret is found in the processing of the Camellia Sinesis plant from which the tea is made. The leaves are steamed, preventing the loss of the important EGCG anti-oxidant. While still containing caffeine, green tea retains the vital anti-oxidants that enable it to provide its beneficial health value.

Other Chinese teas, such as black and oolong tea, also contain levels of EGCG antioxidants. But their benefits as much less due to losing much of the EGCG levels during processing.

Besides fighting cardio-vascular disease and cancer, green tea is also effective against rheumatoid arthritis, infections, and impaired immune functions.

How much green tea should be drank per day to achieve the most benefits? There are many theories on the quantity of green tea consumption; but studies have found that drinking at least 10 cups of green tea per day prevents the formation of cancers for several years longer than for people drinking fewer than 5 cups per day. It has also been found that older people drinking similar quantities of green tea have less problems with rheumatoid arthritis, a common disease in old age. Japanese women who drink higher quantities of green tea are less likely to have breast cancer than those who do not.

When brewing a cup of green tea, it is recommended to let the bag steep in just boiled water for at least 3 minutes. After removing the bag, the liquid should be allowed to cool a bit before drinking. If this seems like a bit too much to do for many people in our modern, rushed society, it’s worthwhile in the end, in order to achieve the tea’s maximum benefits.

In addition to the standard or ‘classic’ version, green tea can also be purchased with flavors including, mint, lemongrass, cinnamon, apple, and other flavors.

The Bagua & Feng Shui

The Bagua & Feng ShuiHow does one live in harmony with all the forces within nature? More suitably, what discipline is the right choice for “arranging” all of life’s locations to where the most will be gained; especially in the areas of health, peace and prosperity?

The answer to these questions can be found in applying an ancient Chinese discipline known to its followers as Feng Shui, or Fire and Water. This discipline, said to be more than 4,000 years old, teaches its followers to arrange the ‘space’ within their lives in order to realize the most advantageous with the surroundings in which a person lives and works. Feng Shui is so much practiced in the Far East that businessmen will not make changes or open an enterprise in a new location without first consulting an expert in the practice of Fen Shui. For example, when designing a restaurant, office suite, store, or other business enterprise, the Feng Shui adviser will be brought to the location to advise what décor, furnishings, even plants and other greenery are needed to create the greatest harmony and benefit for the amount of space utilized. Without this assistance, these entrepreneurs feel they will not be successful in their venture.

Incorporating this discipline is an eight sided diagram known as the Bagua, derived from the book of Ching, or changes, which is actually a map to survey the parts of the floor plan which best correspond to the ideal sections of life; including wisdom and knowledge, family, health, career, and beneficiaries of all of these positive forces. The Bagua is like a ‘floorplan’, much like a blueprint or schematic diagram is used by a master builder to construct an edifice.

On each of the eight sides of the Bagua, a different design or Ching is drawn and laid out to correspond with the level of importance that is desired. If it is then indicated that something is missing from a particular area, then more changes will be introduced to make the weaker area stronger. Perhaps it is in the area of health or wisdom that needs to be strengthened, for example. The Feng Shui practitioner will then help to arrange the proper solutions, such colors, furniture fabrics, plants, etc. to help bring a more complete harmony to the whole.

Feng Shui societies are increasing in popularity everywhere, and this includes Western countries, especially North America. As this ancient discipline increases in popularity, it may help to bring more peace and harmony to an otherwise less complete life environment.

Ashwagandha The Herb For All Seasons

One of India’s most beneficial medicinal herbs is one called Ashwagandha, or “Winter Cherry”. An herb originating in the Indian Sub Continent and Africa, this biological member of the solonaceae plant family, has been used by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years. A relative of the Chinese ginseng shrub, the Ashwagandha root has similar medicinal properties, and is said to aid in longevity, as well as aiding those with sexual related problems.

Among the herb’s other benefits are those including stimulating the nervous system and improving memory in older persons. Ayurveda holistic practitioners subscribe this herb for a variety of bodily ills, including anemia, cancer (especially during and after chemo-therapy), immune system problems, nervous exhaustion and fatigue, infertility and impotence, chronic and acute stress, and even ulcers. Those who are familiar with the science of Ayurvedic medical practice know that various parts of an herb, from its leaves to the roots, are useful for different types of medically related problems. The same is true for the Ashwagandha, as its leaves (which are very bitter) are used as an anthelmintic (ridding the body of intestinal worms), and also for the treatment of large boils or carbuncles.

The berries, or fruit, are used to improve kidney function as well as to coagulate milk, which is beneficial for those requiring a more strict vegetable based diet. The roots are used for treating problems of the nervous system, as well as for giving relief to physical weakness and muscle fatigue.

As a nutrient, the Ashwagandha root is recommended to give strength to pregnant women and old people. It also acts as an aphrodisiac, and is said to help restore sperm content in men. Those suffering from back or shoulder pains (lumbago) can also find relief from taking this herb.

Although no noted side effects have been reported, is it recommended not to take preparations of Ashwagandha herb if one is suffering from lung congestion. This is especially true in the case of small children or older persons.

Feng Shui – Ancient Chinese Science of Life

Feng Shui, or Fung Schawy as the Chinese refer to it, is a science that dates back thousands of years. Classical Chinese texts such as I Ching, The Book of Changes, are derived from studies of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese science dedicated to helping Mankind live in peace with the environment. Feng Shui incorporates the art of manipulating or arranging one’s surroundings to attract and preserve live energy, and rid one’s Chi or positive energy resources from all negative energies.

The purpose of this science is to enable your life forces to flow smoothly; and rid of unblock the body of all negative obstructions. The central theory of Feng Shui is that all people are affected by their surroundings – for better or for worse. The literal translation of Feng Shui is forces of wind and water. The science dates back even before the life of Confucius, considered as one of ancient China’s most revered philosophers and sages.

One of the most important Feng Shui symbols is the Bagua or Pakua, an octagonal shaped diagram, on which each side or direction is considered to have a significant meaning in regards to a person’s life forces. The Qi, or life force, is considered the distinct force that determines the destiny of an organism. This force is instrumental in a person’s ultimate destiny, including death itself.

The feng shui diagram is the classical octagonal shaped Bagua, in which all sections or forces of a person’s life are placed, each in its own ’side’ or section. There is virtually no part of a person’s existence, from cradle to grave, that is not influenced for the Feng Shui forces as noted on the Bagua. Though often confused with metaphysics and other spiritual or supernatural phenomena, Feng Shui’s main difference is that it is based on pure natural phenomena and how these natural forces influence the ‘force’ of life itself.