India’s Wonderful Herbs

The Indian Subcontinent, aside from being one of the most populous regions of the world, also contains many of the most beneficial medicinal herbs known to man. From the country’s northern mountains to it’s lush southern regions, medicinal herbs have been grown and used by the country’s 1+ billion population for thousands of years. The herbs are both cultivated and found growing wild in virtually all regions, and are used to treat a wide variety of illnesses and complaints including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, intestinal complaints, skin conditions, sexual impotency, and even snake bites.

In this virtual “garden of earthly delights” the herbs are picked and processed into a variety of preparations, many of which are sold worldwide. The names of these herbs are as exotic as the country from which they come; and just a few of them are noted here:

Andrographis paniculata: an extremely bitter tasting herb usually found in southern and southeastern India. This herb is used extensively in treating various types of cancer, inflammatory conditions, and as a treatment for snakebites.

Ashwagandha: Also known as winter cherry, this herb is used to treat a variety of health problems including nervous and stress disorders, anemia, infertility, and is also used to coagulate milk.

Neem tree: A shrub-like tree found in a number of locations ranging from tropical to mountainous, the Neem’s leaves, roots, and berries are used to treat a number of skin disorders ranging from boils to leprosy. It is a very important element in natural or Ayurvedic medicine.

Shatavari plant: A climbing plant found mainly in northern India, the Shatavari is used to treat a number of respiratory ailments including bronchitis, as well as diarrhea, dysentery, and other gastric related problems.

Triphala plant: Also known as “three fruits” the tripahala plant is used extensively to treat conditions of the liver and gall bladder, and is also widely used as a laxative. Due to its cleansing properties, it is often referred to as “nature’s body cleanser”. Due to a high vitamin content it is often used as a food supplement.

Tulsi plant: The tulsi plant is a basil-like herb that has long been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Many refer to it as the “queen of herbs” and its value as a sexual enhancer was even mentioned in the Kama Sutra, the classical Indian work on sexual techniques. The tulsi is also used to treat lung congestion, skin diseases and malaria. It is also a popular spice and is added to a number of food dishes, including curries.

Tumeric plant: Turmeric plant is a popular food enhancer spice that has been used in India for centuries. It is also used to treat a wide range of stomach problems, including gastritis and ulcers. Its benefits in treating cancer is also being studied.

These are just a few of the many kinds of medicinal herbs and plants found on the Subcontinent. There are many more and these can be found in stores and websites specializing in holistic remedies and natural products.

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.

Michael Pollan Nature’s Spokesman

Michael Pollan Nature's SpokesmanHuman dietary habits, particularly in today’s modern ‘fast food’ culture, need to heed to advice – and warnings – by such people as Professor Michael Pollan (University of Berkley, Ca.) who’s writings and lectures concerning nutrition and proper foods are well known. An intense advocate of organic and natural foods, Pollan’s works include those dealing with human eating habits; especially those whom he categorizes as being omnivorous, i.e. those who eat both meat products as well as vegetables. His concern towards the American meat producing industry, in which a number of growth stimulating feeds and supplements are fed to cattle and other animals grown for food, creates an imbalance in the natural relationship between Man and his environment.

Professor Pollan considers humans to be grouped in three main categories: those who eat a largely vegetable and grain based diet; those who eat a mixed commercial vegetable and meat omnivorous diet; and those who hunt and gather for food. The relationships between the natural ‘food chain’ sequence, beginning with the photosynthesis of plants and ending in the consumption of meat by humans is a very import issue for Pollan as he feels that the modern “agribusiness” of commercial farming has lot touch with the inter-relationships of plants and animals by destroying import ecological relationships between plants and animals.

According to Pollan, both plants and animals have special relationships with each other, and in order for proper nutrition to be achieved, more organically friendly farming methods must be used. Too much emphasis is placed upon taste and appeal, and not enough on overall nutrition, he believes. In one of his essays, Unhappy Meals, Professor notes that most commercially produced foods are too much dependant on additives and taste enhancers. He mentions the American fast food business, which is causing too many people to become obese and susceptible to heart disease and cancer. Too much fatty meat products and not enough fish are being consumed, with the unfortunate result creating a society of overweight, unhealthy people.

Genetic engineering, that process of genetically manipulating growth processes in plants and animals, is too much the norm these days, according to Pollan. He believes that Man and Nature need to become more harmonious with each other; otherwise, the result will be nothing short of nutritional and ecological disaster for Americans. While some forms of genetic engineering may be good (for flowers, etc) those forms that incorporate the use of hormones and growth stimulants may be going against the existing laws of Nature.

Many of Dr. Pollan’s works can be found in archived editions of several newspapers and academic journals, as well as via the Internet.

‘Royal’ Nutrition and Health Care

Many people are aware of the natural health benefits of Royal Jelly; that mysterious substance that bees feed to young aspiring Queen embryos. Not everyone is aware of an improved formula, based on this magical elixir, with added beneficial ingredients, and used to treat a variety of disorders, as well as boosting people’s immune system, and even treating hair growth in adults.

Manufactured under the Irena product name, these products have helped thousands of people, particularly children, to treat a variety of childhood illness, as well as booster the brain’s learning capacity, and promote mental alertness. Irene Stein, who has been living in Israel for more than 35 years, became interested in the health and nutritional qualities of Royal Jelly, and has subsequently turned this interest into a very successful health and nutritional products concern, Irena Ltd. The products her company manufactures have become so successful, that people worldwide are swearing to the health benefits they receive from her ‘little bottles’ of Royal Jelly mixture, as well as other related products.

The benefits of Royal Jelly have been known since ancient times. But Irene as gone many steps further by combining this natural cure-all with other special herbs and healthful ingredients such as glutamic acid – nature’s ‘brain food’; a whole array of vitamins, and aluminum, reputed to be helpful for treating children with learning disorders, such as dyslexia. The benefits of Irene’s products are not confined only to children, but adults as well; even geriatrics suffering from arthritis and other advanced age problems, including senility. People who have used these products into middle age and beyond are not only healthier, but look younger as well.

It’s almost as if Irene has ‘discovered’ the Fountain of Youth through her development of these health care products. By taking them as small children, people will improve their entire immune system, as well as increase their natural mental learning capacities. The dietary supplement enclosed in these ‘little bottles’ is a natural, honey flavored liquid free of any ‘additives’ or preservatives. For less than $ 2.00 per day, you can discover the amazing effects that Irena’s ‘beauty from within’ products will have on your overall health and well being.