Health

The Delicious Power of Kiwifruit

Written by Dr. Chad Laurence. Posted in Healthy Eating.

Kiwi Fruit

Piled high in the grocery store produce area you may have noticed peculiar-looking fuzzy fruits with thick brown-green skin, each about the size of a lemon. When cut open, their inside is bright green, although in the late 1990s a sweeter yellow-fleshed variety was also developed.

Glaucoma

Posted in Family Health.

 Every winter across the US, heavy rains bring thoughts of flooding, backed up drainage systems and overflowing streets. When the drains and city sewers get clogged, the overflow of winter rains can bring a once bustling community to a grinding halt. Like the back up caused by winter's inevitable down pour, poor drainage of a person's eye can lead to high eye pressure which is a cause of Glaucoma. The vision loss can be devastating and drastically change the life of a once active adult. In fact, nearly three million people have glaucoma, but half do not realize it because there are often no warning symptoms. 

The Wildebeests vs. The Lions of Lost Resolutions

Written by By Dr. Scott Rosenthal. Posted in Family Health.

The yearly American pilgrimage is soon to come. Like a herd of thirsty wildebeests, thousands will gather under colossal television monitors and millions of shining light bulbs, seeking to quench their thirst for resolution. Out of the grasp of hungry predators and potentially fatal stampedes, resisting crocodile-laden riverbeds (otherwise known as the streets of New York), others observe the extravaganza in the refuge of the living room. Hypnotized by the lights and sounding of the crowd, all watch. The symbolic display of time passing shoots colors through the air. A captivated crowd gasps in amazement as the large pulsating sphere drops from the sky. And so it begins. The New Year’s Ball initiates the deepest introspection that most of us partake in each year.

Cranberry

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Cranberries

 Cranberries are the fruit of a native plant of North America. These red berries are used in foods and in herbal products.

Common Names—cranberry, American cranberry, bog cranberry

Latin Name—Vaccinium macrocarpon

What Cranberry Is Used For
Historically, cranberry fruits and leaves were used for a variety of problems

America's Future Vision

Written by Robert Abel Jr.MD. Posted in Family Health.

America's Future Vision

Vision is paramount in this day and age; 80% of our sensory perception to the world is through our eyes. There are a hundred times as many nerve fibers devoted to vision than to hearing. In fact 40% of the brain is devoted to what we must see and perceive around us.

Chasteberry

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Chasteberry

 Chasteberry is the fruit of the chaste tree, a small shrub-like tree native to Central Asia and the Mediterranean region. The name is thought to come from a belief that the plant promoted chastity—it is reported that monks in the Middle Ages used chasteberry to decrease sexual desire.

Common Names—chasteberry, chaste-tree berry, vitex, monk's pepper

Latin Name—Vitex agnus-castus

 

Chamomile

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Chamomile

 Two types of chamomile are used for health conditions: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. While the two kinds are thought to have similar effects on the body, the German variety is more commonly used in the United States

Common Names—chamomile, German chamomile

Latin Names—Matricaria recutita, Chamomilla recutita

 

Cat's Claw

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

cat's claw, uña de gato

Cat’s claw grows wild in many countries of Central and South America, especially in the Amazon rainforest. The use of this woody vine dates back to the Inca civilization.

Common Names—cat's claw, uña de gato

Latin Names—Uncaria tomentosa, Uncaria guianensis

Tradition Doesn't Have to Mean Predictable When it Comes to Holiday Sides

Posted in Healthy Eating.

Of course, your family expects a traditional holiday meal.

 But, you yearn for the fun and challenge of cooking up something a little different and adventurous. Why not do both? Prepare the traditional meal of time-honored favorites your family loves, but this time, give tradition a tasty timely tweak.  Here are some recipes to help you discover that traditional doesn't have to mean predictable. We've taken holiday menu classics and recharged them with a few fresh new ingredients. Try these delectable subtle flavors that add to but don't overpower the familiar ones and take your holiday dinner from being a good meal to a great one.
 

Creatine

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid (protein building block) that's found in meat and fish, and also made by the human body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It is converted into creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine and stored in the muscles, where it is used for energy. During high-intensity, short-duration exercise, such as lifting weights or sprinting, phosphocreatine is converted into ATP, a major source of energy within the human body.

Creatine supplements are popular among body builders and competitive athletes. It is estimated that Americans spend roughly $14 million per year on creatine supplements. The attraction of creatine is that it may increase lean muscle mass and enhance athletic performance, particularly during high-intensity, short-duration sports (like high jumping and weight lifting).

Valerian

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Valerian is a plant native to Europe and Asia; it is also found in North America. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Its therapeutic uses were described by Hippocrates, and in the 2nd century, Galen prescribed valerian for insomnia.

Common Names—valerian, all-heal, garden heliotrope

Latin NameValeriana officinalis

Valerian

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Valerian is a plant native to Europe and Asia; it is also found in North America. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Its therapeutic uses were described by Hippocrates, and in the 2nd century, Galen prescribed valerian for insomnia.

Common Names—valerian, all-heal, garden heliotrope

Latin NameValeriana officinalis

 

St. John's wort

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

St. John's wort is a plant with yellow flowers whose medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. The name St. John's wort apparently refers to John the Baptist, as the plant blooms around the time of the feast of St. John the Baptist in late June.

Common Names—St. John's wort, hypericum, Klamath weed, goatweed

Latin NameHypericum perforatum

Soy

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 Soy, a plant in the pea family, has been common in Asian diets for thousands of years. It is found in modern American diets as a food or food additive. Soybeans, the high-protein seeds of the soy plant, contain isoflavones—compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen. The following information highlights what is known about soy when used by adults for health purposes.

Common Name—soy

Latin NameGlycine max

Saw Palmetto

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 Saw palmetto is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States. Its fruit was used medicinally by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

Common Names—saw palmetto, American dwarf palm tree, cabbage palm

Latin NamesSerenoa repens, Sabal serrulata

Red Clover

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Like peas and beans, red clover belongs to the family of plants called legumes. Red clover contains phytoestrogens—compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen.

Common Names—red clover, cow clover, meadow clover, wild clover

Latin NameTrifolium pratense

 

Peppermint Oil

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 The herb peppermint, a cross between two types of mint (water mint and spearmint), grows throughout Europe and North America. Peppermint is often used to flavor foods, and the leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas.

Common Name—peppermint oil

Latin NameMentha x piperita

Noni

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Noni is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows throughout the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean, from Southeast Asia to Australia and especially in Polynesia. Noni has been traditionally used in Polynesia as a dye.

Common Names—noni, morinda, Indian mulberry, hog apple, canary wood

Latin Name—Morinda citrifolia

Mistletoe

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 European mistletoe is a semiparasitic plant that grows on several types of trees in temperate regions worldwide. Where the term "mistletoe" is used in this fact sheet, it refers to European mistletoe. (European mistletoe is different from American mistletoe, which is used as a holiday decoration.)

Common Names—European mistletoe, mistletoe

Latin NameViscum album L.

Milk thistle

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Milk thistle is a flowering herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments, especially liver problems.

Common Names—milk thistle, Mary thistle, holy thistle. Milk thistle is sometimes called silymarin, which is actually a mixture of the herb's active components, including silybinin (also called silibinin or silybin).

Latin NameSilybum marianum

Licorice root

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 Most licorice is grown in Greece, Turkey, and Asia. Licorice contains a compound called glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid). Licorice has a long history of medicinal use in both Eastern and Western systems of medicine.

Common Names—licorice root, licorice, liquorice, sweet root, gan zao (Chinese licorice)

Latin NamesGlycyrrhiza glabra, Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice)

 

Lavender

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region. It was used in ancient Egypt as part of the process for mummifying bodies. Lavender's use as a bath additive originated in Persia, Greece, and Rome. The herb's name comes from the Latin lavare, which means "to wash."

Common Names—lavender, English lavender, garden lavender

Latin NameLavandula angustifolia

Kava

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Kava is native to the islands of the South Pacific and is a member of the pepper family. Kava has been used as a ceremonial beverage in the South Pacific for centuries.

Common Names—kava, kava kava, awa, kava pepper

Latin NamePiper methysticum

 

Horse Chestnut

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 Horse chestnut trees are native to the Balkan Peninsula (for example, Greece and Bulgaria), but grow throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Although horse chestnut is sometimes called buckeye, it should not be confused with the Ohio or California buckeye trees, which are related but not the same species.


Common Names—horse chestnut, buckeye, Spanish chestnut

Latin NamesAesculus hippocastanum

 

Hoodia

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Its harvest is protected by conservation laws.

Common Names—hoodia, Kalahari cactus, Xhoba

Latin NamesHoodia gordonii

 

Aloe Vera

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera’s use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the "plant of immortality," aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.

Astragalus

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

 astragalus

 astragalus—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Native to China, astragalus has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. In the United States, the herb gained popularity in the 1980s. There are actually over 2,000 species of astragalus; 

The root of the astragalus plant is typically used in soups, teas, extracts, or capsules. Astragalus is generally used with other herbs, such as ginseng, angelica, and licorice.

Bitter Orange

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Bitter Orange

The bitter orange tree is native to eastern Africa and tropical Asia. Today, it is grown throughout the Mediterranean region and elsewhere, including California and Florida. Bitter orange oil is used in foods, cosmetics, and aromatherapy products. Bitter orange oil from the tree’s leaves is called petitgrain, and oil from the flowers is called neroli.

Common Names—bitter orange, Seville orange, sour orange, Zhi shi

Latin Name—Citrus aurantium

What Bitter Orange Is Used For
Bitter orange has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest for nausea, indigestion, and constipation.
Current uses of bitter orange are for heartburn, loss of appetite, nasal congestion, and weight loss. It is also applied to the skin for fungal infections such as ringworm and athlete's foot.

How Bitter Orange Is Used
The dried fruit and peel (and sometimes flowers and leaves) are taken by mouth in extracts, tablets, and capsules. Bitter orange oil can be applied to the skin.

What the Science Says
There is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bitter orange for health purposes.
Many herbal weight-loss products now use concentrated extracts of bitter orange peel in place of ephedra. However, bitter orange contains the chemical synephrine, which is similar to the main chemical in ephedra. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned ephedra because it raises blood pressure and is linked to heart attacks and strokes; it is unclear whether bitter orange has similar effects. There is currently little evidence that bitter orange is safer to use than ephedra.
  
Side Effects and Cautions

Because bitter orange contains chemicals that may speed up the heart rate and raise blood pressure, it may not be safe to use as a dietary supplement. There have been reports of fainting, heart attack, and stroke in healthy people after taking bitter orange supplements alone or combined with caffeine. People should avoid taking bitter orange supplements if they have a heart condition or high blood pressure, or if they are taking medications (such as MAO inhibitors), caffeine, or other herbs/supplements that speed up the heart rate.
Due to lack of safety evidence, pregnant women or nursing mothers should avoid products that contain bitter orange.
Bitter orange oil used on the skin may increase the risk of sunburn, particularly in light-skinned people. 

Black Cohosh

Posted in Vitamins,Supplements & Herbs.

Black Cohosh

 Black cohosh, a member of the buttercup family, is a plant native to North America. It was used in Native American medicine and was a home remedy in 19th-century America

Common Names—black cohosh, black snakeroot, macrotys, bugbane, bugwort, rattleroot, rattleweed

Latin Names—Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa

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