Hoodia is a flowering, cactus-like plant native to the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Its harvest is protected by conservation laws.
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—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.
Keywords: bilberry, European blueberry, whortleberry, huckleberry, night vision
Common Names—bilberry, European blueberry, whortleberry, huckleberry
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, 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
Dandelion greens are edible and are a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine.
Common Names—dandelion, lion's tooth, blowball
Latin Name—Taraxacum officinale
There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used, Echinacea purpurea, is believed to be the most potent.
Common Names—echinacea, purple coneflower, coneflower, American coneflower
Latin Names—Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida
Ephedra is an evergreen shrub-like plant native to Central Asia and Mongolia. The principal active ingredient, ephedrine, is a compound that can powerfully stimulate the nervous system and heart.
Common Names—ephedra, Chinese ephedra, ma huang
Latin Name—Ephedra sinica
European elder is a tree native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, and it also grows in the United States. There are several different types of elder, such as American elder, but European elder is the type most often used as a supplement.
Common Names—European elder, black elder, elder, elderberry, elder flower, sambucus
Latin Name—Sambucus nigra
The yohimbe tree is a tall evergreen that is native to western Africa. The bark of the tree contains a chemical called yohimbine. The amount of yohimbine in dietary supplements may vary; some yohimbe products have been found to contain very little yohimbine. A drug form of yohimbine—yohimbine hydrochloride—has been studied for erectile dysfunction.
Common Names—yohimbe, yohimbe bark
Latin Name—Pausinystalia yohimbe
Garlic is the edible bulb from a plant in the lily family. It has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years.
Ginger is a tropical plant that has green-purple flowers and an aromatic underground stem (called a rhizome). It is commonly used for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Many people take dietary supplements in an effort to be well and stay healthy. With so many dietary supplements available and so many claims made about their health benefits, how can a consumer decide what's safe and effective? This fact sheet provides a general overview of dietary supplements, discusses safety considerations, and suggests sources for additional information. Check Out Living Well Magazine's list of supplements and fact sheets https://www.livingwellmagazine.net/health/vitamins-supplements-herbs/
Asian ginseng is native to China and Korea and has been used in various systems of medicine for many centuries. Asian ginseng is one of several types of true ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius). An herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not a true ginseng.
Goldenseal is a plant that grows wild in parts of the United States but has become endangered by overharvesting. With natural supplies dwindling, goldenseal is now grown commercially across the United States, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The grape seeds used to produce grape seed extract are generally obtained from wine manufacturers. The leaves and fruit of the grape have been used medicinally since ancient Greece.
Many people dread winter because of the freezing weather, multiple layers of clothes, and icy driving conditions. But I grew up in Florida and was jealous of my friends who got snow days and were able to make snowmen outside and sit by a fire when they came home. Now that I have been living up north for about ten years, I still look forward to winter to enjoy staying indoors and snuggling with my family with a hot drink warming me from inside out. A hot drink is one of the best parts of winter and whether you choose coffee, tea, or even cocoa, they are not only delicious but they can also be nutritious.
The ginkgo tree is one of the oldest types of trees in the world. Ginkgo seeds have been used intraditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and cooked seeds are occasionally eaten.
The first recorded use of fenugreek is described on an ancient Egyptian papyrus dated to 1500 B.C. Fenugreek seed is commonly used in cooking.
Common Names—fenugreek, fenugreek seed
Latin Name—Trigonella foenum-graecum
Flaxseed is the seed of the flax plant, which is believed to have originated in Egypt. It grows throughout Canada and the northwestern United States. Flaxseed oil comes from flaxseeds.
Common Names—flaxseed, linseed
Latin Names—Linum usitatissimum
All types of tea (green, black, and oolong) are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods. Fresh leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant are steamed to produce green tea.
Hawthorn is a spiny, flowering shrub or small tree of the rose family. The species of hawthorn discussed here are native to northern European regions and grow throughout the world.
Originally a plant native to the Balkan mountains of Eastern Europe, feverfew—a short bush with daisy-like flowers—now grows throughout Europe, North America, and South America.
Common Names—feverfew, bachelor's buttons, featherfew
Latin Names—Tanacetum parthenium, Chrysanthemum parthenium
Evening primrose is a plant native to North America, but it grows in Europe and parts of the Southern hemisphere as well. It has yellow flowers that bloom in the evening. Evening primrose oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. Essential fatty acids are required by the body for growth and development, and must be obtained from the diet.
Common Names—evening primrose oil, EPO
Latin Name—Oenothera biennis
Q:Can you give me some advice on the dangers of heat as it pertains to my pets. I have a dog and cat plus an 8 year old rabbit that we keep in a hutch outside. What can I do to keep them safe during the hot summer months?
“The story about first graders possibly getting condoms in Massachusetts showed, yet again, how the issue of sex education in our country has become politicized in such a ridiculous way that we lose sight of the importance of informing our children about their sexuality and reproductive health. This issue should not be placed in the Liberal vs. Conservative category. Rather, it squarely falls within “public health.” - Dr. Michelle Golland
Teen pregnancy is a public health issue that should cause us all a great deal of concern.
The problem is that when we look at it with a religious or political view, too many people arm themselves with "family values" and claim that they don't want our public schools to address these "value" decisions. Unfortunately, birth control and teen pregnancy aren't "value" issues. They're very critical issues of child development.
You know sunscreen is a must whenever you’re outside, but sunburn has probably still caught you by surprise at some point. By slathering on sunscreen, you may have thought you were playing it safe, but there’s actually more to it than that.
“Sunscreen is a misconstrued skin care category,” says Ranella Hirsch, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine. Not applying often enough or misunderstanding labels can add up to lousy protection and sun damage.
Check out these commonly held sunscreen myths, then the facts that will keep your fun in the sun safe.
Who wants better health, greater wealth and more rewarding relationships? The real question is “who doesn’t?” Why do some seem to easily attain all they desire, while others are left with constant yearning? You can gain the answer to that question through better understanding of what is commonly known as the “Law of Attraction.”
Q: I have been limping in fairly severe pain 8/10 for three years. I have had therapy of every sort. It seems no one is really sure if the pain is coming from my back, hip or knee. My gut tells me there is something deep
Q: I have heard some varying information about what the government is doing with regards to cat dewclaws among other things. Can you elaborate on these topics, please?
Rubbing, scrubbing, scratching, brushing, petting, patting your dog, cat, hamster, horse, sheep, parakeet, cockatiel, chicken, iguana, snake or turtle is a feel good time for both of you. Beyond that, much has been researched and published about therapeutic benefits interacting with a "companion animal."
I've felt exhilarated swimming with a dolphin holding its dorsal fin at a Key Largo rescue center, observed the deLIGHTING of nursing home residents and staff when pets visited, and have seen physically challenged children transform astride a gentle horse.
- Writer's Bio: Karen is a naturopathic physician who has taken holistic healing and education into the realm of quantum physics. She is credited with “the first major breakthrough in Swedish Massage ~ research demonstrating energetic interconnections ~ since Peter Ling systemized it in the early 19th century.” International recognition for her healing and educational work includes an honorary degree, a silver medal, listing in Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women, appearances on TV and radio, lecturing in Europe and in the U.S. for professional symposia, colleges, corporations, community groups, and being featured in professional journals, magazines and newspapers. She has published more than 200 articles on holistic health and education. She has facilitated joyful well-being and health for hundreds of students she has personally certified in holistic healing and holistic massage and for hundreds more clients she has personally touched including luminaries in science, medicine and religion. firstname.lastname@example.org
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