Sunday, 30 August 2009

Aipo (Apium graveolens var.dulce)




Remineralizante, diurético e anti-cancerígeno


Nome científico: O nome científico do aipo, Apium, é uma palavra latina que significa “abelha”, em alusão ao facto das abelhas serem muito atraídas pelo intenso aroma exalado pela planta na época da floração. A palavra graveolens significa “forte”. Entre os gregos, o aipo era considerado uma planta sagrada, sendo utilizado em muitas cerimónias fúnebres.

História: Em 1720, um vendedor de sementes e estudioso das plantas, Stephen Switzer, introduziu o aipo na Grã-Bretanha. Ele teria conseguido as sementes em Alexandria e foi o primeiro a colocar o aipo no “Livro de Verduras Comestíveis Estrangeiras”. A partir daí, o aipo espalhou-se pela Europa, sendo levado posteriormente às Américas, com o início das navegações.
Outros Nomes Populares: aipo-rábano.
Outros Idiomas: echter sellerie (alemão), céleri (francês), celery (inglês), sedano (italiano).
Descrição Botânica: o aipo é uma planta de porte herbáceo e de ciclo bianual. A raiz é fibrosa e forte. O talo é muito ramificado e estriado. As folhas são penadas. As flores têm coloração esbranquiçada e são agrupadas em inflorescências do tipo umbela. O fruto é pequeno e arredondado.
Composição Química: compostos nitrogenados, óleo essencial e oleorresinas. O óleo essencial é dominado por terpenos, especialmente o limoneno.
Partes Usadas: Folhas, Raízes, Talos.
Propriedades Medicinais: Carminativa, Digestiva, Estomáquica, Refrescante, Tónica.
Culinária: As folhas e os talos são usados em saladas frescas, maioneses e sumos. É usado para condimentar molhos de tomate, ensopados e preparados de vegetais cozidos.
Saúde: Por ter um alto teor de sódio, o aipo alivia a fadiga causada pelo trabalho e pela prática de desportos. Ajuda ainda a aliviar dores de cabeça. O sumo feito com maçã elimina o excesso de dióxido de carbono do organismo. Elimina a vontade de comer doces.
Contra-Indicações: não foram encontradas na literatura consultada.
Efeitos Colaterais: não foram encontradas na literatura consultada.
Clima: temperado.
Exposição solar: Plena.
Propagação: sementes.
Espaçamento: 90 centímetros entre linhas e 30 centímetros entre plantas.
Tipo de solo: prefere solos argilosos, com pH próximo ao neutro e com alto teor de cloreto de sódio.
Adubação e correcção: esterco curtido de animal, húmus ou matéria orgânica, incorporados a 30 centímetros de profundidade.
Necessidade de água: Plena (gosta de solos encharcados).
Colheita de Folhas, Talos e Raízes: após 4 meses do plantio.

Saudável e refrescante o aipo é actualmente muito valorizado pelas suas propriedades culinárias mas também pelas suas propriedades terapêuticas graças ao seu alto conteúdo em água biológica, vitaminas, minerais e bioflavonóides.
Considerado um dos melhores diuréticos vegetais que existem reconhece-se a sua capacidade para remineralizar o organismo, desintoxica-lo, depurar o sangue, melhorar a digestão, diminuir a pressão arterial, regular o peristaltismo intestinal, abrir o apetite e aliviar as dores articulares além de prevenir e combater o cancro.
Sem esquecer que tem propriedades anti-inflamatórias, antioxidantes, expectorantes e sedantes. É um daqueles alimentos que não devem faltar na mesa
O Aipo já era usado como alimento medicinal pelos egípcios, gregos e romanos. De facto, Hipócrates usava-o no século V a.C. como diurético. Também se constatou que 10 séculos depois os médicos chineses o empregaram para tratar distintas afecções.
No entanto, não seria até á Idade Média quando na Europa cresceu o interesse pelas suas propriedades. Hoje cultiva-se em praticamente todas as regiões temperadas do mundo e cada vez mais pessoas a levam á sua mesas sabedoras das suas mais que interessantes propriedades nutricionais e terapêuticas.

UM BOM REMINERALIZANTE

Primo da salsa e do funcho o aipo pertence á família das umbelíferas. Os tratados de Botânica dizem que se trata de uma planta bienal de raiz e caules estriados comestíveis que se distinguem 15 variedades sendo a mais importante e consumida o Apium graveolens var.dulce.
Em todo o caso dois são as variedades mais cultivadas na Europa: o aipo em rama -que forma uma grossa penca com folhas cunhadas e que é a mais comum na Espanha - e o chamado aipo-rábano – um bolbo rugoso em forma de batata que apenas se consume em Espanha mas faz parte de muitos pratos dos países do norte da Europa.
A diferença entre ambas é que de a primeira consome-se o talo e as folhas e a segunda só a base do talo.
Portanto, o aipo mais fácil de encontrar nos supermercados é o de talho grosso, oco, estriado e alongado que se compõe de pencas verdes de forma cilíndrica longitudinalmente recorridas por um profundo sulco e de onde brotam folhas com aspecto parecido á salsa.
Quanto á ingestão, pode ser consumido cru sem abusar – nesse caso o sabor das suas folhas é ligeiramente amargo e muito agradável.
Além disso, para guisar pode-se utilizar inclusive as sementes pulverizadas como se fossem sal. Podem ser consumidos crus, fritos, cozidos, recheados ou liquefeito.
Quanto às suas propriedades nutricionais cabe destacar que embora o seu componente maioritário seja a água – entre 92 e 95% - esta hortaliça é generosa em vitaminas e fibras mas especialmente em minerais e compostos vegetais que além do seu odor, cor e sabor característicos, proporcionam algumas das suas propriedades terapêuticas mais interessantes.
O aipo, por exemplo, aporta uma boa dose de vitaminas B 1 (tiamina), B 2 (riboflavina), B 6 (piridoxina), B 9 (ácido fólico), betacaroteno (provitamina A), vitamina E e quantidades discretas - sem se comparar com outras hortaliças - de vitamina C.
O mesmo se aplica á fibra: o aipo contém mas outras hortaliças são mais generosas a esse respeito. No entanto, o que aporta é suficiente para que contribua para melhorar o trânsito digestivo e intestinal, prevenir a dispepsia e a obstipação, ajuda a reduzir os níveis de colesterol no sangue e favorecer o controlo da glicemia nos diabéticos.
Mas se realmente algo o destaca, é, na verdade a sua capacidade para remineralizar o organismo pois contem abundante potássio, sódio – considera-se a hortaliça que mais contribui - e doses consideráveis de cálcio, zinco, magnésio, ferro, enxofre, fósforo, manganês, cobre, alumínio e silício.
Deve-se recordar, que o equilíbrio entre potássio e sódio é imprescindível para a correcta função nervosa e muscular além de participar no sistema bioeléctrico de todas as células do corpo através do qual é conhecido “bomba de sódio-potássio”. E mais, no caso concreto do aipo diferentes estudos revelaram que o seu conteúdo em sódio satisfaz as necessidades deste mineral naquelas pessoas que mantêm dietas baixas em sal enquanto os seus altos valores em potássio tornam-se adequados para quem esteja a tomar diuréticos.
Os especialistas assinalaram também que no corpo a relação entre potássio e sódio é de 2 para 1 e no aipo existem 3 partes de potássio por cada uma de sódio e, por tanto, trata-se de uma proporção excelente para quem padece de hipertensão ou toma diuréticos sintéticos porque a diferencia de estes em relação ao aipo é que este ultimo ajuda a eliminar o excesso de líquido sem desequilibrar a relação adequada de ambos minerais.
Deve-se acrescentar que muitas das suas propriedades devem-se ao óleo essencial que contem - composto por apiol, limoneno, psoralenos e apiína assim como a sua riqueza em terpenos - entre eles os flavonóides como a apigenina e a luteolina - que são os que lhe proporcionam a sua capacidade antioxidante, anticancerígena, antibacteriano e antimicótica (sendo especialmente útil em casos de infecção das mucosas das vias urinarias).

DIURÉTICO, SIM, MAS NÃO SÓ
O aipo, em suma, aumenta a micção e dilata os vasos renais favorecendo com isso a eliminação de líquidos retidos no corpo e uma expulsão mais rápida e efectiva das substâncias tóxicas ou de resíduos.
Também contribui para eliminar os cálculos renais e biliares assim como as areias que acabam pode se formar, depura o sangue, ajuda a limpar tanto o intestino como os rins e a bexiga, a prevenir doenças que derivam da acumulação de impurezas para ajudar o trabalho do fígado (que não deve esforçar-se tanto para depurar o sangue). Razões que, sem dúvida, justificam o seu consumo como depurativo e desintoxicante além de ser eficaz em casos de hiperuricémia, gota, doenças articulares e reumatismo. Noutras palavras, o aipo é anti-hipertensivo e cardioprotector.
Obviamente o maior volume de urina que se expulsa graças ao aipo ajuda a baixar a tensão arterial mas estudos levados a cabo por William Elliot - professor de Medicina e Farmacologia na Universidade de Chicago (E.U.A.) - indicam que pode preveni-la graças a um dos seus compostos, o ftalido – substancia que lhe confere o seu peculiar aroma -, e esta substancia relaxa os músculos lisos dos vasos sanguíneos ampliando o seu diâmetro.
Ao que parece, o seu mecanismo de acção consiste em bloquear a actividade da enzima produtora das catecolaminas – consideradas as “hormonas da tensão ou do stress” - que provocam a contracção dos vasos sanguíneos elevando com isso a pressão arterial.
Ou seja, o aipo reduz a pressão ao suprimir a produção de hormonas que causam a sua elevação. Algo que o professor Elliot constatou mediante uma experiencia com animais que demonstrou que aqueles a que se alimentou com 2 talos de aipo tiveram no dia seguinte uma pressão sanguínea 14 vezes menor que aqueles a que não se deu.
Outras investigações revelaram logo que além do ftalido há outra substancia no aipo com essa mesma capacidade para dilatar os vasos sanguíneos: o flavonóide apigenina. Para concluir, recordemos que o conteúdo em fibra desta hortaliça também ajuda a reduzir os níveis de colesterol no sangue e que o aumento da diurese elimina do organismo substâncias que poderiam dar lugar a complicações cardiovasculares. O que explica a sua actividade cardioprotectora.
Está estudada também a capacidade de alguns dos componentes do aipo para prevenir e tratar o cancro. Assim, sabe-se que além dos ftalidos e dos poliacetilenos - reconhecidos antioxidantes - esta hortaliça contem outras seis famílias distintas de compostos que contribuem para eliminar do organismo diversos agentes carcinógenicos, especialmente os que contem no fumo dos cigarros.
Contém por exemplo um flavonóide – a apigenina - que além de anti-espasmódico, anti-inflamatório, antioxidante e inibidor da formação de ácido úrico parece ter também propriedades anti-cancerígenas. Esta substancia – que por certo encontra-se em grandes quantidades tanto na camomila como nos pimentos verdes - está de facto considerada “ a de maior acção anti-proliferativa no cancro da mama” num estudo realizado para comparar a incidência de 21 flavonóides diferentes sobre o crescimento de células cancerosas mamárias inoculadas em ratos. Ao que parece a apigenina une-se aos receptores de estrogénio das membranas celulares prevenindo a proliferação celular em casos de tumores hormonodependentes.
Estudos posteriores revelaram logo também a sua forte capacidade inibitória sobre as células cancerosas da glândula tiróide que carecem de receptores estrogénicos assim como que bloqueia a actividade da enzima tirosinakinasa impedindo igualmente a proliferação de células cancerosas na próstata.
De facto especialistas espanhóis da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Múrcia e da Unidade de Oncologia Radioterápica da Cidade Sanitaria Virgen de Arrixaca estudaram a actividade anticancerígena da apigenina em células murinas de adenocarcinoma de próstata e de melanoma com diferentes doses e em distintos períodos de tempo observando-se a viabilidade e citotoxicidade celular, a indução de apoptose e as modificações estruturais e ultraestructurais induzidas por ela nas células cancerosas.
Os resultados obtidos demonstraram, segundo os especialistas, que sobre a línea tumoral do adenocarcinoma prostático a apigenina “produz uma inibição progressiva da proliferação celular que varia desde 30% em 24 horas até 90% em 72 horas, todos eles com uma apoptose inferior a 10%” menor que sobre o melanoma mostrava “uma inibição de 100% no crescimento celular a doses de 25 mm sendo a inibição da proliferação de 60% em 24 horas e de 35% em 48 horas respectivamente a cultivos de controlo.
Com doses menores observa-se uma inibição do desenvolvimento celular mas não são estatisticamente significativos”.
Resumindo, os especialistas concluíram que a apigenina inibe a proliferação celular em ambas líneas tumorais murinas embora de forma mais intensa no caso do melanoma.
Outras investigações revelaram posteriormente que o aipo contem outro flavonóide que não só possui muitas das propriedades da apigenina frente ao cancro mas também possui as suas próprias qualidades específicas: a luteolina. Capacidade que deve a que também inibe a enzima tirosinakinasa.
Foi constatado que possui uma potente actividade anti-proliferativa sobre 27 líneas de células cancerosas e diminui a toxicidade da quimioterapia no coração e na medula espinal. Também inibe a enzima aromatase e previne a formação excessiva de estrogénio evitando a ligação de estas com células cancerosas da mama. Tem propriedades anti-inflamatórias.
Diversos estudos revelaram que os flavonóides do aipo – compostos com acção antioxidante, anti-inflamatória, hipo-uricemiante e Inmunoestimulante como já havia sido indicado - ajudam na renovação das articulações e do tecido conjuntivo pelo que se considera de grande ajuda em casos de artrose e artrite reumatóide, reumatismo e gota em que também alivia a dor. Mas a maior esperança actual é que em Maio de 2008 – descobriu-se que a luteolina reduz a inflamação cerebral - pelo menos em ratos - e poderia ser útil no tratamento de pessoas afectadas por Alzheimer. Tal é a conclusão a que chegou um grupo de investigadores encabeçado pelo doutor Saebyeol Jang da Universidade de Illinois (E.U.A.) após administrar a ratos durante três semanas a substancia e comprovar como o iban reduzindo de forma considerável as inflamações cerebrais que previamente lhes haviam induzido.
Segundo o que se publica no Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences os investigadores estudaram especificamente a forma em que actua a luteolina sobre as microglías, células que se originam na medula, chegam ao sistema nervoso através do sangue e o defendem devorando os agentes patogénicos que o atacam.
Ou seja, as microglías são as células responsáveis pela defensa imunitária do sistema nervoso central e do cérebro. Durante 21 dias os investigadores administraram aos ratos, agua com luteolina e logo lhes injectaram um lipossacárido de uma bactéria patogénica que põe em marcha nos ratos o mecanismo defensivo da inflamação.
Resultado: “A luteolina – pode ler-se no relatório publicado - reduz a inflamação induzida pelo lipossacárido dentro das quatro horas posteriores à injecção”. Os mecanismos de acção ainda estão a ser estudados mas pensa-se que o que a luteolina faz é deter a produção de moléculas inflamatórias e abrandar esta a nível cerebral pelo que poderia “ajudar a contrariar a demência causada pela inflamação no cérebro em enfermidades como o Alzheimer ou a variante humana deste, a doença das vacas locas”.

Ajuda a relaxar
O aipo também tem propriedades sedantes e tranquilizantes graças à sua riqueza em vitaminas do grupo B e daí a sua capacidade para aliviar notavelmente as moléstias ocasionadas por Contracturas, cãibras e cefaleias tencionais.
Embora estas propriedades relaxantes também se devam em parte ao flavonóide apigenina já mencionado que tem efeitos ansiolíticos mas sem chegar a provocar relaxação muscular nem sedação excessiva. Este flavonóide é capaz de unir-se aos receptores GABA-A cerebrais acalmando a ansiedade como fazem as benzodiacepinas -componentes principais de um bom número de ansiolíticos sintéticos - mas sem provocar a depressão do sistema nervoso central que provocam esses fármacos.

Facilita a digestão
Além de aumentar a produção de saliva e sucos gástricos, o aipo abre o apetite e facilita a digestão enquanto aumenta os movimentos naturais do intestino prevenindo gases e cólicas, além de neutralizar o excesso de bactérias responsáveis pelas fermentações e putrefacções intestinais. Assim actua como um laxante suave graças à sua fibra. No entanto, deve-se ter em conta, que consumido cru em grandes quantidades pode ser indigesto.
E se isso não bastasse aipo também:
  • Reforça o sistema imunitário devido ao seu conteúdo em substâncias antioxidantes.
  • Melhora a acne ao favorecer a depuração do sangue e ter propriedades antibacterianas.
  • Faz aumentar o desejo sexual - propriedade afrodisíaca conferida pela cumarina que contem - e facilita a erecção.
  • Ajuda a limpar feridas e queimaduras facilitando a sua cicatrização quando usado de forma tópica. Devido às suas propriedades antibacterianas e anti-inflamatórias pode-se empregá-lo para fazer bochechos em caso de infecção ou inflamações.
  • Também tem propriedades benéficas para a pele, para os pêlos e os ossos devido às furanocumarinas e psoralenos que contem e que actuam como protectores da pele e estimulantes da repigmentação. Por isso está-se a utilizar hoje em dia o aipo em casos de psoríase e Vitíligo assim como em outros problemas da pele ou que se manifestam nela como a acne.
  • Favorece a expectoração em caso de catarro, gripe, bronquite, etc.
  • Ajuda a perder peso pois favorece a expulsão dos líquidos retidos e das substâncias de resíduos acumuladas. Devido à sua riqueza em minerais ajuda a quem sofre de fatiga crónica.
  • Ajuda a regular os períodos menstruais.
  • Usado como cataplasma reduz o inchaço dos olhos.

Resumindo, o aipo é uma excelente aposta natural para prevenir numerosas doenças e manter a saúde.
A melhor época para comprar aipo fresco é no inverno, embora hoje se encontre em qualquer estação do ano.
Não deve ser tomado muitas vezes ou em número significativo pois pode causar graves danos nos rins ou inflamação da bexiga. E, evidentemente, não deve ser ingerido durante a gravidez devido ao seu conteúdo em apiína que pode causar aborto.
Enquanto a sua conservação ideal é mantê-lo no frigorífico envolto em papel húmido (três dias como máximo pois logo perde propriedades) também pode congela-lo após escaldá-lo previamente durante três minutos.

Propriedades
  • Afrodisíaco
  • Analgésico
  • Anti-bacteriano
  • Anticancerígeno
  • Depurativo e Diurético
  • Regulador intestinal
  • Anti-inflamatório
  • Cicatrizante (uso externo
  • Remineralizante
  • Antimicótico
  • Expectorante
  • Sedativo
  • Antioxidante
  • Hipotensor
  • Tranquilizante
  • Anti-séptico (uso tópico)
  • Inmunoestimulante
  • Vasodilatador.
  • Cardioprotecto
  • Laxante
  • Purificador do sangue

Indicações

  • Acne
  • Gota
  • Hipercolesterolémia
  • Artrite reumatóide
  • Constipação
  • Dispepsia
  • Artrose e Reumatismo
  • Gripe
  • Cistite
  • Bronquite
  • Fadiga
  • Hipertensão
  • Cancro
  • Hiperuricémia
  • Impotência sexual
  • Inapetência
  • Oligúria
  • Problemas cardiovasculares
  • Psoríase
  • Retenção de líquidos
  • Vitíligo
Fonte: Enviado por Vera Belchior

Green Tea Protects Against Heart Disease


A few cups of green tea each day may help prevent heart disease, Greek researchers found. Green tea improves both blood flow and the ability of arteries to relax.
When volunteers were given green tea, they experienced almost immediate benefits.
Other studies have shown that black tea also has benefits for cardiovascular health. However, green tea might be even better because it had higher quantities of beneficial compounds called flavonoids, some of which are lost in the oxidation process that black tea undergoes.
Flavonoids are also found in cocoa, tomatoes and grapes..


Sources:
European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation June 2008, 15(3):300-305
Reuters July 2, 2008


Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Other than water, high-quality green tea is one of the most beneficial beverages you can consume. The evidence just keeps pouring in as to why you should pour yourself a cup of this green drink.
Green tea catechins are a class of polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants.
The health benefits of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) -- the main active component of tea polyphenol's biological activity – are plentiful, including the prevention of:
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • High blood lipid
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Cerebral thrombus
  • Prostate cancer
    Heart attack and stroke

Several studies have also found that EGCG can improve exercise performance, increase fat oxidation and prevent obesity, as it’s known to have a regulatory effect on fat metabolism. It can even help you to digest better!

Because green tea is the least processed tea, it contains the most EGCG of all tea varieties.

Are All Green Teas Healthy?

Absolutely not! Many green teas have been oxidized, and this process may take away many of the valuable properties. The easiest sign to look for when evaluating a green tea’s quality is its color: if your green tea is actually brown, it’s likely been oxidized.

When I drink green tea, I prefer matcha tea, and the color is a vibrant bright green and it is far less processed and of much higher quality than most green teas.

If you’re not familiar with tea you may have never heard of matcha tea. Rather than being steeped and strained like typical tea, matcha tea is made of tea leaves ground into a powder, and the powder gets added right into the water.

Because you are actually consuming the whole leaf, matcha tea is said to be one of the healthiest green teas out there.

Another thing to watch out for is purity. High-quality teas should be free of the potentially high levels of fluoride, lead, and aluminum that can be found in inferior green tea.

How Much Tea Can I Drink?!

There is a misconception that it takes pot upon pot of green tea to add up to any significant benefits. In reality, much of the research on green tea has been based on about three cups daily, including the study linked above. A cup of green tea will give you anywhere from 20-35 mg of EGCG, so three in a day will supply you with 60-105 mg. There are some studies that have used much higher doses than this -- upwards of 1,500 mg a day -- but as of now there’s now clear-cut evidence of exactly how much is best.

My advice? If you enjoy green tea, add a few cups to your day. And as always, listen to your body. If green tea doesn’t appeal to you, it’s probably not the best thing for your body.



Saturday, 29 August 2009

Olive Leaf Extract Lowers Blood Pressure

The leaves of the olive tree have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times, and research has suggested that olive leaf extracts have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Now it also appears that a supplement containing olive leaf extract could help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

A study looked at 20 sets of identical twins with "borderline" hypertension -- blood pressure that is above the optimal level of 120/80, but below the cutoff of 140/90 used to diagnose high blood pressure. One member of each twin pair was given tablets containing olive leaf extract, while the other received no supplements but did get lifestyle advice on lowering blood pressure.
After eight weeks, supplement users taking 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract per day showed a substantial dip in their blood pressure overall, and lowered levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. The twins who received no supplements showed no significant change in their blood pressure and a smaller improvement in cholesterol.


Sources:
Reuters September 3, 2008
Phytotherapy Research September 2008; 22(9):1239-42


Dr. Mercola's Comments:
The medicinal use of the leaves from the olive tree (Olea europaea) dates back thousands of years. In fact, it’s the first botanical healing herb cited in the Bible (Ezekiel 47:12): “The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.” There’s also recorded evidence that the ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean cultures used the leaves to treat a variety of health conditions.


The Traditional Uses of the Olive Plant
According to an in-depth phyto-pharmacological plant review of the olive plant in the January-May 2007 issue of Pharmacognosy Reviews, olive fruit, oil and leaves can be a significant natural source for treating a wide variety of health ailments.

Traditionally, the olive plant has been used as a:
  • Diuretic
  • Hypotensive

  • Emollient

  • Laxative

  • Skin cleanser
  • Treatment of urinary infections, gallstones, bronchial asthma and diarrhea

Most of the plant parts of the olive tree have been used in the traditional system of natural medicine throughout the world, for example:

Traditional uses of olive leaves include

  • Orally for stomach and intestinal diseases
  • Chewed as a mouth cleanser
  • Decoctions of the dried fruit and leaves taken orally for diarrhea and to treat urinary tract infections
  • Hot water extract of the fresh leaves taken orally to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and to induce urination (diuresis)
  • Hot water extract of the dried plant taken orally for bronchial asthma
  • Infusion of the fresh leaf taken orally as an anti-inflammatory

Traditional uses of olive oil include

  • Seed oil taken orally with lemon juice to remove gall stones, and for kidney inflammation associated with lead intoxication
  • Seed oil applied to the scalp nightly to prevent hair loss
  • Seed oil taken orally as a laxative
  • Applied externally as an emollient and skin moisturizer

Confirmed Heart Health Benefits of Olive Leaf Extracts

The possibility of a natural agent being able to help prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure is certainly worth noting, especially when you consider the damage that many, if not most, drugs can do. For example, beta-blockers -- a class of drugs frequently prescribed to manage high blood pressure and as cardioprotection after a heart attack -- have been found to cause type 2 diabetes by decreasing your insulin sensitivity.

As molecular biologist and lead researcher Tania Perrinjaquet-Moccetti stated in the article above, no single ingredient of the olive leaf extract can fully account for its confirmed blood pressure benefits. Rather she attributes the benefits seen in this study to the synergistic blend of various bioactive components of the olive leaf, the most significant of these being a compound called oleuropein.

The cardiovascular benefit of oleuropein is actually not a new discovery. Oleuropein was isolated back in the 1950s by Panizzi et al, who established that it was one of the primary compounds responsible for the bitter taste of the olive fruits and the leaves. They also determined that oleuropein was the active agent responsible for the hypotensive action of the extracts of the olive plant, which acts as an antioxidant and helps relax and dilate your blood vessels.

What this latest research does do, however, is confirm the effectiveness of this traditional remedy and establish an effective dosage: 1,000 mg of olive leaf extract per day.

Participants taking half that amount, or 500 mg/day did not achieve any substantial drop in their blood pressure.
Epidemiological data obtained from other clinical studies indicate that oleuropein may also play a role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by limiting the formation of arterial plaque, by inhibiting LDL oxidation. Other studies have shown that olive leaf extracts may also possess antispasmodic, vasodilator, and anti-arrhythmic properties.

The Anti-Viral, Anti-Microbial Benefits of Olive Leaves
But the usefulness of olive leaf extract doesn’t end there. It has also been found to be a potent broad-spectrum antiviral agent, active against all viruses tested, including:

  • Rhinovirus
  • Myxoviruses
  • Herpes simplex type 1and 2
  • Herpes zoster
  • Encephalomyocarditis
  • Polio 1, 2 and 3
  • Two strains of leukemia virus
  • Numerous strains of influenza and para-influenza viruses.

One 2005 study published in the journal Antiviral Research proposed that olive leaf extracts could be used as a safe and natural antiviral. Common antiviral uses in the field of natural medicine include fighting colds and flu, yeast infections, and viral infections such as the hard-to-treat Epstein-Barr disease, shingles and herpes.

In-vitro studies have also established that olive leaf extract is an effective antimicrobial agent against a variety of pathogens that cause intestinal or respiratory infections, including:

  • Salmonella typhi
  • Vibrio parahaemolyticus
  • Stapholycoccus aureus, including penicillin-resistant strains
  • Klebsiella pneumonia
  • Escherichia coli

It works by inhibiting the replication process of the pathogens, which disables the infection long enough for your immune system to eliminate it and prevent it from spreading.

And, if all of that wasn’t enough, olive leaves also have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-diabetic properties; have a beneficial impact on your thyroid; and the ability to inhibit cancer growth.

Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?
But then again, maybe it was mentioned in the Bible for good reason. Nature is certainly full of powerful preventative treatments and potential cures for a host of diseases.

How to Lower Your Blood Pressure Naturally, Without Drugs
Before I get into how you can lower your blood pressure, it’s important to make sure you’re getting an accurate reading to begin with.

A significant number of people may actually be receiving altered blood pressure readings because the arm cuff used is the wrong size – which is a problem particularly for overweight or obese patients -- or because your arm is incorrectly placed while your blood pressure is taken.

You’ll want to make sure your arm is slightly flexed at the elbow with your wrist held at heart level, and that the blood pressure cuff is an appropriate fit for your arm. Also do not move your arm while the test is conducted as this may also lead to a faulty reading.

High blood pressure is a serious issue that can kill or permanently impair you, and it should not be ignored. It usually kills people slowly, over time, but very elevated blood pressures can surely cause a stroke.

Normally, high blood pressure goes down quite quickly and easily by addressing these three important factors:

  1. Eliminate grains and sugars as described in my nutrition plan. This will lower insulin levels and normalize blood pressure in about 75 percent of people.
  2. Address the common stresses in your life that tend to elevate blood pressure. EFT is a simple, effective, and inexpensive tool that you can use to help in this area.
  3. Getting one hour of exercise a day seems to be an important contributor to the long-term benefits of those currently suffering from high blood pressure.

If you want to incorporate olive leaves as a natural adjunct, I’d recommend sticking with the fresh leaf liquid extracts for maximum synergistic potency. You can also prepare your own olive leaf tea by placing a large teaspoon of dried olive leaves in a tea ball or herb sack. Place it in about two quarts of boiling water and let it steep for three to 10 minutes. The tea should be a medium amber color when done.

Related Links:
How To Treat High Blood Pressure Without Drugs
Do You Have a Good Blood Pressure?
Arm Position May Alter Blood Pressure Readings

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Propriedades terapêuticas de alguns alimentos


Abacate
Combate as diabetes
Baixa o colesterol
Previne as tromboses AVC
Controla pressão arterial
Suaviza a pele

Água
Ajuda a perder peso
Previne o cancro
Previne pedra nos rins
Suaviza a pele

Alcachofra

Ajuda na digestão
Baixa o colesterol
Protege o seu coração
Estabiliza o açúcar no sangue
Protege contra doenças do fígado

Alho
Baixa o colesterol
Controla a pressão arterial
Previne o cancro
Mata as ténias
Combate Fungos

Ameixas
Retarda o envelhecimento
Evita Constipação
Estimula a memória
Baixa o colesterol
Protege contra doença do coração

Ananás -Abacaxi
Fortalece os ossos
Alivia a febre
Ajuda a digestão
Bloqueia a diarreia

Arroz
Protege o seu coração
Combate a diabetes
Previne pedra nos rins
Previne o cancro
Previne as tromboses AVC

Aveia
Baixa o colesterol
Previne o cancro
Combate a diabetes
Evita constipação
Suaviza a pele

Azeite
Protege o seu coração
Ajuda a perder peso
Previne o cancro
Combate a diabetes
Suaviza a pele

Banana
Protege o seu coração
Atenua a tosse
Fortalece os ossos
Controla a pressão arterial
Bloqueia a diarreia

Baga de Mirtilo

Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Estabiliza o açúcar no sangue
Estimula a memória
Evita a obstipação

Batata-doce
Poupa a sua visão
Levanta a disposição
Combate o cancro
Fortalece os ossos

Beterraba
Controla a pressão arterial
Previne o cancro
Fortalece os ossos
Protege o seu coração
Ajuda a perder peso

Brócolos
Fortalece os Ossos
Poupa a Visão
Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Controla a pressão arterial

Castanha
Ajuda a perder peso
Protege o seu coração
Baixa o colesterol
Previne o cancro
Controla a pressão arterial
Pimentão picante
Ajuda na digestão
Suaviza as dores da garganta
Remove abcessos
Previne o cancro
Fortalece o sistema imunitário

Cebola
Reduz o risco de ataque cardíaco
Previne o cancro
Mata bactérias
Baixa o colesterol
Combate fungos

Cenoura
Poupa a Visão
Protege o seu coração
Evita a prisão de ventre
Previne o cancro
Ajuda a perder peso

Cereja

Protege o seu Coração
Previne o cancro
Acaba com as insónias
Retarda o envelhecimento
Protege contra a doença de Alzheimer

Chá Verde
Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Previne as tromboses AVC
Ajuda a perder peso
Mata bactérias

Cogumelo

Controla a pressão arterial
Baixa o colesterol
Mata bactérias
Previne o cancro
Fortalece os ossos

Couve
Previne o cancro
Evita a prisão ventre
Ajuda a perder peso
Protege o seu coração
Atenua o hemorroidal

Couve-Flor
Previne o cancro da próstata
Previne o cancro da mama
Fortalece os ossos
Elimina escoriações
Previne doenças do coração

Damasco
Previne o cancro
Controla a pressão arterial
Poupa a sua visão
Protege contra a doença de Alzheimer
Retarda o envelhecimento

Farelo de trigo
Previne o cancro na próstata e do cólon
Evita a obstipação
Baixa o colesterol
Previne as tromboses AVC
Melhora a digestão

Feijão
Evita as obstipações
Atenua o hemorroidal
Baixa o colesterol
Previne o cancro
Estabiliza o açúcar no sangue

Figo
Ajuda a perder peso
Previne as tromboses AVC
Baixa o colesterol
Previne o cancro
Controla a pressão arterial

Germén do trigo
Previne o cancro na próstata e do cólon
Evita obstipação
Baixa o colesterol
Previne as tromboses AVC
Melhora a digestão

Iogurte
Previne úlceras
Fortalece os ossos
Baixa o colesterol
Fortalece o sistema imunitário
Melhora a digestão

Laranjas
Fortalece o sistema imunitário
Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Favorece a respiração
Elimina o escorbuto

Lima

Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Controla a pressão arterial
Suaviza a pele
Elimina o escorbuto

Limão
Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Controla a pressão arterial
Suaviza a pele
Elimina o escorbuto

Linho (sementes de linhaça)
Ajuda a digestão
Combate as diabetes
Protege o seu coração
Fortalece o cérebro
Fortalece o sistema imunitário

Maçã

Protege o seu coração
Evita a obstipação
Bloqueia a diarreia
Melhora a capacidade dos pulmões
Amortece as articulações

Manga

Previne o cancro
Estimula a memória
Regula a tiróide
Ajuda na digestão
Protege contra a doença de Alzheimer

Mel
Cura feridas
Ajuda a digestão
Previne contra úlceras
Aumenta a energia
Combate alergias

Melancia
Previne o cancro na próstata
Promove a perca de peso
Baixa o colesterol
Previne as tromboses AVC
Controla a pressão arterial

Melão
Poupa a visão
Controla a pressão arterial
Baixa o colesterol
Previne o cancro
Fortalece o sistema imunitário

Morango
Previne o cancro
Protege o seu coração
Estimula a memória
Acalma o stress

Nozes
Baixa o colesterol
Previne o cancro
Estimula a memória
Melhora a disposição
Protege contra doenças do coração

Peixe
Protege o seu coração
Estimula a memória
Previne o cancro
Fortalece o sistema imunitário

Peras
Evita a obstipação
Previne o cancro
Previne as tromboses AVC
Ajuda a digestão

Tomate

Previne o cancro na próstata
Previne o cancro
Baixa o colesterol
Protege o seu coração

Toranja

Protege contra ataques cardíacos
Promove a perca de peso
Previne as tromboses AVC
Previne o cancro da próstata
Baixa o colesterol

Uva
Poupa a visão
Previne pedra nos rins
Previne o cancro
Aumenta o fluxo de sangue
Protege o seu coração

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Hipoglicemia ou Hipoglicémia


* (Hipoglicemia - Português do brasil)

* (Hipoglicémia - Português europeu)

A baixa concentração de açúcar no sangue parece inofensiva mas pode conduzir à morte.
Saiba identificar os sintomas e o que fazer para a tratar

A hipoglicemia é uma concentração de glicose (açúcar) no sangue anormalmente baixa (50-60 mg por 100 ml, quando normal é 70 a 110 mg/dl) e afecta sobretudo pessoas diabéticas que se tratam com insulina ou medicamentos hipoglicemiantes orais, para diminuir os níveis de açúcar no sangue.
Nos diabéticos, pode aparecer quando se administram doses elevadas de insulina ou medicamentos hipoglicemiantes, ao saltar uma refeição ou depois de realizarem exercício físico prolongado e intenso.
Nas pessoas não diabéticas, pode ser provocada por transtornos hepáticos, pelo consumo excessivo de álcool ou por um jejum prolongado.

Sintomas
O organismo responde de imediato à diminuição de açúcar no sangue, libertando adrenalina para ir buscar o açúcar em reserva no organismo, o que causa sintomas de ansiedade: transpiração, nervosismo, tremores, desfalecimento, palpitações e, por vezes, fome.
Se a hipoglicemia for mais grave, o fornecimento de glicose ao cérebro é reduzido, provocando o aparecimento de vertigens, confusão, esgotamento, fraqueza, dores de cabeça, anomalias da visão, convulsões e coma.
Falta de energia, sonolência, confusão, visão turva, suores frios, enxaqueca e tremores nas mãos e nos pés são outros dos sintomas que se podem manifestar.

Tratamento
Em quase todos os casos, basta ingerir um torrão de açúcar para aliviar os sintomas em 10 ou 15 minutos. Também é eficaz beber um sumo de laranja natural ou comer um bolo.
Quando os sintomas tiverem desaparecido, é conveniente ingerir alguma comida adicional para evitar recaídas.

Prevenção
Para evitar a hipoglicemia é recomendável fazer 5 refeições pequenas por dia que incluam hidratos de carbono de assimilação lenta (pão, massa e arroz), verduras, leguminosas... Devem evitar-se as sobremesas, os refrigerantes, as farinhas refinadas e o álcool.
Se não se ingerir alguma coisa doce quando os primeiros sintomas aparecem, podem surgir convulsões e perda de consciência. Neste caso, é necessário acudir ao hospital com urgência porque a hipoglicemia prolongada pode lesar o cérebro de forma irreversível e até levar à morte.

Fonte: A responsabilidade editorial e científica desta informação é da revista "Prevenir"




Contacte:
APDP - Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos em Portugal

Rua do Salitre, 118-120 - 1250-203 Lisboa

Tel. 213 816 100 Fax 213 859 371

visite o site http://www.apdp.pt/
ou
envie mail para: diabetes@apdp.pt




Friday, 21 August 2009

Eat Fat With Tomatoes to Absorb All the Nutrients


Tomatoes are a good source of the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene. But if you eat a tomato without adding a little fat, your body is unlikely to absorb all these nutrients.

Scientists recruited graduate students to eat bowls of salad greens with tomatoes and various types of salad dressings. The researchers put IV lines into the participants' veins and drew blood samples before and after they'd eaten the salads in order to get precise measurements of the absorption of nutrients.

When researchers went back and analyzed the blood samples, they realized that people who had eaten fat-free or low-fat dressings didn't absorb the beneficial carotenoids from the salad. Only when they had eaten the oil-based dressing did they get the nutrients.


Sources:
NPR July 27, 2009


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Tomatoes have long been known for their health benefits -- courtesy of lycopene, an antioxidant carotenoid whose health benefits include reduced risk of cancer, atherosclerosis, and exercise-induced asthma, just to mention a few.
Lycopene gives tomatoes their red color, and works by fighting damaging free radicals in your body.
But there are at least a couple of caveats that you need to be aware of.
First, researchers have discovered that other chemicals in the tomatoes help to boost the effectiveness of the lycopene, so you likely will not obtain the same health effects from lycopene supplements. In general, I am opposed to taking many supplements. I believe that it is far better to consume large amounts of whole foods, as outlined in my nutrition plan, and this is no exception.
Secondly, in order to absorb its nutrients, you need to eat your tomatoes with a little bit of fat.
The Case Against Low- or No-Fat Diets
Low fat or even no-fat diets can have potentially devastating results. These types of diets can have very far-reaching negative consequences that few people are aware of.
For example, studies have found that low-fat diets, even those filled with fruits and vegetables, increase oxidized LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). And when comparing low-carb to low-fat diets, the low-carb diets have been shown more consistently effective for weight loss.
Low-fat diets have also been found to significantly reduce the amount of calcium absorbed by your body.
This is especially true if you are a protein type in the nutritional typing system. Those that are carb types tend to do much better and even thrive on low fat diets, but we all need some level of fat. Carb types just tend to do well with far less fat.
Modern nutrition counsel has made a huge mistake in teaching that low-fat diets are healthy for your heart and lead to weight loss.
Marketers of low-fat foods have championed this concept, and there are low-fat varieties of nearly every food you can think of.
This is a serious mistake. Please do not fall for this common misconception!
Along with fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, K and E, certain antioxidants, like the carotenoids, also need fat in order to be absorbed and metabolized properly. Without sufficient amounts of healthy fat in your diet, you’re likely to develop a variety of nutritional deficiencies, even if you eat plenty of vegetables.
Choosing a Healthy Fat
Olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, is an excellent choice for this purpose and obviously has been used for many centuries in Mediterranean cultures. I grew up in an Italian home and olive oil was a common staple in my diet.
Olive oil is primarily a monounsaturated fat and contains major health benefits because of its vitamin E and A, chlorophyll, magnesium, and a host of other cardio-protective nutrients.
As you may already know, olive oil should NOT be used for frying.
Drizzled on salad instead of a low-fat, processed dressing, olive oil is hard to beat in terms of health benefits. (When choosing an oil to cook with, you’ll want to pick one that will not be damaged by high temperatures. One of your absolute best choices is coconut oil, which is rich in lauric acid -- a proven antiviral and immune system builder.)
Numerous epidemiological studies have confirmed that the Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in olive oil, has significant protective effects against cancer, heart disease and aging.
Other studies have shown that extra-virgin olive oil can reduce some cancers, reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and improve rheumatoid arthritis; the same or similar benefits touted by the
Mediterranean diet, and diametrically opposed to the effects of the low-fat diet.
Cooked or Raw?
It’s interesting to note that the lycopene in cooked tomatoes has been found to be more bioavailable than raw tomatoes, which is in partial conflict with the principle that raw foods are better.
However, tomatoes likely contain additional beneficial substances that are lost or destroyed when the tomatoes are cooked, especially if they undergo additional processing. So substituting ketchup, for example, for fresh tomatoes will not do you any good (for a variety of reasons).
But tomatoes are not the only food containing beneficial lycopene. Below is a table listing the
lycopene content of several foods:
Approximate Lycopene Content of Various Foods
  • Apricot, dried - 0.86
  • Grapefruit, raw pink - 3.36
  • Guava, fresh - 5.40
  • Guava juice - 3.34
  • Papaya, fresh - 2.00-5.30
  • Tomatoes, fresh - 0.88-4.20
  • Tomatoes, cooked - 3.70
  • Tomato sauce - 6.20
  • Tomato paste - 5.40-150.00
  • Tomato soup, condensed - 7.99
  • Tomato powder, drum or spray dried - 112.63-126.49
  • Tomato juice - 5.00-11.60
  • Sun-dried tomato in oil - 46.50
  • Watermelon, fresh - 2.30-7.20

Source: Clinton, -S.K.1998. Lycopene: Chemistry, Biology, and Implications for human health and disease, Nutrition Review,56(2)P35-51

Carotenoids, such as lycopene, are the pigments responsible for red, yellow, and orange colored fruits and vegetables. They’re also found in some dark green vegetables such as spinach.

Other Ways to Maximize Absorption of Nutrients
In addition to adding a little fat to your tomatoes or other carotenoid-containing veggies, there are other ways to help maximize the absorption of its nutrients.
As explained in the article above, the finer the particle size, the better the absorption of beta-carotene.
This is one of the reasons why juicing is so beneficial.
And it’s not just beta-carotene that becomes more absorbable through juicing, but ALL nutrients are more easily extracted this way.
Juicing according to your nutritional type is strongly recommended for optimal health, especially if you are a carb type, since many people find it difficult to consume large amounts of vegetables.
If you’re a protein type, you’ll need to be more cautious in your juicing. The only vegetables recommended for protein types are your prime protein-type vegetables, which are celery, spinach, asparagus, string beans, and cauliflower. (Spinach, as already mentioned, contains carotenoids, just like tomatoes.)
You already know it is difficult to get enough whole, raw vegetables in your diet. Realizing that you also need healthy fats to get the most out of your diet can make an enormous difference in your health.Remember the KEY is to select the right fats and avoid the toxic fats. This is one of the most important nutritional principles to remember. I really believe that the consumption of toxic fats for many is one of their worst health habits , and can contribute to premature death and needless pain and suffering.

Related Links:
The Natural Cancer-Fighting Power of Tomatoes and Broccoli
Beginner Plan: Fats
Surprise -- Saturated Fat Really Is Good For You

Cuide dos seus Olhos









Thursday, 20 August 2009

Ancient Healing Art Becoming More Popular

By Dr. Mercola

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic system of medicine and natural healing from India, and is the oldest known form of healthcare in the world.
We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas, written over 6,000 years ago, of which only a small portion is available to us from that time.1
Tibetan medicine and traditional Chinese medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical Ayurvedic medical texts. Ayurveda has been used and practiced throughout the subcontinent, Indonesia and many other countries in the surrounding region for thousands of years, although it was often suppressed during various occupations in those areas.
Recently the western world, particularly Europe and the United States, has become increasingly fascinated with and interested in Ayurvedic medicine.


The Science of Life
The world Ayurveda roughly translates as “The Science of Life.” It is merger of two Sanskrit words: ‘Ayu’ (the root of ayur & ayus ) which means ‘life,’ and ‘Veda’ which means a combination of ‘science, knowledge and wisdom.’
According to Ayurveda, first noted by the ancient Ayurvedic scholar Charaka: human life is the combination of mind, body, senses and soul.
Ayurveda sees that the senses and the mind work in conjunction with one another and greatly influence our physiology.
Ayurveda is not just a medical system. It sees human beings as an integral part of nature. It believes that human beings should live in harmony with nature just as the animals and plants do, and utilize the laws of nature to create health and balance within. It adheres to this focus in guiding human beings to maintain health by using the inherent principles of nature to bring an individual back into equilibrium with his or her true self.
The ancient texts reveal that Ayurveda was also originally used as a regime to remove obstacles on one’s path to Self-Realization. At some point the medical aspects began to take priority over the spiritual forms of healing.
Today, these spiritual aspects of Ayurveda have taken a back seat to the medical focus. As Ayurveda becomes more commercially viable, the spiritual aspects may continue to lose ground. Yet there are a growing number of practitioners who employ these spiritual therapies and find better results than limiting their approach only to the medical, physical realm.


Understanding Ayurveda
Ayurvedic wisdom offers life-enhancing practices as well as herbal medicinal preparations for the health and well being of the whole human being: body, mind, and soul. It is much more than just a system to treat symptoms or physical illness.

Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our health and well being, and are seen both in our internal and external environments. Called ‘doshas’ these three energies are known as:

  • Vata (Air/Wind)
  • Pitta (Fire/Sun)
  • Kapha (Earth & Water)
Ayurveda sees these primary forces in a unique combination in every individual, and as relating to the characteristics of our mind and body. Every individual has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature.
These doshas also have the characteristic of being: movement (Vata), transformation (Pitta) and structure (Kapha). We are all made up of unique proportions of Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The ratios of the doshas vary in each individual. Because of this, Ayurveda sees each person as a special mixture that accounts for our diversity.
Ayurveda gives us a model to look at each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas (and sub-doshas), and thereby design treatment protocols that specifically address a person’s health challenges.
Herbs are often recommended to supplement the nutritional requirements on a regular basis to build and maintain a healthy physiology. As some of the Ayurvedic herbs are now recognized to be the most potent and powerful adaptogens on the planet -- and since stress is now known to be a significant factor in over 80 percent of all illnesses -- these herbs are essential in any health program designed to promote and maintain a healthy human body.
When any of the doshas become aggravated, thereby upsetting the natural harmony for the individual, Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines as well as specific medicinal herbs to assist the individual in reducing and rebalancing the dosha that has become excessive or out of balance.
Ayurveda goes into great detail to describe the medicinal attributes of many herbs and their correct usage to compliment and hasten the healing process, and to strengthen the body’s organs and systems.


Ayurvedic Herbs: Controversy Over Pharma Attempts at Patents
Growing awareness in the west of the efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs and formulations has led to controversy and battles with the western pharmaceutical companies trying to patent these herbs.3
Only recently discovered in the west, Ayurvedic herbs such as Neem, Ashwagandha, Tulsi, Shatavari, Turmeric, Amalaki and Brahmi as well as traditional preparations such as Triphala and Trikatu have long been known to have significant medicinal value without adverse side effects.
Several pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions in the west have come into conflict with Indian academic institutions and traditional Ayurvedic practitioners over the intellectual property rights of herbal products researched by the western agencies.
The Ayurvedic practitioners have known about the efficacy of such products for centuries, and so contend that they carry precedence with regards to patent rights on such products.


Free Trade Industrial Agriculture Rules Threaten the World’s Farmers
Per the World Trade Organization Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement:
“Indian farmers, traditional practitioners, and traders will lose their market share in local, national and global markets. For example, recently the U.S. government granted a patent for the anti-diabetic properties of karela, jamun, and brinjal to two non-resident Indians, Onkar S.Tomer and Kripanath Borah, and their colleague Peter Gloniski. Yet the use of these substances for control of diabetes is everyday knowledge and practice in India. Their medical use is documented in authoritative treatises such as Wealth of India, the Compendium of Indian Medicinal Plants and the Treatise on Indian Medicinal Plants.
If there were only one or two cases of such false claims to invention on the basis of biopiracy, they could be called an error. However, biopiracy is an epidemic.
Neem, haldi, pepper, harar, bahera, amla, mustard, basmati, ginger, castor, jaramla, amaltas and new karela and jamun have all been patented. The problem is not, as was made out to be in the case of turmeric, an error made by a patent clerk. The problem is deep and systemic. And it calls for a systemic change, not case-by-case challenges. The potential costs of biopiracy to the Third World poor are very high since two-thirds of the people in the South depend on free access to biodiversity for their livelihoods and needs. Seventy percent of seed in India is saved or shared farmers’ seed; 70 percent of healing is based on indigenous medicine using local plants.”


Obtaining Potent, Efficacious, Organic (Heavy-Metal Free) Ayurvedic Herbs
It has been mostly individual practitioners who procure, grow, dry and prepare these herbs and preparations in an effective, potent manner, whereas commercially available Ayurvedic products have been of substandard quality.
It is only recently that a few companies have started producing high quality organic Ayurvedic herbal products, most notably, ORGANIC INDIA Pvt. Ltd. Headquartered in Lucknow, UP. North India.


Ayurveda Moving West
Clinical practice, research and education in Ayurvedic medicine remain the most authentic in India. However, attempts are being made by westerners to export the essence of Ayurveda to complement their own medical systems, where the pharmaceutical industry and allopathic medicine predominates.
As a result of regulations in medical practice in Europe and America, the most commonly practiced Ayurvedic treatments in the west are massage, dietary counseling and herbal advice.
The NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association-USA) is one of several groups seeking to set standards for Ayurveda in the west.
There are 26 schools in the US and dozens in Europe which are teaching 500+ hour courses for proficiency at Ayurvedic Health Practitioners, certified but not licensed.
In the United States, the NIH NCCAM expends some of its $123 million budget on Ayurvedic medicine research. In addition, the National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, established by Dr. Scott Gerson, is an example of a research institute that has carried out research into Ayurvedic practices.
Dr. Gerson has published part of his work on the antifungal activities of certain Ayurvedic plants in medical journals. Other notable researchers on ayurveda in the West include Dr. Bala Manyam, the Maharishi Ayurveda group in Fairfield, Iowa, and Dr. Mano Venkatraman at the University of Washington, Seattle.


Ayurveda is a Recognized Medicine
Ayurvedic practitioners are regularly appointed as an “Honorary Ayurvedic Physician” to the President of India. Every year on the occasion of Dhanvantari Jayanti, a prestigious Dhanvantari Award is conferred on a famous personality of medicine, including a doctor of Ayurveda.
Ayurveda is a statutory, recognized medical system of health care like other medical systems existing in India. Ayurvedic medicines have to be approved, registered and licensed by the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), which governs and recommends policies for the research and development of the system.
In India, practitioners in Ayurveda undergo five and a half years of training, including one year of internship in select Ayurveda medical schools, where they earn the professional doctorate degree of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery.

Sources:
Ayurveda -- The Wisdom of Life (PDF)

Related Links:
Finding the Right Medicine: Skillful Means
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Traditional Medicine Starts To Examine Alternative Therapies

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana L.)


Família: Crysanthemum

Habitat e distribuição: Apesar de originária da América do Sul, hoje também pode ser encontrada em outros países como Japão, China, México e Estados Unidos, cresce naturalmente no Brasil e no Paraguai.

Partes utilizadas: Folhas secas

Produto Extraído: Adoçante Steviosideo.


História:
Popularmente chamados de adoçantes, os edulcorantes são substâncias naturais ou artificiais de
alto ou baixo poder de doçura. Um dos seus usos mais frequentes é na substituição do açúcar em produtos denominados diet ou light. A Stevia é um desses edulcorantes (adoçante) naturais.
Não é calórico, sendo extraído das folhas da Stevia rebaudiana, planta silvestre da família do Crisântemo.
Desde o período pré-descobrimento, esse edulcorante já era utilizado pelos índios guaranis, para adoçar bebidas e remédios. O cientista António Bertoni foi o primeiro a registrar esse costume pelos nativos, em 1887.
Em 1970, os japoneses começaram a extrair o pó adoçante das folhas de Stevia e produzi-lo comercialmente, além de utilizá-lo na alimentação. Os glicosídeos, na verdade esteviosídeos, encontrados nas folhas da Stevia têm poder adoçante 300 vezes superior ao do açúcar comum.
Não é cariogénico e apresenta sabor agradável, sem gosto residual. É indicado para dietas com restrição de açúcar, e pode ser usado por diabéticos, obesos, idosos e crianças.
O açúcar da cana, além do seu alto valor calórico, está associado a diversas doenças degenerativas da actualidade.
A Stevia tem várias utilidades na alimentação.
Durante os últimos vinte anos, esse produto tem sido consumido e testado em todo o mundo. Até o presente não foi considerado tóxico.
Uma pessoa com problemas de saúde como obesidade e diabetes, por exemplo, pode usá-lo.

Stevia: The 'Holy Grail' of Sweeteners?

By Dr. Mercola

The U.S. FDA may soon decide the future of what some in the food industry are calling the holy grail of sweeteners -- a low-calorie, natural substance derived from the South American Stevia plant.

Stevia has been used in Paraguay for centuries and in Japan for decades. It is currently available in the United States only as a nutritional supplement. The FDA must decide whether Stevia is safe enough to be used as an additive in processed foods, where consumers may not realize it is there. If approved, it would likely be used in massive quantities of processed foods and drinks.

There is some concern about Stevia. "Just because it's natural doesn't mean that it's safe," says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "That's why tests should be done." Stevia may be linked to genetic mutations in lab animals.
But Cargill, which makes a Stevia-based sweetener called Truvia, and Merisant, which makes another named Pure Via, both said their products are safe and are applying for FDA approval. International scientists associated with the World Health Organization agreed that these forms of Stevia sweeteners are safe.

Blueberries Reduce Belly Fat and Diabetes Risk


By Dr. Mercola

Eating blueberries could help you get rid of belly fat, and a blueberry-enriched diet could stem the conditions that lead to diabetes.
New research gives tantalizing clues to the potential of blueberries in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The effect is thought to be due to the high level of naturally occurring antioxidants called phytochemicals contained in blueberries.
Researchers studied the effect blueberries had when added to the diet of rats. After 90 days, rats that received a blueberry-enriched diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity.

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are undisputed, but modern research keeps showing us just how they help you to optimize your health.
Berries are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. In the case of blueberries, naturally occurring phytochemicals such as anthocyanins can do wonders to normalize and improve your health. And berries, in general, are also high in fiber and relatively low in sugar, so they won’t stimulate severe insulin swings if eaten in moderation.
Berries are best eaten in their raw, natural state, as heating and freezing can damage antioxidants. However, some antioxidants will remain even after heating or freezing.


The Blue Wonder Berry

Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, and are high in fiber and low in calories. Additionally, researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) have ranked blueberries number one in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables, so there are many reasons for adding blueberries to your diet.
They are associated with numerous health benefits, including natural protection against:
Urinary-tract infections
Cancer
Age-related brain conditions and disorders
Brain damage from strokes
And, according to the latest research presented in the article above, blueberries may also offer protection against metabolic syndrome (which can lead to diabetes), the accumulation of abdominal fat, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
These findings strengthen previous discoveries of the berry’s powerful impact on cardiovascular health.
Because in addition to anthocyanin – which gives the berry its deep blue color -- blueberries also contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as prescription drugs. (It shares similar qualities to another cholesterol-reducing antioxidant, resveratrol, which is found in both grapes and red wine.)
As an interesting side note, another unusual way to benefit from blueberries is to add them to your ground beef before cooking (ideally at low temperatures) as they help prevent cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA) from forming in the meat.
How Blueberries Protect Against Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome -- also sometimes referred to as pre-diabetes -- is a conglomerate of health problems that include high amounts of abdominal fat, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, and high triglycerides. When combined, these conditions increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
In this latest study, rats that consumed blueberry-enriched powder as two percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity after 90 days, compared to the control group.
Additionally, they found that blueberry intake affected genes related to fat-burning and storage. And when they looked at muscle tissue, they saw alterations in genes related to glucose uptake.
This is interesting as another recent study concluded that metabolic syndrome is likely not caused primarily by abdominal fat, as previously thought, but rather by insulin resistance in your skeletal muscle, which leads to changes in energy storage – which in turn leads to metabolic syndrome.
Insulin resistance is clearly a key factor in metabolic syndrome, and as I’ve stated on countless occasions, the prescription for insulin resistance is diet and exercise.
It’s good to know that eating something as delicious as blueberries can actually help improve your insulin sensitivity.
The Two Best Prescriptions Against Belly Fat and Diabetes

Exercise is your number one ally here, both for shedding unwanted body fat and normalizing your insulin levels.
It can also help you sleep better, which turns out to be another important factor if you want to avoid excess pounds around your midsection. In my recent article 4 Ways to Shed Belly Fat, I explain the little-known connection between your sleeping habits and your body’s ability to shed abdominal fat.
Keep in mind that when you’re exercising to achieve weight loss, you’ll want to focus on weight bearing exercises, as muscle burns calories quite efficiently. In my experience, non-weight bearing exercises, like swimming and bicycling, are not as efficient or effective for weight loss. You’ll typically need to exercise four times as long in these activities to receive the same benefit of running or using an elliptical machine, or performing other aerobic activities.
And, to really maximize your weight loss efforts, make sure you include high-intensity interval exercises and strength training in your program.
When it comes to diet, you’ll clearly want to stay away from any foods that raise your insulin levels, namely grains and sugars, and of course, processed foods.
But in addition to that, perhaps the most effective way of making sure you’re eating the optimal diet for you is to determine your specific nutritional type. Because what’s healthy for others may not necessarily be healthy for you, and vice-versa.
When battling either belly fat or diabetes – or both -- remember that controlling your insulin levels is as important to optimizing your weight as it is to protecting you against diseases like diabetes.
Because as your insulin levels increase, your body starts to store carbohydrates as fat while at the same time not releasing stored fat. This makes it impossible for you to use your own stored body fat for energy. So excess refined and processed carbohydrates in your diet (such as breads and pasta) not only make you gain weight, they make sure you keep that weight on.
By cutting grains and sugars from your diet, combined with a regular exercise program, you can significantly improve your chances of successful weight loss, and effectively protect yourself against diabetes and a whole host of other diseases.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Is Krill Oil 48 Times Better Than Fish Oil?


By Dr. Mercola

Krill oil is made from krill, a small, shrimp-like crustacean that inhabits the cold ocean areas of the world. Despite their small size, krill make up the largest animal biomass on the planet. There are approximately 500 million tons of krill roaming around in northern seas..

Krill oil, like fish oil, contains omega-3 fats such as eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA). However, in fish oil, these omega-3 fats are found in the triglyceride form. In krill oil, they are found in a double chain phospholipid structure. The fats in human cell walls are in the phospholipid form.

The phospholipid structure of the EPA and DHA in krill oil makes them much more absorbable. Krill oil also contains vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and canthaxanthin, which is a potent anti-oxidant.


The anti-oxidant potency of krill oil is, in terms of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorptance Capacity) values, 48 times more potent than fish oil.

The astaxanthin found in krill oil provides also excellent protection against ultraviolet light and UV-induced skin damage.