Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Key to a long life? Having good BLOOD circulation


Healthy circulation is the key to a longer life, research suggests.

People with good blood flow to their body’s smallest blood vessels live for longer, scientists found, according to express.co.uk.

The link between longevity and ‘micro-circulation’ was uncovered by research into Italian ‘SuperAgers’ with a median age of 92.

The body’s microcirculation delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells while removing toxins and waste products.

It also controls blood pressure and body temperature by dilating or constricting the capillaries that supply the muscles, organs and skin.

Centenarians showed similar levels of a chemical called Bio-ADM that boosts blood flow in the body’s capillary networks as people 30 years their junior.

Genetics, exercise and a Mediterranean diet all play a role in living longer, but scientists have been searching for ‘biomarkers’ that indicate longevity.

Professor Salvatore Di Somma said: “Very low concentrations of this biomarker (Bio-ADM) indicate a microcirculatory system allowing good blood perfusion of organs and muscles.

“A good microcirculation is what makes marathon runners perform better than the average man or woman at the same heart rate.”

The La Sapienza University pilot study looked at residents of the Cilento region in the province of Salerno in southern Italy.

Women in the region live to an average of 92, eight years more than the Italian average, while men live to 85, six years longer than average.

The first group consisted of 29 ‘SuperAgers’. The second was made up of 52 relatives with a median age of 60 living in the same household.

These were compared with a group of 194 healthy people with a median age of 64.

Scientists found that the SuperAgers’ bio-ADM values were as low as those in both younger groups.

Andreas Bergmann, of the German diagnostic company Sphingotec which carried out blood analyses, said: “We are excited about the connection between bio-ADM levels and a good microcirculation as an indicator for good quality of life.

“If bio-ADM proves to be a reliable biomarker for longevity this will open up the avenue to a systematic analysis of the factors contributing to longevity.”

Researchers now plan to explore whether elements of the local Mediterranean diet affect bio-ADM levels.


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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Healthy gut bacteria could help protect you from almost EVERY age-related disease


Changing your diet to maintain healthy gut bacteria could help to protect you from nearly all age-related diseases, new research suggests.

Imbalanced gut bacteria may to blame for many age-related diseases, according to the new study from University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands.
The researchers found that the poorly balanced gut bacteria in older mice could induce ‘inflammaging’ in younger mice when it was transplanted to them.

Inflammaging is a chronic inflammation condition associated with aging, which is linked to most serious age-related health conditions, like stroke, dementia and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists know that elderly people tend to have different gut bacteria profiles from younger people. This new research suggests that this change in balance is linked to inflammaging, which is in turn related to most late-onset diseases and disorders.

In recent years, we’ve found out that the gut is at the heart of just about everything, with many calling our second brain.

Inflammaging is a catch-all term for the tendency of elderly people to have generalized inflammation. It is thought to be related to evolved changes that the immune system undergoes as a person gets older.

It isn’t clear whether aging causes inflammation or inflammation causes aging, but the two go hand-in-hand, and susceptibility to many diseases goes along with both of them.

Since they knew that the bacterial microbiome also undergoes changes with age, the researchers, led by Dr Floris Fransen, wanted to test the relationship between the three factors.

They took samples from older mice – whose gut bacteria composition, like humans’, changes with age – and introduced them to the bodies of younger mice. After the procedure, the younger mice developed chronic inflammation, like the inflammaging that would normally have struck them later in life.

The scientists also transplanted gut bacteria from one group of younger mice to another group of mice of around the same ages to see if the immune response was just to the introduction of foreign bacteria.

But only the mice with transplanted gut bacteria from older ones developed inflammaging.

The differences in the responses suggested to the researchers that aging leads to an imbalance in gut bacteria, such that there are more ‘bad’ bacteria than good in the microbiome.

The proliferation of the bad bacteria leaves the gut lining more permeable to toxins that can contaminate the bloodstream and lead to disorders like inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, autism and even cancer.

The study suggests a causal relationship between aged gut bacteria and inflammaging in mice, and, though the same has not been proven in humans, the researchers report that a correlation has already been observed.

Still, the findings are enough to determine that ‘strategies that alter the gut microbiota composition in the elderly,’ such as developing a good diet and taking probiotics and prebiotics, ‘reduce inflammaging and promote healthy aging,’ says Dr Fransen. 



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Sunday, October 22, 2017

He Shou Wu (Fo-Ti): The Herb of Intuition and Longevity


The Fascinating History and Benefits of He Shou Wu

Long revered as one of the most important and powerful herbs in the Chinese Medicine pharmacopeia, He Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum), which is also known as Fo-Ti, has a rich and mystical history that illustrates exactly why it grew to such stature and fame and hints at some of its more exotic—and highly sought after—benefits and effects. It was recorded in ancient Daoist texts that Fo-Ti was discovered around 812 AD, when a frail, weak, sterile old man who had fallen asleep in the forest after a night of heavy drinking awoke next to an exceptionally long He Shou Wu vine.

Something about the plant struck him as unusual and so he proceeded to dig up its roots (a common practice in China at the time) to take home for further investigation. Upon inquiring in his village about the nature and properties of the plant to no avail, a local hermit suggested he ingest it to discover the effects for himself. Adventurous as he was, he prepared the He Shou Wu roots according to Daoist herbal principles and began consuming it regularly. Within a week, he became quite virile and managed to father a child a few months later after decades of impotency and sterility, which was a miracle in itself. He continued to take Fo-Ti everyday and his strength and vitality returned despite his old age. Eventually, his hair color returned, almost magically shifting from gray to a rich, lustrous black. Over the years that followed, he went on to father at least five more children and lived well into his hundreds, with some sources recording his final age as 160 years old. The man’s name was He Tianer, for which the herb was named He Shou Wu, meaning “He’s Black Hair,” alluding to its incredible origin story.

1. DNA Protection and Repair, Longevity and More

For some, the tale is a stretch of the imagination; however, in recent decades, credible scientific studies into the properties, composition and benefits of He Shou Wu have confirmed that it does indeed stimulate the body to produce many longevity-promoting substances, including superoxide dismutase, which is the most powerful antioxidant in the human body; and it has been credited with reversing many diseases, DNA protection and repair, and extending lifespan in a number of studies [1]. It also inhibits the MAO-B enzyme that correlates to measurable life-extending and health-enhancing effects. And while this is a compelling reason on its own to take Fo-Ti, it only scratches the surface of the many incredible benefits this herb has for promoting health, wellness, and spiritual awareness [2, 3, 4, 5].

2. Libido Booster and Sexual Health Tonic

As alluded to by Mr. He’s story, Polygonum (He Shou Wu) is a powerful, but paradoxically gentle, aphrodisiac and sexual tonic. Known as a kidney Jing tonic, it stimulates and harmonizes adrenal gland function and promotes general endocrine system balance [6]. Jing, in the Chinese Medicine tradition, loosely translates to “vital essence” and refers to the primordial energy that fuels all life and, by extension, our sexuality and drive. Fo-Ti works to increase kidney/adrenal Jing, which is where Daoists believe this energy is stored in the body. This also has the added benefit of harmonizing, balancing, and ultimately calming the nervous system, making He Shou Wu an excellent tonic for those facing burnout or under high levels of stress [7, 8].

Rich in iron and zinc—two hard-to-get essential minerals—He Shou Wu is a first-class blood builder and cell proliferant. There are a number of compounds in the plant that enhance circulation, strengthen red blood cell membranes and stimulate blood-generating hematopoietic stem cells. Fo-Ti also protects and helps maintain the structural integrity of the liver, improves brain function and memory, and enhances immune system functioning in humans and other mammals [8, 9].

3. Hair Growth and Rejuvenation

As alluded to in Mr. He’s miraculous story, He Shou Wu also has a long history of use as a hair growth and rejuvenation tonic. There are literally thousands of first-person reports and a handful of clinical studies [10, 11] of Fo-Ti (or preparations including the herb) demonstrating a remarkable ability to reverse hair loss and restore rich color to white or graying hair. Although the mechanisms are not completely understood, substances with a marked harmonizing effect on the endocrine system (hormone-producing glands) and high zinc content tend to have beneficial effects on hair growth and restoration.

But perhaps the most impressive of all He Shou Wu’s benefits and properties are its effects on our spiritual awareness and higher mental functioning.

4. Psycho-Spiritual Effects: Intuition Enhancing Properties

In the Traditional Chinese Medicine system, He Shou Wu is also classified as a Shen and Yin tonic. Shen translates to “spirit” and anything with Yin properties, which correlates to the feminine element/energy, promotes receptivity. Therefore, we have an herb that makes us “receptive to spirit,” which the more sensitive among us will definitely notice after consuming Fo-Ti for any length of time. In addition to its powerfully rejuvenative physical effects, He Shou Wu benefits and stimulates our intuitive abilities as well, opening us to our deeper spiritual nature and awareness. Users of Fo-Ti often notice a distinct increase in creativity, inspiration, and intuitive guidance, making it an important herb for artists, meditators, or anyone seeking to expand their experience of reality in profound ways.

How to Use He Shou Wu For Maximum Benefit

He Shou Wu is unique in that it must be prepared in a more elaborate process than other herbs in order to make it effective for the above uses. Through a centuries-long process of refinement, Daoist herbalists discovered that the Polygonum multiflorum (Fo-Ti) root must be first cooked in a stew of black beans to somewhat alchemically activate its desired benefits. Scientifically speaking, this process has the effect of rendering certain constituents of the plant inert and activating others in a complex series of chemical reactions between the heat and the various nutrients in black beans [12].

As a rule of thumb, all He Shou Wu should, by default, be prepared in this way; but if you don’t see it explicitly mentioned in the product literature, inquire further to be sure. (Note: All recommended products in this article have been verified to be properly prepared He Shou Wu.)

As with any herb, quality, purity and potency are of the utmost importance. As such, look for organic, wildcrafted, or authentic “Di Tao” labeled herbs, as these tend to be of the highest quality.

Fo-Ti has a pleasant, mild, slightly sweet taste, making it an ideal herb to consume as a tea, tincture, or simply mixed in a glass of water. However, capsules are a viable option as well if you simply cannot stand the taste of powdered herbs. Although it is always recommended to take it internally for maximum benefit, those interested in its hair growth-stimulating properties and benefits of He Shou Wu may also rub the powdered herb directly into the scalp after mixing with water or oil for a deeper effect.

If you are pregnant, lactating or taking pharmaceutical medicines, be sure to check in with your naturopathic doctor or midwife before consuming.


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Friday, October 20, 2017

America has hit a 'dreamlessness epidemic', and it is affecting our mental and physical health


Research shows links between dreaming less and worse mental and physical health.

Throughout the night, we pass through four stages of sleep several times. We do the majority of our dreaming during the fourth stage, called the 'rapid-eye movement' (REM) phase.

Research has found that about one in three American adults don’t get enough sleep in general and missing out on dreaming that occurs during REM-sleep can have particularly dire consequences for both our mental and physical health.

A study from the University of Arizona highlighted the wide array of REM-related problems that are forgotten as dreaming-sleep slips through the cracks between sleep science and psychology.

Science has come a long way since Sigmund Freud wrote The Interpretation Of Dreams, in 1899, but we still don’t have a clear answer to the question of why we dream.

The stage of sleep during which we have the most active dream lives, the REM cycle, was once thought to be the most deeply restful phase of sleep.

Now, much contemporary research says that the stage before REM sleep, called deep non-REM sleep is the most restful. But Dr Rubin Naiman, a psychologist specializing in sleep and dreams at the University of Arizona, says that we need both.

He compares much of sleep and dreaming to bodily nourishment. He says that prioritizing deep non-REM sleep over dreaming REM-sleep is like ‘saying which is more important, food or water?’

‘We can actually go without food for weeks and weeks, but without water for only a few days. The brain prioritizes deep sleep over REM sleep, and if someone is sleep deprived they will dive into deep sleep to catch up,’ Dr Naiman says.

‘But in order to be healthy, you need to have both,’ he adds.

Loss of not just sleep, but the REM sleep during which we dream, has been associated with greater risks of inflammation, pain sensitivity, obesity and memory problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The link between REM sleep and Alzheimer’s is quite clear. Studies have shown that those that don’t enter the dreaming phase of sleep as quickly are more likely than others to develop Alzheimer’s.

When sleep is disrupted, a chemical called soluble beta amyloid tends to build up, interfering with cognition and kill brain cells. The presence of the chemical in the brain is one of the earliest warning signs for the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Dr Naiman laments the fact that many of his colleagues dismiss dreams as meaningless, and cites evidence that memory consolidation happens during REM sleep, and that dreams may be a part of this process.

Studies have shown an increase in REM sleep activity in the brain for those who are learning a new language, suggesting the sleep phase’s involvement in declarative memory formation.

‘We have known for years that there is a strong correlation between memory loss and damaged dreaming,’ says Dr Naiman, ‘when we don’t dream well, we don’t remember well.’

REM sleep affects different parts of our anatomy than other stages of sleep do.

‘The brain and viscera are more relaxed in deep sleep,’ says Dr Naiman, ‘but voluntary muscles are actually more relaxed in deep sleep,’ says Dr Naiman.

He also cites a long line of research documenting links between dreamless sleep and depression.

During REM sleep, the brain’s paralimbic system, which is responsible for emotional information processing (among other things) becomes much more active, while suppressing the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is involved in executive functions.

This pattern appears to occur only during REM sleep, when research has shown that the brain is engaged in the process of consolidating negative emotional memories.

‘Dreaming down regulates negative emotion,’ says Dr Naiman. ‘There’s a strong correlation between certain kinds of damaged dreams and depression.’

He says that sleep is comparable to emotional nourishment too.

If, as recent research suggests, ‘the gut acts as a second brain, then the brain is a second gut in dreaming,’ he says.

‘The brain chews, swallows, sifts through, digests and mediates what [experiences] we keep,’ Dr Naiman says.

‘If we don’t dream well, we are no longer digesting experience…it’s like psychological indigestion or constipation, which, for me, is a synonym for clinical depression,’ he says.

Counterintuitively, perhaps, drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, or taking sleeping pills all disrupt sleep, and particularly dreams.

Dr Naiman says that while a glass of wine with dinner is probably okay, a night cap (or two, or three) after dinner probably aren’t.

He says that this is because ‘the body and brain are always seeking equilibrium.’

Alcohol acts as a depressant, slowing down the brain and the nervous system, like the brakes in a car.

‘When the brain is braking, the body tries to balance things out by releasing adrenaline,’ like pressing the gas pedal, Dr Naiman says.

But once alcohol is processed by the digestive system, ‘that foot comes off the brake pretty quickly, but the other foot stays on the gas.’

This leads to a surge of adrenaline that can pull us out of any sleep, including REM sleep, and disrupt the whole resting process.

He says that data suggests that marijuana may help people fall asleep, but then lead to a similar disruptive rush. Sleeping pills similarly can help to put you to sleep, but, like antidepressants and allergy medications contain compounds that interfere with acetylcholine, which mediates REM sleep.

Dr Naiman says that he and his lab have used ‘effective combinations of exercise, morning light and nutrients with vitamin D’ to help people eliminate alcohol, drugs and even alarm clocks – which he says can shake us from important dreams too early – form their lives, and promote healthy, dreamy sleep.


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Benefits of Quinoa: The Supergrain of the Future


Quinoa is an interesting form of pseudocereal that is not technically a grain, or a traditional cereal. It is a crop that has been grown for thousands of years, and is grown mainly for its edible seeds. Quinoa is related to spinach and beetroots, and is a becoming a major food in America, Europe, China, and Canada, despite the fact that it must be imported.

This plant is a species of the goosefoot genus (Chenopodium quinoa), which originated in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia.

The plant dates back 3,000 to 5,000 years BC when it was domesticated by the peoples of America, according to existing historical evidence.

Moreover, archeological evidence exists of quinoa in tombs of Arica in Chile, Tarapac√°, Calama, and in different regions of Peru.

Pre-Columbian civilizations cultivated and used quinoa as a staple food in their diet at the time.

The Incas called quinoa the “mother grain.”

An Incan emperor would break ground with a golden implement at the first planting of the season in recognition of what the plant provided them.

Eventually, quinoa was replaced by cereals after the Spanish arrived.

But the Incas weren’t the only ones ahead of the game on quinoa. In 1993, NASA researchers — who were looking for ways to keep astronauts healthy on long journeys — suggested quinoa as sustenance for long-term space missions because it’s rich in protein, versatile enough to mix with other foods, and easy to grow in controlled environments.


Health benefits:

High in protein, with all the essential amino acids. Protein is made out of amino acids. Some of them are termed "essential" because we can not produce them and need to get them from the diet. If a food contains all the essential amino acids, it is seen as a "complete" protein. The problem is that many plant foods are deficient in certain essential amino acids, such as lysine.

However, quinoa is an exception to this, because it contains all the essential amino acids. For this reason, it is an excellent source of protein. It has both more and better protein than most grains. With 8 grams of quality protein per cup, quinoa is an excellent plant-based protein source for vegetarians and vegans.

High in fiber. Fiber is most widely known to relieve constipation. It also helps to prevent heart disease by reducing high blood pressure and diabetes. Fiber lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and may help you to lose weight as it takes a longer time to chew than does other foods because it makes you feel fuller for longer and is less “energy dense” which means it has fewer calories for the same volume of food.

The fiber content in Quinoa is what gets many people interested in eating it. If you have trouble thinking of ways to increase your fiber and have resorted to buying and eating fiber bars or fiber fortified cereals to get the job done, you might be better off getting a supply of Quinoa. It contains a fifth of how much fiber you need each day in every one cup serving. That’s pretty impressive considering that most Quinoa recipes are filled with other foods like black beans that have a good amount of fiber so you can get a substantial portion of your fiber needs met in one meal.

High in Iron. Iron helps keep our red blood cells healthy and is the basis of hemoglobin formation. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies oxygen to our muscles to aid in their contraction. Iron also increases brain function because the brain takes in about 20% of our blood oxygen. There are many benefits of iron some more of which include neurotransmitter synthesis, regulation of body temperature, aids enzyme activity and energy metabolism.

For those that have trouble keeping up with their iron needs, Quinoa can be a big help with that, and it also is a tastier option than taking an iron supplement. In just a one cup serving you’re getting 15% of how much iron you need each day. That’s a good boost to your system and can assist with any deficiencies.

High in Magnesium. Magnesium doesn’t get as much attention as some other vitamins and minerals do, but it’s still an important mineral that your body needs in order to help prevent things like osteoporosis and heart disease, while helping to balance blood pressure and helping with diabetes. Other health benefits of magnesium include transmission of nerve impulses, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

You can get one third of your RDA of magnesium from just one full serving of Quinoa. That’s pretty impressive since many foods only contain a trace amount of it, or none at all. If you feel like your levels could use a boost, try these other foods that are high in magnesium.

High in Riboflavin. Riboflavin is also known as Vitamin B2, part of the family of B Vitamins and responsible for providing much needed antioxidants to assist the body with a number of functions. It also helps with enzyme performance and oxygen delivery throughout the entire body. It’s a pretty important vitamin. 

Six percent of your daily needs per 100 grams of Quinoa might not sound like a lot, but many foods contain a bit of riboflavin, so it adds up throughout the day, Quinoa just gives it a nice contributing boost.

Rich in Manganese. Manganese is an antioxidant, which helps to prevent damage of mitochondria during energy production as well as to protect red blood cells and other cells from injury by free radicals.

Manganese is something you definitely don’t want to go without for any stretch of time, and with Quinoa you won’t have to because it provides almost half of what you need in just one serving. The symptoms of being low on manganese include having high blood pressure levels, high cholesterol levels, neurological problems, hearing impairments, and more. The number one cause of running a manganese deficiency is not eating enough foods that are rich in it. That’s why making Quinoa a part of your lifestyle is a good idea.

Contains Lysine. One special amino acid that Quinoa contains is called Lysine.  Lysine is mainly essential for tissue growth and repair.

Lysine is usually found in sports supplements by those trying to add lean muscle to their body. It’s been said to also help strengthen the immune system, so Quinoa is great to eat during those months when everyone seems to be getting sick. It’s also been proven to help raise serotonin levels, which is a way to help you feel more relaxed and get into a calm state. Instead of using a supplement to get it, you can simply start eating more Quinoa.

Very high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight aging and many diseases.

Quinoa also happens to be very high in antioxidants. One study looked at antioxidants in 10 foods: 5 cereals, 3 pseudocereals and 2 legumes. Quinoa had the highest antioxidant content of all 10. Allowing the seeds to sprout seems to increase the antioxidant content even further.

Contains fatty acids. Close to 30 percent of the fatty acids in quinoa come from oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil and linked to reduced blood pressure and heart disease risk.  About 5 percent of quinoa’s fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a beneficial form of plant-based omega-3s.

Most foods lose their healthy fatty acids when oxidized, but quinoa’s nutrients hold up to boiling, simmering, and steaming.

Prebiotic. In a 2016 study, quinoa and amaranth were assessed for their function as prebiotics. Prebiotics are undigestible fiber compounds that work with probiotic enzymes to become “fuel” for the beneficial bacteria living in your gut, and are associated with lowered disease risk, lowered inflammation levels and a better functioning immune system.

Scientists found that both of these pseudocereals (which they referred to as common superfoods) have prebiotic potential and can serve to improve gastrointestinal health by balancing the levels of good bacteria functioning there. 

Has Antiseptic Properties. During the processing of Quinoa there are saponins which are removed from it and then reused as an antiseptic, as well as a detergent. This shows just one more aspect of this superseed. There is some misperception as to what Quinoa is exactly, whether it’s a grain or a seed. The part that is edible is the seed, which makes it great for grain-free diets and diet plans. But the plant that it grows on is grain-like which causes the confusion. There are many benefits to the plant, and it shows just how versatile it can be, much the same way aloe can be eaten, and used to treat the skin.

Supports a Gluten-Free Diet. When you’ve gone gluten free either for medical reasons or for dietary ones, you’ll quickly find out that while there may be more GF options than there were a decade ago, there is still a lot of room for more products. In the meantime you can stay gluten-free by using Quinoa. It’s not a grain, it’s a seed, and it doesn’t contain any wheat or gluten in it, so you can feel free to enjoy it in loads of different Quinoa recipes without worrying if it’s going to upset your system.


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New wave of trendy superfoods that will revolutionize your diet

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sea Buckthorn: The Miracle Berry


Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae Rhamnoides) is a super fruit full of all the Omegas – 3, 6, 9 and the rare 7, as well as a host of antioxidants and other healing nutrients. It has been used to heal psoriasis and make skin glow, boost immunity, slow aging, and lower cholesterol, but it also has numerous other qualities that make it a superior source of vitamins and minerals we all need. 

Sea buckthorn has been used in China for more than 12 centuries to heal various disorders and is used in modern times by allopathic and Ayurvedic practitioners alike. Legend has it that even Genghis Khan, the Mongol conqueror, used Sea Buckthorn to propel the fight against his enemies.

The fruit grows primarily high in the Himalayan Mountains (Spiti Valley), which makes it particularly hearty. It is even called “Holy Fruit’ among the locals there. It is here, under the conditions of high altitude, exposure to extremely strong ultra violet radiation due to its proximity to the sun, and reflected light from heavy snows, severe cold, scorching heat, and dry, ‘barren’ soil, that this plant becomes a ‘super’ food. It is extremely life-giving and enhances both health and beauty.

Health Benefits of Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn has multiple uses due to its protein building amino acids, vitamins B1, B2, K, C, A, E, and folic acid, over 60 antioxidants, at least 20 minerals, and healthy fatty acids. The fruit is full of carotenoids, xanthophylls, phenolics, and flavanoids, too. Its an absolute power house of nutrients!

The leaves, berries and roots can all be used in different forms. It is a complete food that can support the body in all the following ways:

  • Treats gastrointestinal disorders including ulcers
  • Reverses gout
  • Eliminates skin rashes
  • Cures infections
  • Improves sight, lessens eye soreness
  • Promotes colon health
  • Contributes to proper brain and nervous system functioning
  • Reduces inflammatory response in the body
  • Improves mental clarity
  • Treats asthmatic symptoms
  • Reduces skin markings associated with measles or mumps
  • Reduces illness associated with cancer
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Boosts lymphatic circulation and immunity
  • Reduces hunger (due to Omega 7s)
  • Improves the look of skin and hair (also due to Omega 7, 3, 6, and 9s)
  • Neutralizes free radicals in the body
  • Slows the aging process
  • Supports internal organs
  • Boost health of the mucous membranes lining the digestive and respiratory tracts
  • Supports urogential system
  • Reduces the condition of a fatty liver
  • Helps to increase cellular vitality


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Monday, August 28, 2017

Amazing Benefits of Amla (Indian Gooseberry)


Amla is a deciduous tree that grows up to 30 feet in height. The botanical name for the Amla plant is Phyllanthus emblica. The amla tree is native to India and Nepal, and that is why it is referred to as the Indian Gooseberry. This tree is considered sacred in India. It has been worshiped since ancient times as the “Earth Mother”. The tree is best known for its succulent fruit. The fruit is small and light green in color with six vertical stripes and a hard seed inside. The fruit has a sour and astringent taste.

The word “amla is derived from the Sanskrit word “amlaki”, which means “the sustainer” or prosperity. Amla is considered as one of the most popular herbs for improving our health and well-being. It is a major part of the Triphala Churna, which is a combination of three potent herbs. According to Ayurveda, regular consumption of amla balances all three doshas of the body- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. In ancient Ayurveda, amla was used for promoting longevity, digestion, for enhancing concentration and alleviating respiratory problems.

Alma is very rich in Vitamin C and contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex. It is also a powerful antioxidant agent.

Many health problems are caused by oxidative damage (when body cells use oxygen, they produce by-products called free radicals that can cause damage). Antioxidant agents prevent and repair these damages. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant agent, which makes gooseberries a powerful tool against a variety of conditions, including various types of cancer.

Some of the most amazing benefits of the Indian Gooseberry are:

Anti-Aging

Amla is virtually a superfruit. It is full of antioxidants that are effective in reducing cell damage. It reduces the effects of free radicals (which are responsible for damaging protein, DNA, and cell membranes) and thus effectively combats the aging process.

Amla contains high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, making it very beneficial for skin health. It restores skin firmness by stimulating collagen production. Amla reduces pigmentation, and gives your skin a smooth and youthful look. It is known to exfoliate skin and remove dead skin cells. Amla juice can also be used as a face mask. Simply leave it on your skin for 30 minutes and wash it off.

Drinking amla juice on a regular basis can also help to brighten the skin tone. The anti-bacterial properties of the fruit purify the blood, revealing the natural glowing complexion beneath. It also revives the skin’s texture, making it smooth and supple.

Mental Health

Amla improves nerve health by facilitating proper flow of blood. Regular consumption of amla improves cognitive function, increasing concentration and memory. It also protects the nerve cells from free radical damage, preventing diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. The high iron content in amla facilitates oxygen transportation, preventing brain degeneration.

Boosts Immunity

Amla is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins, and contains tannins. Tannins, when combined with polyphenols, makes the fruit a free radical scavenger. What this means is, it reduces the damage free radicals cause to the cells and thus improves your body’s disease fighting ability.

Vitamin C in amla makes it a mighty herbal medicine against cold and cough. 

Consumption of amla is known to boost immunity, reducing flu and throat infection. It helps to deal with chronic cough, tuberculosis and blocked chest problems. It is also found to alleviate asthma symptoms.

Fight Infections

The antibacterial properties of amla help the body to fight against bacterial, fungal and viral infections, making the body more resistant to diseases. It strengthens the immune system by removing toxins from the body. It also improves the defense mechanism of the body.

Fights Against Heart Disease

High cholesterol is the leading cause of heart disease. By reducing the build up of bad cholesterol, Amla reduces the risk of heart disease. It also reduces clogging in the arteries by boosting good cholesterol or HDL. Studies have also shown its benefits in preventing the thickening of blood vessel walls, the first sign of heart disease.

Reduces Blood Sugar

Research has shown that fruits that are rich in polyphenol protect the body from the oxidative nature of high blood sugar. Amla can thus be therapeutic for people afflicted with diabetes. It also assists the body in the proper absorption of insulin, thus reducing blood sugar levels. Because of this, it is invaluable for people afflicted with diabetes and should be a part of their daily diet.

Increases Metabolic Activity

Because of its ability to increase the absorption of protein, Amla is a great way to boost your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is how fast your body burns calories. Boosting it will lead to faster weight loss, higher energy levels and an overall increase in lean muscle mass.

High In Digestive Fiber

Amla is high in fiber, water content, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Fiber is essential for healthy bowel movements. Fiber also stimulates the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so food is digested efficiently, nutrients are absorbed in an optimal way, and you feel lighter and healthier. Reducing constipation can also help protect you from various gastrointestinal disorders, even colorectal cancer.

Increases Diuretic Activity

Any fruit that is diuretic in nature improves the frequency and volume of urination. Because urination helps your body release unwanted toxins, salts, and uric acid, consumption of Amla has a detoxifying effect on your body.

Prevents Formation Of Gall Bladder Stones

Extra cholesterol is the primary cause of gall bladder stones. Vitamin C converts the cholesterol into bile in the liver. Consuming Amla regularly reduces the chances of a build-up of cholesterol as well as the likelihood of any pesky gallstones. It also keeps the gallbladder functioning well and in perfect health.

It Protects Your Liver

Studies have shown that regular consumption of Amla can ward off the ill effects that alcohol has on your liver . It also prevents the oxidative damage that is usually caused by them.

Prevents Ulcers

Due to its antibacterial properties, Amla is a great way of preventing ulcers. They reduce the acidity level in the body and thus avoid the formation of ulcers. Additionally, mouth ulcers can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. As Indian gooseberries are rich in vitamin C, they can provide relief from ulcers.

Is Anti-Inflammatory

It reduces the level of acid in the stomach and combats stomach inflammation. 

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties it reduces the joints (like knees) pain and swelling in the person with arthritis.

Treats Menstrual Cramps

Some of the minerals and vitamins in Amla combine to make it very useful in the treatment of menstrual cramps. Since it takes a while for the necessary elements to accrue in the body, it is better to consume Amla on a regular basis so its nutrients are always in the system and menstrual cramps can be prevented by women.

Reproduction

Amla is known as a vrishya herb, which means that it helps to enhance all seven tissues, including the reproductive tissue. Amla supports the reproductive system in both males and females, overcoming difficulty in conceiving. The vipaka properties of amla help to revitalize semen in men by improving the quality of sperms.

Improves Eyesight

Amla is very beneficial for eye health as well. It is believed to improve eye sight and prevent age-related macular degeneration. The antioxidants present in amla protect the eye retina from oxidative stress, reducing the risk of cataract. 

Purifies Blood

Because it is packed with antioxidants, Amla works as a blood purifier. It also increases haemoglobin and red blood cells count.

Strengthens Bones

Amla is excellent for strengthening bones not just because of its high calcium content, but also for the fact that it lowers osteoclasts. These are the cells responsible for breaking up bones. Thus regularly consuming Amla will result in stronger bones.

Cools The Body

Amla has three times the vitamin C of an orange. Vitamin C improves tannin levels in the body that shield from heat and light. It keeps your skin cool in the summer by regulating the heat.

Reduces The Risk Of Cancer

The high levels of antioxidant in amla restrict the growth of carcinogenic cells, preventing cancer. It keeps the harmful free radicals at bay, preventing stomach, skin and liver cancer. Its Oxidative Radiance Activity Capacity (ORAC) prevents cell damage from oxidative stress, preventing tumor cell growth. Amla also counteracts the side effects of anti-cancer drugs.

Hair Care

Amla is used in many hair tonics because it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots of hair, maintains color, and improves luster. Eating fresh gooseberry or applying its paste on hair roots improves hair growth and color. Amla oil is very popular in India because it has been shown to reduce the chances of hair loss and baldness. This quality is due to the carotene content of Amla, as well as its iron content and general antioxidant capacity, which reduces hair loss by not allowing free radicals to damage hair follicles or impact the hormones that can cause premature hair loss.


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