Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Herbs, and Spices

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Natural Disinfectants Win Over Toxic Chemical Disinfectants in Studies

If you have never considered using a natural disinfectant – perhaps you should. Recent studies have shown that 40% of cleansers and disinfectants sold in stores are ineffective against germs and bacteria!

Noroviruses – the viruses responsible for more than half the cases of food poisoning and stomach flu – are only eliminated with bleach-based cleaners.

In the United States, 21 million people are infected every year with noroviruses.

Professor Julie Jean at Université Laval Agriculture and Food Sciences was part Continue reading

Beat Eczema Naturally

 Eczema is known as a chronic dermatological condition that is characterized by skin rashes, dryness, crusting and flaking skin. Research indicates that eczema is caused by chronic inflammation that affects the skin cells and causes scarring. Natural lifestyle strategies allow the body to de-inflame and beat eczema. Continue reading

Avoid Costly Dental Bills with Natural Remedies

Weary of expensive dental work? Try a few simple home treatments that help strengthen teeth and gums naturally. With the application of specific dietary and herbal recommendations, loose and decaying teeth are fortified and healed. By practicing purposeful oral hygiene with a few basic ingredients, worrisome dental problems can be economically resolved.

Dietary choices for strong teeth Continue reading

Getting a Grip on Childhood Obesity

American adults are overweight and obese, which is a huge problem for our healthcare system, tax dollars, productivity and quality of life. But the fact that our kids are increasingly obese means we may be dooming the next generation to an unhappy lifetime of chronic disease. We have to take action now to halt the juvenile obesity epidemic, or the consequences will be tragic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Obesity now affects 17 percent of all children and adolescents in the United States — triple the rate from just one generation ago.” That 17 percent equates to 12.5 million obese children, ages 2 to 19.

In its 2011 “Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report,” the CDC blames a good part of this problem on the serving and advertising of “sugar drinks and less healthy foods on school campuses.” Ads sell junk foods to kids, while parents feed their children what they ask for instead of providing balanced meals. Added to that, kids are eating supersized portions of foods containing too much sugar and fat.

If we consider the alarming numbers of inner-city children with weight problems, it’s obvious that kids don’t get enough exercise and don’t have access to safe places to play. Even for those interested in outdoor activity, finding a safe place or even getting to one is an issue. In its “State Indicator Report on Physical Activity,  Continue reading

The Immune Booster in Your Spice Cabinet

Your immune system is very complex. It has a set of pathways that allow your body to respond to foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents, as well as foreign material such as pollen. It’s an amazingly powerful alternative cure for disease. Your immune system consists of a bunch of different types of cells, each of which have a specific task assigned to them in the defense of your body.

Basically, your immune system is divided into two main parts: “humoral immunity” and “cell-mediated immunity.” So what’s the difference? Humoral immunity deals with infectious agents in your blood and body tissues. Cell- mediated immunity, on the other hand, deals with body cells that have been infected. In general, the humoral system is managed by B-cells (with help from T-cells), and the cell-mediated system is managed by T-cells. Together, these two systems can help protect you Continue reading

Ancient Egyptian Herbal Medicine.

Herbs played a major part in Egyptian medicine. The plant medicines mentioned in the Ebers papyrus for instance include opium, cannabis, myrrh, frankincense, fennel, cassia, senna, thyme, henna, juniper, aloe, linseed and castor oil – though some of the translations are less than certain. Cloves of garlic have been found in Egyptian burial sites, including the tomb of Tutankhamen and in the sacred underground temple of the bulls at Saqqara. Many herbs were steeped in wine, which was then drunk as an oral medicine. Egyptians thought garlic and onions aided endurance, and consumed large quantities of them. Raw garlic was routinely given to asthmatics and to those suffering with bronchial-pulmonary complaints. Onions helped against problems of the digestive system.

Garlic was an important healing agent then just as it still is to the modern Egyptian and to most of the peoples in the Mediterranean area: Fresh cloves are peeled, mashed and macerated in a mixture of vinegar and water. This can be used to gargle and rinse the mouth, or taken internally to treat sore throats and toothache. Another way to take garlic both for prevention as well as treatment is to macerate several cloves of mashed garlic in olive oil. Applied as an external liniment or taken internally it is beneficial for bronchial and lung complaints including colds. A freshly peeled clove of raw garlic wrapped in muslin or cheesecloth and pinned to the undergarment is hoped to protect against infectious diseases such as colds and influenza.

Coriander, C. Sativum was considered to have cooling, stimulant, carminative and digestive properties. Both the seeds and the plant were used as a spice in cooking to prevent and eliminate flatulence, they were also taken as a tea for stomach and all kinds of urinary complaints including cystitis. Coriander leaves were commonly added fresh to spicy foods to moderate their irritating effects. It was one of the herbs offered to the gods by the king, and seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and in other ancient burial sites.

Cumin, Cumin cyminum is an umbelliferous herb indigenous to Egypt. The seeds were considered to be a stimulant and effective against flatulence. They were often used together with coriander for flavoring. Cumin powder mixed with some wheat flour as a binder and a little water was applied to relieve the pain of any aching or arthritic joints. Powdered cumin mixed with grease or lard was inserted as an anal suppository to disperse heat from the anus and stop itching.

Leaves from many plants, such as willow, sycamore, acaci or the ym-tree, were used in poultices and the like. Tannic Acid derived from acacia seeds commonly helped for cooling the vessels and heal burns. Castor oil, figs  and dates, were used as laxatives.
Tape worms, the snakes in the belly, were dealt with by an infusion of pomegranate root in water, which was strained and drunk. The alkaloids contained in it paralyzed the worms’ nervous system, and they relinquished their hold. Ulcers were treated with yeast, as were stomach ailments.

Some of the medicines were made from plant materials imported from abroad. Mandrake, introduced from Canaan and grown locally since the New Kingdom, was thought to be an aphrodisiac and, mixed with alcohol, induced unconsciousness. Cedar oil, an antiseptic, originated in the Levant. The Persian henna was grown in Egypt since the Middle Kingdom, and – if identical with henu mentioned in the Ebers Papyrus – was used against hair loss. They treated catarrh with aloe which came from eastern Africa. Frankincense , containing tetrahydrocannabinol and used like hashish as pain killer.

Minerals and animal products were used too. Honey and grease formed part of many wound treatments,  mother’s milk was occasionally given against viral diseases like the common cold, fresh meat laid on open wounds and sprains, and animal dung was thought to be effective at times. At the Cairo Museum bears the legend: “Eye lotion to be dispersed, good for eyesight.” An Egyptian papyrus from 1500 BCE discusses recipes for treating conjunctivitis and cornea, iris, and eyelid problems. Lead-based chemicals like carbonates and acetates were popular for their therapeutic properties .

Malachite used as an eye-liner also had therapeutic value. In a country where eye infections were endemic, the effects of its germicidal qualities were appreciated even if the reasons for its effectiveness were not understood.