Magnesium—the Missing Link to Better Health

magnesiumStory at-a-glance

An estimated 80 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. The health consequences of deficiency can be quite significant, and can be aggravated by many, if not most, drug treatments

Magnesium performs a wide array of biological functions, including Continue reading

Favorite Holiday Foods that Fight Cancer

cranA cancer-beating holiday buffet

This is the season for showing your family how much you love them. And what better way is there to do that than piling your holiday buffet high with delicious cancer-fighting foods?

Here are a few seasonal favorites that will help your loved ones Continue reading

The Importance of Beta Carotene

First and foremost beta carotenes are one of the many brightly compounds called carotenoids that make foods red, yellow, and orange. Also, those red or orange colored hydrocarbons found in carrots and other vegetables change into vitamin A in the body, which helps regulate the growth of cells and control immune system reactions.

The cells that are affected most by vitamin A live in your digestive tract, Continue reading

This Common Med Linked to Eye Troubles

Many people take aspirin — especially seniors. This over- the-counter-medication is used to relieve pain associated with inflammation. Some even take aspirin to balance their blood pressure. But now, in the latest health news, researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience say that seniors who take aspirin daily may suffer from an unusual prescription side effect — a higher risk for macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration (MD) can be a serious condition that can lead to age-related loss of vision. Basically, there are two types of the eye disease: wet and dry. The wet form is caused by leaking blood vessels in the eye and can affect the vision in the center of your eye’s field of vision. The dry form of MD is far more common and can also lead to vision loss, though not as dramatically.

For the study, the European research team collected health and lifestyle information from nearly 4,700 people over age 65. The researchers found that 839 people took aspirin each day. Thirty-six participants in this group had the more serious condition of wet MD. Statistically, this means that, for every 100 daily aspirin users, four will get wet MD. In comparison, for every 100 people who took aspirin less frequently, only two will get MD.

The researchers caution Continue reading

The Importance of Magnesium

The essential element magnesium has important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A lack of it is associated with a wide range of medical problems, from heart irregularities to asthma. Unfortunately, because of our poor diets, many of us don’t get enough magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is very common, especially in those who eat a Western diet high in red meats, fats, and sugars, and low in fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, carbonated sodas deplete the body’s supply of magnesium. Americans, both young and old, gulp down these dangerous sodas at a frantic pace. As many as 75 percent of Americans eat diets deficient in magnesium, and two-thirds of these people are significantly deficient.

Magnesium is critical for the healthy function of blood vessels as well as for every tissue and organ in the body. Consider some of its important functions:

• Produces energy Continue reading

High Alpha-Carotene Levels Associated With Longer Life

High blood levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene appear to be associated with a reduced risk of dying over a 14-year period, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the March 28 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Oxygen-related damage to DNA, proteins and fats may play a role in the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer, according to background information in the article. Carotenoids-including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene-are produced by plants and microorganisms and act as antioxidants, counteracting this damage. Carotenoids in the human body are obtained mainly through eating fruits and vegetables rich in the nutrients, or through antioxidant supplements.

Although studies suggest eating more fruits and vegetables is associated with lower risk of chronic diseases, randomized controlled trials have not shown any benefit for beta-carotene supplements, the authors note. “Therefore, carotenoids other than beta-carotene may contribute to the reduction in disease risk, and their effects on risk of disease merit investigation,” the authors write.

Chaoyang Li, M.D., Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, and colleagues assessed the relationship between alpha-carotene and the risk of death among 15,318 adults age 20 and older who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study. Participants underwent a medical examination and provided blood samples between 1988 and 1994, and were followed through 2006 to determine whether and how they died.

Over the course of the study, 3,810 participants died; the risk for dying was lower with higher levels of alpha-carotene in the blood. Compared with individuals with blood alpha-carotene levels between 0 and 1 micrograms per deciliter, the risk of death during the study period was 23 percent lower among who had concentrations between 2 and 3 micrograms per deciliter, 27 percent lower with levels between 4 and 5 micrograms per deciliter, 34 percent lower with levels between 6 and 8 micrograms per deciliter and 39 percent lower with levels of 9 micrograms per deciliter or higher.

Higher alpha-carotene concentration also appeared to be associated with lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer individually, and of all other causes. “The association between serum alpha-carotene concentrations and risk of death from all causes was significant in most subgroups stratified by demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits and health risk factors,” the authors write.

Alpha-carotene is chemically similar to beta-carotene but may be more effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the brain, liver and skin, they note. “Moreover, results from a population-based case-control study of the association between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and risk of lung cancer suggest that consumption of yellow-orange (carrots, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and winter squash) and dark-green (broccoli, green beans, green peas, spinach, turnips greens, collards and leaf lettuce) vegetables, which have a high alpha-carotene content, was more strongly associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer than was consumption of all other types of vegetables,” the authors write.

The results support increasing fruit and vegetable consumption as a way of preventing premature death, and suggest a need for clinical research into the health benefits of alpha-carotene, they conclude.

Home Remedies Series – Intestinal Worms

Symptoms

Diarrhea, foul breath, dark circles under the eyes

The usual symptoms of intestinal worms are diarrhea, foul breath, dark circles under the eyes, constant desire for food, restlessness at night with bad dreams, anemia, and headaches

Inflammation of the intestine and lungs, nausea, vomiting

Round-worms may give rise to inflammation of the intestine and lungs, nausea, vomiting, loss of weight, fever, nervousness, and irritability.

Anemia and nutritional disorders, constipation, loss of weight

Threadworms may cause intense itching in the area around the rectum. They may also cause periodic bouts of diarrhea alternating with constipation, loss of weight, cough, and fever. Hookworms may give rise to anemia and nutritional disorders. The eggs of these parasites are introduced into the human system through the medium of food or water.

Intestinal worms causes

Contaminated food, dirty fingers and food

Roundworms are caused by eating contaminated food. Threadworms may enter the body from dirty fingers and food.

Enter the human body through bare foot

Hookworms enter the human body through bare foot walking on infected earth. Tapeworms are transmitted to the body through undercooked flesh foods or foods contaminated by dogs.

Faulty living

The real cause of intestinal worms, however, is faulty living. The eggs of these worms, taken into the human body through food, and water, can breed in the intestines only if they find there a suitable medium for their propagation. This medium is an intestinal tract clogged with morbid matter.

 

Home Remedies for Intestinal Worms

Intestinal Worms treatment using Coconut

Among the numerous home remedies found beneficial in the treatment of intestinal worms, the use of coconut is most effective. It is an ancient remedy for expelling all kinds of intestinal worms. A tablespoon of freshly ground coconut should be taken at breakfast, followed by 30 to 60 ml of castor oil mixed with 250 to 375 ml of lukewarm milk after three hours. This process may be repeated till the cure is complete.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Garlic

Garlic has been used from ancient times by the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Indians, and Babylonians for expelling intestinal worms. It is still used by modern medical practitioners for the same purpose. Both fresh garlic and its oil are effective. An ancient method of its administration was to place a couple of cloves fresh garlic in each shoe. As the person walked, the cloves got crushed, and the worm-killing garlic oil was absorbed by the skin and carried by the blood into the intestines easily, as it possessed a powerful penetrative force. This ancient method is worth a trial by those who do no not like the taste of garlic and cannot eat it. Those who can eat raw garlic, however, should chew three cloves of garlic every morning.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Carrot

Carrots are valuable in the elimination of threadworms among children as they are offensive to all parasites. A small cup of grated carrot taken every morning, with no other food added to the meal, can clear these worms quickly.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Papaya

The digestive enzyme papain in the milky juice of the unripe papaya is a powerful agent for destroying roundworms. A tablespoon of the fresh juice of an unripe papaya, and an equal quantity of honey should be mixed with three to four tablespoons of hot water and taken as a dose by an adult. This should be followed two hours later by a dose of 30 to 60 ml of castor oil mixed in 250-375 ml of lukewarm milk. This treatment should be repeated for two days if necessary. For children between seven to ten years of age, half the above doses should be given. For children under three years, a tablespoon is sufficient. Papaya seeds are also useful for this purpose. They are rich in a substance called caricin which is a very effective medicine for expelling roundworms. The seeds should be powdered and taken in doses of one teaspoon with one cup of milk or water daily in the morning on an empty stomach. The alkaloid carpaine found in papaya leaves also has the power to destroy or expel intestinal worms. An infusion can be made by pouring 250 ml of boiling water over 15 gm of dry leaves. This can be taken with honey.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Pomegranate

The bark, both of the root and the stems of the pomegranate tree, is well known for its anthelmintic properties of destroying parasitic worms. The bark of the root is, however, preffered as it contains a greater quantity of the alkaloid punicine than the bark of the stem. This alkaloid is highly toxic to tapeworms. A cold decoction of the bark, preferably fresh bark, should be given in quantities of 90 to 180 ml three times, at intervals of one hour, to an adult. A purgative should be given after the last dose. The dose for children is 30 to 60 ml. The decoction is also used for expelling tapeworms.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Pumpkin

The seeds of ripe pumpkin are useful in intestinal worms, especially tapeworms. One tablespoon of the seeds should be peeled and crushed, and then infused in 250 ml of boiling water and drunk. This will kill the parasites and help in expelling the tapeworms. It will be necessary to fast for a day and empty the intestines by taking the juice of boiled dry prunes. The next day, three or four tumblers of the pumpkin seed infusion should be taken.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Wormwood

The herb wormwood is an ancient cure for expelling intestinal worms. It was extensively used by the Greeks and Romans for this purpose. The flowering tops have been and are, to this day, largely used in the Tibbi (Unani) system of medicine in India as a drug to kill intestinal worms. They are usually powdered and given in eight to sixteen gram doses daily for roundworms and tapeworms. The oil distilled from this plant also possesses the property to kill worms.It should be mixed with olive oil, the latter being eight times the weight of the former.This mixture can be given in doses of 50 to 100 ml for this purpose. An infusion of the herb can also be prepared by mixing 2 ml of wormwood oil in 120 ml of water, and be given as an enema for killing worms in the rectum.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Belleric Myroblan

The herb belleric myroblan, mixed with the seeds of the herb butea ( palas ) on a 50:50 basis is an excellent anthelmintic. It should be given in doses of one teaspoon thrice a day. It helps remove all intestinal parasites. The seeds of butea can also be administered alone with beneficial results in expelling intestinal worms. One teaspoon of seeds may be given either in the form of powder or paste with one teaspoon of honey, thrice daily. They are specially beneficial in the treatment of roundworms and tapeworms.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Vasaka

The leaves, bark, rout-bark, fruit, and the flowers of vasaka tree also help in removing intestinal parasites. A decoction of the root and bark can be prepared by boiling 30 gm of the root and bark in 500 ml of water, till it is reduced by one-third. This decoction may be given in doses of 30ml twice or thrice daily for two or three days. The juice of the fresh leaves can also be used in doses of a teaspoon thrice a day for three days.

Intestinal Worms treatment using Calamus

Another valuable remedy for expelling intestinal worms is the herb calamus. The bitter element in this herb, acorin, is an anthelmintic.

Intestinal Worms diet

Fresh-fruit diet

The treatment for intestinal worms should begin with diet. The patient should be kept on an exclusive fresh-fruit diet for four or five days.

Well-balanced diet

Thereafter, he may adopt a well-balanced light diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, milk, and wholemeal bread.

Exclude fatty foods such as cream, oil, butter

The diet should exclude fatty foods such as butter, cream, and oil, and all flesh foods.

Short fast of raw fruit and vegetable juices

In some cases, the all-fruit diet may have to he repeated at intervals and in obstinate cases, the patient should resort to a short fast of raw fruit and vegetable juices.

Other intestinal worms treatment

Warm-water enema – During the all-fruit or fasting period, the bowel should be cleansed daily with a warm-water enema.

Antifungal Effects of Pumpkin Protein

BEVERLY HILLS – Pumpkin rinds contain a protein that may help fight against fungal infections, researchers report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

The protein, called Pr-2, exhibited antifungal effects against 10 different species, including Candida albicans, which is a common cause of yeast infections and diaper rash. Pr-2 also inhibited the growth of several fungi that are known to infect crops. The authors suggest that Pr-2 may work by targeting the cell wall of the fungi. However, the protein did not exhibit antibacterial effects.

Pumpkin has traditionally been used to treat many other types of medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but evidence of effectiveness has not been proven.

Although the results are promising, additional research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.