The Health Benefits of Vinegar: Real or Imagined?

vinegar_healthAnecdotes about the health benefits of vinegar proliferate wildly, as do claims by skeptics that it is nothing more than placebo medicine. So, what does the scientific evidence actually say?

According to a recent review published in MedGenMed titled, “Vinegar: Medicinal Uses & Antiglycemic Effect,” which set out to examine the scientific evidence for the medicinal uses of vinegar, folklore concerning vinegar’s discovery stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history:

Legend states that a courtier Continue reading

4 Ways Probiotics Can Reduce Infections, Flus and Colds

Probiotics are bacteria or yeast introduced to the body to aid in total body health.

It may seem counterproductive to purposely consume microorganisms but our body naturally contains many beneficial bacteria – the digestive system alone contains more than 500 such organisms – that help to keep our complex processes running smoothly.

Maintaining the proper balance is crucial to our health. Both good and Continue reading

How Diet and Supplements Can Help Prevent Migraines

An estimated 26 million Americans suffer with migraines. Approximately 80 percent of them are women. All in all, about one in five women get migraines while only one in 16 men get them, according to migraines.org.1 About 60 percent of women affected have menstrual-related migraines, meaning it tends to coincide with their menstrual cycle.

A migraine headache is characterized as an intense throbbing or pulsing headache, Continue reading

Drink This to Improve Lactose Intolerance

kefirDo you know anything about kefir? Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly microorganisms, much like yogurt.

In recent health news, however, some health pundits say kefir may be more nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, ounce for ounce. Kefir could help in the reduction of lactose intolerance symptoms, in the stimulation of Continue reading

Prebiotics vs. Probiotics; Is One Better Than the Other?

You’ve probably heard something about “probiotics” in the news or at the grocery store. Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria. They help your digestive system work efficiently — both to digest and absorb nutrients and to remove toxins. Probiotic supplements can literally contain billions Continue reading

Using Coconut Oil for Natural Candida Treatment as Well as Alzheimer’s

Did You Know…that an exciting new natural Candida treatment is also one of the best remedies for Alzheimer’s prevention?

Caprylic acid (a medium-chain triglyceride) is an anti-fungal agent found naturally in coconuts. It’s also the active ingredient in a new medical food validated by scientific research as an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s. The medical food is being marketed under the name Axona. Continue reading

Gas Pump Handles are Filthiest Surfaces Americans touch

Gas pump handles are swarming with loads of bacteria and viruses. They have been identified as the dirtiest surface Americans encounter on the way to work, according to a recently released study by Kimberley-Clark Professional, a unit of personal hygiene giant Kimberley-Clark Corp.

A team of hygienists test-swabbed hundreds of surfaces in U.S. cities to see what objects we touch every day, that breed the worst kinds of bacteria and viruses. These swabs were taken in big cities such as Chicago, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

Gas pumps turned out to be number one on the list, as breeding grounds for all sorts of filthy bacteria and bugs. Continue reading

Kombucha Tea Could Fight Cell Death

Kombucha tea is a little different from regular tea. It’s a special concoction made from tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. This drink is sometimes called kombucha mushroom tea. Kombucha isn’t actually a mushroom though — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding this colony of bacteria and yeast to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The tea contains vinegar, B vitamins and a host of other chemical compounds.

There have been many health benefits attributed to Kombucha tea, but little scientific evidence to back up these claims. It might be worthwhile, therefore, to take a look at the results of a new clinical trial that verifies at least one health benefit associated with the fermented drink: improved liver health.

Researchers at the Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology in Jadavpur University, India, investigated the antioxidant property of kombucha tea. Specifically, the researchers wanted to know how kombucha tea would perform when pitted against cytotoxicity induced by tertiary butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) in mice liver cells. TBPH is organic peroxide that causes oxidative stress resulting in organ disease.

The researchers found that exposure to TBHP  Continue reading

Kefir the Powerhouse of Probiotics

Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered ‘super-foods.’ Kefir is a fermented drink made from a kefir grain of symbiotic microorganisms wrapped up in a matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars. Kefir grains are white clumps that contain a wide variety of bacteria and yeast. Kefir is one of the best drinks for improving digestion and natural immunity.

Kefir is believed to have been first developed in the Caucasus Mountains of western Russia. The shepherds there used to carry milk in leather pouches. Sometimes the milk would sit for several days and ferment. The fermentation gave it an effervescent taste that was cool and refreshing. These cultures later found that kefir made a great natural medicine that was used to help digestive disorders, low energy, and compromised immune function. Continue reading

What you Need to Know about Vegan Health

If you prefer to sink your teeth into a savory soy burger instead of a succulent steak, your body may be missing out on some vital nutrients. Although animal-free diets are often heart-healthy, they may also put you at risk for certain deficiencies. Here are some tips for eating healthy the vegan way.

One major pro to a plant-heavy diet: Studies show that diets rich in plant foods may help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity. However, many vegans risk deficiency in some key nutrients: protein, calcium, B12, iron, and vitamin D. Pregnant women should take extra care to ensure adequate intake of these nutrients.

Where’s the Beef? Power Up with Protein Continue reading

Super Healing Powers Found in these Nutritious Foods

As part of a healthy diet, whole foods play a significant role in helping our bodies function at their best. There are hundreds of extremely nutritious whole foods, but the dozen on this list do more than contribute healthy nutrients — they help you heal. In fact, every food on this list boasts multiple healing effects, from fighting cancer to reducing cholesterol, guarding against heart disease, and more. Eat these super-healing picks and start feeling pretty super yourself.

Kiwifruit

This tiny, nutrient-dense fruit packs an amazing amount of vitamin C (double the amount found in oranges), has more fiber than apples, and beats bananas as a high-potassium food. The unique blend of phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals  Continue reading

Best Ever Home Remedies for Headaches

More than 45 million Americans not only get headaches, but they also get them time and time again. Some people are born with biology that makes them headache prone. Most of these are tension headaches, which account for 90%of all headaches. The pain is typically generalized all over the head, and you may feel a dull ache or a sense of tightness.

But an estimated 28 million people experience migraine headaches, which are even worse. Migraine is a complex disease that causes severe and often disabling pain, usually located on one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea, light and noise sensitivity, and other symptoms. Lots of things can set off a migraine attack, including changing hormone levels, poor eating or sleeping habits, dehydration, stress, weather or altitude changes, or more.

When you’re in pain, and ibuprofen just won’t cut it, try these natural pain relievers.

Headaches aren’t fun for anyone and are especially crippling for migraine sufferers. OTC medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen can help, but you have to be careful not to overuse them, which can lead to a rebound effect that makes symptoms worse. Here are the best home remedies to prevent headaches and help them get better faster. 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.