Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

  • You’re chances of dying are greater in the taxi cab on the way to/from an airport than on the actual flight itself.

  • Having excessive body hair is linked to higher intellect.

 

  • Honey is the only natural food that is made without destroying any kind of life.

  • A woman will base 55% of her initial impression of a man on his appearance, 38% on his style of speaking, and 7% on what he actually says.

 

~ Happy Friday!~


Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

  • North American school buses are yellow because humans see yellow faster than any other color, which is important for avoiding accidents.
  • People fall in love on average 7 times before marriage.
  • Studies have shown that eating food without preservatives can improve I.Q by up to 14%.
  • Psychologists have found that whenever you’re in a bad mood, you can feel better just by forcing yourself to smile.
  • A teaspoon of honey is actually the lifework of 12 bees.
preservatives
  • Washing your hands makes you more optimistic.
  • Shy people tend have great observational skills, making it easier to recognize the core of a problem then solving it.
  • Pineapples are not a single fruit, but a group of berries that have fused together.
  • Pumpkin is not a vegetable, scientifically it is a berry.

Happy Friday  
🙂

 source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


Leave a comment

Fun Fact Friday

 

  • You can actually be addicted to cheese. When your body digests it, opiates are released, triggering the addictive element.
  • Bees are directly responsible for the production of 70% of fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that we consume on a daily basis.
  • Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents.
  • Honey is the only natural food that is made without destroying any kind of life.
honey
Honey is the only natural food
that is made without destroying any kind of life.

 

  • Crying keeps you healthy by literally flushing away harmful bacteria and reducing stress.
  • Physical touch makes you healthier. Studies show that massages, hugs, and hand-holding reduces stress and boosts the immune system.
  • When feeling down, do some cleaning. Straightening out the physical aspects of your life can also bring clarity to the mental one.
  • Intelligent people are more forgetful than those with average intelligence.

Happy Friday  
🙂

 

source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


6 Comments

9 Reasons To Eat Honey Daily

 The possible health benefits of honey have been documented in early Greek, Roman, Vedic, and Islamic texts and healing qualities of honey were referred to by philosophers and scientists all the way back to ancient times, such as Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Aristoxenus (320 BC). – Joseph Nordqvist, Medical News Daily
For something that tastes so good, honey isn’t consumed all that often. Besides being delicious, honey is also densely packed with valuable nutrition, such as nutrients. Honey is also quite healthy: a tablespoon of raw, unadulterated honey contains 64 calories, and is free from cholesterol, fat, and sodium.
The ideal nutritional composition of honey almost assuredly helps give the natural sweeter its health-promoting properties. Here, we’re going to discuss nine such health benefits of this sweet nectar.

HERE ARE NINE AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF HONEY:

1. RELIEVES ALLERGIES
Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that many believe can help with reducing allergic reactions. Honey itself contains traces of pollen that can initiate an immune response when exposed to it. Over time, the body will produce enough antibodies to the pollen, which effectively causes the body to release less histamine. Consequently, the body will exhibit a more limited immune response.
2. SUPPRESSES COUGH
The viscus texture of honey causes it to accumulate a sort-of coat around the throat area. This coating can help with throat irritation often experienced during a coughing episode. Honey also stimulates the nerve endings of the throat, which serves as a protection mechanism while coughing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a comprehensive study pertaining to the cough suppression properties of honey. Using three different honey varieties – citrus, eucalyptus, and labiatae – researchers administered a 10-gram dose to 300 children aged 1 to 5 years. According to the study, “there was significant improvement from the night before treatment to the night of treatment.”
3. NATURALLY PROMOTES SLEEP
Honey can be a beneficial for a sleepless night. Consuming honey causes an increase in serotonin and insulin levels, while the body systematically converts them into melatonin – a compound that both promotes and regulates sleep. Consequently, consuming honey improves both the desired duration and quality of one’s sleep.
4. TREATS BURNS AND WOUNDS
It surprises many to learn that honey is a natural antibiotic. Medically, the antibiotic uses for honey span a multitude of both internal and external uses. It is a natural disinfectant against many bacteria, making it a powerful agent against wounds and sores.
Honey

In a study published by the British Journal of Medicine, honey was applied to 59 patients that had failed to heal using traditional medicine. Astonishingly, 58 of the 59 patients showed “remarkable improvement” after honey was applied to the wound.

5. IMPROVES MEMORY
Oxidation of the brain can lead to structural damage and cognitive decline. Honey products help in this regard, as the substance contains high levels of antioxidants that may reverse this adverse effect. Honey also helps to absorb calcium – a vital nutrient for brain nourishment. It is believed that these two mechanisms of honey can aid cognition, including memory.
6. PROVIDES ENERGY
Honey can also provide a much-needed energy spike. This all-natural sweetener contains fructose and glucose, which can quickly enter the bloodstream and produce a burst of energy. Even those seeking to gain muscle mass can benefit from the unique energy properties of honey. Honey which can actually help them build bulk via release of insulin-life growthfactor-1 (IGF-1).
7. TREATS DANDRUFF
Kind of an odd-one-out sort of deal here, but as already mentioned, honey is a potent natural healer for the skin. In a study published by the US National Library of Medicine, patients that applied diluted honey to areas of flaking scalp three hours before rinsing “responded markedly with application.” In the same study, scalp itching disappeared within one week; skin lesions in two weeks, and some patients even showed “subjective improvement in hair loss.”
8. HELPS ACID REFLUX
According to RefluxMD, honey supposedly reduces the symptoms of acid reflux. Honey coats the lining of the esophagus, which may lead to soothing of irritation. Consumption of honey is also thought to counteract any internal damage caused by acid reflux. Further, the heavy concentrations of enzymes within honey assists with digestion, which may help to prevent the occurrence of acid reflux. So, forget the Alka-Seltzer…reach for the honey!
9. STRENGTHENS THE GUT
Honey can be used as a prebiotic, which in turn provides sustenance to the healthy bacteria in our gut. Healthy bacteria are required to properly digest food, absorb nutrients, and equalize the immune system. It is also suggested that honey, because of its prebiotic properties, can deter problematic digestive conditions such as Celiac Disease, Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and others.


3 Comments

Drink a Little Bit Of This To Fall Asleep Fast and Stay Asleep

When we think of the best foods to eat at night, raw honey might not pop into our heads because of how sweet it is, and eating anything sweet before bed typically doesn’t end well.

But raw honey is different because of its natural composition, to the point where some doctors are even recommending it be taken before bedtime.

Among them is Dr. Ron Fessenden, MD, who authored the book ‘The Honey Revolution: Restoring the Health of Future Generations.’

Fessenen is among those recommending honey as an ideal food for many reasons and to be taken at many different times of day, but perhaps most interestingly before bed in order to support a healthy night’s sleep.

Honey may be one of the sweetest foods out there, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful for your body as it undergoes the repairing process overnight.

As always make sure your honey is raw and organic, since most grocery store brands are imported, contain GMOs, and are oftentimes heated so that many of the beneficial compounds are destroyed in the name of “safety.” In this case it’s best to buy it directly from the farmer.

How raw honey aids in sleep quality (and quantity)

As noted by Fessenden, raw honey contains “an ideal ratio of fructose to glucose,’ to support the liver, an organ that works overtime literally and figuratively, during the sleeping process.

Eating honey ensures that the liver will have an adequate supply of liver glycogen throughout the day, and taking it before bedtime can serve as the perfect liver fuel at night. Combined with adequate, pure water, your body should have most of what it needs to perform its restorative and detoxing functions.

honey

According to this blog post from Fessenden, honey promotes a truly deep and restorative sleep in two main ways.

First, it allows for an adequate supply of liver glycogen overnight while your body is fasting and stores are low. He notes that the average adult liver only has about 75 to 100 grams worth of storage space for glycogen, which varies between men and women of different body sizes.

Per hour the body consumes about 10 grams of glycogen during the day, leaving our stores quite low by the time our heads hit the pillow at 11 p.m.

That leaves less liver glycogen than is needed for eight hours of sleep if you ate dinner at 6 p.m., Fessenden says.

However, if you take a teaspoon or two of honey before bed, you’ll be re-stocking your liver with glycogen so that your brain doesn’t activate a stress response, which often occurs when glycogen is low. Honey also contributes to the release of melatonin in the brain, as it leads to a slight spike in insulin levels and the release of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan leads to serontonin which is made into melatonin in the dark.

Finally, when adding honey to your diet at night, you’ll be supporting a healthy metabolism as your liver goes to work breaking down the toxins that are ultimately stored in fat cells.

Other health benefits of honey

In addition to the ability to help us have a restful night’s sleep, honey has a wide range of benefits that have been tested throughout time.

Honey virtually never spoils, as it has been found in Egyptian tombs still intact after many hundreds of years.

The popular sweetener is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, excellent for reducing throat irritation, great for athletes, and much more, as this article notes.

Regardless of how you use your honey, don’t forget to buy organic and raw from a local farmer: the benefits of honey have been enjoyed for thousands of years, but they just don’t make it the way they used to anymore (unless you buy from a trustworthy organic farmer or beekeeper, that is).


4 Comments

Health Benefits of Honey

Honey has been used by countless cultures all around the world over the past 2,500 years. While the numerous health benefits of honey have made it an important element of traditional medicines such as Ayurvedic treatments, scientists are also researching the benefits of honey in relation to modern medicine, particularly in the healing of wounds.

It is known as Honig in German, Miele in Italian, Shahad in Hindi, Miel in French and Spanish, Mel in Portuguese, мед in Russian, Honing in Dutch, and μελι in Greek; there is almost no part in the world where honey is not widely used and celebrated as a part of the cultural diet.

But what makes honey so popular? Most likely, it is the ease with which it can be consumed. One can eat honey directly, put it on bread like a jam, mix it with juice or any drink instead of sugar, or mix it with warm water, lime juice, cinnamon and other herbs to make a medicine. It is savored by all due to its taste as well as health benefits, making it extremely useful and versatile.

honey

Health Benefits of Honey

The health benefits of honey include the following treatments, taken from both traditional and modern medical experts.

Sweetener: Sugar can be substituted with honey in many food and drinks. Honey contains about 69% glucose and fructose, enabling it to be used as a sweetener that is better for your overall health than normal white sugar.

Weight Loss: Though honey has more calories than sugar, when honey is consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey and lemon juice as well as honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. Read more about the benefits of honey in weight loss.

Energy Source: According to the USDA, honey contains about 64 calories per tablespoon. Therefore, honey is used by many people as a source of energy. On the other hand, one tablespoon of sugar will give you about 15 calories. Furthermore, the carbohydrates in honey can be easily converted into glucose by even the most sensitive stomachs, since it is very easy for the body to digest this pure, natural substance.

Improving Athletic Performance: Recent research has shown that honey is an excellent ergogenic aid and helps in boosting the performance of athletes. Honey is a great way to maintain blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout, as well as regulating the amount of insulin in the body, as well as energy expenditure.

Source of Vitamins and Minerals: Honey contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. The type of vitamins and minerals and their quantity depends on the type of flowers used for apiculture. Commonly, honey contains Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. If you check the vitamin and mineral content in regular sugar from any other source, you will find it to be completely absent or insignificant.

Antibacterial and Antifungal Properties: Honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so it is often used as a natural antiseptic in traditional medicines.

Antioxidants: Honey contains nutraceuticals, which are very effective for the removal of free radicals from the body. As a result, our body immunity is improved against many conditions, even potentially fatal ones like cancer or heart disease.

Skin Care with Milk and Honey: Milk and honey are often served together, since both of these ingredients help in creating smooth, beautiful skin. Consuming milk and honey every morning is a common practice in many countries for this very reason.

Honey in Wound Management:  Significant research is being carried out to study the benefits of honey in the treatment of wounds. The Nursing Standard explains some of these benefits of honey in wound management in the document. These have been listed below:

  • Honey possesses antimicrobial properties.
  • It helps in promoting autolytic debridement.
  • It deodorizes malodorous wounds.
  • It speeds up the healing process by stimulating wound tissues.
  • It helps in initiating the healing process in dormant wounds.
  • Honey also helps in promoting moist wound healing.

The healing powers of honey are not overstated. The Waikato Honey Research Unit provides details about the world-wide research that is being carried out on the benefits of honey in medicine. Furthermore, BBC reported in July of 2006 that doctors at the Christie Hospital in Didsbury, Manchester are planning to use honey for faster recovery of cancer patients after surgery. Such research will provide scientific evidence for the so-called “beliefs” held by honey lovers all over the world and will help in propagating the benefits of honey to more people.

Now that you know the benefits of honey, how do you eat it? You can eat it raw, add it to water or different beverages and you can also add it to several recipes.


1 Comment

5 Honey Facts You Might Not Know

October 20, 2014      By Dr. Mercola

Honey has been valued as a natural sweetener long before sugar became widely available in the 16th century. Honey production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, for instance, while animals other than humans – bears, badgers, and more – have long raided honeybee hives, risking stings for the sweet reward.1

Honey is truly a remarkable substance, made even more extraordinary by the process with which it is made. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is quite unlike any other sweetener on the planet.

And while honey is high in fructose, it has many health benefits when used in moderation (assuming you’re healthy). Before I delve into those, here’s a brief “lesson” on how honey is made…

How Honey Is Made (Fascinating!)

It takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.2

Once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and then passes it (via regurgitation) to another bee’s mouth. This process is repeated until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb.

Once there, the honeybees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, helping the water to evaporate and create the thick substance you know as “honey.” This honeycomb is then sealed with a liquid secretion from the bee’s abdomen, which hardens into beeswax. As Live Science reported:3

“Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.”

There are more than 300 kinds of honey in the US, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent upon the nectar source. Lighter colored honeys, such as those made from orange blossoms, tend to be milder in flavor while darker-colored honeys, like those made from wildflowers, tend to have a more robust flavor.4

5 Honey Facts You Might Not Know

Honey, particularly in its raw form, offers unique health benefits that you might not be aware of. Among them…

1. Honey Makes Excellent Cough “Medicine”

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists honey as a demulcent, which is a substance that relieves irritation in your mouth or throat by forming a protective film.5

Research shows honey works as well as dextromethorphan, a common ingredient in over the counter cough medications, to soothe cough and related sleeping difficulties due to upper respiratory tract infections in children.6

2. Honey Can Treat Wounds

Honey was a conventional therapy in fighting infection up until the early 20th century, at which time its use slowly vanished with the advent of penicillin. Now the use of honey in wound care is regaining popularity, as researchers are determining exactly how honey can help fight serious skin infections.

Honey has antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidants activities that make it ideal for treating wounds. In the US, Derma Sciences uses Manuka honey for their Medihoney wound and burn dressings.

Manuka honey is made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush (a medicinal plant), and clinical trials have found this type of honey can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria, including resistant varieties such as:

  • MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)
  • MSSA (methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus)
  • VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci)

Compared to other types of honey, Manuka has an extra ingredient with antimicrobial qualities, called the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). It is so called because no one has yet been able to discover the unique substance involved that gives it its extraordinary antibacterial activity.

Honey releases hydrogen peroxide through an enzymatic process, which explains its general antiseptic qualities, but active Manuka honey contains “something else” that makes it far superior to other types of honey when it comes to killing off bacteria.7

That being said, research shows that any type of unprocessed honey helped wounds and ulcers heal. In one study, 58 of 59 wounds showed “remarkable improvement following topical application of honey.”8

3. Honey Improves Your Scalp

Honey diluted with a bit of warm water was shown to significantly improve seborrheic dermatitis, which is a scalp condition that causes dandruff and itching. After applying the solution every other day for four weeks, “all of the patients responded markedly.” According to the researchers:9

“Itching was relieved and scaling was disappeared within one week. Skin lesions were healed and disappeared completely within 2 weeks. In addition, patients showed subjective improvement in hair loss.”

4. Help Boost Your Energy

A healthy, whole-food diet and proper sleep is the best recipe for boundless energy, but if you’re looking for a quick energy boost, such as before or after a workout, honey can suffice. This is particularly true for athletes looking for a “time-released fuel” to provide energy over a longer duration.10

5. Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Locally produced honey, which will contain pollen spores picked up by the bees from local plants, introduces a small amount of allergen into your system. Theoretically, this can activate your immune system and over time can build up your natural immunity against it.

The typical recommendation is to take about a teaspoon-full of locally produced honey per day, starting a few months PRIOR to the pollen season, to allow your system to build up immunity. And the key here is local.

This approach only works because it has pollen of local plants you may be allergic to. Honey from other parts of the country simply won’t work. While research on this has yielded conflicting results, one study found that, during birch pollen season, compared to the control group, the patients using birch pollen honey experienced:11

  • 60 percent reduction in symptoms
  • Twice as many asymptomatic days
  • 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms
  • 50 percent decrease in usage of antihistamines

Interestingly enough, there were few differences between the two honey groups (those who took regular honey, versus those who took honey that contained birch pollen.) However, the birch pollen honey group used less histamines than those who used regular honey. The authors concluded:

“Patients who pre-seasonally used birch pollen honey had significantly better control of their symptoms than did those on conventional medication only, and they had marginally better control compared to those on regular honey. The results should be regarded as preliminary, but they indicate that birch pollen honey could serve as a complementary therapy for birch pollen allergy.”

honey



Honey for Herpes

Good-quality honey offers several topical wound-care benefits that can explain some of its success as a remedy for herpes sores:

  • It draws fluid away from your wound
  • The high sugar content suppresses microorganism growth
  • Worker bees secrete an enzyme (glucose oxidase) into the nectar, which then releases low levels of hydrogen peroxide when the honey makes contact with your wound

In one study, 16 adult subjects with a history of recurrent labial and genital herpes attacks used honey to treat one attack, and a commonly prescribed antiviral drug, Acyclovir cream, during another. (It’s important to realize that neither the drug nor the honey will actually cure genital herpes. They only treat the symptoms.)

Interestingly, honey provided significantly better treatment results. For labial herpes, the mean healing time was 43 percent better, and for genital herpes, 59 percent better than acyclovir. Pain and crusting was also significantly reduced with the honey, compared to the drug. Two cases of labial herpes and one case of genital herpes remitted completely with the honey treatment, whereas none remitted while using acyclovir.12

3 DIY Honey Home Remedies

Honey is a humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture, making it an ideal addition to moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners. Along with its antimicrobial properties, honey makes a wonderful addition to homemade personal care products. The National Honey Board has a few you can try out for yourself:13

  1. Honey Hair Conditioner: Mix ½ cup honey with ¼ cup olive oil. Work a small amount through your hair until coated. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let sit for 30 minutes. Shampoo as normal and rinse.
  2. Honey Body Moisturizer: Mix 5 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons rose oil, and 2 cups almond oil in a medium-sized bottle. Apply as needed onto wet skin.
  3. Honey Almond Scrub: Mix 3 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 6 ½ tablespoons of finely crushed almonds. Rub the exfoliating scrub onto your face gently and rinse with warm water.

The Organic Consumers Association has also published this simple honey lemon cough syrup that’s useful to keep on hand during the winter months:14

Honey Lemon Cough Syrup 

Lemon helps promote health by quickly alkalinizing your body, and honey will kill most bacteria while soothing your throat. This is a perfect choice for a quick cough remedy.

  • Put a pint of raw honey in a pan on the stove on VERY low heat (Do not boil honey as this changes its medicinal properties).
  • Take a whole lemon and boil in some water in a separate pan for 2-3 minutes to both soften the lemon and kill any bacteria that may be on the lemon skin.
  • Let the lemon cool enough to handle then cut it in slices and add it to the pint of honey on the stove.
  • Let mixture cook on warm heat for about an hour.
  • Then strain the lemon from the honey making sure all lemon seeds are removed.
  • Let cool, then bottle in a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator.

This syrup will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. To soothe a cough, take 1/2 teaspoon for a 25 lb. child and 1 teaspoon for a 50 lb. child, about 4 times a day, or as often as needed. Adults can take 1-tablespoon doses.

Is Honey a Healthy Natural Sweetener? How to Avoid Fake Honey

As far as natural sweeteners go, honey does have a place. The main thing to remember when it comes to honey is that not all honey is created equal. The antibacterial activity in some honeys is 100 times more potent than in others, while processed refined honey will lack many of these beneficial properties altogether. Your average domestic “Grade A” type honey found in the grocery store is likely highly processed.

It’s also been found that more than 75 percent of the honey on American supermarket shelves may be ultra-processed—to the point that all inherent medicinal properties are completely gone—and then smuggled into the country by the barrel drum. Nearly all of this “fake” honey is made in China. Some of these brokers will even create bogus country of origin papers. All 60 jars of “honey” tested by Food Safety News (FSN) came back negative for pollen, which is a clear sign of ultra-processing.15 According to FSN:

“The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world’s food safety agencies. The food safety divisions of the World Health Organization, the European Commission and dozens of others have also ruled that without pollen, there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.”

In their investigation, FSN discovered the following:

  • 76 percent of honey samples bought at grocery stores (such as TOP Food, Safeway, QFC, Kroger, Harris Teeter, etc.) were absent of pollen
  • 77 percent of the honey from big box stores (like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target) were absent of pollen
  • 100 percent of the honey sampled from drug stores (like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS Pharmacy) were absent of pollen

The good news is all of the samples from farmers markets, co-ops, and natural stores like Trader Joe’s had the full, proper compliment of pollen, as did organic brands from common grocery stores. When choosing honey, be sure it is raw, unfiltered, and 100% pure, from a trusted source.

Honey Should Be Consumed Only in Moderation

Honey has many healthy attributes, but it is also high in fructose, averaging around 53 percent. Each teaspoon of honey has nearly four grams of fructose, which means it can exacerbate pre-existing insulin resistance and wreak havoc on your body if consumed in excess. So when consuming honey, carefully add the total grams of fructose (including fruits) that you consume each day, and stay below 25 grams of total fructose per day.

Keep in mind, though, that if you have insulin resistance (i.e. if you are taking drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, or if you’re overweight) you’d be better off avoiding all sweeteners, including honey, since any sweetener can decrease your insulin sensitivity and worsen your insulin resistance. If you’re healthy, however, eating raw honey in moderation could provide many of the benefits listed above.

Sources and References
TIME October 4, 2014
1 LiveScience June 20, 2013
2 National Honey Board, Learn About Honey
3 LiveScience June 20, 2013
4 National Honey Board, How Honey is Made
5 TIME October 4, 2014
6 Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(12):1140-1146.
7 Microbiology January 31, 2012
8 Br J Surg. 1988 Jul;75(7):679-81.
9 Eur J Med Res. 2001 Jul 30;6(7):306-8.
10 TIME October 4, 2014
11 Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2011;155:160–166
12 Medical Science Monitor 10(8):MT94-98; August 2004
13 The National Honey Board Skin Care Recipes
14 Organic Consumers Association December 12, 2007
15 Food Safety News November 7, 2011


Leave a comment

Honey & Cinnamon

 Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a long history of use in both Eastern and Western cultures as a medicine. Some of its reported uses are in cases of arthritis, asthma, cancer, diarrhea, fever, heart problems, insomnia, menstrual problems, peptic ulcers, psoriasis, and spastic muscles. There are scientific studies to support some of these uses. Some of the confirmed effects of cinnamon are as a sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, carminative, digestant, anticonvulsant, diaphoretic, diuretic, antibiotic, and antiulcerative. One recent investigation of sixty people with type 2 diabetes demonstrated that 1 to 6 grams of cinnamon taken daily for forty days reduced fasting blood glucose by 18 to 29 percent, triglycerides by 23 to 30 percent, LDL (bad) cholesterol by 7 to 27 percent, and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent. In contrast, there were no clear changes for the subjects who did not take the cinnamon.

Cinnamon’s unique healing abilities come from three basic components in the essential oils found in its bark. These oils contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.

Cinnamon is often used in multicomponent Chinese herbal formulas, some of which have been studied for clinical effects. For example, cinnamon combined with Chinese thoroughwax (Bupleurum lactiflora) was shown to produce satisfactory results in the treatment of epilepsy. Out of 433 patients treated (most of whom were unresponsive to anticonvulsant drugs), 115 were cured and another 79 improved greatly. Improvements were noted not only by clinical symptoms, but also by improvements in brain wave patterns. Other clinical studies have shown cinnamon-containing formulas to be useful in cases of the common cold, influenza, and frostbite. However, it is not really known to what degree the improvements noted are actually due to the cinnamon versus the other components.


Honey

Referred to in ancient Sumerian, Vedic, Egyptian, and biblical writings, honey has been employed since ancient times for both nutrition and healing medicine. For centuries honey has been a multipurpose food, used to give homage to the gods and to help embalm the dead, as well as for medical and cosmetic purposes. Some evidence suggests that despite the risk of bee sting, collection of honey has occurred since 7000 B.C.E., and since at least 700 B.C.E., beekeeping for the production of honey (apiculture) has been used. To the surprise of the Spanish conquistadors, the natives of Central and South America were already keeping bees for the purpose of collecting honey when they arrived. Honey was considered a food of the rich for many years. More recently, honey has decreased in popularity as refined sugar, which is cheaper and sweeter, has replaced the sweet, viscous liquid in common households all over the world.


Honey is a source of riboflavin and vitamin B6. It also provides iron and manganese. A 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of honey provides 304 calories, mostly as 82.4 grams of carbohydrate, almost all of which is sugar, 0.3 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat. However, honey is more likely to be consumed by the tablespoon (15 grams), which provides 64 calories, 17.3 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.1 grams of protein.

The health benefits of a particular honey depend on its processing as well as the quality of the flowers the bees utilize when collecting the pollen. Raw honey is honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified, or filtered, and this form typically retains more of the healthful phytochemicals lost to the standard processing of honey. Propolis is a product of tree sap mixed with bee secretions that is used by bees to protect against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Propolis is unfortunately lost in honey processing, thus greatly reducing the level of phytochemicals known to protect against the germs; recent research suggests that these may also prevent certain types of cancer. Also important, healthy organic flowering plants will provide the raw nectar that will confer a higher-quality nutrient profile to the honey produced.

Within the propolis are well-researched phytochemicals that have cancer-preventing and antitumor properties. These substances include caffeic acid, methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, phenylethyl dimethycaffeate. Researchers have discovered that these substances in propolis prevent colon cancer in animals by shutting down the activity of two enzymes, phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C and lipoxygenase, that are involved in the production of cancer-causing compounds.

The following sections address the complete health benefits of honey in its raw form and of bee pollen, propolis, and royal jelly:

      Antioxidant Effects

Honey, particularly darker honey, such as buckwheat honey, is a rich source of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids, that exert significant antioxidant activity.

      Energy-Enhancing Effects

Honey is an excellent source of readily available carbohydrate, a chief source of quick energy.

      Wound-Healing Properties

The wound-healing properties of honey may be its most promising medicinal quality. Honey has been used topically as an antiseptic therapeutic agent for the treatment of ulcers, burns, and wounds for centuries.

      Anticancer Benefits

Propolis contains well-researched phytochemicals that have numerous cancer-preventing and antitumor properties.

source: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods 


Leave a comment

20 Pain Killers in your Kitchen

A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO TAKING MEDICATION
20 Painkillers in Your Kitchen

Make muscle pain a memory with ginger

When Danish researchers asked achy people to jazz up their diets with ginger, it eased muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 63 percent of them within two months. Experts credit ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended dose: Add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.

Cure a toothache with cloves

Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic. Bonus: Sprinkling a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your ticker. Scientists say this simple action helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as three weeks.

Heal heartburn with cider vinegar

Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before every meal, and experts say you could shut down painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. “Cider vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus, triggering heartburn pain,” explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, AL.


Erase earaches with garlic

Painful ear infections drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices every year. To cure one fast, just place two drops of warm garlic oil into your aching ear twice daily for five days. This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds, say experts at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria. To whip up your own garlic oil gently simmer three cloves of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks, suggests Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy. For an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.


Chase away joint and headache pain with cherries

Latest studies show that at least one in four women is struggling with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, a daily bowl of cherries could ease your ache, without the stomach upset so often triggered by today’s painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing ’s Michigan State University . Their research reveals that anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red color, are anti-inflammatories 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and aspirin. “Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat, many different kinds of pain,” explains Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of food science at Michigan State University . His advice: Enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily, then continue until your pain disappears.


Fight tummy troubles with fish
Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching 18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories, that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead , MA . For best results, look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.


Prevent PMS with yogurt
Up to 80 percent of women will struggle with premenstrual syndrome and its uncomfortable symptoms, report Yale researchers. The reason: Their nervous systems are sensitive to the ups and downs in estrogen and progesterone that occur naturally every month. But snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day can slash these symptoms by 48 percent, say researchers at New York ’s Columbia University . “Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux,” explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University .


Tame chronic pain with turmeric

Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually three times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50 percent of people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to Cornell researchers. That’s because turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, naturally shuts down cyclooxygenase 2, an enzyme that churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book, Reversing Diabetes. The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of this spice daily onto any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.


End endometrial pain with oats

The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating cells can turn menstruation into a misery, causing so much inflammation that they trigger severe cramping during your period, plus a heavy ache that drags on all month long. Fortunately, scientists say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for up to 60 percent of women within six months. That’s because oats don’t contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear, explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Colombia University .


Soothe foot pain with salt

Experts say at least six million Americans develop painful ingrown toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt water baths can cure these painful infections within four days, say scientists at California ’s Stanford University . The salt in the mix naturally nixes inflammation, plus it’s anti-bacterial, so it quickly destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain. Just mix 1 teaspoon of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20 minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.


Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple

Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California ’s Stanford University . That’s because pineapple is natually packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.


Relax painful muscles with peppermint

Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.


Give your back some TLC with grapes

Got an achy back? Grapes could be the ticket to a speedy recovery. Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood flow to damaged back tissues (and often within three hours of enjoying the first bowl). That’s great news because your back’s vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.


Wash away pain injuries with water

Whether it’s your feet, your knees or your shoulders that are throbbing, experts at New York ’s Manhattan College , say you could kick-start your recovery in one week just by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Why? Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out, histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues. “Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones, your joints’ lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your spine,” adds Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book, The Good Mood Diet. “And when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move and glide over each other without causing pain.” One caveat: Be sure to measure your drinking glasses to find out how large they really are before you start sipping, she says. Today’s juice glasses often hold more than 12 ounces, which means five servings could be enough to meet your daily goal.


Heal sinus problems with horseradish

Latest studies show sinusitis is the nation’s number one chronic health problem. And this condition doesn’t just spur congestion and facial pain, it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over. Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.


Beat bladder infections with blueberries

Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection (UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University .


Heal mouth sores with honey

Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates . Raw honey’s natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.


Fight breast pain with flax

In one recent study, adding 3 tablespoons of ground flax to their daily diet eased breast soreness for one in three women within 12 weeks. Scientists credit flax’s phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds that prevent the estrogen spikes that can trigger breast pain. More good news: You don’t have to be a master baker to sneak this healthy seed into your diet. Just sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or add it to smoothies and veggie dips.


Cure migraines with coffee

Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.


Tame leg cramps with tomato juice

At least one in five people regularly struggle with leg cramps. The culprit? Potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily and you’ll not only speed your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.


Leave a comment

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

April 14, 2012

Shubhra Krishan

I am sure we all have our own little tricks for dealing with the common cold. Some of us straightaway pop decongestant and sinus-relief tablets, others try to blow it all out loud and clear.

Ayurveda, I have realised, offers some truly helpful advice for increasing your immunity, so that the nuisance simply doesn’t happen—or at least bugs you much less frequently. I’ve tried all these tips, with success. Sharing them with you:

1. Keep your digestive machinery running smooth. If there is constipation, a cold is usually not far behind. The reason: all that undigested material is rotting inside your system, creating a ‘seedbed,’ so to say, for agents of disease to thrive on.

2. Include ‘warming’ spices in your diet: specifically black pepper and cumin. Freshly crushed black pepper, mixed with a spoonful of honey, is a cold-fighter that generations have used.

3. Stewed fruits, such as apple, pears and peaches, cooked with cloves and cinnamon, warm you up nicely and keep the a-tissues away!

4. Turmeric is my absolutely favourite spice for boosting immunity. It has innumerable healing benefits, among which is its capacity to destroy germs and ease inflammation. So, cook your greens, stews and stir-fries with a touch of turmeric. You get both golden colour and healthy respiration.

5. Avoid certain ‘mucus-forming foods’ such as yogurt and cheese at night. They increase Kapha, which is associated with ‘congestive’ disorders.

6. Basil and honey make another powerful combination, because both are known to boast antiseptic and immunity-boosting properties. How about a soothing honey-basil tea? It’s delicious, too.

7. Here’s an obvious one, which surprisingly many people do not follow: stay warm. When you have a cold, you should not sit in an airconditioned room or wear skimpy clothes. Your body needs warmth and protection to arm itself against the nasty cold.

Happy healing!

source: care2.com