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A-Z OF NATURAL FOOD AND MEDICINES; NUTRITION AND MEDICINAL BENEFITS

Natural wholesome food is the best way to become healthy and avoid disease. Knowledge about what your body requires as fuel and how you can prevent many illnesses is important. It is worth taking a little time to prepare nutritious meals and create your own toxin free cleaning products and use herbs and spices for medications which never have adverse side effects like many pharmaceutical drugs and medicines do. You will prevent many disorders and the dangerous nutrient deficiencies common in those that take medications by simply eating wholesome nutritious food. See the Medication Dangers page.

 

Stick to organic, fresh, additive free, non processed foods (ie not packets, tinned or ready made meals) you will not only notice the difference in taste but will feel the benefits of the health giving nutrients within a week. See the Pesticides page for why to go organic.

 

Remove From the Kitchen Cupboards

 

For Natural Health & Vitality

  • Invest in an electric blender to make thick multi vegetable soup starters and fruit 'smoothie' desserts and breakfasts.

  • Make oat, quinoa and nut flapjacks with honey and berries.

  • Make your own cereals with organic whole grains, nuts, berries. dried and fresh fruit  and add honey and psyllium husks then consume with live probiotic yoghurt. This high fibre vitamin and mineral packed starter will provide plenty of energy until lunchtime.

  • Eat whole grains, nuts, seeds, berries, dates, raisins, figs and fruits daily in stead of unhealthy snacks. Whole grains are nutritious, filling and last longer than other foods

  • Consume more halibut, octopus, oily fish, squid, nuts, seeds and legumes than meat for protein (at least 4 times a week)

  • Consume at least one leafy vegetable and one root vegetable everyday.

  • Consume one of each of the 6 colours of fruit and vegetables per day. Nature has kindly colour coded natural foods and each contains unique and essential phytonutrients.

  • Try baking kale and whole cloves of garlic in rice bran or sesame oil and eat as snacks instead of crisps

  • Make sealed plastic containers of the healthy Alfalfa Snacks and keep in the refrigerator to eat anytime night or day. Requires no cooking! Also a wonderful way to use up leftovers

  • Try Micro Diet Sprouting for a highly nutritious way of getting all the nutrients needed for good health. Grow your own sprouts easily in a jam jar on the window sill with just a daily rinse of tap water required.

  • Invest in a powerful juicer of at least 900 watts. See Raw Juice Therapy

 


Search for a food to find the nutritional value and health benefits

 

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VEGETABLES

FRUIT

LEGUMES/PULSES

COMMON SPICES

DERIVATIVES

FISH

Alfalfa
Artichoke
Asparagus
Aubergine
Bamboo Shoots
Beetroot
Bell Peppers

Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussel Sprouts
Butternut Squash
Cabbage

Carrots
Celery
Chicory
Chilli Peppers
Collard Greens
Courgette
Cress
Cucumber
Daikon
Elecampane
Fenugreek
Garlic
Ginger

Horseradish
Jalapeno Peppers
Jerusalem Artichoke
Jicama
Kale
Kohlrabi

Leeks
Lettuce
Marrow
Mashua
Mizuna
Mushrooms
Okra
Onions
Parsnips

Potatoes
Radishes
Rampion
Red Cabbage
Rhubarb
Rocket
Rutabaga
Salsify
Spinach
Spring Onions
Swede
Sweet Potato
Swiss Chard
Tatsoi
Tomatoes
Turnips
Watercress

Yams

Acai Berries
Apples
Apricots
Ash Gourd
Avocado
Bananas
Baobab Fruit
Blackberries
Blackcurrants
Blueberries
Berries

Cantaloupe
Cherries
Chokeberries
Cupuašu
Clementine
Gooseberries
Grapes
G
uanabana
Guava
Guyabano

Kinnow Fruit
Kiwifruit
Lemons
Limes
Mandarin
Mango
Maqui Berry
Melon
Mosambi
Mulberries
Olives
Oranges
Papaya
Passion Fruit
Peaches
Pears
Persimmon
Pineapple
Plums
Pomegranate
Prickly Pear
Pumpkin
Raspberries
Rosehip
Soursop
Strawberries
Sumac
Squash

Tangerines
Watermelon

 

SEAWEED CACTUS & ALGAE

Agave
Aloe Vera
Chlorella
Dulse
Ecklonia cava
Kelp
Kombu
Seaweed
Spirulina
Wasabi
 

Adzuki Beans
Black Beans
Black Eyed Peas

B
road Beans

Butter Beans
Cocoa bean
Coffee
Corn
Chickpeas
Goat's Rue
Green Beans
Lentils
Lima Beans
Mung Beans
Navy Beans
Peas
Pinto Beans
Red Kidney Beans
Soybeans
Vetch
Winged beans

NUTS

Almonds
Brazil Nuts
Cashews
Chestnuts
Coconut
Hazelnuts
Horse Chestnuts
Macadamia Nuts
Malabar Nut
Peanuts
Pecans
Pistachio Nuts
Walnuts
 

DRIED FRUIT

Apricots
Blackcurrants
Dates
Figs
Goji Berries
Prunes

Raisins
Sultanas
 

All Spice
Black Pepper

Capers
Caraway Seeds
Cayenne Pepper
Cloves

Coriander
Cumin

Fennel Seeds
Nutmeg
Paprika
Pepper
Salt
Turmeric

Vanilla

COMMON HERBS

Basil
Chives
Coriander
Dill
Lemongrass
Oregano
Parsley

Rosemary
Safflower
Saffron
Sage

Tarragon
Thyme

See also Medicinal Herbs
 

SEEDS

Butternut Squash
Chia
Coriander
Cumin
Fennel

Flax
Hemp
Mustard

Poppy
Pumpkin
Salba
Sesame
Sunflower
Watermelon
 

Aloe Vera Juice
Apple Cider Vinegar
Black Currant Oil
Black Strap Molasses
Butter
Brewer's Yeast
Brine Pickles
Flax Seed Oil
Green Tea
Honey

Kimchi

Krill Oil
Lucuma
Margarine
Micro Diet Sprouts

Mineral Water
Miso
Olive Oil
Propolis
Rapeseed Oil
Sago
Semolina
Sesame Oil
Sugar
Sunflower Oil
Sauerkraut
Tapioca
Tea
Tempeh
Tomato Paste
Tofu
Torula Yeast
 

DAIRY

Eggs
Cheese
Cow's Milk
Goat's Milk
Ricotta Cheese
Yoghurt
 

WHOLE GRAINS

Amaranth
Barley
Bran
Brown Rice
Buckwheat
Durum Wheat
Kamut
Millet
Oats
Quinoa
Rye
Teff
Wheat
Wheatgrass
Whole grains
 



 

Anchovies
Bloater Fish
Carp
Clams
Cod
Crab
Eel
Halibut
Herring
Hilsa Fish
John Dory
Kippers

Lobster
Mackerel
Menhaden
Monkfish
Mussels
Octopus
Oily fish
Oysters
Pilchards
Prawns & Shrimp
Sardines
Salmon
Scallops
Sea Bass
Shellfish
Sprats
Squid
Swordfish
Trout
Turbot
Whitebait

MEAT

Beef
Calf's liver

Lamb
Pork
Poultry and Game Birds
Rabbit
Turkey

Veal
Venison
 


 

 

 

 

 

See also the A-Z of Medicinal Herbs and Spices page

A-Z OF NATURAL FOOD

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See also A-Z of Ailments & Natural Remedies
 

A

Abuta (abutta officinalis)

The decoction of the stems and roots of this Amazonian plant mixed with wild bee honey is used to treat sterile women. A root decoction is used for post-menstrual haemorrhages, the alcoholic maceration for rheumatism. Macerated leaves, bark and root, mixed with rum, are used by the “Creoles” as aphrodisiac. Root decoction used as a cardio tonic, anti-anaemic, anti-malarial. The “Sionas” tribe use a leaf decoction for fever. The “Wayapi” use the decoction of the bark and stem as a dental analgesic. Some Ecuadorian “Ketchwas” use the leaf decoction for conjunctivitis and snakebite. Others use the root tea for difficult delivery and nervous or weak children with colic.

It is also considered effective against malaria, fever, hepatic liver ailments, gastric ulcers, diabetes, anaemia, high cholesterol, menstrual cramps and pre- and post-natal pain, a treatment for infertility, dental pain killer, cerebral tonic, rheumatism, typhoid, stomach ulcers and as an aphrodisiac, pain killer, an antiseptic to the bladder, chronic inflammation of the urinary passages and a good diuretic.


Acai Berry (cabbage palm

The sudden new acai berry juice demand is the result of many expensive marketing campaigns by certain companies making false claims about this 'newly discovered mysterious super fruit’ of the Amazon which 'can increase weight loss, energy and lower cholesterol'. It has no real special health benefits compared to other fruit juices but is netting billions in sales through network marketing companies and direct retail sales.

Acai berries are simply a staple food for many economically disadvantaged inhabitants of the lower Amazon region area. The acai-manioc porridge is quite poor in nutrition but is very filling with a large amount of starch and sugar. Acai berry juice is neither very nutritious nor low in calories compared to most other fruit juices and there is no proof that it can reduce either weight or bad cholesterol.

In Brazilian herbal medicine, the oil of acai is used to treat diarrhoea and the root for jaundice. The grated fruit rind as a topical wash for skin ulcers and the seeds for fevers. In the Peruvian Amazon, the toasted crushed seeds are used for fever and the root is used for malaria, diabetes, hepatitis, jaundice, hair loss, haemorrhages, liver and kidney diseases, menstrual pain and muscle pain.


Acai Berry Nutrients

starch, 1-4% protein, 7-11% fats, 25% sugar, 0.05% calcium, 0.033% phosphorous and 0.0009% iron. It also has some sulphur, traces of vitamin B1 (thiamine) and some vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin E. It also delivers around 200 calories per 100 grams, depending on the preparation method.
 

Adzuki Beans (paseolus angularis, adsuki, aduki, asuki, azuki, chi dou (Mandarin), feijao, field pea, hong xiao dou (Mandarin), red oriental, Tiensin red)

Small red beans that originated in China and are also known as aduki or azuki beans. They are usually boiled with sugar and mashed into a sweet red bean paste that is used as a filling in many popular Asian desserts, including ice cream and in many savoury dishes. Adzuki beans, along with lentils and chickpeas, are a staple of the macrobiotic diet, which calls for the consumption of plenty of fibrous, protein-packed legumes.

Like many other legumes, they are a good source of are good sources of phytonutrients, phytosterols, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. Since they are so low in calories and fat, yet high in nutrition they are ideal for those trying to lose weight.. Additionally, they are relatively easy to digest, so they should not cause flatulence like other beans do.


Agave (agave schottii)

Agave nectar (syrup), is produced by the agave plants that grow in the volcanic soils of Southern Mexico. They are large, succulent plants that resemble cactus or yucca, but they are more closely related to the aloe vera plant. The Aztecs treasured the agave as a gift from the gods. Today it is used to produce tequila. Aztecs, Anasazi, Hohokam, and the Tohono O’odham, have used the agave for fibre, food, medicine, adult beverages and building materials for thousands of years. The earliest known use was in the Techuacßn Valley of Mexico 10,000 years ago. The agave contains polysaccharides which are bactericidal, and saponins and sapogenins that have antibiotic, fungicidal and antiviral properties. Agave syrup which has been refined contains very little nutritional value and high sugar content. In 2013, saponin in agave schottii is being investigated for cancer treatment.


Ajos Kiro or Aj0s Caspi (cordia alliodora)

The root of this Amazonian plant has substances which have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.


Ajos Sacha (mansoa alliacea)

An alcoholic maceration of the stem and roots of this Amazonian plant is used for rheumatism and a leaf infusion is used in baths to relieve “manchiari” (a nervous state caused by terror or sudden shock), specially in children. The roots are used as anti-rheumatic and a stem decoction in baths to relieve fatigue and small needle-like cramps. Some Natives use it to protect themselves against the bad spirits, others use the decoction of leaves and stems as antipyretic baths, for body aches and flu.


Alfalfa (medicago sativa) "The Father of all Foods"

Alfalfa is so named because it contains just about everything the body needs for survival. Alfalfa rejuvenates the system, detoxifies and enriches the liver, assists in weight loss, purifies the blood, aids digestion and acts as a general tonic. Alfalfa sprouts can be grown from seeds in a jam jar using just daily rinsing of water. Visit the Micro Diet Sprouting page to see how.

Alfalfa provides most of the known vitamins and a huge number of the essentials minerals our bodies need. It also contains detoxification properties, antioxidants and phytoestrogens. Alfalfa can treat menopausal symptoms, urinary tract infection, rheumatoid arthritis, hypoglycaemia and diabetes, appetite disorders, kidney stones (alfalfa juice), high cholesterol and increase blood flow. It is also a diuretic with alkalising effects.

Alfalfa contains canavanine which may trigger a lupus flare-up and aggravate
pancytopenia conditions and excess may upset hormones levels and may interfere with vitamin E utilisation.

See the Alfalfa page for more information about how to grow your own alfalfa using  a jam jar and a daily rinse of tap water in 5 days and the Alfalfa Snack Pot recipe.


Alfalfa Nutrients

protein, fibre, chlorophyll, canavanine, beta carotene, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc.
 

Alisma (alisma plantago aquatica, alismatis rhizoma, alisma orientale)

The leaves are antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. Alisma  leaves are used in the treatment of cystitis, dysentery and kidney stones. The fresh alisma leaf is rubefacient and used in the treatment of leprosy and is also applied locally to bruises and swellings. Dried alisma stem bases are eaten or grated and taken with water in treating digestive disorders such as heartburn, cramps and stomach flu. The powdered alisma seed is an astringent, used in cases of bleeding. It is also said to promote sterility.

The alisma root can lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also has an antibacterial action on staphylococcus, pneumococci and mycobacterium and is used in the treatment of oliguria, oedema, nephritis, acute diarrhoea and fatty liver.

Alisma has been thought of as a cure for rabies, though this has not been substantiated. The whole plant is believed to promote conception.

The root is harvested before the plant comes into flower and is dried for later use. A homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh root. It is used cooked and is rich in starch. Caution is advised as the root is acrid if it is not dried or well cooked before use. Alisma leaves and petioles must be thoroughly cooked. They require long boiling and have a salty flavour.


All Spice (pimenta dioica, Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, pimento corns, English pepper, new spice)

This is the dried unripe fruit of the pimento tree native to the Greater Antilles, Southern Mexico and Central America. This spice is named for its aroma which is like a combination of the spice scents of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

It contains caryophyllene, eugenol, glycosides, methyleugenol, quercetin, resin, sesquiterpenes, tannins, vitamin A, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid),  vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9, vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and selenium.

Eugenol, has local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties and is useful in gum and dental treatment. Allspice oil mixed with extractions from garlic and oregano can work against E.coli, Salmonella and L.monocytogenes infections.

This spice is very good for relieving flatulence and dyspeptic pain and can help with nervous exhaustion and diarrhoea

It may be applied as an external compress in cases of rheumatism and neuralgia. It can also be used as a poultice or in hot baths for arthritis and joint problems or back pain.

NOTE: this spice should be avoided in individuals suffering from stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis and diverticulitis.


Almonds (prunus amygdalus)

Almonds are a dry fruit (not a nut) useful for convalescence, coughs and colds, strengthening the nervous system and increasing sexual vitality. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Externally, sweet almond oil and pastes made from the crushed nuts can help dry skin conditions and a scrub made from crushed almond stones can treat acne.

Almonds ability to reduce heart disease risk may also be partly due to the antioxidant action of the vitamin E found in them, (LDL is the form of cholesterol that has been linked to atherosclerosis and heart disease). When almonds are substituted for more traditional fats in human feeding trials, LDL cholesterol can be reduced from 8 to 12%.

In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, a handful of almonds contains almost 98 mg of magnesium plus 257 mg of potassium.  Almonds promote cardiovascular health by providing 257 mg of potassium and only 0.3 mg of sodium, making almonds an especially good choice to in protecting against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. They are also a good source of copper.

NOTE: Bitter almonds (as opposed to “sweet” almonds) are full of cyanide. Before consumption, bitter almonds must be processed to remove the poison. The apricot stone has a similar flavour and poison content. Heating destroys the poison and all almonds sold are now heat-treated to remove traces of poison and bacteria.

Avoid: almonds if suffering from osteoporosis.


Aloe Vera (aloe barbadensis)

Has historically been known for assisting the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, and for its properties of soothing, cleansing and helping the body to maintain healthy tissues. This plant has a reputation of facilitating digestion, aiding blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, osteoarthritis, sunburn and insect bites, kidney disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach ulcers, liver and gall bladder functions and healing wounds and skin conditions.

Aloe Vera juice is one of the best purifier of the body and internal organs, specifically the stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen and bladder. Aloe contains at least three anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach, small intestine and colon. It naturally alkalizes digestive juices to prevent over acidity - a common cause of digestive complaints. A newly discovered compound in aloe, acemannan, is currently being studied for its ability to strengthen the immune system. Studies have shown acemannan to boost T-lymphocyte cells that aid natural resistance.

Following are a few of the vital functions acemannan and the other compounds of aloe have been found to perform:

Makes cells more resistant to viruses and pathogenic bacteria, by incorporating themselves into cell walls
Improve overall cellular metabolism and functioning
Reduces inflammation
Provides critical lubrication of joints; helping to prevent arthritis and to heal it once it has developed
Aids in the absorption of water, minerals and nutrients in the GI tract
Reduces pain
Improves vascular flow
Improves macrophage activity as much as tenfold
Enhances macrophage effectiveness in modulating the entire immune system by stimulating, producing and releasing antibodies
Increases the body's own production of interferon, interleukins
Increases the number of antibody forming T-cells in the spleen
Increases the number and activity of killer T-cell and increase monocyte activity
Fights fungal infections, such as: Athlete's foot, Ringworm, Pruritus anivalvae, Balnea, Essential Pruritus and Vaginal yeast infections
Helps heal athletic injuries such as: Muscle cramps, Sprains, Strains, Bruises, Swelling, Soreness, Tendonitis and Bursitis.
Soothes and promotes the healing of intestinal disorders such as: Indigestion, Heartburn, Hyper-acidity, Peptic and Duodenal Ulcers, Colitis and Haemorrhoids
Promotes the healing of kidney disorders
Kills parasites such as: Pinworms and Threadworms
Speeds wound healing by as much as 35%
Reduces allergic reactions
Stimulates bone marrow activity
Maintains moisture, shine and elasticity of the skin by stimulating fibroblasts to release collagen and elastin to make new tissue.
Helps treat burns on the body (sun or radiation) and relieves pain
Useful in the treatment of haemorrhoids, dermatitis, redness, irritation , psoriasis, inflammation of the eyes, as well as successfully smoothes wrinkles.
Reduces scarring
Maintains stable body and strengthen the immune system against diseases like cancer, tumours, AIDS.
Reduces blood sugar levels in diabetes I and II.
Reduces inflammatory conditions like colitis, arthritis and gastritis.

Aloe vera contains properties that prevent mucopolysaccharidosis, arteriosclerosis, heart disease and Parkinson’s disease. Also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and plays an important role in the healing of damaged tissues and destruction of pathogenic organisms and is particularly good for maintaining oral health, specifically the mouth and teeth.

The aloe fractions enhance the functioning of the entire immune system, detoxify the body, promote the repair of a wide range of tissues and organs, improve digestive functions and help with the destruction and elimination of invading bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Aloe Vera  Juice (to drink)
To make juice from an aloe vera plant, break off a few leaves.
Take a sharp knife and carefully peel the green rind from the leaves and discard.
Peel off the yellow layer with a sharp knife or it can be removed by using 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 cup of water.
You should have about 2 tablespoons of clear aloe vera gel left.
Place in a blender with a glass of citrus fruit juice such as orange and blend.
Drink immediately.

Aloe Vera Gel (for exterior use)
As above except place the gel into a blender and add a few drops of either grapefruit seed extract, vitamin C powder, vitamin E oil or some essential oil to help preserve the gel for longer period (instead of the citrus juice). Then blend together and pour into a clean glass jar. Place lid on the jar and it will keep for several months in the refrigerator. It may have some foam on the top at first but this will settle down later.

Drinking aloe vera juice can improve the activity of the immune system, helping the body fight off the virus that causes warts. Also, apply the juice directly from the leaves of the plant to the wart is an effective treatment.

NOTE: Over consumption of aloe vera can stimulate increased bowel function so it is recommended to increase the intake gradually to avoid intestinal cramping.


Aloe Vera Nutrients

acemannan, chlorophyll, choline, saponins, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, vitamin B12 ((cyanocobalamin), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, chromium, germanium, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc.

It also contains aloe-emodin, aloins, barbaloin, isobarbaloin, amorphous aloin, enzymes, resin, essential fatty acids, galactomannans, glycoproteins (protein-carbohydrate compounds that speed the healing process by stopping pain and inflammation) and polysaccharides (a type of carbohydrate that stimulates skin growth and repair)

 

Alum Root (geranium maculatum, cranesbill root, spotted cranes bill, wild geranium, crowfoot, dovefoot, american keno root)

Alum root is a strong astringent used to stop the bleeding of cuts, superficial abrasions and ulcers on the lips. It is used in dilute form as a mouthwash or gargle and has been effective for mouth and throat ulcers. Internally, it is useful as a tea or in capsules to help ease malaria symptoms, diarrhoea, for loose bowels and for excessive mucus in the urinary tract accompanied by frequent urination.

A decoction can be made of grated alum root simmered in a litre of water until the liquid has halved, strain then drink when cooled.

Caution: Alum root can cause gastrointestinal irritation if taken in large amounts.


Amaranth (amaranthus)

The seeds are tan or light brown in colour and are about the size of poppy seeds. Not a true cereal grain, amaranth is sometimes called a ‘pseudo-grain’ and has been referred to as a herb or even a vegetable. There are 60 species of Amaranth on the planet and it is a relative of the common pigweed. Some of these species of Amaranth are grown for their spinach-like leaves which are eaten as a salad while other species are grown only for ornamental or decorative purposes. And lastly, still other species produce the tiny seeds that are so nutritious and sold mostly in health food stores.

Amaranth has a long and interesting history in Mexico where it's been grown and harvested for thousands of years by the Mayan and Incan civilizations. The Aztecs believed Amaranth had magical properties that would give them amazing strength. Because of this, it became one of the main foods of the Aztec royalty. Amaranth also held an intricate role in some of their ancient rituals. In one ritual, the seeds were crushed open, then honey and human blood were added followed by forming this reddish paste into the shapes of birds and snakes then baking it. With the coming of the Spanish into the Americas, this abominable practice was abolished. Every crop of Amaranth that could be found was burned. Punishment for possession of the grain became so harsh that even having one seed was punished by chopping off the hands. Amaranth quickly became a ‘lost’ seed for many generations. Presently, Amaranth is grown in Mexico, Peru and Nepal as well as in the United States.

Amaranth is very high in protein, particularly in the amino acid, lysine, which is low in the cereal grains. Amaranth has the highest lysine content of all the grains with quinoa coming in a close second. It also has a very good amino acid blend. Just 150 grams of the grain is all that’s required to supply an adult with 100% of the daily requirement of protein. Amaranth is one of the highest grains in fibre content. This makes it an effective agent against cancer and heart disease. Amaranth is also the only grain that contains significant amounts of phytosterols which play a major part in the prevention of many kinds of diseases.

It also contains one of the widest selections of phytonutrients; arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, linoleic acid, lysine, methionine, oleic acid, palmitic acid, phytosterols, threonine, tryptophan. Plus high levels of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Amaranth contains no gluten so is a very healthy alternative to wheat. It must be cooked before it is eaten because it contains components in it’s raw form that block the absorption of some nutrients in the digestive system. This is not necessary with sprouted amaranth though. It can be simmered for 20 minutes in it’s whole seed form for a morning breakfast cereal or roasted and ground to used for flavouring and a nutritional additive to meals and soups. It can be ground raw and used in place of other flours.

As Amaranth contains fairly high levels of poly-unsaturated fats, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator after opening the container. For long term storage, package them with oxygen absorbers in an air-tight container which should extend their storage life for several years if stored in a cool place. Having a hard outer shell, they should store better than quinoa or buckwheat which have similar nutritional qualities but have a softer, more permeable shell.


Anchovies

Although small silvery fish caught off many coastlines are referred to as "anchovies," true anchovies live only in the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Southern Europe. Canned anchovies kept at room temperature last for at least a year. Once a can is opened, anchovies can last for up to two months in the refrigerator, as long as they're kept in an air-tight container and covered in oil.

The minerals in anchovies have vital roles in bone, nerve and muscle health and aid in glucose regulation, energy production, immune function, blood clotting and blood oxygenation. The vitamins found in anchovies play vital roles in energy production, DNA synthesis, neurological health, red blood cell formation, digestion and the maintenance of healthy skin, nerves and vision.

A 2oz serving of anchovies contains 10% of the adult male RDA for vitamin E, which aids in retention of vitamins A and C. Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant. Anchovies also contain trace amounts of other vitamins.

The omega 3 fatty acids found in anchovies are a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, skin, sperm, testicles and retina. It also smoothes muscle cell proliferation which can prevent the development of atherosclerosis and restenosis and reduces harmful triglycerides.

Consuming anchovies can help to relieve symptoms of psoriasis, reduce the risk of heart disease, maintain bone density and prevent anaemia.

A standard 2 ounce can of European anchovies packed in oil has approximately 94 calories, 13 grams of protein, 4.4 grams of fat, 1.7 grams of sodium, 1 gram of saturated fat and no fibre or carbohydrates. Anchovies are an extremely rich source of B vitamins and a significant source of minerals. They are also high in sodium and contain some cholesterol. To lower the sodium content soak for 30 minutes in water then part dry with paper towels.


Anchovy Nutrients

protein, omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12, vitamins D, vitamin E, calcium, iron, sodium, zinc.
 

Andrographis (Indian echinacea)

Is an  immune stimulant, aperients and anti-parasitic, tonic, antibiotic and anti-viral herb used for treating hepatitis B, HIV, flatulence, healing and preventing gastric acidity, bowel complaints, colds, flu, sinusitis, tonsillitis, familial Mediterranean fever and upper respiratory tract infections. It also inhibits the body's inflammatory mechanism and has anti-microbial abilities and is instrumental in killing certain tumour cells. Andrographis can also help to stop the clumping of blood platelets which is the clotting process that can lead to heart attacks.

NOTE: Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should avoid andrographis. Safety during lactation is not known. Andrographis may increase glucose metabolisation which could unduly enhance blood sugar lowering medication. Those taking anticoagulant agents such as warfarin or heparin, or with anti-platelet agents such as ibuprofen should also avoid the andrographis herb.


Angelica (angelica archangelica, dong quai)

Chinese angelica is a herb which has been used for centuries in the Far East as a tonic, spice and medicine. The health benefits of Chinese Angelica come from the plant's root.

Due to angelica’s antihistamine properties is is used to treat allergies. It is also used as a muscle relaxant and pain killer and is also beneficial for sufferers of lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Used in conjunction with other herbs like Asian ginseng, it produces the ability to decrease chest pain in patients suffering from heart disease. Further health benefits of Chinese angelica are its ability to stabilize female hormones, ease the pain of arthritis and lower blood pressure. Nutritionally it supports the digestive and respiratory systems.

Avoid angelica if taking any type of medication that thins the blood or for hormone therapies and contraception.


Anise seeds (pimpinella anisum)

Removes excess mucus in the gastrointestinal area. Excellent for improving memory, colds, flu, cough, bronchitis, sinusitis, gas, colic, tension, lactation (not pregnancy), eye brightener and fresh breath.  Anise is very useful for breaking up mucus and is used for hard, dry coughs where expectoration is difficult. 

A tea is made by adding a cup of boiled water to three teaspoons of crushed seeds, steeping for 20-minutes. This may be used to stimulate the productions of mother's milk. The seeds may be smoked or added to a cough syrup formula. It is also used as a stimulant and carminative to treat flatulence and colic. Added to laxative formulas, it will reduce cramping of the bowels.

For hacking coughs add 7 teaspoons of anise seeds to 1 quart of boiling water and then simmer down to 1 1/2 pints.  Strain and add 4 teaspoons each of honey and glycerine.  Take 2 tsp. of this syrup every few hours to relieve the cough.

To improve memory, take 2 tablespoons, 3 times a day


Annato (bixa orellana)

The seed and leaf of this plant are used medicinally to treat diabetes, diarrhoea, fevers, fluid retention, heartburn, malaria and hepatitis. They are also used as an antioxidant and bowel cleanser.

Annatto can be used topically on the affected area to treat burns and vaginal infections and to repel insects.

In foods, annatto is used as a colouring agent which can cause many allergic side affects especially in children's behaviour. It is also known to cause urticaria (nettle rash) and flare-ups of angioneurotic oedema. It is implicated in asthma (containing salicylic acid) and hyperactivity. See E160b Annatto for more information.


Apples (malus domestica)

According to the latest research, the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," is fact, not just folklore. The nutritional stars in apples—fibre, flavonoids, and fructose—translate into apples' ability to keep us healthy. Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fibre. One medium (5 ounces) unpeeled apple provides over 3 grams of fibre, more than 10% of the daily fibre intake recommended by experts. Even without its peel, a medium apple provides 2.7 grams of fibre. Apple's two types of fibre pack a double punch that can knock down cholesterol levels, reducing your risk of hardening of the arteries, heart attack, and stroke. Apple's insoluble fibre works like bran, latching on to LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract and removing it from the body, while apple's soluble fibre pectin reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol produced in the liver. Adding just one large apple (about 2/3 of a pound) to the daily diet has been shown to decrease serum cholesterol 8-11%. Eating 2 large apples a day has lowered cholesterol levels by up to 16%.

Apple skin is a major food source of a potent flavonoid called quercitin. Apples derive almost all of their natural sweetness from fructose, a simple sugar, but one which is broken down slowly, especially when combined with apples' hefty dose of fibre, thus helping to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Apples can prevent breast cancer. Apples worked in a dose dependent manner; the more apples eaten, the more protection. They are found to be most consistently associated with a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes when compared to other fruits and vegetables. In addition, eating apples was also associated with increased lung function and increased weight loss. Apples may also help combat cholera.

Recently, crude extracts from immature apples were found to inhibit cholera toxin in a dose dependent manner by up to 98%. Fuji apples have the highest total phenolic and total flavonoid compounds, but red apples were also quite high. These apple varieties also tended to have higher antioxidant activity. A flavonoid found only in apples called phloridzin may help prevent bone loss associated with menopause.

 
Apple Nutrients

alanine, arginine, asparagnine, aspartic acid, beta carotene, betaine, choline, cryptoxanthin, cystine, flavonoids, fructose, glucose, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, insoluble fibre, isoleucine, leucine, lutein, lysine, methionine, pectin, phenylalanine, phloridzin, phytosterols, proline, protein, quercetin, rutin, serine, soluble fibre, sucrose, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, zeaxanthin

Vitamins

 

A
B1
B2

B3

B5

B6

B9

C

E

K

 

Minerals

 

calcium

copper

fluoride

iron

magnesium

manganese

phosphorous

potassium

sodium

zinc

Apples are among the 12 foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found. Therefore, individuals wanting to avoid pesticide-associated health risks may want to avoid consumption of apples unless they are grown organically.

NOTE: An apple a day will keep the doctor away, unless the seeds are consumed in high quantities. Like cherries and other fruits, they contain cyanogenic glycosides causing cyanide poisoning. Seeds from one apple are unlikely to cause any ill effect but people have eaten enough to die from it.


Apricots (prunus armeniaca)

Nutrients in apricots can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease fighting effects of fibre. The high beta-carotene and lycopene activity of apricots makes them important heart health foods. Both beta-carotene and lycopene protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which may help prevent heart disease. They contain nutrients such as vitamin A that promote good vision. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, quenches free radical damage to cells and tissues. Free radical damage can injure the eyes' lenses. The degenerative effect of free radicals, or oxidative stress, may lead to cataracts or damage the blood supply to the eyes and cause macular degeneration. Apricots are a good source of fibre, which has a wealth of benefits including preventing constipation and digestive conditions such as diverticulitis.

The apricot is an excellent food remedy for anaemia on account of its high content of iron. The essential amount of copper in the fruit makes iron available to the body. Apricot are useful in the healing of wounds, in expelling worms and as a general tonic. It can be applied with beneficial results in scabies, eczema, sun-burn and itching of the skin due to cold exposure.

 
Apricot Nutrients

alanine, arginine, ash, aspartic acid, beta carotene, betaine, choline, cryptoxanthin, cystine, flavonoids, fructose, glucose, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, insoluble fibre, isoleucine, leucine, lutein, lycopene, lysine, methionine, pectin, phenylalanine, phloridzin, phytosterols, proline, protein, quercetin, rutin, serine, soluble fibre, starch, sucrose, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, zeaxanthin

Vitamins

 

A

B1
B2

B3

B5

B6

B9

E

K

 

Minerals

 

calcium

copper

iron

magnesium

manganese

phosphorous

potassium

sodium

zinc

Arnica (arnica montana, leopard's bane, wolf's bane, mountain tobacco, mountain arnica)

A yellow daisy-like member of the sunflower family with the active components of sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids which are known to reduce inflammation and ease pain. It also contains thymol, an essential oil that fights infection and carotenoid a powerful antioxidant. It is believed to work by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and dispersing fluid that accumulates around damaged, swollen joints thus relieving pain and inflammation. Arnica  can boost immunity, accelerate healing and fight inflammation. It also helps the body combat bacterial infection. It can be taken internally or applied externally.


Artichoke (cynara scolymus, globe artichoke)

This is a thistle vegetable of Mediterranean origin and should not be confused with the Jerusalem artichoke.

Artichoke contains the bitter components, cynarin and sesquiterpene-lactones which inhibit cholesterol synthesis and increase its excretion in the bile and results in cholesterol reduction in the blood. It also helps to cleanse and protect the liver against hepatitis and protects against skin cancer.

It also is a good source of silymarin, caffeic acid and ferulic acid, which help to protect the body from harmful free-radical agents.

It is also a rich source of vitamin B9 (folic acid) which acts as a co-factor for enzymes involved in the synthesis of DNA. Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin B9 during pre-conception period, and during early pregnancy, help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn baby.

It is a good source of vitamin K which helps promote bone formation. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; so are helpful in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

 
Artichoke Nutrients

 

beta carotene, betaine, caffeic acid, carbohydrates, choline, cynarin, fatty acids,  ferulic acid, fibre, lutein, silymarin, zeaxanthin
 

Vitamins

 

A
B1
B2

B3

B5

B6

B9

C

E

K

 

Minerals

 

calcium

copper

iron

magnesium

manganese

phosphorous

potassium

selenium

sodium

zinc

Ash Gourd (benincasa hispida)

Also known as winter melon, white gourd, wax gourd, winter gourd, ash gourd, it is a single species of tender annual vine believed to have originated in Java, Indonesia and is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. It has been cultivated in China for over 2,000 years. In Chinese medicine the rind is used to treat urinary dysfunction and the seeds for vaginal discharge.

Being extremely low in calories, the ash gourd is used to treat obesity as it promotes metabolism and prevents sugar (carbohydrates) from being converted into fat. The shoots, tendrils and leaves of the plant may be eaten as greens.

It is alkaline and has a strong ‘antacid’ action. It maintains the pH of the body and counteracts the acidity created in the stomach because of the intake of acidic foods. It helps in treating constipation and tones up the general digestive system and can treat stomach ulcers. Cough, common cold, fever, influenza, bronchitis, sinusitis can be controlled without any side effects. Any kind of severe and chronic asthma can be cured with regular consumption. It can also help treat thyroid problems and  mouth cancer and protect the life of teeth and gums when a mouth gargle of the juice is done regularly. It is also an effective cure for pyorrhoea (bleeding of gums). It can also relieve insomnia.

The fruit is used to treat epilepsy, lung diseases, asthma, coughs, urine retention and internal haemorrhage. The juice of the fruit is effective in cases of mercury poisoning and snakebites.

A delicious sweet made by boiling the pulp in honey is used to treat general debility, to increase weight after sudden weight loss and treat weakness of the heart and anaemia.

People who suffer from an abnormally small amount of hair growth can try roasting the rind and seeds and then mixing it with coconut oil. The mixture when applied to the scalp can also be used as a treatment for dandruff.

Seeds of ash gourd are used as a home therapy to increase the sperm count. The seeds are cooked in milk and consumed directly. Sperm locomotion also amplifies considerably by eating ash gourd.

The rind is also used to treat diabetes and the seeds to expel tapeworms.

To kill parasites and worms, take a handful of ash gourd seeds and grind them. Eat it in the morning on an empty stomach. Two hours later, take two teaspoons of castor oil.

CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given to children below 5 years of age.

 
Ash Gourd Nutrients

 

acetoin, alunsenol, carbohydrates, chitinase, fibre, flavonoids, mucins, mutiflorenol, nonanal, octanal, protein, saponins, phytosterols, terpenoids

 

Vitamins

 

B1

B2

B3

B5

B6

C

 

Minerals

 

calcium

iron

magnesium

manganese

phosphorous

sodium

zinc

 

Ashitaba (angelica keiskei koidzmi)

Ashitaba’s name in Japanese means 'Tomorrow's Leaf' or 'Earth Growth' in English and refers to the fact that if its leaves are picked in the morning, new leaves will be in place by the next morning. Ashitaba is a 'super food' which has been consumed as a vegetable and medicine for many hundreds of years by the inhabitants of Seven Islands of Izu (the Longevity Islands). It is an Asian green vegetable rich in the highly potent antioxidant known as chalcone. Chalcones are rarely found anywhere in the natural world but are the key factor in ashitaba. These organic compounds are flavonoids known as Xanthoangelol, Xanthoangelol-E and 4-Hydrooxyderricin and they give the plant its characteristic yellow sap. This sap differentiates ashitaba from all other strains of angelica. The antioxidant activity of these flavonoids is due to their molecular structure and they have a potent antioxidant activity exceeding that of red wine, green tea or soy.

Most plants are devoid of vitamin B12, which is normally only obtainable through meat, fish and eggs. However, ashitaba is a good source of this nutrient, making it an ideal supplement for strict vegetarians and vegans, who omit these foods from their diets and are at risk of suffering from a deficiency. A shortage of B12 can cause serious cognitive and nervous system problems, in addition to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and pernicious anaemia. Ashitaba is also a rich source of coumarins which are potent antioxidants found to contain anti-carcinogenic properties.

Chalcones ()
• Coumarins ()
• 4-hydrodexydelisin glycosides (
• Melatonin
• Germanium
• Vitamins & Minerals (Vitamin A, B, B2, C, B12, carotene, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium and Fiber)

100 grams of Ashitaba powder contains the beta carotene content equivalent to four carrots, the vitamin B2 content equivalent to 28 cloves of garlic, the vitamin C content equivalent to 4 lemons, and nine times the amount of iron found in spinach.

It also contains fibre, angelic acid, bergapten,columbianagin,  imperatorin, isoquercitrin, isorhazelpitin, melatonin, psoralen, rhazelpitom, ruteorin, selinidin, xanthoangelol, 4-hydroxyderrici, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, copper, germanium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulphur and zinc.

Ashitaba is rich in chlorophyll, the green pigment present in plants that is responsible for collecting and storing energy from the sun. Because the chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to the haemoglobin molecule in red blood cells it is often referred to as 'nature's blood'. One of its many attributes includes its ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues. It is also an excellent agent for cleansing the blood and liver and promotes the growth of 'friendly' intestinal bacteria.

Including ashitaba in the diet can cleanse the blood and promote blood circulation, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce allergies, sinus problems, joint and muscle pain, blood pressure and smooth muscle spasms in the arteries and bronchial tubes, improve vision and memory, enhance liver and kidney function, normalise cells, prevent osteoporosis and thrombus, strengthen the immune system, suppress gastric acid secretion, promote metabolism and act as a sedative. Ashitaba also possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties and is a potent antioxidant which protects the organs from destructive free radicals and slows the aging process. It also enhances smooth bowel movements which promotes detoxification and acts as an effective diuretic to remove toxic waste from the body. The active substance, xanthoangelol, in the roots of ashitaba provide anti-tumour and anti-metastatic activities

Ashitaba is useful in treating menstrual cramps and pains and menopause symptoms, gynaecological conditions and can provide options beyond hormone replacement therapy and hysterectomies.

The production of nerve growth factor (NGF) is enhanced by several compounds contained in Ashitaba. NGF is a protein essential in the development and survival of certain neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. This protein is effective in preventing and treating Alzheimer type dementia and diabetic peripheral neuropathy and as yet cannot be manufactured. However NGF production enhancers such as ashitaba can pass through the blood brain barrier to work in the brain and increase the NGF concentration.

Ashitaba is recommended for diabetics as it has the ability to normalise blood sugar levels. A diabetes patient in Japan took ashitaba powder daily for six months and his blood sugar level dropped from 400 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.

Ashitaba contains water based (hydrophillic) antioxidants that are more potent than those found in green tea. Ashitaba contains 6.20. Sage tea contains 4.67 and green tea 3.50.

The leaves, stems and roots can be consumed as a vegetable or salad ingredient and a tea can be made from the leaves. The recommended dosage for medicinal purposes is one teaspoon of ashitaba powder taken in the morning and evening in a small amount of juice, followed by a glass of water. Ashitaba has a sweet herb like taste and has no known contraindications.


Asparagus (asparagus officinalis)

The asparagus is a member of the lily family. It grows easily in the home garden right in the flower bed - it is a perennial and can yield a harvest for decades. Asparagus can be planted as seeds or roots any time of the year.

Asparagus has 288 milligrams of potassium per 8oz. It also contains 3 grams of fibre which cleanses the digestive system. It has virtually no natural sodium so no bloating during PMS, has no fat or cholesterol, and 8 oz has only 40 calories. Asparagus has been listed as the number one source of vitamin K which studies have shown can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. It is also necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. It is also rich in vitamin A, vitamin B9 (foliate) and glutathione - an amino acid compound with potent antioxidant properties. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals. Asparagus also contains a good supply of protein called histones, which are believed to be active in controlling cell growth.

Asparagus can help reduce belly fat, prevent and treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones, reduce pain and inflammation, protects against cancer and will reduce the risk of heart disease as it protects blood cholesterol from peroxidation, prevents cellular damage that can lead to cancer and heart disease, reduces the accumulation of iron in the joints, which is thought to be a primary cause of rheumatoid arthritis and has anti aging properties.

There have been cases reported where asparagus has been able to eliminate cancerous tumours in the body completely. This may be due to it's ability to reduce the accumulation of iron in the body. Cancerous cells need iron to multiply. It'd antioxidant properties and vitamin K content are additional anti-cancer agents so regular consumption is obviously beneficial to both protect against and treat cancerous tumours.

Treatment for Medical Conditions

Place cooked organic asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree. Store in the refrigerator (lasts 2-3 days). Take 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening. It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink. This suggested dosage is based on past reports, but larger amounts can do no harm and may be needed in some cases. Improvement can begin to show in about 2-4 weeks.

NOTE: Consuming asparagus can give the urine a strong odour but this is not harmful. It is due to the detoxification process which asparagus is capable of.

Asparagus is important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Having a foliate deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of Spina Bifida (a spinal cord birth defect) and also anencephaly (a neural tube defect). Foliate helps to regulate embryonic and foetal nerve cell formation and may also help to prevent premature births.


Astralagus  (astragalus membranaceus)

This Chinese herb is a member of the bean family, has been shown to boost the immune system and inhibit certain bacteria infections such as scarlet fever and strep throat and viruses, such as the cocksackie B virus. It has a long history of preventing and treating colds and various other respiratory-related conditions.


Aubergine (solanum melongena, egg plant, nightshade family)

In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, aubergine also contains important phytonutrients, many of which have antioxidant activity including phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin. Research on aubergine has focused on an anthocyanin phytonutrient found in the skin called nasunin. Nasunin is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. Nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. Cell membranes are almost entirely composed of lipids and are responsible for protecting the cell from free radicals, letting nutrients in and wastes out, and receiving instructions from messenger molecules that tell the cell which activities it should perform. Thus aubergines are good for the brain cells.

Eggplants/aubergines have a predominant phenolic compound found which is chlorogenic acid. This is one of the most potent free radical scavengers found in plant tissues. Benefits attributed to chlorogenic acid include antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities.

Aubergine contains anthocyanins, caffeic acid, choline, nasunin, nicotinoid alkaloids, chlorogenic acid, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin),  vitamin B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B9 (foliate), B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin D (secosteroids), calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, zinc, manganese


Avocado  (persea americana)

Contributes to the prevention of heart disease. Boosts the immune system in the elderly. Improves male fertility. Avocado may be naturally high in fat, but most of it is the healthy, monounsaturated type, which is essential for plump, youthful skin and actually helps neutralise bad fat in other foods, meaning it could help you lose weight.

Avocado lowers bad cholesterol and is a good source of potassium, which helps the body flush out toxins. It also contains the most potent anti-ageing combination, vitamin E and vitamin C which mop up ageing free radicals and de-clog arteries. It also contains vitamin K and vitamin B6, monounsaturated fat, fibre.


| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y |

See also: A - Z of Ailments & Natural Cures

B

Bacopa (bacopa monnieri)

This is a herb that has been used in traditional medicine for longevity and cognitive enhancement. It provides a mild reduction in anxiety and a reliable increase in memory formation seen after a month of consumption. It also protects cells and restores cell damage by acting as a free radical scavenger in the body. It has interactions with both dopamine and serotonine systems and works through proliferating dendrites (to enhance synaptic transmission) and thus promotes neuron communication.

NOTE: If taken on an empty stomach, those with digestive problems may experience nausea, cramping, bloating and diarrhoea. Prolonged use can promote apathy and cause  a reduction physical metabolism.


Balloon Flower Root (jie geng, platycodon grandiflorum, campanulaceae)

Changkil saponins isolated from the roots of the balloon flower have been found to increase intracellular glutathione content and significantly reduce oxidative injury to liver cells, minimise cell death and lipid peroxidation.


Bamboo Shoots (bambusa vulgaris)

Bamboo shoots are the young sprouts of bamboo and their highly nutritious and medicinal properties have been known in the Asian community since the Chinese Tang Dynasty 2,500 years ago. Bamboo shoots can lower LDL cholesterol and protect the bowels due to their phytosterols and polyphenols which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. They can also improve appetite and digestion, weight loss and cure cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The lignans in bamboo shoots have anticancer, antibacterial and antiviral activity. The shoots are free from residual toxicity as they grow without the need for hazardous fertilizers or pesticides.

Bamboo shoots provide omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, lignans, protein, fibre, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

The resin collected from the knots in the stems of bamboo is called tabashir and has powerful anti-aging properties due to it's silica content. .Silica enhances the function of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and boron


Bananas (musa acuminata, musa balbisiana)

One of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis. In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by a high-salt diet thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Bananas have long been recognized for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. Bananas work their protective magic in two ways: First, substances in bananas help activate the cells that compose the stomach lining, so they produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Second, other compounds in bananas called protease inhibitors help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of stomach ulcers.

Japanese scientists have found that a fully ripe banana produces a substance called TNF which has the ability to combat abnormal cells and enhance immunity against cancer. They have pointed out that as the banana ripens it develops dark spots and or patches in the banana skin and the more patches it has the higher will be its immunity enhancement quality. According the Japanese scientists who have carried out this research state that banana contains TNF which has anti-cancer properties. They say that the degree of anti-cancer effect corresponds to the degree of ripeness of the fruit.

Bananas are a smart move if you suffer from elimination problems. A bout of diarrhoea can quickly deplete your body of important electrolytes. Bananas can replenish your stores of potassium, one of the most important electrolytes, which helps regulate heart function as well as fluid balance. In addition, bananas contain pectin, a soluble fibre (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation. Bananas also contain resistant starch, but this amount varies depending on their degree of ripeness.

Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound called a prebiotic because it nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce vitamins and digestive enzymes that improve our ability to absorb nutrients, plus compounds that protect us against unfriendly microorganisms. When fructo oligosaccharides are fermented by these friendly bacteria, not only do numbers of probiotic bacteria increase, but so does the body's ability to absorb calcium. In addition, gastrointestinal transit time is lessened, decreasing the risk of colon cancer. Green bananas contain indigestible (to humans) short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are a favourite food of the cells that make up the lining of the intestines. When these cells are well-nourished and healthy, the body's ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium can increase dramatically.

Cayenne pepper sprinkled on the inside of a banana skin and placed on the skin with a bandage will draw out any foreign object (splinters, etc) embedded in the flesh.

For warts, gently rough the outer surface of the wart with an emery board then place the inside of the banana skin and bandage. This may take some time but the wart should eventually disappear.


Baobab (adansonia digitata)

The baobab is found in the savannas of African and India, mostly around the equator. It can grow up to 25 meters tall and can live for several thousand years and is leafless for nine months of the year. The baobab's bark, leaves, fruit and trunk are all used. The bark of the baobab is used for cloth and rope, the leaves for condiments and medicines, while the fruit, called "monkey bread", is eaten. Sometimes people live inside of the huge trunks and bush-babies live in the crown.

Baobab can protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and wrinkles as well as fight colds, stomach upsets and boost the immune system.

Baobab is a super fruit which apparently has six times more vitamin C than an orange, twice as much calcium as a glass of milk and more iron than a steak, three times more anti-oxidants than blueberries and six times more potassium than a banana. It is also rich in histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, pectin, phenylalanine, saponins, sterols, threonine, tryptophan, ursolic acids, valine, triterpenoids beta-sitosterol, beta-amyrin palmitate, alpha-amyrin palmitate, triterpenes, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6, phosphorous and magnesium.

The soluble fibre found in baobab fruit have been found to exert prebiotic effects which means it promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.


Barberry see Uva Ursi


Barley (hordeum vulgare)

This ancient grain is overlooked by today's culinary trendsetters, yet it is one of the grains with the greatest health benefits, delightful flavour and versatility. Barley can be used as a delicious breakfast cereal, in soups and stews and as a rice substitute for dishes such as risotto. It is a low-glycaemic grain, high in both soluble and insoluble fibre. It is a good source of vitamin vitamin B3 (niacin), has high concentrations of tocotrienols, the "super" form of vitamin E, selenium and provides lignans, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, Women who consume lignans (also present in high levels in flaxseed) are less likely to develop breast cancer.

Soluble fibre helps the body metabolize fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates and lowers blood cholesterol levels, is cardio-protective. Insoluble fibre promotes a healthy digestive tract and reduces the risk of cancers especially colon cancer.

Hulled barley, in which the outer hull (the bran) is left intact, is richer in fibre and contains more fibre and nutrients than other forms, such as pearl barley.

Hulled barley lowers blood cholesterol levels, protects against cancer especially colon cancer, is cardio-protective, protects against diabetes, slows starch digestion, which help keep blood sugar levels stable.

The fibre found in barley provides food for the beneficial bacteria in the large intestine. This is important as the "good" bacteria can crowd out the disease-causing bacteria in the intestinal tract, resulting in greater health and disease resistance


Basil  (ocimum basilicum)

Has a balancing effect on the nervous system and hormones. A basil tea is good for lowering blood sugar levels and blood pressure, relieves indigestion, flu, kidney and bladder disorders, headaches, migraines, indigestion, flatulence, nausea, vomiting, constipation, colds, coughs and fever. Can clear and relieve lung problems, difficult urination, memory problems, nasal congestion, hay fever, nervous conditions, congestion, nutrient absorption, abdominal distension as it is analgesic and anti-inflammatory. The essential oil of basil contains eugenol which works similarly to aspirin and ibuprofen in decreasing the swelling in joints and tissues to provide relief from arthritis, rheumatism, joint pain, cramps and fibromyalgia.

Basil is also a herbal antibiotic, antiseptic, carminative and appetizer that benefits the stomach during digestion and can provide immediate relief from flatulence, stomach cramps and nausea. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties can provide relief for inflamed bowel conditions such as colitis, IBS, crohn’s and celiac disease. Because of it's antibacterial and antiviral properties it is effective against bacterial infections, intestinal parasites and the viruses that cause colds, flu, mononucleosis, shingles and herpes.

Basil is a rich source of magnesium which relaxes muscles and blood vessels and supports cardiovascular health by lowering the risk of irregular heart rhythms and spasms.

Basil’s fungicidal properties also aid in healing wounds, skin rashes, warts and insect bites. Crush fresh leaves in a small amount of pure coconut oil, apply to the skin, and wrap with a fresh bandage daily

Basil is also nerve tissue strengthening, a heart tonic, oxygenates the body, cleanses and clears the brain and nerves, relieves depression and the effects of poisons, prevents the accumulation of fat in the body (especially for women after menopause) and fights skin diseases, first stages of many cancers and builds the immune system.

A tea made of one heaping tablespoon to one pint of water simmered for 20-minutes with 3 crushed black peppercorns per cup will be effective for the above ailments.

Externally diluted essential oil can be useful for acne, hives, insect bites and skin infections.

Basil can work as a natural antihistamine to treat hives. Heat a couple sprigs of basil leaves up under some steam and apply gently to the hives. Basil may help reassure the body that the foreign agent causing the hives is not something it should be fighting.

Note: Essential oil is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

Basil contains the trace mineral copper (organic form), needed to absorb iron. It is also a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium.


Bayberry (myrica cerifera, myrica communis, myrica pensylvanica, candle berry, myrica, tallow shrub, waxberry, wax myrtle)
 

An excellent blood purifier and detoxifier. It is effective for helping to stop a cold from forming if taken when the first symptoms appear.


Bay Leaf (laurus nobilis, cinnamomum tamala, sweet bay, true laurel, laurier d'apollon, roman laurel, noble laurel, lorbeer, laurier sauce, daphne)

Internally bay leaves are good to stimulate appetite, promote digestion, relieve colic and flatulence.  Externally it is good for dandruff, boosting hair growth, rheumatism, sprains, scabies and bruises. Also externally, can be applied as a poultice on the chest with a cloth covering to relieve bronchitis and coughs. An oil infused with bay leaves can be applied with great benefit to rheumatic and arthritic aches and pains as well as to swellings and sprains.


Beans (legumes, pulses, peas)  

Beans are plants with seed pods that split into two halves. Edible seeds from plants in the legume family including black beans, black eyed peas, broad beans, chickpeas, green beans, lentils, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, peanuts, peas, pinto beans, red kidney beans, soybeans, winged beans.

Legumes reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers LDL cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, lowers the risks of colon cancer, prevents anaemia, maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Legumes are low in fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed.

Legumes are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Beef (lean, low fat, organic)

A very good source of protein providing 64.1% of the daily value for protein in just 4 ounces. Lean organic beef also contains nutrients that protect the heart and prevent colon cancer. In addition to being a very good source of protein, lean, organic beef is a very good source of vitamin B12, and a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B12 along with vitamin B6 are two vitamins needed by the body to convert the potentially dangerous chemical homocysteine into other, benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, getting plenty of these B vitamins in the diet is important. A four-ounce serving of lean beef provides 48.7% of the recommended daily amount for vitamin B12 plus 24.5% of the RDA for B6. Diets high in vitamin B12 rich foods, especially if they are low in fat, are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Organic beef is also a good source of the trace minerals selenium and zinc. Selenium that helps reduce the risk of colon cancer, is needed for the proper function of glutathione peroxidase, an important internally produced antioxidant that has also been shown to reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium is incorporated at the active site of glutathione peroxidase, which is particularly important for cancer protection. Glutathione peroxidase is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules, which might otherwise wreak havoc on any cells with which they come in contact, damaging their cellular DNA and promoting the development of cancer cells. For this and other reasons, foods rich in selenium are also associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer.

Lean beef is a good source of zinc, which is helpful for preventing the damage to blood vessel walls that can contribute to atherosclerosis and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system, making it a good nutrient for helping to prevent infections or recurrent ear infections. Lean, low-fat organic beef tenderloin can be a healthy addition to a good, whole foods diet.


Beetroot   (beta vulgaris, Swiss chard, beets)

Are extremely important in curing anaemia. Beetroot juice contains carbohydrates, protein, fibre, anthocyanidins, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (niacin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin P (citrin bioflavonoid), calcium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorous, potassium and sulphur.

With its high iron content, beetroot juice regenerates and reactivates the red blood cells, supplies the body with fresh oxygen and helps the normal function of vesicular breathing.

Also helps prevent spina bifida in babies when consumed during in pregnancy. Reduces the risks of heart disease. Helps control cholesterol levels. Stops the spread of cancer tumours. Prevents diseases of liver, kidney and pancreas and treats ulcers in the stomach. Strengthens the immune system. Improves the vision, good for eye redness treatment. Reduces pain after intense physical training. Useful refuelling food for tired muscles. Eliminates hard stool, positively affects the colon. Strengthens the lungs. Regulates high blood pressure. Improves bad breath which occurs due to indigestion of food. Helps treat acne and creates healthy skin. Reduces menstrual pain.

Beetroots possess betacyanin which gives them their deep red colour and provides the essential ingredient which can assist the body with recovery from many ailments.

Make a raw juice with the following:

1 beetroot
1 carrot
1 apple
1 lemon

Wash and chop the ingredients before placing in a juicer of at least 900 watts then drink immediately. Do this three times a day for maximum benefit. See more powerful juicing recipes


Bell Peppers (capsicum annuum, nightshade family)

Brightly coloured bell peppers, whether green, red, orange or yellow, are rich sources of some of the best nutrients available. To start, peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C and vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), two very powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants work together to effectively neutralize free radicals, which can travel through the body causing huge amounts of damage to cells. Free radicals are major players in the build up of cholesterol in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis and heart disease, the nerve and blood vessel damage seen in diabetes, the cloudy lenses of cataracts, the joint pain and damage seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, and the wheezing and airway tightening of asthma. By providing these two potent free radical destroyers, bell peppers may help prevent or reduce some of the symptoms of these conditions by shutting down the source of the problem.

For atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, peppers also contain vitamin B6 and vitamin B9 (folic acid). These two B vitamins are very important for reducing high levels of homocysteine, a substance produced during the methylation cycle (an essential biochemical process in virtually every cell in the body). High homocysteine levels have been shown to cause damage to blood vessels and are associated with a greatly increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition to providing the vitamins that convert homocysteine into other beneficial molecules, bell peppers also provide fibre that can help lower high cholesterol levels, another risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

Red peppers are one of the few foods that contain lycopene, a carotenoid whose consumption has been inversely correlated with prostate cancer and cancers of the cervix, bladder and pancreas. May significantly lower one's risk of developing lung cancer. When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming the most cryptoxanthin rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods. A common carcinogen in cigarette smoke, benzo pyrene, induces vitamin A deficiency.

Sweet peppers appear to have a protective effect against cataracts, possibly due to their vitamin C and beta-carotene content. Red peppers, reduced the cataract operation risk. Sweet red peppers also supply the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been found to protect against macular degeneration, the main cause of blindness in the elderly.

Vitamin C rich foods, such as bell and chilli peppers, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.

NOTE: bells peppers should be consumed with a fat rich natural food like olive oil, nuts or avocado so that beta-carotene can be absorbed by the body. Cooking bell peppers destroys 40% of their phytonutrients.


Bergamot (bee balm, monarda didyma) (not related to bergamot citrus bergamia)

Young leaves are used as flavouring and seasoning and in Oswego tea. Other related species contain antiseptic thymol. Traditionally oil from the leaves is applied to pimples and the leaves are infused for steam-inhalation for colds or tea for nausea, flatulence and insomnia. Essential oil is used for oil burners and added to baths for the deep rich fragrance.


Berries  

Acai, blueberries, blackberries, chokeberries, cranberries, goji berries, gooseberries, juniper berries, raspberries, strawberries all help the body make collagen, the protein needed to keep skin supple, smooth and healthy. Click the blue links to find out more about each berry.

Blackcurrants in particular protect against UV skin damage and reduce the ageing effect of sunburn by neutralising free radicals. Cranberries and blueberries both help protect against cystitis by stopping harmful bacteria sticking to the urinary tract.

All berries help to prevent varicose veins, ease rheumatoid arthritis, reduce the risks of cancer and have anti-bacterial properties. Berries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B9 (folic acid), anthocyanidins, fibre and contain many phytonutrients.


Bdellium Gum (commiphora africana, balsamodendron mukul, guggul, guggulu, gugul,mfalse myrrh, sweet myrrh)

Closely related to frankincense and myrrh gum collected from the bdellium tree has many positive effects on the human body such as lowering cholesterol levels, reducing tissue inflammation, promoting balance in the thyroid gland and lowering body weight.


Betel Nut. (areca catechu, areca catechu, bing lang, betel nut palm)

The betel nut is the seed of the areca palm which grows in much of the tropical Pacific, Asia and parts of east Africa. It is used to treat disorders of the spleen, stomach and large intestine, beriberi and oedema and has a diuretic effect. It can also expel and kill many kinds of intestinal parasites and has a laxative effect to excrete parasites from intestine.

Betel nut contains three major alkaloids: arecoline, pilocarpine, and muscarine. It is safe to use occasionally to expel human parasites and worms but must not be used regularly as it has many detrimental health affects.

Excessive use leads to palpitations, increased pulse rate, sweating, Prolonged use for many years may increase the risk for oral cancers. The regular use of betel will, in time, stain the mucosa, gums, and teeth. 

Caution: can be addictive

Avoid: if suffering with cardiovascular disease or pregnant.

Tapeworm Expulsion. To kill tapeworms grind one betel nut with a small glass of milk. Take this early in the morning on an empty stomach.

NOTE: Do not give to children.


Bicarbonate of Soda

Because bicarbonate of soda is alkaline (that means it has a pH greater than 7), has a gritty texture, and gives off carbon dioxide when heated, it has many, many uses around the home. It can be used for everything from cleaning to deodorizing, tenderizing meat to leavening baked goods. 

Bicarbonate of soda has been shown to decrease dental plaque acidity induced by sucrose and its buffering capacity is important to prevent dental cavities. Other studies have shown that bicarbonate inhibits plaque formation on teeth and, in addition, increases calcium uptake by dental enamel. It is advisable to clean teeth after eating food with bicarbonate of soda alternating with a natural herbal toothpaste.

Bicarbonate of soda can also help to break up uric acid kidney and bladder stones. Take 1/2 a teaspoon in a small glass of distilled water every few hours until the stones have been passed.

Worms & Parasites: Take one quarter teaspoon of baking soda in the evening before bed to eradicate worms & parasites. Repeat for three days.

Toe Nail Fungus: Make a paste with 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and coconut milk. Apply to infected toes then place clean socks on and leave over night. Repeat if necessary.

Acne: Make a paste with 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and coconut milk. Apply to infected area and leave to dry then rinse off.

Only buy pure mined bicarbonate of soda which has not been tainted with chemicals during the production process.

Can be used with vinegar to unblock drains. Pour a glass of bicarbonate of soda into the sink or bath then add the vinegar. When it stops fizzing rinse away.



Birch
(betula)

 

Is practically unexcelled in the tree bark remedies for successfully treating psoriasis, eczema, herpes, acne and similar chronic skin diseases. A tea was once made by boiling the bark which American Native Indians used on the skin either as a poultice or ash to treat burns, wounds, bruises, eczema and sores. A similar tea can be made by bringing 1 quart of water to a boil, reducing the heat, adding 3 tbsp dried bark, covering and simmering for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for an additional hour.
 


Bissy Nut (cola acuminate)

Has been known to help relieve inflammation in disorders such as rheumatism and gout. It also is used as a diuretic and contains metabolism-enhancing properties.


Bitter Kola (garcinia kola, garcinia afzelii)

Is a medium-sized tree that is common to central Africa. Its seeds are used as medicine throughout the region and can cure  Ebola and has anti cancer properties and works against many viruses, including the flu. Unfortunately this tree is a rare species which is on the endangered species list so acquiring the seeds may be nigh on impossible.


Black Beans (phaseolus vulgaris)

Reduces the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar levels. Lowers the risks of colon cancer. Prevents anaemia. Maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Low fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed. Black beans are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Blackberries (rubus fruticosus, bramble)

This delicious fruit has been cultivated in Europe for thousands of years, not only as food; the Europeans also used blackberry juice to treat mouth and eye infections. The North American Natives incorporated this wild bramble into their diet and made tea from its leaves to help reduce vomiting and aid digestion. In Oregon, you will find blackberry bushes everywhere, offering abundant free fruit in season. And stopping to take the time for some old-fashioned berry picking would be a healthy choice.

Blackberries may be one of the best anti cancer and anti-aging foods this planet has to offer. They are in the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) top ten list. In the past, the main reason to eat blackberries was the vitamin C. Now it is known that they are also rich in polyphenolics, including antioxidant anthocyanin pigments. Also the seeds are high in ellagic acid which protects from cancer. Blackcurrants in also protect against UV skin damage and reduce the ageing effect of sunburn by neutralising free radicals.

Blackberries are a very good source of vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, fibre and pectin.


Black Cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa)

The early Native Americans used Black Cohosh to treat snakebite and a tea from the root is reputed to soothe sore throat. They also used the root to help ease complaints associated with the skeletal system.

It is a traditional approach for many gynaecological topics, including menstrual cramps, labour and delivery and menstruation. When combined with other nervine herbs, it provides excellent soothing properties. Black Cohosh also nourishes the respiratory system. Black Cohosh has traditionally been used to calm the nervous system by nourishing blood vessels and balancing the hormones in menopausal women. Studies show it contains substances that bind to oestrogen receptors. It has also been shown in lab experiments (in vitro) to inhibit microbial activity and can treat intestinal infections such as helicobacter pylori.

NOTE: Black Cohosh should be taken with caution as it can cause an allergic reaction.


Blackcurrants (ribes nigrum)

Help the body make collagen, the protein needed to keep skin supple, smooth and healthy. Blackcurrants in particular protect against UV skin damage and reduce the ageing effect of sunburn by neutralising free radicals. Prevents varicose veins. Has anti-bacterial properties. Eases rheumatoid arthritis. Reduces the risks of cancer. Contains vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin K, anthocyanidins and fibre.

Blackcurrant Oil

Black currant oil is obtained by crushing the seeds of the black currant plant. Black currant oil has been found to contain high levels of GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) and vitamin C. which can aid in autoimmune disorders, hair and nail problems, and PMS.

Serum levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol are lower for black currant oil than fish oil. Black currant oil contributes to and regulates prostaglandin production. Can give relief of morning stiffness, pain reduction and relief of joint tenderness for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Is rich in linoleic acid (omega 3) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This substance supports the body's manufacture of hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins which help regulate functions of the circulatory system. GLA assists the body with its energy processes and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow, muscles and cell membranes.


Black Eyed Peas (vigna unguiculata)

Reduces the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar levels. Lowers the risks of colon cancer. Prevents anaemia. Maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Low fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed. Black eyed peas are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Black Pepper (piper nigrum)

Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the (Piper nigrum) Piperaceae family and is used as a spice and also as a medicine. The chemical piperine, present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. It is native to the southern state of India, Kerala and the tropical rain forests in Indonesia. From ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely traded spices in the world. The peppercorn is actually a berry but is often categorized as a spice due to the way it is used in cooking. This plant, a perennial climbing vine, will require the use of a pole to reach its full growth potential. It will not produce fruit for as long as four years after planting. Often peppercorns are harvested when they are nearly matured and ready to turn red in colour. White peppercorns, the result of berries that have fully ripened, which are then soaked to remove the dark, outer shell, revealing a white pepper seed on the inside. 

Because of its antibacterial properties, pepper is also used to preserve food. It is a source of manganese, iron, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K and dietary fibre. Pepper is a very good, anti-inflammatory agent and are rich in antioxidants, controls blood pressure and heart rate with its high level of potassium. Pepper is also high in iron which is essential in the production of healthy blood cells. Peppercorns contain vitamin A and vitamin C and are also rich in other antioxidants such as carotenes which work to help the body fight cancers and other diseases.

The outer layer of peppercorn assists in the breakdown of fat cells,  therefore, peppery foods are a good way to shed weight. It also helps to cure vitiligo, which is a skin disease that causes some areas of skin to lose its normal pigment and turn white. Piperine, a phytochemical, contained in pepper can stimulate the skin to produce pigment. It also reduces the chances of skin cancer due to excess ultraviolet radiation. Piperine, increases metabolism which effectively increases the calories that the body can burn helping with weight loss. This phytochemical also increases the body’s ability to absorb other nutrients such as vitamin B and beta-carotene. Black pepper also helps to transport the nutrients of other herbs to different parts of body.

Peppercorns digestive benefits are caused by stimulating taste buds which increases the amount of hydrochloric acid that the stomach produces. This additional secretion improves digestion of food once it reaches the stomach. This is one of the most notable attributes of black pepper and because of its ability to eliminate the bacteria in the stomach, black pepper is also an antibacterial agent.

The health benefits of black pepper include the following:

The health benefits of black pepper include relief from for abnormal heart rate, acne, anaemia, asthma, bloating, blocked arteries, blood pressure disorders, boils, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, colic, common cold, cough, constipation, dental care, diarrhoea, ear ache, eye problems, fever, flatulence, gangrene, indigestion, infections, haemorrhoids, heartburn, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, impotency, indigestion, insect bites, joint pain, kidney infections, liver problems, muscular strains, nasal congestion, obesity, phlegm, pyorrhoea, rheumatism, respiratory disorders, sinus congestion, sinusitis, skin diseases including cancer, sore throat, toothache, tooth decay, vitiligo, whooping cough, water retention, wind and worms.

Medicinal Methods

Black pepper is an excellent remedy one can take at the first sign of most diseases. Yogis consider pepper to be one of nature's most perfect foods and useful not only to cure disease but also as a preventive, taking a dose of seven peppercorns, ground and mixed with honey each morning. The mixture of pepper and honey is useful to overcome cold mucous diseases and sore throats.  When treating acute diseases, it may be used three to four times a day. 

Black pepper in conjunction with turmeric has strong anti-cancer properties as well assisting with stopping smoking in vapour form.

Grinding peppercorns to make pepper powder at home is better than buying ready-made pepper powder. But even home-made powder retains its freshness for only up to 3 months. Whole peppercorns can keep their freshness indefinitely.

Thus, adding a pinch of black pepper to every meal not only helps improve taste and digestion, it also improves your overall health and well being.

Precaution: Pepper may cause sneezing. Patients who’ve undergone abdominal surgery should not take pepper because it can have an irritating effect on the intestines. It is also not good for people with ulcers. Black pepper should not be taken in high doses.


Black Plum (wu mei)

A small, fleshy fruit native to Japan and China. It grows on tall trees that bloom in the spring, with scented flowers. In China, black plums are grown primarily in the Zhejiand, Fujian and Yunnan provinces. The plums are harvested while the fruit has yet to ripen. They are baked at a low temperature until the skin of the fruit turns black; at that point the plum stone, or seed, is removed, and the fruit is stored in a sealed container for later use.

In traditional Chinese medicine, black plum has sour and neutral properties and is associated with the spleen, lung and large intestine.  Its main functions are to stop prolonged, coughs with phlegm, soothe the intestines and promote the production of body fluids. Black plum is high in citric acid, an important substance that the body uses for energy and to fight fatigue. Black plum extracts and decoctions can fight the production of several types of bacteria, including meningococcus, typhoid bacillus and bacillus anthracis and it can stimulate the immune system and promote digestion.

The typical dose of black plum ranges from 3 to 10 grams, depending on the condition being treated. Lower doses are given if black plum extracts are being used; larger doses can be used if it is being applied externally. Typically, the fruit is mashed or charred, then ground down into a powder.

Black plum should not be taken by patients who are diagnosed with exterior syndrome. In addition, any plum that is very bitter should not be consumed due to the fact that it may have significant amounts of hydrogen cyanide. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide can stimulate respiration and improve digestion, but extremely large amounts can cause respiratory failure. There are no known drug interactions with black plum.


Black Seed (nigella sativa, black cumin, habbatul barakah, kalonji)

These seeds have long been used in folk medicine in the Arabian Gulf region, Far East Asia, and Europe. The Prophet Mohammad described the healing powers of the Black Seeds against a variety of diseases. According to common Islamic and Arabic belief, Habbatul Barakah is a remedy for all ailments (universal healer). Black Seed is also mentioned as the curative “black cumin” in the Holy Bible and is described as Melanthion by Hippocrates and Dioscorides and as Gith by Pliny. It was also found in Tutankhamen's tomb dating back approximately 3,300 years ago.

Phytochemical studies of black seed showed the presence of100+ constituents. Many of these compounds have not yet been chemically identified. They have analgesic, antilipemic, postcoital contraceptive, diuretic, antihypertensive, bronchodilator, calcium antagonist, histamine release inhibitor, hepatoprotective, anthelmintic, antifungal, antimicrobial (against a wide range of organisms), anti-ulcer, anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. It is an immensely powerful seed which can kill MRSA, heal the chemical weapon poisoned body and stimulate regeneration of the dying beta cells within the diabetic's pancreas

Black seeds are useful for a wide range of ailments, including fever, cough, bronchitis, asthma, depression, chronic headache, migraine, dizziness, chest congestion, dysmenorrhoea, epilepsy, obesity, diabetes, paralysis, parasites, worms, hemiplagia, back pain, infection, inflammation, rheumatism, hypertension and gastrointestinal problems such as dyspepsia, flatulence, dysentery and diarrhoea. It has been used as a stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, lactagogue, anthelmintic, and carminative. Black Seed is also used externally where it is applied directly to abscesses, nasal ulcers, orchitis, eczema, boils and swollen joints.

Researchers found in some cases that black seeds kill pancreatic cancer cells. The studies also showed they can block the growth of the cancer cells.

The nigella sativa black seeds are very nutrient rich and have been found to increase energy levels, cure vaginal infections and lower blood pressure. When used medicinally, nigella sativa is usually reduced to an oil and often eaten with honey. The seeds are mixed together with honey and eaten as a tasty snack food. It's a delicious way to get a huge portion of the daily nutrients and vitamins the body needs.

Black seeds contain alfa-pinene, arachidic acid, argenine, beta-pinene, carotene,  linoleic acid (omega 6), linolenic acid (omega 3) myristic acid, nigellone, oleic acid, p-cymene, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, protein, sabinene, stearic acid, thymoquinone, vitamin B1 (thiamine) , vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc.

For headaches, rub 1/2 teaspoon of oil on the forehead. Also place 3-4 drops of oil in the nose. Do this 3 times a day. Also digest 1 teaspoon of the oil mixed with honey at midday.

For cancer mix 1 teaspoon of the nigella sativa oil with 1 teaspoon of honey. Eat this mixture one hour before the first meal and right before going to bed. Eat 4 to 5 cloves of garlic each day in conjunction with the oil and honey.

For urinary infections, parasites and worms, take 1 teaspoon of black seed powder or oil per day and the infection should be gone within several days.

For parasites and worms, take 1 teaspoon of black seed powder with honey and drink 3 times a day, 1 hour before meals and 1 before bed. Eat 4 to 5 cloves of garlic each day in conjunction with the black seed and honey.


Blackstrap Molasses

Two teaspoons of black strap molasses contains 18% of the RDA for manganese, 7.3% magnesium, 13.3% of iron, 11.8% of calcium and 14% of copper. It is also a good source of inositol, vitamin B6 and selenium. One tablespoon provides 452mg of potassium. This makes it almost equal to the 467mg found in one small banana. Potassium helps to regulate the body's fluid and mineral balance. Potassium also regulates blood pressure and decreases the risk of stroke.

Black strap molasses can be beneficial to those suffering with arthritis, joint problems, eye problems, blood disorders, circulation problems, fluid retention, kidney problems, menstruation problems, high blood pressure, infertility in men, constipation, fatigue, memory loss, heart problems and depression.

Blackstrap molasses is just one type of molasses, the dark liquid by-product of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. It is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is therefore the concentrated by-product left over after the sugar's sucrose has been crystallized.

Other sweeteners do not contain the nutrients of blackstrap molasses. Sugar and corn syrup only contain carbohydrates as the processing strips them of all nutrients. Honey and agave nectar possess some trace minerals, but nowhere near the amounts provided by blackstrap molasses. Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, may contain no or few calories, but they can cause many health problems and they provide no nutrition, whatsoever.

Some blackstrap molasses have added sulphur to prevent discolouration and bacterial growth. Seek out organic molasses which have not been through the sulphur process for a better taste and to prevent potential reaction to the sulphites. Blackstrap molasses may be kept in a cool cupboard or the refrigerator. Once opened, use it within six months


Black Walnut Hulls (juglans nigra, carya, Jupiter's nuts)

Contain a substance which helps the body eliminate parasites. Although this is the primary purpose of this herb, it is also used for poison oak, ringworm and skin ailments. It has antifungal properties and is also said to promote bowel regularity.


Blessed Thistle (cnicus benedictus, carbenia benedicta, St. Benedict thistle, holy thistle, spotted thistle, cardin, carduus benedictus)

Acts as a general tonic to the female reproductive system, as well as helping to balance the hormones.


Bloater Fish

Relieves symptoms of psoriasis, reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure, maintains bone density, prevents anaemia, supports cardiovascular health, lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels, lowers risk of atherosclerosis, strengthens the bones, supports joint cartilage, helps regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue, reduces free radical damage and inflammation, reduces risk of cancer including colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, protects against macular degeneration (AMD) of the eye, reduces the risk of dry eye syndrome, promotes more youthful skin, alleviates skin blemishes, gives good hair lustre, prevents hair loss and helps with brain and eye development in infants. Pregnant and nursing women may benefit from eating oily fish to increase the amount of DHA in the diet.

Bloater Fish are rich in two fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA),  A 3oz. portion contains 2 g of essential omega-3 fatty acids and 20g of protein Contains vitamin B2vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, selenium, iodine; copper. For more details see Oily Fish

Bloater Fish are a type of whole cold smoked herring.

Kippers are split smoked herring.

Pilchards are a type of small herring

Sardines are younger smaller herring


Bluebell (endymion, scilla nutans, calverkeys, wild hyacinth, culverkeys, auld man's bell, ring-o'-bells, jacinth, wood bells, agraphis nutans)

Although the bluebell is poisonous, the bulb, dried and powdered, has been used in the past to help prevent nightmares, cure leprosy, tuberculosis, treat spider-bites and as a styptic (which stops bleeding by contracting the bleed vessels and tissue) for leucorrhoea and a diuretic. The dose should not exceed 3 grains.


Blueberries  (vaccinium myrtillus, bilberry)

Contains nutrients that protect eyes from eyestrain or fatigue and can improve circulation to the eyes. When British Royal Air Force pilots During World War II ate Bilberry preserves before night missions and discovered that their night vision improved afterwards, this herb was investigated and found to be very beneficial for the eyes. Bilberry works by improving the microcirculation and regeneration of retinal purple, a substance required for good eyesight. It is believed that this property is related to the high amount of anthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid that tends to prevent capillary fragility and strengthen the capillaries which nourish the eyes and is also found in blue berries.

Other properties appear to assist in thinning the blood and stimulating the release of vasodilators. Anthocyanin, a natural antioxidant, also lowers blood pressure, reduces clotting and improves blood supply to the nervous system. Anthocyanosides support and enhance the health of collagen structures in the blood vessels of the eyes, thus aiding in the development of strong healthy capillaries that can carry vital nutrients to eye muscles and nerves. Blueberries have long been a remedy for poor vision and "night blindness." Clinical tests have indicated that consumption of blueberries tends to improve visual accuracy in healthy people and can help those with eye disorders such as pigmentosa, retinitis, glaucoma and myopia.

Blueberries and cranberries also protect against cystitis and urinary tract infections by stopping harmful bacteria sticking to the urinary tract. They can also prevents varicose veins, eases rheumatoid arthritis, reduce the risks of cancer and have anti-bacterial properties. .

New evidence suggests that blueberries and cranberries contain an antioxidant that may slow down age-related motor changes, such as those seen in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Blueberries contain a balanced mixture of the five major anthocyanins aglycons; delphinidin, petunidin, cyanidin, peonidin and malvidin bound to monosaccharides (glucose, galactose and arabinose). They are also a rich source of vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin K and fibre.


Blue Cohosh (caulophyllum thalictroides, squaw root, papoose root, blue ginseng, yellow ginseng)

Nutritionally supports the female reproductive system. It was used by native Americans to treat menstrual cramps, to suppress profuse menstruation, and to induce contractions in labour

NOTE: It should be taken with caution as it can cause an allergic reaction. Pregnant women should avoid this herb


Blue Vervain (verbena hastata, verbena azul, enchanter’s plant, herb of the cross, devil's medicine, bastard balm, juno’s tears, pigeon’s grass, pigeonweed, simpler’s joy, herb of grace, iron-weed, wild verbena, wild hyssop)

This herb was one of the most revered used by the Druids. It was called hiera botane (sacred plant) by the Romans, who used it to purify their homes and temples

It can nourish the digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. It helps the body maintain balance during the winter season and fortifies it against the organisms which promote flu, coughs and colds. This herb acts as a diaphoretic, which means that it helps the body eliminate toxins through the pores by stimulating perspiration.

NOTE: not suitable for pregnant women although it is good during labour as it is a uterine stimulant. Avoid if suffering from heart disease. It can cause vomiting in high doses.


Bok Choy (brasica rapa var chinensis, Chinese cabbage, pak choy)

Glucoraphanin, which transforms into sulforaphane in the body, is found in brassicas like bok choy and blocks a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. Consuming plenty of these cruciferous vegetables can protect the joints and help to treat arthritis. Sulforaphane, which also helps with the detoxification in the liver and may prevent, or even cure, breast cancer. Brassicas can boost the immune system, prevent spina difida in newborns (if consumed during pregnancy) and prevent heart disease and many forms of cancer.

Bok choy is a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

To benefit from the fat soluble carotenoids in bok choy, it must be consumed with a fatty food such as nuts, seeds, oils, fish, avocado etc.


Bolaina or Mutamba Bark (guazuma ulmifolia)

This Amazonian plant is regarded as astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, emollient, pectoral, refrigerant, stomachic, styptic and sudorific. It is used for alopecia, asthma, bronchitis, dermatitis, diarrhoea, dysentery, elephantiasis, fever, hepatitis, syphilis, leprosy, malaria and nephritis.


Borage (borago oficinalis)

Borage is a medium-sized, bushy plant that grows prolifically in the UK. Native to the area around the Mediterranean Sea, the borage plant is now found in various mild and warm climate zones. Borage has wrinkled dark green leaves but is covered in soft bristles. Borage has brilliant blue flowers which are present for most of the summer and early fall. The flowers have been used to create blue dye. Borage oil is derived from the seeds of the borage plant.

Borage oil contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a fatty acid the body converts to a material called prostaglandin which has anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to act as blood thinners and blood vessel dilators. Borage seed oil is 20 to 26% GLA, a very rich source of gamma linolenic acid.

While scientific studies are not conclusive, some studies indicate that borage oil can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and is useful for people with atopic dermatitis (eczema). For the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the amounts of GLA from borage used has been recommended at 1.4 to 2.8 grams daily for at least two months.

360 mg of GLA daily from borage oil has been used to treat people with eczema, although use for this condition has not been substantiated.

Topically, 0.5 ml of borage oil may be applied to areas of seborrhoea daily for two weeks, and then three times a week until the condition is stable.

Furry grey/green leaves with cucumber flavour. Leaves used in salads, iced drinks and vegetables. Beautiful blue bell-shaped flowers can be used as garnish in fruit cups, Pimms and salads. Magical properties are courage  and psychic powers. A tea made from Borage induces psychic powers. Attractive to bees. Full sun. Sow Borage seeds outdoors every month for a continual harvest of fresh leaves and flowers. Borage is excellent to grow alongside tomatoes and helps to improve strawberry crop.


Bran

Bran is the outer layer of whole grains such as oats, wheat and rice. In food processing, this outer layer is often stripped from the grains creating a smoother product, but one lacking in as many health benefits. It is made of insoluble dietary fibre and does not break down in the same manner as do grains stripped of it. Consuming bran may have tremendous benefits for the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, as a pro-biotic food, in combating heart disease and controlling weight. Bran has natural antibacterial fighting properties and as pathogenic bacteria cause most ulcers, reducing harmful gut bacteria can reduce the chance of getting an ulcer. Soluble fibres attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion by delaying the emptying of the stomach and creating a full feeling, which helps control weight. Slower stomach emptying may also affect blood sugar levels and have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity, which may help control diabetes. Soluble fibre can also help lower LDL blood cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.


Brassicas (brassicaceae, cruciferous vegetables, cruciferae)

The word brassica derives from bresic, a Celtic word for cabbage and they were originally named brassicas for the four equal-sized petals in their flowers that could be viewed as forming a cross like or crucifix shape. The following are all brassicas:

bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, collard greens, cress, daikon, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, radish, rapeseed, rocket, shepherd's purse, swede, turnip, wasabi, watercress

Glucoraphanin, which transforms into sulforaphane in the body, is found in brassicas like bok choy and blocks a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. Consuming plenty of these cruciferous vegetables can protect the joints and help to treat arthritis. Sulforaphane, which also helps with the detoxification in the liver and may prevent, or even cure, breast cancer. Brassicas can boost the immune system, prevent spina difida in newborns (if consumed during pregnancy) and prevent heart disease and many forms of cancer.

Brassicas have a very high antioxidant content which cleanses the system and protects the lungs.

Brassicas are a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

To benefit from the fat soluble carotenoids in brassicas, they must be consumed with a fatty food such as nuts, seeds, oils, fish, avocado etc.

Avoid: cabbage & kale if suffering from thyroid gland problems, kidney or gallstones


Brazil Nuts (bertholletia excelsa castania, castanheiro do para, para-nut, creamnut, castana- de-para, castana-de-Brazil)

These nuts are a great source of selenium, which improves the condition of the hair and nails, and boosts skin elasticity. Selenium also wards off opportunistic infections, keeps the muscles in the heart healthy and even helps with acne. Brazils also contain a good amount of zinc, which reduces ageing skin inflammation and eases dry skin problems like eczema and psoriasis that leave the skin more vulnerable to wrinkling.


Brewer's Yeast 

Made from a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is used to make beer, wine and bread. It tastes bitter and should not be confused with baker's yeast, nutritional yeast, or torula yeast. All those types of yeast are low in chromium.

Brewer's yeast is a good source of B-complex vitamins, chromium and selenium. The B-complex vitamins in brewer's yeast include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin H or B7 (biotin) and B9 (folic acid). These vitamins help break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which provide the body with energy. They also support the nervous system; help maintain the muscles used for digestion, and keep skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver healthy.

Brewer's yeast is a rich source of chromium which helps to lower blood sugar levels as well as improving glucose tolerance and reducing the amount of insulin needed. Chromium can also help to reduce body fat.

Brewer's yeast is used as a protein supplement and energy booster, so it may help maintain a healthy weight. Brewer's yeast helps to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels in the blood and raise HDL ("good") cholesterol levels, can reduce acne and the risk of a second skin cancer and helps to prevent colds and flu.

Brewer's yeast is available in powder, flakes, tablet, and liquid forms. 1 - 2 Tbsp per day; may be added to food or dissolved in juice or water. Is is not recommended for children.

NOTE: Brewer's yeast does not contain vitamin B12, an essential vitamin found in meat and dairy products. Vegetarians sometimes take brewer's yeast mistakenly believing that it provides B12, which can be lacking in their diet.

NOTE: if suffering from virus infection, candidiasis or yeast infections yeast is best avoided. It should also be avoided by those suffering from osteoporosis due to the high phosphorous content. Those suffering from headaches or migraines or Alzheimer's disease should avoid yeast products as should pregnant or breast feeding women.

Some nutritional yeasts can interact with medications, especially brewer's yeast. Those who are on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) or Type 1 diabetes medication are especially at risk.


Broad Bean (vicia faba)

7,000 years ago, the Hoabinhian people utilized the broad bean in their path towards agriculture, as shown by the seeds found in Spirit Cave, Thailand. Broad beans remained prominent and the seeds are mentioned in Hittite and Ancient Egyptian sources dating from more than 3,000 years ago as well as in the Bible.

Broad beans can reduce the risk of heart disease, control blood sugar levels in those suffering with diabetes, lower the risks of colon cancer and prevent anaemia. It helps to maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body and is low in fat and cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed.

Broad beans are a natural source of L-dopa which has shown to be pharmacologically active in patients with Parkinson's disease and can be incorporated into dietary strategies to manage Parkinsonian motor oscillations. L-dopa can help to correct the underlying deficiency of endogenous dopamine release in the striatum.

Broad beans are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B17, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Brocolli (brassica oleacera)

Broccoli can help protect against cancer, heart disease, cataracts and stroke, due to their richness of flavonoids (antioxidants) and indoles. Broccoli contains powerful phyto-chemical antioxidants in the carotenoid family called lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are concentrated in large quantities in the lens of the eye. When it comes to building strong bones, broccoli is a winner. Not only does a cup of broccoli contain the RDA for vitamin C, it also fortifies the immune system. Broccoli also has antiviral andandanti-ulcer properties

Glucoraphanin, which transforms into sulforaphane in the body, is found in brassicas like broccoli and blocks a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. Consuming plenty of these cruciferous vegetables can protect the joints and help to treat arthritis. Sulforaphane, which also helps with the detoxification in the liver and may prevent, or even cure, breast cancer. Brassicas can boost the immune system, prevent spina difida in newborns (if consumed during pregnancy) and prevent heart disease and many forms of cancer.

Brassicas are a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

To benefit from the fat soluble carotenoids in brassicas, they must be consumed with a fatty food such as nuts, seeds, oils, fish, avocado etc.

Broccoli has been found to contain a phyto-chemical called sulphoraphane, which enhances the phase two-detoxification pathway in the liver. Sulphoraphane has also been found to block mammary tumour formation in rats


Brussel Sprouts (brassica oleracea)

Glucoraphanin, which transforms into sulforaphane in the body, is found in broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage and blocks a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. Consuming plenty of these cruciferous vegetables can protect the joints and help to treat arthritis.

Sulforaphane, which also helps with the detoxification in the liver and may prevent, or even cure, breast cancer. Brassicas can boost the immune system, prevent spina difida in newborns, prevent heart disease and many forms of cancer.

Brassicas are a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.


Buckwheat (fagopyrum esculentum)

Is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain protein glutens. Buckwheat flowers are very fragrant and are attractive to bees that use them to produce a special, strongly flavoured, dark honey. Buckwheat makes an ideal alternative to rice and can be made into porridge.

Is a good source of high quality protein, fibre, omega 6 fatty acids, alanine, arginine, aspartate, choline, cystine, glutomate, glycine, histidin, isoleucine, leucine, lutein and zeaxanthin, lysine, methionine, oleic acid, phenylalanine, proline, quercetin, rutin, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc. Also contains vitamin P, vitamin K, vitamin E and the B vitamins apart from vitamin B12.


Burdock (arctium lappa)

The root is an excellent blood purifier and detoxifier. Very few, if any, herbs possess more curative powers equal this one. It has ancient history as a reliable herbal aid for bad blood, ulcers, tumours and many skin diseases such as eczema, dermatitis, pityriasis, psoriasis, furunculosis (boils), acne, abscesses, lupus, nourishes the urinary and respiratory systems, and also nutritionally supports joints and other skeletal tissues. It promotes glandular and hormone balance, as well as removes accumulations and deposits around the joints. it is also helpful for syphilis, scrofula, skin diseases, furunculous, tumours, leprosy, cancer, dyspeptic complaints, liver and gall bladder problems, expels toxic products from the blood through urine, throat and chest ailments, neurologic conditions, is an appetite stimulant, controls weight, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, heart rate and blood pressure and a general cachectic condition of the system.

Burdock root is very low in calories; 72 calories per 100g, a good source of polysaccharides such as inulin, glucoside-lappin, mucilage, etc. It also contains high amounts of electrolyte potassium and is low in sodium. It also contains many vital vitamins, including vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

Place a tablespoon of chopped burdock root into 1 pint of boiled cold water. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Strain, cool, keep in a cold place and drink 4 times a day. This tea can also be used as a skin and face wash. Apply the cooled tea to the skin with a clean facecloth and rinse in cool water.

Dose for adults. A wineglassful (2 oz) 3 or 4 times a day. For children, less according to age.


Butcher's Broom (ruscus aculeatus, knee holly, box holly, sweet broom)

The plant butcher's broom gets its name because it was once used by butchers in Europe to clean their chopping blocks. Butcher's broom has a long history of traditional use for haemorrhoids and varicose veins. It is often used when there is underlying poor circulation in the veins.

Butcher's broom extract contains anti-inflammatory and vein-constricting properties that are believed to improve the tone and integrity of veins and shrink the swollen tissue. The active compound is called ruscogen.

Butcher's broom is taken in tea form. The tea has a slightly bitter taste, so a honey can be used to sweeten it. The tea can be made by steeping one teaspoon of the herb in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Butchers broom has also been shown to be effective when applied topically as an ointment or compress.

Butcher's broom should not be used by people with high blood pressure, benign prostatic hyperplasia, by pregnant or nursing women or by people taking alpha blocker or antidepressant, monoamine oxidase (mao) inhibitor drugs.


Butter See Butter V Margarine


Butter Beans (phaseolus lunatus, lima beans)

Reduces the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar levels preventing diabetes. Lowers the risks of colon cancer. Prevents anaemia. Maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Low fat and cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed. Butter beans are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Butterbur (petasites hybridus)

A perennial wild flower/herb with lilac-pink flower heads and large rhubarb like leaves mainly found on river banks, streams and in damp woods. The leaves were once used to wrap butter. This plant has been used as a herb as far back as the Iron Age. The leaves and roots can be used fresh or dried to treat coughs and respiratory infections as a poultice.

NOTE: Not recommended for internal use due to toxic alkaloids.


Butternut Squash (cucurbita moschata)

A large pear shaped golden-yellow pumpkin fruit. Botanically, the vegetable belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family of field pumpkins. It can be steamed and used similar to root vegetables as well as in sweet desserts.

It contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins and is 45 calories per 100g and is good for cholesterol controlling and weight reduction. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is a rich source of protein, fibre, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, phytonutrients, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate). It has plenty of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds like alpha and beta carotenes, cryptoxanthin, lutein plus the minerals  iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

It has more vitamin A than that in pumpkin and most other vegetables in the curbitaceae family providing about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for good eye-sight and can protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.

Butternut Squash seeds are a good source of dietary fibre that benefit the heart. In addition, they are rich in minerals, and numerous vitamins. The seeds are an excellent source of the health promoting amino acid, tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to the health benefiting GABA neurochemical in the brain.


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See also: A - Z of Ailments & Natural Cures

C

Cabbage (brassica oleracea capitata)

Much research has focused on the beneficial phytochemicals in cabbage, particularly its indole-3-carbinole (I3C), sulforaphane, and indoles. These two compounds help activate and stabilize the body's antioxidant and detoxification mechanisms that dismantle and eliminate cancer-producing substances. Induces the production of Phase II enzymes in the liver, which bind to potential carcinogens and remove them from the body. Induces apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate old or cancerous cells.

Beneficially affects the way in which steroid hormones, including oestrogen, are metabolized and the way in which the oestrogen receptors on cells respond to the hormone. Prevents excessive cellular proliferation. Helps to prevent colon cancer. When cabbage is cut, chewed or digested, a sulphur-containing compound called sinigrin is brought into contact with the enzyme myrosinase, resulting in the release of glucose and breakdown products, including highly reactive compounds called isothiocyanates. Contains sulforaphane, which helps with detoxification in the liver and may prevent, or even cure, breast cancer.

Glucoraphanin, which transforms into sulforaphane in the body, is found in broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage and blocks a key destructive enzyme that damages cartilage. Consuming plenty of these  cruciferous vegetables can protect the joints and help to treat arthritis. Sulforaphane, which also helps with the detoxification in the liver and may prevent, or even cure, breast cancer. Brassicas can boost the immune system, prevent spina difida in newborns, prevent heart disease and many forms of cancer.

Brassicas are a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Contains amazing anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds. Studies have shown that people who eat cabbage once a week compared to once a month slash their colon cancer risk by a third.

NOTE: Over consumption of cabbage, cassava, lima beans, sweet potatoes and Swede, which can result in depressed iodine / thyroid functions. People with thyroid gland problems or gall bladder or kidney stones should avoid cabbage.


Calamari See Octopus, Calamari and Squid


Calf's Liver

An exceptionally nutrient-dense food as it is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12, copper and selenium; a very good source of protein, vitamin C, vitamin B3 (niacin), and phosphorus and  zinc and a good source of vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and iron. Although calf's liver is also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, its concentration of so many beneficial nutrients makes it an extremely healthful food.

First of all, calf's liver is a very good source of protein, providing 49.1% of the RDA for protein in just 4 ounces. In addition to being a very good source of protein, calf's liver is an excellent source of vitamin B12, foliate, and riboflavin, as well as a very good source of niacin and a good source of vitamin B6. A four-ounce serving of calf's liver provides an amazing 689.8% of the RDA for vitamin B12, 215.2% of the RDA for folate, 129.4% of the RDA for riboflavin, 28.0% of the RDA for B6, 48.0% of the RDA for niacin and 58.6% of the daily value for vitamin C.

Calf's liver is also an excellent source of copper and a good source of iron. Copper is an essential component of the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is important in energy production and antioxidant defences. Copper is also necessary for the activity of lysyl oxidase, another enzyme that is involved in cross-linking collagen and elastin, both of which provide the ground substance and flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints. Copper's involvement in both antioxidant defence and joint tissue production may be why people with rheumatoid arthritis find copper helpful for relieving some of their symptoms.


Camphor (cinnamonum camphora, dryobalanops camphora)

It has stimulant, antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anaesthetic, sedative, anti-neuralgic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and insecticide properties. Camphor oil is an effective stimulant, which boosts the activity of the circulatory system, metabolism, digestion, secretion and excretion.

The strong, penetrating aroma of camphor oil is a powerful decongestant which immediately relieves congestion of the bronchi, larynx, pharynx, nasal tracts and lungs.

It also acts as a good anaesthetic and is very effective for local anaesthesia. It causes numbness of the sensory nerves at the area of application.

It also reduces the severity of nervous disorders and convulsions, epileptic attacks, nervousness and chronic anxiety and gives immediate relief from spasms and cramps. It is also effective at curing extreme spasmodic cholera.

Being a detoxifier and a stimulant for circulatory system, camphor oil excites blood circulation and gives relief to rheumatic conditions, arthritis and gout. The cooling and penetrating effects of camphor oil make it an anti-inflammatory and sedative agent. It is very helpful in curing nearly all types of inflammation, both internal and external.

It is also beneficial in the treatment of hysteria, viral diseases like whooping cough, measles, flu, food poisoning, infections of the reproductive organs and insect bites.

Camphor oil is an excellent disinfectant, insecticide and germicide. It can be added to drinking water to disinfect it, particularly during the summer and in rainy seasons when there is a higher chance of water becoming infected. An open bottle or container of camphor oil, or burning a piece of cloth soaked in camphor oil, drives away insects and kills germs. A drop or two of camphor oil, mixed with a large quantity of food grains, keep those food items safe from insects. Camphor is also used in many medical preparations such as ointments and lotion to cure skin diseases, as well as bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. When mixed into bathing water, camphor oil disinfects the whole body externally and kills lice or other small parasites or bugs.

Camphor oil, when consumed, boosts the libido by stimulating those portions of the brain which are responsible for sexual desires and urges. When externally applied, it helps to cure erectile problems by increasing blood circulation in the affected parts, since it is a powerful stimulant.

Some of the active components of camphor are alcohol, borneol, pinene, camphene, camphor, terpene and safrol.

NOTE: It does have some narcotic effects, since it temporarily desensitizes the nerves and relaxes the brain. It can also make a person lose control over their limbs if taken in excess, since it impacts brain function. The smell and consumption of camphor oil is addictive so caution should be taken.

CAUTION: Camphor oil is toxic and can be fatally poisonous if ingested in excess. Even 2 grams can be lethal. Ingestion of a slight overdoses can still manifest symptoms of poisoning, including extreme thirst, vomiting and a drop in body temperature. It’s always important to remember that a substance which is toxic for insects can be toxic in high enough doses for human beings as well.


Cantaloupe (cucumis melo, muskmelon, melon, honeydew melon)

is a member in the large Cucurbitaceae family which include squash pumpkin, courgettes, cucumber and gourd and like its relatives, melons grow on the ground surface as a trailing vine and they require honeybees for effective pollination. Melons are thought to have originated from India or ancient Persia or Africa.

Cantaloupe are very low in calories (100g fruit has 34 calories) It contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and phytosterols. Melon is very rich in poly-phenolic plant derived compounds. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, (100g provides112% of RDA) one of the highest among fruits. It also contains choline, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. It is also very rich in antioxidant flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. 100g provides 267mg of the electrolyte potassium.

Cantaloupe can help develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals good vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, protect against lung, oral cavity colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers, protect eyes from age related macular degeneration disease in the elderly, help control heart rate and blood pressure offering protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.


Capers (capparis spinosa)

Capers are the unripe flower buds of a prickly, perennial plant which is native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia. They render special taste to vegetable, meat, veal and fish (especially along with anchovy sauce) recipes and can add good flavour to brine pickles.

They are the second richest source of phytosterols after lettuce. Consuming foods rich in phytosterols promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels, inhibits breast, colon and prostate cancers and reduce inflammation and improves urinary tract symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (noncancerous enlargement of the prostate).

They contain good levels of vitamin A, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin K, calcium, copper and iron.

Capers are also very rich source of quercetin (180 mg/100g) second only to the tea leaf which gives them anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

They also contain a high level of rutin which strengthen capillaries and inhibits platelet clump formation in the blood vessels. Both these actions of rutin help in smooth circulation of blood in very small vessels. They are a useful addition to the diet for those suffering with haemorrhoids, varicose veins and in bleeding conditions such as haemophilia.

They can also reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals and relieve rheumatic pain. They are also an appetite stimulant and can relieve stomach ache and flatulence conditions.

NOTE: Their use should be limited in during pregnancy. Patients undergoing any surgical intervention should avoid them as they act as a blood thinner and may result in excessive bleeding.


Caraway Seeds (carum carvi)

A member of parsley or umbelliferae family that includes herbs and spices such as dill, anise, fennel, cumin, etc. 100g of caraway seeds provide 38g of fibre which binds to toxins in the food and helps protect the colon mucus membrane from cancers and bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) decreasing their re-absorption in colon which helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Caraway contains compounds carvone, limonene, carveol, pinen, cumuninic aldehyde, furfurol, and thujone. These active principles in the caraway seeds are known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

They also contain
lutein, zeaxanthin, carotene and cryptoxanthin. These compounds are powerful anti-oxidants that remove harmful free radicals from the body protecting it from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases. They also provide vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). They are also a good source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc.

Caraway seeds are used as a spice in sauerkraut and Brine Pickles

Caraway seed tea can be used to treat flatulence, indigestion, colds, coughs, bronchitis, irritable bowel syndrome and colic in infants.


Cardamom (elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamom is often used to treat indigestion, heart burn, flatulence and soothes upset stomachs. It warms the body and is good for diarrhoea, colic and headaches.  It is an important ingredient in Chai tea, an Indian spice valued for its warm, stimulating effects. To make this tea, mix one teaspoon of ginger, add seven peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, five cloves, and 15 cardamom seeds and heat in one pint of water, simmering for 10-minutes.  Then add one-half cup of milk and simmer for another 10-minutes.  Add a sprinkle of nutmeg and a few drops of vanilla extract.  Drink one cup of the tea, sweetened with honey, twice per day or as needed for warmth.

Cardamom also flushes toxins from the body (especially caffeine) and increases blood circulation. It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-carcinogenic. Its sweet aroma makes it a natural breathe freshener. Cardamom is a good for cardiovascular health because it reduces the formation of blood clots while lowering blood pressure. An outstanding source of manganese, one teaspoon of cardamom holds 26% of the daily value.

Cardamom can also be combined with fennel and aniseed for a detoxifying tea.


Carp Fish

Like all oily fish the carp can relieves symptoms of psoriasis, reduce the risk of heart disease, maintain bone density and prevent anaemia. Carp is a rich source of vitamins D and E, protein, EPA, DHA and omega-3 fatty acids.


Carrots (daucus carota)

An excellent source of antioxidant compounds, and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes. Carrots' antioxidant compounds help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision. They can also prevent blood clots and arterial blockages reducing the risks of heart disease. They also prevents a variety of cancers and protect against the damages caused by nicotine. High in anti-ageing vitamin C and a good source of dietary fibre. Eating two carrots a day can lower bad cholesterol by 10%. Carrots contain vitamins C, vitamin K, vitamin B9 (folic acid), fibre, carotenes and boron

Cook or juice carrots to release nutrients from the tough cell structure to benefit from its high  beta-carotene content. Research has shown that people with low levels of beta-carotene in their blood are more likely to have heart attacks, strokes and certain cancers. This nutrient also protects against the sun's rays. Taking carotenoids equivalent to two large carrots a day gives a natural SPF of 2 to 4 in light-skinned people.

The raw juice of parsley, carrots and celery it is very valuable as nourishment for the optic system, also for the kidneys and bladder and as an aid in allaying inflammation of the urethra and genital organs.

Threadworms: can eliminate threadworms from children. A small cup of grated carrot taken every morning for three days, with no other food added to this meal, can clear these worms quickly.

NOTE: carrots should be consumed with a fat rich natural food like olive oil, nuts or avocado so that beta-carotene can be absorbed by the body.

NOTE: carrots have been proven to prevent cancers in those that smoke.


Cascara Sagrada (rhamnus purshiana, sacred bark)

Used to help relieve constipation. It also nutritionally supports the stomach, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. It is cleansing, as well as nourishing, to the colon. It is also known to assist with digestion and help the body to eliminate worms and parasites.


Cashew Nuts (anacardium occidentale)

Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. They are a rich source of proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that starve tumours and stop cancer cells from dividing. They are also a good source of vitamin B17 which has been proven to protect against the development of cancer in many indigenous tribes who consume foods rich in this element. They are also a good source of copper and magnesium.

One servings every three days can protect the heart, prevent gall stones, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, nerve problems and pain and keep the hair and skin healthy.


Catnip (nepeta cataria)

Nourishes the stomach and nerves. It calms the nervous system and is used also for digestion. Catnip is also said to help ease symptoms of the flu such as nausea and diarrhoea.


Cat's Claw (u˝a de gato, uncaria tomentosa, samento)

Cat's claw, has a long history of use in Peru for a host of conditions including arthritis, cancer, diabetes and infections. The highly effective properties contained in the inner bark of the cat's claw plant have demonstrated, through centuries of usage dating back to the time of the ancient Incas, to have a profound and positive influence on the body's defence system. Studies conducted since the 1970s at research clinics in Peru, Austria, Germany, England, Hungary and Italy validate the traditional usage and indicates that this herb may be beneficial in ameliorating a host of modern day afflictions which have no answers from the orthodox medical arena. It is known to help nutritionally support the body's defence, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems through its antioxidant and build properties.

Cat's Claw is the most sacred herb among the Ashaninkas, Campo and some other Amazonian tribes. According to indigenous Shamans U˝a de gato serves as a bridge and balancer between the two worlds "physical and spiritual"; they believe in spiritual causes of ill health, they believe that firstly the soul becomes ill then the body, the sacred balance/unity is broken, and U˝a de gato is helping to unify the two. They believe that greed and anger often causes cancer and fear causes asthma, etc.


Cauliflower (brassica oleracea)

A brassica containing compounds that may help prevent cancer. These compounds appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer-causing agents in the body, and they increase the activity of enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogens. Contains both glucosinolates and thiocyanates (including sulforaphane and isothiocyanate). These compounds increase the liver's ability to neutralize potentially toxic substances. Many enzymes found in cauliflower also help with the detoxifying process. These enzymes include glutathione transferase, glucuronosyl transferase, and quinone reductase. Boosts the immune system. Prevents cancer. Prevents spina bifida. Prevents heart disease.

Brassicas are a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.


Cayenne Chilli Pepper (capsicum anuum, nightshade family)

Cayenne is a gift to humanity because it has more health benefits than any other food or herb on earth. There are over 3000 scientific studies listed in the National Library of Medicine to support the use of cayenne in preventing and reversing many common health ailments. It is miraculous that a simple fruit like cayenne has healing benefits for a wide assortment of ailments. It has been used as a food, a spice and an herbal medicine for over 9000 years. Jalapeno peppers are red and green chilli peppers with the same nutritional content.

A fresh cayenne chilli pepper is nutrient rich and contains: carbohydrate, starch, protein, fibre, vitamin C, beta carotene, chlorogenic acid, capsaicin, histadine, pectin, calcium, iron and phosphorus. Chilli peppers are also low in fat and contain the right kind of fat: 66% of the fat as linoleic and 5% as linolenic acid which are two essential fats in the diet of humans. Capsaicin, has been proven to protect DNA and cells from attack by toxic molecules such as from tobacco, and other toxins. It can also prevent cancer by inhibiting the transformation of cells which eventually form cancer.

The following are just some of the conditions which cayenne may be used to treat: stops bleeding (internally or externally), allergies, arthritis, asthma, blood circulation problems, congestive heart failure, cancer prevention, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, obesity, osteoarthritis, colds and flu, constipation, haemorrhoids and diabetes.

Cayenne is a pepper well known for its benefits to the circulatory system. It aids the body to balance pressure levels and resist abnormal bleeding. Cayenne also nourishes the digestive system. This plant assists in the body's utilization of other herbs, when used in an herbal combination. When applied topically, it helps relieve minor discomfort.

Considered a superior crisis herb, useful as a first aid remedy for most conditions.  Taken as a daily tonic, one-quarter teaspoon three times daily is beneficial for the heart and circulation, preventing heart attack, strokes, colds, flu, diminished vitality, headaches, indigestion, depression and arthritis

Cayenne is hot, but it not harmful. It may be difficult to swallow for a beginning user. Cayenne powder can be rubbed on toothaches, swellings and inflammations. A remedy for arthritis is to rub a little Cayenne over the inflamed joint and wrap a flannel around it to remain throughout the night. The pain is usually relieved by morning. 

A little Cayenne on a banana skin placed on the skin with a bandage will remarkably draw out any foreign object (splinters, etc) embedded in the flesh.

For Health Maintenance: Place a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper in water or juice and drink it 1-3 times a day. You can slowly increase the dosage.

For a bleeding wound: Liberally flush the wound with cayenne tincture or pack with cayenne powder and apply pressure to the wound. - Depending on the severity of the bleeding, also take 1-10 droppers full of the tincture in a few ounces of water in your mouth. Or just put directly into your mouth.


Celery (apium graveolens)

Celery is very low in calories so therefore useful addition to the diet for those who are over weight or obese. It also relieves high blood pressure and is known for its calming effects and is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It contains good levels of vitamin C, vitamin K calcium, phthalides and fibre.

Celery Seeds

Useful in the treatment of bladder, kidney and gall stones. Contain vitamins A, C and B-complex.


Chaga Mushrooms (inonotus obliquus, birch mushroom, cinder conk)

Rather than soft like a mushroom, chaga is hard, almost as hard as wood. It is unique, nothing like common mushrooms. In fact, chaga is the most nutritionally dense of all tree growths. Known by the Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality,” this vibrant growth has been used by humans to support health for thousands of years. The Japanese call it “The Diamond of the Forest,” while the Chinese deem it “King of Plants.” For the Chinese that is saying a lot, since they have an immense history with countless plants.

Chaga is powerful, because it contains the nutrients of actual trees. Because of their special, biologically potent substances, trees live long, far longer than herbs. Some trees live as long as 10,000 years or more. Thus, they are the most powerful living beings in the world. Concentrating this power, chaga contains numerous B vitamins, flavonoids, phenols, minerals and enzymes. It is also one of the world’s densest sources of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) needed by the adrenal glands as well as digestive organs. It also contains vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin D2 in significant amounts.

In particular, it is highly rich in special phenols which are pigment-like. These phenolic compounds are known as chromogenic complex. Chaga can be up to 30% chromogenic complex by weight. The chromogenic complex is highly protective for all tissues and is only found in chaga. In the cream base it is highly protective of the skin. Rubbed on the skin it even helps people develop a tan, because it contains the pigment melanin, the same pigment responsible for dark coloured skin. Chaga contains wild source minerals and is particularly high in calcium, cesium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, silicon and sulphur. It also contains traces of barium, bismuth, boron, chromium, copper, germanium, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Its most potent ingredient is a special substance known as superoxide dismutase. This is an enzyme with great potency. Its function is to halt oxidation, especially the toxicity of a free radical known as singlet oxygen. This is the type of oxygen which is responsible for oxidizing and damaging the tissues, which results in aging. It is the same oxygen which rusts a nail. Superoxide dismutase blocks this damage by quenching the singlet oxygen free radical. The superoxide dismutase content per gram of chaga is exceedingly high and accounts for many of its historical powers.

Chaga is a health food which supports the entire system. The Siberians drink it daily. This is why they are long-lived. The chaga drinker lives 85 to 100 years, while the non chaga-drinking person, the Inuit, lives only about 50 years. This proves that natural phytonutrients, found in chaga, do make a difference. Yet, there is more traditional use that offers evidence. Ancient Chinese regarded it as a longevity factor, which is why they deemed it the most complete of all growths. Japanese and Koreans use it regularly, and look how powerful they are today. In much of Siberia, Russia and Eastern Europe it is an essential beverage. Chaga has been used as an essential whole food supplement for many years by Russia’s long-lived peasants, as well as long-lived villagers of Japan and Korea. These village people consume it as a daily beverage. They prefer it over common drinks such as tea and coffee.

Because of its cleansing properties, in primitive Siberia the chaga drink was known as “soup water,” although its taste is like a pleasant combination of tea and coffee. It is one of Russia’s state secrets for power and strength and was heavily used by champion Russian athletes, who defeated all others. The Russians discovered that certain plants help the body fight the effects of stress and disease. They called these plants adaptogens. They discovered that chaga is the most potent adaptogen known in the fight against premature aging and for prevention of serious diseases.


Chamomile (chamomilla recutita, Roman chamomile, ground apple, whig plant)

Is rich in aldehydes and sequiterpene. Soothes the nerves and stomach. It nourishes the respiratory tract and helps alleviate discomfort associated with menstrual problems. Can also inhibit the growth of helicobacter pylori infection in the intestines.


Chancapuedra (phyllanthus niruri)

This Amazonian plant is effective in eliminating kidney, bladder and gallstones. It has anodyne, aperitif, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, laxative, stomachic, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, diuretic, febrifugal and vermifuge properties. It is used for blennorrhagia, colic, diabetes, dropsy, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, flu, gonorrhoea, itch, jaundice, kidney problems, malaria, proctitis, tumours, vaginitis and stomach ache.


Chaparral Leaf (larrea tridentata)

The resin extracted from the chaparral leaf can help to detoxify the liver and aids with fat metabolism and can help to detoxify the body of heavy metals and toxins. Concentrated chaparral leaf resin has been shown to have significant anti-viral and antioxidant activity especially against the Epstein Barr virus. Natural ingredients from the leaf resin inhibit viral replication by at least three documented mechanisms. At least two of the active ingredients act to inhibit the activity of a certain gene promoter that is important for viral replication. When they inhibit this promoter, the appropriate gene cannot work and the viruses cannot replicate.

NOTE: Chaparral leaf should not be used by pregnant or lactating (nursing) women or children under age 12. People have had or may have had liver disease or who are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication on a regular basis should consult a physician before taking chaparral leaf. Discontinue use if any unusual symptoms such as nausea, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain or jaundice (e.g. dark urine, yellow discolouration of the eyes or skin) should occur.


Cheese

Strengthens bones and teeth up until age 30-35 and can help to prevent Alzheimer's disease in the elderly. Cottage cheese contains lactoferrin which increases bone density which can prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Lactoferrin is also a powerful suppressor of cancer and tumours and stops the spread of cancer cells to vital organs such as the lungs and liver.

Unpasteurised blue cheese is especially high in beneficial nutrients. The pasteurisation process reduces and even eradicates many of the beneficial properties of cheese and milk.

NOTE: Cheese is very high in cholesterol and animal fats and should be consumed in great moderation just 2 or 3 times a week at most. It should be avoided by anyone overweight or obese.

Unpasteurised cheese is a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc.


Cherries (prunus)

A very low calorie fruit and rich source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both sweet as well as tart cherries are packed with numerous health benefiting compounds that are essential for wellness.

Cherries are pigment rich fruits. These pigments, in fact, are polyphenolic flavonoid compounds known as anthocyanin glycosides. Anthocyanins are red, purple or blue pigments found in many fruits and vegetables, especially concentrated in their skin, known to have powerful anti-oxidant properties.

Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cyclooxygenase-1, and 2 enzymes. Thus, consumption of cherries has potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries.

Research studies also suggest that anti-oxidant compounds in tart cherries help the human body to fight against cancers, aging and neurological diseases, and pre-diabetes condition.

Cherry fruits are very rich in stable anti-oxidant melatonin. Melatonin can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and produces soothing effects on the brain neurons, calming down nervous system irritability, which helps relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions.

Further, they are also good source of minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, potassium and zinc, . Potassium is a heart-healthy mineral; an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

The fruits, especially tart cherries are exceptionally rich in health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene. These compounds act as protective scavengers against harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.

Anti-inflammatory property of cherries has been found effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors by scavenging action against free radicals.

Acerola or West Indian cherry has exceptionally very high levels of vitamin C (1677.6 mg per 100g or 2796 % of RDA) and vitamin A (767 IU per 100g)

NOTE: Despite their overall goodness, cherry stones are toxic. If a cherry pip is chewed, crushed, or somehow damaged, it automatically produces hydrogen cyanide. Symptoms of mild poisoning include headache, dizziness, confusion, anxiety, and vomiting. Larger doses can lead to difficulty breathing, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and kidney failure. Reactions can include coma, convulsions and death from respiratory arrest.



Chestnuts (castanea sativa)

 

Are low in calories and contain less fat than other nuts. they are rich in minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients that benefit health. They are chiefly made of starch when compared to other seeds and nuts, which are high in calorie, protein, and fat. Their nutrition composition is almost similar to that of other staple starch foods such as sweet potato, sweet corn, potatoes and plantain, but they are still good sources of minerals, vitamins and some good quality protein. They are also a good source of fibre,  providing 8.1 g (21% RDA) per 100g. Fibre helps lower blood cholesterol levels by limiting excess cholesterol absorption in the intestines.

 

Chestnuts stand out from other nuts and seeds for being exceptionally rich in vitamin C. 100g provides 43mg of vitamin C (72 % RDA). Chestnuts are also rich in vitamin B9 (foliate), which is quite unique feature for nuts and seeds. They are rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty like oleic acid and palmitoleic acids. Monounsaturated fats help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) levels which can prevent coronary artery disease and strokes

 

The nuts are an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Potassium lowers heart rate and blood pressure, zinc helps prevent anaemia, magnesium and phosphorus are important components of bone metabolism.

 

They are also rich in the important B complex vitamins. 100g of nuts provide vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 100% of vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2 (riboflavin). Chestnuts are free in gluten so are ideal for gluten-sensitivity, wheat allergy and celiac disease. Chinese chestnuts are also a good source of vitamin A.
 


 

Chia Seeds (salvia hispanica)

 

A species of flowering plant in the mint family, (lamiaceae), native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds can be a highly nutritious addition to the diet. Chia has up to 23% more protein content than that found in whole grains and cereals and chia’s protein is complete with all essential amino acids and is gluten free. These seeds also contain more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli.

 

The outer part of the seed is very rich in soluble fibre and this forms the gel, protecting the seed from drying out. The gel forms a physical barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down. The carbohydrates are digested eventually, but at a slow and uniform rate. There is no insulin surge or spike needed to lower the blood sugar level after eating chia which is beneficial for diabetics. The water-retaining ability of the gel also helps level out the water intake and retains electrolyte balance.
 

They are a rich source of protein, fibre, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, kaempferol, myricetin, quercetin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. They also contain smaller amounts of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), boron, copper, manganese, molybdenum and sodium.

 


Chicken See Poultry and Game Birds


Chickpeas (cicer arietinum, garbanzo beans)

Reduces the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar levels. Lowers the risks of colon cancer. Prevents anaemia. Maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Low fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed. Chickpeas contain protein, fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (foliate), isoflavones, phytochemicals, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium
 


Chickweed (stellaria media, stitchwort)

Helps the body eliminate mucus and fatty plaque from the system. It nourishes the gastrointestinal areas and has soothing properties. It is a natural blood cleanser, as well as a herb that addresses fat accumulations.


Chicory (chihorium intybus) 

Common chicory, blue sailors, succory, coffee weed. It is also called cornflower, endive, radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive, red endive, sugarloaf or witloof. Chicory is an erect perennial herbaceous herb of the daisy family which is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. First recorded usage of Chicory was in ancient Egypt where it was known to have health benefits for liver and gallbladder. Chicory are prized for the leaves, roots and buds which are all edible. Chicory leaves and buds (chicon) are used for salad and other meal preparations, while chicory roots are used as tea or a caffeine free coffee substitute and additive. Chicory use in herbal medicine has a long history and some of its health benefits have recently been confirmed by science.

Chicory root contains carbohydrates like inulin which feed the 'friendly' bacteria of the large intestine (colon). The bacteria that feed on fermentable carbohydrate in the colon produce many beneficial substances, including short-chain fatty acids and certain B vitamins. They also promote further absorption of some minerals that have escaped the small intestine, including calcium and magnesium.

Chicory has a mild laxative effect that is beneficial for digestive problems such as dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation. Chicory is also used to increase appetite and promote general well being.

Chicory leaves are also recommended to be included in weight-loss diets especially to those who are high risk for diabetes mellitus. It contains inulin which controls the level of sugar in the blood and can be used as substitute for sugar. Along with decreasing the blood sugar it also decreases the level of bad LDL cholesterol and reduces a rapid heart beat.

Chicory is rich in beta-carotene that can fight and prevent cancer especially colon cancer and also contains intybin and chicorin which stimulates the appetite and digestion of food. It can fight intestinal worms and parasites and clean the colon. Also promotes the production of urine, cleans the blood, circulatory system and the liver by eliminating toxins from them and improves bowel movement.

Dried chicory roots and leaf juice are used to treat jaundice and as prevention against liver damage. The leaf juice mixed with water can clean up the enlarging liver and treat gallstones and liver stones by increasing the secretion of bile from the liver and gallbladder promoting urination and excretion of harmful substances.

Chicory consists of lactucin and lactucoprin which taste bitter but can act as a natural sedative for nervous system. A decoction of chicory root is beneficial for those with central nervous system disorders.

Vitamin A found in chicory juice will nourish the optic nerve to retain the eyesight.

Leaves of chicory are used to treat cuts and wounds, and as anti-inflammatory treatment for headaches, arthritis, gout and rheumatism to reduce swelling. The juice extracted from chicory leaves is widely used to reduce the sore breasts of lactating mothers.

Good source of fibre, beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

NOTE: chicory should be consumed with a fat rich natural food like olive oil, nuts or avocado so that beta-carotene can be absorbed by the body


Chilli Peppers see Cayenne Pepper


Chinaberry Tree (melia azedarach)

The chinaberry is a deciduous tree in the Meliaceae, or Mahogany Family with purplish, reddish bark. It is able to grow to 50 feet in height.  Like the English yew tree and the aak and datura plants it is poisonous and should be treated with extreme care. It is a sacred tree in Iran, Malaysia, India and Pakistan, and is revered like the Neem tree. The Baikan is a fast-growing shade tree, which doesn’t usually last for many more than twenty years.  Even though the tree’s parts are poisonous medical preparations are prepared by the traditional healers, or hakims, who know exactly what they are doing.

The leaves and flowers are used to relieve nervous headaches, applied in a poultice, while the leaves, bark and fruit are natural insect repellents. The oil extracted from the seeds is used for rheumatism and extract of the bark is given for asthma. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat skin problems such as eczema, acne and ulcers as they have antiseptic qualities. The berries produce a highly inflammable gas which gives a clear light and the roots produce oil which can also be used for lighting. The hakims use the oil to promote hair growth and it is applied to bald spots. It has proved to have antiviral properties and to be good at ridding the body of tapeworms. The antiviral properties come from the meliacine extracted from the leaves. Extracts from the tree have also shown that it can be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical medication for the HSV-2 genital infection. It may even have anti-cancer properties, but this is far from conclusive as yet.


Chinese Rhubarb Root (rheum palmatum, rheum rhaponticum, R. palmatum, rhizoma rhe, false rhubarb, garden rhubarb, India rhubarb, pieplant, sweet round-leaved dock, Turkey rhubarb)

Has been used for over two thousand years as a mild, yet effective, laxative. It supports good colon health by cleansing it and treating constipation; and in smaller doses, its astringents ease diarrhoea and haemorrhoids. It also helps to modify the process of nutrition and excretion and restore normal bodily function, acting to thoroughly cleanse and stimulate the efficient removal of waste products from the system. As such, it not only cleanses the intestinal tract and blood, but it is also thought to cleanse the liver by encouraging bile flow. The herb is also said to enhance and improve gallbladder function and relieve both liver and gallbladder complaints by releasing an accumulation of toxins.

As an antimicrobial, it is used to treat internal pinworms, threadworms and ringworm. The herb stimulates the uterus and is thought to move stagnated blood, which also helps to relieve pains and cramps and premenstrual tension.

Chinese Rhubarb Root has antibacterial, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, which have made it useful for both internal and external inflammation and infection, skin eruptions, boils and carbuncles, etc.) and to promote healing acne, dandruff, eczema, poison ivy, poison oak, psoriasis, wounds, cold sores and burns. The anthraquinones in rhubarb can create virucidal activity against HSV I, measles, polio and the influenza virus. Rhubarb is also used for its positive effect on the mouth and nasal cavity.

Mix 1 teaspoon of rhubarb powder to 1 cup of water. Then, bring to boil and simmer at a reduced heat for 10 minutes. Add a little honey to sweeten.

NB. not recommended for long term use.

NOTE: not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women, children under twelve years of age, those who suffer from colitis or have intestinal obstruction or have a history of renal stones or urinary problems, or if taking anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine or  aspirin.


Chives (allium schoenoprasum)

Belong to the onion family and contain more than 80% water. They are fairly high in protein and carbohydrate content, rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus and sulphur. They are stimulating to the digestive system, valuable as a blood cleanser and exercise a strong diuretic action.

NOTE Drinking beer should be avoided if consuming chives because beer has a very strong disintegrating effect on the kidneys and  may cause undue discomfort.


Chlorella (chlorella vulgaris, chlorella pyrenoidosa, chlorella algae)

A single-celled type of green algae super food containing large amounts of chlorophyll and it is known to be one of the most potent nutritional whole foods on the planet and is one of the best sources of chlorophyll (an internal cleanser and deodoriser) and the nucleic acids DNA and RNA. It has been shown to have a normalizing and strengthening effects on many tissues and metabolic pathways and this may be due to the unique ability of chlorella to reproduce itself extremely rapidly It can quadruple itself in 20 hours.

It can help with the detoxification process and is a superb chelator of mercury which may help in protecting against mercury induced conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis. It can also help protect against degenerative brain and eye diseases associated with old age.

Chlorella can help to treat cardiovascular ailments (lowering cholesterol and triglycerides), liver conditions, kidney conditions, diabetes, hypertension, wound healing, combating anaemia by stimulating production of red blood cells, arthritis, digestive conditions, tissue detoxification (including detoxification of heavy metals), skin problems and strengthening of the immune function. It can also stimulate healing in the body and promotes growth in young individuals and allows repair to damaged tissues in mature individuals. It can also help to deodorise and freshen the breath.

If consuming a lot of mercury contaminated sea fish it is advisable to also consume chlorella and spirulina (blue/green algae). Due to it’s extraordinary ability to bind with toxic metals chlorella from South Korea which is grown indoors is the best choice or from Taiwan that is grown in sunlight but in a cleaner climate than any other country that produces chlorella.

Consume 1–5 teaspoons or more of chlorella powder per day. Greater health benefits may be gained at higher intake levels. Gradually increasing consumption allows the body to adjust to higher intakes. It can be added to many meals, snack and drinks.

First dose 1–5 gm (Ż – 2 teaspoons) increase gradually each day thereafter.

Medicinal dose: 15–40 gm (2–5 rounded tablespoons) per day

Maintenance dose: 10–15 gm (1–2 rounded tablespoons) per day

Athletes dose: 45–60 gm (6–8 rounded tablespoons) per day

Gram for gram, chlorella provides 5 times the protein of eggs, over 15 times the phosphorous of spinach, 30 times the magnesium of milk and nearly 10 times the potassium of milk

CHLORELLA NUTRIENTS

Vitamins

 

A

B1

B2

B3
B4

B5

B6

B9

B12

C

E

K1

 

Minerals

 

calcium

copper

iodine

iron

magnesium

phosphorous

sodium

zinc

 

 

Phytonutrients

 

alanine

asparagine

beta-carotene

chlorophyll

cysteine

cytosine

glutamine

glycine

guanine

lutein

lysine

nucleic acid

proline

serine

threonine
thymine

tryptophan
tyrosine

uracil

 

Others

 

arabinose

fatty acids

fibre

protein

glucose

mannose

rhamnose

galactose

xylose.

 


Chokeberries (aronia melanocarpa), black chokeberry (aronia arbutifolia), red chokeberry (aronia prunifolia)

The chokeberries are three species of deciduous shrubs native to eastern North America. Chokeberries have a high concentration of polyphenols and anthocyanins, stimulating circulation, protecting the urinary tract, and strengthening the heart. In many independent studies Chokeberry continues to show exceptional activity in fighting cancer. Juice from  berries is astringent and not sweet, but high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Chokeberries' rich antioxidant content may be beneficial as a dietary preventative for reducing the risk of diseases caused by oxidative stress. 

Black colour berries consist of significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phyto-chemicals called anthocyanins. Total anthocyanin content is 1480 mg per 100g of fresh berries, and proanthocyanidin concentration is 664 mg per 100g. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries on a regular basis offers potential health benefits against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes and bacterial infections.

They are also rich in flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, luteins and zeaxanthins. Zeaxanthin has photo-filtering effects on UV rays and thus protects eyes from age-related macular disease in the elderly (ARMD)

A good source of many antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C, vitamin A, vitamin E, beta-carotene and vitamin B9 (foliate) and minerals like potassium, iron and manganese. 100 g of fresh berries provide about 35% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C.

Laboratory analyses of anthocyanins in chokeberries have identified the following individual phytonutrients: caffeic acid, cyanidin-3-delphinidin, epicatechin, galactoside, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, petunidin and quercetin. These flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants have proven health benefits through scavenging dangerous oxygen-free radicals from the body.


Chuchuhuasi (maytenus macrocarpa)

A bark maceration is considered anti-diarrheic, anti-arthritic, anti-tumour, a menstrual regulator and good for upset stomach. Its main use is in a cordial or liquor. A bark decoction is used for dysentery. Chuchuhuasi is probably the best known of all Amazon jungle remedies. In Peru it used as aphrodisiac, anti-rheumatic and a muscle relaxant medicine.


Cilantro see Coriander


Cinnamon  (cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Is a potent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medicinal herb offering many advantages to the human body. It is derived from bark that grows in the evergreen trees which reach 20 to 30 feet on average and are located in remote areas such as Malabar, Cochin-China, Sumatra and the Eastern Islands, amongst other places. The bark's essential oils mainly have three active components which trigger specific healing abilities. These active components are called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate and cinnamyl alcohol. These particular components directly account for cinnamon's various health benefits, but more specifically, its anti-clotting actions in the blood, its anti-microbial activity in the body and also its stabilizing effect on blood sugar levels.

The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon prevents the disproportionate clotting in the blood by restricting the delivery of an inflammatory fatty acid from platelet membranes, named arachidonic acid. Besides the anti-clotting action, the result of this chemical process shows that cinnamon has the ability to reduce inflammation therefore it can also be seen as an anti-inflammatory herb. It is also an excellent source of calcium and fibre.

Cinnamon is helpful to those with type-2 Diabetes because it lowers blood sugar levels while increasing insulin production. Cinnamon’s anti-fungal properties make it good for fighting the yeast like, parasitic fungus Candida. Research studies have shown that simply smelling cinnamon boosts brain functions like memory. The smooth aroma of this brown spice fights bad breath and kills the bacteria responsible for it. Cinnamon is a natural painkiller and contains a potent antioxidant.

Cinnamon has shown to be a very potent anti-microbial spice. It has the capacity to inhibit the formation and proliferation of bacteria, yeast, fungi matter and mainly what is called candida albicans. For this reason, simmered in milk and taken with a little honey, is very helpful for digestive problems especially when accompanied by gas and cramping, diarrhoea, vomiting.  Medicinally it is used to warm the organs to treat chronic diarrhoea, cramps, heart and abdominal pain. It is effectively used as a tincture given every fifteen minutes or so to stop bleeding from the uterus.

Cinnamon's normalizing effect on blood sugar levels can help people with type 2 diabetes, as it enhances a positive response to insulin. Half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day can provide a 20% reduction in blood sugar levels.

Consuming half a teaspoon per day is sufficient to gain the medicinal benefits from cinnamon.

Traditional uses: helicobacter pylori infection, backaches, bronchitis, colds and flu, congestion, diabetes, depression, arthritis and rheumatism, diarrhoea, dysentery, oedema (water retention), flatulence, hiccups, nausea, toothache, vomiting, indigestion, liver problems, menstrual pain, melancholy, headaches, menorrhagia, muscle tension, pain of the waist and knees and palpitations

Cinnamon can also be used as a natural alternative to food preservatives..

AVOID: if pregnant or taking blood thinning medications


Cinquefoil  (potentilla reptans, five finger grass, finger leaf, five fingers, crampweed, shepherd's knot, silverweed)

This herb has astringent properties and is used to cure diarrhoea, chronic catarrhs and night sweats, inflammation of the digestive system. It is part of anthroposophic preparations to relieve non-traumatic bleeding such as in the digestive tract and is good to use as a gargle.


Citrus Fruits

Prevents cancer of the stomach and the colon. In large amounts reduces the risk of cataracts. Helps the body absorb iron and reduces the risk of anaemia. Citrus fruits contain vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin K, lycopene and fibre.

Citrus fruits include: lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges and tangerines.


Clams

Clams are one of the top natural sources of vitamin B12 which is known to be a powerful agent against Alzheimer's disease and Dementia. They are also rich in vitamin C, copper, iron, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc. Clams provide an excellent supply of manganese, a trace mineral which plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels.

Lack of selenium in the body has proven to be a contributing factor in developing rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium is an essential nutrient which works with other nutrients to help fight oxidative stress, an imbalance which damages the joints. Crab, clams, halibut, oily fish, prawns and shrimps are some of the highest sources of this essential mineral. The high level of potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and zinc can prevent osteoporosis.


Clavo Huasca (tynnanthus panurensis)

The pieces of roots and stems of this Amazonian plant are macerated in aguardiente (alcohol) to make a stimulant liqueur used for rheumatism. The resin is used for fevers and toothache, being as effective as clove oil. It is also an aphrodisiac mainly for women, but excellent for males as well.


Cleavers (galium aparine, goosegrass)

Cleavers are in the same family as the coffee bean and the fruits are often dried and roasted and used as a coffee substitute which contains a much lower amount of caffeine. Geese enjoy eating cleavers which gave it the name goosegrass. The stems and leaves are used medicinally.

This herb taken as a tea stimulates the activity of the lymphatic system and organs so they can perform at their best. It helps in cases of lymphatic congestion, tonsillitis and swollen lymph glands and it also helps to cleanse and nourish the blood.

A poultice or the pulp of the whole plant can be applied externally to treat skin ailments, poisonous stings and bites and on burns and light wounds to provide relief.

Cleavers contains asperulosidic acid, asperuloside, monotropein, aucubin, caffeine, phenolic acids, aldehyde nordamnacanthal, flavonoids, coumarins and citric acid.

The asperuloside in cleavers acts as a mild sedative and one study showed that cleaver extract lowers the blood pressure of dogs, without slowing their heart rate, or any other dangerous side effects.

A dosage of one ounce of dried leaves to a pint of water, 1 to 2 teaspoons of tincture or 2 to 4 grams of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water, three times daily.


Clementines See Tangerines


Cloves (syzygium aromaticum, eugenia caryophyllata)

A warming, soothing spice that's antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Helpful for colds and flu, nausea, depression, hay fever and diarrhoea. Clears phlegm and relieves wind. Internally cloves are also good for pain relief, nausea, vomiting, digestive problems and hiccups. They may be chewed for toothaches and eating cloves is said to be an aphrodisiac.

Cloves also boost the metabolism while removing toxins from the blood stream and support a healthy immune system. Cloves also improve cardiovascular health by preventing the formation of blood clots while regulating blood sugar levels.

Cloves contain the most powerful germicidal agent in the herbal kingdom known as eugenol. It also contains caryophyllene which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs. Cloves are tremendously effective in killing malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, scabies and other bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi, including Candida. Cloves also destroy all species of shigella, staphylococcus and streptococcus.

The essential oil, eugenol in this spice has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local anaesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gums. Eugenol also has been found to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics, but further detailed studies required to establish its benefits. The decoction is sometimes used in treating flatulence and indigestion in traditional medicine preparations.

To make an infusion, use 1 teaspoon of powdered herb per cup of boiling water, steep 10-20 minutes and drink up to 3 cups a day.

Apply externally to treat athletes' foot, insect bites, rheumatism and myalgia.


Cnidium Monnieri Seed (she chuang zi)

Cnidium monnieri seed is a Chinese stimulant and aphrodisiac herb to treat impotency. It is also used as a vaginal wash against trichomoniasis and to treat scabies, skin problems and fungal diseases.

It contains several compounds including coumarins; osthol (or osthole), bergapten, xanthotoxol, imperatorin, monoterpene polyols, glucides and hepatoprotective sesquiterpenes. Osthole has been found in studies to have anti tumour activity and to be helpful in strengthening bones.


Cockles (cardiidae)

Cockles are very high in protein and low in calories containing only around 60 per 100g and very low in fat. They also contain high levels of vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), calcium, iron and zinc.

NOTE: High levels of vitamin A (retinol) consumption can cause birth defects so cockles are best avoided during pregnancy.


Cocoa Beans (cacao)

The cacao tree was first cultivated in 250-900 AD by the ancient Maya civilization in what is now Mexico and Central America
The Maya offered the beans to their Gods, used them as currency and for medicinal purposes to fight fatigue and gastrointestinal distress.

Cocoa contains a large amount of antioxidant flavonoids. Cocoa keeps high blood pressure down and reduce the blood's ability to clot, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks. The darker chocolate with the most concentrated cocoa will be the most beneficial. According to an Italian study, a small square (20g) of dark (bittersweet) chocolate every three days is the ideal dose for cardiovascular benefits. Eating more does not provide additional benefits.

Cocoa beans contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine) with antioxidant properties which are health beneficial. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins and procyandins. The antioxidant flavonoids are found in the non fat portions of the cocoa bean.

Cacao helps stop food cravings so is useful for those suffering with obesity. It contains the metabolism revving nutrient, theobromine, and the endorphin, anandamide, which can curb emotional eating while reducing excess cortisol production.

Cocoa also contains theobromine is a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action (increases the production of urine). Theobromine can be toxic to animals like dogs, cats, parrots and horses. The cocoa bean also contains phenylethylamine which is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline. Cocoa and dark chocolate can increase the level of serotonine in the brain. Serotonine levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms.

In addition to abundant magnesium, cacao contains significant amounts of the essential amino acid, tryptophan. Both are needed by the body to create the stress protective neurotransmitters, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is considered a primary neurotransmitter that plays a powerful role in mood regulation. Heat and cooking destroy tryptophan. Conventionally processed chocolate is low in tryptophan (roasted beans) compared to raw cacao, which typically contains 33% more tryptophan.

Cocoa beans are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchtryptophan, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

Among the Kuna people of Panama, who can drink up to 40 cups of cocoa (which contains epicatechins) per week, rates of stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes are less than 10%. The Kuna also live longer than other Panama inhabitants and do not develop dementia or high blood pressure. Drinking just two cups of cocoa per day has been proven to prevent memory decline in the elderly.

Cocoa beans contains a very low amount of caffeine, much less than found in coffee and tea.

Note: dark chocolate contains a lot of calories because of the large content of added fat and sugar. The sugar content in chocolate is worse than the fat content regarding negative effects on health.

Note: The health benefits of epicatechins found in cocoa beans are so striking that it may rival penicillin and anaesthesia in terms of importance to public health. Epicatechin is so important that it should be considered a vitamin. Currently, there are only 13 essential vitamins. An increase in the number of vitamins would provide significant opportunity for nutritional companies to expand their range of products. Flavanols like epicatechin are removed from many commercial cocoas because they tend to have a bitter taste.


Coconut (cocos nucifera)

The Pacific Islanders believe that it is the cure for all illness, which is why the palm tree (from which coconuts are grown) is known as “The Tree of Life.” Coconut oil is thought to possess healing properties above and beyond that of any other dietary oils.

The main benefits of coconut oil are due to capric acid, caprylic acid, linoleic acid and lauric acid, all of which have powerful antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties. It also contains palmitic acid.

Eating coconuts are excellent for one’s immunity. If it is consumed in any of its various forms, raw coconut, pure cold pressed virgin oil, milk, juice, butter, desiccated or dried, it can help treat some of mankind’s worst and most resilient of illnesses such as influenza, giardia, lice, throat infections, urinary tract infections, tapeworms, herpes, gonorrhoea, bronchitis and numerous other ailments caused by microbial. Many bacteria infections have become resistant to antibiotics so the obvious choice is coconut as a natural cure.

 

Whether you’re eating the meat, drinking the juice, or consuming it as oil, coconuts are a delicious and nutritious source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It is a very rich source of of calcium, potassium and magnesium, as well as electrolytes. Coconut water is known to have the same electrolyte levels as human plasma and has even been used for plasma transfusions.

 

Benefits of Coconut

Appetite suppressant
Helps with fat loss, BMI reduction and waist reduction
Can reduce the amount of seizures in drug resistant epilepsy in children
A powerful antioxidant
Improves brain function in Alzheimer’s sufferers
Helps improve types 1 and 2 diabetes
Improves cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease
An instant form of energy
A mouthwash for improved dental health and fresh breath
Slows hair loss and promotes hair growth when rubbed into the scalp
Hair conditioner
Used with apple cider vinegar and/or parsley for a treatment for head lice
Skin moisturiser
Can help prevent stretch marks
A natural deodorant
A chemical free make up remover
Lightens age spots

Coconut oil effectively inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, that can cause cavities and mouth infections, without causing any harmful side-effects.

 

Its antioxidant properties also slow down the aging process by protecting the body from harmful free radicals.

 

Coconut oil is also known to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis and can heal anal fissures. Some health practitioners in Indonesia have long used coconut oil to effectively treat bed sores and other skin lesions. It's best to apply it to the area throughout the day and before going to bed.

 

Coconut oil can also relieve headaches when rubbed onto the temples and forehead.

 

Eating coconuts also supports the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. It does this by improving the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium. It also prevents osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become thin and fragile and lose their density. This makes coconuts a good, healthy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, but still want to have strong bones and teeth. Those who prefer a vegan diet can benefit from it as a good source of protein and fatty acids.

 

People were concerned in the past that it increased cholesterol and contributed to heart disease but this is a myth. It actually lowers cholesterol and reduces the chances of heart disease. This is because its fat content is simply changed into energy, lessening the likelihood of fat build-up in the arteries and heart.

 

Coconut oil contains healthy medium chain fatty acids which are changed into energy and ketones. Ketones feed the brain, prevent degeneration of brain tissue and help to restore and renew nerves after damage.

Toe Nail Fungus: Make a paste with 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate and soda and 1 tablespoon of coconut milk. Apply to infected toes then place clean socks on and leave over night. Repeat if necessary.

Navel (belly button) and other fungal skin infections: Rub a small piece of solid coconut oil around the belly button then cover with a cotton wool pad and stick with medical tape and leave overnight. Repeat as often as is necessary. It should clear up with in 2-3 days..

Worms & Parasites. To kill intestinal parasites and worms: a tablespoon of the freshly ground coconut should be taken at breakfast followed by a dose of castor oil after three hours. The process may be repeated till the cure is complete.

NOTE: Coconut fibre belongs to the class of compounds known as flammable solids. It easily catches fire upon ignition, so keep external sources of potential ignition, such as sparks, matches and lit cigarettes, away from coconut fibre at all times. Spontaneous combustion may also occur due to self-heating so is is best stored in the refrigerator. If coconut fibre ignites, use carbon dioxide or foam to extinguish the flames.

CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given to children below 5 years of age. See Parasites & Worms page for more remedies.


Cod

Cod is a deep sea white fish belonging to the same family as haddock and monkfish and found in Arctic waters. One 4oz serving provides 119 calories, 29g of protein, which is about 53% of the RDA, 75% of the RDA of selenium and over 90% of the daily requirement of tryptophan. It is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin B6 (pyrodoxine), phosphorus and potassium.

Cod and cod liver oil are good for preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease especially in in those who have diabetes, helps to improve the functioning of the human heart muscle, protects against clots which can cause ischemic stroke, can help to balance cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels, reduces the risk of leukaemia, lymphoma, kidney and colon cancer, lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline including macular degeneration, reduces the risk of arrhythmia, can improve mood and relieve depression and can help prevent inflammation caused by the sun's harmful rays on the skin.

Cod is best eaten poached or baked not fried. Fish should be consumed at least 3 times a week for optimum health.


Coffee See Coffee Dangers


Collard Greens  (brassica oleracea)

A member of the brassica family. Collard leaves are very low in calories (30 cal per 100g) and contain no cholesterol but high amounts of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre, very high levels of high levels of vitamin K (426% per 100g) and vitamin A (222% RDA per 100g) Also contain flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants such as lutein, carotenes, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, phytonutrients di-indolyl-methane, sulphoraphane, rich in vitamin C (59% RDA per 100g), vitamin B9 (foliates) (42% RDA per 100g). Collard greens also contain vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B4 (adenine), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), ironcalcium, copper, manganese, selenium and zinc

Collard greens have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, protects against flu like viral infections, maintain healthy mucus membranes, skin and eyes, increases the bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone, helps to control LDL cholesterol levels and protects against haemorrhoids, constipation and cancers of the prostate, breast, cervical, colon, lungs, mouth, ovaries providing cancer cell growth inhibition and cytotoxic effects on cancer cells. They also limit neuronal damage in the brain of those suffering with Alzheimer's disease

The foliates in collard greens are important in DNA synthesis and when consumed during the preconception period can prevent neural tube defects (spina bifida) in the baby.


Comfrey (symphytum officinale)

Comfrey root and leaves are used to treat pulmonary haemorrhages, diarrhoea, dysentery, internal ulcers, glandular disorders, chronic coughs, bronchitis and gout, as gargles to treat hoarseness and sore gums and as fomentation used to treat varicose veins, inflammations, burns, sores, sprains, fractures, gangrene, otitis, mastitis, fibrositis, pleurisy and bronchitis. The plants high concentration of mucilage provides rationale for comfrey's historical usage in treating stomach ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, and for upper respiratory conditions. Comfrey nourishes the pituitary gland (the master gland of the body), as well as the bones and skin. It also strengthens the respiratory system and is considered to be one of nature's great healers.


Copaiba Oil (copaifera pauper)

The resin from this Amazonian plant is used as a cicatrizant, for gonorrhoea, psoriasis, sores, catarrh, syphilis and urinary problems. Copaiba oil (copaiba balsam) is used for skin disorders and as an anti-inflammatory agent that can be rubbed directly on sore joints. Internally, locals suggest its usage for gastric ulcers, as a diuretic and expectorant and to treat ear ache. It is also a powerful treatment for eczema, fungus infections, dermatitis and any kind of skin disorder including dandruff and athlete’s foot. It can also treat skin and stomach cancer. It can be used to eliminate inflammation and yeast infection of genital and urinary mucous membranes, to treat haemorrhoids, bronchitis and stomach ulcers. The Shamans of Amazon say that there is nothing better to expel mucus from the lungs and for any kind of respiratory problems.

The oil is also used in art restoration, restoring colour to old paintings. It contains essential oil and resin acids and turpentine.


Coriander (coriandrum sativum , cilantro)

Coriander seeds are added to hot stimulating foods to impart a balanced coolness.  Steeped in tea, it is useful to relieve fevers (a small amount of black pepper may be added to stimulate its action).  Use 2 teaspoons of crushed seeds in a cup of boiled water and steep for 20-minutes.  Before the invention of toothpaste, coriander seeds were chewed as a breath sweetener. Coriander is added to laxative formulas to help prevent cramping. 

It has a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an "anti-diabetic" plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also good for indigestion, nausea, chickenpox and typhoid fever.

Coriander contains an antibacterial compound that may prove to be a safe, natural means of fighting Salmonella and also has cholesterol-lowering effect. While dodecenal is found in comparable amounts in both the seeds and fresh leaves of coriander, the leaves are usually eaten more frequently since they are one of the main ingredients in salsa, along with tomatoes, onions and green chillies. In addition to dodecenal, eight other antibiotic compounds are found in fresh cilantro that can prevent food borne illness.

Coriander has also been proven to be able to eliminate highly toxic mercury from the body. Heavy metal contamination can lead to the development of conditions such as Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's.

Used traditionally for digestive and gastric complaints as well as for coughs, chest pains, bladder complaints, leprosy rash, fever, dysentery, oral and pharyngeal disorders, halitosis and post-partum complications.  Can be applied externally for rheumatism and painful joints and headaches. It was once thought to be an aphrodisiac and Chinese herbalists use it to remove unpleasant odours occurring in the genital areas of men and women, as well as bad breath. It also improves the flavour of other medicinal preparations. 

Not only is coriander filled with a variety of phytonutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, this exceptional herb is an important source of many high quality nutrients like dietary fibre, iron, magnesium and manganese.


Corn  (zea mays, Indian corn, jugnog, maize, sea mays, yu-shu-shu)

Yellow corn from or on the cob is a good source of phytonutrients, fibre, starchvitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (foliate) and vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also good sources of manganese and phosphorus.

Diets high in fibre-rich foods like corn - a serving provides 18.4% of the daily value for fibre - have been shown to lower high cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. In addition to its beneficial effects on the digestive system and the heart, the fibre found in corn can help stabilize blood sugar levels. If suffering from insulin resistance, hypoglycaemia or diabetes, corn may help balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy.

Corn's contribution to heart health lies not just in its fibre, but in the significant amounts of vitamin B9 (foliate) that corn supplies. Foliate, which is  needed to prevent birth defects, also helps to lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an intermediate product in an important metabolic process called the methylation cycle. Homocysteine can directly damage blood vessels, so elevated blood levels of this dangerous molecule are an independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease, and are found in between 20-40% of patients with heart disease. Lowers the risks of spina bifida in babies.

NOTE: Corn oil is produced industrially using very high temperatures, bleaching and the toxic solvent hexane which make it a hazardous oil to use. Genetically modified corn has been altered (which has also altered it’s nutritional value) to withstand stronger solutions of pesticide, fungicide and herbicides which remain as residues on corn when it is ingested. Corn syrup is around 90% fructose which is also unhealthy so with all this in mind corn may no longer be considered a healthy food in the diet unless it is organically produced and not genetically modified.


Corn Silk (zea mays, Indian corn, jugnog, maize, sea mays, yu-shu-shu)

Refers to the stigmas from the female flowers of maize. Fresh corn silk resembles soft silk threads 10-20 cm long that are either light green or yellow-brown in colour. Corn silk is known to have diuretic, lithotriptic, cholagogue, antifungal, anodyne, demulcent, anti-hypoglycaemic, protective, alterative and stimulant properties.

A tea made from corn silk, consisting of the stigmas of the flowers, has been valued as a diuretic. Corn silk aids the kidneys, bladder and small intestines. Take for hypertension (high blood pressure), oedema (water retention), urinary tract dysfunction and kidney stones, gonorrhoea, gout, rheumatism, bed-wetting, jaundice and painful urination caused by the prostate gland. It is also useful for the treatment of cystitis, pancreatic damage, prostatitis, dropsy and heart trouble. Corn silk extract is a useful hypoglycaemic food for diabetes sufferers.

Corn silk contains protein, fibre, starchphytonutrients, alkaloids, cryptoxanthin, malic acid, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, resin, saponins, sitotsterol, stigmasterol, tannins, tartaric acid, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin K, fluorine manganese, potassium and silicon.


Courgette (cucurbita pepo, zucchini)

One of the very low calorie vegetables; provide only 17 calories per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Its peel is good source of dietary fibre that helps reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers. The dietary fibre also lowers cholesterol by attaching itself to bile acids that the liver makes from cholesterol for digesting fat. Because fibre binds so well with bile acid, thus crowding its ability to immediately digest fat, the liver is charged with producing more bile acid. The liver then draws upon even more cholesterol to produce bile acid, consequently lowering the overall cholesterol level in the body. Furthermore, the high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A prevent cholesterol from oxidizing in the body's blood vessels, thus hampering the onset of atherosclerosis. Because dietary fibre promotes healthy and regular bowel movements, the high amounts of fibre in zucchini also help prevent carcinogenic toxins from settling in the colon.

The phytonutrients, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc found in courgettes can fight many different types of cancer and deter the development of many disorders, including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, stomach disorders, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, arteriosclerosis (blood vessel damage), heart attack and stroke, lowers blood pressure, contributes normal physiological functions, participates in the production of sex hormones, protects mitochondria against oxidative stress, promotes healthy skin and proper wound-healing,

The phytonutrients in courgettes aid in reducing the symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BOH), a condition in which the prostate gland enlarges and leads to complications with urination and sexual functions in men.


Crab

Hard shelled crabs are more nutritious than soft shelled. They are a very high natural source of protein, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12, copper, magnesium, potassium, selenium and zinc. Although crab is high in cholesterol it also provides a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B3 which is known to raise the good HDL cholesterol in the body and lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Lack of selenium in the body has proven to be a contributing factor in developing rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium is an essential nutrient which works with other nutrients to help fight oxidative stress, an imbalance which damages the joints. Crab, clams, halibut, oily fish, prawns and shrimps  are some of the highest sources of this essential mineral. The high level of potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and zinc can prevent osteoporosis. Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium.


Cramp Bark (viburnum opulus)

Cramp bark is an herb often taken in tea form that can treat female problems like irritability and cramps associated with the menstrual cycle. The herb is hailed as a stomach cramp remedy in Russia and helps to flush parasites from the body's intestinal system. In addition to killing parasites, cramp bark can lower blood pressure and treat colds and coughing. Cramp bark tea taken with pumpkin seeds can completely eliminate intestinal worms.


Cranberries and Cranberry Juice (vaccinium macrocarpon)

Contains a compound that prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls of the bladder and rest of the urinary tract. This prevents the bacteria from spreading and eventually results in the halt of infection. Using cranberry on a regular basis may help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Help the body make collagen, the protein needed to keep skin supple, smooth and healthy. Cranberries also help protect against cystitis by stopping harmful bacteria sticking to the urinary tract. Prevents varicose veins. Has anti-bacterial properties. Eases rheumatoid arthritis. Reduces the risks of cancer.

Fresh cranberry juice is a powerful healing tonic filled with quinine, which changes to hippuric acid in the liver. Hippuric acid is able to assist in the removal of purines, uric acid, urea, and toxic build-up in the prostate, testicles, kidneys and bladder. It’s also an excellent preventative juice for men who are battling the increased risk of prostate cancer. It is also a good defence against yeast infections for women. Cranberries are a complex little fruit, being tested by scientists for their abilities in virus-fighting. If you are susceptible to colds, drink cranberry juice in the winter time. cranberries are a rich source of anthocyanidins, vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin C, vitamin K and fibre.


Cress (lepidium sativum)

One of the  lowest calorie green leafy vegetables (only 11 calories per 100 g raw leaves) and contains negligible fat. Cress leaves and stem contains gluconasturtiin, a glucosinolate compound that gives the peppery flavour and is believed to be cancer preventing by inhibition of phase I enzymes (mono-oxygenases and cytochrome P450s).

Fresh cress has more concentration of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) than some of the fruits and vegetables. 100 g of leaves provides 72% of RDA of vitamin C. It is very high in vitamin-K; 100 g provides over 200% of daily recommended intake. Cress is also an excellent source of vitamin A, and flavonoids, anti-oxidants like beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Brassicas are a good source of carotene, indoles, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B4 (adenine), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Cress contains phytonutrients like isothiocyanates that also have health promotional and disease prevention properties.

Can help with weight reduction, prevent vitamin A deficiency, maintain normal connective tissue, prevent iron deficiency, help develop resistance against infectious agents by boosting immunity, promotes bone formation and strengthening, prevents osteoporosis, anaemia, cardiovascular diseases, controls heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol, protects against colon and prostate cancers, helps with cellular metabolic functions, limits neuronal damage in the brain and has been proven to help sufferers of Alzheimer's disease


Cucumber (cucumis sativus)

Cucumbers' hard skin is rich in fibre and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica which is an essential component of healthy connective tissue, which includes intracellular cement, muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone. Cucumber juice is often recommended as a source of silica to improve the complexion and health of the skin, including swelling under the eyes and sunburn, plus cucumber's high water content makes it naturally hydrating.

The flesh of cucumbers is primarily composed of water but also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling. Cucumbers also possess cancer preventing and anti-tumour properties and reduce body weight, lipid metabolism and obesity related hormones levels. Cucumbers also contain alpha carotene, beta carotene, betalain, cryptoxanthin, lutien, phytosterols, zeaxanthin, vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B9 and vitamin K,

Cucumbers' hard skin is rich in fibre and contains a variety of beneficial minerals including silica, potassium and magnesium.

CUCUMBER TRICKS

NUTRITIOUS DAILY SNACK - Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins required every day; vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 and C and the following minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
ENERGY BOOSTER - Cucumbers are a powerful alternative to caffeine filled beverages because of the B vitamins and carbohydrates. Consume cucumber instead of tea, coffee or sodas during the day. Cucumbers have been used for centuries by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to avoid starvation.
HANGOVER CURE - To avoid headaches and hangovers consume some cucumber slices before bed after drinking. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache.
REDUCE WRINKLES AND CELLULITE - Rubbing a slice of cucumber on problem areas for a few minutes will cause the collagen in the skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of both cellulite and wrinkles.
BREATH FRESHENER - Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of the mouth with the tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in the mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
TOOTHACHE AND GUM PAIN RELIEF – Bite a slice of cucumber in half and gently rub the soft inner part on the affected part of the gums.
STRESS RELIEF - Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
STAINLESS STEEL POLISH - Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface of sinks, taps etc. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and is free of hazardous cleaning chemicals.
INK RUBBER Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the ink, also works well on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.
MIRROR DEMISTER -  In the bathroom, rubbing a cucumber slice on a mirror will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
SHOE POLISH - Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
WD40 ALTERNATIVE - Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
GARDEN PEST REPELLENT - Place a few slices in a small aluminium pie tin around the garden top remain free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminium to give off a scent undetectable to humans but which will make most garden pests flee the area.


Cumin  (cuminum cyminum)

A very good source of iron, a mineral that plays many vital roles in the body. Iron is an integral component of haemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. Additionally, iron is instrumental in keeping your immune system healthy. Iron is particularly important for menstruating women, who lose iron each month during menses. Additionally, growing children and adolescents have increased needs for iron, as do women who are pregnant or lactating.

Cumin consists of vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The medicinal properties of cumin are in its volatile oil which is a rich source of thymol.

Cumin seeds have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system. Cumin seeds may also have anti-carcinogenic properties. In one study, cumin was shown to protect laboratory animals from developing stomach or liver tumours. This cancer-protective effect may be due to cumin's potent free radical scavenging abilities as well as the ability it has shown to enhance the liver's detoxification enzymes. Yet, since free radical scavenging and detoxification are important considerations for the general maintenance of wellness, cumin's contribution to wellness may be even more farther reaching.

NOTE: Avoid cumin, ginger and turmeric if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication), or hormone therapies and contraceptive pills or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, have heart problems or during the first three months of pregnancy or are breast feeding.


Cupuašu (theobroma grandiflorum)

This fruit comes from a South American tree of the same name which belongs in the cocoa family. it has been a primary food source for natives in the rainforest for centuries and has a creamy, exotic pulp at the centre of a large melon. It is a rich source of the polyphenol theograndins, vitamins B1, B2, B3, fatty and amino acids, and at least nine antioxidants (including vitamins A and C). Being from the cocoa family, cupuacu also has a high flavonoid content. Because of this it is a far healthier substitute for coffee and chocolate products.

Its primary health benefit is stimulating the immune system while simultaneously supporting the body's ability to fight disease. Cupuašu has a caffeine-like effect, but does not contain caffeine. It is one of the few cocoa relatives that does not, yet it retains this energetic effect. Regular consumption of this fruit can produce healthier skin and hair, balanced blood sugar levels, lowered cholesterol levels (through lipid peroxidation inhibition), improved brain and gastrointestinal tract function and better libido.


Curry (powder mix)

A blend of ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander and other spices that have been shown to increase metabolism, help breathing and reduce cholesterol. They also have anti-viral, antibacterial and ant fungal properties.


Curry Leaf Plant (murraya koenigii, kadi patta)

This genuine curry leaf plant is a small shrub which is native to India, the Himalayas and southern Chine. The plant often mistaken for the curry plant, because of it's aroma, is known botanically as helichrysum italicum but it is a herb which is bitter to the taste and loses its aroma when cooked.

Curry leaves are useful in the reduction of the side effects from both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. They can stop diarrhoea, improve blood sugar levels, reduce LDL cholesterol levels and protect the gastrointestinal tract, the liver and the eyes.

Curry leaves are a source of carbohydrates, fibre, protein, beta carotene, bisabolene, bornyl acetate, cadinene, cadinol, carbazole alkaloids, humulene, lauric acid, lutien, ocimene, nicotinic acid, palmitic acid, phellandrene, pinene, ryophyllene, sabinene and terpinene, vitamin A, vitamin C. calcium, iron and phosphorus.


Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish belong to the same cephalopod mollusc family as the squid and octopus. It is a common ingredient in Mediterranean and Asian dishes where it is best quickly stir fried or slowly braised in moist sauce. Cuttlefish is low in total fat and very high in protein. It is a rich source of the B vitamins, particularly vitamins B2, B3, B6, B12 and also a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc.


Cyani Flowers (centaurea cyanu, cornflower, bachelor's button, bluebottle, boutonniere flower, hurtsickle)

Soothe the nervous system and exerts a positive influence on tissues of the eyes.


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D

Daikon (raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus)

Is a large mild flavoured Asian radish eaten raw, pickled, juiced or cooked. Both the root and leaves of this brassica are edible. It can also be sprouted in a jar with a daily rinse of water. See the Micro Diet Sprouting page. Daikon has antibacterial. anti-inflammatory, antiviral and diuretic properties. It also contains digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat and carbohydrate particularly those found in raw fish. When daikon is cooked with kombu seaweed it makes a broth that removes dairy build up. The enzymes found in daikon can slow the production of a carcinogen found in the chemicals of many processed foods, and a few natural ones. This carcinogen, nitrosamine, will attack the stomach, but daikon is used to combat nitrosamine's effects. Daikon radish is extremely low in fat and cholesterol, but dense with nutrients, making it a great addition to the diet for the over weight or obese.

Raw daikon juice can help dissolve mucus and phlegm and aid in the healthy function of the respiratory system. Its ability to combat bacteria and viral infections may make it an effective combatant of respiratory disease such as bronchitis, asthma and flu. Applied topically or ingested, daikon juice has proven effective in preventing and treating acne and other skin conditions. It can also be used to cleanse the blood of toxins and support a healthy circulatory system.

The nutrients found in daikon can provide an increased immune function, protection against heart disease, DNA repair and protection, alleviation of cardiovascular disease and hypertension (high blood pressure), Alzheimer's and stroke prevention and slow down the aging process.

100 grams of daikon provides 34% the RDA of vitamin C. Daikon leaves have a much higher concentration of vitamin C. Daikon leaves are an excellent source of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone growth and may lower the risk of osteoporosis. Daikon also provides
vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), calcium, choline, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

A tea made with daikon, shittake mushrooms and kombu seaweed is used to lower fever and fight infection.


Damaina (turnera diffusa)

Known for its aphrodisiac properties, and has also been used for nervousness, weakness and exhaustion. It is said to increase sperm count in the male and to balance hormones in women.


Dandelion (taraxacum officinale)

Nourishes the liver and contains many vital nutrients. Dandelion root has been used traditionally to purify the blood, and to benefit the circulatory and glandular systems. Dandelion is a plant that acts like a natural diuretic. It stimulates the removal of waste/toxins via the bile and the urine and spares the potassium that is otherwise lost with conventional diuretics. Commonly used as food, dandelion also makes an excellent herb for arthritis.

It is a rich source of nutrients like potassium, iron and alpha and beta carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutien, zeaxanthin, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C and E. Dandelion also contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in dealing arthritic pain. Dandelion is believed to be effective in dealing with symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and other chronic joint pain conditions as this herb is capable of flushing toxins that causes the joints and muscles to inflame. Also, it plays a vital role in reducing the level of uric acid in the body which results to reduced pain and stiffness in the joints and increased joint mobility.


Dates (phoenix dactylifera)

Contain an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being. Fresh dates are composed of simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. They replenish energy and revitalise the body instantly. For these qualities, they have been used to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.

Dates are rich in dietary fibre, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin K, calciumiron (11% RDA), copper, magnesium, manganesepotassium (16% RDA).

Dates contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. They are moderate sources of vitamin A. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids such as beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Dates can protect from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancers, stroke and coronary heart diseases, age-related macular degeneration, prevents LDL cholesterol absorption, protects the colon mucous membrane and eliminates cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.


Devil's Claw (harpagophytum procumbens)

A herb which has been well-known in Europe and Africa for hundreds of years and is gaining popularity in the United States and the entire North American continent. It is known for its ability to nourish the skeletal system. Studies indicate that its action is similar to cortisone. It helps the body lessen the severity of pain in joints and connective tissues. It can also reduce the inflammation and can be helpful if skin lesions occur from severe hive outbreaks.

NOTE: If suffering from diabetes or are taking blood pressure or blood-thinning medication, do not take devil's claw.


Dill (anethum graveolens)

Has a unique health benefit from two types of healing components: monoterpenes, including carvone, limonene, and anethofuran and flavonoids, including kaempferol and vicenin. The monoterpene components of dill have been shown to activate the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the anti-oxidant molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that would otherwise do damage in the body. The activity of dill's volatile oils qualify it as a "chemoprotective" food (much like parsley) that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens, such as the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke.

The total volatile oil portion of dill has also been studied for its ability to prevent bacterial overgrowth. In this respect, dill shares the stage with garlic, which has also been shown to have "bacteriostatic" or bacteria-regulating effects. In addition to its chemoprotective and bacteriostatic properties, dill is a very good source of calcium. Calcium is important for reducing the bone loss that occurs after menopause and in some conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a good source of dietary fibre and a good source of the minerals iron, magnesium and manganese.


Dong Quai (angelica sinensis)

Calms the central nervous system and nourishes the brain. It also balances and strengthens the female organs and regulates their functions.


Dragon's Blood (dracaena cinnabari, sangre de drago, sangre de grado)

The latex/sap is used to heal wounds, cuts, injuries, for vaginal baths before childbirth. It is also recommended for throat, mouth, intestinal and stomach ulcers. It is an excellent instant bandage for children and adults, good for leucorrhea, piles, cuts, etc. The alkaloid taspine hydrochloride has been found to be the main cicatrizant, wound healing principle, anticancer agent. 

It also has anti-tumour, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal properties and is good for wound healing.  It possesses potent antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, genital herpes lesions, excellent healing agent for wounds, blisters, burns, etc. It is also an effective and  quick acting natural medication for diarrhoea and it's effects may be felt in within hours.


Drumstick (moringa oleifera)

Herbaceous plant grown for its nutritious greens, flowers and mineral rich pods. It is a well recognized member in the Moringaceae family of trees and thought to be originated in the sub-Himalayan ranges of Indian subcontinent. The seed pods are popular as murnga in Tamil and malunggay in the Philippines. Drumstick as high quality oilseed crop can be grown alternatively to improve nutrition levels of populations in many drought-prone regions of Africa and Asia. This tree has been advocated by world wide aid organizations as an outstanding indigenous source of highly digestible protein, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals suitable for use in regions of the world where malnourishment is a major concern. Where starvation is imminent, consuming the drumstick leaf powder can be life-saving.

Crushed drumstick leaves are used as a domestic cleaning agent; powdered seeds are used for clarifying honey and sugarcane juice, and for purifying water. Moringa seeds produce oil, also known as ben oil, which is a sweet non-sticky oil that doesn't become rancid and can be used in salads. The seeds are also eaten green, roasted, powdered and steeped for tea or used in curries.

Because of the high calcium, iron and vitamin content, drumstick leaves can be used as a wonderful tonic for infants, growing children and young adults to promote strong and healthy bones and for purifying the bloodstream. To prepare the tonic, drumstick leaves should be ground with water, filtered and mixed with milk.

Drumstick leaf juice is very beneficial for pregnant women as it can help them overcome sluggishness of the uterus, ease delivery and reduce post delivery complications. In India, drumstick leaves are boiled in water and salt, the water is drained and the leaves are served with ghee (clarified butter) to lactating mothers to increase breast milk. Drumstick leaves, flowers, and seeds are useful in treating sexual debility and weakness.

Drumstick leaves are very useful in treating wheezing, asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. A soup prepared by boiling a handful of leaves in 3/4 cup water for 5 minutes and cooled is served to those with respiratory problems. A little sea salt, black pepper and lime juice can be added to this soup.

Drumstick has antibacterial properties and as such is very useful in preventing infections such as those of the throat, chest, and skin. Drumstick soup can be prepared from the leaves, flowers and pods and used for this purpose as an antibiotic. Dried and powdered bark of the drumstick root can also be used for fungal skin infections.

A teaspoonful of fresh drumstick leaf juice mixed with black strap molasses and a glass of tender coconut water taken 2-3 times a day is a wonderful remedy for digestive disorders like diarrhoea, dysentery, colitis, jaundice and cholera. Drumstick leaf juice is also effective in treating urinary disorders such as excessive urination.

Drumstick seed oil is useful in treating conjunctivitis.

Fresh drumstick leaf juice mixed with lime juice can be applied to treat pimples, acne and blackheads.

The leaves are an excellent source of protein that can be rarely found in any other herbs and green leafy vegetables. 100g of fresh raw leaves provide 9.8 g of protein or about 17.5% of RDA. Dry, powdered leaves are a very concentrated source of many quality amino acids. Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health-benefiting monounsaturated fat. Drumstick is also a good source of carotenoids, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


Duck

Improves the blood and concentration levels and prevents anaemia. Duck is a rich source of protein, vitamin B12, mono-saturated fats, iron and zinc. It is high in fat so should be limited to once a month at the most.


Dulse (palmaria palmata, dillisk, dilsk, red dulse, sea lettuce flakes, creathnach)

This is a red algae that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The red algae is usually sun dried after harvesting from rocks then the powder is used as an alternative to salt or as a savoury condiment in various dishes.

As with blue and green algae, it has heavy metal chelating properties meaning metal molecules bind to the algae and are then transported out of the body. Consuming dulse regularly can help to heal poor digestive system, rebuild and maintain all glands in the body, increases metabolism and aid in weight loss, support healthy brain function, heal and cleanse the liver and due to it's high iodine content can keep the thyroid gland healthy.

Dulse is a rich source of potassium, phosphorous and iron and contains good amounts of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, magnesium, manganese, sodium and zinc.


Durum Wheat (triticum turgidum)

Durum is the hardest variety of all wheat and has a higher protein, gluten and calorie content than other types of wheat. Durum wheat is milled and its endosperm is ground up into a product called semolina, which is then mixed with water into a thick dough that is forced through holes of different shapes to make different types of pasta. Semolina granules are used for cereals, desserts and couscous.

Durum wheat provides protein, fibre, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

NOTE: Unless it is stated that it is "100% whole grain" durum wheat is often refined and will therefore have far less nutritional value. Although most refined wheat is enriched with iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid before being made into food, many of the vitamins removed are not returned and neither is any of the dietary fibre, which is essential for good health. Eating whole grains may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and may also be associated with lower body weight so it is a good idea to always choose whole grains.


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E

Echinacea (echinacea purpurea, echinacea angustifolia, coneflower )

Modern scientific studies now validate Echinacea's traditional usage as a topical agent to help the body repair skin wounds, and internally to enhance the immune system. The active constituents in echinacea which are thought to bolster the body's defence are known as polysaccharides. Polysaccharides stimulate the activity of macrophages, white blood cells which destroy bacteria, viruses, other foreign invaders, and even wayward cells. It also activates the body's production of interferon, a specific protein which protects cells against the invasion of viruses. Many people have observed good effects taking echinacea in cases of syphilis. The patient begins to feel a general improved condition after taking the remedy a few days. It removes the pain and discomfort, removes the fever and abates the evidences of the disease without after-effects.


Ecklonia Cava (algae, algas pardas, algues Brunes, brown algae, brown seaweed)

Ecklonia cava is a rare edible marine brown algae species with a rich polyphenolic content. It was discovered by fishermen off the coast of Korea and offers incredible health benefits including the ability to restore blood pressure to normal levels which can greatly increase the human lifespan.

The active compound extracted from ecklonia cava is seanol that has been proven to be 100 times more powerful than any land based antioxidant because it stays working in the body for 12 hours instead of just the usual 30 minutes that land based antioxidants work for.

Also, unlike nearly all land based antioxidants that are water soluble, seanol's protective compounds can get into things like the fatty tissues of the brain and penetrate all three layers of human cells, including the outside, the oil-based cell membranes, as well as the DNA.


Eel

Relieve symptoms of psoriasis, reduces the risk of heart disease, maintains bone density and prevents anaemia. Eel is a rich source of vitamins D and E, protein, EPA, DHA, omega-3 fatty acids.


Egg

Egg white soothes the stomach and bowels and is therefore useful for heartburn, indigestion, diarrhoea and constipation. Externally, egg white (beaten to fluffy stage) is useful for soothing minor burns and inflamed skin.

It is also helpful in foetal brain development and very good for pregnant women as it contains choline. High in cholesterol but the contains the highest quality source of protein available and almost every essential vitamin and mineral including: betalain, carotenoids, choline, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin, lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.


Elderberry (sambucus nigra)

Can help rid the body cells of toxins, increase circulation and purify the blood.


Elecampane (inula helenium, horse-heal or marchalan)

With flowers that resemble miniature sunflowers and a basal leaf rosette that resembles a mullein plant, elecampane is an attractive member of the asteraceae or daisy family. Ancient Roman healers treasured the roots as a digestive remedy and Native Americans and herbalists continue to value the medicinal properties and uses of elecampane. It grows well in northern Europe including the UK. The roots are not ready for medicinal use until the autumn of the second year, when they have developed their healing properties. It is a natural expectorant and nourishes the respiratory system.

People have used elecampane as a digestive stimulant and remedy for upset stomach for hundreds of years due to a chemical called alantolactone for expelling worms and parasites from the digestive tract. Taken before a meal, the root decoction has a bitter principle called helenin which promotes digestion, improves vitamin and mineral absorption and stimulates the appetite. This remedy is especially helpful for reviving the appetite after a bout with the flu or other illness.

Elecampane is an effective remedy for many types of respiratory ailments, including bronchitis. A volatile oil gives the roots expectorant, anti-inflammatory and warming properties that help break up congestion and calm coughs. Regular intake of elecampane root decoction can relieve symptoms of chronic bronchitis, asthma and other chronic lung conditions. Its antibacterial property is so effective, it kills the organism that causes tuberculosis. A flower decoction or syrup is especially helpful for coughs or nausea caused by excessive mucous.

When dug up during the autumn, the roots are a rich source of inulin, a type of fibre named after this plant’s botanical name. Inulin, which is different from the hormone insulin, helps stabilize blood sugar and improve absorption of nutrients from foods.

As a topical remedy, elecampane root has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve eczema and other types of skin inflammation. The alantolactone in the roots appears to be responsible for this healing property. Prepare a wash by diluting the root decoction..

Prepare an infusion by placing an ounce of dried elecampane root in a pint canning jar and filling the jar with boiling water; cover the jar and let the mixture brew overnight. Strain the infusion, place it in a stainless steel pot, and slowly heat the infusion until it is reduced by half. After it cools, refrigerate the decoction for two or three days in a jar. The decoction maybe mixed with honey for a soothing cough syrup.


Ephedra Sinica (ma huang)

This Chinese herb is nutritionally beneficial for fat reduction and increased energy. It facilitates energy and heat exchange for efficient metabolic function.


Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus labill, blue gum)

The leaves and oil from the eucalyptus tree have powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can improve respiratory health, enhance mental clarity and the mood and relieve stress. It is also antiviral, a deodorant; clears mucous from the lungs; works as a liniment and relieves rheumatic, arthritic and other types of pain.

It is especially useful for skin eruptions and oily complexions, it is also used for acne, herpes and chicken pox. For a homemade preparation, mix eucalyptus essential oil with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and dab on problem areas. This mix can also be used as an antiseptic on wounds, boils and insect bites.

Inhaling the vapour works well for chest complaints, asthma and colds or sinus congestion. A mouthwash made by distilling the oil and diluting with water can eliminate bacteria residing there. Hanging some branches in the shower will provide these benefits as the steam will release the vapour.

The scent increases brain wave activity and counters physical and mental fatigue. Eucalyptus is useful on long car trips or if sniffed when studying. Smelling it also increases energy.

NOTE: Do not use during an asthma attack.

Eucalyptus contains cineol or eucalyptol, pinene, limonene and at least 250 other compounds. Different varieties can include citronellal, cineole, cryptone and piperitone.


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F

Fagara (zanthoxyloides)

A rutaceae, is widely distributed in Uganda and other African countries. It is well known for its varied uses in traditional medicinal practices. The root-bark extract is used in treating elephantiasis, toothache, sexual impotence, gonorrhoea, malaria, dysmenorrhoea and abdominal pain. Workers in West Africa have reported the anti-sickling and antimicrobial activity of the extracts of the plant.

In Nigeria fagara is used as a chewing stick. Water extracts from the plant showed activities against bacteria significant to periodontal disease. The anthelmintic activity of the methanolic extract of the root-bark of Fagara was also reported, and it is a very popular anthelmintic amongst the various tribes in Uganda. It has also been found that the alcoholic extracts of the root-bark possesses considerable antibacterial activity.


False Pepper (chamaelirium luteum, helonias root , devil's bit , blazing star , drooping starwort, fairy wand)

False pepper is an Indian vine with tiny flowers that are yellow/green in colour. The bark, leaves and fresh fruit are used to treat parasites, rheumatism, stomach difficulties, skin diseases, tumours, psychological problems and convulsions. The active component in the plant is embelin, and it has anti-fertility, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and anti-oxidant properties. Embelin is a member of a chemical class called benzoquinone and derivatives of quinone have anticonvulsant properties.


False Unicorn (chamaelirium luteum)

Considered a tonic to the reproductive organs and addresses symptoms of headaches and depression in menopausal women.


Fennel (foeniculum vulgare)

Fennel seeds are an excellent super-herb that has been used for centuries for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Fennel is grown extensively across the planet but is native to Europe, The Middle-Eastern, China, India, and Turkey.

Fennel seeds have many health benefiting nutrients, compounds, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins that are known to help prevent and treat disease. Most commonly, fennel seeds contain high amounts of flavonoid anti-oxidants like kaempferol and quercetin. These anti-oxidants help to protect the body from cancers, infections, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, aging and other degenerative diseases.

Their powerful anti-oxidant properties make it also a powerful anti-inflammatory which prevent oxidation and inflammation; thus preventing many chronic conditions such as colitis, Crohn‘s (inflammatory bowel) disease, arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, high cholesterol, menstrual problems, fevers and pain.

In India it is common to chew fennel seeds after meals to facilitate digestion as they help prevent and treat flatulence, expelling gases from the stomach. They contain numerous essential oil compounds such as anethole, limonene, anisic, pinene and cineole which have digestive, carminative and anti-flatulent properties.

The oils in fennel seeds help facilitate proper absorption of nutrients in the stomach and intestines. The oils also contain anti-acidic properties. Fennel seeds are also concentrated with
fibre, phytonutrients, histidine, terpenoids, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C and vitamin E. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

Fennel seeds can not only help prevent and treat constipation but can also act as a laxative with their high fibre content. They help clear the bowels and their stimulating effect helps maintain the proper peristaltic motion of your intestines.

Fennel seeds when used in a tea have also been known to ease and regulate menstruation and eliminate worms and parasites.

Fennel seeds have also been know to strengthen the eyes & hair, relax the body, sharpen the memory and have a cooling effect when one becomes over-heated. Studies have also shown that Fennel may also inhibit the formation of certain tumours caused by cancer-causing chemicals. Helps detoxify and remove waste material from the body.

Other properties of fennel seeds can improve and treat:

Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Arthritis – both Osteo and Rheumatoid
Cough, cold & sore throats
Immune support
High cholesterol
Liver detoxification
Colitis
Indigestion
Flatulence
Colic pain and indigestion for babies
Constipation
Diarrhoea

Increase breast milk in nursing mothers
High blood pressure
Insomnia
Glaucoma
Stroke


Fenugreek (trigonella foenum)

Has many traditional uses, including nourishing the skin, respiratory system and the pancreas. It helps the body to expel mucus and toxins and dissolves fat and is high in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin B12 and vitamin C.


Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium)

Is an effective for treating migraines. It reduces inflammation, which takes pressure off the nerves and can help prevent migraines entirely.


Figs (ficus carica)

A fig tree is a small tree with a cylindrical stem. It is found all over India. Bo Tree Figs come from a large fig tree that grows in the southern parts of Asia. The tree is holy to Buddhists and is used ritually and medicinally. The bo tree’s figs contain the greatest amount of serotonin when compared to all other figs and are able to significantly inhibit epileptic seizures by increasing the amount of serotonin that nerve cells transmit.

Figs contain a derivative of benzaldehyde which has been reported to be highly effective at shrinking cancer tumours. Figs also contain vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C and vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc.

Figs are rich in potassium and fibre which helps to stabilize the blood pressure of the body and they have anti-diabetic and anti-tumour properties and can reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol. They can also curtail appetite and improve weight-loss efforts hence helping with obesity and fig juice is also a potent bacteria killer in test-tube studies.

Figs promote good sleeping habits and protects against insomnia. They increase energy, promote stronger bones and are helpful in treating constipation due to their laxative effect. They also has a analgesic effect against insect sting and bites. The fruit is also given as a cure for piles and diarrhoea.

Figs lessen the acids in the stomach and therefore are great for pregnant women. They also increase sexual desire and promote overall longevity and good health.

Fig leaves are best known for treating diabetes, but there are many other uses such as treating boils, cancer, cardiovascular disease, bronchitis, genital warts, fungal infections, liver cirrhosis, haemorrhoids, high blood pressure, ringworm, shingles, skin problems and ulcers.

The diabetic needs less insulin when on a treatment of using the fig leaf extract. The diabetic should take the extract with breakfast, first thing in the morning. An additional remedy is to boil the leaves of the fig in some freshly filtered or bottled mineral water and drink this as a tea.

Cardiovascular and Cancer patients should try drinking some freshly made fig leaf tea and eat some fresh figs daily.

Genital warts - Take one fig leaf and apply the milk or sap from the leaf to the affected areas.

Haemorrhoids - Place two or three of the leaves in one litre of water and bring to boil. Boil for at least 15 minutes. Remove from the fire and let the pot cool. Remove the leaves from the tea and use as a bath or apply to the affected areas.

Liver cirrhosis - Take 4 fig leaves, wash them thoroughly and pound them. Fill a medium glass with water (preferably bottled mineral water), add the leaves and drink this twice a day.

High blood pressure - Place 3 fig leaves in half litre of water. Boil for 15 minutes and drink daily.

Ringworm - Cut open a leaf and take the milk or sap. Rub on the ringworm. This procedure works very quickly for ringworm as well as scalp fungal infections, warts and boils.

Fig leaves can be used in decoction form to condition hair and treat fungal infections of the scalp.

Shingles: Place three to four fig leaves in 2 cups of water. Boil for a few minutes, let cool and remove the leaves. Take a wash cloth and dip in the water and apply to the affected area.

Stomach and Mouth Ulcers - Every day chew two fig leaves and swallow the whole leaf. People with advanced ulcers should do this in the morning on an empty stomach.

If the leaves are mashed, they can be used as a skin cleanser for acne and pimples.


Flax Seeds & Oil (linum usitatissium)

Provides omega 3 (linolenic acid), omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. Omegas 3 and 6 benefit the cardiovascular system, as well as the immune and nervous systems. It also contains some beta carotene (approximately 4,300 IU per teaspoon) and vitamin E (approximately 15 IU per teaspoon). Because flaxseed contains Omega fatty acids and because fatty acids play such a vital role in the body, supplementation with flaxseed oil may help with an assortment of conditions, including the following

Flax seed oil (sometimes referred to as flaxseed oil) is one of the leading sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Moreover,  it's a primary source of the alpha-linolenic essential omega 3 fatty acid. Alpha-linolenic acid deficiency has been linked to:

  • growth retardation
  • weakness
  • impairment of vision and learning ability
  • motor in coordination
  • tingling sensations in arms and legs
  • behavioural changes
  • high triglycerides
  • high blood pressure
  • sticky platelets
  • tissue inflammation
  • oedema
  • dry skin
  • mental deterioration
  • low metabolic rate
  • some kinds of immune dysfunction

Women who consume flaxseeds or flaxseed oil are less likely to develop breast cancer because of the high levels of lignans.


Frankincense (boswellia sacra, olibanum)

This is the oily gum resin from the boswellia tree and related species. It is named in the Bible as one the three gifts given to the infant Jesus by the 'Three Wise Men'. It is still used in religious ceremonies by the Parsees who are thought by some to be cultural descendants of the 'Three Wise Men' (Magi) of the Christian tradition. Large scale exploitation of frankincense began in Oman approximately 8000 years ago.

The ancient Egyptians believed frankincense to be the sweat of gods, fallen to earth. The legendary Phoenix bird was believed to build its nest from twigs of frankincense and to feed upon ‘tears’ of the resin. The ancient Egyptians also used the resin in religious rites, in embalming and anointing the mummified bodies of their kings, in cosmetics and to treat wounds and sores. Incense containing frankincense was found in Tutankhamen's tomb. In 1400 BC, Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sent a plant-collecting expedition to the eastern coast of Africa. Among the botanical prizes gained were 31 boswellia trees that were then planted at the Temple Of Karnak along the Nile.

The earliest recorded account of the use of Arabian frankincense and myrrh by the ancient Greeks comes from Herodotus, suggesting that by 500 BC a well-established trade existed between southern Arabia and Greece. In 295 BC Theophrastus recorded that Alexander the Greek sent Anaxicrates to southern Arabia to discover the origin of frankincense. Theophrastus (around 372-287 BC), the Greek botanist, and Pliny the Elder (around 23-79 AD), the Latin naturalist, provided eyewitness accounts of the cultivation and harvesting of frankincense and the methods remain largely unchanged today.

When slashed, the boswellia tree emits an oily gum resin which is either scraped off the bark or collected from the ground as it drips off. This gum is painstakingly collected by hand in India, Egypt and Somalia from the beginning of April. The freshly exuded gum initially appears as a milky-white resin. This resin solidifies upon exposure to air and turns into creamy yellow crystals which are harvested about two week later. It is then cleaned by hand to remove debris and graded according to colour and fragrance.

The means by which frankincense works is not fully understood but it does contain a broad range of phytochemicals including a group called boswellic acids which are terpenes. These compounds possess anti-inflammatory properties which may explain its effectiveness in treating arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and ulcerative colitis.. It also contains a number of anti-cancer compounds.


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    G

    Game Birds See Poultry


    Garam Masala (translated “hot spicy mixture”)

    This is a staple of authentic South Asian cuisine and consists of a blend of traditional ground South Asian spices, usually containing: peppercorns, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, cumin and occasionally other spices depending on the region it comes from. All these spices can slowdown the ageing process while promoting weight loss. They each have many other great health and medicinal benefits. See each one for more information.


    Garcinia Cambogia (garcinia, malabar tamarind, brindall berry, kankushta)

    South Asian plant that is nutritionally beneficial in blocking the production of fats. Scientific research conducted on this herb since 1969 demonstrates that it slows the body's conversion of carbohydrates and excess calories to fat, decreasing production of harmful fats (low-density lipoproteins), promoting sustained energy levels by enhancing the body's production of glycogen, reducing the body's desire for excess food; helping to nutritionally support the metabolism and burn calories. Human studies indicate that Garcinia, also known as HCA (hydroxycitric acid) may be especially effective when combined with chromium and L-carnitine.


    Garlic (allium sativa)

    Is a natural antibiotic, anti-microbial, a fungicide, a cleanser and antioxidant. Useful for arthritis, asthma, bacteria infections, bronchitis, cancer, candida, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, digestive problems, fever, flatulence, flu, high blood pressure, intestinal infections, lung disorders, parasitic diarrhoea, warts, worms, blood purifier, detoxifying the liver, mucus, prostate, sore throats, toothache, tumours, whooping cough, yeast infections, viruses and the toxoplasmosis gondii parasite and protects against stomach cancers.

    Garlic provides nourishment for the circulatory, immune and urinary systems. It aids in supporting with normal circulation, nourishing stomach tissues, maintaining normal blood pressure and aids the body's natural ability to resist disease. It also helps to reduce cholesterol and blood fats combats

    Garlic is a good source of vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin K, allicin, zinc, iron and selenium.

    Garlic has been used for expelling intestinal worms and parasites from ancient times by the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Hindus and Babylonians. Garlic is a natural anthelmintic. It is especially useful against roundworms, giardia, trypanosome, plasmodium and leishmania.. Both fresh garlic and its oil are effective. Chop finely or crush 4 cloves of garlic and mix with 1 glass of liquid (water, juice or milk) and drink daily for 3 weeks.

    Garlic is able to slow and kill over 60 types of fungus and 20 types of bacteria, as well as some of the most potent viruses. It has a history of killing parasites and controlling secondary fungal infections, detoxifying while gently stimulating elimination and has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasite toxins. The active components in garlic that kill parasites are allicin and ajoene. These compounds can kill amoeba’s including one-cell varieties, as well as pinworms and hookworms. Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When it is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin converting it into allicin, the active component contributing for its success for killing parasites.

    It has now been proven scientifically that garlic is 100 times more effective than antibiotics at killing food poisoning bacteria in the intestines.

    Externally a slice of raw garlic held onto the affected skin for just a few minutes can heal cold sores and other skin eruptions and even naturally remove cancerous moles painlessly and without surgery. Also use externally as an infusion in oil for sprains, joint problems, fungal infections, earache and chest infections.


    Gentian Root (gentiana lutea)

    Nourishes and strengthens the digestive system. It stimulates the appetite, nutritionally supports the liver and nourishes the spleen, pancreas, stomach and kidneys. Gentian is one of the most useful bitter vegetable tonics. It is specially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of general debility, weakness of the digestive organs and want of appetite.

    It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system and is an excellent tonic and of extreme value in jaundice. Can also improve and treat anaemia, blood impurities, poor circulation, colds, constipation, indigestion, heart burn, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, flatulence, gout, menstruation/absent, nausea, gall bladder, liver, kidneys, urinary problems, malaria, worms and parasites, wounds and yeast infections.

    To eliminate worms and parasites take 1oz of gentian root powder in a glass of any available liquid.

    NOTE: The highly toxic white hellebore (veratrum album) can be misidentified as gentian and has caused accidental poisoning when used in homemade preparations.


    Ginger (zingiber officinale)

    Good for bronchitis, colds, muscle and menstrual cramps, energy, sore throat, poor circulation, cough, digestion problems and infection with helicobacter pylori in the stomach. 

    Has antioxidant, antiseptic and expectorant properties. Promotes perspiration in a fever, cleanses the digestive tract in cases of diarrhoea, lowers blood pressure and thins the blood. Useful for indigestion, nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, coughs, colds and flu. Ginger root is nourishing to the gastrointestinal system. It also helps the body to eliminate wastes through the skin. Ginger enhances circulation and acts as a catalyst for other herbs, to increase their effectiveness. It helps the body relieve congestion.

    Consuming 2g of ginger per day can produce significantly higher insulin sensitivity which is beneficial to diabetics as well as lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

    Ginger can be taken with food, as a tea and the raw peeled root can be dabbed onto the affected area for relief of hives.

    Externally, ginger is applied as a fomentation for the treatment of pain, inflammation and stiff joints. Simmer one ounce of dried Ginger Root in two quarts of water for ten minutes. Strain and soak a cloth in the water and apply to the affected area.  Keep changing the cloth to keep a constant warm temperature on the skin.  The skin should become red as the circulation increased. 

    For children and adults with bronchial coughs: mix ginger root powder with a non-petroleum jelly and rub on the chest to help loosen coughs and expel mucous.

    WARNING
    Avoid cumin, ginger and turmeric if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication), or hormone therapies and contraceptive pills or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, have heart problems or during the first three months of pregnancy or are breast feeding


    Ginkgo Biloba (maidenhair tree)

    Is one of the most promising and highly studied natural botanicals. Current interest in ginkgo began in the Orient, where it has long been valued for its effects on the challenges of aging. Ginkgo is effective in nutritionally supporting the body's systems, especially through its antioxidant properties. This is especially important as we grow older. Aging is a process of deterioration. The hypothesis that free radicals (reactive molecules) in the body are a direct cause of this deterioration is gaining widespread acceptance. Recently, the benefits of antioxidant vitamins in reducing free radicals in the the body have been widely published. Ginkgo is a very potent free radical scavenger. Eliminating free radicals is important in preserving youthfulness. If we slow down the deterioration of our body systems, we can enjoy fitness and vitality all through our lives.


    Ginseng (panax spp)

    The name "Ginseng" evolved from the Chinese name "man root". Since the 1950's an increasing amount of worldwide research was done that revealed ginseng's healing properties. Nutritionally beneficial for the immune system and long term energy. It nourishes the circulatory system and enhances mental alertness and stamina. For over 2000 years, Ginseng has been used in the Far East as a tonic with revitalizing properties and to help boost energy. Ginseng is especially beneficial during times of stress and fatigue because it preserves glycogen, the glucose that is stored in the liver and muscle cells, by increasing the use of fatty acid as a source of energy. It has been shown that the active compound, Ginsenosides, helps the body to respond to stress and is also noted for its endurance enhancing effects.

    The possibility of side effects with ginseng use is low. Inappropriately high dosage levels may cause insomnia and nervousness.

    IMPORTANT NOTE avoid ginseng under any of the following circumstances and do not give to children or the elderly:


    Goat's Milk

    Useful alternative to cows milk because some anti-inflammatory compounds; short-chain sugar molecules called oligosaccharides are present in goat's milk. These oligosaccharides may make goat's milk easier to digest, especially in the case of compromised intestinal function. Goat's milk has also been shown to enhance the metabolism of both iron and copper, especially when there are problems with absorption of minerals in the digestive tract. These factors and others are likely to play an important role in the tolerability of goat's milk versus cow's milk. Allergy to cow's milk has been found in many people with conditions such as recurrent ear infections, asthma, eczema and even rheumatoid arthritis. Replacing cow's milk with goat's milk may help to reduce some of the symptoms of these conditions.

    Goat's milk is a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since a cup of goat's milk contains 498.7 mg of potassium and only 121.5 mg of sodium, goat's milk may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.

    Goat's milk is a good source of low cost high quality protein, providing 8.7 grams of protein (17.4% of RDA) in one cup versus cow's milk, which provides 8.1 grams or 16.3% of RDA. The structure of humans and animals is built on protein. Half a pint of goat's milk also contains the following RDA: protein 17.3%, tryptophan 34.3%, vitamin B2 20%, vitamin D 31.1%, calcium 32.6%, phosphorus 27%, potassium 14.2% and 168 calories.


    Goats Rue (galega officinalis)

    Goat’s rue is a wild legume used during the Middle Ages to treat the plague. It was also used to induce sweating to break fevers and to treat infections with parasitic worms and snakebite. This herb can help balance blood sugar levels and help women balance hormones. The plant has no odour unless a stem or leaf is bruised, causing the release of a stench, hence the name “goat’s rue.” Effective in both humans and animals alike.


    Goji Berries (lycium barbarum, nightshade family)

    A member of the nightshade family (Solonaceae), which contains many other common vegetables such as potato, sweet potato, tomato, aubergine and pepper, as well as some poisonous plants like belladonna and deadly nightshade. Native to the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet and Mongolia, goji berries have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are a very rich source of vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals and are high in fibre. They contain 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals. They also contain natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds.

    Goji berries are known to act on the kidney and liver areas to help relieve lower back pain and can relieve dizziness and improve eyesight.

    They are most often consumed raw, made into a tea or extract, or as an ingredient in soups. and are commonly available in dried form and make a great snack eaten as is or added to muesli or oatmeal. They can also be soaked for a couple of hours in enough water to cover them. Then the soak water can be drained off and makes a delicious drink or both water and berries added to smoothies.

    NOTE: avoid goji berries if taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure or anti-coagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin or aspirin.


    Golden Seal (hydrastis canadensis)

    Used both internally and externally to help the body fight infections with its nutritional properties. It helps the body soothe inflammations of the mucous membranes and balance their function. This herb especially nourishes the liver, glandular and respiratory systems. Golden seal helps cleanse the system of foreign organisms.

    This herb can also clear worm contaminations as well as bacterial infections of the mucous membranes within various human tracts like urinary, respiratory and gastrointestinal.


    Goose See Poultry


    Gooseberries (ribes uva-crispa)

    Are a significant source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre, calcium, phosphorous and potassium and also contain moderate amounts of protein, vitamin E, iron and magnesium. A serving of gooseberries provides one third of RDA of fibre which can help prevent constipation, as well as more serious conditions like colon cancer and heart disease. Gooseberries also provide 297mg of potassium in a 4oz serving which is critical for human health, because it promotes normal function of nerve cells, muscles and heart. Potassium may also prevent abnormal heart rhythm and help maintain a healthy blood pressure. The high calcium content is also good for bones and teeth health.


    Gotu Kola (centella asiatica)

    Nourishes the nervous system, especially the brain. It is said to help improve memory and enhance vitality throughout the body. This herb is known for helping the body to balance blood pressure levels and assist in the healing of wounds. Gotu Kola is known in India as a "longevity" herb. The plant portion above the ground contains a large amount of vellarin which is a substance that fights infections diseases like leprosy, syphilis and eczema. Care is taken to dry this herb in the shade to preserve this valuable substance.


    Grapefruit (citrus paradisi)

    Low in calories (only about 40-60 calories per half a grapefruit) and a good source of fibre, pectin, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin) as well as a fair source of vitamin B9 (folic acid) Grapefruits also contain bioflavonoids which are vitamin-like substances that have certain anti-cancer properties and other functions.

    Pectin is found in the pulp, as well as in the rind. It contains a soluble fibre that can bind to and lower cholesterol. For the most part it is not digested. In clinical studies, grapefruit pectin reduced circulating levels of “bad” LDL-cholesterol by about 12 percent. Grapefruit pectin also reduces narrowing of blood vessels with atherosclerotic hardening of the arteries by 50 percent. It also contains essential oils such as citral, limonene and pinene which can help with stress and fatigue.

    There is a misconception that grapefruit or grapefruit juice contains a “fat burner.” This has led to the recurring intermittent popularity of the “grapefruit diet,” sometimes also called the “Hollywood diet,” for weight reduction. There is no anti-obesity ingredient in grapefruits, but substituting grapefruit or unsweetened grapefruit juice for other dietary foods can dramatically reduce the number of calories consumed. It is this caloric reduction that causes weight loss, not the actual grapefruit. Tangerines, however, have been proven by Japanese scientists to contain nobiletin. Nobiletin has been shown to prevent the build-up of fat in the liver via stimulating the expression of genes involved in burning excess fat, and inhibiting the genes which are responsible for manufacturing fat.

    When to avoid Grapefruit
    The grapefruit continues to receive a lot of medical attention because it interacts with certain prescribed medications. Components of the grapefruit can influence the function of certain enzymes along the gastrointestinal tract or in the liver, and these interactions influence the rate at which certain medications can be broken down or removed from the body. Much of the past attention had focused on felodipine (marketed as Plendil), a popular medication for treating hypertension. When this occurs, the level of the blood pressure lowering medication in the body becomes too high, by as much as a five-fold increase. As a result, blood pressure may fall too low, causing symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, weakness or even fainting. It does not take much grapefruit or grapefruit juice to make this happen, especially if it is consumed on a regular basis. There is great individual variability, however, on who will and who will not be reactors.


    Another group of medications that interact with the grapefruit are the “statins,” which are now widely prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels. There are many other medications, however, that also interact with grapefruits. A partial list (using drug generic names) would include alprazolam, atorvastatin, benzodiazepines, buspirone, carvediol, cerivastatin, cisapride, clomipramine, coumadin, cyclosporine, ethinyl, estradiol, felodipine, lovastatin, nifedipine, nimodipine, saquinavir, simvastatin, tacrolimus, testosterone, triazolam.


    Grapes (vitis, vinifera)

     

    Why is it an age old custom to take a gift of grapes to sick people? Because they have a blood cleansing affect helping to heal. Red and black grapes contain 20 known antioxidants that work together to fend off the free radical attacks that lead to wrinkly skin and disease. These antioxidants are concentrated in the skin, so always buy the most colourful grapes you can find. All grapes contain compounds that strengthen the capillaries and protect against thread veins and skin sagging.

     

    Recent studies have discovered that there are inorganic mineral compounds such as iridium and rhodium in grape seeds and colloidal gold in black grape skins which causes cancer cells to 'commit suicide' within 24 hours without affecting surrounding healthy cells.

     

    In a healthy person, cancer cell apoptosis is a normal, healthy part of biology. Every living system creates cancerous cells. There are hundreds or thousands of "micro tumours" in every human being living today, but cancerous cells in healthy people destroy themselves once they realize they're flawed. This cellular "realization," however, requires healthy cell communication, and that's dependent on the correct nutrients, minerals and proteins being available in the body.

     

    Leukaemia cancer cells exposed to grape seed extract are rapidly killed through a process of cell suicide known as "apoptosis.". An astonishing 76% of leukaemia cells committed suicide within 24 hours thanks to the ability of compounds found in grape seeds which activates a protein called JNK, which regulates apoptosis.

     

    Put simply, a tumour is the result of out of control cell growth. To assure that the cell cycle - the cell's process of duplicating itself to make more cells - goes smoothly, a large network of proteins tells other proteins what to do and when to do it. When any of these layers of protein regulation fail, cell growth can get out of hand. On the molecular level, JNK influences cellular functions by tagging other proteins with a phosphate chemical group (a process known as phosphorylation), a common mechanism cells use to turn enzymes on and off. Phosphorylation is so important that when JNK goes awry, a number of different disorders can result, such as cancer, diabetes or neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

     

    This JNK activating compound cannot be found in seedless grapes (obviously) or grape seed oil as the process to make the oil removes it. Grape seed extract can be found as a supplement but if you can find grapes with the seeds intact it is perfectly safe to chew and swallow the seeds and may help in the fight against cancer. Why not try grinding the seeds (which do taste bitter) into a powder and adding to meals and drinks daily to take advantage of this healthy and nutritious source of cancer fighting food?
     


    Green Beans (phaseolus vulgaris, runner beans, string beans, French bean, wax bean, pole bean)

    Fresh green beans are very low in calories (31 kcal per 100g of raw beans) and contain no saturated fat. They are very rich source of dietary fibre (9% per100g RDA). Green beans contain excellent levels of vitamin A, and health promoting flavonoid poly phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene in good amounts. Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid in the beans, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes, so green beans offer some protection in preventing age-related macular disease in the elderly. Green beans help to control heart rate and blood pressure and reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels

    100g of fresh beans provide 9% RDA of vitamin B9 foliates. Foliate along with vitamin B12 is one of the essential components of DNA synthesis and cell division. Good foliate diet when given during preconception periods and during pregnancy helps prevent neural-tube defects among the offspring.

    They also contain good amounts of vitamin B6 pyridoxine, B1 thiamine and vitamin C. Beans also contain high amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium which are very essential for body metabolism.


    Green Tea (camellia sinensis)

    The polyphenols in green tea are classified as catechins. Green tea supplies six main catechin compounds; catechin, gallaogatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, epicatechin and apigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. Catechins aid in weight loss. L-theanine is an amino acid compound contained in green tea. L-theanine has been reported to have calming effects on the nervous system. Green tea is used to improve mental alertness and thinking.

    It is also used for weight loss and to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, bone loss (osteoporosis), and solid tumour cancers. Some people use green tea to prevent various cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer, solid tumour cancers and skin cancer related to exposure to sunlight. Some women use green tea to fight human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause genital warts, the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix (cervical dysplasia), and cervical cancer.

    Green tea is also used for Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diseases of the heart and blood vessels, diabetes, low blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, dental cavities (caries), kidney stones, and skin damage.

    Green tea has powerful anti-cancer properties. EGCG (epicallocatechin-3-gallate) is the major catechin found in green tea. This is the most powerful antioxidant known and has been proven to be extremely effective in fighting prostate, oesophageal, stomach, and mouth cancers and helps to stunt the growth of tumours. (polyphenols, caffeine). Also present in green tea are epicatechin and epigallocatechin.

    Green tea is extremely effective in fighting prostate, oesophageal, stomach, brain, cervical and bladder and mouth cancers. It also reduces iron-accumulation in instances of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, can activate the body’s defence system against TNF alpha proteins, TGF beta proteins which are involved in systemic inflammation, help protect against some autoimmune diseases, including Sj÷gren's syndrome and is beneficial in the treatment of periapical periodontitis.

    Externally, tea is useful for stopping bleeding, healing sores and as a mouthwash for ulcers.

    Instead of drinking green tea, some people apply green tea bags to their skin to soothe sunburn and prevent skin cancer due to sun exposure. Green tea bags are also used to decrease puffiness under the eyes, as a compress for tired eyes or headache, and to stop gums from bleeding after a tooth is pulled.  Green tea  is also good to heal gum disease.

    Green tea is used in an ointment for genital warts. Do not confuse green tea with oolong tea or black tea. Oolong tea and black tea are made from the same plant leaves used to make green tea, but they are prepared differently and have different medicinal effects. Green tea is not fermented at all. Oolong tea is partially fermented and black tea is fully fermented.

    According to the U.K. daily requirements, 4 cups of tea contain the following nutrients: 10% vitamin B1 (thiamine), 25% vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 6% vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 10% vitamin B9 (folic acid), 10-25% vitamin C (black tea 10%; green tea 25%), 45% manganese, 45% potassium, 16% calcium, 10% zinc, 45% natural fluoride, Additional components of the tea leaf are carotene, flavonoids, catechin, polyphenols, derived tannins, theaflavins, thearubigins, theanine, epigallocatechin gallate, caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Tea is the only natural source of fluoride for humans. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and decreases mouth bacteria. Tea makes a great mouthwash since it inhibits the growth of E. coli and Streptococcus

    NOTE Non-heme iron is found in vegetables like spinach and kale. Tea, as well as green leafy vegetables has oxalates that block the absorption of iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme iron from tea and those healthy green leafy vegetables, eat a couple of strawberries, an orange, tangerine or some mango if having tea with a meal or snack.

    Adding lemon to green tea increases the powerful DNA repairing catechins making it 5 times more powerful.

    Some deep sea fish are contaminated with high levels of mercury. Consuming green tea when eating seafood can help to prevent mercury from entering the bloodstream.

    Adding one teaspoon of milk to a cup of tea provides 25% RDA of calcium. Add honey (instead of sugar) to sweeten tea if desired, especially green tea, seed, flower, spiced and herbal teas for a truly beneficial and medicinal effect upon the system. Green tea is an excellent source of EGCG and the other catechins but adding milk to the tea can destroy the effects of the phenolics.


    Guanabana   (ammona moncata, graviola )

    This Amazonian fruit is edible fresh or in ice creams. A leaf decoction is used for catarrh and the crushed seed to kill parasites. The bark, roots and leaves are used in teas for diabetes and as a sedative and heart tonic.  Some natives use the leaf tea to cleanse and support the liver.  Elsewhere it is used for chills, colds, diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, flu, gallbladder attacks, hypertension, insomnia, kidneys, nervousness, palpitations, pediculosis, ringworm, sores and internal ulcers. It is also used against cough, fever, flu, rheumatism, malaria, skin disease, heart problems, etc. It can also fight breast, prostate, colon and pancreatic cancers.


    Guava (psidium guajava, goiaba, guayaba, djamboe, djambu, goavier, gouyave, goyave, goyavier, perala, bayawas, dipajaya jambu, petokal, tokal, guave, guavenbaum, guayave, banjiro, goiabeiro, guayabo, guyaba, goeajaaba, guave, goejaba, kuawa, abas, jambu batu, bayabas, pichi, posh, enandi)

    Pink or red guava is a good source of lycopene. Guava is sometimes called a "superfruit," as it has many health benefits. It can contain up to four times the amount of vitamin C found in oranges as well as vitamin A, and guava seeds are a source of omega-3 and dietary fibre. Guavas can be grown indoors in temperate climates. They can be juiced, made into jams or eaten fresh. Fresh guava is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. It is also a moderate source of vitamin E, vitamin K, B complex vitamins such as B3 niacin, B5 pantothenic acid, B6 pyridoxine as well as minerals like magnesium, copper and manganese.


    Guayaba  (psidium guayaba)

    This Amazonian fruit is edible. The wood used to for tool handles and for the “tramojo” (an implement put on pigs so they cannot walk easily). The infusion of foliar buds is used for diarrhoea, dentition and the swellings of gout, emotional shock, vertigo and vomiting and some use the floral infusion to regulate menstrual periods.


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    H


    Halibut

     

    One of the most nutrient dense foods and a very good source of high quality protein. A 100g serving or about 3.5oz of dry cooked halibut contains 111 calories. A 100g serving of cooked halibut contains 23g of protein. One serving meets nearly 50% RDA.

    A serving of halibut meets more than 50 percent RDA of vitamin D and tryptophan 106.2%, protein 60.5%, omega-3 fats 25.8%, vitamin B3 40.4%, vitamin B6 22.5%, vitamin B12 25.8%, 0.2mg of iron, magnesium 30.3%, phosphorus 32.3%, potassium 18.6%, selenium 75.8%.

     

    Halibut helps to prevent and control high blood pressure, protects against fatal heart arrhythmia and can control triglycerides levels in the blood. Because it contains a healthy amount of magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin D and vitamins B6 and B12 it is a vital food to be eaten by people taking certain medications including diuretics, cholesterol lowering medications and diabetics. See the Drugs page

     

    NOTE: Sea bass, turbot, sea bream and halibut are more likely to be contaminated with pollutants and mercury than other types of fish. Consuming green tea and chlorella when eating these fish can help to stop mercury being absorbed into the bloodstream.
     


    Hawthorn Berries (crataegus monogyna)

    Traditionally known for its strong and powerful effect on the circulatory system, particularly the heart. It has been used for centuries with great success, especially in Europe. Even today it remains a favourite among herbalists as a cardiac tonic. Hawthorn is valued for nourishing blood pressure and circulation. When used on a regular, long-term basis hawthorn exerts a continued protection to the cardiovascular system. It is said to boost heart health, hawthorn was found to reduce levels of blood fats and aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis in an animal study published in 2009.


    Hazelnuts (corylus avellana)

    Grow in large clusters on hazel trees and turn chocolate brown when ready. Usually harvested in the last week of September.

    Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid in hazelnuts, has been shown to lower bad cholesterol, while arginine, an amino acid, widens blood vessels and improves blood flow. 1 & 1/2oz of hazelnuts a day lowers the risk of heart disease.

    Hazelnuts may also help fight cancer. Portland University researchers found they contain paclitaxel, which is the active ingredient in drugs used to treat ovarian and breast cancers.

    They are a good source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamin B3 (thiamine), vitamin B6, vitamin B9 ( foliate), vitamin E, copper, manganese and potassium. Among nuts, they have the highest levels of monounsaturated fats


    Hemp Seeds (cannabis sativa)

    Hemp is 'super food'  belonging to the mulberry family which has been cultivated for over 10,000 years and was the first crop to be cultivated by mankind as a source of edible seeds and oil, a lubricant and as fuel. Hemp seeds have the most concentrated balance of nutrients available including complete protein, with essential fats and virtually no sugar, starch or saturated fat. Consuming raw hemp seeds aids in weight loss, increased and sustained energy, natural blood sugar control, reduction of inflammation and pain, lowered LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, improved cardiovascular and organ function, reduction of degenerative diseases, protection against creast, colon and prostate cancer, heart disease and strokes, reduction of PMS symptoms and cramps, improved recovery of muscles after intense exercise, improved skin and hair condition and a marked improvement of the immune system, metabolic rate and circulation. Consuming hemp seeds regularly can treat acne, arthritis and rheumatism, circulation problems, constipation, diabetes, dry skin, eczema, intestinal and digestive problems, obesity, prostate problems, psoriasis, respiratory conditions such as tuberculosis.

    Hemp seeds components protect the brain cells which can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve the memory and mood. They also can protect against and help to improve symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, dementia and Parkinson's disease.

    The normal daily consumption for general health should be about 42 grams (4 heaped tablespoons) for an average sized adult. For larger than average people or to treat any of the above conditions it is advised that 55 grams (5/6 heaped tablespoons) is consumed daily. Make sure that the hemp seeds are organic and have not been heat sterilised in order to gain the benefit of high nutrition from it. Conditions of the above can be expected to improve within 3 months of daily consumption.

    Hemp contains all 20 required amino acids plus is a rich source of GLA,  omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, alpha, beta and gamma globulin, enzymes, carotene, chlorophyll, edestin, lecithin, phospholipids, phytosterols, plant sterols, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin D, vitamin E, boron, calcium, copper, germanium, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, lithium, nickel, phosphorus, platinum, potassium, silver, sulphur and zinc.

    It has been reported that the human body ideally needs a balance of 3 or 4:1 of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp seed is the only natural food that provides this perfect balance. Flaxseeds, almonds, soybean, walnuts and olive oil do not contain this correct balance and can lead to an unhealthy imbalance if consumed daily. The oils in hemp contain more beneficial omega 3 components than found in any fish or fish oil supplements.

    Hemp protein is free from tryspin inhibitors which block protein absorption and is free from oligosaccharides found in soy which cause stomach upset and gas. These seeds can be consumed by those with an intolerance to nuts, lactose, gluten or sugar and there are no known allergies to hemp. They are especially good for pregnant and nursing mothers, babies, body builders, the elderly or convalescent patient but are an amazing source of balanced nutrition and highly digestible protein for everyone.

    Hulled hemp seeds contain far less nutrients and if heated treated will have lost most of vitamin content. Hemp oil should not be used for frying only as a dressing ingredient.

    Hemps seeds can be added to any meals, salads, sandwiches and snacks and are ideal for sprouting on a windowsill in a jam jar using just a daily rinse of water. See the Micro Diet Sprouting page.

    Hemp is often included in bird seed due to its high nutritional content.


    Herbs  See A-Z of Common and Medicinal Herbs


    Herring

    Oily fish close to the bottom of the food chain, contain lower levels of toxins (such as mercury and PCBs) than many other types of fish.

    Relieves symptoms of psoriasis, reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure, maintains bone density, prevents anaemia, supports cardiovascular health, lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels, lowers risk of atherosclerosis, strengthens the bones, supports joint cartilage, helps regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue, reduces free radical damage and inflammation, reduces risk of cancer including colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, protects against macular degeneration (AMD) of the eye, reduces the risk of dry eye syndrome, promotes more youthful skin, alleviates skin blemishes, gives good hair lustre, prevents hair loss and helps with brain and eye development in infants. Pregnant and nursing women may benefit from eating oily fish to increase the amount of DHA in the diet.

    Herrings are rich in two fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA),  A 3oz. portion contains 2 g of essential omega-3 fatty acids and 20g of protein Contains vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, vitamin B2vitamin B6; calcium, selenium, iodine, copper. For more details see Oily Fish

    Bloater Fish are a type of whole cold smoked herring.

    Kippers are split smoked herring.

    Pilchards are a type of small herring

    Sardines are younger smaller herring


    Hilsa Fish

    Relieves symptoms of psoriasis, reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure, maintains bone density, prevents anaemia, supports cardiovascular health, lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels, lowers risk of atherosclerosis, strengthens the bones, supports joint cartilage, helps regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue, reduces free radical damage and inflammation, reduces risk of cancer including colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, protects against macular degeneration (AMD) of the eye, reduces the risk of dry eye syndrome, promotes more youthful skin, alleviates skin blemishes, gives good hair lustre, prevents hair loss and helps with brain and eye development in infants. Pregnant and nursing women may benefit from eating oily fish to increase the amount of DHA in the diet.

    Herrings are rich in two fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA),  A 3oz. portion contains 2 g of essential omega-3 fatty acids and 20g of protein Contains vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, vitamin B2vitamin B6; calcium, selenium, iodine; copper. For more details see Oily Fish


    Holy Basil (tulsi, tulasī, ocimum tenuiflorum)

    Holy basil has many medicinal properties. The leaves are a nerve tonic and also sharpen memory. They promote the removal of the catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tube. The leaves strengthen the stomach and induce copious perspiration. The seed of the plant are mucilaginous.

    Stress plays a destructive role in overall cardiovascular health and the adaptogenic properties of holy basil can help alleviate stress-related damage. It prevents stress-induced biochemical changes, improves energy levels and endurance, supports healthy immune functions and promotes healthy gastric tissue which is often subjected to damage during times of stress. It also has many beneficial actions on the heart as a blood thinner and promotes good circulation. When taken daily, it can lower high blood pressure by helping optimize cholesterol levels.

    The leaves of holy basil are specific for many fevers. During the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent, tender leaves, boiled with tea, act as preventive against theses diseases. In case of acute fevers, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom in half a litre of water and mixed with honey and milk brings down the temperature.

    The juice of holy basil leaves can be used to bring down fever especially in children. Extract of holy basil leaves in fresh water should be given every 2 to 3 hours. In between one can keep giving sips of cold water.

    Holy basil leaves are an important constituent of many Ayurvedic cough syrups and expectorants. It helps to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma.

    Chewing Holy basil leaves relieves cold and flu.

    Water boiled with holy basil leaves can be taken as a drink in the case of sore throat. This water can also be used as a gargle.

    The herb is useful in the treatment of respiratory system disorders. A decoction of the leaves, with honey and ginger is an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold. A decoction of the leaves, cloves and common salt also gives immediate relief in case of influenza. They should be boiled in half a litre of water till only half the water is left and then taken.

    Holy Basil has strengthening effect on the kidney. In case of renal stone the juice of holy basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months it will expel them via the urinary tract.

    Holy basil has a beneficial effect in heart disease and the weakness resulting from them. It reduces the level of blood cholesterol.

    Common paediatric conditions like cough cold, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favourably to the juice of basil leaves. If pustules of chicken pox delay their appearance, basil leaves taken with saffron will hasten them.

    Holy basil leaves are regarded as an 'adaptogen' or anti-stress agent. Recent studies have shown that the leaves afford significant protection against stress. Even healthy persons can chew 12 leaves of holy basil, twice a day, to prevent stress. It purifies blood and helps prevent several common elements.

    The herb is a prophylactic or preventive and curative for insect stings or bites. A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves is taken and is repeated after a few hours. Fresh juice must also be applied to the affected parts. A paste of fresh roots is also effective in case of bites of insects and leeches.

    Applied locally, holy basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases. It has also been tried successfully by some naturopaths in the treatment of leucoderma.

    It is also useful for teeth disorders. Its leaves, dried in the sun and powdered, can be used for brushing teeth. It can also be mixed with mustered oil to make a paste and used as toothpaste. This is very good for maintaining dental health, counteracting bad breath and for massaging the gums. It is also useful in pyorrhoea and other teeth disorders.

    Holy basil makes a good medicine for headache. A decoction of the leaves can be given for this disorder. Pounded leaves mixed with sandalwood paste can also be applied on the forehead for getting relief from heat, headache and for providing coolness in general.

    Holy basil juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, which is generally caused by deficiency of vitamin A. Two drops of black basil juice are put into the eyes daily at bedtime.


    Honey

    The health benefits of honey - like all foods - depend on the quality of the honey. But in this case, the situation is even more extreme, because the pollen that collects on the bees' legs as they move from plant to plant is only as healthful and as diverse as those plants. In addition, the processing of honey often removes many of the phytonutrients found in raw honey as it exists in the hive. Raw honey, for example, contains small amounts of the same resins found in propolis. Propolis, sometimes called "bee glue," is actually a complex mixture of resins and other substances that honeybees use to seal the hive and make it safe from bacteria and other micro-organisms. Honeybees make propolis by combining plant resins with their own secretions. However, substances like road tar have also been found in propolis.

    Bee keepers sometimes use special screens around the inside of the hive boxes to trap propolis, since bees will spread this substance around the honeycomb and seal cracks with the anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal resins. The resins found in propolis only represent a small part of the phytonutrients found in propolis and honey, however. Other phytonutrients found both in honey and propolis have been shown to possess cancer-preventing and anti-tumour properties. These substances include caffeic acid methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate.

    In people with high cholesterol, artificial honey increases LDL (bad) cholesterol, while natural honey decreases total cholesterol 8%, LDL cholesterol 11%, and C-reactive protein 75%.

    Acts as an expectorant for coughs and catarrh, sinusitis and hay fever. Antiseptic and preservative properties help prevent food poisoning and relieve diarrhoea and vomiting. Externally, honey is a wound and burn healer, and has the ability to draw out bacteria and pus. It soothes mouth ulcers and is reputed to bring a boil to a head. Reduces stomach ulcers. Helps in treating gastro-enteritis and is a soothing remedy for minor wounds and burns.

    In people with type 2 diabetes, natural honey can cause a significantly lower rise in blood sugar than either dextrose or sucrose (refined sugars). Honey contains vitamin K, carbohydrate and sugar.

    Honey has long been recognized as a natural remedy. The bacteria-killing property of honey is named "the inhibition effect". Experiments conducted on honey show that its bactericide properties increase two fold when diluted with water. Research has shown that if you drink a 16 ounce glass of water containing four tablespoons of honey every day, you will experience improved levels of antioxidants in your system. Dark honey contains more antioxidants than light. Manuka honey is especially high in antibacterial qualities but is more expensive. Honey has powerful antimicrobial properties which can soothe raw tissues. Honey naturally attracts and retains moisture. When this is used in skin treatments, the skin is kept moist, soft, and elastic.

    Honey has a “protective effect” and contains as many antioxidants - which combat the free radical which can damage cells; as spinach, apples, oranges, or strawberries. There is also new research that suggests that the absorption of calcium increases as the amount of honey intake is upped.

    Honey cleans and heals wounds better than the medicines used in hospitals. Honey has the ability to maintain a moist healing environment, banish infection, promote new skin growth, and prevent scarring. Honey is also an effective treatment for burns. Bee sting therapy has proven useful for patients with M.S. and for arthritis suffers.

    Honey contains very small amounts of trace minerals and vitamin nutrients, making it a better choice than sugar. Although honey has 64 calories per tablespoon. You only have to use 25 - 40% to attain the same sweetening power as sugar.

    Although it gives great energy to the body, honey does not add weight. When accompanied by mild water, honey diffuses into the bloodstream in 7 minutes. Its free sugar molecules make the brain function better since the brain is the largest consumer of sugar, thus, reduces fatigue. Besides supplying the energy needed by the body for blood formation, honey helps in cleansing the blood. It has positive effects in regulating and facilitating blood circulation. It also functions as a protection against capillary problems and diseases of the artery.

    Honey has been used as a part of a natural beauty regime as far back as Cleopatra. Since honey is all-natural, it does not irritate the skin and is ideal for beauty products for sensitive skin. It’s antioxidants help support the skin's ability to rejuvenate from UV damage from the sun. The noted beautiful hands of Ancient Japanese women, devoid of all wrinkles, is attributed to their daily use of fresh honey as a hand lotion.

    For sore throats: Pour a teaspoon of honey into a large serving spoon, top off with lemon and swallow (without water) every few hours until symptoms clears up. Health-promoting compounds found in honey could make this ingredient a more attractive option for food makers currently using bulk sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup.

    Add honey (instead of sugar) to teas, especially green tea, seed, flower, spiced and herbal teas for a truly beneficial and medicinal effect upon the system.


    Hops (humulus lupulus)

    These are the dried female flower clusters of the hop plant. They are added to beer to improve its flavour and to help preserve it. Hops are rich in nutrients that nourish the nervous system. The herbalist Culpeper said, "It opens obstructions of the liver and spleen, cleanses the blood, loosens the belly, cleanses the veins from gravel and provokes urine." This plant is considered both a tonic and relaxant.

    The alcoholic hop extracts have been used by doctors in China in different dosages to cure different forms of diseases, such as leprosy, pulmonary tuberculosis and acute bacterial dysentery. Lupulon and humulon are two of the other antibiotic bitter acids present in the herb, which provide partial effectiveness in treatments involving hops.

    Hops also help in relaxing and soothing the muscles in the digestive tract. Plus they can help with relieving pain and can sedate, relax and reduce the effects of anxiety hyperactivity, stress, nervousness, body pain and restlessness. They are also used to treat insomnia, sexually transmitted disease, shock, toothache and ulcers.

    Hop extract when rubbed into the scalp help to deal with dandruff and flaky skin on the scalp. Shampoo the hair then apply the hop extract and rub in all over the head. Then, rinse the hair as normal and apply usual conditioner.


    Horehound Root (white: marrubium vulgare, black: ballota nigra)

    Soothing to the respiratory system and is a natural expectorant.


    Horny Goat Weed (yin yang huo, epimedium)

    Horny goat weed is a pungent ornamental herb found in Asia and the Mediterranean. Legend has it that the name came from a herder who noticed his goats becoming more sexually active after eating the plant. Horny goat weed plant has the botanical name epimedium because it is similar to a plant found in the ancient Asian kingdom of Media, now a part of Iran. It has a history of traditional use for disorders of the kidneys, joints and liver. It also is now used in the western world is as an aphrodisiac for both men and women and it can also help with erectile dysfunction and combat fatigue.

    It contains flavonol glycosides, ikarisoside A, icarisid II, epimedoside A, icariin, epimedin B, yinyanghuo A - E and epimedokoreanoside. Flavonoids include chrysoeriol, quercetin, apigenin, kaempferol, and luteolin. Like viagra, icariin can block an erection-inhibiting enzyme but without the side effects.


    Horse chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum)

    Widely used externally or taken internally in the treatment of haemorrhoids, varicose veins, swollen ankles, sports injuries and in mouth washes to treat tender gums. It is also good for poor circulation in the veins, or chronic venous insufficiency. It is used to relieve symptoms such as swelling and inflammation and strengthen blood vessel walls. The active compound is believed to be aescin.

    Horse chestnut can be taken as a tea. It can also be applied externally as a compress. People with an allergy to the horse chestnut family, bleeding disorders, or people taking blood thinners should not take horse chestnut. Only products made from the seeds or bark of the young branches should be used. Other parts of the plant are poisonous. Although uncommon, side effects have included kidney damage, severe bleeding, bruising and liver damage.


    Horseradish (armoracia rusticana)

    Horseradish is low in calories and fat and contains a good amount of dietary fibre. The root also contains many volatile phyto-chemical compounds, which give its pungent character, such as allyl isothiocyanate, 3-butenyl isothiocyanate, 2-propenylglucosinlate (sinigrin), 2-pentyl isothiocyanate and phenylethyl isothiocyanate. It has been found that these compounds have been anti-oxidant as well as detoxification functions. Horseradish has good amounts of vitamin C which is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. 100g fresh root provides 29mg or 41% of RDA of vitamin C. It also contains moderate amounts of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc plus small amounts of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B9 (foliate).

    It is a potent gastric stimulant, increases appetite and aids in digestion. The volatile phytochemical compounds in the root stimulate salivary, gastric and intestinal glands to secrete digestive enzymes. Horseradish helps remove harmful free radicals from the body and protect it from cancers, inflammation, infections, etc.


    Horsetail (vegetal silica, common horsetail, field horsetail, equisetum arvense)

    Is a herbaceous perennial plant, native throughout the arctic and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Oil from the roots can be used to treat toxoplasmosis. Horsetail is also rich in "beauty" nutrients that nourish the nails, skin, hair, bones and the body's connective tissue. It is also benefits the glands and urinary tract. Horsetail helps heal fractured bones because of its rich supply of nutrients.  


    Ho Shou Wu (polygonum multiflorum, he shou wu, fo-ti, flowery knotweed)

    Fabled in Asian history to restore the original colour of greying hair. It nourishes the glandular, nervous, and skeletal systems. This herb is reputed to enhance the health of the liver and kidneys. The properties of Ho Shou Wu are said to be similar to Golden Seal, Chamomile and Ginseng. It is known to help improve health, stamina and resistance to diseases.


    Huang Lian (coptis chinensis, picrorhiza)

    A Chinese medicinal herb. Berberine is a major active component of this herb Huang-lian which has been used in China to treat what is now identified as type 2 diabetes for thousands of years. In 2008 it was found that the natural plant alkaloid berberine is just as effective and much safer than metformin, the patent medicine most commonly now prescribed to help re-regulate blood sugar in type 2 diabetes.

    It contains ingredients that slow the growth of cancer cells making it an effective treatment for tumours. It is also used to cure digestive dysfunction, bad breath, putrid odour upon belching, toothache, insomnia, diarrhoea and dysentery.

    It is also used for yellowed skin (jaundice), liver infections caused by a virus (acute viral hepatitis), fever, allergy and asthma. Some people use it for digestion problems including indigestion, constipation, and ongoing diarrhoea. Other uses include treatment of infection, scorpion stings, epilepsy, malaria and rheumatoid arthritis.

    It is used externally to treat toxic sores, vitiligo (a disorder that causes white patches on the skin). eczema, burns, painful red eyes, sore throat, ear infections, boils and carbuncles.


    Hydrangea (hydrangea arborescens)

    Traditionally been used to strengthen the urinary tract and help regulate its function. This plant contains alkaloids which help soothe the body, especially in the bladder and kidney areas. Hydrangea also works like a natural inflammation reliever and cleanses the joint areas.


    Hyssop (hyssopus officinalis, curdukotu, hastipippili, hisopo, yanagi-hakka)

    Has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy for afflictions of the respiratory system. It soothes throats and nourishes the lungs. Hyssop is a perennial plant from the family of Laminacea, or mint family. This family contains a wide variety of medicinal and kitchen herbs. Other well known plants in this family are peppermint, basil, sage, lavender, thyme and catnip.

    Hyssop has been used for cleansing ritual and as medicine since biblical times. Nowadays it is known that the volatile oil and other ingredients that are contained in the leaves and green stems have antibacterial, antiviral and other beneficial properties.

    The infusion or decoction is being used to bring relief for the symptoms of lung and upper respiratory problems like the common cold, bronchitis, catarrh and asthma, as it is antispasmodic, sweat-inducing and an expectorant (helps with the coughing up of mucus). It can also bring relief in these conditions by preparing a poultice that is placed directly on the chest or through applying of Hyssop-oil containing ointment.

    Hot decoction vapours are also used as a natural remedy for tinnitus. Prepared as an infusion, hyssop can be used as natural treatment for colic, abdominal cramps, as a stimulant, to eliminate flatulence and to help with upset stomach. Since hyssop works as a diuretic (increase the urine output) it can help flushing out excessive sodium from the body and therefore lower the blood pressure.

    Hyssop leaves can be prepared for medicinal use as infusion, decoction, or poultice. The commercially available oil can be used internally after dilution or in ointments for external use.

    For an infusion 1 tsp. dried herbs should be steeped in 1/2 cup water. Over the course of the day 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups should be taken, a mouthful at a time.

    For a decoction, 1 tsp. herb should be boiled with 1 cup water. The usual dose is 1 to 2 cups per day.

    To prepare a poultice, the fresh or dried herb should be soaked in a small amount of boiling water for 15 minutes and place on a cloth for application. The crushed fresh leaves, if available, can also be applied directly to the skin for similar effects.
    Side Effects and Possible Interactions of Hyssop

    NOTE: The essential oil contains pino-camphone. This ketone can cause convulsions and seizures when taken in high doses. It is therefore not advisable to take hyssop oil and other hyssop preparations internally in high doses or over a longer time than two weeks. As with all natural products allergies can develop. Since these can potentially be life-threatening, a doctor should be consulted immediately, if symptoms like skin rashes, swelling of skin or tongue, difficulty breathing, and/or tightness in the chest develop after the use of hyssop preparations.


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    See also A - Z of Ailments & Natural Cures

    I

    Icoja (unonopsis floribunda diels)

    An alcoholic maceration of this Amazonian plant is used for arthritis, rheumatism and diarrhoea. There is another species: U. Spectabilis also commonly called “icoja” and its bark is used for arthritis, bronchitis, diarrhoea, lung disorders, malaria and rheumatism.


    Indian Tobacco See Lobelia


    Iporuro (alchornea castaneifolia)

    An alcoholic bark maceration of this Amazonian plantis used to treat rheumatism, arthritis, colds and muscle pains. The “Candochi-shapra” and the “Shipibos” used the bark and roots to treat rheumatism and cough. Others take one tablespoon of bark decoction before meals for diarrhoea. The leaves are used to increase fertility for the impotent male, it is considered to be a powerful aphrodisiac  for males. Sometimes found in the famous “Rompe calzon” aphrodisiac.


    Irish Moss (chondrus crispus)

    High in nutrients and nourishes the glandular system, lungs, and kidneys. It purifies the body's cells and strengthens the thyroid gland.


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    J


    Jalapeno Peppers see Cayenne Pepper

     



    Japanese or Chinese Knotweed
    (fallopia japonica, polygonum cuspidatum)

     

    An excellent source of the potent antioxidant resveratrol. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to have positive cancer and weight loss benefits.

     

    Resveratrol helps reduce inflammation, prevents the oxidation of LDL"bad" cholesterol, and makes it more difficult for platelets to stick together and form the clots that can lead to a heart attack. It is a tremendous anti-aging agent and may protect nerve cells from damage and the build-up of plaque that can lead to Alzheimer's Disease. Resveratrol helps prevent insulin resistance, a condition in which the body becomes less sensitive to the effects of the blood sugar-lowering hormone, insulin. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes. Resveratrol protected mice fed a high-calorie diet from obesity-related health problems by mimicking the effects of caloric restriction.

     

    Avoid: if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory such as aspirin and ibuprofen due to the risk of bleeding.
     


     

    Jasmine (jasminum officinale)

     

    Jasmine flowers are often added to teas for the distinct flavour but they also have some powerful nutritional benefits. The antioxidants in jasmine tea can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. Free radicals are oxidized molecules that have unpaired electrons. As they circulate through the body, they steal electrons from other molecules to replace the ones they are missing. This process can damage the body's cells and is associated with the aging process. Drinking jasmine green tea can help prevent damage from free radicals.

     

    Drinking jasmine green tea regularly also reduces the amount of dietary fat and cholesterol absorbed by the body.

     

    Jasmine is especially good for weight loss because of its naturally sweet taste. Even people who would normally add sugar or honey to their tea often find that they enjoy jasmine tea without it.

     

    Methyl jasmonate and cis-jasmone are two key chemical constituents of jasmine which have been shown to prevent cancer of the oesophagus, prostate and breast.

     

    Green tea with jasmine must be of high grade quality to benefit from the nutritional value.  Unfortunately,  jasmine flavouring rather than the flowers is often used to improve the flavour of poor quality tea. Always check that the tea is organic and made from the young green tea buds and that there are no artificial additives.

     

    One of the aromatic components of jasmine is linalool. In aromatherapy, jasmine essential oil has a tranquilizing effect. The smell of jasmine can slow down the heart rate, reduce stress and anxiety and cause a calm mood.
     


     

    Jergon Sacha (dracontium loretense)

    The root of this Amazonian tree is used to treat snakebites and indigenous people repel snakes by whipping their feet and legs with the branches. The corms/roots are used to control and steady the shaking hands of Parkinson's disease. It is also a very powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial herb and is especially useful in fighting HIV/AIDS and cancer (taken together with Cat's Claw and /or Pau D'Arco).

     



     

    Jerusalem Artichoke (helianthus tuberosus, sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple, topinambour)

     

    The Jerusalem artichoke (not to be confused with the globe artichoke) is the tuber of a species of sunflower native to eastern North America. It actually has no relation to Jerusalem and it is not even a type of artichoke, though both are members of the daisy family. The name was derived from a corruption of the Italian 'girasola articiocco', the Sunflower Artichoke, Girasola meaning 'turning to the sun,' an allusion to the habit it is supposed to have in common with many of the sunflower species. The North Italian word articiocco - modern carciofo - comes through the Spanish, from the Arabic Al-Kharshuf. False etymology has corrupted the word in many languages: it has been derived (though wrongly) in English from 'choke' and 'heart,' or the Latin hortus, a garden, and in French, the form artichaut has been connected with chaud, hot, and chou, a cabbage.

     

    The Jerusalem Artichoke is rich in the carbohydrate inulin (76%), which is a polymer of the monosaccharide fructose. Inulin contains fructans, which are food for beneficial bacteria in the gut but if the tubers are stored for any length of time, they will digest the inulin into its component fructose. Inulin (not to be confused with the hormone insulin) is a zero calorie, saccharine, and inert carbohydrate, which does not metabolize inside the human body, and therefore; make this tuber an ideal sweetener for diabetics and dieters when consumed fresh. They are an especially good addition to soups.

     

    Jerusalem artichokes contains 10% protein which is more than most other root vegetables and it’s particularly high in the sulphur-containing essential amino acids cysteine, homocysteine, methionine and taurine. These components are essential for maintaining the flexibility of connective tissue as well as helping the liver carry out detoxification which helps protect against cancer.

     

    It also promotes regular  bowel movements  which protects against bowel cancer. Regular consumption can lower the blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels due to rich potassium content and prevent anaemia due to it's high iron content.  It lowers fats in the blood and helps to protect and cleanse the liver and protects against hepatitis and protects against skin cancer.

     

    Jerusalem artichokes have 650mg potassium per 150g. They are also high in iron and contain vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), phosphorus and copper.

     


     

    Jiaogulan (gynostemma pentaphyllum)

     

    A popular Chinese herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Gypenosides extracted from Jiaogulan decrease cancer cell viability, arrests the cell cycle and induces apoptosis (cell death) in human cancer.

     



    John Dory Fish (St Pierre, St Peter Fish)

     

    John Dory is a deep-sea white fleshed fish with a flat, round body shape, olive-yellow colour skin with a silvery white belly and one large dark spot on each side and grows to a maximum size of 2 ft (65 cm) and 7 lb (3 kg). It is a rich source of protein, EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin D and vitamin E, calcium, fluoride, iodine, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium and has traces of iron, selenium and zinc. Regular consumption of John Dory fish can protect the heart, lower blood pressure and nourish the bones and joints, skin, nails and hair.

     


    Juniper Berries (juniperus communis)

    Strengthen the urinary system and help the body eliminate excess water and toxins.


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    K

    Kale (brassica oleracea acephala)

    Contains compounds that may help prevent cancer. These compounds appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer-causing agents in the body, and they increase the activity of enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogens. Kale stands out as an anti-cancer food. It's the organosulfur compounds in this food that have been main subject of phytonutrient research, and these include the glucosinolates and the methyl cysteine sulfoxides. Although there are over 100 different glucosinolates in plants, only 10-15 are present in kale and other Brassicas. Yet these 10-15 glucosinolates appear able to lessen the occurrence of a wide variety of cancers, including colon, breast and ovarian cancers. Boosts the immune system. Prevents cancer, spina bifida and heart disease. It is a rich source of beta carotene, indoles, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron,

    Avoid: kale if suffering with kidney or gallstones, joint problems or osteoporosis  


    Kamut (triticum turgidum polonicum)

    A whole grain related to wheat, whose name is derived from the ancient Egyptian word for wheat. Kamut is richer in protein than most whole grains. One cooked serving contains 11.09g of protein. It is very high in dietary fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron and zinc.


    Kava Kava (piper methysticum)

    Kava kava's botanical name roughly translated means "intoxicating pepper". The rhizome (underground stem) is used as a sedative to alleviate stress, anxiety and insomnia and soothe the nerves. The active components in kava root are called kavalactones. Specific types of kavalactones include dihydrokavain, methysticin, kavain, dihydromethysticin, dihydrokawain, yangonin and desmethoxyyangonin.

    NOTE: Possible side affects of over consumption of kava kava can include indigestion, mouth numbness, skin rash, headache, drowsiness and visual disturbances. Chronic or heavy use of kava has linked to pulmonary hypertension, skin scaling, loss of muscle control, kidney damage and blood abnormalities. Kava may also lower blood pressure and it also may interfere with blood clotting, so it shouldn't be used by people with bleeding disorders. People with Parkinson’s disease shouldn't use kava because it may worsen symptoms and it  should not be taken within two weeks of surgery. Pregnant and nursing women, children and people with liver or kidney disease shouldn't use kava.


    Kelp (fucus vesiculosus)

    Contains nearly thirty minerals which nourish the glands (especially the thyroid and pituitary). By enhancing the action of the glandular system, it helps balance the body's metabolism and rate at which it burns calories. Kelp, also known as seaweed, grows in the rich ocean beds, far below surface pollution levels. Because of its high nutrient content, this herb is reputedly beneficial for a wide range of applications. It is known to nourish the sensory nerves, brain membranes, also spinal cord and brain tissue. Kelp contains alginic acid which can help protect the body against the effects of radiation.

    NOTE: Tea and sour fruits should not be consumed immediately after kelp. Avoid kelp if suffering from hyperthyroidism. Pregnant women should limit their intake of kelp as it can affect the thyroid development of the baby.


    Kinnow Fruit: See Tangerines


    Kimchi (sauerkraut)

    An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside meals in Korea. Besides beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta carotenecalcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 and B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods to add to the diet.


    Kippers

    Relieve symptoms of psoriasis. Reduces the risk of heart disease. Maintains bone density. Prevents anaemia. Kippers are rich in two fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA),  A 3oz. portion contains 2 g of essential omega-3 fatty acids and 20g of protein Contains vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, vitamin B2vitamin B6; calcium, copper, iodine, phosphorous, selenium.

    Triglycerides can reuce inflammation and may reduce risk of heart disease and reduce blood pressure. Decosahexanenoic acid, or DHA, is responsible of brain and eye development in infants. Pregnant and nursing women may benefit from eating fatty fish such as kippers to increase the amount of DHA in the diet. Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus are important for bone health. Vitamin B-12 helps in cellular function and energy. Selenium helps reduce free radical damage and inflammation.

    Bloater Fish are a type of whole cold smoked herring.

    Kippers are split smoked herring.

    Pilchards are a type of small herring

    Sardines are younger smaller herring


    Kiwi Fruit (actinidia deliciosa, actinidia chinensis, Chinese gooseberry, yang toa)

    Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, this fruit was, for marketing reasons, renamed kiwifruit by New Zealand exporters, after the kiwi, a brown flightless bird and New Zealand's national symbol, and also a colloquial name for the New Zealand people.

    Kiwifruit can protect against respiratory disorders, reduce asthma and the risk of cancer and detoxify the blood. They can reduce wheezing, chronic coughing and mucus production, especially in children suffering with respiratory disorders.

    Kiwis are a rich source of the antioxidant chlorophyll and an excellent source of vitamin C (even more than in oranges) and vitamin K, and a good source of vitamin E, copper and fibre. Kiwis contain as much potassium as bananas and the seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids. Kiwis are also a good source of magnesium and phosphorous.


    Kohlrabi (brassica oleracea gongylodes)

    Boosts the immune system. Prevents cancer. Prevents spina bifida. Prevents heart disease. Kohlrabi contains vitamin C, calcium, iron, carotene and indoles.


    Kombucha 

    A raw, fermented, probiotic and naturally carbonated tea, most likely an ancient Chinese elixir, with some records extending back to the Qin Dynasty in 220BC. There is evidence that Genghis Khan and his men drank kombucha in the 12th century for vitality and strength. From Asia it travelled the Silk Road to Japan, Korea and finally Russia, where definite record keeping dates to the late 19th century.

    This type of fermented tea made using the leaves of the tea plant (camililias senensi) is good for the stomach and overall wellbeing. Kombucha converts sugar into organic acids and contains several different types of organic acids. A major one is gluconic and glucoronic acids which specifically detoxify the liver and benefit the skin, hair, eyes and finger nails. It is also good for weight loss, increased mood, energy and high blood pressure. Kombucha has very little calories and sugar once properly fermented.

    Kombucha is made with water, tea, sugar and a fermenting culture called a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). After steeping the tea leaves in boiling water and allowing to cool, SCOBY is added to the room temperature tea and allowed to ferment in a warm room (76-82░ Fahrenheit) for 1-2 weeks.

    The following is provided by kombucha:
    Lactic acid: Found in Kombucha in its most potent form L-lactic(+). Lactic acid is essential for the digestive system.
    Acetic acid: Its main function is to inhibit harmful bacteria. Acetic acid is used as a preservative because of this action

    Malic acid: Is also used in the body’s detoxification process.

    Oxalic acid: Encourages the cellular production of energy and is a natural preservative.

    Gluconic acid: Is effective against many yeast infections such as Candida and thrush.

    Butyric acid: Is produced by the yeasts and when working with gluconic acid, might help combat yeast infections such as Candida.

    Nucleic acid: Work with the body aiding healthy cell regeneration.

    Amino acid: A group of acids which are the building blocks of protein. The muscular system is made of proteins.

    Enzymes: Are proteins that act as catalysts, speeding the rate at which biochemical reactions proceed.
     


    Kombu Seaweed (laminaria japonica)

    Kombu seaweed is quite similar to wakame seaweed. Like wakame, it typically comes in the form of dried strips that are then soaked and added to food. Kombu is a little tougher than wakame, partly due to its higher fibre content. However, it softens considerably upon cooking. Kombu seaweed comes from kelp that grows around the north of Japan and possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anticoagulant, antithrombotic and antiviral properties

    It is good source of tryptophan, valine, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin Cvitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, vanadium and zinc. It is also known for its alginate content which has been linked to beneficial effects in preventing obesity.

    A tea made with daikon, shittake mushrooms and kombu seaweed is used to lower fever and fight infection.


    Krill Oil

    This nutrient dense oil comes from krill (euphausia superba) a tiny, bottom-of-the-food-chain crustacean approximately one to six centimetres in length, and are a dietary staple for whales, small fish and seabirds. Krill exist in large numbers and are an integral part of the aquatic food chain. They feed on phytoplankton and are found in all the world's oceans. One species known as the Antarctic Krill makes up an estimated biomass of over 500,000,000 tons, which is roughly twice that of all humans on earth.

    The reason the oil from krill has gained popularity is because it contains the antioxidant astaxanthin. This is what gives the bright red pigment to the oil and is what also colours krill and other crustaceans such as lobsters, crabs, and prawns. The oil from krill is reported to have a higher concentration of eicosapentaenoic acid and also reduce or eliminate the fishy burps associated with taking traditional fish oil.

    Inflammation is associated with type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and many other chronic illnesses. The powerful antioxidants in krill oil can reduce inflammation and thus protect from and treat these disorders.

    Daily consumption of krill oil can also help with the following:

    • Healthy cell membrane formation

    • Hormone production

    • Development and functioning of the brain and nervous system

    • Regulation of blood pressure, blood sugar, liver and pancreas function, immune and inflammatory responses

    • Thyroid and adrenal activity

    • Breakdown and transportation of cholesterol

    • Healthy skin and hair

    • Regulation of blood clotting (omega-6 encourages blood clot formation, whereas omega-3 oil reduces clotting, making the goal to achieve balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids)

    One advantage of taking krill oil over other ocean foods is that because of their small size and short lifespan, krill have no detectable mercury contamination.


    Kudzu Root Extract  (pueraria lobatam Japanese arrowroot)

    A relative to the pea family and native to China (known as gÚ gēn) and Japan, kudzo is a voracious invasive plant that is often sprayed with herbicide so source is important. It contains isoflavones puerarin and daidzein (an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent) and daidzin (structurally related to genistein). It has shown value in treating migraine and headaches. and is often used for allergies and diarrhoea. In Chinese medicine it is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs and is used to treat tinnitus, vertigo, alcoholism and hangover. The flowers are used to detoxify the liver. Kudzu may also be helpful in treating Alzheimer's and cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The roots, flowers and leaves of kudzu show antioxidant activity 


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    L

    Lady slipper (cypripedium areitinum, cypripedium pubescens, cypripedium calceolus, orchid, American valerian, nerve root, bleeding heart, moccasin flower, monkey flower, Noah's ark, slipper root, venus shoe, yellows)

    A member of the orchid family, this delicate flower contains, in its root, many nervine properties. The plant was held in high regard by Native Americans, who used it to ease menstrual and labour pains and to counter insomnia and nervous conditions, headaches, spasms and cramps. The Chippewa placed the dried and remoistened root directly onto skin inflammations and toothaches to relieve discomfort. The Cherokee used one variety to treat worms in children. It has also been used to treat reflex functional disorders, chorea, hysteria, nervous headaches, insomnia, low fevers, nervous unrest, hypochondria, and nervous depression accompanying stomach disorders.

    Like valerian, lady's slipper is an effective tranquillizer, reducing emotional tension and often calms the mind sufficiently to allow sleep. It appears to have more positive restorative effects than that of valerian. However, because of its scarcity and cost, lady's slipper is now used only on a small scale as a sedative and for relaxing herb treating such stress-related disorders as palpitations, headaches, muscular tension, panic attacks and neurotic conditions.


    Lamb 

    Prevents anaemia. Builds and maintains body tissues. Maintains the nervous system. Lamb is a good source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, copper,  iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc.

    Note: Lamb is very high in cholesterol so eating vast amounts isn't advised in those with heart and circulation problems.


    Lavender (lavandula angustifolia)

    Widely used for its calming and relaxing properties, in ointments and oils for the treatment of muscular aches and pains including rheumatism. Massaging the body with lavender oil can dramatically reduce high blood pressure by 50 percent. Lavender works as a vasodilator by relaxing and expanding the blood vessels, thereby causing the blood pressure to lower. Lavender oil can be applied throughout the body or by bathing using either lavender flowers or the oil itself. Boiled lavender leaves and flowers can be used internally, as a tea, which has the added benefits of treating insomnia or an upset stomach.

    Aids with digestion:
    Lavender also helps with bloating, flatulence and upset stomach.

    Mosquito repellent:
    Lavender can applied to the skin to repel mosquitoes and other insects.

    Relieves tension:
    A tea made of lavender flowers relieves tension caused by nerves and stress. Lavender also reduces muscle spasms, increases relaxation and helps with menstrual cramps.

    Sleep aid:
    Lavender tea is a traditional home remedy for insomnia. Inhaling lavender oil vapour is also used for insomnia and agitation.

    Lavender tea recipe: (makes 2 cups)
    2 tbsps of dried lavender flowers
    2 cups boiling water
    1 tbsp of honey
    1 tbsp or organic lemon juice

    In a teapot put the dried lavender flowers and pour the boiling water over them
    Allow to steep for at least 5 minutes
    Strain when ready to drink
    Add the honey and lemon Juice

    Neem leaves, rosemary and lavender contain natural insecticidal properties and act as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. These herbs together with aroma therapeutic ingredients such as tea tree oil and rose geranium have the ability to eliminate external parasites including pubic lice and prevent re-infestation.

    NOTE: Rosemary is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women or those with high blood pressure.
     


    Leeks (allium porrum)

    Belong to the Alliaceae family, together with onions and garlic. A flavonoid called kaempferol is present in significant amounts in leeks. Kaempferol provides protection to the linings of the blood vessels, particularly against free radicals or reactive oxygen species. Kaempferol also induces the increased production of nitric oxide, a substance that acts as a natural dilator and relaxant of the blood vessels allowing the blood vessels to rest and decreasing the risk of hypertension. Leeks are also good sources of vitamin C vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) vitamin K, manganese and iron.


    Legumes (beans, pulses, peas)  

    Legumes are plants with seed pods that split into two halves. Edible seeds from plants in the legume family including black beans, black eyed peas, broad beans, chickpeas, green beans, lentils, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, peanuts, peas, pinto beans, red kidney beans, soybeans, vetch, winged beans

    Legumes reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers LDL cholesterol, controls blood sugar levels, lowers the risks of colon cancer, prevents anaemia, maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Legumes are low in fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed.

    Legumes are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.

    NOTE: Because all these legumes and pulses (as well as nuts, seeds and whole grains) contain high levels of phytic acid, which inhibits absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, nickel and especially zinc,  it is important to soak, ferment or sprout them. This reduces the phytic acid levels and is especially important for those suffering with anaemia, cancer, digestive, teeth or bone disorders, pregnant and menstruating women, those regularly performing intense physical activities and sports, anyone on medications, those that drink alcohol regularly, growing infants and children and the elderly.

    SOAKING METHOD
    P
    lace one part kombu or kelp seaweed to six parts of legumes in the bottom of the pot then add the legumes of grains etc. Soak for twelve hours in a warm place in four parts of warm mineral water to one part legume. For best results, change the water once or twice. Lentils and whole dried peas require shorter soaking, while soybeans and garbanzos need to soak longer. Soaking softens skins and begins the sprouting process, which eliminates phytic acid, thereby making more minerals available. Soaking also promotes faster cooking and improved digestibility, because the gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes are released into the soak water. Be sure to discard the soak water and rinse the legumes.

    After bringing legumes to a boil, scoop off and discard the foam. Continue to simmer for twenty minutes without lid at beginning of cooking to let steam rise (breaks up and disperses indigestible enzymes).

    For more information see phytic acid.


    Lemon (citrus limonum)

    Can act as an anti-acid for digestive problems and is a liver tonic, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and is a cleanser of blood, lymph glands and kidneys and a natural diuretic. Lemon is also good for treating acne, hiccups, heartburn, nausea, respiratory ailments, constipation, thrush, parasites and worms. Externally, it can help stop bleeding, is useful for rebalancing greasy skin and, as an essential oil, is recommended for verrucas. Lemon is one of the very low glycaemia fruits so is also good for diabetics. Citric acid in lemons can help to dissolve kidney stones. The abundance of phyto-chemical antioxidants and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fibre is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis and from obesity and coronary heart diseases. Lemon also helps to regulate blood pressure and can alleviate depression, stress and anxiety.

    Lemon juice is more effective in healing oral thrush in HIV patients than the standard remedy of gentian violet.

    Traditionally, lemon peel oil has been used to discourage intestinal parasites, while the vitamin C-rich juice and rind help to increase bone mineral density.

    There can be a large reduction of squamous cell carcinoma in those who ingest citrus peel due to the concentration of d-limonene oil in citrus fruit rinds which is a known inhibitor of breast, lung and colon cancers.

    Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer properties like limonine, hesperidin, naringin, naringenin, beta carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene which slows the growth of tumours. Lemon is also a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin K and fibre. They also contains a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), calcium, copper, iron and potassium.

    The consumption of one lemon per day (including rind and pith) can provide great protection against all the above ailments.

    NOTE: It is advisable to clean the teeth after consuming citrus fruits especially lemon as they can strip the enamel from the teeth. It is also not advisable to go out into sunshine after applying lemon to the skin.


    Lemon balm (melissa officinalis, melissa oil)

    This herb was brought to Britain by the Romans and has soothing and sedative properties which helps with relaxation and sleep. It is also useful to treat colic, vomiting, poor digestion and vertigo. It was often used by Avicenna, the famous Arab physician. The name 'Melissa' means honey bee in Greek. It is easy to grow and very attractive to bees and gives the honey a lemony scent.

    It makes a refreshing tea that calms anxiety, restores depleted energy, enhances the memory, acts as a  decongestant and antihistamine, helping with chronic problems like asthma or allergies and helps reduce hay fever symptoms.

    To make a tea, pour hot water onto a handful of leaves in a jar. Screw on the lid then leave to chill for four hours in the refrigerator. Serve with ice. Mint or peppermint leaves can be added to reduce bloating and wind.

    The tea has antiviral and antibacterial properties so can be used to dab onto spots and other skin rashes at night to relieve itching and help them to heal faster.

    Lemon balm leaves may be dried or frozen to preserve them. Make ice cube trays of the tea to use daily.

    The essential oil can be used as an insect and mosquito repellent. Crush a handful of the leaves in the hand and rub them on exposed skin.

    NOTE Sun on the skin must be avoided after applying lemon balm to avoid sunburn.


    Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus)

    A tall stalked plant with a lemony scent that grows in many tropical climates, most notably in Southeast Asia. A common ingredient in Thai cooking, lemongrass provides a zesty lemon flavour and aroma to many Thai dishes. Lemon juice (or lime) may be substituted for lemongrass, but citrus fruits will not be able to fully replicate its particular qualities.

    Lemongrass is also thought to have numerous health benefits, especially when used in combination with other Thai spices such as garlic, fresh chillies and coriander. Thailand's favourite soup, ‘Tom Yum Kung’, is thought to be capable of combating colds, flu's and even some cancers.

    Note that lemongrass is extremely fibrous and a little “stringy”. For this reason, be sure to cook your Thai dish thoroughly. If you are making a soup, for example, boil the lemongrass for at least 5-10 minutes in order for it to soften adequately.

    To Grow Lemongrass at Home
    Buy a few stalks and place the bulb end in water and allow to soak until roots form (this may take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month). Once the lemongrass has developed roots Ż and inch to 1 inch long, plant in the garden, or in a pot with lots of rich soil. Lemongrass likes sun and warm temperatures, so to keep it indoors as a houseplant, give it a south-facing window.


    Lentils (lens culinaris)

    Reduces the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar levels. Lowers the risks of colon cancer. Prevents anaemia. Maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Low fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed. Lentils are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


    Lettuce (lactuca sativa)

    This is a cooling, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and expectorant plant food. It is useful for ulcers, gastritis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, insomnia and anxiety. Lettuce contains enzymes than can protect against food poisoning bacteria. Its high levels of vitamin A and potassium means it can also protect the eyes and the heart.

    Externally, use lettuce as a poultice for swellings and bruises.

    Lettuce is an excellent source of beta carotenes, vitamin A,  vitamin K and potassium. It is also a good source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12, vitamin C, calcium,  iron and magnesium.


    Lima Beans  (phaseolus lunatus, butter beans)

    Reduces the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar levels. Lowers the risks of colon cancer. Prevents anaemia. Maintains the proper levels of iron and calcium in the body. Low fat & cholesterol levels. To balance the diet when meat and dairy products are reduce for cholesterol problems, all legumes are a healthy alternative providing the daily amounts of protein needed. Lima beans are good sources of phytonutrients, protein, fibre, starchvitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. They are also good sources of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


    Limes (citrus aurantifolia)

    Contain flavonoids called flavonol glycosides, including many kaempferol related molecules. While these flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many cancer cell lines, they are perhaps most interesting for their antibiotic effects. In several villages in West Africa where cholera epidemics had occurred, the inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of cholera. (Cholera is a disease triggered by activity of the bacteria called Vibrio cholera). Lab tests indicate that human liver cells produce less apo B when exposed to limonin. Apo B is a structural protein that is part of the LDL cholesterol molecule and is needed for LDL production, transport and binding, so higher levels of apo B translate to higher levels of LDL cholesterol.


    Linden (tilia cordata; tilia platyphyllos, common lime; European lime; lime tree)

    A herb that comes from various species of Tilia or lime tree. It has been used in European folk medicine for centuries to treat a wide range of health problems. Linden flowers, leaves, wood and charcoal (obtained from the wood) are the parts used for medicinal purposes. Active ingredients in the linden flowers include flavonoids (which act as antioxidants), volatile oil, and mucilage components (which are soothing and reduce inflammation). The plant also contains tannins that can act as an astringent.

    Linden may have antispasmodic (reducing muscle contractions), astringent (drying), diuretic, and sedative properties. Tilia cordata/platyphyllos flowers can treat colds, cough, fever, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache (particularly migraine); as a diuretic (increases urine production), antispasmodic (reduces smooth muscle spasm along the digestive tract), and sedative. Tilia cordata/platyphyllos wood is used for liver and gallbladder disorders and cellulitis (inflammation of the skin and surrounding soft tissue). Tilia cordata/platyphyllos charcoal has been used orally to treat intestinal disorders and used topically to treat swelling (edema) or infection (such as cellulitis or ulcers) of the lower leg.

    WARNING: Frequent use of linden has been linked with heart damage. Do not use if suffering with heart disease or are pregnant or breastfeeding

    Avoid: linden if taking diuretics (water pills) as it could increase the concentration of lithium in the blood.


    Liquorice Root (glycyrrhiza glabra)

    Nutritionally supports the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, heart and spleen. This herb can soothe irritated mucous membranes and help the body get rid of unwanted mucus with its expectorant properties. Liquorice root has properties similar to cortisone and oestrogen. It stimulates the adrenal glands and helps the body cope with stress.

    Genuine liquorice root (not the confectionary that shares the same name) has been a key ingredient in most Chinese herbal formulas for more than 3,000 years. Research indicates that liquorice's two primary ingredients-glycyrrhizin and glycyrrhetinic acid boost production of interferon. Active ingredients hypericin and pseudohypericin, are phytochemicals that display strong antiviral properties enough to overpower herpes simplex viruses type 1 and 2, certain flu viruses (influenza A and B) and EBV.

    It can also treat chronic hepatitis B. Glycyrrhizin interferes with hepatitis B surface antigen and is synergistic with interferon against hepatitis A virus. It is also used at times to treat hepatitis C. Liquorice root helps protect the liver from damage due to chemotherapy. At low doses, the herb stimulates the liver to manufacture cholesterol and excrete it in bile. This can help lower serum cholesterol levels.

    Note: If suffering from high blood pressure, a heart condition, oedema or are taking certain medications such as warfarin or diuretics, do not take liquorice root.


    Lobelia (lobelia inflata, asthma weed, bladderpod, emetic herb, emetic weed, eyebright, gagroot, indian tobacco, lobelia herb, pan pien lien, pokeweed, puke weed, rag root, vomit root, vomit wort, wild tobacco)

    Has been traditionally revered for its soothing properties that nourish the nervous system. Lobelia also enhances the function of the respiratory system and has antispasmodic effects. This herb is traditionally used for convulsions, seizures and tremors and relaxes the muscles.

    Lobelia helps the body remove obstructions and congestion, thus strengthening and improving many areas. It nourishes and strengthens the lung areas, as well as soothing the muscles and joints.

    Indian tobacco is technically not a tobacco, even though it is smoked and is known for reversing the lung damage that is caused by smoking real tobaccos. It has also been used in preparations designed to lessen one's desire for nicotine.


    Lobster

    Hard shelled lobsters are more nutritious than soft shelled. Lobster has less saturated fat, calories and cholesterol than many other meats such as pork, extra lean beef and white chicken meat. For a lower fat or carbohydrate intake, lobster offers one of the best choices for protein consumption. 100g of lobster provides 21g of protein and 98 calories. They are a very high natural source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium and zinc. They also contain small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin E.

    Omega 3 fatty acid is beneficial for both the heart and the brain and can reduce the risk of heart attack and lower the blood pressure. Selenium aids the immune system and thyroid gland and may also help prevent heart disease. Bone and tissue diseases can be avoided by diets high in copper. The vitamin B12 is essential for healthy nerve and red blood cells. Phosphorus contributes to proper kidney functioning and lessens arthritis pain. Increased brain activity, a boosted immune system and a healthier reproduction system are all benefits from consuming zinc. Potassium also aids the heart's functions.


    Lomatium Dissectum (lomatium cous, lomatium geyeri, lomatium macrocarpum, biscuit root)

    Lomatium, a member of the parsley family, is historically, one of the most important medicinal plants of the native American Indians who used the herb as an internal remedy for viral and bacterial infections, especially those of the eyes, respiratory tract and urinary tract. Several tribes of Indians ate the shoots and roots. Some also immersed the fresh root in streams to stun fish for harvesting. However, the most important use of the herb was as a medicine. A decoction of the root was taken internally, and the above ground portion of the plant was smoked or burned and inhaled to treat coughs, colds, ocular infections, throat infections, hay fever, bronchitis, asthma, influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. The decoction was also applied externally for cuts, sores and rashes; the oily sap was placed on skin lesions and used in the eyes for trachomal, gonorrhoeal infections, rheumatic conditions, as well as the chronic viral infections and immune system suppression prevalent today (HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, viral hepatitis, herpes simplex I and II and candida infections. Lomatium can inhibit bacteria, fungi and viruses and decrease inflammation.

    The raw root was chewed for sore throat and used as a poultice for swellings, sprains and rheumatism. It was also used to cure equine distemper and as a nail fungicide for humans and animals.

    A doctor named Ernest Krebbs, who was working in the desert in Nevada, found that the Indians there were peeling lomatium root, drawing and boiling it and skimming off the oil. Using about a pound of herb, the Indians were getting well within a week’s time. Krebbs and other doctors began using the root and found it had significant healing effects. It gained in popularity, and soon four manufacturing plants were producing the extract. Since it was a Western frontier remedy, however, lomatium never attracted the attention of the medical profession in general, and shortly after the influenza epidemic died off, interest in lomatium died as well

    Lomatium contains coumarins which have a broad range of physiological activities such as estrogenic action; spasmolytic, sedative, anthelmintic and/or uricosuric actions. They have been found to activate adrenaline, useful in the treatment of malignant metastasis and in therapy for retinal pigment degeneration. Coumarins are free of toxic side effects and may be used for years without cumulative effects.

    Lomatium also contains saponins and have been used historically as medicinal remedies, specifically as tonics, tranquilizers, expectorants and antitussive agents. Recent research reports anti-tumour, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of saponins, as well as their ability to stimulate production of serum proteins. Water soluble triterpenoidal saponins reportedly enhance antibody production which actively stimulate the immune system.

    NOTE: Lomatium is best to use with a liver/urinary stimulant such as dandelion to help avoid a lomatium rash side effect.


    Lucuma (pouteria lucuma)

    A genus of sapotaceous, the pouteria lucuma tree is native to Peru, Chile and Ecuador. It bears sweet and edible fruits and is known as 'Gold of the Incas'. It is gluten free and contains 329 calories per100g. It is an excellent source of antioxidants, fibre, beta carotene, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin Ccalcium, phosphorus and iron.

    As an alternative sweetener it contains good nutrition where as sugar and artificial sweeteners have none and it does not create blood sugar spikes, which is good for diabetics.

    Lucuma significantly increases wound closure and promotes tissue regeneration and has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin repair effects on human skin.

    Lucuma fruit powder has a distinctively sweet and fragrant taste that provides a natural sweetening to desserts without increasing blood sugar levels, unlike many sweeteners that offer empty calories therefore may be useful for diabetics and people with other health issues. Lucuma fruit powder can be added to any beverage, smoothie, yogurt, granola, pudding or pastry. Lucuma powder is ideal for making ice cream, cakes, cookies and pies to fortify the nutritional content of desserts. Lucuma also makes healthy baby food.


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    See also: A - Z of Ailments & Natural Cures

    M

    Macadamia Nuts (macadamia integrifolia, macadamia tetraphylla, Australia nut, Queensland nut, bush nut)

    Macadamia is native to the East Coast rainforests of North Eastern parts of Australia. Several parts of mineral rich, tropical and subtropical areas of Australia, Hawaiian Islands, Middle Americas, Brazil and South African regions are also places that this tree grows in abundance.

    100g of nuts provide about 718 calorie which is one of the highest values among nuts so should be avoided by those with obesity but could be a good addition to the diet for the underweight. 100g of macadamia provides 8.6 g or 23% of daily recommended levels of dietary fibre. They are a very good source of phytosterols such as sitosterol and they contain no cholesterol. They are free from gluten and often used in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas for patients with wheat gluten allergy and celiac disease. They are also a rich source of oleic and palmitoleic fatty acids which help lower total as well as LDL cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood.

    100g of macadamia nuts provides 100% RDA of vitamin B1 (thiamine), 12% of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 15% of vitamin B3 (niacin) and 21% of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). They also contain small amounts of vitamin A and vitamin E. Both these fat soluble vitamins possess potent antioxidant activities, which serve to protect cell membranes and DNA damage from harmful oxygen free radicals.

    They are a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc. Selenium is a heart protective micro-mineral and an important anti-oxidant cofactor for glutathione.


    Mackerel

    Relieves symptoms of psoriasis, reduces the risk of heart disease, reduces blood pressure, maintains bone density, prevents anaemia, supports cardiovascular health, lowers triglycerides and cholesterol levels, lowers risk of atherosclerosis, strengthens the bones, supports joint cartilage, helps regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in bone and surrounding tissue, reduces free radical damage and inflammation, reduces risk of cancer including colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, kidney cancer, protects against macular degeneration (AMD) of the eye, reduces the risk of dry eye syndrome, promotes more youthful skin, alleviates skin blemishes, gives good hair lustre, prevents hair loss and helps with brain and eye development in infants. Pregnant and nursing women may benefit from eating oily fish to increase the amount of DHA in the diet.

    Mackerel are rich in two fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA),  A 3oz. portion contains 2 g of essential omega-3 fatty acids and 20g of protein Contains vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12, vitamin B3, vitamin B2vitamin B6; calcium, copper, selenium, iodine. For more details see Oily Fish


    Malabar Nut (adhatoda vasica)

    This Indian nut is used to treat asthma and coughs and eliminates intestinal worms. It also supports cardiovascular function and healthy blood.


    Male Fern (dryopteris Filix-mas)

    Helps the body get rid of tapeworm parasites.


    Mandarin See Oranges


    Mandrake (mandragora officianarum, atropa mandragora)

    Works with the liver, gallbladder and all aspects of digestion. It also exerts a powerful beneficial influence on the glands.


    Mango (mangifera indica)

    Known as the 'king of fruits' the mango originated about 4000 years ago in the sub-Himalayan plains and is a close relative of cashew and pistachio and today, is grown in India (known as safeda), South America and the Caribbean. There are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos.

    A serving of mango contains about 100 calories and 9% RDA of probiotic fibre, 25% of vitamin A, 11% vitamin B6, 76% of vitamin C, vitamin E, 25 different kinds of carotenoids, malic acid, pectin, quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, methylgallat, gallic acid, tartaric acid, and a trace of citric acid and abundant enzymes for breaking down protein. Also contain 9% copper, 7% potassium, 4%  of magnesium and calcium.

    Mango prevents cancer especially colon, breast, leukaemia and prostate cancers, lowers LDL cholesterol, promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes, improves the sex drive, maintains the alkali reserve of the body, improves digestion of protein, boosts the immune system, helps production of red blood cells and prevents heart disease. It also improves memory, concentration and digestion.

    Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood preventing diabetes.  The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also have a relatively low glycaemic index of 41-60.

    Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and honey helps to cool down the body and relieves heat stroke.

    Mango can be used both internally and externally to clear clogged pores and treat skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes etc.


    Maqui Berry (aristotelia chilensis, Chilean wineberry, machuei, queldron, ach, koelon, clon )

    This is the recently discovered potent 'super fruit' of an evergreen shrub which grows abundantly and wild in the Valdivian temperate rainforests and the Patagonian mountain range and adjacent regions of Argentina and Chile. The berries are a staple food, medicine and part of rituals and ceremonies for the Mapuche Indians which are one of the longest-living cultures in the world. They use the stems, leaves and berries for many medicinal purposes.The leaves contain astringent and cleansing properties and are used to dress wounds. It is said that the Spanish Conquistadors were unable to defeat the Mapuche tribe due to their warriors strength and vitality through drinking a fermented form of the berries.

    The berry pulp of the maqui has a 27,600 value of antioxidants per 100g as compared to 16,700 per 100g of acai berry and are known to be the highest in antioxidants of any other known natural food. The anthocyanins give the berries their dark purple and blue colour and exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory activity, and do it as well as drugs for the same purposes, without the negative side effects. Anthocyanins are produced by plants for self-protection against sun, irradiation, diseases and biological enemies; maqui thrives in the harsh climate of central and southern Chile, necessitating the plant’s abundant anthocyanin production. The rich fertile soil where they grow is also a key factor in their potency.

    Regular consumption of these berries can help to prevent and treat age related macular degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, asthma, colitis, dementia, diarrhoea, eye health, fever, haemorrhoids, migraine, Parkinson's disease, obesity, sore throat, skin inflammations, tumours and ulcers. They also fight oxidative stress, aid in prevention of atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and lower blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. They can also protect against some forms of cancer (such as colon cancer) and a number of inflammation-related diseases (including diabetes and heart disease). Maqui can also slow the aging process, increase metabolism, reduce mental decline, reduce pain and inflammation, increase healthy hair growth, promote detoxification and stimulate the immune system to fight against infection and diseases like HIV/AIDS.

    Raw maqui berries contain 138 milligrams of anthocyanins per 100g, which is comparable in number to blueberries and blackberries, and greater in number than strawberries, raspberries and grapes. Regular anthocyanin and vitamin C intake results in fewer wrinkles and dryness of the skin, whereas a deficiency can lead to premature aging and numerous skin conditions.

    Maqui berries are a rich source of fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, anti-inflammatory compounds and anti-aging polyphenols; anthocyanin, cumarin, cyanidin, delphinidin, malvidin, pelargonidin, peonidin, petunidin,  triterpenes, flavonoids and resveratrol. They also contain protein, omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids.


    Margarine See Butter V Margarine


    Marigold (calendula officinalis)

    Often used in lotions or ointments as a natural antiseptic and to aid wound healing and prevent wound infection, for burns, sores, abrasions, wind burn, fungal skin infections and varicose veins. It's used as a mouth wash after tooth extraction and for inflamed gums. Extracts and potencies can be taken internally to cure inflammations of the stomach or gall bladder and to aid healing after surgery.

    Take a tea made from this herb to expel worms and parasites. It can also heal any tissue damage the worms have caused in the bowels.


    Marjoram  (origanum majorana)

    A tea made from Marjoram is used for an upset stomach, headache, colic, high blood pressure and a variety of nervous complaints.  It can be used for cramps and nausea associated with menstruation and for severe cases of abdominal cramps.  It is also considered helpful for seasickness.  It can be added to the bath to promote a calming effect and to relieve insomnia.  Marjoram is applied as a fomentation to painful swellings and rheumatic joints and in salves to stimulate the circulation.


    Marrow (cucurbita pepo, squash, field pumpkin)

    Including marrow in the diet can help decrease the risk of several serious medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, cancer, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and high blood cholesterol. The peel of marrow vegetables is rich in the carotenoid beta-carotene and should be eaten along with the flesh and with a fatty food such as avocado, nuts or vegetable oils like rapeseed or olive oil to be absorbed and get the maximum nutritional benefit. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that can inhibit free radical compounds from damaging cellular tissue and DNA. Marrow is an ideal nutritious vegetable to include in the diet when trying to lose extra weight.

    Marrow contains no fat or cholesterol and is low in sodium content. It is a very good source of dietary fibre, protein, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin K, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, zinc

    Although marrows can be stored for up to a week, their vitamin content will degrade the longer it is kept before eating. The vitamin C in marrow vegetables is particularly susceptible to heat, light and air exposure. To maximize vitamin availability, use it within three to four days of purchase and store in a cool, dark location and only cut them right before cooking and eating. They are best steamed but can be roasted, sautÚed, fried or grilled. They are best not boiled because this leeches out all the vitamin C.


    Marshmallow Root (althea officinalis, mallow, white mallow, common marshmallow, malvavisco, altea, hatmi, iviscus, ghasul, khitmi, khatmah, usubeni-tati-aoi)

    Marshmallow should not be confused with the confectionery of the same name. This is a herb native to Europe which thrives in an environment of dark and salty marshes. The flowers of the marshmallow root are used to make expectorant syrups. They are picked when the flower has matured to at least two years old and in August just as the flower is coming into bloom. The root it exhumed in the late autumn; cleaned of root fibres then corked and desiccated immediately.

    Marshmallow root has soothing properties and nutritionally supports the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. It has a long history dating back thousands of years as an herbal remedy for cough, sore throat and other respiratory problems such as bronchitis and whooping cough (pertussis). This is due to the large amounts of mucilage found in the flower as well as the root. It is also useful for the treatment of diarrhoea and indigestion; along with chronic diseases that cause these symptoms such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Its anti-inflammatory properties are also useful for treating   peptic ulcers, hiatus hernias, mouth ulcers, enteritis and colitis.

    Roots may be formed into a mouthwash and used to treat inflammation. It is in this form that the roots can be extremely helpful in aiding the irritation of teething infants. The root may also be peeled fresh and given to infants to chew on. See Nature Cures For Babies.

    As a cough, mouthwash and respiratory agent 2 grams of the root should be put into one cup of cold water, soaked for two hours and then gargle with it.

    Externally it is useful for treating cuts, scrapes and other wounds, as well as a remedy for eczema, psoriasis and pinkeye. For topical use shredded root should be mixed with enough warm water to form a thick paste and spread onto a clean cloth. Apply to irritated area as needed.

    NOTE: Caution should be taken by those suffering with diabetes, alcohol dependency or liver disease. Use is not recommended for pregnant or lactating women.


    Mashua (tropaeolum tuberosum, isanu, cubio, a˝u, ysa˝o, puel)

    The Mashua or Anu is a perennial climbing tuber/salad crop from the Andes related to the nasturtium. It has been cultivated since approximately 5500BC and has been an important food source for more than 9 million indigenous people living in the Andes mountains at elevations between 2500 meters and 4000 meters. One plant can yield up to 4 kilos of tubers. This, plus the ease of cultivation, makes it a good crop to grow for both human and animal consumption. Both the tubers and vigorous profusion of leaves are edible. The tubers contain isothiocyanates (mustard oils) that give them a sharp, peppery taste reminiscent of hot radishes when eaten raw  When cooked they turn sweet.

    Mashua is resistant to many insects, nematodes, fungi and other pathogens including the Andean weevil which attacks potatoes and other tuber crop. These insect repellent properties makes a very good companion plant but cabbage white butterflies are strongly attracted so it is best planted where birds can easily feast on caterpillars.

    The tuber has antibiotic and diuretic properties and can treat nephropathy (damage or disease of the kidneys), eliminate bladder and kidney stones, skin ulcers and kill lice. It also has anaphrodisiac effects and was used by Incas to feed troops to keep their mind on fighting and off of sex as it causes a drop in the levels of testosterone/dihydrotestosterone. In Bolivia it is used to induce menstruation as it has a beneficial effect on oestrogen in females. It has also been shown to prevent the development of cancerous cells in stomach, colon, skin, and prostate.

    Mashua is a good source of antioxidants such as delphinidin 3-glucoside-acetylrhamnoside , cyanidin 3-glucoside and delphinidin 3-sophoroside-5-acetyl rhamnoside, plus isothiocyanates (glucosinolates), all of the essential amino acids, protein, carbohydrates, carotenoids, tryptophan, valine, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.

    NOTE: Mashua must be consumed with fatty foods like avocado, nut or fish oils or hemp or olive oil in order to absorb the fat soluble carotenoids.


    Melon (cucumis melo, muskmelon, cantaloupe, gourd, honeydew melon)

    A member in the large cucurbitaceae family which include squash, pumpkin, courgettes, cucumber and gourd and like its relatives, melons grow on the ground surface as a trailing vine and they require honeybees for effective pollination. Melons are thought to have originated from India or ancient Persia or Africa.

    Melons are very low in calories (100g fruit has 34 calories) It contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and phytosterols. Melon is very rich in poly-phenolic plant derived compounds. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, (100g provides112% of RDA) one of the highest among fruits. It also contains vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin C, vitamin K, choline, calcium, copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. It is also very rich in antioxidant flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin. 100g provides 267mg of the electrolyte potassium.

    Melon can help develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals good vision, maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin, protect against lung, oral cavity colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and pancreatic cancers, protect eyes from age related macular degeneration disease in the elderly, help control heart rate and blood pressure offering protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.


    Menhaden (bunker, pogy)

    They've been called "the most important fish in the sea." Small, silvery and packed with nutritional value, menhaden are filter feeders that consume plankton and in turn are food for striped bass and other important fish, as well as marine mammals and sea birds. They are in effect a critical link in the marine food web. But in 32 of the past 54 years menhaden were overfished and they are now at their lowest level on record. There are laws currently being put in place to stop the over fishing of this valuable fish which will hopefully bring  bring it back to healthy numbers.

    Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids are among the most documented in nutrition research. However, a third key fatty acid, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) has recently been shown to play probably the most powerful role in key health outcomes. Docosapentaenoic acid is an elongated version of EPA and has drawn the attention of scientists because it is present in relatively high levels in the diets of the Greenland Inuit people, a population group with exceptional cardiovascular health. Menhaden fish are a prime source of docosapentaenoic acid, as well as EPA and DHA, more so than other oily fish. Consumption of menhaden fish can reduce LDL cholesterol and contribute to the reduction of cardiovascular disease.


    Milk

    Strengthens bones and teeth up until age 30-35, may prevent Alzheimer's disease in the elderly. Full cream milk is a good source of protein, vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and B12, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc.

    Kefir is a fermented milk product that is a natural probiotic. Milk is not usually produced with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus because it is not necessary to ferment milk before it is sold. Some milk manufacturers, however, have added these cultures to create a probiotic milk that is said to aid in digestion and may help those who are lactose intolerant digest milk. This milk contains approximately 500 million bacteria per half pint glass. Probiotic milk is often more expensive than regular milk and will clearly state on the label that it contains active cultures or is probiotic. See why you should drink Probiotic milk.


    Milk Thistle (silybum marianum)

    A potent antioxidant which prevents harm from free radicals and lends nutritional support to the liver. Milk thistle seed extract contains silymarin, a unique type of flavonoid-like compound considered the active ingredient of milk thistle.

    Two recent studies have shown that silibinin in milk thistle kills skin cells mutated by UVA radiation and protects against damage by UVB radiation, thus providing two kinds of benefit against UV-induced skin cancer and ageing.


    Millet (panicum miliaceum)

    The Hunzas, who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills, consume millet as their main staple food and are known for their excellent health and longevity.

    Millet is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available and is one of the few grains that is alkalizing to the body. It is a rich source of fibre and low simple sugars. Because of this it has a relatively low glycaemic index and has been shown to produce lower blood sugar levels than wheat or rice. Ir can also reduce the effects of asthma, migraines and heart attacks, lower cholesterol, decreases triglycerides and C-reactive protein and protect against cardiovascular disease especially for those suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. The insoluble fibre in millet can also protect against gall stones.

    Millet is gluten free and acts as a prebiotic feeding the friendly bacteria in the intestines and hydrates the colon helping to avoid constipation. It is a rich source of fibre, protein, beta-carotene, choline, lutein and zeaxanthin, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) vitamin B9, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. It also provides alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cystine, glutamic acid, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine,  iron, selenium and zinc.


    Mineral Water

    Mineral water is a healthy alternative to tap water as it usually contains trace elements that are essential to human health. Depending upon it's source it can naturally contain minerals such as bicarbonate, calcium, fluoride, lithium, magnesium, potassium, silica, sodium and strontium. Water from natural springs, wells and mountain lakes contains minerals which are in the rocks through which it flows and these minerals all have a purpose within the human body. Modern day farming techniques have leeched many minerals from the soil so farmed food often is lacking in them especially magnesium. The best way to ingest the minerals needed is through drinking mineral water, whether carbonated or still, everyday.

    Drinking mineral water is especially important for the elderly and those on medications which can force the body to expel essential minerals in the urine such as diuretics.

    Tap water has no mineral content except fluoride and chlorine which are added artificially and, in many developed countries, also contains traces of medications administered to humans such as hormone replacement drugs and the contraceptive pill. See also the Mineral page.


    Mint (mentha arvensis)

    Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and stimulant for the heart and circulatory system. Useful in chills, fevers, coughs, colds, flu, hiccups, colic, wind, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Use externally for cuts, grazes and sores and the oil can help with alleviating  toothache. Mint vapours can be inhaled to relieve the effects of a cold.


    Miso

    A traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus kōjikin the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup called misoshiru a Japanese culinary staple. Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savoury.

    Miso is low in fat and calories, yet it is a good source of all essential amino acids, some B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron. It is a good remedy for digestive complaints, intestinal infections, diminished libido, and even cancer. Daily consumption of miso is on a par with the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” In fact Modern research has shown soy foods which are high in isoflavones, like miso, improve mental function, stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, and help protect against cancer, osteoarthritis, and coronary heart disease. In addition, because miso is fermented, there are none of the negative phytoestrogen hormonal effects associated with over consumption of soy products.

    Miso is not only high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, it is also a medicinal food proven to prevent damage from radiation exposure and heavy metal toxicity.

    Another great benefit from miso is that is natural source of probiotics or good bacteria which helps the body's immune system by keeping bad bacteria at bay and fighting off infections. Miso can help those that cannot eat dairy products which would normally supply them with probiotics. It can be found in most Asian groceries, as well as many health and natural foods stores.


    Mizuna (brassica rapa var nipposinica, var japonica, Japanese mustard)

    Is a popular Japanese leafy salad vegetable similar other brassicas; rocket and mustard greens. It is high in fibre, carotenoids, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin C (ascorbic acid), calcium, iron and contains glucosinolates which are antioxidants that help prevent certain cancers.

    Mizuna is a very good source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin C,  (ascorbic acid), vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium.

    NOTE: Inspect mizuna leaves carefully before cooking for optimal quality. This vegetable is susceptible to flea beetles and slugs that can damage the leaves.


    Monk Fish

    A large, bottom-dwelling fish found in the coastal Atlantic region. Monkfish is a low-fat, low-calorie source of selenium, but is lower in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish. Monkfish is relatively low in mercury. Monkfish are typically sold as tails, livers or whole gutted fish. The firm, boneless white tail meat is called “poor man’s lobster” for its suggested flavour. Livers are eaten as sushi (ankimo) and most are exported to Asia for Japanese cuisine.

    There are 270 calories,12g protein (25% RDA), 1.3g of fat and less than 1g carbohydrate in one 3oz serving of monkfish. This makes monkfish a good source of lean protein. The body uses protein for muscle building and repair, as well as enzyme, hormone and antibody production.

    Of the fat in monkfish, the majority is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, including omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients which can help reduce triglyceride levels, and the risk of heart attack and stroke. These fatty acids have all but disappeared from the food supply and are obtained in their natural form through fish, like monkfish. It is a source of vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6
    (pyridoxine), vitamin B9 (foliate), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc.


    Mosambi juice (citrus limetta, sweet lemon juice)

    This is a very sweet and not acidic fruit. It is a good source of vitamin C, copper and iron. It can prevents scurvy and enhance digestion by promoting the release of saliva, which assists to digest food quickly. The flavonoids present in mosambi juice enhance the digestive process through stimulating the secretion of bile, digestive juices and acids. The other compounds in mosambi juice are also beneficial for the peristaltic motion (swallowing).

    Mosambi juice cures constipation and the acids present can eliminate toxins found in the bowel tracts. It is also beneficial for people with stomach upsets, dysentery, diarrhoea and loose stools since it is rich in potassium. It also helps avoid vomiting and nausea and improves immune system. Regular intake of the mosambi juice has been known to improve the function of the heart, which ensures proper blood circulation and is good for the skin and can reduce pigmentation, spots and blemishes.


    Motherwort (leonurus cardiac, thow-wort, lion’s ear, lion’s tail)

    Is a relative of the mint family. Pink and lilac flowers bloom from June to September on a bush that grows to heights of five feet.

    Motherwort has some light relaxing effects and can treat, anxiety, depression, rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, post natal depression, menopause symptoms, vertigo, insomnia, headaches, bronchitis, asthma, relieves shortness of breath by clearing congested airways, regulates the thyroid gland functions, helps the liver, bladder, menstrual flow, improves blood circulation by increasing oxygen in the veins, prevents blood clots, relieves painful gas, constipation and menstrual pains, increases blood flow to the pelvic area, helps to reduce hot flushes, help mothers with milk production, contains leourine which can help stimulate uterine contractions and is a uterus tonic both before and during childbirth. Motherwort and black cohosh together relieves fluid retention and bloating.

    Avoid: motherwort if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) or have problems with blood clotting, have heart problems and during the first trimester of pregnancy.

    Note: motherwort may be habit forming.

    Using motherwort

    Bring to the boil 6 ounces of bottled or filtered water. Add one tablespoon of dried motherwort and allow to steep. Drink this tea two to three times a day. It has a bitter taste but honey can help to disguise this. Can be bought as a tincture and one tablespoon per day is the allowance.


    Mountain Mint (pycnanthemum muticum)

    This herb is analgesic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, carminative, emmenagogue and a useful tonic. The medicinal tea is used in alternative medicine in the treatment of menstrual disorders, indigestion, mouth sores and gum disease, colic, coughs, colds, chills and fevers.

    A strong decoction is medicinal poured over festering wounds. Crushed flowers are placed on tooth ache and almost instantly kills pain. Very aromatic the herb is used in potpourri or burned as incense. Placed in a muslin bag it can be used as bath additive and is said to be very soothing to irritated skin. Will freshen laundry when used in the dryer. Thrown in a drawer or trunk it will not only freshen clothing and blankets but also keep moths away. Sprinkle on carpets to freshen the whole house and is said to be a good natural insecticide as it repels insects and is good for use in the garden. Crushed flowers are rubbed on clothing to repel insects.

    Pulegone is the natural insecticide component of mountain mint and should be avoided by pregnant women as it can be dangerous for the foetus.

    This herb was considered powerful medicine and used by medicine men to revive the dead. Several native American tribes claim that the fresh crushed flowers, when stuffed up the nose of a person near death will revive them.


    Mucura (petiveria alliacea)

    This Amazonian plant is considered to be strong immune system enhancer as well as a powerful pain killer, it contains benzaldehyde and coumarin, both of which have anticancer properties. It is said to be;  anti-spasmodic, anti-pyretic; analgesic, abortifacient, vermifuge, analgesic, a memory enhancer, mental stimulant, used also as anti- rheumatic, emmenagogue, sudorific, diuretic, abortive and contraceptive, NOTE: pregnant women should be aware of its ability to induce abortions.

    The plant is used in magic bathing rituals call “limpias” (“cleansing”). Chewing the plant puts a coat on teeth and protects them against cavities. It said to have depressive and anti convulsive effects on the central nervous system, with anti-convulsive effects. The leaf decoction is sudorific (induces sweating) and a cough suppressant. It is a custom in some parts to bathe feverish patients in the leaf infusion and wash headache with decoction. For bronchitis and pneumonia, a drop of kerosene and lemon juice is added to a teaspoon of macerated leaves. It is also used to help in; beriberi, cramps, nerve problems and paralysis.

    It is an excellent remedy for hip and knee osteoarthritis, and/or severe arthritis and is anti-inflammatory for treating gastritis and gout. It has been used to stimulate growth in children and teen-agers who are not too tall, it also is known as the herb for the thymus gland. It is an excellent immune system supporter and builder and it has anti-cancer and anti-tumour properties. It is also good for caring for the veins and blood circulation and for vascular diseases as well as leukaemia.

    Shamans state that mucura helps to balance the communication centre and the heart centre. Mucura heals emotions and soul; they also say that every illness starts with long negative emotions such as: sadness, stress, trauma, fear, hate, greed, etc, every emotion is emanated by a different body part, blocking the flow of energy, eventually damaging it. Negative emotions hurt the soul.


    Mugwort