Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Bitter Remedy

 Bitter Melon, with scientific name Momordica charantia, is one of the most wonderful natures gifts in the world because of its usage and its properties. It can be use in culinary and in medical use — which has great health benefits that helps lessen our burden in our ailments, like diabetes, dyspepsia, constipation and other minor diseases.  It comes in different  names depends on which they came from,   in China is known as bitter gourd, goya in Japan, karela/karalla in India,  cerasee or cerasse in Caribbean and South America,  ampalaya in the Philippines, and other  common names   bitter apple, bitter cucumber.  It’s commonly found in Southeast Asian Countries, Africa, and the Caribbean. The origin place of the bitter melon is not yet known, though it can be found in some countries but the original home has not yet been identified.

Bitter Melon belongs to Cucurbitaceae family, a tropical and subtropical vine which has a heart shaped leaves. The fruit has an oblong shape, rough, shinny, freshly green and pointed ends appearance. The sizes, varies on how they are taken care of. It's good source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K iron, folic acid, phosphorous and calcium. It has a doubled amount of beta carotene in broccoli and doubled calcium content compared to spinach.  It has a bitter taste, a distinguishing factor from the rest of the fruits with medicinal value, and this is due to the presence of a substance known as momorcidin. 

Here are some natural health benefits and health wellness tips about bitter melon:

·         It is antipyretic tonic, appetite stimulant, laxative, and has antibacterial properties. It also enhances our immune system that helps our body fight's from bacteria and viruses that causes diseases, especially in cancer. Also, bitter melon is a good source of antioxidant, which contains a high amount of antioxidant.

·         Blood disorder ­– Bitter melon has tonic properties that can purify blood. It can help in boils, itching and other related problems that occur in the skins. For a recipe remedy, one glass of bitter melon pure juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Drink it twice a day morning and evening, after meals.

·         Metabolic disorder– diabetes is one of the metabolic disorders characterized by abnormal amount of high blood sugar (glucose) levels, which resulted from inadequate insulin action and secretion.  There are three types of diabetes, Type one—Juvenile Diabetes, an insulin dependent­. Type two—Diabetes Mellitus, non insulin dependent which is the most common and more controllable type of diabetes. Type three—Gestational diabetes which usually happens during pregnancy.

Bitter melon is an excellent remedy for diabetes, it has a mixture of flavonoids and alkaloids make the pancreas produce more insulin that lowers blood sugar effect.  It has an adaptogenic property also, which also helps in the delaying the occurrence of cataracts, the one of the complications of diabetes and relief in neurological, and other common symptoms of diabetes.  

Bitter melon should be included in diabetic diet—High protein, High fiber, Low carbohydrate, Low salt diet. Seeds can be also, added into foods in a powdered form.  

·         Respiratory Disorder – in ancient times, bitter melon plant roots are used in remedy of common respiratory ailments like colds, cough, asthma, bronchitis, pharyngitis, and rhinitis related to sudden change of weather, allergies, lifestyle, and environment. A teaspoonful of root paste mixed with a teaspoonful of basil juice or honey. It should be taken every night after meal.


·         Before you engaged using any herbal remedies always consult a doctor. Herbal remedies have different properties to over-the-counter drugs or prescribe drugs which are can altered the effects of the drugs that you’ve taking with which can lead to fatal complications.

·         Diabetics should not use together with bitter melon and prescribe hypoglycemic drugs or insulin. Also, for people who are suffering of hypoglycaemic condition, avoid using it. Thus, this can lead to coma and even death. Always ask your doctor before using.

·         For people who have history in ulcers, hyperacidity and sensitive stomach. It can aggravate the disease. It is discourage for people who have these type kind of condition.

·         For pregnant women, it should be avoided using bitter melon. It can cause uterine contraction that leads to abortion.

Photo by: Atlanta-Acupuncture

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Power of Sleep

  Have you ever wonder when you’re lack of sleep you feel like your down, depressed or craving foods?

Sleep is one of our physiologic needs; it is a universal biological process common to all people. It is considered an altered state of consciousness in which the individual’s perception of a reaction to the environment is decreased. Sleep enhances anabolic state, especially the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems. Our body needs at least an eight hours of sleep to gain back all the energy we need.

Here are some health wellness tips to have a full sleep at night;

Live longer and Healthier – lack of sleep are in high level of stress hormones and an increase in inflammation, both which can decrease immune function which our body is more prone to viruses and bacteria which cause diseases like colds, cough and flu. Sleep deprivation has a physiological effect to our body that causes headaches, hallucinations, memory lapses or loss, slowed word recall, irritability, dizziness and nausea, dry mouth, aching muscles, hand tremors, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of fibromyalgia, and increased blood pressure. Blood pressure & heart rate are normally their lowest rate during sleep; people who have few hours of sleep tend to have higher blood pressure. Thus, the relation between hypertension and sleep duration could explain other diseases findings related to lack of sleep. So simply stated, people who sleeps well live longer. So sleep early and it may help you stay active and vital to ripe old age.

Look Good, Feel Good – people who lack of sleep may not only experience more physical ailments, but also physical appearance. It makes us ugly and terrible, eye bags, dark circles, dull skin. Our growth hormones are responsible for our skin too, it rejuvenates, give us a fresh glowing and radiant skin thus a result a beautiful being. Let’s keep those hormones high as possible and spice up your love life.

Be Happy, Less Stress – sleep deprivation can cause depression that can lead to insomnia. Personal problems can affect in our sleeping pattern and thinking too much to your problem can’t help you sleep. Before going to bed, why don’t you write down in a piece of paper your entire problems or talk some of friends the things that are bothering you. In this way it you can express your feelings and concerns which can help you lessen your burden. Thus, you can have a better sleep the whole night.

Memory Gap – our brain do a lot of work in our system, if a person has a sleep deprivation, thus the concentration, problem-solving skills, memory, mood and moral judgement are affected. Our brain needs to rest also to gain back its normal function especially in our cognitive performance. Our body required at least eight hour of sleep to maintain the normal balance of our body and to avoid complications.

Lose a few pounds – sleep deprivation can cause obesity that leads to diabetes, it slows down your body metabolism, and thus it increases your appetite by craving sweets or high in content in sugar. So if you to maintain your figure and don’t want to gain weight, then sleep on time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Health Wellness Tips In Performing Exercise

Do you want to do some exercise, but you don’t know where and how to start?

Regular physical activity is essential for achieving good health; however, there are consequences to be faced if you’re doing the wrong technique. It may lead to the risk of injuries like sprains, strains, fracture, and even death. These factors can be avoided if you follow the basic rules of exercise. 

Here are some health wellness tips for safe exercise:

Assess yourself – ask yourself first; are you ready to engage in any exercise program, both physically and mentally? Seek information and advice from the experts like cardiologist, sports medicine doctors or exercise physiologists on how to exercise safely and on what type of exercise regimen would fit you. It would be better to have a thorough medical checkup before taking any exercise or sport.

Warm-up before exercise – five to ten minutes of gradual gentle exercise will warm your muscles and body temperature, preparing your body for the activity. This will help prevent any injury because when muscles are less flexible, it’s more prone to accident.

Reasons why we need to warm up:

  • It enhances the blood flow in the muscles which delivers more oxygen and nutrients. 
  • It enhances energy-releasing reactions used during exercise and adjusts the muscles to be more flexible.
  • It helps adjust your muscles for stretching and the exercise activity.
  • It helps prepare your heart for a vigorous activity.
  • It stimulates the neurons-to-muscles pathways to be ready for the activity.
  • It prevents fatigue and stress in your muscles especially in the heart and in the lungs which occurs after a strenuous exercise without warm-up. 

Exercise with your limits – don’t rush into things, slow it down, your body needs to adjust to your activity. Start an exercise regimen that is tolerable. Start from easy then increase the intensity and the duration gradually with 15–20 percent a week over time.

Listen to your body – pain is a cautionary sign that you need to stop— never neglect the pain or try to push through.

   Here is a list of signs and symptoms:

·         Shortness of breath
·         Difficulty in breathing and wheezing
·         Dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting, and fainting
·         Chest pain
·         Cramps and muscle pain
·         Body exhaustion and fatigue

If you feel any of these, then you need to stop and consult your doctor. Ask assistance about it, before it’s too late.

Avoid abrupt twisting movements – movements that require bending and twisting your back can cause excessive strain on your spine. In performing these movements, you need do them properly and slowly to avoid injury and complications.

Drink lots of water – every hour of exercise, we lose one and a half liters of body fluids in our system thru heat and sweat. We need to hydrate every now and then to avoid dehydration and heat stroke. Thirst is the first sign of our body that you need to drink water.
Wear supportive shoes – look for shoes that are comfortable to wear and make sure that they’re cushioned and shock absorbent to prevent muscle and joint injury.

Cool down after exercise – gradually slow down the level of activity you have rather than stopping suddenly, do some gentle stretches to prevent aches and pains afterward.

·         It slowly helps return your heart rate and breathing pattern to normal.
·         It prevents dizziness and fainting
·         It helps remove waste products from your muscles, especially lactic acid that builds up during exercise activity.
·         It helps your body, especially the muscles, move to the next session.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Medicinal Values of Green Tea

Green tea is believed to be in use as a medicine for at least 4000 years in china. It is also believed that green tea lowers the cholesterol levels by increasing the good cholesterol and decreasing the bad cholesterol. Green tea is rich in antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) .It destroys cancer cells and also inhibits the growth of cancer cells. Even though the French people consume diet rich in fat, they are less prone to heart attack than the Americans. Similarly, even though 75 percent of the Japanese are smokers, they are less affected. This is because EGCG is more ingreen tea used by them. It acts as a protective agent against premature death from heart attack and cancer.

Green tea also destroys bacteria thus preventing tooth decay. Researchers have also found that green tea even helps dieters. The leaves of green tea can also be used for cooking. The leftover leaves can be used as manure for garden plants to grow better. The ingredient present in green tea is polyphenol. It is the most effective antioxidant. It is present in higher amount in green tea than in black tea.

The basic difference between green tea and other teas like oolong and black tea is that while the latter come from the leaves of camellia simens plant, green tea is processed in a different way. Green tea leaves are steamed which prevents the EGCG, a power antioxidant, from being oxidized. In contrast, black and oolong leaves are made from fermented leaves and so EGCG is converted into other compounds, which are effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.

Clinical trials indicate that green tea raises metabolic rates and speeds up fat oxidation. Green tea also raises thermo genesis (the rate at which calories are burnt) and hence increases energy expenditure. Green tea also increases endurance in exercise.

Drinking green tea has a whole lot of benefits like fighting against cancer, stabilizing diabetes, helping in weight loss, slowing the ageing process and helping digestion. Green tea also enhances immunity in our body. About four cups of green tea each day provides 300 to 400 mg of polyphenols, which help in antioxidant activity. These antioxidants help in slowing diseases. A research Institute in Tokyo found that drinkinggreen tea is the best method to prevent cancer at present. All types of cancer like stomach, lungs, breast, liver, colon and rectal can be prevented bygreen tea.

Green tea prevents cholesterol from being absorbed by the digestive tract. This in effect means that even if the fat is taken, the body does not absorb it.Green tea also helps in preventing unhealthy clotting. Rinsing the mouth with green tea after meals helps in fighting bacteria and thus prevents cavities. One cup of tea with each meal acts as a metabolic stimulant. This helps in weight loss. The caffeine in the tea burns extra calories in the body and fat is digested by polyphenols. A recent study stated that EGCG found ingreen tea could help to boost one’s immune system thereby helping to prevent HIV.

And to top it all, green tea probably is the only substance in the world with so many medicinal values and without a single side effect!
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