11 Melatonin Benefits and Information

 

Melatonin dosage - Dr. Axe

For millions of people, melatonin might be the answer to avoiding another terrible slumber. We know that sleep is highly important to maintaining the health of the entire body and warding off acute and chronic health issues. But what is melatonin? It’s actually a hormone that is responsible for setting our sleep-wake cycle, so long as you have the proper melatonin dosage.

 


11 Melatonin Benefits 

1. Natural Sleep Aid

Melatonin for sleep is by far its best known usage as a natural remedy. When it comes to sleep trouble, conventional medical treatment typically involves pharmaceutical drugs, but these medications frequently lead to long-term dependence and come with a laundry list of possible side effects. This is why many people want to find something more natural to help them have a more restful night’s sleep.

Research suggests that supplementing with melatonin may help people with disrupted circadian rhythms, such as people who work the night shift and people who have jet lag. Melatonin supplementation may also help individuals sleep better who have chronically low melatonin levels, like people with schizophrenia, who have poor sleep quality.

2. Potential Treatment for Breast and Prostate Cancer

Several studies suggest that low melatonin levels may be associated with breast cancer risk. To determine melatonin’s effectiveness at stopping tumor growth, one group of researchers evaluated the action of melatonin dosage on the growth of breast tumors in vitro (using human cancer cells) and in vivo (using mice). The researchers found that melatonin may inhibit tumor growth and cell production, as well as block the formation of new blood vessels in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer models. This 2014 research shows melatonin’s potential as a therapeutic agent for breast cancer. Another study looked at women who were taking the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen for breast cancer but not seeing any improvement. With the addition of melatonin to their treatment regimens, researchers found that tumors modestly shrank in more than 28 percent of the women.

Studies also show that men with prostate cancer have lower melatonin levels than men without the disease. One study published in Oncology Reports aimed to verify whether melatonin might modulate the growth of androgen-dependent prostate cancer cells. The results demonstrated that melatonin can significantly inhibit the proliferation of prostate cancer cells.

Combined, these studies show melatonin’s great promise as a potential natural treatment for cancer.

3. Decreases Negative Menopause Symptoms

Melatonin supplements have been shown to improve sleep problems experienced during menopause. In a study of perimenopausal and menopausal women ages 42 to 62, within six months of a daily melatonin dosage, most of the women reported a general improvement of mood and a significant mitigation of depression. The findings of this study appear to demonstrate that melatonin supplementation among perimenopausal and menopausal women can lead to recovery of pituitary and thyroid functions toward a more youthful pattern of regulation.

This is great news because it shows that melatonin can help decrease common negative perimenopause symptoms and menopause symptoms, like sleeping problems.

4. Heart Disease Helper

Multiple studies suggest that melatonin has heart-protective properties. Specifically, research shows that when it comes to cardiovascular health, melatonin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It also can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It seems to have cardioprotective properties via its direct free radical scavenger activity. Overall, the protective abilities of melatonin may be able to help reduce and treat cardiovascular diseases.

Melatonin notables - Dr. Axe

 

5. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Relief

Fibromyalgia symptoms include long-term and widespread pain in muscles and connective tissues, without any specific cause. A randomized, placebo-controlled study of 101 patients with fibromyalgia syndrome evaluated melatonin’s effectiveness at reducing symptoms. It found that patients experienced a significant reduction in their symptoms when they took a melatonin dosage either alone or in conjunction with the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac).

The group who took only melatonin was given a daily melatonin dosage of five milligrams while the other group took three milligrams of melatonin and 2o milligrams of the antidepressant.  Other studies suggest that melatonin might be able to help with other chronic painful conditions, like migraine headaches.

6. Immune System Strengthener

Research is showing that melatonin has strong antioxidant effects and may help strengthen the immune system. A 2013 scientific review calls melatonin an “immune buffer” because it appears to act as a stimulant in an immunosuppressive condition, but it also behaves as an anti-inflammatory compound when there’s an intensified immune response, like in the case of acute inflammation.

7. Eases Jet Lag

Jet lag is a temporary sleep disorder experienced by air travelers who rapidly travel by plane across multiple time zones. It happens as a result of the slow adjustment of the body clock to the destination time, which causes sleep and wakefulness to be out of sync with the new environment. Supplementing with melatonin may be able to help “reset” your sleep and wake cycle when you experience dreaded jet lag.

8. Better Outcomes for Autism in Children

Research has shown that melatonin can help children with developmental issues like autism. This is important, particularly with autism rates on the rise.

A 2011 scientific review published in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology evaluated 35 studies that had melatonin-related findings involving autism spectrum disorders, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, Rett syndrome and other common developmental disorders. After reviewing the numerous studies, researchers concluded that melatonin supplementation in autism spectrum disorders is linked to better sleep parameters, improved daytime behavior and minimal side effects.

9. May Ease Tinnitus

Research suggests that melatonin may serve as a natural tinnitus treatment. Tinnitus is a condition that causes noise or ringing in the ears. For many people, tinnitus symptoms eventually go away as your auditory sensations and nerves near your ears adjust, but for those who are dealing with tinnitus for a long period of time, it can lead to other health issues like anxiety and depression.

10. Relieves Bladder Dysfunction

Melatonin receptors are found in the bladder and the prostate. It works to prevent elevations in levels of malondialdehyde, which is a marker for oxidative stress. Through the reduction of oxidative stress, melatonin helps to combat age induced bladder dysfunction. It also limits bladder contractions and induces relaxation, helping to relieve issues like overactive bladder.

 

11. Helps Relieve Stress

Melatonin levels change when you are experiencing stress. Stress decreases melatonin concentrations at night and increases melatonin production during the day, which is due to the increase of cortisol, the stress hormone. Melatonin can help to relieve stress by controlling the level of stimulation experienced by the body.

If you are feeling anxious, melatonin helps to ease anxiety symptoms like daytime fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia and restlessness. It also promotes a calm mood and it supports brain function.


Melatonin Interesting Facts

  • Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain.
  • The precursor to melatonin is serotonin, a neurotransmitter that’s derived from the amino acid tryptophan.
  • When it’s dark, the secretion and production of melatonin increases.
  • When it’s light, the secretion and production of melatonin decreases.
  • Jet lag, shift work and poor vision can disrupt melatonin cycles.
  • Caffeine, tobacco and alcohol can all lower levels of melatonin in the body.
  • Young children have the highest levels of nighttime melatonin.
  • Blue light emitted by screens (TV, computer, phone, etc.) suppresses melatonin levels, making it more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Melatonin can be helpful for children with developmental disabilities like autism.
  • Some foods that naturally increase melatonin production include oats, bananas, tart cherries, walnuts, pineapple and barley.
  • Daytime exercise and light exposure promote regular circadian rhythm of melatonin and help ensure higher levels at night.

How to Use Melatonin and Proper Melatonin Dosage

You can easily find melatonin at your nearest health store or online in a number of forms: capsule, tablet, liquid, lozenge (that dissolves under the tongue) and topical cream.

Can you overdose on melatonin? As with any medicine or supplement, it’s possible to take too much melatonin. Most doctors and researchers recommend no more than five milligrams per day, but recommendations can vary by person and condition.

Melatonin pills are a very common selection, especially the sublingual lozenges designed for rapid absorption. Another option is topical melatonin, which is said to help skin quality as well as sleep. Researchers have found that melatonin penetrates into the outer layer of skin, reinforcing the skin’s capacity for repair, renewal and revitalization during the night.

There’s currently no recommended dose for melatonin supplements. It’s important to know that people react differently to taking melatonin. For people who are very sensitive, lower doses appear to work better. For sleep troubles, you should know that the right dose of melatonin will have you sleeping well with no daytime tiredness or irritability, so if you’re always tired, melatonin is a great option to reverse that trend.

It’s always a good idea to start off with a very low dose of melatonin and see how you do. You can follow supplement directions on the label or consult an expert if you are feeling unsure.

Melatonin Dosage for Children

Melatonin for children is sometimes helpful. If your child has a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes sleep trouble, your doctor may prescribe melatonin. It’s also used to treat symptoms of ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy and developmental disabilities in children. However, higher doses of melatonin in young people may cause seizures. It also  interfere with development during adolescence because of potential effects on hormones. Always consult a doctor before giving melatonin to a child.

Melatonin Dosage for Adults

For jet lag: 0.5 to five milligrams of melatonin by mouth one hour before bedtime at final destination has been used in several studies. Another approach that has been used is one to five milligrams one hour before bedtime for two days prior to departure and for two to three days upon arrival at final destination. (16)

For circadian rhythm sleep disorders in people with and without vision problems: a single dose of 0.5 to five milligrams by mouth before bed or as a daily dose for one to three months.

For delayed sleep phase syndrome: 0.3 to six milligrams by mouth (with five milligrams being most common) daily before sleeping for two weeks to three months.

There are many other melatonin dosage suggestions for various health concerns based on scientific research, traditional use and expert advice.

When it comes to melatonin dosage for sleep, people commonly take a pill too soon before bed, decide it isn’t doing the job quick enough and take another. Some people also wake up during the night and take another melatonin dosage. Although this might not cause any serious problems, this is not the right or safest way to use melatonin because the more you take the more likely it is that you’ll experience unwanted side effects.

If you have cancer, you should always speak with your doctor before taking melatonin.

Melatonin dosage guidelines - Dr. Axe

Melatonin Possible Side Effects and Interactions 

Is melatonin safe? It’s quite safe when taken by mouth for short periods of time. It can also be safe for some people to take it long term. Melatonin has been used safely for up to two years.

Some people experience vivid dreams or nightmares when taking melatonin, and taking too much melatonin can disrupt circadian rhythms. Other possible side effects of melatonin include headache, dizziness, daytime sleepiness, short-term feelings of depression, stomach cramps, irritability and decreased libido. For men, breast enlargement (gynecomastia) and reduced sperm count are also possible. If you experience drowsiness the morning after taking melatonin, try taking a lower dose.

Pregnant or nursing women should not take melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone so if you have a history of hormonal-related health issues then you should only use melatonin under the supervision of a doctor.

Melatonin can decrease the effectiveness of some medications while actually decreasing side effects from others. In general, these are some possible medication interactions to be aware of:

  • Antidepressant medications
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Birth control pills
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Beta-blockers
  • Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
  • Interleukin-2
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids and immunosuppressant medications
  • Tamoxifen

Speak with your doctor first before taking melatonin if you have any ongoing health concerns or are currently taking any other medications.

Never drive or use machinery within five hours of taking melatonin. If you take an excessive amount of melatonin intentionally or by accident, seek medical attention immediately.


Source Adapted: http://bit.ly/2w5U3Jq

 

10 Health Benefits of Mangos

Mango fruit and mango cubes on the wooden table.

Mangos taste so good that people forget they are also healthy!  Discover how the “king of fruits” can help you, plus why monkeys eat mango seeds and a few mango cautions and concerns.

Health Benefits

1.  Prevents Cancer:
Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.

2.  Lowers Cholesterol:
The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff).

3.  Clears the Skin:
Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.

4.  Improves Eye Health:
One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.

5.  Alkalizes the Whole Body:
The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.


6. May Help with Diabetes:
Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. 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 has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.

7. Promotes Healthy Sex:
Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (from whole foods) does help.

8. Improves Digestion:
Papayas are not the only fruit that contain enzymes for breaking down protein. There are several fruits, including mangoes, which have this healthful quality. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.

9. Helps Fight Heat Stroke:
Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm from overheating. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.

10. Boosts the Immune System:
The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.

 

 

Nutrition by the Numbers
a387af708f4964b7e84bb6ddb9a17d96One cup (225 grams contain) contains the following. Percentages apply to daily value.

105 calories

76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)

25 percent vitamin A  (antioxidant and vision)

11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)

9 percent healthy probiotic fiber

9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)

7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)

4 percent magnesium

 

How to Prepare a Raw Mango For Fancy and Practical Eating

1. Hold the mango on its side and cut down on either side of the central seed. You will end with two big “halves” plus the central seed.
2. Place each half on the cutting board with peel facing down and cut the exposed flesh in a horizontal and vertical pattern, taking care not to cut too deep through the skin.
3. Then invert the whole half to push out the cubes as shown in the photo above.

Mangos for the Skin:

Externally:
Just blending up the mango and applying to the face is fast and easy. Mangos contain beta-carotene, which is converted by your body to vitamin A. That and vitamin C are crucial to skin self-repair.

This Mango Mud Mask has all the benefits of mango plus the exfoliating benefits of oatmeal and almonds.

Internally:
When eaten, mangos can aid in reducing skin problems, including pimples. Extract the large pit or seed from green mangos. You can eat this seed raw or cooked, or try a recipe like this Cucumber-Mint-Mango Lightness.

Do Monkeys Know Something We Don’t?

Monkeys eat the seed from the green mango, which Ayurvedic healers suggest gives the monkey its energy and powerful strength to jump in the tress.

Cautions:

  1. If you have a latex allergy, a reaction is possible with mangos, particularly green mangos. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid.
  2. Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac which can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
  3. Mangos are ripened by some dealers using calcium carbide, which can cause serious health problems (one more reason to buy organic).  If you do have inorganic mangos, wash them properly before consuming or soak overnight in water.

 

Source:http://bit.ly/1hXYB8U

Well Here I am! Its been awhile

200_s

Well I was thinking this morning about how I haven’t written on GGG for awhile now my apologies! I seem to have a problem in my life where I fixate on things and when I do something its all or nothing. I feel like I am the only one with this issue sometimes. For example one week I will be all about blogging and then the next sewing projects, then onto the next…..It’s honestly frustrating at the best of times.

 

I am currently on the rise again with my weight. I am embarrassed and ashamed. That why I have been hiding from blogging. I have to admit it. Its no surprise really as I am back to eating the worst of the worst. This is my standard move. Lose weight gain it back more then before, feel like a failure, eat more, depressed….repeat. I am up 20 lbs from my loss of 50lbs last year at this time and well I need to get a handle on this thing! In addition to the weight gain, my migraines are back, I’m so tired and miserable.

I am going to make some changes again in my habits and hopefully get back on track.

My husband is still battling with his MCS Disability and while he has good days and bad I think that he has found some supplements that are working for him! That is all good news, some progress is still progress. This is another reason I really need to get back on track with the cooking and cleaner eating. When I eat poorly there is less healthy options in the house for him and that is a strain to add to his condition.

Well I will see what this week brings and try to start blogging again as I do know that it helps my mental state.

Thanks for reading as always and take care!

 

Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

health-benefits-of-watermelon

 

1.Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes

Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.

Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato).3 More on why lycopene is so important shortly…

2.Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness

If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.

One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.

You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit.

3.Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable

Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all).The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…

4.You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds

Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat.Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.

Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.

While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)

5.It’s Mostly Water

This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).

6.Some Watermelon Are Yellow

The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It’s likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.

Lycopene: Watermelon’s Nutritional Claim to Fame

Watermelon is an excellent source of lycopene, with upwards of 6,500 micrograms (6.5 mg) in less than half a cup (the red-fleshed varieties will contain significantly more lycopene than yellow-fleshed watermelon).

Also noteworthy, the lycopene in watermelon appears to be quite stable, with little deterioration occurring even after it’s been cut and stored in the refrigerator for more than two days. In one study, it took about seven days of storage for the lycopene to deteriorate, and then it was only by about 6 percent to 11 percent.

So what makes lycopene so important? Lycopene’s antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. In one study, after controlling for other stroke risk factors, such as older age and diabetes, they found that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest.

A 2014 meta-analysis also revealed that lycopene decreased stroke risk (including stroke occurrence or mortality) by more than 19 percent. In addition to lowering your risk of stroke, lycopene has been shown to have potential anti-cancer activity, likely due to its potent antioxidant properties.

A 2014 meta-analysis of 10 studies also showed that dietary lycopene may protect against the risk of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women. There is also some evidence from animal studies that lycopene may help with cancer treatment as well.

One study found that lycopene treatment reduced the growth of brain tumors while another showed frequent lycopene intake suppressed breast tumor growth in mice.

Watermelon Extract May Significantly Reduce Blood Pressure

New research also highlights the role of watermelon nutrients on heart attack prevention, via a significant reduction in blood pressure. Obese study participants who received citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract had significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress, both while at rest and undergoing a stressful cold-water test. According to the researchers:

“Watermelon supplementation reduced aortic BP [blood pressure] and myocardial oxygen demand during CPT [cold pressor test] and the magnitude of the cold-induced increase in wave reflection in obese adults with hypertension. Watermelon may provide cardioprotection by attenuating cold-induced aortic hemodynamic responses.”

Remember, in your body the citrulline in watermelon is converted into L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. Adequate nitric oxide is required to enable you blood vessels to stay relaxed and open for blood flow, which is one reason why it may help lower blood pressure.

Watermelon for Inflammation, Sexual Health, and More

L-arginine may also help with erectile dysfunction by helping to relax your blood vessels, including those supplying blood to your penis – and that’s why watermelon is sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Viagra.” In fact, citrulline supplementation has been found to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction.

What else is watermelon good for? It’s rich in anti-inflammatory substances. For instance, watermelon contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene as well as cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid, which reduces the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase – the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitors, which include most NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen. While being very low in calories (about 46 calories in a cup), watermelon also contains an impressive variety of other important nutrients in which many people are lacking, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Magnesium

How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon

Cutting into a watermelon and finding out it lacks flavor is disappointing. There’s a trick you can use to pick out a ripe watermelon, either from your farmer’s market or your own melon patch. Look for a pale, buttery-yellow spot (not white or green) on the bottom. This is where the watermelon sits on the ground ripening, and it’s one of the best indicators of ripeness you can use (even commercial watermelon pickers use this as a gauge). Other tricks for picking a ripe watermelon include:

  • Should be heavy for its size
  • Smooth rind with a dull top (the top is the side opposite the ground spot)
  • The thump test (this is controversial, but ripe watermelon is said to have a hollow bass sound)

Store your watermelon in a cool area (50-60 degrees F) until it’s cut. Cut watermelon should be refrigerated (and be sure to wipe off your watermelon with a damp cloth prior to cutting it). Remember, try the rind blended with some lime juice rather than simply tossing it in the trash (choose an organic watermelon especially if you’ll be eating the rind). Finally, watermelon should be enjoyed in moderation due to its fructose content. One-sixteenth of a medium watermelon contains 11.3 grams of fructose (recommendation is keeping your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day if you’re in good health, and below 15 grams a day if you’re overweight or have high blood pressure or diabetes).

Recipe: Noodle Free Chicken Pad Thai

Low-Carb-Chicken-Pad-Thai-1

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp  crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp  lime juice

Pad Thai
1/2 lb cooked chicken breast
2 tbsp coconut aminos
6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp chili sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
Unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Peanut Sauce
1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Set aside.

Pad Thai
2. In another bowl, combine the chicken with the coconut aminos. Refrigerate.
4. In a wok or large skillet over medium ­high heat, soften the white parts of the onions, the garlic and ginger with the chili sauce in the oil.
5. Add the peanut sauce, egg, chicken mixture.
Adjust the seasoning. Add chicken broth, if needed. Sprinkle or mix with the bean sprouts, the green parts of the onions and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges, if desired

 

Source Adaptation: http://bit.ly/2ruihfe

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

turmeric

 

 

Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an ancient spice that has remained popular in India and Asia since 2,000 BC. The spice belongs to the ginger family and is a prized component of the culinary traditions of these cultures. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is used as a natural dyeing agent for cloth.

Curcuminoids are the main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have evaluated turmeric and curcumin and yielded a wealth of positive information.

There are three main phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family that are responsible for turmeric’s health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric’s vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is a potent volatile oil found in the root.

Research has shown that these curcuminoids communicate with 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body to support a wide range of processes, including brain health, cardiovascular health, tissue health, and more.

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health, but what does that mean for you? Here are some of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric.

1. Promotes Balanced Mood

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reported noticeable and promising results with turmeric for supporting a balanced mood. Two groups were studied. The first group received curcumin daily, while the other received placebo. After eight weeks, the mood and anxiety score tests completed by all of the participants showed significant symptom improvements compared to placebo. Could turmeric be a potential new option for stabilizing mood?

2. Helps Wounds Heal

Cut your finger? A study in the Sept 2014 issue of Life Sciences found that the curcumin in turmeric offers beneficial properties that appear to accelerate the wound healing process by soothing irritation and oxidation. As more research evaluates turmeric’s ability to support the body’s natural healing abilities, the breadth of applications could be enormous.

An exciting study in the October 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry demonstrated the efficacy of a topical turmeric application for wounds in rats. The results showed that turmeric supported collagen synthesis rates, improved wound contraction, and increased tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound. Turmeric also showed antioxidant properties that helped the healing process.

3. Eases Aches and Discomfort

An impressive study completed and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging examined the effect of turmeric on knee discomfort. Results showed that turmeric experienced relief on par with more conventional options. The turmeric group, however, seemed to enjoy more relief from joint stiffness. Those taking turmeric reported significantly fewer side effects than those following mainstream-oriented action plans. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the December 2011 issue of Surgical Endoscopy looked at turmeric supplementation on postoperative discomfort and fatigue. Patients taking turmeric experienced significantly less discomfort compared to placebo.

4. Encourages Balanced Blood Sugar

A novel investigative study published in the Nov 2014 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology looked at the effects of curcumin on insulin-producing cells within the pancreas called Beta cells (or B-cells) and Islet cells, in relation to imbalanced blood sugar. Researchers addressed B-cell lines and human Islet cells with preparations of turmeric and observed positive benefits.

5. Soothes Irritated Tissue

Turmeric is valuable in helping soothe excess irritation. The swelling response is a healthy and natural mechanism the body uses to usher soothing compounds during times of crises or repair. It’s believed that most people in today’s toxic, stress-laden environment are under constant pressure and the tissue in their body is irritated, red, and swollen as a result. A review published in the 2007 issue of Advances of Experimental Medicine noted the soothing effect of turmeric is likely exerted through its ability to inhibit enzymes that irritate tissue.

6. Loosens Stiff Joints

A randomized, pilot clinical study published in the November 2012 issue of Phytotherapy Research set out to determine the effectiveness of turmeric for active joint discomfort. One group received the standard-of-care medication while the other received turmeric. Patients were given symptom score sheets to assess results. Turmeric outperformed the other option on all levels and was relatively free of adverse side effects.[11]

7. Encourages Normal Lipid Levels

Turmeric’s ability to encourage normal lipid profiles has been hypothesized and studied since the 1990s with varying levels of benefits. Some studies show an impressive reduction in lipid profiles for turmeric-supplemented groups. One randomized, single-blind clinical study published in the November 2011 issue of Phytotherapy Research investigated turmeric’s effect on lipid levels. Group participants were given either curcumin from turmeric in small or large servings; a control group was given vitamin E only. After just seven days, the results proved statistically significant. Small servings of turmeric produced the most favorable and balancing effects on lipid profiles.

The results of a seven-day trial showed the curcumin-supplemented participants had better lipid profile numbers. Most importantly, these studies show that turmeric is consistently safe and has very low risk of side effect.

8. Supports the Stomach Lining

India has long used turmeric in curry dishes as a taste and color enhancer. One reason for its longstanding popularity is because of its soothing properties on digestion. Researchers tested the protective effects of turmeric on the lining of the stomach against acidic preparations used to induce stomach ulcers. A preparation containing turmeric essential oils was administered before the ethanol and it was observed that turmeric protected the cells in the stomach and damage was reduced. In addition, turmeric also appears to offer some impressive protection for stomach ailments.

Supplementing with Turmeric

There are a lot of turmeric supplements on the market; some better than others. Only purchase organic products from reputable companies. Because turmeric is so popular, there are many low-quality products produced under questionable circumstances. If you’re in the market for a turmeric supplement, we recently released a liquid turmeric extract. I’m really proud of it and the feedback has been incredible.

Source: http://bit.ly/1E6H6IX

Warning: Tom’s of Maine Products are Not So Natural

 

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Tom’s of Maine has become a mainstream brand among health-conscious consumers. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of these consumers are unaware of who owns Tom’s of Main and what ingredients Tom’s products contain.  This might be shocking to some but Tom’s of Maine isn’t owned by Tom and is not from Maine.  In fact, it’s owned by a well-known corporate giant — Colgate-Palmolive of New York. In the United States alone, Colgate-Palmolive’s 35% share  mostly relies  on a patented gingivitis formula which contains triclosan,  a toxic chemical substance  that reacts with the chlorine in tap water to become chloroform — a deadly chlorinated aromatic.

Reasons to Avoid Tom’s of Maine Products

1. Contain Aluminum. Though Potassium alum used in Tom’s of Maine products is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin, it is still not completely aluminum-free. It accumulates within the body so that the aluminum becomes more destructive with increased age.

Aluminum has been repeatedly linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease,  generalized permanent damage to the central nervous system,  brittle bones, autism, infertility, hormonal imbalance.

2. Contain Zinc Chloride.   According to the Dangerous Substance Directive , Zinc chloride is classified, as “Harmful (Xn), Irritant (Xi) and Dangerous for the environment (N).”  Read the Environmental Working Group’s page on Zinc Chloride here.

3. Contain Titanium dioxide. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, titanium dioxide is a human carcinogen:

Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ”possibly carcinogen to humans”… This evidence showed that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation*.

4. Contain Carrageenan. Tom’s of Maine  puts carrageenan in its toothpaste, including kids’ toothpaste. Many scientific, peer-reviewed studies found that  food-grade carrageenan can cause  gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals. Additionally, recent studies funded by the American Diabetes Association have linked the consumption of food-grade carrageenan to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice.

5. Contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is far from being natural. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product, which will be discussed in more detail later.  Rsearch studies on SLS have shown links to organ and reproductive toxicity, neurological damage, endocrine disruption, and cancer.

 

Before buying a personal care product, make sure to do your own research. Your health depends on it! There are also lots of informative site to help you make your own natural alternative often for much less then you would pay for a commercial product anyway.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/1AZDQn0

How to Soothe the dreaded sore throat

 

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It’s scratchy, tender and swollen, and you dread the simple task of swallowing. But you must swallow, and when you do, you brace yourself for the unavoidable pain.

If you’ve got a sore throat, you’re in good company; everybody gets them, and 40 million people trek to the doctor’s office for treatment every year.

The mechanics of a sore throat are pretty simple. It’s an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. The leading causes of your discomfort are:

  • Viral infections, like colds or the flu. Often accompanied by fever, achy muscles and runny nose, viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral source will generally disappear on its own within several days.
  • Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are much like those of a viral infection but may be more severe and long lasting. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by headache, stomachache and swollen glands in the neck. A strep infection is generally treated with antibiotics because permanent heart or kidney damage can result. Culturing the bacteria is the only way a doctor can determine the cause of the sore throat.

While those are the primary reasons for a sore throat, there are others, including:

  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Dry air, especially at night when you may sleep with your mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Throat abuse: singing, shouting, coughing
  • Polyps or cancer
  • Infected tonsils
  • Food allergy

A sore throat can be a minor but annoying ailment, or it can be a symptom of a serious illness. Causes range from a stuffy nose or a cold to strep throat, a bacterial throat infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, it’s important to get medical help as early as possible into the illness. Along with producing severe soreness in your gullet, strep throat may be accompanied by fever, body aches and pains and malaise.

If you have these symptoms, or if you have a sore throat lasting more than two or three days, it makes good sense to see a doctor. For mild sore throats that accompany a cold or allergy, there are soothing remedies using common household items that can stand alone or work side by side with traditional medicine to stifle that soreness.

Gargle raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

Gargle with sage. This curative herb is a great sore-throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

Gargle with turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a cranky throat. Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

Gargle with warm saltwater. If you can gargle without gagging, make a saline solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of very warm water. Yes, when your mother told you to gargle with saltwater, she knew what she was talking about. It cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

Gargle with Listerine. Another good gargling fluid is Listerine mouthwash. If you share the product with anyone else in your household, don’t drink straight from the bottle; instead, pour a small amount into a cup (and don’t share that, either).

Other remedies to try are a steamy shower, sipping warm liquids, taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) most of all get lots of rest and feel better soon!

 

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Did you know you’ve probably pulled, stomped or sprayed a natural super food that grows in your backyard? Dandelion is mostly known as a backyard weed, but it has amazing nutrient qualities and health promoting properties.

All the parts of the plant can be used in various ways though the roots and leaves are the most commonly used as herbs. Who knew that this plant with puffy flowers that grant childhood wishes could offer so much benefit?

Dandelion Root and Leaves

Dandelion is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline). The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally.

It also serves as an abundant natural food source, as all parts of the plant can be eaten. The root is often roasted and used in teas or consumed whole. The leaves make a great addition to salads or other dishes requiring greens and the flowers (while still yellow), can be eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine!

Traditional cultures have used dandelion to support digestive and hormone health and it was often consumed to support lactation or to help remedy issues like urinary tract infections.

Benefits of Dandelion

According to the How To Herb Book, this backyard super food is beneficial in many ways, including:

Liver Support and Detoxification

Dandelion has been used for years by various cultures to support healthy liver function and natural detoxification in the body. Though it hasn’t been well studied, many people with hepatitis turn to it to help support the liver. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that:

In the past, roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

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Female Health and Hormone Balance

Due to its high levels of various nutrients and potential ability to help support the body’s natural detoxification systems, dandelion is often used by those with hormone imbalance, urinary infection and recurrent mastitis. Though not well studied, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from women who have used it to help remedy recurring UTIs or other infections.

Clearer Skin

Due to its natural magnesium and zinc content and its potential ability to support detoxification, dandelion is also know as being good for the skin. It can be used topically in applications like tinctures and poultices and many people also take it in capsule or tea form to help support healthy skin.

Good Source of Nutrients

Dandelion is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and nutritive salts, which may help support blood health and increase iron absorption. I personally often add dried leaves to teas for a nutrient boost or use dandelion root in place of coffee.

Blood Sugar Balance

The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports that:

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

Uses of Dandelion Root and Leaves

Perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to remove this “backyard weed” if we were more familiar with the myriad of uses it has. The entire dandelion plant can be used and if you have a safe (non-sprayed) source in your yard or community, you can consider harvesting it yourself.

Here are some of the ways to use dandelion:

Coffee Substitute

Dandelion root is tougher and more hardy than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added in coffee substitutes . The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

Poultices

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of  teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.

Dandelion Tea

The flower can be used to make tea and even to make some types of wine. The leaves and root can also be used in teas, though they have a stronger taste and are often combined with other synergistic herbs for flavor and increased nutrient absorption.

Salads and Greens

The leaves can be consumed fresh on a salad or in recipes as well as substituted for greens like kale and collards in recipes or cooking. The antioxidant rich leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant so while they can be consumed regularly, it is important to maintain hydration too.

Important Notes:

It is important to check with a doctor before taking this or any herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it.

Anyone who gathers dandelion from wild sources (like the backyard) should make sure that the area has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and that it does not come from an area where pets may have eliminated.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qdoz29

 

Our scary weeks dealing with MCS

So whats new with me. A few weeks ago I was at a low point to be honest, we all were. My husband had been exposed to some nasty chemicals that were a side effect of the farmers next door burning…. tires… yes not good or legal. Well this drove him out of our home and away for 2 weeks not to mention how ill he was as a result. When I say ill I mean ill…..shaking, loss of oxygen resulting in blue lips, dizziness, and so much more. This worried me to no end and threw me into a viscous cycle of eating junk again and derailing my life as well as his and my daughters.

Fast forward….to this week.

He is starting to feel better and is back with us at home but what a scary set back. This just shows us how serious this disability is. We have to take into consideration everything we do now. From a trip to the store, visiting friends with scented homes, to going for a walk this has changes our lives and isolated us.

We have been advised that over time his condition may improve as his immunity returns but we have also been warned that it will get worse before it gets better. There are many MCS cases out there as the scents and perfumes industries rise. Some people don`t realize that they may be having a reaction even. I encourage everyone for their health and others to promote scent free products and environments for everyone.

Thanks as always for reading and following!

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