Bacopa for Healthy Brain

Bacopa, also known as brahmi, water hyssop, and Bacopa manniera, is native to India. It grows in marshy areas and is a water plant. Most parts of the plant have been used traditionally In Ayurvedic medicine (traditional medicine of India) as a diuretic, nervous system health, heart health, asthma and epilepsy.

The active components of the leaves are saponins, including bacosides. Bacosides are presumed to enhance the effects of neurotransmitters acetylcholine, serotoin and GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). Bacopa extracts appear to be strong antioxidants in the brain and may help protect brain cells. In studies bacosides have been found to enhance higher cognitive functions, memory and learning ability when taken for 3 to 12 weeks in comparison to placebo. In other studies it has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. Bacopa has also been shown to relax the muscles in the airways of the respiratory tract, possibly explaining its traditional use in asthma.

Bacopa supplements can be found as a dried herb, in powdered form and capsules. Bacopa should always be taken as directed by the manufacturer although traditionally 5 to 10 grams per day of powdered herb have been used; and in human studies 300-450 mg per day has been used. Bacopa tends to be well tolerated when taken in the traditional amounts although there have been reports of dry mouth, nausea and muscle fatigue. Always refer to your physician before taking supplements, especially when giving supplements to children, pregnant women or breast-feeding moms.

 

Sources:

Garby, Alan, et al. The Natural Pharmacy, 3rd edition, 2006

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.

 

Green Tea Has Weight Loss and Anti Inflammatory Properties

The green tea plant, also known as Camellia sinesis, grows as large as a shrub or tree. It was first cultivated in India and China. In traditional Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine, it was used as a stimulant to promote mental health, promote digestion, as a diuretic, help regulate blood sugar, for improvement of hearth health and topically to help wounds heal.

Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and therefore has the highest concentration of antioxidants, mainly polyphenols, among the different teas. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals that can alter cells and cause cell death. It is believed free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems. Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Green tea also contains alkaloids including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. These alkaloids provide green tea’s stimulant effects. L-theanine, an amino acid compound also found in green, has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Green tea has been extensively studied and has shown promise in multiple health areas. In studies following large populations over years, green tea consumption has been shown to help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Studies have also shown people who consume green tea tend to have lower rates of cancer, especially bladder and breast cancer.

Green tea has also been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease, such as crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In diabetes type 1, green tea showed a slowed progression of complications due to diabetes, although more studies need to be done. Clinical studies also suggest green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. One study confirmed the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and maintenance in overweight people.

Green tea is generally considered safe if taken as directed. Traditionally 2-3 cups of tea per day is recommended. Supplements in general should not be given to children, breast-feeding or pregnant mom’s unless under the direct supervision of your physician. People with heart problems, those on blood thinning medication (Warfarin), those with ulcers or anxiety disorders should avoid green tea. Caffeine overdose can cause nausea, vomiting and headaches.

Source:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.

 

Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.

Bilberry, A Strong Antioxidant

BlaeberryBilberry, also known as European blueberry, Vaccinium myrtillus, and Vaccinium corymbosum, is a perennial shrub. It is native to northern Europe, Canada and the US. Bilberry has sharp edged, green branches and black wrinkled berries and is a relative of blueberry, cranberry, and huckleberry. Bilberry has been used medicinally for centuries for scurvy, urinary infections, diarrhea and night blindness.

The active chemicals of bilberry are known as anthocyanosides, a plant pigment with strong antioxidant properties. Bilberry also contains vitamin C, another rich antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and help to prevent and even reverse damage to cells. Anthocyanosides support normal formation of connective tissue, strengthen capillaries and improve blood circulation. Bilberry protects cholesterol from oxidizing in test tubes, which might help prevent atheroscleorosis. Bilberry has also been suggested as a treatment for retinopathy, prevention of cataracts and improved night blindness. Bilberry might also play a role in controlling blood sugar and in the prevention of blood vessel thickening seen in diabetes. Bilberry also contains tannins, an anti-inflammatory, believed to help in diarrhea by possibly reducing intestinal inflammation. More research is necessary before bilberry is proved to support these above uses.

Bilberry supplements can be found as dried berries it can be made into tea and is found in capsules and tablets.  It should be standardized to provide 25% anthocyanosides. For eye conditions and circulation 80-480 mg a day in 2-3 divided doses has been traditionally used in the past. In general, in the treatment of diarrhea, dried bilberry should be used as a tea (5 to 10 g of crushed dried bilberries boiled in 2/3 cup of boiled water. Bilberry is considered generally safe although if taken in large quantities or over an extended length of time can cause muscle spasms and severe weight loss.  It should not in theory be combined with anticoagulants, since bilberry can decrease clotting, or with diabetic medications since it can lower blood sugar, possibly making diabetic medications more potent. Herbal supplements should always be discussed with your physician and should not be given to pregnant, breast-feeding moms or children.

 

Sources:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/bilberry-000225.htm

 

Source: The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.