Fungus: Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake Mushroom

Medicinal mushrooms have an established history of use in traditional oriental therapies. Contemporary research has validated and documented much of the ancient knowledge. Over the last three decades, the interdisciplinary fields of science that study medicinal mushrooms has sprung up and has increasingly demonstrated the potent and unique properties of compounds extracted from a range of species. Currently, the field is being developed into a very fruitful area. Modern clinical practice in Japan, China, Korea and other Asian countries rely on mushroom-derived preparations. Mushrooms have been studied for nutritional and medical purposes for its various potential anti-tumoral and immunomodulatory components like polysaccharides that have been identified. Continue reading “Fungus: Shiitake Mushroom”

Fruit: Amla Fruit

Amla Fruit

Many holistic healers appreciate and use amla (aka Indian Gooseberry) to treat a host of diseases and promote positive health. Amla [Emblica officinalis, or emblic myrobalan], is called amalaki in Sanskrit. Amla is also used widely in combination with other two [chebulic and belleric] myrobalans [fruit-bearing plant species] as triphala. Amla is indeed, the key ingredient in the popular ayurvedic recipe, Chyavanaprasha. It is one of the oldest oriental medicines mentioned in Ayurveda as a potential remedy for various ailments. The fruit is rich in quercetin, phyllaemblic compounds, gallic acid, tannins, flavonoids, pectin and vitamin C and also contains various polyphenolic compounds. A wide range of phytochemical components including terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and tannins have been shown to posses useful biological activities. Many pharmacological studies have demonstrated the ability of the fruit to show promise as an antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, tumor reducer, and antigenotoxic. It has also been found to have anti-inflammatory activities. Continue reading “Fruit: Amla Fruit”

Herb: Licorice Root

Licorice-Root-FieldandHerbsLicorice Root

Most licorice root grows in Greece, Turkey, and Asia.  Licorice is harvested from the plants’ roots and underground stems. Licorice supplements are available as capsules, tablets, and liquid extracts. Centuries ago, licorice root was used in Greece, China, and Egypt for stomach inflammation and upper respiratory problems. Anise oil is often used instead of licorice root to flavor licorice candy. Licorice root also has been used as a sweetener. Today, people use licorice root as a dietary supplement for digestive problems, menopausal symptoms, cough, and bacterial and viral infections. People also use it as a shampoo. Continue reading “Herb: Licorice Root”

Herb: Elderberry

 

Elderberry-FieldandHerbsElderberry

Elderberry, also known as sambucus, are small bluish-black berries that grow in clusters on a shrubby bush. Not to be confused with blueberries, elderberries are native to parts of North America and have been a staple in folk medicine for centuries.

Elderberries have been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years as an immune supporter and cough suppressant. Elderberries are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C, and could support immune function year-round. Bioflavonoids present in elderberries could soothe inflammation and irritation of the throat, acting as an all-natural sore throat soother and making elderberries a popular ingredient in many over-the-counter medications and cough drops. Elderberries could support immune function with their high levels of antioxidant properties and vitamin C. Potent levels of vitamin A and anthocyanins in elderberries could improve skin health and encourage production of collagen. Continue reading “Herb: Elderberry”

Tree: Cinnamon

Cinnamon-FieldandHerbsCinnamon is a familiar kitchen spice used around the world, adding fragrance and warmth to everything from oatmeal to curries. What many don’t realize is it is also used for its powerful medicinal properties.

Cinnamon is actually the bark of fast-growing trees, members of the laurel family, native to Sri Lanka and India. The bark is harvested from young shoots that sprout from the stumps of the trees, which are cut back every couple of years. The bark is high in essential oils, coumarins, tannins, and other chemical constituents that help define its medicinal uses. Continue reading “Tree: Cinnamon”

Fruit: Grape Seed Extract

 

GrapeSeedGrape Seed Extract

The grape has a long history of medicinal uses. Ancient Egyptians treated asthma with grapes. More recently, sap from grape branches was used to treat skin issues and scrapes.

The seeds inside grapes used to be considered the worthless by-product of wine production. In the past, they were thrown out as waste. Come to find out, the seeds are extremely valuable. Instead of getting rid of them, grape seeds are in demand to create the extract. Because, let’s face it, eating fruit seeds is not enjoyable and it’s difficult for the body to digest. Continue reading “Fruit: Grape Seed Extract”

Smoothie Combos to Reduce Inflammation


Smoothie Ingredients that Reduce Inflammation

To reduce your overall amount of chronic inflammation, it is important to eliminate, or at least limit, the foods that cause it, and increase foods that inhibit inflammation. You can do this by using your smoothies as vehicles for anti-inflammatory foods. Here are some that go particularly well in many smoothie recipes (we have provided you with an amazing inflammation reducing smoothie recipe below). Continue reading “Smoothie Combos to Reduce Inflammation”