Oregano is a healing herb and natural anti-biotic

NaturalNews) Oregano is a wonderful, aromatic herb that is native to the Mediterranean. It is thought to have originated in the mountainous regions of Greece, Turkey and Italy. It was named by the Ancient Greeks “Mountain Joy.” Oregano is one of the most powerful healing herbs and natural anti-biotics ever studied.

Oregano has a warming and aromatic flavor to it. It can be very hot and bitter at times when it is picked fresh. The bite usually wanes as it is dried. Oregano became a staple of Italian-American foods. American soldiers who were stationed in Europe during World War II brought oregano back as the “pizza herb.” It was soon used in more popularity in pastas, grilled/roasted veggies, meat & fish. It is also popularly used in meat marinates and salad dressings.

Oregano Oil is an extraordinarily powerful natural anti-biotic. Oregano has been found in a recent study to be significantly better than all of the 18 currently used anti-biotics in the treatment of MRSA staph infections. The strong phenol anti-oxidants destroy pathogenic bacteria, viruses and yeasts.

Incredible anti-oxidant capacity

This super herb is very rich in anti-oxidant phytochemical flavonoids and phenolic acids. It is the third highest herb in oxygen radical absorbancy capacity (ORAC) with an impressive score of 200,129. Oregano is one of the world’s greatest sources of the powerful phenol component thymol. Thymol is great for improving digestive function as well as destroying harmful microbes.

The USDA ranks oregano’s antioxidant capacity anywhere from 3 to 20 times higher than any other herb. Oregano has four times the antioxidant power of blueberries, 12 times that of oranges and 42 times greater than apples.

Oregano oil has been classically used as a disinfectant, an aid for ear, nose, & throat/respiratory infections, candida, and any sort of bacterial or viral conditions. Additionally, it works to suppress inflammatory mediators and cancer cell production. Oregano oil is more potent than the dried herb; however, the dried version still contains many powerful health benefits.

Studies have shown that carvacrol, a phenol anti-oxidant within oregano has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity when applied to food or taken in supplement form. Oregano also contains rosmarinic acid which has very strong cancer fighting properties.

Use dried oregano on vegetables, meat dishes and salads. Oregano oil can be used as an aromatic essential oil and/or as a medicinal. Simply put a dash behind your ear and a dash on your neck. Strong oregano oil may burn a little but will wear down in a few seconds. One could also ingest oregano oil – 1-5 small drops in a glass of water as it is particularly strong.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals

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The medicinal benefits of Jamaican Dogwood (Piscidia

NaturalNews) Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, smiling people and sweet reggae music but the little island offers much more than just the typical tourist scene. The Caribbean climate enlivens the growth of lush jungles and rich vegetation. With the plants comes the medicine, so it no surprise that Jamaica has deep roots in bush medicine and herbal healing. One revered herb that comes to us from the Jamaican bush doctor is Piscidia erythrina, or Jamaican Dogwood.

Bush doctors used Piscidia for insomnia, pain, anxiety, nervous tension, acne, uterine disorders, hysteria and neuralgias like sciatica, toothaches, and migraines. Also, it was used as an external wash for any skin compliant. To cure a headache, crushed leaves are tied around the head so one can inhale the essence. For a sprain, the leaves are beaten and tied around the injury, as an anti-inflammatory.

Western medicine and Piscidia

Although currently under utilized by western medicine, many naturopaths and herbalist still use it today. Piscidia’s rich phytochemistry of isoflavones, glycosides, tannins, resins, organic acids, volatile oils and β-sitosterol explain it’s versatile actions. Piscidia was also popular in early 20th century America amongst the Eclectic doctors who opposed “conventional” medicine’s use of harsh modalities like bleeding, chemical purging and mercury-based medicines. The Eclectics used Piscidia to control pain, especially if opium was not tolerated. It can reportedly even relieve cluster “suicide” headaches and migraines that are unresponsive to other medications.

Piscidia is a strong antispasmodic because of the isoflavones as well. Studies show it reduces cramping better than any other botanical and is reportedly 20x stronger than the closest competition, Viburnum opulus. Eclectics found it relieved the spasmodic element of pertussis, asthma, violent whooping coughs and bronchitis. It is a beneficial addition to cough syrups because it helps control nighttime coughing and promotes a restful sleep.

The Eclectics used Piscidia for all women’s woes. Conventionally, this is supported because of the isoflavones. It is recommended for dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, especially with hormone imbalances. Also it increases blood flow to relieve uterine stagnation, deliver nutrients and remove debris. Piscidia additionally reduces excessive flow by preventing small veins from breaking. For PMS, patient reports indicate Piscidia can be more effective than synthetic OTC drugs. The Eclectics recommended it paired with Viburnum for false labor pains and threatened abortion. It helps control erratic pains and promotes rest but does not interfere with normal uterine contractions. Piscidia synergistically harmonizes and promotes the effectiveness of other herbal uterine remedies like Cimicifuga, Viburnum, Senecio, Helonias, Pulsatilla and Dioscorea.

Although there are no human studies, animal studies report that Piscidia possesses weak cannabinoid and sedative activities, as well as antitussive, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions. In a comparative investigation on mice CNS activity, Piscidia erythrina produced pharmacological effects between the sedative action of Valeriana and the anti-anxiety activity of Passiflora. The sedative qualities can pacify an overactive nervous system to resolve insomnia, pain, irritation, anxiety, tiredness and depression.

Jamaican Dogwood was recommended for many other ailments as well. It increases secretions, strengthens a weak heart, slows the pulse, increases arterial tension, relieves burns, mites, scalds, eye afflictions, hemorrhoids, toothaches, periodontal membrane inflammation, and alveolar abscess. It was also given during any inflammatory fever and rheumatism. Additionally, Piscidia’s isoflavones enhance vitamin and mineral absorption. β-Sitosterol is an anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating constituent that interferes with hyperplastic prostatic tissue growth factors and is supported by extensive research to relieve BPH.

Like so many of our most powerful medicines, Jamaican Dogwood is, potentially toxic. One should always consult a naturopathic doctor for proper dosing before adding it to any health plan.

Sources for this article include
1. Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
2. University of Maryland medical center: Medicinal Reference “Jamaica Dogwood”
3. Robertson, Diane. 1988. Jamaican Herbs: Nutritional and Medicinal Values. Jamaican Herbs Limited. Kingston, Jamaica.
4. Zampeiron, Eugene. 1999. The Natural Medicine Chest. Natural Alternatives Health, Education and Multimedia Inc. NY.
5. Grieve, M. (2010). A Modern herbal: Jamaican Dogwood
6. Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998
7. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996
8. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996
9. 1995-2011 “Jamaican Dogwood” Therapeutic Research Faculty, publishers of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Prescriber’s Letter, and Pharmacist’s Letter.
10. Costello CH, Butler CL . An investigation of Piscidia erythrina (Jamaica Dogwood) . J Am Pharm Assoc 1948 ; 37 : 89-96.
11. Aurousseau M et al. Certain pharmacodynamics properties of Piscidia erythrina. Ann Pharm Fr 1965 ; 23 : 251-257.
12. Della-Loggia R et al . Evaluation of the activity on the mouse CNS of several plant extracts and a combination of them . Riv-Neurol 1981 ; 51 : 297-310
13. University of Florida: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Florida forest trees: Fishpoison tree (Piscidia piscipula)
14. 2001. Piscidia erythrina. ABC Homeopathy
15. Norton, K.J. 2009. Endometriosis and Piscidia erythrina. http://www.worldwidehealth.com
16. Eric Yarnell, Kathy Abascal. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. June 2007, 13(3): 148-152. doi:10.1089/act.2007.13306.
17. Felter, H.W., & Lloyd J.U. (1898) King’s American Dispensatory: Piscidia. Jamaica Dogwood.
18. Ellingwood, F. (1919) American Materia Media, Therapeitcs and Pharmacognosy. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, AZ.
19. Ayensu, E. (1981). Medicinal Plants of the West Indies. Reference Publications, Inc. Michigan.
20. Della, L., Zilli, C., Del Negro, P., Readaelli, C., & Tubaro, A. (1988). Isoflavones as spasmolytic principles of Piscidia erythrina. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research. Institute of Pharmocology and Pharmacognosy, Univerity of Trieste, Italy.
21. Yarnell, E. (2003). Photochemistry and Pharmacy for Practioners of Botanical Medicine. Healing Mountain Publishing. Washington.

About the author:
Lindsay Chimileski: I am a graduate medical student currently pursuing dual degrees in Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture, expecting to graduate in 2013. I have a passion for health education, patient empowerment and the restoration of balance- both on the individual and communal level. I believe all can learn how to live happily, in harmony with nature and in ways that support the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

Please note: I am not a doctor and not giving any medical advice, just spreading the word and love of natural living, and the pressing health revolution.


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Dandelion gets scientific acceptance as an antioxidant and “novel” cancer therapy

NaturalNews) Dandelion is the bane of immaculate lawn enthusiasts, but holds healing secrets that few people realize. Dandelion is a delicious super-food to add to salads and soups. It contains substantial vitamins and a host of plant-based minerals, especially potassium. The herb stimulates the flow of bile from the liver into the gall bladder, making dandelion a key ingredient in liver cleanse formulas. It helps to break down liver fats and is an effective diuretic. The scientific community has been frenetically studying dandelion recently, due to encouraging evidence that dandelion suppresses the growth and invasive behavior in several types of cancer.

Scientists “approve” dandelion extract as an effective oxidative stress inhibitor

Scientists at the University of Annunzio Chieti-Pasaca in Italy compared extracts of tumeric, dandelion, rosemary, and artichoke in a study released in 2010. The researchers acknowledged the positive effect that these herbs have on the liver and gallbladder, and wanted to compare their anti-proliferation (spreading), antioxidant (combating free radical activity), and protective effects. While tumeric had the greatest antioxidant effects, dandelion also had these qualities. The scientists confirmed that these herbs are useful healing aids in modern phytomedicine.

The oxidative stress-reducing effects of dandelion extract was tested on rats with liver damage from carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), a chemical used in fire extinguishers and refrigerants which is highly toxic to the liver. Water-based dandelion extract, or dandelion tea, was observed to significantly reduce the amount of oxidative stress and inflammation present in the livers of rats.

Medical researchers are enthusiastic about the effects of dandelion on various cancers

Medical science is finally beginning to accept the positive results from natural dietary supplements in healing cancer. Just in the past few years, clinical research has been published stating the benefits of herbal supplements such as dandelion for cancer. Here are a few studies:

The International Journal of Oncology published a 2008 clinical study showing the positive effects of dandelion leaf tea. Dandelion leaf tea decreased breast cancer cells, but dandelion root tea did not. Researchers went on to test prostate cancer cells and found similar results. The scientists concluded that dandelion extract may be considered a “novel” anti-cancer agent.

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a study in January 2011 which tested the effects of dandelion root tea on leukemia cells. The study showed that dandelion root tea killed leukemia cells through a process called apoptosis. It is believed that dandelion root tea signals a “kill switch” on leukemia cell receptors. Researchers found it “interesting” that dandelion root tea did not transmit the same “kill switch” signal to healthy cells. These scientists also believed that dandelion should be considered a “novel” non-toxic anti-cancer agent.

The International Journal of Oncology published a 2011 report that a dietary supplement containing dandelion as one ingredient suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells.

In yet another 2011 study performed with dandelion, dandelion root extract was clinically proven to induce apoptosis in human drug-resistant melanoma cells without poisoning or damaging healthy cells. Once again, tests proved that dandelion root extract should be considered a “novel” and non-toxic therapy for even drug-resistant forms of cancer.

Sources for this article include:

Medline.gov. “Antiproliferative, protective and antioxidant effects of artichoke, dandelion, tumeric, and rosemary extracts and their formulation,” L. Menghini, et al. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology April-June 2010; 23(2): 601-10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20646355

Wiley Online Library.com. “Amelioration of oxidative stress by dandelion extract through CYP2E1 suppression against acute liver injury induced by carbon tetrachloride in Sprague-Dawley rats,” Chung My Park, et al. Phytotherapy Research, September 2010; 24(9): 1347-1353. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.3121/abstract

Spandidos Publications.com. “Suppression of growth and invasive behavior of human prostate cancer cells by ProstaCaidTM: Mechanism of activity,” J. Jang, et al. International Journal of Oncology. June 2011; 38(6): 1675-82. http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/38/6/1675

Pubmed.gov. “Evaluation of aqueous extracts of Taraxacum officinale [dandelion] on growth and invasion of breast and prostate cancer cells,” S.C. Sigstedt, et al. International Journal of Oncology, May 2008; 32(5): 1085-90. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425335

Pubmed.gov. “Selective induction of apoptosis through activation of caspase-8 in human leukemia cells (Jurkat) by dandelion root extract,” P. Ovadie, et al. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology. January 2011; 133(1): 86-91. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20849941

Pubmed.gov. “The efficacy of dandelion root extract in inducing apoptosis in drug-resistant human melanoma cells,” S.J. Chatterjee, et al. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011; 2011: 129045. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21234313

About the author:
This article is provided courtesy of Donna Earnest Pravel, owner and senior editor of Heart of Texas Copywriting Solutions.com. Get free biweekly tips on natural healing and herbs by visiting her blog, Bluebonnet Natural Healing Therapy.

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