Posted by: godshealingplants | November 18, 2014

CUCUMBERS FOR YOUR HEALTH

1 CUCUMBER GHP WS

HISTORY

Native to India, cucumber has been grown as a food source for over 3000 years.   

Cucumbers were cultivated and eaten in ancient Egypt as evidenced by the Bible.  Numbers 11:5 reads: “We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic.” 

Cucumber on a white background

The Greeks also cultivated cucumbers as (later) did the Romans.  And today cucumbers are cultivated in many parts of the world. 

ABOUT

Cucumber is easy to grow and is a vegetable that belongs to the gourd family.  Different varieties, varying in size, shape, and color, are cultivated all around the world. In general, the fruit features dark green skin, crispy moisture rich flesh, and small edible seeds concentrated at its center.

cucumber vine

Like other squash members, cucumbers should be harvested when they are young, tender and just short of reaching maturity, at a stage when they taste sweet and have a unique flavor. If left alone, the fruit continues to grow in size, its skin become tough and turns yellow, and seeds become hard and inedible. Fresh cucumbers are available throughout the season and can be eaten raw as is or in vegetable salads or in the form of juice. 

 8 cucumber

There are two types of cucumbers: slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers. The pickling varieties tend to be smaller, thicker, and have bumpy skin with black-dotted spines.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Cucumbers are a great anti-aging food, as they contain essential vitamins and minerals to slow the aging process down, both internally and externally. 

4 cucumber

Cucumber is low in calories and fat that makes them a healthy choice for salads and snacking. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Here are some of the benefits of the cucumber: 

Acts as a DiureticThe water content of Cucumber acts as a diuretic. It encourages the elimination of waste products from the body through urination. Regular intake of cucumber helps to dissolve kidney stones. 

Aids digestionAnother important benefit of cucumber juice is it can treat digestive ailments like ulcer, gastritis, heartburn and acidity. This juice improves digestion by flushing toxins out of the digestive system. Patients suffering from chronic constipation can benefit by eating cucumbers daily.  

Aids in Weight LossDue to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who looking for weight loss. 

An AntioxidantAccording to studies, free radicals are the number one cause of aging, including the appearance of wrinkles. The powerful antioxidant vitamins contained in the cucumber, such as vitamins A, C and E, help to clean the body of free radicals and dead skin cells. This stimulates the growth of new cells, and the end result is softer, smoother and more radiant skin. 

For immediate results, apply grated cucumber to your face and skin and leave it on for about 10 to 15 minutes, before rinsing. 

Beneficial for Teeth and GumsCucumber juice is also beneficial for people with teeth and gums problems, especially in cases of pyorrhea.  

Controls Blood PressureCucumber juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber that work effectively for regulating blood pressure.  

DiabetesThe cucumber juice has been found to be beneficial for the diabetic patients. This vegetable contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin. 

Fight CancersCucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol – three lignans that have a strong history of research in connection with reducing the risk of several cancer types. 

High in Dietary FiberCucumbers are high in dietary fiber which helps to improve your digestive system so that your body can eliminate waste in a timely manner. This is essential if you want to look and feel young, as it increases your energy levels and helps to reduce the overall wear and tear on your body. A healthy digestive system will also boost your immune system to help you ward off most age related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and fibromyalgia. Glass of cucumber juice and slice of a cucumber on a white background

Keeps body hydratedCucumbers are about 90 percent water, which helps to moisturize your body from the inside out. It contains vitamin A, which also acts as a natural moisturizer to reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Cucumber juice helps in keeping the body hydrated and regulating body temperature. It also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body. 

Reduces StressStress is a major contributor to the aging process. It can cause insomnia, weight gain and other health problems that can cause you to look tired and worn out. Cucumbers can help to reduce your levels of stress due to an amino acid called tryptophan. When the tryptophan reaches your brain, it is able to produce two essential hormones known as serotonin and melatonin. These hormones help you to relax and feel good so that you can stay calm in tough situations. These hormones are also essential for helping you to fall into a deep sleep at night so that you can wake up feeling fully rested. 

Relieve gout and arthritis painCucumber is rich in vitamins A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, when mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels. 

Skin, Joint and Nail careFacial masks containing cucumber juice can be used for skin tightening. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid present in cucumbers can bring down the water retention rate which in turn diminishes the puffiness and swelling under the eyes. Cucumber skin also can bring relief to the skin caused by sunburn or windburn. 

Besides the high water content, vitamins A, B & C and the presence of certain minerals like magnesium, potassium, cucumbers contain silica, which is a trace mineral, and it is essential for maintaining a healthy body structure and a youthful appearance. It not only helps your muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bones to stay strong, but it also helps to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails. 

Silica increases the production of collagen in the skin to help maintain its elasticity. This, in turn, helps to reduce wrinkles, as well as stretch marks resulting from pregnancy or from being overweight.  

Stimulates hair growthCucumber contains silicon and sulphur and thus a regular intake of cucumber can help promote healthy hair growth. For best results, mix cucumber juice with the juices of carrot, lettuce or spinach. 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Fresh cucumbers are readily available in the stores all around the season. Different varieties are available depending upon the region.  

9 cucumber

In the store, buy fresh ones that feature bright green color, that are firm and stout in texture. Look for spots, cuts or breaks over its surface. Do not buy overly matured or yellow colored since they tend to contain more insoluble fiber and mature seeds. Also, avoid those with wrinkled ends as they indicate old stock and state of de-hydration. Buy organic products when you can, which are better for your health. 

washing cucumbers

Once at home, they should be washed thoroughly in clean water to rid off dust and pesticides (therefore it is better to BUY ORGANIC). The skin comes in a variety of colors and often with tiny spikes that should be rubbed off easily. Do not discard the peel as it has vital minerals, phyto-chemicals, and fiber. 

To store, keep them at room temperature for a day or two, but better stored inside the refrigerator set at high relative humidity where they stay fresh for several days.  

HOW TO ENJOY

They are tasty by themselves

cucumber

You can add them to salads with onions and tomatoes

cucumber salad ws

Or to freshly squeezed vegetable juices or smoothie

cucumber smoothie

You can also stuff them with your special mixture

Cucumber  Tex-Mex Grains Salad

Or roll thin sliced cucumber with your special mixture

Cucumber rolls

They can also be sliced or grated and applied as a topical cleanser or moisturizer.

little girl with cucumber on her eyes

 SOURCE

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucumber

Cucumber and slices isolated over white background.

 DISCLAIMER

  1. God’s Healing Plants is not licensed as, or designed to be, a healthcare facility; therefore we do not diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, or prescribe or administer medication.
  2. The nutrition and health information resented at the God’s Healing Plants Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
  3. There can be risks involved when changing diet and lifestyle; therefore, as each guest chooses to make these types of changes, we at God’s Healing Plants cannot be held responsible or liable for any adverse effects or consequences that may result from your personal choices.
Posted by: godshealingplants | November 5, 2014

FLAX SEED HEALTH BENEFITS

flax seed GHP

HISTORY

Flaxseeds have a long and extensive history. Originating in Mesopotamia, the flax plant has been known for thousands of years. One of the first records of the culinary use of flaxseed is from the ancient Greece. The health benefits of flax seeds were widely praised in ancient Greece as well as in Rome.

flaxseed_oil

Flax seed also has a long history of medicinal use, its main effects being as a laxative and expectorant that soothes irritated tissues, controls coughing and relives pain. The seed or the oil from the seed is normally used.

ABOUT

Flax is a slender plant with narrow leaves and beautiful blue flowers. The plant thrives in most parts of the world. It is an annual plant.

Flax2

The seeds are planted in the spring and harvested in late summer when the fruit (capsules) are about one cm or less thank ½ inch and filled with flat oval shaped seeds.

flaxseed 2ws

Flax is grown both for its seeds and for its fibers. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets and soap.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Flax seeds are high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese. There are three additional nutrient groups which flax seed has in abundance: omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytochemicals.

Flaxseed 3

HEALTH BENEFITS

BONE HEALTH – Alpha linolenic acid found in flax seeds, promotes bone health. Studies have shown that diets rich in omega-3s reduce bone loss.

CHOLESTEROL – The consumption of flaxseed is associated with a reduction in total cholesterol, including the LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Study after study has shown a positive response to eating ground flax seed daily. Eating low fat foods, increasing your exercise, limiting the salt, sugar and eating flax seed daily are a few ways that you can win the battle against high cholesterol.

CONSTIPATION – Flax is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. One flaxseed 5ounce of flax provides 32% of the USDA’s reference daily intake of fiber. Flax promotes regular bowel movements because it is high in insoluble fiber. Flaxseed’s all natural fiber helps to absorb water, thereby softening the stool and allowing it to pass through the colon quickly. When adding fiber to your diet, it is important to make sure that you are drinking at least eight glasses of water daily. Without enough liquids, fiber can actually cause constipation!

DIABETES – Nutritionists are instructing their diabetic patients to eat flax daily. It has been discovered that the omega-3 fat and high fiber in flax may play a role in the fight against diabetes.

HEALTHY BRAIN FUNCTION – Flax seed provides a higher concentration of omega-3 than any other plant. Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that is required for healthy brain function and development. For vegans and vegetarians, flax seed is a viable alternative to fish and fish oil as a source of this nutrient.

HEALTHY SKIN – Flaxseed oil is a popular remedy for treating and preventing psoriasis. It is also used to help moisturize and soften dry skin.

HEART DISEASE – Flax seed contains high levels of lignins, which protect against cardiovascular disease. They help reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries.

IMMUNE SYSTEM – Research has found that eating flax daily favorably affects immunity, the body’s ability to defend itself successfully against bacteria and viruses. Two components of flax, lignans and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), have been found to affect immune cells and compounds that control immune reaction.

INFLAMMATION – Flaxseed oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties that make it useful in treating the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis and rheumatism.

WEIGHT LOSS – Flax seeds contain insoluble fiber and that’s excellent for those who are on a weight loss diet. That’s because soluble fiber helps in slowing down the digestion process, while the insoluble fiber helps flush out the bodily waste. Fiber is not at all taken in by the body and so it adds no extra calories.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Flaxseeds can be purchased either whole or already ground. Ground flaxseeds, even when carefully packaged and refrigerated after opening, typically last about 6-16 weeks. Whole flaxseeds, on the other hand, will typically last for 6-12 months when stored in an airtight container in a dark, cool dry spot. If directly refrigerated, they may last for 1-2 years.

flax seed variety

Whole flaxseeds are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the flaxseeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure their maximal freshness.

flax seed 1

Flaxseed oil is especially perishable and should always be purchased in opaque bottles that have been kept refrigerated. Flaxseed oil should have a sweet nutty flavor. The use of flaxseed oil is not recommended in cooking, since it is far too easily oxidized. However, it’s fine to add flaxseed oil to foods after they have been cooked.

TIPS FOR PREPARING

If you buy whole flaxseeds you need to grind them in a coffee or spice grinder, a Vitamix blender will also grind the flaxseed.

flax seed in coffee grinder

When cooking, add the ground flaxseeds at the end since the soluble fiber in the flaxseeds thickens liquids if left too long.

HOW TO ENJOY

flaxseed over cereal

  • Sprinkle ground flaxseeds onto your hot or cold cereal.

bread-1

  • Add flaxseeds to your homemade muffin, cookie or bread recipe.

flax seeds on yogurt

  • Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on yogurt.

carrot-and-oat-porridge-with-flaxseed

  • To give cooked vegetables a nuttier flavor, sprinkle some ground flaxseeds on top of them.

Apple-Flaxseed-Cinnamon-Smoothie-Recipe

  • Add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to smoothies.

SOURCE

Various including
http://wikipedia.com
http://naturalnews.com

Flax seed products

DISCLAIMER

  1. God’s Healing Plants is not licensed as, or designed to be, a healthcare facility; therefore we do not diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, or prescribe or administer medication.
  2. The nutrition and health information presented at the God’s Healing Plants Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
  3. There can be risks involved when changing diet and lifestyle; therefore, as each guest chooses to make these types of changes, we at God’s Healing Plants cannot be held responsible or liable for any adverse effects or consequences that may result from your personal choices.
Posted by: godshealingplants | October 28, 2014

MILK THISTLE BENEFITS

Milk Thistle GsHP

HISTORY

For more than 2,000 years, humans have turned to milk thistle (Silybum marianum) for treating ailments of the liver, with its first use dating back to ancient Greece.  

ABOUT

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a thorny biennial plant presenting decorative leaves with a white pattern of veins and purple flower heads. The plant originates from mountains of the Mediterranean region.  

Milk thistle plant

The flower heads are 4 to 12 cm long and wide, of red-purple colour. They flower from June to August in the North or December to February in the Southern Hemisphere (Summer through Autumn ).

It grows up to one meter tall in dry, rocky soils, preferring sunny or lightly shaded areas. Milk thistle extract

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Special hybrid seeds are usually used to prepare herbal supplements of milk thistle seed extract. Supplements should be standardized to contain 70-80% of a class of flavonolignans known as silymarin. Silymarin is a powerful antioxidant that is ten times as potent as vitamin E. Three compounds in the silymarin class, silybinin, silydianin and silychristin are the specific substances that produce therapeutic effects in preparations of milk thistle seed extract. 

Milk thistle seed extract has been shown to have antioxidant properties that help the liver function and stay healthy. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

As the name suggests, this herbal remedy is derived from the seeds of the milk thistle plant. Many people take milk thistle seed extract as protection from environmental toxins, such as second hand smoke. People with liver disease, including hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice and inflamed liver, use the herb to protect and regenerate that vital organ. 

Milk-Thistle-Liver-Cleanse

The liver might well be the hardest organ working in our body. It works as a filter, clearing our body or the many toxins we are exposed to every day. Silymarin helps the liver to stay strong during this process. 

Silymarin also enhances glutathione production in the liver. Glutathione is one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells from damage, keeping them healthy and functioning as they should.  

A number of liver diseases are related to oxidative stress and silymarin provides the liver with important antioxidant protection. It also improves liver regeneration, reduces inflammation, and inhibits the formation of fibrous tissue (fibrogenesis) that is a hallmark of chronic liver disease. 

Milk thistle seeds 1

Milk thistle seed extract also contains active compound known as flavonolignans, which can protect the cells of the liver from toxins as well as encourage cleansing and detoxification. When damage has already been done to liver cells, milk thistle can stimulate protein synthesis, thereby helping the liver to repair injury and generate new cells. 

The seed extract protects the liver from a variety of common toxins, including alcohol, pesticides, heavy metal poisoning, pollution, and medications of all kinds. It has been used for more than two thousand years for medicinal purposes, and its use as a detoxifying agent and treatment for liver disease is well validated by research. 

©Birdy

Milk thistle seed extract is an excellent tonic for anyone under stress. It is also useful for people who use alcohol, recreational drugs, anabolic steroids, as well as prescription medications. In addition, anyone living in a heavily polluted environment can benefit from supplements of milk thistle seed extract.  

milk thistle 2

The herb has a gentle detoxifying effect, and its ability to increase bile secretion and flow in the intestines makes it effective as a mild laxative.  

The active ingredients can be extracted with alcohol to produce a tincture, or pills can be prepared using the seeds. Milk thistle teas made from bulk seed are also available, but very little of the active ingredient is present in steeped teas. 

HOW TO ENJOY

The young stalks, leaves, roots and flowers can be eaten. Milk thistle root can be eaten raw or cooked.  

Cooking milk thistle

Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked however the very sharp leaf-spines must be removed first. When cooked these leaves make a great spinach substitute.  

Milk thistle salad

Flower buds can be cooked.  

Milk thistle flowers

The stems can be eaten raw or cooked. They are best when peeled and soaking is recommended to reduce the bitterness.

Milk Thistle Wraps

Milk thistle can be used like asparagus or rhubarb or added to salads. They are at their best when used in spring when they are young.  

Roasted milk thistle seeds can be used as coffee substitute.

CAUTIONS

There are no known serious side effects, contraindications, or drug interactions related to the use of milk thistle preparations. Loose stools may occur during the first few days of use. Always consult your physician prior to using any herbal remedies.

milk-thistle-2

Some people may get a rash from touching milk thistle plants.

LAST THOUGHTS

No matter how healthy you might be, your liver can always use some TLC. Milk thistle protects this hard-working organ so it can continue doing its important job properly.

Milk Thistle seed ws

DISCLAIMER

  1. God’s Healing Plants is not licensed as, or designed to be, a healthcare facility; therefore we do not diagnose conditions, offer medical advice, or prescribe or administer medication.
  2. The nutrition and health information presented at the God’s Healing Plants Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
  3. There can be risks involved when changing diet and lifestyle; therefore, as each guest chooses to make these types of changes, we at God’s Healing Plants cannot be held responsible or liable for any adverse effects or consequences that may result from your personal choices.
Posted by: godshealingplants | October 21, 2014

CAYENNE PEPPER BENEFITS

Cayenne pepper GHP

HISTORY

Cayenne pepper, or red pepper, has a history spanning over thousands of years. It is called “cayenne” because these peppers were first found on a shrub in a town of that name in French Guiana on the coast of South America. 

This pepper wasn’t introduced to other areas of the globe until Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan encountered them during their voyages. Columbus brought the red pepper back to Europe, where people were quick to adopt the spicy vegetable as an alternative to black pepper, a very expensive spice during that time, because it had to be imported from Asia. Ferdinand Magellan introduced cayenne pepper to Asian and African citizens, who immediately saw the spice’s value in food and in natural medicine. Today, they are grown in many regions of the world, with Mexico, Spain, China, and Nigeria being the largest commercial producers.

Cayenne 3

Cayenne pepper also played a very important role in Native American medicine and cuisine for thousands of years.

ABOUT

The plant grows as a perennial in tropical or sub-tropical climates, but can also be grown in temperate climates as an annual. It makes a great addition to a garden, adding bright color.

Cayenne plant

Typically, the fruit is dried and then ground into a powdered spice, and so it is a favorite in hot spicy dishes. In fact, it is used in numerous cuisines around the world, whether it is fresh, dried, or powdered.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Cayenne is rich in capsaicin. The pepper also contains vitamin A, C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese, and flavonoids (which give the chili its antioxidant properties).

HEALTH BENEFITS

Cayenne pepper has been used for a variety of ailments including cayenne-pepperheartburn, delirium, tremors, gout, paralysis, fever, dyspepsia, flatulence, sore throat, atonic dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, menorrhagia in women, nausea, tonsillitis, scarlet fever and diphtheria.

  • Ability to stop a heart attack in progress.
  • Alleviate allergies.
  • Alleviated Muscles Cramps.
  • Anti-Bacterial Properties – Cayenne is an excellent preservative and has been used traditionally to prevent food contamination from bacteria.
  • Anti-Cold and Flu Agent – Cayenne pepper aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. Once mucus begins to leave the body, relief from flu symptoms generally follows.
  • Antifungal Properties.
  • Anti-Irritant Properties – Cayenne has the ability to ease upset stomach, ulcers, sore throats, spasmodic and irritating coughs, and diarrhea.
  • Boosts energy.
  • Boosts immunity.
  • Can be used to treat a snake bite.
  • Cleans the Arteries.
  • Clears Congestion.
  • Detox Support – Cayenne is a known circulatory stimulant. It also Cayenne pepper detox drinkincreases the pulse of our lymphatic and digestive rhythms. By heating the body, the natural process of detoxification is streamlined. Cayenne also causes us to sweat, another important process of detoxification. Combined with lemon juice and honey, cayenne tea is an excellent morning beverage for total body detox.
  • Digestive Aid – Cayenne is a well-known digestive aid. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices. This aids the body’s ability to metabolize food (and toxins). Cayenne pepper is also helpful for relieving intestinal gas. It stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion, aiding in both assimilation and elimination.
  • Effective topical pain reliever for arthritis and joint pain.
  • Excellent for any type of internal hemorrhage.
  • Excellent remedy for Cholera.
  • Fights inflammation.
  • For sore throats—gargle (prepare the gargle with honey); for spasmodic and irritating coughs.
  • Has amazingly effects the circulatory system as it feeds the vital elements into the cell structure of capillaries, veins, arteries.
  • Helps by adjusting Blood Pressure to the Normal Levels.
  • Helps Produce Saliva – Cayenne stimulates the production of saliva, cayenne powder 2an important key to excellent digestion and maintaining optimal oral health.
  • Helps rid the body of LDL Cholesterol.
  • Helps with Weight Loss, all that heat you feel after eating hot chili peppers takes energy and calories to produce.
  • Helps wound healing with minimal scar tissue.
  • Improves circulation through vasodilatation.
  • Increases Metabolism.
  • Is a counter-irritant; it brings blood to the surface and allows the toxins to be taken away.
  • Is particularly efficient in tonsillitis, and the sore throat of scarlet fever and in diphtheria no application is so efficient as a strong gargle or wash make with Capsicum for all throat diseases.
  • Joint-Pain Reliever – Extremely high in a substance called capsaicin,Capcaisian cream cayenne pepper acts to cause temporary pain on the skin, which sends chemical messengers from the skin into the joint, offering relief for joint pain.
  • Natural Pain Relief.
  • Prevents and cures stomach Ulcers.
  • Promotes Heart-Health – Cayenne helps to keep blood pressure levels normalized. It also balances the body of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Regulates the flow of blood from the head to the feet so that the pressure is equalized.
  • Relieves Sea-Sickness.
  • Relieving headache pain.
  • Relieving pain due to diabetic neuropathy, shingles, psoriasis, and fibromyalgia.
  • Rids the body of Triglycerides.
  • Supports Weight Loss – Scientists at the Laval University in Quebec Cayenne pepper and powderfound that participants who took cayenne pepper for breakfast were found to have less appetite, leading to less caloric intake throughout the day. Cayenne is also a great metabolic-booster, aiding the body in burning excess amounts of fats.
  • Toothache – Cayenne is an excellent agent against tooth and gum diseases.
  • Topical Remedy – As a poultice, cayenne has been used to treat snake bites, rheumatism, sores, wounds and lumbago.
  • Useful for Blood Clots – Cayenne pepper also helps reduce atherosclerosis, encourages fibrinolytic activity and prevents factors that lead to the formation of blood clots, all of which can help reduce the chances of a heart attack or stroke.

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Cayenne peppers are available year around in the markets either fresh, dried or in powdered form. In the stores, buy fresh whole pepper pods instead of powder since oftentimes it may contain adulterated spicy mixtures.

5 cayenne peppers

Look for raw, fresh featuring brilliant red color with healthy stem, wholesome and compact. Avoid the pods with spots or those spoiled tips and inflicted by mold. 

Once at home, they should be stored inside the refrigerator in a plastic bag where they will stay fresh for about a week.

Cayenne and powder

Dry, whole red cayenne peppers are also available in the markets. Dry-peppers can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place and in airtight containers for several months. They can be milled to powder using a hand mill as and when required. If you want to buy dry powder instead, go for the authentic and branded products and buy organic. Powdered cayenne pepper should be stored in cool place in airtight containers.

SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO USE CAYENNE PEPPER

Raw, fresh cayenne chilies are being used to make sauce, chutney, spicy water and pickling. Add cayenne pepper to Mexican, Creole, or Cajun cooking or any dish that needs a dash of hot spice. Cayenne pepper can be added or replace chili powder in most recipes.

Before cooking, wash raw red cayenne in clean water in order to remove any residual fungicides, sand and dust. It is best to buy organic cayenne where available or grow them yourself.

Here are some serving tips:

Cayenne & eggs

Sprinkle cayenne on eggs, use it in home made salad dressings, sprinkle on vegetables like sliced potatoes, use it in salsa. You can also sprinkle it on zucchini before dehydrating.

Zucchini with Cayenne

NOTE: Cayenne chilies, either as fresh or ground, can cause serious burning sensation to hands and may cause severe irritation to mouth/nasal passages, eyes and throat. Therefore, it may be advised in some sensitive individuals to use thin hand gloves and face masks while handling

cayenne 2

SOURCES

http://cayennePepper.info

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayenne_pepper

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | October 17, 2014

SUNFLOWER SEED BENEFITS

Sunflower CL WS

HISTORY

Sunflowers are thought to have originated in Mexico and Peru; they are one of the first plants to ever be cultivated in the United States. They have been used for more than 5,000 years by the Native Americans, who used the seeds as a food and an oil source. The Spanish explorers brought the sunflowers back to Europe, and after being first grown in Spain, they were subsequently introduced to other neighboring countries. Currently, sunflower oil is one of the most popular oils in the world.

Sunflower

ABOUT

Sunflower seeds are the gift of the beautiful sunflower that has rays of petals emanating from its bright yellow, seed-studded center – it looks like the sun and therefore its name. The flower produces grayish-green or black seeds encased in tear-dropped shaped gray or black shells that oftentimes feature black and white stripes.

 sun flower seeds ws

Sunflower seeds contain a wealth of health promoting nutrients which are ideal for a healthy snack. They a readily available in supermarkets and health food shops and are relatively cheap to buy. They have a mild nutty flavor and their texture is firm but tender at the same time. They are relatively high in calories if large amounts are consumed but ideally they are eaten in small quantities as a snack to stem off hunger. A quarter of a cup contains 204 calories.

NURTIONIONAL VALUE

Sunflower seeds provide linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid), they are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, some amino acids (especially tryptophan), vitamin E, several B vitamins (especially thiamine, pantothenic acid, and folic acid). Additionally, they are rich in cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. Furthermore, sunflower seeds boast a low glycemic index as well as high levels of protein and minerals including magnesium and copper.
Sunflower seeds

For extensive information please click on the following link: Sunflower Seeds

HEALTH BENEFITS

A tablespoon of sunflower seeds will provide your body with high amounts of Vitamin E, phytosterols, magnesium and selenium. These nutrients play vital roles in maintaining the health of the body and can alleviate and prevent the onset of many diseases.

Health Benefits of Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant. It destroys free radicals in the body. Free radicals destroy cell membranes, leading to disease. Free radicals can be thought of as causing rust in the body. They oxidize.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties. This is useful in alleviating the symptoms of asthma and arthritis.
  • Vitamin E has been proven scientifically to reduce the risk of acquiring colon cancer.
  • Vitamin E reduces the risk of heart attack and heart disease significantly. This is because vitamin E prevents cholesterol in the arteries from forming plaques on the walls. This leads to obstruction of blood over time to this vital organ.

Health Benefits of Phytosterolssun flower and seeds

  • Lower blood cholesterol. Phytosterols are extracted from plants like the sunflower.
  • Strengthens immune response.
  • Decrease risk of acquiring some forms of cancer.

Health Benefits of Magnesium

  • Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Reduces the symptoms of asthma.
  • Lowers blood pressure.250px-Sunflower_Seeds_Kaldari
  • Prevents migraine type headaches.
  • Prevents muscle spasms and cramps.

Health Benefits of Selenium250px-Sunflower_Seeds_Kaldari

  • Prevents cancer cells from forming
  • Promotes healthy cells

As you can see sunflower seeds are very healthy for you. By adding them to your daily diet you will be getting up to 75 percent of the recommended daily intake of the above mentioned nutrients plus thiamin, folate, manganese, copper, tryptophan and vitamin B6.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Sunflower seeds are sold either shelled or unshelled and are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the sunflower seeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure the seeds’ maximal freshness.

Sunflower-Seed How to buy

When purchasing unshelled seeds, make sure that the shells are not broken or dirty. Additionally, they should be firm and not have a limp texture. When purchasing shelled seeds, avoid those that appear yellowish in color as they have probably gone rancid. In addition, if you are purchasing sunflower seeds from a bulk bin, smell them to ensure that they are still fresh and have not spoiled.

Since sunflower seeds have a high fat content and are prone to rancidity, it is best to store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can also be stored in the freezer since the cold temperature will not greatly affect their texture or flavor.

SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO USE SUNFLOWER SEEDS

  • Eat a handful of sunflower seeds as a snack.

Sunflower over cereal

  • Add a handful of sunflower seeds on your breakfast cereal.

Sunflower seed over salad

  • Add a handful of sunflower seeds on top of a salad.

No bake granola with sunflower seeds 2

  • Add a handful of sunflower seeds to a no bake granola bar.

Sunflower seed over fruit salad

  • Add a handful of sunflower seeds over your fruit salad.

Sunflower over smoothie

  • Sprinkle a handful of sunflower seeds on your smoothie.

NOTE

It is best to consume raw organic sunflower seeds. Once they are roasted and salted they lose a lot of their nutritional value.

48081_300x300

SOURCE

Various including: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunflower_seed

Posted by: godshealingplants | October 10, 2014

ZUCCHINI AND SUMMER SQUASH FOR YOUR HEALTH

Zucchini GPH

HISTORY

Amazingly, scientists have found squash seeds (from the genus-species Cucurbita pepo, which includes summer squash) preserved in Mexican caves for more than 10,000 years! It was that long ago when domestication of summer squash originated in Mexico and Central America. Cultivation of squashes (including summer squash) quickly became popular in North, Central, and South America. Squashes were one of the foods that Columbus brought back to Spain from North America, and Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced different kinds of squashes to many parts of the world. 

ABOUT

Generally, zucchini grows on bushy plants. Most commonly it bears cylindrical fruit, but new cultivars include round and intermediate shapes.

calabacin 10

Fruit color varies; from yellow tones to greens so dark they are nearly black. Many have speckles and/or stripes.

Squash plants produce male and female flowers on the same plant. The female squash flower has a miniature fruit at its base and is borne on a short stem.

squash 1

The male flower can be identified by its long slender stem and a stamen in the flower’s center that provides pollen necessary to the development of fruit. If you look closely inside male and female flowers set side by side, you can easily see which is male and which is female. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

While not often considered as a premiere food source of antioxidants, zucchini and summer squash can provide you with unique amounts of antioxidant nutrients, including the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. While summer squash contains very little overall fat (only 1/2 gram per cup), the fat in summer squash (mostly stored in its edible seeds) is unique in composition and includes omega-3s (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid), monounsaturates (in the form of oleic acid), and also medium chain fats (in the form of lauric and myristic acids).

Calabacingd

Summer squash is an excellent source of copper and manganese. It is a very good source of vitamin C, magnesium, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin K. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B1, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, choline, and protein.  

Zucchini is low in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and is a great source of dietary fiber. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Apart from being made into a delicious and savory dish, zucchini is beneficial for your health in a variety of ways, thanks to the vitamins and minerals contained in even a small serving of this vegetable. Some of the health benefits of Zucchini vegetable are as follows.

 Zucchini cut

One cup of zucchini has approximately 35 calories and 10% of the RDA of dietary fiber which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating. Here are some of zucchini and yellow squash health benefits:

  • Beneficial in Diabetes
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Good Source of Magnesium
  • Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention
  • Helps to cure asthma as it contains Vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Helps to Lose Weight
  • Helps to prevent diseases, like scurvy, bruising etc, caused by the deficiency of Vitamin C.
  • High in Manganese
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Maintains Eye Health
  • Maintains Optimal Health
  • Prevents Gout
  • Promotes Prostate Health
  • Regular intake effectively lowers high homocysteine levels

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

  • Aids in Collagen Formation
  • Anti-ageing Benefits
  • Benefits the Hair and Promotes Hair Growth
  • Hydrates your Skin
  • Treatment of Puffy Eyes

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Zucchinis can be available all year, but they are at their best during late spring and summer seasons.

Zucchini 1

In the stores, choose small to medium-sized zucchini featuring shiny, bright green skin, firm and heavy for their size. The best size for zucchini is 6 to 8 inches length and 2 inches or less in diameter. Some big sized varieties are specially grown for stuffing. There is no problem with minor superficial scratches and mild bruises oftentimes seen on their surface.

Avoid overly mature, large ones with pitted skin, and those with spongy textured. Furthermore, avoid those with soft and wrinkled ends. Go for organically grown products to get rich flavor and high nutrient content.

Although zucchini and summer squash are best eaten when fresh, it can be canned or frozen. Freshly harvested produce can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

To Freeze: Shred unpeeled zucchini. Drain in a colander, and then pat dry with paper towel applying pressure to remove as much moisture as possible. Place 1 or 2 cups of zucchini in freezer bags and seal tightly. Frozen zucchini lasts about 3 months.

NOTE: When buying the green kind of zucchini, the darker, the greater the nutrients and mineral contents. 

PREPRARTION AND SERVING METHODS

Wash summer squash under cool running water and then cut off both ends. You can then proceed to cut it into the desired size and shape for the particular recipe.

Here are some serving tips:

zucchini pizza

  • Fine-sections, chopped or grated, it can be shredded into bread, pizza, etc.
  • Fresh, tender zucchini can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches.

Zucchini with potatoes and eggs

  • It mixes well with eggs, potatoes, carrots, asparagus, green beans, etc.
  • Serve raw summer squash with your favorite dips.

Stuffed Zucchini

  • Stuff zucchini with your favorite veggie mix and top it with tomato sauce.
  • The pods can be used fried, baked, steamed, boiled, or used in stuffing.

zucchini quesadilla

  • Zucchini Quesadillas makes a fantastic and delicious meal

Zucchini bread

  • Zucchini-Pecan Flaxseed Bread is absolutely delicious

INDIDIVIDUAL CONCERNS

Summer squash is among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating summer squash.

 Fresh vegetable marrow decorated with green leaf lettuce. Isolated on white

SOURCE

Various including

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini

Posted by: godshealingplants | September 24, 2014

TOMATILLO HEALTH BENEFITS

Tomatillo GHP

HISTORY

Tomatillo or tomate verde was originated in Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs centuries before the Spanish explorers introduced it in other parts of the world.  

The Yucatán peninsula in Mexico and Guatemala are the main husk tomato growing-regions in Mesoamerica. It is grown in small parts of California, Louisiana and other Southern states in the USA. Fresh fruits are generally imported from these Central American countries. 

ABOUT

Tomatillo is a small spherical shaped vegetable covered by a papery husk. The fruit is the member of the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables, which also includes tomato, potato, eggplant, chili peppers etc.  

Some of the common names include tomate verde, miltomate, husk tomato, tomate de cascara, tomate de fresadilla etc.  

Tomatillo plant

The tomatillo plant is a small annual glabrous shrub featuring similar growth characteristics as that of tomatoes. It grows to about 30-60 cm in height and bears beautiful yellow color flowers, which appear about 60 days after seeding. Unlike in tomatoes, tomatillo berry develops inside a thin, semitransparent calyx or husk resembling somewhat like Taiwanese lantern.

tomatillo ws 6

Later as the fruit matures, its calyx splits apart to expose a green color berry from inside. The fruit measures about 2.5-6 cm in diameter, weigh about 50 g. From inside; its juicy pulp features tiny seeds just as in the tomatoes. 

Tomatillo seed

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Tomatillo contains small amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Further; it contains flavonoids anti-oxidants such as ß-carotene, zea-xanthin and lutein.  

tomatillo ws 5

It is also a good source of copper, iron, phosphorous, manganese, zinc, selenium and other minerals. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

It has been found to be a good safe source of antioxidants and has been subjected to intense research. It has antibacterial activity against respiratory infections caused by Staphylococcus bacteria and has potential for developing an anti-cancer drug. Here are some additional benefits:  

Blood Pressure and Heart Health: The positive ratio of potassium – sodiumTomatillo ws 9 in tomatillos means that your blood pressure can be reduced. Potassium is a vasodilator, meaning that it relaxes blood vessels, reduces the strain on the cardiovascular system, and promotes circulation and oxygenation to vital areas of the body. Furthermore, when combined with a high fiber content, which can reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, tomatillos can promote heart health by reducing the chances of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. 

Cancer Prevention: Tomatillos contain unique antioxidant phytochemicals called withanolides, which have been directly linked to anti-cancer and antibacterial functions. Antioxidants help to combat the effects of free radicals, which are the dangerous byproducts of cellular reproduction that can kill or mutate healthy cells and turn them into cancerous cells. Furthermore, the vitamin A, vitamin C, and flavonoids within tomatillos provide other cancer-protective effects, particularly in terms of lung and oral cancers. 

tomatillo ws 7Digestive Health: Most vegetables possess a high level of dietary fiber, and tomatillos are no exception. This means that they are very good for digestive health, as fiber can help add bulk to foods and speed their transit through the digestive tract, thereby eliminating constipation, excess gas, bloating, cramping, and even more serious conditions like colon cancer and gastric ulcers. Furthermore, fiber is very good at regulating the release of carbohydrates (simple sugars) into the bloodstream, thereby regulating blood sugar levels, which is important for people suffering from diabetes, who need to strictly control their glucose and insulin levels. 

Immune System Health: The vitamin C found in tomatillos can help to boost the immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, the body’s primary line of defense against foreign agents and pathogens. Vitamin C is also a key component of collagen production, which supports the health and creation of skin tissue, as well as the cells and tissues that make up our organs and blood vessels, increasing the body’s sustainability and metabolic functions.

Vision Health: Vitamin A has long been connected to the health of ourTomatillo ws 3 vision. Tomatillos also contain beta carotene, a derivative of vitamin A, which functions as an antioxidant and prevents macular degeneration, cataracts, and other conditions that can affect the health of our eyes. 

Weight Loss Efforts: Tomatillos are one of those preferred vegetables for people who are trying to lose weight. High-nutrient, low-calorie, and low-fat vegetables with high fiber content, like tomatillos, help people to feel full, acquire the necessary nutrients on a daily basis, and reduce the chances of overeating, because they feel satiated. Tomatillos are ideal if you are trying to reduce obesity for a healthier lifestyle. 

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Tomatillos are available in most large chain grocery stores. Because they are an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking, they can always be found in Latino markets, where they are also available canned.

Tomatillo ws 8

Select tomatillos as you would tomatoes, choosing those that are firm rather than soft. By the time they reach the market, their husks are often partially opened, making it easier to choose tomatillos with good color.

Avoid sticky and yellow, or purple ones, as they appear over-mature and soft.

Tomatillo ws 2

Store them in the refrigerator with the husk until ready to use. If the tomatillos are fresh, they will store up to two weeks in good condition. However, like any fresh vegetable, they should be used soon after purchase.

To preserve longer, remove the husk and store the green fruits inside the refrigerator placed in a zip pouch. Tomatillos can also be frozen whole or sliced. 

PREPARATION AND SERVING METHODS

To prepare, peel the husk by hand and wash them thoroughly in cold water to remove the sticky residue from the surface. Fresh tomatillos can be used raw and cooked in recipes.  

Here are some serving tips:  

  • Tomatillos can be chopped and added to any salad.

black-bean-tomatillo-l

  •  Tomatillos make an excellent addition to a raw soup when you want that tangy taste. Begin with just 1 tomatillo in the blender along with your other soup ingredients. Add more as needed.

tomatillo SALSA

  • Make your own “Salsa Cruda” (Raw) with chopped tomatillos, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped jalapeno, chopped cilantro, lime juice, and a touch of salt.

SALSA VERDE AND

  • Salsa Verde is a typical sauce served with tortillas, enchiladas or burritos. Combine chopped tomatillos, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, chopped garlic, chopped serrano chiles, salt and pepper in a saucepan and cook gently 6 to 8 minutes.

TOM

  • Tomatillos can be briefly stir fried in a little olive oil, vegetable broth, or water. They have a high water content so don’t add too much liquid. Cook along with some onions, garlic, and bell peppers for a tasty side dish. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper or any other seasoning of choice.

tomatillo ws 4

CAUTION

As a member of nightshade family plants, tomatillos, may often cause allergic-reactions in some sensitized persons with symptoms like skin and itching eyes, runny nose, gastrointestinal disturbances like pain abdomen, vomiting and diarrhea. Cross-reactions with other members like eggplant, tomato, etc., may also occur. It is therefore advised to avoid them in food in cases of known allergic conditions. 

 

NOTE – All content published on this site is the commentary, opinion, research or witness belonging to various sources and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only. God’s Healing Plants takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for the use or misuse of the information presented here. Always consult your doctor or specialist before making any treatment.

Posted by: godshealingplants | September 13, 2014

COCONUT OIL HEALTH BENEFITS

coconut oil GHP

HISTORY

Coconut oil is being used for thousand of years and has been a dietary and beauty staple for millennia. A lot of documented accounts will prove that it is widely used as a source of food and medicine by people of diverse cultures around the globe.

It’s a powerful destroyer of all kinds of microbes, from viruses to bacteria to protozoa, many of which can be harmful, and provides your body with high-quality fat that is critical for optimal health.

ABOUT

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera).

Coconut palm tree

It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry. Because of its high saturated fat content it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidification, lasting up to two years without spoiling.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Around 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. In fact, coconut oil contains the most lauric acid of any substance on Earth.

Our body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

This is undoubtedly part of what makes it so medicinally useful—both when taken internally and applied externally.

coconut-oil 3a

Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easily digested and readily cross cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by our liver into energy rather than being stored as fat.

Coconut oil is easy on the digestive system and does not produce an insulin spike in the bloodstream, so for a quick energy boost, we can simply eat a spoonful of coconut oil, or add it to our food.

Coconut oil in a bowl

To get more coconut oil into our diet, we can add it to tea or coffee, in lieu of a sweetener. It will also help improve absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, so taking a spoonful of coconut oil along with our daily vitamins may help boost their effectiveness.

HEALTH BENEFITS

In all, coconut oil offers a truly impressive array of health benefits when included in your daily diet. In addition to its antimicrobial properties, coconut oil is beneficial for: 

  • Maintaining healthy and youthful looking skin
  • Promoting healthy brain function
  • Promoting heart health
  • Providing an excellent “fuel” for the body and supporting a strong metabolism that can aid in weight loss
  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Supporting proper thyroid function 

HAIR BENEFITS

Coconut oil is also known for its hair benefits. Most women seem to prefer using it as a pre-shampoo conditioner. Simply massage the coconut oil onto dry hair and leave on for about an hour or longer. You could even leave it on overnight. Just wear a shower cap to protect your pillow. Then, wash and style as usual.

coconut oil for hair

When applied in this manner, the coconut oil inhibits the penetration of water into the hair strands, which would otherwise cause the cuticle, or surface of the hair shaft, to rise, making it prone to damage and breakage. Furthermore, when applied as a pre-wash treatment, a small amount of the coconut oil is able to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft during the wash, when the hair fiber swells slightly.  

This can also explain why so many rave about the oil’s ability to prevent “the frizzies” in humid weather—this is another feature of its hydrophobic activity. More porous types of hair may find coconut oil particularly beneficial, such as chemically treated hair, as well as those suffering with any type of scalp problems, including dandruff.

ORAL BENEFITS

Coconut oil mixed with baking soda makes for very simple and inexpensive, yet effective, toothpaste. It’s also a great alternative if you want a fluoride-free toothpaste.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Click here for a home made recipe. HOMEMADE NATURAL FLUORIDE-FREE TOOTHPASTE

Another oral health technique where coconut oil can be quite beneficial is oil pulling.

Oil pulling benefits

For additional information on oil pulling click here. OIL PULLING

SKIN BENEFITS

When applied topically, coconut oil helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by helping to keep your connective tissues strong and supple, and aids in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making your skin smoother

coconut oil for your skin

Bath soak: Adding coconut oil to your bath can help moisturize dry itchy skin (Make sure to scrub your tub afterward to prevent slipping!). Make sure the water is warmer than 76 degrees Fahrenheit though, otherwise the oil will turn to a solid.

Body scrub: Mix equal parts coconut oil with organic cane sugar in a glass jar. Use the scrub on dry skin prior to your shower or bath.

Cuticle cream: Simply rub a small amount of coconut oil around your cuticles to soften dry areas.

Deodorant: Applying a small amount of coconut oil directly onto your armpits can help keep odors at bay, courtesy of the oil’s antibacterial properties. If you prefer, you can add a small amount of baking soda, or make a homemade deodorant using coconut oil, baking soda and arrow root powder.

Eye cream: Apply a thin layer of coconut oil around your eyes to soften wrinkles and counteract thinning, sagging skin.

Face and body moisturizer: You can use it either by itself, or add your favorite essential oil. (Make sure you’re using a high quality essential oil that is safe for topical application.)

Facial cleanser: Massage a dollop of coconut oil onto face and neck. Wash off with wet washcloth and pat dry.

Facial scrub: Instead of sugar, mix coconut oil with baking soda, or oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon, for a gentle facial scrub.

Lip balm: You can either apply a small amount of coconut oil, as is, or make your own lip balm using coconut oil as one of the base ingredients. You can find all sorts of recipes online.

Makeup remover: Swipe on with a moist cotton ball. Wipe off with clean cotton ball or wet washcloth.

Shaving lotion: Apply a thin layer of coconut oil on area to be shaved, and shave as usual. The lauric acid in the coconut oil will also serve as an antiseptic for cuts that result from shaving.

OTHER BENEFITS

Besides its usefulness in the kitchen and bathroom, coconut oil deserves a place in your medicine cabinet as well—again courtesy of its antimicrobial and anti-viral activity.

coconut-oil 6

For example, coconut oil may be helpful in the treatment of:

Cold sores, mix in a small amount of oregano oil or baking soda, and apply at the first signs.

Ear infections; place a couple of drops into each ear canal. If the coconut oil has solidified, you can easily liquefy it by placing a small amount in a shot glass or other small container and placing it into a cup of hot water.

Fungal and/or yeast infections, such as athlete’s foot and ringworm. For fungal infections, you can mix in a small amount of oregano oil or tea tree oil.

Skin rashes and irritations, including chicken pox and shingles: Simply apply a small amount to the affected area.

HOW TO USE IT FOR COOKING

Coconut oil is ideal for all sorts of cooking and baking, as it can withstand higher temperatures without being damaged like many other oils (olive oil, for example, should not be used for cooking for this reason).

Cooking with coconut oil

Furthermore, coconut oil does not go rancid, which is a huge boon when you’re making homemade concoctions. Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Since we would expect the small percentage of unsaturated oils naturally contained in coconut oil to become rancid, it seems that the other (saturated) oils have a powerful antioxidant effect.

HOW TO ENJOY

  • Add coconut oil to your preferred smoothie

Smoothie with coconut oil

  • Cook bananas in coconut oil with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
  • Make hot cocoa and stir in a spoonful of coconut oil.
  • Make potato or Sweet Potato Pancakes cooked in coconut oil.
  • Melt over hot cooked grains, cereals and veggies.
  • Scramble eggs in coconut oil, or melt over hot, poached eggs.

Pancakes cooked with coconut oil

  • Spread over French toast, whole grain toast, muffins, pancakes and waffles.
  • Use in making salad dressings.
  • Use in bread baking or for making crackers like these Seeded Coconut Crackers.
  • Use organic refined coconut oil for sautéing, stir-frying and baking.

Vegetable soup with coconut oil

  • Stir a spoonful into hot cooked soups, stews and chilies.

You can find extra virgin organic coconut oil, which is the best, at most health food stores.

Coconut oil bottle

SOURCES

http://mercola.com 

http://wikipedia.com

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | September 7, 2014

FENNEL PLANT, SEED AND OIL HEALTH BENEFITS

Fennel CLWS1

HISTORY

Ever since ancient times, fennel has enjoyed a rich history. Fennel was revered by the Greeks and the Romans for its medicinal and culinary properties. Roman warriors are said to have consumed fennel to make them strong. It was also thought to have the power to help people keep thin. Its Greek name marathon, which means “grow thin”, reflects the belief in its ability to suppress appetite.

Fennel was used by the ancient Egyptians as a food and medicine, and was considered a snake bite remedy in ancient China.

Fennel has been grown throughout Europe, especially areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and the Near East since ancient times.

ABOUT

Fennel is a hardy, perennial herb with yellow flowers and feathery leaves.http://www.dreamstime.com/-image16700308 It is indigenous to the shores of the Mediterranean but has become widely naturalized in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on riverbanks.

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses and, along with the similar-tasting anise. This herbaceous plant reaches up to 2 meters (about 6 feet) in height with deep green feathery (lacy) leaves and bears golden-yellow flowers in umbels. Its stalks may be white or pale green and the bulb has a sweet taste with crunchiness that makes it refreshing when eaten raw or when used in salads or salsas.

Fennel is a perennial belonging to the large Apiaceae family as do carrots, parsley, dill and coriander.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and folate. In addition, fennel is a good source of calcium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, iron, and niacin.

fennel 5

Fennel seeds are concentrated source of minerals like copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. They also contain several other vital vitamins as vitamin A, vitamin E, as well as many B-complex vitamins like thiamin; pyridoxine, riboflavin and niacin particularly are concentrated in the seeds.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE – Bulb

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE – Seeds

HEALTH BENEFITS

Used for centuries in Asian medicine, even the essential oil made from Fennel upfennel is used for upset stomach relief. Clinical trials have found fennel to have skin-softening and anti-aging properties, and extracts have been found to ease colic in infants. Vitamin C is by far its most important nutritional attribute, but other minerals and phytonutrients combine to help prevent cholesterol build-up, high blood pressure, and colon cancer.

The high concentration of essential oils in fennel gives it the aromatic fragrant and flavor.  The anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties in fennel make it very useful in relieving many common ailments such as:

Anemia: Iron and histidine, an amino acid found in fennel, are both helpful in treatment of anemia. Whereas iron is the chief constituent of hemoglobin, histidine stimulates production of hemoglobin and also helps in the formation of various other components of the blood.

Blood Pressure: Fennel is a very rich source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient in our bodies and is vital for a number of important processes. One of the attributes of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a wide range of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. A cup of fennel bulb in your daily diet will pump you full of potassium and all the benefits that come along with it.

Brain Function: Potassium, found in high levels in fennel bulbs and seeds, is an electrolyte, which means that it facilitates increased electrical conduction throughout the body. This includes connections within the brain, which is a veritable switchboard of electric currents. Potassium can help increase brain function and cognitive abilities through this quality. Also, fennel is a vasodilator, which means more oxygen reaches the brain and neural activity can work at optimal functionality.

Breast Milk, Secretion:  Lactating mothers can consume fennel juice regularly to increase the secretion of nutritious milk for their infants.

IMG_0036Cancer: The raw vegetable itself hasn’t been extensively studied in regards to cancer protection, but the fennel seed extract has, and the findings regarding cancer protection are quite impressive. It shows that the extract can not only inhibit the growth of tumors, thanks to its concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols, but that it can even be somewhat chemo-protective against the harmful effects of radiation during cancer treatment. Fennel seed extract has been found to be preventative of various breast cancer and liver cancer strains.

Colic: Polymeric and heavy molecules are useful in the treatment of renal colic. Such polymers, also called Phytoestrogens, are found in Anethole, a component of the essential oil in fennel. This attribute of fennel makes it quite helpful in the treatment of renal colic. Fennel has certain antispasmodic qualities which also help it relax smooth muscles and reduce the discomfort associated with the condition.

Constipation: Fennel seeds, particularly in powdered form, can act as a laxative. The roughage helps clear the bowels, whereas it’s stimulating effect helps maintain the proper peristaltic motion of the intestines, thereby helping promote proper excretion through the stimulation of gastric juices and bile production. Fennel is also commonly found in medicines that treat abdominal pain, diarrhea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and other intestinal issues.

Diarrhea: Fennel is helpful in curing diarrhea if it is caused by bacterial fennel 3infection, because some components of the essential oil in fennel such as anethole and cineole have disinfectant and antibacterial properties. Some amino acids, such as histidine, can aid in digestion and the proper functioning of the digestive system, thereby helping to eliminate diarrhea due to indigestion. Fennel has long been used by indigenous cultures as a way to eliminate diarrhea.

Diuretic:  The diuretic property of fennel helps in the removal of toxic substances from the body through frequent urination. Thus, it helps to reduce inflammation that causes rheumatism and swelling. 

Eye Health: Using fennel in food helps protect the eyes from inflammation, as well as helping to reduce disorders related to premature aging and macular degeneration. This is due to the high abundance of antioxidants (vitamin-C and amino acids like Arginine which are very beneficial for rejuvenation of tissues and the prevention of aging), detoxifiers and stimulants. They are more specifically in fennel essential oil, as well as minerals like cobalt and magnesium.  Finally, the juice of fennel leaves and the plant itself can be externally applied on the eyes to reduce irritation and eye fatigue. 

Fennel is also a rich source of flavonoids, which are very useful in protecting against pigment cells dying due to oxidative-stress-induced death. By protecting against this destruction of the pigment cells, fennel can safely be classified as effective in eye health for numerous reasons.

Sweet FennelFlatulence: Fennel is very popular as an antiflatulent, due to the carminative properties of the aspartic acid found in fennel. Its extract can be used by everyone, from infants to the elderly, as a way to reduce flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach. It is commonly used in medicines to reduce symptoms of non-ulcer dyspepsia and flatulence in infants and young children.

Hair health:  The sulphur content together with all the right amino acids and essential oils in fennel help strengthen hair and reduce hair fall.

Heart Disease: Fennel is a great source of fiber, as mentioned above, but besides the advantages to digestion that fiber provides, it also helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood stream. This means that it can stimulate the elimination damaging LDL cholesterol, which is a major factor in heart disease, atherosclerosis, and strokes.

Immune System: 1 cup of fennel bulb contains almost 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin-C, which makes fennel quite a rich source of this beneficial element of our diet. Vitamin-C improves general immune system health, produces and repairs skin tissue, helps to form collagen, and also protects the blood vessel walls as an antioxidant against the harmful effects of free radicals that can frequently lead to heart disease!

Indigestion:  The essential oils in fennel increases the secretion of fenel oil wsdigestive juices, helping in reduction of stomach inflammation and in the absorption of nutrients from the food eaten. Since fennel also has anti-acidic qualities, it is used widely also as an antacid.

Joint Pain: Fennel seed oil is used as massage oil to cure joint pains.

Respiratory Disorders: Fennel is useful in respiratory disorders such congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of Cineole and Anethole which are expectorant in nature, among their many other virtues. Fennel seeds and powder can help to break up phlegm and prompt loosening of the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body and quicker recovery from respiratory conditions.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Choose fresh fennel bulbs that are clean, firm and solid that are smooth and tightly layered with no cracks or bruises. Fat, rounded bulbs with white and pale green color will tend to be more succulent than thin or yellow ones. Avoid any with wilted leaves or dried layers.  

Fennel 8

There should be no signs of flowering buds as this indicates that the vegetable is past maturity. Fresh fennel should have a fragrant aroma, smelling subtly of licorice or anise. It is generally available year-round, however its peak season is from late fall through winter. Grocers sometimes incorrectly label fennel as “sweet anise.”

Store fresh fennel in the refrigerator crisper, where it should keep fresh for about four days. Yet, it is best to consume fennel soon after purchase since as it ages, it tends to gradually lose its flavor. While fresh fennel can be frozen after first being blanched, it seems to lose much of its flavor during this process. Dried fennel seeds should be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry location where they will keep for about six months. Storing fennel seeds in the refrigerator will help to keep them fresher longer.

TIPS FOR PREPARING

The three different parts of fennel, the base, stalks and leaves, can all be used in cooking. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further.

fennel half

Fennel can be cut in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending upon the recipe and your personal preference. The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb. If your recipe requires chunked, diced, sliced or cut as directed in a recipe it is best to first remove the harder core that resides in the center before cutting it. The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning.

HOW TO ENJOY

Here are a few serving ideas:

  • Combine sliced fennel with avocados, and oranges for a delightful salad.
  • Fennel seed is widely used as a savory spice. It is principally added in cooking as a condiment and flavoring base.
  • Healthy sautéed fennel and onions make a wonderful side dish.

braised Fennel

  • Steam or sauté thin slices cooked al dente and serve with a tomato or cheese sauce.
  • The seeds are used to flavor breads, dough, cakes, biscuits, and cheese
  • Tomatoes make a good marriage with fennel.

Fennel recipe

  • Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves.
  • Use pureed with or without cooked potato, creamed or with other vegetables or cook diced in vegetable broth.
  • You can also try some fennel in your favorite smoothie.

CAUTION

As usual, the principle of moderation applies.  Fennel has virtually no side effects when used as a food, or when used as a tea made from its seeds. 

fennel-seed-oil-763174

Certain components of the fennel essential oil such as Anethole, and a few chemicals present in the plant itself, besides being beneficial, can be dangerous if ingested in too large of a quantity.  You must remember that the compounds which can kill bacteria and microbes in low doses can be harmful for you too. Excess use of fennel can cause difficulty breathing, increased palpitations, irregular heart beat, and various neural problems.

 

10-mature-fennel-bulb

Always check with your licensed practitioner if you have any health concerns or problems.

REFERENCES AND SOURCES

Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

http://www.naturalhealth365.com/tag/fennel-health-benefits

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fennel

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | September 1, 2014

DATES FOR YOUR HEALTH

Dates for your health

HISTORY 

Dates were mentioned several times in the Bible and are probably ancestors to the oldest-known seed planted successfully in modern times.

Date palms were brought to America’s Western coast by Spanish missionaries in the late 1700s. Medjool dates, which originated in Morocco, were introduced in the U.S. in 1927.  Medjools are not only one of the most prominent varieties – they are the only one that can be picked and eaten fresh. 

ABOUT 

Date palms begin to bear fruit at three to five years, and are fully mature at 12 years. Cultivated in arid regions of the world, wild populations can still be found around Jordan and the border between Iran and Iraq.

Dates growing on a tree

Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm in diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in color, depending on variety.

 variety of dates

NUTRITIONAL VALUE 

Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates.  It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. 

HEALTH BENEFITS 

Dates are one of the very best sweet and versatile foods that can regulate the digestive process. It can significantly boost energy levels in people within half an hour of consuming it. The American Cancer Society recommends an intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day, which can be supplied through dates. It is also said that taking one date per a day will help you to maintain your eye health all your life. They are commonly known to be quite effective in guarding against the problem of night blindness.

 Dates 5

Here are some of the benefits of dates:

Abdominal Cancer: Research has pointed towards dates being a legitimate way to reduce the risk and impact of abdominal cancer. They work as a useful tonic for all age groups, and in some cases, they work better than traditional medicines, and are natural, so they don’t have any negative side effects on the human body. They can be quickly and easily digested for a quick boost of energy. 

Allergies: One of the most interesting facets of dates is the presence of 3 dates wsorganic sulfur in them. This is not a very common element to find in foods, but it does have a worthwhile amount of health benefits, including the reduction of allergic reactions and seasonal allergies. According to a study done in 2002, organic sulfur compounds can have a positive impact on the amount of suffering people experience from SAR (Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis), which affects approximately 23 million people in the United States alone. Dates are a great way to somewhat stem the effects of those seasonal allergies through its contributions of sulfur to the diet. 

Anemia: Dates have a high mineral content, which is beneficial for many different health conditions, but their impressive levels of iron make them a perfect dietary supplement for people suffering from anemia. The high level of iron balances out the inherent lack of iron in anemic patients, increasing energy and strength, while decreasing feelings of fatigue and sluggishness. 

Bone Health and Strength: The significant amounts of minerals found in ttar_medjool_dates_vdates make it a super food for strengthening bones and fighting off painful and debilitating diseases like osteoporosis. Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, all of which are integral to healthy bone development and strength, particularly as people begin to age and their bones gradually weaken. So, eat your dates and give a boost to your bones! 

Constipation: Dates are often categorized as a laxative food. This is why dates are so frequently eaten by people suffering from constipation. In order to achieve the desired laxative effect of dates, you should soak them in water over night. Then, eat the soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get the most optimal results. Dates have high levels of soluble fiber, which is essential in promoting healthy bowel movements and the comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract, which can relieve symptoms of constipation. 

Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium, which is known as an effective Dattelnway of controlling diarrhea. They are also easy to digest, which further helps alleviate the unpredictable nature of chronic diarrhea. The soluble fiber in dates can also help relieve diarrhea, by providing bulk to the bowel movements and promoting normal, healthy functioning of the excretory system. 

Energy Booster: Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Therefore, they are the perfect snack for an immediate burst of energy. Many people around the world use dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish. 

Healthy Heart: Dates are quite helpful in keeping your heart healthy. dates 3When they are soaked for the night, crushed in the morning and then consumed, they have been shown to have a positive effect on weak hearts. Dates are also a rich source of potassium, which studies have shown to reduce the risk of stroke and other heart related diseases. Furthermore, they are suggested as a healthy and delicious way to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body, which is a major contributing factor heart attacks, heart disease, and stroke. Therefore, when taken twice a week, dates can seriously improve the overall health of the heart. 

Intestinal Disorders: The nicotine content in dates is thought to be beneficial for curing many kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to inhibit growth of the pathological organisms and thus, they help stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. In terms of digestive issues, dates contain those insoluble and soluble fibers, as well as many beneficial amino acids which can stimulate the digestion of food and make it more efficient, meaning that more nutrients will be absorbed by the digestive tract and enter your body for proper usage. 

Nervous System Health: The vitamins present in dates make it an ideal medjool-dates wsboost to nervous system health and functionality. Potassium is one of the prime ingredients in promoting a healthy and responsive nervous system, and it also improves the speed and alertness of brain activity. Therefore, dates are a wonderful food source for people as they begin to age and their nervous system becomes sluggish or unsupported, as well as for people who want to keep their mind sharp. 

Night Blindness: The benefits of dates are extensive, and are commonly employed to fight off various conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat. When the leaves of the date palm are ground into a paste and rubbed on and around the eyes, or when dates are ingested orally, it has been shown to reduce the frequency of night blindness, and this solution is commonly used in rural areas where dates grow as an alternative medicine. 

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Dates are readily available in groceries year around. Some varieties of fresh, soft, good-quality fruits, however, are found from September through December.

Buying and choosing dates

In the stores, one may come across soft, semi-dry, and dried types put for sale. At home, store them at room temperature in cool place inside an air-seal container where they stay well for several months.

PREPARATION AND SERVING METHOD 

Although dates carry tremendous nutritional values, great care should be taken in their selection because their surface is very sticky, which often attracts various impurities. Therefore, you should only consume dates that are processed and packaged properly. Also, make sure to wash them thoroughly before you eat them, as this will help remove the impurities present on the surface.

Here are some serving tips:

bowl of dates

  • Dry and soft dates are usually eaten raw.

Stuffed dates

  • They can be stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, candied orange and cream cheese.

Dates-orange-spinach salad

  • Dates can  be chopped and used with fruit salad and in a range of sweet and savory dishes.

date-clam-granoa-008-copy-e1289278757485

  • Your family will love this delicious date nut bread.

Date - almond - smoothie

  • Smoothies made with dates tasted fantastic.

Date pie crust

  • Pie crust made with dates and nuts are delicious and healthy.

CAUTION

Dates are a wonderful snack all by themselves. But make sure you eat them in moderation, as fruits can contain high levels of fructose that can harm your health. 

dates (1)

SOURCE 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Date_palm 

http://naturalnews.com 

http://mercola.com

 

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 174 other followers