Posted by: godshealingplants | June 7, 2018

BASIL HEALTH BENEFITS

HISTORY

Grown originally in Asia and the Middle East, basil traveled the world along the spice trail. It has been grown and used for 5000 years and has hundreds of varieties and is now cultivated in many countries. 

ABOUT

Basil is a common aromatic herb in the mint family. Basil plants come in a range of variety and sizes, but holy basil is the most researched type of basil thus far. Holy basil is the species of basil most known for its powerful healing qualities.

 

Holy basil is an important medicinal plant in various traditional and folk systems of medicines, and has been used in over 300 different Ayurvedic herbal treatments for thousands of years, including tinctures, teas, ointments and tonics. 

There are a number of different varieties of basil and here are some of the better known varieties in alphabetical order: 

 

CARDINAL BASIL – As its name implies, it produces bright red flowers, which are tightly packed together and has small light-green leaves. Cardinal Basil has a stronger taste than most varieties, and it can give a powerful kick of spice to oils, vinegars, or marinades.

 

CINNAMON BASIL – This variety comes with a delicious fragrance and a spicy taste. Although it has a spicy cinnamon flavor, it’s mild enough that it can be used in dishes without the fear of overpowering other flavors.

 

HOLY BASIL – Is best used in teas or cooked in dishes. Eaten raw, it gives off a bitter taste. It’s known to improve immunity, blood circulation, kidney health, and stomach problems. It goes well with fruit salads, Asian marinades, noodles, fried rice, and grilled vegetables.

 

LEMON BASIL – Has a lemony taste and goes really well with salads, fish dishes, grilled veggies, chicken marinades, desserts, and teas.

 

LETTUCE BASIL –  It’s easy to tell a lettuce basil plant apart from most other varieties, since it has a unique look: it has wide, wrinkled light green leaves that resemble lettuce. It has a mild flavor that works well in salads, garnishes, and wraps.

 

PURPLE BASIL – While it isn’t as sweet as other varieties, it has a unique clove-like taste. Purple basil is great for salads and garnishes, or it can be used for its aroma and color in dishes.

 

SPICY GLOBE BASIL – This is A smaller variety of basil. It works well for use in soups, salads, and pasta. But this variety of basil actually has a little spicier flavor to it. So if you’d like a little spice in a smaller variety of basil that would also work well in your container garden, then you might like this variety.

 

SWEET BASIL – Has a fresh aroma and sweet taste, and it particularly pairs well with Italian cuisine. You can try it in Italian sauces, marinades, and soups.

THAI SWEET BASIL – The leaves of Thai sweet basil plants are smaller and have pointed, dark-green tips. And unlike most basil plants, the flowers of Thai basil are deep purple or maroon, and they come in a cone-like shape. It has a distinctly spicy taste (almost like anise). 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A and vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium folate and omega-3 fatty acids. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

The main use of basil medicinally is as a natural anti-inflammatory. Many naturopathic doctors prescribe basil in treatment of diabetes, respiratory disorders, allergies, and many other ailments. This may be because basil contains cinnamanic acid, which has been found to enhance circulation, stabilize blood sugar, and improve breathing in those with respiratory disorders.

It is also know that basil is very high in antioxidants, especially when it is used as an extract or oil. These antioxidants can protect your body against free radical damage associated with aging, some skin ailments, and most forms of cancer. Antioxidants have become an important part of keeping our bodies healthy, and basil may be among the safest and most effective sources of these life-giving compounds. 

Fresh basil leaves and basil oil have antibacterial properties. They can be used to disinfect surfaces. Leaves, applied to wounds, may eliminate infections. 

Here are some of its healing properties: 

  • Antibacterial Properties
  • Antibiotic Properties
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial Properties that Fight Viruses and Infections
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-stress
  • Calms the Stomach
  • Cancer-fighter
  • Contains Properties to Fight Coughing and Colds
  • Diabetes-preventer
  • Fever-reducer (antipyretic)
  • Fights Depression
  • Helps Alkalize the Body and Improve Digestion
  • Helps Protect from Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
  • Immune-booster
  • Pain-reducer
  • Prevents Ear Infections
  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health
  • Regulates Blood Sugar
  • Stings and Bites
  • Supports Liver Function and Helps Detoxify the Body 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Basil is best used by directly picking it off the plant. However, if you don’t have basil growing at home, make sure it looks fresh.

 

When buying basil, look for brightly colored leaves that are firm and are not wilted. Basil is usually available at farmers’ markets during the summer and early fall, and year-round at most grocery stores.

Store dried unwashed basil in the refrigerator once you buy it or pick it, wrapped inside a damp paper towel and placed inside of a plastic or paper bag to prolong its freshness. Wash it before using it since basil can carry dirt and feel “gritty.” 

If you buy basil with roots, don’t cut them off, use what you need and place the plant in a jar with water covering the roots and it will thrive for many days. 

If you want to store basil for longer, freezing is a good way to store it. First, remove the leaves from the stems. Then carefully rinse the leaves. Keep in mind that the leaves are delicate, so they might easily bruise.

 

If you don’t need whole basil leaves, you can also puree the basil with olive oil, place the puree in ice trays, and keep it in a container in the freezer ready to use when you need it.

 

If you want to dry the basil, you can bake the leaves for two to four hours at a low temperature in the oven, then crumble the leaves, and store them in an airtight container. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Basil can be used in many ways: with sautéed vegetables; in sauces; in smoothies; as part of dressings; in herbal teas; and even to make mixed drinks. 

When cooking with basil please remember that the oils in basil are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. 

Here are a few serving ideas:

 

Basil pesto

 

Basil pesto pizza

 

Corn, tomato, basil salad

 

Vegan, pesto, mushroom, zucchini sandwich

 

Spaghetti with pesto sauce

 

Smoothie with basil

 

Basil, mozzarella, tomato appetizer

 

Potato and green been salad with basil

 

Dried basil can be easily added to practically any dish.

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Basil essential oil isn’t meant to be ingested and should be diluted when used on the skin due to its potency.

 

Basil in fresh form is considered very safe and is usually well-tolerated since it doesn’t commonly cause allergic reactions or side effects in most people. But there are some risks for certain groups of people. 

If you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breast-feeding, it’s a good idea to avoid basil. 

Basil oils or supplements might also interact with cholesterol-lowering medications and diabetic medications, so if you’re currently taking prescriptions for these conditions, you’ll want to speak with a doctor before taking basil supplements.

 

SOURCES 

www.draxe.com

www.wellnessmama.com

REFERENCES

  • Bagamboula CF, Uyttendaeleand M, Debevere J. Inhibitory effect of thyme and basil essential oils, carvacrol, thymol, estragol, linalool and p-cymene towards Shigella sonnei and S. flexneri. Food Microbio 2004 Feb;21 (1):33-42. 2004.
  • Calucci L, Pinzino C, Zandomeneghi M et al. Effects of gamma-irradiation on the free radical and antioxidant contents in nine aromatic herbs and spices. J Agric Food Chem 2003 Feb 12; 51(4):927-34. 2003.
  • Elgayyar M, Draughon FA, Golden DA, Mount JR. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms. J Food Prot 2001 Jul;64(7):1019-24. 2001. PMID:12650.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.
  • Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Dover Publications, New York. 1971.
  • Opalchenova G, Obreshkova D. Comparative studies on the activity of basil–an essential oil from Ocimum basilicum L.–against multidrug resistant clinical isolates of the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas by usi. J Microbiol Methods. Jul;54(1):105-10. 2003.
  • Orafidiya LO, Oyedele AO, Shittu AO, Elujoba AA. The formulation of an effective topical antibacterial product containing Ocimum gratissimum leaf essential oil. Int J Pharm 2001 Aug 14;224(1-2):177-83. 2001. PMID:12640.
  • Singh A, Singh SP, Bamezai R. Modulatory potential of clocimum oil on mouse skin papillomagenesis and the xenobiotic detoxication system. Food Chem Toxicol 1999 Jun;37(6):663-70. 1999. PMID:12670.
  • Uma Devi P. Radioprotective, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties of the Indian holy basil, Ocimum sanctum (Tulasi). Indian J Exp Biol 2001 Mar; 39(3):185-90. 2001. PMID:12630.
  • Vrinda B, Uma Devi P. Radiation protection of human lymphocyte chromosomes in vitro by orientin and vicenin. Mutat Res 2001 Nov 15;498(1-2):39-46. 2001. PMID: 12620.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.
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Posted by: godshealingplants | May 18, 2018

BRAZIL NUTS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The Brazil nut has been eaten by the native people of the region for hundreds of years. But the first mention of the Brazil nut from Western sources goes back to 1569 during a time when Spanish and Portuguese explorers came upon them. The Brazil nut has been exported to Europe since as early as 1633.

ABOUT

Brazil nuts are the No. 1 food source on the planet for selenium, which fights inflammation and more.

Though commonly called nuts, Brazil nuts are actually seeds from the Brazil nut tree, one of the largest trees growing upward of 200 feet found in the Amazon.

Brazil nuts are harvested in the wild and exclusively in the wet season of the rain forest. Some areas in Brazil, however, due to high demand, have started to build Brazil nut plantations. It’s actually illegal in Brazil to cut down a Brazil nut tree so you can even find them along roads and in backyards across South America growing wild. These massive trees can live between 500 to 800 years!

Brazil nuts can be eaten raw or blanched. The nuts grow inside a round, coconut-like shell, in orange-like segments which, when split open, reveals around 12-20 nuts.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Brazil nuts are largely a monounsaturated fat, which is a good fat, but they also contain some protein as well as being a good source of important nutrients including magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin E and some B vitamins.

Brazil nuts are most renowned, though, for their high selenium content, and are in fact the richest known food source of this important nutrient. Selenium is an essential mineral and antioxidant that is needed daily for a healthy immune system and it helps to prevent damage to our nerves and cells. In fact, five to six Brazil nuts a day will provide your recommended daily allowance of selenium.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Studies show that almost 1 billion people worldwide suffer from selenium deficiency, which makes Brazil nuts an important dietary choice. Selenium also helps reduce toxic mercury levels and thus, the incidence of cancer in the body.

Anticancer – Selenium, an essential trace element, has been shown to reduce and prevent the incidence of cancer. Some animal studies show that the selenium can help reduce toxic mercury levels, which can further help fight cancer.  The glutathione enabled by the presence of selenium is an enzymatic antioxidant that eliminates free radicals in all parts of the body that cause cancer.

Anti-inflammatory – The high ellagic acid and selenium levels in the nuts make it a top anti-inflammatory food source. Ellagic acid also has potent neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, zinc in Brazil nuts reduces inflammations and helps flush out toxins.

Hair Care – The L-arginine, an amino acid in the nuts, is mainly used to treat alopecia or male baldness as it encourages the growth of lustrous, thick hair. Brazil nuts are also rich in omega 3s, vitamin E, and selenium, which help to make the hair shiny, healthy and less prone to breakage.

Improve Bone Mineral Density – The copper content in the Brazil nut helps to improve bone mineral density and in the formation of bone tissues. It also helps in the absorption of iron into the bloodstream.

Improve Heart Health – Brazil nuts have a surprisingly high content of healthy unsaturated fats, commonly known as HDL or good forms of cholesterol or omega-3 fatty acids. This includes oleic acid and palmitoleic acid. These varieties of unsaturated fats, magnesium, vitamin E, and selenium content in Brazil nuts are connected with balancing the cholesterol profile of the body and improving heart health.

Mental Health – Brazil nuts, rich in thiamin, help keep the nervous system healthy and strong. They also help prevent Alzheimer’s and stress-related mental disorders.

Mood Lifter – Low levels of selenium are linked to anxiety, stress, and tiredness, according to recent research. Also, nut consumption increases the metabolism of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical, which controls mood, appetite, and sleep. Thus, regular intake of Brazil nuts rich in selenium can help relieve the various issues caused by selenium deficiency such as depression, mood issues, fatigue, and stress.

Muscle Function – Brazil nuts are a major source of complete protein, with all the essential amino acids, which help to improve and strengthen muscles. They also contain magnesium, which helps prevent the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, thus preventing soreness.

Skin Care – Copper in Brazil nuts aids in the production of melanin, a color pigment that protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, and thereby prevents skin cancer. The selenium, omega 3-fatty acids, and vitamins C and E in Brazil nuts give the skin a healthy glow and improve the elasticity of the skin, thereby preventing premature aging. Selenium stimulates the activity of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant compound that can remove free radicals from the skin cells that cause wrinkles and even skin cancer. Also, Brazil nut oil is an excellent emollient which helps prevent skin dryness, eczema, and psoriasis.

The high zinc content in Brazil nuts has been shown to protect against acne or lessen its appearance. This can be achieved through normal consumption of the nuts or by application of Brazil nut oil on the affected area.

Thyroid Control – The selenium content, in Brazil nuts, plays a major role in the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid helps control your metabolism, heart rate and body temperature. The thyroid gland has more selenium content per gram of tissue than any other organ in your body. Selenium is a key component of the molecules that are necessary for your body to be able to create and use thyroid hormones. The selenium in Brazil nuts can help to keep your thyroid in proper working order and in overall good health.

Zinc Deficiency – Zinc in Brazil nuts helps treat acrodermatitis enteropathica. This is a rare genetic disorder in which the body is unable to absorb sufficient amounts of zinc.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

You can buy Brazil nuts in the shell or without. Look for whole Brazil nuts that are stored in airtight containers. Don’t pick any that are shriveled or in pieces, as they could be already spoiled or contaminated with mold.

Brazil nuts have a propensity to spoil quickly so buy them in reasonable amounts. It’s best to store Brazil nuts airtight in a cool, dark, dry place without exposure to humidity or sunlight.  If you purchase the nut in a shell, it’s best to de-shell them and store them so they don’t rot inside the shell. You can also store whole Brazil nuts in an airtight bag in the refrigerator or freezer, where they can last for a few months.

HOW TO ENJOY

It’s best to eat Brazil nuts raw or blanched. Brazil nuts can also be sweetened and crushed for dessert toppings or even made into puddings, dips and cheeses.

Brazil nut milk is a highly nutritious and tasty alternative to almond, soy or regular dairy milk. However, it should only be used in small amounts or on occasion so you don’t overdo it in the selenium department.

You can save the nut pulp for another use like making cookies, crackers or even hummus.

More unique and scrumptious options for incorporating Brazil nuts into your diet include:

Brazil nut bread with dry fruit

Lime, coconut, Brazil nut smoothie

Brazil nut chocolate covered balls

Shredded Brazil nut to sprinkle over your favorite recipe

Fresh salad sprinkled with Brazil nut chunks

Caramel glazed Brazil nut tart

=====================

A WORD OF CAUTION

There are a few side effects if these nuts are consumed in EXCESS. They are as follows:

  • Weight gain: Despite this wide array of health benefits, Brazil nuts have a high level of calories and saturated fat.
  • Selenium overdose: Too much selenium can cause fatigue, stomach upset, and hair loss.
  • Allergies: Also, as with all nuts, Brazil nut allergies can be quite severe. So, be sure to be tested for any potential nut allergy before consuming these nuts, particularly in oil form.

RECOMMENDATION

The recommended serving size of this beneficial snack is MAXIMUM six average-sized nuts a day.

SOURCES

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10963212

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3091/2

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/deep-jungle-monsters-of-the-forest-the-amazing-brazil-nut-tree/3365/

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | April 12, 2018

CAULIFLOWER HEALTH BENEFITS

HISTORY

Cauliflower is generally thought to be native to the general Mediterranean region, especially the northeastern portion of this region in what is now the country of Turkey. Its history here dates back over 2,000 years.

The oldest record of cauliflower dates back to the 6th century B.C., when Pliny wrote about it in the 2nd century after Christ. In the 12th century three varieties were described in Spain as introductions from Syria, where it had doubtless been grown for more than a thousand years.

ABOUT

Cauliflower is an annual plant grown from seed in the species Brassica oleracea, which also includes cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, and collard greens. Typically only the head is eaten. The head consisting of a short thick central stalk topped with a white hemispherical head of closely packed flowers, 10–15 cm in diameter surrounded with long green leaves. Usually eaten raw, steamed, boiled or pickled. They come in various shades the most common one being creamy white.

Purple, orange and green cauliflower appear identical to white cauliflower, except for their color.  They are all members of the very large family of brassica.  However, purple cauliflower gets its color from anthocyanin, a flavonoid which is an antioxidant also found in red wine.  Orange cauliflower contains beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, which gives the orange cauliflower additional levels of vitamin A not found in the other varieties.  Green cauliflower, which is often known as brocco-flower, is highly nutritious.  It contains more protein than broccoli or white cauliflower.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Cauliflower is low in fat, low in carbohydrates, and high in dietary fiber, water, and vitamin C. Cauliflower also contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B9 (folic acid). It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, potassium, and manganese.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Among the cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is something you might want to add to your regular diet because of its multiple health benefits as listed above. Cauliflower consumption has been studied for its cancer-preventing potential and antioxidant properties. Cauliflower contains many nutrients, making it an excellent addition to any diet.

 

Antioxidant

Cauliflower is a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, which are both powerful antioxidants. In fact, 1 cup of boiled cauliflower can already give you 55 mg of vitamin C. Aside from these antioxidants, cauliflower also contains carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, and phytonutrients that include kaempferol, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid and caffeic acid. With these antioxidants, you can be certain that eating cauliflower regularly will help protect you from free radical damage and reduce your risk for diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory

Cauliflower also contains high amounts of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation. A cup of boiled cauliflower contains about 11 micrograms of vitamin K and 0.21 g omega-3 fatty acids. Other anti-inflammatory substances in cauliflower include glucosinolates (such as glucoraphin) and isothiocyanates (such as isothiocyanate sulforaphane). Potentially, regular cauliflower consumption can help decrease the risk of inflammation-mediated diseases such as diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis. 

Boosts Immunity

Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants and immune-strengthening nutrients. Along with other healthy components, the presence of vitamin C in it inhibits various infections and strengthens the defense mechanisms of the body by hampering the growth of disease-causing inflammation. 

Cardiovascular Health

By virtue of having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cauliflower consumption is protective against cardiovascular diseases. For instance, in atherosclerosis, there is chronic inflammation of the blood vessel, and the deposition of lipids and white blood cells eventually leads to a decrease in their diameter. This decrease in diameter leads to decreased blood flow to essential organs like the brain (which could lead to stroke), heart (which could lead to heart attack) and kidneys (which could lead to kidney failure). By decreasing chronic inflammation, cauliflower is able to maintain the patency of the blood vessels and keeps excellent blood flow to essential organs of the body. 

Cancer

Studies have shown that indole-3-carbinol present in cauliflower has chemopreventive and anti-estrogen effects that help in hampering the growth of cancer cells. Research has provided supporting evidence for the fact that consumption of brassica vegetables such as cauliflower assists in reducing the risk of various types of cancers such as lung, bladder, breast, prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancer. 

Digestive Health

A cup of boiled cauliflower delivers about 3.35 g of dietary fiber, which helps clean your digestive system and gets rid of unnecessary substances. Additionally, a substance called glucoraphin present in cauliflower appears to have a protective effect on your stomach lining. With glucoraphin, your stomach is not prone to the bacterium helicobacter pylori, thereby reducing your risk for stomach ulcer and cancer. 

Heals Colitis

Studies have suggested that extracts from cauliflower exert anti-inflammatory effects on the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. This protective effect can be attributed to the presence of phenethyl isothiocyanate, which exerts a healing effect on the damage occurred in colon tissues and the colon epithelium. 

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Cauliflowers with clean, tightly bundled, creamy white florets with bright green leaves are the best ones to pick.

Yellow, spotted florets with saggy leaves are the ones devoid of nutrition and freshness. Dark-colored patches on the cauliflower may also indicate the presence of a mold disease.

Cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days. Cut florets needs to be consumed within 4 days as they do not last long.

HOW TO ENJOY

Recent studies have shown that boiling, full submersion of cauliflower in water when cooking, is not the best cooking practice if you want to preserve key phytonutrients in this cruciferous vegetable. In one study, 3 minutes of cauliflower submersion in a full pot of boiling water was enough to draw out more phytonutrients than 10 full minutes of steaming. Glucosinolates and flavonoids were the phytonutrients lost from cauliflower in greater amounts with full water submersion.

 

As with all vegetables, be sure not to overcook cauliflower. We suggest healthy sautéing cauliflower rather than the more traditional methods of boiling or steaming, which makes it waterlogged, mushy and lose much of its flavor. Cut cauliflower florets into quarters and let sit for 5 minutes before cooking.

Here are some ways to enjoy cauliflower:

 Baked cauliflower in the oven

Cauliflower salad

Cauliflower hummus

Cauliflower torte

Cauliflower pancakes

Purple cauliflower dip

A WORD OF CAUTION

Make sure that you do not eat more than 4 to 5 servings of this vegetable each week though. This is because cauliflower contains purines, which are broken down by the body to produce uric acid. If you have too much uric acid, you could eventually develop gout and arthritis.

 

SOURCES

http://www.dictionarycentral.com/definition/cauliflower.html

http://www.udc.edu/docs/causes/online/cauliflowersm.pdf

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2390/2

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100707223231.htm

http://www.pnas.org/content/99/11/7610

Posted by: godshealingplants | March 24, 2018

BOK CHOY FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Bok Choy and other forms of Chinese cabbage have been enjoyed in China and other parts of Asia for over 1,500 years. An archaeological excavation of an ancient Chinese village found seeds of Bok Choy that were 5,000 thousand years old.

ABOUT

Bok Choy is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which also includes broccoli, kale, collard greens, cabbage, mustard greens, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

It has smooth, glossy, spoon-shaped leaf blades that cluster together without forming an actual head.

Baby Bok Choy is also available, and it has a more tender texture and milder flavor.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Bok Choy is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, calcium, and manganese. It is a very good source of iron, vitamin B2, phosphorus, fiber and protein as well as a good source of choline, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B1, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and pantothenic acid.

It also provides flavonoids including quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin, as well as numerous antioxidant phenolic acids, especially hydroxycinnamic acids.

In addition it contains powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients such as thiocyanates, lutein, zeaxanthin, isothiocyanates, and sulforaphane, which stimulate detoxifying enzymes and may protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers.

 

HEATH BENEFITS

Blood pressure: Potassium, calcium and magnesium (all present in Bok Choy) have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally. Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure, however increasing potassium intake may be just as important because of its vasodilatation effects. 

Bone health: The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin K in Bok Choy all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Iron and zinc play crucial roles in the production and maturation of collagen. Though phosphorus and calcium are both important in bone structure, the careful balance of the two minerals is necessary for proper bone mineralization – consumption of too much phosphorus with too little calcium intake can result in bone loss. Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture. Adequate vitamin K consumption is important for good health as it acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, improves calcium absorption and may reduce urinary excretion of calcium. 

Cancer: Bok Choy and other cruciferous vegetables have been found to possess certain anti-cancer properties. Several population studies have shown that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of developing lung, prostate, colorectal and breast cancer. The glucosinolates found in these vegetables are converted into isothiocyanates in the body, and these compounds help the body fight cancer. Bok Choy contains folate, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, thus preventing the formation of cancer cells from mutations in the DNA.1 Vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene function as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against free radical damage.

Eye healthBok Choy is great for eye health, as they have a carotenoid known as lutein found in most cruciferous vegetables. Lutein helps protect against age-related disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration. 

Heart health: Including organic Bok Choy in your diet can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Cruciferous vegetables protect against heart disease, largely due to their high concentration of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One study from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine showed that cruciferous vegetable consumptions in associated with reduced risk of heart disease. Another study published in the American Journal of Nutrition shows that cruciferous vegetables lower the risk of heart attack. The beta-carotene found in these vegetables decreases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Inflammation: Choline is a very important and versatile nutrient in Bok Choy that helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation. 

Liver health: Selenium is a mineral that is not present in most fruits and vegetables, but can be found in Bok Choy. It plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Additionally, selenium prevents inflammation and also decreases tumor growth rates.

Stroke-preventingDiets rich in cruciferous vegetables may also help reduce the risks of ischemic stroke. According to another study by the Harvard School of Public Health, one serving of fruits or vegetables a day can lower the risk of a stroke by 6 percent. Vegetables in the cruciferous family were found to be the most protective, along with green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. 

Weight loss: Bok Choy is very low in calories, with only 20 per cup. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, with 1.7g per cup. Foods low in calories and high in dietary fiber are key to losing weight.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Look for Bok Choy with firm, bright green colored leaves and moist hardy stems. Bok Choy should be displayed in a cool environment since warm temperatures will cause it to wilt and will negatively affect its flavor. The leaves should look fresh, and be free from signs of browning, yellowing, and small holes. Bok Choy is available throughout the year.

To store, place Bok Choy in a plastic storage bag and remove as much air from the bag as possible. Keeping Bok Choy cold will keep it fresh and help it retain its vitamin C content.

Put the whole head in a plastic bag in the crisper of your refrigerator. Bok Choy will keep for about 1 week if properly stored.

TIPS FOR PREPARING AND COOKING

Wash whole vegetable in cold water. Gently pat dry or place it upside down until all the water drained out.

 

To prepare, separate the outer stalks from the base using a paring knife and slice whole plant in equal halves lengthwise. Then, chop from the stem end about an inch apart and work towards its leafy end. Add it into a variety of recipes, either combined with other vegetables or enjoy all alone in stir-fry or soup.

Avoid overcooking, as cabbage of all kinds is best prepared as close to raw as possible, sometimes called tender-crisp, to preserve its many nutrients.

Bok Choy can be used in place of red or green cabbage in recipes, as well as eaten raw and can be juiced. You can also use Bok Choy as a base when making fermented vegetables.

HOW TO ENJOY

Make a healthy sauté with cashews.

 

Split these lovely vegetables in half drizzle with olive oil, throw a dash of salt and pepper on them, grill for a few minutes on each side.

 

Arrange Bok Choy halves on top of bulgur. Sprinkle mushrooms and tomatoes between Bok Choy halves. Cover, and simmer 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, and drizzle with garlic oil.

 

Make a delicious salad with avocados and other vegetables.

Stir-fry Bok Choy with a variety of vegetables and some soy sauce and sesame oil

Try sautéing fresh garlic and ginger in olive oil until soft then add Bok Choy and continue to sauté until desired tenderness add shiitake mushrooms.

CAUTION

Like cabbage, Bok Choy also contains “goitrogens.” These plant-based compounds are found abundantly in Brassica/cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli… etc. Prolonged consumption of vegetables high in goitrogens may lead to swelling of thyroid gland, a condition known as goiter. It is, therefore, advised that in some individuals with thyroid dysfunction to limit consumption of brassica family vegetables in their food. However, they may be consumed without any reservations by healthy individuals.

 

SOURCES

http://mercola.com

http://webmed.com

http://wikipidea.com

REFERENCES

  • Harbayum B, Hubbermann EM, Zhu Z et al. Free and bound phenolic compounds in leaves of pak choi (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis var. communis) and Chinese leaf mustard (Brassica juncea Coss). Food Chemistry, Volume 110, Issue 4, 15 October 2008, Pages 838-846.
  • Heimler D, Vignolini P, Dini MG et al. Antiradical activity and polyphenol composition of local Brassicaceae edible varieties. Food Chemistry, Volume 99, Issue 3, 2006, Pages 464-469.
  • Samec D, Piljac-Zegarac J, Bogovic M, et al. Antioxidant potency of white (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) and Chinese (Brassica rapa L. var. pekinensis (Lour.)) cabbage: The influence of development stage, cultivar choice and seed selection. Scientia Horticulturae, Volume 128, Issue 2, 18 March 2011, Pages 78-83
Posted by: godshealingplants | March 10, 2018

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY GOLDEN MILK

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of full fat organic coconut milk

1 tsp of turmeric

½ tsp of ginger 

½ tsp of vanilla

Pinch of black pepper

Organic Raw Honey to taste

Cinnamon (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS: 

  • Step 1:  In a saucepan add all ingredients and whisk to combine. 
  • Step 2:  Heat over medium heat until it starts to bubble, then turn heat down to low and simmer  for about 5 Minutes so the flavors get well mixed. 
  • Step 3:  Add 1 tsp of coconut oil and a pinch of Himalayan salt and stir. 
  • Step 4: Optional, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy! 

 

COCONUT MILK is full of healthy fats and contains lauric acid, antimicrobial lipids and capric acid, which have antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties. Coconut milk and all coconut products are one of the most powerful foods for hormonal balance. These fats will also fuel your brain, give you energy, and take away sugar cravings. 

Read more about the benefits of coconut milk here.

TURMERIC is a true super herb. It is incredibly detoxifying and anti-inflammatory. It supports your liver and kills cells that may be harming your body. This in turn can improve skin and digestion as well as prevent disease and sickness in the future. Turmeric has been shown to kill cancer cells, boost blood circulation and reduce the pain and fever associated with illness. 

Read more about the benefits of turmeric here.

 

NOTE: Turmeric milk is a traditional Indian beverage that is commonly referred to as “Golden Milk” because of its healing properties. It is very soothing, and will help your body detox throughout the night. 

The absorption of turmeric is actually enhanced when combined with black pepper. This drink will take good care of your body.

ENJOY!

Preparation time 5 minutes

Cooking time 10 minutes

Servings about 1 cup

 

SOUCES:

http://drjockers.com

https://wellnessmama.com

ACKNOLEDGEMENT: Thank you for the photos Dr. Jockers and Wellness Mama

Posted by: godshealingplants | March 3, 2018

MARJORAM BENEFITS

HISTORY

Marjoram is indigenous to Cyprus and southern Turkey, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as a symbol of happiness. Throughout the middle ages it was worn by bridal couples to signify love, honor, and happiness.

Today, it is commonly found in the Mediterranean region or grown in gardens around the world. In its varied forms of: marjoram essential oil, fresh or dried marjoram leaves, or marjoram powder it has many uses. As a culinary additive, it is commonly used to flavor soups, sauces, salads, and meat dishes. Cosmetically, marjoram is used in skin cream, body lotion, shaving gel, and bath soaps. Whether used as an essential oil, powder, fresh leaves, or dried leaves, marjoram has many uses with numerous health benefits.

ABOUT

The marjoram plant is an herbaceous perennial that is a member of the Lamiaceae family.

This plant can grow to be one to two feet in height and can spread an equal distance. It has fragrant, ovate leaves that are gray-green in color, and produces small tubular flowers that are white or pink and bloom in clusters.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

When used regularly, marjoram is a great addition to a healthy diet. Marjoram is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as A, C, Calcium, iron and other nutrients.

HEALTH BENEFITS

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY EFFECT – Taken internally, it is great at relieving a variety of problems caused by inflammation, including:

  • Asthma
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sinus headaches
  • Migraines
  • Fever
  • Body aches

DIGESTION – To enhance the digestive system’s performance, 2-4 cups of marjoram tea may be ingested in 2 hours. Drinking the tea will help digestion by:

  • Increasing the efficiency of digestion by increasing digestive enzymes and saliva
  • Calming the stomach and digestive system.
  • Improving appetite
  • Relieving nausea
  • Eliminating flatulence
  • Curing or preventing basic intestinal infections
  • Soothing painful stomach cramps or spasms
  • Relieving diarrhea
  • Relieving constipation

EMOTIONAL AND NEUROLOGICAL BENEFITS – When taken in larger doses, it even exhibits mild antidepressant qualities such as:

  • Relieving insomnia
  • Reducing stress
  • Calming anxiety

IMPROVES CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH – Another benefit of marjoram is the enhancement of the cardiovascular and circulatory system. It helps by eliminating common risks associated with cardiovascular disease. Some ways it helps include:

  • Lowering the blood pressure, greatly reducing the risk of hypertension and resultant heart problems.
  • Greatly preventing the buildup of cholesterol, reducing risk of hardened arteries
  • Aiding in improved blood circulation by dilating the arteries as necessary.

Studies show that lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels are linked to a reduced rate of heart disease and heart attack.

PROTECTS AGAINST COMMON ILLNESSES – Marjoram is a great antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral agent. As a result, it fights against a variety of common illnesses:

  • Food poisoning
  • Staph infection
  • Tetanus infection in wounds
  • Typhoid
  • Malaria
  • Influenza
  • Common cold
  • Mumps
  • Measles

TOPICAL APPLICATIONS – Applied topically in the form of essential oil, it also has been known to relieve:

  • Painful joints
  • Sore muscles
  • Sprains
  • Back ache
  • Toothaches 

OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS – There are a variety of other health benefits as well, such as:

  • Reduction of phlegm
  • Warding off fungal infections
  • Regulating the menstrual cycle in women
  • Relieving premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Lessening bruising.

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Marjoram can be bought from your local supermarket either fresh or dried. Unlike many herbs, marjoram and oregano dry really well, better than practically every other herb. Therefore, if buying dried marjoram, much of the original flavor is retained.

 

In saying this, however, it is always better to use fresh herbs if possible in cooking. When choosing fresh marjoram, try to look for a fresh and healthy-looking herb, without any discoloration or blemishes.

Store fresh marjoram in the refrigerator: First wrap it in a damp paper towel and then loosely wrap that bundle in plastic wrap or tuck it inside of an airtight container. If possible, store your fresh marjoram in the lower part of the fridge, where it will keep for many days.

If you follow the proper care, fresh herbs can last for up to three weeks. When the herbs start to turn dark, brittle or the stems show signs of mold; it’s time to toss them.

HOW TO PREPARE

When you’re ready to cook with your fresh marjoram you will need to first wash the leaves thoroughly if you have not already done so before storing them.

Then, separate the leaves from the stems and you are ready to chop the leaves and proceed with preparing your dish.

HOW TO ENJOY

Use marjoram leaves to make a hot tea for digestive benefits.

Sprinkle chopped marjoram over your favorite pizza.

 

Add marjoram to your favorite Pesto Sauce

Sprinkle it over glazed carrots

 

Veggie pasta needs marjoram as a finishing touch to add a special flavor

 

Roast egg plant and finish it by sprinkling marjoram over it

 It is important to note, that marjoram does not withstand the cooking process well and its flavor and aroma are destroyed by high temperatures and long cooking times. Therefore, it is almost always added at the end of the cooking process or just before serving.

SOUCE 

http://mercola.com

http://draxe.com

https://healthyfocus.org

https://www.herbwisdom.com

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | February 24, 2018

TAMARILLO BENEFITS

HISTORY

The tamarillo is native to the Andes of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. Today it is still cultivated in gardens and small orchards for local production.

ABOUT

Tamarillo it is a sweet fruit that grows in tropical climate countries. The fruit has two colors; red and yellow. The egg-shaped tamarillo has and orange colored interior and the fruit’s flesh is juicy, deep in color and filled with small, flat and circular edible seeds that are slightly larger than tomato seeds.

The plant contains distinctive colored flowers with pleasant fragrance. You can find plenty of fresh tamarillo during May to October widely in Chile, Peru, India, and South America.

 

Tamarillo grows from a shrub or a small-sized tree with hairy stems and branches that reaches 5 to 15 feet tall. The tamarillo tree has broader evergreen leaves compared to that of a tomato plant. 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Tamarillo is a storehouse of various minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients (like dietary fiber) that can deliver outstanding health benefits. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and phytonutrients.

 

The phytonutrients in tamarillo are mainly Phenolics, Anthocyanins, Carotenoids and Flavonoids. Together they make tamarillo high in antioxidant activity. The color of the fruit differs according to phytochemicals present. Red variety offer more anthocyanins while yellow variety is rich in carotenoid. Apart from these, tamarillo contains citric acid and malic acid which enhance its acidic tangy flavor. 

HEALTH BENEFITS 

  • Beneficial for the Skin 
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Good for diabetes
  • Good for Eyes
  • Helps in Weight Loss
  • Helps in Treating Colds, Sore Throat and Other Respiratory Disorders.
  • Increases the Metabolism
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Maintains Healthy Skin
  • Prevents Alzheimer and Parkinson Disease
  • Prevents Anemia
  • Prevents Atherosclerosis
  • Prevents Cancer
  • Prevents Diabetes
  • Prevents Heart Disease, Reducing Cholesterol
  • Prevents Infections
  • Promotes digestion
  • Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones
  • Relieves Constipation
  • Treats Tonsillitis

 HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Ripe tamarillos are soft and red-brown; while unripe ones are orange-yellow.

 

When buying tamarillos, look for well-developed, bright, uniform-colored, ripe fruits. Avoid purchasing with soft and watery texture. Check if the fruit is attached to a healthy stalk, and avoid fruits that are small, shriveled, damaged and bruised. At home, ripe tamarillos can stay fresh for roughly five to seven days, and can be stored inside the refrigerator for up to 10 days. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Before eating or using tamarillos, wash the fruits in cold water, dry using a soft cloth and remove the stalk. A tamarillo is typically eaten by cutting it in half and using a teaspoon to scoop out the sweet and juicy flesh. The skin can be peeled like those of tomatoes. You can also boil the tamarillos first in hot water for two to three minutes, and cool them by immediately immersing the fruits in cold water. Using a knife, make a small nick on the tamarillo’s surface and peel the fruit using your fingers.

 

The tamarillo can be used like a tomato. You can it eat raw, put it in salad, make smoothies or juice, fruit jam, jellies, sauces, pizza topping and any dish that usually include tomatoes, it can also be cooked, grilled, baked, or boiled.

Here are some ideas for using lavender in cooking:

 You can eat them poached

They make a delicious salsa

Tamarillo juice is delicious and very sweet

It makes a delicious jam or jelly

And mixing tamarillo with apples makes a delicious crumb cake

NOTE: Tamarillo juice can stain clothes and care should be taken while peeling or eating.

 

SOURCES:

http://Mercola.com

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Solanum+betaceum

https://drhealthbenefits.com/food-bevarages/fruits/health-benefits-of-tamarillo-fruits

https://gms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/gs/handler/getmedia.ashx?moid=3122&dt=3&g=12

http://www.valuefood.info/1892/health-benefits-of-tamarillo/

Posted by: godshealingplants | January 27, 2018

CHIVES HEALTH BENEFITS

HISTORY

Chives belong to the same family as garlic, shallot, scallion, and Chinese onion. They are perennial plants and are predominantly found across several parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. They have been around for more than 5,000 years. But they were not actively cultivated as food until the Middle Ages. The botanical name, Allium schoenoprasum, derives from the Greek meaning reed-like leek.

The Romans believed that this herb could relieve pain from sunburn and sore throat. They also believed that chives could act as a diuretic. 

ABOUT

Chives grow in clumps like grasses, sending up hollow thin leaves that grow to 12 inches. Unlike regular onions, no large bulb forms underground. And the plant offers a huge amount of nectar for pollinators.

 

The leaves provide the flavor, and savvy cooks treat them as herbs, adding them at the end of cooking to preserve their character and color. 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Chives have excellent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties. They contain a host of other nutrients important for a healthy diet. High in vitamins A, C, and K and known for having antioxidant power to take the bite out of free radicals; chives contain flavonoid antioxidants like carotenes, zeaxanthin, lutein, and many other healthful phytonutrients.

 

They’re an excellent source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese and also provide healthy amounts of thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, riboflavin, and zinc. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Chives are extremely rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which contribute to most of the benefits. These antioxidants help fight cancer, improve heart health, and can even fight inflammation. They also detoxify the body and boost skin health. And the fiber in them can help ease the digestive process.  

Here are some of their benefits: 

Boost Immunity – The numerous phytochemicals in chives can boost your immune system. Chives also contain selenium in trace amounts, which is another important mineral that strengthens immunity. Immune cells deficient in selenium can have difficulty in producing proteins and transporting calcium. 

Boost Vision – This benefit should be attributed to the lutein and zeaxanthin in chives, which reduce oxidative stress in the eyes and boost vision health. They also slow down the development of cataracts. Chives also contain quercetin, which, as per studies can help preserve vision in patients with macular degeneration. 

Detoxify The Body – Though there is limited research on this, certain sources say that the presence of chlorophyll and vitamin K in chives helps keep the blood clean. The minerals in chives might neutralize the toxins in the body. The antibacterial properties of chives might also aid the detoxification process. 

Ease The Digestive Process – Chives help get rid of the harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your intestinal tract that might otherwise hamper your digestion. The antibacterial properties of chives can help eliminate at least 30 strains of salmonella.  

Chives are also a great combination of fiber and other essential nutrients like niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, zinc – all of which are known to ease the digestive process. This phytochemical combination can also soothe an upset stomach.

 

Enhance Sleep and Mood – Chives are good sources of choline, which is one important nutrient that aids proper sleep. And the folic acid in chives is also known for boosting the production of dopamine and serotonin, which are feel-good hormones that boost your mood. 

Fight Cancer – The flavonoid antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to protect one from lung and mouth cancers. Since chives are also rich in fiber, they help prevent colon cancer. And like other members of the family, chives also contain allicin, an important antioxidant known to prevent breast cancer. Various studies have shown that allium vegetables (those containing allicin) possess inhibiting effects on the cancers of the stomach and esophagus.  

Improve Bone Health – The vitamin K contained in chives, is a nutrient quite important for the bones. This vitamin helps maintain bone integrity and density. Vitamin K also assists the regulation of cells that aid the prevention of bone demineralization. Though more research is required, the anti-inflammatory properties of chives might also help treat arthritis. 

Protect The Heart – The allicin in chives are known to lower the levels of bad cholesterol and blood pressure and increase good cholesterol levels. Allicin releases nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which reduces the stiffness of the blood vessels as well as blood pressure. And the quercetin in chives reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Chives enhance circulation as well. The vitamin C they contain improves the elasticity of the blood capillaries and iron absorption. And the folic acid in chives prevents the constriction of blood vessels. 

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Chives are available in most grocery stores. Pick chives that are uniformly green and crisp with no shriveling or browning at the tips.

 

Wrap unwashed chives loosely in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator in the vegetable drawer.  

When they are ready to be used, you can wash them slice them thinly and add them to your dish once it is finished cooking to maintain their flavor, vitamins and minerals. 

HOW TO USE

There are numerous ways chives can be used:

 

Chives are an attractive garnish and taste great when sprinkled on fresh salads

 

They are a great addition when sprinkled on top of a baked potato

 

They taste great as a final touch on a creamy cucumber salad

You can also use them to flavor sauces and dips

Combined with eggs they are delicious and give it a special zing

 

 You can also use the chopped leaves to make herbal vinegar.

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

 Excess intake of chives can lead to an upset stomach. Also if you are nursing eating too many chives can affect the taste of the milk for your baby.

SOURCES 

http://webmd.com

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

http://mercola.com

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | January 11, 2018

VEGAN CASHEW-PEPPER DIP

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight, drain water after soaking
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 5 Tbsp. Water (add more if you want a softer consistency)
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ tsp. celery powder (you can use Holly basil, oregano or another spice that you like)
  • ¼ tsp. granulated garlic powder

 

Directions

Process all ingredients in a food processor with an S blade

Pour contents into a jar

Refrigerate for an hour

Garnish and serve with your favorite crackers

ENJOY!

Posted by: godshealingplants | December 24, 2017

MORINGA FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The Moringa plant is native to Northern India, where it was first described around 2000 BC as a medicinal herb. It is also known as “The Miracle Tree.” 

It grows mainly in semiarid, tropical, and subtropical areas. While it grows best in dry, sandy soil, it tolerates poor soil. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree.

 Ancient Egyptian treasured Moringa oil, using it as protection for their skin from the negative effects of desert weather. Later, the Greeks found many healthful uses for Moringa and introduced it to the Romans. 

 

ABOUT

The Moringa tree (Moringa oleifera) is a slender tree with drooping branches that can grow to 10 m (30 ft) or taller in the wild.

It grows pods that are long and slender, three-sided and ribbed. It produces seeds that have a dark kernel with 3 cream-colored wings and its flowers are beautiful cream-colored and sweet-scented.

 

Moringa seeds can be eaten, either alone or along with the entire pod. The seeds can be roasted and eaten like nuts. They can also be used in cooking the same way one would use beans. 

The seeds contain high-quality oil which can be used for cooking and for lubrication. 

 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Moringa leaves contain high amounts of several essential disease-preventing nutrients, including:

 

Vitamin A, C, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Copper, Magnesium and Zinc. It is also a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

The flowers and leaves contain pterygospermin, a natural antibiotic, antiseptic and fungicide which has been successful in the treatment of cholera as well as helping with:

  • Bronchitis
  • Chest congestion and Asthma
  • Clear vision and eye health
  • Conjunctivitis (eye infection)
  • Ear infection
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Healthier skin, hair, scalp, and nails.
  • Helps to maintain a healthy immune system
  • Helps with Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels
  • Helps with sore throat and swollen glands
  • Increased energy
  • Protects the liver
  • Reduces Hypertension
  • Reduces Inflammation 

HOW TO USE

Moringa is available in powder form from most Asian or Health Food Stores.

Moringa powder has a distinctive “green” flavor, so you may want to start out slowly when adding it to your meals. 

If you have access to a Moringa tree, you can use the fresh leaves in your meals; they have a flavor similar to a radish.

 

Toss Moringa leaves into a salad

Blend into smoothies with chia seeds

Moringa mixed into your favorite vegetable soup

Mix into your egg role batter

 

Delicious and healthy Moringa-Hummus cracker

 The seeds  are great when eaten raw, or they can be toasted and eaten for a healthy snack.

*Be careful not to overdo (even healthy fats should be consumed in moderation), because even though they are yummy and satisfying, they do have a natural laxative/mild diuretic effect.

 NOTE: Moringa is a highly nutritious plant and is generally safe for consumption. However, its usage for therapeutic relief should only be considered after consultation with a medical professional.

 

SOURCES:

Abdull Razis AF, Ibrahim MD, Kntayya SB. Health benefits of Moringa oleifera. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2014;15(20):8571-6.

Agrawal B, Mehta A. Antiasthmatic activity of Moringa oleifera Lam: A clinical study. Indian J Pharmacol. 2008 Jan;40(1):28-31.

Anwar F, Latif S, Ashraf M, Gilani AH. Moringa oleifera: a food plant with multiple medicinal uses. Phytother Res. 2007 Jan;21(1):17-25.

Gupta R, Mathur M, Bajaj VK, Katariya P, Yadav S, Kamal R, Gupta RS. Evaluation of antidiabetic and antioxidant activity of Moringa oleifera in experimental diabetes. J Diabetes. 2012 Jun;4(2):164-71.

Mbikay M. Therapeutic Potential of Moringa oleifera Leaves in Chronic Hyperglycemia and Dyslipidemia: A Review. Front Pharmacol. 2012 Mar 1;3:24.

Stohs SJ, Hartman MJ1. Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera. Phytother Res. 2015 Jun;29(6):796-804.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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