Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Stevia, The Natural Sugar Substitute

Stevia Leaf is nature's sugar substitute that is said to be a safe, all-natural, zero-calorie alternative to refined sugar, but is also used as an herbal supplement to regulate blood sugar levels and lower blood pressure and LDLs (bad cholesterol). People who ingest Stevia daily often report a decrease in their desire for sweets and fatty foods, which may be very helpful for dieters. It's antibacterial qualities help to promote healthy and clear skin, scalp and lustrous hair.

Stevia Leaf has been used as a healthful dietary supplement that is believed to help improve cardiovascular health by lowering elevated blood pressure (hypertension) and LDLs in the blood. Research has been done that has shown that Stevia significantly increases glucose tolerance and inhibits glucose absorption. Additionally, it is also thought to lower blood sugar levels. Stevia is also sold as a natural sweetener and sugar substitute in some South American countries, to aid people with diabetes and hypoglycemia, since studies have demonstrated that it has a regulating effect on the pancreas and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.

As a digestive aid, it is thought to improve gastrointestinal function, soothe upset stomachs and reduce gas and stomach acidity.

Stevia Leaf is believed to act as a general tonic that increases energy levels and mental acuity. Many individuals ingesting Stevia daily have reported a lower incidence of colds and flu, and it may also help to speed recovery from minor illnesses. It has been shown to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Many people have reported improvement in their oral health after adding it to their daily brushing and rinsing routines.

Stevia Leaf is said to be beneficial in treating Candidiasis. Stevia as an antibacterial, is useful in helping a number of skin problems, including acne, blemishes, lip and mouth sores, dermatitis and eczema. There are reports that cuts and scratches heal more rapidly after using this herb. Stevia Leaf is thought to improve the quality and health of the hair and scalp.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Astragalus: Cures the Common Cold?

Astragalus is an herb that has many possible benefits, including fighting infection and the common cold, to benefiting AIDS patients. Traditional Chinese medicine has used Astragalus for a remedy for weakness, edema, repiratory infections, diabetes, night sweats, diarrhea, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It is considered to be the "yang" in nature; and is used in TCM to treat conditions of the stomach and in women, the uterus. Studies confirm it contains medicinal qualities that stimulates the immune system. Some research also suggests that Astragalus may be useful in the fight against diseases such as lupus, cancer; not to mention it's anti-aging effects. Many people use it as an overall good-health tonic to support healthy digestion and to help increase energy levels and stamina.

Traditional herbalists have long used Astragalus as a diabetes treatment and modern research has indicated it may be helpful for prevention of the diabetes as well as, for those who have complications associated with the disorder such as, diabetic retinopathy.

Clinical studies show the herb has an anti-clotting agent and acts as a blood thinner which may help prevent coronary heart disease and improve circulation.

American Cancer Society publication reports that it restored immune functions in 90% of the cancer patients studied. It is presently being looked upon as a possible treatment for people living with AIDS and for its potential to prolong life by stimulating the T-helper cells that are depleted. Research also suggests the herb might be useful in treating atherosclerosis, hytperthyroidism, insomnia, chronic active hepatitis, genital herpes, AIDS, and the side effects of cancer chemotherapy. It is relied on in Chinese medicine for reducing the portentially damaging effects of chemotherapy by helping the bone marrow produce more white blood cells.

Astragulus also appears to have have a protective effect on the liver. In one study, Astragulus helped protect the liver against the toxin carbon tetrachloride.

Astragalus is considered an anti-inflammatory that is said to be effective in treating lung weakness and may promote general healing, which may be helpful in treating emphysema. Astragalus enhances the protective effects of the immune system. Similar to echinacea it increases the levels of certain immune cells that fight viruses and other microbial intruders. Natural killer cells are also activated that attack and destroy cancer cells and viruses. It boosts the level of antibodies and signal the immune system to destroy the most common intruders-bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes.

Astragalus is one of the best herbs during cold and flu season, it is thought to be a reliable treatment for the common cold, as well as, protect against the number of colds caught or possibly shorten their duration. It has been used to treat respiratory tract infections. Its effective for people who are susceptible to asthma. It is known as a remedy for poor appetite and weak digestion.

Traditional Chinese medicine sometimes recommends astragalus for organ prolapse-that is, conditions like prolapsed uterus or hemorrhoids. It also acts as a natural diuretic, helping to excrete excess fluids and relieve conditions such as edema and may reduce the potential of infection in the bladder. It is also said to be an anti-hypertensive, which promotes healthy blood pressure by helping rid the body of excess water weight. Astragalus is also known to heal ulcerations of the skin and help with the cause of weak muscles due to poor digestion.