Turning tide- Hypertension and Garlic

I was running the other day and started thinking about my blog.  I decided it was not exactly what I had intended it to be up to this point.  I have been focusing more on meals vs what the meals/food can do for our health.  So I decided to changes things up a little.  I am going to move away from our daily meals  (which is time consuming to post) to more of a “food root” focus.  With this I plan to still post recipes but limit it to or favorite from the week, breakfast and anything special otherwise.  In turn I plan to spend more time with research and posting about foods, diseases and how we can change our ailments through natural God created ways.  I hope you can all still enjoy and share in my passion to make this world a better and healthier place.

 

A recent research release on hypertension and the use of garlic vs prescription medication.  In summary from the article;

Hypertension is called a ‘silent killer,’ as it often goes completely unnoticed, along with the decades long subclinical march of atherosclerosis that is largely the cause of elevated blood pressure, often culminating suddenly in a deadly cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke.

Researchers at the Department of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia gave test subjects either, one of five doses of garlic (300/mg, 600/mg, 900/mg, 1200/mg, 1500/mg) in divided doses per day, a tablet of atenolol, or a placebo, for 24 weeks. Blood pressure readings were recorded at weeks 0, 12 and 24.

The study results showed significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in both dose and duration dependent manner in all the treatment groups. The results of the treatments on systolic blood pressure were reported as follows:

Citation: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/garlic-beats-best-selling-blood-pressure-drug-new-study

 

So we can either start to take another pill, what i’m trying to get people away from, or what about using the real deal.  I basically add garlic to most any dish I can.  That results in almost all!

Dosage and History as suggested by AAFP: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0701/p103.html

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Sanskrit records show its medicinal used about 5,000 years ago, and it has been used for at least 3,000 years in Chinese medicine. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans used garlic for healing purposes.1 In 1858, Pasteur noted garlic’s antibacterial activity, and it was used as an antiseptic to prevent gangrene during World War I and World War II.2

The effective dosage of garlic has not been determined. Dosages generally recommended in the literature for adults are 4 g (one to two cloves) of raw garlic per day, one 300-mg dried garlic powder tablet (standardized to 1.3 percent alliin or 0.6 percent allicin yield) two to three times per day, or 7.2 g of aged garlic extract per day.

 

You can see your option is to take 1 tablet 2-3 times a day or just add in 2 cloves to your meals each day. I have taken a garlic supplement and let me tell you… it tastes terrible and you can not get the taste out!

Garlic is great for hypertension as well as many other things: antineoplastic, antihypertensive, and antimicrobial.

Basil works as an anti-aging food

(NaturalNews) Basil is an aromatic plant that has been utilized for a very long time as a culinary herb in order to add a much appreciated fragrance to a wide variety of dishes. It has earned its credentials in many cuisines from the regular use of pesto, a mixture of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Basil, scientifically called ocimum basilicim, originates from the warmer climates of Asia’s tropical regions. It’s an incredible source of antioxidants and filled with nutrients. Basil presents a wide array of health benefits. It is recognized for its exceptional anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-aging properties, amongst many others. Basil also helps fight critical medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes by controlling blood sugar levels, or even cancer thanks to the active phenolics present in the herb.

Phenolics are a group of organic compounds primarily found in fruits and vegetables. The main phenolics present in basil are the flavanoids, more specifically vicenin, orientin, eugenol and anthocyanins. These all play an important role because of their strong antioxidant properties. Although there is still an ongoing debate among them, most scientists do believe that antioxidants are vital in regards to an herb’s outstanding ability to prevent cancer.

Can basil help you retain your youth?

Basil has been utilized in Ayurvedic medicines for hundreds of years if not more, therefore its healthy effects have also been studied a long time. It’s no surprise that a more recent research conducted at the Poona College of Pharmacy in Maharashtra, India, came to the conclusion that basil does protect the body from premature aging.

Researchers discovered or rather validated that basil was effective in protecting the body against free radicals. Basil’s flavanoids inhibited free radicals from causing significant damage to the body. Dr. Shinde stated the study clearly showed the herb promotes youth and it acts at a cellular level. She believes results validate its traditional use in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. She’s far from the only one as many experts now also feel that basil is an anti-aging superfood.

The anti-bacterial properties of basil are also well referenced, but this time because of its volatile oils instead of its flavanoids. A study published in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Microbiology Methods revealed that basil’s essential oils were able to stop in its tracks strains of bacteria known as Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas. These pathogenic types of bacteria have not only become widespread, but also presented a health risk from being resistant to treatment with the generally used antibiotic drugs.

Last but not least, a few studies published in the February 2004 journal of Food Microbiology, presented evidence that washing food in a solution containing as low as 1 percent of basil in it, resulted in diminishing the number of Shigella cases, which is an infectious bacteria causing diarrhea with the potential to cause more serious damage in the intestinal tract.

Sources for this article include:

http://srirad0675.hubpages.com/hub/Health-benefits-of-basil

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/healthy-basil

http://www.naturalnews.com/034870_Holy_Basil_tulsi_antioxidants.html

Dementia and Tumeric

From naturalnews.com

If you or a loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease or some other form of dementia, there is hope and healing to be found in turmeric. Based on the recent findings of three independent case studies, turmeric, whose primary active ingredient is curcumin, has the power not only to heal both the behavior and psychological symptoms associated with dementia, but also help lead to full recovery of the disease in as little as just a few months.

A traditional cooking spice that has been used copiously throughout India and Southeast Asia for many millennia, turmeric has been the subject of myriad scientific studies in recent years. The circulatory, digestive, and neurological systems of the body, it turns out, are all positively impacted by turmeric, and the seemingly never-ending list of diseases for which the spice is known to provide healing is continually expanding all the time.

This is definitely the case with regards to turmeric’s impact on cognitive health, as evidenced by new research out of Japan. The chief physician at Kariya Toyota General Hospital in Kariya City and his colleagues evaluated three separate case studies involving turmeric and came to some fascinating conclusions about the herb’s therapeutic value. In each case, turmeric was shown to both relieve dementia symptoms and improve overall cognitive function.

“In a study involving three patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, whose cognitive decline and Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia were severe, exhibiting irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, supplementation with turmeric powder capsules for over one year was found to be associated with improvement in symptoms,” wrote the authors of the study in their summary.

“Total score on the Neuro-Psychiatric Inventory-brief questionnaire decreased significantly in both acuity of symptoms and burden of caregivers after 12 weeks of treatment,” they added. “Score on the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) went up five points (from 12/30 to 17/30) in one of the cases, and the other two cases were able to recognize their family within one year of treatment.”

Consuming a little as one gram of turmeric daily for three months can lead to ‘remarkable improvements’

So while the conventional disease industry continues to waste billions of dollars searching for a pharmaceutical-based silver bullet “cure” for dementia, a simple, inexpensive cooking spice made from a plant is already getting the job done. Taking as little as one gram, or roughly one-quarter of a teaspoon, of turmeric powder or extract daily, it turns out, is enough to produce mind-blowing improvements in dementia symptoms.

Earlier research published in the journal Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology back in 2008 corroborates this fact, having found that turmeric’s natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying mechanisms help improve memory in patients with dementia. Simply consuming more of this flavorful spice as part of one’s normal diet, in other words, has the potential to completely transform brain health and alleviate even the worst dementia symptoms.

“Curcumin as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and lipophilic action improves the cognitive functions in patients with AD (Alzheimer’s Disease),” wrote the authors of this earlier study in their Abstract. “Due to various effects of curcumin, such as decreased Beta-amyloid plaques, delayed degradation of neurons, metal-chelation, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and decreased microglia formation, the overall memory in patients with AD has improved.”

You can read this full paper here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2781139/

Interesting articles on Curcumin

Like Curry? New Biological Role For Curcumin Identified

Oregon State University (OSU) scientists recently identified a new reason why some curry dishes, made with spices humans have used for thousands of years, might be good for you. New research has discovered that curcumin, a compound found in the cooking spice turmeric, can cause a modest but measurable increase in levels of a protein that’s known to be important in the “innate” immune system, helping to prevent infection in humans and other animals.

This cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) is part of what helps the immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi even though they hadn’t been encountered before. Prior to this, it was known that CAMP levels were increased by vitamin D. Discovery of an alternative mechanism to influence or raise CAMP levels is of scientific interest and could open new research avenues in nutrition and pharmacology, scientists said.

The newest findings were made by researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at OSU and published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“This research points to a new avenue for regulating CAMP gene expression,” said Adrian Gombart, associate professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the Linus Pauling Institute. “It’s interesting and somewhat surprising that curcumin can do that, and could provide another tool to develop medical therapies.”

The impact of curcumin in this role is not nearly as potent as that of vitamin D, Gombart said, but could nonetheless have physiologic value. Curcumin has also been studied for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

“Curcumin, as part of turmeric, is generally consumed in the diet at fairly low levels,” he said. “However, it’s possible that sustained consumption over time may be healthy and help protect against infection, especially in the stomach and intestinal tract.”

In the study, Chunxiao Guo, a graduate student, and Gombart looked at the potential of both curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids to increase expression of the CAMP gene. They found no particular value with the omega-3 fatty acids for this purpose, but curcumin did have a clear effect, causing CAMP levels to almost triple.

There has been intense scientific interest in the vitamin D receptor in recent years because of potential therapeutic benefits in treating infection, cancer, psoriasis and other diseases, the researchers noted in their report. An alternative way to elicit a related biological response could be significant and merits additional research, they said.

The CAMP peptide is the only known antimicrobial peptide of its type in humans, researchers said. It appears to have the ability to kill a broad range of bacteria, including those that cause tuberculosis and protect against the development of sepsis.

 

Turmeric (Curcumin)

In the U.S., turmeric is best known as a spice. It’s one of the main components of curry powder. In India and other parts of Asia, turmeric is used to treat many health conditions. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anticancer properties.

Why do people take turmeric?

Curcumin, a substance in turmeric, may help to reduce inflammation. Several studies suggest that it might ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, like pain and inflammation. Other compounds in turmeric might also be medicinal.

In lab tests, curcumin seems to block the growth of certain kinds of tumors. One study showed that turmeric extract containing curcumin could — in some cases — stabilize colorectal cancer that wasn’t helped by other treatments. But more research is needed.

Other preliminary lab studies suggest that curcumin or turmeric might protect against types of skin diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, colitis, stomach ulcers, and high cholesterol. Based on lab studies, turmeric and curcumin might also help treat upset stomach, scabies, diabetes, HIV, uveitis, and viral infections.

But it’s important to keep in mind that most of these studies have been done in the laboratory. Researchers haven’t yet conducted significant studies on the benefits of turmeric and curcumin. So it’s too early to say what health benefits turmeric might have.

 

How much turmeric should you take?

Turmeric is an unproven treatment, though it has years of traditional use and some preliminary convincing research. There is no standard dosage. Ask your health care provider for advice.

 

Can you get turmeric naturally from foods?

Turmeric, as a spice, is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. The spice (and supplement) comes from the underground stems (rhizomes) of the turmeric plant.

What are the risks of taking turmeric?

  • Side effects. Turmeric is generally safe. It can cause nausea and diarrhea, especially in high doses or after long-term use. It might also pose a risk of ulcers in high doses. As a topical treatment, it can cause skin irritation. Caution is advised when turmeric is taken by people known to have gallstones; consult your health care provider first.
  • Risks. Pregnant women should not use turmeric supplements. Talk to a doctor before using turmeric supplements regularly if you have any medical conditions, like gallbladder or kidney disease, bleeding disorders, diabetes, or immunity problems. Since turmeric can potentially increase bleeding, stop taking it at least two weeks before any surgery.
  • Interactions. If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using turmeric supplements. They could interact with medicines like aspirin, NSAID painkillers, statins, diabetes drugs, blood pressure medicines, and blood thinners. They might also interact with supplements that decrease clotting, like ginkgo, ginseng, and garlic.

Given the lack of evidence about its safety, children and women who are breastfeeding should only use turmeric if a doctor recommends it.

SOURCES of CURCUMIN:

Curcumin is responsible for the yellow color of the spice turmeric. Beneficial for health, this active component has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. According to the Arthritis Foundation, curcumin can prevent and reduce joint inflammation. It has also been linked to reduced blood cholesterol and protection against Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, curcumin is being explored as a cancer treatment because of its anti-oxidant activity. Foods with curcumin are those that contain turmeric.

Yellow Mustard

Turmeric is added to prepared mustards, and the curcumin it contains gives it the familiar, bright yellow color. This includes store-bought, standard yellow mustard commonly used as a condiment for hamburgers or hot dogs, and in potato salads and salad dressings. Check the ingredient label of the mustard to ensure that turmeric is listed. Most brown, spicy and Dijon mustards do not contain turmeric for flavor or color.

Indian Cuisine

Turmeric is an essential ingredient in Indian cooking, which makes the cuisine especially rich in curcumin. Turmeric is used in curry powders that flavor common dishes in South Asian and Indian cuisines. The spice is used in multiple Indian dishes, but some examples include Dal Fry, a lentil soup, Chicken Tikka, Baigan Ka Bharta, an eggplant curry, and mango chutney. Worlds Healthiest Foods, a nonprofit health organization, suggests using turmeric instead of premade curry powders when cooking these foods at home because of the higher concentration of curcumin.

Indonesian Cooking

Commonly used in cooking throughout Indonesia, turmeric adds color, flavor and the health benefits of curcumin to many dishes. Fried chicken is a traditional dish in the area, and Ayam Goreng Kuning is a variety of fried chicken that is flavored with turmeric. Turmeric is also used in Javanese Kare Jawa, a beef curry, and in the lamb curry Kari Kambing. Nasi Kuning is a rice dish simmered in coconut milk with turmeric and lemongrass.

Thai Curries

The cuisine of Thailand is also known for curry that contains curcumin from turmeric. Thai curries are different from Indian curries as they are often flavored with coconut milk and scented with kaffir lime leaves. In addition, not all Thai curries contain turmeric. You may consider green, red and yellow Thai curry to be very similar, but it is only the Thai yellow curry that includes turmeric, and therefore, curcumin. In addition, coconut curry and fish curry also contain turmeric. Remember that curcumin is responsible for a deep yellow color, so the more yellow the broth or sauce the more likely the food is to contain it.

Caribbean Cuisine

Curry is a popular spice blend in Caribbean food and cooking. Many foods include curry powder that contains turmeric and curcumin such as Curried Goat and Jamaican Beef Patties. Others require turmeric powder, which ensures that you will get a more concentrated source of curcumin. Curry Pumpkin Soup is one dish common in the Caribbean that uses turmeric powder.