Compassion - Sponsor a Child

Compassion - Sponsor a Child

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go tu Kola. Say What?

How's that again?

Yes, you heard it right, gotu kola (centella asiatica) has been used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years in India, China, and Indonesia. It was used to heal wounds, improve mental clarity, and treat skin conditions such as leprosy and psoriasis. Some people use it to treat respiratory infections such as colds, and it has a history of use for that purpose in China. It has been called "the fountain of life" because legend has it that an ancient Chinese herbalist lived for more than 200 years as a result of using the herb.

Travelling back into history we find that gotu kola has also been used to treat syphilis, hepatitis, stomach ulcers, mental fatigue, epilepsy, diarrhea, fever, and asthma. Today, American and European herbalists use gotu kola for disorders that cause connective tissue swelling, such as scleroderma, psoriatic arthritis (arthritis occurring in conjunction with psoriasis), anklylosing spondylitis (arthritis of the spine), and rheumatoid arthritis. Recent studies confirm some of the traditional uses and also suggest possible new applications for gotu kola, such as lowering high blood pressure, treating venous insufficiency (pooling of blood in the veins, usually in the legs, boosting memory and intelligence, easing anxiety, and speeding wound healing.

Gotu kola contains a compound known as 'triterpenoids', compounds which have been observed to aid in the healing of wounds. Research has indicated that triterpenoids strengthen the skin, increase the concentration of antioxidants in wounds, and restore inflamed tissues by increasing blood supply. Because of these properties, gotu kola has been used externally for burns, psoriasis, prevention of scar formation following surgery, recovery from an episiotomy following vaginal delivery of a newborn, and treatment of external fistulas (a tear at or near the anus).

In the case that you are lucky enough to come across this miracle product this would be the recoommended dosage for an adult:

The adult dosage of gotu kola may vary depending on the condition being treated. An appropriately trained and certified herbalist, such as a naturopath, can provide the necessary guidance.
The standard dose of gotu kola varies depending on the form:

Dried herb—to make tea, add ¼ to ½ tsp dried herb to a cup of boiling waterfor 10 minutes, 3 times a day

Powdered herb (available in capsules)—1,000 to 4,000 mg, 3 times a day
Tincture (1:2, 30% alcohol)—30 to 60 drops - Interestingly, I have yet to find tinctures in American pharmacies. That's not to say that are not any.

Standardized extract—60 to 120 mg per day; standardized extracts should contain 40% asiaticoside, 29% to 30% asiatic acid, 29% to 30% madecassic acid, and 1% to 2% madecassoside; Doses used in studies mentioned in the treatment section range from 20 mg (for scleroderma) up to 180 mg (in one study for venous insufficiency; although, most of the studies for this latter condition were conducted using 90 mg to 120 mg per day).

The recommended dosage for people with insomnia is ½ tsp of dried herb in a cup of water taken for no more than 4 to 6 weeks.

This product is relatively common in India. However, it is available in speciality herbal shops in the US as well as online.

Thanks for reading,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Want to Stay Young? Hold Your Breath... Really

Oxidation in the life cycle is essential in the process of overall survival. However, oxidation, i.e., a decreased presense of antioxidants, or the inhibition of the antioxidant enzymes, can be be injurious to the aging body from the result of oxidative stress and may damage or kill cells.

The process of oxidation causes damage to cells when they produce free radicals, which in turn start chain reactions throughout a specific area such as the liver or the skin. Such damage to cells can cause individual cell death and if enough cells are lost, the result can be tissue (cell network) and/or organ failure, ultimately leading to death of the organism. Most cell damage due to oxidation (though also to other types of toxic damage) occur in later life. However, with awareness and preventive measures oxidation levels can be significantly decreased.

The death of cells occurs by two methods, apoptosis and necrosis.

Apoptosis or 'programmed cell death' is a process of self-destruction of the cell nucleus. Apoptosis is an individual or single cell death in that dying cells are not contiguous but are scattered throughout a tissue. It is not considered to be a traumatic cell death, as is necrosis. Apoptosis can be likened to the dropping off of petals of trees during the change of seasons. It is a process that is essential to the growth and development of the embryo in the womb.

Necrosis is a progressive failure of essential metabolic and structure oriented cell components located typically within the cell's nucleous (specifically, the cytoplasm). It generally involves a group of attached cells or occurs at the tissue level. Upon 'death by necrosis', so to speak, the cell tissue tries to regenenerate the same type of cells that have died. if the type of injury is minimal the tissue may adequately replace the 'lost' cells. In the case of severely damaged organ tissues or long-term chronic conditions, the tissues may not have the capacity to regenerate the same [healthy] type of cells; so instead what you get is a flawed or in some way, impaired cell, a 'second', if you will. A serious example of this would be chronic liver damage induced by alcholism. What happens here is that the body no longer can generate replacement liver cells with more cells. Instead only connective tissue is replaced. Thus occurs the decline or organ function.

While overall aging involves the continuous generation, injury and or damage, and repair of cells individuals do have the capacity to prolong general cell heath and repair by incorporating a regime that includes fresh and natural foods that are rich in antioxidants. Nutritional supplements and vitamin therapy are effective ways to preserve cell health.

Sources of antioxidants

Thousands of antioxidants naturally occur in plant foods. The most well known are vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and selenium. While they all work to prevent oxidative damage, they each have their own method of getting the job done. They also work best as a team, each doing its part to provide well-rounded protection against cancer.

Among the best sources of antioxidants are brightly colored fruits and vegetables including, though not limited to:

Red grapes
Red bell peppers

Anti-oxidant Dietary Supplement Overview

The Damage Reducing Power of Antioxidants
Antioxidants have been in the news a lot in the last few years, and for good reason. Antioxidants help stop free radicals from damaging and destroying cells. AgelessXtra® provides a nutritious fruit blend containing grape, cranberry, cherry, and blueberry juices known for their rich colors, high ORAC potential, and flavonoid content. Xtra™ delivers antioxidants to your body at far greater levels than a typical diet can provide. In fact, independent scientific studies have shown that one serving of Xtra provides the antioxidant protection of up to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables!
Use Ref# 1308779

Here's to good health,

Content Source: National Library of Medicine (other articles)
Article Topics: Ecotoxicology and Environmental health
This article has been reviewed and approved by the following Topic Editor: Emily Monosson (other articles)
Last Updated: November 20, 2007

Friday, March 20, 2009

How Old is My What?

Growing old(er) is an inevedible fact that me must, if not fully accept, tolerate on some level. On a measurable scale, aging can be attributed to the body's ability or inability to preserve, mend or renew damaged cells throughout the process. Recently clinical researchers have established the chronological ages that various parts of the body begin to go on the decline.

In an article that ran in the Daily Mail, leading research clinicial, Angela Epstein revealed the ages when specific parts of the body begin their downward progression. Gulp... In order to avoid an information overload of sorts, I'd like to share only a few today.

BRAIN - Starts to decline at age 20 Get this. We start with around 100 billion neurons or nerve cells. In our 20s the number starts to decline. By age 40 a person could be losing up to 10,000 per day. Such cellular losses have a significnat on impact on memory, co-ordination and overall brain function.

EYES - Starts to decline at age 40 If you're not wearing glasses by now, its a fine time you get some. OK, lol. Long-sightedness, which affects the ability to see objects up close is the typical complaint.

HAIR - Start to decline at age 40 Hair is composes of tiny pouch like follicles. Typically hair grows from each follicle for about three years, then it sheds and a new strand grows in. In males, hair loss begins at about age 30. In terms of hair color, most have at least some grey by age 35, due to decline in melanocytes (color device). But even I can't name a soul who made it that long with 100% of their original hair color.

BONES - Start to decline at age 35 Throughout the life long aging process bone material is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by bone building cells called osteoblasts ( Note, clasts vs. blasts) a process called 'bone turnover', explains Robert Moots, Professor of Rheumatology at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, England . In Children bone growth is rapid. The skeleton itself takes just two years to renew itself completely. In adults this same process can take up to ten years. Until a person reaches their mid 20s their bone density is still increasing. But at 35 bone loss sets in as part of the natural ageing process.

If anyone has any concern as to whether they are experiencing any of the above bodily 'occurances', it may be a good idea to absorb and aspire to understand them in order to control and slow down the aging process on an individual level. This can be done and no point is too late as long as its not... 'too late'.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So What Happens After 30?

As most of us know, as the body ages it continually becomes 'altered', if you will, in numerous ways that affect the function of both individual cells and organ systems. These unavoidable changes occur at a gradual progress over time. Researchers on the subject of aging have defined a number of conditions that control various genetic and environmental factors that control them. Depending on a person's genetic make-up, health and wellness practices (or lack thereof), social and environmental conditions and so omany other factors, individuals may age at different rates. Indeed, it appears that people from the writer's peer group at least appear much younger than those of previous generations. Though discussion of what aging actually is could be tediously scientific be focusing on a single or two aspect of it is more likely to draw interest in the subject.

The basic short answer to how a body ages is that when cells metabolize food, toxic and damaging by-products known as free radicals are released. When free radicals damage your cells, this produces levels of what’s known as oxidative stress, a root cause of cellular aging and degeneration. To give you an idea of how the body reacts to oxidative stress think of diseases such as atherosclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction, Alzheimer's disease. In this instant recall too, that most of these conditions are associated with aging.

Although there is no earthly way to avoid or stop the aging process, it's obvious that the consumption of foods that are high in antioxidants can help with preserving the health and increasing production of precious cells. Now all we have to do is track down the 'goods'.

Good luck,

Health Awareness and Education

Get Your Free Weight Loss Wellness Plan

1-888-MY-ETHER ext. 03950711