root (Collinsonia canadensis) is a
unique plant that goes by many names: stone root, heal-all, knob-root,
horse-balm, and many others. The root of the Collinsonia plant is the part most
often utilized, but the leaves also have medicinal value. Collinsonia leaves are traditionally used as a
poultice for sprains, burns, bruises, ulcers, and other wounds, as it may
improve capillary function and support speedy healing.
Historically, collinsonia root has had many different therapeutic uses, specifically for irritations of mucus membranes, to support the venous system, and to treat hemorrhoids.
Collinsonia root is used to support various circulatory conditions and is believed to help support the integrity of veins and capillaries, which is why it is sometimes used as a remedy for varicose veins. It has also been historically used as a tonic to support the vasculature of the heart and cardiovascular system. Today, it’s most commonly used in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
Since Collinsonia is regarded as a tonic for mucosa, it has been used for any irritation of the mouth and throat, including laryngitis, pharyngitis, and even bronchitis. One of collinsonia root’s earliest uses was for a specific type of laryngitis, resulting from the prolonged and excessive use of the voice in a strained or unnatural key.
Collinsonia roothas been touted as a remedy for a
wide variety of digestive issues, in addition to being a specific remedy for
hemorrhoids. It was used to support the tone and mucosa of the digestive tract
and to improve appetite, digestion, and assimilation of nutrients. It has also
been used for diarrhea, constipation, and flatulence.
Consider collinsonia root for:
- Varicose veins
- Complaints of chronic constipation resulting in lower abdominal “pressure” or feelings of incomplete evacuation
Cumin spice with a nutty, peppery flavor is rich in phytosterols, plant chemicals that are known to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
In addition to the benefits on cholesterol, it also has a good effect on the advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that are so damaging in diabetes. Cumin may help improve Blood sugar level, may promote weight loss and fat reduction.
AGEs are toxins that are generally found in high-heat cooked foods such as grilled items. They not only create oxidative stress and cell damage in the body, but also accelerate aging.
Cumin is a great supplementary source of iron and improves digestive health.
A few reasons to add cumin to your spice cabinet. You can use Cumin in powder or seed form in curries, rice and drinks.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Add a teaspoon of cumin to plain Greek-style yogurt.
- Add several teaspoons to your favorite roasted veggie recipe – pumpkin, squash, carrots and sweet potato, etc.
- Add a dash of cumin to spice up homemade guacamole.
- Use it as an alternative to black pepper.
- Sprinkle it onto lean, grilled beef.
- Cumin with scrambled eggs.
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The benefits of antioxidants:
Here’s just a few:
- Cellular nourishment and protection
- Naturally increase your energy level
- Assist your weight-loss efforts by reducing your appetite and improving your metabolism
- Reduce inflammation and help relieve your stiff joints and achy muscles
- Lower your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke
- Protect your vision from age-related vision loss and blindness (ARMD)
- Help you maintain strong bones
- Support your immune function and increase your resistance to infections
- Reduce allergy symptoms without drowsiness
- Improve your mental acuity, protecting your mind and memory
- Detoxify toxic metals and chemicals
- Help slow aging of your skin and dulling of your hair
- Restore healthy digestion
- Inhibit the hardening of arteries
Papaya is not only delicious, but it’s also an incredibly healthy fruit.
The nutrients found in papaya, and particularly in papaya seeds, are thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer. They have also been known to aid in digestion, improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. So don’t throw those seeds away. Papaya seeds are edible and in small amounts can be very good for you.
Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of the recommended daily intake. Papayas are also a good source of: Folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, fiber. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.
Papaya Seeds Kill Worms and Other Parasitic Infections
The seeds of papaya fruit contain high levels of the proteolytic enzyme called papain, which breaks down undigested protein waste, therefore creating a hostile environment in the gastrointestinal tract for parasites to breed. The seeds also contain carpaine, a unique anthelmintic alkaloid that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. The seeds of papaya have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system. Studies have shown that an extract made from papaya seeds is effective at killing E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and other dangerous bacteria.
Papaya Seeds Help Treat Liver Cirrhosis
Liver cirrhosis is a disease wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state, it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems. Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for the overall detoxification of the liver. The recommended method is to grind up about ten dried seeds and mix them with a tablespoon of squeezed lemon or lime juice in a glass of water. Many cirrhosis sufferers have seen dramatic improvements with this natural remedy after 30 days.
Papaya Seeds Protect Your Kidneys
Oxidative stress is the most common factor in chronic kidney disease, particularly in patients with diabetes, and can lead to renal failure. Early research suggests that consuming fermented papaya daily for two months can reduce blood sugar levels in people affected by diabetes. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds help detoxify the kidneys and protect them from inflammation.
Papaya Seeds Help Prevent Cancer
Papaya seeds contain agents such as phenolic and flavonoids, both powerful compounds that have high antioxidant activities to diminish tumor cell growth. Also, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, diets rich in beta-carotene, which is found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk and play a protective role against prostate cancer.
Papaya Seeds Fight Heart Disease
The high content of fiber, potassium, and vitamins in papaya all help to fight heart disease. In fact, a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium is the most effective change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
Papaya Seeds Reduce Inflammation
Papaya fruit and its seeds help fight inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, joint pains, gout, and asthma. Two very important enzymes in papaya seeds (papain and chymopapain) are the key to reducing the inflammation that is associated with these conditions.
Papaya Seeds Help Treat Viral Infection
There are reports of papaya seeds being used to successfully treat viral infections such as dengue fever in parts of Central America and Asia. In Costa Rica, in addition to the seeds, they also use the juice from boiling papaya leaves to effectively treat dengue fever. Obviously, this is a serious disease, so consult a doctor if you contract dengue to monitor your condition.
How to Consume and Store Papaya Seeds
When choosing papaya, look for fresh papayas with reddish-orange skin that are soft to the touch. The seeds are edible but have a bitter, peppery taste, so they can be mixed into a salad. Otherwise, they can be crushed and mixed with juice or honey and milk.
The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a tablespoon. Then find a container with a tight seal and put any seeds you’re not using immediately in there and keep them sealed in the fridge. Squeezing some lemon or lime juice over the seeds, closing the container and shaking it to coat them will help preserve them even longer. This works best if you use them regularly for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for at least a few days of treatment.
If you’re just starting out with papaya seeds or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer. As a general rule, if you will use your papaya seeds within three or four days, then keep them in the fridge. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them. They can be kept in the freezer for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a few minutes to warm and soften them.
How to Eat Papaya Seeds to Minimize Digestive Issues
When first eating papaya seeds, start off slowly. While they are safe to eat in small doses, they are quite powerful and too much at once can cause digestive upsets.
Here’s a good starting dosage guide for papaya seeds:
The first time you eat papaya seeds, try just two seeds with a protein-based meal.
If those are well-tolerated, then add another two seeds each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.
After at least three days of taking a quarter of a teaspoon without side effects, you can move up to half a teaspoon of papaya seeds.
After another three days, you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds (though this may be too much for some sensitive people), or just stay on half a teaspoon, which is likely to provide similar health benefits.
If at any point you experience side effects from eating papaya seeds, then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose that gave you problems before.
Once you’ve reached a good tolerance of papaya seeds, it’s better to determine your dosage based on how much protein is in the meal you’re having.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
People with a latex allergy may also be allergic to papaya because papayas contain enzymes called chitinases. They can cause a cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them. As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme-rich green papaya. This warning on their use would also extend to breastfeeding. Additionally, while papaya seeds do have strong anti-parasitic properties, they may be too powerful for young children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so a doctor should be consulted before giving them to infants. Patients using blood thinning medications like warfarin or aspirin should consult their doctor before they eat papaya seeds regularly, as papain may increase the effects of these drugs.
Onions have long been a popular ingredient in the kitchen. They can be used in a variety of ways and add flavor and depth to many different dishes. Besides boosting the flavor, onions also have nutritional value. In fact, onions are considered to be one of the best vegetables for your overall health.
Onions contain a number of compounds that are believed to help lower the incidence of heart disease. The allyl disulphide and allium found in onions release nitric oxide, which can decrease the stiffness of blood vessels. This can inhibit clot formation and reduce blood pressure, which decreases stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease risks.
Onions also contain sulfur, which can help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and are considered to help prevent clot formation. Although all forms of onions can be beneficial, eating them raw may have even greater value.
Onions are rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers. Flavonoids fight off free radicals and prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which is an ulcer-forming microorganism. Onion contains one of the flavonoids, quercetin that is responsible for a wide variety of health benefits. In fact, many types of cancer can be prevented by quercetin’s ability to prevent tumor formation and reduce the damage of DNA. The types of cancer that have been shown to decrease with the consumption of onions include gastric, breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, kidney, and lung. Because the outer layers of an onion contain the highest concentration of flavonoids, they should not be over peeled.
Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis
Studies have shown promising results in regard to onions and their beneficial role in bone health. The compounds in onion may increase mineral content and density by almost 20 percent, which helps decrease the incidence of osteoporosis. The sulfur found in onions help with protein synthesis, cell structure enhancement, and improves the strength of the connective tissues.
Improve Blood Pressure Levels
The sulfur in onions also contributes to lower blood pressure, which helps prevent a heart attack or stroke. Sulfur helps prevent platelets from collecting and clogging up, and it is a natural blood thinner. Although one should always discuss with their health care provider, eating onions on a regular basis may help people take fewer blood pressure medications.
Stronger Immune System
The aroma and sweetness of onions are due to the high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin. Antioxidants aid in the delay of oxidative damage to body tissues and cells, and they help prevent cancer. The phytochemicals in onions also contribute to a healthy immune system.
Onions contain a high amount of biotin, which is also referred to as the vitamin for beauty. This essential nutrient helps maintain glowing, healthy skin and can also treat brittle nails and prevent the loss of hair. A number of skin conditions, such as eczema, conjunctivitis, leiner’s disease, and ichthyosis, have been shown to clear up when biotin levels increase in the body. Onions are one of the best sources of this nutrient.
Better Nutrient Absorption
Onions contain fructans (oligofructose and inulin), which have been shown to help improve the function of intestinal flora, which in turn helps improve the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Fructans can also prevent certain types of diarrhea.
Fight off Fungal and Antibacterial Infections
Onions have been used for years for their antibacterial and antifungal benefits. The allicin (an organic sulfur compound) in onions have been found to fight against a wide range of bacteria, including E. coli. It also helps fight fungal infections, such as Candida albicans, as well as viral and parasitic activity.
Prevention of Diabetes
Onions contain a prebiotic (inulin) that has been found to help control and prevent diabetes. Inulin also helps control glycemic levels, lower the risk of developing diabetes and increases the activity of antioxidants in the body. The biotin found in onions, in combination with chromium, may also help decrease insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar.
Decrease Stress Levels
Most people experience high levels of stress, and stress can lead to a myriad of health issues. Surprisingly, onions can play a role in stress relief. When you experience stress, cortisol is produced in your body, which can cause muscle damage and protein breakdown. The quercetin in onions actually suppresses the enzyme that is required for the release of cortisol, hence decreasing the harmful effects of stress.
The next time you cook with onion or order an onion-studded dish, you can feel great about yourself in that you are receiving a number of benefits that you maybe didn’t even know about.
Food color and Phytochemicals!
The truth is that the more color your fresh produce has, the better it is for you. That’s because of one thing: phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are only found in plants. They act to protect us from inflammation. They’re also a good way to tell that a fruit or vegetable has lots of nutrients.
Here is an easy to remember trick to help you know which foods are most good for your body.
Carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are just a few of the orange foods that are known for their high levels of beta-carotene.
These foods are high in antioxidants and are good for our vision because they contain Vitamin A.
Tomatoes, cranberries, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Most fruits and vegetables that are red contain lycopene.
Lycopene lowers the risk of cancer and improves the health of our tissues. Red foods also contain vitamin C and flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and prevent bacteria from attaching to our cells.
Avocado, pistachios, kiwi, leafy greens like spinach, and kale. These foods are high in lutein, which is good for eye health. Kiwi fruit is also high in vitamin C.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bok choy and cabbage. Green may be the color we tend to think of most often when it comes to vegetables. There’s good reason for us to think that green is one of the healthiest colors a food can be.
Green vegetables get their color from chlorophyll, and foods that have a lot of chlorophyll are rich in isiothiocyanates. These help the liver move toxins out of our system. They also have vitamin K, folic acid and potassium.
Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums and pomegranates. The dark blue and purple colors of these foods comes from anthocyanin. That’s a powerful antioxidant that is heart healthy and lowers high blood pressure. They also fight blood clots.
Black beans, chia seeds, lentils and mushrooms. Black foods are loaded with pigment, and that means that they are high in antioxidants.
Apple cider vinegar has long been known as a fix for whatever ails you. This kitchen staple is used to treat the sniffs and sneezes of common colds.
It’s also a cure for stomach cramps, hiccups, a sore throat and more. Its health benefits come from its high levels of proteins, enzymes and healthy bacteria.
But what about Coconut Vinegar? How does it stack up against apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is made by taking crushed apples or cider and adding yeast. This turns it to alcohol. Bacteria is added to the mix, and the whole thing turns into the acid that is vinegar. To make coconut vinegar, the same process is used. Instead of apples, coconut sap is used.
Both of these vinegars are cloudy when you buy the organic, unfiltered version. This is because of something called the “Mother”.
The “mother” is a bundle of proteins, bacteria and enzymes that is the source of both liquids’ health benefits.
It has many of the same health benefits as apple cider vinegar. These include:
- Both are great at fighting germs. Both contain an acid that kills bacteria. This means that they help you fight off colds and flu, as well as other infections.
- Both vinegars are low glycemic foods. This means that they lower blood glucose and cut the risk of heart disease.
- Both make you feel full, and that can cut the number of calories that you eat.
One study showed that obese people who added one tablespoon of vinegar to their daily diet lost 2.6 pounds over 12 weeks. They also lost belly fat and cut inches off their waists.
- Both are naturally fermented foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics. These are good for your gut health.
So, when it comes to comparing the two, which is better for you?
Both are good, but the coconut vinegar offers a few more benefits.
The most important of these may be the easiest to understand – it just tastes better! Coconut vinegar is a bit sweeter. It also doesn’t have the same bite as apple cider vinegar. That makes it easier to add to your daily diet.
Plus, coconut sap has many more nutrients than apples. That carries over into the vinegar.
- It contains tons of potassium and B vitamins.
- It also contains all 9 essential amino acids and 8 nonessential amino acids.
Together these help your body make protein. They help the blood cells that carry oxygen and make antibodies that help boost your immune system.
When buying coconut vinegar, make sure that you choose organic, unfiltered vinegar made from coconut sap.
There are vinegars on the market that are made from coconut water, and they do not have the same nutritional value.
You can use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar for a sweeter, milder taste. You can also use it as a daily detox by adding one tablespoon vinegar to 2 tablespoon of water each morning.