How to treat respiratory tract infections with everyday foods and spices
Here are eight foods and spices to help keep you free of respiratory tract infections during these cold, winter months:
1) Echinacea. This flowering herb has been a staple in natural medicine for hundreds of years, as it possesses unique, immune-boosting compounds that work almost immediately at the first sign of infection to quell it quickly. Commonly referred to throughout history as a “cure-all” herb, echinacea helps naturally boost the body’s own natural levels of properdin, a chemical substance that activates the part of the immune system responsible for warding off bacteria and viruses. Echinacea can also help reduce the severity of existing cold and flu symptoms, and help quickly eliminate such conditions (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/echinacea-000239.htm).
2) Garlic. A powerful immune booster, garlic has also been used for many centuries as a natural remedy for respiratory illness. Long before synthetic antibiotics were invented, in fact, garlic was the medicine of choice for treating infections, as it contains powerful medicinal compounds such as allicin, sulfhydryl and various other sulfur-containing compounds that ward off disease. Adding more fresh garlic to your diet or taking garlic supplements is a great way to fortify your immune system to avoid disease (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/garlic-000245.htm).
For a great healing tea recipe using garlic, check out The Nourishing Gourmet‘s “Garlic, Honey, and Lemon Tea:”
3) Green onion (scallion). A close relative of garlic, the green onion also possesses powerful immune-boosting compounds that make it an excellent remedy and preventive food for respiratory tract infections. Rich in organic sulfur compounds, as well as vitamin C, B vitamins, and trace minerals, green onions are a food you will definitely want to eat plenty of during the winter months. Try making a vegetable soup out of green onions, leeks, and garlic for immune support, and add any other ingredients you like into the mix (http://www.pyroenergen.com/articles09/green-onions-scallion.htm).
4) Ginger. Packed with more than a dozen antiviral compounds, ginger is an excellent herb for both preventing and treating colds and flu. Ginger is especially helpful if you already have a respiratory ailment that you are trying to get rid of, as the herb works exceptionally well at relieving pain and disinfecting the body. Ginger can be taken as tea, brewed into a tincture, or chopped or grated and added to food (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.htm).
5) Elderberry. No immune-boosting arsenal would be complete without elderberry, an herb that ranks among the most effective remedies for treating respiratory illness. Rich in antioxidant flavonoids, elderberry is uniquely suited to both prevent and treat illness due to its unique ability to minimize the swelling of mucous membranes. The fruit is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer food (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/elderberry-002880.htm).
The Wellness Mama blog has a great recipe for making your own elderberry syrup medicine at home:
6) Oregano. A potent antibiotic and antiviral herb, oregano, and particularly oil of oregano, is another amazing remedy that works particularly well at treating respiratory illness after it has already formed. You can mix five or six drops of oil of oregano in water and gargle with it for instant relief, or you can drink the entire thing down to kill a flu or cold in as little as 24 hours. Oil of oregano can also be purchased as a supplement in capsule or gelcap form (http://www.earthclinic.com/Supplements/oregano-oil.html).
7) Vitamin C. Though it is sometimes mocked by the mainstream medical system as an inert substance, vitamin C has long been confirmed as a powerful nutrient for boosting immunity and warding off disease. A 2004 study review out of Finland, for instance, found that respiratory patients who take vitamin C are far less likely to develop colds, pneumonia, and other respiratory infections (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15605943). Just be sure to take non-GMO ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, or natural vitamin C as it comes from “superfoods” like acerola cherry and camu camu berry (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/).
8) Vitamin D. Millions of Americans have dangerously low levels of vitamin D in their system, which is a primary cause of chronic illness today, including respiratory illness. This is why it is important, especially during the winter months, to either supplement daily with between 2,000 and 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 — some doctors recommend that severely deficient patients take upwards of 40,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily — or use a tanning bed or tanning wall daily.
You can learn more about the importance of vitamin D for health by visiting the Vitamin D Council:
Sources for this article include:
Natural amino acids preferable to antibiotics for treating infections, says study
Turmeric and Neti Pots Help Sinus Infections and Chronic Sinusitis
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(NaturalNews) Rosemary’s delightful fragrance combined with its pungent taste has convinced many avid cooks to use it in various dishes, including soups and sauces. It is historically known to improve memory by increasing blood flow to the brain and head, which by extension also helps improve concentration. Rosemary also has the ability to improve digestion and seemingly reduce the severity of asthma attacks. In ancient Greece, it had such a formidable reputation to improve memory that students would often put rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams.
Rosemary basically grows on small evergreen shrubs which are part of the Labiatae family, also related to mint. It may come from the Mediterranean but it’s now widely developed in Europe and America’s milder climates.
There are many health benefits associated to this wonderful herb which has been studied by various researchers around the world. Based on some of the accumulated results, rosemary displayed a few other noteworthy qualities besides the ones already mentioned above.
Two of its components, caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, are potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances that help diminish inflammation, an important factor in asthma, liver disease or heart disease.
The Cancer Research Institute of Slovakia has come to the conclusion that rosemary helps protect DNA from free radical deteriorations, hence a possible aid in the fight against cancer.
Italian researchers noticed that rosemary has a protective effect on protein HSP70. Since protein HSP70 plays an active role in preventing any harm done to the skin, scientists believe that rosemary may be a contributing factor in reducing age-related damages such as wrinkles.
French scientists from the National Institute of Agronomic Research are on record saying that rosemary assists detoxifying enzymes, such as cytochrome P450, glutathione transferase and quinone reductase, in getting rid of toxins found inside the liver.
So what has research shown about rosemary’s effects on the brain?
United Kingdom researchers from Northumbria University discovered that when an amount of 1.8-cineole, a prime chemical found in rosemary oil, makes its way into the bloodstream, the end result leads to improved brain performance.
During the experiment, scientists exposed 20 individuals to various levels of the oil’s aroma and then collected blood samples to confirm how much of the 1.8-cineole each member actually took in. The individuals were then asked to take speed, accuracy and mood tests in order to confirm if rosemary oil showed any positive effects.
It turns out that the more the 1.8-cineole was found in a person’s blood, accuracy and speed performances were also increased. Only mild effects were noticeable in regards to changes in moods.
Dr. Mark Moss was quoted saying that the aroma acts like a medicinal drug. These tests have definitely opened the eyes of many about rosemary’s potential effects on the brain, although some say the results should only be considered for now as preliminary ones.
Sources for this article include:
Use rosemary leaves for glossy hair and good circulation
Rosemary oil can be used as a natural meat preservative, and it works better than chemical additives
Rosemary Plant Care Guide
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are a root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Ipomoea batatas is native to the tropical regions in America. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importance—some others are used locally, but many are poisonous. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum) and does not belong to the nightshade family.
The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants; the name “tuberous morning glory” may be used in a horticultural context.
The plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between yellow, orange, red, brown, purple, and beige. Its flesh ranges from beige through white, red, pink, violet, yellow, orange, and purple. Sweet potato varieties with white or pale yellow flesh are less sweet and moist than those with red, pink or orange flesh.
In certain parts of the world, sweet potatoes are locally known by other names. In New Zealand English, the Māori term kūmara (also spelled kūmera) is commonly used. Although the soft, orange sweet potato is often called a “yam” in parts of North America, the sweet potato is botanically very distinct from a genuine yam (Dioscorea), which is native to Africa and Asia and belongs to the monocot family Dioscoreaceae. To add to the confusion, a different crop plant, the oca, Oxalis tuberosa (a species of woodbind), is called a “yam” in many parts of Polynesia, including New Zealand. To prevent confusion, the United States Department of Agriculture requires sweet potatoes labeled as “yams” to also be labeled as “sweet potatoes”. The sweet potato is North Carolina’s state vegetable.
(NaturalNews) Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrition. They are a great source of minerals such as manganese, folate, copper, and iron. The darker-colored variety is a great source of carotenes (precursor of vitamin A), vitamins C, B2, B6, E and biotin. Sweet potatoes are also a fantastic source of dietary fiber. Here are nine reasons you should be eating more sweet potatoes:
Nine Reasons Why You Should Eat Sweet Potatoes
1. Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants, which work in the body to prevent inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, and many more.
2. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates for those with blood sugar problems. These fibrous root vegetables can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent conditions like insulin resistance.
3. Sweet potatoes are healthy for the digestive tract. Being rich in digestive fiber, especially when the skin is also consumed, it helps to relieve constipation and may prevent colon cancer.
4. Sweet potatoes are good for those who are pregnant or trying to conceive because they are high in folate, which is essential for the healthy development of fetal cell and tissue.
5. Packed with important vitamins and other nutrients, eating sweet potatoes can boost immunity by supporting the needs of the body.
6. Sweet potatoes are good for preventing heart disease. High in potassium, sweet potatoes can help prevent the onset of heart attack and stroke. Potassium also helps to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, which is important for stabilizing blood pressure and regulating heart function.
7. Sweet potatoes are good for alleviating muscle cramps. Potassium deficiencies are a leading cause of muscle cramps, as well injuries. By making sweet potatoes a regular part of your diet (along with proper exercise), you can expect an energy boost and fewer muscle cramps and injuries.
8. Sweet potatoes are good for treating stress-related symptoms. The body tends to use a lot of potassium and other important minerals when it is under stress. Sweet potatoes provide important minerals that will help maintain balance throughout the body during times of stress.
9. Sweet potatoes ranked number one in nutrition out of all vegetables by the Center for Science in the Public Interest because they are such a rich source of dietary fiber, natural sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein, carotenoids, vitamin C, iron and calcium.
(NaturalNews) Longtime readers of Natural News know that, because of massive over-prescribing by the modern healthcare industry, today’s crop of antibiotics are becoming less and less effective. Another culprit: The increased use of antibiotics in factory-farm animals.
“It is not difficult to make microbes resistant to penicillin in the laboratory by exposing them to concentrations not sufficient to kill them,” warned Alexander Fleming, the creator of the first antibiotic, penicillin, back in 1945 when he received his Nobel Prize for medicine. “There is the danger that the ignorant man may easily underdose himself and by exposing his microbes to non-lethal quantities of the drug make them resistant.”
And while bacteria have been a part of “life” on Earth for humans since the dawn of time, constant exposure to antibiotics — which kill even “good” bacteria — is responsible for the rise of superbugs that are resistant to an increasing number antibiotic drugs.
With that in mind, and before you find yourself in dire need of something that will kill the superbugs, here are 10 herbs and foods that will do the job naturally:
— Honey: In a recently released study, researchers from the Salve Regina University in Newport, Rode Island, reaffirmed that raw honey is one of the best natural antibiotics you can have.
Lead author Susan M. Meschwitz, Ph.D., presented the findings at the 247th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance,” she said.
Honey uses a combination of weapons including polyphenols, hydrogen peroxide and an osmotic effect. Honey is practically an ambidextrous fighter, using multiple modalities to kill bacteria.
— Colloidal silver: As noted by Gregory A. Gore, in his book, Defeat Cancer:
Silver was used 1,200 years ago by Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, sailors, and then by the pioneers who populated our country. They used it for various illnesses and to keep their foods and liquids from spoiling. Prior to 1938, before antibiotics, colloidal silver was used by doctors as their main substance to fight bacteria in a more natural way than through the antibiotics they use today. Antibiotics can harm our kidneys and liver functions. Colloidal silver promotes healing.
— Pascalite: This is a type of bentonite clay found only in the mountains of Wyoming. It possesses remarkable healing powers. When it is used topically, it is known for its ability to draw infections from wounds in a matter of hours or days, thereby bringing about total recovery. The first recorded use of Pascalite was in the early 1930s when a trapper named Emile Pascal set his traps near a cold, clear mountain lake, where he had noticed a large number of animal tracks; after getting some of it on his chapped hands, he noticed some time later that it appeared to help them. So he continued to experiment with the substance and found that it had a number of topical uses, including for burns, minor wounds and infections.
— Turmeric: This herb has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for many thousands of years to treat a wide range of infections. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities have been known to be highly effective in the treatment of bacterial infections. It can also be used topically for MRSA and additional lesions of the skin.
— Oil of Oregano: This is an essential oil known best for its bacteria-killing abilities, as well as controlling staph infections like MRSA. It contains antioxidant, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiparasitic and pain-relieving properties. In 2001, Science Daily reported on a Georgetown University study which found that oregano oil’s germ-killing properties were nearly as effective as most antibiotics.
— Tea tree oil: This is also a very potent and essential oil that has been shown to be effective in killing antibiotic-resistant MRSA on the skin. One important note: Therapeutic-grade tea tree oil must be used undiluted if it is to be used for this purpose.
— Olive leaf extract: This substance has been used for a number of centuries to battle bacterial infections and is now currently being used as well to fight MRSA infections in some European hospitals. It provides immune system support while fighting antibiotic-resistant infections.
— Garlic: This tasteful seasoning veggie has been used for medicinal purposes around the world for thousands of years. It was even used in the 1700s to ward off the plague. It possesses very potent antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties.
— Echinacea: This compound has been used to treat aging and a wide variety of infections for centuries. It was traditionally used to treat open wounds, as well as blood poisoning, diphtheria and other bacteria-related illnesses. Today, it is used mostly to treat colds and flu.
— Goldenseal: This is one of the most popular herbs sold on the American market and has recently gained a reputation as an herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer. American Indians used goldenseal as a medication for inflammatory internal conditions such as respiratory, digestive and genitourinary tract inflammation induced by allergy or infection, according to Herbwisdom.com.
The health benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antispasmodic, anticoagulant, antiallergenic, antimicrobial, antihaematoma, antiphlogistic, nervine, antiinflammatory, antitussive, cicatrisant, expectorant, febrifuge, anti septic, cholagogue, emollient, mucolytic, fungicidal, hepatic, diuretic, splenic and cytophylactic substance.
Helichrysum, the flower that contributes to “Everlasting” and “Immortal” Essential Oil, and known by the names Helichrysum Angustifolium and Helichrysum Italicum, is an European herb native to France, Italy and a few neighboring countries.
MEDICINAL APPROACH & PROPERTIES
The essential oil shows considerable infraspecific variation; its main components are monoterpene hydrocarbons (pinene, camphene, myrcene, and limonene) and monoterpene-derived alcohols (linalool, teripinene-4-ol, nerol, geraniol, also their acetates);
Further important aroma components are nonterpeoid acylic beta-ketones. It sounds so technical that it’s confusing but they are important elements and they need to be mentioned.
So many people are beginning to appreciate the healing elements of this plant and aroma therapists world wide recognize the power of this plant, heres a link to a super piece all about our friend Helichrysum Italicum, so get reading folks.
Scroll dow now below and discover what helichrysum can do for you if you have a skin issue but not only : In fact it is also thought to be a strong chelator, supporting liver function and potentially drawing heavy metals and toxins out of the body. It is noted as one of, if not THE, most effective detoxification supporting essential oils by Battaglia in ‘The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy’. A strong dilution can be used (coconut oil, for example) and massaged twice per day into the feet. The reflex points of the feet corresponding to the liver may be of greatest help in this process.
Helichrysum essential oil therapeutic properties: READ IN FULL HERE ~
Helichrysum bracteatum, Strawflower; Everlasting
An intense rich aroma with a herbaceous note. Among its properties are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitussive, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, fungicidal and cicatrisant.
The French used this oil primarily as an anti-inflammatory to regulate cholesterol, stimulate the cells of the liver, and as an antispasmodic. This particular variety has powerful antibruise properties. It’s ideal to use in lymphatic drainage massage, acts as a stimulant for the liver, gall bladder, kidneys and spleen and the organs responsible for detoxifying the body.
Italidone, one of its chemical components, has been found to have strong mucous thinning, expectorant and cicatrisant properties. It is a rejuvenating oil which promotes cell growth, helping to rebuild tissues. Clears the body of candida apparently, which often thrives when vitality is low. Blend with rosehip seed oil for scar formula or with lemon and geranium for kick-smoking blend. Assists in healing scars, acne, dermatitis, boils and abscesses.
Plant Profile: The Strawflower
Scientific name: xerochrysum bracteatum (previously helichrysum bracteatum)
Other names: Everlasting, Paper Daisy, Golden Everlasting
The Strawflower, a flowering plant native to Australia, produces showy flowers with large dark green leaves. Plants can grow to be 3-4 feet tall, depending on the variety. The flower is also known as “paper daisy” for its papery texture. Just like the daisy, the center is made up of a cluster of tiny individual flowers. The “petals” surrounding the cluster are actually bracts. The plant will flower from summer to fall. The daisy-like flowers come in a wide range of colours, including white, yellow, pink and red.
Strawflowers are great additions to the garden, adding colour and texture to the landscape and will attract butterflies. Plant them in masses for the best effect. The taller varieties would be ideal as borders in a garden bed or rock garden. Gardeners love them because they are easy to grow, will tolerate heat and drought and can adapt to any soil condition. They can be grown as annuals, perennials, or shrubs. They also do well in containers.
Strawflowers don’t need much maintenance, but the plant would benefit from regular light pruning to encourage branching and increased blooms.
Strawflowers, especially the sturdier and long-stem varieties, are commonly used in the cut flower industry. Cut flowers can last between 2-3 weeks! Not only do they make great cut flowers, they are often used in dried floral arrangements because they are everlasting. When cut young and dried, the flowers and stems will retain their colour for a long time.