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cancer prevention

  • Used in Eastern folk medicine for centuries, the health-giving properties of the Chaga mushroom are gaining more attention in the West. As a medicinal mushroom, emerging research has found that Chaga packs quite a punch, and demand for this antioxidant powerhouse has increased over recent years.

    Chaga mushrooms grow in cool areas in the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Russia, Korea and North America. It typically grows on birch trees and can vary in size from five to twenty inches. The shape of Chaga can vary and it grows on different parts of the outside of 'host' trees. It has a hard, cracked exterior similar in appearance to charcoal, and a softer brown-golden yellow interior.

    Medicine through the ages

    Chaga mushroom has been referred to by a number of different names including, "The king of medicinal mushrooms," "A gift from God" and "The mushroom of immortality." Historically, it has been widely used in Eastern folk medicine to treat many diseases. These range from ailments of the stomach, lungs and kidneys to skin diseases. It has also been used as a general supplement for the vigor of the human body.

    Today, Chaga mushroom has not been forgotten and is used as a health supplement in a number of different ways. Most commonly it is made into a tea, but you can also find it in the form of tinctures, powders, capsules and creams. The quality of the supplement depends on the quality of the raw materials, method of extraction, and the dosage.

    Let's take a look at the little known benefits of Chaga mushroom from its antioxidant qualities, through to its potential for cancer therapy.

    1. An antioxidant powerhouse
    Antioxidants are widely known for their ability to help counter the potentially harmful effects of free radicals. Studies have shown that the Chaga mushroom has considerably higher levels of antioxidants when compared with other medicinal mushrooms and popular antioxidant juices.1

    Melanin is the primary chemical substance that gives Chaga mushroom its superior antioxidant properties.2 Evidence of the protective antioxidant effects of this fungus was found in a study of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.3 The study also determined that oxidative stress in lymphocytes was reduced in healthy individuals (the control group). These findings highlight the potential of Chaga as a valuable supplement to reduce oxidative stress in general.

    2. Potential for cancer prevention and treatment
    Phyto-sterols contained in Chaga are linked to its anticancer properties.4 Two of the main phyto-sterols contained in Chaga are lanosterol (45 percent) and inotodial (25 percent). Laboratory and animal studies have highlighted the anti-cancer effects of both of these ingredients. Research on humans is still needed. In one study, Chaga fraction prepared from dried fruiting bodies was subjected to anticancer evaluation. The elicited anticancer effects from the study were attributed to decreased tumor cell proliferation, motility and morphological changes induction.5

    Another study using human hepatoma cell lines shows Chaga mushroom as a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of hepatoma.6

    3. A proven treatment for psoriasis
    A continued regular intake of Chaga can lead to a full disappearance of psoriatic lesions without any extra treatment. One study noted that effective psoriasis treatment was evident after nine to twelve weeks over continuous treatment. Of the 50 patients with different forms of psoriasis that were treated, 38 were completely cured, a further eight showed improvements, and only four did not show improvement.7

    The study found that psoriasis therapy with Chaga is especially successful in cases when psoriasis occurs in combination with chronic inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver and biliary system. There were no side effects observed during the Chaga treatments.

    4. Immune system support
    Studies support the immunomodulating properties of Chaga mushroom.8 This means that it can modify immune response or the functioning of the immune system by speeding it up when needed or slowing it down when necessary. This is largely as a result of beta glucans contained in the mushroom. These immune-boosting properties are powerful from a therapeutic point of view. They have seen Chaga used to support gastrointestinal health in Eastern cultures.

    5. Treatment for viral infections
    Studies have identified evidence of the antimicrobial action of Chaga mushroom. This is possibly due to the antiviral effect of lanosterol and/or the action of betulin and betulinic acid, all of which are components of the Chaga mushroom. Specifically, the benefits have been explored for cells infected by the herpes simplex virus.9,10

    Safety and precautions
    Chaga does not commonly produce side effects. However, caution should always be exercised, especially for those with medical conditions, or who are on any form of medication. Specifically, Chaga may affect blood-thinning and diabetic medications.11 Research is still emerging as are side effects and safety information. Most of the research has been completed in laboratory and animal studies. More studies on humans are required.

    Where to find out more about Chaga Mushrooms
    The Chaga 101 website offers a comprehensive guide to Chaga mushroom. It was created by a group of Chaga enthusiasts who wanted to separate truth from fiction and share their first hand experiences with Chaga. Here you can find more information on;

    • Where to find Chaga in the wild, and how to identify it
    • Harvesting with sustainability in mind
    • Preparation, including tried and tested recipes for Chaga tea, coffee and tinctures
    • Benefits, medicinal effects and side effects
    • Assistance in selecting high quality Chaga. Learn about what to look for during the buying process
    • Where to buy Chaga online

    The content in this article is not medical advice. All information is generalized, presented for informational purposes only, and presented "as is" without warranty or guarantee of any kind. Readers are cautioned not to rely on this information as medical advice and to consult a qualified medical, dietary, or other appropriate professional for their specific needs. This information has not been evaluated by the FTC, FDA or any other government agency and is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease."

    References:

    1. http://www.oriveda.com/e-resources.php
    2. http://www.dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,3ff76b291e5f4359,4000bb317b94495e.html
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18997282
    4. https://oriveda.wordpress.com/chaga-the-facts/
    5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22135889
    6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2681140/
    7. https://www.chagatrade.ru/images/psoriasis_chaga.pdf
    8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21820502
    9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25069286
    10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23510282
    11. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/chaga-mushroom
  • Depression now affects one in ten adults in the U.S. and is projected to be the second leading cause of disability in the world by the year 2020. Depression is also one of the leading causes of workplace healthcare expense, costing employers and employees billions of dollars in medical costs, absenteeism, and presenteeism. Attempts to find a medication to treat depression have been going on for over 50 years with surprisingly poor results. Some evidence indicates that response rates to the top medications are often as low as 17 percent and about 63 percent of patients experience side effects such as anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, sexual dysfunction and thoughts of suicide.

    In 2013 there was a double-blind, placebo-controlled study comparing curcumin to Prozac and curcumin was just as effective, but without the potentially harmful side effects. Over time most prescription medications lose their effectiveness while producing ever-increasing negative side effects. Curcumin, on the other hand, has increasingly beneficial side effects including improved attentiveness, better sleep, emotions and learning. It accomplishes this through the increase of norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine as well as the reduction of inflammation in the brain.

    It should be noted that the curcumin used in the above mentioned study was a special form of curcumin called BCM-95. The form is seven times more bioavailable than any other form of curcumin.

    There are some even more significant positive side effects or benefits to taking curcumin beyond its ability to improve brain function. Curcumin also suppresses the growth of inflammatory cells in our joints, thus helping to prevent and even reverse many cases of osteoarthritis. By preventing the breakdown of joint-lining cartilage curcumin has even been shown to provide significant relief for people with rheumatoid arthritis, a genetic and more difficult to treat disease.

    And finally, curcumin may very well be one of the leading natural methods for the prevention and the treatment of cancer. Scientific evidence has shown the ability of curcumin to help in the following types of cancer: breast; uterine; cervical; prostate; brain; lung; throat; bladder; pancreas and gastrointestinal. Curcumin actually has been shown to intervene and disrupt cancer at virtually every stage of its development. It achieves this primarily through the suppression of inflammation, which is one of the major contributors to most forms of cancer. By preventing the proliferation, migration and thus the very survival of cancer, curcumin helps the body's natural defense mechanisms, as well as the conventional and the natural treatments that have been proven to kill cancer cells. This natural compound derived from the spice turmeric deserves serious consideration for the treatment of depression as well as the other chronic diseases mentioned here.

  • Garlic has been an important herbal remedy for centuries. Painted on the walls of Egyptian tombs and placed in the tombs, for consumption in the afterlife, as early as 3700 BC, garlic was used as a remedy for heart disease, cancer and other ailments, as documented in ancient Egyptian medical documents, dating from 1550 BC.

  • Garlic has been an important herbal remedy for centuries. Found in carvings and paintings on the walls of Egyptian tombs, dating from 3700 BC, garlic's uses as a remedy for cancer and other ailments are recorded in detail in Egyptian medical documents, dating from 1550 BC.

    Modern studies and human observations have validated many medicinal effects of garlic and its potential to help lower the risk of various ailments, including colon cancer. The cancer preventive mechanisms of garlic, shown largely through research using KyolicTM Aged Garlic Extract® (AGE), an odorless supplement made from organic garlic by Wakunaga of America, are largely due to potent antioxidants, a high content of organosulfur compounds, an ability to stimulate immunological responsiveness, detoxify carcinogens, inhibit inflammation and prevent mutations that may lead to cancer.

    Epidemiological Studies
    Several population studies have found an association between a high intake of garlic and a reduced risk of certain cancers, including stomach and colon cancer. An analysis of the results of these studies, showed, that the higher the amount of garlic consumed, the lower the risk of stomach and colon cancer.

    The "Iowa Women's Study"1 is a large prospective study investigating whether diet and other risk factors are related to cancer incidence in older women. Results of the study showed a strong association between garlic consumption and colon cancer risk. There was a 50 percent lower risk of colon cancer in women who consumed the highest amounts of garlic, compared to those consuming a low level.

    Several population studies conducted in China and Italy also showed repeatedly that consumption of allium vegetables, onions and especially garlic was associated with a reduced risk of stomach and colon cancer, sometimes as low as 50 percent.

    The Nature of Colon Cancer

    Colon Cancer is the third leading cause of deaths in the United States. It is a multistage disease that is initiated by a series of mutations in DNA that give rise to adenomatous polyps, of a benign nature, that may progress to full blown cancer. Colon cancer can have hereditary components, and is found in families, but external factors including environmental factors, lifestyle and diet play important role in the development of the disease.

    Colon cancer develops slowly, over a period of 10 to 15 years; though people over 50 are most prone to getting the disease, colon cancer can develop at any age. The disease usually begins as a non-cancerous polyp that can progress with time into cancer, screening by colonoscopy is effective in lowering the cancer risk and increasing the chance for cure, by detecting and removing emerging adenomatous polyps. Cancer screening by colonoscopy is recommended starting at the age of 50, though people with a family history of the disease may begin at an earlier age and be tested more often.

    Diet and Lifestyle in Prevention
    While screening is important in reducing risk, diet and lifestyle are critical in supporting the body's natural defenses, helping prevent the onset and growth of polyps and blocking their subsequent development into colon cancer.

    Leading a physically active life, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and reduced levels of alcohol are important aspects of prevention; as diet goes, a diet rich in plant food, low levels of red meat and intake of milk products that contain calcium and vitamin D are some of the recommendations by the American Cancer Society.

    Among the plant foods that have been associated with lowering the risk of colon cancer, garlic ranks as a highly effective protector. In some people a high consumption of fresh garlic may cause gastrointestinal adverse effects; such occurrences and the fact that the odor of garlic lingers on the skin and breath, prevents many from taking advantage of its health effects. Many have therefore turned to the odorless supplement Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), as an effective way to seek protection against colon cancer. Currently, with over 700 scientific and medical publications showing the wide range of AGE health benefits, this odorless garlic supplement is the most researched and popular garlic supplement.

    AGE a Natural Protectant against Colon Cancer
    Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), is produced by the Wakunaga Company from organically grown garlic, using a process of aging and extraction, at room temperature, for 20 months. Harsh volatile garlic components, such as allicin, are converted by this process to stable compounds, such as S-allyl cysteine, S-allyl mercaptocysteine and others. S-allyl cysteine is the major watersoluble organosulfur compound in AGE; it is a highly bioavailable and is used to standardize AGE, assuring quality control. The high quality control of AGE insures consistent efficacy in helping sustain consumer health, remaining the choice garlic preparation in clinical studies and research on the health effects of a garlic. AGE lacks harsh or toxic compounds, and can be ingested safely for years, for its health effects.

    The wide range of AGE¡¦s anticancer actions has been reported in studies using model systems. Findings show that AGE and its organosulfur constituents inhibited colon cancer in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, AGE stimulated colon and liver glutathione S-transferases, enzymes assist in detoxifying carcinogens. Other studies have shown that AGE and its compounds with their high antioxidant action show anti-carcinogenic actions by scavenging toxic reactive oxygen species, unstable molecules that are waste products in metabolism, which have the ability to trigger cancer-mutations in DNA. Other effects of AGE found experimentally, were an inhibition of the binding of carcinogens to DNA, detoxifying carcinogens, blocking the proliferation of colon cancer cells and killing them by apoptosis, a mechanism of programmed cell death.

    Human Studies

    While epidemiological studies have shown the efficacy of garlic in lowering colon cancer risk, and experimental models found AGE and its components, largely water soluble S-ally cysteine and S-allyl-mercaptocysteine have anti-carcinogenic effects, the protective action of AGE and its efficacy in lowering the risk of colon cancer in humans had to be established by a clinical study.

    To determine a potential protection against colon cancer in humans, Tanaka2 and colleagues carried out a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial, using high intake of AGE (AGE 2.4 ml/day) as an active treatment and low-dose AGE (AGE 0.16 ml/day) as a control.

    The study enrolled 51 patients who were diagnosed with adenomatous polyps. Investigators assigned the patients randomly to two groups, after removing adenomas that were larger than 5 mm in diameter. Using colonoscopy, the investigators determined the number and size of adenomas before the patients began the intake of AGE (0 months) and at six and twelve months after intake. There were thirty-seven patients who completed the study; 19 in the active group, receiving AGE and 18 in the control group, receiving placebo.

    The investigators found that in the control group the number of adenomas increased in linear fashion from the beginning of the study (baseline point); by contrast, in the group taking the high dose of AGE the size and number of adenomas were significantly suppressed, after the 12 months of treatment. These findings showed that the intake of Kyolic AGE has the potential to protect humans against colon cancer, by preventing the progression of precancerous colon adenomas into colon cancer.

    The clinical study, showing AGE as a supplement with potential preventive effects against human colon cancer, adds to the results of several epidemiological studies showing a reduction of colon cancer by high garlic consumption.

    At this point, with overwhelming evidence of garlic protection against colon cancer, it should be noted that a recent single prospective study from Harvard Medical School3, did not find a protective effect by the intake of fresh garlic. The study did not include AGE.

    To possibly understand the discrepancy in results, it should be realized that the findings of efficacy by AGE in inhibiting the growth of precancerous adenomas and potentially inhibiting colon cancer, is partly due to the high standardization of its active ingredients. This is in contrast to fresh garlic cloves that cannot be standardized in the same way.

    Depending on the conditions of their cultivation, garlic bulbs may contain up to 33 different lipid- and water-soluble organosulfur compounds, with varying inhibitory effects on colon cancer, as shown in laboratory studies.

    In a prospective study, unknown are the number of bulbs (that means the dose of garlic components), that would be required for human intake to have an inhibitory effect on colon cancer. Food preparation methods are known to affect the potency of sulfur compounds in garlic. For example, microwave heating and oven cooking block the anti-cancer activity of some compounds in the fresh garlic. The Harvard study had no biomarkers that reflected the actual active garlic component in the human body.

    By contrast, AGE is prepared at room temperature, with no heating in the process of its production, preserving its anticancer activity; in addition, S-allyl cysteine, the most prevalent organosulfur compound in AGE, has been shown experimentally to have a 98 percent bioavailability; this means it can be used potentially as a marker to reflect the intake of Aged Garlic Extract components.

    References:

    1. Steinmetz KA, KushiLH, Bostick RM, et al Vegetables, fruit and colon cancer in the Iowa Women's Health Study. Am J. Epidemio.1994: 139:1-13.
    2. Tanaka S, Haruma K, Yoshihara M, Kajiyama G, Kira K, et al. Aged garlic extract has potential suppressive effect on colorectal adenomas in humans. J Nutr. 2006; 136:821S-826S.
    3. Meng S, Zhang X, Giovannucci EL, et al No association between garlic intake and risk of colorectal cancer. Cancer Epidemiol. In Press; On line Dec 12 2012.
  • Written by Suzanne M. Diamond, M.Sc.

    Four humble herbs with an impressive history for helping people to improve their health and overcome disease include burdock root (Arctium lappa L.), sheep sorrel herb (Rumex acetosella L.), Indian rhubarb root (Rheum officinale L.) and slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra Muhl.). A traditional herbal formulation made with these four herbs is gaining recognition as a good remedy for treating a wide range of health problems. The below information covers some of the impressive research on these four herbs and helps to shed light on how this synergist blend can afford so many profound health benefits.

    BURDOCK ROOT(Arctium lappa L.) Not far from your doorstep, if you look, you can usually find the soft green leaves of burdock, common in most neighborhoods— and based on much scientific and historical data, the root of this plant can dramatically enhance your health by boosting your immune system, improving digestion and thwarting cancer in many different ways. Regularly incorporating burdock root in your daily regime may even be able to increase your lifespan based on anti-aging results found with animals. There are many other documented and accepted health benefits of regularly drinking burdock root tea based on the German Pharmacopoeia, including the relief of gastrointestinal complaints and bone and joint conditions.

    Burdock root, also known as gobo or Poor-man’s potatoes, is an important food in Japan known for its many healing properties. Burdock root can safely be eaten as a root vegetable and is popularly eaten by Japanese people and sushi lovers of all nationalities. When grown in loamy soil, the root grows into a very long, creamy colored tap root similar in appearance to a carrot but much longer. It can grow deeper than most root veggies and is known as a good source of trace elements and minerals accessed from deeper soil layers. Unlike carrots and potatoes, burdock root does not contain starch it contains complex carbohydrates called fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) including 27–45 percent inulin. When people eat starchy roots, this causes a sharp rise in blood sugar and blood insulin levels. But burdock root provides the body with soluble fibers that do not affect blood sugar or blood insulin levels. This makes burdock root and FOS particularly beneficial for diabetics. FOS and inulin have many scientifically documented health benefits including acting as a beneficial prebiotic by feeding beneficial intestinal microflora (BIM) while also eliminating potential gut pathogens, optimizing colonic pH, boosting bone strength through increasing calcium and mineral absorption from food, supporting serum enterolactone and enterodiol concentrations, helping to control blood sugar levels and reducing cholesterol. Other foods that contain inulin include chicory root, onions, Jerusalem artichokes and bananas.

    According to Bengmark (2005), researching out of the Institute of Hepatology, University College, London Medical School, U.K., inulin has prebiotic qualities and can affect intestinal immune cells and potentially repair the gut wall and thereby improve overall immune function. Several recent scientific studies have documented significant immune-enhancing effects of inulin and oligofructose.

    Taking herbal formulas that contains burdock root, rich in natural oligofructose and inulin, have been found to afford many digestive benefits and favorable results have been shown with a number of digestive disorders according to Tamayo and colleagues (2000).

    SHEEP SORREL (Rumex acetosella L.) Sheep sorrel is a common herb found abundantly at roadsides and is otherwise known as sour grass because of its tart leaves. The leaves are popularly used in herbal teas for rejuvenating health and cleansing toxins from the body. Sheep sorrel has powerful phytoestrogen activity (phytoestrogen means plant-estrogen) based on in vitro studies conducted by U.S. hormone researcher, Dr. David Zava in 1998. Sheep sorrel came in tenth out of 150 herbs tested for phytoestrogen activity; the list was headed by soy beans, licorice root and red clover herb, all legumes wellknown for their phytoestrogen activity.

    Sheep sorrel is an important component of ESSIAC® tea and products, together with three other herbs, burdock root, slippery elm bark and Indian rhubarb root. Early research on sheep sorrel herb by famed Canadian nurse Rene M. Caisse and R.O. Fisher, M.D., in Ontario in the 1920s and 30s, found that sheep sorrel liquid extract given to mice with artificially induced tumors caused cancerous tumors to markedly regress and disappear. The other herbs in ESSIAC were said to help with cleansing and eliminating the dead cancer cells and other toxins from the system. Nurse Rene Caisse also reputedly had success with treating cancer patients with ESSIAC together with sheep sorrel extract—including one case cured and two cases improved accepted by a Cancer Commission set up by the Canadian Government in the 1939. There are many more anecdotal reports and some well documented cases of success with ESSIAC for dramatically improving people’s health very quickly.

    Human clinical studies with other phytoestrogen-rich foods and herbs, such as flaxseed and red clover, have also produced profound anti-cancer results. For instance, clinical studies with breast cancer patients given muffins containing 50 grams of ground flaxseed daily (flaxseed contains phytoestrogens called lignans in its seed coat) versus placebo muffins (without flaxseed) conducted by Dr. Paul Goss, Dr. Lilian Thompson and colleagues in 2000 at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada, and a further clinical study conducted by these same researchers with post-menopausal breast cancer patients taking 25 grams of flaxseed daily documented significant anti-cancer effects within 30 to 40 days. A study done with a prostate cancer patient in Australia reported by Dr. Fredrick O. Stevens (1997) and a further randomized, placebo-controlled clinical study with prostate cancer patients conducted by Dr. Jarred and colleagues in England (2002) using red clover isoflavonoid extracts (160 mg/daily for only seven days in the case study and for 30–40 days in the clinical trial) have documented strong anti-cancer effects for red clover isoflavonoid phytoestrogens within days/weeks based on tumorectomies. There were no serious negative side effects noted in any of these studies.

    Foods and herbs rich in phytoestrogens, such as flaxseed (lignans), burdock root (isoflavones), burdock seed (lignans), milk thistle seed (lignans), red clover (isoflavones), soybean (isoflaonves), kudzu root (isoflavones), etc., once eaten, are metabolized within the gut by beneficial intestinal bacteria and the isoflavonoids and lignans that they contain significantly increase serum enterolactone and enterodiol concentrations. According to research conducted by the Australian company, Novogen, certain phytoestrogen metabolites function to inhibit anti-apoptosis proteins in cancer cells thereby causing cancer cells to go through apoptosis or programmed cell death without harming normal cells. Simply put, phtoestrogen-rich foods and extracts can cause cancer cells to simply die and be cleansed from the body without causing terrible side effects. Many phytoestrogens have also been shown to stimulate beneficial anti-cancer enzymes. The powerful and safe anti-cancer activity of phytoestrogen-rich foods and herbs may help to explain the myriad anecdotal reports of spontaneous remissions in cancer patients and miracle cancer cures documented over the centuries with various herbs and herbal combinations. More research is needed in this area to clearly define the anti-cancer activity of different phytoestrogens.

    Many foods, herbs and supplements contain beneficial phytoestrogens and other natural anti-cancer compounds that help to balance hormones in different ways. Sheep sorrel appears to be one that may have great promise for cancer patients. Further human clinical studies with sheep sorrel are needed to confirm the beneficial estrogen modulating and anti-cancer activity of its phytoestrogens and other active ingredients.

    SLIPPERY ELM INNER BARK
    (Ulmus fulva Michx. and U. rubra Muhl.) Slippery elm bark has a long history of use as a medicine and also as a food that can be eaten like gruel and is commonly made into lozenges for sore throats and coughs. The inner bark of this tree has been used as folk remedy for treating cancer and other conditions including: respiratory problems, throat irritation, fever, abscesses, dysentery, urinary and kidney inflammations.

    Choi and colleagues (2002) at Pusan National University in Korea studied slippery elm bark and found that it exhibited dose-dependent peroxynitrite scavenging activities. According to Langmead and colleagues (2002) at the Academic Department of Adult and Paediatric Gastroenterology, London, U.K., slippery elm bark also exhibited potent antioxidant activity using in vitro tests based on chemiluminescence used to detect herbal effects on generation of oxygen radicals by mucosal biopsies from patients with active ulcerative colitis. These researchers concluded that slippery elm and other herbal extracts merit formal evaluation as novel therapies in inflammatory bowel disease.

    Lans, Turner, Khan and Bauer (2007) report the use of Ulmus fulva Michx. in ethnoveterinary medicines used to treat endoparasites and stomach problems in pigs and pets in British Columbia, Canada. The authors note that Ulmus fulva, along with other plants used for this purpose, have mid- to high-level validity for their ethnoveterinary use as anthelmintics (deworming agents).

    Five case studies of patients with psoriasis following a dietary regimen including a pinch of slippery elm bark taken daily with meals found relief of symptoms according to Brown and colleagues (2004) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, U.S. The five psoriasis cases, ranging from mild to severe at the study onset, improved on all measured outcomes over a six-month period.

    INDIAN RHUBARB ROOT
    (Rheum officinale L.)
    Michael Castleman in his book, Medicinal Herbs describes rhubarb (medicinal rhubarbs, Rheum officinale and R. palmatum; and garden rhubarb, R. rhaponticum noted as having similar but less powerful action) as an odd plant: its roots are medicinal; its stems make tasty pies but its leaves are poisonous. He also notes that Chinese physicians have used rhubarb root since ancient times prescribing it externally as a treatment for cuts and burns and internally in small amounts for dysentery while large amounts have powerful laxative action. Formerly, the root was an important drug in many army camps, said to stop dysentry in its tracks. The active ingredients of Indian rhubarb root include emodin and aloe-emodin, rhein and other anthracene derivatives.

    Conclusion: According to many studies, adding a time-tested herbal formula with these humble herbs to your daily menu may bring a boon to your health resulting in many immediately noticeable benefits to your well-being.

    Formal clinical trials are warranted to evaluate the real anticancer effects of formulas containing these four herbs. Such clinical studies need to be carefully designed, placebo controlled clinical trials with cancer patients scheduled for tumorectomies but not receiving chemo or radiation, in order to avoid confounding variables from these treatments (i.e. similar in design to studies assessing the anticancer effects of flaxseed and red clover).

    For references send a S.A.S.E. to totalhealth.

  • Solving the Mystery of the Multivitamin Part III

    This article is the third in the series begun with “Solving the Mystery of the Multivitamin” and continued with “The Special Nutritional Needs of Women.” Here it is observed again you do not need to believe “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” in order to accept that men and women have different nutritional needs. Men lead in eight of the top ten causes of death in the United States. As it is often remarked, because men are more reluctant than women to seek medical care, when they do so, their illnesses typically have advanced to a more serious degree. It would seem that men, even more than women, would do well to adopt defensive measures to preserve their health. However, men should not depend on the supplements used by their wives or women friends. Some preventative measures are strictly gender-specific. The following suggestions are designed to help men take charge of their health while the ball is still in their court.