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Birthed from the vine, tomatoes are inveterate wanderers. They originated in the coastal highlands of and from there traveled north to Mexico. The Aztecs included tomatoes in their feasts, and the Spanish conquerors spread tomatoes throughout their colonies and to Italy. Portugal passed tomatoes on to India. As the tomato wound its way throughout the globe, it was easily adapted into regional cuisines.
Wherever the tomato has journeyed, it has enhanced the taste of meat, fish and grains in sauces, salsas, ketchups and chutneys. But its omnipresence in world cooking has also enhanced health by delivering a rare nutritional component: lycopene. Lycopene is a pigment that gives tomatoes their characteristic red color and packs a punch as a potent antioxidant. The only known sources of lycopene on earth are pink grapefruit, watermelon and tomatoes. Of this trio of -fighting fruits, the tomato has the highest concentration of lycopene and is also the most versatile and readily available.
Lycopene has been shown to help prevent prostate, breast, cervical, stomach and other cancers and to slow the growth of tumors. Diets lacking in lycopeneâ€”which appears to curtail blood clotsâ€”have been linked to increased risk for heart attack and stroke. By protecting against oxidative damage, lycopene may reduce the risk of visual disorders and lung disease caused by environmental pollutants.
Usually, processing robs food of its nutrients, but in the case of the mighty tomato, the opposite is true. Lycopene is more concentrated in cooked or processed tomato products and is also more easily absorbed. Eating tomatoes with a little fat aids lycopene absorption as well, so enjoying tomatoes with cheese or olive oil is both delicious and practical.
Letâ€™s not forget the tomatoâ€™s other nutrients: it is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and potassium. The fruitâ€™s pH balancing effects have long been exploited as a salve for dry or acne-prone skin. At the Angsana Oasis Spa in Bangalore, India, and the Sivara Spa at the Amari Emerald Cove Resort in Koh Chang, Thailand, tomatoes are incorporated into body wraps for rejuvenating skin. Likewise, the tomato maize body masque at the Eldorado Hotelâ€™s Nidah Spa in Santa Fe, NM, takes advantage of the natural alpha hydroxyl exfoliating element of tomatoes.
Whether you savor tomatoes in pizza or curry, or appreciate them on your skin, the redder the betterâ€”the protection is in the pigment.
Tomatoes have tremendous healing power to various kinds of diseases.:
Tomato and Cancer:
According to the National Cancer Institute, there is now enough data to show that people who consume large amounts of tomatoes and tomato products have a significantly decreased risk for prostate, lung, and stomach cancer. There is some evidence that people who consume a lot of tomatoes may also have a lower risk of pancreatic, colorectal, esophageal, oral, breast, and cervical cancers.
To learn more on the beneficial effects of tomatoes on cancer, see: Tomatoes and Cancer.
Coronary Heart Disease:
Studies have shown that consuming tomatoes and tomato products containing lycopene reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The tomato help to dissolve animal fat in foods such as in butter, cheese, eggs, pork, beef, and many deep-fried foods, thereby preventing hardening of the arteries.
Tomato is also useful in reducing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for coronary heart diseases and stroke.
Lycopene, present in abundance in red tomatoes, is a potent antioxidant. Recent research has demonstrated that lycopene is at least twice as effective as b-carotene in protecting blood lymphocytes from NO2 radical damage.
Lycopene is found to reduce LDL oxidation more effectively than beta-carotene. Scientists have found that a combination of lycopene with vitamin E prevents LDL oxidation more effectively than each substance separately.
A clinical study showed that Lithuanians who suffered a high rate of mortality from coronary heart disease has a low blood lycopene levels.
In one clinical trial, 6 healthy males were given 60 mg of lycopene daily for a three month period. Their plasma LDL cholesterol concentration reduced by 14%. Thus, in addition to protecting LDL from oxidation, tomato’s lycopene also inhibits cholesterol synthesis.
See Lycopene to learn more about it.
Tomatoes Reduces High Blood Pressure (Hypertentsion) :
Potassium is very important for the kidneys. Potassium was found to reduce high blood pressure. One jumbo tomato (approximately 3 inches in diameter and weighing about 7 oz.) contains nearly 450 mg. of potassium.
To make Hypertention Tomato Coctail
2 ripe jumbo tomatoes
1 tsp. ground tarragon
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground basil
1 tbsp. of lemon juice
2/3 cup of spring or distilled water
Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Makes a zesty beverage that contains almost 1,200 mg. of potassium and only about 15 mg. of sodium. (80:1 ratio) It is great for hypertension.
Dried Tomatos Prevets Diarrhea:
In 1946, Dr. Lester M. Morrison of the Philadelphia General Hospital, described the successful use of tomato pomace in more than 100 cases of diarrhea in the American Journal of Digestive Diseases. He reported that diarrhea from simple, or non-organic cause can be stopped within 4 hours by the tomato treatment.
He used tomato pomace, prepared by dehydrating tomato pulp. Tomato pomace relieved diarrhea from food poisoning, mucous and spastic colitis, nutritional deficiencies, food allergy (other than that caused by tomatoes), and other causes. No toxic symptoms were observed from its use.
Add one tablespoon of tomato pomace to one glass of milk. Take this at two-hour intervals. Dr. Morrison reported that the diarrhea stopped within 12 hours of taking the first dose. Ulcer symptoms disappeared within one week. Tomato pomace was also found to relieve other gastric disturbances as heartburn, nausea, vomiting and belching.
Natural Prescription for Diarrhea:
Drink the tea made by stirring the tomato pomace from a dozen dried slices of tomatoes into 2/3 cup of water. Increase the amount as needed.
Combine equal parts of dried tomato powder and dried apple powder. Mix it well. Add 2 level tbsp. of this mixture to 1 1/4 cups of warm water. Mix or blend well. Drink as needed.
Tomato Cleanses and Rejuvenates the skin
Tomato is excellent for cleaning and rejuvenating the skin. We will give three applications: in a face peel, as a mask and in a cleansing grain. Later we will show how it can be used to restore skin damaged by sunburn.
Tomato is excellent for a face peel that loosens the top layer of dead skin cells and rub them off. It is good for all types of skins.
Rub tomato slices directly into your clean skin, concentrating on areas infested with blockheads. Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which has healing powers, and an acid that removes dead skin and unplugs pores, making skin soft and radiant.
Slice a ripe tomato as thin as possible. Lie down and close your eyes. Apply the slices to your face. Wait 10 to 15 minutes. Let the juices seep into your skin. After the 10 to 15 minutes are up, use a slice to rub the juices further into the skin. The tomato works as a face peel, removing all dead, dry skin and leaving your face soft, glossy, and smooth. Rub off the excess tomato, leaving the residue on your skin. The mild natural acidity of the tomato restores the ph balance of your skin.
Tomato -Almond Meal Grain:
For tougher face cleaning applications a more abrasive and effective mixture may be needed.
Add almond slices into a blender. Pulverize. Add an equal amount of mashed ripe tomato. Mix well. Apply over the area of the skin you want.
This cleansing grain removes rough dead skin cells, and makes the skin smooth. It is also effective against blockheads. This will work against even the most stubborn areas around the nose and chin. It stimulates circulation and restores the color of sallow, tired skin.
Remove the mixture with cool water or wipe it off, leaving a coating of the natural oils and juices.
This is abrasive .So use with caution.
When skin is sensative due to too much sun,eruptions or obrasions, wait untill the problem is gone.
Use no more than twice a week, only once if irretates.
Proponents say that tomatoes are useful for healing sunburn. Tomato can be used to transform a painful sunburn into a modest tan.
Soak peeled tomato slices in buttermilk. Apply them directly on the skin affected. It will close up the pores and relieve the pain.
Alternately, make a puree out of thinly peeled tomatoes. Add a little buttermilk (don’t add too much; it will make the mixture runny.) Spread this mixture over the sunburned skin. This will give a tan over the spot where the sunburn used to be!
Heals Wounds and Sores:
Tribal medicine men often prescribed poultices made from the leaves of wild tomato to heal wounds and sores. You can get the benefit of the wound healing property of tomato from the fruit also. Take a slice of fresh tomato; wrap it around the finger. Apply an adhesive tape to hold the tomato in place. Change the tomato slices 2-3 times a day. The infection (bad wounds and pus) will normally clear within 2-3 days.
Restore Vitality-for Persistant Fatigue:
Hypoglycemic people (those who have low blood sugar) are beset with constant fatigue and lack of energy. Tomatoes are useful in rebuilding their strength.
Restores Liver Health:
Tomatoes play a key role in liver health.Russian doctors prescribe tomatoes in the diets of factory workers exposed to toxic chemical. Tomatoes are useful detoxifiers because of the presence of chlorine and sulphur, two very important detoxifying trace elements. 100 grams of uncooked tomato contains 51 mg. of chlorine and 11 mg. of sulphur.Natural chlorine helps to stimulate the liver. It assists liver in its task as an important filter for body wastes. Tomato also assists the liver in removing the toxic waste products from the system.
Sulphur helps to protect the liver from cirrhosis and other debilitating conditions.
Drinking fresh tomato juice can help to regenerate the damaged, destroyed or surgically removed liver.
Tomatoes help promote the health and well-being of liver. “A tomato a day, keeps the liver in good stay!,” according to John Heinerman, noted author and herbalist.
Extracted from: http://www.holistic-online.com/Herbal-Med/_Herbs/h_tomato-healing-benefits.htm
and from http://www.thefoodpaper.com