Tag Archives: Blood sugar

Foods that fight high cholesterol

 

 

.Some cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Here are 5 of those foods:

Oats. An easy way to start lowering cholesterol is to choose oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram.

Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.

Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.

 

Foods fortified with sterols and stanols:  Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are now adding them to a wide variety of foods. They’re also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.

Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

 

Resources:
Harvard Health Publications
Harvard Medical School

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Viburnum lantanoides

Botanical Name : Viburnum lantanoides
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species:V. lantanoides
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonyms: Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade

Common Names: Hobble-bush, Witch-hobble, Alder-leaved viburnum, American wayfaring tree, and Moosewood

Habitat : Viburnum lantanoides is found in the eastern U.S. and Canada from Georgia to the Canadian Maritimes. It grows in rich, moist acidic woods, stream banks, and swamps.

Description:
Viburnum lantanoides is a deciduous perennial shrub, growing 2–4 meters (6–12 ft) high with pendulous branches that take root where they touch the ground. These rooted branches form obstacles which easily trip (or hobble) walkers – hence the common name.

The shrub forms large clusters of white to pink flowers in May–June. The flowers on the outer edge of the clusters are much larger (3–5 cm across). The whole cluster is typically 10 cm across. It has large, cardioid leaves which are serrate, 10–20 cm long. The bark is gray-brown and warty and the fruit is a drupe which is red, turning to black when ripened….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cultivation:
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in a shady position. Requires a moist acid soil and woodland conditions but without competition from other plants. Another report says that it requires an exposed position. Dislikes alkaline soils. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -30°c. Plants are self-incompatible and need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed. Plants are often self-layering in the wild and form thickets. This species is closely related to V. furcatum.
Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[80]. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.
Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. Sweet and palatable, tasting somewhat like raisins or dates. The fruits have a large seed and a thin flesh. The taste is best after a frost. The ovoid fruit is about 15mm long and contains a single large seed.

Medicinal Uses:
Analgesic; Blood purifier; Infertility.

The leaves are analgesic. They have been mashed and applied to the head as a poultice to ease a migraine. A decoction of the roots has been used as a blood medicine. The decoction has been used as a fertility aid by women.

Other Uses : The flowers provide nectar for the Celastrina ladon (Spring Azure) butterfly. Mammals and birds feed on its fruit, twigs, and leaves. The large showy flowers are decorative to flower garden.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_lantanoides
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+lantanoides

Saussurea costus

Botanical Name : Saussurea costus
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Saussurea
Species: S. costus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Saussurea lappa. (Decne.)Schultz-Bip

Common Name: Costus or Kuth. It has a large number of names in other languages, including kustha in Sanskrit; kust or qust in Arabic and Persian; kut, kur, and pachak in Hindi and Bengali, kostum, gostham, and potchuk in Tamil; upaleta and kur in Gujarati; kot or kust in Punjabi; changala in Telugu; sepuddy in Malayalam; kostha in Kannada; kuth or postkhai in Kashmiri; and koshet in Hebrew

Habitat : Saussurea costus is native to South & Eeastern Asia – Himalayas. It grows casually in irrigated areas, 2000 – 3300 metres from Pakistan to Himachel Pradesh. Usually found in moist shady situations in Kashmir, sometimes forming the undergrowth in birch forests.

Description:
Saussurea costus is a tall perennial herb, well known as a medicinal plant. Stems up to 2 m tall, or more. Lower leaves are long-stalked, pinnate, 30-40 cm long, with a trianglular terminal leaflet, up to 30 cm long. Upper leaves are smaller, up to 30 cm long, stem-clasping. All leaves are irregularly toothed. There is a rounded cluster of a few purple flower-heads at the top of the stem. The flower-heads look like balls covered with purple bracts. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects….…CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES 

Cultivation :
Succeeds in most soils in a sunny well-drained position. Cultivated as a medicinal plant and for its use in perfumery in the Himalayas. The dried root has something of the mossy smell of violets when fresh, becoming fur-like or even unpleasantly goat-like with age. Most of the roots are exported to China and Japan and the plant forms quite a large article of commerce in Kashmir, the trade being controlled by the State. Wild plants have been greatly over-collected and the plant has been placed on the CITES I list of endangered species – it is now illegal to dig them up for export.

Propagation:
Seed – we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a cold frame in the spring. Surface sow, or only just cover the seed, and make sure that the compost does not dry out. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts. Division in spring might be possible.

Edible Uses:... Condiment……The aromatic root is sometimes used as a spice. It has a characteristic penetrating odour reminiscent of violet, orris and vetiver.
Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne; Antibacterial; Antispasmodic; Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Emmenagogue; Skin; Stimulant; Tonic; Vermifuge.

Costus is used in the Ayurvedic and Unani Tibb traditions in India for its tonic, stimulant, and antiseptic properties. The root is commonly taken, with other herbs, for respiratory system problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and coughs.

It is commonly used medicinal herb in China and is considered to be one of their 50 fundamental herbs. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine where it is valued mainly for its tonic, stimulant and antiseptic properties. It is said to be aphrodisiac and to be able to prevent the hair turning grey. The root is anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, skin, stimulant, stomachic, tonic and vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of abdominal distension and pain, chest pains due to liver problems and jaundice, gall bladder pain, constipation associated with energy stagnation, and asthma. The root is harvested in the autumn or spring and either dried for later use or decocted for the essential oil. It is normally used with other herbs. The root is also used in Tibetan medicine where it is considered to have an acrid, sweet and bitter taste with a neutral potency. It is used in the treatment of swelling and fullness of the stomach, blockage and irregular menses, pulmonary disorders, difficulty in swallowing and rotting/wasting of muscle tissues. An oil from the root is very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism. It is also used to treat cholera.

Other Uses:
Essential; Hair; Incense.

An essential oil obtained from the roots is used medicinally, in perfumery, incenses and as a hair rinse when it is said to darken grey hair. It has a strong lingering scent. The smell is at first like violets, but as it ages it can become more fur-like or eventually become unpleasantly goat-like. The roots are cut into lengths about 8cm long and then dried before being exported. Smaller pieces of the root are ground into a powder and then used to make incense sticks. The longer clean pieces are cut into very thin slices and then burnt at shrines or used as a tonic in hot baths.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saussurea_costus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Saussurea+costus
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Costus.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

Gigartina stellata

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Botanical Name : Gigartina stellata

Family: Petrocelidaceae
Genus: Mastocarpus
Species: Mastocarpus stellatus
Domain: Eukaryota
Division: Rhodophyta
kingdom: Plantae
Class: Florideophyceae
Order: Gigartinales

Synonym: Mastocarpus stellatus

Common Names: Clúimhín Cait, Cats’ puff, False Irish moss, Carragheen, Chondrus crispus

Habitat: Chondrus crispus is common all around the shores of Ireland and Great Britain and can also be found along the coast of Europe including Iceland, the Faroe Islands western Baltic Sea to southern Spain. It is found on the Atlantic coasts of Canada and recorded from California in the United States to Japan. However, any distribution outside the Northern Atlantic needs to be verified. There are also other species of the same genus in the Pacific Ocean, for example, C. ocellatus Holmes, C. nipponicus Yendo, C. yendoi Yamada et Mikami, C. pinnulatus (Harvey) Okamura and C. armatus (Harvey) Yamada et Mikami

Description:
Chondrus crispus is a relatively small red alga, reaching up to a little over than 20 cm in length. It grows from a discoid holdfast and branches four or five times in a dichotomous, fan-like manner. The morphology is highly variable, especially the broadness of the thalli. The branches are 2–15 mm broad, firm in texture and dark reddish brown in color bleaching to yellowish in sunlight. The gametophytes (see below) often show a blue iridescence at the tip of the fronds and fertile sporophytes show a spotty pattern. Mastocarpus stellatus (Stackhouse) Guiry is a similar species which can be readily distinguished by its strongly channelled and often somewhat twisted thallus. The cystocarpic plants of Mastocarpus show reproductive papillae[clarification needed] quite distinctively different from Chondrus. When washed and sun-dried for preservation, it has a yellowish, translucent, horn-like aspect and consistency.

CLICK & SEE  THE PICTURES

Medicinal Uses:
Because of its mucus forming properties, carrageenan has been used in lung diseases and to improve bitter drug taste. Carrageenan has also been used in cases of digestive tract irritations and in diarrhea and dysentery. In France and Great Britain, carrageenan has been used to treat stomach ulcers due to its mucous properties. When used against ulcers, the body has no necessity to gastrointestinally absorb carrageenan, so that carrageenan acts directly on the mucous surface. Codfish liver oil emulsions have been prepared with carrageenans. Cotton-wood soaked in carrageenan decoction has been used as cataplasm.

Medicinally it is useful in chest and bronchial infections, as well as in the treatment of stomach ulcers and diseases of the bladder and kidneys. A syrup to combat coughs and colds can be made by adding ? cup of rinsed carragheen moss and the thinly pared rind and juice of 2 lemons to 6 cups of water. Boil the mixture for 10 minutes, add a dessertspoonful of honey and simmer for a further 10 minutes before straining. Serve the syrup hot or cold.

It is collected in Ireland and Scotland, together with Chondrus crispus as Irish moss, dried, and sold for cooking and as the basis for a drink reputed to ward off colds and flu.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastocarpus_stellatus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chondrus_crispus
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastocarpus_stellatus

Senecio erucifolius

Botanical Name : Senecio erucifolius
Family:Asteraceae or Compositae
Tribe: Senecioneae
Genus: Jacobaea
Species: J. erucifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Syn: Jacobaea erucifolia

Common Names: Hoary Groundsel, Hoary ragwort

Habitat: Senecio erucifolius occurs in Central and southern Europe, including Britain, north to Denmark and Lithuania, east to W. Asia. It grows in dry banks, field borders, grassy slopes and roadsides, in limestone and chalky districts and especially on heavy soils.

Description:
Senecio erucifolius is a perennial herb, growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in).Medium to tall, grey downy plant, with a shortly creeping stock bearing terminal leaf rosettes. Stems erect, branched above the middle. Leaves pinnately lobed, the lower stalked and usually present at flowering time. Upper leaves with narrower lobes; all leaves with somewhat down rolled margins and woolly, especially beneath. Flowerheads bright yellow 12 to 15 mm with 12 to 15 rays, borne in a narrow flat topped cluster.It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies. It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on the cultivation needs of this plant but, judging by its native habitats, it is likely to require a sunny position and to succeed in most moderate to heavy soils, including those of an alkaline nature.

Propagation:
Seed – sow spring in situ. Division in spring
Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antiscorbutic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Poultice; Purgative.

The plant is used in plasters, ointments and poultices. This species is related to groundsel, S. vulgaris, and is said to have similar properties. These are:- The whole herb is anthelmintic, antiscorbutic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue and purgative. It is often used as a poultice and is said to be useful in treating sickness of the stomach, whilst a weak infusion is used as a simple and easy purgative. The plant can be harvested in May and dried for later use, or the fresh juice can be extracted and used as required. Use with caution, see notes above on toxicity.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous to many mammals, including humans. The toxin affects the liver and has a cumulative affect. Some mammals, such as rabbits, do not seem to be harmed by the plant, and will often seek it out. Various birds also eat the leaves and seeds.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobaea_erucifolia
http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/hoary-ragwort
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Senecio+erucifolius