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Gymnema silvestre

Botanical Name : Gymnema silvestre

Family: Asclepiadaceae
Genus: Gymnema
Species: G. sylvestre
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Name :Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods, meshasring.

Alternative names:
Despite the part used being the leaf, one common name of this species is miracle fruit, a name shared by two other species: Synsepalum dulcificum and Thaumatococcus daniellii. Both species are used to alter the perceived sweetness of foods.

In English the species is also known as gymnema, Cowplant and Australian cowplant.

This species also goes under many other names such as; Gurmari, Gurmarbooti, Gurmar, periploca of the woods and Meshasringa. The Hindi word Gur-mar (Madhunaashini in Sanskrit, Chakkarakolli in Malayalam,Podapatri in Telugu), literally means sugar destroyer. Meshasringa (Sanskrit) translates as “ram’s horn”, a name given to the plant from the shape of its fruits. Gymnema derives from the Greek words “gymnos”  and “n?ma” (????) meaning “naked” and “thread” respectively, the species epitheton sylvestre means “of the forest” in Latin.

Habitat :  Gymnema silvestre is   native to the tropical forests of southern and central India where it has been used as a natural treatment for diabetes for nearly two millennia.

Description:
Gudmar or Gymnema Sylvestre is Large climbers, rooting at nodes, leaves elliptic, acuminate, base acute to acuminate, glabrous above sparsely or densely tomentose beneath; Flowers small, in axillary and lateral umbel like cymes, pedicels long; Calyx-lobes long, ovate, obtuse, pubescent; Corolla pale yellow campanulate, valvate, corona single, with 5 fleshy scales. Scales adnate to throat of corolla tube between lobes; Anther connective produced into a membranous tip, pollinia 2, erect, carpels 2,unilocular; locules many ovuled; Follicle long, fusiform1.

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Chemical composition:
The major bioactive constituents of Gymnema sylvestris are a group of oleanane type triterpenoid saponins known as gymnemic acids. The latter contain several acylated (tigloyl, methylbutyroyl etc.,) derivatives of deacylgymnemic acid (DAGA) which is 3-O-glucuronide of gymnemagenin (3, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28-hexahydroxy-olean-12-ene)2. The individual gymnemic acids (saponins) include gymnemic acids I-VII, gymnemosides A-F, gymnemasaponins.

G. sylvestre leaves contain triterpene saponins belonging to oleanane and dammarene classes. Oleanane saponins are gymnemic acids and gymnemasaponins, while dammarene saponins are gymnemasides. Besides this, other plant constituents are flavones, anthraquinones, hentri-acontane, pentatriacontane, ? and ?- chlorophylls, phytin, resins, d-quercitol, tartaric acid, formic acid, butyric acid, lupeol, ?-amyrin related glycosides and stigmasterol. The plant extract also tests positive for alkaloids. Leaves of this species yield acidic glycosides and anthroquinones and their derivatives.

Gymnemic acids have antidiabetic, antisweetener and anti-inflammatory activities. The antidiabetic array of molecules has been identified as a group of closely related gymnemic acids after it was successfully isolated and purified from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre. Later, the phytoconstituents of Gymnema sylvestre were isolated, and their chemistry and structures were studied and elucidated.

Medicinal Uses:
While it is still being studied, and the effects of the herb are not entirely known, the herb has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels when used for an extended period of time. Additionally, Gymnema reduces the taste of sugar when it is placed in the mouth, thus some use it to fight sugar cravings. From extract of the leaves were isolated glycosides known as Gymnemic acids, which exhibit anti-sweet activity.

This effect lasts up to about 2 hours. Some postulate that the herb actually reduces cravings for sugar by blocking sugar receptors in the tongue. This effect was observed in rats in a 2003 study conducted by CH Lemon, et al. It is currently being used in an all natural medication for diabetes with other ingredients such as cinnamon, chromium, zinc, biotin, banaba plant, huckleberry and bitter melon.

The active ingredients are thought to be the family of compounds related to gymnemic acid: purified gymnemic acids are widely used as experimental reagents in taste physiology and have also been shown to affect experimental diabetes, reduce intestinal transport of sugars. and fatty acids. Extracts of Gymnema is not only claimed to curb sweet tooths but also for treatment of as varied problems as hyperglycemia, obesity, high cholesterol levels, anemia and digestion. The leaves were also used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease; historically these claims are not supported by scientific studies.[8] According to the Sushruta of the Ayurveda it helps to treat Madhumeha ie glycosuria.[citation needed]

In 2005, a study made by King’s College, London, United Kingdom, showed that a water-soluble extract of Gymnema Sylvestre, caused reversible increases in intracellular calcium and insulin secretion in mouse and human ?-cells when used at a concentration (0.125 mg/ml) without compromising cell viability. Hence forth these data suggest that extracts derived from Gymnema Sylvestre may be useful as therapeutic agents for the stimulation of insulin secretion in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes.[9] According to research done by Persaud and colleagues in 1999 the raise in insulin levels may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas.  Gymnema can also help prevent adrenal hormones from stimulating the liver to produce glucose, thereby reducing blood sugar levels  Clinical trials with diabetics in India have used 400 mg per day of water-soluble acidic fraction of the gymnema leaves. However, Gymnema cannot be used in place of insulin to control blood sugar by people with either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.

In 2010, King’s College, London, United Kingdom performed another study on Gymnema Sylvestre. OmSantal Adivasi extract, a high molecular weight extract from the plant Gymnema Sylvestre was found to improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Glycemic control after OmSantal Adivasi administration was related to increased circulating levels of insulin and/or C-peptide. Experimenting with human islets in vitro, there was a rapid onset response to OmSantal Adivasi exposure, continued for extent of exposure to OmSantal Adivasi, and also a rapid reverse if there was a withdrawal of OmSantal Adivasi. OmSantal Adivasi created a biphasic pattern of glucose-induced insulin secretion. This resulted in enhanced rates of insulin secretion being maintained for length of exposure to OmSantal Adivasi. Other Gymnema Sylvestre extracts induce cell damage to the membrane causing pathological and unregulated release of insulin to BETA-cells. OmSantal Adivasi has a low concentration of saponin, what causes damage to cell membranes, which would be degraded during digestion. OmSantal Adivasi directly stimulates BETA-cells of the islets of Langerhans, reducing fasting and post-prandial blood glucose. OmSantal Adivasi experiments, in vitro, initiated insulin secretion at a sub-stimulatory concentration of glucose. OmSantal Adivasi has been shown to effectively reduce blood glucose and increase plasma insulin and C-peptide levels in humans

Indian physicians first used Gymnema to treat diabetes over 2,000 years ago.  . In the 1920s, preliminary scientific studies found some evidence that Gymnema leaves can reduce blood sugar levels, but nothing much came of this observation for decades.  It is a taste suppressant.  By topical application gymnema has been shown to block the sweet and some of the bitter taste, but not salt and acid taste.  By keeping off the sweet taste it helps to control a craving for sugar.  Responsible for this are considered saponins.  Gymnema has also shown mild hypoglycemic effect.  Topically (applied to the tongue, mainly to the tip or by chewing) it is used to control a craving for sugar, recommended as an aid to a weightloss diet and diabetes.  Internally it is used as an adjuvant (tea, h.p.) for diabetes. Gymnema leaves raise insulin levels, according to research in healthy volunteers. Based on animal studies, this may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. Other animal research shows that Gymnema can also improve uptake of glucose into cells and prevent adrenaline from stimulating the liver to produce glucose, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. The leaves are also noted for lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides.  In the past, powdered Gymnema root was used to treat snake bites, constipation, stomach complaints, water retention, and liver disease.

Gurmar, also known as Gymnema or Gymnema Sylvestre, is often referred to as “sugar destroyer” and has been used in Ayurveda since the 6th century BC. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for several centuries as a safe and natural approach to help regulate sugar metabolism. The key component of Gymnema – Gymnemic Acids – mimics glucose molecules, numbing receptor sites on the tongue. Gymnema contains Gymnemic acid, Quercitol, Lupeol, Beta-Amyrin and Stigmasterol, all of which are thought to help the body maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Benefits of Gymnema Sylvestre (Gurmar)
Gymnema may:

*Help abolish the taste of sugar*
*Help manage sugar cravings and sugar addictions*
*Help support healthy glucose metabolism*
*Help maintain healthy blood sugar levels*
*Support healthy weight*

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:
http://www.herbalprovider.com/gymnema-sylvestre.html?src=ggl&w=gymnema-sylvestre&gclid=CLjflMqo8qoCFQHf4AodDghbPA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnema_sylvestre
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

http://www.nutrasanus.com/gymnema-sylvestre.html

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Black Rice May Help Soothe Asthma and Allergy Inflammation

Scientists are reporting evidence that black rice — a little-known variety of the grain that is the staple food for one-third of the world population — may help soothe the inflammation involved in allergies, asthma, and other diseases.

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Mendel Friedman and colleagues point out that their previous research showed several potential health benefits of eating black rice bran. Bran is the outer husk of the grain, which is removed during the processing of brown rice to produce the familiar white rice. Those experiments, which were done in cell cultures, hinted that black rice bran suppressed the release of histamine, which causes inflammation.

In the new study, they tested the effects of black rice bran extract on skin inflammation in laboratory mice. When they injected the extract into the mice, it reduced skin inflammation by about 32 percent compared to control animals and also decreased production of certain substances known to promote inflammation. Brown rice bran extract did not have these effects, they say. When the scientists fed the mice a diet containing 10 percent black rice bran, it reduced swelling associated with allergic contact dermatitis, a common type of skin irritation. The findings “further demonstrate the potential value of black rice bran as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic food ingredient and possibly also as a therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation,” the article notes.

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What is Black Rice exactly?

Black rice is the new cancer-fighting superfood

More antioxidants found in black rice than blueberries

Source: Elements4Health  :

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Black Rice Economical Way to Increase Consumption of Antioxidants

Black rice
Image via Wikipedia

Health conscious consumers who hesitate at the price of fresh blueberries and blackberries, fruits renowned for high levels of healthful antioxidants, now have an economical alternative. It is black rice, one variety of which got the moniker “Forbidden Rice” in ancient China because nobles commandeered every grain for themselves and forbade the common people from eating it.

According to a study presented at the 240th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), “one spoonful of black rice bran contains more anthocyanin antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries and better yet, black rice offers more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants, but less sugar.”

Like fruits, “black rice” is rich in anthocyanin antioxidants, substances that show promise for fighting heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Food manufacturers could potentially use black rice bran or the bran extracts to boost the health value of breakfast cereals, beverages, cakes, cookies, and other foods, Xu and colleagues suggested.

Brown rice is the most widely produced rice variety worldwide. Rice millers remove only the outer husks, or “chaff,” from each rice grain to produce brown rice. If they process the rice further, removing the underlying nutrient rich “bran,” it becomes white rice. Xu noted that many consumers have heard that brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. The reason is that the bran of brown rice contains higher levels of gamma-tocotrienol, one of the vitamin E compounds, and gamma-oryzanol antioxidants, which are lipid-soluble antioxidants. Numerous studies showed that these antioxidants can reduce blood levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) — so called “bad” cholesterol — and may help fight heart disease. Xu and colleagues analyzed samples of black rice bran from rice grown in the southern United States. In addition, the lipid soluble antioxidants they found in black rice bran possess higher level of anthocyanins antioxidants, which are water-soluble antioxidants. Thus, black rice bran may be even healthier than brown rice bran, suggested Dr. Xu.

The scientists also showed that pigments in black rice bran extracts can produce a variety of different colors, ranging from pink to black, and may provide a healthier alternative to artificial food colorants that manufacturers now add to some foods and beverages. Several studies have linked some artificial colorants to cancer, behavioral problems in children, and other health problems.

Black rice is one of several black-colored heirloom plants producing rice variants such as Indonesian Black Rice, Forbidden Rice. High in nutritional value, black rice is rich in iron. Unlike other black rice from Asia, it is not glutinous or rough. This grain is high in fiber and has a deep, nutty taste. Black “forbidden rice” is so named because originally it was considered the Emperor’s rice and was literally forbidden for anyone else to eat it. It is a deep black color and turns deep purple when cooked. Its dark purple color is primarily due to its high anthocyanin content. It has a relatively high mineral content (including iron) and, like most rice, supplies several important amino acids.

In China, noodles made from black rice have recently begun being produced. At least one United States bread company has also begun producing “Chinese Black Rice” bread. It shares the deep tyrian color of cooked black rice.

Black rice is used mainly in Asia for food decoration, noodles, sushi, and pudding. Dr. Xu said that farmers are interested in growing black rice in Louisiana and that he would like to see people in the country embrace its use.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_rice
Elements4Health

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Tips To Kick Start Your Weight Loss

Quite simply, to lose weight and improve your condition, you have to eat less, eat more often, and eat better. But daily some form of physical exercise is a must.

Here are some simple steps to take:

9 Simple Diet Changes:

1. Plan your meals. It’s the best way we know of to stick to healthy eating goals. Use the weekly meal planners in the personal planner, and give preference to chicken, fish, and bean-based dishes.

2. Eat more often. The best approach for diabetes is to eat three moderate-sized meals (including breakfast!) and two healthy snacks a day.

3. Eat five servings of vegetables a day. By eating more vegetables, you’ll automatically eat more fiber and less fat. And vegetables are full of disease-fighting compounds. One serving is 1/2 cup canned or cooked vegetables or 1 cup raw vegetables.

4. Eat four servings of fruit a day. A serving of fruit is one piece of whole fruit, 1/2 cup cooked or canned fruit, or 1 cup raw fruit. Have fruit with breakfast and as snacks.

5. Switch to whole grains. Whole grains such as whole wheat bread and brown rice contain fiber, which blunts the rise of blood sugar. Aim for 3-6 servings a day. A serving is 1 slice whole wheat bread or 1/2 cup brown rice or whole wheat pasta.

6. Calcium-rich foods. They facilitate weight loss. Aim to get 2-3 servings a day of low-fat calcium foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. A serving is 1 cup milk or yogurt or 1 1/2 ounces nonprocessed cheese.

7. Eat beans 3-5 times a week. Beans are loaded with fiber, especially soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol.

8. Focus on “good fats.” While saturated fats (the kind found in red meat, butter, and ice cream) contribute to insulin resistance, “good” fats help stabilize your blood sugar. Favor fish over red meat and olive or canola oil over butter.

9. Watch your portion sizes. Keep in mind that a main-dish serving of meat is only the size of a deck of cards, and pasta and cereal should be kept to less than 1 cup.
Take this quiz to discover how your current eating habits rate and zero in on what you’re doing right — and wrong — when it comes to eating for optimum health.

Help taken from:Change one.com

Get Rid of Your Anger

Anger is a feeling that many of us know all too well. Some of us experience it daily, while others hold on to it for years at a time. As you likely know, anger is not at all a healthy emotion, and it doesnt make you feel good. Over time it can become self-destructive, ruining relationships and even your health…...CLICK & SEE

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This is not to say that anger is always a bad thing–anger is a natural part of living; it is a signal that something is wrong and needs your attention. Anger evokes that well-known “fight-or-flight” response, preparing us to defend ourselves physically and psychologically.

Sometimes it is required to get angry to get the job done from subordinates or for some other purposes.But this anger should just be a show only,and this is not harmful.
But if it pushes your body into an overdrive mode that is almost always unnecessary.

It is always said that Wiser and Cleaver people never get angry but shows anger.Anger always slows down the progress.A bad worker always gets angry with his tools.

When you become angry the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released, causing your heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Also, your muscles get tense, your digestive processes stop and certain brain centers are triggered, which alters your brain chemistry.

In the long run, and sometimes even short term, this automatic response to anger can lead to a variety of health problems such as:

  • Headaches
  • Problems with digestion
  • Insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems, such as eczema
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke

Not only that, but anger can lead to other negative emotions like bitterness, hopelessness, futility and overall sadness. Let’s face it; it’s hard to have a good time if you are holding on to anger.It always hrms us,never does any good to any one.So the obvious answer here is: let the anger go. Get rid of it, and it will not be able to bring you down either physically or emotionally.Yes, everyone knows that this is easier said than done, of course, and while the anger management techniques may not guarantee that your life will become suddenly anger-free, they will certainly help you deal with the anger that does come along in a more healthy, proactive way.It is a fact, if you are really interested to get you free from anger, you can surely do it but with time. But your mental strength and strong wish should always be there.Let me write down some of the techniques and methods through which a person can get rid of anger and they are as follows::-

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE:
This overcomes variety of emotional changes.But you will have to learn it from some expert
.It involves tapping your body’s energy meridians and voicing specific positive affirmations about, in this case, your anger. While this may sound unusual, it works to clear the “short-circuit”–the emotional block behind your anger–from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.

RELAXATION:
If you feel anger starting to take over, simply trying to relax can dissuade the negative feelings. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore your feelings. Take a step back and assess the situation. Is your anger justified? If you determine that it is, give yourself a moment to feel hurt, frustrated or annoyed, but don’t let it consume you.Always try to control your mind,never allow your mind to overtake you in getting angry which will never do any good to you.
There are simple steps that you can use daily to overcome anger. These include:

  • Slow, deep breathing
  • Imagining a peaceful scene
  • Relaxation exercises, such as yoga poses

After awhile you’ll see that these steps become automatic reactions, and you won’t even have to think about doing them when anger confronts you.

EMPATHISE:
Don’t let the source of your anger get the better of you. If someone makes you angry, try viewing the situation from his or her angles. Looking at things from a different perspective may make it easier to understand why the situation is occurring, and it may help you to calm down if you come up with a reasonable explanation.

EXERCISE:
Physical activity is a great way to reduce angry feelings. It gives you a chance to focus your mind on something else and once your body is hard at work you will be less likely to obsess over angry feelings.

Vigorous activities such as running and kickboxing are healthy ways to release angry energy that has built up. Follow the intense portion of your workout with something soothing, such as meditation or yoga, to help you relax.

STAY AWAY FROM ARTIFICIAL STIMULANTS:
Stimulants like sugar,caffeine and nicotine speed up the nervous and cardiovascular systems, which can add to the symptoms of anger. If you have recurrent problems with anger, staying away from these items can help. Avoiding them will also produce other health benefits beyond anger reduction.

ACCORDING TO ME IF SOME REALLY WANTS TO GET RID OF ANGER AND WANTS TO GET MENTAL PEACE, ONE SHOULD TRY TO DEVELOP THREE QUALITIES WITHIN AND THEY ARE LOVE,SACRIFICE AND FORGIVEFULLNESS.

There are Good things and Bad things, Beautiful thing and Ugly things, one should accept Good things,admire them, enjoy the beautiful things but never hate bad or ugly things.Because anger develops from hate, if one wants, may avoid them to get mental peace.We should always remember that for all circumstances we get into trouble are created temporarily and the time resolves it.Nonviolent Peaceful Solution is the best way to handle personal problems.Even the toughest problem can be solved permanently through this process.
Anger Management: A Simple –Twelve-Step Program

1. Accept that most things in the world are out of your control.

2. Accept that it is your choice to get angry about those things.

3. No one makes you angry.

4. Life is unfair. Waste no energy lamenting or trying to change that fact.

5. No one likes to be around an angry person. No one feels like helping an angry person.

6. So why be angry? Maybe you really don’t want your problems solved. Maybe you just want to complain and wail and gnash your teeth.

7. Take stock of yourself. What do you want?

8. You should smile more. Your face won’t break.

9. Anger is a weed; hate is the tree. –St. Augustine

10. Anger makes a rich man hated and a poor man scorned. –Thomas Fuller

11.It is always wise to see the good side of every person you meet with.

12.Try to avoid the persons you dislike..

(Help taken from :http://www.mercola.com/2003/aug/9/anger.htm)