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Asparagus

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Botanical Name :Asparagus officinalis
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Asparagoideae
Genus:     Asparagus
Species: A. officinalis
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade:     Angiosperms
Clade:     Monocots
Order:     Asparagales

Common Names: Asparagus,

Habitat : Asparagus officinalis is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and is widely cultivated as a vegetable crop.

(Plants native to the western coasts of Europe (from northern Spain north to Ireland, Great Britain, and northwest Germany) are treated as Asparagus officinalis subsp. prostratus (Dumort.) Corb., distinguished by its low-growing, often prostrate stems growing to only 30–70 cm (12–28 in) high, and shorter cladodes 2–18 mm (0.079–0.709 in) long. It is treated as a distinct species, Asparagus prostratus Dumort, by some authors.A remarkable adaptation is the edible asparagus, while in the Macaronesian Islands several species, (A. umbellatus, A. scoparius, etc.), are preserved the original form, a leafy vine; in the Mediterranean, the asparagus genus has evolved into thorny species.)

Description:
Asparagus  is a spring vegetable, a flowering perennial plant species in the genus Asparagus. It was once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like plants are now in the family.

It is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 centimetres (39–59 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched feathery foliage. The “leaves” are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (0.24–1.26 in) long and 1 mm (0.039 in) broad, and clustered 4–15 together. The root system is adventitious and the root type is fasciculated. The flowers are bell-shaped, greenish-white to yellowish, 4.5–6.5 mm (0.18–0.26 in) long, with six tepals partially fused together at the base; they are produced singly or in clusters of two or three in the junctions of the branchlets. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants, but sometimes hermaphrodite flowers are found. The fruit is a small red berry 6–10 mm diameter, which is poisonous to humans.

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Asparagus is a type of vegetable obtained from one particular species of the many within the genus Asparagus, specifically the young shoots of Asparagus officinalis. It has been used from very early times as a culinary vegetable, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties

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This well-known table delicacy may be found wild on the sea-coast in the South-west of England, especially near the Lizard, in the Isle of Anglesea, otherwise it is a rare native. In the southern parts of Russia and Poland the waste steppes are covered with this plant, which is there eaten by horses and cattle as grass. It is also common in Greece, and was formerly much esteemed as a vegetable by the Greeks and Romans. It appears to have been cultivated in the time of Cato the Elder, 200 years B.C., and Pliny mentions a species that grew near Ravenna, of which three heads would weigh a pound.

Varieties
White asparagus is cultivated by denying the plants light and increasing the amount of ultraviolet light exposed to the plants while they are being grown. Purple asparagus differs from its green and white counterparts, having high sugar and low fibre levels. Purple asparagus was originally developed in Italy and commercialised under the variety name Violetto d’Albenga. Since then, breeding work has continued in countries such as the United States and New Zealand.

Prussian Asparagus, which is brought to some English markets, is not a species of Asparagus at all, but consists of the spikes of Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, which grows abundantly in hedges and pastures

White asparagus (left) and green asparagus (right

As Food & Vegetable
In their simplest form, the shoots are boiled or steamed until tender and served with a light sauce like hollandaise or melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil with a dusting of Parmesan cheese. A refinement is to tie the shoots into sheaves and stand them so that the lower part of the stalks are boiled, while the more tender heads are steamed. Tall cylindrical asparagus cooking pots have liners with handles and perforated bases to make this process foolproof.

Unlike most vegetables, where the smaller and thinner are the more tender, thick asparagus stalks have more tender volume to the proportion of skin. When asparagus have been too long in the market, the cut ends will have dried and gone slightly concave. Meticulous cooks scrape asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler, stroking away from the head, and refresh them in ice-cold water before steaming them; the peel is often added back to the cooking water and removed only after the asparagus is done, this is supposed to prevent diluting the flavor. Small or full-sized stalks can be made into asparagus soup. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or beef, also wrapped in bacon. Asparagus may also be quickly grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers, for an infusion of smoke flavor. Asparagus is one of few foods which is considered acceptable to eat with the hands in polite company, although this is more common in Europe.

Chemical Constituents:
Certain compounds in asparagus are metabolized to yield ammonia and various sulfur-containing degradation products, including various thiols and thioesters, which give urine a characteristic smell.

Some of the volatile organic compounds responsible for the smell are:

*methanethiol
*dimethyl sulfide
*dimethyl disulfide
*bis(methylthio)methane
*dimethyl sulfoxide
*dimethyl sulfone

Medicinal Action and Uses:—The virtues of Asparagus are well known as a diuretic and laxative; and for those of sedentary habits who suffer from symptoms of gravel, it has been found very beneficial, as well as in cases of dropsy. The fresh expressed juice is taken medicinally in tablespoonful doses.

Asparagus is one of the more nutritionally valuable vegetables. It is the best vegetable provider of folic acid. Folic acid is necessary for blood cell formation and growth, as well as liver disease prevention. Folic acid is also important for pregnant women as it aids in the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida in the developing fetus. Asparagus is very low in calories, contains no fat or cholesterol, and is very low in sodium. Asparagus is a great source of potassium, fiber, and rutin, a compound that strengthens the walls of capillaries.

Asparagus rhizomes and roots are used ethnomedically to treat urinary tract infections, as well as kidney and bladder stones.

Click  to learn more about Asparagus…..>.…(1)..…...(2).…….(3)

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.

Help taken from :en.wikipedia.org and botanical.com

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Canker Sores

Patients with ulcerative colitis can occasiona...

Given their diminutive size, it’s hard to fathom how canker sores can hurt as much as they do. Commonsense self-care measures can assist you in avoiding these painful mouth ulcers, and supplements may help you reduce their frequency and speed their healing.


Symptoms
Small white or yellowish sores surrounded by a red area on the tongue, gums, or soft palate, or inside the lips or cheeks.
Burning, itchiness, or a tingling feeling before a sore appears.
Raw pain when eating and speaking; strongest during the first few days.

When to Call Your Doctor
If pain is too severe to consume adequate liquids.
If more than four sores appear throughout your mouth.
If sores persist longer than two weeks.
If fever is 101 degree F or higher.
If sores occur more than two or three times a year.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Though not serious, canker sores can be so bothersome that they can cause intense pain when talking, kissing, drinking, and eating. Affecting women more often than men, these shallow, ulcerated areas appear singly or in small clusters inside the mouth, and range in size from as tiny as a pinhead to as large as a quarter. Cankers emerge fairly suddenly and usually go away within one to three weeks. Fortunately, it is possible to ease the discomfort they cause.


What Causes It

The prevailing view is that the sores are triggered by stress, which can cause the body’s immune system to overreact to bacteria normally present in the mouth. Canker sores can also be precipitated by a number of actions, such as irritating the
mouth cavity with a rough filling or a jagged or chipped tooth or wearing ill-fitting dentures. Maybe you’ve unconsciously gnawed the inside of your cheek, used a toothbrush with very hard bristles, or brushed too vigorously. Occasionally, even
eating acidic, spicy, or salty foods — tomatoes, citrus fruits, hot peppers, cinnamon, nuts, or potato chips — can be the initiating factor.
Some experts believe recurring cankers are an allergic reaction to food preservatives (benzoic acid, methylparaben, or sorbic acid, to name a few) or to something in a food. They single out gluten, the protein found in wheat and some other grains, as the most likely offender.

How Supplements Can Help
When canker sores erupt, turn to one or more of the following supplements. First try lysine — a deficiency in this amino
acid has been associated with canker sores. Echinacea strengthens the immune system, and lower doses of this herb (200 mg each morning, three weeks a month) may also prevent cankers from forming. Another immune-booster, vitamin C helps heal the
mouth’s mucous membranes; flavonoids are natural compounds that enhance the effectiveness of this vitamin. Licorice (DGL) wafers coat and protect sores from irritants and help them heal. Goldenseal in liquid form applied directly to the sore also promotes healing. Instead of DGL or goldenseal, you may want to try zinc lozenges to speed healing and boost your resistance.

People who get canker sores frequently may be deficient in B vitamins; a daily vitamin B complex is useful as a preventive.

What Else You Can Do
Keep your mouth clean and healthy by flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Be gentle and use a soft-bristled brush.
See your dentist if a tooth problem is irritating your mouth.
Be aware if you’re constantly gnawing at the inside of your cheek.
Don’t eat spicy foods if you’re prone to recurrent canker sores. Stay away from coffee and chewing gum, other known irritants.
Eating onions regularly might prevent these sores. Onions contain sulfur compounds that have antiseptic properties, and they are also a leading source of quercetin, a flavonoid that stops the body from releasing inflammatory substances in response to allergens.
If supplements or other self-treatments don’t help relieve the pain or frequency of canker sores, you might want to try a new prescription oral paste known by the generic name of amlexanox.
Supplement Recommendations

Lysine
Echinacea
Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Licorice (DGL)
Goldenseal
Zinc Lozenges
Vitamin B

Lysine
Dosage: 500 mg L-lysine 3 times a day.
Comments: Take on empty stomach; discontinue when sores heal.

Echinacea
Dosage: 200 mg 2 or 3 times a day at first sign of a sore.
Comments: Begin with higher dose and reduce as sore heals. As a preventive, take 200 mg each morning for 3 weeks of each month.

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.

Licorice (DGL)
Dosage: Chew 1 or 2 deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) wafers (380 mg) 3 or 4 times a day.
Comments: Take between meals.

Goldenseal
Dosage: Apply liquid form to the sore 3 times a day.
Comments: After application, wait at least an hour before eating.

Zinc Lozenges
Dosage: 1 lozenge every 2 hours for 3 or 4 days.
Comments: Do not exceed 150 mg zinc a day from all sources.

Vitamin B
Dosage: 1 pill each morning with food.
Comments: Look for a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg of all other B vitamins.

Herbal Remedy: YOU can fight small and painful ulcers on the tongue, lips, gums and insides of cheeks with underlying causes ranging from poor dental hygiene to allergies, nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances to viral infecrion with the following herbs:-

Red clover, burdock, garlic extract, and any herb containing berberine as an active ingredient, including barberry, Oregon grape root and goldenseal root.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs
http://www.herbnews.org/cankersoresdone.htm

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Anemia

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Looking pale? Feeling weak and tired? There’s a quick blood test available to assess
whether anemia is to blame — and if so, whether it’s caused by iron-poor blood or something else. Your doctor is the best person to ask about whether certain supplements might be right for you.

Symptoms
Weakness, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, or mental confusion.
Paleness, especially of the gums and eyelids or under the nails.
Palpitations; shortness of breath.
Sores in the mouth or tongue; unusual bruising or bleeding.
Numbness and tingling of the feet or legs.
Nausea and diarrhea
.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you have any symptoms of anemia — your doctor must find the underlying cause.
If you are pregnant (or are considering pregnancy) or menstruate heavily.
If you are following a treatment plan for anemia — regular checkups can determine if
supplements are working.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Anemia is a condition in which there is a shortage of red cells in the blood or a
deficiency of hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying pigment) in these cells. When anemia occurs, the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, and weakness and fatigue result. Although symptoms may not appear — or may be very mild — for a long time, the condition can be life-threatening if it is left undiagnosed and untreated. Should you suspect you are anemic, it’s essential that you see your doctor promptly to ascertain the underlying cause. Treatment will vary, depending on the diagnosis.

What Causes It
Iron deficiency, the most common cause of anemia, usually results from a gradual, prolonged blood loss, which depletes the body’s iron stores. Without enough iron, hemoglobin levels fall. Menstruating women, particularly those with heavy periods, are prone to iron-deficiency anemia. However, men and women can develop iron deficiency from any condition that causes slow bleeding — including long-term hemorrhoids, rectal polyps, or ulcers; stomach or colon cancer; or prolonged use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. Because so many foods are fortified with iron, iron-deficiency anemia can rarely be attributed to a lack of this mineral in the diet.

Less common is anemia that results from a deficiency of vitamin B12 (in which case it’s called pernicious anemia) or folic acid. Both nutrients are essential to red blood cell production. Alcoholics, smokers, people with certain digestive disorders, vegetarians, those over age 50, and pregnant or lactating women are the most likely to be at risk, either because of poor nutrition or an inability to absorb these nutrients properly. Other forms of anemia can be traced to chronic illnesses (for example, cancer, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis); hereditary disorders such as sickle-cell anemia; or exposure to toxic drugs, chemicals, or radiation.

How Supplements Can Help
Before taking supplements, you need to determine the underlying cause of your anemia. It’s especially important to see a doctor about iron-deficiency anemia, which may be caused by internal bleeding. If you’re advised to take supplements, have blood work every month to see if they are worthwhile.
If iron-deficiency anemia is diagnosed, the mineral iron combined with vitamin C may be of
value. A study involving 28 strict vegetarians found that 500 mg of vitamin C, taken after
lunch and dinner for two months, raised hemoglobin levels by 8% and blood iron levels by
17%. Vitamin C increases the body’s ability to absorb iron.
Take iron only under your doctor’s supervision, because too much can be dangerous.
Most postmenopausal women and men of all ages get plenty of iron in their diet and should not take a multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains it. A recent survey of elderly Americans found that more than 90% of them had too much iron in their diets –and that only 1% suffered from iron — deficiency anemia. Excess iron acts as an “oxidant,” generating harmful molecules called free radicals that can raise cholesterol and block arteries. Toomuch iron has been linked to heart disease.
Various herbs may also be useful. Yellow dock has modest amounts of iron, but it’s well
absorbed and can raise blood iron levels. Other iron-rich herbs include seaweed and dulse.
Taken as a tincture, juice, or tea, some herbs (dandelion, burdock, mint, and linden
flowers) may enhance the body’s ability to absorb iron from foods or supplements.

Vitamin C may be beneficial if you have anemia caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12 or
folic acid as well; it aids the body in absorbing these nutrients. Vitamin B12 and folic
acid should always be taken in tandem, and under a doctor’s supervision, because a high
intake of one can mask a deficiency of the other. Together they work to boost production of red blood cells. Once anemia is corrected and a problem with absorption has been ruled out as a cause, the amount of B12 and folic acid in your daily multivitamin may be sufficient to prevent a recurrence.

What Else You Can Do
Eat foods rich in iron (dried beans, liver, red meat, dried fruits, nuts, shellfish); in
folic acid (citrus fruits, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, liver, soybeans, wheat germ); and
in vitamin B12 (liver, shellfish, lamb, beef, cheese, fish, eggs).

Supplement Recommendations

Iron
Vitamin C
Vitamin B12/Folic Acid
Yellow Dock
Dandelion

Iron
Dosage: 30 mg 3 times a day with meals.
Comments: Your doctor may prescribe a higher dosage.

Vitamin C
Dosage: 500 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Take with meals to enhance iron absorption from foods.

Vitamin B12/Folic Acid
Dosage: 1,000 mcg B12 and 400 mcg folic acid in sublingual form twice a day for 1 month.
Comments: Always take B12 and folic acid together. If still anemic after oral B12
supplements, you may need B12 injections.

Yellow Dock
Dosage: 1,000 mg each morning.
Comments: Or take 1/2 tsp. tincture twice a day.

Dandelion
Dosage: 1 tsp. fresh juice or tincture with water twice a day.
Comments: Take with yellow dock to enhance iron absorption.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

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Healthy Tips Suppliments our body needs

Vitamins and Mineral Aids

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Because many nutrients are crucial to the body’s natural ability to cope, a daily multivitamin and mineral is especially important during times of stress. Take vitamin B complex as well; the extra B vitamins it supplies promote the health of the nervous and immune systems and can counteract fatigue. Calcium and magnesium are worthwhile too, because they can relieve muscle tension and strengthen the heart.

Supplement Recommendations:

Vitamin B Complex vitamin B6
vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid, folic acid: Dosage: 1 pill twice a day with food.

Warnings: High doses of some B vitamins can be toxic and/or cause nerve damage. Vitamin B6 may prevent the drug levodopa from working properly and folic acid and vitamin B6 have been show to interfere with some anticonvulsants.

Calcium, Magnesium:Dosage: 250 mg of each twice a day.

Comments:
Take with food; sometimes sold in a single supplement.

Warnings: People who have thyroid or kidney disease should check with their doctor before taking calcium or magnesium. Calcium and magnesium may decrease the absorption of some antibiotics such as doxycycline, minocycline, and tetracycline. Calcium may intensify the potassium-depleting effects of diuretics such as chlorothiazide, hydrocholorothiazide, and indapamide. Avoid calcium supplements made from dolomite, oyster shells, or bonemeal because these compounds may contain unacceptable levels of lead.

From: The Healing Power Of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs