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By Ma’at Seba
SUN COLUMNIST
                                            Herbs have been used through out our history and in all                                     cultures to heal the body of practically every known illness and                                    dis-ease. Herbs have very few side effects as opposed to the                                        prescribed drugs, however, pregnant women should always                                          consult their medical caregiver before taking any herbs or                                              prescription drugs. There are thousands of herbs and each one                                    has more than one use, so do your own research on whatever                                      illnesses or disorders that you may have, which will empower you to make more natural and wholistic choices about your health. Keep this list to assist you in educating yourself on some of the most commonly used medicinal herbs and easily accessible ones and their uses.
 Juniper - has been used to clear uric acid from the body. It is high in natural insulin, and has the ability to heal the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage. It is useful for all urinary infections and for water retention problems. Juniper is used externally as a compress to treat acne, athlete's foot, and dandruff.
Kava Kava - used as a diuretic, to treat insomnia and nervousness, good for mental and physical relaxation, relieves muscle pain and spasms, helpful for stress, anxiety, urinary tract infections and menopause. Also used for pains associated with nerve and skin diseases. Avoid if under 18, are pregnant or nursing, taking anti-anxiety medications, can cause drowsiness and large doses can cause a buildup of toxic substances in the liver.
Kelp - contains over 30 minerals and vitamins, good source of iodine, essential fatty acids, protein, potassium salts and fiber, also helpful in removing heavy metal toxins. Has been known to reduce cellulite deposits, stimulates thyroid function and regulates metabolism, is a gentle laxative, used to strengthen and promote the glands.
Kudzo - has been traditionally used in China for treating alcoholism and suppressing alcohol cravings, known to lower blood pressure, increases circulation, reduces muscle pain and stiffness and helpful for cold, flu and gastrointestinal problems.
Lavender - excellent for relieving stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia, stops pain from headaches and various skin conditions, known to sooth an upset stomach and excess gas. Lavender essential oil is excellent for bruising, aches, swelling, burns (on unopened skin), relieving insomnia, stress, nervousness, anxiety, headaches, skin problems, skin wound discolorations. 
Lemon Balm - used for fever, flu, colds, headaches, depression, menstrual cramps, insomnia, and a nervous stomach, also been used to treat hyperthyroidism and indigestion. Also helpful for ADD, anxiety, sleeplessness, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and to reduce muscle pain.
Licorice Root - a good source of the female hormone estrogen (helps to normalize and regulate hormone production), useful for coughs and chest ailments, fights inflammation and bacterial, viral and parasitic infection, stimulates interferon. Helpful in some neurological conditions (Bell’s palsy), eases inflammatory conditions of the skin and mucous membranes. Beneficial for depression, asthma, allergies, emphysema, inflammatory bowel disorders, PMS and menopause, Useful as a remedy for stomach and heart problems, indigestion, and most respiratory ailments, cleanses the colon, promotes the healing of canker sores, diaper rash, eczema and psoriasis. Should not be used by pregnant women as it can sometimes lead to high blood pressure with prolonged use, avoid if have diabetes, heart disease, glaucoma, high pressure, or have a history of strokes.
Maca - helpful for anemia, impotence, PMS and menopausal symptoms, increasing energy and supports the immune system.
Marshmallow - aids in the expelling of difficult mucous and phlegm, strengthens the digestive system and enhances the immune system, good for fluid retention, bladder infections, digestive upsets, headaches, sinusitis, sore throat, helps to relax and soothe the bronchial tubes and mucus membranes. It is an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory for joints and the digestive system.
Mate’ (Yerba Mate’) - a good source of trace minerals, is used as a general tonic to invigorate and stimulate the body and mind, excellent diuretic for relieving fluid retention, cleanses the blood, and helps to curb the appetite.
Milk Thistle - very beneficial and effective in the treatment of liver conditions and diseases (cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, and alcoholic hepatitis), stimulates the production of new liver cells, protects and cleanses the liver from toxins, good for gallbladder and adrenal disorders. It helps stabilize blood sugars and cholesterol, increases the production of bile, assists in constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, and improves liver regeneration. Silymarin is an extract of milk thistle and helps prevent toxins from entering the liver to damage the cells. Best if taken in capsule form as it has poor water solubility.  
Moringa - has been used for medicinal purposes in many countries for various illnesses and diseases such as: diabetes, cholesterol, arthritis, prostate, fungus, thyroid, liver conditions, common cold, warts, HIV/AIDS, Herpes Simplex, nervous disorders, colitis, migraines/headaches, diarrhea, flatulence, asthma, psoriasis, intestinal worms, blood pressure, bronchitis, anemia, urinary disorders, colitis, painful joints, skin infections, diarrhea, ear and eye infections, lactation, hysteria, insect bites and much more. It is also anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and is the perfect survival food. Although its presence and benefits are not widely known in the United States, its popularity is growing quickly. The nutritional properties are profound and contain Vitamins A, B 1,2,3, C, Calcium, Chromium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Protein and Zinc. Since the protein is from a non-animal source it is excellent for vegetarians and vegans. Said to contain 539 known compounds, the Moringa which according to traditional African and Indian (Ayurvedic) is said to prevent over 300 diseases and maladies. It also contains approximately 46 antioxidants which are the cells that destroy free-radicals (free radicals are the cells that seek out and destroy healthy cells). The nutritional content is so complete that it is used as an excellent source for combating malnutrition and starvation in so-called “developing nations”. It has been effective in fighting and preventing diseases and building the immune system. 
Mullein - very good for loosening mucous and clearing congestion, useful for bronchitis, asthma, hay fever, swollen glands, it is useful for treating lung ailments, strengthening the lymphatic system. Good in tea form to help heal wounds and hemorrhoids. Avoid if pregnant or nursing.
 Myrrh - is a powerful antiseptic, expectorant, disinfectant and analgesic, often used in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes for fighting and preventing gum disease. Good for colds, flus, asthma, bronchitis, sore throats, ulcers and useful topically for wounds, sores, boils, and abscesses.
  For additional information, contact Loving Life Health Food Center at (313)861-1118.


Herbs and their uses A - Z part 5
By Melody Thompson & 
Laura Dewberry
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
  In recent years, coconut water has become a very trendy beverage.
  It is tasty, refreshing and also happens to be very good for you. It is loaded with several important nutrients, including minerals that most people don't get enough of.
   Here are 8 health benefits of coconut water.
1. Good source of several nutrients
     Despite the name, the coconut is a fruit rather than a nut.
Coconut water is the juice found in the center of a young, green coconut.
     Coconut water is produced naturally in the fruit and contains 94% water and very little fat.
It should not be confused with coconut milk, which is made by adding water to grated coconut meat.
2. May have antioxidant properties
     One study found that rats with liver damage showed significant improvement in oxidative stress when they were treated with coconut water, compared to rats that received no treatment.
     Coconut water contains antioxidants that protect cells from damaging free radicals.
3. May have benefits against diabetes
     Research has shown that coconut water can lower blood sugar levels and improve other health markers in diabetic animals.
4. May help prevent kidney stones
Drinking enough fluids is important for kidney stone prevention.
Although plain water is a great choice, one study suggests that coconut water may be even better.
5. May support heart health
     Drinking coconut water may be helpful to reduce heart disease risk.
6. May reduce blood pressure
It may be also be a great beverage for keeping blood pressure under control.
     Coconut water may help lower blood pressure and potentially decrease the risk of blood clots forming in the arteries.
7. Beneficial after prolonged exercise
     Coconut water may be the perfect beverage for restoring hydration and replenishing electrolytes lost during exercise.
Two studies found that coconut water restored hydration after exercise better than water and equal to high-electrolyte sports beverages.
8. Delicious source of hydration
     Coconut water is slightly sweet with a subtle, nutty flavor. It's also fairly low in calories and carbs.
     Water is freshest when it comes directly from the coconut. Simply press a straw into the soft part of a green coconut and start drinking.
  Store the coconut in the refrigerator and consume it within two to three weeks of purchase. You can also buy bottled coconut water at most grocery stores.
     However, be sure to read the ingredients list to verify you're getting 100% coconut water
     For more information, ideas or questions contact us at forveggiesake@yahoo.com



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