Friday, February 26, 2016

Guinea Hen Weed: A Powerful Jamaican Herb

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I recently ran out of my thyroid medication. I was in pain for days, when the grandmother ( visiting form Jamaica) of a friend of mine told me to get some Guinea Hen Weed. I heard in the past that it was good for you. It is one of the many herbs I have in my pantry in tea bag form, but have never used yet. So I decided to steep a cup.

Well, I certainly felt an immediate difference. I wasn't in as much pain and I did feel a slight boost in energy and it is probably why I can't sleep now . So maybe one should refrain from taking it before bed. I figure while I am up , let me look up this Guinea Hen Weed. I was pleasantly surprised to see it is a cancer fighter, helps with diabetes, a stimulant to the immune system, and a pain reliever and much more . It explains why I feel the way I do after drinking a cup. I can imagine if I had the actual Plant instead of the tea bag I would feel stronger effects. (Warning: Do not take if pregnant).

Here is an article I found from The Jamaican Gleaner about this wonderful herb.

Guinea Hen Weed: A Powerful Jamaican Herb

Source :

GUINEA HEN weed, known to South Americans as anamu, is a herb that is indigenous to induce abortion in the Amazon rainforest and the tropical areas of the Caribbean, Central and South America and Africa. Its botanical name isPetiveria alliacea. In Jamaica, it has several names - guinea hen weed, guinea hen leaf, garlic weed or gully root.

Anamu has a long history of use in herbal medicine in all the countries where it grows. Herbalists and natural health practitioners have traditionally used anamu for a wide variety of conditions including arthritis, digestive disorders, infections, diabetes, cancer, pain relief and even to induce abortions.

Over the past quarter of a century, however, modern scientific research has studied anamu intensively and many biologically active compounds have been discovered in the plant: flavanoids, triterpenes, steroids, and sulfur compounds. The research published on anamu now validates many of the historical uses of this herb.

Interestingly, the researchers found that of the 20 compounds isolated from the plant - several of which had never been identified in nature before - some were similar to compounds found in garlic, a plant known to have medicinal properties.

Anamu kills cancer cells - Laboratory investigations show that anamu retards the growth of several strains of cancer and leukemia cells. In a plant screening programme performed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, more than 1,400 plant extracts were evaluated for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Anamu was one of only 34 plants identified with active properties specifically against cancer.

How does anamu work against cancer?

Several phytochemicals in anamu like astilbin and dibenzyl trisulphide have been documented to directly kill cancer cells. Research showed further that the compounds in anamu were able to differentiate between normal cells and cancer cells, killing only the cancerous cells. In addition, other substances in the herb stimulate the body's natural defences as described below.

Anamu stimulates the immune system - Anamu has also been verified to have immunostimulant properties. It stimulates the immune system to increase its production of lymphocytes and natural killer cells - powerful disease-destroying cells. At the same time, it increases the production of interferon and interleukins - substances naturally produced by the immune system in fighting cancers and infections.

Anamu fights infections - It demonstrates broad spectrum antimicrobial properties against numerous bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. Compounds in anamu directly kill and or inhibits the growth of these germs. Interestingly, many alternative medicine practitioners believe that infection plays a major role in many cancers. Anamu is widely used in folk medicine for treating infections.

Anamu relieves pain - Its traditional use as a remedy for arthritis and rheumatism has been validated by clinical research that confirms its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory effect. Researchers in Sweden demonstrated its COX-1 inhibitory properties (cyclooxogenase-1 inhibitors are a new class of popular and profitable arthritis drugs). Anamu extracts have been found to relieve pain and inflammation even when applied topically to the skin.

Anamu lowers blood sugar - While anamu has not been widely researched for diabetes, it had been documented to lower blood sugar levels by more than 60 per cent in laboratory animals. This reflects herbal medical practice in Cuba where anamu has been used as an aid for diabetes for many years.

Contradictions to anamu

Anamu has been found to cause contractions of the uterus that can lead to abortions and miscarriages. As such, it should not be used by pregnant women.

Anamu contains a low concentration of a blood thinner called coumadin. People with any bleeding disorder like hemophilia or who are on blood thinning medication should consult their health-care provider before using anamu.

Directions for use

I recommend using organically grown anamu herb, free of insecticides, herbicides and other pollution.

One heaping tablespoonful of the whole powdered anamu plant is diffused in one litre of hot water. The resulting tea is drunk preferably on an empty stomach. An average dosage is four ounces (about half a cup) twice daily.

My experience

I myself was introduced to anamu by a Jamaican oncologist, (a doctor specialising in treating cancer), who had seen good results in some of her patients who used this herb. I thank her for her generosity in sharing the information. I had also heard impressive stories from Jamaican men with prostate cancer who had benefited from its use.

After doing my own research, I now use it regularly in my practice and find it to be a useful, safe, inexpensive addition to a cancer-treatment programme, as well as in the treatment of the other conditions listed above.

Reminder and warning

Many persons are desperately looking for a quick fix - a magic bullet that will miraculously cure their illness. The reality is that there is no quick fix. Like so many useful herbs, anamu will give best results when combined with optimal nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise, detoxification, stress management and adequate restful sleep.

It must be a part of a programme of healthy lifestyles. It may also be used along with conventional medicines without disturbing their effects. If you have a serious medical condition, do not self medicate without the assistance and guidance of a qualified health practitioner.

Source :

Friday, February 12, 2016

Low B12 Seen in Aging, Autism and Schizophrenia

by Christopher Wanjek | February 10, 2016 02:40pm ET

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The brains of the elderly and younger people with autism and schizophrenia may share a common link: Both have low levels of vitamin B12, researchers say.

The facts that blood levels of B12 do not always mirror brain levels of the vitamin, and that brain levels decrease more over the years than blood levels, may imply that various types of neurological diseases — such as old-age dementia and the disorders of autism and schizophrenia — could be related to poor uptake of vitamin B12 from the blood into the brain, the scientists said.

The findings, reported last month in the journal PLOS ONE, support an emerging theory that the human brain uses vitamin B12 in a tightly regulated manner to control gene expression and to spur neurological development at key points during life, from the brain's high-growth periods during fetal development and early childhood, through the refining of neural networks in adolescence, and then into middle and old age.

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, plays a crucial role in blood formation and the normal functioning of the nervous system. The vitamin is found in foods derived from animal sources, although some plant-based foods can be fortified with B12. [6 Foods That Are Good For Your Brain]

In the new study, scientists led by Richard Deth, a professor ofpharmacology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, examined the brains of more than 60 deceased individuals, ranging in age from a fetus in a late stage of gestation to 80 years. The study included 12 people who had autism and nine with schizophrenia.

This is the first study to compare the levels of vitamin B12 in the brain across the human lifetime, Deth told Live Science. The vitamin B12 levels in the brain were 10 times lower in the oldest people compared with the youngest, reflecting a gradual, natural, and consistent decline over the years.

For the elderly, this decline might not be a bad thing. Lower levels at advanced ages may offer some degree of brain protection by slowing cellular reactions and the production of DNA-damaging chemicals called free radicals, Deth said. In previous work with his colleague Yiting Zhang of Northeastern University in Boston, Deth found that the body's creation of biologically active forms of vitamin B12 produces free radicals as a waste product.

But levels of B12 that are too low can be detrimental. "At some point, an extreme decrease in metabolism…is not compatible with cell survival," Deth said. Similarly, lower vitamin B12 levels can have negative consequences for people of younger ages, as the brain is still developing. Deth's group found that the levels of vitamin B12 in the brains of young people with autism and in middle-age people with schizophrenia were about one-third of the levels found in similarly aged people who did not have these neurological conditions.

The people in the study with autism, who were all under age 10, had levels similar to those found in a 57-year-old. It's not clear what these low levels imply, but the uptake of too little B12 might hinder the brain's ability to establish important neural connections between regions, Deth said.

Those with schizophrenia, all between ages 36 and 49, had levels similar to those found in a 72-year-old. Although their brains were mature by this age, the below-normal level may have manifested itself during adolescence, when the seeds of schizophrenia are thought to take root. But even in middle age, the lower levels may contribute to a loss of previously normal function, Deth said.

Daniel Smith, a neurologist and vice president of innovative technology at Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy group based in New York that sponsors autism research, who was not involved in this research, said the study was interesting and worth pursuing further. However, he noted that the study remains speculative in its hypothesis that vitamin B12 deficiencies at a cellular level lead to changes associated with theautism spectrum of brain traits.

Numerous studies have searched for an association between vitamin deficiencies and neurological disorders. There has been no definitive study, however, indicating that autism and schizophrenia can be caused by a deficiency or treated through vitamin supplementation.

In fact, a study published last year in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic found that few children with autism benefit from vitamin supplements and may be at risk for overdosing.

Follow Christopher Wanjek @wanjek for daily tweets on health and science with a humorous edge. Wanjek is the author of "Food at Work" and "Bad Medicine." His column, Bad Medicine, appears regularly on Live Science.

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Baking soda is likely the most inexpensive health remedy in the world. It is effective at combating everything from colds to cancer, as well as beneficial for oral health, deodorants and so much more. If it’s one thing you want in your home pharmacy, its baking soda. Health benefits of baking soda include reduced risk and prevention of diarrhea, metabolic acidosis, acidity, peptic ulcer, and drug in-toxification. It has anti-ich or antipruritic properties which help in maintaining healthy skin. It is effective home remedy in cold and flu and plaque removal. It is a good source of sodium – prevents hyperkalemia, bladder infection and kidney stones. In this article we are going to talk about baking soda uses that you haven’t heard before:
Old Wives’ Remedy
After an intensive and hard exercise, you can drink a mixture of water and baking soda, to relieve your muscles.
Put some baking soda on a used nail brush and use it to scrub your nails to remove grime and nail fungus.
Make a mixture out of: 3 tbs. baking soda, 1 tbs. peppermint essential oil, 1 tbs. salt and warm water. Use this mixture to soak your hands and feet for 20 minutes, to relieve itching, soreness and odor.
Mix a baking soda with water and use it to gargle with it. It will make your breath fresh.
Use it as toothpaste. Sprinkle some baking soda on your toothbrush and brush your teeth with it. It’s the best home remedy for teeth whitening.
You can use baking soda scrub to remove excess facial oil and dead skin cells on your face. You need to mix 1tbs. baking soda with 1 tsp. water and use it to gently scrub your face.
You can use baking soda to relieve bee stings, insect bites, itching from poison ivy, oak, etc.
Make a baking soda-water mixture and apply it to canker sores and herpes. It will dry them out very fast.
Home Remedies For Acid Reflux
You need to mix ½ tsp. baking soda with 2 tbs. of fresh lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar. You should use a bigger cup to make this mixture, because it will fizz. Wait until the bubbling stops and then add 8 oz. water. You have to drink this remedy all at once. This mixture will neutralize the pH, it will help you relieve acid reflux and create and alkaline-forming environment in your body.
You can also use baking soda to relieve heartburn and GERD symptoms. All you have to do is mix ½ tsp. baking soda with 16 oz. water.
Other Baking Soda Home Remedies
In his book, Sodium Bicarbonate, Dr. Mark Sircus explains the findings of Dr. Simoncini, which are related with cancer overgrowth and explores alternative treatments with baking soda. Dr. Mark explains that if you wish to prevent systematic fungal infections and protect yourselves from diabetes and cancer, you should use a mixture of baking soda and molasses.
Mix baking soda and water and gargle with it. It will remove all the oral thrush.
Drink 8 oz. water mixed with ½ tsp. baking soda, twice a day. It will help you treat urinary tract infection.
You can also use baking soda mixture with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to relieve a thrombosis.
Douche with a mixture of 1 tbs. baking soda mixed with warm water to kill Candida yeast and stop itching.
Baking soda remedies should not be used by pregnant or nursing women or children under the age of 5. You should be very careful when you use baking soda. Even though is safe when it’s used as directed, still, baking soda can cause some undesired side effects, especially when it interacts with prescription medications. That’s why you have to consult your doctor before you start using these baking soda home remedies. Another important thing you should know is that you can use baking soda after it’s been dissolved in liquid, never in its dry form. You should not use baking soda home remedies if you are on a low sodium diet, because it may deplete your body of essential vitamins and minerals. Also remember, don’t use baking soda remedies more than 14 days without consulting your doctor.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Home Remedies for Autoimmune Diseases


Autoimmune diseases include various conditions in which your immune system attacks healthy cells because it is unable to differentiate them from harmful foreign entities like bacteria.
The exact cause of this problem is still unknown. At times, the problem is triggered when a micro-organism or drug alters the behavior of immune cells. When these cells produce more cells, they collectively attack your healthy cells, causing an autoimmune disease.

Sometimes, the disease takes root in a particular organ. For instance, your immune system may attack your thyroid, which is usually diagnosed as Grave’s disease. (or Hashimotos Thyroiditis)

If it attacks your gastrointestinal tract, you may be diagnosed with a disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Other times, the disease attacks a particular protein found throughout your body. When this happens, you may be diagnosed with a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis. Inflammation is a huge, and often highly uncomfortable, side effect of these autoimmune diseases.

A conversation often skipped in the management of such diseases is natural home remedies.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for autoimmune diseases.
1. Turmeric

Turmeric contains a substance called curcumin that suppresses inflammation-boosting enzymes in autoimmune diseases like arthritis, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In a 2005 study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 5 patients with Crohn’s disease and 5 patients with ulcerative colitis consumed pure curcumin doses.

Colitis patients showed reduced dependence on medication. Crohn’s disease patients showed reduced intensity of the disease.
Boil 1 cup of milk and add ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in it. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes. Drink this daily before bed.
Alternatively, take 500 mg turmeric supplements 3 times daily. However, consult your doctor first.
Additionally, add turmeric in your meals.
2. Ginger

The anti-inflammatory properties in ginger can also help in dealing with autoimmune diseases. It helps reduce inflammation which is a common problem in autoimmune diseases.
Heat 1 to 1½ cup of water and 1 teaspoon of grated ginger or ginger slices to it. Let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain it and add lemon juice and honey for taste. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day.
Also, add ginger in your cooking.
3. Coconut Oil

A 2010 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology reports that virgin coconut oil is especially high in anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.

This makes it a highly effective treatment for inflammatory autoimmune diseases like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and spondylitis.

A 2008 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology notes that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients report excessive fungus buildup in their digestive tracts that further causes inflammation.

Coconut oil contains lauric acid that fights this inflammatory and disease-promoting bacteria buildup in these diseases. Furthermore, coconut oil contains fatty acids that promote metabolism in patients with Hashimoto thyroid.
Consume 2 to 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil daily to combat inflammation.
Additionally for arthritis and spondylitis pain, topically massage the affected areas with warm coconut oil 2 or 3 times every day to increase lubrication and reduce stiffness. Apply a heating pad after the massage for further relief.
4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains lupeol and salicylic acid that have an analgesic (pain-relieving) effect, as well as certain chemical compounds, such as fatty acids that have an anti-inflammatory effect in arthritis, according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Autoimmune Diseases and Rheumatology.

Furthermore, aloe vera helps regulate metabolism. Hence, it may prove effective in Grave’s disease and Hashimoto thyroid.
Cut an aloe plant leaf in half lengthwise and scoop out the gel into a bowl.
Put a glass of water and 2 tablespoons each of the extracted aloe gel and lemon juice in a blender.
Blend the mixture on high for 1 minute.
Drink the amount of juice that your doctor recommends.

Note: Since increased consumption of aloe vera can upset the gut, it is important to consult your doctor to determine the quantity of aloe juice you can consume daily.
5. Pineapple

Pineapple contains a class of enzymes called bromelain that has terrific anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2005 study published in Clinical Immunology, two patients of ulcerative colitis whose disease had remained largely unaffected by conventional medical therapies reported remission when they consumed a daily dose of pure bromelain.

The bromelain found in pineapples also provided relief in other inflammatory autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and spinal spondylitis.
Peel and dice a fresh pineapple into small pieces, refrigerate it for 15 to 20 minutes and eat it daily.
Alternatively, put 1 fresh pineapple (peeled and diced) and 15 pieces of turmeric root (3 inches each) in a juicer. Juice it on high for 1 minute. Drink this juice 3 times daily to reduce inflammation.

Note: If you have stomach ulcers and or take blood-thinners (aspirin, warfarin and others), avoid consuming pineapple or pure bromelain extract as it could interact with these drugs.
6. Fish Oil

Fish oil contains essential fatty acids with anti-inflammatory benefits. It alleviates joint pain and stiffness and even reduces dependency on medication in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2000 study published in The Journal of Rheumatology notes that daily fish-oil supplementation reduced symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Spinal spondylitis patients can also benefit from it. A 2006 study published in Surgical Neurology declared fish oil a safe anti-inflammatory treatment for neck and back pain.

The use of fish oil also has anti-inflammatory benefits in patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, although it does not maintain their remission, according to a 2014 study published in the World Journal of Clinical Cases. It may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort in Crohn’s disease patients.
Consume 1 to 2 teaspoons of fish oil every day.
Alternatively, take a 500 mg fish oil capsule daily.
For rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis pain, you can also add 5 drops of fish oil to a warm bath and soak in it 3 times weekly.

7. Cayenne Pepper
Mix together 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and organic honey. Consume 2 to 3 spoonfuls daily.
Alternatively, mix ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a glass of water and drink it daily.
Additionally, in case of problems like rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis pain, mix 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper in ½ cup of coconut oil. Apply the mixture on the affected joints 2 or 3 times daily for relief. 8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of hot water.
Add 1 slice of ginger root and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
Mix in 1 teaspoon of organic honey.
Consume this twice daily. 9. Cinnamon
Mix 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and a little organic honey in a glass of warm water and drink it daily.
Additionally for relief in rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis, mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder in 5 teaspoons of honey. Apply it on the affected areas 2 or 3 times daily. 10. Oregano Oil
Using a dropper, mix 3 or 4 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water or juice. Drink it 3 times daily.

Additionally for rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis, mix 1 or 2 drops of pure oregano oil in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it on your aching body parts.

Cayenne pepper contains a pain-relieving substance called capsaicin.

When you consume cayenne pepper or apply it topically, the capsaicin inhibits the activity of a chemical in your body responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain.

For this reason, cayenne pepper is effective for rheumatoid arthritis and spinal spondylitis pain. It also improves overall blood circulation that further lubricates the stiff back and joints.

Note: Although it is anti-inflammatory, capsaicin increases intestine permeability and makes it easier for bacteria to enter the gut, making its consumption harmful for those with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Apple cider vinegar is also beneficial for autoimmune diseases. It contains vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) that helps reduce swelling and inflammation. The calcium, manganese, potassium and phosphorus in it further eases joint pain.

Apple cider vinegar also accelerates metabolism, thereby proving beneficial for people with Grave’s disease.

Although it is popularly used as a remedy for diabetes and high blood pressure, cinnamon is also good in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

A 2015 study published in Food and Function notes that Sri Lankan cinnamon is one of the most potent varieties, and regular cinnamon is an effective anti-inflammatory remedy in the treatment of chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

Furthermore, cinnamon contains powerful antibacterial properties that suppress the activity of the excess bacteria that line the gut in ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease patients, which promotes the disease and exacerbates inflammation.

The anti-inflammatory properties of oregano oil also make it an important treatment for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and spondylitis.

Note: Because of its highly potent nature, consult your doctor before adopting any oregano-based health regimes.