Grape Seed
Oct23

Grape Seed

 

Maimonides writes: Grapes are always beneficial whether fresh and dried. (De’ot 4, 11; See also Regimen of Health 1, 12)

Maimonides mentions the many benefits of drinking wine in moderation and at the correct time in his different works: If wine is consumed properly it is a major factor in the preservation of health and the cure of many illnesses. (Regimen of Health 4,10; See also Treatise on Asthma 7,1)

Grapes have been used in European folk medicine for centuries to treat a wide variety of health problems. Modern research is finding that grapes and grape seed extracts contain potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may improve overall health and also prove to be an effective tool in fighting obesity and assisting in weight loss.

Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, in a study published in 2004 in “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” discovered that grape seed extract reduced the calorie intake of healthy people by 4 percent over a 24-hour period, which led the scientists to conclude that grape seed extract may reduce energy intake in overweight subjects and play a significant role in body-weight management.

A study in Spain by Gemma Montaguta, et al., published in June 2010 in the “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry” found that grape seed extract improved insulin resistance by making insulin receptors switch back on again and restore more youthful function, a finding that could be helpful in treating weight gain in people with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Diego A. Moreno, Ph.D., led research published in 2003 in “Nutrition” that showed bioactive phytochemicals in grape seed extract inhibited the fat-metabolizing enzymes pancreatic lipase and lipoprotein lipase, suggesting the grape seed extract may be useful as a treatment to limit dietary fat absorption and the accumulation of fat in adipose tissue.

Grape seed extracts are not recommended for children or pregnant or breastfeeding women, according to the University of Maryland Health Center, which adds that the extracts may also increase bleeding if taken in combination with other blood thinners such as warfarin.

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Glucomannan
Oct23

Glucomannan

 

In his ‘Extracts from Galen’ and ‘Regimen of Health’, Maimonides discusses at length the virtues of fiber for both healthy and sick people.

Fiber-containing foods, such as oats and barley are known to help reduce cholesterol and improve constipation and may also help regulate blood sugar and assist in weight reduction by creating a feeling of fullness. However, many people have a hard time consuming enough fiber from food, so turn to fiber supplements, such as guar gum and pectin, to help fulfill their daily requirements. Glucomannan, which is a dietary fiber derived from the tubers of amorphophallus konjac, offers one advantage over these forms of fiber: much smaller doses are necessary. When Glucomannan is placed in water, it can swell up to 17 times its original volume. These qualities make it potentially quite convenient as a fiber supplement.  It is a soluble fiber, which means that it is eliminated by the body rather than stored. It assists with regularity.

According to Dr. Oz, it’s “one of the best ways to control your hunger,” “the best appetite suppressant,” and “nature’s skinny sponge”. This supplement also makes you feel full without leaving you gassy or bloated.

Several studies suggest that Glucomannan is helpful for weight loss and reducing total and LDL cholesterol as well as triglyceride levels.

Glucomannan capsules should be taken with water at least 30 minutes before meals. This gives the capsules time to dissolve, absorb the water and bind with the liquid to form a filling gel.

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Valerian
Oct23

Valerian

Maimonides lists Valerian in his Treatise on drug Names. Valerian has been used as an herbal relaxant and sleep inducer since ancient times.

According to the National Institutes of Health, it has been used at least since ancient Greece and Rome, and throughout the centuries has been used for insomnia, anxiety, trembling, headaches and heart palpitations. In World War II, this herb was used to help ease the stress of air raids in England.

Germany’s Commission E approved Valerian as an effective mild sedative and the United States Food and Drug Administration listed Valerian as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS). The University of Maryland Medical Center states that scientists believe that valerian may increase the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid, or GABA, in the brain. GABA has a calming effect by helping to regulate nerve cells. Benzodiazepines, the class of drugs that includes alprazolam, or Xanax, and diazepam, or Valium, work by increasing GABA levels, and researchers think that valerian works in a similar way.

Valeriana officinalis includes valerianic acid, valepotriates, glycosides and alkaloids, together offer sedative effects on the central nervous system that can help calm anxiety. Researchers give valerian their highest rating for consistently performing well in trials that measure its effectiveness against insomnia and does not cause morning drowsiness.

Valerian has a powerful antispasmodic and tranquilizing effect on the nervous system, yet is not habit-forming and can be used in the stated dosage over time. It was once widely used, but with the advent of synthetic tranquilizers such as Valium and Librium, its use has declined. Unlike synthetic tranquilizers, it does not have side effects if used in the stated dose.

Dr Oz says that Valerian is used as a natural sedative designed to help you de-stress or sleep well. It is commonly found in relaxation drinks.

Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, hysterical states, excitability, fear of illness (hypochondria), headaches, migraine, and stomach upset. Some people use valerian for depression, mild tremors, epilepsy, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Valerian is used for muscle and joint pain. Some women use valerian for menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with menopause, including hot flashes and anxiety.

Women should not take valerian during pregnancy and lactation. Avoid operating machinery after taking valerian.

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