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Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is an orange pigment found in plants that is then converted into vitamin A. It’s an antioxidant that has beneficial effects in protecting against oxidative damage including that caused by UV light. It has been shown to stimulate a number of immune system processes including: increasing the number of immune cells such as B and T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Beta carotene also plays a part in protecting macrophages, which are white blood cells that engulf and destroy foreign substances within the body.

Biotin

Biotin is a water soluble vitamin that is generally classified as one of the B complex vitamins and is obtained through dietary sources as well as through gut bacteria; it is required by all living organisms but can only be synthesized by bacteria, yeasts, molds, algae and some plant species. It functions as an essential cofactor for carboxylase enzymes. It is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, gluconeogenesis, and energy production as well the metabolism of branch-chained amino acids. Biotin is absorbed in the small intestine and is then excreted through urine.

Folate

Folate is the name of any compound which has vitamin-like activity similar to folic acid and is commonly referred to as folic acid. It is a B vitamin that supports the proper formation of red blood cells. Folate is particularly important for pregnant women to have normal levels of to ensure their child’s brain and spinal cord grow and develop properly while preventing any birth defects.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are usually talked about together because they are both found naturally in our retinas. Both of these vitamins are believed to have a protecting effect against damaging light in our eyes. They also may contribute to the pigmentation in our iris.

Lycopene

Lycopene is a member of the carotenoid family, fat-soluble pigments found in plants. This particular carotenoid is a red pigment which can be found in red plants like tomatoes and is one of the major carotenoids consumed in Northern America and Europe. It is found mostly in high concentration in the adrenal glands, testes and the prostate and its levels in the body begin to decline as we age.

Niacin

Niacin or vitamin B3 is a water soluble white powder and is more resistant to destruction than other complex B vitamins. The body can convert the amino acid tryptophan into niacin. Like most of the B vitamins, niacin is essential for the manufacture of enzymes that breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that provide our tissues and metabolism with energy.

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is an essential vitamin for all forms of life. It can be found within our cells in the form of coenzyme A (CoA) and is vital in releasing energy from the food we eat. Research has shown that pantothenic acid appears to be involved in some aspects of gene expression as well.

Riboflavin

Also known as B2, riboflavin was the second B vitamin discovered. In its purest form it is a yellow-orange, water soluble compound. It is part of a two coenzyme known as Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and Flavin mononucleotide (FMN), which are essential for tissue respiration and the generation of energy from the metabolism. Supplementation of this vitamin can help reduce the frequency or severity of migraines as well.

Thiamin

Thiamin was the first B vitamin to be discovered in 1926 when two Dutch scientists isolated pure thiamin, which was the anti-beriberi agent in rice. It helps to support our metabolism and regulate the flow of electrolytes in and out of muscle nerve cells. Since thiamin is used in our muscles and nerve cells we need to increase our intake during strenuous exertion, if you are pregnant, when you have a fever, and during adolescent growth.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for the functions of all the organs within the body and is particularly important for growth and development. Vitamin A primarily helps with the maintenance of our vision, the growth and repair of cells, cell differentiation, maintaining the health of epithelial cells and protection against infection. Having sufficient amounts of vitamin A can help improve our immune systems, help to prevent infection; cancer and cardiovascular disease, and can be used to help treat symptoms of the common cold or the flu and osteoarthritis. Liver, raw carrots, squash, kale, mangoes and cantaloupe are all good sources of this vitamin.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential to our metabolism of fats and carbohydrates and the synthesis of proteins. It is also essential for the transportation and storage of folate within the cells and for the conversion of it to its active form. B12 is also involved in the manufacturing of the myelin sheath, a fatty layer which insulates the nerves, and is essential in the formation of neurotransmitters. Blood formation and genetic material also require the presence and use of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 supplementation can also be used to help treat cardiovascular disease and diabetic neuropathy.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is a family of chemically-related compounds including pyridoxamine and pyridoxal which, are found in animal products and pyridoxine which is found in plants and fortified foods and supplements. Vitamin B6 is used in various aspects of the body such as, the metabolism, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, hormones and hormone development and the nervous system. Having the proper levels of vitamin B6 can help to improve the body’s glucose tolerance, help to treat atherosclerosis, alleviate premenstrual syndrome and help to treat morning sickness in pregnant women.

Vitamin C

The deficiency for Vitamin C was not recognized until the 16th century when sailors began developing scurvy while on their voyages. Humans cannot produce vitamin C on their own, they must obtain it from an outside source. Vitamin C helps within the immune system, in collagen and connective tissue, has antioxidant properties as well as a few other functions. Some other benefits of vitamin C include reducing hypertension, reduce pain of angina, improve glucose tolerance and reduce diabetic vascular damage. In its pure form vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin as well as a hormone. It was first identified in the 1920s after a search to find the cause and cure for rickets. It is obtained through food sources as well as manufactured through the skin from sunlight. There are also three forms of vitamin D; vitamin D1 (calciferol), vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). These forms of vitamin D are converted in the liver and kidneys to the hormone calcitriol, which is the active form of vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. It acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin E is also used to help boost the body’s immune system so that it is able to fight off invading bacteria.

Vitamin K

Discovered in 1929, vitamin K is a group of 3 fat soluble vitamins: vitamin K1, vitamin K2, and vitamin K3. It is used to make prothrombin and other blood clotting proteins, it is necessary in converting osteoclacin to its active from, and is necessary for the production of a urinary protein involved in kidney function.

Boron

Boron is a mineral that is found primarily in plants and is essential for the growth of plants. Boron is essential for the health of bones and joint function. It is often given to those suffering from arthritis and can be taken to help bone density. Some studies show that it may have a minor effect on mental health, but the research has been minimal.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body. Ninety-nine percent of the body’s calcium is stored within the teeth and bones. The remaining one percent is found within the blood lymph and other body fluids within the cells. The functions calcium provides for the body are so important to survival that the body may begin to demineralize bone in order to maintain calcium levels.

Chloride

Chlorine is able to exist in our bodies in the form of chloride, it is an essential mineral and also functions as an electrolyte. Chloride combines with hydrogen in the stomachs to make stomach acid or hydrochloric acid.

Chromium

Chromium is a trace mineral, meaning it only occurs in minute quantities and our bodies only need it in small amounts. Chromium is essential for normal sugar metabolism and works with the hormone insulin to help cells take in glucose and break it down for energy use.

Cobalt

The average body has less than 1 milligram of cobalt and it is stored in the muscles, bone, liver and kidneys as a component of vitamin B12.

Copper

Copper is another trace mineral that plays an important role in many enzymes found in the body as well as in the production of energy in the cells.

Fluoride

Fluoride is not classified as an essential nutrient for the body, however, it is desired because of its ability to assist with strengthening bones and teeth and preventing dental carries also known as cavities.

Iodine

Iodine is an essential trace element found in our bodies. It can be found mostly within the thyroid gland and during the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which help to regulate growth, development, metabolism and reproduction in the body.

Iron

Iron is the body’s oxygen carrier, it helps to transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. Around two-thirds of our bodies iron is found in hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen throughout our body. It also is very important in helping with our metabolism and a large component of proteins and enzymes in our bodies.

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the soft tissues of the body. It is found in high concentrations inside cells, particularly within the brain and the heart.

Manganese

Manganese is a mineral element that is nutritionally essential but can also be potentially toxic. It helps with antioxidant function, our metabolism, bone development and helps with the wound healing process.

Molybdenum

There are about 9mg of molybdenum in the adult body and most is stored in the liver, kidneys, bone and skin.  It is an essential trace mineral for all living things, which allows it to have a significant impact on the health of the ecosystem.

Nickel

There is little known about nickel but there is approximately 10 mg of it in the adult body.  It was proven to promote bacterial growth in 1965 but there has not been any solid evidence that nickel is essential to the human body.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body next to calcium. It is the primary ion in extra and intracellular fluid and plays a major role in the production of energy alongside B vitamins and enzymes.

Potassium

Potassium is important to our bodies because it functions as both a mineral and an electrolyte. It helps to regulate fluid balance within the body and critical to maintain our heartbeat.

Selenium

Selenium in another trace mineral found in the body, it’s relatively new being discovered in the 1970’s. It functions in the body as a part of the antioxidant enzyme system that defends the body from free radical formation.

Silicon

Silicon is the most abundant mineral in the earth’s crust and because of its abundance it is a vital compound found in plants and soil. Before 1972, silicon was considered to be a non-essential trace mineral but research now shows that silicon is essential for the formation of bones and collagen.

Sodium

Sodium, is the major positively charged ion in the blood and body fluids. When mixed with chloride it creates table salt. Salt or sodium are necessary for our body to perform functions like maintaining normal fluid and acid-base balance. Many people suffer from high blood pressure which is cause by excessive intake from salt, this occurs when we consume too many products that have large quantities of sodium like eating fast food every day or adding large amounts of salt to our dishes.

Sulfur

Sulfur is an essential nutrient in humans.  There is about 100 mg of sulfur in the adult body, mostly in the forms of cysteine, cystine, and methionine, three amino acids.

Vanadium

Vanadium is a trace mineral found in a variety of foods we eat. Scientist are not exactly sure of how much we need but, they believe we do need it in small amounts. They believe it is involved in normal bone growth although they are unsure of exactly how much of an impact it has. The one thing they know for sure is that high levels of vanadium is unsafe for our bodies.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral found in the body that is used for multiple health roles. It was dubbed essential in 1934 when scientist found it in virtually every tissue and tissue fluid in the body. The roles of zinc include immunity, because of its antioxidant properties; brain development; and reproduction. Supplementation of zinc may improve glucose tolerance, lower risk for some eye disease, reduce some symptoms of the common cold and possibly improve some behavioral disorders.

Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Each amino acid is a compound with an amine group (the nitrogen containing portion of an amino acid) at one end, a carboxylic acid group at the other end and a distinctive side chain. There are twenty amino acids, which are broken up into two categories, essential and nonessential. Essential amino acids are amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body or that cannot be synthesized in amounts sufficient enough to meet physiological needs. Nonessential amino acids are the amino acids that the body can produce enough of without help from outside sources. The essential amino acids include: histidine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, isoleucine, leucine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. The nonessential amino acids include: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine and tyrosine.

Carnitine

Carnitine is comparable to vitamins and has a similar structure as amino acids.  Lysine, an amino acid, can make carnitine in the body.

Chitosan

Chitosan is from chitin, a carbohydrate in shellfish.  Its makeup is chemically similar to cellulose, plant fiber.

Choline

Choline is another one of the essential B vitamins and plays a role in the functioning in almost every cell in our bodies. It helps the body transport cholesterol out of the liver and also helps to lower blood levels of homocysteine which, is a risk factor to coronary heart disease. Choline is also a precursor for acetylcholine, one of the neurotransmitters involved in memory.

Coenzyme Q10

This vitamin-like substance, also known as ubiquinone,  in the body is found in large quantities in the heart, liver, kidney and pancreas.  It has been used to treat congestive heart failure, chest pain, and high blood pressure, along with other heart and blood vessel conditions.

Essential Fatty Acids

There are several types of fats that are found in plant and animal foods.

Saturated Fats
These are in meat, butter, cheese, coconut oil, palm oil, and many other plant and animal-based foods.  Saturated fats are created when trans fats undergo hydrogenation, a chemical process.  If there is a high intake of saturated fats health may be compromised and coronary heart disease is very common.

Monounsaturated Fats

Canola oil, olive oil and peanut oils, are monounsaturated fats.  These can lower cholesterol and decrease blood clots.  They are also less susceptible to oxidation, or the loss of electrons.

Polyunsaturated Fats

Plant oils are polyunsaturated fats such as safflower, sesame, sunflower and corn that lower cholesterol and the chance of blood clots.  This function helps in the prevention of heart disease.  Too much polyunsaturated fat, however, has been known to cause cancer.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Linoleic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid and alpha linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid.  The names correlate to the chemical structure of the fatty acids.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids assist in improving the function of vitamin C and protects it from oxidation.  They fall under the category of phytochemicals, meaning that they are produced and accumulate in plants.

Glucosamine

Glucosamine naturally occurs in the body and is in the fluid portion of the joints.  It maintains tendon, cartilage, and ligament health.

Inositol

Inositol works closely with choline and is found in the brain, nerves, muscles, bones, reproductive organs, stomach, kidneys, spleen, liver and heart.  Lecithin is made up with much of inositol.

Laetrile

Also known as amygdalin, laetrile is a very strong compound; it was once believed to be a cancer preventative and cure but now it is illegal to be used to treat cancer in the United States.

Lipoic acid

Also known as thioctic acid, lipoic acid is a fat soluble compound made in the body.  It is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain.  It is used for adjusting the body’s internal clock, coping with jet lag, and assisting blind individuals with day and night cycles.

Pangamic acid

There is little known about pangamic acid but it was named vitamin B15.

Para-aminobenzoic acid

Para-aminobenzoic acid is part of the vitamin B complex, although it is not a true vitamin, and the folic acid molecule.  Intestinal bacteria synthesize it.  It is used in sunscreen products and helps maintain skin health.

Shark Cartilage

Powdered shark cartilage is taken as a supplement for phosphorus and calcium intake.  It also contains chondroitin which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa is a good source of chlorophyll, beta carotene, calcium, and vitamins D, E, and K.  It improves liver function and cleanses the blood.  It is used as a laxative, diuretic, and as an antiseptic.

Alfalfa can be used to treat urinary tract infections and disorders of the kidney, bladder, and prostate.  It is commonly used for bone and joint disorders, digestive abnormalities, skin disorders, and ulcers of the body.

Those who should not use alfalfa products are those who have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has been used for centuries as an antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizer, and treatment for wounds.  It is important for immune health.

Aloe vera treats burns, skin irritation, minor wounds, diabetes, asthma, viral infections, constipation, and peptic ulcers.

Arnica

Also known as mountain tobacco, arnica is used an anti-inflammatory, pain-killing botanical.  It can treat bruises, sprains, and swellings and is not meant for internal treatments or for open wounds.

Ashwagandha

As a traditional Indian medicine, it is also known as Indian Ginseng.  It relieves stress and has anti-inflammatory and sedative effects.  It can cure exhaustion, insomnia, and malnutrition.

Asthma weed

Asthma weed treats the bronchi, the two main branches that enter the lungs, and makes breathing easier.  It is known to treat asthma, hay fever, and upper respiratory tract catarrh, a disease of the mucous membranes.

Astragalus

As a common Chinese medicine, it is used for digestive and immune system health.  It ensures adrenal gland function, is a diuretic, and dilates blood vessels.  It has treated cancer patients as well.  It should not be used, however, with acute infections or fevers.

Bilberry

Bilberry can be used for capillary health, as a collagen stabilizer, a blood clot reducer, blood sugar reducer, a smooth muscle relaxer, and a cure for ulcers.  It is an antioxidant and can cure eye conditions.

Black cohosh

Also known as black snakeroot, it acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic medicine.  It also is an estrogen-like botanical.  It treats menstrual symptoms and rheumatoid arthritis.  It should not be used during pregnancy or lactation with the exception of the later stages of pregnancy to prepare the body for parturition.

Black haw

Black haw is mostly used by women; it treats menstrual pain, prevents miscarriages, and aids in health at menopause.

Blue flag

Blue flag is grown in gardens for ornamental purposes, but it can be used to treat psoriasis, eczema and aids in digestion and blood sugar health.  If one would like to use the root, only a small amount is recommended as it can cause nausea and vomiting.

Buchu

Buchu is native to South Africa; it has diuretic properties and acts as a kidney tonic, for flushing of the kidney.  It treats urinary tract disorders, kidney stones, prostate disorders, cystitis, and rheumatism.  It should be used carefully for those with kidney diseases.

Burdock

Burdock is eaten in Japan, purifies blood, and cleanses blood.  It can heal skin conditions and treat arthritis.

Caffeine

Certain plants contain caffeine although it can be man-made as well.  It absorbed rapidly to the brain and is excreted through the urine hours after being consumed.  Caffeine is not required in the diet but many consume caffeinated food products to relieve fatigue and to provide an energy boost.  It is found naturally in tea leaves, kola nuts, coffee, and cocoa beans.

Calendula

Mostly known as marigold, calendula is added to salads, acts as an ingredient in skin creams and medicines.  It treats wounds, inflamed lymph nodes, varicose veins, skin disorders, ulcers, and menstrual symptoms.  It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and wound-healing properties externally used.  It can also treat muscles spasms and digestive problems.

Cat’s Claw

Peruvian Indians have used cat’s claw to boost immunity, for digestive health, and antiviral and anti-inflammatory purposes.  It aids in healing bowel disorders, arthritis, and maintaining health for chemotherapy patients.  It should not be used during pregnancy.

Cayenne pepper

Many may recognize this pepper from cooking, as it is often referred to as chili or hot pepper.  It has antioxidant effects and aids in digestion, proper circulation, and lowers cholesterol and blood fat levels.  It can also relieve pain.  Some people have developed ulcers when consumed in high doses.

Celery seed

Wild celery is used as a diuretic and antiseptic remedy.  It has been used to treat arthritis and urinary tract infections and should not be used for pregnant women and individuals with kidney disease.

Chamomile

Chamomile is a popular herbal tea and has the effects of anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, digestion aid, muscle spasm relief, relaxant, and wound-healing.  Chamomile has been used to treat asthma, hay fever, sinusitis, gastrointestinal complications, menstrual and menopausal issues, nervousness, insomnia, and headaches.  Chamomile can heal skin disorders and conjunctivitis as well.  Some may have allergic reactions to chamomile.

Chaste tree

The chaste tree is used for the regulation of female hormones and aids with lactation as well as treating menstrual problems and menopause disorders.

Women who are postmenopausal, pregnant, or using contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapies should not use the chaste tree.

Chickweed

Chickweed is abundant in vitamins and minerals.  It contains the B complex vitamins, iron, copper, calcium, and zinc.  It relieves itching, heals wounds and bruises.

 

Cleavers

Cleavers can treat skin disorders, swollen glands, and urinary stones.  It is also known as goosegrass and catchweed.  It is a tonic for the lymphatic system.

Comfrey

Also known as knitbone, comfrey has wound healing properties as well as anti-inflammatory.  It can treat fractures, sprains, psoriasis and eczema as well as gastrointestinal problems.

In animals, comfrey has caused liver damage.  It is not highly recommended for treating internal problems.

Crampbark

Crampbark relaxes muscles, relieves menstrual and pregnancy pains, migraines, asthma, hypertension, and angina, when the heart does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood.

Cranberry

Cranberry ensures the health of the urinary system, as it is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections and prevents kidney stones.

Damiana

Damiana is an antidepressant, acts as a diuretic, and enhances testosterone.  It can treat depression, herpes, impotence and sexual complications.  Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome should not use damiana.

Dandelion

Dandelion is abundant in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium.  It improves digestive health and has a diuretic effect.  Dandelion ensures proper liver function and treats arthritis and skin conditions.  Dandelion root and herb stimulates appetite.

Devil’s Claw

Devil’s claw is a good remedy for anti-inflammatory and pain relief.  It can treat arthritis, liver, and gallbladder complications.  It should not be used for individuals who are pregnant or who have stomach ulcers.

Dong Quai

Don quai contains compounds that regulate female hormones, lowers blood pressure, increases blood flow, and relieves pain.  It can treat premenstrual symptoms, menopausal symptoms, arthritis, migraines, anemia and abdominal pain.  Dong quai should not be used when pregnant or with excessive menstrual flow.

Echinacea

American Indians value Echinacea, and now it is used around the world.  It is used for immune health, healing wounds, as an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and cancer preventative.  It is used to treat arthritis as well.

Elder

Elderflowers are diuretics and perform anti-inflammatory and anti-catarrhal actions.  They increase body temperature, cause sweat, and the bark and berries have laxative, diuretic and anti-inflammatory actions.  It is mostly used to fight colds, the flu, coughs, sinusitis and catarrh, a disease of the mucus membranes.

Elecampane

Elecampane has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects, treats coughing, bronchitis and asthma, and is used when gastrointestinal conditions occur.

Eyebright

Eyebright treats conditions with the eyes such as eye inflammation and conjunctivitis.  It also performs anti-catarrhal (a disease of the mucous membranes), anti-inflammatory, and astringent (affecting tissues) actions.

Fennel

The seeds have anti-inflammatory and diuretic actions and aid in digestive health as well as lactation in women.  It treats respiratory infections and digestive complications and may be used as a gargle or eyewash for eye infections.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek treats sore throats, bronchitis, and promotes a healthy digestive system.  It also aids in relieving menopausal symptoms.  It should not be used during pregnancy.

Feverfew

Feverfew is a member of the sunflower family and treats migraines, headaches, and rheumatoid arthritis.  Pregnant women should not use feverfew.

Figwort

Figwort cleanses and purifies the blood and is used to treat skin diseases.

Flax

Flax is abundant in fiber and oil and a good source for omega-3 fatty acids.  It is laxative, relieves pain, and gives soothing effects.  It can treat respiratory problems, constipation, and digestive complications.  Very large doses, usually exceeding 100 grams, may be poisonous.

Garlic

Garlic is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.  Garlic maintains immune health, digestive health, and has anti-cancer effects.  This botanical reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, blood clotting, and protects blood fats.

Gentian

Gentian improves digestion, stimulates appetite, and should not be used with those who have peptic ulcers.

Ginger

Ginger is used as treatment for motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, inflammatory conditions, and digestive health.  Chinese physicians used ginger for thousands of years.  Ginger is an antioxidant with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting, and pain-relieving functions.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo trees are the oldest living trees and assist in improving blood circulation, maintaining cell membrane health, preventing free radical damage, and enhancing oxygen and glucose use in the body.  It is known for ensuring the health of the brain, nerves, and blood vessels.  It has been known to treat mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, it aids in artery health, relieving depression, and allergies.

Very large doses have been known to cause diarrhea and vomiting, however.

Ginseng

Korean or Chinese ginseng and Siberian ginseng are the best known varieties.  Both varieties help the body cope with stress, improve energy metabolism, lowers blood sugar, boosts immunity, ensures liver health, and regulates cell growth.   They both increase alertness and mental health for those undergoing stress.

Korean ginseng treats diabetes, lowers cholesterol, ensures reproductive health, treats menopausal symptoms, boosts immunity, and is an anti-cancer agent.

Siberian ginseng can treat chronic fatigue syndrome, relieve side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and treats rheumatic pain for the elderly.

For individuals with acute infections, high blood pressure, or anxiety, ginseng should be avoided.  Some may experience side effects such as high blood pressure, nervousness, insomnia, skin problems, and diarrhea.

Golden rod

Golden rod is also known as woundwort and Aaron’s rod and is a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and astringent (affecting tissues) remedy.  It treats kidney and urinary infections and stones.  It has been known to treat respiratory catarrh (a disease of the mucous membranes) and arthritis.

Goldenseal

The American Indians highly valued goldenseal.  It has anti-microbial properties and fights off disease-causing organisms.  It prevents bacteria from attaching to cells, boosts the immune system, reduces fevers, and prevents cancer.  It can treat inflammatory digestive disorders, relieve menstrual pain, and treat respiratory infections.  It has been used as a mouthwash and to heal skin infections.  Goldenseal should not be used by pregnant women and those with high blood pressure.

Gotu kola

Gotu kola is known as an anti-aging botanical.  It heals wounds, is a sedative, and enhances mental health.  It also treats burns, cellulite, cirrhosis of the liver, varicose veins, and a variety of other blood vessel ailments.  Gotu kola is toxic when taken in high doses.

Gravel Root

Gravel root is also known as kidneyweed and is beneficial to the kidney and urinary systems, as it treats kidney and urinary infections and stones, prostate inflammation, and gout (a type of arthritis with crystal formation in the joints).

Green Tea

Green tea is from the Camelia sinensis plant.  It promotes mental alertness and focus.  It is used to prevent cancer, human papilloma virus (HPV) in women, and treats Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart and blood vessel conditions, diabetes, low blood pressure, kidney stones, and dental cavities.  Those who consume an excessive amount of green tea may exhibit symptoms such as headaches, nervousness, problems sleeping, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, convulsions and confusion.

Guarana

The seeds of guarana are used to promote weight loss, improve athleticism, and to reduce fatigue.  It can also be used to lower blood pressure, treat chronic fatigue syndrome, prevent malaria, and prevent bloody diarrhea.  It is believed to be unsafe to consume in large doses for an extended period of time.

Gymnema

Used in Indian culture to treat diabetes and can help in blood sugar control.  Individuals who choose to use botanicals as a form of diabetes treatment should monitor their blood sugar closely.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn can strengthen blood capillaries and connective tissues as well as improve blood supply to the heart, strength of cardiac muscle, blood sugar and cholesterol maintenance, and reduces angina attacks (when the heart does not receive enough oxygen rich blood).

Hops

Since Roman times, hops have been used to brew beer and are highly valued for their healing properties as a botanical.  Hops are used to treat insomnia, restlessness, and nervous tension.  It aids in relieving symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and dyspepsia.  It is advised that individuals with depression should not use hops.

Horse chestnut

Horse chestnut treats vein problems and should not be used by individuals with kidney disease.  It is a good vein-strengthening remedy.

Horseradish

Horseradish root stimulates blood circulation and acts as an antibiotic.  It treats lung and urinary infections and rheumatoid conditions.  When using horseradish for external conditions, be aware of the potential for blistering skin.  Individuals who are taking thyroxine for low thyroid function are not advised to use horseradish.

Horsetail

Horsetail is an abundant source of minerals and has healing properties.  It stops bleeding and tones the bladder.  It promotes the healing of broken bones and connective tissues.  It is most commonly used for treatment of urinary tract and prostate disorders, arthritis, and bone diseases.  It may be useful for healing wounds and for stopping bleeding.

Kava

Kava calms the body, provides treatment for nervous anxiety, insomnia, restlessness and depression.  When using kava for extended periods, side effects may develop.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm cures nervousness, depression, insomnia, flatulence, allergies, migraines and viral infections.

Licorice

Licorice stimulates the immune system, treats inflammatory and allergy conditions, colds, viral infections, hepatitis, premenstrual syndrome, Addison’s disease (failure of the adrenal glands), peptic ulcers (a sore on the lining of the stomach or small intestine), and many skin conditions.  Blood pressure may increase from prolonged use of licorice.  Pregnant women and those with high blood pressure are not advised to use licorice as well as individuals with liver disease or kidney failure.

Linden

Also known as lime blossom, linden treats nervous tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries), colds, influenza, catarrhal conditions (disease of the mucous membranes) and migraines.

Marshmallow

Marshmallow is a soothing plant that treats stomach and duodenal (a section of the small intestine) ulcers, catarrh (a disease of the mucous membranes), coughs, colds, and urinary tract infections.

Meadowsweet

Meadowsweet has anti-septic, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties and treats rheumatism, ulcers, diarrhea, kidney complications, and maintains acidity levels in the gut.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle protects the liver and treats gallstones and psoriasis.  Milk thistle is native to Europe and parts of the United States.  There are no known toxicities to man but it is toxic in cattle and sheep.

Motherwort

Motherwort is used to treat menstrual, childbirth and menopausal problems and conditions with the heart.

Mullein

Mullein treats respiratory disorders, mostly bronchitis.  It is used to relieve chills and coughs.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms, particularly shiitake, maitake, and reishi, are part of the Chinese herbal culture of medicine.  They are used to relieve stress and increase life expectancy.  Mushrooms can treat and prevent cancer, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, viral infections, high blood pressure, heart disease, fatigue, and boosts immune function.

Myrrh

Myrrh can be used to treat sore throats and infected gums as well as a treatment for thrush.

Oatstraw

The seeds and the leaves are medicinal and treat debility, exhaustion, depression, and stress.

Oregon grape root

Also known as mountain grape, Oregon grape root positively affects the liver and gallbladder and purifies blood.  Oregon grape root treats skin disorders and relieves constipation.  Pregnant women should not use Oregon grape root.

Parsley

Parsley is frequently used for culinary purposes and it is also used as a diuretic.  It treats urinary infections and stones as well as improving digestive functions.  Parsley should not be used medicinally during pregnancy.

Pau d’arco

Pau d’arco is an antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer remedy.  It is used for vaginal and intestinal yeast infections and to treat cancer.

Pellitory-of-the-wall

Pellitory-of-the-wall can treat cystitis, prostate inflammation and urinary stones.  It is a diuretic and has astringent (affecting body tissues) properties.

Peppermint

Peppermint contains the compound, menthol, to relieve issues with gas, smooth muscle spasms, stimulate bile flow, and kill pain.  Peppermint can treat irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones, and colds.

Raspberry

Raspberries prepare women for childbirth by strengthening the uterus and it can treat diarrhea as well.  It has also been known to treat mouth and throat inflammations in folk medicine.

Red Clover

Red clover is abundant in phytoestrogens and has been known to effectively treat cancer.  It can treat skin conditions, whooping cough, and bronchitis.

Sage

Sage treats colds, sore throats, hot flashes, menstrual issues and indigestion.  Pregnant women should not use sage as a medicine.

Saw palmetto

American Indians use saw palmetto as a remedy to inhibit male testosterone to be converted to a more active form and as an anti-estrogenic medicine.  Its main use is to treat benign prostate hypertrophy (an increase in the size of the prostate gland).  It has been used as treatment for urinary tract infections as well.

Senna

Senna is mostly known for its laxative affects.  It treats constipation.  Senna should not be used for over ten days at a time and should not be used at all for those who are pregnant and those who have gastrointestinal and abdominal issues.

Skullcap

Skullcap protects the immune system as a tonic.  It treats anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, and premenstrual symptoms.

Slippery elm

The inner bark of the tree contains powder that sooths the digestive tract and may be used for external conditions such as ulcers, inflammatory diseases of the digestive tract, and abscess, burn and boil treatment.

St. John’s wort

St. John’s wort acts as an antidepressant, an antiviral and antibacterial remedy.  It is known to be effective to treat for depression and should not be used in high doses.

Stone root

Stone root treats kidney stones, gall stones, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and diarrhea.

Tea tree

The oil of tea tree fights skin infections, acne, foot conditions, fungal nail infections, and vaginal infections.

Thyme

Thyme is used to cure sore throats, colds, coughs, flatulence and digestive conditions.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, and cholesterol-lowering remedy.  Turmeric is a treatment and preventative for cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammatory conditions.

Uva ursi

Also known as bearberry, uva ursi treats urinary tract infections.  It should not be used in high doses, by women who are pregnant, or by those with kidney infections.  Tea made with uva ursi leaves may taste bitter and has been known to cause nausea and vomiting.

Valerian

Valerian is traditionally a sedative and native to Europe and North America.  It is used to treat anxiety, reduce blood pressure, enhance bile flow, and relax smooth muscles.  Its main use is to treat insomnia but may cause drowsiness in the morning for some.

Vervain

Vervain stimulates milk letdown in women and treats for nervous exhaustion, depression, liver and gallbladder conditions.  During pregnancy, women should not use vervain.

Wild Cherry

The bark of wild cherry is medicinal, as it treats serious coughing conditions, such as whooping cough and bronchitis.

Wild yam

Progesterone, a female hormone, is now known to be produced in wild yam.  Research has not proven progesterone-like action in the body, however.  It stimulates bile to be released in the gall bladder and treats pain and spasms.  It has been used to treat urinary tract problems as well.

Willow

White willow is a natural source of aspirin.  It treats fevers, arthritis, and any aches and pains.

Yarrow

Yarrow promotes sweating, lowers blood pressure, treats muscle spasms, promotes digestive health, and stops bleeding.  It is mostly used for the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions, menstrual issues, fevers, colds, and hemorrhoids.

Calories

Our bodies require energy to perform its day to day functions. In the body we call this measure of energy calories.  Calories measure the amount of energy a food or beverage has based on the amount of fat, carbohydrates, protein and alcohol it has. Every person needs to consume calories throughout the day to survive and function, however the amount of calories needed varies from person to person depending on height, weight, genetics and level of activity. Some foods do provide us with empty calories, or foods that provide no nutritional value, like sodas and alcohol. It is best to eat these types of foods in moderation to prevent weight gain. In order for someone to gain weight they must be consuming more calories than they are burning off during the day and the opposite for weight loss. If you are interested in finding out your correct calorie intake it is best to seek advice from a medical professional such as a registered dietitian.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat – like substance that your body needs. There are two kinds of cholesterol found in our bodies, the “good” high-density lipoprotein or HDL, and the “bad” low-density lipoprotein or LDL. Having excess of cholesterol can begin to build up on the walls of the arteries and create blockages. If these blockages become severe it can lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. The best way to learn more about your cholesterol levels and your health is to visit your doctor and have a blood test done.

Fiber

­Fiber is the indigestible residues of food that are composed of mostly polysaccharides.

­There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble

  • ­Soluble fibers either swell or dissolve in water whereas insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water.

­Fiber is important in our diet

  • ­It is used to help provide us with satiety, the feeling of being full
  • ­Helps aid in intestinal motility
  • ­May help improve blood sugar tolerance
  • ­And may help to lower cholesterol

Nutrient

Nutrients are substances obtained from food and used in our bodies to promote growth, maintenance and repair. There are 6 classes of nutrients that our body needs to function, they are carbohydrates, protein, fat, water, vitamins and minerals. In each of these 6 classes there are then subclasses, essential and nonessential. Nonessential nutrients are those that our bodies need to function but we produce enough to meet our needs and therefore do not need to be obtained from food sources. Essential nutrients are those that our body requires and cannot produce enough of therefore are obtained through dietary intake.

Protein

Proteins are compounds found in our bodies that are composed of atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. They are arranged in the body as strands of amino acids, which are the building blocks for protein. These proteins are arranged into different shapes which allow them to perform different tasks in the body such as repel or attracting water, containing some minerals or vitamins or have the ability to form with other proteins to create a functional group.

Sodium

Sodium, is the major positively charged ion in the blood and body fluids. When mixed with chloride it creates table salt. Salt or sodium are necessary for our body to perform functions like maintaining normal fluid and acid-base balance. Many people suffer from high blood pressure which is cause by excessive intake from salt, this occurs when we consume too many products that have large quantities of sodium like eating fast food every day or adding large amounts of salt to our dishes.

Total Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates: Simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates or sugar can be monosaccharides (one strand) or disaccharides (two strands), these sugars are generally used to provide us with quick energy. Complex carbohydrates are long strands of sugar that are arranged in 2 forms, starches or fiber. Starches are a plant based polysaccharide (many strands) that is digestible by human beings. Fiber is the indigestible residue of foods that are composed mostly of polysaccharides. There are two types of fiber, insoluble, which do not dissolve in water and soluble, which either dissolve or swell when in water.

Total Fat

Fat is found in almost every cell of our body in the form of cell membranes however, it is not considered an essential nutrient. The reason it is not considered essential is because our body is able to produce more than enough on its own. There are “good” and “bad” types of fats that effect our bodies in different ways. “Good” fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and may help with lowering cholesterol in the blood. The “bad” fats include saturated fats, found in most animal sources like meat and cheese, and trans fats, that are found in foods that are hydrogenated.

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