Sunday, 27 September 2009

Golden Seal Root - Side Effects and Benefits

Hydrastis canadensis

Botanical Name of Golden Seal: Hydrastis Canadensis

Other Common Names: Goldenseal, eyebalm, ground raspberry, orangeroot, yellowroot, yellow puccoon, Indian dye, eye root, Jaundice root.

Habitat: Golden Seal is a plant found in the Northeastern United States in shady woodland areas at the edges of forests in rich, moist soil. This plant prefers slightly acidic soils and will prosper in partial sun, or even shaded areas.

Golden seal is a small perennial herb. The woody, yellowish rhizome gives rise to a single hairy, stem and top with two 5-9 lobed leaves which terminate in a single greenish-white flower. It grows to a height of about 30 centimeters. The knotty, yellowish-brown rhizome is roughly 5 centimeters long and 1 centimeter thick with an abundance of rootlets. It has a strong odor and bitter taste. The golden seal does produce a fruit, similar to the raspberry in appearance, but it is not edible.

Plant Parts Used:
The root of this plant is used in medicinal and herbal uses.

Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of The Golen Seal Root

  • Golden seal is used as a treatment, especially in combination with echinacea, for some respiratory complaints such as stuffy noses, sinus problems, and symptoms of the common cold.
  • It is also used, in combination with other herbs, to cleanse the body of toxins and help purify the kidneys and urinary tract.
  • It is gaining popularity as an anti-diabetic treatment as well. It has been shown to increase insulin production and, through separate pathways, lower blood sugar levels. This use must be monitored closely due to golden seal’s tendency to raise blood pressure, which is a common complication of diabetes.
  • Golden seal is also effective for treating skin irritations such as acne, rashes, fungus and bacteria. It is also effective for mouth ulcers and other irritations to the mucous membranes of the mouth.
  • Due to its effects on blood vessel tone it has been used to control the bleeding of excessive menstruation and other internal bleeds. This increase in tone also leads to its use to stop persistent external bleeds as well.

Potential Side Effects of Golden Seal

Golden seal use can cause emotional changes and nausea. It may also cause a rise in blood pressure and has been shown in some cases to lower blood sugar levels. Due to its uterine contracting abilities it is not recommended for use during pregnancy. Golden seal may irritate the structures of the gastrointestinal tract, especially in those who already have GI disorders. Topical use may cause the skin in the affected areas to become more sensitive to sunlight.

Golden seal may cause an increase in the sedative effect of other herbs or drugs used for sedation. It may also interfere with drugs used to lower blood pressure. Those on blood sugar control medications should monitor their levels closely while taking goldenseal. It may also counter the effects of drugs used to prevent acid reflux or chronic gastric acid issues.

Dosage and Administration

Golden seal can be found in oral forms such as tablets or capsules. These capsules should be taken according to manufacturers suggested dosing. Golden seal may also be found in a powdered form that can be used to make a mouthwash or skin wash as well. Mixing 2 teaspoons of dried golden seal root and 5 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes will yield a good mouthwash or skin wash. This may be used up to 4 times a day.

Author: Alien
Alien writes for Natural herbs . He also writes for herbs and asthma home remedies
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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Herbs For Hair Growth

A three month old Henna (Lawsonia inermis) plant.

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. The hair that we see and care so much about is actually nothing but dead cells. The part that is living is below the scalp and is called the follicle. Near the follicle are the sebaceous glands that make the hair look vibrant and shiny. These sebaceous glands make the hair look oily or dry depending on the sebum production.

The following are the uses of herbs for hair growth:

The first positive thing about using herbs for hair growth is that there are no side effects associated with them like the drugs that are available in the market. If you have Lifeless hair, it can be made better with massage with good herbal oil.

  •  Applying henna to hair deep conditions it. Henna is a very traditional and widely used treatment for hair growth. This herb is available in tropics. Henna is also used as a natural dye. Henna is mixed with other herbs like gooseberry, coffee and lemon juice. This mixture is a very good cure for hair fall.
  •  Massage your hair with warm oil. Take a fresh green coconut and massage some warm coconut milk into the hair. Keep this on for an hour and a half. This will make the hair soft and healthy.
  •  Use Aloe Vera gel on the hair once in a week and wash your hair.
  •  Hair loss is usually due to infection that harms the follicle. You can get rid of this infection by the use of the water on the hair with Neem leaves that have been boiled for 5 minutes. Neem is considered as a natural disinfectant and doesn't damage the hair shaft. It is also known to cure dandruff, which is also one of the reasons for hair loss.
  •  Honey mixed with warm oil and a teaspoonful of cinnamon powder has to be rubbed into the scalp. This should be left on the scalp for around 15 minutes. This helps in hair growth and helps in keeping the hair soft and shiny.
  •  Crushed olive leaves mixed with vinegar should be applied on the hair. This a great remedy for hair loss.
  •  A paste made of honey and egg yolk is also used for hair growth. To counter the smell caused by egg can be countered by rinsing the hair with lemon juice
Doctors recommend diets rich in nutrients that boost the growth of hair. If your want to stop hair loss you should include lots of 'Vitamin A' rich diet. Eat green leafy vegetables like spinach, milk, sprouted beans and salads. Increase the intake of Protein rich diet and you will naturally healthy hairs which promote hair growth.

Good hair adds beauty to your personality and it is only a healthy body that can be capped with beautiful hair. Eating nutritious diet and protein rich diets that are healthy to your health will add starts to your crowning glory.

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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Enhance Memory through Ayurvedic Herbs

Ginkgo biloba also known as Maidenhair Tree.Image via Wikipedia

The human brain is one of the most sophisticated organs nature has ever made. One of the most interesting aspects of the brain is its power to retain information, which we call as memory. Memory is perhaps the most vital of the aspects that differentiates human beings from other animals. However, memory can become faulty due to several reasons, and in that case the person is not able to make full use of his or her potentials.

Since ages, drugs and natural remedies have been prescribed to enhance memories in people. Ayurveda has a treasure-chest of such memory enhancing drugs, which are today popular all over the world due to their proven effective qualities. The following is a list of the most effective herbs used in memory enhancement all over the world.

1. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)

Brahmi is perhaps the most investigated of all herbs for its memory enhancement properties. Now it is certified that brahmi has several chemicals that promote the protein synthesis process in the nerve and the brain cells, which is directly responsible for developing the mental capacity of the brain. Brahmi can make a person think clearer, and hence the memory becomes more vivid. In India, brahmi is used in countless forms to improve mental capacity for school-going children. Brahmi also increases the grasping power of the brain, due to which people can understand and assimilate information easily.

In adults, brahmi helps in relaxing and soothing the cells of the brain, and brings it to a normal state of functioning. Thus, brahmi is a valuable anti-anxiety agent and an antidepressant. Brahmi oil is quite often used to massage the head. This sort of massage immediately puts the mind at rest and the mental abilities rise drastically after its use.

2. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Ginkgo works by improving the blood circulation to the central nervous system. This is the primary requisite for a healthy and capable brain. Apart from this, ginkgo corrects any damage done to the cells of different parts of the body, including the brain. It also minimizes the effects of the blood clotting. All these properties of the ginkgo have been studied in detail by western experts and they have obtained very encouraging results.

Ginkgo has got a place of respect in Ayurveda. The extract of the ginkgo is prescribed to people who have amnesia and Alzheimer’s disease. Several herbal brain tonics have ginkgo as one of the chief ingredients.

3. Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

The gotu kola is very effective in increasing the circulation of blood to different parts of the body, including the brain. It protects the brain from damage due to the wear and tear of its cells. Gotu kola can regenerate lost energy from the human system, and make the person feel more zestful.

Gotu kola is generally used in tonics intended to re-vitalize the brain. It improves concentration, makes the brain more receptive to information and also brings about an enhancement in the memory.

4. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha is one of the most essential components used in enhancing memory and overall brain functioning. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, stress-buster and a re-vitalizer. Ashwagandha has a cooling and calming effect on the brain. After a hard day’s work, ashwagandha can bring the brain back to its normal state of functioning.

Ayurveda regards ashwagandha as a medha rasayana, i.e. a brain tonic. It has direct results in improving the memory capacity of the brain. Ashwagandha is very powerful in making new concepts seem clearer and easy to understand. It is a vital component of almost all herbal brain tonics available in the market.

5. Mulethi (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Mulethi is none other than licorice, the herb already known worldwide for its various curative properties. Mulethi is an efficient brain tonic and a re-vitalizer for the brain. Like most of the other herbs mentioned here, mulethi also rejuvenates the brain. In times of stress, mulethi can stimulate mental functions so as to feel a calming and relaxing effect. Mulethi increases the circulation into the central nervous system and balances the sugar levels in the blood. Mulethi is frequently provided to students who are preparing for important examinations, as it helps to remember small facts and bits of information.

6. Vacha (Acorus calamus)

Vacha is a very vigorous brain tonic, because it shows results in a very short time. It increases the overall memory of the person and strengthens the nervous system. Vacha is prescribed to people who have amnesia.

Improving the memory is a quest on which human beings have embarked centuries ago. In almost all civilizations, there have been attempts to discover the best herbs for brain enhancement with minimum side-effects. Perhaps, Ayurveda wins the race in this. All the herbs Ayurveda uses for its brain tonics have minimum side-effects and are quite safe for the human beings. Western science is now warming up to these herbs and is looking upon them as effective supplements for the human brain.

Read more about Natural Home Remedies at - World's Finest Portal on Ayurveda and Herbal Remedies

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