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|Posted on 3 September, 2020 at 15:10||comments (0)|
Raw honey has been used for its medicinal value for thousands of years by many cultures. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote of the medical uses of honey. All the major religious texts mention the health benefits of honey. Raw honey—honey which has not been filtered, heat-treated, or processed—is not just a healthy food. It is a powerful medicine when taken internally or used topically. The favorable effects of raw honey as a natural medicine for a wide variety of ailments are well known in folk medicine and are beginning to be documented in the modern scientific literature.
Its chemical composition makes it easier to digest than regular sugar, and its metabolism does not stimulate insulin secretion to the same degree as does sugar. Thus honey can be used in small amounts as a healthy substitute for regular sugar and artificial sweeteners. It also contains small amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Common indications for oral ingestion of honey include: insomnia, anorexia, stomach and intestinal ulcers, constipation, osteoporosis, and laryngitis. A clinical trial in Saudi Arabia found honey to relieve dyspepsia (chronic indigestion). It was also found to help heal bleeding ulcers and GI inflammation. Manuka honey from New Zealand was found to inhibit the growth of H. pylori, the bacteria that is sometimes responsible for the development of ulcers. Research has confirmed honey’s ability to act as a broad-spectrum antibiotic, as well as its antifungal and antiviral properties.
Indications for the external application of honey include treatment of athlete’s foot, eczema, lip sores, and both sterile and infected wounds resulting from accidents, surgery, bed sores, or burns. In many countries, including France and Germany, physicians recommend using honey as a first line of defense against burns, superficial wounds, and in some cases, even deep lesions such as abscesses. Wounds treated with raw honey generally heal faster and with less scarring than with conventional treatments. Raw honey is a natural and painless antiseptic. It kills germs because it is hydrophilic, meaning it absorbs or attaches to water in its environment thus dehydrating any bacteria it comes in contact with. In addition, honey contains an enzyme called glucose oxidase. This enzyme is converted to hydrogen peroxide, which is another powerful anti-microbial agent. In a 1991 study, honey was compared with silver sulfadiazine, the standard treatment for burn patients, and the results were astounding. Only 8% of patients treated with honey developed infections, compared to 92% of those treated with the silver sulfadiazine.
In addition to the previously mentioned medicinal uses for honey, it has also been shown to reduce the average size of postoperative scars significantly, treat cataracts and conjunctivitis, normalize the digestive microflora, calm the nerves, and facilitate sleep. These are just a few of the many uses for honey.
(from material provided by Andrew Kochan, MD, 6-08)
|Posted on 3 September, 2020 at 11:00||comments (0)|
APITHERAPY, or “bee therapy” (from the Latin apis which means bee) is the medicinal use of products made by honeybees.
Products of the Honeybee include bee venom, honey, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and beeswax.
Some of the conditions treated (not in any special order) are: multiple sclerosis, arthritis, wounds, pain, gout, shingles, burns, tendonitis, and infections.
Therapies involving the honeybee have existed for thousands of years and some may be as old as human medicine itself. The ancient rock art of early hunter-gatherers depicts the honeybee as a source of natural medicine. Bee venom therapy was practiced in ancient Egypt, Greece, and China—three Great Civilizations known for their highly developed medical systems. Hippocrates, the Greek physician known as the “Father of Medicine”, recognized the healing virtues of bee venom for treating arthritis and other joint problems. Today, growing scientific evidence suggests that various bee products promote healing by improving circulation, decreasing inflammation, and stimulating a healthy immune response.
It is important to note that Apitherapy is not only the use of the venom for healing, often called Bee Sting Therapy, but the use of all the hive products, and usually a combination of them. These products are also sometimes mixed with other ingredients, specifically different essential oils, dependent on the condition being treated.
The more modern study of apitherapy, specifically bee venom, was initiated through the efforts of Austrian physician Philip Terc in his published results “Report about a Peculiar Connection between the Bee Stings and Rheumatism” in 1888. Bodog Beck (Budapest, Hugary 1871 – NYC, 1942) followed Terc, and brought Apitherapy to the United States. More recent popularity has been credited to Charles Mraz (1905 – 1999), a beekeeper from Vermont, who knew Beck. Some of the Board Members of the American Apitherapy Society, as well as some general AAS members, have been trained by and/or treated and inspired by Mraz. The Society’s annual educational and training event, CMACC, is named for him, the Charles Mraz Apitherapy Course and Conference.
|Posted on 1 September, 2020 at 15:10||comments (0)|
Many bee species produce wax, but only the wax of the honeybee species Apis mellifera will be referred to here. Of all the primary bee products wax has been, and remains, the most versatile and most widely used material.
Young bees in the hive, after feeding the young brood with royal jelly, in their third week of life, take part in the construction of the hive. Engorged with honey and resting suspended for 24 hours together with many other bees in the same position, 8 wax glands on the underside of the abdomens of the young bees secret small wax platelets. These are scraped off by the bee, chewed and masticated into pliable pieces with the addition of saliva and a variety of enzymes. Once chewed, attached to the comb and re-chewed several times, they finally form part of this architectural masterpiece, a comb of hexagonal cells, a 20 g structure which can support 1000 g of honey. Wax is used to cap the ripened honey and when mixed with some propolis, also protects the brood from infections and desiccation. Together with propolis, wax is also employed for sealing cracks and covering foreign objects in the hive. The wax collected by the beekeeper is that which is used in comb construction. Frame hive beekeeping produces wax almost exclusively from the cap and top part of the honey cells.
Pure beeswax from Apis mellifera consists of at least 284 different compounds. Not all have been completely identified but over 111 are volatile (Tulloch, 1980). At least 48 compounds were found to contribute to the aroma of beeswax (Ferber and Nursten, 1977). Quantitatively, the major compounds are saturated and unsaturated monoesters, diesters, saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, free acids and hydroxy polyesters. Table 4.1 lists the proportion of compounds as presented by Tulloch (1980).
There are 21 major compounds, each making up more than 1 % of the pure unfractionated wax. Together they account for 56% of the wax. The other 44% of diverse minor compounds probably account for beeswax’s characteristic plasticity and low melting point (Tulloch, 1980).
(taken from Krell, R.,“Value-Added Products from Bee-Keeping,” FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin #124, 1996)
|Posted on 24 August, 2020 at 14:50||comments (0)|
An interesting article on the many benifits of cucumber!!
Few foods are as cool as a cucumber. These low-calorie veggies contain many nutritional benefits, including hydrating properties and valuable nutrients.
There are hundreds of varieties of cucumber, and they come in dozens of colors, but the edible types are classified as being for either slicing or pickling, according to Cornell University's Growing Guide. Slicing cucumbers are cultivated to be eaten fresh, while pickling cucumbers are intended for the brine jar. Slicing cucumbers are usually larger and thicker-skinned than pickling ones.
In the United States, commonly planted varieties of slicing cucumber include Dasher, Conquistador, Slicemaster, Victory, Comet, Burpee Hybrid and Sprint, according to the World's Healthiest Foods website. Commonly planted varieties of pickling cucumber include Royal, Calypso, Pioneer, Bounty, Regal, Duke and Blitz.
While most people think of cucumbers as vegetables, they are actually a fruit. They contain seeds and grow from the ovaries of flowering plants. Cucumbers are members of the plant family Cucurbitaceae, which also includes squashes and melons. The most common type of slicing cucumber found in a grocery store is the garden cucumber, Cucumis sativus, according to World's Healthiest Foods.
Cucumbers are good sources of phytonutrients (plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties) such flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits, according to World's Healthiest Foods.
"We should definitely seek out foods that are nutrient-rich, using the positive approach of what to put on your plate vs. what to keep off," said Angela Lemond, a Plano, Texas-based registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The peel and seeds are the most nutrient-dense parts of the cucumber. They contain fiber and beta-carotene. "Beta carotene is an antioxidant that helps with immunity, skin, eye and the prevention of cancer," said Lemond. A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition found that cucumber seeds were a good source of minerals, and contained calcium.
Here are the nutrition facts for cucumbers, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates food labeling through the Nutritional Labeling and Education Act:
Cucumbers are 95 percent water, according to Ware. This makes cucumbers a great way to stay hydrated, especially during the summer. A cup of cucumber slices is "nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water," according to Eating Well magazine.
"They say we can get 20-30 percent of our fluid needs through our diet alone, and foods like these certainly help," added Lemond. "Not only are they high in water content, they also contain important nutrients that play a part in hydration like magnesium and potassium."
The anti-inflammatory compounds in cucumbers help remove waste from the body and reduce skin irritation, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Preliminary research also suggests cucumbers promote anti-wrinkling and anti-aging activity, according to an article in the journal Filoterapia.
You've probably seen pictures of people at a spa relaxing with cucumber slices over their eyes. It turns out there's science behind this pampering ritual. Ware explained, "Cucumbers have a cooling and soothing effect that decreases swelling, irritation and inflammation when used topically. Cucumber slices can be placed on the eyes can decrease morning puffiness or alleviate and treat sunburn when placed on the affected areas." She also noted that high vegetable intake is associated with a healthy complexion in general.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, in the past few decades, it has become clear that vitamin K is important to bone health, and one cup of cucumber contains about 19 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. One review published in Nutrition noted that vitamin K intake might reduce fracture rates, work with vitamin D to increase bone density and positively affect calcium balance.
The human body uses vitamin K when building bones, and the effects seem to be especially important for women. A large 2003 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study showed that low vitamin K levels were associated with low bone density in women, but not in men. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 found that low intakes of vitamin K were associated with an increased risk of hip fractures in middle-age women. This is especially interesting because the women saw results from eating lettuce, showing that dietary consumption of vitamin K via eating vegetables (not supplements) is beneficial. When it comes to men, the affects of vitamin K and bone health may become more apparent as they age: A 2000 study saw reduced risk of hip fracture among both elderly women and elderly men who consumed more vitamin K.
"Foods that are high in antioxidants allow your body to function optimally. Antioxidants help prevent damage and cancer," Lemond said.
Cucumbers contain several antioxidants, including vitamin C, beta-carotene and manganese, as well as flavonoids, triterpenes and lignans that have anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin C is well known for its immune system benefits, and beta-carotene has been shown to be beneficial for vision, according to the Mayo Clinic.
According to a 2010 animal study published in the Journal of Young Pharmacists, fresh extracts from cucumber showed increased scavenging of free radicals. Free radicals are associated with a variety of human diseases, but can sometimes be held in check by antioxidants, according to the Pharmacognosy Review.
Another study of cucumber extracts in animals, published in the Archives of Dermatological Research, found increased overall antioxidant benefits. Though this study focused on the cosmetic applications of this use of cucumbers, decreased free radicals can improve your inside organs as well as your skin.
An additional study published in Current Pharmaceutical Design found a positive association between the triterpene cucurbitacin and reduced inflammation, particularly in cancer cells. A review of triterpenes on the immune system, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, suggested that they can help with inflammation and encouraged future research.
"Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables of all kinds is associated with a reduced risk for many health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and obesity," said Ware. Cucumbers' potassium content may be especially helpful in this regard. One cup of sliced cukes contains only about 4 percent of the body's daily potassium needs, but it comes with significantly fewer calories than most high-potassium foods like bananas. Potassium is an essential part of heart health, according to the American Heart Association. A study of 12,000 adults, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, showed that those who consumed 4,069 mg of potassium each day lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease by 37 percent and 49 percent, respectively, compared to those who took 1,793 mg per day.
Several studies have linked cucumber consumption to reducing hypertension. Many studies have linked it with lower blood pressure because it promotes vasodiliation (widening of the blood vessels), according to Today’s Dietitian. A 2017 study published in Public Health of Indonesia found that elderly participants with hypertension saw a significant decrease in blood pressure after consuming cucumber juice for 12 days. Additionally, a 2009 review in Indian Academy of Clinical Medicine suggested that hypertension sufferers incorporate cucumbers into their diets because of the fruit's low sodium content.
The vitamin K in cucumbers is also known to be essential in the blood-clotting process, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
A 2013 review in Fitoterapia noted that cucumbers might help relieve constipation because they provide both fiber and water. Tufts University notes that cucumbers can pack even more of a digestive punch if they are turned into pickles during a home-fermentation process. Cucumber pickles contain probiotic bacteria that promote healthy digestion and cultivating beneficial gut flora. Store-bought pickles usually do not have these bacteria because they have been boiled out.
Cucumbers are a low-calorie food therefore a popular ingredient in diet meals. A 2011 study in the journal Obesity found that greater water consumption correlated with more weight loss in middle-age and older adults. Participants who consumed 1 pint (500 milliliters) of water prior to eating a meal lost an average of 4 lbs. (2 kilograms) more than participants who did not. Snacking on water-dense foods like cucumbers can be an effective way to up water intake.
Recently, scientists have taken interest in the flavonoid fisetin. Cucumbers are a good source of fisetin, which studies have associated with protecting nerve cells, improving memory and decreasing the risk of Alzheimer's in mice, according to a 2013 review in the journal of Antioxidants & Redox Signaling. The same review found promising results for the relationship between fisetin and cancer prevention.
Risks of eating cucumbers
There can be a few risks from eating cukes. Pesticide consumption is one concern. Ware explained, "The Environmental Working Group produces a list each year of fruits and vegetables with the highest levels of pesticide residue, known as the Dirty Dozen. Cucumbers are one of the fruits and vegetables that the Environmental Working Group has placed on its Dirty Dozen list, meaning the exposure to pesticide residue is high."
Additionally, cucumbers may be waxed to help protect them during shipping. According to World's Healthiest Foods, both organic and conventionally grown cukes may be waxed, but organic ones can only use non-synthetic waxes with chemicals approved under organic regulations. For this reason and the pesticide concerns, World's Healthiest Foods encourages buying organic cucumbers. But Ware stipulated, "This does not mean you should avoid cucumbers altogether if you can't find or afford organic. The nutritional benefit of eating conventionally grown produce outweighs the risk of not eating produce at all."
Healthy as they are, you don't want to overdo it on cucumbers, said Lemond. "My recommendation is always to vary your selections. Cucumbers are great hydrating foods, so keep them in along with other plant foods that offer other benefits. Variety is always key."
Pickling is a method of preserving food — and not only cucumbers — to prevent spoiling. There are two basic types of pickles: fermented and non-fermented, according to the World's Healthiest Foods.
Fermented pickles have been soaked in brine, which is water that has been saturated with salt. The word "pickle" comes from the Dutch word pekel, which means brine. Brines can also contain other ingredients, such as vinegar, dill seed, garlic and lime.
Dill pickles are brined with dill added to the solution, obviously. Kosher dills are brined with dill and garlic. "Kosher" in this case does not necessarily mean the cucumbers have been prepared according to kosher dietary laws, however; it just means garlic has been added to the brining process, according to the World's Healthiest Foods.
Gherkin pickles are usually just immature cucumbers, according to Cornell University.
Cornell University: Cucumber Growing Guide
Cleveland Clinic: 7 Foods That Will Satisfy Your Thirst and Hunger
The World's Healthiest Foods: Cucumbers
|Posted on 22 August, 2020 at 15:10||comments (0)|
Propolis has been used for centuries by many cultures for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and detoxifying properties. Propolis, also known as “Russian penicillin” or “bee glue”, is a sticky substance that bees make from tree and other plant resins. Bees keep their hive from being infected by coating the inside of the hive with it, thus preventing the spread of bacteria and fungi that would be detrimental to the well being of the colony. Propolis from different regions of the world exhibit slightly different properties depending on the types of tree and plant resins available in the area.
Propolis contains flavonoid compounds known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity as well as tissue strengthening and regenerative effects. A 1994 Polish study found that mice given propolis lived longer than the mice in the control group. Antioxidants are thought to have anti-aging properties in humans as well.
In many countries where antibiotics are not widely available, it is a common to use propolis to heal a wide variety of wounds. Used as an antiseptic wash or salve, propolis is able to prevent the growth of bacteria in cuts and burns and it can also promote the healing process in lesions of the skin that have not healed. Used as a mouthwash, propolis is able to prevent bad breath, gingivitis, tooth decay and gum disease and it is commonly taken as a remedy for sore throats. Propolis is capable of acting as an anti-inflammatory as well. It can help with symptoms of arthritis, boils, acne, asthma, dermatitis, ulcers, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Propolis has also been found to have antimutagenic effects, which may aid in the prevention of cancer. In conjunction with royal jelly it can ameliorate the side effects of chemo and radiation therapies.
(taken from material provided by Andrew Kochan, MD, 6-08)