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Herbs For Respiratory System

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Herbs for Respiratory System

Most people realize how important their lungs are to overall health, not only providing oxygen needed by every cell in the body but also filtering out small blood clots from the veins and even providing cushioning for the heart. Yet even if someone does not smoke, exposure to air pollution, some medications or even trauma can do damage to the lungs and cause problems like bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia and even lung cancer. Below, however, are herbs which can protect the lungs and promote respiratory health.

Mullein

Mullein has long been used as a remedy for many respiratory complaints, including viral infections like flus and colds, as well as conditions like bronchitis and laryngitis. It is a natural expectorant and can relieve congestion from excess phlegm and can also help quiet bronchial spasms and relieve pain.

Licorice

Licorice is a natural demulcent herb, meaning that it can help to soothe down irritation of the mucous membranes which line the respiratory tract. It also contains lichochalcone, a compound which decreases inflammation and has even been shown to help fight off the proliferation of cancer cells.

Gingko Biloba

Most people think of this as an herb to improve memory and cognition, but it is also useful for respiratory health. One study showed that those undergoing bypass surgery displayed fewer signs of inflammation or irritation in the lungs if given extracts of this herb.

Echinacea

Echinacea is a natural antimicrobial which can fight off bacteria and viruses that can hurt the lungs and can also strengthen the general immune system to make it more effective at warding off illnesses. It does this primarily through increasing the white blood cell count.

Rosemary

Rosemary’s natural oils have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties which can help to remedy bronchitis, flus and colds, coughs and other respiratory infections. One of its active compounds, called carnosol, is also being tested as an anti-carcinogen.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has long been used to treat a number of lung conditions, including sore throat, sinus infections, bronchitis and colds and flus. It has properties which make is an antimicrobial, antispasmodic and a natural expectorant and decongestant.

Irish Moss

Despite its name, this is actually a type of seaweed and is actually already used in an array of prescription medications that are used to treat lung ailments like the flu, pneumonia, and unproductive coughs. It acts as a decongestant and antimicrobial agent.

Hyssop

Hyssop is able to decongest the lungs and respiratory tract and is a natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. When used in a syrup, it is able to treat cough and soothe down the mucous membranes which line the throat and which get irritated by an array of respiratory problems.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is an anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antiseptic and can be used to treat conditions from the entire respiratory tract and is beneficial for bronchitis, coughs, and asthma and is excellent for soothing the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.

Coltsfoot

This is a natural treatment for whooping cough, colds, and bronchitis and can help rid the body of mucous and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract which can accompany a number of lung conditions.

All these herbs are natural and healthy ways to treat lung ailments and to keep the respiratory tract healthy and functioning.

If you have a family member that has had respiratory or cardiac problems, or you live with someone that smokes, have bronchitis,COPD, or other respiratory problems, please call us.

Health and Wellness Associates

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Health and Disease

Oregano and Rosemary Lower Blood Sugar and Prevent Diabetes

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Oregano and rosemary lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes

Diabetes, which currently affects more than 8 percent of the American population, is increasing at an unprecedented rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of this disease skyrocketed over the last three decades, rising 176 percent in the years 1980 through 2011.

Now, more than ever, a need for safe and effective treatment exists, and researchers are saying that a pair of fragrant, flavorful Mediterranean herbs may hold the key.

New research: Rosemary and oregano work just like prescription drugs – yet safer

In a study conducted by researchers from the American Chemical Society and published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, rosemary and oregano were found to inhibit an enzyme, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, that promotes the secretion of insulin. Protein tyrosine phosphatase – which plays a role in insulin signaling – has led researchers to conclude that the herbs could be useful in preventing and treating diabetes.

Lead author and researcher Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia noted that although some cases of diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, many patients lack the discipline to follow a successful regimen. In addition, anti-diabetic drugs can be costly, as well as featuring negative side effects. On the other hand, herbs offer a safe, natural and cost-effective method of lowering blood glucose.

What are the beneficial properties of rosemary and oregano?

If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary and oregano, no worries – although, of course, it is always preferable to use fresh, organic herbs whenever possible, the dried “supermarket” version is just as effective when it comes to lowering blood sugar.

The researchers tested the effects of both greenhouse-grown and commercial dried extracts. Not surprisingly, they found that the greenhouse version of the herbs had higher levels of beneficial polyphenols and flavonoids. However, the commercial dried extracts functioned just as well to lower blood sugar.

Of the different varieties of greenhouse and commercial herbs tested by the researchers, commercial Greek oregano – scientifically known as origanum vulgare – commercial Mexican oregano, or lippia graveolens – and both greenhouse and commercial rosemary – rosmarinic officinalis – performed best.

Polyphenols and flavonoids in rosemary and oregano shown to target inflammation

Courtesy of their high levels of phytochemicals, both rosemary and oregano are potent inflammation fighters. This pair of herbs is particularly rich in gallic acid, with some samples containing as much 430 micrograms per milligram of dried weight. Gallic acid, with confirmed anti-fungal, anti-viral, and chemopreventive properties, is first and foremost a stunningly effective antioxidant.

In a new animal study published in 2014 in International Journal of Inflammation, gallic acid not only had a beneficial effect on mice with laboratory-induced sepsis, it completely reversed lipid peroxidation – the damaging degradation of fats.

In addition, both rosemary and oregano are rich in antioxidant rosmarinic acid, beneficial volatile oils such as cineol, camphene and borneol, and the antioxidant vitamins A and C.

Rosemary can also alleviate age-related cognitive decline

Rosemary’s beneficial effects aren’t limited to inhibiting diabetes and promoting healthy blood sugar levels. By reducing oxidative stress in the part of the brain that controls learning and memory, rosemary may help to alleviate cognitive deficits that accompany aging.

According to recent animal studies conducted at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, several enhanced proprietary rosemary and spearmint extracts improved the cognitive performance of mice with age-related cognitive decline. The research team expressed hope that the herbs could be used to reduce cognitive problems occurring in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Please share with Family and Friends

Health and Wellness Associates

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  1. Carrothers

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References:

http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/figage.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723111143.htm

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf500639f

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131115111524.htm

http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/gallic-acid.php

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Health Benefits of Rosemary

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Rosemary has had the reputation for miracles for thousands of years. It has been used as an antiseptic, antidepressant, analgesic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, aphrodisiac, and expectorant. Rosemary has earned praise for alleviating nerve-related conditions, boosting the immune system, fighting off bacterial and viral infections, aiding respiratory ailments, strengthening digestion and improving circulation. Rosemary contains both caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid which act as a powerful anti-inflammatory making it ideal for those who suffer with auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. It also contains properties and volatile oils that work similarly to anti-histamines and make it very useful to treat conditions such as asthma and chronic migraines. Rosemary’s diuretic properties have been known to help relieve gout, edema, and kidney stones. Rosemary has the ability to stimulate memory, improve concentration, and help overcome mental fatigue by increasing the blood flow to the head and brain. It is also known to alleviate depression and sadness and can decrease anxiety brought on by stress. Rosemary oil is often added to hair and skin care products due to its ability to cleanse and nourish the scalp and heal and repair the skin. Essential oil of rosemary can also be used through a steam vaporizer to disinfect the air in your home &/or office which is especially beneficial during cold and flu season. Rosemary can be taken as a tea, supplement, or simply added to fresh guacamole, salads, soups, or any of your home cooked meals. It is a potent and effective herb that can provide a myriad of health benefits.

Health and Wellness Associates

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