Slippery elm bark has been used as an herbal medicinal remedy in North America for hundreds of years. It works with the body to draw out impurities and toxins, assisting with the healing of all body parts. Historically, Native Americans used the herb topically for skin issues and internally for a variety of ailments. In fact, it was used to treat wounds on soldiers during the American Revolution.
Slippery Elm Bark for Digestive ConditionsSlippery elm bark also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. This makes the bark an excellent herbal treatment for a variety of digestive conditions including Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, diverticulitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It is also believed that slippery elm bark may cause extra mucus production in the gastrointestinal tract, in which case it may also help protect your intestinal tract from ulcers. It is for these reasons you’ll find it as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s all natural Colon Regenerator formula.
Slippery Elm Bark for Respiratory Related IssuesThe key component of the bark is a substance called mucilage. When mixed with water, this substance becomes like a slick gel. This gel-like texture works to coat and soothe the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. The gel-like coating of slippery elm bark makes it helpful for various throat issues such as sore throats, bronchitis, colds, and other upper respiratory problems, which is why you’ll sometimes find it used in throat lozenges.
Natural Topical Health Benefits of Slippery Elm BarkThe herb has topical health benefits as well. Native Americans used the bark to create topical treatments to help heal wounds, burns, psoriasis and other skin irritations. One study even found that slippery elm bark reduces the severity of symptoms of psoriasis.
More Health Benefits of Slippery Elm BarkOther health benefits of slippery elm bark have been researched, including:
- One study that analyzed eight herbs, including slippery elm, found that herbs predominantly containing phenolics may make good options for relieving stress and anxiety.
- As a key ingredient in the common herbal cancer treatment Essiac, it is believed to have anticancer properties. If not used as a cure, it is used to help improve quality of life, control negative side-effects of conventional breast-cancer treatment, and relieve pain associated with breast cancer.
How to Take Slippery Elm BarkNative to North America, slippery elm bark can typically be found in a variety of forms, from tea to capsules, tablets, lozenges and even extracts.
Psyllium is a form of soluble fiber found in the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. In fact, 100 grams of psyllium provides about 70 grams of soluble fiber. For comparison, a similar amount of oat bran contains about 5 grams of soluble fiber.
So why does this matter?
Psyllium as a Natural Fiber Source
Fiber plays a critical role in your overall digestive health. There are two types of fiber - insoluble and soluble, and believe or not, one of the reasons why fiber is so important is the fact that your body can’t digest either form.
Insoluble fiber, found in dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains, stays mostly intact and does not dissolve like soluble fiber does. It tends to pass quickly through the digestive system, thus helping to increase the passage of other foods through the digestive tract, resulting in increased bowel movements and less constipation.
Soluble fiber, found in legumes, grains, flaxseed, brussel sprouts, chia seeds, apples, apricots, grapefruit, and psyllium, attracts water and dissolves into a gel-like texture in your stomach. When soluble fiber dissolves in water inside the small intestine, it tends to add bulk to your stools, slowing down digestion, thereby giving essential vitamins and minerals time to get absorbed through the intestinal walls. Soluble fiber also can bind to cholesterol, preventing it from being absorbed by the body and reducing cholesterol levels.
The main health benefits found in psyllium come down to its potent soluble fiber content. Some of the problems psyllium can help with include:
Psyllium for Natural Relief from Digestive Disorders
Many side effects of digestive disorders revolve around bowel movements. Since psyllium helps soak up water in your stomach and small intestine, thereby increasing the bulk of your stools, it can make bowel movements easier. It can help with regularity without additional flatulence. It also has the ability to soften your stool. In one study of people with ulcerative colitis, psyllium seeds were shown to be as effective as the prescription drug mesalamine in decreasing recurrences of the disease. These are some of the reasons you’ll find psyllium as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Colon Regenerator formula.
Psyllium for Naturally Reducing Risk of Heart Disease
Research shows that eating a high-fiber diet may provide a 40% lower risk of heart disease. Psyllium can help your overall heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving lipid levels, and strengthening heart muscle.
Psyllium for Natural Diabetes Remedy
One of the benefits of the slower digestion induced by the presence of soluble fiber is that it may help slow the breakdown of carbohydrates and absorption of sugar in the body. This can help your body maintain proper blood sugar levels.
Psyllium for Natural Help with Weight Issues
Since the fiber in psyllium slows the digestive process, it helps contribute to a feeling of fullness, which in turn helps prevent overeating.
Psyllium for Natural Skin Health
Psyllium husk may help with skin health as it helps move yeast and fungus out of your body, preventing them from being excreted through your skin where they could trigger acne or rashes.
How to Take Psyllium
Psyllium is commonly found in powder form that can be easily mixed with water or juice and is also available in capsule, granule, or even liquid form. It is also found in many over-the-counter laxatives, or natural colon health formulas. One thing to keep in mind if taking psyllium is that it does absorb a significant amount of water in your body. You’ll want to make sure you drink enough water to avoid getting dehydrated.
Terminalia chebula is called the "king of medicines" in Tibet and is one of the prime Ayurvedic herbs from India because of its extraordinary healing powers. It is actually the dried fruit from the Terminalia chebula tree, also referred to as Haritaki.
Terminalia Chebula for Digestive Health Issues
This fruit is best known for its health benefits within the digestive system. Traditionally, it is found in natural colon cleansers (such as Jon Barron’s Colon Corrective formula) and used to address constipation, digestive disorders, irregular fevers, flatulence, ulcers, vomiting, colic, and hemorrhoids. It may also help with other gastrointestinal ailments such as tumors, ascites (abdominal swelling), piles, enlargement of the liver or spleen, worms, colitis, and food poisoning.
Terminalia Chebula for Daily Health & Vitamins
In addition to its digestive benefits, the fruit is also a good source of vitamin C and the minerals selenium, potassium, manganese, iron and copper. Terminalia chebula fruit is also considered to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. At the same time, it is known to promote tissue growth and health.
Terminalia Chebula Antioxidant Benefits
Modern research has found that Terminalia has a strong effect against the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and exhibits strong cardio tonic properties. It also has antioxidant components, which indicates it can increase the life of tissues. Another study shows the anti-tumor activity of Terminalia, and yet another study shows that it has considerable effect in inhibiting the HIV virus that ultimately results in AIDS.
More Natural Health Benefits of Terminalia Chebula
While the key benefits of this herb are typically found in herbal formulas, the fruit offers additional health benefits when used in other ways as well. For instance, a topical paste containing the herb can be used to provide relief to the eyelids in cases of conjunctivitis. A paste of the fruit is also used to help clean wounds and ulcers and to speed up the healing process. In astringent form, it may be helpful with dental issues such as loose or bleeding gums.
Additionally, Terminalia chebula fruit has been credited with these health benefits:
- improves memory
- helps with urinary stones.
- improves appetite
- helps in digestion
- helps nervous irritability
- in combination with Emblica officinalis (AKA Indian gooseberry or amla), may help lower cholesterol and prevent the death of heart tissue
How to Take Terminalia Chebula Fruit
You’ll find this herb in a variety of forms from powder, capsules, and tablets to actual dried fruit. It’s most commonly found in Ayurvedic shops, but is also available online. While no negative side effects are typically associated with this herb, it is not recommended for pregnant women or for those with a weak immunity, lean body or alcoholics, mostly due to its laxative effects.
When you think of natural health supplements, you don’t often think of the soil our food grows in independently of the food itself and the role it can play in your overall well-being. One compound found in that soil in particular has been of particular interest to researchers--fulvic acid.
Fulvic acid is a major component of organic matter found naturally in soil. It is released as organic matter decomposes. When plants or other living organisms such as human beings absorb fulvic acid, nutrient uptake becomes more efficient and energy production increases. When you take a closer look at the compounds contained in fulvic acid, the health benefits are not really surprising. Fulvic acid is not a single substance but rather a complex of related components including hormones, fatty acids, ketones, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals, as well as its close cousin: humic acid.
Fulvic Acid as a Heavy Metal Detox
One of the most beneficial traits of fulvic acid is its role as a chelating agent, working to remove toxic heavy metals from the body. Fulvic acid actually “grabs” the heavy metals and carries them to the liver to be processed out of the body, making it a vital part of the heavy metal detoxification process. This is one of the reasons you can find fulvic acid in Jon Barron’s Metal Magic formula.
Fulvic Acid for Increased Nutrition
The other key health benefit of fulvic acid is its ability to help the body assimilate nutrients. Since fulvic acid is naturally high in electrolytes and antioxidants, it can help transport nutrients throughout the body and across cell walls and increases your body’s ability to actually absorb them as well. Traditionally, we would be exposed to fulvic acid in our food supply--particularly from root vegetables, bulbs, tubers, and rhizomes that grown in the ground. However, with our modern agricultural methods, we have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows, which prevents truly rich fulvic acid from ever forming. In addition, high-power industrial washing of fruits and vegetables strips away any fulvic acid that might be clinging to that produce from where it was grown.
It also should be noted that in addition to helping absorb nutrients, fulvic acid helps with the mineral absorption process. Fulvic acid can help the body decide which minerals it should keep in and out of the cell in order to ensure proper cell balance and functionality.
Fulvic Acid for Improved Overall Health & Energy
Its ability to transport nutrients may also help your body stay healthier and have more energy. When there isn’t enough fulvic acid present in our body, it can be difficult for cells to absorb key minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium. These deficiencies can be exacerbated when there is a loss of fluids, emotional stress, loss of sleep or poor eating habits. The electrolytes found in fulvic acid help improve the electric balance of your cells. This in turn helps improve your body’s ability to fight sickness and weakness, as well as help increase your overall energy levels.
Fulvic Acid for Brain Health
It turns out fulvic acid may be good for your brain health as well! A study looking into the benefits of fulvic acid and Alzheimer's disease found that the compound has several nutraceutical properties with potential activity to protect cognitive impairment. More research is being done on the development of potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease using fulvic acid.
Other Fulvic Acid Health Benefits
And that’s not all! In addition to the above benefits, fulvic acid may also:
- control inflammation
- stimulate metabolism
- regulate the thyroid and thymus glands
- oxygenate the blood
- maintain optimum alkalinity
- increase energy
- rid the body of oxidants and free radicals
- extend the time nutrients remain active
- restore electrochemical balance
- help rebuild the immune system
How to Take Fulvic Acid
The most common way of taking fulvic acid is as a liquid supplement, sometimes referred to as “water fulvic acid.” It’s important to read and follow the dosage amounts carefully as taking too much can alter the mineral levels in your body. You can also find fulvic acid in powdered form, however, due to its taste you may want to mix it in a smoothie or juice blend.
Want to know more? Discover more about heavy metal cleansing.
Did you know that millions of Americans suffer from kidney stone or gallstone problems? In fact, each year, more than one million people in the US learn they have gallstones. Overall, nearly 10% of the American population have gallstones. They join the million people who visit their healthcare providers for kidney stone issues. Each year, more than 300,000 people end up in emergency rooms for kidney stone problems.(more…)
Gentian, one of the “bitter” herbs, has been used by herbalists for over 2,000 years as an anti-toxic to stimulate liver function. It was named as a tribute to Gentius, an Illyrian king who was believed to have discovered that the herb had tonic properties. Traditional folk healers believed that gentian root could improve the digestive process by stimulating the flow of saliva, bile, and stomach acids if you took the herb before your meal. During the Middle Ages, it was used as an antidote to certain poisons.(more…)
Often referred to as the "Viagra of the Amazon," muira puama has long been considered an effective natural therapeutic approach for loss of libido in both sexes. A flowering plant native to the Amazon rainforest, its name, muira puama, means "potency wood." Muira puama is one of the most active botanicals with a long history of traditional use as an energy tonic, general health improver, and remedy for impotence and sexual insufficiency.(more…)
While you may not have heard of the herb gravel root, there are in fact over forty species of the genus, many of them used medicinally. You can find the flowering plant growing in North America from Canada to Florida in mostly wet, wooded areas. There are a number of interesting legends associated with this herb too.(more…)
If you have ever suffered from constipation, you are not alone. 63 million people in North America suffer from constipation and if not treated, it can lead to a host of other health issues. For some people, adding fiber to the diet is not enough. Are there other natural remedies? Turns out, there are! (more…)
The rainforest holds many natural medicine secrets still to be uncovered. One of the secrets that HAS been discovered, however, is a well-known tribal Peruvian cure-all that has been used for nearly 2,000 years. Cat's claw (Uña de Gato in Spanish) is a thorny vine that can grow up to 100 feet in the tropical regions of South and Central America. Its name comes from the rounded thorns that look like cat's claws that grow on the vine.(more…)
In addition to being considered an anticancer herb, Pau d’arco is also well known for helping treat a wide range of infections, from the common cold to H1N1 to other infections such as sexually transmitted infections, infections of the prostate and bladder; ringworm and other parasitic infections; yeast infections; and infectious diarrhea.(more…)
Sanguinaria canadensis, most commonly referred to as bloodroot, has a rich Native American background. Its nickname, war paint, should give you some indication of its importance to the early Indian culture. The nickname, bloodroot, came about because of the red sap that would "bleed" from the roots of the flower.(more…)
If you live anywhere from Maine to Texas, you may have been introduced to the poke root as a highly poisonous berry that should never be touched. In fact, before using the leaves, herbalists boil them three times, discarding the water in-between to create a dish that is referred to as “poke salad.”(more…)
While bamboo may still be on the newer side of things here in Western herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine has long known of the many health benefits of bamboo. Its usage as a medical remedy can be traced back to ancient Chinese times. In fact, the Chinese have uses for every part of the bamboo plant.(more…)
Chicory root was widely used during the Great Depression and World War II when coffee was in short supply or too expensive. Today, it is used around the world and in the US, particularly in New Orleans, as a natural caffeine-free substitute to coffee. However, it's much more than a rich drink.(more…)
Stress affects just about everyone. In fact, in a national poll done by NPR, half of all adults say they experienced a major stressful event in the past year. While stress may be an unavoidable natural part of life, too much stress can have a significant negative impact on your health.
Instead of turning to medication, there are quite a number of natural alternatives including exercise, meditation, yoga, etc. In addition, there are a number of herbal remedies that can help lower stress levels. One of these herbs is a popular Brazilian herb - mulungu bark. Although not readily available in the states, mulungu has long been used in South America as not only a natural sedative, but also to calm an overexcited nervous system and help with sleep issues.
Mulungu for Natural Anxiety and Stress Relief
The traditional use of mulungu for anxiety and stress, which has been well documented by researchers, shows that it effectively alters anxiety-related responses. The researchers reported that mulungu extract has an effect similar to the commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drug diazepam, without the drowsy side effects. It is a natural mental stimulant and body relaxer.
Mulungu as a Natural Mood Booster
In addition, one of the main effects of mulungu is a strong physical sensation of well-being, or mood elevation. It is experienced as a very pleasurable warmth and tingling in the body. It is this pleasurable sensation that works so well as an appetite suppressant. You just feel so good that you don't want to eat. Some preliminary research also shows it may even help to lessen pain.
Mulungu for Mental Clarity
Normally, when taken by itself, mulungu bark can cause drowsiness. But when taken with a stimulant such as green tea, the pleasurable sensations are amplified, and they are accompanied by increased mental clarity.
More Natural Health Benefits of Mulungu
It also used around the world to help naturally treat...
- intermittent fevers
- heart palpitations
- liver disorders
How to Take Mulungu
The herb itself can be taken as a tincture, found as tea or often found within other herbal supplement formulas. However, in 2012, mulungu was placed on the endangered species list, which is why it’s no longer readily available in the US. Ashwagandha, however, makes a reasonable substitute for mulungu, which is why Jon Barron used it to replace mulungu in his Warp Speed formula, a natural mental stimulant and body relaxer.
Read more mental health articles for natural ways to relieve stress and nervous system problems.
Some of the world’s best medicinal herbs can be found in the tropical rainforests of Brazil; the suma root is no exception. In Portuguese, the root is referred to as “para tudo” which means “for everything.” This is an apt name when you discover just how native Brazilians have used this herb for generations.
It wasn’t until 1975, however, that Suma was introduced to modern medicine and tested at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. In the US, as part of a marketing effort, the herb was actually introduced as the Brazilian ginseng. This has caused some confusion since the only characteristic the herb has in common with the ginseng family is its appearance.
Suma Root as an Adaptogen
As far as an herbal remedy, the suma plant plays an important role. In fact, South American natives would consume it as a part of their daily diet. Most notable about the suma root is the fact that it is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance that strengthens and protects the body and mind against stress. Since the body is always undergoing various levels of stress, an adaptogenic herb can be helpful since it has the ability to target the entire body as well as target whichever individual systems and organs that are in need of the most help at the time. Adaptogens also help restore balancing factors in the body that are necessary for optimal overall health.
Natural Medicinal Uses of Suma Root
In addition to being an adaptogen, the suma root has been used for conditions such as:
- blood sugar
- skin disorders
- blood pressure
- decreased libido and impotence
- immune complications
Suma Root as a Natural Herbal Aide
Studies conducted by Dr. Milton Brazzach have concluded that although suma root is not a cure for certain diseases, its benefits brought significant relief for cancer, diabetes, and gout sufferers -- with no undesirable side effects. Since then, studies at the American College of the Healing Arts by Dr. Michael Tierra, author of The Way of Herbs, indicate that consistent use of the Suma plant may help combat fatigue (including treatment of chronic fatigue and low energy conditions), prevent colds and flus, speed healing, and regulate blood sugar.
Suma Root for Your Immune System
Suma contains high doses of amino acids and minerals, including iron, silica, and zinc. And, it is high in polyphenols, which possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The key working ingredients in suma are:
- Pfaffic acid, which prevents the spread of various cells disorders.
- Pfaffocides and other saponins, which help stop diseases already in progress.
- The plant hormones sitosterol and stigmasterol, which prevent cholesterol absorption and improve blood circulation.
- Alantoin, which helps accelerate healing.
And most important of all: germanium. The Suma plant has one of the highest concentrations of Ge-132 of any plant in existence. What's the big deal with Ge-132? It was actually discovered about 20 years ago by a Japanese research chemist named Kazuhiko Asai. Its full name is bis-Carboxyethylgermanium Ses-quioxide (or Germanium Sesquioxide, for short). Ge-132 works much like Pau d'arco in that it stimulates production of interferon gamma, while at the same time activating cytotoxic natural killer cells and macrophages. This is why you’ll find it as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Immunify formula.
According to studies by Dr. Parris M. Kidd, "This substance, while free of major side effects, can apparently invigorate, rejuvenate, protect against miscarriages during pregnancy, heal burns without scarring, cure radiation sickness, restore eyesight and hearing, kill the pain of advanced cancer, and shrink cancers within weeks. In fact, a Japanese study showed that suma derivatives inhibited the growth of melanoma tumors in a test tube, as well as in mice. In a 2010 study, suma controlled the proliferation of cells as well as promoting apoptosis, or the death of malignant cells, in laboratory mice.
Circulatory disorders, including heart attacks, angina pectoris, stroke, and peripheral impairments respond well to Ge-132, as do hepatitis and cirrhosis and several behavior disorders."
Possible Future Uses of Suma Root
Brazilian natives have long used suma for its aphrodisiac qualities, and there may be some scientific evidence to help back that claim. In a 1999 study published in the journal "Psychopharmacology," extract from the plant improved impotent rats' ability to perform sexually. Another 2003 study published in the "Journal of Reproductive Development" discovered that suma raised progesterone and testosterone levels in lab mice.
How to Use Suma Root
You can most often find suma root in tinctures, capsules, or tablet form; however, it is also available as a dried and powdered herb.
Learn more about naturally boosting your immune system.
If you didn’t know licorice root was a medicinal herb, you aren't alone. One question we are frequently asked is: "What is licorice root good for?" It turns out it’s effective at helping in quite a few areas. In fact, licorice root may quite possibly be one of the most overlooked medicinal herbs.
A favorite of King Tut (a large amount of licorice root was found in his tomb) and used by the Greeks as a cure-all much like the Chinese use ginseng, this herb has been around for thousands of years. It’s known for its sweet flavor - appropriate since it’s about fifty times sweeter than sugar - but licorice root has been used to treat everything from the common cold to cancer.
Licorice Root for Natural Adrenal System Support
Licorice is one of a group of plants that have a marked effect upon the endocrine system. The glycosides present in licorice have a structure that is similar to the natural steroids of the body. For this reason, herbalists have used licorice for centuries to support the adrenal system during times of excessive stress by keeping it in balance. Specifically, licorice contains glycyrrhizic acid which stimulates adrenal secretions ensuring that normal function is maintained.
Licorice Root for Natural Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In addition, by enhancing cortisol activity, glycyrrhizin helps to increase energy, ease stress, and reduce the symptoms of ailments sensitive to cortisol levels, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. In fact, in the 1800s, licorice extract was a common remedy for a type of persistent fatigue known as neurasthenia--the condition we now know as chronic fatigue syndrome. In addition, since the glycyrrhizic acid found in licorice root encourages the function of the adrenal glands, it can help with feelings of nervousness and depression.
Licorice Root for Natural Women’s Health
Women should certainly appreciate the phytoestrogens in licorice root. They have a mild estrogenic effect, making the herb potentially useful in easing certain symptoms of PMS, such as irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. In addition, the phytoestrogens in licorice root may help to minimize menopausal symptoms by compensating somewhat for the natural decline in a woman's estrogen levels following menopause. Another benefit is that it accomplishes all this while inhibiting the much stronger estrogenic effects presented by chemical estrogens in the environment—and even your body’s own powerful estrogens. In other words, it helps prevent estrogen dominance. This is why you’ll find licorice root as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Women’s Formula.
Licorice Root for Skin Issues and Conditions
If you have skin issues, licorice root may be helpful for you as well. Research shows that licorice root gel can decrease the signs of eczema. In a study, it was found that 2% licorice root gel was most effective. But it can be found in poultices and salves used for treating skin rashes, psoriasis, dry skin and other skin conditions as well.
Licorice Root for Mild Pain and Resipatory Relief
Licorice root also has an aspirin-like action and has an anti-allergenic effect. This has made it useful in helping relieve headaches as well as hay fever and asthma related symptoms. It also acts as an expectorant, meaning it helps get rid of phlegm and can help control respiratory problems and treat sore throats.
Licorice Root for Natural Digestive Health
That's just scratching the surface of the many uses of licorice root. Licorice root also stimulates the production of digestive fluids and bile, soothes ulcers, helps reduce intestinal inflammation, and supports the healthy function of the kidneys, liver, and bladder. Its action in soothing ulcers is unique. Rather than inhibit the release of acid, licorice root stimulates the normal defense mechanisms that ward off ulcer formation. Specifically, licorice root improves both the quality and quantity of the protective mucous that lines the intestinal tract, increases the lifespan of the intestinal cell, and improves blood supply to the intestinal lining. In addition to helping lower stomach acid levels, which means it can help relieve heartburn and indigestion, licorice root acts as a mild laxative. And licorice Root stimulates the production of digestive fluids and bile For these reasons, you’ll find it used in Jon Barron’s Colon Regenerator formula and Liver Flush Tea.
More Natural Health Benefits of Licorice Root
If that’s not enough, licorice root has also been credited with helping relieve these following conditions:
- athlete's foot
- body odor
- canker sores
- colds and flu
- gingivitis and tooth decay
- viral infections
- fungal infections
- Lyme disease
- sore throat
- yeast infections
- prostate enlargement
How to Take Licorice Root
Licorice root is made from peeled and unpeeled dried root and is available in a variety of forms from powdered to liquid extracts. Typically, you’ll find the root in tea, tablet and capsule form. Note: a small number of people may find their conditions are aggravated by the glycyrrhizin found in licorice root. For those instances, an extract that does not contain glycyrrhizin, referred to as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), can be used instead. And one final note: licorice root should not be confused with licorice candies which contain very little actual licorice and are mainly flavored with aniseed.
Learn more about relieving stress and anxiety.
One of today’s most purchased medicinal herbs and the oldest living species of plant, Ginkgo biloba may also be one of the most studied herbs on the planet. The plant itself is considered to be a “living fossil,” which means that it is a species that has survived major extinction events. Ginkgo is impressive enough just as a plant species, considering a single tree can live as long as 1,000 years and grow to a height of 120 feet. However, when you factor in its medicinal value, it’s really no surprise that it’s so popular.
Ginkgo Biloba As An Antioxidant
The herb contains more than 40 components, but only two types are believed to be helpful medicinally - flavonoids and terpenoids. Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants that help protect against oxidative cell damage from harmful free radicals. Terpenoids help improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets. And the terpenoids in ginkgo, particularly the ginkgolides, have a special advantage: they can cross the blood brain barrier and work in your brain. This is why you'll find ginkgo as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Ultimate Antioxidant formula.
Ginkgo Biloba for Natural Brain Health
If you’re familiar with ginkgo at all, you are probably aware of its ability to help improve memory. This is because ginkgo is believed to have nootropic properties (essentially, it’s a smart drug), and is mainly used as a memory and concentration enhancer and antivertigo agent. According to some studies, ginkgo and memory go hand in hand, as it can also significantly improve attention in healthy individuals. Further research has found that it may also help in preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease.
Ginkgo Biloba for Natural Blood Health
Gingko has been studied extensively for its ability to widen blood vessels and increase oxygen and blood flow. In fact, it was originally used to help regulate blood flow to the brain.
Ginkgo Biloba for Vision Issues
The herb has also been shown to significantly improve long-distance vision and may reverse damage to the retina of the eye. In addition, it may also provide relief from headaches, sinusitis, and vertigo.
More Natural Health Benefits of Ginkgo Biloba
If that’s not enough, ginkgo has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, including…
- Cerebral insufficiencies
- Cochlear deafness
- Intermittent Claudication
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Raynaud's syndrome,
- Short-term memory loss
- Vascular Diseases
How to Take Ginkgo Biloba
Since this herb is so popular, you shouldn’t have any problems finding it. Depending on your preferences, you’ll likely see it in capsule or tablet form, as a liquid extract, or in dried leaf form for use in teas.
Even if you haven’t heard of burdock root, chances are you’ve seen it. While native to Europe and Northern Asia, in the US it grows as a weed, more commonly in the northern states. In an effort to beautify our yards, however, we may be missing out on a very valuable herbal remedy by treating it as a weed. It turns out that burdock root is probably the most famous detoxifying agent in the herbal arsenal.
Burdock for Natural Liver Health
While most of us may not be using this herb to its full potential, burdock has been used for centuries to treat a host of ailments. One of its most notable health benefits is the effect it has on the liver. In studies, burdock root has been shown to help the liver heal from alcohol damage and protect it from further damage.
Burdock as a Powerful Antioxidant
The health benefits of burdock for the liver may be due to the powerful antioxidants found in the plant. Burdock contains phenolic acids, quercetin, and luteolin -- all powerful antioxidants that help protect your body from free radicals. They work by helping push toxins out and by boosting the ability of the liver to remove toxins, which is why you’ll find this herb as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Liver Flush Tea.
Burdock for Natural Blood Cleansing
Burdock has also traditionally been used as a "blood purifier" to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It can help cleanse the blood by increasing the effectiveness of all the body's elimination systems. Since it is also a diuretic (helping rid the body of excess water by increasing urine output), it helps the kidneys filter the blood. The bottom line is that by addressing toxins through a variety of pathways, burdock root acts as a blood purifier with minimal side effects and with minimal stress to the body, which is why it is an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Blood Support formula.
Burdock as a Homeopathic Remedy
Burdock also contains inulin, a natural dietary fiber and has been used traditionally to improve digestion. In fact, recent studies confirm that burdock has prebiotic properties that could improve health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, burdock is often used with other herbs to treat sore throats and colds. Extracts of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations, as well as homeopathic remedies.
Topical Uses of Burdock
It has also been used as a topical remedy for skin problems such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. The herb helps by increasing circulation to the skin and helps with epidermal tissue detoxification. It has also been reported to help in destroying bacteria. An oil infusion of burdock root may even help with scalp issues as well. It is said to boost hair growth as well as keeping your scalp healthy. The leaves have been used to help with burn patients, as the herb is said to help with pain management and reduce healing time.
Potential Future Uses for Burdock
Considering all the health benefits already associated with this plant, you may be surprised to learn that it is still being tested and considered for new herbal treatments. For instance, studies show promising results in the use of burdock root for diabetes. Early studies have found that it may help lower blood sugar. It has also been recently used to treat other chronic diseases such as cancer and AIDS.
How to Take Burdock
Traditionally, burdock root is used in Japan and some parts of Europe as a vegetable, and people regularly add it to their diet due to its known health benefits. While it may be eaten as a cooked vegetable, you can also steep the root in boiling water and drink it as a tea. Alternatively, you can find it as a supplement in a variety of forms from capsules to tinctures.
Learn more about burdock root and its use in blood cleansing.
Red clover has a long history of not just medicinal use, but, on a whole different note, also as common cattle fodder. And it has some religious background as well, as the three leaves on the clover were associated with the Christian Trinity. During the Middle Ages, the red clover was considered a charm of protection against witches. Just as a regular four-leaf clover is considered lucky, the same is true of the red four-leaf clover. In fact, there is some debate as to whether the red leaf clover is the actual true shamrock planted by St. Patrick in Ireland.
Regardless of the myths and folktales surrounding red clover, one thing has been proven through time - the herb makes a powerful addition to your natural medicine arsenal. If you’ve wondered what benefit this herb has, you’re not alone. One of the questions we often hear is, "What is red clover used for?" Let’s take a look...
Red Clover Cardiovascular Health Benefits
Red Clover leaf is a staple of herbal blood cleansing formulas and has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. One of its common uses is to help with overall cardiovascular health. Red clover is an excellent blood purifier that over time gradually cleanses the bloodstream and corrects deficiencies in the circulatory system. It has been shown to thin the blood and reduce the possibility of blood clots and arterial plaques. This is one reason you’ll find red clover as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Blood Support formula. While this is a very important benefit, it’s not the primary reason that Jon Barron and so many other herbalists use this herb.
Red Clover Anti-Cancer Health Benefits
Among classic herbalists, red clover is known as one of the world's oldest and most common natural herbal supports for the treatment for all varieties of cancer -- anywhere in the body. It is found as a central ingredient in many anticancer support formulas, including the Hoxsey formula, Jason Winters tea, and Essiac tea, not to mention Jon’s Blood Support formula. Its use is so common that one study found that 33 cultures use the herb to support and fight against the disease.
Not surprisingly, most doctors, the FDA and many “new-school” herbalists, being uninformed, have dismissed red clover as useless in dealing with cancer. However, researchers at the National Cancer Institute have indeed found anti-tumor properties in red clover. These incredible red clover benefits come from genistein, a biochemical in the plant, that has the ability to prevent tumors from developing the blood supplies they need to survive – thus starving them and killing them.
As it turns out, genistein is the same biochemical considered to be the main beneficial biochemical in soy. But red clover has a significant advantage over soy. It contains not just genistein, but significant levels (about ten times that found in soy) of all four beneficial estrogenic isoflavones (a special class of antioxidants) including daidzein. In addition to isoflavones, red clover contains another class of anticancer phytoestrogen compounds called coumestans – primarily in the form of biochanin.
Red Clover Estrogen Related Health Benefits
In addition to being considered an effective natural cancer treatment support herb, red clover has shown some promise in areas of estrogen related health. The isoflavones found in red clover have been shown to produce estrogen-like effects in the body. As such, red clover is commonly used to help reduce symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and PMS, while at the same time promoting breast enhancement and breast health. It is also thought to help decrease the risk of women developing osteoporosis later in life. And the isoflavones found in red clover have been associated with an increase in "good" HDL cholesterol in pre- and postmenopausal women.
Red Clover Common Natural Health Remedies
In addition to isoflavones and genistein, red clover also contains calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. Historically, it has often been used (and is still used) to treat whooping cough and other throat related conditions such as bronchitis and sore throats. Herbalists also use it in tinctures to help treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Where to Find Red Clover
This herb can be found in many forms including as dried leaves or capsules, in tincture or extract form, and as a topical treatment.
Note: Soy use, unlike red clover use, does not result in any increase in biochanin in the blood. Is that important? Studies have shown that biochanin may significantly inhibit breast cancer proliferation.
Learn more about blood cleansing.
Besides being one of the most effective herbal laxative remedies and also being rich in Vitamin C, black walnut hulls have a long history in herbal medicine. Pliny the Elder, the Roman naturalist, talked about their healing power in the first century A.D. Seventeenth-century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper prescribed walnut to draw poisonous venom from snake and spider bites. It was the Native Americans, however, who first used black walnut hulls as a laxative and as a treatment for eliminating parasites in the intestine. This use, as a laxative, is how it is most commonly implemented today. But its use as both an anti-pathogenic and anti-parasitic, may be its most important roles.
Bactericidal and Virucidal Effects of Black Walnut Hulls
One study from 2012 screened plant quinones for inhibiting effects on the bacterial fire blight pathogen. The most active compound discovered in walnut hulls was juglone. As the study said, "juglone has a potent and specific bactericidal effect on E. amylovora…Juglone is a promising candidate for the development of a new environmentally friendly plant protectant to replace the antibiotic streptomycin currently used in fire blight control."
Another study published in Phytotherapy Research found that juglone showed significant inhibition of RNase H activity in the HIV virus. This is a big deal. HIV-1 replicates itself through reverse transcription, a process that produces new double-stranded DNA from the viral genome's single-stranded RNA. During DNA synthesis, a DNA/RNA hybrid is formed as a replication intermediate and must be cleaved by RNase H before the process can continue. Inhibiting this inhibits replication of the HIV virus, and the study showed that juglone from black walnuts did just that.
Anti-parasitic and Anti-fungal Effects
Juglone also exerts its effect by inhibiting certain enzymes needed for metabolic function. It is highly toxic to many insect herbivores (it is often used by organic gardeners for pest control), and studies have shown that it can expel parasitic worms from the body. Black walnut hull is reported to be effective against pinworm, ringworm, tapeworm, and other intestinal parasites. While there are very few scientific studies on black walnut hulls, the ones that exist are very interesting and suggestive.
In addition to the previously cited study above in support of black walnut hull’s benefits with helping to expel intestinal parasites, the following studies are strongly suggestive. For example, a 2008 study identified types of wood that were resistant to the Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive pest that eats the inner bark of trees. The study found that ash borers that normally fed and developed on ash logs had no larvae and were not able to survive, grow, or develop on any black walnut trees or logs.
In truth, this is one case where experience trumps lack of studies. Any good herbalist who has used black walnut hull tincture, either internally or externally, can tell you how effective it is. Dr. John Christopher tells a great story about how when serving in the army, he used it to cure jungle rot in just four days.
It is also important to understand that many parasites do not confine themselves to our intestinal tracts. There are at least 1000 species of parasitic organisms that can live in humans, including Giardia, flatworms, hookworms, ringworms, nematodes, and a whole host of funguses. Incidentally, medical labs only check for about 50-60 of them. Some encamp in the liver, and others, such as Cryptococcus gatti, invade the lungs, nervous system, soft tissue, lymph nodes, and joints. Anti-parasitic and anti-fungal herbs such as black walnut (not to mention heavy doses of garlic) can help drive all of them out of the body. This is while you’ll find black walnut hull as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Liver Tincture formula.
Black Walnut Hull as a Vitamin and Mineral Source
Before vitamins and minerals were commonly used, herbalists were known to use black walnut hull for a variety of conditions including easing scrofula, ulcers, wounds, rickets, scurvy and as a gargle. In more recent times, Russian military hospitals also used it as a cleansing and quick healing medication for wounds and ulcers.
More Natural Health Benefits of Black Walnut Hulls
It may also help with lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The black walnut hull’s tannin content is thought to help shrink the sweat glands and reduce excessive sweating. It may also help with menorrhagia and diarrhea. Other uses include:
- aiding digestion
- helping relieve colic
- helping relieve heartburn
- helping relieve flatulence
- stimulating bile flow
- easing pain in spleen
- balancing blood sugar levels
- warding off heart disease
- combatting malaria
- helping with syphilis
- helping with skin conditions such as boils and acne
How to Take Black Walnut Hulls
Black walnut hulls can be found as a liquid extract and in capsule form. You can also order black walnuts or find them in some natural food stores. Side effects associated with black walnut supplements are uncommon, and it is generally safe to use unless you are pregnant or allergic to nuts. Use while pregnant could theoretically cause birth defects or negatively impact the growth of the fetus, or potentially cause a miscarriage. The odds of any of these things happening is extremely low, but it is recommended that you not use it while pregnant.
Our modern diet is not a friend to our livers. Anytime we are exposed to environmental pollutants and stress, or when we overeat or eat processed foods, we tax our livers. When this happens, our livers can’t function properly and aren’t able to efficiently process toxins, fat and waste. Luckily, nature has a perfect remedy to help offset some of the damage we do to this organ - erva tostão root.
Sometimes considered an invasive weed, erva tostão produces tiny flowers and can be found in tropical and warm-climate countries. It is a vigorous, low-growing spreading-vine that is indigenous to both Brazil and India, where it is found in abundance in the warmer parts of the country. The roots of erva tostão have held an important place in herbal medicine in both Brazil and India for many years.
In India, Erva tostão is called punarnava, where it has a long history of use by indigenous and tribal people and in Ayurvedic herbal medicine systems. There, the roots are employed as a diuretic, stomachic, laxative, and emmenagogue to increase menstrual flow. It is also used to address gonorrhea, internal inflammation of all kinds, dropsy, jaundice, menstrual problems, anemia, and liver, gallbladder, and kidney disorders.
It is employed in Brazilian herbal medicine both as a cholagogue to promote the flow of bile and as a diuretic. It is used for all types of liver disorders (including: jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, anemia, flukes, detoxification, and chemical injury), gallbladder aches and stones, urinary tract disorders, cystitis, kidney disorders including stones, and nephritis. In fact, G. L. Cruz, one of Brazil's leading medical herbalists, reports that erva tostão is, "a plant medicine of great importance, extraordinarily beneficial in the treatment of liver disorders." This is one of the reasons you’ll find it in Jon Barron’s Liver Flush Tea.
While herbalists have been using this root as a natural remedy for years, more recent studies have validated many of its medicinal uses. For instance, researchers demonstrated in 1980 and again in 1991 that a root extract provided antihepatotoxic properties in animals; that is to say it protects the liver from numerous introduced toxins.
And more recent studies have shown that it may even be effective in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. It has also been used to tone, balance, and strengthen the adrenal glands as well as for adrenal exhaustion and excess cortisol production.
In addition to helping with detoxing, this root has also been used to help with all manner of eye disorders including night blindness, glaucoma, gradually reducing vision and persistent irritation in the eyes. It is also used as a laxative, a skin treatment for both beauty applications and skin-related issues, and for helping with edema since the root also acts as a diuretic.
Traditionally, you can take erva tostão as a tonic or tincture. You can also find it in capsule or tablet form.
Learn more about how Jon Barron uses this ingredient for its liver detox benefits.
If you’ve ever used a water filtration system or pitcher, you’ve already seen the benefits of activated charcoal in action. Activated charcoal does essentially the same thing in your intestinal tract that a charcoal block does in your water filter. Toxins and chemicals bind to the activated charcoal, and since the charcoal doesn’t get “digested” per se, these toxins are then flushed out. It can attract and trap thousands of times its own weight in gases, toxins, food additives and other chemicals. In fact, activated charcoal is estimated to reduce absorption of poisonous substances by up to 60%. Even more, it can absorb over 3,000 known drug residues, making it an essential ingredient in Jon Barron’s Colon Regenerator™ formula.
Activated Charcoal for Poison or OverdoseWhile common uses of this natural remedy aren’t vast, activated charcoal can be quite effective when it counts. A perfect example of this is its use by hospitals to treat certain types of poisoning and drug overdoses. In fact, research shows that it in some cases, it may work even better than stomach pumping.
Activated Charcoal for Teeth WhiteningOne unexpected use for activated charcoal is its ability to help whiten teeth naturally. In the same way it works in the body, it adsorbs plaque and toxins from the mouth, killing bad bacteria and removing stains.
Activated Charcoal for Gas and BloatingAnother positive effect of activated charcoal is that it may help reduce gas and bloating when eating known gassy foods. A double-blind clinical trial showed that symptoms of bloating and abdominal cramps attributable to gaseousness were significantly reduced in both groups by activated charcoal.
Activated Charcoal for Skin HealthIn addition to some of the benefits already detailed, you will probably find activated charcoal in many natural remedy first aid kits in case of bug bites, rashes, and even acne. It is known to help with issues ranging from mosquito bites to bites from snakes and poisonous spiders.
Activated Charcoal for Digestive and Internal HealthAs mentioned earlier, activated charcoal is a key ingredient in Jon Barron’s Colon Regenerator formula, and for good reason. Even with an extremely healthy diet, our bodies are exposed to countless toxins from our environment, the food we eat, and the water we drink, which can create an unhealthy stress on our bodies and organs. Removing these toxins can provide many positive side effects from more energy, less joint pain, increased mental functions, a decrease in premature aging and improved digestive functions. Activated charcoal helps absorb and flush out the toxins that are causing damage and extra stress to our organs, allowing our entire body to function better.
How to Use Activated CharcoalIt's important to note that activated charcoal is NOT the charcoal you use for barbecuing. Activated charcoal comes from natural sources such as coconut husks, wood, coal, nutshells, and peat that have been activated using gases and then exposed to high temperatures. Activated charcoal WILL STAIN grout and fabrics. Make sure to protect counters, floors and clothing before using. While activated charcoal is considered safe for some types of poisons and drugs, it may not be effective for poisoning related to cyanide, lithium, alcohol or iron tablets. It also is not used to treat poisons such as strong acids or bases. Always call your local poison control center immediately. More on natural colon health.
Our bodies have amazing healing capabilities, and some of the most interesting self-healing discoveries involve enzymes. These enzymes speed up chemical reactions in the body and help lower the overall amount of energy needed for these reactions to occur. There are estimated to be between 50,000 and 70,000 different enzymes in your body that regulate your every metabolic function. Without enzymes, all of these metabolic functions would progress through the same steps, but would go too slowly to sustain life. In essence, enzymes make life happen where otherwise there would be none.
In addition to enzymes that are produced by your body, there are other enzymes that you can consume in your food or take in the form of supplements that further assist your body in doing its job.
One of these key enzymes is a proteolytic (systemic) enzyme called Seaprose-s (also known as protease-s). This enzyme has some very specific health benefits, including both anti-inflammatory and anti-cold properties. In one report published in the journal Drugs Under Experimental and Clinical Research, Seaprose-s has demonstrated a potent ability to reduce painful inflammation and break up mucus. Specifically, this report pointed out that Seaprose-s has shown anti-inflammatory activity against many different conditions, including arthritis, edema, pleurisy (inflammation of the lung lining), and peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdomen). It also pointed out that in animal studies on arthritis, Seaprose-s significantly reduced the primary and secondary lesions - demonstrating an ability to increase proteoglycan synthesis in cartilage.
If you have read our other articles about enzymes, you will remember that the reason Seaprose can have such a significant health impact on inflammation throughout the body is because you don’t actually take it with food like you do digestive enzymes to help in breaking down your meals. Instead, you take a proteolytic enzyme between meals so they pass unused into the digestive tract and enter your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, they help optimize your blood, plus they make their way to all of the tissues throughout your body, where they assist with intelligent, adaptive healing.
Seaprose's ability to break up mucus means it can offer relief for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, pulmonary emphysema, COPD, bronchiolitis, and bronchial asthma. In fact, Seaprose-s is so effective in this regard that it's actually used as an ingredient in Japanese over-the-counter cold remedies. And in two other studies, researchers found that patients who used Seaprose-s showed significant improvements in bronchial inflammation and in the viscosity of their mucus. In other words, it made the mucus thinner so that it cleared the lungs more easily.
And finally, studies have shown that Seaprose-s is highly effective in relieving both the pain and inflammation of veins associated with thrombophlebitis, resulting from blood clot formations in the veins -- a painful condition in and of itself but also closely related to deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Other studies have shown that Seaprose-s may also have antibiotic properties and may be capable of neutralizing bacteria such as streptococcus. Another study of women who had just given birth showed that supplementation with Seaprose-s helped reduce swelling and congestion of episiotomy and C-section wounds within the first day of treatment.
With these health benefits, it’s common to find Seaprose-s in enzyme supplements, including Jon Barron’s own proteolytic enzyme formula, pHi-Zymes. Especially as it:
- Causes virtually no intestinal distress.
- Is unaffected by stomach acid, so it does not require enteric coating.
- Is manufactured in Japan and is of consistent high quality.
Do not take any type of proteolytic enzyme: if nursing or pregnant, if you have history of an ulcer, or if taking blood thinners. Do not take days before having elective surgery.
Click here for more on proteolytic enzymes and how they work in the body.
Lipase is a pancreatic enzyme essential to your digestive system. The word “lipase” comes from the Greek word “lipos” which means fat. So it should be no surprise that its main function is to break down fats in the body into smaller more digestible components. Specifically, it converts the triglyceride component found in ingested fats into monoglycerides and two fatty acids. Incomplete digestion of fat allows fat to coat food particles and therefore interferes with the break down of other food components such as protein and carbohydrates. Normal digestion of dietary fat is accomplished by lipase and bile. The function of bile, which is produced in the liver and stored/released by the gallbladder, is to emulsify dietary fats to facilitate the work of the lipase. Large fat molecules offer relatively little surface area for lipase to work on. Bile breaks down the large fat molecule into tiny droplets which provides lipase with an enormously increased surface to work on. Among other things, incomplete digestion of fat allows fat to coat food particles, thus interfering with the breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates.
Since lipase digests fat and fat-soluble vitamins, people who are deficient in lipase may have a tendency towards high cholesterol, high triglycerides, difficulty losing weight, and either diabetes or prediabetes. Lipase deficient people also have decreased cell permeability, meaning nutrients cannot get in and the waste cannot get out. Lipase in the bloodstream modulates cell permeability so that nutrients can enter and wastes exit. Waste-eating enzymes (such as protease) may also be taken to help cleanse the blood of the unwanted debris. Lipase is typically found in raw, unheated foods that are high in unrefined fats and oils such as raw egg yolk and raw cream, but since we cook most of our foods, especially raw egg yolk, most need to supplement with lipase in both a digestive enzyme formula and a systemic enzyme formula to get its incredible health benefits in the digestive tracts as well as in the bloodstream. Since lipase is unique in that it helps digest fats in the digestive tract, as well as breaking down fats that make their way to the bloodstream and assisting in cellular metabolism, you can find lipase in Jon Barron’s Digestive Enzymes and his proteolytic enzyme formula, pHi-Zymes.
Some other health benefits include:
Improve Symptoms of Celiac Disease
People with celiac disease suffer from a variety of conditions from abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, and fatigue. These symptoms are caused by damage to the intestinal tract from gluten, a protein found in grains. One side effect of the disease is the inability to produce adequate digestive secretions from the pancreas. Some studies have shown that supplementing with lipase may help with this issue.
Improve Digestion for People with Cystic Fibrosis
People diagnosed with cystic fibrosis tend to have insufficient pancreas function. Studies show that supplementing with pancreatic enzymes such as lipase can often lead to improved digestion, especially of fats.
Helps with Fat Digestion and Weight Loss
There are a number of studies that show that lipase can significantly increase the body’s ability to digest fat. One such study on people suffering from pancreatic diseases found that large servings of lipase helped stabilize fat digestion in up to 63% of participants. Other studies have shown that supplementing with lipase can help reduce lipid malabsorption and return fat digestion to optimal levels. As a result, supplementation with lipase can help control appetite and support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Helps Absorb Vitamins & Minerals More Efficiently
The general function of most digestive enzymes is to help you extract the energy and nutrients from the foods you eat. Lipase helps in this area by helping us avoid excessive fecal fat loss, which occurs when our bodies are unable to break down fats properly and extract the nutrients needed from our food. Proper levels of lipase allows the body to extract vital nutrients and also allows the proper digestion of essential fatty acids.
Decreases Symptoms of Digestive Upset
There are a variety of conditions associated with digestive upset including abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, nausea, heartburn, gas, and loss of appetite. One study of hospital patients showed that supplementing with lipase helped reduce these symptoms. In fact, after eight weeks of use, many of the symptoms were significantly improved in the participants taking the lipase supplement.
As you can see, there are many benefits associated with this enzyme. Unfortunately, the modern diet is essentially an enzyme-deficient diet - that is, a diet high in cooked and processed foods which leads to a deficiency in natural enzymes, especially lipase as we noted earlier because it is in most foods we typically cook. If you are like most people who cook these types of foods, you will more than likely benefit from supplementing with digestive enzymes such as lipase. A deficiency or imbalance in lipase in particular can play a major role in a variety of health issues including:
- high cholesterol
- high triglycerides
- difficulty losing weight
- diabetes or prediabetes
And even if you eat properly, studies have shown that as you age, your production of the pancreatic enzymes decreases. What this all means is that for optimal health, unless you're living on an all raw food diet, you need to be supplementing with digestive enzymes that include lipase. Insufficient live digestive enzymes in the diet force the pancreas to overwork and overstress resulting in long-term, non-acute enlargement of the pancreas. Using digestive enzymes, such as Jon Barron’s Digestive Enzymes, with every meal is one of the simplest things you can do to improve the health of your pancreas, which would otherwise need to produce the required enzymes, as well as taking stress off your gallbladder and liver. And finally, as we mentioned earlier, protein absorption from fatty foods such as fish or seeds can be improved by incorporating supplemental lipase enzymes in the diet.
Do not take any type of proteolytic enzyme: if nursing or pregnant, if you have history of an ulcer, or if taking blood thinners. Do not take days before having elective surgery.
More about the health benefits of proteolytic enzymes.
Amylase is a digestive or systemic enzyme that is somewhat unique in that it is produced at two points in your body. It first activates as a component of saliva, where it begins the breakdown of starches into smaller, more easily digested components. Further on in the digestive process, it is created again in the pancreas. At this point, it is referred to as pancreatic amylase and it works to complete the process of digesting carbohydrates and producing glucose.
With the overall poor dietary habits in the US, this enzyme plays a critical role in our current dietary needs. If this enzyme did not exist, our bodies would have a difficult time breaking down the sugars and starches we eat. In fact, many common symptoms may actually be a sign of amylase deficiency. Some signs include:
- skin rashes
- gas and constipation
- mood swings
- carbohydrate and sugar cravings
- type II diabetes
- blood sugar imbalances
So what happens once the carbohydrates are broken down? Well, a key function of amylase is to break down the carbs into available forms of energy (glucose) for your body. This gives the energy needed for physical activity and exercise. In addition, glucose is key for cognitive function as it is a main source of fuel for your brain. It helps you stay alert and increases your ability to learn, retain and recall information.
In addition to aiding in the digestive process and overall energy production, some studies show that amylase also offers these additional health benefits:
May Reduce Swelling
Some European studies have shown that enzymes such as amylase may be effective in reducing swelling in some conditions such as rheumatic diseases. In fact, these studies show that these treatments may be just as effective as current drug remedies, without some of the harmful side effects.
Boost Immunomodulatory Activity
Scientists are currently exploring the strong possibility that enzymes such as amylase can help slow the molecules that trigger immune responses and in addition, slow the tissue damage created from these responses.
Potential Cancer Remedy
In Switzerland, amylase is being studied for its potential as a cancer therapy. Some studies have shown that the enzyme has the ability to inhibit the growth of tumor cells with metastatic capacities. In fact, the Swiss research team came to the following conclusions, “Enzyme therapy can reduce the adverse effects caused by radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There is also evidence that, in some types of tumors, survival may be prolonged. The beneficial effect of systemic enzyme therapy seems to be based on its potential to reduce redness.”
Amylase For Sugar Balancing
Most people know that diabetes impairs the metabolism of sugars, but they don’t realize the impact on the metabolism of fats and proteins. Although three key enzymes — lipase, protease and amylase — are important in managing diabetes because they will help digest proteins, fats and sugars, research is showing amylase as the key enzyme for managing diabetes. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that in type 2 diabetes, whenever the blood glucose level was higher, the serum amylase activity was found to be “significantly” lower—reflecting dysfunction in the pancreas.
Amylase in a Proteolytic Enzyme Formula
Amylase can typically be found in many enzyme supplements, most specifically digestive enzyme formulas. However, only a few specialized supplement companies understand its powerful use in a (systemic) proteolytic enzyme formula, such as its use in Jon Barron’s pHi-Zymes formula, where amylase complements the action of the proteolytics by working on leftover carbohydrates both in the intestinal tract and the bloodstream--cleaning up what digestive enzymes fail to touch.
Remember, digestive enzyme formulas are taken with your meal to break down the food in your stomach. When you take a proteolytic enzyme formula between meals, the enzymes do not get stuck working in your stomach or wrapped up with your food and passed out through the colon. Instead, they quickly enter your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, they help optimize your blood, plus they make their way to all of the tissues throughout your body, where they assist with intelligent, adaptive healing. As for amylase, it cleans up the carbohydrates in the bloodstream that can lead to sugar imbalances.
Do not take any type of proteolytic enzyme: if nursing or pregnant, if you have history of an ulcer, or if taking blood thinners. Do not take days before having elective surgery.
More about the health benefits of proteolytic enzymes.
Natural healing remedies can be found throughout the globe, and nattokinase is no exception. Nattokinase is an enzyme found in a Japanese dish called natto (boiled soybeans fermented with bacteria Bacillus subtilis). Incidentally, Bacillus subtilis is also known as the hay bacillus or grass bacillus and is found in soil and the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants and humans. Natto has been used in Japan for over 1000 years for its popular taste and as a medicinal folk remedy. This enzyme was discovered by research scientist Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi while looking for a natural remedy for dissolving blood clots related to heart attack and stroke. As you might expect, its key abilities relate to cardiovascular health.
Nattokinase is primarily used as a systemic, proteolytic enzyme
An important concept to understand is that digestive enzyme formulas are taken with your meal to breakdown the food in your stomach. When you take a systemic, proteolytic enzyme formula between meals, the enzymes do not get stuck working in your stomach or wrapped up with your food and passed out through the colon. Instead, they quickly enter your bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, they help optimize your blood, plus they make their way to all of the tissues throughout your body, where they assist with intelligent, adaptive healing.
Nattokinase for Overall Blood Health
Nattokinase works to help break down problematic protein molecules in the blood into more benign forms. However, this enzyme has another unique ability that allows it to prevent and reverse blood clots. What makes nattokinase particularly potent is that it enhances the body's natural ability to fight blood clots in several different ways. Because it so closely resembles plasmin, it dissolves fibrin directly. In addition, it also enhances the body's production of both plasmin and other clot-dissolving agents, including urokinase (endogenous VS pharmaceutical). In fact, seventeen clinical studies to date have verified that the enzyme both dissolves existing clots and prevents new ones from forming. This is a big discovery, as more than 700,000 people have a stroke every year and nearly one million Americans have a heart attack every year.
Nattokinase for Clot Dissolving
According to Dr. Martin Milner of the Center for Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, "In some ways, nattokinase is actually superior to conventional clot-dissolving drugs. T-PAs (tissue plasminogen activators) like urokinase (the drug), are only effective when taken intravenously and often fail simply because a stroke or heart attack victim's arteries have hardened beyond the point where they can be treated by any other clot-dissolving agent. Nattokinase, however, can help prevent that hardening with an oral dose of as little as 100 mg a day." Plus, as Dr. Milner does not mention, nattokinase has none of the side effects of anti-clotting drugs such as Warfarin.
Nattokinase for Lower Blood Pressure
It doesn’t just help with clotting either. Studies have shown that nattokinase can work to help lower blood pressure by acting as a natural ACE inhibitor. This means that it prevents the "angiotensin converting enzyme" -- a key factor in hypertension -- from narrowing blood vessels. In human trials, nattokinase has been shown to lead to a ten percent drop in overall blood pressure readings.
Nattokinase for Improved Circulatory Benefits
Since nattokinase also contains vitamin K2, it has some circulatory benefits that can help decrease the risk of osteoporosis as well. Vitamin K2 aids in circulation by removing excess calcium from the blood, where it can create unwanted plaque buildup, and instead allowing the calcium to be used in building bones where it belongs.
Nattokinase for Alzheimer's Prevention
Another key ability of nattokinase was more recently discovered. A study out of Taiwan has found that the nattokinase enzyme may also help to prevent Alzheimer's disease. The enzyme has the ability to dissolve amyloid fibrils, which build up as plaque in the brain and can lead to brain cell damage. When this happens, the brain suffers cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's may result.
More Health Benefits of Nattokinase
The researchers also found that the nattokinase enzyme could dissolve fibrils that contribute to diabetes and central nervous system degeneration. Other valuable effects of nattokinase include:
- helping with joint and muscle pain
- inhibiting hardening of arteries
- breaking down unwanted wastes in the blood
- breaking down undigested proteins in the gut
- increasing the body’s natural production of plasmin
- May help prevent varicose veins, muscle spasms, and pain
With all these benefits, you can see how this enzyme can play a key role in your overall health, and it should be no surprise to find it as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s proteolytic enzyme formula, pHi-Zymes. You may be wondering why Jon Barron created a formula with multiple systemic enzymes, not just nattokinase. As it turns out, each enzyme is specific as to the protein it works on and what reaction it facilitates with that enzyme. In other words, by definition, no single systemic enzyme can accomplish everything.
Different proteolytic enzymes, for example, serve to break down the protective proteins around viruses, bacteria, malignant cells, yeasts, and allergens -- actually digesting and destroying the protein-based defense shield of these pathogens and thereby leading to their ultimate elimination. Other proteolytic enzymes in the formula help clear out Circulating Immune Complexes. Others help to remove scarring in arterial tissues. And others help reduce pain and inflammation.
The bottom line is that you want to be be sure to look for a formula that has a balance of different types of proteolytic enzymes as opposed to just nattokinase, if you’re looking to optimize your health benefits.
How to Take Nattokinase
Some may question the use of using a soy-derived product for health. Note that when soy is fermented, it neutralizes the harmful effects on your hormones. But more importantly, what you get in a supplement is not natto, the food derived from fermenting soy—but nattokinase, the purified enzyme extracted from natto. In other words, there’s virtually no soy left in nattokinase. Just be sure to look for a brand that uses non-GMO Nattokinase since most soy is genetically modified. We want to start with 540 FU per day, and work your way up to taking 1620 FU a day—spread out over three doses per day, or higher--for major repair, detoxification, or for performance athletes. If used in a formula with other proteolytic enzymes, less will be required.
More about the health benefits of proteolytic enzymes.
Rutin is a bioflavonoid found in buckwheat, black tea, citrus fruits, and apple peels. The name comes from the herb rue, but it is actually a complex sugar found in foods. In the 1940s, it was called vitamin P, even though it’s not a vitamin. One of its main health roles is to help the body utilize Vitamin C more efficiently, as well as help produce collagen (the skin’s main building blocks). Rutin has long history of medicinal use - in fact, as of 2013 there are over 130 registered therapeutic medicinal preparations containing rutin in their formulations.
One key benefit of rutin is its ability to strengthen the lining of the blood vessels throughout the body to reduce bleeding and prevent them from collapsing. One way it accomplishes this is through oxerutins, which are a group of flavonoid chemicals derived from naturally occurring rutin and which have been used in European supplements since the 1960s for treating and preventing varicose veins and leg ulcers. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, “A number of studies have shown that flavonoids that come from rutin relieve swelling, aching, and pain from varicose veins.” Because rutin strengthens arteries and veins, it is also used to help treat hemorrhoids, internal bleeding, and to help prevent hemorrhagic strokes.
What’s more, studies show that rutin may also be able to stop the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) altogether. This would be quite a health benefit, as thrombosis is one of the leading causes of death in the US. Not only can blood clots cause heart attacks and strokes, but deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolisms as well. Rutin is proving to be very effective with blood clots because it helps treat and prevent clots in both arteries and veins. Clots in arteries are platelet-rich and clots in veins are fibrin-rich. A study published in the Harvard Gazette suggests that this could be a safe alternative to aspirin, Plavix, and warfarin (Coumadin). The authors add that even while on these drugs, each year there are approximately 400,000 recurrent episodes among patients who previously experienced a stroke or heart attack. “Rutin proved to be the most potently anti-thrombotic compound that we ever tested,” said Robert Flaumenhaft, an investigator in the Division of Hemostasis and Thrombosis at BIDMC and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. This is one of the reasons you will find it in Jon Barron’s pHi-Zymes® formula.
In addition to these health benefits, rutin is also considered an antioxidant, meaning that it binds to free radicals in the body and neutralizes them. This ability to protect the body from disease as well as fight off any free radicals that accumulate offers other benefits as well. Since free radicals turn LDL cholesterol into plaques, blocking arteries and preventing normal blood flow (atherosclerosis), rutin may help reduce arterial blockage and high blood pressure, possibly decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Another new area of investigation for rutin is in treating osteoarthritis, a disease in which cartilage gradually wears away in the joints, making movement difficult and painful. Scientists at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, found that rutin inhibited the enzyme Coll2-1, a marker for osteoarthritis. Other research is being done to combine rutin with bromelain, a compound found in pineapples. Since bromelain also reduces inflammation, combining the two is being considered as a powerful treatment for osteoarthritis. Note that bromelain is also found in Jon Barron’s pHi-Zymes® formula.
Other benefits include:
- Increases the elasticity of the arterial walls, which, in turn, promotes greater blood flow and improved vascular health.
- Works as an anti-inflammatory.
- Used to prevent a side effect of cancer treatment called mucositis (a painful condition marked by swelling and ulcer formation in the mouth or lining of the digestive tract).
- Used to treat Meniere's disease (a condition that causes ringing in the ears, dizziness and intermittent hearing loss).
- In combination with the proteins trypsin (which is also found in Jon Barron’s pHi-Zymes formula as part of the Fungal Pancreatin ingredient) and bromelain, rutin is also used to help treat osteoarthritis.
As mentioned before, rutin can be found in a number of fruits, vegetables, and plants but to get the true health benefits, it should never be taken with food. This is why you will find it in Jon Barron’s pHi-Zymes® formula, which is also designed to be taken between meals, on an empty stomach.
Dosage: you can take up to 500 mg of rutin per day, or much higher for special circumstances. There are no side effects, even when pregnant, but note that some antioxidants can interfere with chemotherapy or radiation for cancer. If you choose to undergo these treatments for cancer, you need to talk to your doctor to see if you should avoid all antioxidant supplements during the weeks you take radiation or chemo or whether taking rutin would be advisable to prevent mucositis. However, you can continue taking selected selected antioxidants after a treatment to help you recover from the side effects.
Papain is a proteolytic enzyme found in concentrated amounts in unripe papaya fruit. It is similar to bromelain (found in pineapple) and has many of the same health benefits. However, there are a few medicinal traits unique to papain that can help improve the body’s overall health.
For instance, if you cook with red meat, you may know that papaya is a well known fruit used as a tenderizer. This is because the enzymes in the fruit help break down the proteins in the meat. The papain in papaya does the same thing in the body. However, what makes papain a bit more special is that it doesn’t require a certain level of acidity or alkalinity within the body.
This is of vital importance for those with enzyme deficiency problems, as well as for those with low hydrochloric acid output in the stomach. It is important to understand that pepsin produced in the stomach to aid in protein digestion is activated only in an acid medium. This requires a healthy output of hydrochloric acid that is insufficient in many people—especially as they age. Since papain does not require hydrochloric acid, many people with digestive problems will be helped by daily supplementation with papain. In fact, you’ll often find papain in digestive enzyme formulas for this reason.
While papain is certainly effective as a digestive enzyme, it is also just as effective as a systemic enzyme. If papain is taken between meals, it makes its way into the bloodstream where it helps reduce pain and inflammation, as well as fluid retention following trauma and surgery. In fact, studies have shown that papain possesses strongly marked anti-inflammatory activity, and this ability is no less than that of the pharmaceutical drugs butadion and indomethacin. This is why you will find it as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s own systemic proteolytic enzyme formula, pHi-Zymes®.
Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been shown to be helpful in reducing joint and prostate irritation. Other trials have shown papain to have promise in helping relieve pain and swelling associated with lower back pain.
In addition, papain is also used topically to help treat skin wounds, burns, rashes, bug stings, bed sores, and skin ulcers. In fact, traditional Hawaiian cultures made poultices out of the skins of papaya to treat some of these same conditions.
Even more, papain has been used medicinally for a variety of other issues including:
- treating parasitic worms
- inflammation of the throat and pharynx
- shingles symptoms
- hay fever
- runny nose
While the enzyme is found in the unripe fruit, for medicinal doses, your better choice is probably to find papain mainly as a pill or powder supplement.
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme concentrated in the fruit and stem of the pineapple fruit. As a proteolytic enzyme, it breaks down proteins, which means bromelain can help aid your body digest proteins, especially complex proteins, into small peptide units or amino acids. These smaller units help your body produce protein-based molecules such as muscle and neurotransmitters. While building protein and muscle is essential, bromelain also offers a number of medicinal benefits.
Many of these benefits can be traced to the the fact that bromelain is able to be absorbed intact, which means it can work on all of your internal organs as well as your blood and provide systemic effects such as reducing redness and swelling. In fact, bromelain has been used by Europeans for many years to inhibit inflammatory factors and is approved as an effective remedy for swelling after surgery. Its anti-inflammatory benefits have also resulted in it being used as a popular treatment for sinus issues in European countries.
Studies have shown that bromelain's anti-inflammatory properties come from its ability to effectively inhibit immune cell migration. As such, it is not surprising that studies have also shown that bromelain can be helpful in reducing swelling and speeding up the healing of surgical wounds, as well as minor sprains, bruises, and sports injuries.
In addition, bromelain has been shown to help in treating osteoarthritis. Note: studies show that its benefit in regard to osteoarthritis is amplified by the presence of rutin and trypsin--all of which are present in our systemic proteolytic enzyme formula, pHi-Zymes. In fact, bromelain is often found as an ingredient in many natural supplements for sore joints and muscles.
Bromelain is backed by upwards of 80 studies over the years that substantiate its efficacy, including studies that support health benefits for…
- Topical applications for removal of dead and damaged tissue after severe burns.
- Topical application to help reduce swelling and discomfort from insect bites and stings.
- Varicose veins and hemorrhoids
- Can help reduce bloating, gas and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, as well as issues of indigestion and heartburn.
- Aid in balancing the acidity of the stomach.
- May boost overall immune strength.
In addition, WebMD credits bromelain as being used to treat a number of conditions including: “hay fever, ulcerative colitis, pulmonary edema, relaxing muscles, stimulating muscle contractions, slowing clotting, improving the absorption of antibiotics, preventing cancer, shortening labor, and helping the body get rid of fat.” And if that's not enough, research shows that bromelain may help support healthy blood viscosity and blood platelet aggregation, so it should not be surprising that studies show it's also protective against heart attacks.
While pineapple contains this enzyme, it would be difficult and considerably less practical to consume enough bromelain for medicinal purposes. As a result, you’ll find it in supplement form either in enzyme formulas or in tablet, powder, or capsule form.
Read more on the health benefits of systemic proteolytic enzymes and how they work.
Just about everyone is familiar with Vitamin E, but what you may not realize is that the vitamin is actually composed of two classes of molecules - tocopherols and tocotrienols. And there are four molecules in each class—both tocopherols and tocotrienols have alpha, beta, gamma, and delta molecules. In other words, natural vitamin E is a complex comprised of eight different molecules. Studies abound on the tocopherols—mostly alpha tocopherol--but information on the health benefits associated with the four tocotrienols has been a little less forthcoming. In fact, studies into tocotrienols account for less than 1% of all research into vitamin E!
This is a shame since tocotrienols are a unique vitamin E fraction that is 40 times more powerful than standard vitamin E. Luckily, interest in tocotrienols has grown. Between the years 2009 and 2010 alone, nearly 30% of all peer-reviewed articles published on vitamin E were focused on tocotrienols. Once you take a look at the health benefits of this compound, you won’t be too surprised about this new interest.
Tocotrienols help contribute to vitamin E’s overall antioxidant ability. This allows vitamin E to protect cell membranes, active enzyme sites, and DNA from free radical damage. Tocotrienols have also been shown to play a key role in overall health including:
Role in Cancer Prevention
In the past, most studies involving cancer and vitamin E were conducted with only alpha-tocopherol. Newer studies with tocotrienol supplementation have now shown some promising results. In fact, studies have shown positive results on the following types of cancers: pancreatic, breast, hepatic, prostate, and skin.
It seems there are several factors that contribute to tocotrienols’ ability to limit development and growth of tumors. Studies have shown that tocotrienols maybe be able to...
- Kill tumor cells
- Slow tumor growth
- Starve tumors of nutrients and oxygen
- Inhibit metastasis
- Prevent initiation and progression of cancer
Role in Cholesterol
Our bodies create 80% of our total needed daily cholesterol. We make up the difference with our diets. However, much of the common daily diet is high in cholesterol. And according to the cholesterol theory of heart disease, his causes fatty deposits to clog up the arteries and decreases blood flow to key areas such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. Research has shown that tocotrienols may play a role in helping decrease cholesterol creation by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This particular enzyme helps the liver with cholesterol synthesis.
Role in Heart Health
In addition to limiting damaging cholesterol levels, tocotrienols also provide help in overall heart health. Tocotrienols have been shown to reduce blood levels of homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with heart attack, stroke, and blood clot formation. They may also protect against stroke-related brain damage.
In addition to the above, tocotrienols can also:
- Reverse arteriosclerosis
- Protect against heart injury
- Inhibit blood platelet aggregation
- Work as a sugar antioxidant
- Inhibit the appearance of aging
- Lower blood pressure
With all of these health benefits, you may not be too surprised to find it as an ingredient, in the form of stabilized rice bran, rice bran solubles, or extracted from palm fruit, in three of Jon Barron’s formulas including Private Reserve Superfood, Accelerator Meal Replacement shake, and in his Ultimate Antioxidant.
As interest continues to grow, more tocotrienol studies are investigating its potential roles in protecting against cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, liver disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and even osteoporosis.
Considered to be quite possibly the most powerful antioxidant our body creates, superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme found in almost all living cells. To really understand how this enzyme works in your body, you need to understand the negative effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when there is imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to defend or detoxify their harmful effects. If you are familiar with free radicals at all, you are probably aware of their damage potential. They are thought to be a contributing factor to a number of diseases including atherosclerosis, stroke, and arthritis.
A free radical is an especially reactive atom or group of atoms that has one or more unpaired electrons. If you remember your high school chemistry, you will remember that electrons come in pairs. When one electron is lost from that pair, it makes the atom "highly reactive" as it looks to replace that lost electron anywhere it can. In your body, those replacement electrons come from cells in your body--destroying those cells in the process. Your body is constantly replacing and repairing cells damaged by free radicals; but with the way we live and abuse ourselves, our bodies are bombarded with more free radicals than they can handle.
By supplementing with antioxidants, we help our bodies keep up with the carnage, and it is even possible to reverse some of that damage. So what are antioxidants? Antioxidants, quite simply, are compounds that render free radicals harmless and stop the chain reaction formation of new free radicals.
Many scientists believe that free radicals are the major villain in both aging and the diseases associated with aging. The amount of cells destroyed over the years by free radicals is enormous. Free radicals literally "eat away" the major organs of the body. The use of antioxidant supplements at a maintenance level may provide the ultimate defense against premature aging and a compromised immune system. At therapeutic levels, antioxidants may actually play a significant role in reversing many of the effects of aging and disease.
One harmful free radical in particular is the superoxide radical (O2-). It is produced as a byproduct of oxygen metabolism and causes many types of cell damage. Most notably, the superoxide radical attacks cell mitochondria. When mitochondria are destroyed, the cell loses its ability to convert food to energy. It dies. In fact, superoxide may contribute to the development of many diseases (the evidence is particularly strong for radiation poisoning and hyperoxic injury), and perhaps also to aging via the oxidative damage that it inflicts on cells.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is an enzyme that facilitates the breakdown of the toxic superoxide radical into either ordinary molecular oxygen (O2) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide is also damaging, but less so than the superoxide radical, and it is also degraded by catalase. SOD works along with glutathione to neutralize reactive oxygen molecules in the body.
SOD also works in the cytoplasm of the cell to prevent the hydroxyl radical from attacking enzymes, proteins, and the unsaturated fats in cell membranes. SOD is an extremely efficient enzyme; it catalyzes the neutralization of superoxide nearly as fast as the two can diffuse together spontaneously in solution. These are a few reasons you’ll find SOD as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Ultimate Antioxidant formula.
In addition to helping eradicate free radicals, SOD has been used to help with:
- rebuilding tissue
- extending the length of life
- treating pain and swelling (inflammation)
- interstitial cystitis
- poisoning caused by a weed-killer called paraquat
- lung problems in newborns.
- improving tolerance to radiation therapy
- lowering rejection rates in kidney transplantation
- minimizing heart damage caused by heart attacks.
Learn more about free radicals and antioxidants.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin known as vitamin H or B7. Biotin is considered part of the B complex group of vitamins, which help the body convert food into fuel. Biotin's main functions in the body include metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and amino acids, as well as regulating DNA formation.
Like most vitamins and minerals, the benefits of biotin exceed its primary purpose. It's most commonly used as a supplement for increasing nail and hair strength. Studies have shown that supplementing with biotin can increase nail thickness and decrease splitting. Respondents in one study reported a 91% nail strength improvement.
Biotin may also play a role in treating both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown that supplementing with biotin and chromium may improve blood sugar control. It has also shown some promising results in animal studies, where it was able to stimulate the secretion of insulin from the pancreas and subsequently lower blood glucose.
Other reported benefits of biotin include helping with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy that can result from kidney failure or diabetes and helping restore taste in people who have lost their sense of taste. Other issues that biotin are claimed to help treat include cradle cap, hepatitis, hair loss, and depression, though it's worth noting that these claims have not been properly tested.
Since biotin plays a critical role in helping produce energy in the body, it's nice to know that biotin deficiency is not as common as other vitamin deficiencies. However, biotin deficiency has been seen in pregnant women, infants whose mother's milk contained minimal biotin, and those with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis who can't absorb nutrients as easily.
For most, the average adult needs 30 micrograms of biotin per day. Luckily, biotin can be widely available from natural, unprocessed food sources. These food sources include cooked eggs, cooked liver, cooked salmon, whole wheat breads, avocados, nuts, legumes, raspberries, bananas and cauliflower. This means that most people reach the RDI through normal diet. But keep in mind that many of the people in the different studies who reported benefits from supplementing with biotin were also eating normal diets. In other words, there is some question as to whether the RDI is actually high enough. At lower doses, biotin appears to function as a vitamin; but at higher doses, it appears to function as an antioxidant. This is why you'll find biotin as an ingredient in Jon Barron's Ultimate Antioxidant formula.
Learn more about other natural antioxidants.
Many people wonder, "what is resveratrol?" For many years, grape seed extract was a hot seller (packaged as OPCs). In an interesting twist, it turns out that an important part of the grape was being left behind! The skin, which was being discarded in favor of the seeds, actually contains a powerful phytoalexin antioxidant known as resveratrol.
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant that decreases the "stickiness" of blood platelets and helps blood vessels to remain open. In addition, resveratrol appears to have estrogen-like properties and may be helpful in the treatment of breast diseases. Also, studies indicate that resveratrol can profoundly inhibit glucose uptake in HL-60 and U937 cells. Thus, resveratrol may prevent or abate metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
In controlled studies, the benefits of resveratrol have been shown to reduce skin-cancer tumors by up to 98% and to stop production of leukemia cells. In addition, it works as a Cox inhibitor, thus halting the spread of cancer throughout the body.
And in 2003, the results of a study were released that showed that the benefits of resveratrol extended the lifespan of yeast cells by 70% by activating a "longevity gene" expressed during caloric restriction. Since mammals have the same "longevity gene" and since caloric restriction is known to extend the lifespan of mammals, scientists speculated humans might be able to receive the longevity benefits of caloric restriction simply by supplementing with resveratrol. And in fact, subsequently, resveratrol hit the news big time for its suspected ability to extend life and emerged as "the" hot antioxidant of the day, both in its supplement form and as a component of red wine, its most commonly identified natural source.
Resveratrol, however, is not an indispensable component of red grapes or wine. It is synthesized by plants on an as-needed basis, as a defense against parasites (primarily molds). Once abundant in red wine, it is now almost absent due to the use of pesticides. In other words, if you want resveratrol, you pretty much have to supplement. The most common source for supplemental trans-resveratrol and its natural analogs, now that red wine no longer works, is Japanese Knotweed, a plant at one time considered a major nuisance weed. Go figure!
When purchasing resveratrol, or products containing resveratrol, there are three things to keep in mind:
First, resveratrol comes in many different concentrations of its active component, from 8% (or less) to as high as 96% purity. One concentration is not necessarily better than the other, but you do have to use more of the lower concentration to get an equivalent dosage. For example, you will need 60 mg of a 50% resveratrol or 300 mg of a 10% extract to get the same dosage as 30 mg of a high purity resveratrol (as a side note, Jon Barron’s Ultimate Antioxidant formula now has 150 mg of 50% resveratrol). It doesn't matter, though, how you get there, as long as you get there.
A bigger concern is the question of bioavailability. Pure trans-resveratrol tends not to have good bio-availability because it is rapidly metabolized by the liver. As found in nature, however, resveratrol is predominantly coupled with sugar. In this form, it is highly bio-available (making it a better choice) and, as an added bonus, more stable, which brings us to the third issue -- stability. This, of course, is the reason that Jon Barron chose a higher dose of less concentrated resveratrol -- better bioavailability.
There has been a lot of noise in many resveratrol ads concerning stability. And yes, in nature, resveratrol is subject to degradation when exposed to light, oxygen, or heat, which can alter it from its more active trans-resveratrol form to its lesser active cis-resveratrol form. Recent stability studies, however, have shown that resveratrol supplements, particularly in the sugar bound form, are generally stable for at least two years with no special packaging or storage required. In other words, this is, for the most part, a non-issue when it comes to choosing a resveratrol supplement.
Magnesium is the activating mineral for close to 400 different enzyme reactions in the body (that we know about) - more than any other mineral. Too little magnesium literally impacts your body negatively in hundreds of ways.
The benefits of magnesium supplements are best understood when you know what magnesium does. Magnesium deficiency can cause the development of a number of issues, including asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even teeth grinding and leg cramps. Lack of sufficient magnesium to calcium ratios can also cause senility and cause arteries to harden, putting you at risk for heart problems. And what makes the problem even worse is that magnesium is much harder for your body to absorb and utilize than calcium. This fact alone makes a joke of the standard 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium found in most supplements. Based on absorption, the ratio provided by most supplements is much closer to 6:1 or even 8:1 in favor or calcium -- a very unhealthy ratio.
The interesting thing is that our worldwide obsession with calcium actually started in the 1950's under pressure from the American dairy industry. Before then, historically, people didn't consume much calcium – and had very few problems with osteoporosis. What they did consume was magnesium – almost five times as much magnesium as we consume today. Which brings up a key point: the health of our bones depends far more on other factors such as magnesium, boron, and vitamin D than it does on calcium. In fact, consumption of too much calcium is just plain damaging to your bones and your health in general. The bottom line is that magnesium is the most important major mineral needed by your body, and unfortunately, the one that is most often depleted.
And if that isn’t enough, a new magnesium study published in 2010 by doctors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that getting enough magnesium could help you ward off diabetes. Researchers discovered that participants who took in the highest amounts of magnesium -- whether from foods or vitamins -- were half as likely to end up with diabetes 20 years later than the participants who took the lowest amounts of magnesium.
One issue that makes magnesium intake even more important is the body’s inability to store excess magnesium for later use. Because of this, you should make sure you’re getting enough magnesium in every meal. Knowing all this, it's hard to deny the benefits of magnesium supplements.
Learn more about preventing diabetes.
Selenium is an important trace mineral that helps your body make selenoproteins, a group of some 30 antioxidant enzymes (including four variants of glutathione peroxidase). The benefits of these selenium-based antioxidants is that they help prevent cellular damage from free radicals. They also help regulate thyroid function and play an important role in a healthy immune system.
Low levels of selenium have been connected to death from heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and, in fact, cancer of all kinds. Some studies have shown that selenium may be 50-100 times more powerful than any other anti-carcinogen known. Selenium deficiency may also contribute to hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium as an antioxidant helps relieve the symptoms of arthritis by controlling the levels of free radicals that can harm healthy tissue. In fact, some animal studies show that selenium can even extend survival in people, including those with typically life-threatening diseases such as cancer.
As mentioned earlier, selenium is a component of the glutathione peroxidases, which are primarily responsible for reducing peroxide free radicals that include lipid peroxide formation in cell membranes. Reduction of peroxides breaks the auto-oxidative chain reaction that damages cell membranes. Selenium is synergistic with glutathione and catalase in helping to protect the integrity of cell membranes. As such, selenium uses include stopping the growth of tumors, and protecting the liver.
Other reported health benefits for selenium include:
- Helps prevent memory loss
- Helps with thyroid problems
- Helps with diabetes
- Helps reduce asthma symptoms
- Helps fight infections
- Helps remove dangerous toxins in the body
- Helps maintains immune system activity
Where Is It Found?
Plant foods are the major dietary selenium sources in most countries throughout the world. The content of selenium in food depends on the selenium content of the soil where plants are grown or animals are raised. Selenium also can be found in some meats and seafood. Animals that eat grains or plants that were grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their muscle.
Food sources provide selenium in either an inorganic form (selenite or selenate) or in an organic form where it displaces sulfur in methionine or cysteine. Compared to the inorganic form, the organic, readily useable, selenium sources, especially methylselenocysteine, are able to virtually double selenium levels with no concerns about toxicity and improve absorbability at the same time.
Plants grow just fine without selenium in the soil. However, this means that no matter how naturally something is grown, and no matter how natural it is when you eat it, if there was no selenium in the soil when it was grown, it will be selenium deficient. The bottom line is that selenium is hardly constant in food -- appearing only in foods grown in selenium rich soils. Brazil nuts can contain anywhere from 0 to 550 micrograms per ounce. That's anywhere from 0 to 2/3 of the DV for selenium per ounce, depending on the soil the nuts are grown in.
The good news is that your body only requires a small amount of selenium to maintain good health, which is one of the reasons you’ll often find it in supplements such as Jon Barron’s Ultimate Antioxidant formula. (Note: several years ago, Jon Barron reduced the amount of selenium in his Ultimate Antioxidant formula to allow for the fact that so many other manufacturers had begun adding it to everything from vitamin pills to cold cereals and food bars.)
Beta-carotene is one of a group of red, orange, and yellow pigments called carotenoids, which can be found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There is also a synthetic version, which is made from acetylene gas, but this should be avoided at all costs as it is "incomplete" and does not perform as well as natural sources of beta-carotene -- in fact, it may actually be harmful. The most concentrated sources of beta-carotene are yellow, orange, and green leafy fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in beta-carotene include:
Beta-carotene is converted by the body into vitamin A (retinol) as needed to strengthen the immune system and promote healthy cell growth. In addition, beta-carotene is a potent antioxidant, offering particular benefits to the immune system and the lungs. (Note: In nature, beta-carotene always comes as part of a carotenoid complex, not in isolation. There are more than 400 different carotenoids in addition to beta carotene in a single carrot, for example.)
Other beta-carotene benefits have been shown to include inhibiting proliferation of various types of cancer cells such as those affecting the lungs, stomach, cervix, breast, bladder, and mouth. In fact, some studies suggest that eating four or more daily servings of beta-carotene rich foods may protect against heart disease or cancer. These foods have also been proven to protect against atherosclerosis, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other major degenerative disorders.
Numerous studies have been done on the potential health benefits of beta-carotene. Some of the findings include:
- May help decrease sun sensitivity in people with a particular condition that makes them sensitive to the sun.
- When included in a group of other vitamins and minerals, beta-carotene was shown to slow progression of macular degeneration.
- Eating more foods with beta-carotene and lycopene may decrease the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that increase the chance of heart disease and diabetes.
- Beta-carotene is one of the carotenoids that can help increase overall skin health, protecting skin from environmental toxins and disease.
- Beta carotene may also offer some brain health benefits as one study showed that those in the study that supplemented with beta-carotene were less likely to experience cognitive decline.
While beta-carotene has many health benefits, it is important to understand that beta-carotene is not the most important of the carotenoids. It's just the only one that has a recommended daily requirement. The bottom line is this: while beta-carotene is an important ingredient that is essential to your health, you don’t want to supplement with synthetic beta carotene or natural isolates -- go with natural sources and foods with beta-carotene. Then, if you choose to supplement, for the best results, you want to supplement with natural beta-carotene that is part of a full carotenoid complex, such as is found in Jon Barron’s Ultimate Antioxidant formula.
Keep in mind that there “may” be some risks to over supplementing with beta-carotene. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, “beta-carotene supplements may increase the risk of heart disease and cancer in people who smoke or drink heavily. Those people should not take beta-carotene, except under a doctor’s supervision.” But as Jon Barron has pointed out, the studies used as the basis for that conclusion evaluated synthetic beta carotene, not natural beta carotene. That said, beta-carotene supplements may interact with certain drugs, such as statins and mineral oil.
Today, you still hear ongoing debates about the need to detox. The body naturally detoxifies itself, so we should be fine, right? Yes and no. The body does naturally detoxify, but we may need to assist it in that process due to the amount of toxins we face daily. And there is one supplement in particular that can help with this process, Calcium D-Glucarate, which is the focus on our article today.
One of the main process that the body uses for detoxing itself is called conjugation - - literally combining toxins with other substances to neutralize them or prepare them for elimination. For example, one form of conjugation is the combining of glucoronic acid with carcinogens such as synthetic estrogens. It is a process called glucuronidation whereby toxins are literally "washed" from the body. It enables the body to rid itself of foreign elements including xenoestrogens, pollutants, toxins, and carcinogens.
Glucuronidation is literally a process in which glucuronic acid is conjugated (joined) to various toxins in the liver so that they can be excreted through the bile or urine. It represents one of the major pathways for the body to rid itself of foreign substances and is responsible for removing a number of highly toxic chemicals from our system, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, steroid hormones, nitrosamines, heterocyclic amines, aromatic amines, and fungal toxins. It also removes "used" hormones and synthetic hormones from the body.
Glucuronidation, then, represents a major means of converting most drugs, steroids, and many toxic and "environmental" substances to metabolites that can be excreted into the urine or bile. The bottom line is that glucuronidation is one of the main ways the body purges itself of carcinogenic substances. In times past, glucuronidation was sufficient to protect us from cancer. Two things have changed in the last hundred years that contribute significantly to the increase in the incidence of cancer we now see.
- We are exposed to far more carcinogens in our food supply, water, and air than ever before. (For example, there are over 2,000 known carcinogens just in the average drinking water in the United States today.)
- Thanks to changes in diet and the overuse of antibiotics in medicine and our food supply, the levels of the enzyme called beta-glucuronidase are much much higher in our bodies than ever before.
Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme produced by E. Coli bacteria in the gut. Glucuronidase literally breaks the bond between the toxic compounds the body is trying to eliminate and the glucuronic acid that is responsible for eliminating them. When beta-glucuronidase breaks the bond, the hormone or toxin is once again released into the body instead of being excreted. Elevated glucuronidase activity is associated with an increased risk for various cancers, particularly hormone-dependent cancers like breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
Can we reduce our exposure to beta glucuronidase? Absolutely.
Taking probiotic supplements can dramatically reduce the number of beta-glucuronidase-producing bacteria in the gut. A diet that reduces red meat to less than 3 ounces a day and emphasizes plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fermented foods containing live organisms also promotes a healthy population of friendly bacteria and a significant reduction in E. Coli populations.
And there is another way. Calcium D-Glucarate (a calcium salt found in foods such as apples, grapefruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and alfalfa) suppresses beta-glucuronidase and restores the glucuronidation detoxification pathway. The beauty of Calcium D-Glucarate is that not only does it neutralize the effects of beta-glucuronidase, but it actually strengthens the bond between glucuronic acid and the cancer-causing toxins that are being flushed from the body.
Since the activity of glucuronidase is inhibited when we supplement with D-Glucarate, the body is better able to get rid of the various toxic chemicals and excess hormones that might stimulate tumor formation.
Studies in animals have shown that supplementing with D-Glucarate blocked tumor formation in over 70% of the animals tested, and this has been confirmed in studies with human tumor cells. The bottom line is that D-Glucarate lowers the level of glucuronidase, and in so doing allows the body to eliminate harmful carcinogens thereby stopping many tumors, including those of the colon, lungs, liver, breast, skin, and prostate from ever forming. In addition, studies have shown that D-Glucarate can actually shrink those tumors even if they are already well developed.
By supplementing the diet with D-Glucarate, we can block glucuronidase activity, and the body can rid itself of carcinogens, thus inhibiting the onset of many forms of cancer, including lung, breast, prostate, and colon.
Since the effect of a single low dose can last for hours, manufacturers recommend a daily intake of 400 to 600 mg of D-Glucarate split between two doses, morning and evening. Higher amounts (1,000 to 2,000 mg per day) are typically recommended for individuals with existing cancer. (Note: D-Glucarate is widely available in health food stores and over the internet.)
And remember. Supplementing with D-Glucarate is not a magic bullet. It is merely a piece of the puzzle. It is vital that you rebuild the beneficial bacteria in your colon through dietary changes, colon cleansing and detoxification, and supplementation with a good probiotic, thereby reducing the amount of beta-glucuronidase in your intestinal tract.
It's always thrilling when new research discovers that a favorite treat isn't poison, after all. We've learned that chocolate may actually benefit body and soul, red wine is a must-have for a healthy heart, and coffee delivers a plethora of health advantages along with the caffeine buzz. And now, there's one more pro-coffee study to be pleased about. Investigators from the University of Athens have discovered that coffee can make you live a lot longer, but there's a catch. The coffee has to be boiled, Greek-style. (more…)
In natural healing circles, honey long has been used for its multiple benefits. Its flavonoids and antioxidants have been shown to be cancer and heart disease preventive; it helps reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems; it's antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal; it works as a cough suppressant; it heals wounds, it contains probiotics, it is a component of many skin crèmes, and it's an anti-allergenic agent and one of many natural allergy remedies, based on the theory that because honey contains tiny traces of pollen, repeated exposure should help build up immunity to those pollens. But if you've been taking your daily dose of honey without receiving any of these benefits, the reason may not be that honey is useless. It may be that your honey isn't actually honey. (more…)
February was Grapefruit Month, and even if you missed it, it is still a great time to pay a little tribute to the virtues of this much maligned fruit. Its tangy, citrusy flavor can serve as a reminder of the warm weather climates in which it grows, helping us get through the sluggish end of winter. (more…)
You may have heard quite a lot about the noni fruit as it rose in popularity a few years ago. The claims that it was a magic cure-all certainly didn't hurt. But, how effective is this fruit, and can it do all that people claim? To answer this, first we need to take a look at the history of the noni. (more…)
After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. In fact, about three cups of tea are drunk for every one of coffee. All teas (black, green and oolong) actually come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference between the teas is the type of processing and amount of oxidation they receive. Of the three teas, green tea receives the least oxidation during processing, which is reflected in the higher amounts of beneficial antioxidants that can be found in the tea.
The tea originates from China and is very popular throughout almost all of Asia and Eurasia. Traditional Chinese and Indian medical practitioners use green tea as…
- a stimulant
- a diuretic
- an astringent
- an aid to improve heart health
- an aid to treat gas
- an aid to regulate blood sugar
- an aid to promote digestion
- an aid to improve mental processes
Not surprisingly, due to the health claims associated with green tea, there have been many studies and reports on this beverage. The findings may surprise you.
Green Tea as a Powerful Antioxidant
First and foremost, green tea is rich in polyphenols and reportedly contains the highest concentration of these powerful antioxidants. In fact, tea in general is reported to have about eight to ten times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables. Since antioxidants are believed to fight free radicals - substances that damage and age the body - it may be no surprise to find green tea as an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Ultimate Antioxidant formula.
Green Tea for Preventing Tumors & Cancer
Green tea works to prevent tumors from developing the blood vessels they need to survive. It has also been shown to inhibit metastasis, the spread of cancer or disease within the body to another area not directly connected with it. And, it is the first known natural telomerase inhibitor. That is to say, it eliminates the "immortality" of cancer cells which is their trademark and the thing that makes them so deadly. Green tea is particularly effective in destroying the causes of leukemia, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown some helpful benefits for a number of other cancers, including:
- Bladder cancer - Studies showed that women who drank black tea and powdered green tea were less likely to develop bladder cancer, while men who drank green tea had a better five-year survival rate.
- Breast cancer - One study of 472 women showed that women who drank the most green tea had the least spread of cancer. Women with early stages of the disease who drank at least five cups per day were less likely to have the disease return after treatment.
- Ovarian cancer - In one study, ovarian cancer patients who drank the most green tea in the study lived the longest.
- Colorectal cancer - Some studies show that drinking green tea regularly may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women.
- Lung cancer - Green tea seems to be able to almost totally prevent cancer-causing DNA damage in smokers -- a possible explanation as to why the Japanese, who are among the world's heaviest smokers, have such a low incidence of lung cancer.
- Skin cancer - The active ingredients in green tea have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may be helpful in preventing development and growth of skin tumors.
Green Tea for Heart Health
And the benefits of green tea don't stop there. It has also been shown to be effective in regulating blood sugar, reducing triglycerides, and in reversing the ravages of heart disease. (Incidentally, the Japanese, who drink large amounts of green tea, have some of the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease in the world.)
Green Tea for Brain Health
And finally, green tea has great benefits for the brain as well, serving as an effective MAO inhibitor, protecting against brain-cell death from glucose oxidase, overproduction of nitric oxide, and lowering the amount of free iron reaching the brain. The net result is that there are strong indications that green tea extract may play a major role in protecting against both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. These are a few of the reasons you’ll find it in Jon Barron’s Warp Speed formula.
How to Use Green Tea
With all of these benefits, you’ll probably want to run out and stock up on green tea. However, where the tea comes from and how you make it can play a significant role in the health benefits you actually receive.
The plant is especially efficient at absorbing lead from the soil. Since 90% of the world's green tea is produced in China, which has a number of areas with excessive industrial pollution, tea from this area may have a marked increase in pollutants, such as lead. On the other hand, according to the ConsumerLab.com analysis of lead in tea from popular brands, no measurable amounts of lead were found in the Teavana brand, which gets its tea leaves from Japan. You also need to keep in mind that tea brewed from lower quality older leaves can contain high levels of fluoride. In fact, research has found that individuals who drink seriously large amounts of tea can develop skeletal fluorosis — a painful bone disease.
But to return to the positives, you can boost the health benefits of green tea by adding in a squirt of lemon juice. Studies have shown that citrus juice can increase the available catechin (antioxidant) levels by more than five times, causing 80 percent of tea's catechins to remain bioavailable. On the flip side, if you drink your tea (as opposed to taking a supplement), with added cream or milk, you "may" be destroying the antioxidant benefits. Although the studies are conflicted, some studies have shown that the proteins in milk may neutralize the antioxidants in tea, resulting in reduced health benefits.
Incidentally, with chocolate, the studies are far less conflicted when it comes to milk reducing the antioxidant potential. The mechanism is simple. The caseins in the dairy interact with the polyphenols in the chocolate and decrease their effectiveness. The bottom line when it comes to dairy protein and tea is that it's probably best to err on the side of caution when you consider how those same proteins react with the polyphenols in dark chocolate. Also, if you are drinking decaffeinated tea, decaf green tea benefits aren't as marked as with the caffeinated kind, so keep your tea pure. Then again, if you use a concentrated, full-spectrum green tea extract, you avoid these problems altogether.
Interested in learning more? Read more about natural antioxidants here.
Need some healthy snack ideas? Certain foods are high in antioxidants and should be a regular part of anyone’s diet. Prunes are definitely considered an antioxidant, and they actually rank among the foods containing the highest amounts of antioxidants. In addition to helping prevent and neutralize free radicals in the body, prunes can also help increase the body’s absorption of iron. What’s more, these little dried fruits are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and even copper.
As you can imagine, prune benefits have been the subject of repeated health research for their high content of unique phytonutrients, chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acid. These damage-preventing substances are particularly effective in neutralizing a particularly dangerous oxygen radical called the superoxide anion radical. Prunes have also been shown to assist with oxygen-based damage to fats. Since our cell membranes, brain cells, and molecules such as cholesterol are largely composed of fats, preventing free radical damage to fats is a significant benefit.
Eating prunes may also give you some additional heart health benefits! A study published in the "Journal of Ayub Medical College” found that eating three to six prunes daily may help lower your blood pressure. This could be because of the potassium found in prunes, since a quarter cup provides 9% of the daily value for this mineral - that’s a whopping 316.6 mg of potassium! Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function, so prunes may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.
Other studies have shown that in addition to protecting fats, the propionic acid in prunes can aid in lowering cholesterol in the body. This helps with minimizing inflammation in the body, thus lowering your risk for heart disease.
In addition, prune health benefits also indicate that it is a good source of soluble fiber, and assists in regulating blood sugar levels both by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach but also by delaying the absorption of glucose into the blood following a meal. Because of the fiber factor, prunes can help you feel fuller after meals therefore aiding in preventing overeating and weight gain.
Other benefits of prunes include:
- Slowing the rate of bone loss (and in some cases reversing bone mineral density loss)
- Working as a laxative
- Helping promote healthy eyes.
- Reducing plaque buildup in the arteries.
As you can imagine, with all of these health benefits, prunes can be found in a variety of natural health supplements. In fact, prune powder is an ingredient in Jon Barron’s Private Reserve Superfood formula, along with other key superfoods.
When you buy store bought prunes, try to purchase only high quality, organic prunes to get the full health benefits. They should be plump, relatively soft, and free of mold and preservatives such as sulfites.
Learn more about natural antioxidants.
In today's market, we now have two distinct choices when it comes to salt: unrefined and refined. Unrefined salt (sea salt) is 97.5% sodium chloride (with up to 14% of that being moisture content in some brands) and 2.5% consisting of some 50+ other trace minerals. Refined salt is also 97.5% sodium chloride, but the other 2.5% no longer consists of trace minerals, but rather, chemical additives.
Unrefined salt is at heart sea salt, but can come from two sources: either freshly dried from the sea, as in Celtic Sea Salt, or mined from ancient inland ocean beds as in the Himalayan Salt and Real Salt brands. In either case, the salt is a naturally occurring complex of sodium chloride, major minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and a complete complement of essential trace minerals. This is the form of salt the body recognizes and is designed to use.
Refined salt (or iodized salt), on the other hand, is a manmade creation of the last century that contains anti-caking chemicals and added iodine. Iodine was added for people who lived inland and at one time did not benefit from natural iodine found in seafood. Iodized salt benefits aren't to be overlooked: the added iodine addresses iodine deficiency, which affects two million people around the world and is the leading preventable cause of mental retardation. Truth be told, all refined table salt is actually sea salt at heart, either refined from the sea or found in salt mines created by ancient seabed deposits known as halite. Refined salt is processed at high temperatures, altering the molecular structure of the salt and removing the beneficial trace minerals. The human body doesn't like it.
Unfortunately, you can't rely on fruits and vegetables any more for your trace minerals: they just don't contain them. Even organic fruits and vegetables are largely deficient, unless the grower goes to the extra expense of remineralizing the soil. In the end, you have to supplement either with unrefined sea salt or with a trace mineral supplement. Of course, we can all agree on one thing: a healthy diet is a diet in moderation.
Refined salt addiction is perhaps as prevalent and subtly dangerous in modern society as drug addiction, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle. Excess refined salt increases appetite and decreases bone density. The bottom line is unrefined natural sea salt is as essential to life as oxygen, water, vitamins, proteins and essential fats -- in conscious moderation of course. The health benefits of unrefined salt must not be overlooked based on an overgeneralization in salt guidelines.
You may be surprised to learn that the kola nut (aka kolanut) is the origin of the word “cola,” and the tree on which it grows is believed among some Nigerian tribes to be the first tree on earth. This nut is how the first cola recipe received its caffeine kick -- along with real coca leaves. No wonder people thought it was “medicinal.” Today, your typical cola drink uses an artificial flavoring plus added caffeine, but you can still find real kola nuts being used in higher end sodas, in products like energy bars, and as a natural medicinal remedy.
The kola nut, also know as cola acuminate, is a caffeine-rich nut that is native to tropical Africa. In these regions, the nut is considered a symbol of hospitality and kindness. Though nearly tasteless on their own, kola nuts are often chewed before meals to help promote digestion and to help counteract possible ill effects from tainted drinking water.
Kola Nuts as a Natural Stimulant
As already mentioned, kola nut is a stimulant, containing 1.5% - 2% caffeine, plus kolanin and theobromine, which increases cerebral circulation. Theobromine is the alkaloid compound that can be found in chocolate and is thought to contribute a sense of alertness and well-being. This combination of caffeine and theobromine may be a contributing factor for the mild sense of euphoria that’s often reported after chewing the nuts. The net result is that the stimulating components of kola nut can be used to improve the mental energy and stimulate the sex drive without whipping the adrenals. Thus, the addition of a small amount of kola nut to formulas can stimulate and prolong sexual urges and intensity while revitalizing libido both in men and women without exhausting the adrenals. It is why you will see this ingredient used in Jon Barron’s Men’s Formula and Women’s Formula.
Kola Nuts as a Natural Infection Fighter
The kola nut may also help prevent and fight infections. Research published in the 2004 edition of “Phytotherapy Research” showed that kola nut was effective at reducing the growth and development of members of the mycobacterium species, the bacteria responsible for illnesses such as meningitis and tuberculosis.
Kola Nuts as a Natural Chest Cold Remedy
One of the oldest medicinal uses for the kola nut is as a natural remedy for chest colds. And modern research has shown that it is effective in this regard. The kola nut helps by enlarging the alveolar ducts and sacs (small air bags in the lungs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged with the blood), as well as by improving the strength of the fibers in the lung tissue.
Kola Nuts for Natural Weight Loss
Kola nuts may even offer a natural weight loss benefit. In a study published in the Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, it was found that a steady intake of kola nut by rats can actually reduce food intake, and therefore body weight, without altering water intake. This is thought to be due to the caffeine in the nuts reducing the rats' appetites. Other studies have found that intake of kola nut can increase the body's metabolic rate by as much as 118%, which means that it may help “burn off” calories more quickly. Kola nut extracts also contain nonsteroidal plant compounds that have the ability to induce death of cancerous prostate cells and may modulate prostate growth and function.
Additional Health Benefits of Kola Nuts
In addition to being a stimulant, kola nut can help increase oxygen levels in the blood and promote better concentration and a “clearing” of the head. Kola nut, like cayenne, also serves to "drive" other herbs into the blood.
How to Take Kola Nuts
Kola nuts are often ground into a powder. Because the whole nut stores caffeine much better than the powder form, it is recommended that the nut be ground right before use or preserved in tincture form. Kola nut powder can be added to coffee to increase the caffeine content, and can also be drunk in tea. The powder is also sometimes taken in capsule form.
“Jon is one of the remaining pillars of nutrition wisdom who shares so much valuable health information with the public and professionals.”
Rick Malter, Ph.D., The Malter Institute
Jon’s Guide To Supplements
Check out Jon Barron’s comprehensive guide on supplements. Learn what you should consider taking, when, and why. Also gives a list for special health needs.
“Jon is one of the remaining pillars of nutrition wisdom who shares so much valuable health information with the public and professionals.”
Rick Malter, Ph.D., The Malter Institute
Jon’s Guide To Supplements
Check out Jon Barron’s comprehensive guide on supplements. Learn what you should consider taking, when, and why. Also gives a list for special health needs.
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Lessons From The Miracle Doctors
Step By Step Guide to Optimum Health and Relief From Catastrophic Illness.
(407 Page Expanded Edition)
Suggested Health Products
Baseline Nutritionals® promise
- USP grade nutraceuticals
- Organic and wild crafted herbs
- Heavy Metal Tested
- cGMP Compliancy & 3rd Party Validated
- Baseline Nutritionals® offers a 100% guarantee on all products.
Lessons From The Miracle Doctors
Step By Step Guide to Optimum Health and Relief From Catastrophic Illness.
(407 Page Expanded Edition)