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ANCIENT KITCHEN CURES

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Cleopatra

Why are ancient kitchen cures just that? Why are they not current kitchen cures? Due to a high profit led food and drug manufacturing and mass distribution system, ancient medicinal practises and the true benefits of natural foods have, for far too long, been ignored.

Many new allergies, health problems, cancers and mutated resistant bacteria and virus infections are the result. Fortunately though, scientists are now discovering the facts about many ancient medicinal practises and nutritional foods and they are, once again, helping with the treatment of many of the new diseases that have appeared in recent times.

Our first human ancestors likely emerged in sub-Sahara Africa between 170,000 and 50,000 years ago.  They then spent thousands of years testing natural foods and plant medicines and understood by practise exactly what benefited the human body and what did not. The human system is so complex and individual that foods have varying effects but overall health was enhanced by what they discovered by trial and error.

EVOLUTION OF BLOOD TYPES

Just as there are four basic element types; earth, air, fire and water and four letters in the gene sequence; A, C, T and G, there are also four primary blood types in humans; A, B, O and AB. Humans and all other apes inherited these blood types from a common ancestor at least 20 million years ago.

The A type occurs in chimps, orang-utans, gibbons, baboons, Java macaques, Sulawesi crested macaques, and squirrel monkeys (7 species).

The B type occurs in gorillas, orang-utans, gibbons, baboons, Rhesus macaques, pigtailed macaques, Java macaques, Sulawesi crested macaques, and cebus monkeys (9 species).

The AB type occurs in orang-utans, gibbons, baboons, and Java macaques (4 species).

The O type occurs in chimps, Java macaques, squirrel monkeys, and cebus monkeys (4 species).

Since none of these primates practiced agriculture or domesticated dairy animals, it is clear that the A allele did not evolve as an adaptation to agriculture nor did the B allele emerge as an adaptation to consumption of dairy products as proposed by Peter J. D'Adamo with his ‘blood type diet’ theory. The advantage that can be gained from eating certain protective natural foods should be connected to the incidence of certain ailments connected to certain blood types as shown below. The time of gene duplication producing ABO genes may be around the emergence of vertebrates (ca. 500 MYA) therefore, these blood types have a much longer history than human dietary variations. 

The “blood type” refers to the presence of a particular type of antigen sticking out from the surface of a red blood cell. If the immune system encounters an antigen that is not found on the body’s own cells it will launch an attack on this antigen as a foreign invader.

Antigens can be toxins, bacteria, foreign blood cells and the cells of transplanted organs. Other antigens, called auto antigens, are usually normal proteins that are targeted by the immune system of lupus patients as foreign bodies. In other words, normal tolerance of these auto antigens has been lost in lupus patients, mainly to genetic and environmental factors.

Antibodies latch onto foreign substances that enter the body, such as bacteria and viruses, and clump them together for removal by other parts of the immune system.

The human body naturally makes antibodies that will attack certain types of red-blood-cell antigens. For example:

  • People with type A blood have A antigens on their red blood cells and make antibodies that attack B antigens

  • People with type B blood have B antigens on their red blood cells and make antibodies that attack A antigens. So, type A people can’t donate their blood to type B people and vice versa.

  • People who are type AB have both A and B antigens on their red blood cells and therefore don’t make any A or B antibodies

  • People who are type O have no A or B antigens and make both A and B antibodies.

There are now 32 known different blood types that have been discovered over the past 100 years such as the MN, Lewis, Diego, Kidd and Kell. The MN blood group don’t produce any antibodies against the antigens. Some blood types are associated with inheritance of certain diseases; for example, the Kell antigen is sometimes associated with McLeod syndrome. These blood types are often named after the patient in which they were first discovered.

One “minor” blood type that has medical significance is the Duffy blood group. Plasmodium vivax, one of the parasites that causes malaria, latches onto the Duffy antigen when it invades the body’s red blood cells. People who lack the Duffy antigens, therefore, tend to be immune to this form of malaria. The Duffy antigen, presumably as a result of natural selection, is less common in ethnic groups from areas with a high incidence of malaria.

Blood types are inherited, and blood typing became one of the first ways to test paternity. Later, researchers learned ABO blood types are governed by a single gene that comes in three varieties: A, B and O. (People who are type AB inherit an A gene from one parent and a B gene from the other.)

Almost always, an individual has the same blood group for life, but very rarely, an individual's blood type can change through addition or suppression of an antigen in infection, malignancy or autoimmune disease. Also, if a person receives bone marrow from someone who is a different blood type, the patient's blood type will eventually convert to the donor's type. More research is needed but bone marrow transplants may, in the future, be the answer to avoiding many diseases.

Blood group B is highest in Northern India and Central Asia, and its incidence diminishes both towards the west and the east, falling to single digit percentages in Spain. It is believed to have been entirely absent from Native American and Australian Aboriginal populations prior to the arrival of Europeans in those areas. Blood group A is associated with high frequencies in Europe, especially in Scandinavia and Central Europe, although its highest frequencies occur in some Australian Aborigine populations and the Blackfoot Indians of Montana.

The approximate percentages of the primary blood types of the world's population in 2011 were as follows:

O+ A+ B+ AB+ O- A- B- AB-
36.4% 28.3% 16%  5.1% 4.3% 3.5% 1.4% 0.5%

BLOOD DONATION

Offering to donate blood can be a critical life saver for others especially those with blood types that can receive fewer types than others or a rarer types such as A-, B-  and O-.
 

TYPE

CAN RECEIVE FROM

CAN DONATE TO

COMMENTS

A-

A-, O-

A-, A+, AB-

 

A+

A+, A-, O+, O-

A+, AB+

Common

B-

B-,O-

B-,B+, AB-

Rare

B+

B-, B+, O-, O+

B+, AB+

 

AB-

AB-, B-, A-, O-

AB-

Rarest

AB+

AB+, AB-, B+, B-, A+, A-, O+, O-

AB+

Universal recipient

O-

O-

A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+ AB-, O+, O-

Universal  donor

O+

O-, O+

A+, B+, AB+, O+

Most common

 THE TASTE GENE

Like some modern humans, some Neanderthals were able to taste bitter substances. Some items that taste bitter may be toxic in large quantities so the ability to taste bitter substances may have protected hominids from accidental poisoning. Some of these bitter chemicals are found in vegetables. For instance, humans vary in their ability to perceive a bitter substance similar to that found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage.

The ability to taste bitter substances is controlled by the gene TAS2R38. Some individuals are able to taste bitter substances, while others have a different version of the gene that does not allow them to taste bitter items. Possession of two copies of alleles associated with tasting bitter substances gives the individual greater perception of bitter tastes than the heterozygous state, in which individuals have one tasting allele and one non-tasting allele. Two copies of a non-tasting allele leads to inability to taste bitter substances.

A Neanderthal from El Sidrón, Spain, was sequenced for the taste gene. It was found that this individual was heterozygous and thus was able to perceive bitter taste, although not as strongly as a homozygous individual with two copies of the tasting allele. Since the Neanderthal sequenced was heterozygous, the two alleles (tasting and non-tasting) were probably both present in the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans. Though chimpanzees also vary in their ability to taste bitterness, their abilities are controlled by different alleles than those found in humans, indicating that non-tasting alleles evolved separately in the hominid lineage.

SECRETORS AND NON SECRETORS

The ABO blood type is controlled by genetics, just as hair or eye colour are. The gene coding for blood type lies on chromosome 9q34. However, other separate genes on chromosome 11 and 19 actually interact with the blood type gene, determining the ability to secrete the ABO blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions. This is called the secretor gene and, by testing for this gene, it can be determined whether a person is a secretor (Se) or non-secretor (se). This is completely independent of the blood type A, B, AB, or O. Thus a person could be an A secretor or an A non-secretor, a B secretor or a B non-secretor, etc.

Secretor is defined as a person who secretes their blood type antigens into body fluids and secretions like the saliva in the mouth, the mucus in the digestive tract and respiratory cavities, etc. Secretors are more susceptible to influenza viruses, rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, and echoviruses regardless of blood type.

Non-Secretors put little to none of their blood type into these same fluids. This creates a reduced risk of HIV1 infection and a slower progression of the disease. However, they are more susceptible to haemophilus influenzae, neisseria meningitidis, streptococcus pneumoniae and urinary tract infection caused by E coli.

BLOOD TYPES AND DISEASE

In some infectious diseases, bacteria may closely resemble certain blood antigens, making it difficult for antibodies to detect the difference between foreign invaders and the body’s own blood. People who are type A, for instance, seem more susceptible to smallpox, while people who are type B appear more affected by some E. coli infections.

Microbes possess just 3 antigen types being A, B and O. A bacteria which has an antigen on its surface that mimics the blood group A antigen will more easily infect a person who is group A, since that bacteria would more likely be considered "self" to the immune system of a blood group A person.

Microbes may adhere to the tissues of one ABO group in preference to another, by possessing specialized adhesion molecules for that particular blood group. This can explain one reason why some people become infected whilst others do not although the person’s immune system state and diet are other factors.

An example is the Black Plague caused by the yersinia bacteria which has a preference for individuals of blood group O. A modern day map of the ABO blood group distribution around the world closely parallels the locations of major epidemics.

BLOOD GROUP O

People with blood group O are known to be more resistant to the flukes and worms that routinely parasitized early humans, probably because they are the only blood group with antibodies against two other antigens, A and B. The blood group O allele also protects against severe malaria but can be more sensitive to peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori infections, angina pectoris, norovirus and severe forms of cholera. However, type O also has the lowest rate of pancreatic cancer, cardiac Infarctions and cardiac ischemia than the other groups. Blood group O has less ability to clot than the other types so the addition of natural foods rich in vitamin K may be advantageous when the immune system is compromised in anyway.

Patients of group O were more susceptible in an outbreak of gastrointestinal infections caused by Escherichia coli in Scotland in 1996. A total of 87.5% of patients who died were group O.

Group O individuals have approximately 35% greater risk of gastrointestinal ulcers when compared to group A individuals. This is because the ulcer-causing bacterium, H. pylori, can more easily attach to the G.I. lining of Group O, because it has a protein structure that mimics the Group O host (which confuses the host’s immune system).  In contrast, the immune system of A-type individuals more easily recognizes the bacterium as a foreign invader, making them more resistant to this infection.

BLOOD TYPE A

People with blood type A are more susceptible to cancer of the hypopharynx, larynx, pancreas, stomach, colon, ovary, uterus, cervix, salivary glands, breasts and testicles. Type A has also been linked to gall stones, arterial and venous thromboembolism, coronary heart disease, elevated serum cholesterol and an overall reduction of the immune response caused by a resistance to cell aptosis.

BLOOD TYPE B

This blood type has fewer diseases associated with it than A but more than type O. People with type B are more prone to developing Type 1 Diabetes, arterial and venous thromboembolism, heart disease. In one province of China people with blood type B are prone to oesophageal and gastric cancer.

BLOOD TYPE AB

The range of diseases more common in people with type AB falls somewhere between A and B and includes arterial and venous thromboembolism and heart disease.

A greater propensity for blood clot formation in non-O blood type people could have meant a survival advantage to early humans with type A or B blood as haemorrhage, serious infection, miscarriage and death during childbirth would have been less common in these people.

The major clinical disease associated with the blood group system is haemolytic disease of the foetus and newborn (HDFN). HDFN usually arises when a mother who is a minus blood group carries a foetus who is positive blood group and foetal red cells released into the maternal circulation immunize the mother to make antibody to the foetus blood type, which traverses the placenta and damages the foetus. Before the introduction of a successful prophylactic treatment in 1968, the frequency of the disease in England and North America was approximately 1 per 170 births.

HUMAN MIGRATION

As humans migrated and were forced to adapt their diets to local conditions, the new diets provoked changes in their digestive tracts and immune systems, necessary for them to first survive and later thrive in their new habitats. Virtually all the major infectious diseases that ran rampant throughout man’s pre-antibiotic history have blood group preferences of one or another type.

New studies on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) support the theory that Homo sapiens emerged in Africa and only later infiltrated other regions.  Unlike DNA, which is inherited from both parents and changes minutely with each generation, mtDNA is passed directly from mother to child. It is contained in eggs but not in sperm. Since only random mutations alter its sequence, it is a more accurate measure of the trajectory of human evolution. Extensive mtDNA studies demonstrate that humans evolved from a common ancestor.

NATIVE AMERICANS 15,000 BC

The majority of today's indigenous Americans descend from a single group of migrants that crossed from Asia to Alaska 15,000 years ago or more. Native Americans show a very high (60-80 % percent) predominance of blood group O. They and Eskimos are directly descended from Cro-Magnon ancestors, probably Mongolians, who migrated across the land that once connected Siberia to Alaska. 

As the last Ice Age ended, the rising water levels eliminated the land between Asia and America and the Native Americans became isolated preventing any contact between people of the different continents and blood types for another 10,000 years.  Forensic studies in Chile have shown that no B or AB blood types have been discovered either in pre-Columbian or Colonial mummies.

This high incidence of blood group O in Native Americans may also be because O type individuals seem relatively resistant to syphilis and smallpox that was introduced to America by Columbus. pinus wallichiana

Agricultural advances in the Americas were late in coming because the new American homeland was abundantly populated with game and fish which discouraged agriculture. 

Corn, which became the staple grain, was first domesticated around 4500 B.C.

Beans were first cultivated around 2200 B.C.

Pine is a traditional centuries old Native American wild food and healing remedy that gives great health benefits due to its aromatic oils and vitamin C content. It can relieve wintertime colds, urinary and respiratory infections. When European settlers arrived on their lands they were suffering from scurvy due to lack of vitamin C, so the Native Americans introduced them to pine needle tea.

Sprouted foods have been part of the diet of many ancient races for thousands of years. Even to this day, the Chinese retain their fame for delicious mung beansprouts. Sprouts provide all the essential vitamins and minerals. They should form a vital component of our diets today. Sprouting requires no constant care but only an occasional sprinkling of water. See Micro Diet Sprouting

Cayenne pepper is considered a gift to humanity because it has more health benefits than any other food or herb on earth. There are over 3000 scientific studies to support the use of cayenne in preventing and reversing many common health ailments. It is miraculous that a simple fruit like cayenne has healing benefits for a wide assortment of ailments. It has been used as a food, a spice and an herbal medicine for over 9000 years by the Native Americans.

IRAQ 9000 BC

Wheat: has been a valuable crop for many thousands of years. It is believed that it was first domesticated from wild grasses as long ago as 9,000 B.C. in what is present day Iraq where it's still growing wild. From Iraq, wheat spread over the ancient world. By 2,000 B.C. wheat had spread through much of Asia, Europe and North Africa. Slowly during this same period, the different varieties of wheat we know so well today started to emerge - the hard and soft wheat and durum.

ETHIOPIA 8000 BC

Teff (eragrostis tef): Between 8000 and 5000 BC, the peoples of the Ethiopian highlands were among the first locales to domesticate plants and animals for food and teff was one of the earliest plants domesticated.

Teff is believed to have originated in Ethiopia and genetic evidence points to E. pilosa as the most likely wild ancestor. A 19th century identification of teff seeds from an ancient Egyptian site is now considered doubtful; the seeds in question (no longer available for study) are more likely of E. aegyptiaca, a common wild grass in Egypt.

EGYPT 3000 BC

The earliest records of kitchen pharmacy go back 5,000 years. The ancient Egyptians used herbs, nuts, spices and other foods as remedies for health and aids to beauty - the most famous being Cleopatra, who reportedly bathed in milk and honey.

The Egyptians listed over 700 herbs and some of these, such as senna and aloe vera are still widely used today. The first Egyptian physician was Imhotep and he became so famous for his healing that he was deified as a hero, worshiped and later became the god of medicine.

Chicory: First recorded usage of chicory was in ancient Egypt where it was known to have health benefits for liver and gallbladder which has been proven correct by science today.eloquent peasant

Essential oils derived from plants are said to have different therapeutic properties. Some are calming, others stimulating and uplifting. Such oils have been used for healing and relaxation by many cultures for thousands of years. Myrrh and frankincense are mentioned in the Bible and the ancient Egyptians used oils to embalm the dead.

Bicarbonate of soda: 'The Eloquent Peasant', an Egyptian literary work dated around 2000BC, refers to a peddler selling natron, a natural blend of bicarbonate of soda. Chloride and sodium carbonate was used in mummification, just one of hundreds of uses this compound has been put to. Baking soda's first widespread use was probably as a leavening agent for bread and other baked goods. It has been used commercially since 1775.

Black seed (nigella sativa, black cumin, black seed and kalonji): Since the times of ancient Egypt, black seed has been considered valuable as both a culinary and medicinal herb. Prophet Mohammad is said to have referred to black seed and claimed that it cures all diseases except for death. Amazingly, the precise chemical makeup of black seed remain the subject of medical research today. It has been used for centuries as a culinary herb in the Middle East. It helped give flavour to their largely vegetarian cuisine. The black seed was sometimes roasted to bring out the aromatic scent. It was known to Arabs as the "blessed seed". In Islam, there is a practice of placing both honey and black seed in the right hand and eating it, which gave black seed a religious significance as well.desert camels

Frankincense is an oily gum resin from the tree Boswellia sacra and related species. It is named in the Bible as one the three gifts given to the the infant Jesus by the 'Three Wise Men'. It has been used for thousands of years in many different cultures. The ancient Egyptians believed frankincense to be the sweat of gods, fallen to earth. The legendary Phoenix bird was believed to build its nest from twigs of frankincense and to feed upon ‘tears’ of the resin. The ancient Egyptians also used the resin in religious rites, in anointing the mummified bodies of their kings, and to treat wounds and sores. Incense containing frankincense was found in Tutankhamen's tomb. Large scale exploitation of frankincense began in Oman approximately 8,000 years ago. Frankincense was used by the Egyptians for embalming and for cosmetic purposes. In 1400 BC, Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt sent a plant-collecting expedition to the eastern coast of Africa. Among the botanical prizes garnered were 31 boswellia trees that were subsequently planted at the Temple Of Karnak along the Nile.

It is still used in religious ceremonies by the Parsees, thought by some to be cultural descendants of the 'Three Wise Men' (Magi) of the Christian tradition. The earliest recorded account of the use of Arabian frankincense and myrrh by the ancient Greeks comes from Herodotus, suggesting that by 500BC a well established trade existed between southern Arabia and Greece. In 295BC Theophrastus recorded that Alexander the Greek (356-323 BC) sent Anaxicrates to southern Arabia to ascertain the origin of frankincense. Theophrastus (c. 372-287BC), the Greek botanist, and Pliny the Elder (23-79AD), the Latin naturalist, provided eyewitness accounts of the cultivation and harvesting of frankincense and the methods remain largely unchanged today. The gum is beneficial in cases of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and ulcerative colitis.ancient cures

Wheat: Around 2,500 B.C. the Egyptians learned how to exploit the gluten in wheat flour making the first raised breads from yeast. This discovery alone pushed wheat to the forefront ahead of the other prized grains of the day, oats, millet, rice and barley. The Egyptians grew huge amounts of wheat. They eventually started exporting wheat to other parts of the new world. This turned into such a huge trade that massive sailing barges were built, large enough to carry 1,300 tons of grain in their holds. Their main trade route plied between Alexandria and Rome.

After the fall of Rome, these massive sailing ships disappeared and nothing of their size was again seen until the early 19th century. Pasta, first believed to be invented in China, quickly became a mainstay in Rome and the rest of Italy where it remains an important staple item to this day.

Wheat came to the Americas with Christopher Columbus and again by the Pilgrims in 1620. Through the centuries, wheat remained a labour intensive crop to grow and harvest but all of this changed in 1831 when Cyrus McCormick’s binding machine went into production which was followed by the early threshing machine.

Today, these two pieces of equipment are combined into one machine in the form of the modern combine harvester which can do the work that took hundreds of men to accomplish with a scythe, flail and the wind.

HIMALAYA 2000 BC

Mango: originated about 4000 years ago in the sub-Himalayan plains and is a close relative of cashew and pistachio. Today, it is grown in India (known as safeda), South America and the Caribbean. There are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos.

GREECE 1000 BC

Pomegranates: have quite a history, from the writings of Greek mythology, to the Persians believing that pomegranate seeds would make them invincible in battle. The name “pomegranate” means “seed-filled apple,” and the Babylonians connected this explosion of seeds to the resurrection. When caravans set out on long journeys across the scorching desert, they would load up on these tough red globes because they were one of the few fruits able to withstand the heat of the sun and sand and still provide life-giving juice. Now it has been discovered that not only can pomegranates lower cholesterol levels and fight plaque build up in the arteries but they can actually reduce plaque that is already there. Read moreyarrow

Restharrow (ononis repens): The common restharrow is a perennial plant species of the pea family found by the shore and is also common in dry hill pastures in chalk or limestone areas. It is a favourite food of the donkey, from which the generic name is derived, onos being the Greek word for an ass. but is obnoxious to snakes. A tradition exists that this was the plant from which the crown of thorns was plaited for the Crucifixion. Read more

Yarrow herb (achillea millefolium): Crushed yarrow leaves are known to promote blood clotting, and traditionally yarrow leaves are a first aid remedy. They have been used for the treatment of external skin wounds for since as far back as at least the ancient Greeks. The botanical name Achillea actually refers to the ancient hero Achilles, who is said to have always carried yarrow leaves with him into battle, during the Trojan wars, which he used to bandage the wounds of his warriors. Millefolium, on the other hand, means "of a thousand leaves" - this refers to the fine, delicate and feathery leaves of the plant. Because yarrow was used for soldiers field dressing, the alternative name for yarrow is 'soldier’s woundwort'.

CHINA AND JAPAN 500 BC

The most widely used system of herbal medicine in the world is most probably in China. the Chinese produced the earliest medical textbook in the 2nd century B.C. which included elements of herbal treatment, magic and astrology.

Angelica (angelica archangelica, dong quai): Chinese angelica is a herb which has been used for centuries in the Far East as a tonic, spice and medicine. The health benefits come from the plant's root. Due to it's antihistamine properties is is used to treat allergies. It is also used as a muscle relaxant and pain killer and is also beneficial for sufferers of lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Used in conjunction with other herbs like Asian ginseng, it produces the ability to decrease chest pain in patients suffering from heart disease. Further health benefits of Chinese angelica are its ability to stabilize female hormones, ease the pain of arthritis and lower blood pressure. Nutritionally it supports the digestive and respiratory systems.

NOTE: Avoid angelica if taking any type of medication that thins the blood or for hormone therapies and contraception.

Ash Gourd (benincasa hispida) Also known as winter melon, white gourd, wax gourd, winter gourd, ash gourd, it is a single species of tender annual vine believed to have originated in Java, Indonesia and is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. It has been cultivated in China for over 2,000 years. In Chinese medicine the rind is used to treat urinary dysfunction and the seeds for vaginal discharge. Being extremely low in calories, the ash gourd is used to treat obesity as it promotes metabolism and prevents sugar (carbohydrates) from being converted into fat. The shoots, tendrils and leaves of the plant may be eaten as greens.

It is alkaline and has a strong ‘antacid’ action. It maintains the pH of the body and counteracts the acidity created in the stomach because of the intake of acidic foods. It helps in treating constipation and tones up the general digestive system and can treat stomach ulcers. Cough, common cold, fever, influenza, bronchitis, sinusitis can be controlled without any side effects. Any kind of severe and chronic asthma can be cured with regular consumption. It can also help treat thyroid problems and  mouth cancer and protect the life of teeth and gums when a mouth gargle of the juice is done regularly. It is also an effective cure for pyorrhoea (bleeding of gums). It can also relieve insomnia.

The fruit is used to treat epilepsy, lung diseases, asthma, coughs, urine retention and internal haemorrhage. The juice of the fruit is effective in cases of mercury poisoning and snakebites.

A delicious sweet made by boiling the pulp in honey is used to treat general debility, to increase weight after sudden weight loss and treat weakness of the heart and anaemia.

People who suffer from an abnormally small amount of hair growth can try roasting the rind and seeds and then mixing it with coconut oil. The mixture when applied to the scalp can also be used as a treatment for dandruff.

Seeds of ash gourd are used as a home therapy to increase the sperm count. The seeds are cooked in milk and consumed directly. Sperm locomotion also amplifies considerably by eating ash gourd.

The rind is also used to treat diabetes and the seeds to expel tapeworms.

To kill parasites and worms, take a handful of ash gourd seeds and grind them. Eat it in the morning on an empty stomach. Two hours later, take two teaspoons of castor oil.

CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given to children below 5 years of age.

Ashitaba (angelica keiskei koidzmi) Ashitaba’s name in Japanese means 'Tomorrow's Leaf' or 'Earth Growth' in English and refers to the fact that if its leaves are picked in the morning, new leaves will be in place by the next morning. Ashitaba is a 'super food' which has been consumed as a vegetable and medicine for many hundreds of years by the inhabitants of Seven Islands of Izu (the Longevity Islands). It is an Asian green vegetable rich in the highly potent antioxidant known as chalcone. Chalcones are rarely found anywhere in the natural world but are the key factor in ashitaba. These organic compounds are flavonoids known as Xanthoangelol, Xanthoangelol-E and 4-Hydrooxyderricin and they give the plant its characteristic yellow sap. This sap differentiates ashitaba from all other strains of angelica. The antioxidant activity of these flavonoids is due to their molecular structure and they have a potent antioxidant activity exceeding that of red wine, green tea or soy.

Most plants are devoid of vitamin B12, which is normally only obtainable through meat, fish and eggs. However, ashitaba is a good source of this nutrient, making it an ideal supplement for strict vegetarians and vegans, who omit these foods from their diets and are at risk of suffering from a deficiency. A shortage of B12 can cause serious cognitive and nervous system problems, in addition to increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and pernicious anaemia. Ashitaba is also a rich source of coumarins which are potent antioxidants found to contain anti-carcinogenic properties.

100 grams of Ashitaba powder contains the beta carotene content equivalent to four carrots, the vitamin B2 content equivalent to 28 cloves of garlic, the vitamin C content equivalent to 4 lemons, and nine times the amount of iron found in spinach.

It also contains fibre, angelic acid, bergapten,columbianagin,  imperatorin, isoquercitrin, isorhazelpitin, melatonin, psoralen, rhazelpitom, ruteorin, selinidin, xanthoangelol, 4-hydroxyderrici, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, copper, germanium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulphur and zinc.

Ashitaba is rich in chlorophyll, the green pigment present in plants that is responsible for collecting and storing energy from the sun. Because the chlorophyll molecule is almost identical to the haemoglobin molecule in red blood cells it is often referred to as 'nature's blood'. One of its many attributes includes its ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues. It is also an excellent agent for cleansing the blood and liver and promotes the growth of 'friendly' intestinal bacteria.

Including ashitaba in the diet can cleanse the blood and promote blood circulation, regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce allergies, sinus problems, joint and muscle pain, blood pressure and smooth muscle spasms in the arteries and bronchial tubes, improve vision and memory, enhance liver and kidney function, normalise cells, prevent osteoporosis and thrombus, strengthen the immune system, suppress gastric acid secretion, promote metabolism and act as a sedative. Ashitaba also possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties and is a potent antioxidant which protects the organs from destructive free radicals and slows the aging process. It also enhances smooth bowel movements which promotes detoxification and acts as an effective diuretic to remove toxic waste from the body. The active substance, xanthoangelol, in the roots of ashitaba provide anti-tumour and anti-metastatic activities

Ashitaba is useful in treating menstrual cramps and pains and menopause symptoms, gynaecological conditions and can provide options beyond hormone replacement therapy and hysterectomies.

The production of nerve growth factor (NGF) is enhanced by several compounds contained in Ashitaba. NGF is a protein essential in the development and survival of certain neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. This protein is effective in preventing and treating Alzheimer type dementia and diabetic peripheral neuropathy and as yet cannot be manufactured. However NGF production enhancers such as ashitaba can pass through the blood brain barrier to work in the brain and increase the NGF concentration.

Ashitaba is recommended for diabetics as it has the ability to normalise blood sugar levels. A diabetes patient in Japan took ashitaba powder daily for six months and his blood sugar level dropped from 400 mg/dl to 150 mg/dl.

Ashitaba contains water based (hydrophillic) antioxidants that are more potent than those found in green tea. Ashitaba contains 6.20. Sage tea contains 4.67 and green tea 3.50.

The leaves, stems and roots can be consumed as a vegetable or salad ingredient and a tea can be made from the leaves. The recommended dosage for medicinal purposes is one teaspoon of ashitaba powder taken in the morning and evening in a small amount of juice, followed by a glass of water. Ashitaba has a sweet herb like taste and has no known contraindications.

Chinese goldthread has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 2500 years in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. The early Taoist fables seem to embody a idea similar to one found in the well-known Rapunzel tale of the Brothers Grimm: “… let down your golden braids,” in order to ascend. Rapunzel’s story has striking similarities to the tale of Rudabeh, which was a Persian fairytale later to assume the name of rapunzel, after the name of a plant. To make a long story short, this plant was longed for “to the point of death,” by the wife of a man who is eventually caught stealing it from the garden of an enchantress. In a plea bargain, a Faustian deal is made, and when the wife bears a daughter, owing in part to the enhanced fertility the rapunzel confers, Rudabeh is surrendered at birth to the magician. Rapunzel is the name for rampion, a garden vegetable possessing roots that are typically boiled tender like parsnips. They are thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits, which could be associated with a calmer pregnancy and more successful birth. huang lian

Huang-lian (coptis chinensis): Berberine is a major active component of the herb Huang-lian which has been used in China to treat what is now identified as type 2 diabetes for thousands of years.

Kombucha is a raw, fermented, probiotic, and naturally carbonated tea, most likely an ancient Chinese elixir, with some records extending back to the Qin Dynasty in 220 BC. There is evidence that Genghis Khan and his men drank kombucha in the 12th century for vitality and strength. From Asia it travelled the Silk Road to Japan, Korea and finally Russia, where definite record keeping dates to the late 19th century.

Miso is a fermented food made from soy beans and whole grain that originated in China over 2500 years ago. It migrated to Japan with Buddhism, and over the past 1500 years has became a staple source of protein and flavour enhancement to be found throughout the culture’s cuisine. It is also proven to prevent damage from radiation exposure and heavy metal toxicity.

Propolis has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to 350BC, the time of Aristotle. Greeks used propolis for abscesses; Assyrians used it for healing wounds and tumours and Egyptians used it for mummification.

Rhubarb (rheum rhabarbarum): dates back to 2700 BC where it was grown and used in China for medicinal purposes.

VIKINGS 700 AD

Rye (secale cereale): is a hardy cereal grain said to have originated in Eastern Turkey. In Viking times harvesting and storing grain in their inhospitable climate was difficult so rye would be threshed and made into flat cakes with a hole in the middle allowing their unleavened bread to be hung up for storage.

INCAS, MAYANS AND AMAZONIANS 1200 AD

The rich biodiversity of the South American tropical rain forests provided a abundant source of highly nutritious foods and powerful medicines which man spent centuries learning about. The deep impenetrable forests also successfully cut off the people that settled there from the industrialised developing nations of the rest of the world. It is said that scientists have still only studied a tiny percentage of the life forms that reside there. Sadly, the logging for rare wood such as mahogany and the farming of coca plants by the drug cartels is destroying thousands of acres of rain forest every year. If this continues the entire rain forest of the Amazon will be lost in just 200 years.

Many creatures and nutrient dense plants, that may have provided amazingly powerful medicines for diseases across the world, have already been lost forever. There can be as many as 250 different species that live on and around the rare mahogany tree. When it is felled, largely for the USA and UK greedy markets for expensive furniture and coffins, all these creatures are suddenly homeless and many will die out completely. The magnificent mahogany trees can live for 400 years and are now a seriously endangered species. It would be wise of the west to stop purchasing anything made from mahogany and all the other rare trees of the rain forest.

Cocaine use also adds to the loss of rain forests as many acres need to be cleared in deep areas hidden from the law in order to grow the illegal coca plants. It is tragic that the taste for mahogany wood and self indulgent practises of people all over the world are causing such great losses to the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon.

Amaranth (amaranthus): has a long and interesting history in Mexico where it's been grown and harvested for thousands of years by the Mayan and Incan civilizations. The Aztecs believed Amaranth had magical properties that would give them amazing strength. Because of this, it became one of the main foods of the Aztec royalty. Amaranth also held an intricate role in some of their ancient rituals. In one ritual, the seeds were crushed open, then honey and human blood were added followed by forming this reddish paste into the shapes of birds and snakes then baking it. With the coming of the Spanish into the Americas, this abominable practice was abolished. Every crop of Amaranth that could be found was burned. Punishment for possession of the grain became so harsh that even having one seed was punished by chopping off the hands. Amaranth quickly became a ‘lost’ seed for many generations. Presently, Amaranth is grown in Mexico, Peru and Nepal as well as in the United States.

Cat's Claw (uña de gato, uncaria tomentosa, samento): The highly effective properties contained in the inner bark of the cat's claw plant have demonstrated, through centuries of usage dating back to the time of the ancient Incas, to have a profound and positive influence on the body's defence system. Studies conducted since the 1970s at research clinics in Peru, Austria, Germany, England, Hungary and Italy validate the traditional usage and indicates that this herb may be beneficial in ameliorating a host of modern day afflictions which have no answers from the orthodox medical arena. It is known to help nutritionally support the body's defence, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems through its antioxidant and build properties.

Abuta (abutta officinalis): The decoction of the stems and roots of this Amazonian plant mixed with wild bee honey is used to treat sterile women. A root decoction is used for post-menstrual haemorrhages, the alcoholic maceration for rheumatism. Macerated leaves, bark and root, mixed with rum, are used by the “Creoles” tribe as an aphrodisiac. Root decoction used as a cardio tonic, anti-anaemic, anti-malarial. The “Sionas” tribe use a leaf decoction for fever. The “Wayapi” use the decoction of the bark and stem as a dental analgesic. Some Ecuadorian “Ketchwas” use the leaf decoction for conjunctivitis and snakebite. Others use the root tea for difficult delivery and nervous or weak children with colic.

It is also considered effective against malaria, fever, hepatic liver ailments, gastric ulcers, diabetes, anaemia, high cholesterol, menstrual cramps and pre- and post-natal pain, a treatment for infertility, dental pain killer, cerebral tonic, rheumatism, typhoid, stomach ulcers and as an aphrodisiac, pain killer, an antiseptic to the bladder, chronic inflammation of the urinary passages and a good diuretic.

EUROPE 1500 AD

 

Plant medicine was the only medicine available until the sixteenth century, when chemicals began to replace herbal cures. Today, we've gone full circle, and modern scientific research tends to confirm what ancient civilisations already knew; food has powerful medicinal properties. See the Medications page. The body can cope perfectly well with natural food and medicines because it takes what it needs and discards the rest. Our wonderful ancestors knew this. Certain natural foods need other natural foods to be consumed at the same time to truly benefit from their properties. They knew that too.

FRANCE 1795 AD

The nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill" mentions first aid for Jack to mend his grazes with vinegar and brown paper. Vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, has amazing anti-bacterial qualities than can cure a number of ailments both internally and externally.

Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up got Jack, and home did trot 
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed and bound his head
With vinegar and brown paper.

PRESENT DAY

Some other ancient practises remain today such as sprinkling black pepper on a meal. Not only does it bring out the taste of the food but it has elements that, in conjunction with others, help these foods nutrients to be absorbed and used by the body.

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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