content='1;url='http-equiv='refresh'/> Natural Health Remedy: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Garlic, Remedy For Hypertension.

Mr. Ade Tunde has been plagued with hypertension. Several visits to the hospital have not yielded a desirable result, according to him, since all the doctors could do was manage his hypertension. After narrating his experience to his next-door-neighbour, he was given some garlic to chew, with the assurance that they would help cure his disease. Mr. Tunde later said that there was a marked improvement in his health, vowing that his doctors could testify to the fact. Dr Olutayo Aderounmu, a practitioner with Life Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, said despite the health benefits of garlic, it could only lower the risk of hypertension in people and not cure it, saying that hypertension in itself, could not be cured, but managed. Garlic's abilities to curb many health ailments and to naturally lower blood pressure, including pulmonary hypertension, have been documented for over 5,000 years; thus making it one of the most effective herbs to lower blood pressure and increase your overall heart health, Jon Butts wrote in his article on Garlic and Hypertension. He added that “even without first-hand scientific proof, people throughout the ages have been benefiting from these marvelous cloves of the earth.” Folks in some rural parts of Nigeria such as Igangan, Ibarapa, Oyo State; Ibeto, Magama Local Government of Niger State, and some other eastern parts, have over the years, employed the healing particles in garlic to fight infections and, as a preservative. In the ancient Egypt, garlic is used to increase a soldier’s strength in battle. They also have been known to bury their royalty with it. References to garlic’s healing property have also been found in Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, and Indian medical texts. As such, “it should be no surprise that the power of garlic has finally been proven to lower high blood pressure and the propensity for other cardiovascular diseases,” Butts concluded. A study has found that garlic may be useful in treating high blood pressure. In the study conducted by Australian doctors, 50 patients were enrolled in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication. The result of the study, reported in the Scientific Journal Maturitas, suggested that respondents who were given four capsules of garlic extract a day had lower blood pressure than those on placebo. In a latest study conducted by researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, garlic was found to be good for the heart. The head of the research, Karin Ried, while reporting on the result of the study, said, "Garlic supplements have been associated with a blood pressure lowering effect of clinical significance in patients with untreated hypertension. "Our trial, however, is the first to assess the effect, tolerability and acceptability of aged garlic extract as an additional treatment to existing antihypertensive medication in patients with treated, but uncontrolled, hypertension." In the study, the researchers looked at the effects of four capsules a day of a supplement known as aged garlic for 12 weeks. Their findings indicated systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo. Garlic supplements have previously been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure in those with untreated hypertension. A senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, Ms Ellen Mason, while speaking on the effects of garlic on hypertension patients, said the use of garlic for medicinal purposes dates back to thousands of years. According to her, it is essential that scientific research proves that garlic can help conditions such as raised blood pressure. "This study demonstrated a slight blood pressure reduction after using aged garlic supplements but it's not significant enough or in a large enough group of people to currently recommend it instead of medication. "It's a concern that so many people in the United Kingdom have poorly controlled blood pressure, with an increased risk of stroke and heart disease as a consequence. So enjoy garlic as part of your diet but don't stop taking your blood pressure medication." Additionally, a study conducted at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), attributed garlic's ability to lower high blood pressure to hydrogen sulfide content. In a report by Foushee DD, Ruffin J and Banerjee U, Garlic As a Natural Agent for the Treatment of Hypertension: A Preliminary Report, the major objective of the study was to re-evaluate the effects of garlic on blood pressure with respect to its ability to provoke a decrease in blood pressure and to determine the length of time that this decrease would require. They wrote that some hypertensive rats were given three doses of garlic extract of 0.1 ml/kg, 0.25 ml/kg, and 0.5 ml/kg by oral injection. The blood pressures of these ether-anaesthetised rats were measured immediately before the extract was given, and then 0.5, 2, 4, 6, and 24 hours after the extract were given. A blood pressure measurement was also taken at 48 hours after extract administration for the 0.5 ml/ kg dose. Consequently, “there was a marked decrease in the systolic blood pressure of all of the rats after three doses and the decrease occurred within 30 min in each case. “Even though the average decreases for the 0.1 ml/kg and the 0.25 ml/kg doses were calculated as 51,25 mm Hg and 56.25 mm Hg, respectively, these doses were not sufficient to sustain the blood pressure in a normal range for more than one or two hours The 0.5 ml/kg dose, showing an average decrease of 65.7 mm Hg, was sufficient to provoke a decrease to a normal level and to sustain this decrease for up to 24 hours. “The results indicate that garlic is effective as a natural agent for the treatment of hypertension.” Professor Helen Ekaete, a researcher, explained that allicin, a compound found in garlic is beneficial to the arterial health. She said that allicin (a polysulfide) is the primary biological compound found in garlic and is widely accepted as the standard substance responsible for garlic's ability to lower high blood pressure and curb subsequent cardiovascular problems. “In short,” Butts wrote, “allin is the garlic plant's primary immune system; thus keeping it safe from the myriad of soil microbes eager to feast on the tasty bulbs. “Although toxic in large amounts, hydrogen sulphide is naturally produced by the body to serve a very beneficial purpose: to control blood pressure naturally. In a sort of paradoxical way, the same gas that offers the pungent smell of rotting eggs and odiferous sewers is now attributed to reducing hypertension. This is amazing science. “Once released, the hydrogen sulphide targets unique cell-membrane channels to begin smooth muscle relaxation up to 72 per cent in laboratory animals. Such results, therefore, classify hydrogen sulphide as a local signaling gas: e g. a gas acting as a catalyst within a cell.” Professor Ekaete, who warned that even though there were documented cardiovascular benefits of allicin and hydrogen sulphide, said it was important to understand the limits to their benefits, said to enjoy allicin in garlic, it should be crushed, not sliced, among others. Please indicate in your comments for the products and other information.

Bitter Leaf, Pumpkin Leaf Provide Solutions To Heart Attack.

Bitter leaf, ugu: Vegetables that can ward off heart problem Heart attack can lead to heart failure, a term that refers to an obstruction to the blood supply to the heart. Aside the heart pumping blood to the body, it supplies itself with blood. When it does not supply itself with blood or the supply becomes obstructed, heart attack happens. The typical blood flows to it is because it is a living tissue apart from the blood flowing through it. However, it is this obstruction in the blood flow to the heart muscles itself that leads to heart attack and it starts gradually. The blood vessels starts to be choked up, causing what is called arthelocolsosis and over time the problem becomes complicated because the affected blood vessel, the artery, also becomes dead. This is what causes heart attack. But before heart attack comes, gradually from the age of 20, the inner layer of blood vessels starts developing fat deposit in them. The fats are deposited in them for several reasons including hypertension, high cholesterol in the blood, diabetes, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, family history and wrong diets. Given that the heart is a pump it must function properly to meet the need of the body. If there is a problem within the heart or around it preventing it from pumping blood to other parts of the body, heart failure may occur. Meanwhile, many things can affect this “pump” and make it fail. Just as heart attack can lead to heart failure, a common cause of heart failure is hypertension. Hypertension is the commonest cause of heart failure in Nigeria and, to some extent an individual can guess his chances of developing heart disease because it is an interplay of cholesterol, hypertension, and diabetes. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that almost 20 per cent of all strokes and over 50 per cent of all heart attacks can be linked to high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance circulating in the blood. Some of this cholesterol comes from the foods consumed. But the bulk of it is actually made in the body, specifically in the liver, because the body needs it to make some hormones and support the function of body cells. But an excess of it in the bloodstream can lead to trouble. Cholesterol comes in several different forms, but doctors focus mostly on two: LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. LDL is also called “bad cholesterol” and it is termed bad because if its level is too high, the excess can accumulate on the walls of the arteries. This build-up of cholesterol and other substances called plaque, can narrow the artery like a clogged drain, leading to arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This makes the normally flexible tissue more brittle. Plaques can form anywhere. If they form in the carotid artery in the neck, what results is carotid artery disease. When they form in the coronary arteries — which supply the heart muscle with blood — it’s called coronary artery disease. Like any organ, the heart needs a good supply of blood to work. If it doesn’t get that blood, one could get angina, which causes a squeezing pain in the chest, among other symptoms. Notwithstanding, regular consumption of vegetables such as Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf )and Telfairia occidentalis (Ugu) can help to regulate the blood’s cholesterol level. Wondering why? In a study on comparative effects of the leaves of bitter leaf and Ugu incorporated diets on the lipid profile of rats, it was apparent that the two diet preparations lowered the blood (serum) cholesterol levels though the Ugu diet induced a higher effect at lower concentrations. The 2011 study published in the African Journal of Biochemistry Research involved C. E. Ugwu and J. E. Olajide from the Department of Biochemistry, Kogi State University, Anyigba, in collaboration with E. O. Alumana and L. U. S. Ezeanyika from the Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State. It was entitled: “Comparative effects of the leaves of Vernonia amygdalina and Telfairia occidentalis incorporated diets on the lipid profile of rats”. The treatment of hypertension has failed to show definitive effect on the incidence of coronary heart disease, which has aroused interest in lipid metabolism in hypertensive therapy. The results from the study showed that the treatment with bitter leaf and ugwu diets led to a significant increase in serum HDL-C, showing their protective role in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The comparison of their effects showed that ugwu diet preparation stimulated a considerable increase in serum HDL-C compared to bitter leaf. Vernonia amygdalina, also called bitter leaf because of its bitter taste, is a shrub that grows predominantly in Tropical Africa. The leaves have found relevance in traditional folk medicine as a dewormer, a laxative herb and an antimalarial as they are known as quinine substitute. They are also used in the treatment of cough and hypertension. Telfairia occidentalis (fluted pumpkin or Ugwu) leaves and young shoots are frequently eaten as a potherb. The herbal preparation of the plant has been employed in the treatment of sudden attack of convulsion, malaria and anaemia. The seed of fluted pumpkin is widely consumed in Nigeria, especially in the southeastern part of Nigeria where it is used as a condiment in soup. The fermented seeds of fluted pumpkin are used in the production of “Ogiri ugu”, a locally made custard. The seeds of fluted pumpkin could also be used in cookie formulations and marmalade manufacturing. The seed is also a good source of edible oil. They wrote: “the results from this study confirm that V. amygdalina and T. occidentalis have lipid lowering effects which may be beneficial to people at risk of CVD. V. amygdalina and T. occidentalis were found to be effective in lowering the levels of serum cholesterol, triacylglycerols and LDL-C, thereby, showing their hypocholesterolaemic(reducing cholesterol level) property. These leaves could be beneficial to people at high risk of cardiovascular disease.” In carrying out the study, the rats were fed for 28 days on diets specially formulated to contain 5, 15 and 30 per cent by weight respectively of the leaves of each plant while the control group was fed standard rat diet. The serum total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol (TG), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were determined on blood samples collected on the 28th day using standard methods. Certainly, different foods lower cholesterol in various ways but another easy step to ensure a safe cholesterol level is having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Beans, eggplant and okra are especially rich in soluble fibre that mops up cholesterol. Substituting your cooking oil with vegetable oils, such as canola and sunflower, helps to lower LDL. Fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fibre that lowers LDL. In addition, eating fishes two or three times a week can lower LDL by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the blood stream and also protect the heart by helping to prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms. Interestingly, researchers stated in the Pakistan Journal of Nutrition that garden egg was the best when a comparison study was carried on on apple, oat and garden egg. They pointed out that “garden egg significantly reduced the total cholesterol and triglyceride as well as increased the HDL compared to oat and apple in both the mid- term and full-term studies.” Contact us through your comment for more on these products.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Do you suffer every morning from pregnancy related nausea and vomiting? Maybe you easily get nauseated as a result of motion sickness or drug toxicity. Well, scientists have reasons to recommend bitter kola as an antidote to nausea and vomiting. Scientists found that the ethanol extract of the seed of Garcinia kola(bitter kola) and its seed skin had ability to control vomiting and nausea, thus providing for the first time the rationale for its use in African traditional medicine in the management of nausea and vomiting. Garcinia kola, generally known as bitter kola is found in moist forest and grows as medium size tree, up to 12 m high. It is cultivated and distributed throughout west and central Africa. It has been referred to as a ‘wonder plant’ because almost every part of it has been found to be of medicinal importance. It is commonly called “Agbilu” in Igbo land and “Namijin goro” in Hausa and “orogbo” in Yoruba land of Nigeria. It produces a characteristic orange-like pod with seeds covered with a skin or husk. All parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine for various therapeutic purposes. Extracts of the plant have been traditionally used for ailments such as laryngitis, liver diseases and cough. The seeds are used to prevent or relieve colic pains, cure head or chest colds, relieve cough and have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It is also used as an antidote for venomous stings and bites, and in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. It has been reported that the seeds is good for ulcer patients, the ethanol extract from the seeds to ameliorate pain and mild kidney insufficiency induced by the anticancer drug, cisplatin. Discomfort from drug induced emesis can deter a patient from taking further chemotherapeutic agent especially with the potentially curative anti cancer treatment Bitter kola was found helpful in ameliorating the pain and swelling experienced by people with knee osteoarthritis, good for prevention of ulcer and the cold water extract of root bark with salt is used in southern Nigeria against cough and vomiting. In southern Nigeria also, the seed is chewed to prevent nausea and vomiting in pregnancy and motion sickness. For the study, the researchers induced nausea and vomiting in chicks divided into six groups of five chicks each using copper sulphate. The chicks were then given different doses of the extracts of bitter kola to ascertain their effectiveness in controlling nausea and vomiting. These were compared with the effect of a positive control antiemetic drug (Metoclopromide 2mg/kg) and a negative control (normal saline) against copper sulphate induced emesis. Researchers found that the seed extract at 50 and 150 mg/kg produced a percentage inhibition by 71.70 and 75.47 per cent respectively while the seed bark extract at 50 and 150 mg/kg produced a percentage inhibition by 47.16 and 62.27 per cent respectively. Also From the result, the seed extract protected the young chicks against emesis better than the seed skin extract. The 75 per cent inhibition produced by the seed extract especially the maximum dose of 150mg/kg administered was closer to the 81 per cent inhibition produced by metoclopramide. The researchers attributed the effectiveness of bitter kola seeds and seed skin extracts in reducing nausea and vomiting to its saponins, alkaloids or flavonoid contents. The study, which was published in 2010 edition of The Internet Journal of Alternative Medicine, was entitled “Preliminary Study of the Antiemetic Effect of Garcinia Kola Seed Extract in Young Chicks”. It was carried out by C.I Nosiri and Alewu B from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in collaboration with Gambo Abba from the School of Public Health Nursing, Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences and Technology, Makarfi. Vomiting is one of the most commonly experienced natural reflexes. Although we may not vomit often, or on a regular basis, we have all vomited at some point of time. Vomiting in itself is not a health condition, but it is a body response or reaction to certain conditions, or a symptom of some disease or disorder. Ginger is an herb that has been a member of some medical cultures for centuries treat a variety of problems. The University of Maryland Medical Center reported that the benefits of ginger may include arthritis relief, a treatment for the common cold and assistance for those with menstrual cramps. A 2009 study from the National Cancer Institute found that taking a dietary supplement with ginger could help relieve nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy. If nausea and vomiting are persistent, other home remedies that can be used include lemon juice. Mix together 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Dip your finger into the mix and lick it off so that you take it in slowly. In addition, lime juice might be helpful as an immediate nausea/vomiting stopper. Mix a cup water with 10 drops lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Then add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and drink. Peppermint can also help to ease cramping and settle the stomach. It is also reputed for quelling nausea. It is a good choice of herb for nausea accompanied by a headache, or a cold since is a good remedy for both ailments. Contact us through your comment for more on the products.