Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One of the daily activities to balance your mind & body

The Benefits of Massage
A daily self-massage (known as an Abhyanga) with herbalized massage oil is one of the most important tools to activate your inner pharmacy and slow the aging process. Demonstrated to increase circulation, support immune function, and improve muscle tone, a daily self Abhyanga is recommended to achieve perfect health and balance.
How to perform a self-Abhyanga
  1. Start by pouring a small amount of oil into the palms of your hands.
  2. Using your fingertips, vigorously massage your head and scalp.
  3. Using an open hand to create friction, massage both the front and back of the neck.
  4. When massaging the arms and legs, use a back-and-forth motion over your long bones and a circular motion over your joints. Be sure to massage your fingers and toes.
  5. When massaging your chest and stomach, use a gentle circular motion.
  6. After massaging your legs, spend extra time on your feet. Using the open part of your hand, massage vigorously back and forth over the soles of the feet.
  7. Wash with warm, not hot water using Adara Hair & Body Wash.
This Article was excerpted from The Chopra Center for Wellness website: The products recommended here are available for purchase at The Chopra Center Store 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ayurvedic Wisdom for Fall /Autumn

With the coming of September, thoughts turn to the changing seasons and Fall. To keep our bodies healthy I wanted to bring this Ayurvedic wisdon to you!

Ayurveda Seasonal Information: Fall

Fall is cool, light, dry, and windy, just like Vata dosha. Vata types must, therefore, take extra care in keeping balanced this time of year. As the weather becomes colder in late Fall, it’s beneficial for all types to favor warmer food and drinks. Plenty of rest and relaxation are also advisable, since Fall is an active time in which all of nature prepares for the upcoming Winter.

General Guidelines for Fall:

Favor warm food and drinks. Include more heavy and oily foods in your diet.
Include warm oil massage in your morning routine.
Cover your head on windy days.
Avoid sleeping in cold drafts.
Avoid fasting.
Keep well-hydrated.

Fall Recipe: Vata Tea

1 TEASPOON fennel seeds
1 TEASPOON cumin seeds
1/2 TEASPOON coriander seeds
1/2 TEASPOON fresh grated ginger
SQUEEZE lemon juice

(TO TASTE) raw organic sugar, such as Sucanat)

Content on this page taken from the award-winning book: Eat-Taste-Heal: An Ayurvedic Guidebook and Cookbook for Modern Living (Five Elements Press 2006). For more info on Ayurveda, please visit

Monday, August 31, 2009

What is Zrii?

Zrii is a powerful, new liquid nutritional drink, rooted in the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Widely considered one the world's most rejuvenating superfoods, Amalaki forms the basis of this delicious, functional beverage.

Zrii synergistically combines Amalaki with six other herbs and fruits, including Haritaki, Tulsi, Turmeric, Ginger, Jujube, and Schizandra. Blended in a base of pomegranate, pear, and grape juice, Zrii is packed full of antioxidants, bio-available Vitamin C, free-radical scavenging Polyphenols, and bioflavanoids and natural enzymes. This unique formulation is designed to promote cellular rejuvenation, immune function and increased vitality.
How does Zrii reach the body's cells for maximum effect?

Zrii utilizes a liquid delivery system to promote optimal absorption and assimilation of its active botanical ingredients. One of the unique aspects of Zrii is the synergistic effect of its botanicals, which derive from ancient Ayurvedic formulations. Rather than just consuming large amounts of Amalaki, Ayurveda recommends combining it with other herbs. These herbs open the channels of the body, increase metabolic activity, and drive the nutritional components of Amalaki deeper into the cells and tissues. The addition of Ginger, Turmeric, and Tulsi, in particular, support this deep, cellular delivery.

As this process takes places, unwanted cellular debris and waste will naturally begin to loosen from the tissues. Ayurveda prizes Haritaki fruit as one of the most efficient botanicals for gently detoxifying unwanted byproducts from the colon and bodily tissues. Along with Amalaki, the prized Chinese fruits of Schizandra and Jujube also act as general tonics for the blood and brain, creating an overall balancing effect for the mind and body.

How was Zrii formulated?

There was tremendous discernment in the formulation of Zrii by a team of MDs, nutritional PhDs and Ayurvedic scholars. The process spanned over nine months and over 70 rounds of fine-tuning the formulation. As successful physicians, researchers and authors in the integrative medical field, the formulators aimed to create a wholly unique product based upon the Amalaki fruit. The team rooted the formulation in the 5,000 year-old tradition of Ayurveda, while combining these ancient principles with modern nutritional and biochemical science.

They began by looking at the classical Ayurvedic formulations using the Amalaki fruit— of which there are literally hundreds. Eventually, the potent triad of Amalaki, turmeric and Tulsi (a formulation traditionally known as Nisha Amalaki Yoga) became the foundation of Zrii. The formulators felt confident in choosing these botanicals due to both their prized nutritional properties in Ayurveda, as well as the hundreds of modern scientific studies conducted on these three botanicals throughout the world. Eventually, the team chose the equally impressive synergistic botanicals of Ginger, Haritaki, Schizandra and jujube to round out the formulation.

In order to successfully integrate these botanicals into a liquid delivery system, the formulators had to go back to the basics of Ayurvedic nutrition/formulation, and examine:

rasa - balance of the six tastes present in the product

virya - heating/cooling and acid/alkaline forming properties of the combination

vipaka - post digestive effect on the tissues

gunas - individual qualities if the botanicals

prabhav - unique actions of the botanicals

dhatus - impact on the seven tissues (from gross to subtle)

agni - impact on the digestive and metabolic fires

doshas - how it balances the three constitutional body-mind types: vata, pitta and kapha

The team then had to conduct modern nutritional research (such as anti-oxidant potency and human studies using digestive markers) to ensure that the combination was both potent and safe for daily consumption.

(This material taken from website)

Monday, August 17, 2009


All seven types of haritaki fruit have their own unique look, flavor and benefits as well as anthraquinone-like (laxative) chemicals, tannins and astringents. Haritaki fruit is part of triphala, the three-fruit formula in Ayurveda. It is generally administered in triphala form rather than by itself to draw upon its tonic effects.
Haritaki has been shown to nourish tissues, particularly the heart, liver, and kidney. It is used to treat diseases of the eye (both internally and externally). In addition, Haritaki, by blocking the ability to utilize sugars, may help to eliminate bacteria and have cholesterol-lowering qualities.

Haritaki is a common herbaceous plant, which is very extensively used in the preparation of many ayurvedic medicines. Ayurvedic treatment is the traditional Indian system of treatment followed by the ancient scholars of medicine for many thousands of years. This type of medicinal treatment involves the practice of holistic methods of treatment that involves maintaining and promoting health through diet and regulated life style.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Meet Deepak Chopra

Who is Deepak Chopra? Well, that is an easy one!

Here is how a recent article described him.
"A global pioneer in the industry of mind-body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D., focuses on the integration of western medicine and natural healing traditions. He opened The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California in 1996 and has written over 50 books on the subject of his “Perfect Health” program. Working in tandem with other medical professionals, Dr. Chopra’s work is changing the way the world views physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellness."

I have found the best way to describe him is his extemely rational approach to the human body, where he incorporates Western & Eastern medical traditions, blending them cooperatively. His approach has been well received from all camps world wide.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What is Ayurveda?

In discovering the different adaptogens, one comes across several different types of medical science. One of the most often referred to is Ayurveda. I wanted to take a minute to explain what Ayurveda is according to Wikipedia:

Ayurveda (Devanāgarī: आयुर्वेद, the 'science of life') is a system of traditional medicine native to India,[1] and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine.[2] In Sanskrit, the word Ayurveda[3] comprises the words āyus, meaning 'life' and veda,Vid meaning knowledge and Veda meaning 'related to knowledge' or'science'.[1] Evolving throughout its history, Ayurveda remains an influential system of medicine in South Asia.[4] The earliest literature of Ayurveda appeared during the Vedic period in India.[2] The Sushruta Samhita and the Charaka Samhita were influential works on traditional medicine during this era.[2] Ayurvedic practitioners also claim to have identified a number of medicinal preparations and surgical procedures for curing various ailments and diseases.[5]

As per Indian heritage and science "Ayurveda" is a Upa Veda or anexture of four main vedas(Knowledge Systems). the famous treaties of Ayurveda, "Charaka Samhita" by sage "Charakan", details the prevention and treatment of deseas and "Sushruta Samhita" of Sage "Sushruta" deals Ayurvedic Surgical proceedures. In Ayurvedic system, Prevention of all types of deseas have prominent place than treatment, including restructring of life style to align with the course of nature and four seasons, which will guarantee complete wellness.

Ayurveda is considered to be a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the western world, where several of its methods—such as herbs, massage, and Yoga as exercise or alternative medicine—are applied on their own as a form of CAM treatment.[6] However, such alternative therapy approaches are not unique to Ayurveda because they are also available under the system of Unani Medicine, Greek Medicine or the Islamic Medicine.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

He Shou Wu ( Polygonum multiflorum )

He Shou Wu, also known by the common names: Fo-ti, seikasku (Japanese), hasuo (Korean) fleeceflower, ha thu o (Vietnamese), has been used throughout the centuries. One of the most known books that give detailed descriptions of its uses was written in 1593! Its root is used widely throughout Asia. It is used for many of its adaptogenic qualities, but one stands out in particular - erectile dysfunction (for males) and lack of libido (for females).

Modern research has revealed reasons that it provides the benefits that He Shou Wu has been traditionally used and additional benefits as well. He Shou Wu has neuroprotective effects - this indicates a potential benefit for people with issues such as Alzheimer's disease. It also seems to help prevent the dopaminergic degeneration caused by toxic pesticide exposure plus improved recall and mental acuity.

We know that regular use of he shou wu stimulates liver and gall bladder function by increasing bile flow, enhances intestinal function and lowers unhealthy cholesterol levels.

He Shou Wu is often used (and mostly known) men with erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, low sperm count and poor sperm mobility. It works very well when combined with Ashwagandha, so yang and morinda root to enhance the effects.

Unprocessed he shou wu (sheng he shou wu) is a strong laxative. It is used internally and topically to clear sores, boils, lymph-adenomas. It is also taken with Artemisia annua to treat people with malaria.

PROPERTIES: Antioxidant, astringent, cholagogue, cholesterol lowering, hepatoprotective, laxative and tumor-inhibiting properties, as well as lecithin and antioxidant polyphenols.
CONSTITUENTS: He shou wu contains anthraquinones, which give it laxative and tumor-inhibiting properties, as well as lecithin and antioxidant polyphenols.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Amla (Emblica Officinalis)

This amazing fruit has many names some of the common names are Amalaki, Emblic Myrobalans, and Indian Gooseberry. It is native to India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, southern China, and Malaysia. Most commonly cultivated throughout India, below elevations of 3,000 ft.

The benefits of Amla have been used for untold centuries. Its origins go back as far in time as Hindu mythology. In modern Hindu practice, the tree that bears the fruit is considered to be sacred to both Vishnu and Shiva. Amla is one of the most commonly used rasayanas. A rasayana is a rejuvenative remedy. It restores appetite, relieves nausea, stops vomiting, helps with bleeding issues and helps with liver dysfunction. Its name in Sanskrit means "the sustainer" and it traditionally is used to provide nourishment to all the tissues. Research has shown that amla has adaptogenic qualities, which in many ways is the modern equivalent of the ancient Indian concept of rasayana. This modern research has confirmed many of amla's traditional uses.

Amla fruit is rich in vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoids and polyshenols. These compounds are what would make this fruit an anti-inflammatory and help stabilize connective tissue, blood vessels, bones, hair & eyes.

Properties: Mild adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, aperient (mild laxative), diuretic, and lowers cholesterol.
Constituents: Amla is rich in antioxidant polyphenols, including ellagic acid, phyllemlin, quercetin and emblicol. It also contains significant amounts of vitamin C as well as condensed tannins and flavonoids.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Manchurian Thorn Tree (Aralia Mandchurica)

Aralia Mandshurica, also called Manchurian Thorn Tree, is Thought to Increase Energy

It is an adaptogen, found and used in Russia for many years. The extract of Aralia was approved for official therapeutic use in the Soviet Union in 1957. This plant is said to benefit the mind and body by helping with stress, anxiety and fatigue. The Aralia Mandshurica is also purported to stimulate the immune system and stamina. Athletic performance is also thought to improve . Like another adaptogen Eleutherococcus, Aralia Mandshurica is believed to stimulate the central nervous system, more effectively than other adaptogens. Most of this stimulation comes from the liquid extract of Aralia Mandshurica. Because it affects the central nervous system and is stimulating, this plant helps to increase energy, work capacity and memory.

Some think that Aralia Mandshurica helps patients when recovering from serious illnesses, prevents lipid metabolism disorders, decreases high cholesterol and increases the production of phospholipids.

Adaptogens are said to help balance a person’s body and mind. Although Aralia Mandshurica is an adaptogen that works well to stimulate the central nervous system, other adaptogens can also help with your metabolism, lungs, kidneys, memory as wel as a whole host of other things. In fact, many believe it to have numerous benefits, including alleviating ulcers, jaundice, and even coughs and colds.

This herb works in synergy with other plant ingredients to stimulate the central nervous system, which helps improve immune system function and increase stamina. The Aralia species contain some ginseng-like triterpenoid saponins (Aralosides A, B, and C), which contribute to Aralia’s ability to increase athletic performance.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Sleep your way to better health.

Schzandra is the perfect adaptogen to rev up your sleep health regimen. It is known to help support deep, refreshing sleep.

Imagine this: Over the course of a lifetime, by the time we have reached 70 years of age, each of us will have spent more than 20 years asleep. Schizandra might be just what you've been looking for, if you would like to improve the quality of your sleep,

Schizandra "quiets the spirit and calms the heart."

Schizandra has been used for more than 2,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an adaptogen to restore vitality and energy. In TCM, Schizandra is thought to "quiet the spirit and calm the heart," making it an excellent herb to relieve stress and the restless sleep that usually comes with it. Since Schizandra helps support healthy sleep patterns, it also helps support endurance and work performance. It is often recommended for people who need high levels of energy, such as athletes. (1)

What makes Schizandra special?

Scientists attribute the herb's unique abilities to lignans and phytoesterols. Lignans are phytoestrogens, compounds found in the cell walls of plants. Lignans appear to protect the liver by activating the enzymes in liver cells that produce glutathione, an important antioxidant substance. In addition, lignans interfere with a compound called platelet-activating factor. (2-8)Phytosterols are plant-based, cholesterol-like compounds that support healthy blood lipids.

Studies have shown that Schizandra is effective for:

•Supporting mental clarity, concentration, and coordination

•Nourishing the lungs, kidneys, and liver (9)

•Protecting the liver from toxins (2-8)

•Providing antioxidant protection to the mitochondria, the powerhouse within every cell in the body (10)

•Supporting a healthy immune system (11)

How safe is Schizandra?

Schizandra is very safe for long-term use. However, it should not be used during pregnancy or nursing, or in conjunction with drugs that cause drowsiness. Consult with your health care professional before using Schizandra if you have seizure disorders, high blood pressure, or diabetes.

Overall supportive herb

If you want to reduce mind chatter, ward off stress, and sleep more soundly…and if you want to be more productive at work and enjoy your daytime activities, Schizandra is an excellent adaptogen to add to your health regimen.


1.Liu GT. Pharmacological actions and clinical uses of Fructus schizandrae. In: Zhou J, Liu GT, Chen J, editors. Recent advances in Chinese herbal drugs-actions and uses. Beijing: Sci Press; 1991. p 100-11

2.Tang MH, Chiu PY, Ko KM. Hepatoprotective action of schisandrin B against carbon tetrachloride toxicity was mediated by both enhancement of mitochondrial glutathione status and induction of heat shock proteins in mice. Biofactors. 2003;19(1-2):33-42.

3.Chiu PY, Tang MH, Mak DH, Poon MK, Ko KM. Hepatoprotective mechanism of schisandrin B: role of mitochondrial glutathione antioxidant status and heat shock proteins. Free Radic Biol Med. 2003 Aug 15;35(4):368-80.

4.Chiu PY, Mak DH, Poon MK, Ko KM. In vivo antioxidant action of a lignan-enriched extract of Schisandra fruit and an anthraquinone-containing extract of Polygonum root in comparison with schisandrin B and emodin. Planta Med. 2002 Nov;68(11):951-6.

5.Pan SY, Han YF, Carlier PR, Pang YP, Mak DH, Lam BY, Ko KM. Schisandrin B protects against tacrine- and bis(7)-tacrine-induced hepatotoxicity and enhances cognitive function in mice. Planta Med. 2002 Mar;68(3):217-20.

6.Ip SP, Yiu HY, Ko KM. . Schisandrin B protects against menadione-induced hepatotoxicity by enhancing DT-diaphorase activity. Mol Cell Biochem. 2000 May;208(1-2):151-5.

7.Ip SP, Yiu HY, Ko KM. Differential effect of schisandrin B and dimethyl diphenyl bicarboxylate (DDB) on hepatic mitochondrial glutathione redox status in carbon tetrachloride intoxicated mice. Mol Cell Biochem. 2000 Feb;205(1-2):111-4.

8.Ip SP, Poon MKT, Wu SS, et al. Effect of schisandrin B on hepatic glutathione antioxidant system in mice: Protection against carbon tetrachloride toxicity. Planta Med 1995;61:398–401

9.Panossian A, Wikman G Pharmacology of Schisandra chinensis Bail.: an overview of Russian research and uses in medicine. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Jul 23;118(2):183-212. Epub 2008 Apr 24.\

10.Xue JY, Liu GT, Wei HL, Pan Y. Antioxidant activity of two dibenzocyclooctene lignans on the aged and ischemic brain in rats. Free Radic Biol Med. 1992;12(2):127-35

11.Lomaestro B, Malone M. Glutathione in health and disease: Pharmacotherapeutic Issues. Ann Pharmacother 29: 1263-73,1995

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The herbal heart defender for living a heart-healthy life.

Want to support your cardiovascular and overall health? Jiaogulan is the perfect adaptogen herb to help you. China's 'Immortality Herb' Jiaogulan is best known for its use in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a potent adaptogen that supports healthy blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and healthy immunity. Until recently, it was known only in regions of southern China, where it is described as "the immortality herb" because people in the Guizhou province attribute their longevity to drinking Jiaogulan tea.

The earliest information on Jiaogulan appeared in the book Materia Medica for Famine (1406 A.D), at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty. Jiaogulan was recently re-discovered by a Japanese researcher who was in search of a sugar substitute. He studied Jiaogulan—a weed known for its sweetness—and discovered that it contains benefits similar to Ginseng. His discovery led to a body of scientific research on Jiaogulan, which has revealed that the herb is a potent adaptogen and antioxidant with numerous health benefits.

How does Jiaogulan support a healthy heart?

Studies have shown that Jiaogulan is effective for:

•Supporting healthy blood lipid levels (1)

•Supporting healthy blood pressure (2)

•Enhancing the release of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to relax coronary blood vessels (3)

•Providing adaptogenic (4,5) and antioxidant support (6,7)

•Increasing stamina and endurance

What's so special about Jiaogulan?

Jiaogulan contains a large amount of active ingredients—saponins—known as gypenosides. The structure of the gypenosides is similar to the ginsenosides found in Ginseng. But there are three to four times as many saponins in Jiaogulan as there are in Ginseng. Scientists believe that this greater number of gypenosides may account for Jiaogulan's ability to positively affect more body systems than Ginseng, including the cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, immune, and neurological systems. (8,9)

How safe is Jiaogulan?

No drug contraindications are known at this time.

Overall supportive herb

A healthy heart is key to overall health and well-being. Live a healthy lifestyle, reduce your stress, and consider adding Jiaogulan to your daily health regimen. After all, it’s called the herb of immortality…how can you refuse?


1.Yu, C. Therapeutic effect of tablet gypenosides on 32 patients with hyperlipaemia. Hu Bei Zhong Yi Za Zhi. Chinese. 1993; 15(3):21.

2.Zhou, Ying-Na, et al. Effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic on the pulmonary function in exercise workload. Journal of Guiyang Medical College 1993; 18(4):261.

3.Tanner, M.A., et al. The direct release of nitric oxide by gypenosides derived from the herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum. Vanderbilt University Medical Ctr., Nashville, Tenn. Nitric Oxide 1999 Oct; 3(5):359-65.

4.Zhang, Yi-Qun, et al. "Immediate effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic on the echocardiography of healthy persons of various ages." Journal of Guiyang Medical College. 1993; 18(4):261.

5.Zhou, Ying-Na, et al. "Influence of kiwifruit/jiaogulan recipe on the lung function and exercise endurance under exercise workload." Journal of Guiyang Medical College. 1993; 18(4):256.

6.Li, Lin, et al. "Protective Effect of Gypenosides Against Oxidative Stress in Phagocytes, Vascular Endothelial Cells and Liver Microsomes." Loma Linda University, Calif. Cancer Biotherapy. 1993; 8(3):263-272.

7.Liu, Jialiu, et al. "Effects of a gypenosides-containing tonic on the serum SOD activity and MDA content in middle-aged and aged persons." Journal of Guiyang Medical College 1994; 19(1):17.

8.Song, W.M., et al. "Comparison of the adaptogenic effects of jiaogulan and ginseng." Zhong Cao Yao. Chinese. 1992; 23(3):136.

9.Wei, Y., et al. "The effect of gypenosides to raise White Blood Count." Zhong Cao Yao. Chinese. 1993; 24, 7, 382.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Adaptogens (Part 2)

Adaptogens (Part 2)

As mentioned in an earlier post, Adaptogens (Part 1),
These plants have been used for centuries. Serious scientific studies didn’t begin until the 1940’s when Soviet scientists began researching the health benefits of certain plants. They were specifically exploring how plants could prevent and reduce illness, fight effects of stress, achieve and maintain homeostasis, improve physical performance and strengthen the body. As stated by David Winston and Steven Maimes in their excellent book, Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief:
“In 1947, Dr. Nikolai Lazarev defined an adaptogen as an agent that allows the body to counter adverse physical, chemical, or biological stressors by raising nonspecific resistance toward such stress, thus allowing the organism to “adapt” to the stressful circumstances.”
Since then scientists have gone on to classify 30 plants out of the over 750,000 plants identified on earth as adaptogens. To be classified as an adaptogen a plant must meet 3 strict criteria:1. Adaptogens are non toxic2. Adaptogens produce a non-specific defense response to stress3. Adaptogens have a normalizing influence on the bodyVery simply put, adaptogens are safe. There are little or no side effects to anyone that consumes them. They help the cells to “adapt” or maintain balance while under “attack” from stressors. They enhance the body’s natural homeostatic balancing capacity or better said; get us back into balance – as we were meant to be.Now that we are familiar with what an adaptogen is, what plants are categorized as Adaptogens? Well, here is a list of what are considered to be an adaptogen. Research is ongoing and not everyone agrees on a few so here is the list of the common names to date of what are most widely agreed upon as an Adaptogen:· American Ginseng· Alma· Ashwagandha· Asian Ginseng· Astragalus· Chaga Mushroom· Cordyceps· Dang shen· Eleuthero· Guduchi· He shou wu· Holy Basil· Jiaogulan· Licorice· Lycium· Macca· Maral Root· Prince Seng· Reishi· Rhaponticum· Rhodiola· Schisandra· Shatavari· Shilajit· Suma· Water Hyssop



Supports Sexual Health and Improves Overall Vitality, while promoting a calm state of mind.

India's best-kept secret Ashwaganda is India's most potent sex-enhancing herb used by men and women to boost sexual desire. This rejuvenative herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to support a healthy reproductive and hormonal system.

Now according to scientific studies, we know that Ashwaganda is an adaptogen that also improves overall vitality while promoting a calm state of mind.

What makes Ashwaganda special? Also called winter cherry, Ashwaganda holds a place in Ayurvedic pharmacology similar to Ginseng in Chinese medicine. The herb comes from the roots of a shrub cultivated in India and North America, and contains flavonoids and withanolides, which are believed to account for the multiple medicinal applications of Ashwaganda.(1)

Studies have shown that Ashwaganda delivers:

•Enhanced sexual desire

•Antioxidant and rejuvenating properties

•Nourishment to muscle and bone tissues

•Support for the adrenal glands and the reproductive system

•A positive influence on the central nervous, endocrine, and cardiopulmonary systems (2)

•Stimulation to immune system cells, such as lymphocytes (3)

How safe is Ashwaganda?
No drug contraindications are known at this time. Overall supportive herbIf you want to calm your mind, alleviate stress, and support your immune, hormonal and reproductive systems while enjoying a spicier sex life, Ashwaganda is an excellent adaptogen to add to your health regimen.

1.Wagner H, Nörr H, Winterhoff H. Plant adaptogens. Phytomed 1994;1:63–76.

2.Mishra LC, Singh BB, Dagenais S. Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Withania somnifera (ashwagandha): a review. Altern Med Rev. 2000 Aug;5(4):334-46.

3. Wagner H, Nörr H, Winterhoff H. Plant adaptogens. Phytomed 1994;1:63–76

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola

In Ayurvedic Medicine, Gotu Kola is considered the most important rejuvenative herb. The Name for Gotu Kola in Sanskrit Is Brahmi, which Means Wisdom or Consciousness.
There is no better time than NOW to support your memory and brain health with a scientifically proven, time-tested herb. Gotu kola has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to support memory, clarity of thinking, and the nervous system, as well as to promote a state of well-being. Now scientific research is demonstrating how this superior herb works. Your brain is what makes everything in your life possible. It controls your consciousness—and whether you are asleep or awake—your thought processes, reasoning, judgment, memory, and emotions. We certainly owe it to ourselves to protect and nourish our brain with a proven and effective herb such as Gotu kola.
What Makes Gotu Kola Special?Gotu kola is a perennial plant native to India, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the South Pacific. Gotu kola's small, fan-shaped green leaves are used for medicinal purposes. In Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu kola is considered the most important rejuvenative herb. It is believed to increase intelligence, fortify the immune system, and strengthen the adrenal glands. It is an excellent nerve and restorative tonic, and also helps maintain healthy skin. Scientists attribute Gotu kola's unique healing abilities to these pharmacologically active constituents:

Triterpenoids produce remarkable wound-healing activity (1) and an anti-stress action. (2)

Asiatocosides support collagen production, enhancing skin repair and strengthening hair, skin, nails, (3, 4-6 )and other connective tissue. (6,7)

Saponin glycosides produce a sedative effect.
"Gotu kola helps balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain," according to Dr. Vasant Lad, a prominent Ayurvedic physician, and co-author of The Yoga of Herbs (Lotus Press, 1986.)Scientific studies have shown that Gotu kola:

Decreases amyloid beta plaque (considered a culprit in Alzheimer's disease) formation in animals (8)

Supports healthy brain aging (9)

Enhances GABA (a neurotransmitter in the brain) activity in the brain (10)

Enhances learning and memory in laboratory animals (11)

Supports healthy mood (12 )

How Safe Is Gotu Kola? Gotu kola is safe and nontoxic in recommended doses. It has not been proven safe for pregnant and nursing women, however. Superb Herb for Brain HealthPioneers in brain research have made significant advances in the field of neuroscience that have shown the potential for preserving and enhancing brain health. Now, thanks to scientific studies about Gotu kola, we know that ancient Ayurvedic medicine has been right all along. Gotu kola is one of the best herbs on the planet to maintain and support your brain health!

Boiteau P, Ratsimamanga AR: Asiaticoside extracted from Centella asiatica, its therapeutic uses in the healing of experimental or refractory wounds, leprosy, skin tuberculosis, and lupus. Therapie 11, 125-149, 1956.

Ramaswamy AS, Periyasamy SM, Basu N. Pharmacological studies on Centella asiatica L. (Brahma manduki) (N.O. Umbelliferae). J Res Indian Med 4, 160-175, 1970.

Kartnig T: Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. Herbs Spices Med Plants 3, 146-73, 1988.

Boiteau P, Ratsimamanga AR. Asiaticoside extracted from Centella asiatica, its therapeutic uses in the healing of experimental or refractory wounds, leprosy, skin tuberculosis, and lupus. Therapie 11, 125-149, 1956.

5. Boiteau P, Nigeon-Dureuil M, and Ratsimamanga AR. Action of asiaticoside on reticuloendothelial tissue. Acad Sci Compt Rend 232, 760-762, 1951.

Monograph: Centella asiatica. Indena S.p.A., Milan, Italy, 1987.

Kartnig T. Clinical applications of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. Herbs Spices Med Plants 3, 146-73, 1988

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Singh RH, Narsimhamurthy K, Singh G Neuronutrient impact of Ayurvedic Rasayana therapy in brain aging. Biogerontology. 2008 Dec;9(6):369-74. Epub 2008 Oct 18

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Rao SB, Chetana M, Uma Devi P. Centella asiatica treatment during postnatal period enhances learning and memory in mice. Physiol Behav. 2005 Nov 15;86(4):449-57. Epub 2005 Oct 6.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus Senticosus)

What is Eleuthero?

Eleuthero, commonly called Siberian ginseng, was discovered in the 1950s by Russian physician, Isreal Brekman, while he was searching for plants to improve human performance. He hit the jackpot with Eleuthero. Brekman distributed the herb to thousands of workers and found that it helps the body adapt to stress, enhances mental acuity and physical endurance, and also improves the way muscles use oxygen. Brekman wrote that Eleuthero "possesses a remarkably wide range of therapeutic activities protecting the body against stress, radiation, and various chemical toxins … increasing general resistance."

Further studies at the Institute of Biologically Active Substances in Vladivostok, Russia, revealed that Eleuthero contains seven compounds call eleutherosides, which bind to hormonal receptors and support:
*stamina and recovery
*increased oxygen intake
*deep and restful sleep
*a healthy immune system
*physical and mental performance
*healthy sexual function, including Libido enhancement and erectile dysfunction (E.D.)
*helping the body synthesize protein
*healthy adrenal glands, increasing resistance to stress

Since it does not have a stimulating effect, it is safely recommended for stressed and non-stressed individuals, alike. In a clinical trial of more than 2,100 healthy people ranging in age from 19 to 72 years, Eleuthero was shown to:
1) increase their capacity for mental and physical work, and athletic performance
2) decrease recovery time from work and injury
3) improve tolerance of environmental stimuli, such as heat, noise, and workload

Excellent support for athletes and students, Eleuthero can help whether you're training for a triathlon or studying for a college entrance exam. Athletes have experienced as much as a 9% improvement in stamina when taking Eleuthero. Russian athletes and cosmonauts who took Eleuthero experienced that it increased their energy, and normalized blood pressure and blood sugar response to sport and performance-related stress. Eleuthero is also believed to support healthy brain function, concentration, memory, and learning, and is a particularly helpful support for students during exams. Eleuthero has an excellent track record as a safe and effective adpatogen.

*Brekham, I.I. Eleutherococcus. Leningrad: Nauka Publishing House. 1968.
*Farnsworth N.R., Kinghorn A.D., Waller D.P. (1985). Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthrococcus senticosus). Current status of an adaptogen. Economic Medicinal Plant Research 1. pp 156-215
*Yaychuk-Arabei I. "Ancient Herb for Modern Lifestyles: Ginseng." Health Naturally, Dec/Jan 1998:7-8.
*Iljutjecok, R.J., Tjaplygina, S.R. "The Effect of a Preparation of Eleutherococcus Senticosus on Memory in Mice." The Dept. of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union, Novosibirsk. 1978.
*Dean, Ward, M.D., John Morgenthaler, Smart Drugs & Nutrients. Smart Publications, Petaluma, CA, 1990. pp. 113-114.

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

An interesting tidbit of historical fact is that Daniel Boone, in Kentucky, actually made his fortune trading ginseng although he is remembered as a fur trader. In the book Woodland Nuggets of Gold it is written that George Washington wrote to Daniel Boone “the war effort needs money, bring ginseng.”
As an antioxidant, American ginseng boosts the immune system, enhances healthy circulation, and strengthens the body’s response to illness or injury. The part of this adaptogen most commonly is the root. The root of American ginseng is light tan and gnarled, sometimes resembling the shape of the human body. Ginseng is used in many different cultures for its ability to support human health and recovery. It was used in the the mountain regions of the southeastern United States as an aphrodisiac and sexual libido and sexual performance enhancer. It was also widely used because of its ability to relieve fatigue and enhance energy.

(The following scientific information is taken from: Adaptogens, herbs for strength, stamina and stress relief by David Winston and Steven Maimes) Accepted properties: Antioxidant, bitter tonic, mild central nervous system stimulant, mild soother of mucous membranes, hypoglycemic agent and immune amphoteric. Constituents: The active constituents include triterpene saponins, known as ginsenosides or panaxosides.