Thursday, August 22, 2013

Papaya Help in Food Digestion

     Papaya (Carica Papaya 'L) also called pawpaw, is one of the most common plants grown in tropical countries. It is a fast-growing branch-less herb-like tree, 3-6 meters in height of the botanical family Caricaceae. The trunk is soft, grayish, and marked with fallen leaf scars. The leaves are deeply lobed, with long stalks, borne on the top of the tree. The male flowers are in long-stalked clusters, but the female flowers are stalkless or sessile. The fruit is obovoid, yellow-orange when ripe, fleshly, juicy, and often contains numerous black seeds although seedless varieties are also available today. The fruit usually weighs 0.5 to 2 kilos, although there are some that reach 6 kilos.

     Papaya vitamin content, is 100 g of pulp provides 103% of the RDA of vitamin C and 18% of vitamin A for an adult. The B vitamins are also present in small amounts except for folates which as much as the mango.

     Where minerals are concerned, the papaya is rich in potasium and significant amount of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and iron.

     Papain, is a proteolytic enzyme (one that digest proteins), similar to the pepsin in gastric juice. Its primary source is the leaves of the papaya tree or its unripe fruit. Papain is greatly reduced in ripe papaya.

      Papaya is very easy to digest, therefore it contributes to the digestion of the foods we take. This article is based from the books "Amazing healing plants, and "New Lifestyle Healthy Food".

Friday, August 16, 2013

Insulin Treatment for Diabetes

     Diabetes is due to lack of or decreased insulin secretion by the pancreas. Lack of insulin secretion is commonly found in type 1 or juvenile diabetes. The adult-onset or the type 2 diabetes is often due to decreased insulin secretion, and/or lack of sensitivity of effectivity of the insulin being secreted by the pancreas. 

     For mild or newly diagnosed diabetes, single medication is recommended. Oral medications "push" the pancreas to secrete more insulin, or by increasing the sensitivity of the body cells to the effects of the insulin in the body.

     However, if the sugar goes beyond the target level as monitored by Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) and HBA1c (glycosylated hemoglobin A1c), there insulin therapy is the best option. Insulin therapy gives time for the pancreas to rest and recover.

     Before, insulin treatment was used only as the last resort, the "when-all-else-fails" form of treatment for diabetes. Today, however, early insulin treatment is recommended by different diabetes associations. aside from being safe, it is cost effective compared with taking several classes of anti-diabetes pills at the same time.

     Starting in an insulin treatment does not mean you will be on it for life. But you need to monitor your sugar levels closer and visit your doctor regularly to receive optimum treatment and care.

     This article is based from the dear doctor section of Health and Home by Linda Lim-Varona, M.D.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tawa-tawa: A Dengue Fever Fighter

Tawa-tawa a local name in the Philippines, english name Snake Weed, scientific name euphorbia hirta. Tawa-tawa is a slender-stemmed, hairy, much branched herb. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate, toothed along the margin. The flowers are very small, in dense round clusters, in the axils of the leaves. Seeds are tiny, reddish, oblong, in capsules, with a wrinkled surface. They are odorless and bitter. It usually grows in waste spaces like lawns, roadsides, pathways. It grows up to 40cm and contains relatively abundant white latex.

     A number of substances have been detected in this plant including, among other things, tannins, gallic acid, quercetin, phenols, phyto-sterols, alcohols, and alkaloids.

     Did you know that Tawa-tawa can help save lives of dengue patients, even those in stage four, because it has antiviral and antibacterial components.

     So, what in tawa-tawa that makes it an agent in the treatment of dengue? Actually, tawa-tawa does not fight dengue virus. Instead, it promotes the development of blood platelets and softens the effect of the dengue virus. Tawa-tawa has natural enzymes within that stabilize the membranes of the blood vessels, preventing internal bleeding.

     According to Arlene May G. Corpus, RND, MBA, in her article "Tawa-tawa is no laughing Matter" in Health and Home, said that to prepare tawa-tawa as medicinal plant to dengue fever patient is through decoction. Here's how:
  1. Take 5-6 full whole tawa-tawa plants.
  2. Cut off the roots and set aside.
  3. Wash the remaining stalks thoroughly.
  4. Slow-boil tawa-tawa stalks in a pot of water for 1 minute.
  5. Cool tawa-tawa water.
  6. Let dengue patient drink 1 to 1.5 glasses of tawa-tawa water every hour. Let this be his water for 24 hours.
     Despite Tawa-tawa has medicinal benefits, it must be taken under a physicians guidance while there are no known interactions with other drugs, it is advisable not be used in large doses as it may cause gastrointestinal irritation, nausea and vomiting, and also pregnant women should not take tawa-tawa.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Medicinal Usage of Pepper

     In the book "Healthy Foods" by George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. stated that the dietary and therapeutic applications of peppers are the following:

     Peppers are beneficial for those suffering with dyspepsia (indigestion) due to scanty digestive juices or digestive atonia because they work as an aperitif, stimulating the flow of gastric juice and reducing inflammation. 

     It is also good for constipation because pepper are a mild laxative, and are anti-flatulent. And because it contain very few carbohydrates or calories, peppers are well tolerated by diabetics and suitable for the diets of the obese.

     Because of the extraordinary richness of antioxidant vitamins (A and C) in the pepper, which protect the cells from the mutagenic action of carcinogens, regular pepper consumption contributes to the prevention of cancer, particularly of the digestive organs.

     And according to JC Kurian, PH.D., D.SC. in his book "Amazing Healing Plants". The consumption of the uncooked fruit of pepper has good nutritive value. The juice of the fruit, together with carrot juice, is used as a skin purifier. The above mentioned juice also helps in stomachaches. For this, take in doses of 1 cupful every 2 hours.

     The fruit is also used for sore throat, scarlet fever, indigestion, yellow fever, diarrhroea, piles and hypertension or high blood pressure.


Properties of Pepper

Pepper (Capsicum annuum Linn)
Pepper (Capsicum annuum Linn) also called sweet pepper, paprika, bell pepper, sweet bell pepper, green pepper. It is a herbaceous plant of the botanical family Solanaceae that grows to height of 60 cm. The leaves are alternate and tapering at both ends. The flowers are solitary, bell-shaped, and yellowish or white in color. The fruit is hollow inside, containing numerous small, flat seeds. It varies in size, depending of the variety. The fruit tend to be red, green or yellow. However, there are specimens that are orange, purple and even black. Being a good stimulant, it is mostly used in salads for taste and decorations.

Peppers contain very little protein and carbohydrates, and virtually no fat. Because of this, it only contain 27kcal/100g. It also contain small amount of B group vitamins, vitamin E, and all dietary minerals. However, two vitamins are particularly noteworthy. The Provitamin A and Vitamin C.

     Provitamin A (beta-carontene), the beta-carotene transform into vitamin A in the body, peppers who provide other carotenoids such as lycopene. This carotenoid is also very abundant in tomatoes. While it does not transform into Vitamin A. It is a potent antioxidant that protect against the cancerous degeneration of the cell.

     Vitamin C in red pepper provide almost four times as much vitamin C as lemon or oranges. One hundred grams of red pepper contain more than triple the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance).

     Not only that, Pepper are also significant for other non-nutritive substances like flavonoids, capsacin and vegetable fiber.

     Flavonoids in Pepper are potent anti-inflamatory anti-oxidants that protect the circulatory system.

     Capsacin the substance makes peppers hot. While sweet pepper contain 0.1%, ten times less than hot pepper. At low doses as found in sweet pepper, capsacin is an aperitif and stimulates digestion, although at higher doses it irritate the skin and mucose.

     Peppers contain approximately 2% vegetable fiber. This, along with capsacin, contributes to their laxative action.

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