Monthly Archives: June 2017

Chicory Root

You may know the chicory root as a popular coffee substitute. In fact, it was widely used during the Great Depression and World War II when coffee was in short supply or too expensive. Today, it is used around the world and in the US, particularly in New Orleans, as a natural caffeine-free substitute for coffee. However, it’s much more

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Food as Medicine: Caper (Capparis spinosa, Capparaceae)

The caper (Capparis spinosa, Capparaceae) bush is a small, salt-tolerant shrub with trailing, thorny branches, and thick, fleshy leaves. Caper has a deep root system and trailing vines that grow seven to 10 feet tall.1 The semi-prostrate branches have ovate, petiolate leaves arranged opposite of each other. The flowers are pink or white with three petals and numerous stamens. Caper is

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Hibiscus Water Extract Demonstrates Significant Antioxidant Effects in Patients with Marfan Syndrome

Marfan syndrome (MFS) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder manifesting in persistent oxidative stress and malfunction of connective tissue in the cardiovascular and skeletal systems. Previous studies of hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa, Malvaceae) calyx drinks showed improvements in circulating antioxidant levels in healthy humans. Anthocyanins and organic acids like ascorbic acid are water-soluble antioxidants that are uncharacteristically rich in the hibiscus

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Valerian Root for Insomnia and Anxiety

Valerian is a plant with mild sedative properties that is sold as a sleeping aid and to treat anxiety. But does it work? In the United States (U.S.), valerian dietary supplements are usually sold as sleeping aids. In Europe, people more often take them for restlessness and anxiety. There are actually over 250 valerian species, but Valeriana officinalis is the

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African Plant Extract Offers New Hope for Alzheimer’s

A plant extract used for centuries in traditional medicine in Nigeria could form the basis of a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at The University of Nottingham have found. Their study, published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology, has shown that the extract taken from the leaves, stem, and roots of Carpolobia lutea, could help to protect chemical messengers

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