Monday, August 31, 2009

Centella asiatica research | Gotu kola decreases amyloid beta levels

Recent research on Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) shows that extract of this herb decreases the levels of amyloid protein plaque. Studies on mice at Texas A&M university showed a significant decrease in amyloid beta 1-40 and 1-42 following an 8month treatment with 2.5 mg/kg of Centella asiatic extract. A reduction in fibrillar amyloid plaques was detected and it was also confirmed that Centella asiatic extract functions as an antioxidant in vitro, scavenging free radicals, reducing lipid peroxidation and protecting against DNA damage. Centella asiatic extract can alter amyloid beta pathology in the brains of PSAPP mice and modulate components of the oxidative stress response that has been implicated in the neurodegenerative changes that occur with Alzheimer's disease.

In a separate study conducted at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, India, mice were administered 3-NPA - a neurotoxin that elicits conditions similar to Huntington's disease. Centella asiatica prophylaxis completely attenuated the 3-NPA-induced oxidative stress. 3-NPA also caused significant oxidative stress and protein oxidation in cytosol/mitochondria of other brain regions as well which were predominantly abolished by Centella asiatica prophylaxis. Significant depletion of GSH levels, total thiols and perturbations in antioxidant enzymic defences in striatum and other brain regions discernible among 3-NPA administered mice were also protected with Centella asiatica prophylaxis. Interestingly, Centella asiatica prophylaxis offered varying degree of protection against 3-NPA-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions viz., reduction in the activity of succinic dehydrogenase, ETC enzymes and decreased mitochondrial viability. Centella asiaticaGotu kola capsules

Friday, August 28, 2009

New herb added - Gotu kola is now offering Gotu Kola. Also known as Mandukaparni or Indian Pennywort, Centella asiatica is one of the premier ayurvedic herbs for mental rejuvenation and relaxation.

Apart from its benefits of improving functions of the brain, Gotu kola is also considered an effective remedy for supporting and strengthening varicose veins, for improving blood circulation, blood pressure and for treating various skin disorders.

Gotu kola finds mention in the texts of ancient Indian and Chinese literature.

Find out more on Gotu kola benefits and research

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sugar intake and heart health

The American Heart Association has come out with recommendations on daily sugar intake. According to the AHA women should consume no more than six teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories), while most men should not exceed or nine teaspoons (37.5 grams or 150 calories) of sugar every day. Currently most Americans consume over 22 teaspoons (90 grams or 355 calories) of sugar every day.

Excessive sugar intake not only contributes to obesity but to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Soft drinks and baked goods are key culprits in adding to sugar consumption. Just one can of soda contains 130 calories which exceeds the recommendation for women. In fact there have been many studies which correlate increased consumption of soft drinks with the increase in cases of obesity in the country.

Drastically cutting down on processed sugar consumption and increasing physical activity will show immediate benefits by way of raised energy levels. Herbs such as Gymnema and Bitter Melon are also very beneficial in increasing sugar metabolism. Gymnema in fact even suppresses the desire for sugar and also stimulates the heart.

Bitter Melon or KarelaGymnema or MeshashringiBuy Gymnema

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ashwagandha anticancer antiaging properties

Ashwagandha a.k.a ashvagandha (Withania somnifera) is a herb known for its ability to relax the mind and body and at the same time improve physical strength and mental clarity. Ashwagandha is also a considered a powerful aphrodisiac.

Now new research shows that Ashwagandha also exhibits anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. At the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, Japan researchers found that extracts of Ashwagandha (i-Extract) and withanone (i-Factor) inhibited tumors and protected the normal human fibroblasts against toxicity. It increased the in vitro division potential of normal human cells that appeared to be mediated by decreased accumulation of molecular damage, downregulation of the senescence-specific beta-galactosidase activity and the senescence marker protein, p21(WAF-1), protection against oxidative damage, and induction of proteasomal activity.

Thus the phytochemicals of Ashwagandha (i-Extract and withanone) have both anticancer and antiaging activities and point to the molecular link between aging and cancer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blood circulation problems | Herbal remedy for poor blood circulation

Poor blood circulation generally tends to affect the middle-aged and the elderly. Stresses that we put on our bodies either through lack of exercise or overexercise and poor diet take their toll in the form of circulatory problems.

The heart, lungs and blood vessels play crucial roles in our blood circulation system. Oxygenated blood is carried from the heart via arteries to the different parts of the body while veins carry the deoxygenated blood back to the heart. This blood is then carried to the lungs where the blood is charged with oxygen and then taken back to the heart to begin the cycle again.

When cholesterol or plaque builds up in arteries, the walls thicken and narrow restricting blood flow. A sedentary lifestyle, poor diet choices, obesity, smoking and drinking also cause problems in blood circulation.

Poor blood circulation can lead to angina, stroke, chest pain, varicose veins in the legs, fatigue, cold feet, swollen feet, memory loss, dementia, impotency and can even prove fatal.

Regular exercise, a nutritious diet along with supplements help promote proper blood circulation. Abana a herbal ayurvedic formulation is very useful in maintaining blood circulation, blood pressure and in protecting the heart. Arjuna is a pure herb that is well known in ayurveda as a cardio-protective and helps maintain proper blood circulation

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New species discovered in Himalayas

Many of the herbs and minerals used in Ayurveda are found in the Himalayas - the mountain range that runs along India's northern border. In fact some are found nowhere else in the world. The Himalayas are one of the world's most biodiverse regions and its watersheds have been shown to be biologically richer than the Amazon basin.

In fact 353 new species of plants and animals were discovered in the last decade and it is conjectured that 3000 to 5000 more species can be discovered with systematic studies over the next few years.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Himalayan region has 10,000 plant species, 300 mammals, 977 bird species, 176 reptiles and 269 types of freshwater fish. The Bengal tiger is most prolific in the Himalayas and is the only region that has the greater one-horned rhino.

In the last 10 years, 244 new plants, 16 amphibians, 16 reptiles, 14 fish, two birds and two mammals were discovered.

The Eastern Himalayas are also under threat due to climate change, population, pollution, logging, grazing and wildlife trade with 163 endangered species and 14 in critical danger of extinction.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cholesterol increases Dementia risk

According to the results of a study funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and recently published in the journal "Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders"
factors such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes which increase the risk of heart attacks, also increased the risk of dementia in later life.

High levels of cholesterol in mid-life of 240 mg/dL or higher lead to a 66% increase risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia and even borderline levels of200 mg/dl and 239 mg/dl increased the risk to 52%. The risk increase was the same regardless of ethnicity. Himalaya Abana

In another study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, it was shown that smoking increased the risk of developing dementia by 70%, high blood pressure increased it by 60% and diabetes increased it by 50%.

The above findings re-emphasize the need for adequate exercise and proper diet to reduce not just heart risk factors but dementia as well.

Abana is a herbal ayurvedic formulation from the Himalaya Herbals company that acts as a heart protective by reducing cholesterol levels and maintaining normal blood pressure and blood circulation.
Himalaya Mentat
Mentat is another formulation that helps keep the memory sharp, improves mental functions and helps the elderly in overcoming forgetfulness. This ayurvedic remedy has also been shown beneficial in early dementia.