Nutrition Tips for Vegetarians

Whether you became a vegetarian for moral and ethical reasons or simply for health, there are certain things you need to know about nutrition. Vegetarians are far more susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiencies because of the restrictions they put on their diets and it is very important that you understand how to replace what you have removed from your diet, if you wish to remain healthy.

The most obvious mineral that is often lacking in the vegetarian diet is iron. Anyone who knows anything about nutrition can tell you that taking meat out of your diet, red meat in particular, is the perfect way to end up with anemia. What they might not realize, however, is how many other foods contain iron.

For example, eating a good quantity of broccoli and beans will also provide the vegetarian with the iron that he or she needs in order to avoid problems. Also, eating whole-grain products such as bread and cereals is an excellent way to boost nutrition and iron in your diet. If you make sure that you take in Vitamin C at the same time, your body will actually absorb more iron than without the Vitamin C.

Vitamin B12 is often lacking in a vegetarian diet as well. To maintain good nutrition, you need to include this vital vitamin in your food. It is found naturally in dairy products and eggs, which many vegetarians also remove from their diet. So if you are not lacto-ovo, you should consider having plenty of soy products and possibly a supplement.

Calcium is another common nutrition deficiency found in vegetarians who do not eat dairy products or eggs. Although it is a bit more difficult to find in other sources, you can supplement your intake by adding tofu and green leafy vegetables to your diet. Also, fortified soy milk contains a good quantity of calcium.

Protein is one of the most obvious nutritional concerns of vegetarians. However, it is also one of the easier things to replace in this type of diet. Soy contains protein and there are plenty of imitation meat products on the market. Textured vegetable protein contains a healthy amount of protein as does whole-grain. However, with whole grains, such as brown bread, you need a complementary food like peanut butter or another legume in order to create a complete protein.

Vegetarians really need to watch their nutrition and make sure that they are eating a very balanced diet. If you tend to eat only miso soup with noodles, you are pushing towards a major body breakdown. While vegetarianism is supposedly more healthy for you, if you don’t know how to replace the missing nutrition in your food, you will actually be more unhealthy!

To avoid this, it is important to study up on basic nutrition and cook healthy meals with portions from each nutrition group. This is even more important when we are looking at the diet of vegetarian children who are still growing and need a fully rounded diet.

Balance Point for Men and Balance Point for Women provide the best nutritional balance in a bottle.

Secrets to Post-Partum Weight Loss

Having a baby is a wonderful event, but many a mother wonders if her body will ever return to normal after having changed so drastically during the pregnancy. The truth is, no. Your body will always be slightly different, perhaps the hips are wider, the breasts saggier, it all depends on the person. However, there is no need to continue carrying around baby pounds for years after the birth! A healthy weight loss is possible for every mother with a bit of patience and time and the right techniques.

The body has natural methods of weight loss and one of these is breastfeeding. If you can manage to breastfeed even for the first three months, you will experience far faster weight loss than if you bottle feed right from the start. The baby is taking nutrients that your body has stored up in the form of fat cells, thus depleting the fat cells and returning your body to its original shape . . . more or less. Also, breastfeeding stimulates uterine contractions and the uterus will shrink back to its pre-baby size much faster, which helps with that extra tummy bulge.

Getting a good night’s sleep might seem impossible during those first few nights, but if you can manage to nap with the baby and try to stay well rested, you will be able to lose weight faster as well. This might mean leaving some of the housework for later or asking for help, but it is very important that you have enough sleep so your body can recuperate and get back to its regular metabolism faster.

Eating a healthy diet is important not only for you, but also for the baby. Instead of splurging on fast food and sweets just because you are too tired to cook, look for healthy alternatives. Frozen vegetables only take a few minutes to microwave and a chicken breast or two sprinkled with parmesan cheese doesn’t take much time to cook up, even if you are dead on your feet. This all helps move you in the direction of post-partum weight loss.

Showing off your new infant is the perfect excuse to get some exercise and promote weight loss. Get out with the baby in a front carrier or sling and go for a walk every day. Invent errands if you like, the point is to get out of the house and to enjoy taking a little exercise with your child. The walking will help return your body to its pre-baby state faster as well.

There are also special weight loss exercise classes and yoga classes meant for moms with babies. These involve everything from going for a jog in the park to doing stretches and lifting your baby on your legs. These classes are a great way to get in shape while bonding with your newborn and are usually not very expensive.

A complete weight loss is not going to happen overnight. You do need to take your time to recover, and give your body the nutrients and rest it needs. Then the weight loss will happen almost on its own!

If you continue to have trouble in your weight loss efforts, this product is a very good all-around weight loss supplement:

When taken in combination with a healthy lifestyle, Lipitrex can help to reduce risk factors for disease while supporting your overall weight loss goals.

Get Rid of Acne - Herbal Acne Remedies

One of the more powerful forms of acne remedies is herbal. For people who are averse to taking strong acne drugs this is a very good option. The only problem with herbal remedies is that they are very slow acting and the results can take up to a month to become visible.

Even so, herbal acne home cures are a good side effort to whatever other treatments being used. The reason why herbal acne remedies take time is that these remedies depend on the body's capacity to metabolize fats and carbohydrates. Herbal remedies cure acne by encouraging the elimination of acne through the lymphatic system.

There is a class of herbs called "alternative herbs". These herbs are basically used for the purpose of cleansing body tissues. They are herbs that help the body with the detoxification process. However, they do not remove the toxins from the body through normal elimination pathways like lungs, kidneys, or colon.

While they are not so popular in western culture, herbal acne remedies have a long history of successfully treating acne problems and they are so harmless that you should at least give them one try. Moreover, since most herbal acne remedies work inside the body they do not interfere with conventional topical (applied externally) acne medications.

Alternative herbs are very mild acting so there is no discomfort in their use. However, since they are mild by nature they take a longer time and consistent use to show results. Despite this, the fact remains the results are better and longer lasting. What is more, these herbs usually have a beneficial affect on the rest of the body. They can even be used to treat chronic inflammatory conditions.

Some of the alternative herbs include burdock, cleavers, red clover, figwort, poke root, Echinacea, and blue flag.

Like most herbal remedies these herbal acne cures are also best when a combination of herbs is used. One frequently used and very popular combination is Echinacea, burdock, blue flag, and yellow dock. Just mix and prepare an infusion using hot water. Drink a cup about three times daily. If you wish to improve the flavor then please do no add sugar, instead, use honey.

A second combination is dandelion, sarsaparilla, and burdock. Mix them up when they are dry herbs. Prepare an infusion as before and have 3 cups a day.

A third decent combination for acne is lavender, yarrow, and elder flowers.

Besides these, herbal acne remedies are available for topical use.

Take the oil from a tea tree and apply it to the acne-affected area. This oil can be a bit strong so if you have sensitive skin just dilute it with water. Fresh cabbage juice makes another great topical herbal cure for acne. This is also a better choice for people with sensitive who cannot stand tea tree oil.

Calendula and chamomile can be used to make a very effective anti-inflammatory skin wash. Just prepare an infusion with these two as before but instead of drinking it let it cool. Store it in the fridge. When required, dab it onto affected areas.

Minerals like potassium phosphate and magnesium phosphate are also good for the skin. Zinc aids in the prevention of scarring.

Vitamin C helps in healing acne lesions as well as acting as an anti-oxidant.

These are but a few cases of how herbal acne remedies can be of help.

There do exist some preformulated treatments. My favorite, Actimine provides the nutrients needed by your body to regulate the occurrence of acne, eliminating the potential scarring and embarrassment which often result from chronic breakouts.

Natural Skin Remedies

Organic skin care refers to the use of natural skin care products or therapies. The ingredients of these natural products are grown organically in places that are rich in nutrients, unlike similar products that are purely manufactured using synthetic processes and ingredients.

Organic skin care makes use of several different types of plants, extracts, herbs, flowers, and natural oils.

Organic skin care products are merely an extension of natural skin care therapies.

Organic skin care products are non-toxic and full of essential nutrients for the skin extracted from natural sources. These products nourish the skin and rejuvenate it gently. Some of the problems they can cure are dark circles, wrinkles, and pimples. The overall effect of organic skin care products is younger and healthier looking skin.

There are different organic skin care products available for the face and for other parts of the body. Since the structure of skin is different depending on the part body it is important to choose the appropriate product.

Apart from rejuvenating the skin, organic skin care products also have a soothing and healing effect on the body. Some of the ingredients are quite rich in soothing essences that have a calming effect. Organic skin care products can make you feel fresh in addition to nourishing your skin.

Newer products do not merely rely on plants and flowers. Some of them have already started using the special qualities of herbs and herbal extracts. Aloe vera, lavender, jojoba, olive oil, and rosemary extract are now regular ingredients in many organic skin care products.

Nourishment of the skin takes place through cleansing, moisturizing, and toning. Regular use of organic skin care products will ensure that your skin has no blemishes, pimples, or allergies. These products also keep the skin soft and supple. Healthy skin will produce fewer wrinkles because of its firmness.


Ayurvedic cures are based on ancient formulae that have been written down in the ancient Ayurvedic traditions. The success of an Ayurvedic cure depends on the quality of its ingredients.

Looking to plants for healing powers is an old idea and was embraced by the early physicians in ancient India. Ayurveda is an alternative herbal medicine therapy from India that believes heavy metals are therapeutic. The FDA considers heavy metals very dangerous for consumption and that is why Ayurvedic medicines are sold as supplements rather than medicines in America. Ayurveda is one of the oldest of traditional medicine that first established the routine of proper diagnosis and herbal cures for several diseases.

Natural Herbal Nutrition Supplements

People who opt for natural supplements or a whole food diet usually also wish to include whole food vitamins. Natural herb based supplements are usually lacking in certain vitamins that are only found in the animal kingdom so including a vitamin supplement is a wise decision. There are many companies making these vitamin supplements. One reason to prefer whole good vitamins is that they are not manufactured in a factory; they are as close to the natural form as it is possible for a packed product to be.

When you go shopping for whole food vitamins, pay close attention and make sure you do not purchase products that have preservatives or additives. Some people might also prefer their supplements in liquid form. In case a healthcare professional recommends you take supplements then it is your duty to make certain that the product you purchase is 100% natural and contains no synthetic chemicals. It is common for whole food products to contain a combination of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. You are not likely to find a whole food product that contains just one specific vitamin or mineral.

Eating whole foods and taking natural whole food vitamins is a good idea because they help to maintain healthy cells. Due to environmental pollution there are too many free radicals floating about that can easily cause cellular damage. Whole foods in all shapes can help repair that damage. Another healthy option is to include as many raw diets as you possibly can. Nowadays, thanks to pesticides, preservatives, chemical treatments, and other processes that are inflicted on foodstuff to make them healthier typically kill off a considerable proportion of important vitamins and nutrients. When you finally get these to your kitchen, the raw food is already deficient in nourishment. Cooking only makes matters worse by washing away even more vitamins and minerals. Eating a raw diet ensures that you get the maximum out of your food. A raw diet will make you feel healthier.

The New Trend?

Despite the increase in popularity that alternative medicine and herbal therapy are enjoying since the late 20th century there are opponents to the belief that these alternatives are better than conventional medicines. The growing number of adherents to the alternative therapies and herbal remedies nicely balances this out. These people have made the choice to lead a completely drug free life. According to them, even the legally manufactured and sold products by pharmaceutical companies are unhealthy because of their synthetic chemical base.

This trend is getting more widespread because nowadays there are more and more celebrities and rich public figures who are adopting the drug free lifestyle. These prominent examples prefer the use of alternative remedies for even simple problems like headaches, pains, and cramps. They steadfastly refuse the use of conventional medications and would not casually take an Advil or Aspirin because of their firm belief in the inherent health benefits that come from a drug free lifestyle.

Since herbal cures and remedies have been around for several millennia, it should not be surprising that the list of ailments they can cure and the number of cures they offer is exhaustive. There are wide arrays of symptoms, diseases, mental problems, and some physical deformities (acne), or embarrassing conditions like bad breath that can be effectively cured or greatly improved through the use of herbal remedies.

And, after all, why not? Don't you ever wonder where prescription drugs and medications come from? Everything has to have its roots in nature. There are no alien supplied medications. Every drug available on the market today once used natural substances. This changed when chemical synthesis in a factory led to rapid drug production. This was good because more people could be treated quickly and it made some pharmaceutical companies very rich.
It turned out to be bad because those same pharmaceutical companies now refuse to acknowledge their roots in nature or to try and give some respectability to their parent science. Also, note that the same product when it is in a natural state requires less processing by the body as compared to its manufactured equivalent. Natural products also tend to leave behind fewer toxins in the body and are therefore better than artificial products.

A little bit of skepticism is only natural when it comes to abandoning a lifetime of faith and dependence in pharmaceutical drugs. What should be considered is the ever-increasing number of people who are adopting the herbal and natural way of life and actually benefiting from its outcome. The fact that there are some bad companies out there putting out unreliable natural and herbal products only increases the skepticism.

The marketplace is so bad today that on an average for every good product that are at leas two or three competing and thoroughly useless products. The good guys are being drowned out by the bad guys who only want to make a quick buck in a high selling market.

In such a situation, the responsibility rests with you to properly research the product and the company that is manufacturing it. Look for testimonials and reviews published on third party, neutral web sites. What sort of approvals does the product have? Are the ingredients checked for purity? What is the natural source for ingredients? What are the manufacturing standards that are being followed? How long has the company been in this business? These are all legitimate questions and usually you should be able to call up the company on a provided telephone number to have all your queries answered.

It does not matter what is the reason for your decision to take herbal supplements. It could be that you simply want an improvement in general health or you might be trying to combat some symptom that indicates the deficiency of some essential nutrient missing from your diet. What does matter is that you remember that when you go shopping for the supplement of your choice. An incorrectly chosen herbal supplement will plunge you into the group of people who think that all this "natural" business is so much humbug. A well chosen supplement on the other hand just might make you a convert and have you spreading the "natural" gospel to everyone you meet for the rest of your life.

Are Their Any Side Effects To Natural Cures?

A scientific study has found that, though for the most part herbal supplements seem harmless, some of the more popular products pose a very special risk. This particular supplement interacts with and reduces the effectiveness of the drug saquinavir. The only thing to do for the moment is to avoid taking herbal supplements if you are being treated with saquinavir.

Herbal supplements are meant to boost our immune system, provide more ready energy, and improve general health. Though scientists say that research that is more extensive is required to determine which herbal supplements can have an adverse effect on our body, or, can interact with other medications and reduce their effectiveness, they remain united in their stand that several of the so-called harmless supplements can prove very harmful.
Some of the more popular herbal supplements are chondroitin, ephedra, Echinacea, and glucosamine.

Chondroitin is typically used in the treatment of osteoarthritis. One side effect of chondroitin can be bleeding complications. This is more like when used in combination with a regular prescription drug that causes blood thinning.

Ephedra used to be a big favorite among people looking for a fat loss supplement. Ephedra promotes weight loss, provides energy boosts, and can also be used to treat respiratory tract problems like asthma and bronchitis. Recently, the FDA banned Ephedra because of dangerous side effects like high blood pressure, increased heart rate, false increase in metabolism, all which could lead to a cardiac arrest, heart arrhythmia, stroke, and might even be fatal in some cases.

Echinacea helps in the prevention and treatment of viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. It also helps in curing chronic wounds, ulcers, and arthritis. On the other hand it can cause immunosuppression that will cause the body to lose its self-healing capacity so wounds will not heal on their own. Immunosuppression also reduces the effectiveness of the immune system making infection easier.

Glucosamine is very often administered along with chondroitin. It contains chemicals that mimic the function of insulin and can cause the body to misbehave when this artificial insulin enters the blood stream. It can be especially bad for diabetics.

Other herbals supplements suspected of adverse side effects include gingko biloba, goldenseal, milk thistle, ginseng, kava, and garlic. It is highly advisable to seek the consultation of your doctor before taking any supplements, herbal or otherwise. More than informing you about potential health risks the doctor can give valuable advice about food, nutrition, and supplements.

Advantages of Herbal Diet Supplements

Here is a crash course in the advantages of herbal supplements and medicines:

They are cheap. Did you look at your medical bills for the past year? Now add up all that you paid the pharmacist for prescription and over-the-counter medications. Is the number looking scary yet? So if you have been using conventional medicine for small problems like common cold and stomachaches then perhaps it is time you considered herbal medicine. It might give you a healthier wallet or purse besides a healthy body.

You can do it. Did you know that herbal medicine and supplements can be assembled in your own kitchen? There are thousands of herbal recipes available on the Internet. Just follow them like a recipe to bake a cake and there you are. Your medicine made by your own hand. If you have a garden you could even grown your own herbs.

They are natural. Man has learned to do many things but nature continues to know more. So matter how much noise the pharmaceutical companies make you should at least give some time to listen to nature and her own remedies.

Now for the long version:

Herbal medicines, therapies, and supplements are nothing new. People have used them for centuries but it is only recently that western culture has rediscovered the wonders of herbs. In part, this was because the development of allopathic medicinal techniques in the west combined with the lack of scientific support for non-conventional medicines to give an unsavory (and quite wrong) reputation to herbal medicines and supplements.

Recent discoveries have forced the medical community to reconsider the benefits of herbs. This has mostly come about with increasing exposure of western community to the healing techniques practiced in other cultures and countries that proved to be more effective than, or at the least complimentary to, allopathic treatment.

People were falling sick a long time ago and even they needed something to help ease the pain and maybe do away with the cause altogether. In the absence of modern medical techniques, they turned to the only things they had around them: plants and herbs. Soon they were busy treating everything from stomachaches to depression and insomnia.

Modern medical science is discovering that these simply remedies from the distant past are not without merit and when combined with a healthy lifestyle and present day rules of personal hygiene, they can really be a potent force in preventing illness and promoting general good health and well-being. Since they do not involve some of the more serious side effects of conventional medicine these herbal supplements can be taken for a variety of preventative reasons. For example, some herbal supplements help lower cholesterol, enhance memory performance, improve the quality of mental concentration, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and increase energy and stamina.

There was a time when food had to travel a very short distance. Grains arrived quickly from the farmer, milk and bacon came fresh from the milkman, most people had gardens to grow their own plants. Those were the days without preservatives and fertilizers and, hard as it may be, people were a lot healthier back then. The reason is that massive production and manufacturing pressures inevitably result in poor handling and use of artificial preservatives. Due to this, a lot of the food that we eat today is lacking in important vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients before it even appears on the shelves.

No matter how healthy the label claims the food inside to be, fresh is fresh, and preservatives mean loss of food quality for the sake of profits. A normal diet comprised of the same elements will leave you deficient in several important nutrients if it is not fresh.

This is one reason why herbal dietary supplements have suddenly become important today and are being studied so closely by the medical community. They are safe, they are as close to natural and fresh as they get, and they are the most effective means available to the common people to ensure that their body has all the required types of fuel to keep it going at maximum efficiency day after day even in the face of improper diets.

A note of caution is in order here to warn you that since herbal supplements are not subject to government regulations or general scrutiny it is quite natural that there are some very ill-minded people out there who are putting up substandard products to cash in on the herbal medicine and supplement craze. It is vital to avoid these products, as the total harm they will end up doing is unjustifiable against the limited good they might do.
When you go shopping for herbal products, do a thorough research of the company manufacturing them. You are shopping for your health so make certain that it is safe from malicious products and greedy corporations. Look out for Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each ingredient in the supplement. Also make certain that the manufacturing company follows the GMP manufacturing processes strictly. In the absence of regulations similar to those that apply to pharmaceutical companies, GMP is the best you can hope for from a company manufacturing herbal products.

Nowadays you do not need to go down to the local health store to purchase nutritional health supplements.
Just connect to the Internet and there are countless websites from where you cannot only purchase products online but you can also perform extensive research. Researching products is a good idea.

Do a web-search for reviews of people or visit forums where such products are discussed. People will be more than willing to exchange posts on a personal basis on those boards.

While herbal supplements are sold as individual products it is a good idea to look for comprehensive formulae that involve different herbal extracts along with a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and cofactors. Try to treat your herbal supplement as a balanced that should have a bit of everything while staying on the safe side.

Most importantly, before you make a purchase, take a print out of the details of the product that interests you and discuss it thoroughly with your doctor. Some herbal supplements might be more useful for you and conversely you might be about to spend money on supplements you do not need in the least. Your doctor can help with the practical details.

Herbal supplements are growing popular day by day. People all over the world are always looking for ways to improve their health and more and more of them are turning to natural remedies rather than the mainstream drugs that have been around for most of recent history.

Due to this increasing trend, scientists have finally decided to conduct studies to determine the therapeutic benefits and applications of the different herbs and their extracts that are used in herbal therapies and supplements. A majority of results from these experiments strongly indicate that taking herbal supplements along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and good diet can be greatly beneficial to general health.

This is the reason why many people prefer natural health supplements. The trouble comes from the fact that like other nutritional supplements, herbal supplements are not regulated in the United States. Therefore, the manufacturers do not have to make any assurance of the safety and effectiveness of their products. They are not even required to reveal the ingredients in a health product.
One outcome of this is that a product can claim to contain a herb but a manufacturer can easily put in a chemical equivalent. This might sound criminal but unfortunately in modern corporate culture of "profits first", it is quite a normal occurrence.

The use of dietary supplements saw a dramatic increase in the 1990s but since then the use of such supplements has gone into a decline. The slight correction in this downward trend is attributed to the introduction of herbal supplements into mainstream multivitamin products.

Within the last decade the use of alternative medicines, and herbal products in particular, has increased considerably.

In the year 2001, Americans spent almost $4.2 billion on herbal and botanical remedies. This coincided with extensive media coverage of the benefits that people were enjoying from herbal remedies.

The percentage of people who were using dietary supplements increased from 14.2% (1998) to 18.8% (2002), with the low spot of 12.3% in 2000 and the highest peak at 19.8% in 2001.

The number of people ages 45-64 who were taking supplements increased by 50% between 1998-99 and 2001-02.
Broadly speaking it was discovered that the majority of people taking dietary supplements were older and mostly female (59.9% as compared to 55.5% of males).

There are many reasons for this increase, not the least being that herbal supplements do in fact being many benefits with them. People can take herbs and supplements for any number of reasons. There are herbs like Echinacea that are extremely helpful in case of common cold or flu. If you feel constantly lethargic even when there is no weakness in the body then perhaps Ginseng tea can help to give you a boost of energy instead of a cappuccino. Ginseng can also increase sexual stamina, reduce stress levels, and fight against aging effects like memory loss.

Herbal medicine is varied and within its diversity it covers a broad range of conditions where it can be effectively applied for treatment. Furthermore, these treatments are conducted on several different levels that can range from generic every day problems that need nothing more than symptomatic relief to completely customized prescriptions that are prepared for individual conditions in patients that have undergone extensive analysis and examination at the hands of an experienced medical herbalist.

Some herbals remedies do not require consulting a qualified medical herbalist. Minor problems like mild infections, cold, cough, catarrh, stomach cramps or gas, indigestion, constipation, etc. can be cured with self-help using over the counter herbal remedies. Self-medication using herbal remedies has never been easier thanks to the limitless information that is available today, mostly though the Internet. All it needs is a little investment of time in order to peruse these websites and anyone can make an informed decision without having to visit a medical herbalist.

In the 10th century, Arabs invented a process of distillation for the extraction of essential oils from plants. These oils were inhaled as aromas, drunk as potions, and worn aromatic amulets. This is one of the first uses of aromas as personal scent preference. This is allegedly the root behind the use of perfumes and modern day deodorants. Nowadays, this extraction process is mainly used to get the oil from plants and flowers for use in aromatherapy. This form of therapy that involves nothing more than deep inhalation of different types of herbal oils is being used to treat a wide spectrum of maladies, both physical and emotional. Headaches, herpes, dry skin, acne, arthritis, and asthma are just a few examples of the problems that people have cured using aromatherapy.

Recently, France and England started the process of reintroducing the various ancient healing techniques to the western world. This began in 1990 and aromatherapy gained a wider acceptance in the traditional community since that time.

France remains the world leader in rediscovering modern uses for ancient healing techniques. Several prominent French doctors prescribe aromatic remedies as a matter of routine for most of their patients. A visit to most French pharmacies will reveal that all of them are well stocked in a wide array of essential oils. Insurance companies in France are more than willing to pay for treatments involving aromatherapy and other traditional methods.

Herbs for Diabetes

Since antiquity, herbs have been used to treat diabetes symptoms and root causes. Particularly in Chinese medicine where such common plants as dandelion and licorice root as well as ginseng has been used for centuries. Herbs for diabetes, when used under the care of a naturopathic practitioner can quite possibly cure Type I Diabetes and hold off the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. Other herbs for diabetes are efficacious in treating symptoms rather than root causes.

Generally, any herb that strengthens the pancreas or liver will be helpful for diabetes treatment. Herbs for diabetes include Pterocarpus Marsupium, Gymnema Silvestre, Momordica Charantia, Allium Cepa, Allium Sativum, Trigonella Foenum-Graecum, Vaccinium Myrtuillus, Asian Ginseng, Bilberry, Stevia, Ginkgo Biloba, cinnamon and barberry.

Pterocarpus Marsupium is also known as Dragon’s Blood, Kino, Pitasara and Venga. The gum resin of this Indian tree has the look of dried blood, hence the name. An alcohol extract of the resin and the flavonoid epicatechin extracted from the bark of the tree both have been shown to prevent pancreatic alpha cell damage in rats and to actually regenerate beta cells. These pancreatic cells directly or indirectly control metabolic processes to balance glucose in the blood stream.

Gymnema Silvestre reduces the desire for sweets. It helps in the production of insulin in Diabetes Type 2 and reduces the blood sugar levels for both types 1 and 2. 500 mg per day of Gymnema extract is a substitute for oral medications to lower blood sugar for both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Momordica Charantia or bitter melon is also known as balsam pear. It is widely cultivated in Africa, Asia and South America as a vegetable and as a diabetes treatment. Several compounds in bitter melon are confirmed as effective in treatment of diabetes. Charantin is a hypoglycaemic agent; Momordica contains a polypeptide which is confirmed by clinical trials to reduce blood sugar when injected subcutaneously.

Allium Cepa and Allium Sativum are respectively onion and garlic. Both foods are helpful in diabetic treatment plus have the added benefits of being beneficial in treating cardiovascular problems. Both substances lower blood sugar levels.

Trigonella Foenum-Graecum is also known as Fenugreek. Fenugreek contains an anti-diabetic compound via the defatted portion of the seed.

Vaccinium Myrtuillus is commonly called blueberry. A concoction of the leaves of the blueberry plant injected is only slightly less effective but less toxic than insulin. Its beneficial effects can last several weeks. The active ingredient is myrtillin, used to improve the functioning of the vascular system and effective in preventing diabetic retinopathy—an eye disorder associated with diabetes.

Each of the other herbs for diabetes mentioned above is helpful in treating particular symptoms of the disease. Particular mention should be made of barberry—one of the best liver tonics available and cinnamon which make insulin three times as effective as without the use of cinnamon.

Continuing research into the use of herbs for diabetes may well result in a cure for the disorder. In the meantime these herbs for diabetes have been shown to be helpful in treating the disease or its symptoms.

Herbal Diet Supplements

Herbal supplements are a type of dietary supplement that contain herbs. An herb (also known as a botanical) is a plant or plant part used for its scent, flavor, and therapeutic properties.

Diet supplements derived from herbs usually contain more than one type of herb. The purpose of an herbal diet supplement is to increase the benefits that you get from your normal diet and to ward off the negative effects. Herbal diet supplements are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.

Obviously, dietary supplements are not meant to be used as treatments or cures of any disease or medical condition. They are more effective as preventative agents that help strengthen the body and the immune system to naturally ward off any infections or internal malfunctions. For people who do not manage a balanced diet herbal diet supplements also supply necessary nutrients missing from regular diet. Many herbal dietary supplements can provide substantial aid for different types of medical conditions.

Some herbal diet supplements are:

  • Ephedra. This supplement increases the body resistance towards common cold, helps in the treatment of asthma and upper respiratory problems. For people who work out regularly, ephedra is an important ingredient in most fat loss supplements.

  • Magnesium. Minerals and salts are the biggest deficiencies in an unbalanced diet. Magnesium is essential in preventing kidney, thyroid, and heart disease. There are many herbal diet supplements rich in magnesium.

  • St. John's wort. Also known as hypericum, Klamath weed, and goat weed, this supplement has been used for centuries in the treatment of mental disorders, nerve pain. In older times it was also used as a sedative and malaria cure. Nowadays, the common uses are treatment of depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders. It is typically consumed as a tea or in pill form.

  • Vitamin E. One very potent anti-oxidant is vitamin E. Herbal diet supplements rich in vitamin E make good anti-oxidants. Uncontrolled oxidation in our body can result in long-term damage. That is why our bodies generate anti-oxidants. However, if the production of anti-oxidants falls below safe levels then external supplements are required.

  • Copper. While metals and minerals are essential to the normal functioning of our body, sometimes they can fail to get absorbed properly. Zinc is essential for our body and there is nothing better than a copper rich herbal diet supplement. These supplements increase the absorption of zinc. The result is better protection against heart disease, and healthier skin and hair color.

  • Folate. From a certain viewpoint, folates are required more than anything else because they can affect us down to our DNA. Folates are required for the production and maintenance of new cells (especially during pregnancy and infancy). DNA replication cannot take place without folates. Folates also prevent cancer causing DNA changes. Folate deficiency affects the bone marrow where most new cells are produced. Folates are needed to make new red blood cells and prevent anemia. As you can see, any deficiency in folates can be devastating in the end. One of the earliest indications of folate deficiency is anemia. Herbal diet supplements that have folates as major ingredients are always good for you, even if you do not have any problem currently.

  • Iron. In the human body, the metal iron is more pervasive than any other. It plays an important part in several vital functions. Iron carries oxygen to the lungs and muscles in the form of hemoglobin. It acts as a means of transport for electrons between cells. It is a catalyst for enzyme reactions in tissues. Iron deficiency most commonly occurs in children and pre-menopausal women. It can easily prove to be fatal if left unchecked. Herbal diet supplements rich in iron can help to prevent such a situation.

  • Vitamin B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency can lead to anemia, depression, dermatitis, and high blood pressure. Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) deficiency can lead to anemia, memory loss, and cognitive decline. It is most likely to occur among elderly people. In extreme cases it can even cause paralysis can result. It is widely used in the treatment of alcoholism, depression, diabetes, hair loss, and stress. Vegans are especially at risk of B12 deficiency because vitamin B12 naturally occurs only in meats. So if you are a vegan than an herbal dietary supplement with vitamins B6 and B12 is an absolute must for you.

  • Tea. Most herbal teas (and especially Medicinal Strength Teas) involve the use of herbs that have anti-oxidant properties useful in prevention of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure. Since these teas usually do not involve caffeine and other associated chemicals they are better from a health perspective than regular tea or coffee.

  • Vitamin D. The human body (especially skin) develops its own vitamin D. It is necessary to maintain normal levels of calcium and phosphorous. A direct result of vitamin D deficiency is a weaker skeleton, a condition known as osteoporosis where the bones become porous and hence break easily. Vitamin D herbal supplements can help prevent osteoporosis.

  • Selenium. This is a chemical so volatile that it does not occur in its free state in nature. Toxic in large amounts, trace amounts of it form the center of some enzymes that are vital to the normal working of all cells in nearly all living organisms. In the human body it behaves as an anti-oxidant and is also important for the normal working of the thyroid gland. Cereals, meat, fish, and eggs are good sources of selenium. Since the majority of sources are animal based, vegans and vegetarians should seriously herbal dietary supplements containing selenium.

  • Vitamin A. This vitamin is responsible for maintaining good eye sight and promoting bone growth. It is also an anti-oxidant. Most skin and eye problems are related to vitamin A deficiency so if you have any such conditions, consider a herbal diet supplement rich in vitamin A.

Different Types of Herbal Medicine

There are many positive aspects that herbal medicine has going for it. Unfortunately, the lack of adequate scientific understanding means that there is no way a doctor can completely take responsibility for what is being prescribed and hence the safety factor involved in taking herbal medicines is suspect.

The drugs that we normally take have to undergo thorough testing and need FDA approval. This entire process ensures that every single chemical in the medicine and its interaction with the human body (and resulting side effects) are well understood, documented, and scientifically demonstrable.

While herbal medicines enjoy the reputation of being less complicated it should be remembered that they are manufactured by Mother Nature and she does not need FDA approval or scientific testing. Fortunately, thousands of years of development have put herbal medicines into a certain safety zone that has helped many a human being with being cured.

So herbal medicines might be risky but there is no need to worry if you take the simple precaution of consulting your doctor before consuming any herbal concoction. Doctors are sort of walking pharmacopoeias and they know more about all those chemicals and stuff. They can advise you properly.

Another thing to know with herbal medicine is that different cultures have resulted in different types of herbal therapies. Finally, thanks to the Internet and online marketing there is no shortage of frauds selling roots and leaves grown in their backyards. Make certain that when you get herbal medicine it comes from genuine herbs. The wrong herbs might possibly contain toxic chemicals that make a trip to the hospital inevitable.

Some common forms of herbal medicines are as follows:

  • Essence. You have probably come across the line "essence of …" followed by some plant or flower when reading an ad for a cosmetic product. While Essences tend to get associated with cosmetic products due to massive advertising of those products, certain essential oils are always available for therapeutic purposes. The popularity of essential herbal oils processed through cold pressing or steam distillation is because many people prefer to get a massage than eating a pill. The most common benefit of essential oils is the help they provide in relaxing. They do not really cure any problems. Their major effect is to provide relief.

  • Body massages can release toxins in the muscles, aiding relaxation.

  • Head massages can likewise reduce heaviness or, in some cases, cure headaches. Similarly, chest massages using essence of certain herbs can help with congestion resulting from common cold.

  • Pills or capsules. There was a time when this alternative was not available. It was a dark time for people who could not stand the taste of raw herbal medicines. The pills and capsules were a godsend for people who wanted to try herbal remedies but were unable to swallow. In order to convert a herb to pill form it first needs to be dried and crushed into powder. What is of interest is that there are hardly any herbal medicines available in pill or capsule form that target specific ailments. They act more like secondary medications to provide moral support to whatever primary medication is being taken. Professionals in herbal medicine believe that the drying and crushing of the herbs robs them of their potency. Others suggest that herbal medicine should be taken in its raw form for complete effectiveness. Anyway, if you are looking for specific herbal medicines instead of general health enhancers and supplements then this option is not for you.

  • Infusions. The most popular form of herbal infusion is the drinking of various kinds of tea. Infusion involves the use of the delicate parts (leaves, seeds, and fruits) of a herbal plant and are quick to administer. Some ingredients of infusion tea could be stinging nettle, oat straw, red clover, raspberry leaf, and comfrey leaf. Infusions can be just the tea you drink normally (but using herbs instead of tealeaves) or what is known as Medicinal Strength Tea. Most herbal teas fall into this category though the preparation is slightly different. There are several recipes available on the Internet for making Medicinal Strength Tea.

  • Poultice. For injuries, inflammations, cramps, or other spasmodic problems it can become necessary to apply the herbal mixture as a poultice. The required herbs are first macerated or chopped into small pieces. These are then applied directly to the affected area and covered with a hot and moist bandage. In some cases, the herbal mixture can be applied as a layer to the moist bandage before wrapping it around the affected area.

  • Raw. As the name suggests, in this case the herbal medicine is taken in its most natural form without any additives or changes to make it palatable. Most people will run a mile in tight shoes to avoid this form of medication. It is the equivalent of taking a regular capsule, pulling it open, taking that powder, putting it on the tongue and trying to suck on it as if it were chocolate. Not done, well at least not if the taste buds are functioning normally. No wonder this method in unpopular. The good news is that most of the herbs that need to be taken raw can alternatively be soaked (or passed through) water to make medicinal strength teas, and those are much easier on sensitive palates. It is also believed that teas increase the effectiveness of raw herbs,

  • Tinctures. There are very few kids who get exposed to this form of medicine these days but about twenty odd years ago no kid that got into a scrap in the field escaped the terror of tincture. These are basically herbal medicines in a liquid form. They can be for external as well as internal use. Modern incarnations are a lot milder that their older forms.

  • Decoctions. A decoction is a liquid preparation made by boiling a medicinal plant with water usually in the proportion of 5 parts of the drug to 100 parts of water. Typically, certain specific parts of a plant like berries, roots, and herb-bark are used in this process. Depending on the consistency of the plant part being used, it can take up to two hours to prepare a decoction. This process extracts the flavor and increases the concentration of the herb through the process of boiling.

That more or less covers the different types of herbal medicines available. Depending on your requirement and personal taste you might need to take them in one of the above forms.