Despite this, many of these therapies have continued to be promoted as effective, particularly by promoters of alternative medicine. Scientists consider this practice quackery, and some of those engaged in it have been investigated and prosecuted by public health regulators such as the US Federal Trade Commission, the Mexican Secretariat of Health and the Canadian Competition Bureau. In the United Kingdom, the Cancer Act makes the unauthorized promotion of cancer treatments a criminal offense.
There are actually several ways to use lemon balm making it a versatile herb both in the ailments it treats and the way it can be administered. Teas are a great way to gain the benefits of lemon balm. You can steep about 5 or 6 fresh leaves in a cup of water for six minutes and strain. Try adding some honey or stevia to sweeten the deal up and add a little mint for an extra layer of flavor. Tinctures, extracts, and ointments are all also widely available for lemon balm and all are quite effective.
Mullein once again makes the list as an important herb to have in your herbal medicine chest. Mullein, also called lungwort, can be boiled to create a tea or respiratory tonic. Add honey to turn the tea into soothing cough syrup. Mullein is often used to reduce inflammation and may be used to help relieve symptoms of asthma or bronchitis. Be sure to consider mullein in your cough syrup mix.
Eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day may indeed keep the doctor away, in part because it has immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects. Many of garlic's therapeutic effects are derived from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. In general, garlic's benefits fall into four main categories:
Iscador is prepared by fermenting an aqueous extract of the whole mistletoe plant with Lactobacillus plantarum. Mistletoe is one of the most widely studied complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies for cancer. Mistletoe extracts have been evaluated in numerous clinical studies and improvements in survival, quality of life, and/or stimulation of the immune system have been frequently reported.
Amygdalin is a glycoside. It consists of a molecule that combined glucose with cyanide. As discussed earlier, cancer cells must have glucose to survive. Thus, when the molecule of amygdalin enters a cancer cell, the molecule breaks apart and releases the cyanide. The cyanide then kills the cancer cell. The cyanide is not released in a healthy normally functioning cell, because a cancer cell contains a special enzyme, which must be present to release the cyanide. Thus amygdalin is harmless to a normal cell.
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A critical question is often asked: Why pursue the phenotypic reversion of malignancy? Surely it is better to look for more efficient methods of killing tumor cells? Tumors are remarkable creatures, possessed of manifold means to defeat the arsenal of therapeutics arrayed against them. Among other things, the genomic instability of tumors gives them a persistent evolutionary advantage, ensuring the survival of stronger, fitter, more aggressive cells that will go on to populate the body of their host. The approaches that have been taken show that it is possible to revert the malignant phenotype by the correction of environmental cues and by the normalization of signal transduction pathways even as the genome remains malignant and unstable. In this sense, the microenvironment can be dominant over the malignant genotype. It is of course preferable to eradicate the tumor altogether, but aggressive chemotherapy to eradicate a tumor often kills the host. The malleable nature of tumors would indicate that multiple approaches may be necessary. This raises the possibility of the long-term management of some cancers as a chronic condition in which the malignant potential of the tumor cells is constrained, perhaps for the lifetime of the patient.
Skullcap is yet another herb of the mint family, the first medicinal use of skullcap can probably be found by looking into the lives of the Native Americans. The roots of skullcap were used as a remedy for things such as diarrhea and kidney problems. It wasn't until the settlers came that skullcap gained a reputation of being a sedative. They used it for a whole host of problems including fevers, anxious nerves, and even rabies. Today skullcap is most often found being used as a mild relaxant to treat anxiety, insomnia, tension headaches and fibromyalgia. When it comes to growing skullcap for your herb garden you have to realize that there is the North American variety and the Chinese type as well. The Chinese skullcap is the much hardier variety and well grow well in both warm or cool climates and handles drought very well. The North American skullcap however requires a very rich, moist and slightly acidic soil, so conditions have to be more precise in order to get the North American variety to grow.
Ginkgo Biloba has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. Probably first used by the Chinese, today it is used widely in both the United States and Europe. Ginkgo actually comes from the leaves of a the Ginkgo tree, while probably not an herb you would plant in your garden I still think it's a great herb to include in our list of herbs. Over the years Ginkgo Biloba has gained a reputation of being beneficial to the brain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center the two main constituents found in Ginkgo are flavonoids and terpenoids, both are antioxidants. Flavonoids have been shown to aid in the protection of nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Terpenoids are probably where ginkgo gains it's reputation for being beneficial to the brain, terpenoids help improve blood flow to the brain by dilating blood vessels and prevents platelets from sticking to each other.
The dandelion is often thought of as a weed due to the fact that it can very easily over run a yard and choke out grass. Dandelions are actually a great herb, they offer plenty of nutritional benefits as well as medicinal, which is why it makes our list of herbs. One great thing about the dandelion herb is that the whole plant can be used from the flower down to the roots. The leaves make a great addition to salads and the flowers (when still yellow) can be eaten raw, cooked or made into a dandelion wine. Even the root of the dandelion can be consumed, usually it is roasted and ate or added to a nice cup of tea. Due to it's good diuretic properties dandelion is also sometimes called piss-a-bed.
Called ALA for short, this vitamin-like substance neutralizes many types of free radicals. A build-up of free radicals, caused in part by high blood sugar, can lead to nerve damage and other problems. ALA may also help muscle cells take up blood sugar. In a German study, a team of scientists had 40 adults take either an ALA supplement or a placebo. At the end of the four-week study, the ALA group had improved their insulin sensitivity 27 percent. The placebo group showed no improvement. Other studies have shown a decrease in nerve pain, numbness, and burning.