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Allah’s Medicine Chest: Soursop (Annona muricata)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Soursop (Annona muricata)

 

By Hwaa Irfan

This little known fruit in the West, has been receiving praise recently and has been referred to has being better than chemotherapy. Popular in the Caribbean, Soursop has had many uses from fruit, to teas, juices, puddings, jams, salads, ice creams, custards etc., while the leaves have served a medicinal function.  Native to the Americas, namely, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, northern South America, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, naturally it is known by a variety of names.

Also known as graviola from the Portuguese, it is also known as Corossol epineux (France), aluguntungun (Ghana), Zuurzak (Holland), Sirsak (Indonesian); Zopote de viejas (Mexico), Mang cau xiem, Guanábana (Spanish),   (Vietnam), and Mundla (India).

A member of the Annonaceae family of the plant kingdom, it should not be confused with other members like sugar apple (A. squamosa), cherimoya (A. cherimola), custard apple (A. reticulata).  Annona muricata is a small tropical evergreen tree that can grow to a height of 30 ft. It likes warmth and humidity, and lots of water. With shallow roots, it does need a deep soil base, but prefers well drained sandy soil, and can be disturbed by the strong seasonal winds that frequent the Caribbean summers. Despite its heavy fruit, the slender tree is drought tolerant branching low with upturned limbs. Rusty hairs cover the young branches. The smooth fragrant leaves are a glossy dark/blue  green on the upper surface, and a lighter green on the under surface. They are oblong, and are pointed at both ends.

The singular flowers can appear anywhere on the trunk, branches or twigs, and the tree will flower and fruit throughout the year, They have short stalks, along, are plump, and triangular-conical.  There are 6 outer fleshy yellow-green petals in groups of three, surrounding a cone –shaped mass of carpels and stamens that will develop into the fruit.

The oval- heart-shaped fruit can weigh up to 10 – 15 lbs. The fruit is compound, an aggregate of fruits that form from a single flower. The fruit is covered with a reticulated, leathery-appearing but tender, inedible, bitter dark-green skin, and is covered with “spines,” but as the fruit ripens, the skin becomes a lime-green and the tips becomes susceptible to breakage.

The inner surface of the skin is cream-colored and granular separating easily from the mass of snow-white, fibrous, juicy pulp with the scent of pineapples that surrounds the soft-pithy core in segments. The pulp has a slightly acid flavor. A large fruit can have up to 200+ black seeds, which are indigestible.

The main commercial producers today are throughout the tropical Americas, Southeast Asia, Philippines, India, Hawai‘i, and other Pacific islands.

Chemical Properties differ according to the plant component, and area grown. They include:

  • B- caryophyllene
  • O – cadinene
  • aA- cadinols
  • Anonaine
  • Anoniine
  • Methionine
  • Lysine
  • Anonaine Isoquinoline – fruit (Surinam)     
  • Anonol  – leaf (Dominican Republic)
  • Asimilobine  – fruit (Surinam)
  • Atherosperminine Isoquinoline – root bark
  • Coclaurine, root bark, leaf (Guyana)
  • Cohibin C -seed (Brazil)
  • Corepoxylone  – seed (Brazil)
  • Coreximine, root (Guyana)
  • Coronin root (Guinea)
  • Corossolin – seed (Guyana, Brazil,  Taiwan)
  • Epomuricenin – seed, root (Brazil,Guinea)
  • Epomuricenin B – seed, root (Brazil, Guinea)
  • Goniothalamicin – seed, leaf (Guyana, US, Indonesia,  Dominican Republic,  Brazil)
  • Goniothalamicin – seed (Dominican Republic)
  • Javoricin – seed (Dominican Republic)
  • Lignoceric – leaf (Dominican Republic)
  • Sabadelin – seed (Guinea)
  • Solamin – seed, stembark,   root,(Brazil, India,Guinea, French Guiana)
  • Tyramine,      n-para-coumaroyl – leaf (Indonesia)
  • Uvariamicin I – root (Guinea)

Pectoral – flowers, helps to relieve chest infections

Antispasmodic – leaves, relieves spasms
Emetic – seeds, induces vomiting thus helping to relieve the digestive tract of toxic substances
Sudorific – Infusion of leaves, increases perspiration, which also helps to relieve the body of toxic substances

Anti-carcinogen Annona muricata has proven to be better at targeting than chemotherapy which kills healthy cells as well as cancer cells. This was proven to be the case in a 1996 study whereby the seeds was found to be cytotoxic to adenocarcinoma cells with a potency that is 10,000 times stronger than adriamycin, is used in the first line treatment of cancer. Adriamycin causes terrible side effects that can damage the cardiovascular system, and therefore fatal. These findings were more or less affirmed by

A 2003 study by researchers in Taiwan which found the compounds acetogenin, annonacin highly toxic to ovarian, cervical, breast, bladder and skin cancer at very low dosages.

A 1997 study by Purdue University Annonaceous acetogenins to be ” . . . not only are effective in killing tumors that have proven resistant to anti-cancer agents, but also seem to have a special affinity for such resistant cells.”

A 1999 study demonstrated Annona muricata as an anti-carcingen in the case of prostate and breast cancer, and a 2002 study demonstrated Annona muricata prevents liver cancer.

A 2011 study found that an extract of Annona muricata suppressed oncogene, which is believed to be a cancer-causing gene.

Antiherptic – A Study by S. Gajalakshmi and team from the School of Biosciences and Technology, Tamilnadu, India found Annona muricata to be effective against Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1)

In the Dutch Antilles, the leaves are used as a sleeping aid, by simply placing inside one’s pillow-case. They also use the leave as a decoction for the same purpose.

In Jamaica, the leaves have been used in the treatment of hypertension, worms, and as a tranquilizer.

In the Caribbean, the fruit and/or fruit juice is used for fevers, parasites and diarrhoea; the bark or leaf as an antispasmodic, sedative, and nervine for heart conditions, coughs, flu, difficult childbirth, asthma, hypertension, and parasites.

In the Peruvian Andes, a leaf tea is used for catarrh and the crushed seed to kill parasites.

In the Peruvian Amazon the bark, roots, and leaves are used for diabetes and as a sedative and antispasmodic.

Nutritional Content

Includes:

  • Ascorbic Acid
  • Calcium
  • Copper (seed)
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Sodium
  • Thiamine
  • Tryptophan
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc (seed)

Contraindications

Annona muricata is a cardiodepressant, vasodilator, and hypotensive (lowers blood pressure). It has been found that large doses can cause nausea and vomiting.

In balance He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!

Sources:

“Is This Fruit Extract 10,000 Times Better Than Chemotherapy?” http://worldtruth.tv/is-this-fruit-extract-10000-times-better-than-chemotherapy/

Gajalakshmi. S et al. “Phytochemical And Pharmacological Properties of Annona Muricata: A Review.” http://www.ijppsjournal.com/Vol4Issue2/3297.pdf

“Graviola.” http://rainforest-database.com/plants/graviola.htm

Kossouoh,C, et al. “Essential Oil Chemical Composition of Annona muricata L. Leaves from Benin. “http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2007.9699288#preview

Love, K and Paull, R.E. “Soursop.” http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/F_N-22.pdf

“Presence of Compounds in Graviola (Annona muricata).” http://rainforest-database.com/plants/graviola-chemicals.pdf

Soursop (Annona muricata ) http://www.tropicalfruits.com.my/pdf/soursop.pdf

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest

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Allah’s Medicine Chest: Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

 

By Hwaa Irfan

Tamarind/tamr-al Hindi is one of those drinks that is meant for hot summer days when the ability to relax  sometimes seems hard to come by, and is a welcome natural drink after a long day of fasting, once the light meal of iftar has been taken. A quick and easy drink to make from dried tamarind pulp, which is used as a paste/sauce in Asia, and plays a role in Ayurvedic medicine. In the globalized food industry Tamarind is commonly used in the production of candies, chutneys, jams, desserts, steak sauces and Worcestershire sauce. However, in Aruba, India, Jamaica, and Mexico for example, to eat tamarind means to eat healthy as tamarind has many medicinal benefits including bone health, blood pressure, thyroid and musko-skeletal disorders just to name a few.

Known as Imli (Hindi), Assam jawa (Indonesia), tamr-al Hindi (Arabic), Yeuut-sitoe/pahuga (Ghana)Tamarindus indica is evergreen, tropical and native to Africa. Still growing wild throughout Sudan, this tree has been domesticated by India. Tamarindus indica can be found today in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, South Asia, South America and the Caribbean. High in energy, fiber, and Vitamin B, Tamarind tends to get sweeter as it ripens, overriding its sour content, a ‘sweet’ cultivar known as makham/wahn is grown in Thailand that differs nutritionally and medicinally. The si thong/chompho, and muen chong varieties are the sweetest. Indian pods are longer and contain 6- 12 seeds, but the varieties of the Caribbean and the Americas are shorter and contain 3 – 6 seeds.

Tamarindus indica is a member of the Fabaceae of the Leguminosae family plant kingdom. It is long-living, and slow growing, and grows as a large tree up to 80 feet high. Dense bright green foliage with pinnate leaves go to sleep (close) at night. The leaves are feathery in appearance, and shed for short periods during very dry hot weather.

Flowering from January – April in its native climate, the fruits do not appear until March, July and December. The buds are pink and transform into 5-petalled flowers, yellow with orange-red streaks

A pod contains a thick outer shell that surrounds a deep brown sticky pulp which in turns surrounds 2 – 10 hard dark colored seeds, but the shell become brittle and easy to break when ready to harvest.

Fruit 3 – 8 inches long are the pods. Every season, irregular-curved pods are produces in abundance along the branches. As the pods mature, they fill out with the pulp which changes from brown to reddish brown. The tree is self fertile.

Chemical Properties

They include:

  • Β Sitosterol
  • P- cyemene
  • Benzyl benzoate (higher content in Cuban variety)
  • Caryophyllene
  • Cinnamic acid
  • Geraniol
  • Hexadecanol (higher content in Cuban variety)
  • Limonene (higher content in Cuban variety)
  • Linalool
  • Longifolene
  • Malic acid
  • Metyl Salicylate
  • Pentadecanol(higher content in Cuban variety)
  • Phytol
  • Pyrazine andalkylthiazoles
  • Safrole
  • Tartaric acid

Rich in dietary fiber (polysaccharides), the sticky pulp from 100g of fruit pulp can provide 13% of one’s dietary fiber that facilitates bowel movements thus preventing constipation. The fiber of tamraindus indica also binds with toxins in the colon, and facilitates carrying them out of the body.

Antioxidant –  Tartaric acid is a powerful antioxidant (Anti-oxidant E-number is E334), which has been found to protect against harmful free radicals.

Antibacterial/viral – The leaves of tamerindus indica are noted for
their potent Antibacterial/viral properties. Accumulative studies have demonstrated strong antibacterial activity against Salmonella paratyphi, Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella typhi, and Staphylococcus aureus. In another study carried out by Dr. Monrul Islam and team, Bangladesh, strong antibacterial activity  was expressed against Shigella, dysenteriae, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Salmonella para typhi.

AntimalarialElsevier (Ireland) found 27 wild plants that are used by Ethiopians in the protection against malaria, of which Tamarindus indica was one the most popular.

Cholesterol – The dietary fiber also helps to bind bile salts produced from cholesterol thus reducing likelihood of  re-absorption in the colon. It helps to excrete low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL).

Laxative – Tamaridus indica is noted for this in traditional medicines including Madagascar where children eat the fruit regularly to avoid constipation , amongst the Wolof of Senegal who take it as a sweetmeat, ‘Bengal’ which is made from the unripe fruit, lime juice and honey, and in Burkino Faso where the fruit is crushed, soaked for half a day, and then salted.

Fluoride Poisoning – Studies by A.L. Kandare and team at the Indian Council of Medical Research, India looked at 20 healthy boys, 18 who completed the course. They were given 10g of tamarind daily with lunch for 18 days at the social welfare boys’ hostel, while maintaining a balanced nutritional diet. The result was an increase of the excretion of fluoride from the body via urine. The rate of excretion was (4.8±0.22 mg/day) with tamarind, as opposed to 3.5±0.22 mg/day without.

In a study by Murugun and team, powdered tamarind seed proved to be an affective defluoridating agent.  However, health experts argue how can tamarindus indica chelate fluoride when it contains fluoride!

Indian (mainly South India) well water is rich in fluoride, and is highly concentrated in the well when the water goes down, as it does in N. India. Dr. P Pushpangadan, Director of the National Botanical Research Institute argues on the basis of experience, that “consumption of tamarind or raw mango has been shown to protect us from fluoride poisoning”. It can be equated to artificially adding vitamin D to processed milk leading to a list of health problems.  There are obviously some subtle dynamics at work here, similar to that of homeopathy that is giving birth to new forms of medicine (nanotechnology) that badly misunderstands the principles at play to dangerous levels.

Nutritional Content

High fiber, high energy Tamarindus indicus is also rich in B-vitamins, which helps to bring on that ‘calm’ feeling by regulating stress contains

 

  • Calcium
  • Carotene
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Pyridoxine
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamins A
  • Vitamins C
  • Vitamins E
  • Vitamins K
  • Zinc

Medicinal

Laxative – the pulp acts as a good laxative, stimulating the bowels

Refrigerant – this comes from the acids, and a drink of tamarind will help febrile conditions.

In Mauritius the creole mix salt with the pulp and use it as a liniment for rheumatism.

The wood is very hard and durable, valuable for building purposes and furnishes excellent charcoal for gunpowder; the leaves in infusion give a yellow dye.

In India, the seeds are edible, and may be peeled, roasted or boiled. Nothing is wasted as the leaves, flowers and fruits are considered to make good animal fodder. Even when the fruit is overly ripe, they are used to clean and brighten silver, copper and brass, and Indian silver smiths polish their goods with a strong infusion of roots mixed with sea salt. The flowers provide a yellow dye, and the leaves provide a red dye, powdered seeds provide a tool against dysentery, the pulverized bark for colic and digestive disorders, the fruit pulp is used as a laxative, the bark for sore throats, and the roots for heart pains.

In Ghana, tamarindus indica is used in circumcisions. It is drunk after childbirth, aids bronchitis, is used to treat dysentry, diarrhoea, jaundice, rheumatism, and as a laxative.

In Thai traditional medicine, the fruit is used as a digestive, laxative, expectorant and blood tonic. The seeds are used as an anthelmintic, antidiarrhoeal, and an emetic, and the seed coat is used to treat burns and aid in wound healing as well as against dysentery.

 

Contraindications

None known…

When buying, fresh tamarind pods are available from late spring to early summer, but processed varieties can be bought as compressed tamarind blocks, ready-to-use slice, paste, and concentrates. When buying avoid dessicated pulp which is a manner of passing on old tamarind. Once bought, it can be kept fresh for several months in a refrigerator.

 

In balance He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!

Sources:

Ara, N. et al. “Phytochemical Screening and In VitroAntibacterial Activity of Tamarindus Indica Seeds

Ethanolic Extract”. Pakistan Journal of Pharmacology Vol.26, No.1, January 2009, pp.19-23

Escalona-Arranz1, J.C. et al. “Antimicrobial activity of extracts from Tamarindus indica L. leaves.” http://www.phcog.com/article.asp?issn=0973-1296;year=2010;volume=6;issue=23;spage=242;epage=247;aulast=Escalona-Arranz

Kandare, A, et al. “Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans.” http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/n1/full/1601287a.html

“Tamarind.” http://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/tamarind.html

Mesfin, A et al. Ethnobotanical study of antimalarial plants in Shinile District, Somali Region, Ethiopia, and in vivo evaluation of selected ones against Plasmodium berghei. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 6;139(1):221-7. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

Murgun, M. et al. “Studies on defluoridation of water by Tamarind seed, an unconventional biosorbent.” http://www.iwaponline.com/jwh/004/0453/0040453.pdf

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest

Take II on Cholesterol… Doctors Got It Wrong!*

Take II on Cholesterol… Doctors Got It Wrong!*

 

Heart Surgeon Admits Huge Mistake!

By Dwight Lundell, MD

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that. The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. You kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential –they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them. One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats

contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, AZ. His private practice, Cardiac Care Center was in Mesa, AZ. Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a focus on helping large corporations promote wellness. He is the author of The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol LIE.]

Source*

Related Topics:

Watch What You Eat!

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Garlic

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Oranges

Diabetes from Unnatural Causes

Ramadhan and Healthy Eating

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Tomatoes

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

How Western Diets Make the World Sick

For the Diabetic Sweet Tooth!

Take More Responsibility for Your Health

It’s Time to Bake Your Own Bread!

Synthetic Proteins: Cascading Effects of U.S. Unhealthy Food

Slow Ramadhan Foods: Health Benefits of Yoghurt

Raw Milk s. Pasteurized Milk: Which Would You Prefer?

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Barley (Hordeum Vulgare)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Sesame (Sesamum indicum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Sesame (Sesamum indicum)

By Hwaa Irfan

Radiation, plastics, cigarette smoke, chemicals in soft drinks, pesticides, and many more common substances have all been found to damage our DNA. Our cells become inhibited in producing what our bodies need and our bodies become challenged in re-growing healthy cells. Sesamum indicum is one of nature’s blessings that assists in DNA repair.

Sesame seeds can take for granted if it wasn’t for the distinctive flavor they present, especially in the delicious thick sauce tahina which can bring any unappetizing meal alive, and the sweet, halawa/halva always tastes like a luxury!

Believed to be native to Africa, and India, Sesamum indicum belongs to the Pedaliaceae family of the plant kingdom. It was introduced to the U.S. from Africa, in the 17th century.

There are 30 species of this white, brown, or black seeds known as Juljulan, Zelzlane, Simsim (Arabic) Zhi ma, Hu ma, (Chinese-Mandarin), wangila (Swahili), bene (Malay) sesame seeds can be dried/dried and toasted to bring out that distinctive nutty taste. In fact, Sesamum indicum is one of the oldest known oil crops with a 5,000 year history in cultivation, and is still used as a cooking oil today in Africa and India as the seeds contain 50%-60% odorless, and colorless oil.

Requiring little water the herbaceous Sesamum indicum still grows as a wild flowering plant today in Africa. The plant prefer sandy, loamy, and clay soils, as it requires good drainage. It does not like the shade. Sesamum indicum  grows annually up to 100cm. The lanceolate/ovate leaves grow opposite to each other, and are protected by short hairs.The tubular flowers have four-lobed mouth, and can be yellow, white, blue or purple with downy white hairs. Flowering in July, the plant is self-pollinating as the flowers are hermaphrodite. The fruit is like a capsule/pod with rectangular features that culminate in a triangular beak, and can be as long as 8cm. The expression “Open Sesame” from the tales of the Arabian Nights arises from the sudden release of seeds as the fruit bursts open, splitting top to bottom. The seeds are ovate, slightly flattened and somewhat thinner at the eye of the seed. The seed’s coat may be smooth or ribbed.

Popular in the modern food and confectionary industry, the domesticated variety originated from India. Sesamum indicum is grown in over 50 countries with the quality crops cultivated by China, India, Myanamar, Sudan, and Uganda. Refined sesame oil is common in Europe and the U.S., from which margarine is made. The trick with sesame oil is it remain stable at high temperatures, so it is great for the unhealthy cooking method of frying. Cold-pressed is also available in the West amongst the health shops, but in Asia the hot-pressed oil is preferred. Hot-pressed is cheaper, produces high yields from the high temperature, and what is left can be reprocessed to produce more oil

Chemical Properties includes:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Cystine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  •  Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Proline
  • Sesamol
  • Sesamin
  • Sesamolin
  • Serine
  • Tryptophan
  • Threonine
  • Tyrosine
  • Valine

Antioxidant –  Sesamol is a strong antioxidant which has been found to protect against DNA from gamma radiation–induced damage.

Antibacterial – The oil has been found to effective in the treatment of bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus and skin fungi lie athlete’s foot.

Cholesterol – The oil is also known to maintain high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) and lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL).

The seeds of Sesamum indicum is an astringent, emollient, lenitive, nutritive, tonic (liver and kidneys), diuretic, and a lactagogue. The oil is a demulcent, emollient, diuretic, emmenagogue, lactagogue and laxative.

The linoleate in triglyceride content selectively inhibits malignant melanoma growth.

Sesamin and Sesamolin reduces high blood pressure, and protects the liver against oxidative stress.

In aromatherapy, the essential oil is used in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis,  and mature skin.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, black sesame seeds, hei zhi ma is used as a yin tonic for the liver-kidney meridian, visual disturbance, dizziness, tinnitus, vertigo, and premature graying of the hair, as well as convalescence from a long illness, , but is contraindicated in patients with loose stools and/or diarrhea due to Spleen Qi Deficiency. The ripe sesame seeds of autumn are harvested, and then dried in the sun.

Nutritional Content

A rich source of protein, calcium and other minerals, Sesamum indicum contains:

  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B₁
  • Vitamin B₆
  • Vitamins B₁₂
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Recipes

When buying buy from a store that has a high turnover of products in order to ensure freshness, and that the containing packet is air tight without evidence of moisture. Store in a cool, dry place.

In the Philippines roasted seeds with honey are used in the treatment of chronic constipation, the juice from the plant is used to treat head lice, burned stalks are used as a poultice in the treatment of haemorrhoids, and a poultice of grounded seeds is applied to burns and scalds. A decoction of the seeds with linseed is used for coughs, and as an aphrodisiac, while the seeds alone are used in the treatment of constipation in children.
In India, the seeds are used as a poultice to heal wounds.

In the Yucatan, the seeds are used as a laxative for children, and as an emmenagogue for women.

In Africa, a decoction of the leaves are used as an aphrodisiac, and a decoction of the plant is used in the treatment of malaria. Powdered leaves are applied to snake bites, and a decoction of the seeds are used for haemorrhoids, and to regulate the menses.e He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!

Sources:

Akbar, F et al.   “Genetic Diversity of Sesame (Sesamum Indicum L.) Germplasm From

Pakistan Using RAPD Markers.” Pak. J. Bot., 43(4): 2153-2160, 2011.

“Black sesame seed (Heizhima).” http://www.epharmacognosy.com/2012/04/black-sesame-seed-heizhima-sesamum.html

“Sesame.” http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Sesa_ind.html

Gopakumar Gopinathan Nair and Cherupally Krishnan Krishnan Nair. “Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals”. December 2010, 25(6): 629-635. doi:10.1089/cbr.2010.0803.

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

 

By Hwaa Irfan

Unlike the Chinese kao-liang kiang (large mild ginger), Zingiber Officinale is native to south east Asia. Confucius (557–479 BC) mentioned ginger in his Analects and apparently never ate without it. Dioscorides and Pliny both associated ginger cultivation with Arabia and Trogodytica (present-day Somalia).

Known as Jahé/Aliah (Indonesia), az-zanjabil (Arabic), adrak/sunth (Pakistan), shringavera (Snaskirt), aje/orin/atale. (Yoruba-Nigeria), ginger is one of those spices that were imported into the Mediterranean via the old trade route, the Silk Road and other trade routes. The spice trade run by the Arabs underpinned the wealth that helped found Renaissance Italy. It became a luxury of the elite, and by the late Middle Ages, a pound of ginger was worth a sheep and a pound of nutmeg worth seven fat oxen.

Native to South America, there are 9 species of this herbaceous perennial, which all belong to the Zingiberaceae family of the plant kingdom. Wild ginger Asarum canadense of the Aristolochiaceae family grows in shady areas with rich soils in North America, especially in North Carolina and Kansas, and has been used by the indigenous Americans as an appetizer. It is also plentiful in the deep forests of Chhattisgarh, India.

Referred to in Surat-ul Baqra 68, as one the two aromatics of Jannah/Paradise, the plant grow as an underground perennial stem. The pungent rhizomes we know and love grow horizontally underground sending out shoots as well as roots, and are gathered from December – March. Second year growth produces a crop that is not so superior in quality, and is called Blue Ginger. Because plant draws much from the soil, in countries like Jamaica, a new field is planted each season. The rhizomes once unearthed are washed and scraped of their epidermis, then dried in the sun, and are referred to as White Ginger which Jamaica is renowned for.

The stems are erect, round, and growing annually. The small flowers are yellow, but not bright in color though they emit a fragrance when rubbed or bruised. The stamens are sterile, and the ovary is ovular in shape and contains many ovules.

A cash crop in Sierre Leone, India is the main global supply of the commercial variety of ginger along with Australia , Fiji, Jamaica, and Indonesia. The Black Ginger comes from Africa and East India, and the next best quality after White Ginger is Cochin ginger from India.

Large quantities are sent to England from the East. Bleaching the ginger with chlorinated lime is a common practice or whitewashing with diluted milk of lime. But naturally, the properties are compromised by such procedures.

The best ginger is that which cuts pale, but bright; its quality, however, must be judged by its color, odor, taste, heaviness, and freedom from perforation by insects.

Chemical Properties

Containing over 477 phytochemical properties they include:

  • β-bisabolene     
  • Borneol
  • Camphene
  • Capric acid     
  • Cineol
  • Citral
  • Gingerol  homologues
  • Lauric acid       
  • Linoleic acid
  • Linolenic acid
  • Myristic acid
  • Nicotinic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Oleoresin
  • Palmitic acid
  • Phellandrene
  • Shogaol homologues
  • Zingiberene
  • Zingiberol
  • Zingiberenol
  • Zingerone

Gingerols is an anti-inflammatory, which has been found to be effective in pain reduction for those suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Gingerol has also been found to be effective in killing ovarian cancer cells.

Zingerone has been foudn to be effective against E.coli induced diarrhea in children.

Recently, ginger has been found to be more effective than cancer drugs, which in general accelerates death. Research at Georgia State University found whole ginger extract had the ability to shrink the size of prostrate tumor by 56% confirming 17 other studies.

Zingibain has been found to enhance the efficacy of antibacterials by 50%, and increases immunity against digesting parasites and their eggs due to its strong antioxidant properties.

Antioxidant –  is a strong antioxidant with 12 constituents preventing free radicals from damaging healthy cells.

Ginger is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiemetic, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, choleretic and cholagogue, bitter tonic, to protect hepatocyte, to prevent sea sickness, and it is also a stimulant, rubefacient, and sialagogue.

Nutritional Content

Fresh ginger contains:

  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Aspartic acid
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Cystine
  • Folates
  • Folic acid
  • Histidine
  • Glutamic acid
  • Glycine
  • Iron
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Methionine
  • Niacin
  • Phosphorus
  • Phenylalanine
  • Potassium
  • Proline
  • Selenium
  • Serine
  • Sodium
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Tyrosine
  • Valine
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B₃
  • Vitamin B₅ (pantothenic acid)
  • Vitamin B₆ (pyridoxine)
  • Vitamin B₁₂
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
  • Zinc

Contraindications

From a medical point of view zingiber officinale has the ability to interfere with blood clotting, and is ill-advised for those on anticoagulants like coumadin or heparin. In German therapeutics patients with gall bladder disease are warned to avoid ginger.

Recipes

When buying look out for ginger that is firm, smooth and free of mold. One can tell from the smell how fresh it is though the more widely available type has a tough skin that requires peeling. The fresh root can be kept in the refrigerator for over a month, and powdered/ground ginger should be stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers although they contain very little of the valuable properties.

Well known for reducing vomiting in pregnant women, much of the recent discoveries only serves to prove many traditional practices.

In Pakistan it is used to treat intestinal pain, anorexia, dyspepsia, headache, diarrhoea, constipation, intestinal swelling, dog bite, stomach disorders, sexual weakness, digestive stimulant, and to increase urine production.

In Nigeria, ginger is used in the treatment of toothache, congested nostrils, upper respiratory tract infections, influenza, asthma, stomach problems, rheumatism. Paste made from the rhizome is used to treat infected hepatitis and related liver problems. Ginger tea is commonly taken against coughs, colds and flu. piles, hepatitis and liver problems.

For nausea, ginger tea made by steeping one or two 1/2-inch slices or 2/3 of an ounce of fresh ginger like a tea-bag in a cup of hot water

For arthritis, 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger cooked in food, and eaten on a regular basis.ded, but as for what we want!

Sources:

Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. The British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911

Gucciardi, A. “Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death-Linked Cancer Drugs
http://naturalsociety.com/ginger-destroys-cancer-more-effectively-than-cancer-drugs/

Ndukwu, B.C et al.   “Ethnomedicinal Aspects Of Plants Used As Spices And Condiments In The

Niger Delta Area Of Nigeria” http://www.siu.edu/~ebl/leaflets/niger.htm

Wickes, H and Lloyd, J.U. “King’s American Dispensatory” 1898

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pineapples (Ananas comosus)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pineapples (Ananas comosus)

 

By Hwaa Irfan

 

This refreshing fruit we all love is known by its botanical name i.e. ananas in many countries, but in Spain it is known as piña, nanas/nenas (Malay), Ope-Oyinbo/ Ehin-ahun (Nigeria),  and nanasi (Swahili speaking East Africa). In 17th century Europe, the plant was grown in greenhouses by and for the elite, and would adorn their banquet tables.

Native to South America, there are 9 species of this herbaceous perennial, which all belong to the Bromeliaceae family of the plant kingdom. It was domesticated as a fruit and a food by the indigenous

Tupi-Guarani Indians and migrated with them to the Antilles, northern Andes and Central America.

The plant grows up to 4 feet high with a preference for well-drained soil on elevations. The leaves manifest as rosettes of long stiff, spines which grow in the first year. In the second year, the stem evolves into violet-red flowers that are tubular in shape and contain what is referred to as inferior ovaries. Each ovary becomes a seedless berry. Technically speaking is not a fruit but a collection of fused berries. The pollen is sticky and do not fare well from wind pollination, and so is dependent on creatures of the air, and man. One plant produces a single fruit. The crowning leaves are continued growth of the stem, and the plant continues to grow after fruiting via buds that grow into branches that on maturity in turn produce fruit.

Pineapples on the market are from the Ananas comosus variety, for the wild varieties are:

– A. comosus var.ananassoides

– A. comosus var. parguazensis

… in countries like Brazil, Paraguay, North Argentina and Venezuela. The main global exporters are Costa Rica, 322,000 tons; Ivory Coast, and the Philippines. Other exporting countries include Asia, China, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Philippines, and Thailand.

The commercial variety produced in the U.S., and Europe is a low-acid variety that was developed in Hawaii in the 1970s, and is not capable of self fertilizing. Once picked, the fruit does not mature any more.

Chemical Properties

The phytochemical properties include:

  • 3-hydroxybenzoic acid
  • 4-hydroxybenzoic acid
  • Arbutin
  • Bromelain
  • Catechin
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Ellagic acid
  • Epicatechin
  • Fcrulic acid
  • Gallic
  • Genistein
  • Gentisic acid
  • Hydroxybenzoic acid
  • Isoquercetin
  • Isovanillic acid
  • kaempferol
  • p-coumaric acid
  • Protocatechuic acid
  • Quercetin
  • Quercitrin
  • Rutin Isoferulic acid
  • Sinapic acid
  • Syringic acid
  • Vanillin
  • Vanillic acid
  • Veratric acid

The distinctive pineapple aroma emanates from phytochemicals 2,5-dimethyl-4-hydroxy-3(2H)-furanone, methyl 2-methylbutanoate, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate, ethyl acetate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl butanoate, ethyl 2-methylpropanoate, methyl hexanoate and methyl butanoate. Ananas comosus is rich in phenols like: ellagic acid, catechin, Vanillin, p-coumaric acid, isoquercetin, and others listed above. Phenols are rich in antioxidants, and anticarcinogens. Pineapples are the only source of the phytochemical bromelain, a cysteine. Bromelain from the stem of the plant has been used in medicine for the treatment of burns, and in vaccine formulations as well as a digestive. In the food industry, it has been used to tenderise meat. Bromelain extract has been used to improve digestion, sinusitis, to reduce swelling from an injury, and Type II diabetes.

Anticarcinogenic –  Published in 2007, researchers found enzyme bromelain from pineapples to be superior in the treatment of cancer that the chemical compound drug 5-fluorauracil that has been used for over 40 years which also kills healthy cells and tissues.

In Siddha medicine pineapples are known to have a therapeutic value that is anthelmintic, aperients, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, styptic, and a vermicide.

In Ayurvedic medicine pineapples have been used to regulate glands, and have the therapeutic value as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and as a stimulant.

Nutritional Content

  • Betaine
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Omega 3-fatty acid
  • Omega 6-fatty acid
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B₆
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Contraindications

Ananas comosus is not an allergen, but the unripe fruit is and can irritate the throat, cause burning sensation on lips and mouth and act as a serious purgative.

Recipes

When bought the fruit lasts no longer that a couple of days if stored at room temperature, and up to a week if refrigerated.

Fruits should always be eaten as God intended to get the most benefit nutritionally speaking. Once cooked the precious plant enzymes like bromelain breaks down, which is useful if gelatin is present as bromelain raw breaks down the proteins in gelatin, thus preventing gelatin from thickening.

The indigenous Indians of the Caribbean island Guadaloupe used to use pineapple for healing wounds.

In Ghana a decoction from pineapple skins and water is used to treat jaundice, arthritis and to cure hay fever.

In Thailand an extract from the leaves is employed to expel worms, and in Ayurvedic medicine the plant is used in the treatment of amenorrhea, anorexia, colic, constipation, dysmenorrhea, fevers, general debility, jaundice, kidney stones, worm infestation, and peptic ulcer.

In balance He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!

 

References:

Ji, S. “Research: Pineapple Enzyme Kills Cancer Without Killing You.”

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/research-pineapple-enzyme-kills-cancer-without-killing-you

“The Biology and Ecology of Pineapple.” http://www.ogtr.gov.au/internet/ogtr/publishing.nsf/content/pineapple-3/$FILE/pineapple.pdf

 

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest

Do You Like Pineapples?

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Honey

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Honey

By Hwaa Irfan

The bee, its product, and the lessons one can learn are appreciated so much in the Qur’an that a whole chapter (An-Nahl) is dedicated to the work of the honeybee. Just think, such a small creature contributes to the global food supply through pollination and a gain through its supply of honey as a food, and as a medicine.

We may react with fear in the presence of a bee like so many aspects of our diverse world without appreciating the good along with the sting, which is only active in the presence of danger.  No fun for those with those with sting allergies, but maybe we appreciate the bee more with reports that the global bee population is on a decline. As fruits are only pollinated by the honeybee that does not farewell for our global food supply as well as the 300 tons of honey for commercial use annually.

There are in fact 4 species of honey bees:

  • Little Honeybee, Apis florae  – native to southeast Asia
  • Eastern Honeybee, Apis cerana – native to eastern Asia as far north as Korea and Japan
  • Giant Honeybee, Apis dorsata – native to southeast Asia
  •  ‘Western Honeybee’ Apis mellifera – native to Africa, Europe, and western Asia

Taking care of all the continents, unlike other bees, refines the nectar it extracts from flowers to make the honey we all love. Known as ‘asal abyad (Arabic), miel blanc (French), honig (German), they make enough honey to provide for their food supply throughout the winter when they are still busy while most of nature is taking time out.

These very social creatures that know the true meaning of structured teamwork are brightly coloured to warn off honey thieves along with an egg laying tube that holds venom and is used when their domain, is threatened. Male honeybees do not have stingers.

The hexagonal honeycomb made of beeswax is produced by the worker bees when they are only 12 – 15 days old. The population uses it as a nursery for the young as well as a warehouse for their honey and pollen. Totally practical, the honeycomb is made up of two-sided precision made cells where the Queen bee lays her eggs.

Commercial Honey

Because of the different sources of nectar, the colour, and flavor of honey varies.

Known as purified honey, it is prepared by melting honey at a moderate temperature, skimming off any impurities, and diluting with water.

Unfortunately, one really needs to know one’s honey and not trust the brand name as fake/heavily diluted honey is not uncommon. The honey one could be buying could be a mixture of sugar water, malt sweeteners, or corn/rice syrup. In the U.S. 75% of honey is heavily diluted/processed, and contain little or no medicinal/nutritional properties at all! The Food Safety News reports:

  • 76 percent of honey samples bought at  grocery stores (such as TOP Food, Safeway, QFC, Kroger, Harris Teeter,  etc.) were absent of pollen
  • 77 percent of the honey from big box stores (like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target) were absent of pollen
  • 100 percent of the honey sampled from drug stores (like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS Pharmacy) were absent of pollen

In other words, it is not honey!

Chemical Properties

We are told in the Qur’an:

“And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: “Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect.” Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.” (An-Nahl 16:68-69)

Mildly acidic, due to the various sources of nectar that honeybees process into honey, the phytochemical composition can vary. Honey contains over 181 different phytochemicals, and they include:

  • Abaecin
  • Apidaecins
  • Butanoic formic  acid
  • Caffeic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Gluconic acid
  • Lactic acid
  •  Malic acid
  • Methyl caffeate
  • Phenylethyl caffeate
  • Phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate
  • Pinostrobin
  • Pyroglutamic acid     
  • Royalisin
  • Quercetin

Antibacterial – this is well documented in traditional, folk, and modern medicine. Honey contains Abaecin and Apidaecins, which are antibacterial along with royalisin. However, much is lost in commercial honey that has been subject to prolonged exposure to heat, and sunlight. The honey with strong antibacterial properties includes Honeydew honey, which is from the nectar of the conifers of mountainous regions of central Europe, as well as Manuka honey or Leptospermum scoparium from New Zealand.

Manuka honey has been found to be affective against bacterium:

  • Staphylococcus aureus and epidermis
  • Streptococcus pyogenes
  • Enterobacteriaceae

The commercially available Manuka honey is the only commercially available honey that contains antibacterial properties. It is the product of bees that extract nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush indigenous to New Zealand.

In New Zealand, chronic, and acutely infected wounds have been treated successfully with honey where conventional treatments failed accept where the arteries were compromised. Research carried out at the Waikato University varicose ulcers healed with 3 months without the use of systemic antibiotics. They found honey has a cleansing and deodorizing affect on malignant wounds, and is affective within 24 hours. Honey proved to be more effective than the drug phenytoin in cases of chronic leg ulcers, and more effective than povidone-iodine with 70% ethanol washes for postoperative wound infections. The honey used was Manuka honey!

Anti-cancerous

Caffeic acid methyl caffeate, phenylethyl caffeate, and phenylethyl dimethylcaffeate has been found to prevent colon cancer, but these properties are lost in commercial honey, i.e. honey subject to prolonged heat.

Antiseptic – this is well documented in traditional, folk, and modern medicine.

Ulcers – this is well documented in traditional, folk, and modern medicine. From 1984 – 2001 25 modern scientific papers document and confirm honey as an effective topical treatment of ulcers, wounds, and skin graft preservation.

Nutritional Content

Depending on the type of honey, nutritional properties includes :

  • Betaine
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Choline is similar to the B-vitamins, a small percentage of which is produced by the human body. Choline supports the cell membranes, the neural transmitter acetylcholine connected to the muscles, prevents build up of homocysteine, reduces chronic inflammations, and helps to maintain a healthy liver.

Vitamin A is full of beta carotene, which supports the lungs and the eyes by maintaining healthy mucous membranes.

Vitamin K promotes bone formation and prevents nerve damage in the brain.

Zinc plays an important role, synthesizing certain processes in the body like that of carbohydrates, and proteins for instance. Zinc also metabolizes certain micronutrients, and stabilizes certain structures of cells.

Pure unfiltered honey has the ability to:

  • Prevent tooth decay
  • Promote friendly gut bacteria
  • Balances homocysteine levels (high levels lead to cardiovascular  disease and osteoporosis)
  • Calm allergies
  • Calm coughs

Pure unfiltered honey has:

  • Amino acids
  • Antioxidants
  • Enzymes
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Pure unfiltered honey is:

  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-viral
  • Good for the skin
  • Good for the heart

Contraindications

Honey contaminated with Clostridium botulinum the cause botulism is not suitable for infants. Clostridium botulinum comes from the soil in which the plant grows. Honey that is from the nectar of poisonous plants like mountain laurel, jimson weed, azalea, and rhododendron should be avoided.

Recipes

In New Zealand, honey is used as a standard treatment for leg ulcers by community nurses.

In the Niger Delta, Nigeria, honey mixed with onion juice has been used for upper respiratory infections, problems of the liver, and stomach ulcers; used as a carminative when mixed with Benin pepper, and mixed with the powder of black/white pepper to treat dyspepsia, debility, diarrhoea, cholera, piles and urinary tract problems.

Chew the honeycomb or propolis (the plant resin) as an antihistamine, and as immune system booster.

In balance He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!

References:

“Honey.” http://www.drugs.com/npp/honey.html

Molan, P.C., and Betts, J.C.  “Clinical usage of honey as a wound dressing: an update.” Journal of Wound Care Vol 13, No 9, October 2004

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Lemons

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Garlic

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Oranges

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Almonds

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Shea Butter

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Strawberries (Fragaria vesca)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Dates (Phoenix dactylifera)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Figs (Ficus Carica)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Acai Berries (Euterpe oleracea)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Beetroot (Beta vulgaris)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Tomatoes

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fava Beans (Vicia faba)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Avocado (Persea Americana)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Aubergines (Solanum melongena esculentum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Blueberries (Vaccinium corybosum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Barley (Hordeum Vulgare)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Coconut (Cocos nucifera L)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Kale (Brassica oleracea)