Questions and Answers - Herbs and Health
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Q: What is the difference between herbal and vitamin supplements?
A: Vitamins themselves, are not whole foods, but are among the many micro-nutrients that make up food. As supplements, they are popular for their general overall nutritional benefits, particularly when a persons diet (processed foods, high fat content, sweets) is known to be vitamin deficient. Herbs on the other hand, are whole foods that naturally contain a broad range of micro-nutrients, including a wealth of extremely healthful phyto-chemicals found in no other foods. They contain a wide array of active and sub-active ingredients that have very profound nutritive value. This is why an herb such as ginseng, has been shown to both lower blood pressure (for those with hyper-tension) and raise it (for those with hypo-tension). Herbs (tonic herbs and tonic formulations) nourish and regulate the organs and systems of the body in very direct ways and, when used in an herbal program, can literally transform a person's health.
Q: What are trans fats?
A: Trans fats are also known as trans-fatty acids. They are a type of fat formed when food manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats such as shortening and hard margarine. This prolongs the shelf life of these types of products. Small amounts of trans fats are found naturally in animal-based foods.
Q: What does Vitamin K do for you and what happens if I don't have it?
A: Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, that is adequately produced by intestinal bacteria in a healthy person. Its sole function is to control blood clotting. If you do not have enough Vitamin K you may bruise easily and any cuts or scrapes will bleed much longer. Best food sources are cauliflower, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes and beef liver.
Q: How important are diet and exercise when using herbs?
A: Proper diet and exercise are important whether or not a person uses herbs. Including herbs in a daily mix, however, will improve the overall benefits of any exercise regimen or diet. Herbs can help improve athletic performance and body function, which is why many professional athletes embrace some form of herbal supplementation.
Q: How fast will an herb work?
A: For acute conditions, such as colds and allergies, the proper herbs can work rather quickly. It should be noted however, that tonic herbs differ tremendously from prescription drugs. Drugs are expected to sublimate symptoms rapidly. Herbs, particularly tonic herbs, are not drugs nor particularly drug-like. They are, more a class of "super foods" which provide the body with everything from phytoestrogens to vitamins. They help to revitalize the body's own ability to re-establish and maintain balance and overall good health. This process may take time.
Q: How long can you store dried herbs?
A: When stored in a dark, dry place, flowers, leaves and roots retain their quality for about a year. After that, some active ingredients are destroyed and the herb loses its effectiveness. For this reason, buy or harvest only as many herbs as you are likely to use within a year.
Q: What is the difference between a wrap, a pack, and a compress?
A: A pack is merely placed on the affected area, while a wrap, as the name implies, is wrapped around the entire body part being treated. An example of a pack is the hay flower sachet, which is placed on a painful joint, a pulled muscle, or on an uncomfortable stomach. Compresses are quick and easy to apply. All you need to do is dip a small hand towel in water and place it on a sports injury or wound.
Q: What should I look for when choosing a health care practitioner?
A: Good health care practitioners who use herbs and natural remedies - whether they practice conventional or alternative medicine-should first conduct a thorough interview (i.e.: collect information about previous diagnoses and treatments, the patient's lifestyle, work conditions, and diet). For medical diagnoses, see a licensed physician. They should examine the patient thoroughly, set a goal for the treatment, and come up with a treatment plan that establishes a time after which the success of the treatment is to be evaluated. They inform the patient of the potential risks of the proposed treatment. Good health practitioners patiently answer all the patient's questions, including fees, qualifications and education. They never promise a complete or immediate cure, are not on principle opposed to conventional or alternative medicine, and don't object if the patient wants to get a second opinion.
Q: Why are trans-fats bad for me?
A: Trans fats raise the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol in the body. They also deplete good cholesterol (HDL), which helps protect against heart disease. The body is unable to break down trans fatty acids, causing them to build up within the body. In other words, much like bacon grease clogging up the kitchen pipes, trans fats clog up the arteries leading to the heart and brain.
Q: What is the difference between black tea and green tea?
A: Both varieties of tea are made from the leaves of the same plant. After the harvest, leaves for black tea undergo a fermenting process catalyzed by their enzymes. This turns them to a red brown color first, then black after they are dried. This process allows the human body to absorb the caffeine in black tea more quickly, thus making it more stimulating than green tea. However, fermentation sacrifices some of the ingredients that are retained in green tea. Green tea is superior to black tea.
Q: What is Black Cohosh?
A: Black Cohosh is a flowering Native American plant that grows along the East coast of the United States. Its roots and underground strems were prized early on for a variety of ailments.
Q: What are the natural health and medicinal benefits of Black Cohosh?
A: The Native American Indian medicine man frequently administered the root of this plant as a strong liquid extract to relieve menstrual cramps, irrregularities and menopausal symptoms. Native American Indian women experienced black cohosh as an effective form of relief for hot flashes, and other premenopausal symptoms. This herbal intelligence was adopted later on by Colonial settlers for "female weaknesses". Today we know that the active ingredients (in a summary; by a study) showed that black cohosh behaves similarly to the female hormone estrogen and it is able to bind to estrogen receptors, effectively mediating the negative activity of estrogen. Another study indicated that black cohosh can reduce the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.
Q: What is Cod Liver Oil?
A: Cod liver oil is the oil pressed from the livers of the cold water ocean codfish.
Q: What is Cod liver oil's active ingredients?
A: Cod liver oil is a rich source of Vitamin A. It is a good source of Vitamin D and Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA's).
Q: How does Zinc aid in cold prevention and relief?
A: Zinc is a trace mineral that is involved in many enzymatic processes within every organ in the body. Zinc also supports the function of many protieins in the body. Its main function is aiding in immunity, which includes the production of antibodies and T-cells. Without enough zinc, the body is unable to fight against bacteria, parasites and viruses. Studies have shown that zinc may help in preventing the immune system from aging, which may begin after middle age, by helping to prevent immune functions from deteriorating as well as reversing any damages. Due to zinc's strong role in immune function, studies have shown that zinc significantly reduces the duration of sysmptions of the common cold as well as reducing the severity of cold symptoms. It may also decrease the duration of both mild and severe infections. The recommended daily dosage should not be exceeded unless specified by a physician. Those with Alzheimer's disease or diabetes should not take this product.
Q: What is Calcium Citrate and what are its active nutritional ingredients?
A: Calcium Citrate is an orgaic type of calcium formed by the combination of elemental calcium with citrate, a natural substance synthesized by the body in the energy generating cycle. The active ingredient is the elemental calcium that is released into the blood stream when the digestive process separates the citrate portion from it.
Q: What are the natural health and medicinal benefits fo Calcium Citrate?
A: Many people are familiar with the natural benefits of calcium. It is an essential mineral required to form osteoblasts (bone cells) that become part of strong bones and a healthy skeletal system. Calcium is required for teeth, especially the bone sockets that secure them. It is also essential for heart and cardiovascular system function.
Health professionals preferred calcium citrate to other types of calcium such as bone meal calcium, oyster shell or calcium carbonate because it is already in a soluable, ionized state, allowing it to be more rapidly and easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Other forms of calcium require sufficient stomach acid to make them soluable and ionized for absorption. Unfortunately, many people have low stomach acid levels and cannot breakdown and absorb calcium carbonate or other inorganic forms, rendering the elemental calcium in them nutritionally unavailable.
Q: What is Bromelain and why is it good to take?
A: Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that is naturally found in the core of the tropical pineapple. Bromelain is a protease, a protein splitting enzyme. It is one of several enzymes that can aid the digestion of dietary protein in food, and numerous studies confirm that it is very effective. Bromelain is not just for eating assistance. When taken in between meals, it can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory that eases the discomforts associated with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, sports injuries, infections and surgery. Bromelain accomplishes this by breaking down the extra thick layer of a protein called fibrin that forms around injured cells and causes uncomfortable swelling.
Q: I'm on the pill, can I get STI?
A: Birth control pills, protect you against the possibility of becoming pregnant, not sexually transmitted infections. Educate yourself to learn about STIs. Use a condom and the pill together to protect yourself and your partner against an unplanned pregnancy and STIs.
PS: If you are consuming antibiotics, the birth control pill maybe not as effective.
Q: HIV only affects "gay" guys. If I have sex with only girls, am I going to be OK?
A: Not true. The spread of HIV is through direct sexual contact with anyone who has HIV. Hetrosexual transmission (male-female) sex is the #1 mode of HIV transmission in the world.
Q. How is Hemp Hearts™ packaged and how do I store Hemp Hearts™?
A. Hemp Hearts™ are made fresh daily, packaged in 454g (1 lb.) plastic containers with see through lids.
No refrigeration required. Hemp Hearts™ has a shelf life of one year.
Q. How is Hemp Oil packaged and how do I store Hemp Oil?
A. Hemp oil is made weekly, bottled in 500ml (16 ounce) clear plastic bottles. Hemp oil is clear and
sparkles (will not smoke during cooking). Do not heat above 300F or 150C. Do not substitute
Hemp Oil for cooking or frying oil. Unopened bottled Hemp Oil is nitrogen blanketed and
has a shelf life of one year. Hemp oil can be frozen and will be fresh for over a year in that state.
However, once opened should be kept tightly sealed. Store in the refrigerator and consumed
within 1 - 3 months for optimum freshness.
Q. How are Hemp Bars packaged and how do I store Hemp Bars?
A. Hemp Bars could be eaten as a meal replacement, packaged in a 200g (7 ounces) 5 cm X 30cm
(2 inch X 12 inch) rigid, content labelled plastic container. The container is designed so that the nut
fruit toppings are visible through the see through snap on lid. No refrigeration required.
Hemp Bars have a shelf life of 6 months.
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