Relax and meditation
Tryptophan is an amino acid discovered by two British biochemists, Hopkins and Cole, in the early 1900s and is one of the eight amino acids defined essential, that is that they are not produced by the body but have to be introduced with diet (Richard et al, Int J Tryptophan Res, 2009). Tryptophan, what is it? - Tryptophan is used by the brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin, in turn, is a neurotransmitter involved in various processes such as sleep induction, pain threshold control, thermoregu...
Food combination and cooking method, potatoes Part 2
Potatoes are edible tubers produced by the plant solanum tuberosum, belonging to the Solanaceae family. Potatoes aren’t a fatty food and, from the nutritional point of view, they are characterized by a high content in vitamins, such as group B and C, mineral salts, such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium, that makes the potatoes a food able to relax, proteins and anti inflammatory and antioxidant substances (Camire et al, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 2009). In the previous post we have seen s...
Food combinations and cooking methods, potatoes Part 1
Potato, solanum tuberosum, is a plant of the Solanaceae family. The edible part of the plant is formed by tubers, the potatoes, that are the enlarged underground stems. Potatoes can be purchased either when they have reached full maturity or when their development has been interrupted, in this case we speak of new potatoes. Be careful in case of germinated potatoes because solanine, a toxic alkaloid, is produced at this stage. Therefore, the germinated potato should not be eaten. Potatoes are a ...
Food combinations and cooking methods, the pumpkin Part 2
Pumpkin is a powerful source of vitamins, especially A, important for the health of the immune system, skin and eyesight, E, which fights aging processes, K, which is essential to allow blood to clot properly, and group B, mineral salts, such as magnesium, potassium and calcium, which, together, show a calming and sedative action, and zinc, useful for the skin, especially in case of acne, wounds and infections. Finally, the pumpkin brings precious antioxidants such as beta-carotene (USDA Databas...
Food combinations and cooking methods, pumpkin Part 1
Pumpkin is the fruit of several plants of the Cucurbitaceae family. The pumpkin, depending on the type, may have a round or elongated shape, a smooth or lumpy skin and a more or less sweet pulp with inside flat and white seeds. In general, the pulp of the pumpkin is a powerful source of beneficial substances while it is considered poor in calories, around 26kcal per 100 grams. The pumpkin brings mineral salts, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc, vitamins, such as A, important for the...
Chakras and yoga
The chakras, based on the ancient writings of the Indian medical tradition, are the centers in which the energy of the body converges. The main chakras, a Sanskrit term meaning wheel, are seven and are located along the spine. According to tradition, they have the task of receiving and distributing vital energy, by ensuring the proper functioning of the body. Each chakra is in fact associated with particular organs and functions, now we’ll see better in detail! The seven chakras - The first ch...
Rosa centifolia, the flower with soothing, analgesic and antioxidant properties
The rosa centifolia, also called Provence rose or May rose, is a type of hybrid rose of the Rosaceae family whose origin dates back to the seventeenth century. Its flower is characterized by a beautiful deep pink color with overlapping and fragrant petals. It has a very intense aroma, sweet and with notes of honey, that makes this rose an ingredient highly appreciated in perfumery. Rosa Centifolia oil, properties - The rosa centifolia also plays a leading role in cosmetics and as a natural rem...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 11, Rose infused oil worthy of the Gods of Olympus
The palace of the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar was decorated with roses whose petals were used to prepare a scented oil. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, roses were the symbol of the goddess of love, Aphrodite or Venus, they represented beauty and joy and the rose infused oil was also well known. About this special and powerful beauty oil spoke Pliny and Homer, who, in the Book XXIII of the Iliad described that Aphrodite applied on Hector's body a rose infused oil to protect him from the an...
Music, sounds and noise
A walk in the woods, in silence, surrounded just by nature sounds, a low chirping, the murmuring of the wind and the babbling brook. Or a cozy room in which a calming and relaxing music is rising. The sounds that surround us aren’t just a background of our actions and life but have a pivotal role on the mood, the concentration and stress. Nature sounds and music for meditation have indeed an anxiolytic effect demonstrated by scientific researches, as we’ll see in the following. Nature sounds –...
Hericium erinaceus, known also as lion’s mane mushroom or monkey head mushroom, is an edible mushroom native to North America, Europe and Asia. This particular mushroom isn’t just fascinating for its look, characterized by long and white spines, but also thanks to its healthy properties demonstrated by scientific studies. Properties – This mushroom is indeed antioxidant, it is able to stimulate the immune system but shows also a neuroprotective effect connected to the enhance of a protein, NGF...
Lemon balm, mother tincture
Lemon balm, also known as balm, common balm or balm mint, scientific name Melissa officinalis, is a plant of the Lamiaceae family. From the leaves of lemon balm a mother tincture is obtained characterized by a sedative, anxiolytic and antispasmodic action (Scholey et al, Nutrients, Nov 2014), therefore useful in case of anxiety, nervousness, insomnia and before exams at school or university or important tests at work. This remedy may be able, indeed, to mitigate the performance anxiety that thes...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 8, lemon balm honey for the Nefertari’s bath
Nefertari was a queen of Ancient Egypt, the wife of Ramses the Great, who dedicated her a temple that still fascinates all the people who have the opportunity to admire it, majestic and timeless, able to defy the centuries and the works of humans, Abu Simbel, set in the southernmost part of Egypt, in Aswan. Nefertari was much loved by Ramses and, as they say, also very beautiful and she took care of her beauty with ointments, creams and baths. Between history and legend, today we take inspiratio...
Food combinations Part 5, the best ways to eat artichokes
The artichoke is the flower bud of the plant Cynara scolymus. The artichoke is rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, cynarine, an alkaloid able to protect the liver and to lower the cholesterol, inulin, a prebiotic that protects and stimulates the bacterial flora of the gut, antioxidants such as tannins (Rondanelli et al, Monladi Arch Chest Dis, Mar 2013 – Lopez-Molina et al, Phytochemistry, Jun 2005). However, the properties of the artichoke depend on the ways of cooking and on the foods served t...
Yoga is an ancient discipline, born thousands of years ago in India with the aim to restore and maintain balance and health of mind, body and emotions. We are witnessing a great spread of yoga all over the world and this thanks to the numerous scientific researches that are demonstrating its effectiveness as an aid to control stress and chronic inflammation in the body, which, as we have seen in several posts, can cause in the long run cardiovascular or autoimmune diseases, depression and even t...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 2
Chronic inflammations can be considered one of the most dangerous enemies of our health. In silence, it works inside our body and create the conditions for several illnesses and also depression. Refined foods, fried foods and sugars act on our body by increasing chronic inflammation, also stress can increase chronic inflammation. In the previous posts we have seen the guide lines created by important universities such as Harvard or Rush University Medical Center of Chicago about healthy diet hab...
Rauwolfia serpentina, or Indian serpentine, is a medicinal plant of the Apiaceae family known and appreciated for centuries thanks to its health benefits. From the roots of the plants of at least 18 months a remedy with hypotensive, antiarrhythmic and vasodilatory properties is obtained. Indian Serpentine is therefore used to treat anxiety, hypertension and insomnia. Its mechanism of action is well known and is based on an alkaloid present in the remedy, the reserpine, which acts on the nervous ...
Silver birch, also known as Betula pendula or warty birch, belongs to the Betulaceae family, it is a very resistant tree about 20 meters tall with a white and smooth bark. From this type of plant two glycerin macerates with different applications are prepared, one obtained from the buds, with anti-inflammatory properties, while the other, obtained from the seeds, is used as a support for cognitive functions. But let's see better in detail. Buds - Silver birch buds stimulate the activity of the...
Bird's foot trefoil
Bird's foot trefoil, scientific name Lotus corniculatus, is a plant of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family characterized by small, intense yellow-colored flowers. From the whole plant the mother tincture is obtained, the remedy is characterized by a general sedative, antispasmodic and antidepressive action and results also able to regulate and normalize sleep and wakefulness. Therefore the plant can be used in case of anxiety, nervousness, depression, palpitations and tachycardia, insomnia and, m...
Mace is a spice native to the Moluccas obtained from the internal part of the fruit of a tree, Myristica fragrans. From the same tree is obtained also nutmeg that comes, on the contrary, from the seed and has a more intense and less sweet taste than mace. Mace has vitamins, such as A, C and group B, and mineral salts, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, selenium and phosphorus, it contains also antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, very useful to counteract free radicals. In a...
Speedwell, scientific name Veronica officinalis, is a plant of the Plantaginaceae family already known by the ancient Germanic peoples thanks to its beneficial properties. In addition to this, speedwell is also described by the well known herbalist Maria Treben. Speedwell grows spontaneously on dried soils and is characterized by a high purifying action, helps keep under control the cholesterol and is able to prevent atherosclerosis. This plant has a soothing action in case of eczema and itches....
Evergreen magnolia, or Magnolia grandiflora, is a medicinal plant of the Magnoliaceae family of ancient origin, since traces of this plant date back more than 95 million years ago. The magnolia bark is used to obtain a highly appreciated anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant remedy used in traditional Chinese medicine to counteract diarrhea, cough and problems of the urinary tract. Moreover, according to a research carried out in 1997 by a team of scientists from the Gunma University ...
Hop or common hop, humulus lupulus, is a medicinal plant of the Cannabaceae family. Hops, indicated by Saint Hildegard as a remedy against melancholy, are a basic ingredient of beer, they give it in fact the bitter taste, but in addition to this hops have also interesting draining, sedative, antibacterial and even anticancer properties, as reported in a 2016 study and published on the journal Science Research in Toxicology by a team of researchers of the University of Illinois. According to the ...
The Eleutherococcus, or Siberian ginseng, is a medicinal plant from the Araliaceae family with tonic, invigorating and anti-stress properties. The Eleutherococcus does not present toxicity, on the contrary, it is able to adapt and modulate its activity against issues and diseases without having a specific action on a single organ. You can use this remedy in cases of physical and mental fatigue, low energy and strength, in order to fight irritability and anxiety, to deal with stressful situations...
Kava or kava kava, also known as Piper methysticum, is a plant that grows in the regions of Polynesia and Oceania. Kava kava has anxiolytic and sedative properties known for more than 3000 years. Given the anti-stress action, the kava kava is useful in case of anxiety and sleep problems, by promoting a natural sleep. It can be taken in the form of tablets, at a dosage of 50-70 mg three times a day for no more than three months, or as herbal tea, in the supermarkets or specialized shops you can f...
The Scutellaria baicalensis, also known as Baical skullcap, comes from Russia and China and is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat allergies, inflammation, flu, liver and lung diseases and headaches. The herbaceous plant has in fact anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-allergic, antispasmodic and sedative properties, it can be used in case of back pain, because it is able to relax the muscles, headaches, but also insomnia and anxiety states, panic attacks, but especially in case o...
The hawthorn belongs to the family of Rosaceae, it has white flowers in spring and red fruits in autumn. This plant has firstly antiarrhythmic and cardiotonic properties, for this reason it is indicated to treat circulatory problems such as changes in heart rate and high blood pressure. But the hawthorn properties do not end here, in fact, bark, flowers and fruits of this plant can be used to prepare teas and infusions with important healthful properties to counteract problems such as diarrhea ...
Passiflora, also known as the passion flower, so called because it recalls the crown of thorns, is a medicinal plant already known by the Aztecs, it was brought to Europe in the seventeenth century and used for its antispasmodic and sedative properties. This plant calms the central nervous system and helps, as demonstrated by scientific studies, both to treat and to prevent insomnia, irritability, restlessness and anxiety, even during menopause, by relaxing without generating depression, the pla...
Hypericum perforatum, known also as St. John's wort, is an herb that can be found wild in the fields and woods. It has a powerful sedative and antidepressant action, according to scientific studies such as that published in 1996 on the prestigious magazine British Medical Journal with the result that the St. John's wort has an higher effect in case of an average type depression with respect to placebo. St. John's wort is also a good remedy for insomnia, anxiety, nervous breakdown or mood swings ...
The poppy seeds are oilseed used to make more tasty bread and sweets, they can be white or black, but the properties are the same. They are a source of vitamin B, vitamin E, manganese and calcium and are for this reason very useful to reinforce bones, teeth and during the menopause. In addition to this they have calming properties for the nervous system and, thanks to the contained phytosterols, are able to regulate the blood cholesterol, by reducing the bad cholesterol LDL and by increasing the...
Lettuce can be eaten raw in salad, seasoned with olive oil and just a little salt. Lettuce is rich in water, for this reason this vegetable hydrates the body and is useful in case of water retention and the problems connected to it such as cellulite. Lettuce contains also anti-oxidants, vitamin C, E and carotene. These substances can be fund especially in the external and more green leaves and are important to prevent cancer and eye- and cardiovascular- illnesses. Lettuce contains iron, that ...
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