Relax and meditation
Black currant, herbal tea
The blackcurrant, scientific name ribes nigrum, is a shrub of the Grossulariaceae family, can reach 2 meters in height and is characterized by very dark fruits or berries. In herbal medicine, different parts of blackcurrant are used, for example its young buds are used to prepare glycerine macerate, which we have already talked about previously as a remedy for allergies. But even the blackcurrant leaves, once dried, are very interesting in the herbal medicine field and are the ingredients for po...
Bearberry, scientific name Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, is a plant of the Ericaceae family from which an important natural remedy is obtained able to treat urinary tract infections. These infections, which include, for example, cystitis, are very common, especially in women. It is estimated that throughout her life every woman has a 50% risk of developing one of these infections (Trill et al, Trials, 2017). Often urinary tract infections are treated with antibiotics, however, in case of recurrent cy...
Grapes are the fruit of the grape vine, vitis vinifera, juicy, sweet and tasty, have been a part of human life for thousands of years. There are different types of grapes, sweeter or more sour, smaller or bigger and of different colors. Today we will talk about black grapes. Black grapes, properties and benefits - Black grapes, more than other varieties, are an exceptional source of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Polyphenols are mainly found in grape skin and, in case of catechi...
Mu tea is not a particular type of tea but a mixture of herbs and roots able to tone the body, to stimulate the immune system and digestion, to protect the liver and the kidneys, to counteract water retention, fever, hemorrhoids and acne. This blend was formulated in the 50s by the Japanese Georges Ohsawa, considered the father of macrobiotics, and includes from 9 to 16 ingredients. Each ingredient of this special tea brings important healthy properties for different problems and all act in syne...
Today we are talking about another member of the cabbage family, Pak Choi, scientific name Brassica Rapa Chinensis. Pak Choi, also called bok choy, is native to China but nowadays it can be found in specialized shops all over the world. Pak choi means, in Cantonese, white vegetable and is characterized by important healthy properties. Pak choi, properties - This type of cabbage has a high content of glucosinolates, powerful antioxidant and anticancer substances that release all their powerful ...
It is a small perennial plant with a beautiful bright purple flower and red stigmas, we are talking about the crocus sativus, family of the Iridaceae, from which the famous saffron spice is obtained. Saffron, however, does not only give to the recipes a unique and exotic taste, but also has important healthy properties studied and demonstrated by scientific researches. Saffron, properties - Saffron contains carotenoids, which are antioxidant substances, such as crocin, responsible for the yell...
Red kidney beans
Red kidney beans are a common bean variety, scientific name Phaseolus vulgaris. These beans should not be confused with azuki beans, scientific name Vigna angularis. Now let's see the properties of this kind of beans and how to serve them! Properties of red kidney beans - The anthocyanins give the beans a dark red color and, according to scientific studies (Akond et al, American Journal of Food Technology, May 2011), result in a higher quantity than amaranth, black sorghum and soy beans as wel...
Health and beauty, the remedies of the spring
During winter the lymph of the trees doesn’t reach the branches but tends to go down along the trunk towards the roots to avoid that the cold may freeze it. In spring the lymph starts again to flow. In our body happens something very similar, during winter all the processes slow down and then, with warm weather, vitality and energy come back. It is important, in this seasons change that welcomes spring, sun and warmer weather to help the body remove the accumulated toxins, to purify it but also ...
Since ancient times, honey has been considered a source of important healthy properties, so much that this precious product of bees also appears in various myths and legends, like the one that little Zeus was fed with honey and goat's milk. Well, honey seems really a food worthy of the Gods! There are different types of honey obtained from the different plants used by bees, such as chestnut, citrus or linden just to mention a few examples. Another difference is given by the raw or processed hone...
Food combinations and cooking methods, ginger Part 2
Ginger, scientific name Zingiber officinale, is a root with important beneficial properties. It is in fact anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and digestive, protects the heart and the immune system. But how can ginger be taken to maximize these properties? In today's post we see the most important food combinations and healthy preparations with ginger. Fresh, candied or herbal tea - Natural or candied ginger is an excellent ally against nausea. Moreover, if grated fresh on foods, such as fish, veg...
Fat burning diet Part 12, the sirtuins
Is it possible to lose weight with eating? Even if it may seem a strange thing, the answer to the question is yes, it is, according to recent, and very promising, researches that are focusing their attention on the connection between aging, diet and fat burning in a really complex but fascinating process. The shelves of the supermarkets are full of products prepared with refined flours, sugar-rich drinks, sweets with glucose syrup designed to satisfy our need of sweet and fatty food that is insi...
Elmleaf blackberry honey, beauty cosmetic and natural remedy
Elmleaf blackberry, also called bramble, scientific name Rubus ulmifolius, is a species of wild blackberry belonging to the Rosaceae family. The bramble is a remedy of tradition thanks to its powerful anti-pyretic properties, therefore useful to counteract the fever, and to its antioxidant effect given by some phenolic compounds such as ellagitannins (Martins et al, Food Funct, Jun 2014 - Niaz et al, BMC Complement Altern Med). These healthful properties are also transferred to honey that is obt...
The plant of cocoa, Theobroma cacao, belongs to the family of Sterculiaceae and is native to south America. When the seeds are extracted from the fruits of the tree they are subjected to a multi step process involving fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding in order to obtain, as a final product, the cocoa powder that we can purchase in the shops. A fine, brown and scented powder that is commonly used for cooking, sweets, drinks but also as an ingredient of beauty cosmetics. Let’s see the pr...
Fat burning diet Part 11, keeping on talking about fish
Our body gets the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids from diet, for this reason, our food choices are responsible for the intake of these important substances, both essential to our health but with different actions. In fact, omega 3 fatty acids act by counteracting inflammation, adipogenesis and fat accumulation, on the contrary, omega 6 fatty acids stimulate the inflammation processes and the fat production. The scientists Gerard Ailhaud and Pierre Weill were the first ones who understood that on...
Fat burning diet Part 10, let’s talk about fish
In the previous post dedicated to fat burning diet we have seen that one of the causes of the obesity epidemic in the Western world may be the imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3 taken with the diet. These fatty acids, although both essential to the body, have a different effect, omega 6, indeed, are pro inflammatory and able to stimulate adipogenesis, omega 3 instead counteract inflammation and the production and accumulation of fat. An optimal ratio between omega 6 and omega 3, able to have ...
The mandarin, citrus reticulata, is a juicy, scented and very yummy fruit, it is also very healthy. But the properties of the mandarin aren’t limited to the pulp, in fact also the peel of mandarin is arousing plenty of interest thanks to several scientific researches that are studying its benefits. In particular, researchers of the Leicester School of Pharmacy have observed that mandarin peel contains a substance, called Salvestrol Q40, which the plant produces to defend itself from external att...
Fat burning diet Part 4, the spices turmeric, black pepper and cloves
As we have seen in the previous posts counteracting overweight, and in particular abdominal fat, is a choice for our health. The adipose tissue indeed, especially if localized on the waistline, is an endocrine organ and is able to produce hormones and inflammatory substances, thus causing a chronic inflammation that is the basis of several illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases (Coelho et al, Arch Med Sci, 2013 - Deng et al, Annu Rev Pathol, 2016). Let’s se...
Macadamia nuts are the oily fruit of the Macadamia tree, also called the Queensland nut tree, belonging to the Proteaceae family and native to Australia. These nuts are round, very similar to hazelnuts and are enclosed in a hard shell, just like the common nuts. Since the shell is really very hard, these nuts are usually sold already shelled. Macadamia nuts provide vitamins, such as E and group B, and mineral salts, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and copper (Moodley et al, J E...
Honeydew honey differs from nectar honey for the raw material used by bees to produce honey. In nectar honey in fact the bees use, as its name suggests, the nectar of the flowers that is then transformed with bees’ enzymes in honey. But in wooded areas there are not always flowers to get nectar from, hence the solution is given by honeydew, captured by bees and then converted into honey. The honeydew is secreted by the plants themselves or by insects that feed on the sap of trees such as silver ...
The Isabella grape derives from the Vitis labrusca plant and is characterized by a pulp with a sweet taste and a strawberry-like scent. This type of grape is native to North America but it is also widespread in Europe. Isabella grape is not only interesting for its taste, it also has important healthy properties. In fact, it brings vitamins, including A, C and group B, and mineral salts, such as iron, copper, potassium and manganese. Moreover, thanks to scientific studies that have analyzed its ...
Anti-inflammatory lifestyle Part 5, friendship and love for a healthy brain
Aristotle was the first to say it in his work Politics, man is, by nature, a social animal and tends to aggregate with other human beings. But this behavior isn’t just natural, it is also the basis for a healthy mind and an anti-inflammatory lifestyle (Eliana Liotta, Age isn’t the same for everyone, but also articles such as Keicolt-Glaser et al, Neurosci Biobehav rev, 2010). As we have seen in the previous post, an enemy of our physical and mental health is chronic inflammation, that doesn’t gi...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 4, the importance of stimulating the brain
Chronic inflammation is a process that can take years to blow up, it works silently and creates the environment for aging and illnesses of body and mind, such as Alzheimer, arthritis, cancer, depression or more visible signs like wrinkles or skin aging. In order to counteract this condition, we should start changing our lifestyle, as we have seen in the previous posts. We have seen also the importance of a good night rest, to regenerate and fight stress and inflammations. Today we will see that,...
Blackberries are the fruits of a plant, scientific name Rubus ulmifolius, belonging to the Rosaceae family. Blackberries have interesting healthy properties and, based on data reported in the database edited by the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America, these fruits are rich in vitamin C (21 mg per 100 grams of blackberries), important to support the immune system, to fight free radicals, to absorb iron and to regenerate the skin, K (almost 20 micrograms per 100 g, about a th...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 3, the importance of a relaxing sleep
To live longer, healthier and, why not, even happier, it is necessary to counteract the chronic inflammations that work silently in the body by creating a favorable environment to aging processes, depression, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular problems, tumors and arthritis. We are not talking about the beneficial inflammations that counteract the threats to our health, as when we fall and skin a knee and the area swells and reddens to allow our defenses to act, but we are speaking about a sile...
Bugle, scientific name Ajuga reptans, is an evergreen plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is also known as St. Lawrence plant, blue bugle, common bugle or carpet bugleweed, and is characterized by interesting anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antiseptic and astringent properties. It can be applied to treat problems of the skin, hair, but also for digestive problems. For external use it is possible to prepare an infusion and use it to gargle, in order to counteract red gums, to clean wo...
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...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 1, the physical activity
As we have seen in the previous posts, diet plays a pivotal role in counteracting chronic inflammations, the enemy number one if we want to grow old in good health, both physical and mental. According to scientific studies indeed, chronic inflammation, not the acute and beneficial one able to fight the threats like virus and bacteria, but the inflammation that works continuously and in silence is considered the cause of premature aging and several illnesses such as Alzheimer and depression, but ...
Cistus, scientific name Cistus incanus, is a plant belonging to the Cistaceae family and is characterized by leaves with a rough surface similar to sage and beautiful violet pink flowers. This plant was well known and appreciated for its healthful properties since ancient times. However, over the years it has been forgotten and then, finally, discovered again also thanks to the numerous scientific researches about its incredible benefits. The cistus is in fact rich of polyphenols, powerful antio...
Anti inflammatory foods Part 5, guide lines of Mind Diet
According to science, chronic inflammations are among the main causes of aging and connected illnesses such as arthritis, rheumatism, cancer, auto immune diseases and Alzheimer, as we have explained in the previous posts. Diet can be really helpful to soothe or remove inflammations. In particular, the researchers of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have recently created a diet, called Mind diet, that has shown anti-inflammatory properties and has been demonstrated to be able to improve ...
Anti inflammatory foods Part 4, introduction to Mind Diet
Chronic inflammations and the methods to counteract them in order to stay younger and healthier for a longer period of time, as described in the previous posts, have been the subject of several scientific studies. While the Harvard Medical School has indicated the foods that should be favorited and other foods that should be limited, another research performed by the Rush University Medical Center of Chicago has drawn up a diet, called Mind Diet, that is considered to be able to fight free radic...
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