Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fw: Herb of Grace

-------Original Message------- 
Date: 19-04-2011 10:21:06 AM
Subject: Herb of Grace
 
Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
April 19, 2011

 

There's an herb that's not very well know in the United States, but in India, this plant is so revered that they use it in their ritual to consecrate newborn babies. They believe it opens the gateways to knowledge.

Discover the Healing Power
Of Nature's Herbal Wonder

The ancient Egyptians dubbed it the "Plant of Immortality." The ancient Greeks referred to it as the "Wand of Heaven." Native Americans called it the "Silent Healer."

I'm talking about Aloe Vera.

Topical Aloe Vera is a highly effective skin care remedy. But did you know that the juice of the Aloe Vera plant has remarkable internal healing powers?

This juice provides relief from indigestion and heartburn by reducing pain caused by stomach irritants. And also by balancing your stomach acid's pH.

And that's just one of many natural medicinal uses for Aloe Vera juice.

Nature City has come up with a drink that contains the finest Aloe Vera juice concentrate. It's 100% natural and can help restore your body.

Click here to try some for yourself.

It's called bacopa.

It likes warm climates with lots of available water, like we have here in South Florida.

In fact, bacopa grows in a few of the sunnier places around the large pond in my backyard. It's a perennial, so I can always see a few purplish-white flowers poking out here and there along the edge of the water.

I like to take a thick leaf or two in my hand and snap it open between my fingers and crush it a little... It has a nice lemon scent to it.

And with a nickname like the "Herb of Grace" you can imagine it has a few good things going for it.

Bacopa has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine in India. There, they use the entire plant to treat breathing ailments like asthma and rheumatism. They also use the crushed leaves on cuts and burns because of its anti-inflammatory action.

But the latest research shows that bacopa protects your brain. And, more importantly, can improve intellectual capacity, concentration and memory, as well as shorten learning time.

In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study – the gold standard in research – they divided people into two groups. One group got 300 mg a day of bacopa and the other got a placebo. After 12 weeks, the people taking bacopa had:

  • Better word recall
  • Better attention
  • Better memory scores
  • A greater ability to ignore irrelevant information when learning

The bacopa group also had less anxiety and lower heart rates, while the stress and heart rates in the placebo group increased.1

Another double-blind placebo-controlled investigation gave 107 healthy people 300 mg of bacopa plant extract daily. After 90 days, the people had significantly improved their spatial memory, memory accuracy and their ability to process visual information.2

Research also has discovered that bacopa can protect you from toxins that are harmful to your brain, especially aluminum. Long-term exposure to aluminum can increase your risk of Alzheimer's disease by 60 percent.3

Bacopa, also known as the "Herb of Grace," has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.

In a study from India, researchers gave animals aluminum chloride. The animals treated with bacopa extract were protected from damage to the lipids and proteins in the brain. Bacopa's protection even showed up on a microscopic level. It prevented a buildup of toxins between neurons, and stopped damage to the hippocampus, an important seat of learning, memory and thinking power.4

Another animal study showed bacopa reduced cellular damage in the part of the brain that controls movement and attention, and reversed the symptoms of muscular problems originating in the brain.5

Bacopa has a lot of beneficial components like saponins (that protect against infection) and flavonoids (plant antioxidants).

But bacopa also has two active components called bacosides A and B. They improve the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in the brain, they regenerate synapses and repair damaged neurons. It helps you to learn and remember new things much more easily.

It's easy to add this ancient herb to what you eat, or take it as a supplement.

  1. If you would like to grow your own, it's easy to do. There are up to 100 species of bacopa, but bacopa monnieri is the one used in Ayurvedic medicine.

    You can buy bacopa plants at garden centers all over the southern U.S. It's often sold online as an "aquarium" plant because of the colorful flowers. You also can buy bacopa plants and seeds online.

    Two websites that will help you find retailers are Myfolia (www.myfolia.com/retailers), or Dave's Garden (www.davesgarden.com - under the products and sources tab).

    You can plant them in the ground where they grow to about 6 inches tall, or in a basket where they'll hang down. To grow them, you need sandy, acidic soil, and lots of sunlight. They don't like cold, and need to stay moist, but otherwise, they're pretty low maintenance.


  2. To make tea from the bacopa plant, you can use the leaves, stems and (dried) roots, but the leaves themselves work fine, too. First boil some water, and add the leaves. Let steep up to 10 minutes, and strain off.

    Here are three things to remember:

    Tear and bruise the leaves so the aromatic oils can be released into the water.
    You'll need to use more fresh leaves than you would dried.
    Because it's an herbal tea and has few tannins, you can steep bacopa for a long time and it won't get more and more bitter like tea from regular tea leaves.
    The tea should be kept refrigerated and used within four days.

    When I make tea from the leaves of the plants around my house, I like to add stevia leaves. This adds sweetness to the lemon flavor of the bacopa, which can be a little bitter.

    I also sometimes add bacopa to salads and soups. The slightly tangy taste jazzes up the flavor.


  3. Bacopa is also available in capsules, syrups, tinctures and extracts. You can even find it at health-food stores in its dried or powered form, which is nice for making infusions.

    To make an oil infusion, warm some sesame or olive oil in a double boiler with bacopa for four hours. After two hours, replace the bacopa. After four hours, strain the infusion. You can preserve it with rosemary oil extract.

    As a supplement, bacopa usually comes in a standardized formula of 20 percent bacosides A and B. You can find it at many health-food stores, and you can get capsules in many sizes. But studies show at least 300 mg of bacopa extract is effective. I recommend taking 150 mg in the morning and at night.

To Your Good Health,

Al
Sears, MD signature

Al Sears, MD


[1] Calabrese, C. et al, "Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly..." J. Altern. Complement. Med. July 2008;14(6):707-13
[2] Stough, C., et al, "Examining the nootropic effects of a special extract of Bacopa monniera on human cognitive functioning..." Phytother. Res. Dec. 2008;22(12):1629-34
[3] Jansson, Erik T., "Aluminum Exposure and Alzheimer's Disease," Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 3 2001: 541-549
[4] Jyoti, A., Sharma, D., "Neuroprotective role of Bacopa monniera extract against aluminum-induced oxidative stress in the hippocampus of rat brain," Neurotoxicology 2006;27(4):451-7
[5] Tripathi, S., Mahdi, A.A., Hasan, M., et al, "Protective Potential of Bacopa monniera (Brahmi)..." Cell. Mol. Biol. Feb. 12, 2011;57(1):3-15



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