Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy

Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Rethinking Cancer Newsletter #31

June 26, 2012

Filed under: Rethinking Cancer Newsletters, What's New? — ggrieser @ 7:24 pm

A massive hi-tech revolution (see article below for just one example) is underway, threatening the long-term health of our food supply. Take heart! At the same time, a green counter-revolution has been slowly, but steadily gaining ground, along with hearts and minds. If you’d like to learn more about this, we recommend a wonderful book: Growing Roots: The New Generation of Sustainable Farmers, Cooks, and Food Activists by Katherine Leiner.

The book gives first person profiles of young farmers, beekeepers, fishermen, chefs, food activists, cheesemongers, and many more who are living sustainable lives that revolve around whole, natural food. You’ll also meet filmmakers, writers, and artists who change the way we look at what we eat and where our food comes from. You’ll learn how these people got to where they are today and about their passionate relationship to food. The photos are fabulous, as are the simple, delicious recipes.

Another positive development: Many doctors, fed up with “a pill for every ill” are finding that one of the best ways to help patients is to show them how to prepare healthy,‘crave-able’ food. At Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives, a collaboration between Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health, practitioners are learning that eating for health is a sensual, not a clinical act. The goal, according to one M.D.: “I want to help my patients not need my services.” “To Heal, First Eat” - read all about it!

Reminder: A number of people have asked how to find past newsletters. They’re just a click away on the News page; look for the Rethinking Cancer Newsletters link.

To your health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (F.A.C.T.)

P.S. Thanks so much for all your comments and support! Hope to “see” you on Twitter andFacebook.

Seeds of Controversy
By John Tarleton

Genetically-modified (GM) foods were first introduced on a commercial basis in the United States in the mid-1990’s. The new technology made it possible to splice desirable qualities from one species into another – such as inserting the gene that keeps a flounder from freezing in cold water into a tomato for longer cold temperature storage. The use of GM crops in the United States grew rapidly in the following years with minimal public debate. Today, more than 70 per cent of the food in U.S. supermarkets have GM derivatives, including virtually all processed foods, though the FDA has ruled that no special labeling is required.

Americans are finally waking up to the dangers posed by this incredible proliferation of genetically altered foods, as ballot initiatives demanding labeling are spreading to many states. But GM technology has been and continues to be controversial in other parts of the world, especially in Europe and Africa. Here are some of the reasons why: Read more

The Banana Trick
by Andrea Candee, Master Herbalist

When there is a splinter, sliver of glass, or any other unwanted foreign object under the skin, the customary plan of attack is to go in after it with a sterilized needle. This can be an uncomfortable experience for a young child or a queasy adult, but the alternative is generally to do nothing and hope for the best, risking the possibility of a lingering, painful infection.

Ripe banana peel to the rescue! The peel is rich in enzymes. It is the drawing action of the enzymes that will bring the foreign matter to the surface of the skin. Read more

Spice of the Month: Vanilla

Vanilla (Vanilla fragrans) gets its name from Spanish vainilla meaning “little pod” because it comes from the thin, seed-containing pods of an edible tropical orchid plant. Possessing one of the world’s most enticing flavors, it is the world’s next most expensive spice after saffron and cardamom. It is also among the most popular – 10,000 tons a year – not enough to satisfy demand, which is why imitation vanilla has become a market necessity, though lacking the potency of the real stuff.

The orchid is a very sensuous flower and has an ancient reputation for enhancing romance. Hence, vanilla was often recommended as a tonic for virility, fertility and for aromatizing perfume, cigars and liqueurs. Native to Mexico, the Aztecs treated it as a medicinal charm, prescribed for hysteria and depression (so-called “women’s troubles”), as well as for patients coughing up blood. In 18th century Europe it was popular as a nerve stimulant. 19th Century American medical texts praised its powers to “exhilarate the brain,…increase muscular energy, and stimulate the sexual energies.”

Today, especially in the last two decades, vanilla has been the subject of much scientific investigation because its seeds contain over 200 phytonutrients – bioactive plant compounds which have healing potential for many conditions. Its most studied main constituent, vanillin, which produces the mellow fragrance, has shown promise in cancer and sickle cell anemia. True to its ancient heritage, the spice also has proven aphrodisiac ability – in treating impotency, frigidity, erectile dysfunction and loss of libido – and is valued as an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and for its general relaxing and calming effect on the brain and nerves, relieving anxiety and anger.Read more

Home Brew: Vanilla Extract

A lot of commercial “pure” vanilla extracts may contain sugar, corn syrup, caramel or artificial colors as well as stabilizers, and just minimum amounts of low-grade alcohol. To avoid all that stuff and enjoy superior flavor, why not make your own? Here’s how:

  1. Take 5 – 6 vanilla pods (or more!), slice lengthwise, exposing the seeds.
  2. Place pods in a clean jar with an airtight lid. A recycled jar (16 oz.) works well. (You can cut pods in shorter pieces, if too long for the container.)
  3. Pour in enough vodka to cover the beans – any kind of vodka will do (many liquor stores now carry organic!) – and seal tightly. Put it in a cool place out of sunlight. Each day for a week, shake the jar gently, then shake once a week or so for at least 8 weeks, though many aficionados recommend 3 – 5 months for optimum flavor. That’s it!

You can remove the beans or keep them in the jar, adding more vodka as you start using the extract. The beans will continue to add flavor for up to a year, but the extract will last for years. For a unique gift: pour into smaller bottles with a pod or two. Cheers!

Rethinking Cancer Newsletter #30

Filed under: Rethinking Cancer Newsletters — ggrieser @ 7:16 pm

Newsflash! The US mainstream media has been talking a lot lately about problems with the food supply, and not just pink slime or the usual salmonella scare. Two recent examples:

  • 60 Minutes,” one of the most highly respected news programs on network TV, delivered a scathing indictment: “Sugar and Kids: the Toxic Truth.” The segment discussed recent research finding that refined sugar — the way it’s being consumed by Americans — is a toxin and could be the driving force behind some of the killer diseases of our times. The narrator, an M.D., pulled no punches, even daring to suggest that eating “real food” is the antidote. While this may be old news to many of our readers, the general public was shocked, shocked!
  • Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times took a break from his usual human rights beat to write about “Arsenic in Our Chicken?” He reports that factory farm chickens (and sometimes hogs) are routinely fed on caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics, even arsenic! Evidently, these reduce infections and anxiety (anxiety and infection most likely caused by unsanitary, inhumane industrial farm practices). Arsenic also helps make flesh an appetizing shade of pink. Kristoff’s conclusion:”The more I study, the more I’m drawn to organic…We buy organic.”

The un-sugar-coated truth — what a concept! We can only hope that, despite the millions spent on ads by mega food processors and Big Agribusiness, media executives are feeling more compelled to expose the sorry state of our food supply and the superiority of “real” whole, unadulterated foods. Too soon to tell if this is a trend; stay tuned…….

To your health!
Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy (F.A.C.T.)

P.S. Take a look at our reconfigured Donate page – ebooks and all! As always, we appreciate your support and hope you’ll keep in touch on Twitter and Facebook.

New Cure for the Common Cold: Understand It!
By Edward L. Carl, N.D.

“I’ve never had a cold in my life,” boasted a 75-year-old man. (Five months after making this statement he was dead with cancer.) He had adopted a superior attitude toward his wife, who was constantly bothered with colds. Every winter, and all winter long, she moped around, suffering with coughing, sneezing and wheezing, dripping nose and stopped up air passages. She was constantly dosing with cough syrups, “Vicks” salves, steam vapors and myriad other home remedies.

To all outward appearances the wife was the sicker of the two because she manifested illness. And this is the conclusion that most people would come to — people who consider disease as a life-threatening outside invader to be vanquished or “cured.” Medical doctors would say that she’s lucky — she survived in spite of her constant illness. But the fact that she outlived her husband by many years and is now hale and strong tells us quite the opposite. Read more

F.Y.I.:
Stainless Steel to the Rescue!

If you love fresh garlic, but are bothered by the garlicky smell that lingers on your hands, be bothered no more! Stainless steel saves the day. It all has to do with the chemistry of garlic and stainless steel. Garlic contains sulfur molecules. When cutting garlic, the molecules are transferred to your skin. Washing your hands with water heightens the smell because the water causes the sulfur to turn into sulfuric acid (the same thing that makes you cry when cutting onions). When you touch stainless steel, the molecules in the steel bind with the sulfur molecules on your hands, thus transferring the molecules (along with the smell) to the metal and off from your hands. Presto! No more garlic-scented fingers. The same principle also applies to help remove onion or fish odors on your hands.

Watch this short video to learn how its done; then, let the good (garlic) times roll!

 

Spice of the Month: Black Pepper

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) bears the royal pedigree, “King of Spices.” In early times, it was more valuable than gold. Only the wealthy could afford it; dowries were endowed with it and many bribes for special favors were paid with it. Black peppercorns were found stuffed in the nostrils of Ramesses II, part of the mummification ritual after his death in 1213 B.C. In classical times, both Attila the Hun and Alaric I the Visigoth insisted on pepper as a large part of Rome’s ransom. In 1492, demand for it was one of the main reasons Queen Isabella sent Columbus west in search of a new route to the Indies. As fate would have it, he ended up discovering a new continent, but 8,000 miles off from the “land of peppers” — India’s Malabar Coast where the spice has thrived for over 4,000 years.

So why all the hoopla? Pepper hasn’t the instant allure of a juicy, aromatic fruit or berry, nor the glitter of gold or other precious stones. The one irresistible quality of this drab, wrinkled little bead is its particular pungent flavor that can perk up the dullest of dishes and, thereby, unleash it’s considerable curative powers. In pre-modern times it was believed to alleviate a whole host of ills, from constipation, earache, insect bites to hernia, gangrene, arthritis, heart and lung disease.

Today researchers are learning that the ancients were onto something. The sharp flavor and healing prowess come from piperine and other volatile oils in the pepper. It’s the piperine that zaps the taste buds, often triggering a sneeze when it hits the nerve endings inside your nose. Studies are finding that piperine can be effective in treating a vast array of conditions, including cancer, digestive disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, loss of hearing, quitting smoking, and more. Read more

Beet Hummus*

  • 1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium-sized beets), cooked until tender (steamed, roasted, boiled)
  • 2 tablespoons (preferably raw) tahini (sesame butter)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (grated organic lemon peel)
  • pinch of sea salt (opt.)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Place the beets, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and lemon zest in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Just before serving, grate black pepper on top (be generous!). Serve with crudités as a colorful appetizer or side dish with entrée. A great party dish.

Thanks to Jill W. at the 4th Street Food Co-op in New York City for this delicious recipe.

Spice of the Month: Horseradish

Filed under: Spice of the Month — ggrieser @ 7:05 pm

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), native to the lands around the Mediterranean, made it’s way North in the 15th century where it became hugely popular, especially in German- speaking countries. The Germans called the root meerrettich, sea radish (meer, German for "sea" because it grew by the sea, and rettich, from Latin radix, "root"). So what do horses have to do with it? It’s theorized that the English, hearing the Germans rave about the spice, confused "meer" (sea) with "mare" (as in female horse), and called the spice "mare radish." By the time it got to America it was horseradish! (Actually, the spice is listed as poisonous to horses.) In any case, today, horseradish is very American: 85% of the world’s horseradish is grown in the U.S. where 6 million gallons of the stuff are consumed every year!

Horseradish may be the ugly duckling of spices – a coarse, colorless, odorless, gangly root, but when cut into, wafts of heat are released that can clear out the nasal passages in a flash! Consequently, before becoming a food, it was used as a medicine to treat colds, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and hoarseness. In the American South some folks still swear by horseradish rubbed on the forehead to relieve headaches.

A member of the celebrated cancer-fighting cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, etc.), horseradish is loaded with phytonutrients, like isothiocyanate (ITC), a powerful natural antibiotic, along with many other medicinal compounds. In fact, horseradish has ounce for ounce more healing compounds than most any other spice, which makes it very useful in treating upper respiratory problems, reducing inflammation, thinning mucous, checking cell-damaging oxidants, relaxing muscles, stimulating the immune system, etc. According to Dr. James A. Duke, renowned botanist and botanical medicine specialist: "Horseradish is as useful in the medicine chest as it is in the spice rack."

Buying and Storage

Horseradish is sold fresh, but more often found "prepared" – grated mixed with vinegar. Dried, flaked and powdered are also sold, forms which retain pungency more fully than the grated in vinegar. The best fresh roots are thick and well formed; thin and undeveloped roots, besides being hard to use, are inferior in pungency. Japanese horseradish, or wasabi, is a pale green powder, similar in flavor to horseradish, but made from the tuber of a different plant, the herb (Wasabia japonica).

Fresh horseradish can be grated quite easily, but the root should first be trimmed and scraped under running water to remove soil. There’s not much flavor in the central core, which can be discarded. The whole root will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks, while grated in vinegar can a few months in the "fridge." Powdered, dried and flaked should be stored in a cool dry place and reconstituted as needed by mixing with water. Be sure to allow enough time before serving to develop full flavor.

Medicinal Properties

Natural antibiotic. The volatile oils in horseradish have been shown to have antimicrobial activity. In studies, a German preparation of horseradish and the herb nasturtium (called Angocin Anti-Infekt N.) was found effective in treating bronchitis, ear infection, gastrointestinal illness caused by food contaminated with E. coli bacteria, pneumonia, sinusitis, strep throat, urinary tract infection and other serious illness involving bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, such as cellulitis, impetigo, scarlet fever. In many cases, this preparation worked as well as pharmaceutical antibiotics. It was also found to have a preventive effect on individuals with recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI).

Cancer fighter. Horseradish is an important member of the anti-cancer crucifer family (broccoli, watercress, mustard greens, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, etc.). These vegetables are effective because they contain the plant kingdom’s largest supply of isothiocyanates (ITCs), compounds that have been shown to protect against cancer. But ITCs would not exist if it weren’t for another compound: gluocosinolates. When the flesh of a crucifer is broken, torn, cut or chewed, glucosinolates are activated to produce ITCs. Researchers have found that horseradish contains the most glucosinolates of all the crucifers – more than 10 times the amount in broccoli, considered king of the crucifers! So a little horseradish goes a long way. One study discovered that ITCs in horseradish inhibit growth of colon and lung cancer cells – the more ITCs, the more weakened cancer cells. Besides ITCs, the spice has been found to contain over 2 dozen other anti- cancer compounds, currently under investigation.

Lower Cholesterol. The ITCs also promote heart health by helping control two risk factors: blood fats cholesterol and triglycerides. When researchers fed mice a cholesterol- rich diet with and without horseradish, after 3 weeks, they found that the horseradish

group had much lower cholesterol levels, theorizing that horseradish blocks the production of cholesterol.

Nasal decongestant. A popular old home remedy for colds uses a teaspoonful of grated horseradish mixed with a little raw honey to quickly clear the nose. A folk medicine for hay fever involves taking daily copious amounts of horseradish before the onset of the pollen season to clear the sinuses.

These remedies comport with recent studies showing that horseradish is unique among crucifers not just because it has higher levels of ITCs, but it also contains another compound thiocyanate – a rare substance found in only 2 other spices, mustard seed and wasabi. When the flesh of the horseradish is cut or chewed, it’s the thiocyanates that send the pungent zing of heat into the nasal cavity When eaten, the moisture in the mouth releases thiocyanates into the air, up nasal passages; if there’s congestion, the nose runs and eyes water, while the heat rapidly dissipates.

Stomach helper. Horseradish, richer in Vitamin C than orange or lemon, is also a gastric stimulant and, thus, an excellent condiment to aid digestion of rich or fatty foods. It helps benefit the system by correcting imbalances in the digestive organs.

In the Kitchen

The Northern Europeans have a long horseradish tradition. Germans prefer to grate and serve it fresh so that it’s potent tang cuts the fatty flavor of their sausages and other standard meats. Consequently, they have a multitude of recipes for horseradish sauce featuring a wide range of ingredients like vinegar, lemon, bread, whipped cream, beer or green apples. The Norwegians grate their horseradish and whip it with sweet and sour cream, sugar and vinegar to serve with cold salmon and other fish. The Danes freeze creamed horseradish and serve it like sherbet in a chilled sauceboat. The Poles grate beets into horseradish to make a purple-red condiment served with ham. Horseradish soup is a Polish Christmas Day tradition.

The French, generally not "into" fiery foods, make an exception with horseradish. They serve a dipping sauce which combines the spice with vinegar and oil. In England, standing rib roast with horseradish sauce is a national tradition. And, of course, horseradish is always on the Seder table – the meal that celebrates the Jewish holiday Passover – it’s one of the bitter herbs (maror) that symbolizes the suffering the Israelites endured in Egypt.

Horseradish arrived in America in the 1600’s, but didn’t really take off until the mid 1800’s with the influx of German and Polish immigrants who brought along their beloved punchy spice. One of these new Americans, Henry J. Heinz, had the idea to mix horseradish with vinegar in bottles and peddled it in Pittsburgh to much acclaim. Heinz Horseradish became the country’s first mass-marketed convenience food!

Americans add horseradish to ketchup to make cocktail sauce for seafood or steak. It’s also a popular addition to a Bloody Mary, the tomato-vodka cocktail. Collinsville, Illinois, self-proclaimed horseradish capital of the world, hosts the annual International Horseradish Festival, including the Little Miss Horseradish beauty pageant.

Grating fresh horseradish can be a tough job. The vapors hit your nostrils like a punch in the nose, so you may prefer to work outdoors or in a well-ventilated room. Once grated, flavor rapidly deteriorates, so you will be forgiven for taking the easy route: buy prepared horseradish with vinegar. It won’t give quite the same zing, but has equal healing powers and lasts several months in the refrigerator. Brands with just basic ingredients – horseradish, distilled vinegar, salt – are most versatile. You can squeeze the vinegar out with the back of a fork to get a purer taste.

There are also granules or flakes, which must be rehydrated. Generally, horseradish relishes and sauces are not cooked as heat destroys pungency, which is really the whole point.

Here’s some more ways to put horseradish into your life:

  • Add a dollop to potato salads, slaws, dips
  • Add a tablespoon horseradish to 1/3 cup sour cream – a nice topping for fish. Sprinkle with chives.
  • Mix horseradish with sour cream and whip into mashed potatoes.
  • Basic cocktail sauce: equal parts ketchup and horseradish. Add a few splashes Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.
  • Dipping sauce for seafood: 2 tablespoons homemade mayo, 1 tablespoon sour cream, 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, ¼ teaspoon mace and mint.
  • Traditional horseradish cream for roast beef: beat ½ cup heavy cream until slightly stiff. Fold in 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish. Add 3 tablespoons lemon juice, a little seasalt and black pepper. Chill an hour before serving.
  • Mix horseradish with yogurt as a topping for baked potatoes.
  • Horseradish mixed into butter is excellent with broiled fish or meat.

Sources:

The Encyclopedia of Spices
Healing Spices by Bharat Aggarwal, PhD (Sterling Publishing)
Horseradish.org

Spice of the Month: Ginger

Filed under: Spice of the Month — ggrieser @ 7:04 pm

Ginger (Zingiber officinale), not a root but the underground stem (rhizome) of a plant, gets its name from the Sanskrit stringa-vera, meaning "with a body like a horn," as in antlers. Confucius (551-479 B.C.) mentioned ginger in his writings and, named in the Koran, it was known in Arab lands as far back as 659 A.D. One of the earliest spices in Western Europe, introduced in the 9th century, ginger was so popular that it soon became a table staple, like salt and pepper. In England, barkeepers put out containers of ground ginger to sprinkle into beer – the original ginger ale! Queen Elizabeth I, a great lover of ginger, is credited as the inventor of the gingerbread man and often presented visiting dignitaries with one shaped in their likeness.

For thousands of years, traditional healers have used ginger to help calm that queasy feeling – nausea, a prominent symptom of many diseases. Ancient doctors also recognized ginger’s diaphoretic qualities, meaning causing one to sweat, which is why Henry VIII ordered its use as a plague medicine. Mentioned in the Kama Sutra, the spice has been ascribed aphrodisiac powers, while in some Asian countries it’s chewed to expel evil spirits.

Researchers today are seriously interested in ginger. It’s rich in phytonutrients, especially gingerols which have impressive antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, in short, anti-disease properties. By increasing digestive fluids and saliva, it helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea, stomach cramping; it loosens and expels phlegm from the lungs to treat respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, etc. As an anti-dote to nausea related to motion or morning sickness, ginger’s been found more effective than many over-the-counter drugs. It also reduces pain and inflammation from arthritis, rheumatism, muscle spasms, stimulates blood circulation and is cleansing to the bowels and kidneys, while nourishing the skin.

Buying and Storage

The knobby buds – thumb-like protrusions – of a ginger stem (rhizome) are called "hands," and are available in most markets in a variety of forms: fresh whole, sliced, diced or preserved in brine, dried sliced, ground or crystallized.

When buying fresh, look for hands that are firm and swollen-looking, with smooth skin, color-wise a soft beige with a slight hint of pink and knobs tinged yellow-green. Fresh ginger produces the most intense flavor from the gingerols, though taste varies depending on where and how it was grown: from tangy, sweet, spicy to mild or hot. Jamaican ginger is mild and ideal for cooking, though some cooks prefer ginger from Nigeria or Sierra Leone which is the most pungent. In the U.S. most ginger comes from Hawaii, which is somewhere in the middle of mild to pungent.

Peeled, sealed and refrigerated, fresh ginger keeps about 2 weeks at peak flavor. But frozen in a freezer bag, it lasts indefinitely. Freeze it peeled and sliced; thaw before using. Or, you can slice or grate a piece of still frozen ginger. Keep unpeeled ginger in a cool, dry place, as you would onions and garlic.

Ground ginger lacks the rich aroma of fresh, but the typical flavor remains. Crystallized ginger is processed with sugar, but now, in most health food stores, cubed organic ginger with cane sugar can be found. To cut the sweetness, you can soak in water for an hour or so. Both ground and crystallized keep in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

Medicinal Properties

Contraindications: Ginger is a blood thinner so, if you’re taking conventional blood thinner medication, don’t take medicinal doses of ginger. Also, pregnant women should avoid high supplemental dosage of ginger, as it can stimulate the uterus. Normal culinary use, however, should pose no problem.

Motion sickness. Ginger has been found to be as effective for prevention and treatment of motion sickness as many over-the-counter and prescription medications and without the significant side effects like dry mouth, lethargy, drowsiness. It seems that ginger limits the release of vasopressin, a key hormone that regulates levels of water, salt and blood sugar believed to play a role in nausea from motion sickness. Ginger also causes the blood vessels to dilate (warming effect) and blocks serotonin receptors in the stomach that cause nausea.

Morning sickness. Morning is the worst time for 50-80% of pregnant women during the 1st trimester. A team of researchers in Annals of Pharmocotherapy analyzed nearly 40 years of studies on ginger and concluded: "Ginger has been shown to improve the symptoms of nausea and vomiting compared with placebo in pregnant women." Fresh ginger (in food or as tea) is recommended or maximum supplemental dose: 250 mg. capsules with dried ginger 4 times daily for short periods (no more than 4 consecutive days).

Nausea after surgery. A daily dose of 1,000 mg ginger was found to reduce the likelihood of postoperative nausea and vomiting, as reported in American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Arthritis. Studies at the University of Miami confirm ginger’s significant anti- inflammatory ability to relieve pain and reduce inflammation in conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, muscle spasms, as reported in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.

Cancer. Dozens of studies have shown that ginger has anti-cancer activity, specificially in lung, breast, prostate, skin, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, colon and ovarian cancers. For instance, ginger extract was found to activate genes ("tumor suppressors") that lead to the death of human colon, kidney, breast and pancreatic cancer cells. Animal studies suggest that a ginger extract, zerumbone, could help prevent bone lose in breast cancer, a common problem, and might also be useful in osteoporosis. Another study found that zerumbone could "down-regulate" a gene that plays a role in metastasis, the spread of cancer beyond the initial site.

Migraine. Medications for migraines have serious side effects, so the Headache Care Center in Springfield, Missouri conducted a study to see if the herb feverfew and ginger would be effect. The results: "Two hours after treatment, 48% were pain-free, with 34% reporting a headache of only mild severity." Researchers reported that nearly 60% of those who took ginger and feverfew said they were satisfied and 41% felt the supplements were equal to medication.

Asthma. Researchers in the UK were concerned that drugs prescribed for asthma often produce "sub-optimal" results and have many short and long-term side effects, so they sought a non-drug approach. A natural formula with 130 mg ginger extract or a placebo was given to adults with mild to moderate asthma. After 3 months, those on the formula had more "clinical improvements" in symptoms, overall better health, less coughing than jthe control group.

Digestive distress. In Taiwan research, ginger was found to speed digestion in the stomach by increasing the production of digestive fluids and saliva. The stomachs of those taking 1,200 mg ginger were emptied in half the time as those on a placebo, thus, lessening the chance of heartburn, as well as bloating, belching, flatulence, diarrhea, cramping. Ginger also improved the appetite of those with loss of appetite due to chemotherapy or post surgery.

Cholesterol problems. A study of people with high "bad" LDL cholesterol, high total cholesterol, high triglycerides and low "good" HDL cholesterol was divided into 2 groups: 1 group took 1,000 mg. ginger 3 times a day; the other, a placebo. After 45 days, the ginger group had a significant drop in LDL and increased HDL compared to the placebo group.

Heart attacks and stroke. Studies have shown that ginger is a blood thinner, decreasing platelet aggregation – clumping of blood components that can trigger artery-clogging blood clots that cause most heart attacks and strokes.

Sexual activity. Ginger’s alluring fragrance and ability to increase blood circulation maybe responsible for its long reputation as an aphrodisiac.

In the Kitchen

Ginger is integral to the cuisines of India, China, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam – primarily in savory dishes, as in the way Americans rely on garlic and onions. The Japanese love their shoga, grated fresh ginger, or gari, a pickled version, which aids digestion and warms the body after eating cold dishes like sushi. In Yeman, ginger is added to coffee. In the West, the spice is most commonly found in desserts, jams and drinks, like ginger ale and tea.

Ginger is a jack-of-all trades in the kitchen – good in almost anything! Keep in mind that fresh and dried (ground) differ in intensity and flavor. They can be interchanged, but dried is not as intense. Today the accent is on fresh. Peel ginger with a paring knife or vegetable peeler, then slice or grate to add in cooking. Fresh ginger has a strong flavor, but it mellows in cooking.

Here are some ways to use ginger in your cooking:

  • Fresh ginger is great with fish. Add grated ginger and dried mint to melted butter to serve as a dipping sauce.
  • Sprinkle grated ginger and a little honey or maple syrup on acorn squash or sweet potatoes before baking.
  • Rub into meat before cooking to tenderize and add flavor. Let sit a few hours or overnight in the ‘fridge before cooking.
  • Ginger works well in white sauces and dessert sauces or syrups.
  • Sprinkle ground in applesauce or use it in fruit pie fillings.
  • Grate fresh into cheesecake batter.
  • Finely chop crystallized ginger and sprinkle atop whipped cream or ice cream. Or, just toss some small chunks into yogurt for a delicious snack and tummy pick-me-up.
  • Make ginger syrup: 1/4 pound peeled, diced ginger with 1/2 cup honey and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then simmer 30 minutes. Strain and cool.
  • Ginger rice: Cook brown basmati rice. When done, quickly stir in finely chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and fresh cilantro leaves – a burst of flavor and fragrance that will dazzle your senses!
  • Ginger spiked juice: peel a piece of fresh ginger and put through your juicer, along with carrots, a stalk or two of celery and an apple.

Grow Your Own Ginger

Here’s the best way to always have fresh ginger at your fingertips:

Take fresh ginger and break off a piece at least 2 inches long. Place it in a pot filled with sandy soil, such as cactus soil. Water occasionally to keep it slightly moistened. The root will start to grow in 4 -5 weeks. After a few months of growing, it should be available for use. So, whenever you need ginger, just dig up the root and break off a small portion. Replant and the root will continue to grow.

Sources:

The Encyclopedia of Spices
Healing Spices by Bharat Aggarwal, PhD (Sterling Publishing)
Organic Facts

Pomegranate

June 25, 2012

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 6:03 am

Mohammed once told his followers: “Eat the pomegranate, for it purges the system of envy and hatred.” The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to man. Frequent references to it are found in the Bible and in ancient Sanskrit writings. Homer mentions it in his Odyssey, and it appears in the story of The Arabian Nights. The pomegranate is native to Persia and its neighboring countries, and for centuries has been extensively cultivated around the Mediterranean, spreading through Asia. King Solomon was known to have an orchard of pomegranates, and history speaks of the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness and remembering with longing the cooling taste of the pomegranate. Ancient Assyrian and Egyptian sculpture has depicted this fruit, and it is sometimes on ancient Carthaginian and Phoenician medals.

The word pomegranate is derived from the Latin world meaning “apple with many seeds.” The fruit grows on a bush or small tree from twelve to twenty feet high. It grows to about the size of an orange or larger.

A pomegranate of good quality may be medium or large in size and the coloring can range from pink to bright red. The rind is thin and tough, and there should be an abundance of bright red or crimson flesh, with a small amount of pulp. The seeds are contained in a reddish, juicy pulp that is subacid and of fine flavor. They should be tender, easy to eat, and small in proportion to the juicy matter that surrounds them, while the juice should be abundant and rich in flavor.

There are many varieties of pomegranate. At least ten varieties were growing in southern Spain in the thirteenth century, as described by a writer of the time. It is a warm-climate fruit, and the leading producers in this country are California and the Gulf states. This fruit will not mature in cooler climates, although there are dwarf forms grown in cool climates which have striking scarlet flowers that are sold commercially. Pomegranates are in season September through December, and October is the peak month.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Use only the juice of the pomegranate. This juice is one of the best for bladder disorders and has a slightly purgative effect. For elderly people, it is a wonderful kidney and bladder tonic.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (edible portion)

Calories: 160

Protein: 1.3 g

Fat: 0.8 g

Carbohydrates: 41.7 g

Calcium: 20 mg

Phosphorus: .8 mg

Iron: .8 mg

Vitamin A: trace

Thiamine: 0.07 mg

Riboflavin: 0.07 mg

Niacin: 0.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 10 mg

Guava

June 18, 2012

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The guava is called the apple of the tropics. It is native to tropical America, but has been dispersed throughout all equatorial regions. It is grown in subtropical Florida and California, and the tree is a hearty one.

The guava tree produces large quantities of fruit. The fruit is round, with a white or yellow skin and a pulp of the same color, although the pulp is sometimes crimson. It ranges from the size of a small cherry to that of a pear or apple.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The guava is sub-acid and alkaline in reaction. It is a high vitamin C content, and also contains potassium, phosphorus, sulfur, and chlorine. It is good for skeletal and lymphatic systems.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 273

Protein: 3.5 g

Fat: 2.6 g

Carbohydrates: 66 g

Calcium: 101 mg

Phosphorus: 185 mg

Iron: 4.0 mg

Vitamin A: 1230 I.U.

Thiamine: .23 mg

Riboflavin: .21 mg

Niacin: 5.1 mg

Ascorbic acid: 1,065 mg

Blackberry

June 11, 2012

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 5:23 am

Blackberries are native to both North America and Europe, but cultivation of this fruit is largely limited to North America. In the early days of the United States, when land was cleared for pasture, blackberry bushes began to multiply. There are many hybrids of blackberries, and both man and nature have had a hand in this process. By 1850, cultivated blackberries had become very popular. Blackberries are now cultivated in almost every part of the United States. Texas and Oregon probably have the largest numbers of acres planted with blackberries. Cultivation of this berry has been slow, because wild berries grow in abundance all over the country. The summer months are the peak season for blackberries.

A quality berry is solid and plump, appears bright and fresh, and is a full black or blue color. Do not choose berries that are partly green or off-color, because the flavor will not be good.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Blackberries are high in iron, but can cause constipation. They have been used for years to control diarrhea. If blackberry juice is mixed with cherry or prune juice, the constipating effect will be taken away. If one can take blackberry juice without constipating results, it is one of the finest builders of the blood.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 294

Protein: 5.4 g

Fat: 3.6 g

Carbohydrates: 59.9 g

Calcium: 163 mg

Phosphorus: 154 mg

Iron: 4.1 mg

Vitamin A: 1,460 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.12 mg

Riboflavin: 0.03 mg

Niacin: 1.3 mg

Ascorbic acid: 106 mg

Cherry

June 4, 2012

Filed under: Foods of the Week, What's New? — Tags: , , , — admin @ 5:41 am

Garden cherries originated chiefly from two species, the sour cherry and the sweet cherry. Both are native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia, where they have been cultivated since ancient times. Cherry pits have been found in prehistoric cave dwellings.

Cherries are grown in every state. Leading cherry producers are New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon, and California. Washington, Oregon, and California leading sweet cherry production, while Michigan leads in production of sour cherries.

The Tartarian variety, which is mahogany to black in color, and medium to large in size, is a popular early to mid-season variety of sweet cherry. The cherry in heaviest demand for the fresh market is the Bing: an extra large, heart-shaped, deep maroon to black fruit. It is firm, high-flavored, and stands up well. Bing cherries are on the market through the months of June and July. The Black Republican and Lambert are similar in appearance to the Bing. The Royal Ann is the leading light-colored cherry, and is used primarily for canning. It is large, is light amber to yellow with red blush, and has a delightful flavor. The Schmidt is a dark red to black sweet cherry grown widely. The Windsor is another popular sweet cherry, and its color is dark red to almost black.

The leading sour varieties of the cherry are the Early Richmond of the East and Middle West, The Montmorenci and the English Morello.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The cherry is high in Iron, and is an excellent laxative as well as a wonderful blood builder. The black cherry is best for eating.

Cherries mix well with other fruits and with proteins, but never with starches. They are wonderful in an elimination diet. The cherry should not often be mixed with dairy foods. This fruit, which has high alkaline content, also gets rid of toxic waste, and it has a wonderful effect on the glandular system.

Black cherry juice is wonderful for flavoring teas so that sugar can be avoided. It is a wonderful gall bladder and liver cleanse because of its high iron content. Take a six-ounce glass of black cherry juice each morning before breakfast for the gall bladder and liver.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 286

Protein: 5.3 g

Fat: 1.2 g

Carbohydrates: 71 g

Calcium: 90 mg

Phosphorus: 78 mg

Iron: 1.6 mg

Vitamin A: 450 I.U.

Thiamine: .20 mg

Riboflavin: .24 mg

Niacin: 1.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 41 mg

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