Essential oils are most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy.
They are either inhaled, or diluted then rubbed on the skin.
Essential oils are not meant to be swallowed.
The chemicals in essential oils can interact with your body in a number of ways.
When applied to your skin, some plant chemicals are absorbed (1, 2).
thought that certain methods can improve absorption, such as applying
with heat or to different areas of the body. However, research in this
area is lacking (3, 4).
the aromas from essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic
system, which is a part of your brain that plays a role in emotions,
behaviors, sense of smell and long-term memory (5).
the limbic system is heavily involved in forming memories. This can
partly explain why familiar smells can trigger memories or emotions (6, 7).
limbic system also plays a role in controlling some unconscious
physiological functions, such as breathing, heart rate and blood
pressure. Some people claim that essential oils can exert a physical
effect on your body in this way.
However, this has yet to be confirmed in studies.
Essential oils can be inhaled or applied to the skin. They may
stimulate your sense of smell or have medicinal effects when absorbed.
Despite their widespread use, little is known about the effectiveness of essential oils in treating health conditions.
a look at the evidence for some of the common health problems that
essential oils and aromatherapy have been used to treat.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression
has been estimated that 43% of people who have stress and anxiety use
some form of alternative therapy to help with their condition (8).
aromatherapy, initial studies have been quite positive. Many have shown
that the smell of some essential oils can work as a complementary
therapy to treat anxiety and stress (9, 10, 11).
due to the scents of the compounds, it’s hard to conduct blinded
studies and rule out biases. Because of this, many reviews on the
stress- and anxiety-relieving effects of essential oils have been
inconclusive (12, 13).
using essential oils during a massage may help relieve stress, although
the effects may only last while the massage is taking place (14).
recent review of over 201 studies found that only 10 were robust enough
to analyze. It also concluded that aromatherapy was ineffective at
treating anxiety (15).
Headaches and Migraines
the ’90s, two small studies found that dabbing a peppermint oil and
ethanol mixture on participants’ foreheads and temples relieved headache
pain (16, 17).
Recent studies have also found positive effects against headaches when applying peppermint and lavender oil to the skin (18, 19).
has also been suggested that applying a mixture of chamomile and sesame
oil to the temples may effectively treat headaches and migraines. This
is a traditional Persian headache remedy (20).
However, more high-quality studies are needed on this.
Sleep and Insomnia
Smelling lavender oil has been shown to positively affect the sleep quality of women after childbirth, as well as patients with heart disease (21, 22).
review examined 15 studies on essential oils and sleep. The majority of
studies showed that smelling the oils (mostly lavender) had positive
effects on sleeping habits (23).
It has been suggested that essential oils may help fight inflammatory conditions. Some test-tube studies show that they have anti-inflammatory effects (24, 25).
mouse study found that ingesting a combination of thyme and oregano
essential oils helped induce the remission of colitis. Two rat studies
on caraway and rosemary oils found similar results (26, 27, 28).
very few human studies have examined the effects of these oils on
inflammatory diseases. Their effectiveness and safety are unknown (29, 30).
Antibiotic and Antimicrobial
rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has renewed interest in the
search for other compounds that can fight bacterial infections.
oils, such as peppermint and tea tree oil, have been investigated
extensively in test tubes for their antimicrobial effects. In fact, they
have shown some positive results (31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39).
while test-tube study results are interesting, they do not necessarily
reflect what’s happening within your body. They don’t prove that a
particular essential oil could effectively treat bacterial infections in
Bottom Line: Essential oils may have some interesting applications for health. However, more research is needed in humans.
Essential oils have many uses outside of aromatherapy.
Many people use them to scent their homes or freshen up things like laundry.
They are also used as a natural scent in homemade cosmetics and high-quality natural products.
has also been suggested that essential oils could provide a safe and
environmentally friendly alternative to man-made mosquito repellents,
such as DEET.
However, results of their effectiveness have been mixed.
have shown that some oils, such as citronella, may effectively repel
certain types of mosquitoes for around 2 hours. Protection time may be
extended up to 3 hours when it is used in combination with vanillin.
Despite this, no oils have been as effective as DEET at preventing bites from all species of mosquito for long periods of time (40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45).
properties of essential oils also indicate that some of them could be
used industrially for extending the shelf life of foods (39, 46, 47, 48).
Aromatherapy isn’t the only use for essential oils. They can be used in
and around the home, as a natural mosquito repellent or industrially to
Many companies claim that their oils are “pure” or “medical grade.”
However, these terms aren’t universally defined and therefore hold
Given that it is an unregulated industry, the quality and composition of essential oils can vary greatly (49).
Keep the following tips in mind in order to choose only high-quality oils:
Find an oil that contains only aromatic plant compounds, without
additives or synthetic oils. Pure oils usually list the plant’s
botanical name (such as Lavandula officinalis), rather than terms like “essential oil of lavender.”
True essential oils are the ones that have been changed the least by
the extraction process. Choose a chemical-free essential oil that has
been extracted through distillation or mechanical cold pressing.
Reputation: Purchase a brand with a reputation for producing high-quality products.
High-quality oils only use pure plant compounds extracted by
distillation or cold pressing. Avoid oils that have been diluted with
synthetic fragrances, chemicals or oils.
https://i0.wp.com/thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/still-rc-10_sm.jpg?fit=2709%2C2709&ssl=127092709Eric Lecrashttps://thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web_logo.pngEric Lecras2019-03-07 00:08:152019-03-07 00:08:26What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work?
The “Day of Silence” in Bali, known as Nyepi Day, that occurs on
March 17, 2018, is an occasion unique to any other in the world. If
you’re planning a trip to Bali this year, you’ll want to read up on the
details of Nyepi and how it affects you as a visitor. At Blue Karma
Resort, we’re happy to help with the details below.
NYEPI: WHAT HAPPENS ON THE YEARLY DAY OF SILENCE
Nyepi is a New Year celebration, but it’s not the kind of party you’d
expect—it’s pretty much the opposite. During this Bali Day of Silence,
for 24 hours beginning at 6am, all normal activities cease.
Traffic stops on the Bali roads. Locals don’t venture outside of
their area. No activities continue or ensue. Even lights are left off as
it gets dark outside. Patrol men known as pecalang can be seen in the
streets during Nyepi making sure the rules are followed and enforced.
The day is taken very seriously!
The day is an opportunity to relax, sit in meditation or thought, and
also to give the Mother Nature a day of rest and rejuvenation from
Papier-mache statues known as ogoh-ogoh are made in the weeks before
Nyepi and displayed in the streets and in meeting halls throughout Bali.
These statues are intricately built to look like mythical beings. Their
purposes are to purify the environment around them.
PREPARING FOR NYEPI
The night before Nyepi, New Year’s Eve, is the complete opposite of the New Year Day, full of noise and celebration.
Each household in Bali performs blessings at their family temple and
chases away forces known as bhuta kala by making lots of noise, banging
pots and pans in the home, and lighting bamboo torches. The ogoh-ogoh
statues are manifestations of these spirits.
Anyone walking out into the streets on Nyepi Eve, which starts about
7pm, would see and hear firecrackers, parade processions in the streets,
and bamboo cannons going off.
WHAT BALI GUESTS CAN AND CAN’T DO FOR NYEPI
Don’t expect to travel to Bali on Nyepi Day, as transportation and
the airport stops along with everything else. Whether you’re coming or
going, back sure your travel day is not on March 17th if you’re
travelling in 2018. The following year’s dates are:
March 7, 2019
March 24, 2020
March 14, 2021
March 3, 2022
March 22, 2023
March 11, 2024
March 29, 2025
If you’re staying at a Bali hotel for
Nyepi, prepare to stay within your hotel premises during the entire
Silent Day. You don’t have to participate in every aspect of Nyepi, such
as leaving all lights off (unless you would like to), and can enjoy the
hotel offerings as before.
However, any normal activities around the island, including
restaurants, bars, and beaches, won’t be happening. It’s a great
opportunity to participate in the Silent Day! Kick back and enjoy the
soothing sounds of Bali or open up that book you’ve been meaning to
Blue Karma Resort is happy to accommodate you during your trip to
Bali this year, whether or not you’re here during Nyepi. Our staff are
friendly and eager to ensure your stay provides a luxurious experience
of Bali culture and everything it has to offer. Check out our
conveniently-located hotel in both Ubud and Seminyak to book a stay today!
https://i0.wp.com/thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/6793622_55496597-3f18-4ed6-8f5b-91b18858d7fe.jpg?fit=600%2C340&ssl=1340600Eric Lecrashttps://thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web_logo.pngEric Lecras2019-03-06 23:59:552019-03-07 00:00:00The day of silence in all Bali no car no plane no internet cannot go out of your home, Beautiful .....
north of Thailand is blanketed by rolling green hills and rice fields,
while the south blooms in abundance with tropical fruits and vegetables.
to Thailand often laud the country for its healthy food — noodle
dishes, curries, stir fried vegetables and tofu, and overfilling plates
These dishes are generally considered healthier as
they’re freshly prepared and made with local produce, but if you’ve ever
watched a street vendor make your food, you’ll have noticed the copious
amounts of oil, salt, sugar, and MSG that cooks add to these dishes.
visitors to Thailand may have romanticized ideas of where their food
comes from: of farms and homesteads in Thailand, of mangoes and bananas
pulled off of a neighbors tree perfectly ripe, of fresh ingredients
found in markets that make their way to a kitchen within a day of their
However, the reality is that these fantasies are more
often than not oversimplifications of the Thai food industry. Indeed,
those searching for organic produce may be quite shocked at the reality
behind the fruits and vegetables found in Thailand’s markets and
While its true that the large majority of
fruit and veg is domestically produced and through some channels quite
fresh, when investigating the chemical residue lurking on the outside
and inside of the produce, we are sent down a rabbit hole that seemingly
major exporter of rice, rubber, corn, tropical fruit, and cassava,
Thailand’s farmlands supply many of the world’s countries with bulk
produce — so much so that it equates to about $10 billion USD per year.
meet this demand, the Kingdom relies heavily on pesticides to control
insect populations and increase the yield of said crops. In the past,
the country has lost nearly 50% of its produce to insect scourges and
other threats, so needs must, right?
Over the past ten years,
Thailand’s agricultural exports have risen to make up at least 40% of
the country’s GDP; therefore the nation’s use of pesticides has exploded
exponentially to nearly four times the initial amount.
increased use may benefit crop yields, it also threatens the health and
safety of this produce and makes it difficult for the government to
regulate pesticide use in rural Thai farms.
Chemicals to combat
insect infestations and other bacterial threats to crops include
herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, and other
Thailand is fourth out of 15 Asian countries
regarding the severity of pesticide reliance, and over-spraying plants
has contributed to issues like insect resistance and pest resurgence.
an attempt to mediate the effects of these hazardous chemicals, the
Royal Thai Government has enacted Hazardous Substance Act B.E. 2535
(HSA), which seeks to control the use of these harmful chemicals and
reduce the risks of handling pesticides.
Corrosive and explosive
chemicals are regulated by the act, as are toxic chemicals, pathogenic
substances, radioactive material, and pesticides: in total there are
1,233 substances regulated.
The HSA is used to regulate most
hazardous substances used in Thailand. It also seeks to prevent harmful
exposure of these chemicals to people and the environment.
enforcement, the Royal Thai Government created the Hazardous Substance
Committee (HSC) to regulate chemical use across the Kingdom.
Unfortunately, the targeting of specific (and harmful) chemical groups
has negated the efficacy of this regulatory group. In addition, issues
arise when pesticide samples are taken and are measured at differing
Alarmed that your food contains pesticides at
all? Most produce does, even in trace amounts. Many governmental
agencies have established a standard called the Maximum Residue Level
(MRL), which is the acceptable amount of chemical a food can contain
(measured in milligrams of chemical per kilogram of produce) — this is
not a safety measure.
In Thailand, it’s not uncommon for MRL
values to have conflicting regulation standards, causing mass confusion
in the food industry, and allowing for potential mistakes when it comes
to the amount of pesticides (and antibiotics, bacteria, mold,
micro-organisms, borax, formalin, and toxic coloring) included in foods.
of these flawed regulatory measures, an increased amount of pesticides
are present in produce, causing import countries to complain about the
potential safety of the food (and initiate trade issues).
Levels of Pesticides in Thai Produce
visitors to the Kingdom may believe that their food is farm-fresh, the
implications could be overwhelmingly negative, based on the farmer and
their pesticide practices. While MRL regulation is still faltering in
some regulatory agencies, those who regularly consume Thai produce are
putting themselves at risk.
On a larger scale, studies
found that produce from some provinces in Thailand contained a much
higher rate of pesticide residue than their counterparts from developed
After studying Chinese kale, pakchoi, and morning
glory, scientists detected pesticides 97-100% of the time, regardless of
whether the vegetables were purchased in a local market or in a
In addition, researchers found
that the pesticide levels in the vegetables exceeded their respective
MRL at 35-48% for Chinese kale; 55-71% for pakchoi, and 42-49% for
Interestingly, the lower percentage of the range
was attributed to supermarket produce; the higher percentage was
attributed to local market produce.
On average, there were 28
pesticides used, including aldrin, atrazine, captan, carbaryl,
carbofuran, carbosulfan, chlormefos, chlorpyrifos, chlorothanlonil,
cypermethrin, deltanethrin, diazinon, dichlorvos, dicofol, chlorpyrifos…
the list goes on.
can cause a host of issues in those who accidentally come in contact
with undiluted concentrations or trace residues, including neurological
effects, nervous system malfunctions, kidney damage, headaches,
dizziness, vomiting, muscle spasms, a reduced ability to fight
infection, birth defects, and damaged reproductive organs.
these findings are significant, please note that researchers chose
produce from certain markets and provinces in Thailand, including
Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, Pathumthani, Samutsakorn,
and Nakhon Ratchasima.
Researchers noted that it was difficult to
obtain information about the suppliers and their pesticide practices.
The study also clarified that the findings were exclusive to three
target vegetables and a number of providers in central Thailand. Sample
sizes were small, and the study was targeted.
In short, this study cannot be presumed representative of practices all over Thailand.
Farmers Poisoned by Pesticide Use
The sad reality of farming is that many in the industry are poisoned by exposure to these chemical pesticides.
reported numbers rise into the thousands, scientists from the Ministry
of Public Health are hesitant to confirm the veracity of these numbers,
as they note that many farmers who fall ill from pesticide use may not
report their problems to a local doctor or emergency care center.
reports from the ‘90s suggest a range of 4,000-5,000 affected, studies
indicate that the real number of farmers affected could total nearly
40,000 annually (Ref: ipm-info.org)
should note at this point that some farmers increase their own risk of
being poisoned by not following government guidelines: not using proper
protective clothing, over-using pesticides and by using banned
The Department of Agriculture concluded in a study
that nearly 68% of vegetable farmers in Kanchanaburi were affected by
some type of pesticide poisoning. Another study indicates that 90% of
Thai farmers are impacted by agricultural chemicals.
A local farmer, Mr. Manit Boonkiaw who grows vegetables in Nonthaburi Province attested to the use of chemicals, saying:
was carried out all the year. One day I would spray and the next day
the crop would be harvested and sent to market. I knew how dangerous
that was. I always had headaches and felt dizzy after spraying
pesticides, so I never used to eat those vegetables. I used to have a
small plot that I didn’t spray; those were the vegetables for our own
The sobering reality for farmers across
the Kingdom is driven by the demand for cheap food and large yields of
it. Mr. Boonkiaw continues:
I know a lot of vegetable
farmers who would like to reduce the amount of pesticides. They know
that pesticides cost a lot of money and are bad for their health, but
they are worried about the market situation. The middlemen don’t care
about pesticides; they never ask what chemicals have been used. And the
consumers want cheap vegetables that look good. They should realize that
the good-looking vegetables are often contaminated with dangerous
pesticides. If consumers would pay a better price for non-chemical
vegetables, a lot more farmers would grow them. (Ref: ipm-info.org)
Organic Vs Safe Food Labelling
the realisation that pesticide laden foods are affecting both consumers
and farmers may lead some to pay closer attention to their produce,
it’s not always so easy.
The increase in demand for ‘safe’ foods
has resulted in a number of marketing techniques wherein fruits and
vegetables are labeled ‘pesticide safe.’
The intention isn’t necessarily to mislead, but studies show people often mistake these foods for ‘organic’ or ‘pesticide free’.
authorities have set standards for ‘safe’ food that are not as
stringent or as regulatory as those deemed ‘organic’, and it doesn’t
mean pesticides aren’t present.
‘Safe’ food is tested to make sure that residues are within the MRL, whereas organic produce does not use pesticides at all.
Thailand, organic food is certified through the Organic Agriculture
Certification of Thailand (ACT). Much of the country’s organic goods are
produced by Green Net Cooperatives — both initiatives are covered by
the Earth Net Foundation, which has a vested role in bringing organic
farming to the hills of Thailand.
Their mission is moral, but the progress is slow. Only one out of 5,000 rai of farmland is currently organic.
while the push for organic is noble, it isn’t always 100% effective. As
has been seen in countries in the western world, organic crops are
often infected by spraying in adjacent fields. And of course, some
growers may not be entirely honest.
In 2016, the Bangkok Post reported
that nearly 25% of organic-certified produce had been found to contain
some type of pesticide residue. These foods included red chilli, basil,
long beans, Chinese kale, Chinese cabbage, morning glory, tomatoes,
cucumbers, oranges, guava, dragon fruit, papayas, and mangoes.
the organic movement has had some difficulty spurring momentum, the
idea of growing food without pesticides is undeniably more healthful and
environmentally friendly than the current standard agricultural
processes. But the issue lies in educating consumers about the
differences between organic, safe, and chemical-free certification
standards in order to help the population make healthier choices based
on scientific standards and regulatory limits.
Effects of Pesticides on Public Health
the most devastating results of pesticide use are the health
repercussions for those in close contact with food production or those
who routinely consume tainted produce. Among these are the unborn.
have shown that nearly 200,000 children born in Thailand annually to
agricultural workers are at risk of exposure to toxic pesticides while
still in the womb. Those that do not grow up on a farm are at risk for
toxicity through diet, home, and other environmental factors.
found that women who worked in agricultural occupations were much less
likely to consider the use of pesticides as unsafe for either themselves
or their developing child. Risk was not mediated because of pregnancy.
In other studies, researchers
have looked for health symptoms associated with pesticides from rice
farming. These scientists studied blood samples to draw conclusions, and
found that rice farmers had an increased difficulty in breathing and
experienced chest pain, dry throat, cramps, numbness, diarrhea, and
anxiety. The scientists concluded that exposure to pesticides in the
rice fields may be associated with illnesses of the respiratory tract,
in addition to muscle issues.
Children in farming communities are also not immune to the effects of these harmful chemicals.
children who reside in agricultural areas like Pathum Thani Province,
and found that these communities of 6-8 year olds had higher urine
levels of organophosphate pesticides than did children who lived in
residential areas. An increased presence of this pesticide has serious
implications for the future development and health of the child.
Markets vs. Supermarkets
Westerners generally associate market produce as the ‘healthier,’ and
the more ‘natural,’ those living in Thailand would do well to adjust
those notions after reading a couple of the aforementioned studies.
easy to consider local, independent sellers to have produce that seems
more “organic” because the crops appear to be local and hearty. Often
the produce looks very organic because it’ll show obvious signs of pest
invasion — for instance, chewed leaves, and even an odd caterpillar.
as previously explored in the study regarding Chinese broccoli, the
pakchoi, and the morning glory, local markets proved to have higher MRL
of pesticides than did supermarket produce.
Pesticide Risk by Province
certain studies of Thai produce highlight specific provinces or regions
of the Kingdom as producing unsafe or potentially harmful produce, it
can be helpful to take a step back and view the country as a whole.
In a study
that measured the amount of money dedicated to pesticides on each farm
annually, scientists were able to map out patterns of pesticide use over
the entire country.
Northeastern Provinces averaged 388 Baht of
pesticides per farm, annually, while the southernmost tip of the Kingdom
averaged 1021 Baht/farm — making it statistically likely that food from
these regions is the least contaminated.
Provinces in Central
Thailand, averaging 7,094 Baht/farm likely have the most pesticide
residue in food, while regions to the north — averaging 3622 Baht/farm —
are in the moderate range of pesticide use.
of course, no discussion of pesticides would be complete without an
investigation of how these chemicals are affecting natural resources,
like forests, animals and water.
Pesticides don’t just kill pesky
creatures that eat crops; they soak into surrounding ground and kill
useful insects that help support the circle of life by pollinating,
producing honey/nectar and providing a protein source to other animals.
chemicals can leak into bodies of water like rivers, irrigation canals,
rice paddies, and ponds and kill creatures like fish, frogs, turtles
and snakes. As smaller animals are contaminated, larger predators are
poisoned after hunting them.
In this way, chemicals are carried up
throughout the food chain. The effect of pesticides on animals in
Thailand is tangible — the endangered species list contains over 40
species of mammals and over 100 different types of birds.
pesticides – mentioned in the section about children living in farming
communities – continue to be an issue as they perpetually contaminate
large bodies of water.
There are major levels of these compounds
in rivers of Southern Thailand. Effects include endocrine disrupting
diseases, like breast, testicular and prostate cancer. Bangkok’s Chao
Phraya River has been found to have high levels of these pesticides.
it may be counter-intuitive, studies show that shopping for produce at
supermarkets over local market stands may help consumers avoid dangerous
MRL levels and pesticide contamination.
While the wide use of
pesticides has caused concern, there are foods you can buy in Thailand
that are generally free from pesticide levels.
For example: Researchers
found that pesticide residue in watermelons and durians were
significantly lower than these fruits’ recommended MRL level. Previous
studies showed that Chinese cabbage was also free of pesticide
Health conscious consumers can also avoid toxic
pesticides by avoiding off season produce. The head of the Biodiversity
Sustainable Agriculture Food Sovereignty Action Thailand group (BioThai)
— Kingkorn Narindharakul Na Ayudhaya — noted that those concerned can
“mitigate the risk by avoiding off-season and popular legumes.”
Those flocking to supermarkets in hope of finding safe food have a friend in Samrit Intaram,
the Manager for The Mall Group (a shopping complex business). Mr.
Intaram noted that his company decided to create a market for
non-chemical products, using independent testing to determine chemical
After deciding that his stores should only have
pesticide-free vegetables, he vowed to buy exclusively from certified
organic growers. These growers include farms like Lemon Farm Pattana
Cooperatives, who sell food in eight stores around Bangkok.
organic farming and a safe food practices may just be gaining a foothold
in fertile Thailand, be assured, a revolution in food is coming.
https://i2.wp.com/thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/53150400_10156237206267333_863780638338056192_n.jpg?fit=960%2C720&ssl=1720960Eric Lecrashttps://thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web_logo.pngEric Lecras2019-03-06 03:23:082019-03-06 03:23:16The Truth About Pesticides in Thailand’s Food Chain
Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is one of the
main herbs and plant extracts used in Ayurveda, traditional Indian
medicine. Over the last few years, the popularity of this traditional
health remedy has grown dramatically. A recent study have shown that
Ashwagandha root extract can potentially delay the aging process,
leaving you looking youthful and energetic longer.
Ashwagandha has a large number of health benefits and uses for men
and women alike: it is useful in stress, fatigue, pain, diabetes,
gastrointestinal disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue
syndrome. Ashwagandha is also an adaptogenic herb and it is used to
balance and help your thyroid.
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a shrub which grows to
about 3 feet tall and is naturally found in India, the Middle East and
North Africa. Although the leaves and the berries from the Ashwagandha
are used in Ayurveda, it is the root that contains the powerful
properties which have made this so popular.
The traditional names of the plant also give clues to its natural
health benefits. In Sanskrit, it means “the smell of a horse,” which
alludes, not only to its musky smell but also to the strength that it
Sometimes Ashwagandha is referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of
its energizing properties and its Latin name “somnifera” literally means
Ashwagandha Uses and Health Benefits
The chemical components of Ashwagandha show its potential in helping
to treat a wide range of health issues and concerns. In fact, hundreds
of studies have shown that Ashwagandha contains chemicals which are
anti-inflammatory, lower blood pressure, boost the immune system, and
help calm the nervous system.1
Here are some of the exciting health benefits and uses of Ashwagandha:
Ashwagandha root extract has an anti-aging effect
According to the journal Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology,
extracts from Ashwagandha root may significantly enhance telomerase
activity, thereby protecting against telomere loss and potentially
The aging and lifespan of normal, healthy cells are linked
to the so-called telomerase shortening mechanism, which limits cells to
a fixed number of divisions. The shortening of telomeres, at the ends
of chromosomes, is linked to many age-related diseases.
In the scientific experiment, Ashwagandha Root Extract, KSM–66, led to an enhancement of approximately 45% in telomerase activity at a concentration of 10 to 50 micrograms.
These findings are important because they indicate that KSM-66
Ashwagandha can increase telomerase activity, thereby reducing the
effects of aging and possibly increase the human lifespan.
Did you know that at least 60% of all diseases can be in some way attributed to stress? Stress and anxiety are almost an integral part of everyday life and we are all looking for ways to reduce this.
One study showed that a high concentration of Ashwagandha root helped
reduce stress levels in people who suffer from chronic stress. Tests
also showed that level of cortisol in the blood (also called the “stress
hormone”) was also significantly reduced.2
Other studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help with weight management in people who are under chronic stress.3
Controls blood sugar levels
People who suffer from diabetes know how hard it can be to control
blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance affects people with type-2
diabetes and can be a precursor to developing the disease.
It has been found that Ashwagandha root extract has been able to
normalize excessive blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.4 This means that Ashwagandha can be used to prevent type-2 diabetes and also help sufferers regulate their sugar levels.
One of the ancient ways that Ashwagandha was used was in the area of sexual health. In fact, it was mentioned in Kama Sutra as a way to increase sexual desire and improve performance.
Women’s sexual health – Taking Ashwagandha root extract has shown to have a positive effect on women’s general sexual health.5
A study suggests that a reason for this is that Ashwagandha not only
reduces stress levels but that it increases androgens in women.
Men’s sexual health – Men who have fertility
problems have also benefited from taking Ashwagandha extract. A study
showed that after taking the extract for 12 weeks, there was an increase in sperm count, concentration, and volume.6
You can also try to experiment with the Horny Goat weed which is commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to improve male & female libido.
Improves cognitive function
As well as helping to relieve stress, Ashwagandha also plays an
important role in supporting and strengthening cognitive function.7
Studies show that it is able to not only improve reaction time but to
prevent and possibly repair disorders of the central nervous system.
This has important implications for people who suffer from cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s,
Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington disease. Various studies have shown
that Ashwagandha slows, stops, reverses or removes degeneration of the
brain’s nerve cells.1
Improves energy levels and increases sports performance
Are you looking for a natural remedy to help boost your energy levels? Ashwagandha may just be what you need!
It may seem strange that a remedy that helps calming the nervous
system can also give you energy, but that is just what Ashwagandha does.
Studies have shown that taking 500 mg a day improves physical
performance and strength.8 It has also been shown to help suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you should also read my article about D-Ribose – the most promising natural remedy for this condition.
Ashwagandha to prevent and treat cancer
One very important role that Ashwagandha can have is in cancer treatment.
There is much scientific evidence showing that Ashwagandha is
effective in preventing certain types of cancer and also be used to
It has also been shown to increase white blood cell count, therefore
making it effective in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. It,
therefore, can enhance the quality of life in cancer patients; and
because it boosts the immune system, can increase the patient’s life
Stomach ulcers are painful open sores that develop on the lining of
the stomach and small intestine. This open sore is getting worse by your
stomach acid, but is usually not caused by the acid itself.
A great majority of ulcers are caused primarily by an infection of a
bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and I have already
written about the best natural remedies for H. pylori. Scientists believe that Helicobacter pylori may also be a cause of stomach cancers.
Ashwagandha was found to be useful in the prevention of stress-induced ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract.1 Therefore, it is a natural way to treat gastric ulcers and may also prevent stomach cancer.
Ashwagandha for rheumatoid arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of Ashwagandha make it an excellent
natural remedy for treating all kinds of joint pain, including pain
associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Traditionally in Ayurveda, the roots were crushed, mixed with water
and applied topically to the painful area. However, studies have shown
that it is also effective for pain relief when taken orally. It has been
shown to reduce pain and swelling in joints and increase mobility.10
There are other natural remedies for rheumatoid arthritis which you can combine with Ashwagandha:
If you suffer from an underactive or overactive thyroid, then Ashwagandha can help balance your thyroid activity.
Ashwagandha is an ‘adaptogenic herb,’ meaning that it increases or
decreases hormones depending on the need. One study showed that
Ashwagandha root extract stimulated thyroid activity in mice.11
Ashwagandha for adrenal fatigue
You may not have heard of Adrenal Burnout (also called adrenal
fatigue) – the stress disease, but unless you’ve been living under a
rock, chances are you’ve experienced the symptoms and may even be
suffering from stress disease as you read this. I have already written
in great detail about the causes, symptoms and natural cures for adrenal fatigue.
One study showed that over a period of 6 months, Ashwagandha helped
to balance hormones of a woman suffering from non-classical adrenal
hyperplasia.12 Unlike conventional drugs to help balance hormones, there were no side effects felt.
Cardiovascular disease is a class of diseases that involve the heart,
the blood vessels or both, and is the leading cause of deaths
worldwide. It’s time to protect your heart as much as possible (for
example by consuming certain types of foods).
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Ashwagandha also help improve cardiovascular health.
One study pointed out that Ashwagandha is similar to digoxin, a
popular drug to treat heart failure and irregular heartbeats, but is
associated with many side effects. The research showed that Ashwagandha
has a positive effect on all the mechanisms connected with a healthy
How to Use Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha is sold in capsule, powder, and liquid form. Usually,
capsules are the most popular way of taking this supplement. It should
be taken with meals, usually at breakfast time.
There is no established dosage for taking Ashwagandha, although many
have commented on what they think are effective dosage amounts. For
example, 500 mg per day is viewed as the minimum dosage per day for
effective results. Most supplements recommend one 500 mg capsule once or
twice a day.
Ashwagandha – Precautions and Side Effects
Ashwagandha is considered relatively safe. However, pregnant women
should avoid it because it can cause miscarriage and women breastfeeding
should also avoid it.
At Healthy and Natural World, our mission is to empower people to take
control of their own health by providing comprehensive, practical and
well researched information.
Our articles are based on
scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts. We
strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of
Our articles contain scientific references which
are numbered. Some of the references are clickable and some are found at
the end of the article in the references section. The references are
clickable and linked to peer-reviewed scientific papers or authority
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Thalassa Nutrition now sale pH Drops to check if your water is Alkaline
We all know there is no life without water. Water has
many health benefits and helps your body in many ways as I’ve mentioned
in my article about the amazing health benefits of drinking water. But have you heard about alkaline water and its many health benefits?
What Is Alkaline Water
Alkaline water is water with a high pH rating, meaning that it is
more alkaline and less acidic than tap water. A neutral pH rating is a
7—anything above it is considered alkaline, while anything below it is
The pH rating of water can be changed by adding ingredients to it to
make it more acidic or more alkaline. By drinking alkaline water, you
can alkalize your own body, bringing it back into balance and doing away
with the problems associated with having an acidic body.
Why Alkaline Water Is Good for You
People whose bodies lean toward the acidic end of the pH scale often
find themselves feeling less than optimal with regard to health and
wellness. I’ve already written why pH level matters, how to test your pH
level and warning signs that your body is too acidic in my article on how to balance your pH and find out if you’re too acidic.
You can test your own body’s pH level by purchasing litmus strips and
using them to test your saliva or your urine. If your pH test indicates
that your urine or saliva is highly acidic, drinking alkaline water may
be a good choice.
The Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water According to Research
Maintaining a slightly alkaline body has been associated with several
benefits, from improving cognitive function and reducing age-related
cognitive decline to improving the function of various internal organs.
There is even some evidence that alkaline water may halt cancer development. Here are some of the benefits that can come of drinking alkaline water:
Alkaline Water can Promote Kidney Health
Although alkalizing therapy has its critics and opinions on its effectiveness, a 2007 U.S. study published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine
found that people who consumed alkalizing foods and used alkalizing
supplements could restore the pH balance to their bodies, thus making
them better able to rid their bodies of toxins by improving kidney
Alkaline Ionized Water can Improve Gut function and Immune System
Another way that drinking alkaline water can help your health is by
restoring the balance in your intestines, thus shoring up the body’s
immune response and keeping nasty infections at bay.
In 2005, Nina Vorobjeva, a researcher from Lomonosov Moscow State
University, published her preliminary findings about the gut
health-alkaline water connection in the Medical Hypotheses journal.2 According to the research: “Drinking such water favours the growth of residential microflora in the gut.”
Alkaline Water Promote Liver health (for Diabetic or Pre-diabetic People)
Kidney function and gut health are not the only ways that alkaline
water can help the body. Although human research is limited, one 2013
rat study performed by a Korean research team at Hannam University and
published in Nutrition Research and Practice found that alkaline water can promote liver health.
According to the research, rats with blood sugar control problems (similar to those experienced by diabetic humans) that drank alkaline ionized water had improved liver function after drinking the alkalized water.3
Alkaline Water Aids Rehydration for Athletes
Active people can deplete their electrolytes through vigorous
exercise and extreme sweating. Exercise spurs muscles to produce more
hydrogen ions than one can efficiently remove. Thus, acidity increases
and fatigue sets in.
A 2010 study performed by a researcher from Montana State University and published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
found that people with rigorous exercise regimes were better able to
maintain their pH balance and stay hydrated when they drank alkaline
Alkaline Water and Cancer
In vitro tests have shown cancer cells thrive in acidic and
oxygen-free (anaerobic) environments. The first to describe the
correlation between the acidic environment and cancer cell growth was
Dr. Otto Warburg, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1931.
In his work he scientifically explained how the growth of cancer
cells is triggered in the absence of oxygen, and as a result of sugar
fermentation that occurs under such conditions.
Dr. Warburg was in fact describing acidic conditions. For cancer
cells to maintain effective metabolism, they need a pH between 6.5 and
7.5. Their tolerance for change is small, therefore it has been argued
that by raising the blood’s pH, we will effectively target the cancer
cell’s cycle, stop its growth and cause it to die.
The key is to make your body more alkaline, and different ways to do that have been proposed (find more information in my previous article about how to balance your pH and find out if you are too acidic).
It has been shown that sodium bi-carbonate (baking soda)
alkalizes the area around the tumor and prevents development of
metastasis (spread of a cancer from one organ to another) in mice with
A study published in Cancer Research in 2009 confirmed that
inhibition of tumor’s acidity reduced the number of metastasis in some
cancers. A new study is underway at the University of Arizona Cancer
Center, which will look specifically at the effects of sodium
bicarbonate on breast cancer patients.
too, help to balance the body’s pH. They have an alkaline effect on the
body, despite their initial (citric) acidity. They contain limonoides
which are phytochemicals and have anti-cancerous properties.
Vitamin C destroys free radicals, which damage our cells. An
interesting thing about lemons is also that they act as an
anti-microbial. Some researchers suggest that cancer is like a fungus,
and should be treated in the same way, so lemons might be a powerful
According to The Cancer Alternative Foundation, when applied
properly, alkalizing or ‘pH therapy’ has had a success rate of 80% and
higher, which is a hugely significant rate when compared with some of
the mainstream methods.
It’s worth pointing out that the research about lemon and baking soda for cancer is extremely limited. Although the current results are encouraging, further research is needed.
There is no scientific information about the dosage that is needed
for an effective treatment and there is no exact information about the
quantities of each ingredient in the mixture. In addition, the
scientific evidence is extremely limited.
Side Effects of Alkaline Water Consumption
Although drinking alkaline water can contribute to good health by
battling an overly acidic body and restoring the pH balance, it does
come with some side effects that are not always pleasant.
These side effects are how you know the alkalization is happening
inside your body, and are considered a normal response to pH correction
and the detoxification the body is undergoing. For more information on how to detoxify your body, see my eBook The Detox Guide.
Side effects may include:
Sore muscles (flu-like muscle aches)
Tiredness and sleepiness
Sniffling (a runny nose)
Not everyone experiences the same side effects when alkalizing their
bodies, and some people find the side effects more noticeable and
irritating than others.
How to Make Alkaline Water
If you’re interested in making alkaline water a part of your health
maintenance routine, you’ll be glad to know that you can make your own
alkaline water with ease, using a couple of different methods which use
ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Important note: Alkaline water should be drank
before or after meals—either 30 minutes before a meal, or two hours
after a meal—in order to be effective without interfering with the
body’s digestive processes which requires acidic environment.
Alkaline Water Recipe #1: the Power of Lemon
Fill a tall pitcher (64-ounce capacity) with clean water. Cut one
lemon into eight pieces and submerge the pieces into the water. There is
no need to squeeze the juice from the lemon; just drop them into the
pitcher with the water. Allow the lemons to soak in the water for 8 to
10 hours at room temperature.
Drinking lemon water is also one of the 70 secrets I mentioned in my eBook 70 Habits For a Great Health. You can use this eBook to learn about simple yet powerful life changes for a happier, healthier slimmer you.
Alkaline Water Recipe #2: Baking Soda
Please note that people on a strict low-sodium diet should avoid using this method, as baking soda is high in sodium.
To make baking soda water,
simply dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda into an 8-ounce glass of
clean water. Stir the mixture until you no longer see powder or crystals
floating in the water, and then drink it down.
Alkaline Water Recipe #3: Adding pH Drops to Water
You can purchase alkalizing pH drops (like this one)
from online retailers or at health food stores and make high-pH water
using those. These drops are highly concentrated, and formulations
differ between manufacturers, so it’s important to follow instructions
on the bottle carefully to avoid overdoing it.
Generally, a few drops may be added to a glass or pitcher of water and you can get the same alkalinizing benefits from this mixture as from drinking lemon water or baking soda water with the added convenience of having your alkalinizing agent stored in a handy dropper bottle for ease of use.\
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Have you heard about probiotics? What about prebiotics? Do you know the difference?
Although they sound similar, there is an important difference between pro- and prebiotics. Both prebiotics and probiotics are essential for a healthy gut environment, or microbiome.
While we are still discovering what exactly our microbiome does, we do
know that there are certain characteristics of it that are associated
with positive health outcomes (find out more here). This is why it is so important that we do our best to foster a healthy gut environment.
The simplest explanation is that probiotics are the microbes (we are usually talking about bacteria here) that colonize the large intestine, while prebiotics are the food, or fuel, which feeds those microbes.
Probiotics and prebiotics are both pretty big topics in nutrition these days.
Yet even though they sound similar, the two play different roles for your health.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, while prebiotics are food for these bacteria.
This article explains what you need to know about the two.
The good bacteria in your digestive tract help protect you from harmful bacteria and fungi.
They also send signals to your immune system and help regulate inflammation (1, 2).
Additionally, some of your gut bacteria form vitamin K and short-chain fatty acids.
fatty acids are the main nutrient source of the cells lining the colon.
They promote a strong gut barrier that helps keep out harmful
substances, viruses and bacteria. This also reduces inflammation, and
may reduce the risk of cancer (3).
The gut bacteria help with a variety of biological tasks. They also
provide important nutrition to the cells lining your digestive tract.
One of the things your good gut bacteria do with prebiotic fiber is turn it into a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate.
Butyrate has been extensively studied, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects inside the colon (15).
may also influence gene expression, block the growth of cancerous cells
and help provide fuel to healthy cells so that they can grow and divide
Bottom Line: Prebiotics are
types of fiber that humans cannot digest, but your gut bacteria can.
These types of fiber provide nutrients to the bacteria that support
healthy digestion and immune function.
Probiotic supplements are pills, capsules or liquids that contain live beneficial bacteria.
are very popular and easy to find, yet not all of them are worth your
money. They do not all have the same types of bacteria, or the same
They also usually do not come with fibrous food sources for the bacteria to eat.
probiotic supplements are designed to carry the bacteria all the way to
your large intestine for better effects, while others probably don’t
make it past your stomach acid.
There are some individuals who
should not take a probiotic, or who may experience worsened symptoms if
they do, such as people with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
(SIBO) or people sensitive to ingredients in the supplement.
However, the right strains of probiotics can be incredibly beneficial for some people.
As with all supplements, you may want to consult with a healthcare professional who is knowledgeable about probiotics.
Probiotic supplements are designed to deliver very specific species of
bacteria to the human gut. However, not all probiotic supplements are of
the same quality or contain the same quantity of bacteria.
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is a rich source of antioxidants that the body needs to fight against
cancer-causing cells. Vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene are antioxidants
that prevent all kinds of cancers. So adding a daily serving of papaya
to your diet may lessen your risk of developing cancer.
Papaya is a great source of proteolytic enzymes that are very important in digesting food. The most important of these proteolytic enzymes found in papaya is papain. Papain breaks down proteins in food, allowing for better digestion.
Many alternative medical practitioners believe that one of the benefits of papaya is to control premature aging. Papaya helps the body to properly digest food and when the body digests all the nutrients it needs, the body will remain vital for a long time.
Papaya is also rich in fiber, which travels through the body and binds itself to cancer-causing toxins in the colon. The fiber in papaya flushes out the toxins in the colon and so one of the benefits of papaya is that it helps prevent colon cancer especially, due to its antioxidants and its fiber content.
The antioxidants in papaya
prevent cholesterol from oxidizing. When cholesterol becomes oxidized it
forms plaque in the blood vessel walls that can eventually build up and
cause a heart attack or stroke. Fiber is known to lower cholesterol.
Also, vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene are good at reducing
inflammation and as such these nutrients are used to treat asthma,
osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis among many other inflammatory
ailments. Papayas are bright yellow or orange in color and
therefore are rich sources of beta-carotene. They are also rich in
vitamin C, folates, vitamin B, and flavonoids. There are many minerals
in the fruit as well. In addition to soluble fiber, papaya also contains
potassium, magnesium, and pantothenic acid.
Among the many benefits for the health and skin, papaya’s nutrients can also boost immunity. Both vitamins C and A, which are found in abundance in papayas, are excellent for the body’s immune system. Together, these nutrients can help prevent illnesses such as cold, flu, and other recurrent infections. As we age, macular degeneration is one of the side effects that many experiences.
Macular degeneration is a natural degenerative disease that can be prevented by consuming at least three servings of papaya every day. The antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and E, are strongly related to the prevention of vision loss and therefore are excellent when it comes to having good vision.
benefits of papaya seeds are also similar because they have similar
concentrations of the nutrients that the fruit and the papaya plant
contain. However, papaya seeds are considered healthier than the fruit
itself because of the high bioavailability of the nutrients. Eat the
seeds too, they are as healthy for you as the entire papaya. I mix the
seeds in my smoothie or you can sprinkle them on salads or use them in
place of peppers as they have a similar taste.
I consider the papaya one of the most valuable and nutritional superfoods in the world…
I try and eat a half a large Mexican Papaya or two Thai papayas every day and have been doing so for ten plus years…. I sprinkle chia, hemp and flax seeds on the papaya
doesn’t matter what your health, age, or geographic location is.
Currently, unhealthy people and those trying to maintain good health
should definitely consider Veganism. There are certain factors that can
make Veganism even more essential.
Vegans have much lower
cholesterol levels than meat-eaters, and heart disease is uncommon among
Vegans. The reasons are not hard to find. Vegan’s meals are typically
low in saturated fat and usually, contain little or no cholesterol.
Since cholesterol is found only in animal products such as meat, dairy,
and eggs, Vegans consume a cholesterol-free diet. The type of protein in
a Vegan diet may be another important advantage. Many studies show that
replacing animal protein with plant protein lowers blood cholesterol
levels even if the amount and type of fat in the diet stays the same.
Those studies show that a low-fat, Vegan diet has a clear advantage over
An impressive number of studies, dating back to the
early 1920’s, show that Vegans have lower blood pressure than
non-Vegans. In fact, some studies have shown that adding meat to a Vegan
diet raises blood pressure levels rapidly and significantly. The
effects of a Vegan diet occur in addition to the benefits of reducing
the sodium content of the diet. When patients with high blood pressure
begin a Vegan diet, many are able to eliminate their need for
The latest studies on diabetes show that a diet high
in complex carbohydrates (which are found only in plant foods) and low
in fat is the best dietary prescription for controlling diabetes. Since
diabetics are at high risk for heart disease, avoiding fat and
cholesterol is the most important goal of the diabetic diet, and a Vegan
diet is ideal. Although all insulin-dependent diabetics need to take
insulin, plant-based diets can help to reduce insulin needs.
Vegan diet helps prevent cancer. Studies of Vegan show that death rates
from cancer are only about one-half to three-quarters of those of the
general population. Breast cancer rates are dramatically lower in
countries where diets are typically plant-based. When people from those
countries adopt a Western, meat-based diet, their rates of breast cancer
soar. Vegans also have significantly less colon cancer than meat
eaters. Meat consumption is more closely associated with colon cancer
than any other dietary factor. Why do Vegan diets help protect against
cancer? First, they are lower in fat and higher in fiber than meat-based
diets. But there are other important factors also. For example,
Vegans usually consume more of the plant pigment beta-carotene. This
might help to explain why they have less lung cancer. Also, at least one
study has shown that natural sugars in dairy products may raise the
risk of ovarian cancer in some women. Some of the anti-cancer aspects of
a vegetarian diet cannot yet be explained. For example, researchers are
not quite sure why Vegans have more of certain white blood cells,
called “natural killer cells,” which are able to seek out and destroy
Vegans are less likely to form either kidney stones
or gallstones. In addition, Vegans may also be at lower risk for
osteoporosis because they eat little or no animal protein. A high intake
of animal protein encourages the loss of calcium from the bones.
Replacing animal products with plant foods reduces the amount of calcium
loss. This may help to explain why people who live in countries where
the diet is typically plant-based have little osteoporosis even when
calcium intake is low.
Vegans are healthier and cut their risk of
major diseases by at least half, in some cases altogether. I have been a
Vegan for most of my life and I have never had any symptoms of high
cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. I have never taken a
prescription drug or had the need to see a doctor. Meat and dairy have
no fiber, it is a dead animal and lacks nutrition as well as live foods.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans are live foods and are bursting
with healing nutrients and vitamins that build pristine health. I know
that I feel amazing every day, I can feel live foods in my body creating
a healthy platform for a quality of life that only a Vegan can
Black seed oil contains many medicinal and therapeutic
properties that are good for your skin and general health. The
antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect of black seed oil is great
for treating skin conditions and skin infections. Black seed oil is also
good for your hair as it can boost the condition of your hair and may
even prevent hair loss. You can also take black seed oil capsules for
weight loss, to lower cholesterol, and manage diabetes symptoms.
Black seed oil is also called kalonji oil, black cumin seed oil, or
black caraway oil. The use of black seed oil for treating various
ailments goes back centuries. Recent scientific studies have confirmed
many of the traditional uses of kalonji oil for improving the appearance
of skin, your hair, and boosting your overall health.
In this article, you will learn about the many reasons why black seed
oil or black cumin oil is good for you. You will also find out how to
use black seed oil to take advantage of its many health benefits.
What is Black Seed Oil?
Black seed oil (Nigella sativa oil) is produced by pressing oil from the tiny black seeds (Nigella seeds) that grow on the Nigella sativa plant.
Researchers say that the Nigella sativa plant is a medicinal plant with
many health benefits. Oil extracts from the black seeds (Nigella seeds) has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antimicrobial properties. (1)
Many of the amazing health benefits of black seed oil are due to a compound called thymoquinone. The journal Advances in Phytomedicine reports that thymoquinone is the main active compound that makes black seed oil so good for your health. (2)
Black seed oil also has antiseptic properties that can relieve pain when applied to the skin or wounds. (1)
Black seed oil (black cumin oil) has a pungent bitter taste that some
people describe as peppery or spicy. When consuming high-quality black
cumin oil for its medicinal purposes, many people advise not to smell
the oil but just consume it.
Nutritional Value of Black Seed Oil
Most of the nutritional value of black seed oil comes from the rich
content of unsaturated fatty acids that have antioxidant properties.
Black seed oil contains large amounts of linoleic acid and oleic acids. (1)
Scientists have also found that black seed oil (kalonji oil) has
strong antioxidant qualities. Black seed oil helps to kill off free
radicals in the body that can cause oxidative damage. (3)
The benefits of thymoquinone in black seed oil have been linked with
antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic activity. (4)
What is Black Seed Oil Good For?
Black seed oil is good for your health because of its scientifically
proven health benefits. Scientific studies have confirmed that black
seed oil is good for your skin, hair, and liver. Black cumin oil is also
good for you because it can help lower blood glucose and cholesterol
Here are the proven health benefits of Nigella sativa oil.
Black Seed Oil for Weight Loss – What Science Says
Is there any scientific research to suggest that black seed oil is good for weight loss?
In 2018, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that
black seed supplementation has an anti-obesity effect. Taking black seed
(Nigella sativa) can help to reduce body weight and lose belly fat. (5)
One trial involving overweight women found that taking black seed oil
to supplement a calorie-controlled diet helped to speed up weight loss.
At the end of the trial, the group taking black seed oil experienced a
significant reduction in body weight compared to the group who didn’t
take the supplement. (6)
In the trial, women took a dose of 3 grams of black seed oil for
weight loss. This was divided into 1 g black seed oil capsules 3 times a
day before meals.
Research has also shown that taking black seed oil for weight loss
also helps to reduce complications associated with obesity. One clinical
trial found that taking black seed oil can help to reduce inflammation
in obese women. (7)
Some studies have found that supplementing your weight-loss diet with black seed oil only results in minor weight loss. (8)
Black Seed Oil (Black Cumin Seed Oil) For Skin
Using black seed oil for your skin is good to help moisturize your skin and treat various inflammatory skin conditions.
The anti-microbial, analgesic, and soothing properties of kalonji oil
(black seed oil) mean that it is an excellent therapeutic topical
application to keep skin healthy.
Nigella sativa helps treat eczema
Medicinal compounds in black cumin seed oil mean that you can use it
to soothe dry skin conditions like eczema (atopic dermatitis).
Research published in 2018 found that thymoquinone gives black seed
oil its anti-inflammatory effect. Applying oils containing thymoquinone
such as black seed oil helps to treat outbreaks of dermatitis. (9)
Other studies have found that using black seed oil for eczema is just
as effective as Betamethasone. This is a steroid cream used in treating
eczema to relieve itching and flaking skin. Patients applied black seed
oil to irritated skin twice a day for 4 weeks have seen the best
Oil extracted from black cumin seed can also help treat the symptoms of psoriasis.
One study on mice with psoriasis-like skin lesions found that
regularly applying black cumin seed oil reduced skin inflammation and
helped skin heal properly. The scientists concluded that black cumin
seed oil could be a natural treatment for psoriasis. (11)
The antibacterial properties of kalonji oil mean that it is good for
treating acne and helping to get rid of inflamed, red pimples.
One clinical study on adults with acne found that applying lotion
with 10% black seed oil helped to reduce the number of pustules in a
2-month period. Nearly 60% of patients experienced a reduction in their
symptoms of acne thanks to the black seed oil acne treatment. (12)
Other studies have shown that an anti-acne gel containing black seed
oil is just as effective as the acne pharmaceutical drug amoxicillin. (16)
Black seed oil has powerful antimicrobial properties that mean it can
help treat skin infections and prevent wounds becoming infected.
One clinical trial revealed that extracts of Nigella sativa seed oil
can treat skin infections on infants. The researchers found that black
seed oil was just as effective as the pharmaceutical antibacterial
ointment Mupirocin. Applying black seed oil treated Staphylococcal bacterial infections. (13)
Black seed oil may help reduce fine lines and wrinkles
Black cumin seed oil is good to apply to your face and neck because it can help to reduce the visible appearance of aging.
In one trial involving mice, black seed oil was taken as a supplement
to improve skin condition. The antioxidant and anti-apoptosis
(preventing cell death) properties of black seed oil had an anti-aging
effect on the skin and helped to offset the visible effects of aging. (14)
Applying products containing black seed oil also helps to moisturize the skin, reduce pigmentation, and heal skin lesions. (15)
Kalonji oil is also good for your hair and may even help to prevent
hair thinning and bald patches. Also, because it has antifungal
properties, black seed oil is good for keeping your scalp healthy and
free from dandruff.
Black seed oil can boost hair growth and may prevent hair loss
One of the reasons to apply black seed oil to your scalp is to help hair grow quicker and strengthen your hair strands.
The thymoquinone content of black seed oil can help increase hair
thickness and density. One trial on 20 people who had the hair-thinning
disorder telogen effluvium found that applying a lotion containing black
seek oil helped to treat hair thinning. After a 3-month period of
treatment, 70% of the patients had increased hair thickness. (16)
Another trial found that combining black seed cumin oil with coconut
oil helps to boost hair growth. Scientists found that the rich content
of short chain fatty acids in black seed oil along with
anti-inflammatory properties helped to promote hair growth. The black
seed oil easily penetrates hair roots to improve hair quality. (17)
One study on the medicinal compounds in black seed oil found that
black seed oil works similar to the antihistamine cetirizine. (18) A study from 2018 found that applying topical lotions containing 1% cetirizine can help to treat androgenetic alopecia. (19)
https://i1.wp.com/thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/maxresdefault.jpg?fit=1280%2C720&ssl=17201280Eric Lecrashttps://thalassanutrition.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web_logo.pngEric Lecras2019-03-01 05:34:292019-03-01 05:34:35Proven Health Benefits of Black Seed and Black Seed Oil (Evidence Based)
It’s no secret that plant-based foods offer amazing health benefits.
From sustained weight loss to higher energy, a diet consisting of
nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables has transformative powers — but what
effects does it have on brain health? While few studies have been
conducted on this question, the surfacing answers we have access to are
A Plant-Based Diet and Your Brain
The brain is one of the most mysterious biological frontiers. The endeavor to understand brain processes,
such as system coordination, emotions, and intelligence, has evolved
into its own niche branch of research. Yet, the effects of a plant-based
diet on brain function is not as mysterious.
As Dr. Michael Greger, a clinical nutritionist and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, states:
“Plant-based eating can improve not only body weight, blood sugar
levels, and ability to control cholesterol, but also emotional states,
including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and sense of well-being, and
This may be in part due to the benefits of high levels of
antioxidants found in plant-based ingredients, as well as a decreased
intake of glycotoxins. These “aging toxins” are created in heat-processed foods —
hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and crackers, and processed cheese — and
cause an increase in oxidant stress and inflammation. Due to these
properties, glycotoxins have been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The Mediterranean diet offers
a great example of the positive long-term effects of plant-based
eating. Mediterranean cultures eat an excess of plant foods and limited
meat. Studies have shown that Mediterranean people generally live longer and have a lower risk of developing select chronic illnesses.
It all comes down to the specific type of plant-based diet. A diet that excludes nitrates and nitrites also avoids the harming effects of these preservatives which have been suggested to increase the risk of dementia. With that said, the Cognitive Vitality
program, a branch of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation,
discovered that pescatarians, fish-eating vegetarians, showed a lower risk of dementia in conjunction with their omnivore counterparts.
While more research is being conducted on the subject, it’s clear
that plant-rich diets bolster overall health, including that of brain
The Importance of Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While a plant-based diet has many benefits, it also lacks certain nutrients found in meat and dairy products that are paramount for brain health. Two of the most important nutrients that have been associated with brain health are vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids.
has many functions within the body (think DNA and red blood cells), yet
it is not naturally produced and therefore must be ingested through
animal-based products or supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids
are key ingredients for a well-oiled, functioning body. These fatty
acids are found in certain fish species, as well as plant-based foods
such as nuts and seeds.Advertisement
Vegetable and fruit rich diets help to detox and clean your physical
body via balanced nutrition, vitamins, and reduced processed foods. With
that said, remember to keep your brain in mind. This complex muscle
requires attention and care. It’s incredibly important to speak with a
certified nutritionist or physician to make sure your diet is inclusive
of all the appropriate nutrients to keep your brain function at its
The brain’s susceptibility to oxidative stress,
damage caused to cells, proteins, and DNA by too much oxidation, means
that an antioxidant-rich diet can reduce damage and increase brain
health. TheNational Center for Biotechnology Information states: “several ‘anti-oxidant diets’ have become popular for their publicized positive effects on neural function.”
Certain fruits and vegetables — such as berries, peaches, avocado,
asparagus, spinach, tomato, onion, and garlic — are high in an antioxidant called glutathione,
which is produced by the body. Cruciferous vegetables — such as
broccoli, cabbage, and kale — are high in sulfur, which can increase the
natural production of glutathione.
Most associate tryptophan with the unavoidable food coma after a
delicious turkey meal. Yet, tryptophan, an essential amino acid, also
creates serotonin, which has been linked to stabilizing moods and
healthier sleep. Both of these are incredibly necessary for cognitive
function. Tryptophan can be found in nuts, seeds, tofu, oats, beans, and lentils.
are live yeasts and bacteria that are found in certain foods — such as
sauerkraut, kimchi, olives, soy nut, and miso — as well as in
supplements. Probiotics are great for improving gut and digestive health
by balancing good and bad bacteria, while also replenishing good
bacteria that have been killed off.
Why is this important for brain health?
Recent studies show that your enteric nervous system, the nerve cells that line the gastrointestinal tract, acts as a “brain in your gut” and affects your digestion and brain function. Therefore, a happy gut is a happy mind!