Why should you eat Acai Berries? Ten Remarkable Health Benefits and Uses of Acai Berries

  Acai fruit is a berry native to the Amazon. The berries are dark purple and roughly the size of a blueberry when fully ripe. They have a large seed surrounded by a thin layer of edible pulp. Acai has been used in Brazil for centuries to heal stomach problems and skin ailments. Acerola cherries have 50% more Vitamin C per cup than oranges or lemons. Because of all that vitamin C, their flavor is tart. Because cherries spoil quickly after being picked, they are frequently manufactured into juice, frozen or dry, and ground into a powder (the manufacturer used as an ingredient in vitamin C supplements). The acai berry is a reddish-purple that grows on the acai palm tree. The fruit is about an inch in diameter and is native to Central and South America. The fruit has a large seed that makes up about 80% of the fruit. Acai berries have a high nutritional value. In the Amazon basin, the berry makes up about 25% of the natives’ food intake. Thus, it is a staple food for them.

                                                                                                      Acai Berries

Health benefits

Acai berries have high antioxidant content and provide many health benefits. Acai berries are a superfood that can give skincare, weight loss, and anti-aging benefits. They are:

A Good Source of Fiber

Acai berries have high fiber content, with up to 2 grams per 100 grams of frozen fruit pulp. Fiber is an essential part of dieting as it normalizes bowel movement and helps maintain bowel health. You can also lower your cholesterol levels and control your blood sugar levels. The high fiber content in your diet may also help lower your risk of colorectal cancer and, possibly, prevent colon diseases.

Reducing the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

The berries contain anthocyanins, a form of antioxidant. Antioxidants help eliminate free radicals, which are responsible for many diseases and conditions. Anthocyanins also help regulate LDL cholesterol, which, when balanced with a good diet and exercise, lowers the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Fighting Free Radicals

Free radicals cause age-related problems like cell deterioration, muscle weakening, and hair loss. Free radicals may also cause some types of cancer like colon and prostate cancer. Acai berries are a source of antioxidants that fight free radicals.

Perfect for Improving and Enhancing Memory

Acai berries have many compounds that help protect your brain from damage. More specifically, antioxidants present in acai berries help counteract damage from inflammation and oxidation in brain cells, which helps improve memory and learning.

Provide Powerful Antioxidant Protection

Antioxidants neutralize free radicals’ damaging effects. Since Acai berries have a high concentration of antioxidants, they protect the body.

Boost Weight Loss

Some animal studies show that acai berries can decrease the total LDL cholesterol level. LDL cholesterol is the “bad” kind that causes weight gain. This reduction in cholesterol levels has links to anthocyanins present in acai berries. The high fiber content in acai seeds also helps reduce appetite and stop hunger pains.

Boost Skin Health

Antioxidants present in acai berry aid in skincare. Acai oil, made from acai berries, is a common ingredient in cosmetic products. The oil helps relieve irritation and redness while moisturizing your skin. In Brazil, people used acai berry pulp as a standard treatment for skin conditions and diseases.

Detoxification

Acai berries can aid the liver in performing its natural functions and activate detoxifying enzymes. As a result, your body floods with antioxidants and fiber. Antioxidants and fiber help by making it easier for the body to eject waste and toxins.

Helps with Cognitive Functioning

Research published in the Nutritional Neuroscience journal links acai berry juice to increased mental functioning in rodents. The study also correlates the berry to improved memory and protecting your brain’s neurological disorders.

Stimulates Healthy Digestion

Natural fiber present in acai berries aid in the digestive process and absorbing nutrients. The fruit improves bowel movements, reducing constipation and other digestive issues.

Forms of Acai Berry 

Uses of Acai Berry 

  1. Acai berries are primarily used in health blends and cleanse juices.
  2. In the pharmaceutical sector, it is produced as a supplement.
  3. As in food manufacturing, it can be used as a food supplement. The berry juice is also used commercially as a beverage and ice cream, jelly, and liqueurs. In addition, manufacturers used acai berry as a natural purple food colorant.
  4. They used it to make aqua or ointment cosmetics in the cosmetic field, which affects firming skin, anti-wrinkle, and treating freckle.

How to use Acai Berry 

Acai berries powder:

  • Take two teaspoons of acai powder to add to your food or drinks.
  • Blend acai berry powder to your favorite fruits and milk for a fantastic juice or smoothie.
  • Mix acai powder in a yogurt parfait or sprinkle it on the top of your morning oatmeal.
  • Add acai powder to oats, cereal, or homemade granola bars.
  • Mix acai powder in your favorite snack or drink.
  • You can add acai berry powder to several things like baked goods, desserts, juices, and protein shakes.

Purees:

Use frozen acai puree to make acai bowls.

Acai Berries Tea: 

  • You will be able to make tea with acai berry powder.
  • First, heat the water and then add a tea bag you like to it.
  • When you see that it has steeped well,
  • Add acai berry powder.
  • Stir well and strain it in a cup.

Juice:

  • If you already have acai juice on hand,
  • think about adding it to lemon water,
  • Add it to a fresh-pressed green juice or iced green tea.

Supplements:

Please follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist, physician, or other healthcare professional before using?

Recipes and Recommendation

Acai berries are nutritious and can be eaten raw. You can also process the fruits into products with a longer shelf life like powder, juice, and a puree. You can also make an acai bowl, a sweet acai puree pudding made by filling a bowl with acai puree and topping it with granola, honey, or muesli. Other recipes for acai berry are:

Acai and Beetroot Latte

You will need:

  • One teaspoon of beetroot powder
  • One teaspoon of acai powder one teaspoon of maple syrup
  • One cup of milk
  • Some boiling water

Place the ingredients in a pan and warm the mixture. Use a blender to mix the ingredients properly. Serve the latte with a dollop of whipped cream.

Tropical Acai Smoothie Bowl

Add:

  • One cup of frozen bananas
  • Half a cup of frozen mango
  • Two tablespoons of acai powder
  • One scoop of berry protein powder
  • 1/3 cup of coconut milk

Blend the mixture, then pour it into a bowl and layer it with your favorite fruits.

Tropical Nice Cream

  • One cup of frozen mango
  • One cup of frozen raspberries
  • One cup of frozen pineapple
  • One scoop of vegan vanilla
  • One teaspoon of acai powder
  • Some a milk

Blend the ingredients and pour the mixture into a bowl. Layer the smoothie with your favorite fruits.

Safety Concerns

Currently, there are no side effects associated with using acai berries. However, there may be undocumented allergies or side effects. Therefore, you should avoid using acai products if pregnant. A breakout of Chagas Disease has been linked to drinking raw acai juice. A parasite spread by Triatominae causes Chagas Disease. The disease may cause infection and inflammation in many body parts. If you have an allergy to pollen, you should get an allergen test before ingesting acai products. Acai berries have a high sugar content and a lot of calories in them. High levels of sugar can negatively affect attempts to lose weight.

Where to Buy

You can get fresh acai berries, acai berry juice, and acai berry powder from many places online. Several buying links are in this article.

Conclusion

Acai berries have a high fiber and antioxidant content. They improve digestion, help fight against harmful organisms, promote a healthy heart, improve brain functions like memory and cognitive functions. You can also get an energy boost and an increased sex drive. Since the berries have so few downsides, you can include them in many lattes, smoothies, and health blends.

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.      

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Black Cohosh: Top 10 Health Benefits, Uses and Side Effects

The perennial plant belongs to North America. Its scientific name is Actaea racemosa. With many native names like rattle weed, macrotys, snakeroot, black bugbane, bugwort, etc. Roots and rhizomes are a vital part of the plant. People cultivated Black cohosh: in the wild for medical uses. Active ingredients are unknown, yet these are some chemicals find in black cohosh. Triterpene glycosides, (actein, cimicifugoside) resims like cimicifugin, aromatic acid derivates like fucinolic acid, caffeic, isoferulic acid. 

10 Benefits and uses of black cohosh:

For centuries, black cohosh has been used mainly for women. Most of its benefits are related to women’s health and gynecology.

1: Black cohosh as anti-spasmodic:

Beneficial in menstrual cramps. For half century been used as a pain-relieving tonic in Europe for the reproductive health of women. Along with its anti-inflammatory nature, it is an excellent herb for muscle and nerve pain relief.

2: Helpful in hot flashes:

During periods, women experience hot flashes, which is very painful. Cohosh herb helps in dealing with these hot flashes.

3: Use to treat PCOS:

Although there is little evidence, people believe that it helps treat polycystic ovarian syndrome in women. Due to this disease, women fail to conceive. But if you use black cohosh along with Clomid, it helps a lot.

4: Deals with infertility:

Individuals have used Black cohosh to increase fertility and chances of getting pregnant, but there is no solid evidence.

5: Black cohosh as a partus preparator:

Mid-wives have used Black cohosh for assisting during labor and delivery since ancient times.

6: Useful against snake-bites:

The native North Americans have used Black cohosh in severe conditions due to snake bites.

7: Treatment of fibroids:

A study on 244 women having fibroids was done for using black cohosh as treatment. The size of fibroids was decreased by 30% by using 40mg of the herb supplement daily for three months.

8: Treatment of breast cancer:

Many test-tube studies have proved that black cohosh extract helps decrease the spread of cancer cells by showing anti-estrogen activity. 

9: Treatment of other diseases:

In native America, people used black cohosh for centuries for treating fever, cough, and pneumonia. Nowadays, we use it in the treatment of migraines and arthritis. Some evidence also supports its use for treating osteoporosis.

10: Anti-inflammatory action:

Due to the presence of salicylic acid, black cohosh acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is a suitable replacement for painkillers like aspirin. As an anti-inflammatory herb, it dilates blood vessels, increases the health of the heart, and helpful in high blood pressure.

Availability in different forms:

Roots and rhizomes are the main beneficial parts of the plant. The market comes in dry herb form, liquid extract, dried extracts in pill form.

Dried powder form:

Roots are dried and milled to get a powder form. You can dry the Roots in 85°F to 95°F. The drug producers packed this powder in the form of capsules. The encapsulated powder can be taken by adding in smoothies.

Tincture form:

Liquid from most delicate roots is extracted and mixed with ethanol. It is more effective in tincture form instead of dry form. According to Richo Chech (an author of books related to herbal medicines), the drying process of roots lost many medicinal properties. They used a Tincture form to make the female reproductive system healthy.

Tea form:

You can use Black cohosh in tea form. It tastes like sour dirt and bitter. Women use it to control their mood swings, anxiety, discomfort, and even skin health.

How to preserve the Black cohosh herb?

You can preserve cohosh herb for more than a year 8f roots are dried properly at 80°F to 95°F. Once dried, you store in burlap bags, polythene sacks, and drums.

Harvesting black cohosh:

A site with rich and well-drained soil is best for its cultivation. It grows in full sun but naturally finds it in shady areas. It can be grown in different ways.

  • A shade-grown or artificial shady place

To provide artificial shade, they use polypropylene cloth. It provides 30 to 85% shade. The structure should be 6 to 7 feet tall with open ends so that the wind can pass.

  • Woods cultivated:

 Raised in woods. If you want to cultivate Cohosh herb in woods, then site having mayapple, trillium, ginseng, bloodroot grows. There are two ways how you can get seeds. One way is to purchase seeds and sow them in the soil, but it may take two years to germinate.  Another way is to get seeds naturally. Harvest the seed in the fall and sow in the ground immediately. It is the easiest method. A sign of seeds being ready is a rattling sound. At this stage, seeds are ready to be taken from dried-up capsules. You can cut roots having buds and place them in seedbeds 1 to 2 inches apart. To increase activity and moist of soil, add bark mulch. These seeds will grow into beautiful plants with inflorescence in late spring and mid-summer.

Availability in the market:

Black cohosh is an important medicinal herb that comes in many brands. It is readily available in tincture form or dried powder form on the market. You can also order from Online stores.

Safety precautions:

Black cohosh is known for affecting the liver. Different countries give different labels on herb products. In America, the association of their herbal products issues warning over pregnant women use. While in Australia, the Department of health allows products to sell if it labels precautions for liver harm. 

Recommendation amount to be taken:

There are different brands and forms of black cohosh in the market. The FDA (federal drug authority) has not regulated it.

  • In tincture form, 0.4- 2mm of dose along with 60% ethanol is enough.
  • In dried form, 40-200mg is suitable for the whole day.
  • Traditionally, higher doses are also used.
  • The prescribed dosage for bone density in postmenopausal women is 40mg daily for three months. 
  • To increase mental health in postmenopausal women, they recommend 128mg for one year.
  • Due to the presence of triterpene glycosides, a 5 to 1mg dose is enough because above this, you will feel pain in the frontal lobes.
  • The dosage recommendation of black cohosh for hot flashes is 20mg a day.

 

Side effects of black cohosh: 

Some of the side effects of the herb are:

  • It is not permissible to take black cohosh if you have any liver problems. Because it causes damage to the liver if taken in a high dose.
  • Pregnant women should prevent its use.
  • Some of the doctors say to avoid using black cohosh as it may thicken uterus wall lining. 
  • The side effect if used in high doses is fever and nausea, lousy stomach, and shortness of breath. 

Alternates of black cohosh:

There are few herbs used as an alternative to cohosh herb like

  • Blue cohosh: It is also a North American flowering plant. It has the same use as black cohosh.
  • Evening primrose oil: it is similar to cohosh herb as it soothes women in menstrual cramps.
  • Rhapontic rhubarb: helps in dealing with signs of menopause.

Conclusion:

Some things are theoretically proven, and some are proven medically by research. In older times, when there was no concept of tablets and supplements, people used herbs to treat illnesses. People used Black cohosh for centuries as a treatment of women-related diseases, especially menstrual cramps. Still, there is little known evidence of its benefits in scientific research. There is a need for more research to understand its activity and chemicals involved in healing.

Where to buy:

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.    

Turmeric | THE GOLDEN SPICE, Benefits Uses, Recipes , and Side Effects

Turmeric is a perineal herbaceous plant that belongs to the ginger family. It has tuberous rhizomes or underground stems used as a textile dye, condiment, and aromatic stimulant. 

Turmeric has a pepper-like aroma, a bitterly warm taste, and a yellowish-orange color which a pigment called curcumin provides. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is widely used in medicines for different healing purposes. 

Table of contents

An Overview of Turmeric

History

Cultivation

Harvesting

Processing  & Preserving

Types of Turmeric

Curcumin – Turmeric Root Extract

  • Process of Extraction

Uses of Turmeric

  • In Natural Medicine
  • In Food
  • As a Dye
  • In Rituals and Occasions
  • As a Sacred Decoration

10 Benefits of Turmeric

Side Effects & Warnings

Side Effects In Women

Who Should Not Eat Turmeric?

Conclusion

An Overview of Turmeric

With this brief intro to the Golden Spice, let us have a detailed overview of this natural plant. 

History

The history of Turmeric is said to be as old as 4000 years. It was found to be used first in India. The Indian people used it as a culinary spice and had built some spiritual bonding with it. From India, Turmeric reached China in 700 AD and Africa in 1200 AD. In 1280, however, Marco Polo introduced Turmeric as a vegetable having similar properties to saffron. Finally, in the 18th century, Turmeric reached the third-largest island of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica. 

The Ayurvedic and Unani systems and the Sanskrit medical papers suggest that Turmeric has been used widely in medicines for many years in South Asia. For example, in Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, a medicine mixed with Turmeric can deactivate the effect of poisonous food. 

Different cultures and languages give other names to Turmeric. The most common term used for Turmeric all over the world is ‘Yellow root.’ In north India, Turmeric is called Haldi, influenced by the Sanskrit word haridra, and in south India, it is called ‘manjal.’  

The phrase ‘turmeric’ is derived from the Latin word ‘terra merita,’ which refers to the yellowish color of ground turmeric. In French, it is called ‘terre merite.’ I the Sanskrit language only, there are 53 different names for Turmeric, showing the religious attachment of their people and culture with Turmeric. 

Cultivation

Turmeric bulb on the floor and turmeric powder in a bowel

When we talk about turmeric cultivation, it is said that India produces the most Turmeric in the world. Turmeric is native to India and Indonesia both. It is cultivated in the tropical or hilly areas, the mainland of India, and the island of the Indian Ocean. India produces more than 95% of the world’s Turmeric and consumes 80% of it. 

There are some specific requirements of climate and soil for the cultivation of Turmeric. 

  • The herb needs a hilly or tropical area from sea level to 1500m for

Ideal growth. 

  • The suitable temperature for the cultivation and growth of herbs is 20 to 300 C. 
  • The annual rainfall of the cultivation area must be 1500 to 2250mm. 
  • Turmeric grows well in sandy, damp, well-drained clayey loam-rich soil.

Light black, red soils, ashy loam, and clay loams all are great for turmeric growth.

Harvesting

Turmeric plants take 8 to 9 months to grow and harvest when the leaves dry and turn brown. The plant is tipped out from the soil, and the soil on rhizomes is cleaned. The stems are cut off an inch above the rhizomes, and the rhizomes are washed thoroughly. 

Processing & Preserving

After harvesting, processing takes place. Before preservation, the rhizomes of Turmeric need to be processed. For processing, rhizomes at put in water and boiled for about 40 to 60 minutes. Then, rub the rhizomes with soft hands and get the cooked herb rhizomes dried in sunlight. It will take about 15 days to dry the turmeric rhizomes completely. Finally, you can make turmeric powder by grinding the rhizomes in a grinding machine or a coffee grinder. 

You can preserve the turmeric powder for six months in a refrigerator. However, you should keep them in a freezer if you plan to use them longer than six months. In some parts of the world, the herb is sold in rhizome form and stored easily in the fridge for six months. 

Types of Turmeric

We can classify Turmeric into five types. However, these types of Turmeric are similar to each other in one way or the other. 

Kasturi Manjal: The first type of Turmeric is Kasturi Manjal, also known as Curcuma aromatic, because it is famous for its intense aroma. People use Kasturi Manjal as a beautification cosmetic. For example, a paste of Kasturi Manjal is spread all over a bride’s body to make her look beautiful, especially in India and Pakistan. This herb type is similar to cooking Turmeric but not used in food due to its bitter taste. The powder of Kasturi Manjal is readily available from herbal vendors in India and Pakistan. 

  1. Curcumin Longa

The second type of Turmeric is Curcumin longa, the most common turmeric powder mixed with curry powder and used in cooking. It is also called Curry Manjal. The powder is obtained by boiling the rhizomes or stems and then grinding them after drying. 

  1. Kuda

Kuda is the third type of Turmeric produced and used mainly in India. This type of herb has a round and elongated umbrella-shaped miniature structure. The word Kuda means umbrella. Kuda is similar to Manjl in color, and it is used for rituals and similar occasions only. People think that it has divine power and thus worship it. It is not used for cooking purposes

  1. Kari Manjal

Kari Manjal is the fourth type of Turmeric, and it is also Black Turmeric as it has black roots. This type of herb is scarce, and people used it in making Ayurvedic medicines. 

  1. Mara Manjal

The fifth type of Turmeric is Mara Manjal. It is the Tree Manjal which is a kind of vine. It is also scarce and is used in making some particular medicines. But, unfortunately, this type of herb is vanishing gradually. 

Curcumin – Turmeric Root Extract

Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin known as Turmeric Root Extract, which gives flavor to the dishes and color to the clothes. Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substance used to cure different health problems. However, the percentage of curcumin in a piece of Turmeric is only 3%. For this reason, curcumin is extracted in large amounts to be used in medicines and curing diseases. 

 Process of Extraction

Curcumin is extracted from the root of Curcumin longa, used for cooking purposes. First, the turmeric root is ground to make a smooth powder. The powder is then dissolved in suitable solvents that do not dissolve the curcumin substance. 

After filtration of those solutions, we obtain curcumin in the filter paper, and the finished product is ready for medicines. 

Uses of Turmeric

Over the world, Persons use Turmeric for its numerous usage. Here we will discuss the most common usage of Turmeric. 

Turmeric as a Natural Medicine

Turmeric is a natural plant, and it is used as a natural medicine in many parts of the world, especially in some countries of Asia. Kasturi Manjal and Kari Manjal are the most common types of herbs used as medicine. Kasturi Manjal is famous for its beautiful odor and beautifying effects, commonly used in homes for beauty tips. In addition, individuals use Kari Mnjal to make Ayurvedic medicines. 

Below are some common uses of Kasturi Mnajal. 

  1. The women and girls of Asian countries like India and Pakistan make a paste of Kasturi Manjal by mixing it with milk or yogurt and applying it on their skin to get beautiful, glowing, and smooth skin. It is a unique beauty tip for brides. 
  2. For body massage, the massager mix Kasturi Manjal with mustard oil for a better effect. 
  3. Newborn babies are given a bath with Kasturi Manjal in India. 
  4. Girls use a paste of Kasturi Manjal to get rid of unwanted hair growth on different body parts. 
  5. People who have acne and scars on their faces use Kasturi Manjal paste to fight back acne and spots on their faces. Some girls even use Basil paste with Turmeric for quick relief. 
  6. In Ayurvedic treatment, Mung bean powder is mixed with turmeric powder, and this soap-like material is used to heal many skin diseases.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Turmeric as a Food

Turmeric is also used widely for cooking and making different dishes. Curcumin longa or Curry Manjal is the type of Turmeric used in cooking. It gives color, taste, and a healthy touch to a dish. Below are some food items that include This healing herb as the main ingredient. 

  • In Cooking

In making dishes of chicken, rice, vegetables, pulses, Turmeric is the main ingredient. It enhances the cooked food in color and taste.

  • In Drinks
  1. Many doctors suggest using this golden milk to heal internal infections and injuries and boost immunity. Turmeric milk is prepared by boiling milk with Turmeric. Turmeric milk mixed with cinnamon is also used in winters for a soothing warm effect. This golden milk regulates inflammatory signals and works as an antioxidant.
  2. Turmeric Tea is another great drink with the bursting health benefits of Curcumin. The tea recipe is straightforward. Add water, turmeric powder, fresh lemon juice, honey to taste, and a pinch of black pepper in a cooking pan and let it boil. As the water starts boiling, turn the flame low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. After that, pour the tea into your mug and enjoy it. 

In herbal jam

A special sweet herbal jam is prepared by using turmeric powder. A balanced mixture of turmeric root, ginger root, and tamarind is prepared and preserved in jaggery sugar cane and pickled black peppercorns. This sweet herbal jam is used with rice, chicken, fish, or mixed with mayonnaise to make a sandwich.

In Pickles

Turmeric is also used in a fine pickle called Turmeric Ginger Salt Pickle. In this pickle, Turmeric roots and ginger roots are mixed with salt without using water or vinegar. This delicious yet straightforward pickle adds more flavor to your smoked meat, rice, rice and beans, and any other dish you want to have it with. 

  1. Turmeric as a Dye

Yellow color holds a special significance for Hindus and Buddhists. The yellow color is sacred, and it presents the most purified existence of divine spirits for them. That is why the Hindus and Buddhists use Turmeric as dying their clothes, and saintly men and women wear those clothes. On their religious occasions, they start their day by giving a yellow-dyed cloth to the priest. In addition, the newborn baby wears a yellow-dyed cloth on its first visit to the temple. 

Turmeric used in Rituals and Occasions

As said earlier, the herb has a special significance for Hindus and Buddhists. In their temples, they wash their idols with the herb as it is a symbol of purity. The priests wear turmeric-dyed clothes to perform the rituals. Turmeric is also used in weddings to purify the minds and bodies of the couple getting married. 

Turmeric as a Sacred Decoration

Apart from using Turmeric in dying and performing rituals, Hindus and Buddhists also use a particular turmeric type, Kuda. It is an umbrella-shaped round and elongated kind of Turmeric, and it is kept in homes as a sacred decorative material. They also make a design on the earth called Kolam. This design is made from rice and turmeric powder, and it is used to welcome the guests and ward off evil spirits. 

10 Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a world-famous spice because of having numerous benefits. However, if you are concerned about what Turmeric does for the body, the below 10 benefits will clarify. These are the health benefits directly related to the body. 

Natural Bioactive & Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Inflammation in the body is essential as it helps fight back the invaders like bacteria and repair the inside damages. However, this inflammation can be dangerous when it becomes chronic and starts attacking body cells. In this case, curcumin plays a vital role. As an anti-inflammatory and bioactive substance, curcumin blocks a molecule NF-kb that gets into the nuclei and turns on the inflammation-related genes. 

Increases the Antioxidant Capacity

The free radicals in the body can cause oxidative damage as these are highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. This oxidative damage includes aging, heart attack, and other diseases. 

Turmeric is an antioxidant, and it has a robust structure that can neutralize free radicals and reduce their damaging effects. It also gives a boost to the body’s activity of making its antioxidant enzymes. 

Provides Skin Health Protection

Turmeric properties being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-microbial, making it potentially practical for skin health. The medical herb can cure acne, scars, eczema, and similar skin problems. A special soap is prepared with a mixture of Turmeric and green mung beans to treat several skin problems. Turmeric is also used for beautiful, smooth, and glowing skin. 

Prevents Heart Diseases

The dysfunction of the endothelium mainly causes heart diseases. When inflammation and oxidation increase and high blood pressure and blood clotting occur, endothelium stops functioning well. 

Curcumin in the turmeric powder reduces inflammation and oxidation, regulates blood pressure, and improves the endothelium’s functioning. When endothelium performs well, the heart gets stables and starts functioning normally. 

Helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is one of those diseases that have no cured. That is why its prevention is given more value than its cure. Alzheimer’s disease takes place when the protein tangles buildup and forms amyloid plaques. Different researches and studies suggest that curcumin can prevent amyloid plaques’ buildup leading to Alzheimer’s disease. 

Makes Arthritis Treatable

Arthritis is a joint disease most common in western countries. This disease spreads due to inflammation in the joints. As an anti-inflammatory substance, curcumin can treat Arthritis. Different researches showed that curcumin could treat Arthritis more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs. 

Gives a Boost to Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor

Neurons make connections and multiply in different areas of the brain. This process is driven by Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which is a hormone. When this hormone level decreases, it causes several brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and depression. 

Turmeric containing curcumin can increase the level of BDNF in the brain and has the power to reverse many brain disorders. As a result, Curcumin can make your brain smarter and improve memory. 

Prevents & treat Cancer

Turmeric is so unique that it can also contribute to preventing and treat deadly Cancer. Many research pieces have proved that curcumin can kill cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis and metastasis that spread Cancer by growing new blood vessels in cancerous cells or tumors. Thus, many studies show that it is a valuable herb to treat and prevent Cancer. 

Contributes to treat Diabetes

Diabetes is an inflammatory condition of the body that Turmeric can treat with its inflammatory properties. Curcumin can help treat type 2 diabetes patients by giving them a certain dosage amount for about 16 to 20 weeks. In addition, it will help lower high blood sugar, improve insulin resistance, and reduce high cholesterol in the blood. 

Gives a Boost to Immunity

Turmeric is considered one of the most powerful means to boost immunity. However, golden milk and tea are the most effective drinks to boost immunity and help your body fight back seasonal viruses and bacterias. 

Turmeric Side Effects & Warnings

Turmeric and curcumin are beneficial and friendly to the body. However, there are some problems and dangers with it. 

According to the clinical studies, the herb’s most common side effects are gastrointestinal, resulting in constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ache, distension, dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux, and yellow stool. 

Turmeric Side Effects In Women

There is no considerable side effect of Turmeric, especially for women. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should use the herb carefully. 

Who Should Not Eat Turmeric the golden spice?

As far as Turmeric’s suitability is concerned, it may not be suitable for people having obstruction of the bile duct, liver disease, gallstones, cholangitis, and any other biliary disease. This is because curcumin increases bile secretion that can be problematic for such patients. 

 Recipe for THE GOLDEN MILK

  • One cup of milk {milk of your choice}
  • One teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • Two teaspoons of raw honey
  • Add milk in a small saucepan
  • Allow it to a boil and then lower the heat
  • Add turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes
  • Remove from heat
  • Add the raw honey
  • pour the tea into your mug, and enjoy it. 

Final Comments

Turmeric is a natural substance with several outstanding and unmatched properties. It is a very cheap product that is readily available but has life-changing effects. One must be aware of its quality and should not be deprived of enjoying its benefits. 

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NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

Annatto: a beneficial seed, Uses, Side Effects, and Precautions

You might have seen reddish or yellow color in Caribbean cuisines; this is nothing else but an annatto.

Annatto, Common name “lipstick plant” or “poor man’s saffron” and botanical name Bixa Orellana. The seeds formed in pods of Bixa are famous all over the world but in different names: achiote, jarak, atsuete, Orellana, arnato. Fruit is heart-shaped covered with hair; when opened, there lie beautiful red seeds of annatto.

Hairy fruit along with pyramid-shaped seeds

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Ten surprising benefits and uses of annatto seeds:

Flavonoids, carotenoids, and alkaloids present in annatto seeds exhibit a wide range of activities. Many of its benefits are due to these compounds, which I enlisted as follows:

1: Annatto as coloring agent:

 The specific red color of these seeds is due to carotenoids present in seed coating. More Bixin (chemical present in the pericarp of seeds), more orange color, and more norbixin chemical tilts towards yellow color.

You may have seen yellow color in stews or soups in South America or Filipino cuisines. It is due to annatto seeds. In the Philippines, people use annatto seeds paste in marinating chicken as it makes it more flavourful.

In coconut, it is slightly yellowed to give a light yellow color.

2: Use in the dairy industry:

There is no stable alternative to annatto in the dairy industry, mainly used in ice creams, margarine, and the cheese industry.

3: Use in bakery items:

Many companies use annatto seeds in bakery items like waffles. You can use it as a healthy diet source. 

4: Alternative source of vitamin B:

A known fact is that our bodies don’t produce vitamin E, vital for our body. We have to take it as a supplement. You will be surprised to learn that annatto seeds are the primary source of vitamin E. 

Tocotrienols in large amounts, present in annatto seeds. This chemical is a form of naturally occurring vitamin E, present in extracts that exhibits highly neuroprotective activity. 

5: Use for healthy skin:

The use of annatto on skin dates back to ancient times. People used it to color the face and body with insect repellent.

The antioxidant activity of annatto enhances the production of healthy cells and tissues reducing damaged skin. 

Annatto paste reduces wrinkles and inflammation on the skin. However, the ancient people used it as sun cream. Peroxides present in seeds prevent DNA mutation in U.V rays.

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6: Use against diseases:

 Rich in fiber, it may:

  • Boosts digestion and decreases heartburn.
  • Suitable for stomach activity. 
  • A cure for cancer. As Bixin is an antioxidant, it may save tissues from damage due to cancer drugs. 
  • Increases eye health, and decreases the chances of cataracts.

Not only annatto seeds but the whole plant has its benefits. We use leaves as a tea drink known to cure hepatitis, fever, and dysentery.

7: Good for bones:

It has calcium in it, hence suitable for weak bones, increasing durability. Recent studies have shown the effectiveness of tocotrienols for women in post-menopause, a significant component of these beneficial seeds in bone strength.

8: In the Cosmetic industry:

Famous as a lipstick tree, we use annatto to give beautiful shades to lips. It is also used in shampoos to give your hair smoothness. Hair dyes that give attractive colors to hair. 

9: Annatto as Herbal medicine:

People use it as herbal medicine to treat many disorders in the form of a drink. In Asian culture, these beneficial seeds are an essential part of Ayurveda.

10: Beneficial as anti-parasite:

Anti-parasitic activity is also present in annatto seeds. It is 100% proven. Experimental use of annatto on fish shows removing the outer membranes of helminths (a parasite), causing their death.

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How to harvest the annatto plant:

These plants were founded in central and South America. It is harvested mainly in tropical countries like Mexico, Sri Lanka, India, Brazil, Peru, etc.

It can be grown both on a commercial scale and in small gardens. The soil must be organically rich and well-drained; the sun is a must. Before planting in soil, seedlings are grown in polythene bags in the nursery. These bags contain a mixture of soil, sand, and manure. The monsoon season (June to September) is ideal for farmers to spread these prepared seeds in the soil. 

The condition of capsules decides the harvesting stage. After being ready, they spread them on spreadsheets. It takes around one week to get them dried. Once dried, they remove the seeds from pods. These seeds are then collected in bags and stored. Indias use this method of harvesting.

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Annatto seeds in powder form:

Annatto in powder form

 

How many times have you used yellow or orange food color to enhance the color of your food? It comes from nothing else than annatto seeds. It makes food visually pleasing. If you have great taste buds, you will like its sweet and peppery taste. Annatto color seasoning is part of many Mexican and American cuisines.

Do you know one more amazing historical fact? Before being used as a coloring agent, people used it as body paint for its healing powers.

Like the Mayans, many tribes of ancient times used these beneficial seeds as a blood symbol, and it holds a very sacred place there. 

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Annatto seeds in oil form:

 Achiote oil, oil of annatto seeds, is made by simmering them in any oil. But on slow flame. Within a few minutes, the oil is ready to be used. Some uses and benefits of achiote oil are below:

•        Indian and Mexican culture, people used to flavor and give color to many foods.

•        Oil is used in the butter and cheese industry and offers many shades of yellow to cheese.

Where to buy these beneficial seeds:

Although, these are readily available in supermarkets. In America, you can find them in Spanish stores and Asian stores. You can also order annatto seeds or powder online from amazon or any other online shop.

 

Annatto powder in the online store

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How to preserve or store them:

You can use these beneficial seeds for years. There are two simple tips:

  • Please place them in airtight containers.
  • Keep them away from light.

Substitute of annatto seeds:

Hibiscus powder

Hibiscus powder, beet powder, paprika powder, and turmeric are all substitutes for annatto seed powder. Although, these spices or herbs will not give the same taste and color. Turmeric spice is tilted towards yellow color and has a powerful aroma. The Asian people use it in their cuisines

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Precautions in the use of annatto seeds:

Although incredibly beneficial seeds, there are some precautions for using them:

  • It can’t be used in soft drinks in Europe according to their legislation.
  • If you are new to cooking and learning, then don’t put whole annatto seeds in curry. It will take the seeds hours to soften.
  • Some people get allergic to it. If you are allergic to any color, then avoid it.
  • If you have diabetes, please do not use an annatto because your health care provider can observe your fluctuations in blood glucose levels. People should not use it along with diabetic medicines.
  • You should avoid annatto if you have scheduled your surgery. It is admissible not to use annatto two weeks before and after surgery.
  • It also decreases the effectiveness of some medicines. As medicines break down in the liver, it alters the breaking rate of chemicals in treatments.

Stability of annatto:

On a commercial level, due to its stability, it is 2nd most used dye. It is stable at high temperatures and other physical conditions.

Conclusion:

For centuries till now, the world is exploring its uses. Annatto is a fantastic plant, with lots of benefits in many industries. Many of its properties make it of great worth commercially, and in the medical field, there is room for a lot of research. But we must know that natural things also have side effects. Everything comes with its pros and cons. 

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NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

 

10 excellent benefits and uses of Carob Powder

Image result for carob powder

Carob Powder is a powder driven from the dried, roasted pods of its tree. It is an alternative form of Cocoa powder, but both are different from each other. 

Carbo powder is a sweetener used in baked items because it has a beautiful, sweet taste. It contains chemicals and fibers that are helpful for you. Here, you will know about the 10 excellent benefits and uses of Carob Powder.

Benefits of Carob powder:

Carob powder is beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels. It consists of fibers and antioxidants but contains no caffeine. If you want to know about the detailed benefits, then you should continue your reading. These are some benefits of Carob powder.

Recovers from diarrhea:

If you get diarrhea, you will feel unpleasant, vomiting due to water dehydration. If you want some natural remedy to recover, you can use Carob powder. Studies have revealed that it is helpful for the initial stage of diarrhea, especially in children of 3-21 months.

Tannin is a large amount of Carob powder, thus used as the natural medicine for diarrhea. Tannins are polyphenols that have a binding property. These are water-soluble and bind with the mucous membrane of the intestine. 

Fiber-rich powder:

Fiber is beneficial in maintaining your body safe and sound. Besides Tannin, Carob powder also contains fiber in a large amount. Two tablespoons of it consist of almost 5 grams of the powder. We use fiber to control constipation, blood sugar level, and control cholesterol. 

A study revealed that there are antioxidant polyphenols in these fibers that maintain cholesterol levels in patients with high LDL.

Source of essential minerals:

Carbon powder contains calcium, an essential mineral of your body. Two tablespoons of it contain calcium, and this is 4% of the recommended daily use. According to studies, calcium helps maintain body weight. 

This powder also consists of other essential minerals: iron, copper, zinc, manganese, nickel, barium, and cobalt.

Source of phytochemicals:

Carob powder consists of phytochemicals that play an essential role in your body. It helps reduce the chances of cancer and tumor. Besides, it also has some other properties, as it is antitumor and proapoptotic in its activity. 

A phytochemical called quercetin has the property of killing leukemic cells. Different studies have been practiced on animals to check the phytochemicals that prevent you from cancer.

Maintain Blood Sugar Level:

Carob powder plays a vital role in maintaining your blood sugar level. This powder consists of Inositols, a vitamin-like substance that is essential for controlling diabetes. This inositol consists of Myo-inositol and d-pinitol for diabetes control. Health care personnel use Myo-inositol as insulin resistance for patients with high sugar levels.

Weight loss:

Carob powder is popularly known as a weight-reducing tonic through stimulating the body’s absorption, improving digestion, and effectively burning and removing fats.

Antioxidant.

It is rich in antioxidants and also repairs and prevent damage to cells by free radicals.

Gluten-free powder:

This powder contains no gluten, and it proves helpful in your health. Gluten is a protein that enhances your immune system. This immune system attacks your intestine and causes celiac disease. As this powder is gluten-free, you can use it if you have celiac disease.

Contain no sodium:

To live healthily, you should maintain your diet as per need. If you are Considering sodium, then you should take it in less amount. An excess amount of sodium may cause various diseases such as kidney problems, high blood pressure, and heart attack. Carob powder contains no sodium that makes it healthier for people who take less sodium in their diet.

Low in Fat:

Carob powder consists of no fat, and it is good if you want a low-fat diet. Besides, it has a higher sugar level than cocoa powder. Only two spoons of it contain 6 grams of sugar. But if you see the fats, it will benefit you as a healthy diet.

Uses of Carob powder:

Carob powder is mainly used in food, especially in sweets, due to its sweet taste. You can use it in your chocolate milkshakes and smoothies. It has other uses that I will discuss further.

Used as food:

Carob powder is widely used in diet to keep your body healthy. Here are other ways by which you can use this powder in your diet:

● You can use it in making bread dough or pancake batter, which gives you a unique sweet taste.

● As it has a special role in baking, you can use it in making brownies called Carob Brownies.

● You can add it to your smoothies, beverages to make them healthier.

● You can also add it to your chocolate drink.

Used for digestive issues:

Carob powder consists of tannins that may help you in resolving gastric issues. If you have digestive problems, you may use it as it helps in the elimination of toxins. It also helps in controlling the growth of harmful bacteria.

Conclusion

Thus, Carob powder is a healthy diet in its use as compared to cocoa powder. You have read the ten excellent benefits and uses of Carob powder so that you can use it for your desired purpose.

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NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

 

Mountain Rose Herbs

500X500_BulkHerbs

 

Mountain Rose Herbs is dedicated to carrying a diverse range of certified organic and fair trade products.

Mountain Rose Herbs have various organic botanical products such as herbs, spices, teas, essential oils, and beauty and personal care items. 

You can find all you need for a well-stocked spice cabinet from their A-Z list of dried herbs and spices, specialty seasonings, gourmet salts, peppercorns, seaweeds, and sprouting seeds. 

 

 

Coriander Seeds: Uses and Health Benefits

The round, tan-colored seeds obtained from the coriander plant are a part of everyday shopping. In addition, these seeds are added to many dishes to give them a sweet and floral aroma. Not only flavorful, but the Herb is beneficial to your health as well. People incorporate the herb into several remedies.

Want to know more about this unique plant? Then keep reading because this article will guide you on all the essential aspects of herbs.

Coriander Seeds

The coriander plant bear leaves and seeds. The plant usually seeds when there is late spring to the early summer season. The coriander seeds are light brown, hollow, and round in appearance. People use them as a seasoning, and we can convert them into various forms such as powdered, oil, unprocessed form, etc.  Coriander seeds are among the significant Middle Eastern, Indian, Latin, Asian, French, Greek, and Caribbean cuisines.

How to grow and harvest Coriander?

It is easy to grow the coriander plant in your kitchen garden. This fragrant and anti-oxidant-rich plant can also be grown in trays and pots containing nutrient-rich general-purpose compost. In this Guide to Coriander Uses and Health Benefits, we will mention some of the most straightforward steps to plant and harvest it.

  1.  The best seasons to plant coriander seeds are the late spring and fall. If you plant it in the summer, then there are chances that the plant will bolt and turn out to be bitter.
  2. Look for a sunny site in your garden to grow this plant.
  3. Make sure that you plant the coriander seeds in well-drained soil with a PH of 6.2 to 6.8.
  4. Sow the seeds separately at a distance of 1 to 2 inches.
  5. Don’t forget to water the plant regularly.
  6. If your encounter any insects on the plant, then use insecticidal soap.
  7. When the harvesting season comes, cut the plant’s stem and shake it in a bag to automatically fall off the ripened seeds. If you don’t wish to continue harvesting, then remove the entire plant.

How to Store and Preserve the Seeds?

You can store the whole seed for a year and the ground seeds for around two to six months with proper preserving methods.

If you want to store coriander seeds, then keep them in an airtight container. Exposure to air can lead to the reduction of the shelf life of these seeds. Please store it in a cool location because volatile substances such as the essential oils of Coriander are known to evaporate when the temperature rises. Avoid keeping it in an area where the light can start the photodegradation phenomenon, resulting in loss of flavor and aroma of the seeds.

If you want to store the coriander leaves, more commonly known as cilantro, then freeze or dry them. Put the cilantro leaves in a container or a resealable bag and keep them in the refrigerator. For the drying method, hang the leaves in a hot area until they are thoroughly dried, and then keep the cilantro leaves in a container.

What is the difference between Coriander and Cilantro?

Both the coriander seed and cilantro are from the same kind of plant called Corian drum sativum. However, it cannot be obvious when somebody refers to Coriander because it is usually associated with the leaves and the dried seeds.

The Cilantro word is derived from the Spanish language. It is used only for the herbaceous leaves obtained from the coriander plant. In contrast, people use the phrase Coriander for both the seeds and plant leaves and stems.

What is the taste/flavor of Coriander?

Although the coriander seeds and leaves come from the same plant, they differ in their flavors. We use coriander seeds in curries, soups, and rice dishes because of their warm and spicy taste. When toasted, they give out an earthy, tart, and floral flavor.

In contrast, we use the fresh green leaves of the coriander plant called cilantro for garnishing because of their refreshing, citrusy, and herbaceous flavor. However, some people have also said that these green leaves taste like soap and metal.

Can you Substitute Coriander with any other herbs and spices?

Suppose you are not a coriander person and are searching for some suitable substitutes. In that case, your search is over because you can replace coriander seeds and leaves with many other herbs and spices available in the market.

In exchange for coriander seeds, the options available include cumin, caraway, fennel, garam masala, and curry powder. All these spices blend nicely into your dishes and can leave a delicious taste in your mouth.

Instead of using coriander leaf or cilantro, you can use parsley, tarragon, dill, basil leaf, and herb mixtures. When properly cut and garnished, all these substitutes give various dishes a bright and refreshing, tangy flavor.

Uses of Coriander

Some people use it in the cooking of everyday dishes. For example, you can use it to prepare soups, curries, pickles, masalas, baked goods, etc. The leaves are used mainly in the unprocessed form. In contrast, We roast the seeds, grounded, or dried them before adding them to the dishes.

Does Coriander closely resemble flat-leaf parsley?

Yes, the coriander leaf or more commonly known as cilantro, does closely resemble parsley. There is a reason behind this resemblance because both the plants belong to the same botanical family Apiaceous.

Other than the appearance, there is a way to differentiate between parsley and cilantro. The coriander leaf has a significantly strong taste; in comparison, the parsley has a milder and subtle flavor and scent.

Forms of Coriander

The Coriander can be converted into different forms according to the need. Follow mentioned are some of the ways the plant can be transformed, stored, and used:

●   Purees and pastes: Keeping the herb fresh in your kitchen for a long time is challenging, so many people tend to convert it into pastes and purees. We can prepare the pastes with chilies, garlic, yogurt, and any ingredient of your choice.

●   Coriander Powder: You can obtain the powder by grinding the seeds. You can prepare the powder at home, but it is also available in the markets. We use it as a spice.

●   Dried Coriander fruit: The dried fruit is the seed.

● Coriander oil: You can obtain it from the coriander leaves by boiling and blending them with other oils such as olive oil. It is perfect for digestion.

●  Essential oil: It is prepared from coriander seeds by the process of steam distillation. It is very beneficial for health and is used in the treatment of various skin diseases.

●   Fresh leaves: They can be obtained from the plant and utilized in garnishing cuisines.

●   Processed and unprocessed forms: The coriander plant is withered and dried artificially in many countries. Most often, people use unprocessed herb plants as a whole.

What are the Health Benefits of Coriander?

The coriander plant carries many health benefits; that’s why it is recommended to incorporate this plant into your everyday cooking. The herb is an anti-oxidant-rich plant, so it boosts immunity and fighting radicals in the body.

It is highly beneficial for diabetes patients because it helps in lowering blood sugar levels. It is also known to improve brain and heart health.

The recommended amount to be taken

There is no such recommended amount because the daily serving size of the herb depends upon the person’s health, age, and many other factors. Usually, it is safe to use Coriander daily, but too much can cause allergic reactions.

Where to buy them?

You can buy Coriander seeds and leaves because they are readily available in every other grocery store.

Conclusion

It would be great to add Coriander to your dishes because it gives a pleasant flavor to them. While looking at all the health benefits, you can also grow it in your kitchen garden.

Essential Oil

Seed

Seed Powder

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·                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Aloe Vera: Uses, Preparation and Recipe.

Aloe Vera Plant

For many centuries, the aloe vera plant has been known and used for its beauty, medicinal, health, and dermatological properties (History of Aloe, 2021). Botanically, it is referred to as Aloe barbadensis miller, belonging to the Asphodelaceae family. Aloe vera is a shrubby, perennial, succulent, xerophytic, pea-green color plant that grows mainly in the dry regions of Africa, Europe, Asia, and America. Aloe vera has over 75 potentially active constituents, including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, aspirin, lignin, saponins, amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, hormones, and salicylic acids. 

Historically, aloe vera is one of the oldest mentioned plants commercially grown for the health and moisturizing benefits found inside its leaves. An adult aloe vera plant attains maturity at 3-4 years and may reach a height of 30 inches along with up to 21 leaves (“The Aloe Vera Story – Lily of the Desert,” 2021). Countries like Africa and other ancient cultures believe that the aloe vera is the epitome of protection, spiritual upliftment, and good luck. The benefits of aloe vera cannot be understated. Consequently, knowing how to harvest and preserve the plant for the maximum benefits is very vital.

Harvesting aloe vera is not just about the acquisition stage, but it also extends greatly to the preparation stage. After harvesting an aloe vera plant:

  • Hold down the cut end to allow the aloin to run out.
  • Wash the leaf with water, lay it flat on the table, and cut the serrated edges.
  • Begin on one side and filet off the skin on all the sides, including the yellowish layer, until you expose a clear to white, translucent flesh.

This flesh is the good stuff you are looking for that is ready to use after a quick rinse. It makes no difference if you want to use a store-bought aloe vera gel or a fresh aloe vera plant in the long run. With the store-bought aloe gel, preserving may be pretty easy as the commonly added preservatives do the work for you. For whole leaves, however, keeping the harvested gel fresh may be a little challenging. It is possible to extend the entire leaves’ lifetime by storing them in your refrigerator or freezer; otherwise, the leaves will start going bad after 1-2 days.

Types of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Powder

Aloe Vera Powder is a valuable addition to most cosmetics and self-care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, conditioner, skin salve, face scrub, hand sanitizer, and makeup.

Aloe vera leaf powder comes in two variations: leaf powder and inner leaf powder (2021). Distinguishing between these two variations is essential in ensuring that you get a product that suits your needs best. Leaf powder, sometimes referred to as 100X, is made from the entire aloe leaf and may omit aloin. Aloin, also known as aloe latex, is a substance found beneath an aloe leaf’s skin. In preparing aloe vera powder, the filtration process, where most of if not all of the aloin is removed, is very vital. So important is the process that if not performed, the product fails to be California Proposition 65 compliant and is listed as carcinogenic. Since this type of powder is less labor-intensive, it is generally less expensive. Additionally, you can obtain more aloe powder from the liquid than the inner leaf product due to its higher matrix.

On the other hand, inner leaf powder uses only the gel taken from the leaf’s interior, meaning that the aloin is generally left unused. The quality of the inner leaf powder highly depends on how well the leaf is skinned. Inner leaf powder, obtained from inner leaf juice, has a lower brix level meaning that more liquid is used to produce the same powder quantity. Comparably, it is more labor-intensive. These two attributes result in powder being generally expensive.

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera powder

To make aloe vera powder:

  • Take 1-2 fresh aloe vera leaves. 
  • Wash it thoroughly to remove the yellow resin from the leaves.
  • Slice it into a tiny piece.
  • Place the slices on a tray.
  • Dehydrate them using a dehydrator or place them under the sun to dry.
  • Once dried, then ground into a fine powder.
  • Transfer the powder into a container and use it when needed.

Aloe vera powder is a valuable addition to most cosmetics and self-care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, conditioner, skin salve, face scrub, hand sanitizer, and makeup.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera Gel is good for hair growth

While you can quickly get aloe gel from stores, most of these commercially prepared aloe gels contain additives that may be potentially harmful. Preparing aloe vera gel at home is easy provided you have the needed equipment, including a knife, a small spoon, a blender, an airtight container for storage, and an aloe vera leaf itself.

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera Gel at home, 

To obtain the aloe vera gel

  • Use a fresh aloe plant leaf cut from the plant’s base. Alternatively, you can buy it from a local store. 
  • Wash the leaf well and allow it to stand upright in a cup or bowl for about 15 minutes to allow the yellow-tinted resin to drain out of the leaf. 
  • This resin contains latex that is a skin irritant, so completing this step is vital.
  • Follow this step by washing off any remains, then peel off the thick skin using a small knife or vegetable peeler. 
  • Peeling the leaf will expose the natural aloe vera gel, which you can easily scoop out with a spoon being careful to exclude any pieces of the aloe vera skin. 
  • Place the gel in a blender and mix until it is frothy and liquefied. Your aloe vera gel is now ready for use. 
  • If you plan on keeping the gel for more than a week, make sure to add preservatives in the form of Vitamin C and E to extend the shelf life.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera Juice provides health benefit

Aloe vera juice, a thick liquid made from the aloe vera plant leaf’s flesh, is commonly used to treat sunburns. Drinking this healthful elixir in the form of juice will provide you with several health benefits. 

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera Juice

To obtain the aloe Vera juice: 

  • You crush or grind the whole aloe vera plant leaf, then subject it to various steps of purification and filtration process.
  • You can easily prepare the aloe vera juice at home by following some simple steps. 
  • Begin with taking an aloe leaf and cutting it from the stem, then wash it properly. 
  • Use a sharp knife, cut the leaf into tiny cubes being careful about the thorny edges. For the best results, always go for a green aloe leaf.
  • The next step is to extract the gel by removing the aloe leaf’s outer layer to slice through the leaf’s latex. You can use a spoon or knife to scoop out the gel. Ensure you remove the latex so that the gel is free of laxative properties. 
  • Finally, to make the juice, you will need a blender. Add two tablespoons of aloe juice and water to make a natural aloe juice. 
  • Usually, accentuating the taste and the health quotient of your healthy aloe juice is a perfect idea. You can accommodate your choice of ingredients such as honey, ginger, and lime juice, making sure to drink the mixture the same day you blend it.
  • Because of its mild and tolerable flavor and the fact that it mixes easily into smoothies and shakes, aloe vera juice is a practical whole food supplement.

Aloe Vera Oil

Aloe Vera Oil is added in skin moisturizers, anti-acne agents, hair-growth boosters

While the aloe vera may be considered a wonder plant on its own, it does not produce any oil. However, preparing aloe vera oil is not a difficult task, and you can achieve this in the comfort of your home. 

Uses and Preparation of Aloe Vera Oil

To prepare aloe vera oil to use at home,

  • You will need aloe vera plant and coconut oil. 
  • Place this aloe leaf on a flat surface and cut off the sharp thorns from the leaf’s sides. 
  • After you cut open the lead from the top, scoop out the aloe vera gel. 
  • Add the aloe vera pulp to a mixer grinder, then take out the crushed aloe vera and keep it inside. An alternative to this is purchasing natural aloe vera gel from the market.
  • Place your pan on medium heat, add coconut oil and crushed aloe vera and keep stirring until the oil starts turning brown. 
  • Allow the oil to cool down, drain the mixture and store it in a dry bottle.

Aloe vera oil is added in skin moisturizers, anti-acne agents, hair-growth boosters, hydrating and anti-aging solutions, and stretch mark healers.

NOTE: Please, seek advice from your health practitioner before adding these herbs and spices to your diet. Because some herbs and spices might contraindicate with prescription medication.

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