December 27, 2009

Health Benefits of Licorice

Licorice is a flavorful herb that has been used for food and medicinal purposes for thousands of years to treat several illness from the common cold to liver disease. It grows wild in some parts of Europe and Asia and usually grows 3 to 7 feet high. Licorice roots are brown on the outside and yellow on the inside and contain a compound that is nearly 50 times sweeter than sugar. Licorice supplements are made from the roots and underground stems of the plant. Licorice candy that is commonly sold in stores is flavored with licorice root extract and is considered a healthier snack choice because it contains almost no fat per serving.

Licorice is considered a demulcent because of its soothing and coating properties. It is considered an expectorant because it can remove phlegm and mucous from the respiratory tract. It is commonly used by health care professionals to relieve respiratory ailments, allergies, bronchitis, colds, sore throat, tuberculosis, stomach problems, heartburn from reflux, inflammatory disorders, skin diseases, stress relief, hepatitis, and liver problems.

December 22, 2009

Health Benefits of Eucalyptus

The Eucalyptus tree is native to Australia but it can also be found growing in subtropical regions around the world. Its medicinal properties come from its oil, which can be extracted from the fresh leaves, branch tips, and dried leaves. It was commonly used by Australian aborigines to cure and relieve fevers. It is commonly sold as a supplement or an ingredient in over-the-counter products. It has antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, and warming properties that makes it good at treating runny nose, asthma, sinusitis, burns, cuts, abrasions, scrapes, boils, wounds, sores, cavities, dental plaque, gingivitis, dental infections, cough, bronchitis, rheumatism, minor muscle aches and pains, nasal congestion, cold, flu, throat problems, pneumonia, respiratory infections, sore throat, and ulcers. It is very safe to use when taken in moderation but it is not wise for people suffering from kidney or liver problems or women who are pregnant to use it.

The supplements are good at treating cough, bronchitis, and rheumatism. When used as an ingredient in over-the-counter drugs, it is good at treating minor muscle aches and pains and for temporary relief of nasal congestion and coughs associated with cold. Tea prepared from Eucalyptus leaves can ease a sore throat when used as a gargle. When the oil is massaged into the chest, it can treat congestion and cough.

December 16, 2009

Looking Young May Cause Longer Living

A 2001 Danish study found that people who look younger than their age live a longer life on average. The test conducted physical and cognitive tests on more than 1,800 pairs of twins over the age of 70 and tracked how long the twins survived over 7 years. The test found that the people who looked younger than their age were more likely to survive, even after factors like gender and environment were adjusted.

There may be a possible biological reason. People who looked younger had longer telomeres, a DNA component that is linked to aging. People with shorter telomeres are assumed to age faster. In the study, the people with longer telomeres looked younger than their age.