This category covers a wide range of products. Some of them are being mentioned here:
Macular Degeneration: The macula is a portion of the retina in the back of the eye. Degeneration of the macula is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
Sunlight triggers oxidative damage in the eye, which in turn can cause macular degeneration. People with the highest levels of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Selenium and Vitamin E may have a 70% lower risk of developing macular degeneration. Those who eat fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene are also at low risk.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are antioxidants in the carotenoid family that concentrate in the part of the retina where macular degeneration strikes. Bilberry’s active bioflavonoid compounds (anthocyanosides) act as an antioxidant in the retina of the eye.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): The prostate is a small gland that surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra. Its major function is to contribute to seminal fluid. It the prostate enlarges or swells, it can create pressure on the urethra, acting a bit like a clamp. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). A man with BPH has to urinate more often and experiences less force and caliber while urinating. If the prostate enlarges too much, urination is difficult or impossible and the risk if urinary tract infection and kidney damage increases.
Nutritional supplements that help are Beta-sitosterol, flower pollen, amino acids, zinc and herbs such as Saw Palmetto extract, Pygeum extract, Nettle root, pumpkin seed have been known to be beneficial for people with BPH.
Depression: Depression characterized with unhappy feeling of hopelessness, can be a response to stressful events, hormonal imbalances, bio-chemical abnormalities, or other causes. When depression becomes recurrent, constant or severe, it should be diagnosed by a licensed counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. When depression is not a function of external events, it is called endogenous, which can be caused by biochemical abnormalities. Lifestyle changes and herbs may be used in such cases.
Exercise is always very helpful as it increases the body’s production of endorphins – chemical substances that can relieve depression. Nutritional supplements that may be helpful are Vitamins B6, B12, Folic acid, and 5-HTP; SAMe while the main herb St.
John’s wort extract (hypericine) is known to help in the mood enhancement for mild depression.
Alzheimer’s disease: This is a brain disorder that occurs in the later years of life. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease develop progressive loss of memory and gradually lose the ability to function and to take of themselves. The cause of this disorder is not known.
Phosphotidylserine, which is related to lecithin, is a naturally occurring compound present in the brain. Though this is not a cure, phosphotidylserine has been shown to improve limited mental function in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Large doses of Vitamin E may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Huperzine A is a substance first found in a Chinese medicinal herb called Huperzia serrata. In a placebo controlled trial 58% of people with Alzheimer’s disease had significant improvement in memory and cognitive and behavioral functions after taking 200 mcg of Huperzine A. The herbal extract from the leaves of Ginkgo Biloba tree is a leading ingredient used for assisting people with Alzheimer’s disease. While Ginkgo Biloba is not a cure, it may improve memory and quality of life and slow progression in the early stages of the disease.
Diabetes-Glucose Modulator: People with diabetes cannot properly process glucose, a sugar the body uses for energy. As a result glucose stays in the blood, causing blood glucose to rise. At the same time, however, the cells of the body can be starved for glucose. Diabetes can lead to poor wound healing, higher risk of infections, and many other problems involving the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart.
Nutritional supplements that may be helpful are vitamins E, C, B group (B6, B12, Biotin, B3, Niacinamide and B1) Vit D. Chromium is known to improve glucose tolerance and magnesium and zinc are useful minerals since diabetes patients tend to have low magnesium levels and tend to be zinc deficient. Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful natural antioxidant and has been used to improve diabetic neuropathies. People with diabetes cannot adequately process carbohydrates. Coenzyme Q10 is needed for normal carbohydrate metabolism. Herbs that may be useful are gymnema sylvestre extract that assists the pancreas in the production of insulin and it also may improve the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar levels. Fenugreek seeds, bitter melon, Asian (panax) ginseng are used to assist people with diabetes.
Enzymes: Enzymes are catalysts. Most are proteins. Enzymes bind temporarily to one or more of the reactants of the reaction they catalyze. In doing so, they lower the amount of activation energy needed and thus speed up the reaction.
Digestive enzymes – also called pancreatic enzymes – include three classes of enzymes: proteolytic enzymes needed to digest protein, lipases needed to digest fat, and amylases needed to digest carbohydrates. In several conditions that cause mal-absorption, such as pancreatic insufficiency and cystic fibrosis, doctors sometimes prescribe digestive enzymes to improve absorption of food.
Only small amounts of the animal-based proteolytic enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsiin are found in the diet; however, the pancreas can synthesize these enzymes. The plant- based proteolytic enzyme bromelain comes from pineapples and is useful in many conditions; papain comes from unripe papayas.
Impotence/Infertility: Impotence of erectile dysfunction is the inability of a male to attain or sustain an erection sufficient for intercourse. It can be a persistent condition: however, almost half of all men experience impotence occasionally. Although some doctors used to believe differently, most researchers and doctors now believe that a majority of men suffering from impotence have physical causes.
The amino acid Arginine is needed for the formation of nitric acid which helped in the dilation of the blood vessels necessary for a normal erection. Low blood levels of the hormone DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) have been reported in some men with erectile dysfunction. Men given dosages of 50 mg of DHEA per day showed significant improvement in both erectile function and interest in sex. The herb Yohimbe dilates blood vessels, making it useful for helping male impotency. Damiana is a traditional herb for men with impotence.
Infertility is defined by doctors as the failure of a couple to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse. In men, infertility is usually associated with a decrease in the number or quality of sperm, while in women it can be caused by sex-hormone abnormalities, low thyroid function, scarring of the tubes connecting the ovaries with the uterus, or a host of other causes.
Although some of the causes of infertility readily respond to natural medicine, the specific cause of infertility should always be diagnosed by a physician before considering possible solutions.
For men, Vitamin C, Arginine (amino acid), Zinc, B12, Vitamin E and Coenzyme Q10 may help while for women, iron, B vitamins, vitamin E, Vitex (herb), PABA may be helpful.