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WITH some medicinal and nutritional herbs, I have been off the beat for some years, not thinking about them and almost forgetting they exist. But, thank goodness, they are flooding back to my memory.

Some of them are Amla, also called Indian gooseberry or amalaki, Bedstraw, Ramsons, Plantain mallow, Dandelion, golden Rod, Cowslip, Agrimory and Greater Celandine. I have been trying to re-educate myself about them, and will mention some of them briefly today, ahead of their re-entry into our discussions.

Amla (Amalaki)

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This is a power house herbs which packs into its fold four of the five taste principles… sweet, sour,  pungent and bitter. Devondora vora says it has 16 times more vitamin C than lemon.

Flavours, Dr. Komal Bhadouria, of the SCI International Hospital in New Delhi, India, endorses it…  ‘‘Amla is a very special fruit full of anti-oxidants that are effective in reducing the cell damage and reduces the free radicals that can cause disease in the body’’.

Gifted in particular with Calcium, Vitamins, Iron and Flavonoids, it is widely used nutritionally and medicinally in India. Nutritionist Shalini Minglani endorses it for immune boosting, where the purest form of vitamin C is sought and strengthening the blood vessels. This should be good news for many people who have leaking blood vessels in the eyes (Retinitis pigmentosa), in the brain, stomach, intestine or colon (hemorrhoids) and elsewhere.

In powder form, which is the most common way it appears in health food stores, Alma eases constipation, heals stomach ulcer and hyperacidity, is anti-inflamatory, beautifies the skin, fights diabetes through chromium presence in it. What triggered my renewed interest in Alma is the suggestion by Dr.  H. K. BAKHRU in his book HEALING HERBS that this herb is good for the eyes. Always hunting for such herbs for my vision, I am delighted to be reminded:

“The juice of Indian gooseberry with honey is useful in preserving eyes sight. It is beneficial in the treatment of conjuctivitis and glaucoma. It reduces intra-ocular tension in a remarkable manner. A cup of this juice mixed with honey can be taken twice daily for this condition”.

This attribute may be due to a high vitamin C content which Dr. Linus Pauling, two times Nobel Prize Award winner for his studies on Vitamin C, said could lower intra-occular pressure in large concentration in the eye. Dr. Pauling’s studies suggested, Somehow, the long-term vitamin C deficiency at the molecular level may be the cause of tissue changes and damage in degenerative conditions. I have seen many glaucoma challenged persons who would like to live a life free of dropping medication in their eyes many times a day just to open up blocked drains.

So popular is Amla (also called Amalaki) in India that www.ijraponet says it helps the following conditions… “flatulence, hyperacidity and peptic ulcer, piles/hemorrhoids, constipation, fracture, vomiting / nausea, diseases related to vision of eye, hiccup, fever, jaundice/liver disease, cough, debility due to injuries, skin diseases, diabetes, scanty urination, colicky pain, anaemia, bleeding discover, seminal abnormalities, oedema/inflammation, lean due to under nutrition, breath-related problems/asthma, age related disease, cataracts, polydipsca, wounds/ ulcer, vaginal discharge including menorrhagia”.

This is quite a handful. Welcome, Amla, Amalaki or Indian gooseberry to my healing herbs wardrobe.

Vitamins B-15 and B-17

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DEMONISED by the leaders of orthodox medicine for decades but sought after by cancer sufferers and nutritional medicine care givers, these two B-complex vitamins are now raising their heads high today in many countries.

I learned a few weeks ago that they are now available in Nigeria in proprietary forms. These days, vitamin B-15 and vitamin B-17 are presented for help in recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction and for cancer prevention. These vitamins are present in food eaten by animals and man, but not in dosages enough for use as medicines.

Until now, it was not possible to have them as food supplements because many doctors and food-regulating authorities consider them to be poisonous. In the United States, for example, it used to be a medical sin to prescribe lacterile or vitamin B-17 for the treatment of cancer. One of the doctors who braved it, prescribing lacterile, for his cancer patients was literally hounded out of the country to Mexico. He was Dr. Contreras Sr. I once advised a Nigerian cancer patient at Ile-Ife to see him. But, unfortunately, his bone cancer had become too far advanced and worsened by chemotherapy by the time he arrived in Mexico. His brother who accompanied him on the medical trip said they had a wonderful experience with new principles of healing. Vitamin B-15 is known as Pangamic Acid. The Americans do not like it, and so, the food and drugs Administration (FDA) more than 20 years ago forbade producers of B- Complex vitamins to add it to the package. But the Russians have no serious phobia for vitamin B-15, according to which says doctors in that country have been using it for many conditions, including… “alcoholism, drug addiction, aging and cenility, minimal brain damage in children, autism, schizophrenia, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin disease, liver disease, chemical poisoning”.

The website says American doctors prefer DMG (Dimethylglycine). B-15 is not in Nigerian B-complex formulas. DMG is common sight on many heal food store shelves. DMG is believed to help the body increase its natural production of pangamic acid, through the union of DMG and Gluconic acid.

Why the American Medical Association and the FDA are opposed to vitamin B-15 is a long story which the proponents have reduced to the politics and economics of  medicine.

If medicine is so cheap, what will be the fate of medicine? Afterall, vitamin B-15 or Pangemic acid is present in such foods as brown rice, brewer’s yeast, apricot Kenel, Pumpkin and Sunflower seeds.

With new information flowing to Nigeria that apricot seeds can help in cancer treatment, many Nigerians have been searching for them as they are searching for proprietary formulas of Vitamin B-15. Vitamin B-15 performs many functions in the body, particularly in the nervous system, endocrile system, and the detoxification process.

We may return to it, soon. VITAMIN B-17 is different from vitamin B-15 in many respects. It is also known as laetrile. Dr. Contrereas Sr. was giving laetrile to his cancer patients which provoked AMA annoyance. A major source of B-17 is Apricot seeds. Like B-15, this, too, is off the shelves of American health food stores. This is understandable. Vitamin B-17 contains cyanide, a poison and killer. But it does not kill unless the cyanide is released from its molecules. The cyanide in the B-17 cage will be released only in the presence of an enzyme known as beta glucosidase also called glucronidase.

This is not a reason to stop the consumption of Brown rice, apricot and sunflower seeds. Brewers yeast and pumpkin seeds which, like sunflower seeds are good for tackling enlarged prostate gland. This is because the enzyme group, gluconidase or glucronidase, which frees cyanide from the prison cage of vitamin B-17 is present largely in only cancer cells. When it is found in healthy cells, there is always present in them large amounts of another enzyme, Rhodanese, which neutralizes the cyanide into a harmless substance.

Rhodanese is not present in cancer cells, so cyanide can destroy them with the help of Gluconidase or Glucronidase.

The discovery of B-17 is credited to Ernst T Krebs, of San Fransisco, in 1923. His sons studied B-17 after his death and suggest that a deficiency of it in the body was a more likely cause of cancer than other proposals hitherto put forward. They linked cancer, also, to a deficiency of a pancreatic enzyme called Trypisim. This is probably why Proteolytic enzymes which include Trypsim, feature today in the treatment of cancers. These enzymes are found in many foods such as pawpaw leaf and those black pawpaw seeds. These emzymes digest unnatural tissues and proteins which do not belong to the body’s protein systems.

Back in 1833 Dr. George Wood and Dr. Franklyn Bache M.D., reported that a B-17 derivative, Amygdalin, could successfully treat many diseases. In this period B-17 became also known as one of the Nitrilosides.

This is a group of compounds, including Trypsin and Amygdalin and Lactrile, which, alone or in combinations, can disturb cancer growth. The Krebs brothers believed that if foods which present them to us are eaten, our bodies can use these food factors to prevent and even kill cancers. Since these pioneering studies, more investigations have been done which suggest that nitriloside can destroy cancer cells. In the 1970s, Dr. Harnold Manner, Ph.D. chairman of Loyola University Biology department found that lactrile, vitamin A and department found that lactrile, vitamin A and digestive enzymes caused regression of breast cancer in 76 percent of his experiment laboratory mice.

The history of B-17 is incomplete without a mention of Dr. Ernesto Contreras Sr, who has been mention in many articles on this page. For more than 40 years, he treated his cancer patients with lactrile, vitamin A, digestive enzymes and detoxified their toxic systems. The case is often cited of a gentleman with a bad colon cancer who survived it and lived about 15 years longer than the cancer had been expected to kill him. As we live in an age in which many people in Nigeria would like to escape from junk food and processed foods which brings no nourishment to the body, the natural question they would ask is: in which foods may one find vitamin B-15, Vitamin B-17? An answer comes from:

‘‘Laetrile is wrongly often called Amygdalin or vitamin B-17. Rather, it is a drug that contains purified Amygdalin, a compound found in the seeds or kernels of many fruits, raw nuts, beans and other plant foods…Laetrile is a drug created in 1952 by Dr. Ernst T. Krebs Jr. it contains purified Amygdalin which is a compound found naturally in the following… raw nuts, such as Bitter almonds, raw almonds, and Macadamia nuts, vegetables, carrots, celery, beans sprouts, mung beans, Lima beans, and butter beans, seeds: millet, flax seed and Buckwheat; PITS of: Apples, plums, Appricots, chems and pears”.

The list is endless. We only need to eat right, do away with junk and processed foods and GMO foods, to obtain all the protection all other Nature offers us against cancer. So, welcome once again, to Nigeria, Vitamin B-15 and Vitamin B-17.

Gotu Kola

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An ancient herb popular in China and India, this herb presents itself in the shape of the human brain to suggest one of its many functions… brain energizer. And if the brain lives, so should the body. Any wonder, then, that Gotu Kola is also known as a longevity herb.

Daoist master and herbalist Li-ch-yuen, who did at the age 256 years, used this herb every day and advocated its use by every-one, it is said. But this plant was eclipsed, it would seem, by Ginkgo biloba, which became polpular for its ability to improve blood circulation to the brain and within it.

Many studies have found that Gotu Kola improves memory, restores brain cells and nerves function, enhances blood quality and circulation, apart from promoting digestion and wound healing.

One attribute of Gotu Kola, which recommends its use in improving brain energy, is that it is a middle-of –the-road herb in this regard, not stimulating or overstimilating the system and ceasing no umwanted side effects. In this respect, JUSTIN Faerman, reports:

‘‘In one study’ children who took half a gramme of Gotu Kola extract  every day for one year, demonstrated significant improvement of their intellectual level. After six months, there was a substantial improvement in intelligence, cognitive function and concentration.’’

Besides this, there are many reports that Gotu Kola reduces anxiety and stress and rebuilds the nervous system. For example, it is said to repair and restore axons which transmit nerve impulses in the brain and in the body. In this regard, it is found useful in anxiety, stress and insomniac conditions.

Dr. Robert Atkins says injustice has been done to Gotu Kola by a tendency to restrict its importance to brain energy. He says it nurtures skin and connective tissue as well, apart from tackling cellulite and varicose veins and phlebitis. “it speeds up healing, improves circulation and reduces ankle swelling’’, he says, adding. “People with scleroderma, a serious overgrowth of connective tissue throughout the body may benefit as well’’.

In respect of the brain, Dr. Atkins refers to studies which suggest that Gotu Kola encourages the body to produce choline and assumes this may be why. “It can enhance brain function in mentally retarded children’’.

In their prescriptions for Dietary cures, James F. Balch, M.D, and Mark Slengler N.D. say “Gotu Kola decreases scar tissue formation after an injury’’ and agree with the suggestions of Dr. Robert Alkins.

There is much more to say about Gotu Kola, but this is how far we can go today. So, Gotu Kola, it is our pleasure to give your another rousing welcome.