AuthorKenneth Burns

Dong Quai


According to a Medieval legend, the medicinal benefits of angelica were revealed to a monk by an angel during a terrible plague–and thus the plant’s horticultural name became “angelica”–or “root of the Holy Ghost.” Several varieties have been identified, including Angelica norvegical in Scandinavia, Angelica sativa in Holland and France, and Angelica refracta and...

Benefits of Aloe Vera


There are at least 120 known species of aloe, many of which have been used as botanical medicines. The sap and rind portions of the aloe vera leaf contain healing components such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory compounds, minerals, and beneficial fatty acids. According to Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, aloe vera contains anthraquinones, which reduce...

Benefits of Green Tea


Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, an evergreen plant. Both green and black teas are derived from Camellia sinensis, but the black tea leaves are fermented before drying and lose their beneficial polyphenols. According to David Steinman, writing in the March/April 1994 issue of Natural Health, dietary surveys of the Japanese, the world’s leading green tea drinkers, show...

Minerals: Calcium and Iron


Calcium Calcium, the major constituent of the structural framework of bones, is the body’s most prevalent mineral. Approximately three pounds of a 160-pound man’s weight are calcium. For both men and women, 98% of the body’s calcium is found in the bones, 1% in the teeth, and the remaining 1% in soft body tissues, where it performs a variety of essential functions. In addition...

Magnesium Deficiency


Magnesium catalyzes hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body’s soft tissues. It plays an essential role in the release of energy from glycogen (stored muscle fuel), the manufacture of proteins, the regulation of body temperature, and the proper functioning of nerves and muscles. Its specific physiological function is to aid bone growth and the proper functioning of nerves and muscles...

Cholesterol 101


Though many physicians warn their patients about consuming too much cholesterol, everyone needs a certain amount of the right forms. Cholesterol helps produce hormones, contributes to development of the brain, and aids the functioning of the nervous system. It is not necessary to consume high levels of cholesterol in foods because the liver manufactures all that the body needs. Because...

D, E Vitamins and Disease Prevention


Vitamin D and Disease Prevention Helps treat hypoglycemia and certain types of bone disease. Is an effective topical treatment for psoriasis. Offers a potential endocrine therapy for breast cancer. Reduces the rate of colon cancer. Vitamin E and Disease Prevention Prevents cardiovascular ailments, including blood clots. Guards lungs against air pollutants such as ozone, nitrous oxide, and...

Alternative Medicine: Yoga


As far back as the third century B.C., Patanjali, the father of classical yoga philosophy, defined yoga “as the cessation of the modification of the mind.” Yoga, which in Sanskrit which means “union,” focuses on altering the state of a person’s mind, and using the powers of the mind to generate healing within the body. Through assuming a series of asanas (positions)...

Alternative Medicine: Aromatherapy


Essential oils and aromas extracted from plants have long been used in medicine. The Egyptians buried their cats and kings in antiseptic oils of natural essences such as myrrh and cedarwood to arrest putrefaction. Treating patients with incense was practiced throughout the Middle Ages, and the Arab physician Avicenna is known to have first developed the technique of distilling, or extracting, the...

Kenneth Burns