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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Information about Miracle Fruit Berry

[Found this interesting article at the webpage of In fact, I have planted a healthy tree at home and the fruits is available throughout the year]

“Miracle fruit, or Synsepalum dulcificum, is a bush native to West Africa. Eating the berries from a miracle fruit plant causes bitter and sour foods such as lemons and rhubarb to taste sweet.

This effect lasts between ten minutes and two hours. Miracle fruit is 100% natural and has no known adverse side effects.”

The miracle fruit plant (Synsepalum dulcificum) is a plant first documented in 1725 during an excursion to its native West Africa. To enhance the flavor of their food in general, local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals.

The berry contains an active glycoprotein called Miraculin. Miraculin gently binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing bitter and sour foods (such as lemons and limes) consumed afterwards to taste sweet. This effect lasts between ten minutes and two hours. It is not an artificial sweetener. Miracle fruit is 100% natural and has no known adverse side effects (beyond its temporary flavor-altering properties).

[Following additional information is taken from Wikipedia]

The miracle fruit plant ( Synsepalum dulcificum ) produces berries that, when eaten, cause sour foods (such as lemons and limes ) consumed later to taste sweet. The berry, also known as miracle, magic, miraculous or flavor berry, was first documented by explorer Chevalier des Marchais who searched for many different fruits during a 1725 excursion to its native West Africa. Marchais noticed that local tribes picked the berry from shrubs and chewed it before meals. The plant grows in bushes up to 20 feet (6.1 m) high in its native habitat, but does not usually grow higher than ten feet in cultivation, and it produces two crops per year, after the end of the rainy season. It is an evergreen plant that produces small red berries, with flowers that are white and which are produced for many months of the year. The seeds are about the size of coffee beans.

The berry contains an active glycoprotein molecule, with some trailing carbohydrate chains, called miraculin. When the fleshy part of the fruit is eaten, this molecule binds to the tongue's taste buds, causing sour foods to taste sweet. While the exact cause for this change is unknown, one hypothesis is that the effect may be caused if miraculin works by distorting the shape of sweetness receptors "so that they become responsive to acids, instead of sugar and other sweet things". This effect lasts 15-30 minutes.


Diabetes, Cancer, Medication, and Miracle Fruits*

By : Robert Michael Burlingame (The Author is a diabetic who uses miracle fruits as natural sweeteners. The fruit has helped him cope with his condition and his yearnings for sweet foods, and he enjoys sharing his miracle fruit experience with others.
If you, a relative, or a friend have ever had to endure diabetes, cancer, or heavy medication, then you probably know how difficult it is to get through such tough medical situations. Medical patients who have to forgo sweet foods and those who are under heavy medication often have to put up with tasteless food or an altered perception of taste due to medication. It's bad enough that patients have to battle with cancer, diabetes, or heavy medication, but even worse is the fact that they usually cannot eat or even taste the types of food that they really want. Fortunately, there is good news and hope for those who are suffering from tasteless or distasteful diets, and that hope comes in the form of a small berry called the miracle fruit. Read on to see how miracle fruits can be used to enhance flavor and help people dealing with cancer, diabetes, or heavy medication.

A miracle for cancer and chemotherapy patients

One of the primary complaints that cancer and chemotherapy patients have with regard to their treatment is that the food they take has a metallic flavor. For this reason, patients often lose their appetite and find even their favorite foods unappetizing. Furthermore, cancer and chemotherapy patients are normally prescribed a strict diet that is meant to supply the body with the nutrients that it needs to eliminate toxins and help clean the body.

The miracle fruit, which has the ability to make sour and bitter flavors taste sweet, can be used to help cancer and chemotherapy patients deal with both the metallic taste and the unappetizing diet. In fact, some people claim that miracle fruits helped completely eliminate the metallic taste that they often get when eating.

A miracle for diabetics

Diabetes is one of the hardest medical conditions to deal with. If diabetes is left untreated and blood sugar levels are left unregulated, diabetics can suffer serious complications such as kidney failure, blindness, heart attack, stroke, and wounds that fail to heal. To control their sugar levels, people who are affected by diabetes have to change their entire lifestyle just to control their blood sugar levels and stay healthy. Perhaps the hardest part of being a diabetic is having to forgo sweets, sugars, and sweeteners of all kinds.

Enter the miracle fruit, a natural sweetener that not only makes sour and bitter taste sweet, but also helps clean the body with its antioxidants and phytonutrients. Whether you have to eat sugar-free, tasteless desserts or fruits and vegetables that you abhor, miracle fruits can become a diabetic's good friend. With miracle fruits, diabetics can get all of the sweetness and flavor that they crave without the detrimental effects.

A miracle for those under heavy medication

Medical patients who have to undergo heavy medication often have to deal with an altered taste of perception. Some medications can make food tasteless or change the perception of taste altogether. Miracle fruit can be used to inject some flavor into one's diet. All it takes is a little miracle fruit to coat the tongue and for about 30 minutes to over an hour, sour and bitter flavors will taste sweet, injecting some flavor back into one's diet.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mulberry Fruit (Dark Purplish Variety)

[Found this article at the webpage of recently. Very informatively written for everyone reading pleasure.]

Mulberry is a deciduous, fruit-bearing tree, which Latin name is Morus from the Moraceae family. It includes many species, the most popular ones being Morus alba, Morus nigra, and Morus rubra. Their names are derived from the colour of the buds, not the fruits.

Mulberries are fast-growing when young, but become slow-growing when they age. Morus trees have short rough trunk and twisted and drooping branches. Their leaves with toothed margins are alternate and simple, lobed on the young shoots and on the old trees. All the parts of the tree contain milky juice.

Mulberry may have male and female flowers on the same tree; they are usually wind-pollinated. Many small flowers are gathered in the inflorescences to form catkins, situated in the axils of the leaves. Female catkins are shorter than the male ones. The incredibly juicy fruit of the Mulberry tree is actually a collective fruit, consisting of closely-situated drupes with one seed inside.

Morus nigra, or Black mulberry, is the most widely-known and grown tree for its fruits, which are larger than in the other two species. It reaches about 40 feet in height, having a wide and spreading crown, which in diameter may even exceed the height of the tree. It is a long-lived plant. The large, thick, and quite rough leaves of the Black mulberry are similar to those of the Morus rubra (Red mulberry). The fruits of the two species are also very alike; except for the Black mulberry fruits are darker in colour.

Morus alba is the tallest tree, reaching up to 80 feet. Its fruit, smaller than in the other two species, is, however, very sweet and lacks the tartness of the Red and Black mulberries.

White mulberry is native to China. It grows well in almost any type of soil and tolerates drought and cold temperatures. It can be grown practically anywhere in the world. Black and Red mulberries are more fastidious: they need warmer climatic conditions, more fertile soils (preferably a deep loam), and good drainage with timely watering, however. These trees need full sun and much space for their large crowns. At the same time, they are wind-tolerant.

Black mulberry originates from western Asia (Armenia, Persia, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, etc.), while Morus rubra comes from the United States.

These days fruits of the Mulberry tree are widely-popularized as valuable health-promoting and nutritionally-rich foods. Some sources even state that Mulberry may be included into the list of the super foods due to its potential health benefits. Nonetheless, traditional herbalism contains many recipes of the remedies made of the Morus tree leaves and bark, which also have medicinal value.
The whole spectrum of the beneficial elements may be enjoyed in the fresh fruits of the Morus tree. At the same time, dried fruits, extracts (including leaf extract), and juices are available in the stores selling natural remedies and food supplements.

Antioxidants, capable of eliminating the damage caused by free radicals in the body and slow down the process of aging, seem to be the main constituents of the fruit juice of the Mulberry tree. Scientists mention resveratrol as the most promising component in this respect. For this reason, they now try to discover as much as possible important information about this element. It is suggested to have cardio protective, antiviral and anti-cancer action. It may also lower bad cholesterol and work to alleviate chronic inflammation, as well as postpone the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Anthocyanins – pigments in the fruit – also have antioxidant action; thus, are medicinally valuable as well. They have been studied primarily as the means to fight cancer and showed excellent results. Their content is the highest in the fruits, which are grown in the warm climate with much sunshine.

Flavonoids in the root bark of the Mulberry tree were discovered to increase the level of insulin in the body and reduce blood glucose level; therefore, they may help in controlling diabetes. The root bark is considered a mighty diuretic and expectorant. The bark of the tree has anthelmintic property.

Mulberry leaves are used to treat diabetes and hypertension, but the old leaves have tranquilizing properties and may cause hallucinations, headache, and upset stomach, so, their remedies should be used with the extreme caution.

Mulberry contains large amounts of vitamins C and K, minerals magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and iron, carbohydrates glucose and fructose, free acids (tartaric and malic), fatty acids (linoleic, stearic, and oleic), protein, pectin and fiber. The health benefits of the Morus tree are tightly connected with the elements composing its chemical structure.

Health Benefits
Lately, fighting diabetes and cancer with Mulberry became the primary issue of scientific research. These diseases are difficult to manage and Morus fruit seems to possess the necessary properties, which could be of great help in controlling these conditions. 

On the other hand, strengthening the immune system, relieving pain from chronic inflammation (for example, caused by arthritis or atherosclerosis), and nourishing the blood have a long history of treatment with Mulberry fruits.

In addition, naturopaths recommend to lower bad cholesterol levels (thus, helping to avoid the development of cardiovascular disorders), shed excessive pounds, increase bone strength and fight osteoporosis with Mulberry remedies. Besides, maintaining healthy liver and kidneys, soothing the nerves, eliminating weakness, fatigue, and anemia is possible with them. It is interesting to note that premature graying of the hair may be stopped with Mulberry and even increasing low libido is possible with its fruits.

Do not forget that the treatment with Mulberry remedies is not only effective against the mentioned disease, but pleasant due to the taste of the fruits as well.

Note :

This plant is grown easily by just breaking a branch and plant it straight into the ground. It grows very easily under any environment in tropical climate. Normal watering and a little care will make you extremely satisfied at the end of the day when you get to see and enjoy the sweet flavor of this lovely fruits.

I grew plenty of them in my garden and each time when the fruit started to ripen, I have to fight with the notorious birds for my share. The taste is sweet and when the harvest is plentiful, I used to make them into fruit jam which is appreciated by everyone



Monday, June 20, 2011

What is Stevia ?


 [According to the description extracted from Wikipedia]

Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.

With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

The availability of stevia varies from country to country. In a few countries, it has been available as a sweetener for decades or centuries; for example, stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japan where it has been available for decades. In some countries, stevia is restricted or banned. In other countries, health concerns and political controversies have limited its availability; for example, the United States banned stevia in the early 1990s unless labeled as a dietary supplement, but in 2008 approved rebaudioside A extract as a food additive. Over the years, the number of countries in which stevia is available as a sweetener has been increasing.

[According to Mike Adams of]

He says ............

Extracts from the leaf of the Stevia plant have been found to be high in antioxidants that prevent the DNA damage that leads to cancer, according to a new Indian study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. "These results indicate that Stevia rebaudiana may be useful as a potential source of natural antioxidants," said lead author Srijani Ghanta, of the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in Kolkata.

This is good news for stevia, the natural sweetener that has been suppressed for decades by the FDA, but which is now about to go mainstream thanks to interest from Coca-Cola and Cargill.

Stevia rebaudiana is a South American shrub that grows in semi-arid areas of Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves of the plant have been used for generations as a sweetener, originally by the Guarani people and more recently throughout South America and Asia. A campaign of intimidation against stevia companies by the FDA has so far prevented the sweetener from being approved for use in foods in the United States or Europe, but it is currently sold as a supplement and has gained mainstream acceptance as a safe, natural, calorie-free sweetener.

The FDA, of course, suppressed stevia as a way to propel the sales of aspartame, the artificial chemical sweetener that was pushed through FDA approval by none other than Donald Rumsfeld. Aspartame has never been shown to be safe for human consumption in any honest studies.


[As further elaborated in the webpage of]

The Characteristics of Stevia Sweetener

Stevia is grown today in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan, and China. It has been successfully cultivated as far north as Southern Ontario and as far south as Southern California and Mexico, in North America. It is native to the mountainous regions of Paraguay and Brazil, where it has been used for centuries as a sweetener and for medicinal use. It is a short perennial shrub related to the chrysanthemum family, but from the over 200 species of stevia, only the stevia rebaudiana has leaves that are from 70 to 400 times sweeter than sugar if chewed or added to foods or liquids. Stevioside, a white crystalline powder, extracted from the leaves, is the substance that is used commercially in the production of stevia sweetener. In addition to the glycosides, which include Stevioside, the leaves contain protein, fibers, carbohydrates, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, rutin, iron, zinc, vitamins C and A.

Is Stevia Sweetener Safe ?

There has never been a single harmful effect reported despite stevia’s constant use Japan and Korea for the last 20+ years. All laboratory studies conducted since 1908 have reported the same findings. There have been no known reports of allergies related to stevia.

The Advantages of Stevia Sweetener

These are just a few of the reasons that stevia as a sweetener is so unique.
  • - It has 0 calories.
  • - It causes no elevation in blood sugar.
  • - It causes no rise in blood pressure.
  • - It is 0 on the glycemic index.
  • - It provides no food for microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria, (thus its use to treat certain skin conditions).
  • - It is non-toxic.
  • - It is diabetic safe without the unpleasant side effects of many other artificial sweeteners - previously used in products intended for diabetics.
  • - It has been found to actually inhibit the formation of cavities and plaque in the mouth.
  • - It has no artificial ingredients.
  • - It can be used in its natural state if desired.
  • - Its sweetening effect is not changed by cooking or heating.

The Disadvantages in Stevia Sweetener

There are no disadvantages to stevia use other than that straight stevia extract can have a faintly bitter licorice after-taste. This problem has been overcome in some products by adding erythritol, an almost non-caloric sugar alcohol that counteracts the flavor. This addition does not have any adverse effects on the benefits of stevia use.

How the Body Processes Stevia Sweetener ?

The human digestive system is unable to retain the sweet glycosides in stevia, therefore is passed through the body without absorbing any calories. The glycosides break down to steviol in the gut, and passes out of the body in the urine.

Uses for Stviea Sweetener

  • - Non-caloric sweetener many times sweeter than sugar that is totally safe for use by diabetics.
  • - To treat obesity via weight reduction programs.
  • - For its medicinal effect in skin lotions and products.
  • - As a microorganism deterrent in skin dressings.
  • - In baking and cooking, since the flavor is not altered by heat.
  • - To sweeten beverages and desserts such as pies, yogurt, ice cream, breads, candy, and sauces.
  • - For treating digestive ailments such as heartburn.
Stevia is a natural sweetener many times sweeter than sugar that is safe for all to use. It has no deleterious effects reported and may utilized by diabetics as an everyday part of their diets. It has no calories, is completely natural, and has no carbohydrates. In addition to its use as a sweetener, it also has numerous medicinal uses. It does not change in flavor when heated and is therefore perfect for cooking. It was used for hundreds of years in the mountains of Paraguay, and over the last hundred years has enjoyed ever widening popularity globally, and should continue this growth for years into the future.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is Miso Soup ?

[This is an article written by Barbara L. Minton, a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature. I have extracted it from the web page of to share with everyone]

Miso is a delicious fermented food that has been eaten in China and Japan for many centuries. Today it is a favorite of health minded people in the West because of its many anti-aging benefits. Miso and other fermented foods and drinks help build up the inner ecosystem and assure the digestive tract is amply supplied with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria help digest, synthesize, and assimilate nutrients so necessary for good health and anti-aging. They also strengthen the immune system, keeping it at the ready to fight infection and cancer.

Miso is a fermented soybean paste with a salty taste, a buttery texture and a unique nutritional profile that make it a versatile condiment for a host of different recipes, and a foundation for traditional miso soup. In addition to soybeans, miso can include rice, barley or wheat.

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in color from white to brown. The darker the coloring, the more robust the flavor and saltiness.

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in color from white to brown. The darker the coloring, the more robust the flavor and saltiness.

Miso is made by adding a yeast mold known as koji to soybeans and other ingredients and allowing them to ferment for a period of time ranging from months to years, depending on the specific type of miso being produced. When the fermentation process is completed, the mixture is ground into a paste similar in texture to nut butter.

The color, taste, texture, and saltiness of miso depend on the exact ingredients used and the duration of the fermentation process. Miso can range in color from white to brown. The darker the coloring, the more robust the flavor and saltiness.

Many studies have shown the health benefits of miso on humans and animals. Benefits include reduced risks of breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer, and protection from radiation. Researchers have found that consuming one bowl of miso soup per day, as do most residents of Japan, can drastically lower the risks of breast cancer.

Miso has a very alkalizing effect on the body and strengthens the immune system to combat infection. Its high antioxidant activity gives it anti-aging properties.

Miso helps the body maintain nutritional balance. It is loaded with other nutrients along with its beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Miso provides protein, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin K, choline, linoleic acid, lecithin, and dietary fiber. Its high content of the amino acid tryptophan makes miso a good choice right before bedtime. Tryptophan is nature's sleep inducer.

Miso helps preserve skin beauty through its content of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps skin stay soft and free of pigment.

Miso is a good choice for women with menopausal complaints because it is able to fill estrogen receptors and produce some of the actions of estrogen in the body.

The long, slow process of fermentation needed to break down soy requires more hardy bacteria than is used for other fermented products, contributing the special health benefits of miso. Dr. Hiro Watanabe, an expert in developmental biology and cancer prevention in Japan, conducted several animal and human studies using freeze dried rice miso. His goal was the understanding of how miso protects against cancer, radiation and other diseases.

Dr. Watanabe's studies showed that for cancers like those of the breast and prostate, the ideal length of fermentation was between 6 months and 2 years. He found that miso fermented for 180 days is typically a rich color and has plenty of healthy microflora.

According to Dr. Watanabe's studies, the sodium in miso did not produce adverse effects in people with salt sensitivity and hypertension. For cancer, Dr. Watanabe recommended 3 cups of miso a day. For high blood pressure, he recommended 2 cups, and for relief of menopausal symptoms, he recommended 1 to 3 cups per day. His maintenance amount is 1 cup per day. He noted the beneficial effects of replacing the salt used in food preparation with miso.

Why do we take Fosamax ?

[This article was extracted from Hopefully, it will provide an indepth explanation as to why some health providers are prescribing this drugs for elderly patients]

Fosamax alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body. Fosamax slows bone loss while increasing bone mass, which may prevent bone fractures.

Fosamax is used in men and women to treat or prevent osteoporosis that is caused by menopause, or by taking steroids. Fosamax is also used to increase bone mass in men who have osteoporosis, and to treat Paget's disease of bone in men and women.

Important information

Do not take a Fosamax tablet if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Fosamax can cause serious problems in the stomach or esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth and stomach). You will need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes, after taking Fosamax.

Take the Fosamax tablet first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat, or drink anything, or take any other medicine.

Take each dose with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water, coffee, tea, or juice), when taking a Fosamax tablet.

For at least the first 30 minutes after taking a Fosamax tablet, do not lie down or recline; do not eat, or drink anything other than plain water; and do not take any other medicines including vitamins, calcium, or antacids.

If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using Fosamax. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Fosamax is only part of a complete program of treatment that may also include diet changes, exercise, and taking calcium and vitamin supplements. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

Take Note  :

Do not take a Fosamax tablet if you cannot sit upright, or stand for at least 30 minutes. Fosamax can cause serious problems in the stomach, or esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth and stomach). You will need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes, after taking this medication.

You should not take Fosamax if you are allergic to alendronate, or if you have low levels of calcium in your blood (hypocalcemia), or a problem with the movement of muscles in your esophagus.

To make sure you can safely take Fosamax, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions :
  • trouble swallowing;
  • a vitamin D deficiency;
  • a dental problem;
  • kidney disease; or
  • an ulcer or other problem in your stomach or esophagus.
Some people using medicines similar to Fosamax have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums.

You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and dental surgery or pre-existing dental problems.

However, it is not known whether Fosamax will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication. It is not known whether alendronate passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use Fosamax without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Fosamax side effects

Some side effects for Fosamax may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist, or become bothersome when using Fosamax  :
Constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; feeling bloated or full; flu-like symptoms at the start of treatment; gas; headache; mild back, muscle, or joint pain; mild stomach pain or upset; nausea; taste changes; vomiting.
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur when using Fosamax :
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue); black, tarry, or bloody stools; chest pain; coughing or vomiting blood; difficult or painful swallowing; mouth sores; new, worsening, or persistent heartburn; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe bone, muscle, or joint pain (especially in the hip, groin, or thigh); severe or persistent sore throat or stomach pain; swelling of the hands, legs, or joints; swelling or pain in the jaw; symptoms of low blood calcium (eg, spasms, twitches, or cramps in your muscles; numbness or tingling in your fingers, toes, or around your mouth).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider.