Mustard Oil Glucosinolates

February 14th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

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I have been rekindling both my love of chemistry and discount online levitra'>discount online levitra my love of brassicas. Brassica is the ‘new’ botanical term for the Cruciferae, or cabbage/mustard family. A few members of the Brassica family:

  • Black mustard (Brassica nigra)
  • Cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, bok choy, brussel sprouts, (Brassica oleracea)
  • Turnip (B. rapa)
  • Horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia)
  • Wasabi (W. japonica)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Shepheard’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
  • Watercress (Nasturtium offcinale)
  • Rape/canola (B.napus)
  • Mustard greens (B. juncea)

Glycosides are a main chemical constituent of the mustard family. In short, glycosides are basically carbohydrate glycones (which is a sugar part) bonded to an another part called an aglycone. The bond between them breaks by an enzyme and hydrolysis (hydro-, water; -lysis, breaks) which frees the aglycone group to http://www.ivs.org/cialis-sale-buy be used by the viagra 20 mg'>viagra 20 mg body. Many biochemists use the aglycone group to categorizes glycosides; it is what gives them their special actions.

Glycosides are a well-known herbal chemical constituent group. The powerful steroidal cardiac glycosides get a lot of levitra buylevitra onlin'>levitra buylevitra onlin press, after an English herbalist discovered the use of foxglove (Digitalis spp.) for right heart failure in 1785 (Mills, 310). Then there are the well-known poisonous cyanogenic glycosides amygdalin of the Rosacea family and others, mostly in the stone fruits like bitter almond. Prunasin is a glycoside found in another Rosecea member, wild cherry (Prunus serotina), that “…exhibit expectorant, sedative and digestive properties” (Hoffmann, 49). Alcohol glycosides are a part of willow and other salycilic acid-containing plants. The glycosides called anthraquinones are laxatives, as found in senna , aloe and rhubarb (48).

In the mustard family, the glycosides are called glucosilinates and are very pungent. Mostly in the stem and viagra generic brand'>viagra generic brand seeds (315).When the plant is damaged, it produces a acrid vapor from the volatile isothiocyanates.

Glucosinolates, also called isothiocyanates, are the glycosides present in the mustard family. Most people don’t need a scientist to tell them that sulfur is a key element of glucosilinates. The pungent onion and garlic of Liliacea also contain sulfur. The glucosinolates are found mostly in the stem and seed and are released when the plant tissue is damaged. Botanically, they act to protect them against predators. Anyone who gardens knows there is generic levitra overnight an exception to the buy generic levitra from india brassicas best efforts: the white cabbage butterfly and caterpillar. Old farmers know that livestock that eat too much brassicas can develop thyroid, liver and kidney problems. They are, after all, goitergenic; they depress thyroid function. This action can be used to advantage in cases of hyperthyroidism (Hoffmann, 50).

And as anyone who has eating a bit too much wasabi (Wasabia japonica) on their California roll knows that when taken internally, the mustard family is helpful for decongesting the sinuses (50). Externally, mustard oils act as rubefacients that encourage local increase of levitra endurance'>levitra endurance blood flow. The blisters that can sometimes happen when a mustard poultice is applied too long are the obvious result of this action. Mustard poultices work quite well to break up congestion and pain in the lungs, see here for directions. I have always heard not to use hot water to buy discount cialis'>buy discount cialis make to poultice, but until now I never knew why; combining with water above 113 F or 45 C can produce poisonous nitriles. Interestingly, Mills comments that low levels of the same nitriles are produced when boiling cabbage, but nobody seems to be concerned about it (316).

Do we need any more reason to eat our broccoli? Various studies have shown that diets high in brassicas decrease the risk of cancer. This site give a a good overview of some of the different findings, and lots of references. For those of watersofsuperior.com you who wonder how this actually occurs, David Hoffmann explains glucosinolates ‘ role as such:

“Experimental tumor production is greatly inhibited by pretreatment with isothiocyanates. The isothiocyanates interfere with the metabolism of carcinogens by enhancing the activity of several cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in the detoxification processes. They inhibit pro-carcinogen activation…” (50).

References:

Mills, Simon. The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine.

Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism.

Make your Own Elderberry Syrup

February 10th, 2009 § 10 comments § permalink

elder_syrup.jpg Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) was one of the reasons I discovered herbalism. As a 19 year old pre-med student, I searched the universities Pub Med database in search for the best proven medication for the awful cold I was having. The doctors were sure it was either strep throat and mono, but both tests came back negative. So I searched for some magic cough syrup, or antibiotic from heaven, but every study that came up said that over-the-counter cough syrups were actually ineffective. I noticed page after page of studies in German that had Holunderbeere (German for elderberry) in the title. I refined my search and good choice sav on viagra found out that Elderberry was an effective treatment for the flu and other winter ailments. I was still skeptical, but the seeds had been planted.

As if we needed any more reasons to drink our elderberry syrup, Matthew Wood adds that “[the berries] have a property not found in the other parts of the plant; they are used as a tonic to the build up the buy cialis canada blood and combat anemia. For this purpose they may be combined with blackberries” (434). Dark berries = yum. Cancer-fighting anthocyanins, anybody?

I first saw elder’s creamy white flowers on the slopes of bkwcc.com the Blue Mountains in North Carolina, and didn’t see it again until I was at Sage Mountain in Vermont. The last time I saw it was last June in southern Minnesota, on the sides of bluffs and hills outside Winona. Is that just a coincidence that all the places I have seen the black elder growing were either mountains or hillsides? Although I have seen elder growing in Northern Minnesota, it is not the right kind to harvest (it may be red elder). Typical of the elder of fairy tales and folk lore, whenever I find an elder tree in the woods up here, I can never find it again! For you Duluthians, there are a few in Hartley park, in the deer-proofed area.

I have come across many elderberry syrup recipes over the years. This recipe from Rosemary Gladstar is the one I like the most because 1) it is alcohol free, 2) it can be made with fresh or dried berries, and 3) storing it in the refrigerator reminds me to www.robertsmainegrill.com use it was a food and medicine. It is seriously delicious with baked garnet yams, waffles, or mixed with mineral water.

  • 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup honey

1. Heat the kingsviewacademy.com berries and water to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 30-45 minuets.

2. Mash the berries, strain, and add 1 cup of honey. I add a half cup of the purple liquid to a measuring cup, then pour in honey until the total volume is 1 1/2 cups. Then stir to mix well, and add to the rest of the reserved liquid.

3. Bottle and cheapest cialis prescription'>cheapest cialis prescription store, refrigerated. for 2-3 months.

4. Enjoy a tablespoon daily to keep the immune system strong, use more often when afflicted with the flu.

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Refereance: Gladstar, Rosemary. The Family Herbal.

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