Sunday, February 05, 2006

An Apple A Day?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. I think everyone has heard this statement dozens, if not thousands of times, so often that we dismiss it as an old wives tale.

Apples and apple juice have been used as natural remedies in many herbal traditions for centuries. Eating an apple after dinner is said to help digestion.

In ancient Rome, pectin derived from apples and blackberries was used to treat diarrhea. Apples actually can help with both diarrhea and constipation. Pectin is a soluble fiber with many beneficial functions in the body. It acts as a laxative stool softener, so is very useful in treating constipation, and apples are very safe, even for children and the elderly, (For children, or even someone who is very weak, applesauce may be the best choice.) Pectin is actually one of the major ingredients in some commercial laxatives and stool softeners.

Pectin also seems to bind with certain carcinogens (substances that may cause cancer) in the colon, speeding their elimination from the body. Apple pectin also seems to help control blood sugar levels.

Pectin seems to bind with cholesterol in the intestines, reducing the amount absorbed from food, and helping to eliminate it through the colon.

Apple juice has been used to help treat red skin rashes, and seems to have a cooling effect. In Ayurvedic medicine (traditional Indian medicine, one of the oldest medical systems in the world) apple juice is used for postnasal drip, and sinus problems.

Apples also contain polyphenols, which may help prevent cell damage.

The material presented in this blog is for informational use only and should in no way be used as a substitute for needed medical treatment. I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose or treat disease. If you need medical care, please consult the appropriate medical professional. And please discuss with your doctor if you are taking or planning to take any herbal preparations

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