Healing Rainforest Herbs
Better than a prescription!
Woman's World
by Barbara Hustedt Crook
Woman's World on FacebookDid you know? Twenty-five percent of the active ingredients in today’s anti-cancer drugs come from the rainforest!

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The richest botanical resource in the world, the Amazon rainforest contains about 5 million species of healing plants, with more being discovered every day! And not only are many of them even more effective than prescription drugs (with fewer side effects!), says Fox-TV’s “Medicine Hunter” Chris Kilham, author of Hot Plants, they’re as close as your health-food store! Keep reading to discover how these jungle cures can make you healthier and happier . . .

Catuaba eases anxiety!
The bark of the Brazilian catuaba tree has a long history of use for calming nerves—and it’s no wonder: Its alkaloids have been proven effective in treating anxiety and stress, as well as to get the effects—the calming, can take some catuaba and feel in control fast!” It’s sold as capsules or tea; follow package directions. (Read more about Catuba.)

Chanca piedra: breaks up kidney and gallstones!
Remarkably, 94% of kidney stone patients were stone-free within a week or two of using this rainforest herb in a recent study. Lab tests suggest it doesn’t just dissolve kidney and gallstones but prevents them from forming again! What’s more, scientists have found that chanca piedra enhances liver and kidney function, lowers blood pressure and fights pain more effectively than aspirin or acetaminophen—which may explain why stone sufferers who use it often report relief before the stone is broken up! Take the capsules or liquid as directed.

Stevia regulates blood sugar!
Found throughout the Amazon, stevia contains natural compounds called glycosides that are 300 times sweeter than sugar. Yet it has zero calories and actually lowers blood sugar, which is why it can safely be used by diabetics. And instead of contributing to tooth decay and gum disease like sugar does, stevia has been found to help prevent them! You can buy it as a powder in premeasured packets or as a liquid in supermarkets.

Pau d’arco prevents disease!
Studies show this herb boosts white blood cells, which revs immunity and kills bacteria and fungi. It can even fi ght off infections such as antibioticresistant staph! Packed with immunity-boosting antioxidants and fl avonoids, like co-enzyme Q10, it’s also proven to improve heart health. Find it in capsules or tea form at health-food stores.

Sangre de grado erases wrinkles!
Dab on this bright red plant resin, which boasts a rich array of flavonoids, to rejuvenate skin cells and stimulate collagen production, effectively plumping and firming skin, says herbal expert John Easterling (AmazonHerb.net). It’s also antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral, so it helps bites, stings, cuts, abrasions and even acne. “Put a drop on a pimple and it’ll be gone by the next day,” Kilham says. (Read more about Sangre de grado.)

Cat’s Claw
In an Australian study of rheumatoid arthritis patients, cat’s claw slashed their swelling, pain and stiffness in half—and boosted their energy! Unlike “selective” drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen that target only one particular paincausing enzyme, cat’s claw targets them all, so it’s even more effective. And because there are no side effects like kidney and liver damage, “you can take it either just when you feel pain, or use it every day,” says Kilham. Simply follow dosage instructions on the label. (Read more about Cat’s claw.)

Camu camu brightens your mood!
Move over, strawberries: This tart and tasty berry has the largest natural concentration of vitamin C—a proven stress reducer—of any food on Earth! And that’s not all: It’s packed with lutein, valine and serine, amino acids that play a vital role in regulating moods, and the berry also boosts the brain’s uptake of the feel-good cxhemical serotonin. “After having some camu camu, people often find themselves smiling for no reason within minutes!” Easterling says. Look for it in juice or powder form and take whenever you want a quick mood boost.

January 2011