This is What Happens to your body when you exercise

Growing evidence indicates that both fasting and exercise trigger genes and growth factors that recycle and rejuvenate your brain and muscle tissues. These growth factors include BDNF, as just mentioned, and muscle regulatory factors, or MRFs.

 

One of the key health benefits of exercise is that it helps normalize your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels by optimizing insulin/leptin receptor sensitivity. This is perhaps the most important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing chronic disease.

But exercise affects your body in countless other ways as well—both directly and indirectly. Here, however, even the most unexpected side effects are almost universally beneficial. For example, as illustrated in the featured article,1 side effects of exercise include but are not limited to:

  • Improved sexual function
  • Changes in gene expression
  • Clearer skin
  • Improved mood
  • Improved sleep

What Happens in Your Body When You Exercise?

The featured article in Huffington Post2 highlights a number of biological effects that occur, from head to toe, when you exercise. This includes changes in your:

  • Muscles, which use glucose and ATP for contraction and movement. To create more ATP, your body needs extra oxygen, so breathing increases and your heart starts pumping more blood to your muscles. 

    Without sufficient oxygen, lactic acid will form instead. Tiny tears in your muscles make them grow bigger and stronger as they heal.

     

  • Lungs. As your muscles call for more oxygen (as much as 15 times more oxygen than when you’re at rest), your breathing rate increases. Once the muscles surrounding your lungs cannot move any faster, you’ve reached what’s called your VO2 max—your maximum capacity of oxygen use. The higher your VO2 max, the fitter you are. 
  • Heart. As mentioned, your heart rate increases with physical activity to supply more oxygenated blood to your muscles. The fitter you are, the more efficiently your heart can do this, allowing you to work out longer and harder. As a side effect, this increased efficiency will also reduce your resting heart rate. Your blood pressure will also decrease as a result of new blood vessels forming. 
  • Brain. The increased blood flow also benefits your brain, allowing it to almost immediately function better. As a result, you tend to feel more focused after a workout. Furthermore, exercising regularly will promote the growth of new brain cells. In your hippocampus, these new brain cells help boost memory and learning. As stated in the featured article 

    “When you work out regularly, your brain gets used to this frequent surge of blood and adapts by turning certain genes on or off. Many of these changes boost brain cell function and protect from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or even stroke, and ward off age-related decline.”

     

    A number of neurotransmitters are also triggered, such as endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and GABA. Some of these are well-known for their role in mood control. Exercise, in fact, is one of the most effective prevention and treatment strategies for depression.

     

  • Joints and bones, as exercise can place as much as five or six times more than your body weight on them. Peak bone mass is achieved in adulthood and then begins a slow decline, but exercise can help you to maintain healthy bone mass as you get older. 

    Weight-bearing exercise is actually one of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis, as your bones are very porous and soft, and as you get older your bones can easily become less dense and hence, more brittle — especially if you are inactive.

Your Brain Health Is Directly Related to Exercise…

 

 

 

 

 

A related article published by Lifehacker.com focuses exclusively on brain-related changes that occur when you exercise. While I just mentioned that neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in your brain, such as mood-boosting serotonin, are released during a bout of exercise, that doesn’t account for all the benefits your brain reaps.

“If you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and like things are clear after exercising,” Leo Widrich writes.

Simultaneously, your brain releases endorphins, another stress-related chemical. According to researcher MK McGovern, the endorphins minimize the physical pain and discomfort associated with exercise. They’re also responsible for the feeling of euphoria that many people report when exercising regularly.

Scientists have been linking the benefits of physical exercise to brain health for many years, but recent research4, 5 has made it clear that the two aren’t just simply related; rather, it is THE relationship. The evidence shows that physical exercise helps you build a brain that not only resists shrinkage, but increases cognitive abilities. Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing your nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections, and protecting them from damage. There are multiple mechanisms at play here, but some are becoming more well-understood than others.

The rejuvenating role of BDNF is one of them. BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons. It also triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. Further, exercise provides protective effects to your brain through:

  • The production of nerve-protecting compounds
  • Improved development and survival of neurons
  • Decreased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases
  • Altering the way damaging proteins reside inside your brain, which appears to slow the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Both Fasting and Exercise Trigger Brain Rejuvenation…

 

 

 

 

 

Growing evidence indicates that both fasting and exercise trigger genes and growth factors that recycle and rejuvenate your brain and muscle tissues. These growth factors include BDNF, as just mentioned, and muscle regulatory factors, or MRFs.

These growth factors signal brain stem cells and muscle satellite cells to convert into new neurons and new muscle cells respectively. Interestingly enough, BDNF also expresses itself in the neuro-muscular system where it protects neuro-motors from degradation. (The neuromotor is the most critical element in your muscle. Without the neuromotor, your muscle is like an engine without ignition. Neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy.)

So BDNF is actively involved in both your muscles and your brain, and this cross-connection, if you will, appears to be a major part of the explanation for why a physical workout can have such a beneficial impact on your brain tissue. It, quite literally, helps prevent, and even reverse, brain decay as much as it prevents and reverses age-related muscle decay.

This also helps explain why exercise while fasting can help keep your brain, neuro-motors, and muscle fibers biologically young. For more information on how to incorporate intermittent fasting into your exercise routine for maximum benefits, please see this previous article. Sugar suppresses BDNF, which also helps explain why a low-sugar diet in combination with regular exercise is so effective for protecting memory and staving off depression.

This Is Your Brain on Exercise

BDNF and endorphins are two of the factors triggered by exercise that help boost your mood, make you feel good, and sharpen your cognition. As mentioned by Lifehacker, they’re similar to morphine and heroin in their action and addictiveness—but without any of the harmful side effects. Quite the contrary! So, how much do you have to exercise in order to maintain a sunnier disposition and better memory long-term?

According to a 2012 study published in the journal Neuroscience, the “secret” to increased productivity and happiness on any given day is a long-term investment in regular exercise. And a little each day appears to go further than a lot once or twice a week.

“Those who had exercised during the preceding month but not on the day of testing generally did better on the memory test than those who had been sedentary, but did not perform nearly as well as those who had worked out that morning,” the authors note.

The reasons for this can perhaps be best perceived visually. Take a look at these images, showing the dramatic increase in brain activity after a 20 minute walk, compared to sitting quietly for the same amount of time.

 

There is a minor caveat, however. The researchers also discovered that exercise does not affect the brains of all people in exactly the same way. Some people, about 30 percent of people of European Caucasian descent, have a BDNF gene variant that hinders post-exercise BDNF production. The people with this BDNF variant did not improve their memory scores, even when exercising regularly, as significantly as those without this variant. Still, the research clearly suggests that—with individual variations as to the degree—regular exercise will cumulatively enhance your memory and other brain functions.

You Don’t Need to Train Like an Athlete to Reap the Benefits of Exercise

If you are sedentary there is hope for you. In her book, The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer, New York Times bestselling author Gretchen Reynolds addresses the issue of exercise as a way to improve longevity and happiness as well.

“The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk – all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active,” she said in a 2012 interview.

“Two-thirds of Americans get no exercise at all. If one of those people gets up and moves around for 20 minutes, they are going to get a huge number of health benefits, and everything beyond that 20 minutes is, to some degree, gravy. That doesn’t mean I’m suggesting people should not exercise more if they want to. You can always do more. But the science shows that if you just do anything, even stand in place 20 minutes, you will be healthier.”

Similarly, research9 published in 2008 found that those who exercised on work days experienced significantly improved mood on days that they exercised. Interestingly, while their mood remained fairly constant even on non-exercise work days, their sense of inner calm deteriorated on those days. According to the authors:

“Critically, workers performed significantly better on exercise days and across all three areas we measured, known as mental-interpersonal, output and time demands.”

Key findings included:

  • 72 percent had improved time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days
  • 79 percent reported improved mental and interpersonal performance in exercise days
  • 74 percent said they managed their workload better
  • Those who exercised regularly also reported feeling more than 40 percent more “motivated to work” and scored more than 20 percent higher for concentration and finishing work on time

But remember, it is FAR better to exercise regularly. I believe it is also vital to engage in regular movement if you have a sitting job like most of us do, including me. I typically sit in front of a computer for more than 12 hours a day. What I have recently appreciated is that standing up every 10 minutes (with the help of a timer) and engaging in some type of brief exercise, is an enormously powerful habit to minimize the damage of long term sitting.

Aim for a Well-Rounded Fitness Program

Ideally, to truly optimize your health, you’ll want to strive for a varied and well-rounded fitness program that incorporates a wide variety of exercises. As a general rule, as soon as an exercise becomes easy to complete, you need to increase the intensity and/or try another exercise to keep challenging your body.

Additionally, more recent research has really opened my eyes to the importance of non-exercise movement. Truly, the key to health is to remain as active as you can, all day long, but that doesn’t mean you train like an athlete for hours a day. It simply means, whenever you have a chance to move and stretch your body in the course of going about your day—do it!

And the more frequently, the better. Everything from standing up, to reaching for an item on a tall shelf, to weeding in your garden and walking from one room to another, and even doing dishes count. In short, it’s physical movement, period, that promotes health benefits by the interaction your body gets with gravity. To learn more about this important aspect of health, please see this previous article. That said, I recommend incorporating the following types of exercise into your program:

  • Interval (Anaerobic) Training: This is when you alternate short bursts of high-intensity exercise with gentle recovery periods.
  • Strength Training: Rounding out your exercise program with a 1-set strength training routine will ensure that you’re really optimizing the possible health benefits of a regular exercise program. You can also “up” the intensity by slowing it down. For more information about using super slow weight training as a form of high intensity interval exercise, please see my interview with Dr. Doug McGuff.
  • Stand Up Every 10 Minutes. This is not intuitively obvious, but emerging evidence clearly shows that even highly fit people who exceed the expert exercise recommendations are headed for premature death if they sit for long periods of time. My interview with NASA scientist Dr. Joan Vernikos goes into great detail why this is so, and what you can do about it. Personally, I usually set my timer for 10 minutes while sitting, and then stand up and do one legged squats, jump squats or lunges when the timer goes off. The key is that you need to be moving all day long, even in non-exercise activities.
  • Core Exercises: Your body has 29 core muscles located mostly in your back, abdomen and pelvis. This group of muscles provides the foundation for movement throughout your entire body, and strengthening them can help protect and support your back, make your spine and body less prone to injury and help you gain greater balance and stability.
  • Foundation Training, created by Dr. Eric Goodman, is an integral first step of a larger program he calls “Modern Moveology,” which consists of a catalog of exercises. Postural exercises such as those taught in Foundation Training are critical not just for properly supporting your frame during daily activities, they also retrain your body so you can safely perform high-intensity exercises without risking injury.
  • Exercise programs like Pilates and yoga are also great for strengthening your core muscles, as are specific exercises you can learn from a personal trainer.
  • Stretching: My favorite type of stretching is active isolated stretches developed by Aaron Mattes. With Active Isolated Stretching, you hold each stretch for only two seconds, which works with your body’s natural physiological makeup to improve circulation and increase the elasticity of muscle joints. This technique also allows your body to repair itself and prepare for daily activity. You can also use devices like the Power Plate to help you stretch.

 

Sensory Deprivation: Meditation Isolation Chambers

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An isolation tank is a lightless, soundproof tank inside which subjects float in salt water at skin temperature. They were first used by John C. Lilly in 1954 to test the effects of sensory deprivation. Such tanks are now also used for meditation and relaxation and in alternative medicine. The isolation tank was originally called the sensory deprivation tank. Other names for the isolation tank include flotation tankJohn C. Lilly tankREST tanksensory attenuation tank, and think tank.

Ever thought of what it would be like to have your sensory input completely cut off while in meditation? According to many people who have tried sensory deprivation they say it is a great form of therapy.. Imagine the “distractions” being completely cut off, leaving only pure unchecked consciousness. This is the essence of what sensory deprivation is.

The History of the Isolation Chamber

“John C. Lilly, a medical practitioner and neuro-psychiatrist, developed the flotation tank in 1954. During his training in psychoanalysis at the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Lilly commenced experiments with sensory deprivation. In neurophysiology, there had been an open question as to what keeps the brain going and the origin of its energy sources. One hypothesis was that the energy sources are biological and internal and do not depend upon the outside environment. It was argued that if all stimuli are cut off to the brain then the brain would go to sleep. Lilly decided to test this hypothesis and, with this in mind, created an environment which totally isolated an individual from external stimulation. From here, he studied the origin of consciousness and its relation to the brain.

Peter Suedfeld and Roderick Borrie of the University of British Columbia began experimenting on the therapeutic benefits of flotation tank usage in the late 1970s. They named their technique “Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy” (REST). -Wikipedia

Why An Isolation Chamber?

“A sensory deprivation tank can help activate your mental powers and even open a gateway to another universe. But what can floating in a dark warm tank do for you in real life? And why would people even want to do such a thing?” -said I09.com.

A sensory deprivation tank is a temperature regulated, saltwater (Epsom) filled tank that blocks all light, sound, and creates the illusion of being “weightless” like in space. The weightless feeling comes from the salt and the temperature regulated water. The water is warmed to “skin temperature” effectively making it feel like there is nothing touching you, but you’re floating. Imagine what it would be like to put your brain in a box with nothing else stimulating it besides the vastness of your consciousness. People have reported having incredible experiences like OBE’s and traveling the cosmos, to reaching a state of peace that is so therapeutic and positive that people swear by it and now regularly have sessions in the tanks.

By comparison, characterizations of sensory deprivation like this one by comedian Joe Rogan begin to sound downright grounded — and Rogan’s descriptions of hallucinations, heightened levels of introspection, and the sensation that the mind has left the body are actually among the most commonly reported experiences among tank users. Even renowned physicist Richard Feynman described having hallucinations and out-of-body experiences while using sensory deprivation chambers. -said I09.com

If you are interested in trying Sensory Deprivation, there is good news, there are centers in nearly every city at an affordable price. You can find a center near you here: http://floatation.biz/floatfinder/

Now that we’ve gone through the history and uses of the isolation chamber, I recommend watching these short videos to get a better perspective on some of the first hand experiences people have had with sensory deprivation.

Moringa oleifera: a plant with multiple medicinal uses

Moringa medicinal and healing properties: Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Moringa is that it has such incredible health benefits over a wide-range of health issues. 

Moringa oleifera has an impressive range of medicinal uses with high nutritional value. Different parts of this plant contain a profile of important minerals, and are a good source of protein, vitamins, beta-carotene, amino acids and various phenolics. The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, beta-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol.

Moringa oleifera is very important for its medicinal value. Various parts of this plant act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal activities, and are being employed for the treatment of different ailments in the indigenous system of medicine.

Moringa Leaves Medicinal uses and benefits

• Leaves rubbed against the temple can relieve headaches.

• To stop bleeding from a shallow cut, apply a poultice of fresh leaves.

• There is an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect when applied to wounds or insect bites.

• Extracts can be used against bacterial or fungal skin complaints.

• Leaf tea treats gastric ulcers and diarrhoea.

• Eating Moringa food products is good for those suffering from malnutrition due to the high protein and fibre content.

* Leaves treat fevers, bronchitis, eye and ear infections, inflammation of the mucus membrane

* The iron content of the leaves is high, and they are reportedly prescribed for anemia in the Philippines.

* Dried Moringa leaves treat diarrhoea in Malawi, Africa.

* The powder ground from the seeds is also used in the treatment of scurvy skin diseases (common bacterial infections of the skin).

Moringa Flowers Medicinal uses and benefits

• Flower juice improves the quality and flow of mothers’ milk when breast feeding.

• Flower juice is useful for urinary problems as it encourages urination.

* In Haiti, villagers boil Moringa flowers in water and drink the tea as a powerful cold remedy.

Moringa Pods Medicinal uses and benefits

• If eaten raw, pods act as a de-wormer and treat liver and spleen problems and pains of the joints.

• Due to high protein and fibre content they can play a useful part in treating malnutrition and diarrhoea.

Moringa Seeds Medicinal uses and benefits

• Used for their antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties to treat arthritis, rheumatism, gout, cramp, sexually transmitted diseases and boils. The seeds are roasted, pounded, mixed with coconut oil and applied to the problem area. Seed oil can be used for the same ailments.

• Roasted seeds and oil can encourage urination.

• They can also be used as a relaxant for epilepsy.

Moringa seeds are effective against skin-infecting bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They contain the potent antibiotic and fungicide terygospermin.

Moringa roots, bark and gum Medicinal uses and benefits

The roots and the bark have all of the properties described above but are more concentrated. Therefore much more care should be taken if using them as medicines.

* The roots and bark are used for cardiac and circulatory problems, as a tonic and for inflammation. The bark is an appetizer and digestive.

* In Senegal and India, roots are pounded and mixed with salt to make a poultice for treating rheumatism and articulars pains. In Senegal, this poultice is also used to relieve lower back or kidney pain
• Fodder-branches

* The alkaloid spirachin (a nerve paralysant) has been found in the roots.

* The gum is diuretic, astringent and abortifacient and is used against asthma.

Moringa Oil Medicinal uses and benefits

* Oil of Ben is used for hysteria, scurvy, prostate problems and bladder troubles.

* Villagers in Oman use Moringa oil to treat stomach disorders. They also use it in perfume and hair oil.

Moringa & Ayurveda Medicinal uses and benefits

Uses every part of the Moringa Tree and considers it one of the most valuable and useful plants. The ayurvedic medicine of India has many uses for Moringa Tree products, such as a natural antibiotic, an aid in childbirth, for treating liver disorders, and many other uses.

Moringa & Siddha Medicinal uses and benefits

In Siddha medicine says that the leaves are full of medicinal properties. The drumstick seeds are used as a sexual virility drug for treating erectile dysfunction in men and also in women for prolonging sexual activity.

Study

Medicinal properties of Moringa oleifera: An overview of promising healer

Moringa oleifera Lam. is a small size tree with approximately 5 to 10 m height. It is cultivated all over the world due to its multiple utilities. Every part of Moringa is used for certain nutritional and/or medicinal propose. Besides being a good source of protein, vitamins, oils, fatty acids, micro-macro minerals elements and various phenolics, it is also reported as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer, cardiovascular, hepatoprotective, anti-ulcer, diuretic, antiurolithiatic, and antihelmintic. Its multiple pharmaceutical effects are capitalized as therapeutic remedy for various diseases in traditional medicinal system. Further research on this charismatic healer may lead to the development of novel agents for various diseases. This study provides a brief overview about medicinal potential of Moringa and its future as a component of modern medicinal system. This study concludes that  Moringa  needs legitimate appraisal to establish its pharmaceutical knack in modern medicine.

Medicinal properties of Moringa

Moringa has enormous medicinal potential, which has long been recognized in the Ayurvedic and Unani system (Mughal et al., 1999). Nearly every part of this plant, including root, bark, gum, leaf, fruit (pods), flowers, seed, and seed oil have been used for various ailments in the indigenous medicine (Odebiyi and Sofowora, 1999), but recent research is also indicating about several active constituents for accepting its applicability in modern medicine (Table 1). Few representatives of these are discussed in this article.

Moringa Antimicrobial and antihelmintic effects

Antimicrobial components of Moringa have been validated after the discovery of inhibitory activity against several microorganisms. In a recent study, aqueous extracts of Moringa was found to be inhibitory against many pathogenic bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in dose dependent manner (Saadabi and Abu Zaid, 2011). Moringa extracts was also found to be inhibitory against Mycobacterium phlei and B. subtilis (Eilert et al., 1981). Leaf extract of Moringa was found to be effective in checking growth of fungi Basidiobolus haptosporus and Basidiobolus ranarums (Nwosu and Okafor, 1995). Another study involving aqueous methanolic extract and fixed oil against microorganisms was performed using Scenedesmus obliquus (green algae), E. coli ATCC 13706, P. aeruginosa ATCC10145, S. aureus NAMRU 3 25923, Bacillus stearothermophilus (bacterial strains) and Herpes Simplex virus type 1 (HSV 1) and Polio virus type 1 (sabin vaccine). Varying degree of antimicrobial activity was observed ranging from sensitive for B. stearothermophilus to resistant for P. aeruginosa (Ali et al., 2004). Beside antibacterial activity of Moringa oils, it also posses anti-fungal activity (Chuang et al., 2007). Study comparing relative antimicrobial activity of seed extracts against bacteria (Pasturella multocida, E. coli, B. subtilis and S. aureus) and fungi (Fusarium solani and Rhizopus solani) revealed that P. multocida and B. subtilis were the most sensitive strains, and their activity was influenced by cations (Na, K, Mg and Ca2+) (Jabeen et al., 2008).

Another relative comparison of antibacterial and antifungal efficacy of Moringa steam distillate observed more inhibition for E. coli followed by S. aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, P. aeruginosa and B. subtilis. In case of fungi, Aspergillus niger was strongly inhibited followed by Aspergillus oryzaeAspergillus terreus and Aspergillus nidulans (Prashith Kekuda et al., 2010). Contrary to resistance against P. aeruginosa and Candida albicans for Moringa in other studies, one study using ethanolic extract of leaves, seeds and flowers showed the antimicrobial activity against E. coli, K. pneumoniaeEnterobacter species, Proteus mirabilisP. aeruginosaSalmonella typhi A, S. aureusStreptococcus and Candida albicans(Nepolean et al., 2009). Moringa contains pterygospermin (originally found in Moringa pterygosperma) which has powerful antibacterial and fungicidal effects (Rao et al., 1946). Several other specific components of Moringa have been reported with antibacterial activity, including 4- (4′-O-acetyl-a-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy) benzyl isothiocyanate, 4-(a-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy) benzyl isothiocyanate, niazimicin, benzyl isothiocyanate, and 4- (a-L-rhamnopyranosyloxy) benzyl glucosinolate (Fahey, 2005). Other bioactive compounds, such as Spirochin and Anthonine are found in root and are active against several bacteria. Anthonine has potent inhibitory activity against Vibrio cholerae (Nwosu and Okafor, 1995). Moringa flower and leaves are also capable of controlling parasitic worms, their antihelmintic activity has been demonstrated during several studies (Bhattacharya et al., 1982). Moreover, it has also been reported to inhibit Indian earthworm Pheritima posthuma with MO leaves ethanolic extracts (Rastogi et al., 2009).

Moringa Anti-inflammatory activity

Moringa plant parts have substantial anti-inflammatory activity. For instance, the root extract exhibits significant anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan induced rat paw oedema (Ezeamuzie et al., 1996; Khare et al., 1997). The crude methanol extract of the root inhibits carrageenan- induced rat paw oedema in a dose dependent manner after oral administration (Anonymous, 2005). Moreover, n-butanol extract of the seeds of Moringa shows anti- inflammatory activity against ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation in guinea pigs (Mahajan et al., 2009). Amelioration of inflammation associated chronic diseases can be possible with the potent anti-inflammatory activity of Moringa bioactive compounds (Muangnoi et al., 2011).

Considering potent anti-inflammatory activity of Moringa plant, it can be surmised that this plant shows profound influence on inflammation associated diseases and resultant symptoms. As a consequence, this plant shows beneficial effects on asthma, pain, and other resultant symptoms.

Moringa Anti-asthmatic activity

It has been reported a long time ago that Moringa plant alkaloid closely resembles ephedrine in action and can be used for the treatment of asthma. Alkaloid moringine relaxes bronchioles (Kirtikar and Basu, 1975). The seed kernels of Moringa also showed promising effect in the treatment of bronchial asthma, during a study to analyze efficacy and safety of seed kernels for the management of asthmatic patients. The study showed significant decrease in the severity of asthma symptoms and also concurrent respiratory functions improvement (Agrawal and Mehta, 2008).

Moringa Analgesic activity

The analgesic activity of Moringa has been reported in several Moringa species. In a study using ethanolic extracts of Moringa concanensis tender pod-like fruits in experimental animals, a significant analgesic activity was observed (Rao et al., 2008). Furthermore, alcoholic extract of the leaves and seeds of Moringa also possess marked analgesic activity as evidenced through hot plate and tail immersion method (Sutar et al., 2008).

Moringa Antipyretic activity

As a result of anti-inflammatory action of Moringa bioactive constituents, the antipyretic activity can be hypothesized. A study was designed to assess antipyretic effect of ethanol, petroleum ether, solvent ether and ethyl acetate extracts of Moringa seeds using yeast induced hyperpyrexia method. Paracetamol was used as control during the study. Not surprisingly, ethanol and ethyl acetate extracts of seeds showed significant antipyretic activity in rats (Hukkeri et al., 2006).

Moringa Antihypertensive, diuretic and cholesterol lowering activities

Moringa leaves contain several bio active compounds, they exert direct effect on blood pressure, and thus these can be used for stabilizing blood pressure. Moringa compounds leading to blood pressure lowering effect includes nitrile, mustard oil glycosides and thiocarbamate glycosides present in Moringa leaves (Anwar et al., 2007). In addition, diuretic activity of Moringa exists in its roots, leaves, flowers, gum and the aqueous infusion of seeds (Morton, 1991). Moreover, Moringa leaves also contain bioactive phytoconstituent, (that is, b-sitosterol) with cholesterol lowering effect. This compound is capable to reduce cholesterol level from the serum of high fat diet fed rats (Ghasi et al., 2000).

Moringa Antidiabetic activity

Several medicinal plants have been evaluated for their potential as therapeutic agent for diabetes. Moringa is also an important component in this category. Moringa leaves significantly decrease blood glucose concentration in Wistar rats and Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, modeled type 2 diabetes (Ndong et al., 2007). Another study indicated that the extract from Moringa leaf is effective in lowering blood sugar levels within 3 h after ingestion (Mittal et al., 2007). As a mechanistic model for antidiabetic activity of Moringa, it has been indicated that dark chocolate polyphenols (Grassi et al., 2005) and other polyphenols (Al-Awwadi et al., 2004; Moharram et al., 2003) are responsible for hypoglycemic activity. Moringa leaves are potent source of polyphenols, including quercetin-3- glycoside, rutin, kaempferol glycosides, and other polyphenols (Ndong et al., 2007). Thus, potential anti- diabetic activity of Moringa can be commercialized through the development of suitable technology with achieving anti-diabetic activity up to conventional drugs.

Moringa Antioxidant activity

Moringa is a rich source of antioxidant (Chumark et al., 2008). It has been reported that aqueous extracts of leaf, fruit and seed of Moringa act as an antioxidant (Singh et al., 2009). During a study reporting antioxidant property of freeze dried Moringa leaves from different extraction procedures, it was found that methanol and ethanol extracts of Indian origin Moringa have the highest antioxidant activity with 65.1 and 66.8%, respectively (Lalas and Tsaknis, 2002; Siddhuraju and Becker, 2003). It was also reported that the major bioactive compounds of phenolics, such as quercetin and kaempferol are responsible for antioxidant activity (Bajpai et al., 2005; Siddhuraju and Becker, 2003). During another study, quercetin and kaempferol have shown good antioxidant activity on hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) induced Met phosphorylation with IC 50 value for 12 and ~6 µM/L, respectively (Labbe et al., 2009). Another recent study comparing palm oil with Moringa seeds for their antioxidant potential found out that Moringa seed are superiors for radical scavenging (Ogbunugafor et al., 2011).

Moringa Hepatoprotective activity

Moringa has shown significant hepatoprotective activity in several studies. Moringa leaves ethanolic extracts showed significant protection against liver damage induced by antitubercular drugs [isoniazid (INH), rifampicin (RMP), and pyrazinamide (PZA)] in rats. It was found that hepatoprotective activity of Moringa is medicated by its effect on the levels of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (aspartate aminotransferase), glutamic pyruvic transaminase (alanine aminotransferase), alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin in the serum; lipids, and lipid peroxidation levels in liver (Pari and Kumar, 2002). Moreover, methanolic and chloroform extracts of Moringa leaves also showed significant protection against CCl 4 induced liver damage in albino rats. Besides hepatoprotective activity of Moringa leaves, its root and flowers also possess strong hepatoprotective activity. Moringa flowers contain a well recognized flavonoid (Quercetin), which may be responsible for its potent hepatoprotective activity (Ruckmani et al., 1998; Selvakumar and Natarajan, 2008). In a recent study evaluating the effect of Moringa seed extract on liver fibrosis, it was found that Moringa seed extract has the ability to subside liver fibrosis. This study involved CCl 4 induced liver fibrosis and concurrent administration of Moringa seed extract. Moringa seed extract control the elevation of serum aminotransferase activities and globulin level induced by CCl 4. Moreover, immunohistochemical studies also showed that Moringa reduces liver fibrosis (Hamza, 2010).

Moringa Antitumor activity

Moringa has been found as a potent anticancer plant and several bioactive compounds with significant antitumor activity have been discovered from Moringa. Among bioactive compounds from Moringa, niazimicin, a Moringa leaves thiocarbamate was found to have potent anticancer activity (Guevaraa et al., 1999). Furthermore, niazimicin also shows the inhibition of tumor promoter teleocidin B- 4-induced Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) activation (Murakami et al., 1998). Another study involving 11 plants used in Bangladeshi folk medicine, Moringa was considered as potential source of anticancer compounds. During this study, the plant extract were analyzed for cytotoxicity through brine shrimp lethality assay, sea urchin eggs assay, hemolysis assay and MTT assay using tumor cell lines. The study also indicated the potential cytotoxic effects of Moringa leaf extract on human multiple myeloma cell lines (Costa-Lotufo et al., 2005; Parvathy and Umamaheshwari, 2007). Beside leaves, Moringa seed extracts also have anticancer activity through its effects on hepatic carcinogen metabolizing enzymes, and antioxidant property (Bharali et al., 2003).

Moringa Antifertility activity

Moringa plant also has pertinent antifertility activity. The aqueous extract obtained from root and bark of Moringa showed post-coital antifertility effect in rat and also induced foetal resorption at late pregnancy (Prakash et al., 1987). Moreover, aqueous extract of Moringa roots was also evaluated for estrogenic, anti-estrogenic, pro- gestational and antiprogestational activities. This extract induces several consequences for affecting its antifertility property (Shukla et al., 1988). During another study analyzing anti reproductive potential of folk medicine plants, Moringa leaf extracts were found to be 100% abortive with doses equivalent to 175 mg/kg of starting dry material (Nath et al., 1992).

Moringa Antispasmodic and antiulcer effects

Moringa root and leaves contain several compounds with spasmolytic activity. These compounds include 4- (alpha- L-rhamnosyloxybenzyl)-o-methyl thiocarbamate which is possibly affected through calcium channel blockade, niazinin A, niazinin B, niazimicin, etc., with hypotensive and bradycardiac effect. The spasmolytic activity of different constituents support for traditional uses of this plant in gastrointestinal motility disorder (Gilani et al., 1994). Moringa methanolic extract is also capable in protecting experimental rats from gastric lesions induced by acetylsalicylic acid, serotonin and indomethacin. In addition, it also enhances healing process of chronic gastric lesions induced by acetic acid in experimental animals (Pal et al., 1995). Another study have reported the antiulcer effect of Moringa leaves aqueous extract on adult Holtzman albino rats (Debnath and Guha, 2007).

Moringa Cardiac and circulatory stimulant

In addition to earlier mentioned bradycardiac effect of Moringa leaves, all parts of Moringa are reported with somewhat cardiac and circulatory stimulant activity. Root bark of Moringa contains alkaloid moringinine which acts as cardiac stimulant through its effect on sympathetic nervous system (Duke, 2001). The aforementioned effects can also result due to the prevention of hyperlipidemia. It has been demonstrated that Moringa prevent hyperlipidemia in male Wister rat due to iron deficiency (Ndong et al., 2007). During a study performing comparison of Moringa leaf extract with antenolol (a selective β 1 receptor antagonist drug, used for cardiovascular diseases) on serum cholesterol level, serum triglyceride level, blood glucose level, heart weight and body weight of adrenaline induced rats, it was found that Moringa leaf extract cause significant changes in cardiovascular parameters. This study reported Moringa leaf extract as hypolipidimic, lowering body weight, heart weight, serum triglyceride level and serum cholesterol level in experimental animals (Ara et al., 2008). In addition to the aforementioned studies, antiatheroscle- rotic and hypolipidaemic effect of Moringa leaves were also analyzed in another study using simvastatin as control (Chumark et al., 2008). Moringa also causes cardio protective effects in isoproterenol (ISP)-induced myocardial infarction in male Wistar albino rats. It was reported that Moringa treatment plays favorable modulation on biochemical enzymatic parameters including, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, lactate dehydrogenase, and creatine kinase-MB. Moreover, it also prevents histopathological damage and ultra-structure perturbation caused due to ISP induced myocardial infarction

Moringa In ocular diseases

Vitamin A deficiency is a major cause of blindness, which ranges from impaired dark adaptation to night blindness. Consumption of Moringa leaves, and pods and leaf powder which contain high proportion of vitamin A can help to prevent night blindness and eye problems in children. Ingesting drumstick leaves with oils can improve vitamin A nutrition and can delay the development of cataract (Pullakhandam and Failla, 2007). In fact the use of Moringa as a supplementary food was highly accepted for integrated child development scheme supplementary food (ICDS-SFP) for its potential as vitamin A source (Nambiar et al., 2003).

Conclusion

Medicinal potential of Moringa is enormous and difficult to cover in a single article, despite this current article provided glimpses of Moringa applications for performing appraisal of this promising nutrition and medicinal plant. Although, many bioactive compounds have been discovered from Moringa, still the knowledge is in infancy, in term of its total reserve. Perhaps, future rigorous studies directed towards the detection, and commercialization of Moringa bioactive compounds can lead to the development of remedies for several ailments. Thus, it can also prove the validity of traditional utility of Moringa in various folklores.

Unusual Personality Test That Will Reveal Much about Your Perception of Life

One of the basic rules of this test is to write what you feel and what first comes to mind. It’s fine if you have the same answersto different questions. Do not read all at once! Read the questions one by one and do not rush. It will not be so interesting to see the next question if you are still writing the answerto the previous one. Well, if a pen and a piece of paper are in front of you, then let’s begin!

1. You are peering into the sea, what do you feel? Focus only on your first impression. You can close your eyes to better feel it…

2. You are walking through the woods and look at the ground. Write down what you feel.

3. What do you feel when looking at flying seagulls? It’s all right if in this case you make up with a quick response.

4. What about a herd of horses? Write the first thing that comes to mind, avoid thinking for too much time.

5. You are in the desert, standing by the wall with a small hole, behind which you see the oasis. What are your actions? Don’t write just your thoughts and feelings, but focus on what you would do in this situation.

6. You are still in the desert, completely exhausted, and suddenly see a water jug. Once again, your actions are what matters in this question. Your answer may sound banal, but still write it down.

7. You are lost in the woods in the evening and see a house with lights on. Write what you’re gonna do.

8. You’re in the fog. Once more, focus on actions and write down how you would behave.

INTERPRETATION

1. Your attitude to life, emotions, sensations.

2. The way you feel in your own family.

3. Your attitude towards women.

4. Your attitude to men.

5. Your basic life strategy and goal. The way you solve your problems.

6. How selective you are in sexual life. Choice of a partner.

7. Your readiness for marriage.

8. Your attitude to death.

Credits: Anna, LearningMind, where this first appeared.

Brain Waves And The Deeper States Of Consciousness

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Every part of your body vibrates to its own rhythm. Your brain has a unique set of brain waves. In neuroscience, there are five distinct brain wave frequencies, namely Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta and the lesser known Gamma. Learning mind control at the deeper states of consciousness opens you up to the world of your subconscious mind where you can create your reality at will and with exact precision.

Each frequency, measured in cycles per second (Hz), has its own set of characteristics representing a specific level of brain activity and hence a unique state of consciousness.

Beta (12-30Hz): Beta brain waves are associated with normal waking consciousness and a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning. As you go about your daily activities you are at Beta. Although important for effectively functioning in everyday life, higher Beta levels translate into stress, anxiety and restlessness. With the majority of adults primarily operating at Beta during their waking hours it is little wonder that stress is today’s most common health problem. The voice of Beta is the little nagging chatterbox of your inner critic, which becomes louder and more relentless the higher you go in the range.

Alpha (7.5-12Hz): Alpha brain waves are present in deep relaxation with the eyes usually closed and while day-dreaming. The relaxed detached awareness achieved during light meditation is characteristic of Alpha and is optimal for programming your mind for success. Alpha heightens your imagination, visualization, memory, learning and concentration. It lies at the base of your conscious awareness and is the gateway to your subconscious mind. The renowned Silva Method by Jose Silva is premised on the power of Alpha. The voice of Alpha is your intuition, which becomes clearer and more profound the closer you get to 7.5Hz.

The following chart shows the EEG (Electroencephalography) graphs of the four major levels of brain activity.

The Alpha-Theta border, from 7 to 8Hz, is the optimal range for visualization, mind programming and using the creative power of your mind. It is the mental state at which you consciously create your reality. At this frequency of mind control you are conscious of your surroundings but your body is in deep relaxation. To learn how to access this level of mind at will you must first learn how to relax.

Gamma (30-100Hz): The most recently discovered range is Gamma which is the fastest in frequency at above 40Hz (some researchers do not distinguish Beta from Gamma waves). Although little is known about this state of mind, initial research shows Gamma waves are associated with bursts of insight and high-level information processing.

In a nutshell, there are five major brain wave ranges: Beta (12-30Hz) is present in normal waking consciousness and is heightened during times of stress; the Alpha brain wave (7.5-14Hz) in deep relaxation; Theta (4-7.5Hz) in meditation and light sleep; and the slowest, Delta (0.5-4Hz) in deep dreamless sleep and transcendental meditation. The less recognised Gamma is fastest (above 40Hz) and associated with sudden insight. The optimal level for visualization is the Alpha-Theta Border at 7-8Hz. It is the gateway to your subconscious mind.

Credits: Tania Kotsos of www.mind-your-reality.com

Image: Credits