NATURES BEAUTY - GINKGO BILOBA

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginkgo biloba is one of the best-selling herbal supplements in the United States and Europe. Ginkgo biloba extract is collected from the dried green leaves of the plant and is available in capsules, tablets, liquid extracts and dried leaf for tea.  The ginkgo or maidenhair tree is a large tree with fan-shaped leaves. It is native to Asia. People often take ginkgo leaf orally for problems related to cerebral insufficiency or poor blood flow in the brain, such as....

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NATURES BEAUTY - GINSENG

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines in the world, according to WebMD. The plant gets its name from a Chinese term meaning “person plant root” because the root is shaped like human legs. There are 11 species of ginseng. (Many other herbs are called ginseng, but they do not contain the active ingredient ginsenosides.) Ginseng grows in North America, where it is endangered in the wild, as well as Asia and Korea. It is especially prevalent in traditional Chinese medicine and holistic healing arts.

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NATURES BEAUTY - VANILLA

When something (or someone) is bland and unexciting, we usually say they are like vanilla. Simple, colorless, ordinary, easily overlooked – that describes vanilla accurately, right? Well, not exactly. The more you learn about vanilla – its origins, its popularity and what it takes to get it to our pantry shelves – you may refrain from ever describing anything or anyone as “just plain vanilla.”

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NATURES BEAUTY - PUMPKIN

When autumn arrives, the seasonal decorations come out. Among the cornstalks and scarecrows you’ll undoubtedly find see squat orange shapes and you’ll know it’s pumpkin time again.


Pumpkins, a cultivar of the squash plant, are also known as winter squash. They are native to North America, and according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the Land of Lincoln grows the highest number of pumpkins in the States – a whopping 95 percent of the U.S. crop intended for processing.


Pumpkins are popular in dishes around the world – ever try pump-kin lasagna or pumpkin ravioli? Commercially canned pumpkin comes from different types of pumpkins than those used for jack o’ lanterns at Halloween. Immigrants from Ireland and Scotland brought the carving tradition to the new land, but pumpkins were larger and easier to carve than the turnips they formerly used.


This favorite filling for Thanksgiving pies can be heart healthy, boasting just 26 calories in 100 grams and no saturated fats or cholesterol. Like many other orange- colored fruit, pumpkin is high in beta-carotene. Pumpkin contains fiber, vitamins A and C and several B-complex vitamins – niacin and thiamin – in addition to potassium and essential minerals such as

copper, calcium and phosphorus. Pumpkin is also an excellent source of natural polyphenolic flavonoid compounds, including cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Pumpkins have a special class of carbohydrates that have anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Eating pumpkin can regulate cholesterol and insulin. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium and zinc, which help promote heart health. Oddly enough, people rarely eat the pumpkins they buy this time of year. The majority of pumpkins are used for jack o’ lanterns. And while pumpkins are mainly orange or yellow, white pumpkins started to become increasingly popular in the United States around 2005.


The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 2,009 pounds. That’s a lot of pie. The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over 5 feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar and 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.


Native Americans used pumpkin to treat various ailments, such as intestinal worms and urinary tract infections. Other (supposed) medicinal uses for pumpkin include removing freckles and curing snake bites. For an exfoliating facial mask,

mix 1/4 cup of pureed pumpkin with an egg, a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of milk. Apply for about 20 minutes and wash off with warm water.


People are not the only ones who enjoy eating pumpkin. Sometimes vets recommend feeding pumpkin to dogs and cats who have digestive problems or need to lose weight. At Health & Wellness magazine, we often encourage walking as a way to optimum health and wellness. Why not pick up the popular seasonal pumpkin latté offered at a certain coffee retailer and take your dog for a walk among the changing autumn leaves? Or how about indulging in one to keep you warm while you wait for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night?

TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler