Category Archives: Healing

Carrots & Cholesterol


Carrots are actually the root of a plant that grows 2 to 4 feet tall. This familiar orange vegetable is generally cultivated throughout the world as a dietary staple, according to Medicinal Herb Info. But carrots offer a number of health benefits, including the ability to help lower blood cholesterol. warns you not to eat too many carrots, or you could develop a condition known as carotoderma, where your skin turns a yellow or orange color. Before you begin to eat carrots to lower your cholesterol, consult your health care provider.

Cholesterol Explained

Cholesterol consists of two forms of a waxy substance in the bloodstream, reports MedLinePlus. Some is needed for normal functioning, but too much of the wrong kind can lead to serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke. The “good” cholesterol, or HDL, is helpful in getting rid of too much of the “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, in the bloodstream. If the LDL levels become too high, it can stick to the walls of the arteries and build up. Eventually, this accumulation can cause blockages. Exercising more and eating healthy foods such as carrots can help lower your cholesterol levels.

Carrot Nutrition

Carrots are naturally rich in nutrients without adding a lot of calories to your diet. Just one cup of raw carrots gives you less than 53 calories and less than 3 calories from fat. Raw carrots contain no cholesterol and are loaded with fiber. Other important nutrients you get with carrots are Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, according to

How to Use Carrots in the Diet

Although the more common ways of getting the cholesterol-lowering effects of carrots such as eating raw or juicing them are good, now there’s another way to incorporate carrots into your diet. When you put raw carrots through a juicer to make carrot juice, most of the fiber and some of the nutrients are left behind in the pulp. tells us that finding ways to use this pulp in the diet could pay off in lower cholesterol. Using carrot pulp is able to reduce overall cholesterol levels. When using the pulp, the HDL cholesterol is reduced by 20%, but the LDL cholesterol was reduced much more.

Particle Size Matters

Carrots offer the ability to help lower cholesterol levels, but when the particle size of the carrots are reduced, they are even more effective. Researchers at Cheng Ching Hospital in Taichung, Taiwan, discovered this fact when studying carrots’ cholesterol lowering effects in laboratory tests. They suggest finding ways to break up the carrots you eat into much smaller particles using such methods as emulsification. Some of the “higher end” blenders are also able to emulsify fruits and vegetables by breaking them down into very small particles so they can be drunk, instead of eaten and would be an example of a way to get more potency from carrots. These results can be read in the November 2008 issue of “Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry.”

Carrot and Cholesterol Research

Carrots have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, but they are also beneficial in reducing your body’s absorption of cholesterol in your diet. This means that less of the cholesterol in your diet would become artery-blocking cholesterol in your blood. Research performed at Vilmorin, Clause & Cie in Chappes, France, revealed this additional benefit. In addition, this animal study was able to help connect the daily consumption of carrots to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. More research needs to be done to confirm this effect on humans. The results of the study were published in the August 2004 edition of “European Journal of Nutrition.”

Check Out These New Herbal Articles!


I’ve been busily writing about medicinal herbs all week and here are some of the latest articles that have been published on

New Herbal Articles


Here are a brand new bunch of articles that I’ve written for lately. I hope you enjoy them:

Shea Butter as a Hair Treatment

extracting shea butter

One ingredient often used in beauty products today is shea butter. But there’s a lot to know about this interesting beauty treatment product. Shea butter has skin healing properties, and it has long been treasured for its ability to treat dry, damaged and fine hair, according to


The website tells us that shea butter is extracted from the fruits of the wild shea tree that grows all over East Africa. The local women in Togo harvest and extract the shea oil for use in products all over the world. describes the extraction process as harvesting the shea nuts, then cracking, grilling and then pounding them. The resulting pulp is then boiled for hours to extract the thick shea butter. Pure shea butter is solid at room temperature, but quickly melts when applied to the skin or hair.

Shea Butter & Hair

According to the Treasured Locks website, shea butter is an extremely effective treatment for dry skin all over the body, including the scalp. It helps to protect the skin from cold in the winter and helps relieve eczema, psoriasis and other skin ailments. Shea butter is also an excellent hair conditioner and helps relieve dry, itchy scalp when massaged in. There are quite a few readily available products containing shea butter such as lotions, African Black Soap, shampoos, creams, lip balm, etc. But many people swear by using pure shea butter and massaging it into the hair and scalp.

Two Methods

The Hair Tips website gives instructions for two ways to use shea butter to treat dry hair. The first is to just use the shea butter alone and apply it directly to damp hair. The warmth of your skin and scalp will cause it to melt and be absorbed into the hair. The other method is a bit more elaborate. Simply melt the shea butter in a double boiler, then add a bit of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Add only about one-fourth as much oil as you have shea butter. Then apply this mixture to the hair.


When choosing shea butter, or products containing shea butter, there are two factors you may want to consider. First, is the shea butter unrefined, organic and pure, or has it been processed and various chemicals added? Pure, unprocessed shea butter is obviously the most beneficial and safest to use. Secondly, you may want to consider whether the shea butter you purchase was supplied using “fair trade” methods. Fair trade shea butter helps to support the communities in Africa where it was grown and extracted. Part of the proceeds from the use and sale of fair trade products goes to the women who harvest and extract the shea butter. According to the website, using products containing fair trade shea butter is considered more socially responsible.


Although shea butter is very gentle on the skin and few people are allergic to it, any substance can cause an allergic reaction. cautions that people with allergies to latex may also be allergic to shea butter since the two contain some similar compounds. Watch for rashes, hives or swelling of the face, lips or tongue when using shea butter. If any of these occur, stop using it and contact your health care provider.