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Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients

In plants, in addition to minerals and vitamins, many other effective substances. Each substance fulfills a special function. Therefore, the knowledge and familiarity with the individual substances provides a good insight into their combinatorial and physiological modes of action.

Overview of plant ingredients

Here we present you in alphabetical order the top 16 ingredients of plants:

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1. alkaloids

The alkaloids are predominantly nitrogen-like molecules. They are very intense in their effect and can be found in many plants. Alkaloids have a variety of medical - anti-cancer effects - on the body. In high doses alkaloids are also poisonous. One of the best known examples of an alkaloid is the caffeine found in coffee, tea and cocoa, but also in plants. Another alkaloid is the solanine. Solanin occurs mainly in nightshade plants and is the reason for many people's sensitivity to tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.

2. Anthocyanin

Anthocyanins are the antioxidant pigments that give many fruits and flowers their blue, violet or red color. They keep the blood vessels healthy. Anthocyanin occurs in large quantities in grapes and blackberries.

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3. anthraquinone

Anthraquinone is a natural laxative that is found in plants. They relieve constipation, serve as a plasticizer and promote the peristaltic activity of the intestine. Anthraquinones are found, for example, in Sennes, Cascara Sagrada and in Chinese rhubarb.

4. Bitter substances

The bitter substances are a basic food group. The human tongue is designed to be recognized. Due to their unpleasant taste, however, the bitter substances were largely eliminated from human food. However, they are one of the keys to healthy digestion because they cause the excretion of enzymes in the saliva that nourish and strengthen the body. Many known herbal products contain concentrated bitter substances. They are contained in coffee, in unsweetened chocolate, bitter cucumbers and lemon peels, for example.

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5. Cardiac glycosides

Cardiac glycosides are natural diuretics that directly strengthen the heart by increasing its rate of contraction. It also improves circulation, lowers blood pressure and relieves the urinary tract. Cardiac glycosides are present in the following plants: the woolly thimble and the red foxglove. From them, digoxin and digitoxin are obtained. Caution: Plants containing cardiac glycosides, such as the thimble, are often toxic. Before you start treatment with cardiac glycosides, always consult your doctor.

6. coumarin

Kumarins offer manifold strengthening mechanisms for the body. These include sunscreen, blood thinning and various muscle relaxants. Kumarins are found in many plants. Well-known examples are the Tonka bean (Dipteryx odorata) and members of the Umbelliferae and Solanaceae family.

7. Silica

Plants of the horsetail, rhombic and grass family, e.g. Millet, absorb a lot of silicic acid from the soil. As silicic acid is also an indispensable component of the human organism, it is possible to improve especially where a silicic acid deficiency has developed. Such a deficit is particularly noticeable in the connective tissue, as well as on the skin, hair and nails. For this reason, a silicic acid cure is particularly recommended if these areas show defects.

8. Flavonoids

The flavonoids are antioxidants known as polyphenols. They get the circulation going and break down tissue that has been attacked by pathogens. Flavonoids are built on the scaffold of the flavone molecule, play a role in pigmentation and have anti-inflammatory properties. The flavone molecule occurs in different sizes and includes neoflavonoids and isoflavonoids. Particularly abundant flavonoid sources are onions, garlic, basil, spinach and green leafy vegetables.

9thGlucosinolates (mustard oil glycosides)

Mustard oil glycosides have an irritating effect and cause inflammation and blistering on the tissue. They can be used to intensify the blood supply at a specific location. They also facilitate the removal of waste materials (slags). They relieve joint problems and reduce thyroid function. They are mainly found in plants of the family Cruciferae (cruciferous vegetables) and are responsible for their typical taste in mustard, cress, horseradish and cabbage.

10. Minerals

Minerals are among the most important phytonutrients and must not be missing in the human organism in any case. They are essential as a scaffold for the connective tissue, for bones and teeth, as building blocks for the body's own enzymes and hormones to activate metabolic processes and to regulate the water balance. Therefore, the lack of minerals and the preparation of appropriate medicinal plants, such as oats, elderberry, raspberry, sea buckthorn, very helpful. The most natural for the body mineral complex can be found in the Sango Marine Coral.

11. mucilage

Mucous substances are part of many plants. However, there are only a few plants, with a high percentage, such as marshmallow, mallow, flax, psyllium and Icelandic moss. Mucosal substances store water and thereby produce a gelatinous mass. This mass has a protective, irritating and moisturizing function. So mucilage soothes the skin, neck, lungs, intestines and many other organs.

12. Phenols

Phenols are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredients of plants. They are part of many compounds, for example, Sanicylic acid (aspirin). In fact, phenols have an irritating effect as soon as they are applied directly to the skin. However, they are found in all foods. Foods high in phenol should be avoided by those with a sensitive digestive system. Foods containing phenol include food colors, vanillin flavor, oranges, tomatoes, peanuts and chocolate.

13. saponins

Saponins and their relatives, the triterpenoids and steroids, are a group of two expectorant elements that liquefy the resulting solid mucus. Therefore, they are often used with a stuck cough. They can trigger hormonal processes that are similar to the naturally occurring hormones in the human body.

Some saponins have a water-driving effect, so they are often used for so-called blood cleansing treatments in spring and autumn. Moreover, saponins in medicinal plants decisively influence the intake of other herbal active ingredients, as a result of which small quantities of active ingredient often have a major effect. Especially in the sweet wood saponin is included.

14. Tannin

Tannins are astringent substances found in the bark and in the leaves of all plants. Its astringent effect is used for minor injuries of smaller blood vessels. The tannin serves the plant as a defense against herbivores, whereby it also shows a good effect on bacterial load. Sources of tannin include beer, wine, chocolate and citrus fruits.

15. Vitamins

Vitamins are considered the basic building blocks of life. They ensure the supply of essential nutrients to the body's cells, activate important metabolic processes and promote healing and regeneration processes. They are also needed for the formation of enzymes, hormones and blood cells. If a medicinal plant contains a particularly high proportion of vitamins, it can be used specifically as a vitamin supplier. With the rose hips, the sea buckthorn, the gogibere, the acreola cherry and some other plants this is the case because of the high content of vitamins.

16. Essential oils

Essential oils are plant components with strong, but with a few exceptions very pleasant, odor. The lip bloom plants, the daisy family and umbelliferous plants have a particularly high content of essential oils. Essential oils are composed of up to 100 different individual substances, which have a high therapeutic benefit.

For example, they are highly antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. In addition, they have a diuretic, antispasmodic or tonic effect on the stomach, intestines, liver and bile. Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy. Since they also have an effect in the mental area, they can positively change moods and compensate for mood swings. Some of the best-known essential oils are oils from tea tree, black cumin, peppermint, rosemary, lavender and oregano.

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Attention!

The plant extracts described above can be very intense in their effect. Therefore, be aware that all substances that have the so-called Therapeutic Index, can also be overdosed. Plants can always be both a remedy and a poison. It always depends on the dosage.Therefore, do not experiment with plants whose effects they do not actually know exactly. Let yourself be advised by competent experts.

Your training as a holistic nutritionist

Healthy diet is your passion? You love the surplus base, natural diet? You would like to understand the connections between our food and our health from a holistic perspective? You want nothing more than to make all your knowledge about health and nutrition your profession?

The Academy of Natural Medicine trains people like you in 12 to 18 months as a consultant for holistic health. If you want to know more about the distance learning at the Academy of Natural Medicine, then you will find here all the details and feedback from current and former participants.

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