Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: High Blood Pressure

11 Surprising Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper, known scientifically as Capsicum frutescens, is a chili pepper that originated in French Guiana and gets its name from the territory’s capital city of Cayenne. For those who love spicy foods, cayenne, also available in powdered form, adds a fiery note to the dishes in which it’s used. Capsaicin, the plant-based compound that accounts for cayenne’s intense heat, also endows it with a surprising array of healing properties, many of which have been confirmed in research studies.

Here are 11 health benefits of cayenne pepper:

1: Fights Irritations

For ulcers, sore throats, diarrhea and coughs, cayenne pepper is a sure remedy. It offers relief from any of the mentioned irritations.

2: Cure for Cold and Flu

Cayenne pepper helps in getting rid of congested mucus in the nasal cavity, hence offering relief from flu and cold.

3: Fungal Remedy

For cases of attack from fungal pathogens such as phomopsis and collectotrichum, cayenne pepper has been found to effectively prevent their formation.

4: Prevents Migraine

Cayenne pepper is capable of triggering a response in a different part of the body hence reversing brain’s focus to the ‘new pain’ region. As a result of this ‘false alarm’, nerve fibers loses the substance P which is responsible for pain and the anticipated pain is lowered to a great deal.

5: Assists in Digestion

By stimulating the digestive tract, cayenne pepper helps in improving enzyme production as well as gastric juices. As a result, the body is able to break down food as well as toxins. If you suffer from intestinal gas by promoting intestinal peristaltic motion necessary for both assimilation and secretion of waste products of digestion., aiding in both assimilation and elimination.

6: Assist in Blood Clotting

Cayenne pepper aids in lowering atherosclerosis by encouraging fibrinolytic action and warding off factors that cause blood clotting. Consequently, risks of heart attack or stroke are minimized.

7: Detoxifier

Cayenne pepper is a stimulant in a class of its own. It speeds up lymphatic processes as well as the rhythmic reaction in the digestive system. As we know, the heating up process in the body leads to detoxification. Moreso, cayenne pepper stimulates sweating hence loss of body waste through the skin is initiated.

8: Relieves Joint-Pain

Cayenne is rich in a compound known as capsaicin. This substance triggers a certain pain momentarily on the skin. A chemical message is triggered into the joint from the skin, resulting in relief from pain.

9: Fights Cancer

It has been found through studies that cayenne pepper fights certain types of cancers such as lung cancer in smokers due to their capsaicin content. The study elucidated that capsaicin halts tumors which form as a result of tobacco smoking, in the lungs.

10 : Weight Loss

Cayenne pepper has been linked to weigh loss due to its ability to improve metabolism which means burning excess fats to release energy. Cayenne eaters have been observed to eat less due to loss of appetite especially if they took it as breakfast.

11: Prevents Hypertension

Cayenne pepper helps to restore blood pressure levels normal. In the same mechanism it uses to fight artherosclerosis, it unblocks arteries hence improving blood flow. This way, the blood pressure is kept on check. Pepper reduces the risk of arthrosclerosis; it simultaneously lowers the risk of hypertension.




Millions of high blood pressure patients are wrongly diagnosed

By Stephen Adams

Currently, anyone suspected of having high blood pressure is diagnosed by a GP with an inflatable arm cuff. Doctors then call the patient back for additional readings, but these are always taken at their surgery or in hospital.

New draft guidance to be published today by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) says as many as one in four people experiences a surging pulse rate on entering a GP’s surgery.

This nervous response, termed “white coat hypertension”, can significantly raise blood pressure readings and many people are being misdiagnosed as a result.

To counter this, Nice is recommending that doctors do not rely solely on readings taken in their own surgeries. After the initial assessment, a patient should be sent home and asked to wear an ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) device.

This comprises an inflated arm cuff, similar to those used in surgeries, which takes spot readings at intervals over a 24-hour period.

Prof Bryan Williams, from Leicester University, who led the development of the new guidance, said: “This new approach would not only improve diagnosis but would ultimately be cost-saving for the NHS.”

More than 8.5 million people are registered as having high blood pressure. People with the condition are three times more likely to develop heart disease and suffer strokes as people with normal blood pressure and twice as likely to die from these.

Patients are often put on drugs to lower their blood pressure, such as beta-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. In 2008, the NHS in England spent £83 million on beta-blockers alone.

The drugs can have serious side effects. For example, ACE inhibitors can cause blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels and result in kidney problems.

Nice’s guidance notes: “White coat hypertension is reported to occur in as many as 25 per cent of the population, especially where their blood pressure is close to the threshold for diagnosis. It is more common in pregnancy and with increasing age.”

This suggests that as many as 2 million people may have been wrongly diagnosed simply because they were nervous when they went into the surgery.

Prof Williams added that the new guidance would allow doctors to get the correct diagnosis more often, but warned that surgeries and clinics would not have sufficient stocks of the equipment at the start.

The Blood Pressure Association, which has been campaigning for the change for years, welcomed the move. Prof Gareth Beevers, a trustee of the charity, said the guidance should be backed up with money “to ensure ambulatory monitors are more widely available”.

But Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, questioned whether the new approach would be significantly more accurate.

She said: “If we were looking at lifelong treatment or uncertain diagnosis, then this device might be useful, but for the majority of patients we would take three readings anyway before starting treatment.”

Nice officials said the guidelines, which it has put out for consultation, would “significantly change the way high blood pressure is diagnosed and subsequently treated”.

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Natural Remedies for Blood Clotting

Home remedies for Blood clotting include canola oil, mustard oil, safflower oil, bread, beans, cereals, sprouts, Brussels, asparagus, broccoli, cayenne, vitamin C, banana, apricot, spinach, raisins, gingko, bilberry, turmeric, ginger, onion, garlic, spinach, pepper, clove, orange juice, skimmed milk, plenty of water, avoid smoking, obesity, heating pads, alcohol and sleeping pills, etc. Blood clot means clotting of a healthy vessel, which leads to several problematic situations. This may happen in any blood vessel and must be taken care well. It usually affects obese but people suffering from other clinical conditions may become affected. If not cured it may lead to amputation as well. There are many home remedies and its always beneficial for such patients to resort to these to stay active and healthy.



Blood clotting implies a mass of red blood cells and other components of cell that stick and clump together at the injured site and stop the blood flow in the blood vessel. During injury it is important for the person to prevent loss of blood. But if this happens within a healthy blood vessel which is flowing, it may cause sudden blockage of blood flow. It is called as emboli, which occurs rarely but is often dangerous and can be fatal leading to damage in tissue or death.

Blood clot may be caused due to missing of components of the blood system, plaque formation in the arteries (atherosclerosis), genetic factors, smoking, obesity, sickle cell anaemia, liver diseases, injury, any kind of surgery if taken place, cardiovascular disease and advanced age. 




The Following Home remedies can prevent you from blood clotting


Cannola Oil, Mustard Oil: These are low fat containing oils and should be preferred for cooking purposes.

Bread, Beans, Cereals, Sprouts, Brussels and Asparagus: These are all rich in folate content which by a particular physiological pathway results in making the brittle arteries flexible.

Broccoli: Broccoli is rich in fibre content and considered good for patients having vascular disorders.

Celery: Celery contains an active compound which functions by lowering a stress hormone which thins or narrows down blood vessel. This way blood vessels maintain there optimum diameter.

Cayenne (capsicum) and Pepper: Both of these help in preventing platelets to stick together.

Vitamin C: It is an antioxidant and functions in proper vascular state.

Banana, Apricot, Spinach, Orange Juice: All of these keeps the vascular system active and maintain proper blood pressure.

Regular Exercise: Regularity in doing exercise must be shown as it is very important for the patients to keep the blood flow in all vessels continuously.

Avoid Smoking: Smoking results in replacement of oxygen by carbon monoxide to the already starved muscles of the veins. Therefore it complicates the situation and should not be practiced strictly.

Avoid Obesity: Obesity is caused due to fatty diet which results in deposition of fat on the walls of vessel leading to reduction in there diameter. Thus fat diet must be avoided by the patient.

Walking: A constant moving activity keeps various body parts in an active state.

Gingko: Gingko reduces the protein fibrin that is important in forming blood clots.

Bilberry, Turmeric, Ginger: Bilberry, turmeric and ginger reduce the phenomenon of sticking up of platelets which leads to blood clot formation.

Onion and Garlic: Onion and garlic also reduces fibrin and stickiness of platelets.

Hydrotherapy: Applying hot and cold packs alternatively at the site of pain results in maintenance of continuous blood flow at the site of blood clot.

Massage: This also has been found to give some relief to the patient.

Spinach, Pepper, Garlic and Clove: Leaves of spinach and one part each of pepper, garlic and clove are put together to extract the juice and then mixed well. This can be drunk by the patient.

As advised on our Free Health Tips Page, one must drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and avoid alcohol and sleeping pills because they cause immobility which raises the risk of stoppage of blood flow. It is also highly recommended that regular check ups with the doctor should be performed to evaluate cholesterol levels and rates of blood pressure.



Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

What are the health benefits of dark chocolate? Just the best news that chocolate lovers could hope to hear (short of a way to remove all the calories without altering the taste)!

Now you don’t have to feel bad because it tastes s-o-o-o-o good, anymore. You can point to scientific studies that show it…

  • improves your mood (does it ever!)
  • lowers high blood pressure
  • increases circulation
  • fights aging
  • soothes a cough
  • can reduce cholesterol
  • boosts your brain power
  • high in antioxidants

Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. These benefits are real, accessible, and a great reason (excuse) to eat dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure

Dark chocolate — not white chocolate — lowers high blood pressure, say Dirk Taubert, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Cologne, Germany. Their report appears in the Aug. 27 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association.

But that’s no license to go on a chocolate binge. Eating more dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure — if you’ve reached a certain age and have mild high blood pressure, say the researchers. But you have to balance the extra calories by eating less of other things.

High blood pressure is a well known risk factor for heart disease. It is also one of the most common causes of kidney failure, and a significant contributor to many kinds of dementia and cognitive impairment. Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate daily can reduce blood pressure in people with mild hypertension.

Why are people with risk factors for heart disease sometimes told to take a baby aspirin every day? The reason is that aspirin thins the blood and reduces the likelihood of clots forming (clots play a key role in many heart attacks and strokes). Research performed at the department of nutrition at the University of California, Davis, found that chocolate thins the blood and performs the same anti-clotting activity as aspirin. “Our work supports the concept that the chronic consumption of cocoa may be associated with improved cardiovascular health,” said UC Davis researcher Carl Keen.

How much chocolate would you have to eat to obtain these benefits? Less than you might think. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adding only half an ounce of dark chocolate to an average American diet is enough to increase total antioxidant capacity 4 percent, and lessen oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

Why, then, has chocolate gotten such a bum reputation? It’s the ingredients we add to it. Nearly all of the calories in a typical chocolate bar are sugar and fat.

As far as fats go, it’s the added fats that are the difficulty, not the natural fat (called cocoa butter) found in chocolate. Cocoa butter is high in saturated fat, so many people assume that it’s not good for your cardiovascular system. But most of the saturated fat content in cocoa butter is stearic acid, which numerous studies have shown does not raise blood cholesterol levels. In the human body, it acts much like the monounsaturated fat in olive oil.

Milk chocolate, on the other hand, contains added butterfat which can raise blood cholesterol levels. And it has less antioxidants and other beneficial phytochemicals than dark chocolate.

Does chocolate contribute to acne? Milk chocolate has been shown to do so, but I’ve never heard of any evidence incriminating dark chocolate.

Dark chocolate is also healthier because it has less added sugar. I’m sure you don’t need another lecture on the dangers of excess sugar consumption. But if you want to become obese and dramatically raise your odds of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, foods high in sugar (including high fructose corn syrup) are just the ticket.

Antioxidants in Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate — but not milk chocolate or dark chocolate eaten with milk — is a potent antioxidant, report Mauro Serafini, PhD, of Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research in Rome, and colleagues. Their report appears in the Aug. 28 issue of Nature. Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.

“Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.”

Translation: Say “Dark, please,” when ordering at the chocolate counter. Don’t even think of washing it down with milk. And if health is your excuse for eating chocolate, remember the word “moderate” as you nibble.




For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

Sea Salt vs. Table Salt – Which is better?

There are some differences between the two kinds of salts; while their chemical makeups are the same, both of them consist of two main minerals: sodium and chloride.

But ocean salt has different taste and texture from table salt. It is processed differently and very lightly, and normally is produced through evaporating seawater. This is the very reason why it has different flavor, texture and color. It usually has a small amount of minerals from the water source depending on its location. Iodine is one of its natural ingredients.

All ocean salts are not created equal too! Most coastal countries produce ocean salt which flavors and colors vary from one another. They are all known as gourmet salts, preferred over table salts by many.

In comparison, table salt is more heavily processed, eliminating other mineral traces. It’s also added food additive to prevent it from becoming clump, which is damaging to our health.

Healthy sodium consumption should be 1,500- 2,300 mg a day.

If you have high blood pressure, or have reached middle-age, aim for the lower end of this sodium consumption range. Though ocean salt is more natural, less sodium and has other minerals, too much of it is not good either.

And don’t confuse salt from sea with salt from Dead Sea.

More on Sea Salt

Sea salt contains less sodium than standard table salt so this is helpful to individuals suffering from hypertension.  Sea salt is a broad term that generally refers to unrefined salt derived directly from a living ocean or sea. It is harvested through channeling ocean water into large clay trays and allowing the sun and wind to evaporate it naturally. Manufacturers of sea salt typically do not refine sea salt as much as other kinds of processed salt, so it still contains natural traces of other minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and iodine. Proponents of sea salt rave about its bright, pure, clean flavor, and about the subtleties lent to it by these other trace minerals. Some of the most common sources for sea salt include the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean (particularly in France, on the coast of Brittany). Sea salt is healthier and more flavorful than traditional table salt. It’s available in coarse, fine & extra fine grain size, and many sizes in between!



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