Oak: America and the Northern Hemisphere are home to many varieties of oaks. Oaks have been used for ceremony, food, medicine and building for as long as humans have been around. In many traditions, the oak is revered as a sacred tree. Oaks have been used as medicine and food for millennia. The plant parts used for healing include the inner bark, leaves and acorns. Many Native American groups used oak to treat bleeding, tumors, swelling and dysentery. European herbalists used oak as a diuretic and as an antidote to poison. Snuff made from powdered root was used to treat tuberculosis. The leaves have been employed to promote wound healing. Oak has been used as a Quinine substitute in the treatment of fevers. Tannins provide many of the healing properties of oak. Tannins bind with proteins in tissues, making a barrier resistant to bacterial invasion. Tannins strengthen tissues and blood vessels. They reduce inflammation and irritation, especially of skin and mucus membranes. Acorns are soaked to remove tannins prior to using the acorn meat for food. The tannin rich soaking water has antiseptic and anti-viral properties. It may be used as a wash to relieve skin irritations from rashes, minor burns and poison ivy. Modern scientific research confirms that oak possesses the following healing properties: astringent, fever reducing, tonic, antiseptic, anti-viral, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory actions. In addition, oak has been used to get rid of worms and other parasites. Oak is excellent for controlling loose stools. Either a tincture (alcohol extract) or decoction (boiled tea) of root bark is effective. Decoctions are used to promote healing of bleeding gums when used as a mouthwash. Finely powdered dried inner bark has been used to control nosebleeds. Oak is said to relieve poor digestion. It has been used to treat ulcers internally and externally. Finely powdered dried inner bark can be sprinkled on external ulcers to soothe, reduce swelling, prevent infection and strengthen tissue. A decoction or tincture can be used to heal internal ulcers. Compresses made from a root bark decoction soothe and shrink hemorrhoids, varicose veins and bruises. A bark decoction can be used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat. Skin problems such as rashes, irritation and swelling may be relieved with the application of poultices or compresses made from the root bark or leaves. Oak has been used in the treatment of cholera and gonorrhea. Decoctions have been used as douches to treat vaginal infections. Leaves may be used fresh for first aid in the field. They can be softened by immersing them in boiling water or steaming until limp. If boiling water is not available, the leaves may be softened by crushing them. Apply the leaves topically to the affected area as an antiseptic, soothing poultice to reduce swelling, skin irritation or bleeding.
Oatmeal: The health benefits of oatmeal include a healthy heart, diabetes control, a reduction in hypertension, cancer prevention, and increased immunity. It also helps in losing weight and treating constipation. People suffering from celiac disorder can also consume a moderate amount of oats, since they are not wheat-based, despite having trace amounts of gluten.
Okra: The health benefits of okra include its ability to lower total cholesterol levels, improve digestive health, improve vision, boost skin health, protect infant health, prevent certain cancers, strengthen bones, improve cardiovascular health, aid the immune system, lower blood pressure, and protect heart health. Okra’s many medicinal benefits can be attributed to its rich content of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Furthermore, okra contains high levels of mucilaginous fiber, which can help move food through your digestive tract by adding bulk. This means that bowel movements are more regular and there is a reduction in gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, cramping, constipation, and excess gas. Oddly, it also helps prevent diarrhea, because it adds bulk to watery stools. Finally, fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol in the body. Okra is a good source of potassium, which is an essential aspect of human health. Potassium is necessary to maintain proper fluid balance in the body, because it balances sodium. Furthermore, potassium helps to relax the blood vessels and arteries, which therefore reduces blood pressure and lessens the strain on the cardiovascular system. This means that the risk of clotting and atherosclerosis will be greatly reduced.
Olive Oil: Olive oil has been used by mankind for many centuries. It is a staple ingredient for many culinary preparations and also serves a variety of medicinal purposes. Medical studies suggest that olive oil is loaded with health benefits. The health benefits of olive oil include treatment for colon, breast cancer, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, high cholesterol, weight loss, metabolism, digestion, aging and cancer. The extra virgin olive oil variety contains the highest level of antioxidant polyphenols and oleic acid. Olive oil is thus a healthy option compared to other vegetable oils. But, olive oil also has lots of calories, so it should be used in moderate amounts for the best health results. The FDA recommends 2 tablespoons of olive oil every day to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Onion: Onions have so many valuable medicinal applications because of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and organic compounds contained in them, including the presence of sulfuric compounds and quercetin in traces of the essential oils. Onions also contain mineral components such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, selenium and phosphorus, and they are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber. Some of the health benefits of onions include their role in substantially relieving a number of diseases including the common cold, asthma, bacterial infections, respiratory problems, angina, and cough. Onions are also known to repel bloodthirsty insects. The antibacterial properties of onion include extensive antifungal applications, which have made it a household name in antifungal relief.
Oolong Tea: Health benefits of oolong tea include the reduction of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, inflammatory disorders, and high cholesterol levels, while providing vital antioxidants, promoting superior bone structure, robust skin and good dental health. Oolong tea is fragrant with a fruity flavor and a pleasant aroma. Despite its caffeine content, it can still be extremely relaxing to drink. As it is partially fermented, the health benefits of oolong tea are basically doubled because of the combined qualities of black tea and green tea; making it one of the most beneficial teas in the world. It is rich in antioxidants and also contains vital vitamins and minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper, carotin, selenium, and potassium, as well as vitamins A, B, C, E and K. Additionally, it contains folic acid, niacin amide and other detoxifying alkaloids. It is developed in semi-fermented processing, providing the oolong tea with numerous polyphenolic compounds, adding even more valuable health benefits to oolong tea. Oolong tea also contains caffeine and theophylline and theobromine which are similar to caffeine which on consumption may stimulate nervous system.
Orange: The orange juice can be just as beneficial as eating the fruit whole, provided it is 100% natural, and is not loaded with preservatives, additives, and sugar. All of the impressive health benefits of orange juice can be attribute to its nutritive content, as well as vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamin, folate, potassium, fiber, proteins, copper, magnesium, flavonoids, hesperidin, and a variety of other trace vitamins and minerals that make it one of the most valuable and nutrient-packed fruit available. It is widely considered one of the healthiest beverages because of its wide range of health benefits, which include its ability to boost immune system function, reduce signs of aging, protect against cancer, boost cellular repair and metabolism, detoxify the body, improve circulation, improves blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and lowers cholesterol levels. Avoid frozen orange juice, canned orange juice, or concentrate, because with all of the processing, you lose a considerable amount of the natural goodness, and producers often turn to adding chemicals to the juice to replenish some of the lost nutritive value. Go natural and make sure you are getting all of the benefits of this miraculous and delicious fruit juice.
Oregano: Some of the most impressive and important health benefits of oregano include its ability to protect the immune system, prevent the onset of chronic disease, improve digestion, detoxify the body, strengthen the bones, improve heart health, increase energy levels, and even protect against diabetes. Oil of oregano is an extremely concentrated form of oregano, and is used to treat a number of conditions, but it should always be diluted, as it is very potent.