February 2006

Natural Health Article


  • ABCs of Health – “W” is for Windpipe
  • Cholesterol – the good and the bad
  • Tip of the Month – Read the label
  • The Herbalist – “I” is for Iporuru


“W” is for the common name windpipe, science and medicine refer to the windpipe as the trachea.  The trachea is part of the respiratory system that consists of the nose, pharynx, larynx, lungs, trachea and bronchi.

In an adult the trachea measures 4 1/2″ (11.9 cm) long and about 3/4″ (1.9 cm) in diameter.
The treachea looks like a flexible pipe so you can bend your neck.  It is made up of a series of horizontal, incomplete rings of hyaline cartilage ( that look like the letter C ), fiberous tissue, and is mucous lined.  The open part of the trachea faces the esophagus. There is a special flap of skin in the trachea that will only allow air to enter its path and will cover the opening, to divert food and beverages to the esophagus. This is why you can not swallow and breathe at the same time!


High blood cholestrol is the major cause of heart disease and stroke.  I researched these international statistics from the American Heart website: www.americanheart.org/

  • A blood cholesterol level of less than 5.0 Millimoles per litre (mmol/L) is suggested for both primary and secondary prevention of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). About 66 percent of men and women in the UK have blood cholesterol levels of 5.0 mmol/L and above.
    (British Heart Foundation. Coronary Heart Disease Statistics,2005 Edition)
  • High blood cholesterol is estimated to cause about 4.4 million deaths (7.9 percent of total).  This amounts to 18 percent of strokes and 56 percent of global CHD.
    (WHO World Health Report, 2002)
  • High blood cholesterol causes more than 4 million premature deaths a year.
    (WHO World Health Report, 2002)

Cholesterol is a powdery, white, waxy, odorless substance.  Cholesterol naturally occurs in the body as it is manufactured in the liver and is essential for good health.  Cholesterol function is to form cell membranes and some hormones that perform certain functions in the body. Because, it can not dissolve in blood, it is packed in  “little” protein coated packages that transport it along with fat.  These “little” packages are called Lipoproteins. Lipoproteins can be either Low Density (LDL-bad) or High Density (HDL-good) format.

LDL transports the majority of the cholesterol, and may be why some lipropoteins detached and attach to the artery walls that lead to the heart and brain, thus the arteries become narrow.  If too much LDL is combined with other substances the buildup that clogs the artery is called “plaque”.  The process that the plaque builds up  is called artheosclerosis.  When a clot forms adjacent to the plaque it will block or stop the flow of blood. The blockage or stoppage  of blood to the heart muscle is called a heart attack.  The blockage or stoppage of blood to the brain is called a stroke.

Cholesterol when consumed is found only in foods that originated from animal sources, no cholesterol is evident in foods that originate from plant sources.

Since you are not able to change your age, gender, race, or history it is important to modify your diet by limiting or omitting  fried foods, organ meats (liver, kidney), high fat dairy products and all saturated fats (choose the“right” fats).

The only way to determine if you cholesterol is within a safe range is to take a cholesterol test administered by your health care practitioner.


When shopping, remember to read labels carefully.
Any ingredient ending in “ose” is sugar.


I promised I would give you some information on a specific herb, it’s origins and uses.  I really enjoy this part of our newsletter, as I always learn something new and exciting.
This month we will discuss:


Latin Name: Alchornea (Euphorbiaceae [spurge] family)

Other common names: iporoni, machihua, niando

General Description: Iporuru is a shrub native to the Amazon and parts of Africa.  It grows on low lying plains that become swamps during the rainy season.  It is only harvested during the dry season, when it medicinal active constituents are present.   It is the bark that is used. Its remedies and products are sold in Peru.

Excellent For: The relief of the pain and inflammation of arthritis and joint problems, as it has the ability to support muscle and joint structure.  A traditional South American remedy  for arthritis, colds, and muscle pains is to soak the bark in rum. Peruvian health practitioners prescribe iporuru to treat rheumatism, impotence, and to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.  Native people of Peru use it traditionally to  relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Benefits of Iporuru for specific health conditions include some of the following:

Gout:  Iporuru alleviates acute inflammation; as it contains a high incident of flavonoids that stop the inflammatory reactions at the cellular level.
Impotence and infertility: It is a unique traditional treatment of infertility in men, as it is taken by women. Why? The herb increases the receptivity of the cervix to sperm cells. French scientists propose that men taking iporuru would have stronger erections, greater penetration, and more viable sperm through the action of yohimbine, a compound found in both iporuru and yohimbe.

Iporuru is available as a tincture. Some formulas are a combination of iporuru and smilax (sasparilla, greenbrier). Smilax augments athletic performance.  This combination can pose as an aphrodisiac. If combines with cat’s claw it will relieve inflammation.
NOTE: Overdoses can occur if used excessively; follow the directions of use very carefully.

This concludes another exciting issue of Natural Health. REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO READ TO WIN!

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