Originally published August 19 2009
Juice It Up!
by Dr. Julian Whitaker
(NaturalNews) Some mornings on my way to work, I drop by the local Jamba Juice store a block from my office and down 16 ounces of carrot juice and four ounces each of wheatgrass juice and a green tea energy drink. I drink this cocktail for overall health and vitality. The wheatgrass is full of vitamin K and amino acids, the carrot juice is packed with beta-carotene, and the green tea gives me a boost of caffeine and antioxidants to get my day started.
However, this is not a story about general health maintenance. It is about "targeted" juices that have predictable and rapid therapeutic effects on specific health conditions. Let's start with a very common problem: high blood pressure.
Celery Juice Lowers Blood Pressure
When you think about lowering blood pressure, celery probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But this crunchy vegetable deserves some serious attention. Loaded with potassium and magnesium, celery contains something even more important: 3-n-butyl-phthalide, a compound that relaxes the smooth muscle cells in the arterial walls, allowing the arteries to dilate and effectively lowering blood pressure.
One of the physicians at Whitaker Wellness decided to put celery to the test. Every day for a month, she and her father juiced and drank one bunch of celery, mixed with a little orange juice for flavor (it's somewhat bitter on its own). Her father's systolic blood pressure went from 148 to 128 and hers went from 120 to 105. Imagine results this dramatic without dangerous prescription drugs!
Another great juice for people with hypertension is Low-Sodium V8 Juice. It works on two fronts to lower blood pressure. First, it contains a particularly high dose of potassium (840 mg per eight ounces) that helps keep blood pressure in check. Second, according to a study recently published in JAMA, it is an effective blood thinner, which further contributes to its antihypertensive effects. For Ted, one of my longtime patients, simply drinking 12 ounces of Low-Sodium V8 Juice daily was enough to keep his blood pressure in the normal range.
Cabbage Juice Heals the Stomach
Roman statesman Cato the Elder wrote more than 2,000 years ago that, as a digestive aid, "Cabbage surpasses all vegetables." One reason is its high content of glutamine, an amino acid that serves as a primary fuel for the rapidly dividing cells of the GI mucosa. Multiple studies support cabbage's reputation as a therapy for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, especially ulcers, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In one of them, cabbage juice healed peptic and duodenal ulcers in an incredible 92 percent of cases studied!
One person who swears by cabbage juice is a patient we'll call Betty, who was recently at the clinic. Betty was plagued with inflammation of the stomach lining and severe acid reflux. Her conventional doctor tried her on all the usual drugs, but nothing alleviated her pain or reduced the frequency of her episodes-until she came across an article on cabbage juice and decided to give it a shot.
Now whenever Betty has a flare-up, she drinks the juice from half a head of cabbage (yielding approximately four ounces of pleasant-tasting, slightly sweet juice) five times a day for about three days, in addition to copious amounts of water. This three day-regimen keeps her problem-free for eight or nine months-and I'll bet if she drank it religiously, she wouldn't have any problems at all.
Sauerkraut has also been touted for its ability to heal the stomach. In addition to the healthful compounds found in cabbage, this fermented food and its juice are also an excellent source of beneficial bacteria that nurture the GI tract. Eldon, a Health & Healing subscriber, eats it right from the jar to quell heartburn.
Cherry Juice Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Cherries make a mean pie, but a pain reliever? In recent years, cherries have been discovered to contain potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds called anthocyanins and other flavonoids that work on the same inflammation pathways as aspirin and NSAIDs to reduce pain. In fact, researchers from Michigan State University found that just 10 tart cherries pack the same pain-relieving punch as one or two aspirin-and offer a wallop of antioxidants to boot.
Cherries have also been shown to reduce gout. Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid, which crystallizes in the joints and causes pain, stiffness, and inflammation. In a study conducted at the University of California Davis, eating eight ounces of cherries significantly reduced levels of plasma urate, a marker of uric acid. Cherries also produced small but notable decreases in markers of inflammation.
Francis, a friend of mine, squelches the gout pain in his big toe by eating cherries. And J. Otto Garry, a subscriber from Tamarac, Florida, has had great success treating his arthritis with cherry juice. He drinks three ounces in the morning and another three ounces in the evening to reduce and prevent inflammation. He also includes cod liver oil in his juice and takes alfalfa tablets along with it, which add to its anti-inflammatory value.
Cranberry Juice for UTIs
Everybody knows that cranberry juice can prevent and treat urinary tract infections (UTIs), but have you ever wondered why? Cranberries contain a combination of anthocyanins (the phytonutrient that gives both cranberries and cherries their rich color) and a unique sugar called mannose. Together, these compounds are responsible for thwarting UTIs by making it impossible for bacteria to cling to the walls of the bladder and urinary tract.
Ann, a subscriber I met at a Subscriber Seminar a while back, told me she used to have frequent UTIs until she started keeping a bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice in her fridge. Now when she feels a flare-up coming on, she drinks a glass or two daily for a few days, and she never gets infections anymore.
As a general rule of thumb, I don't recommend drinking a lot of fruit juice as it is loaded with sugar and calories. However, the juices listed above boast too many healing properties to ignore. Judicious juicing offers an easy way to drink to your health and naturally knock out many pressing health concerns. Bottoms up!
*Some of the juices discussed here are already prepared. Look for Low-Sodium V8 in your grocery store. (Do not substitute regular V8; it contains way too much sodium. If your store doesn't carry it, ask them to order it for you.) You can find unsweetened cranberry and cherry juice at your local health food store. Cherry juice is also available from King Orchards, (877) 937-5464, mi-cherries.com.
*You're going to have to make your own cabbage and celery juice-and you can make your own cranberry and cherry juice from fresh or frozen cranberries and pitted cherries, if you'd like. There are many quality juicers available in department and specialty stores. Look for one that suits your lifestyle and specific needs.
*Suggested doses, taken daily or as needed, are as follows: celery juice from one bunch; cabbage, 4 ounces from one-half head, two to five times a day; sauerkraut, one cup (if you're going to do this regularly, you're better off with cabbage juice because sauerkraut contains a lot of sodium); unsweetened cherry juice, one-half to one cup; unsweetened cranberry juice, one-half to one cup. (If any of these juices are too tart, dilute with water and add a little stevia or xylitol to sweeten.)
*Jacob RA, et al. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women. J Nutr. 2003 Jun;133(6):1826-9.
About the authorReprinted from Dr. Julian Whitaker's Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. For information on subscribing to this newsletter, visit www.drwhitaker.com or call (800) 539-8219.
About the Author
Julian Whitaker, MD, is the author of Health & Healing, a monthly newsletter that has reached millions of readers since 1991. He has also written 13 books and hosts The Dr. Whitaker Show, a popular radio program. In 1979, Dr. Whitaker founded the Whitaker Wellness Institute. Today, it is the largest alternative medicine clinic in the United States. To learn more, visit www.whitakerwellness.com or call (800) 488-1500.
All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing LLC takes sole responsibility for all content. Truth Publishing sells no hard products and earns no money from the recommendation of products. NaturalNews.com is presented for educational and commentary purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice from any licensed practitioner. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. For the full terms of usage of this material, visit www.NaturalNews.com/terms.shtml