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A to Z Nutrients

M

Maca
Magnesium
Ma Huang
Marshmallow Root
MCT Oil
Milk Thistle
Motherwort
MSM
(MethylSulfonylMethane)
Muira-Puama
Mullein Leaf
Myrrh Gum

Maca, sometimes called Peruvian ginseng, is cultivated in the Andes highlands, where it was first used by the Inca Indians about 2000 years ago, and by the Peruvians. It is rich in sugars, protein, starches and essential minerals, including iodine and iron. It was traditionally used to enhance fertility. Today it is used to promote fertility, energy, stamina, endurance, mental clarity, and to help with female hormonal imbalances.

Magnesium is involved with many functions in the body. It activates enzymes necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and protein, it helps muscles to release contraction (or relax), it helps regulate the acid-alkaline balance in the body and gut, and it provides protection by preventing formation of clots in the brain and heart and calcium deposits in the urinary tract. Magnesium also helps control electrical charges that induce the passage of nutrients in and out of cells. The increase in energy (and sometimes the decrease in depression) that often follows the intake of additional magnesium can be accounted for in so many ways that it behooves all of us to make sure we are getting adequate supplies of this vital nutrient.

Ma Huang (Ephedra sinensis) Vasodilator; anti-spasmodic; hypertensive; circulatory stimulant; used for asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, hayfever, opens air passages.

Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis) Soothing demulcent, used for gastrointestinal inflammation; expectorant in respiratory congestion and bronchitis. Used externally as a poultice for mastitis and skin ulcers.

MCT Oil stands for Medium Chain Tryglycerides. They are derived from coconut oil. Because they are shorter chains than most dietary fats, MCT's don't require bile to be absorbed and can go directly to the liver. They supply 2 and 1/4 times the energy of the same amount of carbohydrates, making them ideal for endurance athletics and as a protein-sparing supplement. Because they are soluble in biological fluids, they aren't converted to bodyfat but are burned for energy.

Milk Thistle Seed (Silybum marianum) Powerful liver detoxifter, antidote for Amanita mushroom poisoning. Increases secretion and flow of bile. Galactagogue. (top)

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) Sedative, useful in transition labor. Eases false labor pains. Emmenagogue; anti-spasmodic; cardiac tonic; reduces tension and anxiety.

MSM, or Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane, was discovered by Robert Herschler of the Department of Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University. It is a natural form of sulfur found in all living organisms and is present in our body fluids and tissues, occurring naturally in milk, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Sulfur is involved with the proper function of enzymes, and is found as part of sulfur-containing amino acids like L-Cysteine and L-Methionine. It helps form the bonds that link connective tissue together. According to Stanley W. Jacob, MD and other researchers, MSM can help to relieve both food and pollen-type allergies, ameliorate overacid conditions, control constipation, improve lung function, alleviate parasite problems in the intestinal and urogenital tracts, protect against lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and breast and colon cancer, reduce arthritic pain, relieve snoring, improve growth and texture of nails and hair, and increase elasticity of the skin. (top)

Muira-Puama is a wonderful and uniquely energizing herb. Found in South America, it has been used there to treat both frigidity and impotence. Known also as a nervine, many people recognize this property when they report that the energy from Muira-Puama usually comes along with a calm, centered, and almost steely quality of strength.

Mullein Leaf (Verbascum thapsus) Expectorant; demulcent, reduces respiratory inflammation. Flowers steeped in olive oil used as an earache remedy.

Myrrh Gum (Commiphora myrrha) Antiseptic; anti-microbial; astringent. Used for mouth ulcers, sore throat gingivitis, pyorrhea, sinusitis and pharyngitis. Used externally on cuts and abrasions, forms natural Band-Aid. (top)