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Not to mention, half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories! The possible health benefits of consuming cranberries include lowered risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure and more.

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The cranberry fruit is high in antioxidants, partly from substances called proanthocyanidins. Antioxidants scavenge damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Environmental toxins (including ultraviolet light, radiation, cigarette smoking, and air pollution) can increase the number of free radicals in the body, which are believed to contribute to the ageing process as well as the development of a number of health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and infections. Antioxidants can neutralise free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C as well, another important antioxidant. The juice is excellent against scurvy and to allay fevers. Cranberries also contain a potent vasodilator and have been used for breathing problems.

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Several studies have measured high levels of antioxidants in people after drinking cranberry juice. Research is underway to determine if the antioxidant ability of cranberries will translate into protection from heart disease. Adding to cranberry’s potential health benefits, a recent study found that an extract of cranberry inhibited an enzyme, and this has been associated with a reduction in cancer risk.

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Lemon balm a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.

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Lemon Balm was dedicated to the goddess Diana, and used medicinally by the Greeks some 2,000 years ago. In the Middles Ages lemon balm was used to soothe tension, to dress wounds, and as a cure for toothache, skin eruptions, mad dog bites, crooked necks, and sickness during pregnancy. It was even said to prevent baldness. As a medicinal plant, lemon balm has traditionally been employed against bronchial inflammation, earache, fever, flatulence, headaches, high blood pressure, influenza, mood disorders, palpitations, toothache and vomiting. A tea made from Lemon balm leaves is said to soothe menstrual cramps and helps relieve PMS.

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Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The herb is used for nervous agitation, sleeping problems, functional gastrointestinal complaints, menstrual cramps and urinary spasms. It is thought that the volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles, particularly in the bladder, stomach, and uterus, thereby relieving cramps, gas, and nausea.