Search Term: " Terpenes "
Learn how gotu kola reduces stress and anxiety
February 21, 2019 07:57 AM
Gotu Kola has been studied and found to increase calm and alertness by one hundred percent in human. After only 60 minutes post ingestion the effects are demonstrated and showed a noteworthy reduction in startle response. A starting dose is three cups of gotu kola tea per day. There are a broad range of other health benefits which include boosts in cognitive function. It was found just as effective as folic acid. Alzheimer patients have also seen an improvement in mood and memory via the compound called triterpenes. Gotu Kola improves circulation and inflammation as well as aiding in restful sleep.
"Gotu kola is a popular herbal remedy that has a long history of being used in Ayurvedic medicine due to its healing properties that can promote mental and emotional health."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-15-learn-how-gotu-kola-reduces-stress-and-anxiety.html
Powerful organic compounds in cannabis can slash some cancers by 50%, researchers say!
January 19, 2019 10:52 AM
Terpenes is a compound found in citrus fruits, rosemary, frankincense, and cannabis. Because it includes many compounds including THC, ketones, esters, lactones, and THC not found together in the same rate in other plants, it is a better health treatment than anything created by the pharmacy companies. Terpenes also has limonene and pinene, which help with anti-inflammation in healing cancers, and reducing stress. Joy Smith shares a story of having cancer, trying chemotherapy and being given just weeks to live, but attributes cannabis oil to saving her.
"Medical marijuana is a booming industry, and the use value of cannabis just continues to expand as we learn more about this heavily prohibited, but clearly medicinal, plant."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-11-23-organic-compounds-in-medical-cannabis-slash-some-cancers.html
Cannabis Terpene Cocktails—Healthy and . . . Herbal
August 27, 2017 04:14 PM
Instead of chilling you out, this Cannabis Terpene Cocktail is meant to act as a mood lifter. As terpenes are legal in all states (not just the ones that have legalized recreational cannabis use) this cocktail can be served anywhere. The mixologists who make this even claim that imbibing could have potential health benefits. It can help with inflammation and work as a muscle relaxer and sleep aid. The terpene derived from cannabis has many positive uses and the mixologists who use it are looking to incorporate it into society in a positive and intelligent way.
"Terpenes from cannabis have some of the strongest anti-inflammatory properties of any plant, according to proponents, and a good number of doctors are now studying their effects and benefits in replacing opioids."
Read more: http://www.vogue.com/article/cannabis-terpene-cocktails-health-benefits
Cannabinoids and Terpenes: What is the Difference?
June 29, 2017 04:14 PM
THC and CBD are known as cannabinoids, they are the two compounds found in marijuana plants that serve medicinal purposes. Terpenes, found in marijuana and other plants can provide aroma and flavor as well as enhancement to THC and CBD. The amount and kinds of terpenes can differ per plant , creating different results for different people. Understanding and testing for terpenes will allow dispensaries to cater more specifically to what each customer may be looking for.
"However, terpenes are not unique to cannabis and are found in other plants and fruits as well as herbs."
Read more: http://terpenesandtesting.com/cannabinoids-terpenes-difference/
New Study to Explore Benefits of CBD for Veterans with PTSD
June 28, 2017 12:14 PM
There is a Cannabidiol (CBD) study that involves veterans suffering from PTSD, and the effects that the CBD has on them and their trauma. The study is taking place in Florida, under the guidance of Wes Clark jr., a veteran who is passionate about assuring veterans that they can have safe access to cannabis. It is being funded by Alternative Health. Together they hope to bring easier access to CBD as well as sharing their findings with the medical community.
"It is unquestionable that veterans receive comfort and relief from cannabis and CBD"
Read more: http://terpenesandtesting.com/new-study-explore-benefits-cbd-veterans-ptsd/
Can Cannabis Help with Inflammation for Athletes?
December 24, 2016 07:59 AM
With opioid dependence and overdose deaths reaching epidemic levels, athletes suffering from injuries need alternatives to widely prescribed painkillers. Research suggests that components of the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, and Terpenes can play a role in reducing pain and inflammation. Although it is not as powerful a painkiller as opioids, cannabis could be used to help wean athletes off of opioid medication, as well as manage long-term chronic pain.
"One possible alternative to prescription painkillers may come from certain components of the cannabis plant. Recent studies have found that cannabis could possibly reduce inflammation, acting almost like Tylenol."
Facts about Astaxanthin
October 22, 2013 10:47 PM
Astaxanthin is said to be a carotenoid which belongs to larger class of phytochemicals which is known as Terpenes. It is built up of five carbon precursors. It is a metabolite of canthaxanthin and zeazanthin which contains both ketone and hydroxyl fuctional groups. Astaxanthin is a lipid-soluble pigment and is colorful. The color of it is due to the extended chain of conjugated double bonds which is also responsible for the astaxanthin’s antioxidant function. It is found in feathers of some birds, yeast, trout, shrimp, crustaceans, crayfish, krill, salmon and micro algae. The red color of cooked shellfish and red color of salmon is due to the presence of astaxanthin.
How Astaxanthin Helps the Eyes?
When astaxanthin is combined with omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E then it helps the eyes to recover the watery condition and it lubricates it too. It helps the eyes to absorb Vitamin E by which it then nurtures and feeds the choroid and optical nerve which is behind the retina. This is the place where the blood vessel enters in to and leaves and this is the place where communication between retina and brain are established. The macula is protected by astaxanthin by its antioxidant activity and it also helps in eliminating the free radicals. It helps in reducing the risk of cataracts and AMD. It also helps in preventing the eyestrain and it also decreases its effects. The inflammation in the muscles of the eyes is decreased by it and it also improves the blood flow of the eyes.
Health Benefits of Astaxanthin
It is considered as a strongest natural antioxidant which crosses the brain-blood barrier and protects the nervous system and brain, works in every part of skin, organs and body, crosses the retinal-blood barrier and thus protect the eyes and it reaches inside and out of every part of the cell. It also helps in repairing the injured tissue.
Guggul: An effective remedy to lower cholesterol levels in the body
February 22, 2012 11:34 PM
Guggul is a popular herb in Indian Ayurvedic medicine that is used to treat several ailments. Due to its miraculous healing properties, it has been used for centuries in India to treat a range of health conditions. Recently many clinical studies have been carried out to find out the potential health benefits of herb guggul. Research has shown that guggul helps in lowering total body cholesterol, especially the bad ones-LDL and triglycerides. Before we move on to find the positive effects of guggul on heart and cholesterol levels, let us find out the more about this wonder herb.
Botanically known as Commiphora mukul, guggul is a small shrub reaching up to a height of 4-6 ft. It is found in Central Asia, more common in India. It possess red colored flowers, thorns on branches and oval pulpy fruits. Guggul is prepared from the gum resin that is excreted by the bark of the plant. It contains phytosterols named guggusterones, aromatic acids, steroids, sterols, lignans, fatty acids, organic acids and diTerpenes. According to Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda, guggul contains hot potency which helps in treating diseases caused by vata dosha prominence. It treats coating and obstruction of channels that helps in treating and preventing atherosclerosis and other medical conditions caused due to high levels of lipids in the body. Raw guggul exudate is not safe and it is always used after purification in milk.
How does the herb guggul help maintain good cholesterol levels?
The exact mechanism by which guggul lowers cholesterol levels is still not understood, but many theories have been proposed.
1. Guggul works by blocking the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver. Hence liver does not release excess LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of many heart diseases.
2. According to studies, guggul has an impact on the functioning of throid gland and production of bile acids in the body, both of which play an important role in the metabolism of cholesterol.
3. Studies have indicated the role of guggul in preventing oxidation of cholesterol. Oxidation of LDL cholesterol leads to formation of plaques in blood vessels and causes Atherogenesis. The antioxidant action of guggul inhibits cholesterol oxidation and reduces the risk of Atherosclerosis.
The cholesterol lowering properties and antioxidant action make guggul a beneficial Anti-Atherogenesis agent. It can lower cholesterol levels by 14-17 percent and reduce triglycerides by 22-30 percent.
Guggul and heart benefits:
Guggul helps in promoting overall cardiovascular health. It reduces the adhesion of platelets and this reduces the rick of cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown that Guggul when taken along with Inula racemosa helps in reducing chest pain and dyspnea associated with angina. It has potential cardi-protective benefits that keep your heart health. It helps in lowering blood sugar level and treating any inflammatory heart condition.
Health supplements are prepared from the extract of this highly beneficial plant. Consult your health provider before you start taking guggul supplements. When taken in recommended doses, guggul helps you keep your heart healthy and fit so that you can live a healthy life.
Fight Inflammation, Gastric Problems, and Arthritis with Boswellia
June 14, 2011 11:49 AM
How Does Boswellia Fight Inflammation.
Boswellia fights inflammation through the action of a family of anti-inflammatory Terpenes known as boswellic acids. Inflammation is a natural reaction of your immune system to tissue damage and infection, and is often associated with conditions such as arthritis, sports damage to bones and joints and bacterial infections caused by cuts and grazes. There are more serious inflammatory conditions of course, such as asthma, and boswellic acids act in the same way as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) without their unwelcome side effects.
Among the causes of inflammation are inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes, the biosynthesis of which is blocked by boswellia. Another is the 5-lipoxygenase enzyme, also known as LOX-5, and again, the terpenoid anti-inflammatory boswellic acids block this so that the causes of inflammation in the above conditions are severely restricted. Boswellia extract is a good supplement to take for those suffering any form of arthritis, joint pain or even asthma.
Using Boswellia to treat Arthritis
Boswellia can be used to treat both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, although rheumatoid arthritis is not always easy to control. Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, in the case of osteoarthritis the inflammation being a natural response to joint damage and infection of the synovial fluid generally caused by wear and tear on the joint with aging, and also by sports injuries.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of immune disease caused by the body attacking its own joints, and while the terpenoid anti-oxidants known as boswellic acids can help to mediate the pain and other symptoms, it can do nothing to cure the condition.
If you are suffering pain through arthritis, and your joins are tender and swollen, a supplement consisting of an extract of boswellia or its Terpenes can help to relieve these symptoms and to offer pain relief equivalent to that offered by synthetic NSAIDs such as aspirin and Ibuprofen.
Gastric Problems and Arthritis Pain? Perhaps Boswellia Can Help
Extracts and supplements based on the resins of the boswellia tree are commonly used to treat inflammatory conditions, and reduce the severe pain of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, ease the discomfort of colitis and also help ease the symptoms of those suffering asthma. Each of these is an inflammatory condition that would otherwise have been treated using NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
NSAIDs have a number of side effects, being particularly unsuitable for those with ulcers or any other gastric problem. The terpenoids contained in boswellia extract an effective alternative to these drugs that many try to avoid taking. Long-term use of boswellia appears a lot safer than long-term use of NSAIDs, since it doesn't promote the severe gastric problems of these synthetic drugs, such as irritation of the stomach lining or even ulcers. If you already have ulcers or other gastric problems then NSAIDs area define no-no for you, and boswellia is the ideal substitute.
Grab some boswellia today and experience relief for your self!
How Does Boswellia Fight Inflammation?
April 13, 2011 03:57 PM
Boswellia refers to the species of trees where the aromatic gum resin frankincense is obtained from. In herbal medicine, the term Boswellia often means Indian frankincense, which is noted for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has a centuries-old association with Ayurvedic medicine, and herbal preparations containing its extracts are formulated for arthritis. It now comes in supplements marketed as a viable treatment for inflammation-induced illnesses, such as arthritis, colitis, and asthma.
Indian frankincense, also known as dhoop in India, is entirely derived from Boswellia serrata, and the common frankincense from a completely different species. The earliest known study looking into its purported benefit as an anti-inflammatory medication was in 1998, and it investigated its effects on asthma. In a span of 6 weeks, the boswellia group took 300 mg of the preparation three times a day and 70 percent experienced a significant improvement in symptoms and a noticeable decrease in incidence of asthma attacks in comparison with the control group.
In Ayurvedic medicine, boswellia has been utilized for hundreds of years with an emphasis on its use in the amelioration of joint pains. It is generally considered safe, explaining its prevalence in the treatment of arthritis and related disorders. Boswellia was the subject of several studies devoted to better management of osteoarthritis, and these studies published results that attracted more research. Today it is also touted to be useful for rheumatoid arthritis, which is inflammatory in nature.
Recent studies yielded outcomes in favor of its anti-inflammatory claims. In 2007 one study pointed to its medicinal potential in the treatment of colitis, concluding that patients with chronic inflammation of the colon went into remission after regular intake of boswellia. In a similar study, individuals diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease reported to have benefited from 6 weeks of supplementation while those who sought conventional treatments responded to their medications in a much longer time.
Boswellia remains under scrutiny. Anecdotal evidence has been very positive largely owing to the fact that it hasn’t been linked to any adverse effect at all. But how does it work? There are many chemical reactions which boswellia may be directly involved in. It has been observed that it reduces the synthesis of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. These mediators of inflammation are produced in the presence of an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase, which is thought to be counteracted by the high terpene content of boswellia.
TriTerpenes in boswellic acid, the active ingredient unique to boswellia, are also believed to interfere with the adhesive interactions between leukocytes and endothelial cells present in the gastrointestinal tract. Leukocyte elastase is a serine protease, a special kind of enzyme, released by leukocytes or neutrophils during inflammation. It is postulated that boswellia down-regulates leukocytes and leukocyte elastase in addition to inhibiting the expression of endothelial cells adhesion molecules. Down-regulation of leukocytes will help reduce inflammation and improve health.
If you are fighting systemic or joint inflammation, give boswellia a try and feel the difference!
What Is Thyme and How Can It Help My Lungs?
April 12, 2011 04:28 PM
Thyme And Lung Health.Thyme is a flavorful herb known for its significant presence in Western cuisines. It is grown for its strong flavor and pleasant aromatic odor, which are often attributed to an organic compound called thymol. The health benefits of thyme are ascribed to its unique combination of phytochemicals that protect the lungs and the rest of the respiratory system. The chemical compounds naturally occurring in thyme are extracted and added to many health and hygiene products.
Thymus vulgaris, the common thyme largely utilized as a culinary herb, is the same species where most thyme extracts are derived from. However, other species that belong to the genus Thymus have also been observed to produce similar health benefits. There are over 300 species of thyme, but the most widely cultivated in addition to the common thyme are T. herba-barona, T. serpyllum, T. x citriodorus, and T. variegata, and T. zygis. These species are known for their medicinal properties and commonly used in herbal preparations.
Fights Respiratory Tract Infections
In the pharmaceutical industry, thyme is best known for its high terpene content. Terpenes are organic compounds found in many plants that are noted for their antiseptic properties. Thymus species are very rich in thymol, which accounts for more than 50 per cent in essential oil extracted from Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is historically noted for its ability to ward off infections.
In ancient times, crushed leaves were added to poultices to disinfect wounds and dried leaves were made into tea to fight off sore throat. Today thymol is the main ingredient of many hygiene products such as natural sanitizers and the mouthwash Listerine. Thymol is so effective that adding it to water and gargling with the solution fights off infections of the respiratory tract and relieves inflammation.
Displays Antispasmodic Properties
Upper respiratory tract infection is often accompanied by respiratory spasms characteristic of coughs. Thyme also contains flavonoids, such as apigenin, luteolin, naringenin, and thymonin, all of which are spasmolytic in nature. Symptoms of cough may vary, depending on the nature of the condition. Fits of severe coughing may result from different causes, but are often caused by bacterial infection. The flavonoids content of thyme is thought to act on pulmonary tissues and bronchial tubes, creating a soothing effect that results in the amelioration of respiratory spasms and the expulsion of bacteria.
Promotes the Discharge of Mucus
Thyme is a reputed expectorant with a long association with folk medicine of the Mediterranean region. For centuries, certain European communities have relied on thyme to effectively expel infected matter from the lungs and the bronchi. Herbal preparations come in tincture, tea, syrup, and even steam. The inhalation of thyme essential oil has been reported to be very helpful in easing the discharge of mucus. Thyme contains terpenoids in addition to thymol, which all act to increase the fluidity of mucus and exert antimicrobial activity when they reach the lungs, making it easier to cough up phlegm while disinfecting the respiratory tract at the same time.
Give Thyme a try and feel the difference!
How Do I Eliminate Parasites Naturally from the Colon?
April 11, 2011 09:36 PM
Intestinal parasites infect over 3 billion people worldwide. These worm-like organisms populate the gastrointestinal tract and interfere with the absorption of foods. In children they may slow the normal progress of physical growth and intellectual development. In adults they cause muscle weakness, vitamin deficiencies, and susceptibility to fatigue. People from all over the world may acquire parasites from contaminated water and infected soil. Deworming is an effective way to get rid of these parasites. Fortunately, there are many herbs reputed for their anthelmintic benefits.
Allium sativum, the popular spice known as garlic, is the best known anti-parasitic herb. Its wide distribution in every continent has enabled cultures from all over the world to take advantage of its medicinal uses. Garlic contains the organic compound allicin, which is the primary substance responsible for warding off worms and bugs that attack the plant. This is the same compound that destroys intestinal parasites, notably threadworms.
Juglans nigra, or black walnut, is recommended specifically for the removal of pathogenic microorganisms, yeast infections, and intestinal worms. It is a flowering tree that belongs to the hickory family, and anthelmintic extracts are derived from the juice of unripe walnuts. Its antifungal effects are very visible after topically applied to fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. When taken orally, it has been noted to be particularly helpful against tapeworms.
Hydrastis canadensis, called orangeroot or goldenseal in the vernacular, is historically noted for its ability to ease anomalies of the alimentary canal. It is rich in the alkaloid berberine, which restores health to the damaged epithelial tissues of the intestinal walls and expels invasive microorganisms. In recent years it has been observed to act against the parasites E. histolytica, G. lamblia, and Plasmodium as well as the bacterium E. coli.
Artemisium absinthium, better known as wormwood, is an ingredient of traditional herbal preparation used for deworming in the Mediterranean region. The discovery of sesquiterpene lactones in the plant explained its bitter taste and supported its centuries-old use as a vermifuge. Recent studies point to its activities inside the human body that inhibit growth of the parasites Giardia, Plasmodium, A. lumbricoides, and S. mansoni and effectively expel them.
Seeds of pumpkin cultivars that belong to the species Cucurbita pepo have a long-standing association with the natural expulsion of intestinal parasites. Pumpkin Seed oil has a milder effect than other herbs but guaranteed to be the safest of all anthelmintic herbal remedies. It is most effective against tapeworms and roundworms. For better results, it is consumed in large quantities with ample liquids, and often ground into a pulp beforehand.
Syzgium aromaticum, or Cloves, refers to the dried flowering buds of the plant commonly used as a spice. It is often linked to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine and known for the treatment of digestive ailments. Its oil has been proven effective against infections induced by certain strains of bacteria and fungi. It contains sesquiTerpenes that are believed to kill intestinal worms.
If you have worms, you can experience fatigue, malnutrition, and leaning development delays or mental foggyness. Taking an herbal remedy to help expel worms of any kind should be used with a yearly detox and cleans to maintain good health and wellness.
Fight Inflammation With Herbs from Planetary Herbals
June 02, 2010 04:39 PM
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health.
These lifestyles and environmental change can challenge immune health, so that the various components of the immune system are not able to carry out their protective functions. Or our immune systems can go into overdrive, often leading to a state called metabolic inflammation.
A Powerful Herbal Blend
Inflamma-Care is a potent, herbal response to the metabolic inflammation that can result from inappropriate immune response. The main component of inflama-care is the rhizome of the curcuma spicies, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines – inflammation messengers.
This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits pro-inflammatory enzymes, and ginger an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skullcap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
Inflama-care also contains systemic enzymes to clear and protect the arteries and circulatory system. Systemic enzymes like bromelain and papain cleanse the bloodstream and enable the blood to flow smoothly. A free-flowing bloodstream helps the body by circulating important nutrients to the cells while clearing the body of wastes.
Immune Activating Mushroom
Planetary Herbals also offers you new Full Spectrum Chaga in 1000mg tablets and a 1:4 liquid extract. Preliminary studies suggest that chaga triggers immune responses and protects the cells with antioxidant activity.
Chaga is a mushroom that is found attached to trees like birch, alder, beach, and other hardwoods, throughout the northern latitudes. A polyphore, the mushroom looks somewhat like coal – a brownish black mass often seen in tree trunks. In China, Siberia, Finland, Japan, Poland and North America, ancient and native peoples have long known the benefits of chaga. In an acient treaties, the Chinese monk shen nog declared in 100 BC that chaga is “a precious gift of nature.”
In modern research, chaga has been shown to have 215 phytonutrients, including 29 beta-glucans. Chaga also absorbs a nutrient from the outer birch tree bark: betulin, a natural anti-inflammatory. Among the components in chaga are triTerpenes, sterols, beta-glucans, flavonoids, melanins, polyphenols, saponins, lignin, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This fascinating combination of nutrients is being studied worldwide.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Both inflama-care and full spectrum chaga are formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. The result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
Fight Inflammation With Inflama-Care - Anti-inflammatory herbal combination
March 22, 2010 09:07 PM
Turmeric / Boswellia Complex
Our modern lives have untold benefits, as well as great challenges. Our dependence on man-made toxic chemicals, junk food, nutrient-imbalanced diets, and our stressful, sedentary lifestyles can alter our biochemical metabolism and affect our health. These unhealthy lifestyles and environmental changes have set our immune system on overdrive, a state call metabolic inflammation. Planetary Herbals Inflama-Care is a potent, herbal response to these modern challenges.
The Inflammation Cycle
As toxins and stress begin to alter our body chemistry and change the function of vital tissues, our body reacts with metabolic inflammation just as if it were being attacked. This reaction may result in a perpetual cycle of chemical imbalances and suboptimal health. Yet metabolic inflammation is often below the threshold of perception, not noticed or felt for years after its starts. It is only much later that the altered biochemistry and the system imbalances that it generates are noticed.
A Powerful Herbal Blend Inflama-Care helps support the body’s natural response to metabolic inflammation. The main component of the formula is the rhizome of the curcuma species, long used as a spice in India. Known worldwide as turmeric (Curcuma longa), it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the activities of cytokines—inflammation messengers. This world-renowned spice is supported by boswellia, which inhibits proinflammatory enzymes, and ginger, an antioxidant that inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene biosynthesis. Other herbs in the formula that inhibit inflammatory action include willow bark, Chinese skull cap, corydalis, holy basil, and hops.
The PhytoDynamic Difference
Planetary Herbals presents inflama-Care to help maintain the body’s biochemical balance and integrity. Inflama-care was formulated with a profound understanding of the ways in which plant compounds interact with human physiology. Planetary Herbals phytodynamic principles draw on herbal tradition, scientific research, and a level of clinical expertise unmatched in the natural products industry. Thie result: herbal products unsurpassed for quality and consumer satisfaction.
August 13, 2009 12:09 PM
The mugwort plant is one of several species in the genus Artemisia. In Northern America, this plant is considered to be an invasive weed. The plant is very common and can be found growing on nitrogenous soils, like weedy uncultivated areas such as waste places and roadsides. The mugwort plant is a tall herbaceous perennial plant that grows from one to two meters tall and has a woody root. The leaves, which are between five to twenty centimeters in length, are dark green, pinnate, with dense hairs on the underside. The stem has a red-purplish tinge. The flowers are rather small with many yellow or dark red petals. This plant can be found flowering from July to September.
The mugwort plant is native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Sometimes, it is referred to as the felon herb, St John’s plant, chrysanthemum weed, and wild wormwood. The plant’s root has a history of medicinal use. Mugwort was used in the ancient world as a treatment for fatigue and to guard travelers from evil sprits and wild animals. Roman soldiers are said to have placed mugwort in their sandals to keep their feet energized. One could curb fatigue by chewing mugwort leaves. Sometimes, mugwort is confused with wormwood.
Mugwort is popular in witchcraft. It is said to promote lucid dreaming and astral travel. Smoking or eating mugwort before going to sleep is supposed to make dreams much more intense. It also helps the dreamer to remember them upon waking. This herb contains wormwood oil, thujone, flavonoids, triTerpenes, and coumarin derivatives. Thujone is toxic. For this reasons, expectant mothers should avoid consuming large amounts of mugwort. Due to toxicity concerns, the plant is recommended less often now.
In traditional Chinese medicine, mugwort still has a role in an aged, pulverized, and recompounded form. In this form, it is used to correct breech birth presentation. Additionally, mugwort can cause uterine contractions, so it has been used to induce abortion.
The leaves of the mugwort plant have been recommended for colic, diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps, weak digestion, worm infestation, and persistent vomiting. This herb has also been used to stimulate the secretion of bile and gastric juices. It has also been used as a laxative, liver tonic, and sedative. Mugwort promotes circulation. Additionally, it helps with hysteria, epilepsy, convulsions in children, and menstrual problems. This herb has been used as a tonic to boost energy and strength. It has been used, combined with other ingredients, for neuroses, neurasthenia, depression, hypochondria, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety.
In summary, the root and leaves of the mugwort plant are used to provide abortifacient and anthelminthic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are lipophilic flavonoids and sesquiterpene lactones. Primarily, mugwort is extremely beneficial in treating anxiety, colic, constipation, depression, diarrhea, digestion, epilepsy, hysteria, insomnia, menstrual problems, vomiting, and worms. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by mugwort, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Holy Basil Extract
November 28, 2008 10:04 AM
It has been proposed that holy basil extract can help you cope with stress, and an investigation into the active components of the plant does indicate that there could be a scientific basis behind this use of it. This is in line with most traditional Ayurvedic medicines, whose benefits have been supported by modern scientific evidence.
Holy basil, otherwise known as Tulsi or Tulasi in Sanskrit and Hindi, is correctly Ocimum tenuiflorum, an aromatic member of the Lamiaceae family just as the more common form of basil is (Ocimum basilicum). Holy basil is cultivated for several reasons, the major ones being for its essential oils, for culinary use, religious use and for its medicinal properties. It is grown right across South Asia. Thai holy basil is used in Thai cookery while other forms play an important role within some of the traditions of Hinduism and is found profusively around Hindu temples.
Holy basil extract has been used for thousands of years for its healing and medicinal properties, and is mentioned in the ancient Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita. It is written that it is used to balance a number of bodily processes and believed to be involved in promoting longevity. It is considered to be able to allow the body to adapt to stress and is also used to treat a large number of different medical conditions, from headaches to malaria and heart disease.
Most modern medical studies, however, have been carried out on animals rather than human subjects, so definitive evidence is lacking, and while there is evidence that tulsi extract might be an effective antioxidant and help in the control of blood sugar, there is also compelling evidence that it might be able to counteract the effects of stress. First, let's have a look at the active ingredients of holy basil extract, and how they fit in with the beneficial medical properties claimed.
One of the more important components of tulsi is eugenol, or 1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-4-allylbenzene. Eugenol is a phenylpropanoid, also found in clove oil, and is a COX-2 inhibitor that is used in medicine as a local anesthetic. Two others are the triTerpenes oleanolic and ursolic acids, which possess anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. The pentacyclic ursolic acid can inhibit the development of various forms of cancers through the inhibition of the STAT3 pathway that is responsible for several types of human cancer that have poor prognosis.
Also present in holy basil extract is the polyphenol Rosmarinic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that is also present in herbs such as rosemary, oregano and thyme. Rosmarinic acid will also contribute to the anti-inflammatory properties of holy basil, and many of the antibacterial properties it is said to possess could be due to carvacrol, a terpene that damages bacterial cell membranes and inhibits the growth of a number of bacterial strains.
Another component of Tulsi is the sesquiterpene B-caryophyllene, also contained in clove oil, and also possessing anti-inflammatory properties in mice. It is unknown whether or not these properties are transferred to humans, but the evidence of the use of the plant is that they are. Beta-caryophyllene is an FDA approved food additive, and as such, a dietary cannabinoid. Apegenin, also present in tulsi, is a flavanoid and another strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
With all of these ingredients that have proven health benefits, it is little wonder that holy basil is claimed to have the health benefits that it has. But what about its effects on blood sugar that it is said to control? It's probably not a coincidence that many other herbs that contain eugenol, such as cloves, are also claimed to have the same moderating effect on blood sugar levels. Not only that, but since diabetes is an inflammatory condition, it is not surprising that holy basil extract, that is rich in ant-inflammatories, should possess this property.
The main theory is that many of the components of holy basil can help support the beta cell function of the pancreas, and so enhance the secretion of insulin. In one of the few controlled human tests, a group of 40 people with Type 2 diabetes stopped taking their normal medication seven days before the test. They were then given holy basil leaves for an initial period of 5 days. Half were then given 2.5g powder holy basil leaf and the other half a placebo for 4 weeks. The two groups then switched over for 4 weeks - the first being on the placebo, and the second taking the holy basil.
With the first group, the average fasting glucose level dropped by 25.9%, from 234.5 mg/dl to 99.7. After switching to the placebo for 4 weeks it increased to 115.6 mg/dl (15.9% increase). The fasting blood glucose of the second group dropped from an average of 132.4 to 123.2 (6.9%), and then when on the holy basil leaf, dropped further to 97.2 mg/dl (21.1%).
This demonstrates clearly that holy basil leaf reduces blood sugar significantly faster than fasting, and so is beneficial to Type 2 diabetics. Perhaps more such studies should be carried out to confirm these important results, which appear to conform to the theory that the components of the plant should have this type of effect on blood sugar levels.
How about stress? Tulsi is said to particularly useful to people suffering from stress. The human stress response is an inflammatory cascade in which the immune system reacts by attempting to repair the stressed areas. If this response gets out of hand the stress can be exacerbated, and it is important that the stress response is carried put at an appropriate level.
A COX-2 modulator can prevent the inflammatory cascade by inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme that causes it. Since eugenol is a COX-2 inhibitor, it can help to keep the body healthy and prevent the stress reaction. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of many of the components of holy basil extract can help to prevent the body being stressed by antioxidants and by today's environmental pollution and it also possesses antiviral and antibacterial properties to help reduce illness.
It is also an adaptogen, which enhances your natural response to emotional stress and helps your body functional normally when stressed. Studies have indicated that holy basil extracts can reduce the levels of corticosterone, a hormone responsible for stress, and improve your mood and mental clarity. Longer term effects can include memory improvement and a reduction in the risk of age-related mental conditions.
The active factors involved in the reduction of mental stress, and an increase in mental clarity, are the essential oils that tulsi contains, and their chemical components: particularly eugenol and caryophyllene. Studies have shown these to elevate the spirit and the mood, while the terpene acids, such as ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, can help to improve your body's response to stress.
There are very few doubts of the effect of holy basil extract (or tulsi extract and leaf) in improving mood, mental clarity and reducing the effects of stress, or of its other extensive beneficial medical effects. More studies might be needed to prove them to the medical community, but even now people suffering from diabetes mellitus are benefiting from its moderating effect on blood sugar levels, and once again the application of Ayurvedic medicine is being proved as effective in the modern era as it was in the ancient world.
Dandelion Root Tea
July 05, 2008 09:53 AM
Just about everybody knows what a dandelion is. In the western world it is a weed, but in many other societies it is an important herb that is used to treat many common diseases and conditions of the human body.
It is also a food, being used in salads and the roots are also used by some as a coffee substitute the same as chicory. It is also used to make a herbal tea, and most people have likely heard of dandelion tea. However, its medicinal properties are not so well known, even though it has been use for hundreds, if not thousands, of years for the treatment of many conditions including those associated with the gall bladder, liver and kidneys.
However, that is not all, and there are several more traditional uses of dandelion in the folk medicine of many different countries including conditions as diverse as water retention and eczema. So, taking all of this into consideration, what exactly are the main benefits of dandelion to the body and what is it that provides these benefits?
Dandelion contains its fair share of minerals and vitamins, and is rich in vitamin C of course, with its strong antioxidant properties. It also contains the antioxidant vitamin A together with several B vitamins and the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, which is so important for the absorption of calcium by the kidneys and into the bone structure. The minerals it contains is like an encyclopedia entry of minerals important to the human body. It’s not so much what minerals dandelion contains, as what it doesn’t contain.
The list includes phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, silicon, manganese and boron, and the organic nutrients include lecithin, carotenoids, terpenoids, tannins, sterols, choline, inulin, aspargine and so on. It would take a whole book to describe the health benefits of each of these, but an attempt will be made later to discuss the more important of them.
Suffice it to say that the list contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and substances that help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and also maintain the health of your blood and major organs. However, the effect of dandelion on the liver and the digestive system are due largely to substances known collectively as taraxacin. That is what gives dandelion its bitter taste.
What was once known as taraxin, is now known to consist of sesquiterpene lactones known as eudesmanolide and germacranolide, which although claimed to be unique to the dandelion, are very similar to other sesquiTerpenes found in chicory. In fact, dicaffeolquinic acid and chicoric acid (dicaffeoyltartaric acid) have been found to comprise a significant proportion of the extract from dandelion roots, together with a number of phenolic acids and flavanoids. Each of these, of course, is important and effective antioxidants, responsible for many positive health effects in the body.
Among the more important of these is the stimulation of the circulation of the blood throughout the body. The sesquiTerpenes are also believed to support the activity of the pancreas, and the presence of so many strong antioxidant species within the leaves and roots of the dandelion explains the traditional use of dandelion for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Antioxidants support the immune system that causes inflammation when it is under stress. Studies of rats have indicated that dandelion is effective in reducing acute pancreatis, which is itself an inflammatory condition. The large querticin glycoside and flavanoid content of dandelion root extract posses anti-inflammatory properties, and suddenly dandelion is beginning to take on the appearance of a ‘wonder plant’.
However, let’s get away from the technical stuff for a while, and check out exactly what you can use dandelion for. Pregnant and post-menopausal women can gain the benefit of all these nutrients detailed above by taking dandelion extract, and it also has a diuretic effect. Although mild, this can help to remove excess water from the body, and helps to reduce blood pressure and the effects of heart problems. LDL cholesterol levels can be reduced by virtue of its anti-oxidant properties, and can help to resolve minor digestive complaints.
Traditionally it is claimed to have been used as a laxative and a cure for rheumatism. The latter can be explained by its antioxidant effects, and the way the sesquiTerpenes reduce the inflammation associated with rheumatism. It is this inflammation of the tissues that causes so much of the swelling and pain of rheumatism and arthritis. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce this effect.
Dandelion is also believed to stimulate the flow of bile from the gall bladder to the duodenum, and help promote the digestion of fats and oils, thus alleviating many of the digestive problems associated with a fatty diet. This also appears to have the effect of stimulating the appetite, and dandelion juice is frequently drunk before a meal for these reasons. It is believed to help bladder and kidney stones, and also helps to alleviate infections of the urinary tract.
Although dandelion is normally safe to take, those with problems associated with the bile ducts should not take it, and if you are already on diuretic drugs, or any medicines designed to lower your blood pressure, you should stay clear of dandelion extract. The same is true if you are taking lithium for manic depression since some of the components of dandelion juice can exaggerate the side effects. It is also recommended that diabetics do not use dandelion extract, and neither should anyone on blood thinning drugs such as Coumadin, or any other form of warfarin.
Although dandelion can be a very effective natural remedy for many conditions, you should always refer to your physician before taking it, since it could interfere with any medications you are currently taking. Your doctor might also be aware of certain medical conditions you have that, while you are not being treated for, could deteriorate in the presence of one of the constituents of dandelion extract.
Although all of this could suggest that dandelion is dangerous to take, in fact what it indicates is that it is very effective against many conditions, and that taking it could lead to the effects of an overdose of the treatment you are already on. Had it not so many contra-indications, dandelion wouldn’t be as effective at doing what it does.
April 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Butterbur extract is taken mainly from the rhizome, root and leaves of the butterbur, a member of the daisy family. They are very hardy and have creeping underground rhizomes and large leaves like those of rhubarb. Another name given to it is the sweet Coltsfoot, and they generally grow in the temperate climates of Europe, North Africa and South west Asia. They like damp conditions, specifically marshes and ditches, and also riverbanks where there are always plentiful supplies of moisture.
It has been used by Native Americans for headaches and inflammation, and has been shown to be an effective remedy for hay fever and to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps. Butterbur has also been used throughout the middle Ages to treat fever and the plague, and has been recorded in the seventeenth century as being used for asthma, wounds and coughs. However, one of its most important applications is in restore bladder function in the incontinent and semi-incontinent.
Urinary incontinence is typified by an unusually high frequency of urination – more than 8 times a day, an immediate strong urge to pass water or leaking and involuntary urination. Any two of these three indicates urinary incontinence. As people age their bladders become smaller, and by definition the periods between urination will reduce. This does not, however, suggest that bladder size is the cause of urinary incontinence.
Urination is caused by the contraction of the smooth layered muscle that surrounds the bladder, called the detrusor, a contraction in turn caused by neurons both in the brain and in the detrusor itself. This naturally contracts and expands according to the volume of urine in the bladder, and once the bladder is about half full the brain will tell you that the detrusor is ready to contract to expel the urine. However, if the time is not convenient, the cortex will suppress this desire until a more convenient time.
In incontinence, the desire is suppressed but the neurons still fire to contract the detrusor, expelling urine at inconvenient moments. Butterbur contains the sesquiTerpenes petasin and isopetasin, which are known to reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissue and in vascular walls. It can therefore be used to control the involuntary spasms that cause urine leakage or expulsion against the patient’s wishes. These sesquiTerpenes are at highest concentration in the roots of the plant.
The effect that the sesquiTerpenes have in inhibiting the synthesis of leukotriene in leukocytes tends to support this effect, since leukotrienes can cause contraction of vascular and smooth muscle tissue. Not only this, but the spasmolytic effect could also be explained by the inhibition of cellular calcium caused by the petasin isomers.
Many studies have indicated that the effectiveness of butterbur extract is also useful in the prevention of migraines. There has been a lot of research carried out on the use of butterbur extract on migraine sufferers, and the effective dose appears to about 75 mg twice daily. There is little evidence of it being a cure but as a prophylactic there appears no doubt of its efficacy: there have been too many positive results against placebos for its effect to be deniable.
It is significant that leukotriene can cause constriction of the small blood vessels in the veins, and so affect the flow of blood. Butterbur, in inhibiting its biochemical production, helps to keep these blood vessels open. Lekotrienes are also important components of inflammation, and altogether it appears that whatever the real cause of migraine, the petasin isomers in butterbur have an effect in inhibiting its initiation. Add to that the potential reduction in calcium content that can cause blood vessels to become less flexible, and the argument for its effectiveness is both irrefutable and well explained.
In one example of such a double blind study that is representative of many, a group of patients given 50 mg butterbur extract twice a day for twelve weeks experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of attacks, a reduction in the severity of the attacks they did have, and a reduction in the length of the attacks. Although the vascular theory of the cause of migraine is no longer supported, maintenance of the vascular system appears to at least reduce the likelihood of attacks.
The effect of butterbur on asthma and other allergic reactions is also well documented. This again is due to its anti-spasmodic properties and inhibitory effect on the inflammatory immune response through the inhibition of leukotriene synthesis and the consequent positive effect on the metabolism of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins also constrict vascular smooth muscle cells, regulate the mediation of the inflammatory response and constrict general smooth muscle cells. All of these can lead a to a variety of disorders cause by smooth muscle spasms in additional to urinary incontinence, such as menstrual cramps, liver and gastrointestinal disorders and asthmatic conditions.
In one study of allergic rhinitis, administration of butterbur extract appeared to result in a reduction in the histamine and leukotriene content of nasal fluids and no difference was noticed between this treatment and histamine treatment. This was a useful study because histamines causes drowsiness and butterbur can be used as a substitute for histamine without the sedative effect. A study in Germany in 1993 has shown that the stomach ulceration caused by the anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis was reduced by the administration of butterbur extract
Cetirizine is a commonly prescribed prescription treatment for allergic conditions, and studies comparing that with butterbur demonstrated them to be equally effecting in reducing the symptoms typical of allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. 50% of the patients in the group took each and there was no difference in results. Again it was explained by the petasin limiting the production of leukotriene and histamine, both of which are produced by the immune response and promote mucous secretions and inflammation. They also constrict airways that can be serious to asthma sufferers
These studies are simply providing scientific evidence and explanations for the tradition use of this plant for such conditions. Butterbur has been used for centuries to treat such conditions all over Western Europe, and once again the use of traditional medicine has been supported by modern investigative techniques.
Third- The Science (Putting It All Together) Boswellia & Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:44 PM
Frankincense has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and is even mentioned in the Bible. The trunk exudes a resin containing mono- and sesquiTerpenes that possess powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They are also well known antiseptics and astringents, and support the immune and respiratory systems.
These Terpenes are commonly referred to as boswellian acids, and consist of a carboxylated pentacyclic triterpene with at least one more functional group. Both the alpha and beta acid have a hydroxyl (-OH) grouping, and there are also the acetyl (CH3CO-) equivalents with an acetyl group replacing the OH. There are other so-called-boswellian acids, and it is believed that they all play a part in the anti-inflammatory properties of the resin.
The acetyl derivatives are thought to be involved in the death of some cancer cells, particularly those involve in brain and colon tumors, and also leukemia. The way in which they achieve this appears to be a programmed progression that ends with the dying out of the cells rather than a violently destructive mechanism, which lends credence to the Ayurvedic belief that the treatment is a natural one designed by nature.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the acetyl triTerpenes are due to their effect on leukotrienes that sustain the inflammatory reactions of many allergic reactions and also of asthma. They appear to inhibit the enzyme elastase in leukocytes; this is a crucial enzyme in the production of the chemicals that promote inflammation.
It has been established that the inflammatory response of the immune system is due to the action of specific enzymes, so it stands to reason that if you can inhibit these enzymes, then you will also inhibit the immune response to specific initiators and so reduce the pain involved. Bosellian acid in the form of triTerpenes appears to contain these inhibitors, and this would appear to explain its effectiveness. Pinene and phellandrene are among the Terpenes isolated from Boswellia.
A standardised dose of 60% - 65% of Bosellian acids is generally used, so if you are purchasing Boswellia this is what you should be looking for. Keep in mind that it is intended to treat inflammation, ands that inflammation is an indicator that something with your body is not quite right. Therefore, while inflammation is painful, and Boswellia may help, you should also treat the cause of the inflammation by treating the immune system.
Green Coffee For Protection Against Oxidative Stress
November 17, 2007 11:46 AM
It is recorded that coffee drinking originated in Ethiopia in North East Africa, from where Arab traders introduced the plant to the Middle East. From there it moved to Turkey in the 15th century, where it was highly prized as a daily beverage due its invigorating properties. It is also believed that the infamous Captain John Smith introduced the plant to Virginia.
The Brazilian coffee trade was due largely to the introduction of the bean to that country by the French in 1727, and the Boston Tea Party of 1773 rendered it the only non-alcoholic drink worth consuming by the patriots of 18th century America. Now over 50% of Americans drink coffee daily, although this seems a somewhat conservative estimate, and the tea houses of England have largely been replaced by coffee shops and the ubiquitous Starbucks.
So much for the history of a beverage that has been prized for its stimulant properties, but recent research has established that not only is coffee a stimulating drink, but that it is a strong antioxidant due to its polyphenol content. However, not all forms of coffee have this property, only the green coffee bean before it has been roasted. Polyphenols are very powerful antioxidants that scavenge the free radicals that destroy body cells, and not only accelerate aging but also threaten the health of your cardiovascular system and the health of other major organs.
Free radicals are compounds with a spare electron. Normally the electrons in all stable molecules come in pairs, and any free electron without a partner is like a lovelorn bachelor. It will seek a mate, and take it from wherever it can find one. Usually it secures its partner by stealing an electron from one of our body cells. This can totally destroy the cell, as it might anybody who has its partner stolen, and cell destruction is not a good thing. It is the destruction of body cells that promotes the appearance that aging brings: the wrinkles and the loss of energy that is generated by healthy cellular activity.
Antioxidants destroy these free radicals, and come in a number of different guises. Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful antioxidants, as are many of the compounds that are essential to our biochemistry such as beta carotene and polyphenols. These polyphenols are found in practically all plants to a greater or lesser degree, and another rich source is grapes, and those found in green coffee beans are what are known as hydroxycinnamic acids the most abundant of which is caffeic acid. Another is chlorogenic acid, and together they form a very potent team in preventing the oxidation by free radicals of LDL (low density lipoprotein).
Low density lipoproteins are those that carry cholesterol from the liver to areas of the body that need first aid due to damage, such the arterial walls. However, this can be attacked by free radicals and oxidized which results in the deposition of excess cholesterol that can build up till it eventually constricts, and sometimes completely blocks, the major cardiac arteries. This is a serious condition known as atherosclerosis that can eventually lead to cardiac disease and arrest or to strokes if the artery is in the brain.
Not only do chlorogenic and caffeic acid help to prevent this from occurring, but they also help to prevent the cellular degeneration caused by the free radicals. They must be extracted from the green coffee bean because roasting or heating in any way, including brewing, destroys them. In fact, brewed coffee contains some potentially harmful substances called diTerpenes that some believe can increase your chances of coronary disease by up to fifth if you drink coffee regularly over your lifetime.
It is also believed that green coffee extract can reduce the risk of diabetes due to its effect on your blood glucose levels. Evidence is coming to light that some polyphenols, including chlorogenic acid, might have inhibiting properties on the activity of glucose-6-phosphate, otherwise known as Robison Ester, which is involved in the metabolism of blood glucose and which is affected by diabetes which reduces its concentration. Chlorogenic acid is though to be able to redress this imbalance and not only reduce blood glucose levels, but increase the glycogen stored in the liver as an emergency energy source for the body.
Green coffee bean extract also possesses other beneficial properties, not the least of which is its effect in increasing the metabolism of fats in relation to carbohydrates. This assists in weight loss and also increases stamina. The decrease in the risk of diabetes of up to 50% in men, and slightly less in women, could be due to a combination of the regulation of glucose-6-phosphate and the regulation of blood glucose levels and glucose and weight management in general. The vast majority of diabetes patients are overweight.
In animal studies, the presence of chlorogenic acid appears to reduce the hyperglycemic peak that arises through the action of glucagon, a hormone used to counter hypoglycemia. The fact that chlorogenic acid reduced this sugar peak indicates its potential use in reducing abnormally high blood glucose levels. Another effect of this was an increase in the animal’s glycogen level and in the level of glucose-6-phosphate in the liver.
This indicates a reduction in glycogenolysis, by which glycogen is ultimately converted to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose, thus increasing the blood glucose levels and also of gluconeogenesis which is the production of glucose from carbohydrates and some glucogenic amino acids. In other words, green coffee bean extract can help to regulate blood glucose levels by preventing the liver from producing glucose from glycogen and carbohydrates.
However, the biochemistry apart, it must be stressed that these benefits are not obtained by drinking coffee, and it has to be repeated that the active agents in providing them are destroyed by the roasting and brewing processes. It is only the green coffee beans that can be used for protection of oxidative stress of human body cells and the gradual degradation into premature aging and many other related conditions.
Natural Remedies For Bumps, Bruises, Scrapes, and Insect Bites
November 10, 2007 09:52 AM
Whether you are a child or an adult you are as susceptible to the damage done to skin and soft tissue by hard activities as anybody else. So what can you look for if you decide have a day outdoors and face the dangers that you will come across that want to leave you bruised ,scratched, scraped, cut and itching from all the falls, knocks, stings and bites that most people experience when they are more used to spending their time indoors?
Bruises are caused by a knock, and can happen without you even being aware of it. The blood vessels get damaged and leak. If you notice it right away, you can lessen the degree of bruising by applying ice or cold water to constrict the capillaries and cut down the flow of blood leaking from them. Some people bruise easier than others, and excessive bruising for no apparent reason could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition and you should see your doctor.
A bump, or lump, can appear for many reasons, but generally settles down after a while. It can simply be the body's reaction to a hard knock that did not damage the blood vessels, but prompted a natural swelling to protect the area. They can also be caused by insect bites. You don’t always see these little pests – they have lunch then zip off without you even being aware of it until the area begins to itch and swell. However, if you have a lump under the armpit, in your neck or behind your ears it could be a swollen gland and you should contact your physician.
Everybody gets minor scrapes now and again, and when you spend any time outside you can get bitten by insects such as mosquitoes, midges, blackflies, horse flies – you name it, they will lunch on you as on any other animals. You can also get stung by vegetable nasties, though if you do then look around for a remedy. Strangely, many stinging plants have another plant close by that can be used as a remedy. This is likely because, after being stung, people just rubbed whatever was handy on the area and eventually these remedies were discovered.
Thus, dock leaves are often found beside nettles, and touch-me-not beside poison ivy. These are good natural remedies for stings caused through contact with these particular plants, and there are many other natural remedies that can be used for the other everyday hurts that people receive just for carrying out normal activities outside in a natural environment. Let’s have a look at some of the natural remedies that people have used through the ages, and that are still used to this day, even in proprietary creams and salves.
Calendula, or marigold, is very effective in relieving skin irritations and inflammation. It can be applied topically to relieve the symptoms of bruises, cuts and scrapes, and also for the initial treatment of burns and scalds. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on inflamed or infected cuts and skin lesions. These properties are believed to be due to the high level of flavonoids found in calendula that have anti-oxidant properties and help the immune function to do its work. Among these is the powerful Quercetin with its strong anti-histamine properties.
It also appears to possess anti-viral properties, though the reason for this is not clear and is still under investigation. Marigold also contains carotenoids and triterpene saponins, both of which will contribute to the medicinal effects. The dried flowers or leaves, or the fresh flowers, can be used and it is an old adage that pus will not form where marigold is used. It is also good for the treatment of insect bites and boils, where it appears to either prevent infection or clear up any that are there. It has also been proven to prevent the seeping of blood from the capillaries in scrapes, and to promote blood clotting.
Calendula was used during the First World War by British doctors to dress wounds and prevent infection. A dressing steeped in a mild solution of calendula extract was enough, and it likely saved many lives.
Another plant with similar properties is the alpine Arnica, which is useful to reduce the swelling and pain of bruises. It works simply by rubbing the leaves on the area when you have a fall or a hard knock. The active ingredients here are again flavonoids, and sesquiterpene lactones along with tannins, carotenoids and thymol. These, along with the flavonoids, stimulate the circulation and carry away any fluids trapped in bruises and swellings.
The sesquiterpene lactones act as anti-inflammatories and boost the immune system, helping to reduce swelling and pain. In fact terpenoid chemicals are common to many of the herbs and flowers that have found a use in the relief of pain in swelling and bruises. The same is true of Ledum, better known as Rosemary, traditionally used for the treatment of burns, ulcers dandruff, and dry skin and to get rid of lice among many other internal and topical applications.
The active ingredients of rosemary (ledum) include mono-, di- and triTerpenes and also the ubiquitous flavonoids and camphor and linalool. If you wash down burns, grazes and cuts with a wash of ledum extract, then you will protect the patient from infection at the time when they are most vulnerable to infectious agents.
Hypericum has uses as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and is therefore useful for exactly the same conditions as all of the above. It also has astringent properties, so that like Calendula, Hypericum can be used to prevent the capillary seepage that frequently leads to infections. The active ingredients here are apparently flavonoids again, with their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Considering that they are among the most common antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the plant world; it is no coincidence that flavonoids just happen to be contained in the vast majority of natural treatments for scratches, grazes and bruises. They reduce swelling, pain and inflammation, and also act as antiseptics by disrupting the cell walls of bacteria.
Hypericum is well known by its alternative name St. John’s Wort, where it is used in the treatment of depression. However, the active ingredients here are mainly hyperforin and hypericin, which have little to do with the topical benefits of the plant.
If you have suffered from insect bites and stings, then you would have been thankful had you brought some Apis Mellifica with you. Obtained from bees, this again contains Terpenes among many other chemicals, and is used paradoxically in the treatment of bee stings and other insect stings and bites. It’s amazing how many of these old remedies contain Terpenes of various types and also flavonoid chemicals. It is useful for most rashes that have raised puffy lumps, such as hives.
Finally, if you manage to stay out without getting any bruises, abrasions, scratches or bites, you will be very lucky. However, if you get sunburn through being out in the sun too long, just look around for some stinging nettle, or Urtica. The leaf contains polysaccharides and lectins that stop the production of prostaglandins in the body that cause inflammation. Your sunburn will ease and you be able to return home relatively symptom free from your day outdoors.
These natural remedies can be hard to find growing naturally due to many factors such as the time of year or your geographical location these herbs may grow in. Alternative sources are available at your local health food store where you can find all the above mentioned herbs in ointments and creams specifically formulated for your needs.
Butterbur Extract Fact Sheet
December 08, 2005 04:22 PM
Butterbur Extract Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 8/1/05
LIKELY USERS: People wanting to support healthy blood flow to the brain and healthy neurological function 1-6,10 Those maintaining normal seasonal immune responses 7-10
KEY INGREDIENTS: 75 mg of Guaranteed Potency Butterbur Root (Petasites hybridus) Extract, min. 15 SesquiTerpenes as Petasines; 200 mg of Feverfew Leaf (Tanacetum parthenium) min. 0.4% Parthenolides
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is a native shrub of Europe, North America, and Asia that has been used by herbalists for centuries. Modern scientific studies have demonstrated that Butterbur supports healthy blood flow to the brain and healthy neurological function.1-6, 10 In addition, Butterbur may help to maintain balanced seasonal immune responses.7-10 In a synergistic base of guaranteed potency Feverfew leaf.11-26
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT USE INFORMATION & QUALITY ISSUES: NOW Butterbur is free of harmful levels of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids (PAs), the undesirable compounds naturally found in Butterbur, so it is safe to use regularly.
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: Take one VCap one to three times per day, or as directed by your physician.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Magnesium, Ulcetrol, B-2, B-12, Fish Oil (EPA, DHA), SAM-e, Ginger, Ginkgo Biloba
SPECIFIC: Do not discontinue use abruptly; taper off use if discontinuing. Discontinue use at least 14 days before surgery or oral surgery. Use with caution if you have ragweed allergies or blood disorders and let your physician know that you plan to use it before you take it. May be contraindicated for pregnant women.
GENERAL: Pregnant and lactating women and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. This information is based on my own knowledge and references, and should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as a specific product claim. Information given here may vary from what is shown on the product label because this represents my own professional experience and understanding of the science underlying the formula and ingredients. When taking any new formula, use common sense and cautiously increase to the full dose over time.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. REFERENCES:
1. Diener HC, Rahlfs VW, Danesch U (2004) The First Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Special Butterbur Root Exract for the Preventio of Migraine: Reanalysis of Efficacy Criteria. Eur Neurol 51:89-97.
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
July 27, 2005 03:49 PM
Gugulipid: Controlling cholesterol levels
An ancient Indian plant contains a compound that can help reduce cholesterol as effectively as drugs, but without side effects.
By Michael T. Murray, N.D.
An ancient medicinal plant from India shows promise in the fight against heart disease. The mukul myrrh tree (Commiphora mukul) secretes a resinous material called gum guggul. The classic ayurvedic medical text, the “Suchruttasamhita,” describes guggul’s role in the treatment of obesity and other lipid (fat) disorders.
Comprehensive scientific studies have investigated the clinical effectiveness of gum guggul in disorders of lipid (fat) metabolism. Specifically, researchers have studies this extract’s ability to support healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and promote weight loss. As a result of this research, scientists have developed a natural substance-gugulipid-that appears to be safer than many other cholesterol-lowering agents, including niacin.
What is gugulipid?
Gugulipid is the purified standardized extract of crude gum guggul (oleoresin). The active components of gugulipid are Z-guggulsterone and E-guggulsterone. Other components of gugulipid include various diTerpenes, sterols, steroids, esters, and fatty alcohols.
Gugulipid is preferred to crude gum guggul because it is safer and more effective. In early studies, gum guggul was linked with mild side effects such as skin rashes, gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. Apparently, the insoluble irritants of gum guggul are removed in the production of the soluble gugulipid.
This just one example of how science is advancing in the efficacy of herbal therapy. Through careful scientific study, researchers developed a safer and superior form of natural plant medicine.
Numerous scientific studies have shown gugulipid effectively supports healthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. Gugulipid supports low levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol has been shown to protect against heart disease caused by atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Research indicated gugulipid itself appears to help reduce atherosclerotic plaques.
Gugulipid has been shown to improve the heart’s metabolism and act as an antioxidant, protecting the heart against free radicals. Gugulipid appears to help inhibit platelet aggregation (clumping of red blood cells), an important factor in preventing stroke or embolism.
According to research findings, gugulipid promotes the liver’s uptake of LDL cholesterol from the blood, thus increasing the liver’s metabolism of LDL cholesterol. This function accounts for gugulipid’s ability to support healthy cholesterol levels.
Because of gugulipid’s effects on heart function and cholesterol, this natural compound appears to be especially useful for individuals with cardiovascular disease. In addition, guggulsterone appears to stimulate thyroid function. This steroid stimulating effect may account for some of gugulipid’s impact on lipid levels and weight loss.
Gugulipid’s impact on cholesterol and triglycerides is quite startling. When the diet is supplemented with gugulipid, cholesterol levels typically drop 14 to 27 percent in four to twelve weeks, while triglyceride levels drop 22 to 30 percent. Those are extremely significant reductions.
The effect of gugulipid on serum cholesterol and triglycerides compares favorably to that of lipid-lowering drugs. Clofibrate and cholestyramine lower cholesterol levels from six to 12 percent and 20 to 27 percent respectively, but are associated with some degree of toxicity. In contrast, no side effects have been reported with gugulipid. IN addition to the excellent safety demonstrated in human studies, gugulipid has been shown to be nontoxic in safety studies on laboratory animals.
Appropriate dosage of gugulipid depends on its guggulsterone content. Clinical studies indicate that 500 mg of gugulipid with a guggulsterone content of 25 mg taken three times per day effectively supports healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
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Circulatory System Enhancer
June 25, 2005 11:52 AM
Circulatory System Enhancer
An article by Frank Murray in the April 1989 issue of Better Nutrition says, “Dr. Huber and Kidd concur with other researchers that ginkgo biloba dilates the blood vessels, allowing greater blood flow to the tissues. It also provides better drainage of waste products, especially through arteries that have been partially blocked because of atherosclerosis.”
The article goes on to discuss the fact that ginkgo also inhibits the clumping of blood platelets, which can contribute to heart and artery problems. When circulating platelets stick together on worn are as found on the walls of aging vessels, clots and blockages can form. Anytime this happens, heart attack and stroke are possibilities. Ginkgolides are unique twenty-carbon Terpenes which inhibit PA F (platelet activating factor), which controls the formation of clots. PAF also plays an important role in other disorders such as asthma, shock, anaphylaxis, renal disease, graft rejection, CNS disorders and a number of inflammatory conditions.
A Natural Vasodilator
Ginkgo affects the lining of the blood vessels and acts to dilate them through a chemical constituent which stimulates the release of a certain factor. Tests have shown that ginkgo extract promotes better venous tone, which helps to clear the blood of toxic metabolites that collect when blood flow is diminished.
Apparently Oriental herbalists used the ginkgo leaf for arterial circulatory problems. Blood vessels can constrict in cases of diabetes, Raynaud’s disease, gangrene, angina, and intermittent claudication. Ginkgo can help to relieve leg cramping by facilitating better circulation to the limbs. In addition, it increases the circulation of blood to the retina and can help to prevent macular degeneration. Concerning heart function, some studies suggest that ginkgo can help normalize heartbeat. Research has shown that ginkolide contained in ginkgo can be as effective as some pharmaceutical drugs in treating severely irregular heartbeats.8
Because ginkgo can effectively reduce blood cell clumping, it can help prevent some heart - related disorders such as congestive heart disease. Circulatory impairment is at “the heart” of cardiovascular disease and ginkgo specifically acts to enhance circulation. Se veral laboratory tests have found that ginkgo helps the heart contract more effectively after times of stress by reducing the formation of oxygen free radicals. This protective effect can help prevent damage to heart muscle which may become oxygen deprived.
June 25, 2005 10:57 AM
Ginkgo has achieved unprecedented popularity within the last decade and has become a familiar household term. Because interest in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s has escalated over the last decade, the biochemical capabilities of ginkgo in regard to brain function have been investigated and are still being researched. Ginkgo is one of those herbs that has become intrinsically connected with notions of herbal elixirs capable of pre s e rving youth and promoting longevity.
Ginkgo comes from the oldest species of tree in the world dating back some 200 million years. Some ginkgo trees have been known to live well over an average of 1000 or more years. The ginkgo tree is also known as the “maidenhair tree” and would have probably become extinct if the trees had not been cultivated in Far Eastern temple gardens and nurtured by Oriental monks.
Ginkgo is a deciduous conifer with separate male and female types. It resembles the pau d’arco tree and like pau d’arco, possesses an unusual immunity to insects and diseases. Ginkgo’s remarkable hardiness enabled it to survive the atomic blast at Hiroshima. Because of its unprecedented longevity, ginkgo biloba has sometimes been referred to as a living fossil.
Ginkgo has been used in China for over 5000 years. The Chinese refer to the fruit of the ginkgo tree as pa-kwo. This fruit is sold in markets throughout China and resembles dried almonds. Ginkgo fruit is pleasant tasting when fresh, but can become quite disagreeable if allowed to get overly ripe. Asians have relied on extracts of the fan-shaped ginkgo leaf since 3,000 B.C. to heal a wide variety of ailments.
The Chinese have been acquainted with the curative powers of ginkgo for centuries and have typically used the herb for ailments related to aging, such as circulatory disorders, mental confusion and memory loss. In China, ginkgo seeds, called baigou, are considered lung and kidney tonics and are used in conjunction with acupuncture. Ginkgo seeds also help to tonify the urinary system, so they are used in cases of incontinence and excessive urination.1
Practitioners of Chinese medicine routinely use ginkgo leaves. Ginkgo was introduced into Eu rope in 1730 and was we l l received, not for its medicinal value, but for its ornamental appeal. It is used extensively in landscaping because of its lovely fern-like leaf. It was brought to America in 1784 to the garden of William Hamilton who lived in Pennsylvania.
Decades passed before the healing properties of ginkgo we re investigated. Consequently, it has been part of the herbal repertoire only since the 1980s. During this time, it became technically feasible to isolate the essential components of ginkgo. Pharmacologically, there are two groups of substances which are significant compounds found in ginkgo: the flavonoids, which give ginkgo its antioxidant action, and the Terpenes, which help to inhibit the formation of blood clots. The majority of scientific interest has focused on Ginkgo’s ability to improve the circulation of blood. O ver the past twenty years, scientific testing on the plant has dramatically escalated. Ha rva rd professor Elias J. Core y, Ph . D , synthesized ginkgo’s active ingredient, ginkgolide B, for the first time in the laboratory. Consequently, stepped-up research in this country and in Eu rope resulted. Ginkgo has been the subject of over 300 scientific studies and continues to intrigue scientists. Much modern research has confirmed ancient applications of ginkgo as well as discovered new ones.
Ginkgolide, the active component of the herb, is what creates most of ginkgo’s biochemical attributes. Exactly how ginkgolide B functions is not yet known. One theory is that the compound somehow interferes with a chemical found in the body called PAF (platelet activating factor). PAF has been implicated in cases of graft rejection, asthma and other immune disorders. PAF antagonists have been identified from a variety of medicinal plants. These compounds help to explain the pharmacological basis of several traditional medicines and provide a valuable new class of therapeutic agents.
Particular attention has been paid to ginkgo’s powerful actions on the cardiovascular system. Thousands of Europeans use this herb for peripheral circulatory disorders. As a circulation booster, ginkgo has accumulated some impressive credentials. Because proper circulation is vital to each and every body function, virtually all body systems can benefit from ginkgo therapy.
Ginkgo’s relationship to brain function has also spawned considerable interest. In 1985, Rudolf Weiss said of ginkgo,
“ Significant improvement in mental states, emotional lability, memory, and the tendency to tire easily, have been reported.”
Ginkgo is currently planted in groves and used for a number of medicinal purposes. It is harvested in the summer and can be used in extract, tincture or infusion forms. The therapeutic properties of ginkgo seem endless. Continuing re s e a rch promises to further uncover additional health benefits of this remarkable botanical. Ginkgo extracts are among the leading prescription medications in France and Germany. Currently, millions of prescriptions for ginkgo are written by physicians worldwide.
GINKGO BILOBA - (Ginkgo biloba)
June 25, 2005 10:43 AM
GINKGO BILOBA (Ginkgo biloba)
Common Names: maidenhair tree
Plant Parts: leaves
Active Compounds: flavonoid glycosides, diTerpenes (including terpene compounds called ginkgolides), bioflavones, quercitin, isorhamnetine kaempferol, proanthocyanidins, sitosterols, lactones, anthocyanin
Pharmacology: The flavoglycosides contained inginkgo are its most active compounds and have exhibited remarkable pharmacological capabilities. These chemical constituents have free radical properties and function as antioxidants. These flavonoids include quercitin, kaempferol and isorhamnetine. The terpene content ofginkgo, which includes the ginkgolides and the bilobalides help to lessen inflammation by inhibiting PAF (Platelet Activating Factor) in the blood. This action helps to boost circulation. PAF plays a role in diseases such as atherosclerosis, asthma, heart attacks and strokes.
Vitamin and Mineral Content: Ginkgo is rich in bioflavonoids which makes it an effective antioxidant.
Character: astringent, adaptogen, antioxidant, antiseptic, circulatory stimulant, vasodilator and tonic.
Body Systems Targeted: circulatory, cardiovascular, and nervous (brain)
June 18, 2005 09:11 AM
Mushroom Miracles by Bert Hoffman Energy Times, April 12, 2004
Mention mushrooms and few people immediately recognize these humble fungi as important tools that can be used to boost well-being. More often, folks identify mushrooms as food with a peculiar appeal. But mushrooms' potential impact on health far surpasses their culinary reputation.
You don't have to stretch your imagination too far to understand why mushrooms have been much neglected in the modern, Western medical search for plants that can boost health.
Unable to make chlorophyll, often dependent on the kindness of other nutrient-producing organisms for their survival, these humble fungal denizens of dark, damp spaces seem to prefer an anonymous existence that is out of sight and out of the consciousness of the scientific mind.
However, mushrooms have now assumed a spot in the center of the research spotlight. Because of their potent content of natural chemicals that appear to have a strong influence on human health and well-being, during the past decade mushrooms have been the subjects of intensive studies on how they can be used to reduce the risk of cancer and to treat these diseases.
Appropriately, this recent round of research began in a place that has long revered these diminutive organisms: Japan. Japan and other Oriental countries have traditionally recognized the immense value of mushrooms as both food and medicine.
Food and Medicine
As an ancient Chinese saying notes, "food and medicine share a common origin." And one of the very earliest Chinese medical books, Shen Noug's Herbal (Shen Noug Pen Ts'ao Jing), first noted the extraordinary beneficial effects of eating mushrooms 2,000 years ago, back in the first century.
More recently, but still well ahead of Western medical experts, in 1575, Pen Ts'ao Kang Mu (a Chinese compendium of medicinal therapies), written by Li Shi Zhen, outlined the medical benefits of about 20 mushrooms.
Nowadays, modern researchers believe mushrooms' usefulness stems from the fact they contain a wealth of antioxidants. But these aren't just any antioxidants. Scientists think that some of these chemicals can potentially drop your risk of cancer, significantly lower blood pressure, help the body fight diabetes, offer protection for the liver, alleviate some of the ill effects of inflammation, lessen the chance of blood clots and help the body's immune system fend off viruses and other microbes. Quite a collection of benefits for these lowly beings!
The 10,000-Year Mushroom
Through the ages, the reishi mushroom (also known variously as the Mannetake, or 10,000-year mushroom, and the Immortality Mushroom) has been the most popular mushroom in Chinese, Korean and Japanese cultures. The reishi mushroom is frequently depicted in a wide variety of traditional Oriental artwork and even puts in an appearance in Chinese royal tapestries.
To some, reishi's power goes beyond the natural and include the supernatural. Originally grown on aging plum trees, reishi is also sufficiently well regarded to be employed by the Japanese as a good luck charm. But you don't have to believe in the supernatural to be superbly impressed with reishi. The beneficial natural substances in reishi include steroids, lactones, alkaloids, triTerpenes and polysaccharides.
Of these chemicals, polysaccharides (complex chains of sugars) in particular have intrigued researchers looking into the way mushrooms help health. These polysaccharide macromolecules are very large (for molecules) and complex, a complexity that leads researchers to believe they are capable of conveying a huge amount of biological information that help the immune system stop cancer in its early stages. The differences in the benefits of various polysaccharides stems from their intriguing geometrical shapes.
Even though two distinctive polysaccharides may contain the same number of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, their three-dimensional differences-the way they are structured and branch off in different directions-can endow them with very different health benefits.
Though they all share a basic structure (usually, these molecules consist of a main chain of atoms with various side chains), the slight variations of the side chains changes their effects.
By deciphering the microscopic structures of these molecules, scientists think they are beginning to uncover which ones are most effective against cancer. For instance, in isolating a particularly useful polysaccharide called beta-D-glucan from reishi, researchers have found that this substance fights tumors in lab experiments (Chem Pharm Bull 1981; 29: 3611).
Meanwhile, beta-D-glucan and other extracts taken from the maitake mushroom have also been shown to possess powerful anti-cancer effects in lab experiments (Immunopharm Immunotox; 19:175).
In one instance, researchers in the laboratory who were trying out various substances on prostate cancer cells found that applying extracts of maitake results in a kind of programmed self-destruction (apoptosis) of these undesirable cancer cells (Molec Urol; 4:7). In addition, another substance known as maitake d-fraction has been shown to strongly fight cancer in lab animals-in one study, their liver cancer growths were reduced by up to 90% (Ann NY Acad of Sci; 833:204).
At the same time, research in China on people has demonstrated that maitake may help reduce tumors and alleviate the effects of leukemia (Alter Comp Ther 12/98; 420).
According to A.S. Daba and O.U. Ezeronye (Afr Jrnl Bio 12/03; 672), "Mushroom polysaccharides offer a lot of hope for cancer patients and sufferers of many devastating diseases.
" [These substances support]...a fundamental principle in Oriental medicine...[they help] regulate homeostasis of the whole body and... bring the diseased person [back] to his or her normal state."
The Activity of Active Hexose Correlated Compound Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC), an extract taken from shiitake and other mushrooms, is a relatively new substance that is also being researched for its anti-cancer benefits.
Studies on AHCC began in Japan in the 1990s when scientists looked at how it could potentially help people recovering from liver cancer. In those tests, researchers found that giving people AHCC apparently helped them survive longer.
In the future, scientists feel certain that they will uncover even more anticancer uses for mushrooms and the chemicals they contain. A key advantage to these natural substances is their lack of side effects. For instance, in research on an anti-cancer chemical called lentinan, taken from shiitakes, investigators have found that less than one percent of people experience the kind of discomfort that make them discontinue treatment. (This chemical has been used to treat stomach cancer.)
But a long list of beneficial mushroom substances are probably still waiting to be discovered. More evidence of mushrooms' benefits: A study of mushroom workers in a part of Japan called the Nagano Prefecture found that these farmers enjoyed a significantly lower cancer rate than other inhabitants of that part of the country.
In the rest of Japan, about one in six hundred people dies of cancer. But that rate death rate drops to about one in a thousand for mushroom raisers who eat a diet heavy in mushrooms.
John Smith, PhD, from the University of Strath-Clyde, notes that "...increasing evidence [shows] mushrooms offer a remarkable array of medicinally important compounds that have yet to be evaluated by Western medical scientists." Mushrooms offer the best of both worlds: good health that tastes great.
Prostate Health Naturally
June 16, 2005 11:11 AM
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