Boswellia and Inflammation

There is always something than can be said about the use of herbs to affect cures. Many of the aged generation have relied on the implied healing properties of these herbs.  More and more, modern medicine has incorporated the properties of these herbs as additives or base products in the development of drugs to fight various ailments. One such herb is Boswellia.

Boswellia plants favour tropical regions with little or no climatic change. The resin produced by these trees harness the healing properties of this plant. The resin is secreted naturally as a means of defence for the plant to protect it from insects, parasites and ruthless pathogens. Boswellia resin which contains essential oils, unique to the Boswellia plant acts as an anti- inflammatory agent.  The unique acids block the overproduction of cytokinetic activity in damaged tissues while enhancing blood flow to joints. This combination has been shown to ease stiffness in joints and increase mobility.

Many studies have shown that Boswellia is just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are the most commonly used treatment for issues of inflammation and chronic pain, but without the common side effect of bleeding in the stomach. Boswellia works through a different medium, acting as a mechanism to modulate the pro-inflammatory enzyme 5-lipoxygenase. In addition to the inhibition of the 5-lipoxgenase enzyme it also decreases the activity of HLE (human leukocyte elastase) another pro-inflammatory enzyme. HLE is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, pulmonary emphysema, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis and acute respiratory distress syndrome, which are a few commonly known respiratory illnesses linked to inflammation.

HLE ((human leukocyte elastase) and Leukotriene levels release are significantly increased in many inflammatory diseases and allergic reactions. To date, the only anti-inflammatory compounds that have been found to inhibit both HLE and 5-LOX are derivatives of the Boswellia plant. With the application of the Boswellia properties derived from the Boswellia plant to cells, the results had the effect of decreasing the TNF-a-induced manifestation of cell adhesion and background metalloproteinase proteins, arthritis, cancer metastasis, biochemical that are related to harmful endothelial dysfunction, and other disease processes.

The numbers of inflammatory messages were vastly reduced including two of the most common that are elevated in an obese person. Studies also support the notion that the Boswellia plant derivatives can help protect the pancreas. As always any products not sanctioned by the FDA advises that you seek a physician’s advice before using.

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Nettle Leaf and Allergies

Nettle Leaf and Allergies

There is little disputing the distinct relationship between nettle leaf and allergies, of the rhinitis family, being distinctly and effectively alleviatedby it use. To many a chronic allergy sufferer, the alleviating properties of this plant are nothing less than a Godsend come spring time or dander-storms.

Even as daisies burst across fields in bright yellow happiness, many folk suffering hyper-sensitive reactions to the pollen-infused spring air are steeling themselves against the onslaught of the Spring-Sneeze Gang.  The ringleader, an angry, red, runny nose usually hits the scene first with his troublesome gang of aggravators in close pursuit; the blood-shot, scratchy eyes, the crazy-itchy ears, the painfully, inflamed throat – all arrive like miserable clockwork to antagonize those poor souls suffering hyper-sensitive reactions to pollen (pollinosis, as it’s scientifically known).

Since ancient times, people with allergies have looked to nettle leaf and allergies treated by this herb are not restricted to the Spring-flower pollinosis sufferers. These folk will also suffer “hay fever” specifically catalyzed by grass pollens and rampant spells of rhinitis (agitated by dust or animal dander). The attacks are quite debilitating for sufferers, whose immune systems react aggressively to what is perceived as invasions of dangerous foreign bodies, and an allergic reaction results in the production of bodies which bind with histamine (an anti-inflammatory agent). Histamines, and not the allergens, are what actually produce the symptoms that are meant to block and expel these foreign invaders.

The remedial benefits inherent of nettle leaf (and its roots) are wide-ranging. It has potent anti-inflammatory and exceptional anti-histamine properties and also provides pain alleviation and mild sedative effects. There is lots of value in the stinging nettle leaf, and allergies it shows exceptional alleviation efficacy in are:

  • Pollinosis
  • Rhinitis
  • Hay fever

Research remains inconclusive as to the exact components resulting in the herb’s anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen potency but it’s been found that nettle leaf loses anti-allergy efficacy if not harvest correctly.  Side effects such as drowsiness, dry sinuses, insomnia and high blood pressure that usually from using pharmaceutical anti-allergy medication, are absent in nettle leaf and allergies are quickly put to bed with it. You can take up to 3000mg in capsule form nettle leaf and allergies appease within 15 minutes if ingestion, with symptomatic relief lasting up to 4 hours.

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Holy Basil

Holy basil

Holy basil is a plant of the family of mints and is closely related to the basil family. However, it has a richer and more complex history. It is native to tropical Asia and it has been used in India for thousands of years. It is referred to as holy because of it is considered a sacred plant thanks to its regarded benefits to the health of the mind and body. Its benefits are recently discovered in North America and it is now used to treat various conditions.

Despite that its benefits are not proven by modern scientific research, this plant, high in antioxidants, is considered to have anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory characteristics. It has benefits including treating conditions such as bronchitis and digestive issues even ulcers.

In addition to that, there is some data research that shows a great correlation between holy basil and stress, which might be a useful for findings for our lifestyle today. The way this plant works is not by altering the mood. Instead as some scientific and medical research has been done to show that the holy basil plant contains certain characteristics that combat stress mainly by decreasing the level of corticosterone hormone, which is reflected in a better mood.

The two primarily effective agents in this type of plants are Eugenol and caryophyllene. There is evidence to suggest that these aromatic compounds are great for elevating moods and spirits. They help the body better react and respond to stress while enhancing mental clarity at the same time.

In order to better consume the full benefits of this plant, you can either consume it as a spice or in the form of a tea. You could also choose to have it in the form of a supplement; however, you need to make sure that the product you are buying contains the stress combating compounds such as Eugenol and caryophyllene. You can also choose to use the essential oils from the plant. Those could be used in aromatic therapy to lighten your mood and reduce the level of stress.

Holy basil can have many benefits to you and your health; you will be able to find it in health food stores and even as a spice in your local grocery store. You can enjoy it in its different forms, whether in a tea, in aroma therapy or simply as an added spice to your favorite meal.

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The Benefits of Rhodiola

The rhodiola rosea is a plant that grows in high altitudes in the countries of Russia and Scandinavia. Also known as golden root, it has been used for its medicinal purposes for a very long time.  There are a lot of uses of rhodiola including taking it for the nervous system. The rhodiola is becoming a popular herbal medicine in other parts of the world including the United States. Here is more information on the healthy aspects of rhodiola rosea, and the benefits of taking this herb.

Improves mental clarity: Rhodiola is known to be a herb that helps with mental focus. People living in Russia and Scandinavia have been taking the herb for centuries to help with physical stamina as well as improving mental function. People who also take the herb have noticed an improvement in their memory and attention span.

For heart health: For people who are at a risk for heart attack, taking rhodiola is a benefit because it can help reduce the risk of damage to the heart from stress and help regulate the way the heart beats.

Improves the immune system: Some people are more susceptible than others when it comes to catching colds. A person with a weak immune system are constantly getting sick, and taking rhodiola can help with people who are always sick and tired of dealing with it. Rhodiola can make the immune system better than it ever has before by making the white cells defend the body against illness.

Helps with headaches: One out of three people get migraine headaches more than once a week. With a migraine headache, the blood vessels in the skull begin to swell. The swollen blood vessels in the head press into the other tissue and the brain, which is why a migraine is so incredibly painful. Taking rhodiola can help those swollen blood vessels in the head to shrink down, which will eliminate the pain associated with a migraine.

Rhodiola rosea is a plant that grows very high up in the mountains of Russia and Scandinavia. The people of both Russia and Scandinavia have used this plant to treat a number of different ailments. For people who have chronic headaches, a weak immune system, and want more energy, taking this herb can do wonders for them. Rhodiola is being used in other countries other than Russia and Scandinavia, and the healthy aspects of rhodiola as an effective herbal treatment is growing.


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Saw Palmetto, Not Just for Men

If you’ve ever walked down the herbal supplement aisle at the grocery or drug store, you’ve probably seen a lot of names you don’t recognize.  Not only are they unfamiliar, but you have no idea what a person might take them for!  One of the most diverse and well-known herbal supplements is Saw Palmetto.

The extract comes from dark purple berries on the plant’s palm fan.  This plant can be found in southern California and along the coast of the southern states in the U.S.

A large number of herbs have no scientific research to back their benefit claims up, but that’s not the case with this one.  The first documentation of this herb’s benefits in the United States was recorded by Dr. J.B. Read who actually published a paper in the American Journal of Pharmacy.  He had discovered that the herb was helpful in relieving coughs, improving digestion, and helping to relax or fall asleep.  He wrote that it has remarkable diuretic and sedative properties that should be noted by those in the medical profession.

Europe started their own research in the 1960’s and discovered that men had a marked improvement in their urinary tract after having had problems.  The results showed that Saw Palmetto was almost equal to its pharmaceutical counterpart in treating these men.  Once researchers understood the berry helps to tone the urethra, the herb became a staple in helping with urinary tract problems.

The herb has anti-inflammatory, mild diuretic, expectorant, antiseptic and sedative properties.  People have been known to take it for prostate cancer, chronic bronchitis, migraines, asthma, sore throats, coughs, colds, cancer, stimulating hair growth and to improve muscle tone and build new muscle.  Some women even believe that it has been effective for them as a breast enhancer.

Natural health care practitioners like to use the herb to treat things like urinary tract inflammation, respiratory congestion, as a thyroid strengthener and to reduce testicular inflammation.  It is also used to help balance metabolism, aid in digestion and stimulate the appetite.

The herb is also used to treat enlarged prostate glands even though it doesn’t reduce them.  It helps with the symptoms.

Researchers believe that the herb prevents the changing of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone).  They also think that the herb interferes with progesterone and estrogen, hormones thought to be a factor in an enlarged prostate.  A controlled clinical trial showed those with an enlarged prostate who were taking the herb showed improvement in their symptoms.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is evaluating Saw Palmetto to be used as a treatment for an enlarged prostate.  If it is approved, it would be the first herbal remedy that is licensed to treat a specific condition.  That alone is proof that this herb really is good for you!

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What is the Next Big Weight Loss Supplement?

Indian herb may whittle waistlines

Caralluma fimbriata (Slimaluma) was used in this study to determine if it could be effective in losing weight. They found that those taking Slimaluma had a reduction in waste size of 2.6 inches as compared to 1 inches for the placebo group.

After being talked about on Dr. Oz recently this could become the next big weight loss item.


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Spirulina and Diabetics

Spirulina can better manage blood sugar in diabetes patients

This article in NutraIngredients-USA brings some good news to diabetic patients. The dosage used was 2g of spirulina and after 2 months those taking spirulina had lower glucose and well as lower glycosylated hemoglobin when compared to placebo.

Also noted were a decrease in cholesterol and triglycerides.


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Gossypin a Hibiscus Extract Shows Promise in Melanoma

Melanoma Succumbs To Natural Plant Substance Gossypin In Lab Tests

Medical News Today shares this article on Gossypin. Gossypin is a flavone from the hibiscus plant.

A new study show how helpful Gossypin can be in melanoma which is the most deadly skin cancer. It is good to see more natural substances in the treatment of cancer.

Read more at:


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Saw Palmetto Promotes Urinary and Sexual Health

Saw Palmetto Promotes Urinary and Sexual Health

The most common cause of urinary problems and sexual dysfunctions in elderly men is Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).  Because this condition is so common, a recent study was conducted to test the benefits of the clinically researched product, Prostasan, a Saw Palmetto preparation, in these areas of men’s health.  The results of the study indicated that the symptoms of BPH, including urinary symptoms and sexual dysfunctions, can be improved through the use of Prostasan.

New Research on Saw Palmetto

In a study spanning eight weeks and involving 82 men with at least moderate symptoms, participants were given one dose of 320mg of Saw Palmetto berry extract (Prostasan) daily.  At the conclusion of the study, researchers discovered that the participants’ urinary symptoms improved by about 50% and the sexual symptoms improved by about 40%.  While previous studies have confirmed the efficacy of Saw Palmetto for treating urinary problems, the significance of this study was its conclusion that Saw Palmetto can treat symptoms of sexual dysfuntion at the same time.

Common Sexual Problems Stemming from BPH:

  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Ejaculatory Problems
  • Lack of Sexual Drive

In addition to causing undesirable side effects, many of the pharmaceutical options currently available for treating BPH tend to cause further problems with sexual dysfunction.  Therefore, Saw Palmetto is a safe and effective option for individuals who suffer from both urinary symptoms and sexual dysfunction.

Benefits of Taking Saw Palmetto:

  • Treats both BPH symptoms and urinary problems
  • Cost-effective treatment
  • Treatment tends to be well-tolerated by patients

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