Irritable Bowel Syndrome

People suffering from IBS sometimes experience symptoms of abdominal cramping and either diarrhoea or constipation or a combination of both. Although the aetiology of IBS is still unknown, there is growing suspicion that there is a persistent, mild inflammatory state with changes in mucosal function or structure and an associated imbalance of intestinal flora (Camilleri 2006). This imbalance can lead to inefficient metabolism of nutrients and the formation of gas and short-chain fatty acids,...

Antiinflammatory And Analgesic

Several In vivo studies have Identified anti-Inflammatory and antinociceptive activity for feverfew extracts and parthenollde. When feverfew extracts were orally administered, or pure parthenollde was Injected IP, significant dose-dependent anti-Inflammatory and antinociceptive effects were observed In animal models (Jain & Kulkarnl 1999). Similarly, when feverfew extracts and parthenollde from Tanacetum vulgarewas administered orally In a rat model, gastric ulcer Index was significantly...

Supplementation During Pregnancy And Lactation

Calcium is considered a critical nutrient during pregnancy with at least a twofold increase in requirements observed. Its metabolism during gestation significantly changes from as early as 12 weeks, with doubling of both absorption and excretion, followed by additional losses through lactation, which can account for reductions in maternal bone mineral content of 3-10 (Prentice 2003). While it is clear that general supplementation would be necessary in those women with poor preconception calcium...

Inflammation Of Mucous Membranes

Topically, sage is used as a gargle for laryngitis, pharyngitis, stomatitis, gingivitis, glossitis, minor oral injuries and inflammation of the nasal mucosa (Blumenthal et al 2000). These uses can be based on the pharmacological activity of its chemical components. In an open-label, single-blind, RCT of 420 patients, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, benzydamine hydrochloride, was found to be more effective than sage in relieving postoperative pain when used as a mouthwash after...

Ergogenic Aid

Guarana is also used as an ergogenlc aid by some athletes, most likely because caffeine and theophylline have been used In this way, to Improve performance In training and competition (Graham 2001). No human studies testing guarana for effects on physical performance could be located. Referring to caffeine studies, it appears that ergogenic effects are observed under some conditions but not others (Doherty et al 2002, Hunter et al 2002, Ryu et al 2001). Testing guarana in several animal models...

Antidiabetic

The antidiabetic potential of bitter melon is well established in normal, streptozocin-or alloxan-induced diabetic animals and in genetic models of diabetes (Ahmed et al 2004, Bailey etal 1985, Day et al 1990, Jayasooriya etal 2000, Karetal 2003, Miura et al 2001, 2004, Reyes et al 2005, Sarkar et al 1996, Shibb et al 1993). All parts of the plant (fruit pulp, seeds, leaves and whole plant) have shown activity. A systematic study comparing the hypoglycaemic activity of three extracts in vivo...

Deficiency Signs And Symptoms

Several rare inborn errors of metabolism that result in a lack of creatine and phosphorylcreatine in the brain and severe mental retardation have been identified. Other symptoms and signs, such as involuntary extrapyramidal movements, speech disability, epilepsy, muscular hypotonia and weakness, and, in older patients, autism with self-injurious behaviour have also been reported (Wyss & Schulze 2002). People involved in intense physical activity, vegetarians and those with muscle diseases...

Hypertension

According to two meta-analyses fish oils have a significant but modest effect dose-dependent, on blood pressure in hypertension (Geleijnse et al 2002, Morris et al 1993). The DHA component is likely to have stronger effects than EPA. In contrast, a 2006 Cochrane review found no significant changes to SBP or DBP with n-3 EFA consumption of vegetable or fish origin (Hooper et al 2006). The first meta-analysis was of 31 placebo-controlled trials involving 1356 subjects and detected a statistically...

Pregnancy Use

Oral use is considered to be safe in pregnancy and lactation (NMCD 2003). PRACTICE POINTS PATIENT COUNSELLING Oats are a rich source of nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K, and amino acids. Dietary oats also contain a significant amount of soluble fibre. Regular intake of wholegrain oat-based cereals may have positive effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and glucose regulation....

Adaptogenic And Tonic Effects

A randomised double-blind study Involving 232 subjects between the ages of 25 and 60 years found that extract equivalent to about 400 mg ginseng root for 4 weeks significantly Improved fatigue. Side-effects were uncommon, with only two subjects withdrawing from the study (Le Gal & Cathebras 1996). A randomised double-blind study of 83 subjects found that extract equivalent to 1 g ginseng root for 4 months decreased the risk of contracting a common cold or bronchitis, Improved appetite,...

Main Actions

The herb has several different actions and the part of the plant used will determine which is exhibited. As such, this review includes information about which part of the herb is responsible for the activity listed. Additionally, much research has been conducted with the rosmarinic acid and luteolin components isolated from perilla. anti-inflammatory action Both the refined oil and seed extract demonstrate anti-inflammatory activity in vitro. Refined oil The pharmacological effects of the...

Flaxseed oil

Historical note For over 5000 years flaxseed in its various forms has been a part of the diet of people in Asia, Africa and Europe. It has a long history of use as both a food and a medicine, with the seed being most commonly used. The oil was also popular and has been a traditional food of the Egyptians from the time of the Pharaohsto the present day. The oil is also consumed bythe Chinese, who documented its medicinal properties in the Pen-T's AO, the Great Chinese Pharmacopeia (Judd 1 995)....

Adverse Reactions

In RCT, the incidence of adverse effects to kava kava has been found to be similar to placebo. Two post-marketing surveillance studies involving more than 6000 patients found adverse effects in 2.3 and 1.5 of patients taking 120-240 mg standardised extract (Ernst 2002). The most common side-effects appear to be gastrointestinal upset and headaches. hepatotoxicity A systematic review assessing the safety of kava which included a total of 7078 patients taking kava extract equivalent to 10 mg to...

Turmeric

Historical note Turmeric is a perennial herb, yielding a rhizome that produces a yellow powder that gives curry its characteristic yellow colour and is used to colour French mustard and the robes of Hindu priests. Turmeric was probably first cultivated as a dye, and then as a condiment and cosmetic. It is often used as an inexpensive substitute for saffron in cooking and in the 13th century Marco Polo marvelled at its similarities to saffron. Both Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines use...

Back Pain

Several double-blind studies have reported benefit with devil's claw in people with back pain. A double-blind study of 117 people with back pain reported decreased pain and improved mobility after 8 weeks' treatment with devil's claw extract LI 174, known commercially as Rivoltan (Laudahn & Walper 2001). Use of the same extract provided significant pain relief after 4 weeks in another randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled study of 63 subjects with muscle stiffness (Gobel et al 2001)....

Insomnia

In clinical practice, lemon balm is often prescribed in combination with other herbs such as valerian in the treatment of insomnia. As a reflection of this, a randomised, double-blind multicentre study investigated the effects of a commercial valerian and lemon balm herbal combination (Songha Night) in 98 healthy subjects (Cerny & Schmid 1999). Treatment was administered over a 30-day period and consisted of 3 tablets taken half an hour before bedtime, providing a total dose of 1-6 g...

Upper Respiratory Tract Infections

Vitamin C Is widely used to both prevent and treat common URTI, such as the common cold and Influenza, largely based on Its Immune system effects, ability to reduce histamine levels and the observations that the gastrointestinal absorption of vitamin C Increases In the common cold, suggesting an Increased demand for this nutrient, and that vitamin C concentrations in the plasma and leukocytes rapidly decline during infection (Wilson et al 1976, Wintergerst et al 2006). Although extremely...

Neurological Effects

There is evidence that alterations to n-3 fatty acid metabolism and the composition of the phospholipids in serum and membranes are involved in the pathogenesis of some neurological disorders (Ulbricht & Basch 2006). As a result, there has been much interest in understanding the effects of supplemental n-3 fatty acids in neurological development, cognitive function, depression, schizophrenia, and behavioural problems. Cognitive function Low serum DHA level is considered a significant risk...

Bone Marrow Stimulation During Chemotherapy

Haemopoiesis was studied in 88 patients with lung cancer during combination treatment with chemotherapy and a 5. balcalensls extract. Administration of the plant preparation was associated with haemopoiesis stimulation, intensification of bone marrow erythrocytopoiesis and granulocytopoiesis, and increased numbers of circulating precursors of erythroid and granulomonocytic colony-forming units (Goldberg et al 1997). EPILEPSY (IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER HERBS) Saiko-keishi-to, a spray-dried...

Vaginitis And Cervicitis

Clinical data support the use of tea tree oil for vaginitis and cervicitis caused by Trichomonas vaginalis or Candida albicans (WHO 2003). An open study found that intravaginal application of tampons saturated in a diluted emulsified solution successfully healed vaginitis and cervicitis (n 130) caused by T. vaginalis. Vaginal pessaries containing 0.2 g essential oil inserted nightly eradicated symptoms of leucorrhoea and burning in 86 of women with C. a b 'cans vaginitis after 30 days in with...

Topical

Atopic dermatitis A cream containing SJW extract (standardised to 1.5 hyperforin) was shown to reduce the intensity of eczematous lesions when used twice daily in a prospective double-blind study (Schempp et al 2003a). Beneficial effects were already observed at the first review, which was on day 7. Treatment of acute and contused injuries No controlled studies are available, but anti-inflammatory, analgesic and bactericidal activities provide a theoretical basis for its use. Commission E...

Antidepressant Activity

SAMe supplementation produces a clinically significant antidepressant activity that has been demonstrated in numerous trials. The mode of antidepressant action is unknown, but is likely to involve several mechanisms. As a methyl donor, SAMe plays a role in the metabolism of various CNS neurotransmitters that play an integral part in synaptic transmission and behaviour, such as noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin (Bottiglieri 1996). Supplementation with SAMe in depressed patients raises...

Diabetes And Diabetic Nephropathy

Replacing animal protein with soy protein has been found to improve various disease markers in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and people with obesity. In a RCT of 104 patients with type 2 diabetes, 12 months of a soy-based meal replacement was found to significantly improve weight loss, HbAlc and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels and significantly reduce the use of sulfonylureas and metformin compared to the use of individual diet plans (Li et al 2005). Another randomised...

Schizophrenia

Folate has been Implicated in the causality of schizophrenia since the 1950s and aberrations of one-carbon metabolism were proposed as a distinct hypothesis at around the same time (Regland 2005). With our current knowledge linking the two there has been renewed interest in the role of folate in this disorder. One key issue relates to a controversial association between low folate levels and schizophrenia incidence (Muntjewerff & Blom 2005). A review of seven case-control studies concluded...

Appetite Suppressant

Synephrine produces effects on human metabolism, which could be useful for reducing fat mass in obese humans because it stimulates lipolysis, raises metabolic rate and fat oxidation through increased thermogenesis (Pellati et al 2002). A controlled in vivo study of C. aurantium fruit hydro-alcoholic extracts standardised to synephrine 4 (Ci.au. 4 ) and 6 (Ci.au. 6 ) found repeated administration of the extract significantly and dose-dependently reduced food intake and body weight gain (Calapai...

Hepatoprotective

The hepatoprotective properties of rosemary extract are attributed to its antioxidant properties and improving detoxification systems dependent on glutathione S-transferase (Sotelo-Felix et al 2002). Rosemary extract has been shown to reduce thioacetamide-induced cirrhosis (Galisteo et al 2000) and azathioprine-induced toxicity in rats (Amin & Hamza 2005), as well as partially prevent carbon tetrachloride induced liver damage in both rats (Sotelo-Felix et al 2002) and mice (Fahim et al 1999,...

Contraindications And Precautions

ZS Passionflower has demonstrated the ability to increase uterine contractions in an isolated rat uterus model when compared to control tissue (Sadraei et al 2003). It is not advisable to use passionflower in pregnancy. Both human and animal studies confirm passionflower has significant anxiolytic activity. One randomised study found that it has significantly less negative effects on performance than 30 mg oxazepam, yet is as effective for GAD. Maximal effects may require several days of...

Fatigue

Siberian ginseng is used to improve physical and mental responses during convalescence or fatigue states. Its ability to increase levels of noradrenaline, serotonin, adrenaline and Cortisol provide a theoretical basis for its use in situations of fatigue. However, controlled studies are limited. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 300 mg day (E. senticosus dry extract) for 8 weeks assessed health-related QOL scores in 20 elderly people. Improvements were observed in social...

Horse chestnut

Historical note The horse chestnut tree is commonly found in ornamental gardens throughout Europe, growing up to 35 metres in height. The seeds are not edible due to the presence of alkaloid saponins, but both the dried seeds and bark of the horse chestnut tree have been used medicinally since the 1 6th century. The seeds are also used for the children's game 'conkers' and were used to produce acetone during World Wars I and II. In modern times, a dry extract referred to as horse chestnut seed...

Fibromyalgia

Four double-blind trials have investigated the effects of SAMe in fibromyalgia, with all reporting positive findings (Jacobsen et al 1991, Tavoni et al 1987, 1998, Volkmann et al 1997). Two studies used injectable SAMe (200 mg daily). The largest study involved 44 patients with primary fibromyalgia and found that during week 5, the group receiving SAMe (800 mg day) experienced improvements in clinical disease activity, pain, fatigue, morning stiffness and one measurement of mood. Although...

Enhanced Cognitive Function And Alertness

Two recent double-blind studies have confirmed that guarana has significant effects on cognitive function and provide evidence that these effects are not just mediated by the herb's caffeine content (Haskell et al 2005, Kennedy et al 2004). One double-blind, placebo-controlled study assessed the effects of four different doses of guarana (37.5, 75, 1 50 and 300 mg) in 22 subjects (Haskell et al 2005). Cognitive performance and mood were assessed at baseline and again 1, 3 and 6 hours after each...

Reward Deficiency Syndrome

Tyrosine depletion appears to affect reward-based processing (McLean et al 2004) and tests involving reward punishment processing are affected by dopamine depletion (Roiser et al 2005). A lack of D2 receptors and or dopamine depletion states have been implicated in a number of conditions or destructive behaviours thought to be caused by poorly functioning biochemical reward systems. Individuals tend to be at risk of multiple addictive, impulsive and compulsive behavioural problems, such as...

References

Isoliquiritigenin a new aldose reductase inhibitor from glycyrrhizae radix. Planta Med 56 (1990a) 254-8. Aida K, Tawata M, Shindo H, Onaya T. Clinical significance of erythrocyte sorbitol-blood glucose ratios in type II diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 13(5) (1990b) 461-7. Akamatsu H, Komura J, Aada Y. Mechanism of anti-inflammatory action of glycyrrhizin effect on neutrophil functions including reactive oxygen species generation. Planta Med 57 (1991) 119-21. Armanini D et al....

Antifungal And Antibacterial

The in vitro evidence of antifungal and antibacterial activity is overwhelming. In vitro results find that tea tree oil has activity against a range of yeasts and fungi found in common mucosal and skin infections such as Corynebacterium spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Micrococcus spp. (M. luteus, M. varians), Propionibacterium acnes, Streptococcus pyogenes, Trichomonas vaginalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, A. baumannii, Staphylococcus spp. (5. aureus, S. capitis, S. epidermidis, S. haemolyticus, 2007...

Cancer Prevention

There are at least 35 observational epidemiological studies, including prospective cohort and case-controlled studies, involving smoking and non-smoking men and women from diverse regions of the world, which have consistently found a positive association between dietary or serum beta-carotene levels and reduced risk of cancer 2007 Elsevier Australia (Cooper et al 1999). This association, however, does not necessarily imply a causal link, because it may be an association between beta-carotene...

Periodontal Disease

CoQ10 is used both topically and internally for the treatment of chronic periodontal disease. Topical application has been shown to improve adult peridontitis (Hanioka et al 1994) and a small open study has shown that oral CoQ10 supplementation can produce dramatic results within 5-7 days, making location of baseline biopsy sites impossible (Wilkinson et al 1975). There is currently much speculation about the aetiology of Parkinson's disease. Recent experiments suggest that mitochondrial...

Atopic Dermatitis And Eczema

Probiotics have the potential to moderate inflammatory and immune responses and strengthen the intestinal barrier function, three actions that are useful in addressing the underlying pathophysiological processes involved in atopic dermatitis (AD) and eczema (Rosenfeldt et al 2004). The use of probiotic therapy to prevent allergic disease has been demonstrated in studies using L. rhamnosus GG in neonates, whereas studies in infants and children with established AD have found that probiotics...

Gut Repair

Preliminary research on enteral (as well as parenteral) glutamine supplementation suggests promise for the use of glutamine in gut repair by (i) protecting the intestinal mucosa from damage and promoting repair, thus improving intestinal permeability and reducing subsequent microbial and endotoxin translocation, promoting glutathione and S-lgA, and (ii) improving gut immunity. However, while there is considerable evidence for the use of glutamine in TPN (Hall et al 1996), clinical evidence...

Antibacterial

The type of plant species involved in honey production is significant, as some confer greater antibacterial properties than others. Currently, evidence suggests honey produced from the tea trees Leptospermum scoparium (New Zealand manuka) and LipolygalifoHum (Australian jelly bush) are the most effective, but batch testing is still required to verify the antibacterial activity of commercially produced preparations. However, other honeys, not specifically promoted for their anti-bacterial...

Antimicrobial

Numerous studies have found that baical extract and flavonoids exert antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal actions. The antimicrobial effect of baical extract is mild and the clinical efficacy of baical in infectious diseases may be more associated with its anti-inflammatory rather than its antimicrobial activities. Antibacterial Baical skullcap decoction was investigated for bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity against a selection of oral bacteria, including suspected...

Cocoa

Historical note Cocoa originates from Mexico where the Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs considered it the food of the gods. Chocolate, mixed with vanilla and sugar, was first introduced as a beverageto Europe by Colombus and was considered an aphrodisiac and a symbol of wealth and power. The phenolics in chocolate prevent the fat becoming rancid, decreasing the need for added preservatives. This quality was exploited during World War II when at times US troops were rationed three chocolate bars per day...

Ophthalmic Conditions

Bilberry preparations have been used to improve poor night vision, light adaptation and photophobia, myopia and to prevent or retard diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and cataracts. Primarily the collagen-enhancing and antioxidant activities of bilberry provide a theoretical basis for these indications. Visual acuity and light adaptation A systemic review of 12 placebo-controlled trials (5 RCTs and 7 placebo-controlled non-randomised trials) concluded that the 2007 Elsevier Australia...

Fenugreek

Historical note Fenugreek's seeds and leaves are used not only as food but also as an ingredient in traditional medicine. It is indigenous to Western Asia and Southern Europe, but is now mainly cultivated in India, Pakistan, France, Argentina and North African countries. In ancient times it was used as an aphrodisiac by the Egyptians and, together with honey, for the treatment of rickets, diabetes, dyspepsia, rheumatism, anaemia and constipation. It has also been described in early Greek and...

Gastrointestinal Conditions

Chamomile is widely used to relieve stomach cramping, dyspepsia and flatulence. The herb's antispasmodic and relaxant effects provide a theoretical basis for its use in these conditions. In an open, multicentre study, 104 patients with gastrointestinal complaints, including gastritis, flatulence and minor spasms of the intestines, were treated for 6 weeks with 5 miyday of an oral chamomile preparation (standardised to contain 50 mg alpha-bisabolol and 150-300 mg apigenin-7-glucoside per 100 g)....

Sleep Disorders

A preliminary study investigated the effects of randomly assigned methyl- and cyanocobalamin on arcadian rhythms, wellbeing, alertness and concentration after 14 days in 20 healthy subjects (Mayer et al 1996). Methylcobalamin supplementation led to a significant decrease in daytime melatonin levels, improved sleep quality, shorter sleep cycles, increased feelings of alertness, better concentration, and a feeling of waking up refreshed in the morning. It appeared that methylcobalamin was...

Significant Interactions

X-v cholesterol-lowering medication Policosanol 941 Vi Additive effects are likely caution is advised. Considering the mode of action of policosanol, it is likely to increase the cholesterol-lowering effects of statin drugs. However, a theoretical concern exists as to whether concurrent use will also increase the likelihood of adverse effects. Increased antiplatelet effects may develop patients taking aspirin and policosanol concurrently should be observed for increased bleeding or bruising....

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Ginger is described in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) and Tibb (traditional Arabian) systems of medicine to be useful in inflammation and rheumatism and this traditional use is supported by modern studies demonstrating ginger's anti-inflammatory activity. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre, parallel-group 6-week study of 261 patients found that a highly purified and standardised ginger extract (EV.EXT 77) moderately reduced the symptoms of OA of the knee (Altman &...

Antithrombotic And Antiplatelet

Dietary omega-3 EFAs produce a state of enhanced anti-aggregatory and anti-adhesive platelet activity. This is achieved by inducing increased production of the platelet-anti-aggregatory substance prostacyclin l3 and suppressing synthesis of the chemotactic platelet adhesion-promoting substance leukotriene B4 (Kinsella 1987). In animal models of arterial thrombosis, fish-oil-enriched diets have been shown to have an antithrombotic effect however, there is evidence suggesting that this is most...

Chemical Components

The most characteristic compounds in the ginseng roots are the ginsenosides, and most biological effects have been ascribed to these compounds. The ginsenosides are dammarane saponins and can be divided into two classes the protopanaxatriol class consisting primarily of Rg 1, Rg2, Rf and Re, and the protopanaxadiol class consisting primarily of Rc, Rd, Rb1 and Rb2. Ginseng also contains other saponins, polysaccharides, amino acids (in particular glutamine and arginine) (Kuo et al 2003),...

Immune Function And Maintenance Of Epithelial Surfaces

Vitamin A maintains the health of epithelial cells in the body, which form an important barrier to infection, and immune system function. More specifically, studies in animal models and cell lines show that vitamin A and related retinoids play a major role in immunity, including expression of mucins and keratins, lymphopoiesis, production of antibodies, and the function of neutrophils, NK cells, macrophages, T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes (Semba 1999). It has also been shown to potentiate...

Hypotensive

Treatment with baicalein lowered blood pressure in hypertensive but not in normotensive rats according to one study (Takizawa et al 1998). Baical extract and baicalein have also been shown to lower blood pressure in rats and cats (Kaye et al Baical skullcap 61 1997, Takizawa et al 1998). The exact mechanisms underlying the hypotensive action are unclear. One In vivo study has shown that Scutellaria baicalensis extract produces peripheral vasodilatation (Lin et al 1980). A recent review...

Other Uses

Traditionally, oats are considered a nervous system nutritive and therefore used during times of convalescence. More specifically, the straw is prescribed for nervous debility and exhaustion, whereas the seed is considered more stimulating and said to gently improve energy and support an overly stressed nervous system (Chevallier 1996). Preliminary trials have suggested an improvement in sexual interest and performance in people taking oats in combination with nettles. The effects were more...

Peppermint

Historical note The written record of mint dates backto an ancient Greek myth in which the Greek god Pluto was said to have affections for a beautiful nymph named Minthe. His jealous wife Persephone cast a spell on the nymph, transforming her into a plant. When Pluto could not reverse the spell, he gave her a sweet scent that would emanate throughout the garden (Murray & Pizzorno 1 999). Peppermint has been used medicinally for generations as a digestive aid and carminative. More recently,...

Anticlotting

There has been a surprising number of studies investigating the influence of ALA from FSO on coagulation and fibrinolysis, and enormous variation in results. Methodological issues have plagued the overall quality of evidence, with small sample sizes, inconsistent methodologies and diverse sample characteristics making interpretation difficult. One early study compared different dietary ratios of n-6 and n-3 EFAs in relation to prostanoid production in a group of normolipidaemic men (Kelley et...

Cardiovascular Effects

Hawthorn has been extensively studied, and there is good research evidence to support cardiovascular actions that include increasing the force of myocardial contraction (positive inotropic action), increasing coronary blood flow, reducing myocardial oxygen demand, protecting against myocardial damage, improving heart rate variability, as well as hypotensive and antiarrhythmic effects (Mills & Bone 2000). Hawthorn therefore differs from other inotropic agents, which reduce the refractory...

Appetite Suppressant And Weightloss

Weight-loss products often contain guarana, in the belief that it suppresses appetite and may have thermogenic and diuretic activities. An animal study designed to evaluate the effects of guarana and decaffeinated guarana found that only the caffeinated herb was effective for weight loss (Lima et al 2005). To date, most clinical studies have investigated the effects of guarana in combination with other herbs. A double-blind, RCT testing a combination of yerbe mate (leaves of Ilex paraguayenls),...

Sickle Cell Disease

Orally administered L-GIn improves the nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide (NAD) redox potential of sickle red blood cells (RBC). Investigations of blood samples taken from five adult patients with sickle cell anaemia who had been on L-GIn (30 g day) therapy for at least 4 weeks consistently resulted in improvement of sickle RBC adhesion to human umbilical vein endothelial cells compared to the control group. The authors conclude that these results suggest positive physiological effects for...

Manufacturers Of Herbal Medicines And Natural Supplements In Australia And New Zealand

DFC Thompson Australia Pty Ltd 23-25 Sefton Rd, Thornleigh, NSW 2120 Healtheries of Australia Pty Ltd PO Box 22045, Otahuhu, New Zealand Lipa Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd 21 Reaghs Farm Rd, Minto, NSW 2566 MediHerb Pty Ltd PO Box 713, Warwick, Qld 4370 Nutrition Care Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd PO Box 153, Dingley, Vic 3172 26 Roseberry St, Balgowlah, NSW 2093 RESOURCES USED TO COMPILE THIS BOOK A book of this type requires careful research and access to quality resources in order to provide balanced...

Mineralocorticoid Effect

The GA constituent in licorice (and its metabolite 3-monoglucuronyl-glycyrrhetinic acid) inhibits the enzyme 11 HSD (Kato et al 1995), which catalyses the conversion of Cortisol into its inactive metabolite, cortisone. This results in delayed excretion and prolonged activity of Cortisol. Additionally, GL and GA bind to mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors and may displace Cortisol from its carrier molecule, transcortin (Nissen 2003). Pseudohyperaldosteronism As Cortisol levels rise,...

Photoprotection

Beta-carotene, together with other carotenoids, is present in all photosynthetic organisms where it serves an important photoprotective role either by dissipating excess excitation energy as heat or by scavenging reactive oxygen species and suppressing lipid peroxidation (Penuelas & Munne-Bosch 2005). Studies in bacteria, animals and humans have demonstrated that carotenoids can prevent or lessen photosensitivity by endogenous and exogenous photosensitisers (Mathews-Roth 1993) and high doses...

Herpes Simplex Virus Type

One study using a combination of acyclovir and cloves administered orally found this to be superior to acyclovir alone in the treatment of herpes simplex virus type 1 infection (Kurokawa et al 1995). The combination significantly reduced the development of skin lesion and or prolonged survival times of infected mice and reduced viral loads. Tiger balm is a popular OTC preparation that contains clove oil, menthol, cassia oil, camphor, cajuput oil and sometimes peppermint oil. It is generally...

Clinical Use

In practice, peppermint and its derivatives are used in many forms and administered Peppermint 912 by various routes. This review will focus only on those methods that are commonly used by the public and preparations that are available OTC, such as oral dose forms, topical applications and inhalations. irritable bowel syndrome There have been several studies examining the effects of peppermint oil in the treatment of IBS (Dew et al 1984, Rees et al 1979). Newer studies have tended to use...

Info

Suppressive effect of Astragalus membranaceus Bunge on chemical hepatocarcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol 51.1 (2003) 75-80. Duke JA. Dr Duke's phytochemical and ethnobotanical databases. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory. Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, March 2003. www.ars-grin.gov duke. Guo FC et al. In vitro fermentation characteristics of two mushroom species, an herb, and...

Enhances Dermal Wound Healing

A 2002 study in mice found that topical application of grapeseed PCs considerably accelerate wound contraction and closure and provided additional support during the wound healing process (Khanna et al 2002). Chloasma Chloasma is a condition characterised by hyperpigmentation and is generally considered recalcitrant to treatment. Proathocyanidin-rich GSE successfully reduced hyperpigmentation in women with chloasma after 6 months of oral treatment according to an open study involving 12...

Enhance Wound Healing

Pantothenic acid has been both used as an oral supplement and applied topically in a cream base to enhance wound healing and it has been shown to accelerate closure of wounds and increase strength of scar tissue in experimental animals (Plesofsky 2002, Vaxman et al 1990). Although these results are encouraging, there has been little investigation in humans. One double-blind study testing the effects of vitamin C (1000 mg) and pantothenic acid (200 mg) supplements over a 21 -day period showed no...

Ulcyte Or Questran

Cisplatln Cyclosporin Hepatotoxic Simvastatin (e.g. Lipex, Zocor) Tacrine Tricyclic antidepressants Loop diuretics 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (e.g. finasteride e.g. Proscar ) Turmeric Anticoagulants (e.g. warfarin) Antiplatelet drugs Antidepressants including SSRIs, SNRIs, tricyclics and MAOIs CNS stimulants L-Dopa (levodopa) Levothyroxine (e.g. Oroxine) Morphine Phenylpropanolamine (found in Neo-Diophen) Barbiturates Benzodiazepines CNS sedatives Cholestyramine (e.g....

Traditional Uses

Used within the traditional Chinese herbal medicine system, astragalus is used to invigorate and tonify Qi and the blood, as an adaptogen, for severe blood loss, fatigue, anorexia, organ prolapse, chronic diarrhoea, shortness of breath, sweating and to enhance recuperation (Mills and Bone 2000). Clinical note The concept of an adaptogen is foreign to Western medicine but often used in Chinese medicine Adaptogens are considered natural bioregulators that increase the ability of the organism to...

Toxic Liver Damage

Mushroom poisoning (Amanita phalloides) One of the best documented uses of milk thistle is in the treatment of poisoning by the mushroom Amanita phalloides (death cap). Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and severe diarrhoea usually occur 8-12 hours after ingestion with extensive hepatic necrosis occurring 1-2 days later. A mortality rate of 20-30 has been observed but can be as high as 50 in children under 10 years of age (Floersheim et al 1982). Several clinical studies have shown silybin...

Diabetes

Fenugreek is a popular natural treatment used to aid blood sugar regulation in diabetes. Overall, results from clinical studies have produced positive results however trials have used diverse preparations, various dosage regimens and outcome measures. In one open study involving 60 people with type 2 diabetes, 25 g fenugreek seed powder taken together with lunch and dinner for 24 weeks produced significant reductions to fasting blood sugar levels and symptoms of diabetes, and improved glucose...

Erectile Dysfunction

Korean red ginseng has been shown to alleviate erectile dysfunction and improve the ability to achieve and maintain erections even in patients with severe erectile dysfunction Price amp Gazewood 2003 . Ginsenosides can facilitate penile erection by directly inducing the vasodilatation and relaxation of the penile corpus cavernosum. Moreover, the effects of ginseng on the corpus cavernosum appear to be mediated by the release and or modification of release of NO from endothelial cells and...

Chemoprotection And Antimutagenic Effects

In vivo studies suggest that rosemary extract may reduce the effects of carcinogenic or toxic agents on many cell lines, including rat mammary gland Amagase et al 1996, Singletary et al 1996 , mouse liver and stomach Singletary amp Rokusek 1997 , bone marrow Fahim et al 1999 and skin Huang et al 1994 . An in vitro study on human bronchial cells found that rosemary extract and its constituents, carnosol and carnosic acid, may have chemoprotective activity through decreasing carcinogen activation...

Chemoprotective And Adjunct In Cancer Therapy

Rosemary was used topically to treat cancer in ancient Greece and South America. Although controlled trials are yet to be conducted, it has been suggested that rosemary may delay and inhibit tumour formation in women with breast cancer Abascal amp Yarnell 2001 and that it has potential as a preventive agent or as an adjunct in cancer therapy. An in vitro study in human breast cancer cells found that rosemary extract increased the intracellular accumulation of commonly used chemotherapeutic...

Menopausal Symptoms

Most clinical research has tested the commercial preparation of black cohosh known as Remifemin, which is standardised to contain triterpene glycosides 0.8-1.2 mg tablet , but recently there has been some investigation of BNO 1055, an aqueous ethanolic extract 58 vol vol , sold as Klimadynon and Menofem Bionorica AG, Neumarkt, Germany . A review of eight clinical trials published in 1998 found that black cohosh Remifemin is a safe and effective alternative to HRT for menopausal patients in whom...

Infection

Garlic oil is effective against numerous bacteria, viruses and fungi including Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA, and several species of Candida, Aspergillus and Cryptococcus neoformans in vitro Davis et al 1994, Tsao amp Yin 2001, Yoshida et al 1987 . As such, it has been used both internally and externally to treat various infections and prevent wound infection. Tinea pedis, tinea corporis, tinea cruris A trial comparing the effects of three different strengths of ajoene cream 0.4 , 0.6 and 1 with...

Viral Myocarditis

Findings from a recent Cochrane systematic review of Chinese herbs used in viral myocarditis provide limited supportive evidence for its use however, further research is required before a definitive conclusion can be made Liu JP et al 2004 . Several in vivo and in vitro studies have found some antagonistic effects on the enterovirus coxsackie B and a reduction in myocardial injury Lu et al 1999, Peng et al 1995, Rui et al 1993, Yang et al 1990 thought to be due to the astragalosides in the herb...

Secondary Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is more likely to result from inadequate absorption, defects in vitamin B12 metabolism or gastrointestinal disorders than a lack of dietary intake. Pernicious anaemia an autoimmune condition affecting gastric parietal cells that produce intrinsic factor common cause of megaloblastic anaemia, especially in persons of European or African descent Stabler amp Allen 2004 . Methylmalonic acidaemia inherited defect in B12 metabolism. Congenital absence of transcobalamin II....

Atopic Dermatitis

A novel use for B12 in a topical cream for atopic dermatitis has recently been tested. A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled phase III multicentre trial involving 49 patients was conducted. Subjects applied the B12 cream twice daily to one side of the body and a placebo cream to the contralateral side, according to the randomisation scheme, for 8 weeks. The B12 cream was reported to significantly improve the extent and severity of atopic dermatitis and was considered safe and very well...

Background And Relevant Pharmacokinetics

Carnitine was discovered in 1905, although its role in metabolism was only described in the mid 1950s and deficiency symptoms outlined in 1972. It is a trimethylated amino acid, roughly similar in structure to choline, that is ingested through the diet and also synthesised from lysine and methionine in the body. To do this, a large number of cofactors are required, such as S-adenosyl methionine SAMe , methionine, magnesium, vitamins C, B6, B2, B3, iron, alpha-ketoglutarate and oxygen Kelly 1998...

Immunostimulant And Immunomodulator

The immunostimulant activity of echinacea has been the subject of countless studies. Overall, the fresh-pressed leaf juice of E. purpurea and alcoholic extracts of the roots of E. pallida, E. angustlfolla and E. purpurea have been shown to act mainly on nonspecific cellular immunity Blumenthal et al 2000 . Macrophage activation has been well demonstrated, as has stimulation of phagocytosis Barrett 2003, Bauer et al 1988 . Orally administered root extracts of echinacea have produced stronger...

Venous Leg Ulceration

Chronic venous leg ulceration VLU is a common recurrent problem in the elderly population and may result in immobility, with 45 of patients being housebound Baker amp Stacey 1994 . As a result, individuals with VLU frequently experience depression, anxiety, social isolation, sleeplessness and reduced working capacity Leach 2004 . CVI, which is characterised by an increase in capillary permeability, inflammatory reactions, decreased lymphatic reabsorption, oedema and malnutrition of tissues, is...

Sleep Disturbances

Although there have been no clinical studies to support hops as a stand-alone sedative agent, several studies have demonstrated formulas combining hops with other sedative herbs are effective for insomnia. Two randomised double-blind studies have investigated the effects of an oral preparation of hops and valerian in sleep disorders Gerhard et al 1996, Schmitz amp Jackel 1998 . One study observed equivalent efficacy and tolerability of a hops-valerian preparation comparable to benzodiazepine...

Antimicrobial And Antiparasitic

Ginger extract and several of its main constituents exhibit antimicrobial activity in vitro Ginger 508 and in vivo. Ginger extract has been shown to have an antibacterial effect against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, S. pneumoniae and Haemophilus collected from throat swaps of Infected Individuals. The minimum inhibitory concentration of ginger ranged from 0.0003-0.7 fjg mL, and the minimum bactericidal concentration ranged from 0.135-2.04 g mL Akoachere et al 2002 . Ginger has...

Practice Points

Clove flower buds and clove oil has antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and local anaesthetic properties. It is directly applied to relieve the symptoms of toothache and dry socket. Clove oil is also used in mouth rinses and gargles to improve oral hygiene. Massaging one drop of oil into the temples has been used to treat headache. This herb and its essential oil should not be taken internally. ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Clove flower buds and clove oil have...

Ginger

Historical note Ginger has been used as both a food and a medicine since ancient times. Confucius wrote about it in his Analects, the Greek physician, Dioscorides, listed ginger as an antidote to poisoning, as a digestive, and as being warming to the stomach in De Materia Medica, and the Koran, the Talmud and the Bible all mention ginger. Records suggest that ginger was highly valued as an article of trade and in 13th and 14th century England, one pound of ginger was worth the same as a sheep...

Migraine

Ginger is used to prevent and treat migraine headache. Its ability to inhibit thromboxane A2 and exert antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and gastric actions makes it a theoretically attractive choice Mustafa amp Srivastava 1990b . This use is supported by an open-label study of 30 migraine sufferers that reported that treatment with a sublingual ginger and feverfew preparation GelStat MigraineO in the initial phase of a migraine resulted in most patients being satisfied with the therapy and...

Lipidlowering

The largest and most recent trial involved over 1 50 moderately hyperlipidaemic patients in a double-blind placebo-controlled 5-arm parallel design conducted over 6 months. Two groups received FSO at different doses equivalent to 4.5 g day and 9.5 g day of ALA , two groups received bioequivalent levels of EPA DHA and one group received LA and served as a control group. Although the higher ALA dose induced comparable changes in serum and cell membrane EPA levels to the fish oil group, ALA failed...

Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis A double-blind multicentre study involving 145 patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis showed that n-3 fatty acids 6 g day improved clinical symptom scores by 30 after 4 months' treatment Soyland et al 1994 . The results were confirmed by the total subjective clinical score reported by the patients. An earlier, 12-week, prospective double-blind study produced similar results with a dose of 10 g day fish oil improving overall severity of atopic dermatitis and...

Antiviral

In vitro studies suggest that Aloe vera has antiviral activity due to its interference with DNA synthesis Saoo et al 1996 . The polysaccharide fractions of aloe gel inhibit the binding of benzopyrene to primary rat hepatocytes and thus prevent the formation of potentially cancer-initiating benzopyrene-DNA adducts in vitro. This was later confirmed by in vivo studies Kim amp Lee 1997 . Moreover, in vitro experiments have shown the anthraquinones in aloe to be virucidal against HSV 1 and 2,...