This month the following research on herbs and health has caught my eye.
Cocoa (Theobroma cocoa) has been found to have neuroprotective properties in a new laboratory study looking at the neuroprotective action required in Alzheimer’s disease. The neuroprotective findings of the study suggest that this action could be beneficial in other neurodegenerative disorders.
A study in New York has found that sugar sweetened drinks increases blood pressure when looking at 410,000 study records.
Yoga is being prescribed by doctors in the USA for more than just relaxation, sleep apnea and arthritis have shown improvements.
Milk thistle (Silybum marinum) has been investigated as an Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s treatment, as well as for hypercholesterolemia.
Gene therapy is currently being used to help patients with Parkinson’s disease in the UK.
This month I have found the following research particularly interesting.
Blueberry1. A 300g portion of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) has been found to protect DNA from damage, in a study in men.
2. Korean ginseng (Coreanica ginseng) has been found to improve erectile dysfunction in men, when taken for 8 weeks.
3. There have been several studies showing that artichoke (Cynara scolymus) can reduce cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease, this new study has highlighted the lipid lowering properties, backing up the earlier research on its use in reducing cholesterol levels.
4. Walnuts (Juglans regia) have been shown to reduce the growth of prostate cancer in a new laboratory study.
5. A new study of the phytochemicals within Cinnamon (Cinnamom verum) has found it protects neurons which could see it used in neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and dementia.
6. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) has long been used as both a treatment and preventative for migraines. A new report shows that its use as a preventative for migraines is backed up pharmacologically and it could be taken long term.
7. A component of Baical skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) has been shown to reduce colon cancer in laboratory studies.
8. A new five step plan to help patients cope with pain is being used in USA.
9. Chaste tree berry (Vitex agnus castus) has recently been studied for its use to treat migraines as part of premenstrual syndrome with good results.
10. A new report shows that an external preparation of comfrey root (Symphytum officinale) has been used effectively to treat painful joints and muscles, from sports injuries to degenerative arthritis.
This month I have found the following pieces of research interesting.1. The effect of ginger for relieving of primary dysmenorrhoea (a type of period pain). In this study 70 woman with primary dysmenorrhoea were given either a placebo or ginger capsules for the first three days of their menstrual cycles. Their pain levels were then scored, and when compared, the women who took ginger capsules found their pain had reduced. An additional benefit that was identified was the reduction in nausea when taking the ginger capsules.
2. Filipendula ulmaria (meadowsweet) has been found to have antihistamine qualities by laboratory studies.
3. Fenugreek has been shown to reduce cholesterol in laboratory studies.
Fenugreek4. Inflammatory bowel disease has been shown to flare up in hot weather, a study in Switzerland found.
5. Cognitive behaviour therapy has been found to be effective for treating people with tinnitus.
6. Oats have been found to improve liver function and prevent obesity in laboratory studies.
Oats (Avena sativa)7. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) have been suggested as possible treatments for metabolic syndrome.
8. Antibiotic resistance has been declared a crisis by the World Health Organisation, “as pharmaceutical companies are no longer developing new antibiotics and antibiotic abuse is widespread”.
9. Astragalus membranaceus (milk vetch) has been suggested as a possible alternative treatment for Parkinson’s disease.