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Popular pain reliever triggers 20 percent of liver transplant cases

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/pain-reliever-liver-transplant-3305.html

pain-reliever(NaturalHealth365) Go ahead and place your hand on the upper right part of your abdomen. Right beneath your palm is a football-sized organ that plays an important role in detoxifying your body and helping with digestion. This organ is your liver – do you know if yours is healthy?

Turns out, liver disease signs and symptoms can be hard to notice – which is why Jonathan Landsman created the Fatty Liver Docu-Class, available now.

You may also be surprised to know that liver disease and other types of damage can occur due to unintended drug effects of medications, including the extremely popular NSAIDs.  Could our nation’s dependency on prescription and over-the-counter drugs contribute to the prevalence of liver transplant surgery?

Taking a popular pain reliever can damage the liver and INCREASE the risk of heart disease

In August 2019 a team of researchers published a paper in Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics that set out to investigate the health risks associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs including ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil), aspirin, and naproxen (Aleve).

Here’s some of their findings based on a large pool of data from other studies:

  • Side effects of these drugs are responsible for at least 100,000 hospitalizations and 17,000 deaths per year in the United States.
  • More than half of liver failure events caused by drug overdose and 20 percent of liver transplant surgeries are caused by acetaminophen (about 8,000 liver transplants occur every year in the U.S.). Meanwhile, anywhere from 80 to 100 million Americans have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and don’t know it!
  • NSAIDs (not including aspirin) are also linked with an increased risk for cardiovascular problems including stroke, heart failure, and electrolyte imbalances.
  • Even the Food and Drug Administration has had to recently expand their warnings about NSAIDs and their potential role in contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Overall, the research on NSAID drug effects and the unintended harmful impacts they can impose on the body has a lot of holes, and the researchers of this paper understandably state that there needs to be more.

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In the meantime, the authors call for “judicious individual clinical decision-making about the prescription of NSAIDs” and advise healthcare providers to “consider all these aforementioned benefits and risks, both CVD and beyond, in deciding whether and, if so, which, NSAID to prescribe.”

Curb your NSAID intake with these 5 natural pain relievers instead

Controlling and minimizing chronic pain can have a huge impact on the quality of your life and your ability to earn money, enjoy your hobbies, stay independent, and enjoy time with your loved ones.

If you’re tired of relying on expensive medications that are causing unintentional effects on your health and organ function, check out these natural pain-relieving options and find out how they can help you:

  1. Turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory
  2. Acupuncture and other holistic treatment options
  3. Exercise: Just don’t overdo it
  4. Aloe vera, which has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties according to the U.S. Pain Foundation
  5. Mindfulness practices, including four square breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation

And remember: our team at NaturalHealth365 doesn’t provide medical advice, and we do not recommend making any changes to medication without approval from your physician, so be sure to chat with your doctor before starting or stopping any drug or supplement routine.

Sources for this article include:

Journals.sagepub.com
Medicalnewstoday.com
NIH.gov
Washingtonpost.com
USpainfoundation.org
Healthline.com
Liverfoundation.org
Eurekalert.org
CNBC.com
Healthfully.com

Boosting Mitochondrial Biogenesis With Ginger

© 18th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
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Posted on: January 18th 2020 at 4:00 pm
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Film Reveals How Industrial Agriculture Destroys Soil


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/02/08/how-industrial-agriculture-destroys-soil.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

February 08, 2020
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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The documentary, “The Need to Grow,” highlights the damage industrial agriculture is doing to soil health
  • Seventy percent of the planet’s soils have already been destroyed
  • The entire food chain and human life depend on billions of microorganisms that coexist in the soil
  • Tilling the soil disrupts fragile soil life and turns soil carbon into atmospheric carbon dioxide, fueling the climate crisis
  • The film features Michael Smith, inventor of the Green Power House, a power plant powered by sunlight and waste that efficiently creates biochar to accelerate the regeneration of soil

“The Need to Grow” highlights the shocking damage industrial agriculture is doing to our soil. The documentary, produced by Earth Conscious Films, follows three people who are fighting for change in our food system.

They include a 6-year-old activist petitioning Girl Scouts to get genetically modified ingredients out of its cookies; a farmer, biochemist and chef who is fighting to keep his land for regenerative urban farming; and an inventor from Montana who developed a Green Power House to accelerate the regeneration of soil using biochar.

The film starts out revealing some devastating facts about soil, including that 70% of our planet’s soil has already been destroyed. And because nature takes an estimated 1,000 years to generate just 3 centimeters of topsoil, if this rate of soil degradation continues, Earth could run out of farmable soil in 60 years.1

These facts are worrisome. But they serve as an important wakeup call that immediate action must be taken to save our soil. Fortunately, as shown in the film, there are fast and effective solutions to regenerate our soil. But before we explore those solutions, let’s first look at the root of the problem.

In the U.S., we’re losing soil at 10 times the rate of which it takes to regenerate it. The main driver is industrial agriculture, which relies heavily on synthetic inputs and machinery that tills up the soil. The practice of tilling affects the soils’ ability to hold water. It also turns soil carbon into atmospheric carbon dioxide, heating up the atmosphere, which in turn fuels the climate crisis.

It All Boils Down to the Soil

Tilling and applying agrichemicals disrupts fragile soil microbes. A single teaspoon of healthy soil can host billions of microorganisms.2 Tens of thousands of different living species, such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects and earthworms, create a complex, interconnected web that affects not only the soil but also the health of all living creatures and the food chain as a whole.

These intricate networks act like a fast underground internet, transporting nutrients, water and carbon, creating a stable structure that prevents erosion and permits plants and other lifeforms to thrive. In short, soil microbes make life possible. As Paul Stamets, mycologist and author of “Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Save the World,” says in the film:

“We are here today because of very smart choices on the evolutionary path. And we are born from the soil that gives us life. All of our food comes from soil. So, when we begin to destroy the biology of the soil we destroy the food networks that give us life. This is where we face an unprecedented circumstance.”

The Difference Between Soil and Dirt

Over the last century, farmers around the world have been encouraged to rely on unsustainable inputs, such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which have resulted in short-term boosts in production, but at a major cost to soil longevity.

Large-scale monocropping and repeated tilling have resulted in the loss of topsoil rich in biodiversity, leaving behind dead dirt. This soil degradation has accelerated erosion, allowing a lifetime of topsoil to turn to dust and be blown or washed away.

This leads to a host of other problems, including food scarcity, as crops become less resilient to extreme weather conditions such as flooding and drought. As noted in the film, the difference between life and death, abundance and extinction, is the difference between soil and dirt.

The rise of industrial agriculture is tied to the military industrial complex, Jeffrey Smith, author of “Seeds of Deception,” explains in the film. After World War II, there was an excess of bomb-making material that was turned into pesticides. As the military industrial complex moved into agriculture, a model of chemical dependency was born. It’s a model environmental activist Vandana Shiva describes in the film as a war against our planet:

“Industrial agriculture, in my point of view, is first and foremost a war against the Earth because it is a war against all species, since you are bringing more chemicals into food production. And all they are doing is killing.”

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Industrial Agriculture Linked to Ocean Dead Zones

Today, about 44 billion pounds of chemical fertilizers are used each year, according to the film. The impacts of these synthetic fertilizers reach far and wide. They disrupt the soil’s microbial balance and harm beneficial fungus and organic matter.

As biodiversity decreases, more fertilizers are needed to maintain outputs. Without nature there to do its job, agrichemicals must be used to fight off weeds and bugs. David King, founder of Seed Library of Los Angeles, put it best in the film when he said, “The idea that you can fight nature is dead upon arrival.”

The problems with synthetic fertilizers don’t stop on the field. Up to 50% of nitrogen fertilizers are washed away with rain and irrigation water, causing a huge amount of pollution that’s resulted in an ocean dead zone the size of New Jersey.

A dead zone in the ocean lacks oxygen and can kill fish and other marine life. The New Jersey-size dead zone is the largest ever measured since scientists began mapping ocean dead zones in 1985.3

Factory farms or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) — which are easily the most polluting activity on the planet — are a second major contributor to ocean dead zones.

In August 2017, a report by the environmental group Mighty blamed toxins from factory farm manure and chemical fertilizers for causing the largest dead zone ever recorded. The Guardian reports:4

“Nutrients flowing into streams, rivers and the ocean from agriculture and wastewater stimulate an overgrowth of algae, which then decomposes. This results in hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, in the water, causing marine life either to flee or to die.”

Roundup Weedkiller at Center of 42,700 Cancer Lawsuits

Sadly, vast amounts of resources are used to fuel industrial agriculture and factory farming. In the U.S., more than 33% of fossil fuels, 50% of all water and 80% of farmland is used to raise animals that are confined in factory farms and to grow the grain to feed them, according to the film.

Most of the grains are genetically modified, 80% of which are engineered to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller. Roundup has been linked to a host of health problems, including liver and kidney damage, Parkinson’s, infertility and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. More than 42,700 plaintiffs in the U.S. have filed suit against Bayer (Monsanto’s new owner), claiming Roundup caused their cancer.5

The use of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, has risen 10,000% since 1974, according to the film. The chemical is now found in our food, air and rainwater. Still, U.S. regulatory authorities do not require food to be tested for glyphosate contamination.

Big Agriculture’s philosophy of using GMOs and glyphosate is one of sterilization: Kill everything except the crop. This is the exact opposite of farming in ways that regenerate soil and biodiversity.

The Green Power House

The film features Erik Cutter, a biochemist and oncologist by training who became a chef, farmer and pioneer of urban regenerative agriculture. Cutter uses a tool called the SoxxBoxx Gro System,6 an elevated tray containing rows of polypropylene socks filled with healthy soil.

The SoxxBoxx system sequesters carbon and blends organic, aeroponic and hydroponic practices. The results are plants high in nutrients that don’t require pesticides.

The film shows Cutter being introduced to a natural fertilizer that, to his amazement, caused his plant to change colors within 45 minutes of applying it. The material turned out to be biochar. It was produced by Michael Smith, inventor of the Green Power Plant. Fascinated and eager to learn more, Cutter hopped on an airplane and flew to Montana to meet Smith.

Smith is a mathematician, physicist and former software engineer. His background is diverse and includes working in the field of artificial intelligence for a variety of companies such as Walt Disney Studios, NASA and the FBI. Smith was one of the first pioneers in 3D printing, long before 3D printers were known as they are today.

He took his expertise in artificial intelligence and began to apply it to biology. In 2009, he co-founded Algae Aqua-Culture Technologies Inc., which designed the Green Power House.7 The power house operates on a system powered by sunlight and industrial waste, diverting that waste from landfills and producing electricity while accelerating the regeneration of soil.

The power house uses something they call the dragon, a state-of-the-art pyrolysis machine. When biomass such as wood chips enter the dragon, it’s heated close to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The absence of oxygen prevents combustion, leaving behind a stable carbon structure similar to charcoal.

The extracted energy runs the entire power house off-grid, while creating enough excess electricity to meet the needs of about 100 homes. It would take more than 3 acres of solar panels to accomplish this, notes the film.

Biochar

The electricity is not their main product, though. It’s their “waste” byproduct. Pretty incredible, right? The main product is biochar, which is emerging as one of the best solutions to environmental pollution.

The process of making biochar has been around for about 9,000 years. Our ancestors created biochar to revitalize the soil. Algae Aqua-Culture did not invent the process of making biochar, they simply reformulated it for the 21st century.

As explained in the film, biochar is a form of extremely stable carbon with pores that create a massive surface area in a tiny space. Think of it like this: A 2-inch piece of biochar, if unfolded, would have the surface area the size of a football field. This structure is an optimal breeding ground for beneficial soil microbes, holding water and nutrients where plant roots need them the most.

Without the dragon, the wood waste would end up in the landfill, releasing greenhouse gases as it decomposed. Instead, biochar locks the carbon back underground for hundreds or even thousands of years. The technology is aimed at both regenerating the soil and reducing the carbon footprint of polluting industries like timber and coal, while providing cleaner, low-carbon energy alternatives.8

Remarkably, one green power house is able to stabilize more than 1 ton of carbon every day. It would take about 50,000 trees to do the same, according to the film.

Smith is using the Green Power House to fix carbon, pulling it out of the atmosphere and putting it back in the ground where it can do the most good. Smith and his team essentially copied nature’s way of producing soil — taking carbon dioxide, water and sunlight and creating biomass from it. They just found a way to accelerate the process.

The Liquid Prairie

The film takes Cutter on a tour through what Smith and his team refer to as the “Liquid Prairie.” Using continuously fed carbon dioxide from the dragon, rapidly growing algae is harvested every day. Through biodigestion, algae are converted to a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer that when combined with biochar, creates a powerful soil rejuvenator.

Methane, a byproduct of algae digestion, is sent back to the dragon, which heats and processes more waste, completing the cycle. Most people don’t know it, but algae are higher in energy than coal, Smith tells Cutter in the film. Through the whole process, Smith is doing in four or five days what nature would do in 400 years.

Save the Soil

Solutions such as the Green Power Plant are key in building healthy soil and transforming our broken food and farming system. The good news is there are many steps all of us can take to help shift our death-based agriculture system to a life-based economy.

We can’t feed the world from dead soil. But we can provide nutritious food on a global scale without destroying the planet. All we need are many small solutions that lead to a societal shift.

Actions such as shopping organic, supporting local regenerative farms, growing your own foodcomposting, seed-saving or starting a garden at your or your child’s school can help restore soil health and the biodiversity that depend on it.

As the film notes, the future of our food system is in our hands. Agriculture can either destroy the planet or it can be a vessel to regenerate our soils, restore ecosystems and create true food security. But we must act now. The actions we take in the next few years will have environmental effects lasting for generations.

As Shiva says in the film, “In life, the phrase ‘it’s too late’ doesn’t work. Life is about renewal. Life is about healing. Life is about bursting forth again and again and again.” Click here to find local farms in your area selling regenerative products.

About the Director

from left to right: Rob Herring, Rosario Dawson, and Ryan Wirick
from left to right: Rob Herring,
Rosario Dawson, and Ryan Wirick

I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the filmmakers, Rob Herring and Ryan Wirick, from “The Need to GROW.” Here is a little more about them and what went in to making this film. Thank you, Rob and Ryan, for sharing with us.

What was your inspiration for making this film?

The U.N. report “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late” recently stated that localizing and diversifying the food supply and increasing small organic farms was the key to fixing our food system, rather than relying on chemical-dependent, soil-eroding, nutrient-lacking GMO monocultures. It seemed so obvious. Meanwhile, Time magazine estimated that at our current rate of soil degradation, we only have roughly 60 years of farmable topsoil left on the planet.

We knew the public didn’t need another doomsday film insinuating it was too late to save our species. It’s not. So, we set out looking for the untold stories of revolutionary people who are already creating the new food system, in harmony with nature.

As we began interviewing experts, it quickly became apparent how important soil health is to the future of the planet. Soil isn’t sexy, so it’s often overlooked as being nothing more than dirt. This couldn’t be further from the truth — there are more micro-organisms in a healthy tablespoon of soil than there are people on the planet!

Healthy soil regulates not just the nutrients in a healthy food system, but healthy water, air, biodiversity and the ability to return atmospheric carbon pollution back into the Earth. Like nothing else, the act of healing our soils truly addresses almost every other environmental issue — including climate change!

The film follows a mother and daughter activist, a renegade urban farmer and an accomplished visionary inventor revolutionizing soil restoration.

It was important to us for these characters’ personal journeys to serve as a vehicle through which we could weave in myriad action steps on all scales. Audiences leave feeling hopeful and knowing exactly what solution they can participate in immediately — regardless of who they are or where they live.

Shot over nearly five years, “The Need To GROW” is ultimately a story of underdog resilience. Each character overcomes a major setback, bringing viewers on a ride to not only learn about the astonishing issue of soil health — and the urgent problems of our food system overall — but to connect with characters who offer an inspiring example of what can be accomplished with perseverance and heart.

What was your favorite part of making the film?

We forged lifelong friendships, not only with the stars of the film, but with countless solutionists around the country whom we met while traveling and looking for the most cutting-edge solutions. What we saw was there are a lot of incredible people out there working hard to heal this planet and our relationship to it. It is more than hopeful — we found that we already have most of the answers to turn around our environmental destructive habits.

When the time comes that the public and governments are ready to listen, the answers will be ready to deploy, as proven by those who are already participating in the future food system.

What gives us the most pride is seeing the new friendships that exist between people we helped connect through this process. Seeing inspiring leaders interact and work together now — and knowing our film is the reason for their relationship — makes us happier than anything.

Where do the proceeds from your film go?

All proceeds of “The Need to GROW” go toward raising awareness of the importance of soil regeneration and increasing the accessibility of solutions to heal both people and planet.

Our new platform, Earth Conscious Life, was created to accentuate how there are no dividing lines between planetary health and human health — the pursuit of a healthy planet, society, family and home are one and the same. Our mission is to make these connections indispensable for people through community and art focused on holistic solutions.

Order The Need to Grow

The Apoptotic and Anticancer Effects of Cinnamon

© 3rd January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/apoptotic-and-anticancer-effects-cinnamon

Posted on: Friday, January 3rd 2020 at 3:45 pm

Cancer rates are on the rise, and researchers are anxious to find possible alternative and herbal remedies to prevent and treat cancer. Conventional cancer treatments include chemotherapy and radiotherapy, both of which work to kill cancerous cells or arrest cancerous cell growth but have numerous negative side effects.[i],[ii]

However, a recent study published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry concluded that eugenol and cinnamaldehyde, two of the active ingredients in cinnamon, have powerful apoptotic properties that could be used to fight the growth and regeneration of cancerous cells. Researchers believe that cinnamon, widely used as a spice and flavoring agent, may be a possible preventative agent and treatment for cancer.

Cinnamon’s Apoptosis Effects

Apoptosis is programmed cell death caused by biochemical changes, and it’s a normal part of cellular growth and development. However, too much apoptosis can lead to dangerous conditions including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, while too little apoptosis can lead to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells (cancer).[iii]

Cancerous cells are usually able to avoid apoptosis, allowing them to survive and grow rapidly. The pro-apoptotic activity of cinnamon makes it a potential inhibitory measure against cancer cell growth.[iv] Researchers have concluded that there are three ways in which an abnormal cell can suppress or avoid apoptosis, including:

  • The impaired balance of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins
  • A dysfunction in the ability of the cell to detect death receptor signaling
  • Decreased caspase (an enzyme that initiates cellular death) activity

Cinnamon contains two compounds that may regulate these apoptotic functions:

1. Eugenol

One of cinnamon’s active ingredients, eugenol both induces and regulates apoptosis in cancerous cells. Eugenol may also up-regulate the amount of caspase activity, further prompting appropriate cellular apoptosis.

In this study, pre-treatment doses of eugenol resulted in a 1.5-fold increase in the apoptotic index of cancerous cells. Finally, eugenol also works to mitigate any imbalances between the pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins. [v] [vi]

2. Cinnamaldehyde

Similarly to eugenol, cinnamaldehyde is an organic compound that gives cinnamon its color, flavor and smell, up-regulates pro-apoptotic proteins and down-regulates anti-apoptotic proteins. This regulation of the balance of these important proteins gives cinnamaldehyde its anti-proliferative effects on cancerous cells.[vii]

Cinnamon Suppresses Tumor Growth

Of significant importance is cinnamon’s ability to reduce tumor growth. Essential oil of cinnamon has been shown to suppress the growth of cell factors in carcinoma cells.[viii] Additionally, researchers found:

“Oral or intra-tumoral injection of [cinnamon extract] to a mouse melanoma model significantly reduced tumor growth after 22 days of therapy as determined by tumor weight measurement. [Cinnamon extract] suppressed metastasis occurrence by decreasing weight and dimension of spleen drainage and lymph nodes compared to the control.”[ix]

As cancer prevalence becomes more widespread, researchers are excited at the possibility of using herbal or alternative medicinal treatments to treat and prevent cancer. That cinnamon contains such potent apoptotic and antitumor effects and is widely available is promising in the continued search for cancer treatment and prevention.

For a wider dataset of research related to cinnamon’s anti-cancer properties in multiple cancer types, including lung, colon, skin, head and neck, oral, ovarian and prostate cancers, please visit GreenMedInfo.com.

Don’t forget to pre-order Sayer Ji’s new book REGENERATE on AMAZON or BARNES and NOBLE!


References

[i] Curr Opin Chem Biol. 1999 Feb;3(1):77-83.

[ii] Biomedicine (Taipei). 2017 Dec; 7(4): 23.

[iii] Toxicol Pathol. 2007; 35(4): 495–516.

[iv] BMC Cancer. 2010; 10: 392.

[v] Eur J Med Chem. 2019 Sep 15;178:131-140.

[vi] BMC Cancer. 2013; 13: 600.

[vii] Clin Lab Sci. 2008 Summer;21(3):151-7. PMID: 18678136

[viii] J BUON. 2015 Nov-Dec;20(6):1518-25. PMID: 26854449

[ix] J BUON. 2015 Nov-Dec;20(6):1518-25. PMID: 26854449

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

So Where Are the Bodies THIS Year?

© 1st February 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/so-where-are-bodies-year

Ground Black Seed May Dissolve Kidney Stones

© 9th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
https://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/ground-black-seed-may-dissolve-kidney-stones

Posted on: Thursday, January 9th 2020 at 3:15 pm

Nigella sativa, more commonly known as black seed, is a widely used therapeutic plant around the world, including in Ayurvedic medicine. A study on 60 patients with kidney stones offers evidence of its might and effectiveness in helping treat or reduce the size of painful kidney stones

Kidney stones affect some 10% of people in the Western world,[i] with annual U.S. health care costs linked to the condition exceeding $2 billion.[ii] Natural therapies for this common condition include black currant, cranberry and omega-3 fats, but one plant stands out for its stone-fighting potential: Nigella sativa (N. sativa) or black seed, whose seeds have a long history of use as food and medicine.

Hailing from the Ranunculacaeae family and native in areas such as Southern Europe and North Africa, N. sativa has a rich historical and religious background.[iii] Its seeds and their oil have been used far and wide for centuries in treating various ailments.

Among Muslims, for instance, N. sativa is considered a great miracle for healing that can remedy all diseases, thus finding a revered place in Tibb-e-Nabwi or Prophetic Medicine.

Black Seed’s Effectiveness Against Kidney Stones

A study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research sought to evaluate its effectiveness in dissolving kidney stones.[iv] In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 60 patients with kidney stones were given either placebo or treatment consisting of 500 milligrams (mg) of black seed capsules, twice a day for 10 weeks.

The recruits were aged 20 to 60 years and had kidney stones larger than 5 millimeters (mm). The team assessed the size of the patients’ kidney stones via sonography before and after the study period. They found that 44.4% in the black seed group excreted their stones completely, with the size of the stones in 3.7% remaining unchanged and decreasing in a notable 51.8%.

In the placebo group, on the other hand, only 15.3% excreted their stones completely, with 11.5% experiencing size reduction and 57.6% having no change in stone size.

Black seed was generally well-tolerated in the study group. It significantly increased serum calcium and proved more effective on smaller stones, particularly those under 7 mm in diameter.[v]

The researchers saw a significant difference in the size of the kidney stones between the two groups, concluding that black seed may be effective for reducing the size of kidney stones or even making them disappear entirely.

Salt and Solving the Kidney Stone Problem

In the quest for natural solutions to kidney stones, it’s not just black seed thats making a lasting mark. Lemonade therapy appears to be a sound option for patients with hypocitraturic nephrolithiasis (a type of kidney stone),[vi] while long-term supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may benefit calcium oxalate stone formers.[vii]

Kidney stones affect 10% to 12% of the U.S. population, with a recurrence rate of 50% and a male-to-female ratio of 3 to 1.[viii] Some 60% of these stones are calcium oxalate, 20% are calcium phosphate and 9% to 10% are uric acid. Kidney stones elevate the risk of kidney failure and obstruction, and related conditions.

According to conventional wisdom, those who are at risk for or have had a kidney stone are better off cutting their salt intake. However, salt has also been known for decades to actually reduce the risk of kidney stones in animals, where salt intake will increase their water intake, which then dilutes the urine and slashes the risk of kidney stone precipitation.

The same thing takes place in humans: greater salt intake means greater fluid intake, which then leads to a more dilute urine and less risk for kidney stone formation.

Fruit and vegetable consumption may also affect your risk for kidney stones, as eating fresh produce can reduce acid in the urine, therefore lowering your risk of stone formation. Salt, coincidentally, may help you better load up on veggies. You can find even more natural therapies for kidney stones in the GreenMedInfo.com database.


References

[i] Ann Urol (Paris). 2005 Dec;39(6):209-31.

[ii] KidneyStoners.org April 8, 2012

[iii] Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2013 May; 3(5): 337-352. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(13)60075-1.

[iv] Phytother Res. 2019 Mar 14. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

[v] Natural Medicine Journal December 2019, Volume 11, Issue 12.

[vi] J Urol. 2007 Apr;177(4):1358-62; discussion 1362; quiz 1591.

[vii] J Urol. 2011 Feb;185(2):719-24. Epub 2010 Dec 18.

[viii] Natural Medicine Journal December 2019, Volume 11, Issue 12

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Beyond Curcumin: Why Turmeric Is Not the Same as Curcumin

© 28th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
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Posted on:  Tuesday, January 28th 2020 at 10:30 am

When hearing about turmeric, curcumin gets all the glory, but this ancient healing root contains other impressive compounds too, like turmerosaccharides. If you haven’t heard of them before, here’s why you should

Turmeric is a hot topic here at GreenMedInfo.com. For example, you can read about how Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs600 Reasons Turmeric May Be the World’s Most Important Herb and even How WHOLE Turmeric Heals the Damaged Brain.

Yet, here’s what most people — even health and nutrition enthusiasts — often don’t realize. Despite the two often being referred to interchangeably, turmeric is actually far different than the popular supplement ingredient curcumin.

Sure, curcumin is derived from turmeric, but when it comes to their uses, benefits and bioavailability, the differences between turmeric and curcumin are quite significant, and in this article you’ll discover exactly why, and why you may want to think beyond curcumin when it comes to using turmeric in your diet.

Turmeric Versus Curcumin

Turmeric is just a root, and technically the root of Curcuma longa, which is a flowering plant of the ginger family. It contains many bioactive plant substances, but one particular group, the curcuminoids, are often touted as possessing the biggest health-promoting bang-for-your-buck. These curcuminoids include demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin and — you guessed it — curcumin.

But curcumin is only present at about 2% to 8% concentration in the average turmeric preparation.[i] Curcumin is well-known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant effects, but if curcumin is all that you’re relying on for the benefits of curcumin, you’re technically missing out on 92% to 98% of the other plant bioactive compounds in the whole turmeric root.

Don’t feel bad about being on the curcumin bandwagon. After all, curcumin is the most studied curcuminoid and is also the most abundant curcuminoid found in turmeric.

The Problem With Curcumin

But there’s a problem. Despite its wide array of potential benefits, the actual bioavailability of curcumin in humans and animals is quite low. Curcumin also has a high rate of metabolization and rapid systemic clearance.

So getting enough curcumin into your system to reach blood levels sufficient to exert the benefits shown in research requires consuming around 3 to 5 teaspoons of turmeric powder a day. And that’s a lot of turmeric, along with posing a high risk of having a constantly yellowish-orange stained mouth.

Even then, curcumin is so poorly absorbed that it often needs to be combined with something that can increase its bioavailability. One quite popular example of this is an extract found in black pepper. On many supplement labels, you’ll see listed a patented extract obtained from black pepper fruits called BioPerine, which is commonly used as a curcumin bioavailability enhancer.

Another strategy to increase the bioavailability of curcumin is via the use of phytosomes, which are plant extracts that are bound to phosphatidylcholine. Once attached to phosphatidylcholine, there is much higher absorption of curcumin (up to 30 times more bioavailability).

Finally, we get to the biggest problem with curcumin: if you’re relying on it as your only source to obtain the benefits of turmeric, then you’re missing out on other components of this impressive root.

Beyond Curcumin

I don’t quite understand why we seem to myopically focus on curcumin in the health, nutrition and supplement industry.

After all, the entire turmeric rhizome has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 4,000 years, and during most of this time there was no fancy technology such as a patented Bioperine extract or phosphatidylcholine molecules in supplement form to increase bioavailability of the curcumin, nor was there technology to extract appreciable amounts of curcumin from the turmeric.

Instead, turmeric’s long history of culinary, medicinal and cosmetic use in India includes water-based preparations for internal use (known as Kashaya), fat-based (oil, ghee) preparations for internal use (known as Sneha), and powder preparation for internal use (known as Churna). Consider this anecdote from the book “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects”:

“The use of turmeric dates back nearly 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it was used as a culinary spice and had some religious significance. It probably reached China by 700 ad, East Africa by 800 ad, West Africa by 1200 ad, and Jamaica in the eighteenth century. In 1280, Marco Polo described this spice, marveling at a vegetable that exhibited qualities so similar to that of saffron.

According to Sanskrit medical treatises and Ayurvedic and Unani systems, turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia. Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, dating back to 250 bc, recommends an ointment containing turmeric to relieve the effects of poisoned food.”

You can read more about turmeric’s journey from traditional to modern medicine in “Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects”.[ii]

If these ancient healers have been harnessing the power of turmeric via fresh juice, teas, tinctures and powders, as well as using it topically in the form of creams, lotions, pastes and ointments, then why has most of the research up until very recently been centered around the curcuminoids — which, as mentioned, are a fraction of 2% to 8% of the plant?

These traditional healing and food practices related to the use of turmeric indicate that it’s not just the curcuminoid component of turmeric that is likely to possess physiological benefits. Enter turmerosaccharides.

Turmerosaccharides are water-soluble bioactive polysaccharides extracted from that remaining 90+% percent of the turmeric root. The fact that turmerosaccharides are water-soluble means that all of the good stuff is more easily absorbed into the tissues of your body and metabolized more quickly than the curcumin-based fat-soluble components of turmeric.

How Turmerosaccharides Work

The first property of turmerosaccharides that makes them more desirable is the fact that they are naturally water-soluble. Through a steam extraction process, turmerosaccharides are isolated from the turmeric oil, without the need for using any harsh solvents. This means the bioavailability of turmerosaccharides is significantly higher than that of curcumin.

In addition, the effects of tumerosaccharides on your body are astounding, especially if you’re active or suffer from soreness from overexertion. A 2013 study found that turmerosaccharides reduced joint tenderness, crepitation, swelling and effusion related to overuse, while increasing joint function and flexibility.[iii] Patients with primary knee osteoarthritis received either turmerosaccharides, glucosamine sulfate, a combination of turmerosaccharides and glucosamine sulfate, or a placebo for 42 days. The efficacy of the different treatments was assessed during the treatment period, on both day 21 and day 42 of the study.

The analysis of post-treatment scores following the administration of turmerosaccharides at each clinical visit showed a significant decrease in joint issues compared to the placebo. The turmerosaccharides-treated group also showed a significant decrease in the use of their standard medication, along with clinical and subjective improvement compared to placebo.

Another study investigated turmerosaccharides’ effect on human knee cartilage and found that it protects cartilage homeostasis,[iv] which means that it balances out the natural rate of synthesis and degradation, keeping joints happily balanced. Interleukin 1 beta (a natural protein involved with inflammation) and hydrogen peroxide (which is generally toxic to cells) are both bad news bears for chondrocytes, which are your cartilage-producing cells.

This study looked at the effects of turmerosaccharides by exposing these chondrocytes to these toxins with and without turmerosaccharides, then measuring markers indicating cell degradation, aging and death, as well as cartilage creation, degradation and general inflammation.

The presence of turmerosaccharides decreased cartilage cell destruction and general inflammation in the knee cartilage cells, and also protected compounds that improve cartilage creation, such as glycosaminoglycans and type II collagen.

In other studies, turmerosaccharides were shown to significantly reduce acute and chronic inflammation and support a balanced inflammatory response[v] as well as increase gene expression of type II collagen.[vi]

Where Can You Find Turmerosaccharides?

So by now, you’re probably wondering where you can actually get turmerosaccharides. One easy option would be to find high-quality turmeric root grown in clean soil, and then boil it in water, preferably via a decoction method, which involves a long simmering process in hot water, and can work quite well for a variety of hard, woody herbs and spices, such as roots, bark and stems.

Another option is to look for nutritional supplements that contain Turmacin® — which is a water-soluble extract of turmeric that contains high amounts of turmerosaccharides. And there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t co-consume turmerosaccharides along with curcumin to get even more benefits out of the wonderful turmeric root.

For more on turmeric, curcumin and other ancestral and modern scientific ways to enhance recovery and decrease inflammation, you can read Chapter 14 of my new book “Boundless”, which tackles more on healing the body more quickly from injuries, inflammation and hard workouts.


References

[i] Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):78-87. doi: 10.1002/biof.1074. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

[ii] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Chapter 13, Turmeric, the Golden Spice

[iii] Inflammopharmacology. 2013 Apr;21(2):129-36. doi: 10.1007/s10787-012-0163-3. Epub 2012 Dec 16.

[iv] Inflammopharmacology. 2018 Oct;26(5):1233-1243. doi: 10.1007/s10787-017-0433-1. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

[v] Antiinflamm Antiallergy Agents Med Chem. 2015;14(1):53-62.

[vi] Inflammopharmacology. 2018 Oct;26(5):1233-1243. doi: 10.1007/s10787-017-0433-1. Epub 2018 Jan 8.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Why are these powerful natural antibiotics better than popping a toxic pill?

Reproduced from original article:
www.naturalhealth365.com/powerful-natural-antibiotics-3273.html

antibiotics

(NaturalHealth365) In November 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted that more people are contracting and dying from antibiotic-resistant superbugs than anyone previously thought. We can’t say we’re shocked – since we now know that antibiotics are an over-prescribed class of drugs.  Fortunately, we have something as simple as tea tree oil that could help put an end to this unnecessary human suffering.

Plenty of research suggests that natural antibiotics like tea tree oil, oregano oil, and garlic can be just as effective as synthetic antibiotics at killing harmful pathogens. And with what is already known about garlic benefits, it’s clear that this is promising in the fight against “superbugs.”

Studies show these natural antibiotics effectively eliminate the threat of infections

On average, someone in America dies from an antibiotic-resistant infection every 15 minutes!  And this doesn’t even include the millions of other people who are simply suffering from bugs of all kinds that are not (yet) resistant to conventional drugs.

Fortunately, it seems that natural remedies really can make a difference. Here’s a quick look at some recent research showing how natural compounds like garlic benefits someone who is fighting against an illness or infection:

  • 2019 thesis work out of Aydın Adnan Menderes University in Turkey revealed that tea tree oil was nearly as effective as pharmaceutical antibiotics at killing bacteria. The paper’s author points out that because natural remedies like tea tree oil can take longer to produce a beneficial result, the true effectiveness of the tea tree oil may not have been fully captured in the study and that more research is needed. Tea tree oil and other organic compounds like oregano oil tend to have far fewer side effects compared to synthetic drugs, so it may be safer to use a more potent concentration of these natural antibiotics.
  • In 2014, researchers published a paper in Global Advances in Health and Medicine that explored whether herbal remedies would be effective at treating small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). In a study involving more than 100 patients with SIBO, the researchers discovered that herbal and nutraceutical therapies were just as effective at treating the bacterial overgrowth as a powerful antibiotic drug known as rifaximin.
  • A 2012 study published in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy showed that a compound in garlic called diallyl sulfide is 100 times more effective than popular antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium – a leading cause of gastrointestinal illnesses and a main trigger for a frightening paralyzing disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Want a cold and flu-free season? Practice these five tips regularly

The tingle in your throat. The pressure in your ears. The achy feeling in your muscles. The mental fogginess that leaves you spinning your wheels at work. You know what the early warning signs and symptoms of a cold look like.

Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air.  These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.

Get the BEST indoor air purification system – at the LOWEST price, exclusively for NaturalHealth365 readers.  I, personally use this system in my home AND office.  Click HERE to order now – before the sale ends.

So, in addition to adding oregano oil, garlic, tea tree, and other natural antibiotics to your self-care routine, be sure to check out these other natural tips to boost your immune system and keep you from having to use a sick day this winter:

  1. Supplement your diet with antioxidants, probiotics, and other nutrients that can keep you healthy and/or ease your symptoms if you do fall under the weather – we’ve highlighted a few before, including raw honey, olive leaf extract, ginger, and herbal tea.
  2. Drink lots of water – staying well-hydrated helps your body flush itself of germs and toxins.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and warm water regularly – but steer clear of hand sanitizers, since they make it easier for harmful chemicals like BPA to get absorbed through your skin.
  4. Protect your sleep at all costs. Getting fewer than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night can dramatically impair your immune system.
  5. Stay on top of your stress with techniques like exercise, mindfulness meditation, and journaling. Being stressed out doesn’t exactly cause you to fall ill, but it will make you more likely to fall ill if you come in contact with germs or someone else who’s already sick.
  6. And, of course, our most important tip: keep plenty of (high quality) vitamin C around to maintain a strong immune system – especially during the winter months.

Bottom line: many of these natural remedies are a much better way to keep your body healthy and strong – without threatening the health of your liver, and other vital organs, due to the toxicity of synthetically-produced drugs.

Sources for this article include:

Kidshealth.org
CDC.gov
UWhealth.org
Researchgate.net
Sciencedaily.com
Academic.oup.com
NIH.gov
NYTimes.com

Can Herbal Medicines Fight Wuhan Coronavirus?

© 29th January 2020 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/can-herbal-medicines-fight-wuhan-coronavirus

Posted on: Wednesday, January 29th 2020 at 12:00 pm


Originally published on www.plantmedicines.org

Research over the past two decades shows that certain herbal medicines can fight the new Wuhan coronavirus contagion. Let’s review the evidence showing that certain plant medicines can fight similar viral infections such as SARS, MERS and Ebola, and why this can also apply to the Wuhan coronavirus

Let’s review some of the current science on this coronavirus infection. Then we can discuss what plant medicines can offer.

Latest on the Wuhan coronavirus

The SARS-like coronavirus that appears to have originated in Wuhan, China has now infected thousands of people. As of January 28, 2020, Chinese officials have confirmed over 6,000 cases. These have occurred in every province of China with the exception of Tibet. As of the 28th, 132 people have died from the virus.

To contain the coronavirus, nearly 50 million people have been quarantined. Quarantine areas include Wuhan and 15 other nearby cities in the region of Hubei province. The Centers for Disease Control said they are monitoring 73 possible infections in 26 states in the United States as of the 28th of January. None of these cases have revealed any person-to-person transmission in the U.S.

Investigators are suspecting that the virus originated at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. The market’s vendors have been selling live or butchered animals in addition to fish and other marine life.

What is the nCoV-2019?

The virus has been officially named nCoV-2019 (or 2019-nCoV) coronavirus as of now.

Sequencing of the virus has determined it to be 75 to 80 percent match to SARS-CoV and 85 percent plus similar to multiple coronaviruses found in bats.

SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome. It is also a coronavirus, or CoV.

Researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology published a paper on January 23, 2020. Their paper informs that nCoV-2019 has a 96 percent genome match with a bat coronavirus.

They also stated that nCoV-2019 utilizes the same cell entry receptor as the SARS-CoV of 2002-2004. The receptor is ACE2. We’ll discuss the importance of this later.

It has yet been determined whether the infection is as lethal as SARS. SARS is another outbreak that began in China in 2002, infecting people through 2004. More than 700 people died worldwide of SARS.

A study published on January 24 from University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital in Shenzhen studied six patients of nCoV-2019. They also determined that the virus was most similar to a SARS coronavirus found in Chinese horseshoe bats.

nCoV-2019 symptoms and transmission

These and other researchers have determined that nCoV-2019 is transmitted from person to person when a person comes into contact with the secretions of an infected person. This means the virus is transmitted via the following means:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Shaking hands
  • Touching infected object then touching eyes, mouth or nose
  • Handling the waste of an infected person

Symptoms of nCoV-2019 include:

The elderly and young children are most at risk from the infection. This is similar to SARS, though it appears nCoV-2019 is less lethal than SARS and MERS. About 15 to 20 percent of cases can become severe. The lethal rate is about 1 in 10 according to doctors.

The nCoV-2019 virus, just as was SARS and MERS, is an enveloped virus. This means the virus is protected by a glycoprotein shell. This is why these viruses are so difficult to treat.

Red algae for SARS and MERS coronavirus

A few years ago we published research showing that an extract from red algae – called Griffithsin – can fight SARS and MERS infections. Red algae Griffithsin has also proven to be antiviral against HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus), HSV-2 (Herpes simplex virus), HCV (Hepatitis C) and the Ebola virus.

What do these viruses have in common? Along with nCoV-2019, they all have glycoprotein shells around them. According to doctors at the University of California at Davis:

“Griffithsin is a marine algal lectin that exhibits broad-spectrum antiviral activity by binding oligomannose glycans on viral envelope glycoproteins.”

The researchers are discussing what is also called a mannose-binding lectin. Mannose-binding lectins have been shown to penetrate and break down the shells that surround this class of viruses – which includes nCoV-2019 virus.

The red algae extract above was found in the Griffithsia species of red algae. This is not the only species of red algae that contains mannose-binding lectins.

Another mannose-binding lectin found to be antiviral against these viruses is the Scytonema varium red algae, also called Scytovirin. Another one was found in the Nostoc ellipsosporum algae species – called Cyanovirin-N.

A 2019 study from France’s Institut de Recherche et Développement tested a number of other species, and found the Ulva pertusa algae species contained lectins that fight these viruses. They also found the Oscillatoria agardhii blue-green algae halt replication of these viruses.

A 2016 study from the University of Louisville School of Medicine also studied Griffithsin and found it also inhibited SARS-CoV as well as HIV and similar viruses. The researchers wrote:

“These findings support further evaluation of GRFT [Griffithsin] for pre-exposure prophylaxis against emerging epidemics for which specific therapeutics are not available, including systemic and enteric infections caused by susceptible enveloped viruses.”

Studies have found that these mannose-binding lectins break down the glycoprotein shells of the viruses mentioned above, including Ebola and SARS. A number of animal tests and human cell laboratory tests have shown that these mannose-binding lectins are successful in halting replication of the virus.

In a study on mice with Ebola, researchers found that Griffithsin halted not only replication, but made mice immune to the virus. Similar results were found with SARS and MERS infections.

This means that Griffithsin – from red algae – should make an effective vaccine of sorts. Are researchers testing this?

It is currently unknown what scientists are studying. But often commercial focus is upon compounds that can be patented.

In the 2018 study from the University of California mentioned above, the researchers reviewed the technical ability to mass-produce Griffithsin, in this case, for HIV infections, using plants to produce the extract. They illustrated the end cost to be quite low:

“In this study, we conducted a technoeconomic analysis (TEA) of plant-produced Griffithsin manufactured at commercial launch volumes for use in HIV microbicides. Data derived from multiple non-sequential manufacturing batches conducted at pilot scale and existing facility designs were used to build a technoeconomic model using SuperPro Designer® modeling software. With an assumed commercial launch volume of 20 kg Griffithsin/year for 6.7 million doses of Griffithsin microbicide at 3 mg/dose, a transient vector expression yield of 0.52 g Griffithsin/kg leaf biomass, recovery efficiency of 70%, and purity of >99%, we calculated a manufacturing cost for the drug substance of $0.32/dose and estimated a bulk product cost of $0.38/dose assuming a 20% net fee for a contract manufacturing organization (CMO).”

This is the nature of treating disease with plant medicines: Plants are economical and productive on a large scale, as we know from food and herbal medicine production.

Licorice for SARS

Licorice root has been used for thousands of years for lung infections with similar symptoms as viral infections.

We have also published evidence that licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can fight SARS and MERS CoV infections. Studies have found that licorice root extracts were able to reduce SARS and MERS-CoV replication.

A 2008 study from the UK’s Luton & Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust tested licorice root extracts against a number of viruses, including HIV and SARS. They found that the extract broken down the viral envelope and also boosted immune activity.

The researchers stated that their studies,

“revealed antiviral activity against HIV‐1, SARS related coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus, arboviruses, vaccinia virus and vesicular stomatitis virus.”

For the mechanisms, the researchers stated,

“Mechanisms for antiviral activity of Glycyrrhiza spp. include reduced transport to the membrane and sialylation of hepatitis B virus surface antigen, reduction of membrane fluidity leading to inhibition of fusion of the viral membrane of HIV‐1 with the cell, induction of interferon gamma in T‐cells, inhibition of phosphorylating enzymes in vesicular stomatitis virus infection and reduction of viral latency.”

Other plant lectins that fight these viruses

We have published other research evidence showing that mannose-binding lectins from other plants can also fight SARS-related viruses. A number of studies have shown that plants that contain mannose-binding lectins can significantly stimulate the immune system and help prevent a number of infections.

A 2007 study from The Netherlands’ University of Gent studied plant-derived mannose-binding lectins on SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus and the feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV).

The researchers studied known plant lectins from 33 different plants in the laboratory, using infected cells. The researchers wrote:

“A unique collection of 33 plant lectins with different specificities were evaluated. The plant lectins possessed marked antiviral properties against both coronaviruses with EC(50) values in the lower microgram/ml range (middle nanomolar range), being non-toxic (CC(50)) at 50-100 microg/ml. The strongest anti-coronavirus activity was found predominantly among the mannose-binding lectins.”

Of the 33 plants tested, 15 extracts inhibited replication of both coronaviruses. Those antiviral lectins were successful in inhibiting the replication of the viruses.

The 15 coronavirus-inhibiting plants were:

• Amaryllis (Hippeastrum hybrid)
• Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)
• Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus)
• Red spider lily (Lycoris radiate)
• Leek (Allium porrum)
• Ramsons (Allium ursinum)
• Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
• Cymbidium orchid (Cymbidium hybrid)
• Twayblade (Listera ovata)
• Broad-leaved helleborine (Epipactis helleborine)
• Tulip (Tulipa hybrid)
• Black mulberry tree (Morus Nigra)
• Tabacco plant (Nicotiana tabacum)
• Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)


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Cohen J, Normile D. New SARS-like virus in China triggers alarmScience. 2020 Jan 17;367(6475):234-235. doi: 10.1126/science.367.6475.234.

Bogoch II, Watts A, Thomas-Bachli A, Huber C, Kraemer MUG, Khan K. Potential for global spread of a novel coronavirus from ChinaJ Travel Med. 2020 Jan 27. pii: taaa011. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taaa011.

Barre A, Simplicien M, Benoist H, Van Damme EJM, Rougé P. Mannose-Specific Lectins from Marine Algae: Diverse Structural Scaffolds Associated to Common Virucidal and Anti-Cancer Properties. Mar Drugs. 2019 Jul 26;17(8). pii: E440. doi: 10.3390/md17080440.

Alam A, Jiang L, Kittleson GA, Steadman KD, Nandi S, Fuqua JL, Palmer KE, Tusé D, McDonald KA. Technoeconomic Modeling of Plant-Based Griffithsin ManufacturingFront Bioeng Biotechnol. 2018 Jul 24;6:102. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2018.00102.

Barton C, Kouokam JC, Hurst H, Palmer KE. Pharmacokinetics of the Antiviral Lectin Griffithsin Administered by Different Routes Indicates Multiple Potential Uses. Viruses. 2016 Dec 17;8(12). pii: E331. doi: 10.3390/v8120331.

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Albert RK, Connett J, Curtis JL, Martinez FJ, Han MK, Lazarus SC, Woodruff PG. Mannose-binding lectin deficiency and acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2012;7:767-77. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S33714.

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Barton C, Kouokam JC, Lasnik AB, Foreman O, Cambon A, Brock G, Montefiori DC, Vojdani F, McCormick AA, O’Keefe BR, Palmer KE. Activity of and effect of subcutaneous treatment with the broad-spectrum antiviral lectin griffithsin in two laboratory rodent models. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014;58(1):120-7. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01407-13.

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Falzarano D, de Wit E, Rasmussen AL, Feldmann F, Okumura A, Scott DP, Brining D, Bushmaker T, Martellaro C, Baseler L, Benecke AG, Katze MG, Munster VJ, Feldmann H. Treatment with interferon-α2b and ribavirin improves outcome in MERS-CoV-infected rhesus macaques. Nat Med. 2013 Oct;19(10):1313-7. doi: 10.1038/nm.3362.

Pu JY, He L, Wu SY, Zhang P, Huang X. Anti-virus research of triterpenoids in licorice. Bing Du Xue Bao. 2013 Nov;29(6):673-9.

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Cinatl J, Morgenstern B, Bauer G, Chandra P, Rabenau H, Doerr HW. Glycyrrhizin, an active component of liquorice roots, and replication of SARS-associated coronavirus. Lancet. 2003 Jun 14;361(9374):2045-6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13615-X

Feng Yeh C, Wang KC, Chiang LC, Shieh DE, Yen MH, San Chang J. Water extract of licorice had anti-viral activity against human respiratory syncytial virus in human respiratory tract cell lines. J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Jul 9;148(2):466-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.04.040.

Gao DN, Zhang Y, Ren YB, Kang J, Jiang L, Feng Z, Qu YN, Qi QH, Meng X. Relationship of Serum Mannose-Binding Lectin Levels with the Development of Sepsis: a Meta-analysis. Inflammation. 2014 Oct 17.

Chen M, Deng J, Su C, Li J, Wang M, Abuaku BK, Hu S, Tan H, Wen SW. Impact of passive smoking, cooking with solid fuel exposure, and MBL/MASP-2 gene polymorphism upon susceptibility to tuberculosis. Int J Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 10. pii: S1201-9712(14)01626-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2014.08.010.

Hornum M, Bay JT, Clausen P, Melchior Hansen J, Mathiesen ER, Feldt-Rasmussen B, Garred P. High levels of mannose-binding lectin are associated with lower pulse wave velocity in uraemic patients. BMC Nephrol. 2014 Oct 4;15(1):162. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-15-162.

Gravina LP, Crespo C, Giugno H, Sen L, Chertkoff L, Mangano A, Castaños C. Mannose-binding lectin gene modifier of cystic fibrosis phenotype in Argentinean pediatric patients. J Cyst Fibros. 2014 Aug 29. pii: S1569-1993(14)00173-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2014.07.012

Swale A, Miyajima F, Kolamunnage-Dona R, Roberts P, Little M, Beeching NJ, Beadsworth MB, Liloglou T, Pirmohamed M. Serum Mannose-Binding Lectin Concentration, but Not Genotype, Is Associated With Clostridium difficile Infection Recurrence: A Prospective Cohort Study. Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Nov 15;59(10):1429-36. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu666.

Nedovic B, Posteraro B, Leoncini E, Ruggeri A, Amore R, Sanguinetti M, Ricciardi W, Boccia S. Mannose-binding lectin codon 54 gene polymorphism and vulvovaginal candidiasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:738298. doi: 10.1155/2014/738298.

Miyakawa T, Hatano K, Miyauchi Y, Suwa Y, Sawano Y, Tanokura M. A secreted protein with plant-specific cysteine-rich motif functions as a mannose-binding lectin that exhibits antifungal activity. Plant Physiol. 2014 Oct;166(2):766-78. doi: 10.1104/pp.114.242636.

Auriti C, Prencipe G, Caravale B, Coletti MF, Ronchetti MP, Piersigilli F, Azzari C, Di Ciommo VM. MBL2 gene polymorphisms increase the risk of adverse neurological outcome in preterm infants: a preliminary prospective study. Pediatr Res. 2014 Aug 13. doi: 10.1038/pr.2014.118.

Luo J, Xu F, Lu GJ, Lin HC, Feng ZC. Low mannose-binding lectin (MBL) levels and MBL genetic polymorphisms associated with the risk of neonatal sepsis: An updated meta-analysis. Early Hum Dev. 2014 Oct;90(10):557-64. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2014.07.007.

Ibernon M, Moreso F, O’Valle F, Grinyo JM, Moral RG, Seron D. Low serum mannose-binding lectin levels are associated with inflammation and apoptosis in early surveillance allograft biopsies. Transpl Immunol. 2014 Sep;31(3):152-6. doi: 10.1016/j.trim.2014.07.001.

Justice JM, Sleasman JW, Lanza DC. Recalcitrant Rhinosinusitis, Innate Immunity, and Mannose-Binding Lectin. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2014 Jul 25. pii: 0003489414543680.

Song GG, Bae SC, Seo YH, Kim JH, Choi SJ, Ji JD, Lee YH. Meta-analysis of functional MBL polymorphisms. Associations with rheumatoid arthritis and primary Sjögren’s syndrome. Z Rheumatol. 2014 Sep;73(7):657-64. doi: 10.1007/s00393-014-1408-x.

Swierzko AS, Szala A, Sawicki S, Szemraj J, Sniadecki M, Sokolowska A, Kaluzynski A, Wydra D, Cedzynski M. Mannose-Binding Lectin (MBL) and MBL-associated serine protease-2 (MASP-2) in women with malignant and benign ovarian tumours. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014 Nov;63(11):1129-40. doi: 10.1007/s00262-014-1579-y.

Liu XH, Li Q, Zhang P, Su Y, Zhang XR, Sun Q. Serum mannose-binding lectin and C-reactive protein are potential biomarkers for patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2014 Sep;18(9):630-5. doi: 10.1089/gtmb.2014.0038.

Sildorf SM, Eising S, Hougaard DM, Mortensen HB, Skogstrand K, Pociot F, Johannesen J, Svensson J. Differences in MBL levels between juvenile patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and their healthy siblings. Mol Immunol. 2014 Nov;62(1):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2014.06.001.

Herrera-Ramos E, López-Rodríguez M, Ruíz-Hernández JJ, Horcajada JP, Borderías L, Lerma E, Blanquer J, Pérez-González MC, García-Laorden MI, Florido Y, Mas-Bosch V, Montero M, Ferrer JM, Sorlí L, Vilaplana C, Rajas O, Briones M, Aspa J, López-Granados E, Solé-Violán J, de Castro FR, Rodríguez-Gallego C. Surfactant protein A genetic variants associate with severe respiratory insufficiency in pandemic influenza A virus infection. Crit Care. 2014 Jun 20;18(3):R127. doi: 10.1186/cc13934.

Tran HB, Ahern J, Hodge G, Holt P, Dean MM, Reynolds PN, Hodge S. Oxidative stress decreases functional airway mannose binding lectin in COPD. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 5;9(6):e98571. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098571. eCollection 2014.

Orsatti CL, Nahás EA, Nahas-Neto J, Orsatti FL, Linhares IM, Witkin SS. Mannose-binding lectin gene polymorphism and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. Mol Immunol. 2014 Sep;61(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2014.05.003.

Longhi L, Orsini F, De Blasio D, Fumagalli S, Ortolano F, Locatelli M, Stocchetti N, De Simoni MG. Mannose-binding lectin is expressed after clinical and experimental traumatic brain injury and its deletion is protective. Crit Care Med. 2014 Aug;42(8):1910-8. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000000399

Regente M, Taveira GB, Pinedo M, Elizalde MM, Ticchi AJ, Diz MS, Carvalho AO, de la Canal L, Gomes VM. A sunflower lectin with antifungal properties and putative medical mycology applications. Curr Microbiol. 2014 Jul;69(1):88-95. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0558-z.

Nonaka M, Imaeda H, Matsumoto S, Yong Ma B, Kawasaki N, Mekata E, Andoh A, Saito Y, Tani T, Fujiyama Y, Kawasaki T. Mannan-binding protein, a C-type serum lectin, recognizes primary colorectal carcinomas through tumor-associated Lewis glycans. J Immunol. 2014 Feb 1;192(3):1294-301. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1203023.

van der Meer FJ, de Haan CA, Schuurman NM, Haijema BJ, Verheije MH, Bosch BJ, Balzarini J, Egberink HF. The carbohydrate-binding plant lectins and the non-peptidic antibiotic pradimicin A target the glycans of the coronavirus envelope glycoproteins. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Oct;60(4):741-9.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

All About Ginkgo Biloba: Benefits of This Timeless Herbal Supplement


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/vitamins-supplements/ginkgo-biloba.aspx

Ginkgo biloba leaves

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Known as one of the oldest trees on the planet, ginkgo biloba has been long revered for its many medicinal uses
  • Get to know more about ginkgo biloba – how it works, what’s the best way to take it and other health considerations before using this supplement

The ginkgo biloba tree is known for its resilience and hardiness, and for good reason – it is the oldest living tree species known to man. It’s said that a ginkgo tree can live for as long as 1,000 years, with heights reaching up to 120 feet.1 Thus, it should come as no surprise that this plant can have healing benefits, too.

Today, ginkgo biloba ranks as one of the top-selling herbal remedies,2 with a long history of medicinal use for various illnesses and health problems. Get to know more about ginkgo biloba – how it works, what’s the best way to take it and other health considerations before using this supplement.

What Is Ginkgo Biloba?

Also known as the maidenhair tree, ginkgo biloba is one of the oldest trees on Earth, having said to have been in existence for 350 million years.3 In fact, it’s often referred to as a “living fossil,” as it has continued to thrive even after major extinction events.4

The ginkgo biloba tree is the only surviving species from the Ginkgoaceae family.5 The name is said to come from the Japanese words “gin” and “kyo,” which means “silver” and “apricot” respectively, which refers to the ginkgo fruit’s resemblance to apricots.6

Ginkgo biloba is native to Asia, particularly in China, Korea and Japan. In fact, some ginkgo trees in China are said to be 2,500 years old.7 This plant is also believed to have thrived in Europe and North America during ancient times, but after the Ice Age, all the wild ginkgo trees in these areas were destroyed.8

The ginkgo tree is known for being tough and hardy – it can even thrive in polluted environments, such as urban roadsides and large modern cities.9 The plant has short branches and fan-shaped leaves, which change colors during fall.

However, ginkgo fruits are inedible, emit an unpleasant scent (reminiscent of rancid butter10) and have inner seeds that may be poisonous.11 Today, organic ginkgo biloba supplements are widely available, and is sold either in liquid extract, capsule or tablet form. The extract is made from the dried leaves of the plant.12

Ginkgo Biloba’s Uses for the Body: Its Mechanism of Action

Although it has been popularly utilized in Chinese medicine for more than 5,000 years, it is only recently that researchers are uncovering what components account for ginkgo biloba’s many uses and benefits. According to the book “Prescription for Herbal Healing,” written by Phyllis A. Bach:13

“Ginkgo increases the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a compound that is the main source of energy at the cellular level. This activity has been shown to boost the brain’s metabolism of glucose for energy and to increase its electrical activity.”

Particularly impressive are the flavonoids in ginkgo, called ginkgolides, which are said to have an effect on even the smallest microcapillaries, leading to widespread benefits on all of the body’s organs, especially the brain.14 Ginkgo biloba is also known for its antioxidant abilities, brought on by ginkgolides as well, and is said to prevent platelet aggregation inside arterial walls to keep plaque from forming.15

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Take a Look at Some of Ginkgo Biloba’s Health Benefits

So what exactly is ginkgo biloba good for? According to research, taking ginkgo biloba supplement may help improve:

Memory and thinking — Some research suggests that ginkgo may offer improvements in memory, speed of thinking and attention among healthy adults.16 In fact, it is touted as a “brain herb” that may have potential benefits for people suffering from dementia.17

Eye health — Ginkgo may help prevent macular degeneration and glaucoma by deactivating the platelet-activating factor (PAF), which is necessary for growth of new capillaries, and increasing circulation within the eye, supplying more oxygen to the retina.18 One small study found that people with glaucoma had improvements to their vision after taking 120 milligrams of ginkgo daily for eight weeks.19

Reproductive health and sexual function — One of ginkgo biloba’s benefits for men is its potential for helping treat impotence. It enhances nitric oxide’s effects, allowing more blood to flow into the penis to help maintain erection during sexual intercourse.20

Anxiety — According to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, people with generalized anxiety disorder experienced better anxiety relief after taking ginkgo biloba, compared to those who took a placebo.21

Raynaud’s syndrome — This is an illness that triggers episodes of numbness and cold due to a decrease in the blood supply to the fingers and toes (earlobes, lips and nose may also be affected), triggered by stress or cold temperatures.22 A study said that ginkgo biloba may reduce the number of episodes in patients who have this illness.23

Skin and hair health — The rich antioxidant content of ginkgo biloba can help eliminate free radicals that can cause wrinkles and other signs of aging. Extracts of this herb are also used in hair care products to keep your tresses strong, long and shiny.24

Ginkgo Biloba Studies Claim It May Benefit Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients

There have been numerous research conducted on the effectiveness of ginkgo biloba for certain health conditions, and one of the most widely studied claims is its potential effects for degenerative illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. According to WebMD, this herb may halt the progression of dementia symptoms, especially if the condition is brought on by atherosclerotic vascular disease.25

Initially, ginkgo was thought to improve blood flow going to the brain, but recent findings reveal that this herb may actually give protective effects to nerve cells against Alzheimer’s as well.26 One study, for example, found that EGb 761, a ginkgo biloba extract, may be clinically effective in treating Alzheimer’s dementia.27

Another research supported this claim, saying that the extract was safe to use and may help stabilize and improve cognitive and social functioning of dementia patients for between 6 to 12 months.28 However, there’s still conflicting evidence on whether it can have the same cognitive effects on healthy adults.

Ginkgo Biloba May Have Side Effects

There are individuals who reported having mild upset stomach and mild headaches that last a day or two after taking ginkgo biloba. Some who took large doses experienced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and dizziness. Finnish physicians also reported that their patients experienced orthostatic hypotension, a sudden loss of blood pressure when standing up, after using ginkgo for several days.29

In addition, the leaves of this herb contain long-chain alkylphenols, which have allergenic properties. If you are allergic to poison ivy and other plants with alkylphenols, do not take ginkgo.30

Take Note: Listen to Your Body When Using Ginkgo Biloba

As with any supplement, it is important that you listen to your body when using ginkgo biloba. It may offer potential benefits, but if your body is exhibiting unpleasant symptoms while using this supplement, then you may be better avoiding it or finding another alternative. Seek your physician’s advice should any of the symptoms above occur.