Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cox 2 herbs

I got this in my in box today

Need to know if you have any information about Jaramla, (Phyllanthus amarus) I am trying to get it growing, but am having a hard time getting it germinate. What I have read it is suppose to be able to use as a pain reliver instead of aspirin.
So did a little google searching and came up with the below study, not a fan of animal studies (that is for another post)

Phyllanthus amarus has anti-inflammatory potential by inhibition of iNOS, COX-2, and cytokines via the NF-B pathway

This got me thinking about Cox 2 inhibition herbs. Thought I would write about their benefits. Of course I don't believe in "magic bullets" but these herbs along with a wellness lifestyle, nutrition and exercise can be a great asset!

Green Tea: Has Salicylic acid created from salicin (first found in White Willow) German scientists added acetic acid to salicylic acid and discoverd it chemically buffered the highly irrating effects of the isolated compound- the Aspriin Century began. Ayurveda employed green tea for many medical conditions including fever. The constituents polyphenols (GTP) and antioxidents may be useful in prevention of arthritis. The Napralert Database reports that green tea has 51 anti-inflammatory compounds. Long term consumption of Green tea has been shown to inhibit ulcers that might be triggered by NSAID use. The phytochemical Database reports that green tea has 15 anti ulcer phytonutrients second only to Ginger (17).
Barberry: Contains Berberine which has been used for its ant-inflammatory effects. Catawba Indians in North america used barberry to treat peptic ulcers. In bulgaria and Eastern Europe, root extracts of the Berberidacea species where used in chronic inflammatory disorders. A study in Japan of found Chinese Goldenthread and it's constituent berberine where found to supress colon carcinogenesis and to inhibit Cox 2 without inhibiting Cox 1. In other words berberine according to studies has been selected as a Cox 2 inhibitor. Berberine has many benefits across a spectrum of diseases, I still believe in the wisdom of the whole herb approach. Research at Bulgarian Academy of sciences tested the anti-inflammatory capabilities of a full spectrum extract of barberry vrs 5 of it's other active fractions. The total herb extract demonstrated the greatest anti-inflammatory effect. The study also showed that the full spectrum total herb extract was most effective in reducing the inflammation associated with arthritis. The fractions were not as effective.
Holy Basil: The Hindi name tulsi means "matchless" which shows it's importance and status in Ayurvedic medicine. This herb is said to be sacred to the goddess Lakshmi and her divine husband Vishnu the Hindu deities responsible for maintaining balance in life and creation. Ocimun sanctum holy basil (not the same as culonary basil Ocimum basilicum) contains a phytonutrient ursolic acid specifically recognized for it's Cox 2 inhibitory effects. Studies are being conducted on this constuent ursolic acid and oleanolic acid examining it's Cox 2 and cancer preventing effects. Just like green tea, this herb has anti ulcerative effects. There has also been scientific confirmation that holy basil is antimutagenic, radioprotective (protect DNA of body from mutating power of radiation) this could be from sun, radiation therapies et it does not protect us from the exposure rather offers a way to strengthen our defense mechanisms to better withstand it since radiation has a cumulative effect on the body, and has anti tumor effects in human skin, it has also been shown to increase the enzyme called glutathione S trasferase (detoxifying enzyme) activity.
Turmeric: A whole book could be written about this herbs benefits! I have had great success with my massage clients and this herb. Very beneficial with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. There has been studies that show curcumin and major phytochemical in the root directly inhibited the activity of Cox 2. It has been shown that phytonutrients in turmeric inhibit the mechanism that creates the blood supply needed for tumor growth. Some studies show that turmeric is a colon cancer and skin cancer suppressor. Both topically and orally turmeric is a strong anti-inflammatory The precise way curcumin and turmeric inhibit cox 2 is the subject of continued study. All I know is my clients say it works great for their inflammatory conditions. I prefer the use of the whole herb turmeric, not isolated cucumin (when isolated it is now a pharmaceutical chemical) extract (too much can easily be taken, causing problems having the exact opposite effect of the full spectrum herb turmeric) The combined constituents of the whole herb of turmeric are a natural ant-oxidant have and work synergistically together.
Rosemary: Rosemary is great for just about everything! I have a special relationship with this plant. She talked to me the day my Grandmother passed, I took some with me to the hospital knowing my Grandma was already gone (even though I was not officially told) The herb symbolizes remembrance and to this day I think of Grandma every morning when I go outside and sit by rosemary. I used to gratefully pick a bit off on my way to school before every test for luck, rosemary has traveled with me to every house I have ever lived ( 4 in the last 6 years). Apply rosemary topically for aching muscles. Ursolic acid is also in rosemary possessing a Cox 2 inhibitory effect. Studies have shown that rosemary inhibits the processes that are known to fuel tumor growth. You may want to read my post on rosemary wine as well. I could and will spend a lifetime with this herb and still will never fully understand her, such a deep love and appreciation I have for this plant.
Ginger: In Ayurvedic medicine this herb is known as vishwabhesaj, or the universal medicine. Ginger is another one of my favorites, I used it frequently as a child, I suffered from many stress induced stomach problems. Ginger was my ally again during my pregnancy with Ella. Ginger has about 477 constituents and actions and 500 compounds, Let's just say it is also a Cox 2 inhibitor, it is the opposite of Celebrex (celebrex having only one molecule, designed to do one thing) Ginger also has anti-ulcer effects. Ginger has powerful cox 2 inhibitors and demonstrates 56% inhibition of inflammatory prostaglandins (creation of prostaglandins appears to be mainly a function of cox 2 activity). Ginger along with feverfew contain melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and metabolically related to serotonin. So our brain and ginger express the same hormone! Melatonin is structurally related to and internationally recognised NSAID known as indomethacin, and Japanese research confirmed that ginger has at least 4 prostaglandin inhibitors more powerful than indomethacin.
Other herbs with Cox 2 inhibitor benefits:
Baikal Skullcap: Laabiatae, scultellaria Baicalensis
Japanese Knotweed: Polygonacea, Polygonum Cuspidatum
Oregano: Origanum, Vulgare Lamiaceae
Feverfew: Asteraceae, Tanacetum Parthenium
Hops: Cannibinacea, Humulus Lupulus
Omega 3: compliments herbal inhibitin of inflammatory Cox 2

Resource for this post: Beyond Aspirin Thomas M Newmark and Paul Schulick 2000

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