Botanical dietary supplements continue to be popular in the United States. The American Botanical Council (ABC) recently published the Herb Market Report 2016, which listed a number of reasons behind the current interest by consumers.
Botanicals that are believed to be beneficial for overall health—rather than a specific health condition—showed greater increases in sales. In alignment with this is the uptick in sales of a number of adaptogens–substances that allow the body to better resist various stress factors. Plants in this category include ashwagandha, Asian ginseng, mushrooms and Rhodiola.
The increased interest in herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine has also been obvious by the fact that Boswellia, turmeric, and fenugreek posted some of the largest gains in 2016. But the success of these herbs is not only based on an increased interest in Ayurvedic medicine, but also due to the fact that these herbs have a large body of scientific data supporting their health benefits.
In addition, inflammatory conditions are very common in our society; thus, ingredients with sound data that may be used to alleviate the symptoms of some of these conditions, e.g., turmeric and Boswellia, have a large pool of potential consumers.
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There has been a great deal of focus on transparency both in finished products and raw materials at the worldwide level. This debate followed actions by the New York Attorney General’s, who after an agency investigation found four out of five tested herbal products did not contain any of the herbs promised in their labels, called for the producers to conduct advanced genetic testing.
These tests are intended to ensure the herbal products actually contain the ingredients promised on the label.
For plants, there is no universal DNA testing methodology and the choice of a particular technique is often a compromise that depends on a number of factors.
Each plant needs a dedicated method, developed on its own genome. DNA sequencing-based tests are emerging as highly reliable and powerful tools to authenticate botanicals to complement other available tests. They can even be used to identify new species and to create herbal products.
Accordingly, they have to be part of a complete quality testing toolbox, which constitutes a reliable authentication platform.
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According to the National Health Statistics Report, shoppers are turning to alternative medicine, not only as a complement to conventional care but also as a sole means to help relieve pain from conditions that are impairing their health. But with so many choices, how will shoppers know how to make sense of it all? Here, we explore up and coming herbs and their many health benefits.
First used for medical purposes by Native American Indians for colds, coughs and kidney disorders, the root of the black cohosh plant, Actaea racemose, is most commonly used today to help treat acne, menstrual cramps and by some midwives to induce labor in pregnant women.
Milk Thistle, a member of the Asteraceae family that also includes daisies and sunflowers, is native to the Mediterranean region and is used for the support of liver, kidney and gallbladder problems.
Once used to treat fevers, Feverfew, a short perennial that gives off a strong and bitter odor, is now used to help with migraine headaches.
One of the oldest living tree species, Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is used in support of memory loss and also in improving blood circulation.
During the 18th and 19th century, echinacea was a popular herb used to treat malaria, syphilis and scarlet fever. Today the prickly, scaled herb with a conical seed head is used to ease fevers, sore throats, the common cold and the flu.
Dr. Carol Barron has been researching the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin (UCD) consist of 3,000 bound volumes of folklore to see what people used when they were sick.
“For colds, people took garlic or onion, and the fumes worked like a eucalyptus decongestant,” says Barron. “We see elderberry wine feature heavily. But it’s not wine as such: they mean elderberry with sugar and some blackcurrant. This is straightforward vitamin C. Fruit comes up a lot. We find cures which say to use fresh fruit.”
Some of the cures are simply fascinating in their own right, she says. “A lot of the herbs were either boiled in milk or mixed with butter or lard as an emollient, ointment or cream. Mint was commonly used.”
One cure that comes up, again and again, is a spider’s web, used to stop bleeding in various cultures, including Ireland, for thousands of years. We now know that spiderwebs are high in vitamin K, which helps to clot blood.
More of this interesting news at the Irish Times
RiverBend Cancer Services in South Bend offers several programs and support services to those with cancer and survivors, most of which are free.
Kris Losch, one of the teachers that offer Living Well with Cancer Educational Series and is a certified aromatherapist talked about how these oils can help fight off fatigue, headaches, other pain, anxiety, and depression. These are things that tend to come up during cancer treatment.
Losch’s mom is currently going through cancer treatment so she has some first-hand knowledge.
“For the most part, she uses our headache relief oil. Right now, she is using a hair stimulant oil blend that created for her and some lip support because she is having some mouth sores. The pain relief has been real, really great for her and definitely happy,” says Losch.
You Could Lose Weight Just By Smelling This Amazing Biblical Food. As stated in Psalms 23:5: Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that skin absorbs an incredible 64 percent of chemicals found in drinking water. Other studies have found that the face is several times more permeable than broad body surfaces. Underarms absorb 100 percent of the chemicals that they are exposed to.
Fragrance also has a 100 percent absorption rate. This is actually good news when the fragrance that one is inhaling is that of olive oil. Studies from Technische Universität München (TUM) under Professor Peter Schieberle and at the University of Vienna under Professor Veronika Somoza found that consuming olive oil not only helps people lose weight but just smelling olive oil had a positive effect on the body’s health.
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A diet rich in nuts may be associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation, a finding that may help explain the health benefits of nuts, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings suggest people who consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of C-reactive protein and C-reactive protein than those who never or almost never ate nuts.
Peanuts and tree nuts contain a number of healthful components including magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids such as α-linolenic acid. Researchers have not yet determined which of these components, or if the combination of all of them, may offer protection against inflammation.
Interest in health also has been a key driver in the market in recent years with the growing positioning of nuts as a healthy snack. Nuts have evolved into so much more than just a bar snack; they are a great snack, indeed, but they go beyond simple trail mixes for athletes and a free snack for happy-hour goers. Nuts are suitable for year-round consumption, both as an impulse snack and as a planned snack for sharing during in-home family and social occasions.
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