Cicca acida L.: phytochemistry and pharmacological studies.

Phyllanthus acidus (Otaheite Gooseberry)

Cicca acida L.: phytochemistry and pharmacological studies. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2016 Feb 1; Authors: Ghosh Tarafdar R, Nath S, Das Talukdar A, Dutta Choudhury M Abstract OBJECTIVES: Cicca acida L., is reported with traditional and pharmacological uses, and a good number of pure compounds have been isolated from its different parts. But published information is sporadic and fragmentary in nature. Therefore, it is imperative to have a comprehensive account of all of its medicinal potentialities with critical analysis. In this review, the traditional reports, phytochemical and pharmacology studies associated with Cicca acida have been compiled to figure out the net possibilities for its application in modern medicine. KEY FINDINGS: Careful scrutiny reveals that the plant possesses a huge range of medicinal properties, but published report analysis suggests that the plant is effectively used as antibacterial, hepatoprotective, anticonceptive and antidiabetic purposes. […] – Read More



Natural Antimicrobials and Oral Microorganisms: A Systematic Review on Herbal Interventions for the Eradication of Multispecies Oral Biofilms.

Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry)

Natural Antimicrobials and Oral Microorganisms: A Systematic Review on Herbal Interventions for the Eradication of Multispecies Oral Biofilms. Front Microbiol. 2015;6:1529 Authors: Karygianni L, Al-Ahmad A, Argyropoulou A, Hellwig E, Anderson AC, Skaltsounis AL Abstract Oral diseases such as caries and periodontitis are mainly caused by microbial biofilms. Antibiotic therapy has reached its limits with regard to antimicrobial resistance, and new therapeutic measures utilizing natural phytochemicals are currently a focus of research. Hence, this systematic review provides a critical presentation of the antimicrobial effects of various medicinal herbs against in vitro, ex vivo, and in situ formed multispecies oral biofilms. Searches were performed in three English databases (PubMed, EMBASE, CAMbase) and the electronic archives of five German journals from the times of their establishment until October 10th, 2014, with the search terms “(plant extracts OR herbal extracts OR plant OR […] – Read More



Anti-hypertensive Herbs and their Mechanisms of Action: Part I.

Rauwolfia serpentina (Indian Snakeroot)

Anti-hypertensive Herbs and their Mechanisms of Action: Part I. Front Pharmacol. 2015;6:323 Authors: Al Disi SS, Anwar MA, Eid AH Abstract The use of herbal therapies for treatment and management of C is increasing. Plants contain a bounty of phytochemicals that have proven to be protective by reducing the risk of various ailments and diseases. Indeed, accumulating literature provides the scientific evidence and hence reason d’etre for the application of herbal therapy in relation to CVDs. Slowly, but absolutely, herbal remedies are being entrenched into evidence-based medical practice. This is partly due to the supporting clinical trials and epidemiological studies. The rationale for this expanding interest and use of plant based treatments being that a significant proportion of hypertensive patients do not respond to Modern therapeutic medication. Other elements to this equation are the cost of medication, side-effects, accessibility, and availability […] – Read More



Silymarin as a Natural Antioxidant: An Overview of the Current Evidence and Perspectives. [Free Full-text]

Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle)

Silymarin as a Natural Antioxidant: An Overview of the Current Evidence and Perspectives. Antioxidants (Basel). 2015;4(1):204-247 Authors: Surai PF Abstract Silymarin (SM), an extract from the Silybum marianum (milk thistle) plant containing various flavonolignans (with silybin being the major one), has received a tremendous amount of attention over the last decade as a herbal remedy for liver treatment. In many cases, the antioxidant properties of SM are considered to be responsible for its protective actions. Possible antioxidant mechanisms of SM are evaluated in this review. (1) Direct scavenging free radicals and chelating free Fe and Cu are mainly effective in the gut. (2) Preventing free radical formation by inhibiting specific ROS-producing enzymes, or improving an integrity of mitochondria in stress conditions, are of great importance. (3) Maintaining an optimal redox balance in the cell by activating a range of antioxidant […] – Read More



Zingiberaceae extracts for pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. [Free Full-text]

Curcuma longa (Turmeric)

Zingiberaceae extracts for pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr J. 2015;14:50 Authors: Lakhan SE, Ford CT, Tepper D Abstract BACKGROUND: Members of the family Zingiberaceae including turmeric, ginger, Javanese ginger, and galangal have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Preclinical studies of Zingiberaceae extracts have shown analgesic properties. This study aims to systematically review and meta-analyze whether extracts from Zingiberaceae are clinically effective hypoalgesic agents. METHODS: Literature was screened from electronic databases using the keywords Zingiberaceae AND pain OR visual analogue score (VAS) to identify randomized trials. From this search, 18 studies were identified, and of these, 8 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials were found that measured pain by VAS for inclusion in the meta-analysis. RESULTS: Findings indicated significant efficacy of Zingiberaceae extracts in reducing subjective chronic pain (SMD – 0.67; 95 % CI – 1.13 to – 0.21; […] – Read More



Preclinical studies and clinical evaluation of compounds from the genus Epimedium for osteoporosis and bone health.

Epimedium spp. (Horny Goat Weed)

Preclinical studies and clinical evaluation of compounds from the genus Epimedium for osteoporosis and bone health. Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Jan 25; Authors: Indran IR, Liang RL, Min TE, Yong EL Abstract The morbidity and mortality associated with fractures due to osteoporosis or “porous bone” contributes significantly to global healthcare costs and will increase exponentially with ageing populations. In menopausal women, the onset of menopause and rapid estrogen withdrawal leads to osteoporotic fractures. Healthy bone requires the coordinated remodelling function of osteoclasts, osteoblasts, osteocytes in the basic bone multicellular unit; regulated by estrogen, RANKL/OPG, ROS, growth factors and other kinase signalling pathways. Anti-osteoporotic drugs in current use such as hormone replacement therapy, selective estrogen receptor modulators, and bisphosphonates are designed to target these pathways; but all have their limitations. Extracts of the dried aerial parts of the Traditional Chinese Medicinal plant […] – Read More



Plants traditionally used as mosquito repellents and the implication for their use in vector control.

Essential Oils

Plants traditionally used as mosquito repellents and the implication for their use in vector control. Acta Trop. 2016 Jan 27; Authors: Tisgratog R, Sanguanpong U, Grieco JP, Ngoen-Kluan R, Chareonviriyaphap T Abstract Numerous plants with insect repelling properties are native to the tropics where they are produced for a wide range of medicinal purposes. In Thailand, these native plant species have a history of use for personal protection against biting insects. From our investigation we identified 37 plant species within 14 plant families that showed some mosquito repellent properties. Of these, 9 plant species were characterized using an excito-repellency test system against several Thai mosquito species. Results from these studies revealed that five essential oils extracted from plants demonstrated promising insect repellent activity. These active ingredients show promise for further development into formulations that may serve as alternatives to DEET […] – Read More



How to study placebo responses in motion sickness with a rotation chair paradigm in healthy participants. [Free Full-text & Video]

Zingiber officinale (Ginger)

How to study placebo responses [and Ginger] in motion sickness with a rotation chair paradigm in healthy participants. J Vis Exp. 2014;(94)  Authors: Weimer K, Horing B, Muth ER, Enck P   Abstract Placebo responses occur in every medical intervention when patients or participants expect to receive an effective treatment to relieve symptoms. However, underlying mechanisms of placebo responses are not fully understood. It has repeatedly been shown that placebo responses are associated with changes in neural activity but for many conditions it is unclear whether they also affect the target organ, such as the stomach in motion sickness. Therefore, we present a methodology for the multivariate assessment of placebo responses by subjective, behavioral and objective measures in motion sickness with a rotation chair paradigm. The physiological correlate of motion sickness is a shift in gastric myoelectrical activity towards tachygastria […] – Read More



The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. [Free Full-text]

Beta vulgaris rubra (Beets)

The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease. Nutrients. 2015 Apr;7(4):2801-22 Authors: Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ Abstract In recent years there has been a growing interest in the biological activity of red beetroot (Beta vulgaris rubra) and its potential utility as a health promoting and disease preventing functional food. As a source of nitrate, beetroot ingestion provides a natural means of increasing in vivo nitric oxide (NO) availability and has emerged as a potential strategy to prevent and manage pathologies associated with diminished NO bioavailability, notably hypertension and endothelial function. Beetroot is also being considered as a promising therapeutic treatment in a range of clinical pathologies associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. Its constituents, most notably the betalain pigments, display potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive activity in vitro and in vivo. The purpose […] – Read More



Phytomedicine in the Treatment of Cancer: A Health Technology Assessment. [Free Full-text]

Viscum album (European Mistletoe)

Phytomedicine in the Treatment of Cancer: A Health Technology Assessment. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Dec;9(12):XC04-XC09 Authors: Chaudhary T, Chahar A, Sharma JK, Kaur K, Dang A Abstract INTRODUCTION: Cancer is reported to cause about 0.4 million deaths annually. The cost of diagnosis and treatment of cancer in India is enormous. AIM: This Health Technology Assessment (HTA) aims to understand the role, effect on mortality and adverse event occurrence, and cost effectiveness of phytomedicine in cancer treatment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Health technology assessment by systematic review of published literature. An electronic literature search was performed in Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Medline, PubMed, Science Direct, SCOPUS, EMBASE, LANCET, and Google Scholar databases for randomized controlled trial, observational analytical studies, case control and cohort studies pertaining to phytomedicine and herbal medicine in cancer treatment published […] – Read More



Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoids in chronic pain associated with rheumatic diseases (fibromyalgia syndrome, back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis) : A systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Cannabis spp (Marijuana)

Efficacy, tolerability and safety of cannabinoids in chronic pain associated with rheumatic diseases (fibromyalgia syndrome, back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis) : A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Schmerz. 2016 Jan 14; Authors: Fitzcharles MA, Baerwald C, Ablin J, Häuser W Abstract BACKGROUND: In the absence of an ideal treatment for chronic pain associated with rheumatic diseases, there is interest in the potential effects of cannabinoid molecules, particularly in the context of global interest in the legalization of herbal cannabis for medicinal use. METHODS: A systematic search until April 2015 was conducted in Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, www.cannabis-med.org and clinicaltrials.gov for randomized controlled trials with a study duration of at least 2 weeks and at least ten patients per treatment arm with herbal cannabis or pharmaceutical cannabinoid products in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), osteoarthritis (OA), chronic spinal […] – Read More



A Systemic Review on Aloe arborescens Pharmacological Profile: Biological Activities and Pilot Clinical Trials.

Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera)

A Systemic Review on Aloe arborescens Pharmacological Profile: Biological Activities and Pilot Clinical Trials. Phytother Res. 2015 Dec;29(12):1858-67 Authors: Singab AN, El-Hefnawy HM, Esmat A, Gad HA, Nazeam JA Abstract Since ancient times, plants and herbal preparations have been used as medicine. Research carried out in the last few decades has verified several such claims. Aloe arborescens Miller, belonging to the Aloe genus (Family Asphodelaceae), is one of the main varieties of Aloe used worldwide. The popularity of the plant in traditional medicine for several ailments (antitumor, immunomodulatory, antiinflammatory, antiulcer, antimicrobial and antifungal activity) focused the investigator’s interest on this plant. Most importantly, the reported studies have shown the plant effectiveness on various cancer types such as liver, colon, duodenal, skin, pancreatic, intestinal, lung and kidney types. These multiple biological actions make Aloe an important resource for developing new natural […] – Read More



Antioxidant Activity of Heracleum persicum Fruit Extract: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial.

Heracleum persicum (Persian hogweed)

Antioxidant Activity of Heracleum persicum Fruit Extract: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Diet Suppl. 2016 Jan 28;:1-8 Authors: Panahi Y, Dadjou Y, Pishgoo B, Akbari A, Sahebkar A Abstract Oxidative stress is a unifying feature of several cardiometabolic risk factors, and has been suggested to be implicated in atherogenesis. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of supplementation with Heracleum persicum fruit-a common dietary spice-in modulating systemic biomarkers of oxidative stress in subjects undergoing coronary angiography. Twenty-seven subjects with minimal coronary artery disease (CAD; defined as < 50% obstruction in the coronary arteries) were selected for this trial and were randomly allocated to Heracleum persicum hydroalcoholic fruit extract (n = 15; 300 mg/day) or placebo (n = 12) for a period of six months. Patients were visited monthly and asked to report the adverse events during the treatment period. […] – Read More



Is ginger beneficial for nausea and vomiting? An update of the literature.

Zingiber officinale (Ginger)

Is ginger beneficial for nausea and vomiting? An update of the literature. Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2015 Jun;9(2):189-95 Authors: Marx W, Kiss N, Isenring L Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Nausea and vomiting can pose a significant burden to patients in a variety of clinical settings. Previous evidence suggests that ginger may be an effective treatment for these symptoms; however, current evidence has been mixed. This article discusses recent clinical trials that have investigated ginger as a treatment for multiple types of nausea and vomiting. In addition, the potential mechanisms of action of ginger will be discussed. RECENT FINDINGS: This article identified nine studies and seven reviews that investigated ginger for morning sickness, postoperative nausea and vomiting, chemotherapy-induced, and antiretroviral-induced nausea and vomiting. All studies reported that ginger provided a significant reduction in nausea and vomiting; however, the clinical relevance […] – Read More



Anti-inflammatory effect of anthocyanins via modulation of nuclear factor-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascades.

Vaccinium corymbosum (Blueberry)

Anti-inflammatory effect of anthocyanins via modulation of nuclear factor-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascades. Nutr Rev. 2015 Jun;73(6):348-58 Authors: Vendrame S, Klimis-Zacas D Abstract Anthocyanins are a group of bioactive compounds present in plant foods. Although they have consistently shown an anti-inflammatory effect both in vitro and in vivo, their mechanisms of action are not fully understood and have only recently begun to be elucidated. The aim of this review is to highlight the anti-inflammatory activity of anthocyanins, including their effect on the expression of several genes involved in inflammation. The available evidence suggests that their anti-inflammatory action can be attributed primarily to their antioxidant properties, which result in downregulation of the redox-sensitive nuclear factor-κB signaling pathway. Other pathways at least partly involved in the inflammatory response, particularly the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways, also appear to play a role. […] – Read More



Resveratrol and the mitochondria: From triggering the intrinsic apoptotic pathway to inducing mitochondrial biogenesis, a mechanistic view.

Mitochondria

Resveratrol and the mitochondria: From triggering the intrinsic apoptotic pathway to inducing mitochondrial biogenesis, a mechanistic view. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Jan 20; Authors: Oliveira MR, Nabavi SF, Manayi A, Daglia M, Hajheydari Z, Nabavi SM Abstract BACKGROUND: Mitochondria, the power plants of the cell, are known as a cross-road of different cellular signalling pathways. These cytoplasmic double-membraned organelles play a pivotal role in energy metabolism and regulate calcium flux in the cells. It is well known that mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with different diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer. A growing body of literature has shown that polyphenolic compounds exert direct effects on mitochondrial ultra-structure and function. Resveratrol is known as one of the most common bioactive constituents of red wine, which improves mitochondrial functions under in vitro and in vivo conditions. SCOPE OF REVIEW: This paper aims to […] – Read More



Acute mood but not cognitive improvements following administration of a single multivitamin and mineral supplement in healthy women aged 50 and above: a randomised controlled trial.

Mind-Body

Acute mood but not cognitive improvements following administration of a single multivitamin and mineral supplement in healthy women aged 50 and above: a randomised controlled trial. Age (Dordr). 2015 Jun;37(3):9782 Authors: Macpherson H, Rowsell R, Cox KH, Scholey A, Pipingas A Abstract A number of randomised controlled trials have indicated that multivitamin/mineral supplementation for a period of 4 weeks or greater can enhance mood and cognition. To date, no studies have investigated whether a single multivitamin dose can benefit mental function in older adults. This study investigated the acute effects of a single multivitamin and mineral and herbal (MVMH) supplement versus placebo on self ratings of mood and the performance of an effortful computerised cognitive battery in a sample of 76 healthy women aged 50-75 years. Mood was assessed using the depression anxiety stress scale (DASS), state trait anxiety inventory-state […] – Read More



The effects of an Ayurvedic medicinal toothpaste on clinical, microbiological and oral hygiene parameters in patients with chronic gingivitis: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel allocation clinical trial. [Free Full-text]

Zingiber officinale (Ginger)

The effects of an Ayurvedic medicinal toothpaste on clinical, microbiological and oral hygiene parameters in patients with chronic gingivitis: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, parallel allocation clinical trial. Ceylon Med J. 2015 Dec;60(4):126-32 Authors: Howshigan J, Perera K, Samita S, Rajapakse PS Abstract INTRODUCTION: Plant derived preparations have been essential components for maintenance of oral hygiene and the treatment of oral diseases globally since ancient times. Acacia chundra Willd, Adhatoda vasica Nees., Mimusops elengi L., Piper nigrum L., Pongamia pinnate L. Pirerre, Quercus infectoria Olivier., Syzygium aromaticum L., Terminalia chebula Retz., Zingiber officinale Roscoe., individually or in combination, have been used for this purpose because of their beneficial effects. OBJECTIVES: To study the efficacy of an Ayurvedic toothpaste containing these herbs in patients with chronic gingivitis. METHODS: Otherwise healthy males and non-pregnant females (n=80) aged 18-35 years with ≥20 teeth were […] – Read More



The advances in research on the pharmacological effects of Fructus Ligustri Lucidi. [Free Full-text]

Ligustrum lucidum (Ligustrum)

  The advances in research on the pharmacological effects of Fructus Ligustri Lucidi. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:281873 Authors: Pang Z, Zhi-yan Z, Wang W, Ma Y, Feng-ju N, Zhang X, Han C Abstract Fructus Ligustri Lucidi is a well-known invigorator in Chinese materia medica with hepatoprotective effect, anticancer activity, antioxidant activity, and so on. And oleanolic acids are the major pharmacologically active components in Fructus Ligustri Lucidi. So it has great value in medical health, and may be developed to a complementary and alternative medicine through further research. In this paper, the advances in research on pharmacological effects of Fructus Ligustri Lucidi were summarized by reviewing the recent related literature. PMID: 25874204 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]



Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Aloe vera Extract Preparations: A Review.

Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera)

Hypoglycemic and Hypolipidemic Effects of Aloe vera Extract Preparations: A Review. Phytother Res. 2015 Dec 14; Authors: Pothuraju R, Sharma RK, Onteru SK, Singh S, Hussain SA Abstract Obesity is considered to be an epidemic disease, and it is associated with several metabolic disorders. Pharmacological treatments currently available are not effective for prolonged treatment duration. So, people are looking toward new therapeutic approach such as herbal ingredients. Since ancient periods, different herbs have been used for remedy purposes such as anti-obesity, antidiabetes, and antiinflammatory. Among the several herbal ingredients, Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) is widely used to curb the metabolic complications. Till date, reports are not available for the side effects of A. vera. Several researchers are used to different solvents such as aqueous solution, alcohol, ethanol, and chloroform for the A. vera extract preparations and studied their hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic […] – Read More



The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese children and adults: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

Amorphophallus konjac (Konjac)

The effect of glucomannan on body weight in overweight or obese children and adults: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition. 2015 Mar;31(3):437-42.e2 Authors: Zalewski BM, Chmielewska A, Szajewska H Abstract OBJECTIVE: Glucomannan (GM), a soluble fiber derived from the plant Amorphophallus konjac, is marketed as being helpful in reducing body weight. However, the data supporting this claim are scarce. The aim of this review was to systematically evaluate the effects of GM on body weight (BW) and body mass index (BMI) in otherwise healthy obese or overweight children and adults. DMETHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and Google Scholar databases were systematically searched up to June 2014 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effectiveness of GM versus placebo. The primary outcome measures were BW and BMI. RESULTS: Six eligible RCTs, only one of which performed in children, were included. […] – Read More



Effect of Palm Pollen on Sperm Parameters of Infertile Man.

Date Palm

Effect of Palm Pollen on Sperm Parameters of Infertile Man. Pak J Biol Sci. 2015 Apr;18(4):196-9 Authors: Rasekh A, Jashni HK, Rahmanian K, Jahromi AS Abstract There is a rapidly growing trend in the consumption of herbal remedies in the developing countries. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of orally administered Date Palm Pollen (DPP) on the results of semen analysis in adult infertile men. Forty infertile men participated in our study. They were treated by Pollen powder 120 mg kg(-1) in gelatinous capsules every other day, for two months. Before and at the end of therapy, the semen was collected after masturbation and sperm numbers, motility and morphology were determined. Our findings revealed that consumption of DPP improved the sperm count. The treatment was significantly increased sperm motility, morphology and forward progressive motility. Date palm […] – Read More



Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum on lipid profile in patients not tolerating statins at high doses.

Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle)

Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum on lipid profile in patients not tolerating statins at high doses. Atherosclerosis. 2015 Mar;239(1):87-92 Authors: Derosa G, Romano D, D’Angelo A, Maffioli P Abstract AIM: To evaluate the effects of Berberis aristata combined with Silybum marianum in dyslipidemic patients intolerant to statins at high doses. METHODS: 137 euglycemic, dyslipidemic subjects, with previous adverse events to statins at high doses, were enrolled. Statins were stopped for 1 month (run-in), then they were re-introduced at the half of the previously taken dose. At randomization, patients tolerating the half dose of statin, were assigned to add placebo or B. aristata/S. marianum 588/105 mg, 1 tablet during the lunch and 1 tablet during the dinner, for six months. We evaluated lipid profile and safety parameters variation at randomization, and after 3, and 6 months. RESULTS: B. aristata/S. marianum reduced […] – Read More



Blessings in disguise: a review of phytochemical composition and antimicrobial activity of plants belonging to the genus Eryngium. [Free Full-text]

Eryngium maritimum

Blessings in disguise: a review of phytochemical composition and antimicrobial activity of plants belonging to the genus Eryngium. Daru. 2015;23(1):53 Authors: Erdem SA, Nabavi SF, Orhan IE, Daglia M, Izadi M, Nabavi SM Abstract Medicinal and edible plants play a crucial role in the prevention and/or mitigation of different human diseases from ancient times to today. In folk medicine, there are different plants used for infectious disease treatment. During the past two decades, much attention has been paid to plants as novel alternative therapeutic agents for the treatment of infectious diseases due to their bioactive natural compounds such as phenol, flavonoids, tannins, etc. The genus Eryngium (Apiaceae) contains more than 250 flowering plant species, which are commonly used as edible and medicinal plants in different countries. In fact, some genus Eryngium species are used as spices and are cultivated throughout […] – Read More



Clinical and metabolic response to probiotic administration in patients with major depressive disorder: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. [Free Full-text]

Human Gut Flora (Lactobacillus bulgaricus)

Clinical and metabolic response to probiotic administration in patients with major depressive disorder: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition. 2015 Sep 28; Authors: Akkasheh G, Kashani-Poor Z, Tajabadi-Ebrahimi M, Jafari P, Akbari H, Taghizadeh M, Memarzadeh MR, Asemi Z, Esmaillzadeh A Abstract OBJECTIVE: We are aware of no study examining the effects of probiotic supplementation on symptoms of depression, metabolic profiles, serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and biomarkers of oxidative stress in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The present study was designed to determine the effects of probiotic intake on symptoms of depression and metabolic status in patients with MDD. METHODS: This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial included 40 patients with a diagnosis of MDD based on DSM-IV criteria whose age ranged between 20 and 55 y. Patients were randomly allocated into two groups to receive either probiotic supplements (n = 20) […] – Read More



Zeaxanthin and ocular health, from bench to bedside.

Zea mays (Corn)

Zeaxanthin and ocular health, from bench to bedside. Fitoterapia. 2015 Dec 16; Authors: Manikandan R, Thiagarajan R, Goutham G, Arumugam M, Beulaja M, Rastrelli L, Skalicka-Wozniak K, Habtemariam S, Orhan IE, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM Abstract Cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are known as major ocular problems which cause blindness among the elderly population worldwide. Oxidative stress plays an important role in both the initiation and progression of ocular problems and with respect to this; dietary antioxidants can serve as a therapeutic strategy for the improvement of ocular health. Zeaxanthin is known as one of the most important and common xanthophyll carotenoids, possessing multiple therapeutic effects such as strong antioxidant and pro-oxidant behaviour as well as anti-inflammatory effects. A growing body of literature shows that zeaxanthin mitigates ocular problems and suppresses oxidative stress in the retinal tissues. This paper […] – Read More



Challenges and guidelines for clinical trial of herbal drugs. [Free Full-text]

World Health Organisation

Challenges and guidelines for clinical trial of herbal drugs. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2015 Oct-Dec;7(4):329-33 Authors: Parveen A, Parveen B, Parveen R, Ahmad S Abstract World Health Organization (WHO) has defined herbal medicines as finished labeled medicinal product that contain an active ingredient, aerial, or underground parts of the plant or other plant material or combinations. According to a report of WHO, about 80% of the world population is reported to rely on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs. Even in the developed countries, complementary or alternative medicine is gaining popularity. A report of a global survey on national policy on traditional medicine and regulation of herbal medicines indicated that about 50 countries including China, Japan, and Germany already have their national policy and laws on regulations of traditional medicines. Herbal drugs possess a long history of its […] – Read More



Analgesic Potential of Essential Oils. [Free Full-text]

Essential Oils

Analgesic Potential of Essential Oils. Molecules. 2015;21(1) Authors: Sarmento-Neto JF, do Nascimento LG, Felipe CF, de Sousa DP Abstract Pain is an unpleasant sensation associated with a wide range of injuries and diseases, and affects approximately 20% of adults in the world. The discovery of new and more effective drugs that can relieve pain is an important research goal in both the pharmaceutical industry and academia. This review describes studies involving antinociceptive activity of essential oils from 31 plant species. Botanical aspects of aromatic plants, mechanisms of action in pain models and chemical composition profiles of the essential oils are discussed. The data obtained in these studies demonstrate the analgesic potential of this group of natural products for therapeutic purposes. PMID: 26703556 [PubMed – in process]  



Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Piper species: a perspective from screening to molecular mechanisms.

Piper longum (Long Pepper)

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Piper species: a perspective from screening to molecular mechanisms. Curr Top Med Chem. 2015;15(9):886-93 Authors: Kumar S, Malhotra S, Prasad AK, Van der Eycken EV, Bracke ME, Stetler-Stevenson WG, Parmar VS, Ghosh B Abstract Identifying novel therapeutic agents from natural sources and their possible intervention studies has been one of the major areas in biomedical research in recent years. Piper species are highly important – commercially, economically and medicinally. Our groups have been working for more than two decades on the identification and characterization of novel therapeutic lead molecules from Piper species. We have extensively studied the biological activities of various extracts of Piper longum and Piper galeatum, and identified and characterized novel molecules from these species. Using synthetic chemistry, various functional groups of the lead molecules were modified and structure activity relationship (SAR) studies […] – Read More



The impact of complementary and alternative medicines on cancer symptoms, treatment side effects, quality of life, and survival in women with breast cancer–a systematic review.

Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)

The impact of complementary and alternative medicines on cancer symptoms, treatment side effects, quality of life, and survival in women with breast cancer–a systematic review. Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(3):373-91 Authors: Leggett S, Koczwara B, Miller M Abstract Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer amongst women. Women with breast cancer frequently consult dietitians for advice, and increasingly advice on complementary alternative medicines (CAM). The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate evidence of CAM administered orally on cancer-related outcomes. Databases were searched for studies recruiting women with a history of breast cancer reporting on the use of CAM administered orally as tablets, capsules, powders, and liquids for any 1 or more of the following: alleviation of cancer-related symptoms and treatment side effects, improvement to quality of life, physical and emotional wellbeing, survival, and mortality. Twenty-two studies were identified […] – Read More