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Herbal Supplements and Health The physical and mental value of dietary herbal supplements.
Origin of Herbal Medicine • Primitive men and women treated illnesses using plants, animal parts, and minerals not part of a common diet.
Physical evidence goes back 60,000 years to the burial site of a Neanderthal man who was buried with 8 species of plants. • Seven of these plants are still used in medicine today.
Herbal Supplements Today • A resurgence of interest in herbal medicine originated in the 1970’s. • This movement began with people’s disillusionment with modern medicine- its high cost and inability to cure everything. • The partisans of this resurgence were more enthusiastic than knowledgeable. No laws were made about labeling products and outrageous claims were made about the abilities of herbal supplements.
Despite the importance of plants in medicine, the FDA considers some herbal remedies to be worthless or potentially dangerous. • Now herbal products can only be marketed as food supplements and must have the FDA’s approval to make specific health claims.
Uses of Herbal Supplements • Physical • For the treatment of sickness and disease. • Athletic and Weight-loss purposes. • Mental • For the treatment of memory loss, depression, sleep, and stress.
Treatment of Sickness and Disease • All herbal medicines can be prepared as a tea. • Drink a glass 3 times a day, use the dried leaves of the plant, and usually use about half an ounce of the herb.
Common Herbs • Aloe Vera • Claims: “Cure all” tonic, for the treatment of acne, burns, minor wounds • Effective for the topical treatment of wounds, burns, and frostbite.
Aloe Vera • Effectiveness varies with product. • Advised not to use for internal uses. • Could lead to abdominal cramping, diarrhea, loss of potassium, discoloration of urine.
Garlic • Claims: Antibiotic, antiviral, general cure all, lowering of blood pressure, cholesterol, and regulation of circulatory system.
Garlic • Well studied herb. • Shown to lower cholestreol by 9-12% in 8-16 weeks of use. • May also possess antibiotic activities. • Large doses may cause heartburn.
Garlic • Used in Europe as an approved remedy for cardiovascular conditions and for the use of the flu and colds.
Ginger • Claims: Treatment of Arthritis, heart tissue, motion sickness and nausea. • Proven to be effective in nausea, motion sickness, and arthritis. • It is possible that it treats heart tissue but not likely.
Ginger • However, there are many precautions for the use of ginger. • The use of ginger may inhibit the chemicals involved in platelet aggression. • This leads to increased and prolonged bleeding.
Peppermint • Claims • Muscle Spasms • Abdominal Pain • Diarrhea • Irritable Bowl Syndrome • Chills and nausea • Convulsions • Headaches
Peppermint • Has only been proved to decrease muscle spasms. • Overuse can lead to heartburn, esophageal sphincter relaxations, irritation of mucous membranes, and allergic reactions.
Mental Supplements • There are several very popular mental supplements designed to aid in memory, stress, depression, sleep, and other mental related problems. Although there are only a few of the herbal supplements they are widely used and accepted by the public. There are many claims regarding the effectiveness of these supplements, and the only difficult problem is discovering which claims are true and which are false.
Ginkgo Biloba Claims and effects • Improved memory • Reduce Alzheimer’s effects • Helps hearing loss • Helps depression • Helps calm asthma
Ginkgo Biloba • Ginkgo balboa extract increases blood flow to the brain by inhibiting blood platelet aggregation and by regulating blood vessel elasticity. It has also been shown to improve blood flow through major blood vessels and capillaries.
Does It Work???? NO!!!
Ginkgo Biloba In extensive studies and various research experiments, ginkgo biloba has been shown to be completely ineffective against fighting memory loss, hearing loss, depression, and asthma. There is not enough well documented evidence to prove conclusively that ginkgo does not work when used in extremely large quantities.
Ginkgo Biloba Side Effects • Mild Gastrointestinal Upset • Mild Headaches
St. John’s Wort St. John’s wort has been used to • Prevent depression • Decrease Stress Levels • Help nervous conditions • Decrease severity of bacterial infection
St. John’s Wort How it works: Hyperforin is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor. It is the compound in the plant and suspected as having antidepressant effects.
Does It Work???? YES AND NO ????????
St. John’s Wort • Has been proven to be mildly helpful in very mild to moderate cases of depression. The more serious the case, the less that St. John’s Wort helps. In the worst cases of depression, it can actually hurt the situation.
St. John’s Wort Side effects • In cases of major depression, it may worsen the case. • Blurred vision, constipation, urinary retention, and excessive drowsiness.
Sleep Aids There are many different herbal sleep aids that are considered safer than, and sometimes as effective as prescription sleep aids. These herbs can help sleep by using aromas or teas.
Sleep Aids Claims and effects: • Helps Insomnia • Helps all chronic sleep disorders. • Helps with headaches and restlessness.
Sleep Aids Some examples of herbal sleep aids are: • Chamomile • Hops • California Poppy • Catnip • Lemon Balm • Lavender • Passion Flower • Skullcap • Valerian Root
Do They Work???? YES!!!
Sleep Aids Herbal sleep aids do work, and actually with little to no side effects. They are successful at calming and relaxing the body and assisting in the reduction of insomnia and other various sleep disorders.
Exercise and Diet Supplements In Today’s World, Many People Are Taking Herbal Supplements to Increase Their Energy and Weight Loss.
How many of you have seen this? • Magazines and tabloids often carry ads for herbal supplements, usually accompanied by a man with a body like Brad Pitt or a woman who looks like she’s walked straight out of “Baywatch”.
Do They Really Work? • Despite these claims, some experts have serious doubts about the efficacy of these herbal remedies as answers for weight loss and energy.
Exercise and Diet Supplements Common supplements: • Exercise: • Ginseng • Bell pollen • Weight Loss: • Ephedra
Ginseng • Most common form is Asian ginseng • A perennial herb of northern China, Korea, Japan, and Russia • Must be grown for 5 years before harvested
Ginseng • The root is the most widely used part • Harvested in the fall just before defoliation
Ginseng • How it works? • Not known…it is suggested that ginseng increases cerebrovascular flow • Dosage: • Usual daily dose is 200mg
Does it Work? In a 9-week, double blind, placebo- controlled trial of 30 highly trained athletes, treatment with ginseng produced significant improvements in aerobic capacity. But…
Does it Work? There were negative results in an 8 week, double blind trial that followed 31 healthy men in their twenties and another 8 week trial which showed that ginseng improved aerobic capacity in people who did not exercise, but gave no additional benefit to those who did.
Bee Pollen • Referred to as nature’s most complete food • Praised in the Bible and ancient Chinese texts
What is Bee Pollen? • It is the male seed of a flower blossom which has been gathered by the bees and to which special elements from the bees has been added. The honeybee collects pollen and mixes it with its own digestive enzymes. One pollen granule contains from one hundred thousand to five million pollen spores, each capable of reproducing its entire species.
Bee Pollen • Bee pollen rejuvenates your body, stimulates organs and glands, enhances vitality, and brings about a longer life span. Bee pollen's ability to consistently and noticeably increase energy levels makes it a favorite substance among many world class athletes and those interested in sustaining and enhancing quality performance.
Bee Pollen contains: -25% complete protein -18 amino acids -12 vitamins -28 minerals -11 enzymes -14 beneficial fatty acids -11 carbohydrates -Basically everything needed for human survival Bee Pollen
Bee Pollen and Exercise • Produces an accelerated rate of recovery-normal heart rate and breathing • It provides energy, stamina, and strength, and enhances performance levels. • Improves second performances
Does it Work? • Numerous studies have shown that taking Bee Pollen does in fact increase your energy and stamina during exercise and repeated events
Ephedra • Also known as “Ma Huang” • Popular diet supplement in the U.S. • Has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years
How Does it Work? • Ephedrine alkaloids-naturally occurring compounds which act as a mild stimulant • Enhances energy • Similar to caffeine
How Does it Work? • Stimulates fat metabolism • Burns fat and sugar more effectively • Reduces appetite • Mobilizes stored fat and carbohydrate reserves