Spotlight on Boswellia

Boswellia

Boswellia is known for its fragrant resin - most commonly recognised as the resin-extracted incense, frankincense. The resin has many pharmacological uses, particularly as an anti-inflammatory, arthritis and osteoporosis treatment, a reliever of ulcerative colitis and a promoter of good joint health. Boswellic Acids, the active compound in the resin, has been used in treatments for asthma and other inflammation conditions. The bark has also been used to treat fever, rheumatism and gastrointestinal problems.

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All about Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng

Despite it's name, Siberian Ginseng is completely different to the more commonly known American and Asian Ginseng and has different key ingredients. The active chemical component in Siberian Ginseng is called Eleutherosides and is known to stimulate the immune system.

It has been widely used to prevent colds and flu and in studies was noted to help dissipate symptoms of flu quicker than the pharmaceutical counter-part, in a 72-hour period.  Another study showed that subjects taking Siberian Ginseng for 4 weeks had more t-cells, demonstrating a stronger immune system. It is also known as an adaptogen, a substance that assists the body in coping with mental and physical stress. Siberian Ginseng also seemed to reduce outbreaks of Herpes in those infected with Herpes Simplex (HSV) type 2. The double-blind study showed that when outbreaks did occur, they were less severe and did not last as long.

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Looking at: Chamomile

Chamomile

Chamomile has been used for centuries, gaining popularity in the middle ages throughout Europe and North Africa. Chamomile was used for a number of ailments and complaints including asthma, inflammation, colic, fever, nausea, nerves, skin diseases and even cancers. Chamomile’s key ingredients are volatile oils (including bisabol, bisabol oxides A and B and Matricin) and flavonoids, particularly apigenin.

Chamomile is widely known as a sleep aid and stomach settler but also has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-allergenic properties. It has been extensively researched and the therapeutic uses of the plant confirmed by many studies over the past 20 years.  It’s calming properties assist in the relief of symptoms of PMS and its ability to relax smooth muscles allows it to ease the discomfort of menstrual cramps. 

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Highlighting: Licorice Root

Liquorice Root

Licorice root contains compounds associated with natural anti-depressants as well as other healing substances such as flavonoids and phytoestrogens (as with red clover and wild yam). Licorice root’s main active ingredient is glycyrrhizin which is beneficial in assisting with a host of ailments. Glycyrrhizin prevents the breakdown of adrenal hormones, such as cortisol (the stress hormone) which may help improve resistance to both physical and emotional stress. It also has a reputation for healing stomach ulcers. It can relieve heartburn by lowering stomach acid levels as well as aid in digestion and mild constipation. Licorice root also aids in preventing irritation or spasms of the bowel and assists the liver by increasing bile flow and lowering harmful LDL cholesterol levels whilst simultaneously raising “good”  HDL cholesterol levels.

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Spotlight on Red Clover

Red Clover

Red Clover is considered to be one of the richest sources of Isoflavone, which are water-soluble chemicals that act like oestrogen. They are part of a group known as phytoestrogen (also found in Wild Yam and Licorice Root) which are often used to assist in hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms as well as PMS and breast health. Red Clover is also know to promote kidney health, to lower levels of the “bad” LDL cholesterol whilst raising the levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol, to improve blood circulation, to prevent osteoporosis and also to reduce the risk of blood clots. It is also a source of calcium, chromium, niacin, phosphorous, potassium, thiamine and vitamin C.

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Highlighting: Red Sage

Red Sage

Red Sage, also known as Salvia Miltiorrhiza, has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. The name, “Salvia” was derived from the Latin, “Salvare” which means “to be saved”.  

In reference to Sage’s healing properties, a common saying from the Middle Ages, “Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden?”, indicates the medicinal importance of this herb through the ages. It has long been known as a “cure-all” in alternative medicine. Sage contains a “volatile oil” which is largely responsible for its therapeutic benefits. It is known as an antiseptic and astringent and has also been shown to have oestrogenic actions that can improve irregular periods, reduce menopausal sweating and hot flashes as well as a general adjustment to hormonal irregularities. 

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