Ginkgo biloba extract enhances glucose tolerance in hyperinsulinism-induced hepatic cells

September 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

Ginkgo biloba is a very useful and versitile herb.  The following shows its promise in helping the condition of diabetes.

Ginkgo biloba, an herbal medication, is capable of lowering glucose, fat, and lipid peroxide in diabetic patients. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) prevented hyperinsulinism-induced glucose intolerance in hepatocytes. We investigated the effects of GBE on glucose consumption, glucokinase activity, and mRNA levels of key genes in glucose metabolism and the insulin signaling pathway. To better show its efficacy, we included a control group that was treated with rosiglitazone, a type of thiazolidinedione (TZD). The data indicated that GBE repressed glucose uptake under normal conditions, while it dramatically improved glucose tolerance under insulin-resistant conditions. Furthermore, after analyzing gene expression, we suggest that GBE chiefly exerts its effects by stimulating IRS-2 transcription. It should be noted that, unlike rosiglitazone, GBE did not stimulate excessive glucose uptake as it improved glucose tolerance. It is said that GBE treatment could avoid drug-induced obesity. Our data suggest that GBE has the potential to prevent insulin resistance and is a promising anti-diabetic drug.

Antioxidant and antifungal activity of Verbena officinalis L. leaves.

September 22, 2010 by  
Filed under All, Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

The following provides evidence that Verbena officinalis would be an excellent herb to use for skin conditions.

The scavenging activity against DPPH (1,1-diphenil-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical and the antifungal effect against chloroform, ethyl acetate and 50% methanolic extracts of Verbena officinalis leaves were investigated. The activity of different fractions of 50% methanolic extract and some isolated compounds were also investigated. The results suggest that 50% methanolic extract and caffeoyl derivatives could potentially be considered as excellent and readily available sources of natural antifungal and antioxidant compounds.

Cancer and metastasis: prevention and treatment by green tea.

September 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

The following study gives information of the positive effects of green tea in the prevention of cancer.

Metastasis is the most deadly aspect of cancer and results from several interconnected processes including cell proliferation, angiogenesis, cell adhesion, migration, and invasion into the surrounding tissue. The appearance of metastases in organs distant from the primary tumor is the most destructive feature of cancer. Metastasis remains the principal cause of the deaths of cancer patients despite decades of research aimed at restricting tumor growth. Therefore, inhibition of metastasis is one of the most important issues in cancer research. Several in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies have reported that the consumption of green tea may decrease cancer risk. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, major component of green tea, has been shown to inhibit tumor invasion and angiogenesis which are essential for tumor growth and metastasis. This article summarizes the effect of green tea and its major polyphenolic compounds on cancer and metastasis against most commonly diagnosed cancer sites.

Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses.

September 6, 2010 by  
Filed under All, Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

The following article shows the importance of lemon balm in the treatment of the herpes simplex virus, (HSV).

Extracts and essential oils of medicinal plants are increasingly of interest as novel drugs of antimicrobial and antiviral agents, since herpes simplex virus (HSV) might develop resistance to commonly used antiviral agents. Melissa officinalis essential oil was phytochemically examined by GC-MS analysis, its main constituents were identified as monoterpenaldehydes citral a, citral b and citronellal. The antiviral effect of lemon balm oil, the essential oil of Melissa officinalis, on herpes simplex virus was examined. The inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) was tested in vitro on monkey kidney cells using a plaque reduction assay. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of balm oil for herpes simplex virus plaque formation was determined at high dilutions of 0.0004% and 0.00008% for HSV-1 and HSV-2, respectively. At noncytotoxic concentrations of the oil,plaque formation was significantly reduced by 98.8% for HSV-1 and 97.2% for HSV-2, higher concentrations of lemon balm oil abolished viral infectivity nearly completely. In order to determine the mode of antiviral action of this essential oil, time-on-addition assays were performed. Both herpesviruses were significantly inhibited by pretreatment with balm oil prior to infection of cells. These results indicate that Melissa oil affected the virus before adsorption, but not after penetration into the host cell, thus lemon balm oil is capable of exerting a direct antiviral effect on herpesviruses. Considering the lipophilic nature of lemon balm essential oil, which enables it to penetrate the skin, and a high selectivity index, Melissa officinalis oil might be suitable for topical treatment of herpetic infections.