The antiplaque efficacy of pomegranate mouthrinse.

February 24, 2011 by  
Filed under All, Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

We all know that pomegranate juice is a healthy drink.  The following shows another use for this wonderful plant.

OBJECTIVE: to evaluate the effect of a pomegranate-containing mouthrinse on plaque, determine whether it has any adverse effects, and evaluate its antibacterial properties against selected periodontopathogens in vitro.

METHOD AND MATERIALS: thirty periodontally healthy volunteers, randomly divided into three groups, refrained from all mechanical oral hygiene measures for 4 days and used one of the randomly assigned mouthrinses (A, pomegranate; B, chlorhexidine; or C, distilled water [placebo]) twice daily. The Plaque Index (PI) was assessed at days 0 and 5. Adverse effects were also evaluated. Pomegranate extract was tested against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (A.a.), Porphyromonas gingivalis (P.g.), and Prevotella intermedia (P.i.).

RESULTS: in all groups, the PI significantly increased from the baseline to day 5 (P < .1). The pomegranate mouthrinse created no adverse effects. There was a statistically significant difference (P < .05) between the chlorhexidine and placebo rinse and the pomegranate and placebo rinse, but no statistically significant difference was found between the chlorhexidine and pomegranate rinse with respect to the PI. Pomegranate extract showed inhibition of all three strains of periodontopathogens at various concentrations.

CONCLUSION: these results indicate that the pomegranate mouthrinse has an antiplaque effect. Pomegranate extract is efficacious against A.a., P.g., and P.i. strains in vitro. Pomegranate mouthrinse should be explored as a long-term antiplaque rinse with prophylactic benefits.

St. John’s wort – an overview.

February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under All, Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

The following abstract gives clear information on the usefulness of St. John’s Wort with mild to moderate depression.

This article aims to summarize the current state of knowledge on St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum L.) which is one of the oldest and best investigated medicinal herbs. Dried alcoholic extracts are the most important preparations on the market although a variety of other preparations are available. Depressive disorders according to modern diagnostic standards are the best known and most widely investigated indication although the more traditional, broader indication of ‘psycho-vegetative disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety and/or nervous agitation’, including diagnoses such as somatoform disorders, might more adequately describe what Hypericum extracts are actually used for by many practitioners. The exact mechanisms of action are still unclear, but the available research clearly shows that various bioactive constituents contribute to the clinical effects reported, often in a synergistic manner. Hypericum extracts have consistently shown activity in pharmacological models related to antidepressant effects. Randomized clinical trials show that Hypericum extracts are more effective than placebo and similarly effective as standard antidepressants while having better tolerability in the acute treatment of major depressive episodes. The most important risk associated with Hypericum extracts are interactions with other drugs. Therefore, physicians need to be informed whether their patients take St. John’s wort products. If the risk of interactions is adequately taken into account, high quality Hypericum extracts are an effective and safe tool in the hand of qualified health profession-als in primary care

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review.

February 3, 2011 by  
Filed under All, Herbs, Natural Healthcare, Science

If you are thinking of lowering your sugar intake you may want to consider using Stevia as a healthier alternative.

Studies revealed that Stevia has been used throughout the world since ancient times for various purposes; for example, as a sweetener and a medicine. We conducted a systematic literature review to summarize and quantify the past and current evidence for Stevia. We searched relevant papers up to 2007 in various databases. As we know that the leaves of Stevia plants have functional and sensory properties superior to those of many other high-potency sweeteners, Stevia is likely to become a major source of high-potency sweetener for the growing natural food market in the future. Although Stevia can be helpful to anyone, there are certain groups who are more likely to benefit from its remarkable sweetening potential. These include diabetic patients, those interested in decreasing caloric intake, and children. Stevia is a small perennial shrub that has been used for centuries as a bio-sweetener and for other medicinal uses such as to lower blood sugar. Its white crystalline compound (stevioside) is the natural herbal sweetener with no calories and is over 100-300 times sweeter than table sugar.