Search The Site

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cancer Unlocking the Mystery Webinar on May 4 at 12:00 PM PST

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bacopa Monnieri

News You Can Use

Bacopa Monnieri


Pubmed - Chronic effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory from the Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Woolongong, Australia.

A study is reported on the effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. The results show a significant effect of the Brahmi on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that Brahmi decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information.

Some of the bacopa extract benefits to health were known in India several thousand years ago. There, it is known as "brahmi", a brain tonic. It is used to improve memory and learning problems, as well as concentration.

Bacopa monnieri plant is an herb used in India for memory enhancement. Bacopa monnieri is sometimes spelled as Bacopa monniera but the more accepted spelling is monnieri. Bacopa herb, a perennial succulent creeping herb with small green leaves, commonly grows in marshy areas throughout India. Its scientific name is Bacopa monnieri, although it is more commonly known in the West as 'herb-of-grace' or 'water hyssop'. Bacopa is a genus of 70-100 water-dwelling plants. They may be mistaken for water lilies and are commonly referred as water hyssops, although they are not related to the hyssop plants.

Bacopa monnieri is what is known in Ayurvedic (ancient Indian) medicine as a 'rasayana' - a plant that helps prevent aging and degeneration. In the case of Bacopa monnieri, this is used specifically to help fight the effects of aging on the brain.

Its benefits for maintaining brain health have been studied extensively. It is proving to be extremely effective as a brain stimulant - improving memory and cognitive abilities and helping to treat nervous tension, depression and stress.

These mind-enhancing properties make this herb particularly beneficial for those studying for exams, and also offer exciting potential in the treatment of serious memory disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Bacopa monnieri plays a dual role in boosting memory and fighting stress. The two main active ingredients in Bacopa monnieri - thought to be largely responsible for its memory-boosting benefits - are the plant chemicals Bacopaside A and Bacopaside B. These are well-known antioxidants that help protect the brain's memory centers from free radical damage.

Researchers believe that Bacopa monnieri works by increasing the memory-boosting chemical, acetylcholine, in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that carries messages between your brain cells and helps you retain new information. 

Bacopa has been revered for centuries in the herbal tradition of India to enhance clear thinking and support memory function. Studies have shown that Bacopa supports learning and memory in humans. In animal models, Bacopa monnieri provides antioxidant protection for critical memory centers and helps to reduce the effects of stress on the brain. Traditional application suggests that Bacopa has a direct effect on improving brain functions, increasing concentration, and in promoting memory functions.

Bacopa monnieri plays a protective role in the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus, the seat of memory. Nerve impulses are transmitted across the synapses and their degeneration is believed to contribute to impaired memory and cognition.
Bacopa monnieri is an Ayurvedic medicine, clinically used for memory enhancing, epilepsy, insomnia and as a mild sedative. Bacopa monnieri showed a dose-dependent free radical scavenging capacity and a protective effect on DNA cleavage. The antioxidant capacity of Bacopa monnieri may explain, at least in part, the reported antistress, immunomodulatory, cognition-facilitating, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects produced by it in experimental animals and in clinical situations and may justify further investigation of its other beneficial properties. Moreover, this experimental evidence suggests that because of its antioxidant activity, Bacopa monnieri may be useful in the treatment of human pathologies in which free radical production plays a key role.

Reports have shown the antiamnesic drug, Bacopa monnieri to be capable of alleviating diazepam induced memory deficits. It is used as a natural treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD.

In another animal study, researchers from the Industrial Toxicology Research Center in Lucknow, India, found that Bacopa monnieri also possesses anti-stress properties. It helped to lower concentrations of stress-related chemicals. These chemicals can quickly become unbalanced during times of stress, leaving you feeling less able to cope. By regulating levels of these chemicals in the brain, Bacopa monnieri helps promote better memory, reaction times and learning during stressful periods.

Alternative Medicine Review - Volume 9, Number 1, 2004

Bacopa monniera, also referred to as Bacopa monnieri, Herpestis monnieri, water hyssop, and “Brahmi,” has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for centuries. Traditionally, it was used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning, and concentration, and to provide relief to patients with anxiety or epileptic disorders. The plant has also been used in India and Pakistan as a cardiac tonic, digestive aid, and to improve respiratory function in cases of bronchoconstriction. Recent research has focused primarily on Bacopa’s cognitive-enhancing effects, specifically memory, learning, and concentration and results support the traditional Ayurvedic claims. Research on anxiety, epilepsy, bronchitis and asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastric ulcers also supports the Ayurvedic uses of Bacopa. Bacopa’s antioxidant properties may offer protection from free radical damage in cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.”

More information and the results of a large number of in vitro, human, and animal studies on the following can be found at:

Cognitive Effects
In this study, Bacopa has been shown to exhibit effects on Adults and Children for the following:

  • Anxiety and Depression

  • Epilepsy

  • Bronchitis and Asthma

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Cardiovascular Effects

  • Hypothyroidism

Side Effects and Toxicity

Therapeutic doses of Bacopa are not associated with any known side effects, and Bacopa has been used safely in Ayurvedic medicine for several hundred years. As with most herbs, it's best to take occasional breaks from use.
Ginkgo/Gotu Kola w/Bacopa Conc. (60 tabs)

Nature's Sunshine proudly features Ginkgo/Gotu Kola w/Bacopa Conc. (60 tabs).  Ginkgo is famed for boosting circulation to the brain.  Gotu kola herb has been called “brain food” by many herbalists. Bacopa is from bacopin, an Ayurvedic compound that stimulates memory through non-specific pathways. Researchers theorize that bacopin allows the body to maintain old neurons and synthesize new neurons more quickly. Bacopin may support memory and may help boost concentration. This formula combines these two famous herbs with this nutrient to give you complete nutritional benefits in a powerful concentrate.

Yours in Good Health!


Chris Ritchason
Dr. Jack & Verlyn Ritchason, Founders
The Back to Herbs Team


Disclaimer: We do not directly dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of herbs or supplements as a form of treatment for illness. The information found on this Web Site is for educational purposes only to empower people with knowledge to take care of their own health. We disclaim any liability if the reader uses or prescribes any remedies, natural or otherwise, for him/herself or another. Historically all of these herbs & vitamin supplements may nutritionally support the bodies biological systems. Please consult a licensed health professional should a need be indicated.

You may visit my website to purchase

Monday, April 5, 2010

Urinary Tract Health

Urinary Tract Health

The urinary system consists of the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. The urinary
system plays an important role in well-being by removing wastes from the body and
keeping electrolytes, salts and water in healthy balance.1

The urinary system removes urea; a toxic waste formed as a byproduct of the metabolism
of proteins, from the body.1 Urea, other wastes and water make up the urine which is
removed by the kidneys. On average, adults eliminate approximately 1 quart of urine per

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located below the ribs in the middle of the
back.2 They filter wastes and toxins from the blood through tiny filtering units called
nephrons, which consist of a ball of capillaries called glomerulus, and a small tube called
a renal tubule.1 Urine then travels from the kidneys down two tubes called ureters into the
bladder, a hollow organ located in the pelvic region.1 A small amount of urine is emptied
into the bladder about every 15 seconds.2 If urine backs up or remains stationary for long,
a kidney infection can develop. Nerves in the bladder signal when it is time to urinate.2
Urine is emptied from the bladder and out of the body through the urethra.2

Importantly, the kidneys also function to regulate blood pressure levels and the
production of erythropoietin, which controls red blood cell production.2 The kidneys are
also involved in the body’s production of the active form of vitamin D.3

Problems in the urinary system can be due to illness, injury or aging.1 As we age, the
kidneys’ ability to remove wastes from the blood decreases, and the other organs of the
urinary system lose some of their strength. This can cause disorders such as incontinence
(loss of bladder control) and incomplete emptying of the bladder, which can lead to
infection.1 Reduced kidney function can lead to chronic kidney disease and kidney

Kidney stones are a relatively common problem that has been increasing in the U.S. over
the past 30 years.4 Kidney stones are small, hard deposits that form in the kidneys out of
mineral and acid salts in the urine.5 Different types of kidney stones exist, depending on
their composition. Stones may form when the urine becomes concentrated and the normal
balance of water, salts, minerals and other substances in urine changes.6 Kidney stones
can travel out of the kidneys and into other parts of the urinary tract. Small stones may be
eliminated through the urethra without causing much pain. Larger stones however, may
get stuck anywhere in the urinary tract and cause great pain.

It is important to drink plenty of water (6–8 full glasses per day) to help flush bacteria
and toxins from the urinary tract and prevent the urine from becoming overly
concentrated. Medical treatment should be sought if kidney stones or infection are

Cranberry fruit is commonly used to promote urinary tract health. Cranberries contain
proanthocyanidins and an unidentified high-molecular-weight compound that seem to
interfere with the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder wall.7 Research shows that cranberry
consumption significantly reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.7

Buchu leaf is used to soothe and fight infection in the urinary tract, for bladder irritation
and as a natural diuretic.8

Juniper berries and parsley leaf have traditionally been used to support the urinary system
and help the body maintain healthy fluid balance.7 Juniper berries and parsley both have
aquaretic properties. Aquaretics increase urine excretion but not electrolyte excretion.
Aquaretic agents can be beneficial in the case of water retention.7 Phytochemicals in
juniper berries and in parsley also increase kidney filtration rate.7 Parsley is used to flush
the urinary tract and for the prevention of kidney stones.8,9

Asparagus and corn silk contain constituents that have diuretic properties7,10 and have
been used to support the urinary system in expelling excess water from the body.7
Marshmallow root contains mucilage polysaccharides that soothe and protect mucous
membranes.7 It is often used for urinary tract inflammation and as a natural diuretic.7

Hydrangea root has traditionally been used to support bladder and kidney health.9 Some
researchers indicate that hydrangea acts as a mild diuretic and that it may prevent the
formation of kidney stones.7

Uva Ursi leaf is used to soothe the urinary tract and to fight bacteria in the urinary tract.7
A phenol constituent in uva ursi leaf known as arbutin has demonstrated antimicrobial

1. NIH National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Your Urinary System and How
it Works. 2010. Available at: Accessed February
17, 2010.
2. The Ohio State University Medical Center. Anatomy of the Urinary System. 2010. Available at:
NEY/ANATOMY_URINARY_SYSTEM/Pages/index.aspx Accessed February 17, 2010.
3. WebMD. Chronic Kidney Disease. 2010. Available at: Accessed February 19, 2010.
4. NIH National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Kidney Stones in Adults. 2007.
Available at: Accessed February 19, 2010.
5. MayoClinic. Kidney Stones. 2009. Available at:
DS00282 Accessed February 19, 2010.
6. WebMD. Kidney Stones – Cause. 2009. Available at:
cause Accessed February 19, 2010.
7. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural
Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2009.
8. The Complete German Commission E Monographs Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines Ó1998
American Botanical Council.
9. Murray L. Parsley. LaGow B. ed-in-chief. The PDR for Herbal Medicines. 3rd ed. New Jersey:
Thompson PRD; 2004. \
10. Dr. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases. Zea mays L. Poaceae. 2010. Available at: Accessed February 22, 2010.

Angela Palacio Anew Herb Shoppe
916 538-1863

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Diabetes and Dietary Supplementation

Diabetes and Dietary Supplementation

Diabetes is a serious threat to the health of Americans. According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 24 million people in the United Stated have diabetes. There are three types of diabetes: type 1 (insulin dependent); type 2 (non-insulin dependent); and gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy. This disease is characterized by high levels of blood glucose due to defects in insulin production, insulin action, or both. Diet is a major treatment modality for managing diabetes and its associated symptoms. Several dietary supplements have been demonstrated to help maintain blood glucose levels within the normal range, as well as to help in alleviation of associated symptoms.

Insulin resistance refers to the condition of the muscle cells, fat cells and liver cells not properly responding to insulin. Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that signals these cells to remove glucose from the blood. At the onset of the resistance, the pancreas can adjust and secrete more insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal.  However, as the resistance becomes greater, enough insulin cannot be produced to compensate, and type 2 diabetes develops. Certain nutrients have shown promise in helping enhance the cells’ sensitivity to insulin. Banaba leaf, gymnema, bitter melon, nopal, chromium, vanadium and cinnamon all help in maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Starchy carbohydrates are the most important source of calories in our diets. Starches
are long chains of glucose and are provided in staple foods such as breads, pastas and cereals. In order for starches to provide energy to the body, they must be digested into small enough particles to be absorbed. The majority of this process occurs in the small intestine by the action of an enzyme called alpha-amylase. Certain ingredients can greatly interfere with this process, including a white kidney bean extract that inhibits the activity of alpha-amylase. Psyllium contains a high amount of water-soluble fiber that swells in the digestive tract and slows the emptying of foods from the stomach, reduces surface area on foods that enzymes need to act on, and can create somewhat of a barrier between the gut wall and glucose molecules to reduce absorption. These dietary supplements need to be taken with meals to be effective. They are most effective
with meals containing starches; psyllium is useful with any carbohydrate-containing meals. The end result of either dietary supplement is a slowed or reduced release of sugars into the blood, as well as a reduced surge of insulin.

Alpha Lipoic Acid is probably best-known as the “universal antioxidant.” It is soluble in both water and fat, which allows it to exert its protective actions on virtually every tissue in the body. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) has been used outside the U.S. as an approved drug therapy for diabetic neuropathies since 1959. Studies have shown that ALA can significantly reduce symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathies such as severe pain, weakness, burning and touch pressure. Some evidence also suggests that ALA may mimic insulin and signal cells to take in glucose from the blood.
Diabetes can develop as a result of genetic, environmental and/or auto-immune factors. We have the most control over the environmental factors. Recent epidemiological studies have made a connection between regions that receive less ultraviolet radiation (our primary source of vitamin D) and the increased incidence of type 2 diabetes in populations living there. It has also been observed that daily supplementation of vitamin D in infants during the first year of life is associated with a reduced incidence of type 1 diabetes later in life. Supplementing with Vitamin D3 daily may be warranted for those concerned with developing diabetes.

The Amazing Cucumber!

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight
on the Home
" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1.    Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need
every day... Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3,
Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium,
Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

 Feeling tired in the afternoon?  Put down the caffeinated
soda and pick up a cucumber.  Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and
Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3.    Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower?
Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror...  It will eliminate
the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4.    Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds?  Place a
few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season
long.  The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a
scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee
the area.  WOW!

5.    Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before
going out or to the pool?  Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along
your problem area for a few minutes.  The photochemical in the cucumber
cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and
reducing the visibility of cellulite.  Works great on wrinkles too!  

6.    Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache?  Eat a few
cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free.
Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish
essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding
both a hangover and headache!!

7.    Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge?
Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European
trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8.    Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that
you don't have enough time to polish your shoes?  Rub a freshly cut
cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine
that not only looks great but also repels water.

9.    Out of WD-40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge?  Take a
cucumber sliced rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is

Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa?
Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the
chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and
be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been
shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11.  Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints?
Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your
tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the
bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12.  Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless
steel?  Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to
clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but
is won't leave streaks and won't harm you fingers or fingernails while you

13.  Using a pen and made a mistake?  Take the outside of the
cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on
crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Pass this along to everybody you know who is looking for better and safer ways
to solve life's everyday problems...  


Related Posts with Thumbnails