Discuss the safety and efficacy of this system of medicine( Can choose 1 Ayurvedic herb to discuss in-depth). Are there clinical trials or data in support or against its use, if so, please discuss those findings?
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Ayurveda has been a popular practice of natural medicine that is implemented in many different ways in life from food to skin care to overall personal wellness. It literally translates to the knowledge of life. Ayurveda originated in India and it is considered a form of medical care similar to naturopathic medicine. Ayurveda is great for not only good health but also for prevention of certain disease states as well as treatment of illnesses. It is a great way to release stress, improve stamina and strength overall among many other benefits. Ayurveda views the body and mind as a whole which is why it is known as holistic medicine. In Ayurveda, it is believed that if there is an imbalance between the wellness of the body and that of mind then that is what leads to an illness to occur. A balance is required overall for optimal health.
There are many natural herbs used in Ayurveda practice as a natural form of medical care. Boswellia serrata also known as Boswellia is a tree in India and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It is popularly used in Ayurveda for treating conditions such as arthritis, sores, coughs, wound healing, asthma, as well as ulcerative colitis. There are studies that have also shown that Boswellia might be effective in reducing cerebral edema in cancer patients who have brain tumors. It was also found to precent skin damage due to radiotherapy in breast cancer.
Boswellia has many great benefits as shown above and are generally safe to use but it is important to note that it should not be used on people who are allergic to Boswellia as it may cause serious harmful effects. Boswellia might also increase the risk of bleeding there it is important to talk to a doctor before using Boswellia especially if taking blood thinners as well.
Boswellia is often used in formulas with other ingredients such as turmeric. Turmeric comes from a plant in Southeast Asia and is used all over the world. It is part of the Ayurvedic natural medicine due to its numerous health benefits. Similar to Boswellia, Turmeric aids in different conditions including arthritis, digestive disorders, allergies, liver diseases, respiratory infections, as well as depression! It also has benefit in controlling blood sugars as well as improving heart health overall. Turmeric is great for the skin as well. Many bloggers include turmeric as part of their skin and hair care routine due to its beneficial effects.
Overall, Ayurveda is a very popular type of natural medicine and it has been shown to be very effective not just in the Indian culture but all over the world. People who practice Ayurveda, whether it is through yoga, the use of herbal supplements, or even dietary changes, believe that is it a great way to promote health. It is important to speak with a doctor if wanting to implement Ayurveda practice as part of one’s lifestyle since certain Ayurvedic herbal supplements might interact with medications or over-the-counter medications.
“Ayurveda.” Ayurveda | Michigan Medicine, www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/aa116840spec.
“Ayurveda.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/ayurveda.
G, Yu, et al. “Boswellia.” Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/boswellia.
“Turmeric.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/turmeric.
Kombucha is a drink that has been consumed for thousands of years and has gained a lot of popularity especially in the past couple of years. It is a tea beverage believed to originate from China or Japan. In order to make this tea a “mushroom”, known as a Scoby, needs to be made from bacteria, yeast, and sugar. It is then used to ferment green or black tea. The scoby can be used to continue to ferment multiple batches of kombucha and grows in size over time. The process of fermentation adds many acidic compounds, small levels of alcohol, and gases that make the tea carbonated. Introducing kombucha to your diet is believed to improve your health in many ways.
It is a great source of probiotics which provide the gut with healthy bacteria. This healthy bacteria can help with digestion as well as inflammation and weight loss. If kombucha is prepared from green tea it can provide the health benefits that green tea normally does, such as controlling blood sugar and weight loss. The acetic acid which is produced during the fermentation process is something that is also abundant in vinegar. Acetic acid in the kombucha has strong antibacterial properties against infection causing bacteria and candida yeast. This can be of particular interest to people who might be prone to yeast infections and need to include more probiotics in their diet, while also having the benefit of those antibacterial properties.
Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants meaning that it can help prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals which can damage your cells (and eventually cause cancer). There are many benefits to kombucha but it is important to keep in mind that human studies are limited. Certain experiments done on rats have shown that the antioxidants provided in the kombucha can protect from liver toxicity. There may be a potential for further research on this matter especially with people who have risk factors for liver disease (alcohol use, obesity, diabetes, medications, etc). There is some evidence to show that kombucha has also able to improve LDL and HDL cholesterol levels. Kombucha can be particularly helpful in managing type two diabetes as it slows the digestion of carbs, which reduces blood sugar levels. If the kombucha is made from green tea it will be extra beneficial as the green tea itself reduces blood sugar levels.
While there are limited studies on kombucha, there are a plethora of tests that have been done on tea and probiotics that are evidence-based and both of these things can be found in kombucha. The most important thing to do is make sure that the source of your kombucha is one that you can trust. You want to make sure that the kombucha that you buy is properly prepared and not contaminated to avoid any negative side effects. Anyone planning to use this to get any of their disease states under control, such as lowering blood sugar in diabetes, should let their health care providers know.
· Mayser P, Fromme S, Leitzmann C, Gründer K. The yeast spectrum of the 'tea fungus Kombucha'. Mycoses. 1995 Jul-Aug;38(7-8):289-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0507.1995.tb00410.x. PMID: 8559192.
· Serafini M, Ghiselli A, Ferro-Luzzi A. In vivo antioxidant effect of green and black tea in man. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Jan;50(1):28-32. PMID: 8617188.
· Sreeramulu G, Zhu Y, Knol W. Kombucha fermentation and its antimicrobial activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jun;48(6):2589-94. doi: 10.1021/jf991333m. PMID: 10888589.
· Aloulou A, Hamden K, Elloumi D, Ali MB, Hargafi K, Jaouadi B, Ayadi F, Elfeki A, Ammar E. Hypoglycemic and antilipidemic properties of kombucha tea in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2012 May 16;12:63. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-12-63. PMID: 22591682; PMCID: PMC3403982.
· Cetojevic-Simin DD, Bogdanovic GM, Cvetkovic DD, Velicanski AS. Antiproliferative and antimicrobial activity of traditional Kombucha and Satureja montana L. Kombucha. J BUON. 2008 Jul-Sep;13(3):395-401. PMID: 18979556.
For many decades castor oil has been used as a topical application to increase the length and thickness of hair. There are many uses for Castor oil besides its commonly used hair growth properties. One medicinal use for Castor oil is that it is a stimulant laxative. A stimulant laxative means that it is increasing the muscle movements to push feces out and clear the bowels. Stimulant laxatives act rapidly and anyone trying this method should be advised to be in a comfortable place near a bathroom. They should also be counseled that it is only used to relieve temporary constipation and that this should not be an everyday use product. The reason for a strong laxative effect is that when castor oil l is broken down in the small intestine it releases ricinoleic acid. This acid is then absorbed by the intestine, stimulating its movement. Side effects from taking Castor oil as a laxative can include cramping and diarrhea.
Another use for Castor oil is that it is a humectant moisturizer, meaning that it retains moisture by preventing the skin from losing any hydration it has. Anyone planning to use castor oil as a humectant moisturizer should be counseled to skin patch test as they want to make sure that this will not cause any sensitivity or allergic reaction.
Another medical use for castor oil is that it promotes wound healing. Castor oil has been found to stimulate tissue growth as well as reduce dryness, both of which can speed up healing time. Ointments containing castor oil are found to be especially helpful for pressure ulcers which are commonly found on bed ridden patients, particularly in nursing homes.
Castor oil is also an anti-inflammatory and has found to be particularly helpful with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis (which also benefit from the oil‘s humectant effect). More research is currently being done to determine how beneficial it can be for patients with certain disease states.
It is found that castor oil can help with acne. Castor oil helps with inflammation, has anti-microbial properties, and is a humectant so it may be beneficial to certain people with acne. This is good for patients who would like to try a natural acne remedy. Castor oil has also been found to have antifungal properties which may help to fight off candida. Studies on this have been done on the dentures of elderly people and positive antifungal results were found.
Castor oil is also used as a hair conditioner for people with dry or brittle hair. Castrol oil helps to lubricate hair and increase its flexibility. It is also shown to help relieve and reduce dandruff. Patients wanting to use castor oil for their dandruff, hair growth, or hair moisturization should be counseled to apply the castor oil to a clean scalp which should help with dryness and flaking.
Tunaru, Sorin et al. “Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 109,23 (2012): 9179-84. doi:10.1073/pnas.1201627109
Boddu SH, Alsaab H, Umar S, Bonam SP, Gupta H, Ahmed S. Anti-inflammatory effects of a novel ricinoleic acid poloxamer gel system for transdermal delivery. Int J Pharm. 2015 Feb 1;479(1):207-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2014.12.051. Epub 2014 Dec 24. PMID: 25542985.
Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser. J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):324-334. doi: 10.1590/1678-7757-2016-0222. PMID: 28678952; PMCID: PMC5482256.
Clove oil is derived from clove trees, which are native to Southeast Asia. It is used for many purposes and is a popular holistic remedy for a handful of ailments. Eugenol, a chemical contained in the clove oil, is an anesthetic and antibacterial agent.
The first benefit of clove essential oil is that it is antimicrobial and helps to kill bacteria. One study shows that clove oil has the ability to kill staph bacteria cells in liquid culture and in biofilm, which is interesting because most antibiotics aren’t effective at penetrating the biofilm to kill staph bacteria. Other studies compared clove oil versus other essential oils to compare the effectiveness of antifungal activity, and the results showed that the clove oil was the most effective. Another study showed that components of clove oil could kill the yeast candida albicans which can cause fungal infections.
Another popular use of clove oil is for dental issues. Clove oil can work similar to fluoride in preventing cavities and dental erosion. Besides preventing cavities at the source, it is also good at inhibiting cavity causing organisms. It is widely used for its pain relieving ability as it is effective as a topical anesthetic in the mouth. It is important to note that repeated use in the mouth and gums can have side effects. Damage to the gums, inside skin, and mucous membrane of the mouth can occur so the oil should always be used diluted. It should also not be used continuously for long periods of time for dental pain and people should be told to visit their dentist if the toothache does not go away after 2 days. There is still much research going into the different uses and safety of clove essential oil, but as of this moment the use of clove oil in the mouth is contraindicated in pregnant women as the effects on the baby are not yet known.
A third use for clove oil is for the skin. It is used for its anti-itch properties on the skin of the body. It has also been shown to promote healing in people with anal fissures. Studies show that the healing time for people using clove oil to heal their anal fissures was shorter than those using laxatives. This is important because this not only can be extremely painful, but also can be a risk for infection because in is a wound that is continuously being irritated and possibly reopened from bowel movements and exposed to feces. Topical preparations can be prepared by diluting the clove oil into a different carrier oil such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. That mixture can be used to make massage oils, lotions, or a topical dental anesthetic.
There is also much research going into the anti-cancer properties of cove oil. Certain lab tests have shown that clove oil can be toxic to certain cancer cells and can increase cancer cell death and disrupt cell division. Further research is going to have to be done to explore its anti-cancer properties and potential.
· Acs K, et al. (2018). Antibacterial activity evaluation of selected essential oils in liquid and vapor phase on respiratory tract pathogens. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-018-2291-9
· Alqareer A, et al. (2006). The effect of clove and benzocaine versus placebo as topical anesthetics. DOI: 10.1016/j.jdent.2006.01.009
· Assessment report on Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merill et L.M. Perry, flos and Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merrill et L.M. Perry, floris aetheroleum. (2011). ema.europa.eu/en/documents/herbal-report/final-assessment-report-syzygium-aromaticum-l-merill-et-lm-perry-flos-syzygium-aromaticum-l-merill_en.pdf
· Chamdit S, et al. (2012). Antimicrobial effect of clove and lemongrass oils against planktonic cells and biofilms of Staphylococcus aureus. pharmacy.mahidol.ac.th/journal/_files/2012-39-2_28-36.pdf
· Elwakeel HA, et al. (2007). Clove oil cream: A new effective treatment for chronic anal fissure. DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-1318.2006.01185.x
· Liu H, et al. (2013). Clove extract inhibits tumor growth and promotes cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. DOI: 10.3727/096504014X13946388748910
Thank you Pharm. D. Candidate Huynh for taking a leadership role to start this discussion to share with future students.
Triphala is a remedy that is considered an Ayurvedic medicine and has three ingredients, alma, bibhitaki, and haritaki. Studies show that this medicine can reduce inflammation that is caused by arthritis. This natural medicine was compared with Indomethacin in arthritis-induced rats. The results showed that lipid per oxidation and glycoproteins were decrease and antioxidant status was increased for the triphala treated rats.
Triphala is also a natural laxative and can help reduce constipation. An open label, single arm, single center clinical trial took place where the objective was to see the efficacy of Triphala in 34 patients with constipation by assessing their changes in frequency of bowel movements and changes in stool. Scientists also assessed changes in symptoms such as straining on defecation or sensation of incomplete evacuation. Results showed that the medicine, Triphala, significantly increased the mean weekly bowel frequency by 64.6% after one week and by 79.5% after two weeks. The mean average time spent on the toilet for bowel evacuation also decreased significantly from about 11 minutes on baseline and about 9 minutes on day 14. This shows that Triphala can play a beneficial role in these specific scenarios.
Nigella sativa, also known as black cumin, is a renowned herb with many pharmacological properties. Among its many active components, thymoquinone is the most abundant constituent of the volatile oil the seeds, and it is the constituent to which most properties of this herb are attributed. It is proposed that cumin and thymoquinone are shown to exert multiple beneficial effects for the treatment of inflammatory conditions and auto-immune disorders, as well as metabolic syndrome. Its therapeutic effect against various infectious diseases due to bacterial, fungal, parasitic, and viral infections have also been documented. The side effects of this herbal medicine appear not to be major so that it can be applied in clinical trials because of its many advantages.
The efficacy of black cumin oil in patients with rheumatoid arthritis was evaluated and data from 40 female patients diagnosed with this condition who tookN. sativaoil capsules (500 mg) twice daily showed improvement in disease activity score compared to placebo (P < 0.05). Also, a noticeable improvement was displayed in the number of inflamed joints, the incidence of morning stiffness, and disease activity after the consumption of black cumin.
Yimer, E. M., Tuem, K. B., Karim, A., Ur-Rehman, N., & Anwar, F. (2019).Nigella sativaL. (Black Cumin): A Promising Natural Remedy for Wide Range of Illnesses.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2019, 1528635. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/1528635
Tavakkoli, A., Mahdian, V., Razavi, B. M., & Hosseinzadeh, H. (2017). Review on Clinical Trials of Black Seed (Nigella sativa ) and Its Active Constituent, Thymoquinone.Journal of pharmacopuncture,20(3), 179–193. https://doi.org/10.3831/KPI.2017.20.021
Turmeric is another popular Ayurvedic remedy. Curcumin is one of the main ingredients in there which is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Other ingredients that it contains is volatile oils and proteins. This spice can help protect against heart disease by helping to improve blood flow, and help preserve brain function. It can also be as effective as Prozac, a drug used for depression. A study assessed 121 patients undergoing CABG and were randomly selected to take either a placebo or curcuminoids 4 grams a day 3 days before the scheduled surgery and continued 5 days after the surgery. The incidence of having an MI associated with CABG was decreased with taking the curcminoids. Even though this supplement is proven to show these effects, it is important to know that a large amount is needed for these effects.
Ayurvedic medicine is a way to healing the body system. Ayurvedic treatment is specifically designed for an individual person. your physical and emotional state gets taken into account. The goal of the treatment is to cleanse your body which is called “panchakarma”. This will help restore harmony and balance. Some treatment are medical oils, herbs, or massages. There are many herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, one being Ashwagandha, which is a small plant originating from India or North Africa. It is supposed to help your body manage stress more effectively. Research has shown for it to reduce levels of cortisol, a hormone that adrenal glands produce in response to stress. Evidence of lowering levels of anxiety and improved sleep in people with stress and anxiety disorders is also shown for this specific herb. A prospective, randomized double blind placebo controlled study took place to study the safety and efficacy of the ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. 64 adults with a history of chronic stress were enrolled in a study and randomized to take either a placebo or a drug treatment one capsule twice a day for 60 days. In the group that took 300 mg of Ashwagandha plant, there was a reduction in stress assessment scale score on Day 60 of the trial. Serum cortisol levels were also reduced and there were mild adverse effects which shows promising results.