Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 23, 2014 In Herbal Research

Clinical trials

A combination of myrrh, chamomile flowers (dry extract), and coffee charcoal: equal to mesalazine in maintaining remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (Abstract)

Calendula cream: not effective in preventing acute radiation skin reactions (Abstract)

Quality Control

Mentha ×piperita (peppermint) and M. spicata (spearmint): the influence of prolonged refrigeration on the quality of the fresh leaves (Abstract)

February 19, 2014 In Herbal Research


Herbs in pregnancy: of the fifteen randomized controlled trials found eligible, the most sufficient evidence of efficacy was found  for Zingiber officinale (ginger) for ameliorating nausea and vomiting; additionally, preparations of Hypericum perforatum (St. John’s wort) were found mostly safe. Howver, the efficacy of raspberry, blue cohosh, castor oil, and evening primrose oil in facilitating labor was found largely unsupported. Moreover, severe adverse effects have been reported for blue cohosh and evening primrose oil. Finally, the safety and efficacy of Echinacea (sic), garlic, and cranberry in pregnancy, as well as the efficacy of St. John’s wort, have not been sufficiently investigated (Abstract)

Clinical trials

Barberry (three capsules a day for six weeks) reduced total and LDL-cholesterol while increasing HDL-cholesterol, reduced hs-CRP, and decreased the antibodies to HSP 27 and 60 in patients with metabolic syndrome (Abstract)


On The Application Of The Principle Of Scale In Molecular Biology

When one considers receptor interactions with substrate and the chemical environment of a cell in general, one should keep in mind that a macroscopic view of these processes may not fully describe what is actually going on on a cell’s surface.

For example, let’s consider the rain. The process of rain from a meteorological perspective is explained by the condensation of water vapors in the upper or lower layers of the atmosphere, with the force of gravity subsequently acting on the vapors, condensed intro drops, making them fall down to earth. However, this view describes little of the experience of the rain for those who are  witnessing it on the ground, for whom the multitude of drops appears, as a poet put it, as “dewy locks.”

The process of a cell’s interaction with its chemical environment can be seen through this analogy. More than just chemicals – it’s also a physical process, since, at this scale, a molecule is perceived as an electromagnetic field, and the process of interaction between the substrate and its receptor being perhaps akin to the experience of the rain for a typical human observer, since the presence of the substrate may be perceived by the receptor as a multitude of electric impulses.

This is, essentially, an example of “self-identification” as a method of cognition, expounded upon in certain esoteric and metaphysical teachings teaching, such as some of the yogic tradition. In this regard, here the cell may be perceived as a “planet,” while the receptor is some kind of an entity, such as a human; and the interactions of the latter with the substrate are experienced as “rain.” That is, we perceive the existence of the two “worlds,” surrounding the primary object of cognition, as the ones immediately “above” and “below” it.

While this is hardly science, this method may help one to understand the relationship of the receptor to the cell and its surrounding environment.

February 7, 2014 In Herbal Research


Acupuncture: changes the pharmacokinetics of schisandra (Abstract)

Drug interaction: multiple food and herb components may further interact with drugs, due to the discovery of a new molecular transporter (Abstract)

Quality Control

Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot): purple flowers are better than yellow ones (Abstract)

February 6, 2014 In Herbal Research

Clinical trial

Allium cepa (onion): topical application of 10% onion gel reduced the incidence of hypertrophic scar formation on wounds from open-heart surgery in pediatric patients (Abstract)


Distribution of active compounds in an herb population: the compounds are not equally distributed, with  (Abstract)

February 5, 2014 In Herbal Research

Featured articles

One of the most interesting concepts in herbalism is that of “herbal energetics,” i.e., assigning to different herbs various actions that are too complex to explain in regular physiological terms. While there are multiple theories of herbal energetics, perhaps the most popular and renowned is the one used in the traditional Chinese medical system. In one of the most recent articles, Chinese scientists went to great lengths to try to explain the “hot” and “cold” actions of herbs in the traditional Chinese energetics meaning in the terms of molecular pathways they are affecting (Abstract). Also of note in today’s update is the research on pharmacokinetic interactions of different components of Abelmoschus manihot corolla, known in Chinese medicine as huang shu kui hua, as well as evidence of interactions of compounds in a typical Chinese formula:

Herbal synergy: 1) non-flavonoid components of the corolla of Abelmoschus manihot (formerly of Hibiscus spp.) improve its flavonoids bioavailability, in rat (Abstract); 2) ferulic acid, a component of Angelica sinensis (dong quai), improved the extraction and bioactivity of components from Astragalus sp. root (Abstract)


Ocimum sanctum (tulsi, holy basil): antineoplastic effects (Abstract)

Clinical Trials

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