May 23, 2024
Herbal Nutraceuticals

Harnessing Nature’s Healing Power: A Deep Dive into the World of Herbal Nutraceuticals for Optimal Wellness

Nutraceuticals are food or parts of food that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Use of herbal nutraceuticals has increased tremendously in recent years as people increasingly seek natural and herbal remedies over conventional medicines. Herbal nutraceuticals are derived from plants and include extracts or concentrates. They are commonly available as dietary supplements in capsule, tablet, liquid or powder form. In this article, we will discuss some commonly used herbal nutraceuticals, their health benefits and scientific research supporting their therapeutic use.

Turmeric

One of the most researched and commonly used herbal nutraceutical is turmeric. Turmeric contains a chemical compound called curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. A large body of research has shown the benefits of turmeric and curcumin. It is effective in treating joint pain associated with arthritis, helping manage symptoms of major depression, reducing risk of heart disease and preventing or slowing cancer growth. Curcumin enhances liver function, protects the liver against toxins and has powerful anti-microbial properties. It can help treat digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome. More research is ongoing to explore other conditions it may benefit like Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric supplements are widely available and it can also be consumed in the diet by cooking with turmeric powder.

Ginseng

Ginseng refers to plants with root systems belonging to the genus Panax. The most common varieties used as nutraceuticals are Asian ginseng or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Ginseng has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for its adaptogenic properties to help the body cope with stress and fatigue. Modern research confirms it has anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing effects. It improves lung function and benefits those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Ginseng supplementation increases energy levels, boosts immunity, enhances sexual function and reduces symptoms of menopause. It is generally well tolerated though digestive issues are a possible side effect at high doses. Look for certified and standardized ginseng extracts for maximum benefit.

Green Tea

As one of the most extensively researched beverages globally, green tea has emerged as a powerful Herbal Nutraceuticals. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, especially a catechin called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which accounts for its many health advantages. EGCG acts as an antioxidant and helps prevent cell damage due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It protects against heart disease, reduces risk of different cancers, lowers blood sugar levels and aids weight loss. Green tea consumption is linked to healthier skin as EGCG prevents wrinkles and age spots. It also boosts brain function and may help prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Daily green tea consumption either as a beverage or supplement can provide ample protection against various diseases.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is primarily known for its liver protecting effects and is commonly used to treat liver disease. It contains an active ingredient called silymarin which is a powerful antioxidant. Silymarin helps promote liver cell regeneration, increases glutathione levels in the liver and blocks the entry of toxins. Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated milk thistle’s ability to treat fatty liver disease, prevent and reverse liver damage from toxins like alcohol, reduce symptoms of hepatitis and protect against liver damage caused by chemotherapy. It can also benefit those with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). As a nutraceutical, it prevents and treats toxins and insults to the liver, maintaining liver function. Look for silymarin standardized extracts for maximum effectiveness.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptagenic herb widely used in Ayurveda to relieve stress, improve fertility and boost immunity. Modern research shows it has antipsychotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant properties. Studies have found ashwagandha significantly reduced levels of cortisol, the stress hormone while enhancing cognitive functions. It improves sexual dysfunction, hormone levels and sperm quality in infertile men. The herb protects against chronic diseases through antioxidant action and boosting natural killer cells. Ashwagandha extracts improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and chronic stress conditions. It enhances physical performance, builds muscle mass and reduces fatigue. Animal studies indicate it has anti-cancer effects through modulating important apoptosis signalling pathways.

*Note:
1.Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2.We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it