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Bryans Road, MD, United States

Asher G.N.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Spelman K.,Boston College | Spelman K.,Tai Sophia Institute
Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine | Year: 2013

Turmeric root has been used medicinally in China and India for thousands of years. The active components are thought to be the curcuminoids, primarily curcumin, which is commonly available worldwide as a standardized extract. This article reviews the pharmacology of curcuminoids, their use and efficacy, potential adverse effects, and dosage and standardization. Preclinical studies point to mechanisms of action that are predominantly anti-inflammatory and antineoplastic, while early human clinical trials suggest beneficial effects for dyspepsia, peptic ulcer, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, uveitis, orbital pseudotumor, and pancreatic cancer. Curcumin is well-tolerated; the most common side effects are nausea and diarrhea. Theoretical interactions exist due to purported effects on metabolic enzymes and transport proteins, but clinical reports do not support any meaningful interactions. Nonetheless, caution, especially with chemotherapy agents, is advised. Latephase clinical trials are still needed to confirm most beneficial effects. Source

Burns J.J.,Pinnacle Integrative Medicine | Zhao L.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Taylor E.W.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Spelman K.,University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Spelman K.,Tai Sophia Institute
Toxicology | Year: 2010

Many of the botanical "immunomodulators", a class of herbal medicines widely recognized in traditional medical systems such as Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic Medicine, alter immune function and may offer clinically relevant therapeutics or leads to therapeutics. Many of these traditional remedies are prepared from combinations of medicinal plants which may influence numerous molecular pathways. These effects may differ from the sum of effects from the individual plants and therefore, research demonstrating the effects of the formula is crucial for insights into the effects of traditional remedies. In this review we surveyed the primary literature for research that focused on combinations of medicinal plants and effects on cytokine activity. The results demonstrate that many extracts of herb mixtures have effects on at least one cytokine. The most commonly studies cytokines were IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF and IFN-γ. The majority of the formulas researched derived from TCM. The following formulas had activity on at least three cytokines; Chizukit N, CKBM, Daeganghwal-tang, Food Allergy Formula, Gamcho-Sasim-Tang, Hachimi-jio-gan, Herbkines, Hochuekki, Immune System Formula, Jeo-Dang-Tang, Juzen-taiho-to, Kakkon-to, Kan jang, Mao-Bushi-Saishin-to, MSSM-002, Ninjin-youei-to, PG201, Protec, Qing-huo-bai-du-yin, Qingfu Guanjieshu, Sambucol Active Defense, Seng-fu-tang, Shin-Xiao-Xiang, Tien Hsien, Thuja formula, Unkei-to, Vigconic, Wheeze-relief-formula, Xia-Bai-San, Yangyuk-Sanhwa-Tang, Yi-fey Ruenn-hou, and Yuldahansotang. Of the western based combinations, formulas with Echinacea spp. were common and showed multiple activities. Numerous formulas demonstrated activity on both gene and protein expression. The research demonstrates that the reviewed botanical formulas modulate cytokine activity, although the bulk of the research is in vitro. Therapeutic success using these formulas may be partially due to their effects on cytokines. Further study of phytotherapy on cytokine related diseases/syndromes is necessary. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Pengelly A.,Tai Sophia Institute | Snow J.,Tai Sophia Institute | Mills S.Y.,Tai Sophia Institute | Scholey A.,Swinburne University of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Medicinal Food | Year: 2012

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) has traditional reputations that justify investigation for a potential role in reducing widespread cognitive decline in the elderly. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, repeated-measures crossover study was conducted to investigate possible acute effects of dried rosemary leaf powder on cognitive performance. Twenty-eight older adults (mean age, 75 years) were tested using the Cognitive Drug Research computerized assessment system 1, 2.5, 4, and 6 hours following a placebo and four different doses of rosemary. Doses were counterbalanced, and there was a 7-day washout between visits. There was a biphasic dose-dependent effect in measures of speed of memory: the lowest dose (750 mg) of rosemary had a statistically significant beneficial effect compared with placebo (P=.01), whereas the highest dose (6,000 mg) had a significant impairing effect (P<.01). There were significant deleterious effects on other measures of cognitive performance, although these were less consistent. Speed of memory is a potentially useful predictor of cognitive function during aging. The positive effect of the dose nearest normal culinary consumption points to the value of further work on effects of low doses over the longer term. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

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