Posts Tagged ‘alternative medicine’

Alternative Sports Medicine

News in alternative sports medicine from Baltimore, Maryland shows researchers have a biologic way to lure the compounds from herbal medicines that give them their healing properties.

Study co-author Laura Dosanjh, a graduate student of pharmacology at the University of Maryland says “this provides the first step to find, from all of the hundreds of compounds in herbs, which ones have potential for medicinal purposes.  And you can do this very quickly and efficiently”.

Herbs are at the top of the list of alternative medicine, but until now, the scientific community has struggled to explain why herbs work.  The Food and Drug Administration has only approved one herbal treatment, an herbal ointment made of green tea leaves for the treatment of genital warts. Other ointments not endorsed by the FDA enjoy word of mouth advertising.

The latest method utilizes tiny worms that extract compounds found in two alternative Chinese herb formulas for the purposes of increasing life expectancy.  The two materials that showed the most promise were ginseng and cinnamon.

The researchers found cinnamon bark extended life span of the worms nearly 11 percent.  The ginseng root increased life span by nearly 8 percent.  Both of the materials thin out hydrogen peroxide in cells which contribute to aging by destroying cells.

The other promising result shows hope for the treatment of Alzheimers disease.  These herbs reduced the cell toxicity factor amyloid which is a marker of development of the brain wasting disease.

Alternative sports medicines like herbs and ointments are growing in popularity.  The Journal of the American Medical Association reports 49 percent of American adults used alternative medicine in the previous year, even though their effectiveness has been difficult to prove.

Because herbal meds are usually a mixture of various herbs, it was impossible to extract the most effective compounds until the worms at the University of Maryland.  Now alternative sports medicine has a new ally in the scientific world.