Science Update: Whole Plants Versus Pills By Guido Masé, February 16, 2017

Whole Plants Versus Pills: The Cases of Curcumin and Quercetin

Herbalists, though we’ve been known to use isolated constituents from plants, often prefer traditional, whole-plant preparations like teas, tinctures, or powders. These “crude” extracts, we often claim, may appear to be less concentrated but are actually more effective than isolated molecules when given by mouth to a living, breathing human being. But is there any evidence to support this claim? If a certain constituent has therapeutic activity, it seems counterintuitive that refining and concentrating it might somehow make it less effective.
The issue, in the end, is one of bioavailability: the ability of medicinal chemicals to reach the target areas in the human body where they can exert their effects. It does us little good to take high doses of molecules that never reach tissue at appreciable concentrations. This, of course, is one of the problems with petri dish research: a given chemical may have an effect on neurons in a lab, but that’s far from a guarantee that it will enter our bloodstream, leave the liver unchanged, cross our blood-brain-barrier, and have the same effects on neurons in our central nervous system.

turmeric whole plants versus pills
One of the most famous, and researched, examples comes to us from the traditional Indian spice turmeric (ground rhizome of Curcuma longa). Curcumin and its molecular relatives the curcuminoids are polyphenolic pungent chemicals found in turmeric. They have attracted substantial attention, especially over the last decade, as potential medicinal compounds. But as a recent review article discovered,1 this rarely translates […]

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Love, Self-Love and a Valentine’s Day DIY Recipe by Aisling Badger, February 8, 2017

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there are those who feel the pressure of buying expensive gifts to show their love, those who shy away from it altogether and those who dread it because they aren’t in a relationship. We are also at a pivotal time in our country where love is being questioned on all fronts, our hearts are heavy with the state of the world, and the idea of self-care and heart nourishment is of utmost importance. Rather than hate on the day, why not reclaim it to be something we want it to be?

self-love valentine's day ingredients cacao rose

There’s plenty of hate in the world so why not make Valentine’s Day an opportunity to spread love, whether with one Valentine or a whole community of people dear to your heart?

Whoever you choose to share this particular day with, let’s remember that strong, open hearts and the ability to be kind are the most important during these trying times.

One of our favorite ways to weave in the magic of plant medicine at this time of year is through the use of aphrodisiacs. Aphrodisiac plants, named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality, are plants that are almost always in our medicine cabinets, as they are some of the most widely used.

Aphrodisiacs are herbs and foods that support calm in the body and awaken our senses. They quiet mind chatter, support the nerves and soothe tension in the body.

aphrodisiacs ingredients for valentine's day recipe

They nourish our nervous system and reproductive […]

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