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Posts Tagged ‘alternative medicines


Decoction of wood and bark used for tuberculosis, diarrhea, dysentery, postpartum tonic, skin infections. and anemia.
Seeds used for stomach aches and nervous disorders.
Decoction of wood used postpartum as tonic.

Chiefly used as a dyewood, popular for coloring native fabrics.
In some parts of the Quezon province, a popular colorant for the coconut liquer, lambanog.

Antimicrobial: Aqueous extract study showed antimicrobial activity against methicillin-sensitive S aureus (MSSA) as well MRSA and suggests a potential to restore the effectiveness of B-lactam antibiotics against MRSA..
Immunosuppressive compenent: Brazilein, an important immunosuppressive component of CS showed inhibition of T cell proliferation and suppress mice humoral immune response.
Antioxidant:Study results showed significant antioxidant activities of Caesalpinia sappan heartwood extracts.
Anticonvulsant:Study of aqueous MeOH extracts isolated pure compounds sappanchalcone and brazilin which showed remarkable anticonvulsant activity.
Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors:Study of MeOH extract of Vietnamese CS isolated neoprotosappanin and protosappanin A dimethyl acetal which showed xanthine oxidase inhibitory activity comparable to allopurinol.
Anti-allergic:Study of extracts of CS showed potent inhibitory activity against B-hexosaminidase release as marker of degranulation in rat basophilic leukemic cells. Among the compounds tested, sappanchalcone showed the most potent anti-allergic effect.
• Cardioactive effects of Brazilein:Brazilein obtained from CS ethanol extracts showed a positive inotropic action with little effect on heart rate and coronary perfusion, an effect achieved through inhibition of Na-K-ATPase system.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Inhibitory effects of Caesalpinia sappan on growth and invasion of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus / Journal of Ethnopharmacology Vol 91, Issue 1, March 2004, Pages 81-87 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2003.11.017
(2) Brazilein, an important immunosuppressive component from Caesalpinia sappan L. / International Immunopharmacology
Vol 6, Issue 3, March 2006, Pages 426-432
/ doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2005.09.012
(3) Antioxidant Activity of Caesalpinia sappan Heartwood / Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin Vol. 26 (2003) , No. 11 1534
(4) Anticonvulsant compounds from the wood of Caesalpinia sappan L. / Archives of Pharmacal Research. Vol 23, Number 4 / August, 2000 / DOI 10.1007/BF02975445
(5) Xanthine Oxidase Inhibitors from the Heartwood of Vietnamese Caesalpinia sappan / CHEMICAL & PHARMACEUTICAL BULLETIN
Vol. 53 (2005) , No. 8 984

(6) Anti-allergic activity of principles from the roots and heartwood of caesalpinia sappan on antigen-induced -hexosaminidase release / Phytotherapy Research
(7) Study on Cardioactive Effects of Brazilein /
Here’s a couple gems culled from the inbox chaff:

“Caesalpinia sappan, known as Sibukaw Tree, treats hepatitis problems. It also includes diabetes.”

Excerpt from reply or comment re sibukaw:
“with regards to sibukaw tree, it grow near our city and is sold by local streetside herbalist as a remedy to build blood. a decoction of the wood pieces are used. my friend told me that it cured a filipino doctor who came home from the u.s. because he was dying of cancer.”

By Dr. Maoshing Ni – Posted on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, 1:42 pm PDT

Senility, Alzheimer’s, and age-related memory loss: these conditions of mental decline that come with aging can be delayed or even prevented. Besides engaging in daily activities that work out your brain, a regular and balanced diet rich with essential amino acids, omega oils, minerals and vitamins will ensure a vibrant and sharp memory. Eat these foods to give your brain the nutrition it needs.

1. Fish
Protein, an important component in the making of neurotransmitters, is essential to improve mental performance. Aside from being an excellent source of high quality protein, fish are packed with essential oils, such as Omega-3, which protect the brain and supports its development and functioning. Deep sea fish have the highest amounts of fatty acids, and they include salmon, sea bass, halibut, mackerel, and sardines.

2. Blueberries
These delicious berries are full of powerful antioxidants, which eliminate free-radical damage that causes aging, and they also possess neuroprotective properties that can delay the onset of age-related memory loss by guarding brain cells from damage caused by chemicals, plaque, or trauma. And they combat inflammation, the other factor in aging.

3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are wonder foods for your brain. Packed with protein and essential fatty acids, nuts and seeds are also chock full of the amino arginine, which stimulates the pituitary gland at the base of the brain to release growth hormone, a substance that declines quickly after age 35; this is a real anti-aging boon to your brain!

Whip up a batch of my “Anti-aging brain mix” to bring with you anywhere and eat a small handful in between meals as a daily snack. It will nourish and support your brain. Pack in sealed container or zip-lock bag to preserve freshness.

  • 1 cup walnut
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup of dried goji berries (also known as lycium berry, and easily found in health food stores)
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots

4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts are all rich in choline, an essential nutrient for memory and brain health. Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which contributes to healthy and efficient brain processes. As we age, our body’s natural choline output declines, and its neurochemical action weakens. You can eat choline-rich foods to increase your production of acetylcholine, which will improve your brain power.

Other sources of choline include: eggs, soybeans, peanuts, cabbage, black beans, and kidney beans.

5. Oil: Monounsaturated Fats
Monounsaturated fats contain essential fatty acids and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which are crucial for brain development and function, among many other excellent benefits for your health. Olive oil, sesame oil, canola oil, almond oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oil are rich in monounsaturated fats and are good choices for brain health. Population studies show that people with a diet that is high in unsaturated, unhydrogenated fats may have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, whereas those with a diet that is higher in saturated fats and trans fats have an increased risk.

6. L-carnitine Foods
Age-related memory problems are many times caused by plaque buildup and diminished blood supply to the brain, compromising the delivery of nutrients and oxygen. L-carnitine, an amino acid manufactured in your liver, increases circulation in the brain — among a myriad of powerful benefits for your health. Also, because it prevents fat oxidation in the brain, L-carnitine shows some promise in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Good sources of L-carnitine include: meats, fish, poultry, wheat, avocado, milk, and fermented soybeans.

7. Microalgae
Microalgaes from the ocean and uncontaminated lakes, including blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella, seaweed, and kelp are easy-to-digest, high protein and high-energy supplements-and contain over a hundred trace minerals! Available in your health food store, microalgae are simple to incorporate into your diet to ensure a good, strong brain function. Look for powders you dissolve in juice or flakes you can sprinkle on your food.

8. Green Tea
Green tea prevents an enzyme found in Alzheimer’s disease and is also rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that help prevent premature brain aging. Drink two cups a day to get the brain benefits. To decaf tea, steep for 45 seconds and pour out the water, add fresh hot water to the leaves or tea bag — 95% of caffeine will be eliminated.

Herbal Boost
There are many Chinese herbs that support healthy brain functions, including ginkgo biloba and gotu kola. For support of healthy brain function I recommend our family formula called Enduring Youth, which contains Chinese herbs such as Chinese yam, goji berry, schisandra berry, Asian cornelian, China root, Cistanches, sweet flag, Chinese senega, dipsacus, anise, and Chinese foxglove. For more information, click here.

I hope you get the brain benefits of these foods. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

-Dr. Mao

A single eight-ounce glass of prune juice offers 12% of the daily-recommended allowance for fiber. It’s no secret fiber is one of the most important factors for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Surprisingly, few people understand how prune juice affects the digestive system.

Structure of the Digestive System

The digestive system is composed of five major organs — the gallbladder, intestines, liver, pancreas, and stomach. These organs work together to ensure the nutrients from food are broken down and transported into the bloodstream where they transfer into various cells.

Digestion begins with chewing. The saliva in your mouth mixes with the food you eat and begins to break it down into smaller particles. In your stomach, those particles mix with digestive enzymes coming from the liver (bile), gallbladder (bild), and the pancreas (insulin). These enzymes turn the particles into a liquid that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Any left over matter travels through the intestines and eventually is passed as a bowel movement.

An Unhealthy Digestive System

If your digestive system is operating poorly, your body can’t receive the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Some signs of poor digestion include constipation, excessive gas, heartburn, and stomachaches. To keep your digestive system performing well, it’s essential to follow a high fiber diet and to stay hydrated.

Improving Digestive Health

These simple tips can increase your digestive system’s overall health:

  • Avoid stress
  • Exercise daily
  • Stop rushing through meals
  • Cut back on excess sugar and fats
  • Abstain from alcohol in any form
  • Drink at least sixty-four ounces of purified water daily
  • For more flavor, stick to decaf tea and 100% organic juice instead of colas

Proper hydration keeps organs running like hand-built Italian sports cars (well, maybe not that perfectly but pretty good). A single glass of organic prune juice provides your organs with additional fluid and also bestows many nutritional benefits.

Benefits of Prune Juice

Benefits of Prune Juice

Pure prune juice is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and potassium—a necessary component in maintaining a healthy heart rhythm. Prune juice contains more antioxidants (nutrients purported to slow the aging process) than blueberries. These antioxidants help cells work their best and are able to absorb nutrients readily.

Nutrients in organic prunes supporting digestive function include:

  • Calcium – Assists the body in processing carbohydrates, fat, and protein
  • Copper – Helps convert carbohydrates into energy
  • Iron – Helps regulate the flow of oxygen to cells and organs
  • Magnesium – Boosts enzymes for breaking down carbohydrates
  • Niacin – Aids the body in processing sugars and fats
  • Pantothenic Acid – Assists the body in metabolizing nutrients
  • Phosphorus – Helps balance the metabolism
  • Potassium – Regulates the balance of fluid and essential minerals
  • Selenium – Keeps cells healthy so they can absorb nutrients
  • Sodium – Regulates the flow of fluids throughout cells
  • Thiamin – Converts carbohydrates into energy
  • Vitamin A – Helps the body manufacture healthy cells
  • Vitamin B6 – Helps convert protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy
  • Vitamin C – Aids the body in healing damaged tissue and cells
  • Vitamin E – An important antioxidant assisting with cell regeneration
  • Zinc – Helps convert protein, fats, and carbohydrates into energy

Fiber is also an important component of prunes, though not a nutrient. Prunes are replete with insoluble fiber, which serves a few important functions. First, this fiber soaks up huge amounts of water. Water normally gathers in your intestines, causing waste to be passed easily and quickly through the eliminatory system.

Constipation can prevent the digestive system from working effectively, so prune juice acts as an agent in preventing constipation so things keep flowing smoothly. Second, the insoluble fiber found in prunes feeds the helpful bacteria within your intestines. By increasing the helpful bacteria, the disease-causing bacteria are driven out. In fact, a link exists between increased fiber consumption and the prevention of colon cancer. This factor alone should be reason enough for you to drink a little prune juice every day!

Your pancreas helps produce insulin needed to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Evidence proves prune juice can help stabilize blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber within prunes lengthens the time it takes for food to leave the stomach. This slows down the rush of glucose into the circulatory system after a meal, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. Many nutritionists believe prunes can play a part in decreasing the incidences of Type II Diabetes.

Prunes have gained a rather negative reputation throughout the years as being just for constipated old folks. Sadly, this connotation has overshadowed prunes’ true benefits. A prune is really nothing more than a dried plum; and prune juice is a form of plum juice that has gone through a distillation process. Many people find the syrupy taste of the juice to be off-putting, but some versions provide a tarter flavor that even kids seem to enjoy. Therefore, you can partake of the benefits of prunes without giving up the flavor of fresh plums if that encourages you to consume this healthful snack.

Cherries. Not just another berry

The Cherry Research Committee is seeking proposals for new cherry research studies. Submit your proposal and learn more at

Cherries are not only good for you, but they’re also on trend as a homegrown “Super Fruit.” According to recent data, more than 9 out of 10 Americans want to know where their food comes from, nearly 80 percent say they’re purchasing “locally produced” products, and the majority is defining “local” as grown in America.1,2 And cherries deliver.

A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.

Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.

A recent study from the University of Michigan reveals new evidence linking cherries to heart health benefits. The study found that a cherry-enriched diet lowered total weight, body fat (especially the important “belly” fat), inflammation and cholesterol-all risk factors associated with heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, being overweight or obese, in particular when the weight is concentrated in the middle, is a major risk factor for heart disease. As nearly two out of three Americans are overweight, emerging studies like this are important in examining the role diet may play in disease management and prevention.

Click on Cardiovascular/Heart Health for more information on the role cherries may play in reducing inflammation and risk factors associated with heart disease.

While there’s no established guideline yet on how many cherries it takes to reap the benefits, experts suggest that 1-2 servings of cherries daily can help provide some of the health benefits identified in the research. Single serving size examples include:
• 1/2 cup dried
• 1 cup frozen
• 1 cup juice
• 1 ounce (or 2 Tbsp) juice concentrate

For additional information on serving sizes and tips to meet daily requirements for fruits and vegetables, visit:

1: Survey conducted by IRI Data, 2008
2: Survey conducted by The Hartman Group, 2008

Blueberry fruits are round, light blue to dark blue, and around 1/2 inch in diameter. Eventhough blue berry is mostly consumed as fresh fruit and juice, it is also used as ingredient to make sauces, drinks, and desserts.

Blueberry is a natural and rich source of antioxidants. Blue berry antioxidants include flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin), anthocyanin (which gives the blue pigment to the fruit), beta-carotene, phenolic compounds and ellagic acid (ellagitannin). Blue berry is high in antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E, A and C. It is also a good source of dietary fiber.

Health benefit of blueberry

Because of the high antioxidant content, dietary fiber and other nutrients, blueberry is known to have great health benefits. Several researches indicate blueberry’s potential anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects. It may also delay or prevent onset of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Health benefits of blueberry may be explained by the capacity of its antioxidants to scavenge free-radicals which are causes for age-related human diseases.

Blueberry also helps lower LDL cholesterol (a cause for stroke and cardiovascular heart disease), reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, and improve eye vision.

Recommended Article: Benefits of blueberry juice

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