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RESEARCH

Maca Research
Lepidium meyenii Walp, Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon sp., Solanaceae

Bogdan Falkiewicz and Jerzy Fukasiak

Lepidium meyenii Walp, Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon sp., Solanaceae
(Customary names: Maca, Maca-maca, Maka, Perúvian Ginseng, Maino, Ayak chichira, Ayuk Willku, Energy Plus, Mace, Pepper grass, Pepper weed)

Lepidium meyenii Walp species or Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon sp. nov.: maca is a biennial or perennial plant from the Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) family [considered as the representative of the Solanaceae (Solanaceous )], once growing widely all over the Andes [Johns, 1981], at various altitudes above the sea level. The Lepidium meyenii species was described for the first time by Gerhard Walpers in 1843. Nowadays, its occurrence at natural localities is limited only to the departments of Junin and Cerro de Pasco in Perú, at the altitudes of over 3,500 metres above the sea level, often reaches the height of 4450 metres above the sea level (in the agro-ecological zone called ‘puna’, where low temperatures and gales do not allow most other plants to grow) [Leon, 1964; Tello & others, 1992, Rea, 1994]. The attempts of transferring the cultivation of maca to Berlin did not succeed: the plants grew, however they did not form the roots, it means that it probably is a plant of a short day [Rea, 1994].

Lepidium meyenii is cultivated in at least eight varieties, differing mainly in the colour of the plant and roots [Rea, 1994]. The plants grow up to 12-20 centimetres, forming the underground pear-shaped root, with the diameter of about 2-8 cm, which is the economic product of the plant. It usually has colour similar to potato (however, it can occur in a wide scope of tints: white, yellow, white-yellowish, white-pinkish, white-purple, grey and finally red) and sweet flavour. They are consumed raw, baked, or processed, however the most frequently they are dried for the future usage [Rea, 1994]. They are highly frost-proof [Bonnier, 1986] and may be cultivated from seeds yielding proper roots already after 7-9 months of growing; after a few months the plant blossoms, and after another month and a half it gives fruit. The plant was certainly widely domesticated by the Inkas as early as 2000 years ago [ Rea, 1994], although the first primitive cultures are met at the archaeological sites originating even in 1 600 years B.C. In our times it is cultivated as “maca” at various localities, frequently differing immensely from the natural ones [Quiros & others, 1996]. It is widely used similarly to sweet potatoes.

In the folk medicine, mainly of the Central and South American countries, the species of the Lepidium spp. kind are commonly used and quite intensively studied for their various potential properties, which are therapeutically advantageous. They have the properties improving physical activity, as well as strengthening endurance, immunostimulating, besides the significant nutritional value and enhancing the stamina. In the folk medicine they are also used as the agent alleviating hormonal dysfunction, especially during the menopause and andropause, as the antidepressant and enhancing wound-healing agent [Dini & others, 1994].

The specification of data about the Lepidium meyenii Walp. or Peruvianum Chacon sp. nov. plant: chemical components, study of identity and standardisation of preparations, toxicology and safety of usage, safe doses and routine doses, pharmacological properties of the substances contained in the preparation, study of biological properties of extracts.
The review works on properties and usage of Lepidium spp.:

The literature until 1964 was partly collected in the Leon’s work (1964), in the chapter written by Rea (1994), partly in the work of Quiros and the co-authors (1996). There is lack of data on the subject of newer review works published in the scientific literature.

1. Chemical components o Lepidium meyenii Walp. roots or Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon sp. nov. roots (information about admissible contamination of preparations in the certificates of producers)
The detailed studies of composition of Lepidium meyenii roots were conducted by Dini and other authors (1994). Fresh ‘maca’ roots contain about 80 % of water [Quiros & others, 1996; Dini & others, 1994]. The Lepidium meyenii roots when dried in a natural way still contain 10.4% of water and in the remaining mass (according to various sources) is about 10.2-13.4 % of proteins, 25-78% carbohydrates, 8.5% of whole fibre, 2.2% of fats (lipids), 4.9% of ash [ Rea, 1994; Quiros & others, 1996; Dini & others, 1994]. They contain significant amount of amino acids, including the necessary ones (in mg/g of proteins: Aspartic acid 91.7; Glutamic acid 156.5; Serine 50.4; Histidine 21.9; Glycine 68.3; Threonine 33.1; Alanine 63.1; Arginine 99.4; Tyrosine 30.6; Phenylalanine 55.3; Valine 79.3; Methionine 28, Isoleucine 47.4; Leucine 91, Lysine 54.5; HO-Proline 26; Proline 0.5; Sarcosine 0.7), and iron and calcium in amounts larger than in potatoes [ Quiros & others, 1996; Dini & others, 1994]. Besides, in the roots there are fatty acids, the highest amount of linoleic (32.6% of fats), palmitic (23.8% of fats), oleic (11.16 of fats). The roots also contain sterols (sitosterol 45.5%, campesterol 27.3%, ergosterol 13.6%, brassicasterols 9.1 %, Δ 7.22 ergostadienol 4.5%) [Dini & others, 1994] and vitamins (A; B1; B2; B6; C; E) and minerals (among them, in mg/100g of dry mass: calcium 150-258; iron 15.4-16.6; copper 5.9; zinc 3.8; manganese 0.8; potassium 2050; sodium18.7; iodine) [Rea,1994; Dini & others, 1994; Quiros & others, 1996]. The roots have been also discovered to contain:

Glucosinolates (sulphurous combinations of glycosides), which probably are responsible for the influence of the plant on reproductive system and fertility [Johns, 1981; Quiros & others, 1996; Dini & others, 1994],
Biologically active aromatic isothiocyanates (black mustard oils), which probably are also responsible for the influence of the plant on the reproductive system and fertility [Johns,1981; Quiros & others,1996; Dini & others, 1994] including p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, assumed to have aphrodisiac activity [Johns, 1981]. It is worth noticing that most of the black mustard oils have bacteriostatic and /or fungistatic properties, frequently very strong ones [Kohlmunzer, 1993]
Leukoanthocyanates
Tannins
Saponins


2. Study of identity and preparations standardisation.
Information on admissible contamination of presented for the registration preparation and standardisation procedures applied during its preparation in the producers certificates. Identification and standardisation are based on comparison of the chromatographic profiles of the product sample with the model. The morphological methods of identification of particular species of the Lepidium spp. genus are sufficient for specification of species identity in the natural conditions and in culture [Chacon, 1961; Leon, 1964]. The chemical composition of the plant is relatively well known and enables standardisation of preparations [Quiros & others, 1996; Dini & others, 1994]. The procedures of analysis of particular Lepidium spp. preparations components have been described in the scientific literature. There are no data pertaining to the subject of the standardisation procedures applied world-wide with regard to particular preparations of Lepidium spp.

3. Toxicology and safety of usage. The safe doses and the routine doses.
There is a very small amount of published information regarding the toxic properties of the discussed lepidium spp. plants and contained by them biologically active substances, as well as lack of published results of clinical studies on toxicity and side effects accompanying the use of their preparations. The popular literature and the studies of the producers and distributors of the Lepidium spp. preparations represent common opinion that they are not toxic and applied in the indicated doses they do not cause any side effects. There is lack of clinical studies contradicting this information.

4. The pharmacological properties of the substances contained in the preparation and studies of Lepidium spp. extracts without isolation of active substances: in vitro, on animals and clinical tests
The Lepidium meyenii Walp. preparations, and especially Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon sp. nov. (from the Brassicaceae or Solanaceae family, according to various classifications), are admitted for trade and have been used safely for centuries as one of the basic elements of nutrition in many countries of Central and South America (e.g. in Ecuador, Perú, Mexico), besides being admitted for trade and as the food additive, the preparation is also used by the natural medicine of the USA, Russia and other countries. The roots are highly nutritious. They have been used for centuries as the therapeutic agent by the natural medicine in North America, and Central and South American countries. As the nutrient, the Lepidium meyenii is consumed in the fresh form (the raw roots have a flavour similar to toffee type sweets), processed in the form of the jam or the sweet, fermented drink called ‘maca chicha’, or after drying (the roots can be stored even up to 7 years, probably without any nutritional value loss) and then cooked in water or milk like a cereal [Rea, 1994; Quiros & others,1996]. In the folk medicine, the Lepidium meyenii preparations are administered for various indications
[ Leon, 1964], e.g.: first of all strictly as nutrient, due to high amount of standard value proteins, exogenous amino-acids, vitamins, minerals and sterols, especially in the undernutrition condition, growth, pregnancy and lactation, second of all for enhancing fertility of people and animals [Leon, 1964; Johns, 1981], which was proved in the studies on rats fed with Maca, showing about 25% increase of fertility [Chacon, 1961; Rea, 1994], what is probably connected with stimulating the Graafian follicle maturation [Rea, 1994]. They are also used as the immunostimulating agent, adjuvant in treatment of tuberculosis, carcinoma of the stomach, as well as memory and learning enhancing agent [Leon, 1964]. Other traditional and contemporary applications include usage as the energising agent, enhancing endurance and building of muscles, curing the chronic exhaustion syndrome, irregular menstruation and hormonal dysfunction, including menopause and andropause [Leon, 1994]. They are also used as the antidepressant and enhancing wound healing agent [Dini & others].
References
All the publications (except the books) and patents are indexed and in most cases are abstracted in the following database: INDEX MEDICUS - MEDLINE, EMBASE - DRUGS AND PHARMACOLOGY, BIOLOGICAL ABSTRACTS and /or CHEMICAL ABSTRACTS.

Bonnier E.: Utilization du sol a l’epoque pre-hispanique: la cas archeologique du Shaka-Placamayo. Cahiers des Sciences Humaines 1986, 22: 97-113.
Chacon R.C.: Phytochemical study on Lepidium meyenii. PhD Thesis, Univ. Natl. Mayo de San Marcos, Perú, 1961.
Chacon de Popovici G.: La maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon sp. nov.) y su habitat. Revista Peruana de Biologia 1990, 3: 171-272.
Dini A, Migliuolo G., Rastrelli L., Saturnino P, Schettino O: Chemical composition of Lepidium meyenii. Food Chemistry 1994, 49: 347-349.
Johns T: The anu and the maca. Journal of Ethnobiology 1981, 1: 208-211.
Kohlmunzer S.: Farmakognozja. PZWL Warszawa, 1993.
Leon J: The “Maca” (Lepidium meyenii): a little known food plant of Perú. Economic Botany 1964, 18: 122-127.
Quiros C., Epperson A., Hu J., Holle M.: Physiological studies and determination of chromosome number in Maca, Lepidium meyenii. Economic Botany 1996, 50: 216-223.
Rea J: Maca (Lepidium meyenii). Rozdzia³ w: “Neglected crops: 1492 from a different perspective. Hernando Bermejo J.E. i Leon J. (Eds). Plant Production and Protection Series No. 26, 1994, FAO, Rome (Italy), pp. 165-179.
Tello J, Hermann M., Calderon A.: La Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.): cultivo alimenticio potencial para las zonas altoandinas. Boletin de Lima, 1992, 81: 59-66. 06/12/03
What Is It?
Maca is a dehydrated, cruciferous root vegetable, and not a drug. It is a benign, medicinal food which has been in use for 10,000 years, possibly more, and has had ample time to be judged effective. Today, dried Maca roots are ground to powder and sold in drug stores in capsules as a medicine and food supplement to increase physical stamina and fertility.
What’s In It?
Initial analysis of Maca indicates that it contains glucosinolates which have a positive effect on fertility. Proteins, as polypeptides, make up 11 per cent of the maca root; calcium makes up 10 percent and magnesium and potassium are present in significant amounts. other minerals include iron, silica and traces of iodine, manganese, zinc, copper and sodium. Vitamins in maca are thiamine, riboflavin and ascorbic acid. The amino acid proteins in maca include aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine, histidine, glycine threolline, cystine, alanine, arginine, tyrosins, valine, methionine, isoleucine, lysine, proline, hoproline and sarcosine.
Research
Perúvian medical doctors say that maca root works in a fundamentally different way than HRT, promoting optimal functioning of the hypothalamus and the pituitary, thereby improving the functioning of all the endocrine glands.

They isolated four alkaloids from the maca root and carried out animal studies with male and female rats given either powdered maca root or the alkaloids. females receiving either root powder or alkaloids showed multiple egg follicle maturation, while in males, significantly higher sperm production and motility rates were noted than in control groups.

They established that it was the alkaloids in the maca root, not its plant hormones, that produced fertility effects on the ovaries and testes of the rats. "These effects are measurable within 72 hours of dosing the animals," they said. They deduced that the alkaloids were acting on the hypothalamus-pituitary axis, which explains why both male and female rats were affected in a gender-appropriate manner. This also explains why the effects in humans are not limited to ovaries and testes, but also act on the adrenals, giving a feeling of greater energy and vitality, and on the pancreas and thyroid as well.

Implications of the discovery of the pituitary-stimulating effects of maca are enormous. What it means is that hormone replacement therapy - even the natural varieties - will no longer be the gold standard for optimising health from a holistic point of view.
The Importance of Maca in the History of Perú
Maca’s cultivation goes back perhaps five millennia. It was an integral part of the diet and commerce of the high Andes regions. When they controlled that particular South American area, the Incas found maca so potent that they restricted its use to their Royalty’s court. Upon overrunning the Inca people, conquering Spaniards became aware of this plant’s value and collected tribute in maca roots for export to Spain. Maca was used as an energy enhance and for nutrition by the Spanish Royalty as well. But eventually knowledge for maca’s special qualities died out, being preserved only in a few remote Perúvian communities. In the 1960’s and later in the 1980’s, German and North American scientists researching botanicals in Perú, rekindled interest in maca through nutritional analyses of what was designated as ‘the lost crop of the Andes’. The publication of a book by that name introduced maca to the world. At an international conference in 1991, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United nations recommended that Peruvians should return to eating traditional, native Andean foods. Maca was included in the FAO list as a means of combating nutritional problems being caused by people switching to processed foods and high-sugar drinks. The reintroduction of maca has established healthy eating once again in the Perúvian diet.
Hugo Malaspina, MD, Works with Maca
Now practising complementary medicine with an emphasis on the use of medicinal herbs, one of the modern pioneers in the therapeutic use of this ancient herb for an urban population is Hugo Malaspina, MD, a respected cardiologist in Lima. Dr Malaspina has been using the maca root in his practice for a decade and makes the following observation: "There are different medicinal plants that work on the ovaries stimulating them. With maca, though, we should say that it regulates the ovarian function." Dr Malaspina, who uses maca therapy for both his male and female patients, recalls that he first heard about this extraordinary herb through a group of elderly gentlemen who, while well along in years were still lively and interested in enjoying sexual activities. "One of this group (they were all over 70) started taking maca and found he was able to perform satisfactorily in a sexual relationship with a lady friend. Soon everyone in the group began drinking the powdered maca as a beverage and enjoying the boos that the root was giving their hormonal functions. " I have several of these men as my patients and their improvement prompted me to find out more about maca and begin recommending it to my other patients", Dr. Malaspina stated. What makes maca so effective, according to Dr. Malaspina, is that rather than introducing hormones from outside the body, maca encourages the ovaries and other glands to produce the needed hormones. The cardiologist said, "Maca regulates the organs of internal secretion, such as the pituitary, the adrenal glands, the pancreas, etc. I have perhaps 200 female patients whose premenopausal and postmenopausal symptoms are alleviated by taking maca."
Jorge Aguila Calderon, MD, Prescribes Maca
Another Perúvian pioneer in the therapeutic application of maca integrated into a modern medical practice is Jorge Aguila Calderon, MD. An internist, Dr Aguila Calderon is former Head of the Department of Biological Sciences of the Faculty of Human Medicine at the National University of Federico Villareal in Lima. Like Dr. Malaspina, he prescribes maca for a wide variety of conditions, including osteoporosis and the healing of bone fractures in the very elderly. "Maca has a lot of very easily absorbable calcium in it, plus magnesium and a fair amount of silica which we are finding useful in treating the decalcification of bones in children and adults." Along with prescribing an excellent diet and certain lifestyle changes, Dr Aguila Calderon has helped patients overcome male impotence, male sterility and female sterility by employing maca therapy. Additional problems he treats with maca are rickets, various forms of anaemia, menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, climacteric and erectile difficulties in men, premature ageing and general states of weakness such as chronic fatigue.
American Physician Gabriel Cousens, MD, Uses Maca
Physicians in the United States believe this herb has the potential of a balanced answer to the effects of ageing on the endocrine system. Many who have tried phytoestrogens and/or precursor hormones such as DHEA or pregnenelone, or even natural hormone replacement therapy and have been dissatisfied, are getting excellent results from their use of maca root. Gabriel Cousens, MD, practicing internal medicine in Arkansas, says: "Whenever possible, I prefer to use maca therapy rather than hormone replacement therapy because HRT actually ages the body by diminishing the hormone-producing capability of the glands. Maca has proven to be very effective with menopausal patients in eliminating hot flashes and depression and in increasing energy levels. To find the right dosage level, sometimes I started the patient on maca treatment with a half a teaspoon of powder or three capsules a day. In some cases I have raised the dosage to a teaspoon or six capsules a day for full effectiveness."
Henry Campanile, MD., offers Adrenal Balancing Maca root
In keeping with its mode of acting through the hypothalamus and pituitary, maca has a balancing and nourishing effect on the adrenal glands. Henry Campanile, MD, a 50-year old specialist in internal and family/complementary medicine practising in Florida states: "I happen to have been born with only one adrenal gland just like my father. I started taking cortisone in my late twenties to relieve the fatigue which I was already feeling. Knowing the dangers of long term cortisone use, I looked around for an alternative, and this circumstance is what got me interested in complementary medicine. I started using pregnenelone about 10 years ago and it has been fairly satisfactory. But one of my patients told me about Maca and I started taking it about a month ago.

It is phenomenal! I haven’t felt this good since I was 20 years old. I have so much energy and look so well, my patients have remarked on it and told me how rested I seem. I’ve got so much energy now, that I’ve started an exercise program". After trying it on himself, Dr Campanile began using maca with his patients. My first patient to take maca capsules was experiencing hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. She started feeling much better after using this herb for only four days. I’m also employing it with patients who have a low adrenal function."
Harold Clark, M.D. Makes Maca a Key Treatment
Another American doctor who has recently begun to use maca therapeutically for some patients is Harold Clark, MD, of New Rochelle, New York. Dr Clark, who utilises chelation therapy and ozone therapy in addition to herbs, b vitamins and minerals in his practice stated, "I’m amazed at how fast maca worked on two patients that I have been concerned about for some time." He described one patient as 55 year-old Mary T, a postmenopausal woman. Mary T was possessed of numerous sugar, hypertension, atrial fibrillation and hypomagnesemia. She had been acutely ill for two months with osteomyelitis and generalised sepsis. Unable to work, she was suffereing from great fatigue and depression and feeling "worse and worse" over the last five years. "Within just four days of taking the maca capsules, Mary T went through an enormous turnaround," said Dr. Clark. "She has gone out to shop in the stores; she’s cleaned her house; she feels strong and vigorous; and her depression is gone."
Maca as an Anti-Ageing Herb for both Men and Women
Garry P Gordon, MD, former president of the American College for Advancement in Medicine, now Founder and President of the International College of Advanced Longevity Medicine, located in Chicago, Illinois, bases his appreciation of maca on his own experience with it. Dr Gordon says: "We all hear rumours about various products like maca. But using this Perúvian root myself, I personally experienced a significant improvement in erectile tissue. I call it "nature’s answer to Viagra." "What I see in maca is a means of normalising our steroid hormones, like testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. Therefore it has the capability to forestall hormonal changes of ageing," Dr Gordon believes. "It acts on men to restore them to a healthy functional status in which they experience a more active libido." Lots of men and women who previously believed their sexual problems were psychological are now clearly going to look for something physiological to improve quality of life in the area of sexuality", says Dr Gordon. "Of course, as someone interested in longevity, I’m aware that mortality comes on much sooner for those individuals whose sexual activity is diminished or non existent. In other words, I believe that people who engage in sex twice a week or more live longer. I’ve found sexual activity to be a reliable marker for overall ageing."

Dr Burton Goldberg, President of Future Medicine Publishing in Tiburon, California, whose latest book, An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to cancer, is another enthusiast of maca. He says that when he tried maca he was very pleased with the results and began taking it regularly. "I’m a 72-year old man and this maca has taken 25 years off my ageing sex life", "That’s pretty important to me!, declares Dr Burton Goldberg.

Effect of Lepidium meyenii (MACA) on sexual desire and its absent relationship with serum testosterone levels in adult healthy men.

Gonzales GF, Cordova A, Vega K, Chung A, Villena A, Gonez C, Castillo S.

Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú. iiad@upch.edu.pe

This study was a 12-week double blind placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel trial in which active treatment with different doses of Maca Gelatinizada was compared with placebo. The study aimed to demonstrate if effect of Maca on subjective report of sexual desire was because of effect on mood or serum testosterone levels. Men aged 21-56 years received Maca in one of two doses: 1,500 mg or 3,000 mg or placebo. Self-perception on sexual desire, score for Hamilton test for depression, and Hamilton test for anxiety were measured at 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment. An improvement in sexual desire was observed with Maca since 8 weeks of treatment. Serum testosterone and oestradiol levels were not different in men treated with Maca and in those treated with placebo (P:NS). Logistic regression analysis showed that Maca has an independent effect on sexual desire at 8 and 12 weeks of treatment, and this effect is not because of changes in either Hamilton scores for depression or anxiety or serum testosterone and oestradiol levels. In conclusion, treatment with Maca improved sexual desire.



Publication Types:
Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial
Cat's Claw
Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody vine that grows in the Peruvian Amazon Forest.

Cat's claw is named after the hook-like thorns that grow along its vine. The bark and root of this herb have been used among the Ashanika people for centuries to treat a variety of health problems including arthritis, ulcers, sexually transmitted diseases, fevers, and even cancer. Common Uses

After these claims drew the attention of scientists in Europe, tests began to demonstrate that substances in cat's claw boost the activity of the immune system, reduce inflammation, scavenge damaging particles known as free radicals, and destroy cancerous cells.

Aquino R, De Feo V, De Simone F, Pizza C, Cirino G. New compounds and anti-inflammatory activity of Uncaria tomentosa. J Nat Prod. 1991;54: 453-459.

Blumenthal M, Riggins C. Popular Herbs in the U.S. Market: Therapeutic Monographs. Austin, Tex: The American Botanical Council; 1997.

Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler's Honest Herbal. 4th ed. New York: The Haworth Herbal Press; 1999: 97-99.

Karch SB. The Consumer's Guide to Herbal Medicine. Hauppauge, New York: Advanced Research Press; 1999:55-56.

Keplinger K, Laus G, Wurm M, Dierich MP, Teppner H. Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC—ethnomedicinal use and new pharmacological, toxicological and botanical results. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;64:23–34.

Lemaire I, Assinewe V, Cano P, Awang DV, Arnason JV. Stimulation of interleukin-1 and -6 production in alveolar macrophages by the neotropical liana, Uncaria tomentosa. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999;64:109–115.

Piscoya J, Rodriguez Z, Bustamante SA, Okuhama NN, Miller MJ, Sandoval M. Efficacy and safety of freeze-dried cat's claw in osteoarthritis of the knee: mechanisms of action of the species Uncaria guianensis. Inflamm Res. 2001;50(9):442-448.

Rizzi R, Re F, Bianchi A, De Feo V, de Simone F, Bianchi L, Stivala LA. Mutagenic and antimutagenic activities of Uncaria tomentosa and its extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 1993;38(1):63-77.

Rotblatt M, Ziment I. Evidence-Based Herbal Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Hanley & Belfus, Inc; 2002:114-118.

Sandoval M, Charbonnet RM, Okuhama NN, et al. Cat's claw inhibits TNFalpha production and scavenges free radicals: role in cytoprotection. Free Radic Biol Med. 2000;29(1):71-78.

Sheng Y, et al. Induction of apoptosis and inhibition of proliferation in human tumor cells treated with extracts of Uncaria tomentosa. Anticancer Res. 1998;18:3,363–3,368.

Sheng Y, Pero RW, Wagner H. Treatment of chemotherapy-induced leukopenia in a rat model with aqueous extract from Uncaria tomentosa. Phytomedicine. 2000;7(2):137-143.

Steinberg PN. Cat's claw: medicinal properties of this Amazon vine. Nutrition Science News. 1995.
Annatto (Power And Extract) (Achote) Bixa orellana
This ancestral multiuse plant is used as a detoxifying agent and stimulant of the immune system. It is also used as anti-inflammatory and cicatrizing agent due to its content of ishwarano. High in carotenoids and flavonoids, B complex vitamins, pectin, bixin, norboxin, apigenin glucoside, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, among other chemical compounds.

Reseach references:

Dunham, N. W. et al. "A preliminary pharmacologic investigation of the roots of Bixa orellana." J. Amer. Pharm. Ass. Sci. Ed. 1960; 49: 218.
Morrison, E. Y., et al. "Extraction of an hyperglycaemic principle from the annatto (Bixa orellana), a medicinal plant in the West Indies." Trop. Georg. Med. 1991; 43(2): 184-88.
Morrison, E. Y., et al. "Toxicity of the hyperglycaemic-inducing extract of the annatto (Bixa orellana) in the dog." West Indian Med. J. 1985; 34(1): 38-42.
Morrison, E. Y., et al. "The effect of Bixa orellana (annatto) on blood sugar levels in the anaesthetized dog." West Indian Med. J. (March 1985).
Terashima, S., et al. "Studies on aldose reductase inhibitors from natural products. IV. Constituents and aldose reductase inhibitory effect of Chrysanthemum morifolium, Bixa orellana and Ipomoea batatas." Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1991; 39(12): 3346-47.
Otero, R., et al. "Snakebites and ethnobotany in the northwest region of Colombia. Part III: neutralization of lethal and enzymatic effects of Bothrops atrox venom." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 71(3): 505-11.
Cáceres A., et al. "Antigonorrhoeal activity of plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases." J. Ethnopharmacol. (October 1995).
George, M., et al. "Investigations on plant antibiotics. Part IV. Further search for antibiotic substances in Indian medicinal plants." Indian J. Med. Res. 1949; 37: 169-81.
Bressani, R., et al. "Chemical composition, amino acid content and nutritive value of the protein of the annatto seed (Bixa orellana L.)." Arch. Latinoam. Nutr. 33(2): 356-76.
Scita, G. "Retinoic acid and beta-carotene inhibit fibronectin synthesis and release by fibroblasts; antagonism to phorbol ester." Carcinogenesis 15 (1994): 1043-48.
Zhang, L. X. "Carotenoids up-regulate connexin43 gene expression independent of their provitanin A or antioxidant properties." Cancer Res. 52 (1992): 5707-12.
Di Mascio, P. "Carotenoids, tocopherols and thiols as biological singlet molecular oxygen quenchers." Biochem. Soc. Trans. 18 (1990): 1054-6.
Hirose, S. "Energized state of mitochondria as revealed by the spectral change of bound bixin." Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 152 (1972): 36-43.
Inada, Y. "Spectral changes of bixin upon interaction with respiring rat liver mitochondria." Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 146 (1971): 366-67.
Campelo, C. R. "Contribuicao ao estudo das plantas medicinais no estado de alagoas III, VII." Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brasil, 1-3 de Setembro, 1982, Belo Horizonte-MG, 85m.
Nish, W. A., et al. "Anaphylaxis to annatto dye: a case report." Ann. Allergy 1991; 66(2): 129-31.
Cat's Claw Extract (Uña de Gato) Uncaria tomentosa
Cat's Claw contains six oxindole alkaloids (four of these are known to be effective immune system stimulants) and hosts other beneficial phytochemicals. Studies have suggested that the presence of these compounds might explain the antioxidant, antimicrobial, antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb. Because of the herb's unusual ability to cleanse and detoxify the entire digestive system, it helps correct the nutritional imbalances caused by digestive blockages (stress, etc.) that often put a strain on the organism natural absorption process. A clean digestive tract opens the "nutritional doorway" in the body, so all nutrients may be better absorbed, therefore, reducing health risks.

 


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