Clinical Efficacy of Saffron for Fibromyalgia Treatment — Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Shakiba M, Moazen-Zadeh E, Noorbala AA, et al. Saffron (Crocus sativus) versus duloxetine for treatment of patients with fibromyalgia: A randomized double-blind clinical trial. Avicenna J Phytomed. November-December 2018;8(6):513-523. doi: 10.22038/AJP.2018.28835.2020.

Still critiquing this paper, brought to my attention courtesy of https://crookedbearcreekorganicherbs.com/. Focusing on the statistical analysis to look for potential flaws. Good exercise: Anyone wishing to increase their statistical knowledge of clinical trials, read the analysis in the methods section and search on wikipedia for the statistical tests they used!

-v

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6686320/

Background

Ayurveda is an ancient medicine practice that is emerging in the United States as a complementary and alternative treatment for chronic illness. Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness that has major long-term implications for individuals suffering from the disease as well as the health-care system as a whole. Modifications in diet, exercise, and lifestyle are all important factors in successful treatment of type 2 diabetes and are incorporated into the ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda.

Review Summary: This review summarizes the available evidence for the use of Ayurvedic therapies in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. For the treatment of type 2 diabetes, Ayurvedic practices primarily emphasizes the use of herbal supplements; however, exercise, weight management, and various supplemental procedures are included in Ayurvedic practices. The goal of Ayurvedic practices on the treatment of type 2 diabetes like in Western medicine focuses on bringing the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value into a therapeutic range. Where Ayurveda differs is that it looks at the functionality of a person in the context of striking a balance between the life forces or doshas that each individual possesses. Finally, this article includes a case study received from AyurVAID clinic in Bangalore, India that details the specific Ayurvedic intervention used in a patient, bringing his HbA1c from a level of 11.2 to 5.7 over the course of 9 months.

Conclusion

Patients with type 2 diabetes may inquire about current complementary and alternative therapies available for the treatment of their disease. Awareness of such modalities is necessary for effective patient counseling and care. The benefits of offering a wide array of treatment options include possible reduction of HbA1c and of comorbidities with adjunct use of supplements and mind–body practices.

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/8/1958/htm

Table 1. Summarized effects of RhodiolaEchinacea, Ginseng, and Camellia, or its extracts, supplemented in pregnancy and/or lactation on mothers and offspring health.

Herb or ExtractKey SubstancesPharmacological Action
MotherOffspring
Rhodiolaphenylethanoid salidroside and tyrosol, phenolic acids (i.e., chlorogenic, ferulic, ellagic and p-coumaric), and flavonoids (i.e., fisetin, naringenin, kaempferol, epicatechin, luteolin, quercetin, epigallocatechin and (+)-catechin)reduces the percentage of cells with a respiratory burst in granulocytes (supplementation with RKW) [28]
increases in the percentage of granulocytes and monocytes in the blood with the respiratory burst (supplementation with RKW-A) [28]
contributes to changes in spleen morphology and structure [29]
increases the concentration of VEGF and bFGF [30]
reduces the number of CD4 + and CD19 + cells and the total number of NK cells [31]
increases hemoglobin concentration (about 0.6 mg/dL) [32]
decreases in the mean percentage of lymphocytes in peripheral blood, and an increase in the mean percentage of granulocytes [32]
decreases in the percentage of CD3+ cells and CD4+ [32]
increases the concentration of IL-10 in the serum [33] stimulate the phagocytosis process [32]
significant difference in tissue localization and the number of CD8+ cells [34]
contributes to a higher number of CD8+ cells in the central part of the spleen [34]
influence cell proliferation in response to mitogen supplementation (LPS, PHA and ConA) [29]
decreases the number of apoptotic cells [35]
decreases the concentration of VEGF in the sera [30]
Echinaceaalkamides, ketoalkenes, caffeic acid derivatives, polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and caftaric aciddoes not affect hematological and reproductive parameters [36]
no influences on the enzyme results [37]
decreases the level of crude protein in colostrum [37]
decreases the level of antibodies in the plasma [37]
decreases the number of spleen lymphocytes and nucleated erythroid cells [38]
contributes to more frequent miscarriages in the early stages of pregnancy [38]
decreases the number of embryos in litter and significantly diminished VEGF and bFGF content of embryos tissue [39]
increases phagocytic activity in blood [40]
increases bacterial diversity [40]
non-teratogenic, does not increase the risk of malformations [41,42,43]
Ginsengpolysaccharides, flavonoids, fatty acids, peptides, and saponins (mainly ginsenosides)increases the total IgG concentration in milk and serum of sows, which was associated with elevated levels of cytokines: IL-2, IL-6, TNF- α, and IFN-γ [44]
stimulates the effect of isolated lymphocytes after pokeweed mitogen stimulation [45]
stimulates the innate immunity in cows with Staphylococcus aureusinfection [46]
increases phagocytosis, oxidative burst activity of blood neutrophils and number of monocytes [46]
increases IL-2 and TNF-α concentration in the piglets’ serum [44]
reduces the incidence of schizophrenia in the offspring [47]
alleviates the toxic effects of phthalates and bisphenol A [48]
reverses the negative effect of dexamethasone on the synthesis of testosterone in Leydig cells [49]
teratogenic effect [50]
Camelliaepigallocatechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallateincreases the ratio of IL-10/TNF-α and IL-1β in mesenteric adipose tissue and causes a decrease in catalase in the liver [51]
inhibits the penetration of macrophages and increases the expression of AMPK (during lactation) [52]
contributes to alterations in urinary calcium, creatinine, and urea during the prenatal period, nephrotoxicity [53]
increases levels of proinflammatory cytokines and decreases anti-inflammatory cytokines levels in serum [53]
decreases of hemoglobin concentration and loss of the biconcave structure of erythrocytes [54]
increases of WBC level in the mother’s blood and induced significant changes in the histology of liver and serum enzymes [54]
decreases the level of folic acid [55]
increases the efficacy of oral nifedipine treatment in severe pregnancy-induced preeclampsia [56]
may be associated with an increased risk of pre-eclampsia [57]
increases the risk of premature birth [58]
risk factor for low birth weight of offspring [59]
protect against dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, and fat accumulation [60]
pro-inflammatory effect on the adipose tissue (not on a high-fat diet) [60]
decreases the retroperitoneal adipose tissue relative weight and SOD activity but increases adiponectin, LPS, IL-10 and IL-6 content and IL-10/TNF-α ratio in retroperitoneal, IL-10 and TNF-α content in gonadal, and IL-6 content in mesenteric adipose tissues [51]
improves the results of treatment of maternal gestational diabetes [61]
reduces neonatal complications [61]
can decreases the number of malformations in fetuses after exposure to cyclophosphamide, but too high dose increases the toxicity of cyclophosphamide [62]

Safe Bug Spray Recipe — Nature Based Living

I don’t know about you but mosquitoes absolutely love my children and I! During the hot summer months, I truly cannot go outside without getting bitten at least once. It’s incredibly frustrating and what’s more frustrating is not having many good options to combat this problem. I have always disliked putting typical deet bug spray […]

Safe Bug Spray Recipe — Nature Based Living

Ammonium Carbonate

This post isn’t about herbalism, per se, but may be used as a tool for improving one’s chemistry skills, either through study or practice.

Ammonium Carbonate (AC)’s melting point is 53-58 C, but it boils decomposes into carbon dioxide and ammonia spontaneously. The rate of kinetics is likely known but not noted here.

Questions to ask are: Where does the extra carbon come from? Hydrogen? How are the electrons balanced? Can gases be charged? What do the products smell like? I believe carbon dioxide is odorless and ammonia smells like, well… farts.

Note that in SDS terminology, an exclamation mark indicates that the compound is an irritant. This includes most if not all tissues.

It is a white powder soluble in water but not ethyl alcohol (the common active compound in drinking alcohol).

Ammonium carbonate solution is basic, as are sodium bicarbonate–the carbonate ion balance dictates this, primarily.

In foods, it is used as a raising agent, meaning it creates bubbles in baked goods to make the product aerated or, in baked goods, doughey.

AC may have selective antifungal properties due to the ammonium ion which is formed in solution at sufficient concentrations, as discussed in DePasquale & Montville. PDF version of paper available below:

Ammonium carbonate may be classified as a common chemical, with prices around $100/kg. It may be purchased from common chemical vendors.

Havings said all this, it just isn’t that interesting! But hopefully this allowed you to learn a bit of chemistry in preparation for the herbal science soon to follow!

Rarefaction: Implications for Soil Conditions and thus Herbal Growth

The acoustics of soil: an understudied topic. How can people perceive conditions? Are they natural?

Two sources state in a bucket from underground that soil matters. Soil matters for plant growth.

Nutrients and rhizomes both exist in soil(s).

Lome, mead, sand, rock… the list continues.

If soil is compressed it is more difficult for roots to puncture it (?).

If soil is too loose oxygen bubbles form in between the grains and asphyxiate the roots (?).

Thus a happy medium (sound) would travel faster through the Earth into the roots when the density is rarefied.

Q.E.D.