Nova Health Naturopathic Centre Blog

True Health and Well Being

Spotlight on Relora June 23, 2011

Filed under: anxiety,relaxation and insomnia,research,sleep,weight loss — novahealthnaturopathic @ 6:51 pm

Hi everyone! I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful sunny afternoon!

We’re very excited about a new supplement that’s recently been offered by Douglas Labs, one of our main supplement providers. Douglas Labs is a reputable company that provides top-grade products available exclusively to licensed healthcare professionals. We’ve always been impressed with their rigorous standards for testing and quality. This new product is a patent-pending blend of two herbal extracts, combined with a B-complex. This product, Relora-Plex, is specifically designed to support normal mental functioning during stress and anxiety. We’ve found it to be useful for treating sleep disorders, anxiety, stress-related negative activities (such as overeating), and to promote general well-being.

Cortisol, a hormone produced in the adrenal glands, plays an important role in the body’s regulation of cardiovascular function and fat, protein and carbohydrate utilization. When the body experiences stress, cortisol secretion increases, thus causing a breakdown of muscle protein and the release of amino acids to form glucose via gluconeogenesis. The resulting higher level of glucose in the body, combined with the decreased use of glucose by other tissues in the body, ensures that the brain is receiving adequate energy.

Continuing research indicates that stress and anxiety can have a significant impact on the body’s health and wellbeing. While cortisol secretion is an important part of the body’s response to stress, the prolonged secretion of cortisol can have detrimental effects to the proper functioning of the body’s cardiovascular, immune, neurological and metabolic systems.

Magnolia officinalis

Relora is a combination of two herbal extracts, Magnolia and Phellodendron bark (Asian cork tree). Both herbs have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for several hundred years. In a human study, 82% of the participants taking Relora agreed with the statement that: “Relora helps control…. irritability, emotional ups and downs restlessness, tense muscles, poor sleep, fatigue, and concentration difficulties.” Relora was found not to cause sedation, though 74% of the patients had more restful sleep. Additionally, no adverse side effects were reported during the trial. A second human trial studied the effects of Relora

Phellodendron amurense bark

on salivary dehydroepistandrosterone (DHEA) and cortisol levels in patients with mild to moderate stress. The effects of stress on the body are sometimes associated with lower levels of DHEA and higher levels of cortisol. Two weeks of Relora increased salivary DHEA by 227% and decreased total salivary cortisol by 37%. Both hormones were brought into the normal range.

REFERENCES

Michael A, Jenaway A, Paykey ES, Herbert J. Altered salivary dehydroepiandrosterone levels in major depression in adults. Biol. Psychiatry. 2000 Nov 15; 48(10): 989-95.

Ockenfels MC, Porter L, Smyth J, Kirschbaum C, Hellhammer DH, Stone AA. Effects of chronic stress associated with unemployment on salivary cortisol: overall cortisol levels, diurnal rhythm and acute stress reactivity. Psychosom Med. 1995 Sept-Oct; 57(5):460-467.

Schulz P, Kurschbaum C, Prubner J, Hellhammer D. Increased free cortisol secretion after awakening in chronically stressed individuals due to work overload. Stress Medicine 1998; 14:91-97.

SIDE EFFECTS

Warning: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if  you are taking any prescription medication, consult a physician prior to use. Excessive consumption may impair ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Not recommended for consumption with alcoholic beverages.

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Ten Reasons to Drink Yerba Mate March 3, 2011

Filed under: cancer,sleep,tea,Uncategorized,weight loss — novahealthnaturopathic @ 8:29 pm

Yerba Mate is a South American herb from the holly shrub of the South American rain forest. It grows wild in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Brazil, but is most abundantly in Paraguay where it is also cultivated. Drinking Mate is a longtime traditional social activity in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay — family or friends pass around a “gourd” (fist-sized, round wooden ball-like cup) of the brew (just hot water and Mate leaves & stems), sipped through a “bombilla” (which translates to “little pump” or “straw”), often made of silver or bamboo.

In South America, Yerba Mate has been revered for centuries as the “drink of the gods” and is still drunk daily for health, sustained energy and mental clarity by millions. The leaves of the rainforest Mate tree naturally contain vitamins and minerals, amino acids and are rich in antioxidants — with reported ORAC antioxidant levels even higher than many brewed green teas.

Reason #1: There are 196 active chemical compounds found in the Yerba Mate plant. Of those, 144 are also found in green tea. Yerba Mate contains 11 polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of phytochemicals, a group of recently-discovered compounds that act as powerful antioxidants and are considered to exhibit anti-cancer effects in mammals by strengthening an organism’s natural defenses and protecting it against cellular destruction.

Reason #2:  Each infusion of Mate contains:

Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex

Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus

Additional Compounds: Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.

Source: Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1991 Sep;41(3):441-54.

Reason #3: In addition to polyphenols, Yerba Mate leaves contain saponins. Saponins are phytochemicals that have been found to specifically stimulate the immune system and aid the body in protecting against disease. They possess significant anti-inflammatory properties. Source: Adv Exp Med Biol. 1996;405:47-56.

Reason #4: With about one-third the caffeine of coffee, plus the presence of natural calming tryptophan and other elements, many also report the lack of jitters, shakes and anxiety that can accompany coffee drinking, resulting in all of the “good buzz” of coffee without the bad. And perhaps most significant is the reported lack of “coffee crash”. Source: Phytochemistry. 2000 Dec;55(7):853-7.

Reason #5: Because of its low caffeine levels, it does not interfere with sleep cycles.  In fact, it has a tendency to balance the cycles, inducing more REM sleep when necessary, or increases the amount of time spent in delta states.  Many people say they require less sleep when using yerba mate because they experience a deeper, more relaxing sleep.

Reason #6: For many years now, physicians in Europe have been incorporating yerba mate in treatments for obesity. In 2000, a research team studying obesity at the Charlottenlund Medical Center in Denmark tested an herbal preparation of Yerba Matefor gastric emptying and subsequent weight loss. They concluded that the herbal preparation, yerba mate capsules, significantly delayed gastric emptying, reduced the time to perceived gastric fullness and induced significant weight loss over 45 days in overweight patients treated in a primary health care context. In addition, maintenance treatment given in an uncontrolled context resulted in no further weight loss, nor weight regain in the group as a whole. Sources: J Hum Nutr Diet. 2001 Jun;14(3):243-50; Phytomedicine. 1999 Oct;6(4):231-8.

Reason #7: Yerba mate has significant antioxidant activity. In a study published in 1995 by Biochemicaland Molecular Biology International, researchers concluded that water extracts of yerba mate “were more potent antioxidants than either ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or butylated hydroxytoluene.” In a more recent study, published in the November 2001 issue of Fitoterapia, researchers took a look at seven different plant species in South America. They found that yerba mate “contained a higher content of flavonoids and caffeoyl derivatives than any other assayed species.” Sources:  Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Mar 16;269(2):357-60; Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 May;957:279-83.

Reason #8: Polyphenols found in tea and yerba mate have been shown to prevent both the growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath and the bacteria’s production of odorous compounds.

Reason #9: Consumption of yerba mate improves serum lipid parameters in healthy dyslipidemic subjects and provides an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in individuals on statin therapy. Source: J. Agric Food Chem. 2009 Sep 23;57(18):8316-24.

Reason #10:  In vivo and in vitro studies are showing yerba mate to exhibit significant cancer-fighting activity. Researchers at the University of Illinois (2005) found yerba mate to be “rich in phenolic constituents” and to “inhibit oral cancer cell proliferation” while it promoted proliferation of oral cancer cell lines at certain concentrations. Source: J. Agric. Food Chem., 2005, 53 (6), pp 1966–1973.

 

 
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