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Safed Musli

Latin Name: Chlorophytum Borivilianum

Chlorophytum Borivilianum or Safed Musli is a traditionally rare Indian herb used in Ayurveda that was normally procured in jungles, but with the growing popularity of the herb in the recent times, it has begun to be cultivated. It is an adaptogenic compound and aphrodisiac and is sometimes referred to as ‘White Gold’ due to the colour of its roots which hold the main active component. Safed Musli has a high saponin and polysaccharide content and a rich source of proteins, vitamins, alkaloids, steroids, carbohydrates, and polysaccharides. Safed Musli is famous for its anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac and stress- releasing effect and therefore used extensively in traditional systems of medicine which includes Ayurveda, Unani, and homeopathy. The Saponin, a phytonutrient, makes the powder extract of the plant foamy in texture. Considering the properties, the Medicinal Plants Board has even certified this herb as the sixth most valuable plant to be conserved and protected.

Key benefits

  • Hecogenin, a kind of Saponin in Safed Musli helps to build strong muscles, makes bones strong and decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Presence of high amount of Antioxidant makes Safed Musli a powerful immune booster.
  • The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties reduces pain, inflammation, and swellings 
  • The antioxidant properties of Safed Musli helps to break down the free oxygen radicals in the body, slowing the growth of chronic cells in the body.
  • Safed Musli has a calming effect that helps in relieving stress, anxiety, and depression therefore works are an effective mood enhancer in both men and women.
  • It contains Stigmasterol, another Saponin, which adds aphrodisiac properties to Safed Musli. 
  • It helps boost vitality and sexual health in men, increasing their stamina and testosterone levels and simultaneously boost libido.
  • Safed Musli is rich in polysaccharides which make sure the moisture content in the skin is balanced, and that it is soft, supple and clean.

History

The origin of Safed Musli, was traced back to the thick forests of the Aravallis, the oldest mountain ranges of the continent, from where it spread to the nearby areas, presently known as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Safed Musli was mentioned in the Atharva Veda as one of the divine herbs, offering cure for many ailments and health related problems such as diabetes, digestion, skin related problems, urinary tract disorder, or even to treat wounds. The appreciation of its medicinal value has been made in ancient Indian medicine literature right from the 11th century AD. In the Ayurvedic literature, Safed Musli is celebrated as a ‘Divya Aushad’ with unparalleled medicinal properties. It is a chief ingredient in the preparation of over a hundred Ayurvedic formulations. Apart from its extensive use in Ayurveda and other conventional medicinal systems, Safed Musli is also gaining increasing acceptance as a vitalizer and health-giving tonic, a curative for pre-natal and post-natal problems, a restorative for immunity-improvement and as a remedy for diabetes and arthritis.

Cultivation

Madhya Pradesh, India

Extraction Process

was carried out for 20% saponins using a 5:1 herb ratio.

Certifications

Clinical studies

Adaptogen: A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind comparative pilot study was conducted by the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth G S Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India, to evaluate the adaptogenic effect of Chlorophytum borivilianum (CB) on physical performance when exposed to accustomed activity (AA) and unaccustomed activity (UA) and the effect of CB on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) in the presence of UA and the effect on muscle strength in comparison with placebo. 60 volunteers were assigned randomly into two groups - study drug that were 3 g of CB per day or placebo (3 g/day) for 2 months. It was concluded that the study group has a substantial increase in physical performance when exposed to accustomed activity even within one month and in case of unaccustomed activity the increase in performance was seen after two months thus validating its adaptogenic (anti-stress) potential.

Sexual health in Men: Department of Dravyaguna, National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. To assess the effect of the water extract of Chlorophytum borivilianum (CB) root tubers on semen and testosterone in healthy adult males. Water extracts of CB (group A) and placebo (group B) was administered for 12 weeks, in two divided doses of 500 mg. Assessment was done based upon Semen (Volume, Liquefaction Time, Sperm Count, Sperm motility) and Serum Testosterone levels parameters, which showed a significant improvement in the study group A in comparison to the Placebo group. It was concluded that the trial drug was effective in improving male sexual health.

Ashwagandha

Latin Name: Withania Somnifera

Ashwagandha or Withania Somnifera is a widely used herb in Ayurvedic medicines. The berries, leaves and root of this short herb have versatile medicinal values. However, the extract, light in color and bitter in taste is derived from select, handpicked roots. According to Ayurveda, Ashwagandha is excellent for vitality as well as rejuvenation and is a general health booster. Since it is classified as an adaptogen, it can help your body manage stress. Withanolides are the biologically active compounds in Ashwagandha providing steroidal lactones. The higher the withanolide potency in ashwagandha the better the strength of its effects.

Key benefits

  • Powerful Antioxidant and immune booster
  • Withanolides activate enzymes and macrophages (Th1 helper cells), that can engulf diseases before they manifest - defending the body against parasitic, bacterial and viral infections.
  • Studies show that ashwagandha increases white blood cell counts, platelet counts, stem cells in the bone marrow and the amount and diversity of antibodies produced in the body.
  • Its extracts have the ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the body. This causes a dilatation of the blood vessels that carry blood to the genitals, leading to increased sexual desire.
  • It helps increase the testosterone levels in men
  • The neuro-protective qualities repel free radicals and prevent them from damaging cells in the brain. Age related degenerative diseases can be prevented and longevity increased.
  • Maintains heart health through its regulation of blood circulation. It helps to prevent blood clots, stabilises blood sugar and controls cholesterol levels in the body. 
  • It is one of the rare herbs with an Adaptogenic property which is both energising and calming at the same time. It works holistically on the entire body to bring it back to homeostasis (internal balance) and help it to function efficiently. For example it could provide energy to someone feeling sluggish or it can have a calming effect on the nerves of someone feeling tense and anxious.

History

Ashwagandha is a short shrub with small greenish flowers and reddish orange colored fruits. The word Ashwangandha is derived from Sanskrit usages Ashwa (horse) and Gandha (smell) as its roots have the smell of a sweaty horse and renowned for imparting the strength and vigour of a stallion. Ashwagandha has been revered for its healing, aphrodisiac and immune boosting properties. Although all parts of the ashwagandha plant are believed to hold medicinal properties, it is the root that is regarded to be the best for therapy. Ayurveda has used ashwagandha for centuries to promote physical and mental health, improve vitality, longevity and resistance against infections and diseases, arthritis, bronchitis and dropsy to ringworm, scabies and senility. The use of this root can be traced back for over 3,000 years and it is classified as a "rasayan", a rejuvenating and life extending herb. 

Cultivation

Northern states of India.

Extraction Process

has been standardized for: 5% Withanolides 

Certifications

Clinical studies

The roots of Withania somnifera consist primarily of compounds known as withanolides, which are steroidal and bear a resemblance, both in their action and appearance, to the active constituents of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) known as ginsenosides. 

Stress and anxiety reduction: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Safety and Efficacy of a High-Concentration Full-Spectrum Extract of Ashwagandha Root in Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Adults at Ashwins Health Care and Research Centre - Hyderabad, India, using a total of 64 subjects with a history of chronic stress, each enrolled into the study after performing relevant clinical examinations and laboratory tests. These included a measurement of serum cortisol, and assessing their scores on standard stress-assessment questionnaires. They were randomized to either the placebo control group or the study drug treatment group, and were asked to take one capsule twice a day for a period of 60 days. In the study drug treatment group, each capsule contained 300 mg of high-concentration full-spectrum extract from the root of the Ashwagandha plant. The treatment group that was given the high-concentration full-spectrum Ashwagandha root extract exhibited a significant reduction on all the stress-assessment scales on Day 60 than the placebo group. The serum cortisol levels were substantially reduced in the Ashwagandha group, than the placebo group. 

Spermatogenic Activity: A two-arm, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study with random allocation was conducted at five infertility centres in India under the guidelines of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR-GCP), using 46 infertile men, all having a history of regular sexual intercourse over a one-year period with a gynecologically normal female partner with no apparent female infertility. The study subjects were randomized to either: (i) the placebo-treated group (25) or (ii) the Ashwagandha-treated group (21) that were administered one capsule (containing 225 mg of a high-concentration full-spectrum root extract of the Ashwagandha plant with a withanolide content of 5%) orally, thrice daily for a period of 12 weeks. The ashwagandha treated group testing with higher parameters of semen concentration and increased serum hormone levels than the placebo group. 

Male sexual health: There have been several studies on the effect of ashwagandha in male sexual health. The results have demonstrated that treatment of infertile men (with suboptimal levels of testosterone) with 5 grams per day of ashwagandha root extract significantly increased serum testosterone and luteinizing hormone levels and reduced the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and prolactin compared to the control group. There was also a substantial increase in sperm count, concentration, and motility among infertile men. Another experimental study from 2016 also reported increased testosterone with M-A-T combo (Mucuna Pruriens, Ashwagandha and Tribulus Terrestris). M-A-T 1 group received 10 mg Mucuna, 10 mg Ashwagandha and 10 mg Tribulus, while M-A-T 2 received 20g of each. Both groups had considerable increased testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels. 

Muscle Mass and Strength: 57 young male subjects (18-50 years old) with some experience in resistance training were put on a periodized strength training program and given either placebo or 300 mg of ashwagandha root extract twice daily for 8 weeks. Compared to the placebo, ashwagandha group had significantly greater increases in muscle strength on the bench-press exercise (almost 20 kg over placebo) and the leg-extension exercise (by 5 kg). There were also significant improvements in muscle size, serum testosterone, and muscle recovery as measured by plasma creatine kinase.

Ginseng

Latin Name: Panax Ginseng

Panax ginseng, also called Asian Ginseng or Korean Red Ginseng, takes 5-6 years to grow before it can be harvested for medicinal value – but its well worth the wait. Its fresh roots are extensively researched for years and recognised as a nutrient rich medicinal herb. While there are many varieties of Ginseng, the two most commonly used are American (Panax quinquefolius) and Korean or Asian (Panax ginseng). They both work in very different ways – while the Asian ginseng in known to invigorate the body and American ginseng can help soothe calm and reduce body temperature.
Panax Ginseng is rich with active nutrients and the most potent compounds are ginsenosides and gintonin. Its properties extend to antitumour and anti-inflammatory, which slows down the growth of cancerous cells in the body. The antioxidant present in ginsenosides, boosts the immune system. Ginseng Panax has been a common component in the herbal medicines to treat male erectile dysfunction as it contains warming properties that enhances blood circulation and releases testosterone. Not only for men but has proved beneficial for women experiencing perimenopause symptoms. To sum up in one line, in Greek Panax means “Heals All” and Ginseng Panax is often referred to as a “general well-being medication” because it nourishes different systems of the body separately.

Key benefits

  • Panax Ginseng helps to improve memory and the thinking skill among middle aged people.
  • With enormous amounts of antioxidant, it reduces the chances of viral infection by boosting the immune system.
  • Panax Ginseng has also been considered as an aphrodisiac in the medical science. It is used to treat sexual dysfunction by improving symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men and enhances sexual performances.
  • The inflammatory property in panax ginseng slows down the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
  • Adaptogens are those that can help to release stress and help a person to relax. Panax Ginseng is one of the known adaptogens that helps to fight depression, anxiety, and headaches. 
  • It helps to fight fatigue in both men and women and kicks off the tiredness even after a tiring day.
  • It reduces the sugar level in the blood among diabetic people.

History

Panax Ginseng was discovered in the mountains of Manchuria, China, over 5000 years ago. It is likely that ginseng was originally used as a food amongst the farmers and field laborers; many ancient Chinese records show that it was used for medicinal purposes over 3000 years ago. It was revered for its strength-giving properties and rejuvenating powers. Ginseng was, and still remains a powerful symbol of divine harmony on earth. The old Chinese Canon of Medicine states that:
“Ginseng strengthens the soul, brightens the eyes, opens the heart, expels evil, benefits understanding and if taken for prolonged periods of time will invigorate the body and prolongs one's life.”
There was a strong belief that the strength behind the ginseng root strongly stems from its resemblance to the human body. The word ginseng is derived from the Chinese term rénshēn which translates to “man root.” The root has a characteristic forked shape, resembling the legs of a man. It was thought that the closer the resemblance of a root to the human form, the more potent the root when consumed.

Cultivation

Himachal Pradesh, India

Extraction Process

was carried out for 20% ginsenosides using a 20:1 herb ratio.

Certifications

Clinical studies

Erectile Dysfunction:

  • Korea Food Research Institute, Sungnam, South Korea, conducted a systematic review to evaluate the evidence for the effectiveness of red ginseng for treating erectile dysfunction, searching 20 electronic databases without language restrictions. All randomized clinical studies (RCT) of red ginseng as a treatment of erectile dysfunction were considered for inclusion. Collectively these RCTs provide evidence for the effectiveness of red ginseng in the treatment of erectile dysfunction. 
  • A double-blind crossover study evaluating the efficacy of Korean red ginseng in patients with erectile dysfunction was conducted by the Department of Urology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Korea. Using a total of 45 patients with clinically diagnosed erectile dysfunction in a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study, over 8 weeks on treatment, 2 weeks of washout followed by another 8 weeks on treatment. 900mg of Ginseng was administered 3 times a day to the treatment group and a placebo was given to the control group. The Mean International Index of Erectile Function scores were significantly higher in patients treated with the ginseng than in those who received placebo. The trial concluded that ginseng can be an effective alternative for treating male erectile dysfunction.

Cognitive Function: The Korean Longitudinal Study on Cognitive Aging and Dementia conducted an observational study on the effects of lifetime cumulative ginseng intake on the cognitive function in an elder population.3918 participants completed the 2-year and 4-year follow-up evaluations. Subjects were categorized according to cumulative ginseng intake in no use group, low use group, and high use group. The high use group showed higher CERAD total scores compared to the no use group. The trial concluded in confirming that a prolonged use of ginseng for longer than 5 years may be beneficial to cognitive function in late life.

Diabetes:

  • Risk Factor Modification Centre, St. Michael's Hospital, Canada and the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada, conducted a research review to study the effect of ginseng on glycemic control through data analysis of randomized controlled trials in people with and without diabetes. The result of the review showed that Ginseng significantly improved fasting blood glucose in people with and without diabetes. 
  • The Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, UK, conducted a study to assess the glycaemic effects of single doses of Panax ginseng in young healthy volunteers, using 30 participants through a placebo-controlled, double-blind cross-over. The thirty participants received three treatments: placebo; 200mg Ginseng; 400mg Ginseng. The study demonstrated that ginseng alone significantly lowers fasting blood glucose levels. 

Menopausal: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Institute of Women's Life Medical Science, Korea, conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to investigate the effects of Red Ginseng on surgical menopause symptoms in premenopausal women with gynaecologic cancer, using 55 premenopausal women diagnosed with gynaecologic cancer. The study was performed at Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea. Patients were randomly assigned to two groups Treatment group of 29 patients, receiving 3g red ginseng per day or a placebo control group of 26 patients, for a period of 12 weeks.Through the study, Red ginseng did not show absolute relief of surgical menopause symptoms in premenopausal women after gynecologic cancer surgery. However, the study did demonstrate that KRG may be effective in reducing sexual complaints. 

Sexual Function in women: The Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Iran conducted a 6-week, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial, using 31 participants in each group – controlled and treatment, to evaluate the effects of a combined vitamin E and ginseng supplement on enhancement of female sexual function. The volunteers were randomly allocated to receive the supplement (100 IU vitamin E, 67 mg Korean ginseng, and 40 mg Siberian ginseng) or placebo daily. The treatment group found significantly heighted levels of sexual desire and satisfaction compared to the placebo group. However, the study could not find additional benefits for the vitamin E and ginseng supplement over placebo in enhancing the overall sexual function.

Antioxidant: Liver and Immunology Research Center, Daejeon Oriental Hospital, South Korea conducted a double-blind randomized controlled design, using 82 healthy participants (21 men and 61 women). They were divided into three groups, the control group received a placebo and the other two groups received the ginseng extract (1g and 2g/day respectively) for 4 weeks. The findings indicate that ginseng enhanced the antioxidant defence mechanism in the treatment groups and the results reinforce the use of Panax ginseng as a potential antioxidant supplement.

Gokhru

Latin Name: Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus terrestris or Gokshru is an Ayurvedic herb most commonly known for its immunity boosting, aphrodisiac and rejuvenation properties. Its name is derived from two sanskrit words; ‘Go’ meaning cow and ‘Aakshura’ meaning hoof, as the fruits of this plant resemble the hooves of cows. Apart from being renowned as an Ayurveda herb that is mostly recommended for male health including virility and vitality, and specifically more catered towards cardiovascular and urogenital health, it has also been used in Traditional Chinese medicine. It is a common supplement for its libido enhancing properties and supposed testosterone boosting properties. Gokshru helps a variety of other health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney stones, erectile dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, and act as a diuretic.

Key benefits

  • Gokshru holds anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties prevents urinary infections.
  • It prevents the formation of kidney stones and helps to break or reduce the size of the formed ones 
  • It is a natural antioxidant
  • The adaptogenic nature of Gokshru helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety and stimulates the hormones for increasing libido. 
  • The bioactive constituents present in Gokshru play a key role in maintaining cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Helps maintain the blood glucose levels
  • It contains one steroidal saponin in particular – protodioscin – which is thought to be the active nutrient responsible for the release of nitric oxide which in turn increases the flow of oxygen rich blood to muscles, and enables better use of nutrients such as protein. 

History

Tribulus Terrestris is native to sub-Himalayan forests of India, Burma, and several other countries. It is common forest plant, and grows around villages where it is worshipped by the Hindus during the Dasara festival. It has a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic practices and was widely used to treat sexual disorders in both men and women. The Chinese have used Tribulus for over 400 years. Many different cultures have used it for a number of purposes. For example, the Greeks used Tribulus terrestris as a diuretic and a mood-enhancer.

Cultivation

Madhya Pradesh, India

Extraction Process

has been standardized for: 40% Steroidal Saponins

Certifications

Clinical studies

Low Sperm Count: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study conducted by the Government Ayurveda Medical College and Hospital, Tamil Nadu, India, using subjects between the age of 21 and 50 years, with a complaint of low sperm count. These volunteers were randomized to receive either Gokshru granules or placebo granules for 60 days. The Gokshura granules have shown superior results in the management of low sperm count, as compared to the placebo granules.

Diabetes: Department of Midwifery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran conducted a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of Tribulus Terrestris extract of on the blood glucose and lipid profile of women with non-insulin-dependent diabetes. 98 women with diabetes mellitus type 2 were randomly allocated to receive the Tribulus terrestris (1000 mg/d) or placebo for 3 months. The results showed that Tribulus terrestris group had a significant glucose-lowering effect in diabetic women compared to placebo. The total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein of the Tribulus terrestris group was also significantly reduced compared with placebo.

Male sexual function: Clinic of Endocrinology, Alexandrovska University Hospital, Bulgaria, conducted a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to compare the efficacy of extracts of the plant Tribulus terrestris (TT), in comparison with placebo, for the treatment of men with erectile dysfunction (ED). The secondary objective was to evaluate the level of lipids in blood during treatment as well as to monitor the safety profile of the drug. The trial used 180 males aged between 18 and 65 years with mild or moderate ED. 90 of them were randomized to a Bulgarian herbal medicine containing 250mg of TT and 90 to the placebo group. Following the 12-week treatment period, significant improvement in sexual function was observed with TT group compared with placebo in men with mild to moderate ED. TT was well tolerated for the treatment of ED and with no reported adverse events reported during or after the trial, the herb was considered to have a safe profile.

Vidarikand

Latin Name: Pueraria Tuberosa

Vidarikhand is a perennial herb known as Indian Kudzu in common terms. The widely spread tuberous roots are round, starchy, white in colour, and have a sweet taste. The flowers of the herb are usually a pretty hue of blue or purplish-blue tone. Vidarikhand is native to India, Pakistan and Nepal and widely spread throughout the forests of Himalayas, and even in other areas of Mount Abu, Punjab, Sikkim, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Central India. Although the plant is cultivated in several parts of India, the best source of good Vidarikhand is from the forests and riverfronts where the plant grows in the wild. The tubers of the plant are enriched with bio active components help treating and providing relief from infections, male and female reproductive problems, skin conditions, heart issues, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, fever, allergy, asthma, blood infections, and rheumatoid arthritis. Widely prevalent use of this herbal remedy is in the Ayurvedic systems and with more clinical testing being done, this herb is gaining more popularity in modern medicine.

Key benefits

  • Boosts Immunity – the antioxidants and bioactive components makes Vidarikhand a widely used traditional remedy for improving the immune system, fighting microbes and shielding the body against various infections. 
  • It has strong anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antifungal properties, essential for preventing infections like fever, common cold, sore throat, and other respiratory anomalies.
  • Help increase the production of prolactin and corticoids, which improve lactation and the quality of breast milk.
  • Vidarikhand helps boost libido and improving fertility in men. 
  • Has strong aphrodisiac properties that help in reducing mental stress and anxiety as well as stimulate the production of testosterone that increases fertility and libido. 
  • It plays a key role in increasing virility and stamina in men. 
  • Slows the ageing process due to its regenerative effects. 
  • Helps in tissue repair and regeneration due to the potent antioxidant activity, 
  • It protects against cellular damage, and hence reduces the ageing process in the tissues of the heart, lungs, liver, and skin. 
  • Aids in cardiac functioning as it is a natural cardio-protective herb. 
  • On account of its anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and anti-asthmatic properties, the root powder of Vidarikhand is effective in treating the common cold, cough and flu symptoms. 

History

The word has been derived from the explanation ‘vidaarayati iti vidaari’ which literally means the one that causes a breakage or crack, referring to the large tubers of the plant which tend to break through the surface of the earth. Since ancient Ayurvedic times, this herb has been used for improving the production of milk in lactating mothers. Owing to its high spermatogenic properties, it helped in increasing both quality and quantity of semen in males and also increasing the mobility of the sperms and enhancing libido. The roots of this plant have also been extensively used to treat chest pain, fever and rheumatism. 

Cultivation

Odisha, India

Extraction Process

has been standardized for: 2% Flavanoids using a 10:1 herb ratio and ensuring the content of natural steroids remains intact in the extraction process

Certifications

Kapikacchu | Mucuna

Latin Name: Mucuna Pruriens

Kapikachhu or Mucuna Pruriens or Velvet beans is a tropical bean plant and grows on vines. The surface of the bean has serotonin like substance on it, which makes it extremely itchy to touch. Its the seeds of the Mucuna Pruriens that are used for their medicinal properties. The term “mucuna” refers to a plant family of about 150 different tropical legumes of which Mucuna pruriens has the highest medicinal value. The taste of Mucuna is bitter and somewhat similar to coffee, which is why it is still used in Central America as a coffee substitute. The beans are rich with a Levodopa (L-DOPA), an amino acid that works as a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter, which the body makes, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. The right amount of Dopamine is required for alertness, Focus, Motivation, and Happiness. Along with other neurotransmitters serotonin and Adrenaline, Dopamine is involved in many functions in our body like Motor Control, Moods, Sleep, Stress response, Memory, Blood flow, and digestion. L-dopa is consumed to increase dopamine concentrations in the body. In addition to L-DOPA, Mucuna also has some other constituents that aid the benefits of L-DOPA. The seeds have anti-inflammatory properties and are known for their medicinal properties that are effective in boosting libido, elevating mood, improving focus, and lowering stress. 

Key benefits

  • Mucuna has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for male infertility, nervous disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and as an aphrodisiac
  • Sometimes called “magical velvet beans.” this magic refers to its potential to improve brain health. 
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Helps in smooth muscle contractions which help improve digestive function and boost proper elimination of wastes from the body
  • Enhances mood- the dopamine action helps reduce stress levels, improve mood, as well as alleviate symptoms of depression. 
  • Increase libido (men and women), increase sperm count, enhance blood circulation to the genitals, strengthen and tone the sexual glands 
  • Increasing the level of bio-available testosterone.
  • By raising low dopamine levels, it can have a positive effect on motivation, attention span, the ability to relax and general mental well-being.
  • The anti-oxidant properties of Mucuna offer protection against damages caused by oxidative stress and other activities like protein damage or DNA strand breakage. 
  • Deficiency of Dopamine causes a nervous disorder called Parkinson’s Disease. Several global resources are researching L-DOPA use for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. Dopamine which is associated with pleasure, also plays a critical role in muscle control. L-dopa is synthesized in the brain into dopamine, and is used as a treatment in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Mucuna is a powerful aphrodisiac which has been used in the management of male sexual disorders. It increases mood and sexual performance. 
  • It has been traditionally used to improves sperm count and motility.  
  • Often referred to as “nature’s chill pill”, Mucuna is an adoptogenic herbs and contain a unique set of phytonutrients that feed the adrenals, balance hormones and significantly reduce stress levels by lowering cortisol. 

History

Macuna Pruriens is originally from southern China and eastern India but is now cultivated throughout the tropics. In the Himalayas and Mauritius, both the green pods and the mature beans from Mucuna pruriens are a staple diet and are boiled and eaten. In Guatemala and Mexico, it is roasted and ground to make a coffee substitute widely known in the region as “Nescafé”
Mucuna is classified in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a jing enhancing herb. Jing translates roughly as “life force” or “vital essence”. Jing is believed to be depleted as we age, making Mucuna a prized herb in Chinese medicine for longevity as well as being a powerful aphrodisiac and adaptogenic herb. 
In India, it is an important aphrodisiac herb as per Ayurvedic Medicine. Susruta, the father of ancient medicine, mentions the use of the seeds as promoters of virility. It is referred to as visya - a substance that improves sexual vitality and functioning.

Cultivation

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, India

Extraction Process

has been standardized for 40% L-DOPA using a 15:1 herb ratio

Certifications

Clinical studies

Male Health: 

  • Department of Biochemistry, C.S.M. Medical University, Lucknow, India, conducted a prospective study to understand the effects of Mucuna pruriens in the treatment of male infertility. 75 normal healthy fertile men (control group) and 75 men undergoing infertility screening (treatment group) were used in this clinical study. It was observed that treatment with Mucuna significantly improved Testosterone, Luteinizing Hormones, dopamine, adrenaline, and noradrenaline levels in infertile men and reduced levels of Follicle stimulating hormones and Prolactin levels. Sperm count and mobility were significantly increased in infertile men after treatment. It was concluded that the treatment with Mucuna regulates improves semen quality in infertile men.
  • Department of Biochemistry, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Department of Urology and Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow India, undertook a study using 120 men between the ages of 30-38 years - 60 of them were undergoing infertility screening and were found to be suffering from psychological stress. The other 60 were healthy men having normal semen parameters and who had previously initiated at least one pregnancy. It was observed that oral administration of Mucuna (5g day) to infertile men for 3 months not only resulted in general improvement in sperm count and mobility but it also led to significant reduction in the level of psychological stress. On the basis of results, it was be concluded that Mucuna not only reactivates the anti-oxidant defence system of infertile men but it also helps in the management of stress and improves semen quality.

Jaiphal / Nutmeg

Latin Name: Myristica fragrans 

The irrestible flavour of the jaiphal seed is known in many Indian cuisines, whether it is your Hyderabadi Biryani or one of the several Indian desserts, the distinctive taste of the sweet jaiphal seed adds a delightfully piquant flavour to your food. Despite its name jaiphal is actually the seed found inside the ripe fruit of the tree, after it's been picked and split open. There is a delicate lacy membrane that surrounds the seed which once removed and dried is another spice used in cuisines called mace. The trees were originally native to the spice islands of Indonesia, however they are now cultivated in Malaysia, the Caribbean and Southern India as well. jaiphal is a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect against the signs of aging and serious conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and liver disease. jaiphal is rich in fibre, which helps keep the digestive system healthy and controls blood sugar. The principal constituents of jaiphal and mace are steam volatile oil (essential oil), fixed (fatty) oil, proteins, cellulose, pentosans, starch, resin and mineral elements. 

Key benefits

  • Potent Anti-inflammatory Effects: Jaiphal has essential volatile oils like myristicin, elemicin, eugenol and safrole with powerful anti-inflammatory properties is well-known to ease muscles and joints pain and lessen swelling.
  • Brain Health: The essential oils are effective in alleviating stress. The adaptogen nature of nutmeg works both as a stimulant and a sedative. 
  • Jaiphal has a calming effect when consumed in smaller doses. Various ancient medicinal practices credit it for its sleep inducing and de-stressing effects. According to Ayurveda, you should add a pinch of jaiphal to a glass of warm milk and have it before sleeping.
  • It helps in the secretion of digestive enzymes, bringing relief and promoting bowel movement. The carminative effect helps removing excessive gas from the system and easing any digestive issues you may be suffering from.
  • Jaiphal helps eliminate toxins from the liver and kidneys and cleanse the system. 
  • The antibacterial properties help against harmful bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease. Additionally the essential eugenol oil aids in easing toothaches.
  • The antibacterial properties help against harmful bacteria that cause dental cavities and gum disease. Additionally the essential eugenol oil aids in easing toothaches.
  • Its high mineral content makes jaiphal a good ingredient for regulating blood circulation and pressure. It contains calcium, iron, potassium and manganese which are all essential for various functions in the body

History

The jaiphal tree originates in Banda, the largest of the Molucca spice islands of Indonesia. The English word jaiphal comes from the Latin nux, meaning nut, and muscat, meaning musky. Both jaiphal and mace were discovered as early as the 1st century A.D. when Roman author Pliny spoke of a tree bearing nuts with two flavours. Later, Emperor Henry VI had the streets of Rome fumigated with jaiphal before his coronation. In the 6th century, jaiphal were brought by Arab merchants to Constantinople. In the 14th century, half a kilogram of jaiphal cost as much as three sheep or a cow. But it was the 1600s when jaiphal became worthy of starting wars! The Dutch waged a bloody war, including the massacre and enslavement of the inhabitants of the island of Banda, just to control jaiphal production in the East Indies. All this because jaiphal was fashionable among the wealthy as a hallucinogenic and could make you feel as if you were floating. 

Cultivation

Kerala, India

Extraction Process

has been standardized for: 6% Volatiles using a 5:1 herb ratio and ensuring the content of Phenyl Propanoid remains unchanged in the extraction process

Certifications

Interactions: Nutmeg should always be used in smaller doses whether in cooking or home remedies for treating various ailments. If used in larger doses, it can cause nausea, hallucination and palpitations.

Ginkgo Biloba

Latin Name: Ginkgo Biloba/ Salisburia adiantifolia

Ginkgo Biloba tree is one of the oldest trees in the world, and the leaves and seeds have been used traditionally in China for thousands of years due to their heal properties, and revered throughout Asia where it symbolises longevity and enlightenment. The tree, with its elegant, fan-shaped leaves and foul-smelling fruits is valued for its medicinal properties. Known popularly as a ‘living fossil’ that has been essentially unchanged for over 200 million years, this tree has no known living relatives in its species. The leaves of the tree help boost circulation and influence neurotransmitter activity in the brain, which gives ginkgo a reputation as an herbal remedy for cognitive, memory and mental health concerns. There are two groups of chemicals that can be found in a Ginkgo Biloba leaf - flavonoids and terpenoids. Flavonoids aid capillary function and are powerful antioxidants. Terpenoids control platelet-activating factor (PAF) for inflammations and immune reactions in the body.

Key benefits

  • The flavonoids in Ginkgo biloba act as antioxidants and improve blood flow. This effect also promotes eye health, protect against aging-related issues such as dementia by improving blood flow to the brain
  • Bitter ginkgolides are compounds in the leaf, of which ginkgolide B provides a blood thinning property which leads to decreased blood clotting, better circulation and reduced inflammation – all of which are beneficial to a healthy heart.
  • Helps in reducing the symptoms of asthma.
  • Ginkgo can increase blood flow by promoting the dilation of blood vessels. This may have applications for the treatment of diseases related to poor circulation. The improvement in circulation also improves cognitive function as the steady supply of oxygen rich blood to the brain increases. With improved blood flow to the brain, ginkgo extracts help to improve memory, concentration and thought processes. 
  • Ginkgo may also be effective for people with high anxiety.

History

It was stated by Charles Darwin in 1959 that the Ginkgo Biloba tree is a "living fossil". This hardy tree not only survived the Ice Age, a large and ancient ginkgo tree actually survived the nuclear bomb blast at Hiroshima in 1945. Sitting only 1.1 km away from where the atomic bomb landed. The recorded medicinal uses of Ginkgo in China can be tracked back nearly 5000 years, chiefly as a treatment for asthma, however it was only about a 1000 years back that the tree started getting cultivated for its medicinal properties. Toward the end of the 20th century, ginkgo extract became popular in many countries for its purported memory-enhancing properties.

Cultivation

China

Extraction Process

has been standardized for: 24% Flavones using a 10:1 herb ratio for extraction

Certifications

Interactions: Ginkgo Biloba helps to thin the blood and can cause excessive bleeding and should be avoided before any surgery or dental procedure. People on blood thinning medication such as aspirin, should consult their doctor before taking Ginkgo. 

Clinical studies

Heart Health: 

  • The Department of Cardiology, Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, China conducted a study to test the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) on heart health and coronary artery disease (CAD) for a period of 2 weeks. Eighty CAD patients were randomly assigned to GBE (n = 42) and control (n = 38) groups. The results suggest that GBE treatment in CAD patients led to an increase of blood flow.
  • The Department of Cardiology, Second Hospital of Hebei Medical University, China. designed the study to test the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) in improving coronary blood flow in healthy elderly adults. Using sixty healthy elderly adults that were randomly assigned to either GBE or control groups. The data suggests that GBE treatment in healthy elderly adults leads to the increase of blood flow, and the increased response might relate to the improved vasodilatory capacity. 

Brain function 

  • Department of Health Sciences, Liberty University, USA conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of Ginkgo biloba extract in a sample of 262 (both male and female) cognitively intact older adults, 60 years of age or older, over a 6-week trial period. The aim of this research was to conduct the first known, large-scaled clinical trial of the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba extract on the neuropsychological functioning of cognitively intact older adults. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 180 mg per day of Ginkgo biloba extract or placebo. The results from both objectives, standardized, neuropsychological tests and a subjective, follow-up self-report questionnaire provided evidence to support the efficacy of Ginkgo biloba in enhancing certain neuropsychological/memory processes of cognitively intact older adults, 60 years of age and over.
  • Institute for Medical Psychology, University of Munich, Germany, conducted a 4-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, monocentric study with the objective to evaluate the short-term effects of Ginkgo Biloba extract on the mental functioning and quality of life in healthy volunteers. Sixty-six healthy volunteers aged between 50 and 65 years without age-associated cognitive impairment were randomized, 32 into the placebo group and 34 into the Ginkgo Biloba treatment group administered 240mg of GBE per day. The findings of this study supports the intake of Ginkgo Biloba Extract significantly improves the self-estimated quality of life, motor performance and emotional evaluation for those in the treatment group in comparison to the placebo group. The results suggest a positive effect of GBE on the subjective emotional well-being of healthy elderly persons.

Saffron

Latin Name: Crocus Sativas

The dried stigmas of the Crocus sativus (Saffron) flower are used to make saffron spice. This variety is special because it’s a triploid, which means it can’t grow in the wild or reproduce without human intervention. The gorgeous purple flower is painstakingly propagated and harvested by hand, and only on the morning it blooms. The more careful the cultivation, the higher the price.
It can take 75,000 saffron blossoms to produce a single pound of saffron spice making it one of the world's most expensive spices. The plant originated in Greece, where it was revered for its medicinal properties. People would eat saffron to enhance libido, boost mood, and improve memory. As a food, saffron is used as a spice, food colouring, and as a flavouring agent. Commercially saffron extracts are used as fragrance in perfumes. As a medicinal plant it has many therapeutic effects and is composed of more than 150 chemicals of which four are the most active that include crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin and safranal. These chemicals alter mood, kill cancer cells, decrease swelling, and act like antioxidants.

Key benefits

  • Powerful antioxidant from the chemical Safranal which gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma, help improve your mood, memory, and learning ability, as well as protect your brain cells against oxidative stress
  • Crocin - the main antioxidant in saffron — may make cancer cells more sensitive to chemotherapy drugs
  • Saffron is nicknamed the “sunshine spice,” not just due to its colour, but because it helps brighten your mood.
  • Acts as a powerful aphrodisiac for both men and women
  • Helps reduce appetite and promote weight loss

History

Saffron is a natural compound that has been used for centuries in many parts of the world as a food colorant and additive. It was shown to have the ability to mitigate various disorders through its known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It was brought to India by the Mughals that made India their home in the 16th century, however the story of the spice goes back 4000 years to Greece and Iraq, where archaeologists discovered that cave dwellers have used the powerful orange colour of the Saffron stigma as a component of their paint. Saffron has been used historically to treat everything from heartache to haemorrhoids by traditional healers. 

Cultivation

Kashmir, India

Extraction Process

has been extracted under a 50:1 herb ratio ensuring the content of Crocin and Safranal are optimized in the extraction process.

Certifications

Clinical studies

As a medicinal plant: The Department of Pharmacodynamy and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Iran, conducted a study to review the strengths and weaknesses of some of the clinical trials about different pharmacological effects of saffron. 8 anti-depressant clinical trials in comparison to placebo or some antidepressant drugs, were studied, in which saffron showed effectiveness as an antidepressant drug. Other clinical trials on anti-Alzheimer effect of saffron demonstrated that it was more effective than the placebo, and as effective as donepezil. A clinical trial on weight loss treatment, proved that saffron could reduce snacking frequency. Several other clinical trials conducted on women with premenstrual syndrome showed that saffron could reduce PMS symptoms more than the placebo.

Depression: The Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Szeged, Hungary, carried out a literature review referencing, published, randomized, controlled clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of saffron in mild to moderate depression, compared to placebo or routinely used antidepressants. Eleven randomized trials were included in the qualitative analysis, and nine were pooled for statistical analysis. According to the findings, saffron has a significant effect on the severity of depression.

Sexual function: 

  • IN MEN: The Psychiatric Research Center, Roozbeh Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran, conducted a 4-week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study to assess the efficacy and tolerability of saffron in fluoxetine-related sexual dysfunction, using 36 married male patients with depressive disorder being treated with an antidepressant and had complaints of sexual impairment. The patients were randomly assigned to saffron (15 mg twice per day) or placebo for 4 weeks. The trial showed that Saffron is an efficient treatment for anti-depressant-related erectile dysfunction.

Mood: The University of Southern Queensland, School of Psychology and Counselling, Australia conducted a 3 arm study to investigate the efficacy of a standardised Saffron extract for improving mood, stress, anxiety and sleep quality in healthy adults, over a 4 week double-blind, parallel, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. 128 participants with low mood but not diagnosed with depression, were given the saffron extract at 28mg/day, 22mg/day, for 4 weeks. The saffron extract increased mood, reduced anxiety and managed stress without side effects, offering a natural alternative to standard treatments