Category Archives: Complementary medicine

In addition to traditional medical approaches, complementary therapies, sometimes called “alternative” therapies can also provide relief. Various herbal and other natural ingredients are considered.

Bitter Kola boosts libido and beats osteoarthritis

Results of a study published in African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology have confirmed that bitter kola possesses sexual enhancing effects on male rats as evidenced by the increased mounting (MF) and intromission (IF) frequencies with increased number of subsequent ejaculations over the 20 min observation period.bitter-kola

The study is titled “Effects of ethanolic extract of Garcinia kola on sexual behaviour and sperm parameters in male Wistar rats.”

Another study published in Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research by medical doctors, pharmacists and nurses at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH) concluded: “Garcinia kola appeared to have clinically significant analgesic/anti-inflammatory effects in knee osteoarthritis patients. Garcinia kola is a potential osteoarthritis disease activity modifier with good mid term outcome. Further studies are required for standardization of dosages and to determine long-term effects.”

The study is titled “Clinical effects of Garcinia kola in knee osteoarthritis.”

Comment: Whoa…, I think I need this.

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Acute liver injury due to Limbrel

A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine described 4 patients out of 877 enrolled in the study who had signs and symptoms of acute liver injury due to limbrel  taking the medical food, Limbrel, for osteoarthritis.  Liver function abnormalities were substantial but resolved within 3 to 12 weeks of drug discontinuation. The fact that something is a “food” or “natural” doesn’t make it 100% safe.

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Do Bee Stings Work for Rheumatoid Arthritis? Yes… and Here’s How…

honey-beeApitherapy, the therapeutic use of honeybee products, has been studied in a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). How bee venom works in this disease has been a mystery… until now.

A recent study investigated the molecular mechanisms behind bee venom’s impact on RA, a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory disease. It appears that melittin, a major component of bee venom is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.

The researchers examined its action in a rat model of rheumatoid arthritis. For rats with advanced RA, treatment with bee venom at very low doses resulted in dramatic reductions of tissue swelling and bone spur formation in affected paws.

Next, the researchers examined the anti-inflammatory effects of bee venom on synovial cells, the cells that line the joints, from RA patients. They found melittin was able to block the expression of inflammatory genes, similar to the way non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) used to treat arthritis, act.

Melittin effectively reduces inflammation by inhibiting critical DNA binding activity of NF-Kb (nuclear factor kappa beta), which directly controls a number of genes involved in immune reactions.  As a result, melittin is able to effectively inactivate inflammation in a specific fashion.

The authors stated, “The potency of melittin in the inhibition of inmflammatory response may be of great benefit in degenerative and inflammatory diseases such as RA.  The extent of inhibitory effects of melittin in most parameters determined in the present study is similar to or greater than bee venom itself, suggesting that melittin may be a major causative component in the pharmacologic effects of bee venom.” (Park HJ, et al. Antiarthritis effect of bee venom: Inhibition of inflammation mediator generation by suppression of NF-Kb through interaction with the p50 subunit. Arthritis Rheum. 2004; 50(11): 3504-3515.

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