Did You Know…that 3 natural extracts may hold the key to stopping inflammation–a major cause of many serious health problems–from diabetes to cancer, as well as visible signs of aging?
Scientists at Kingston University in London, England say they were “astonished” recently by the power of 3 natural extracts–white tea, witch hazel, and rose–to stop inflammation. Their exciting study results were published in the December 2011 issue of the Journal of Inflammation.
“For thousands of years people used natural remedies to try–and sometimes succeed–in curing their ailments and preserving their youth,” said Professor Declan Naughton, from the University of Kingston’s School of Life Sciences.
“Now the latest research we have carried out suggests a number of naturally-occurring substances may offer the hope of new treatments to block the progression of inflammation and even stop inflammation.”
Inflammation “The Secret Killer”
That’s exceptional news considering that inflammation has been confirmed to play a major role in the initiation and development of numerous serious diseases, including:
- Neurodegenerative conditions
- Heart disease
- Pulmonary problems
Inflammation has also been implicated in premature aging and early death. “Inflammation is a secret killer–helping arrest its development, or being able to stop it from happening at all, would clearly be of benefit,” Professor Naughton explained.
Of 21 Plants Tested, 3 Stood Above the Rest
The research team tested 21 plant extracts for evidence of their ability to fight cancer and prevent aging. Of the 21 extracts, white tea, witch hazel, and rose stood above the rest, and white tea above all showed outstanding results.
“Indeed, it appeared that drinking a simple cup of white tea might well help reduce an individual’s risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, or even just age-associated wrinkles,” Professor Naughton said.
Based on such promising lab results, the team took their research a step further and attempted to replicate the results in human skin cells. “As the largest organ in the body, the skin provides a barrier against UV radiation, chemicals, microbes, and physical pollutants,” said study co-author, Professor Tamsyn Thring.
“Challenges like this can contribute to both inflammation and skin aging. [W]hen inflammation starts–be it a simple cut to a finger or in an arthritic joint–the body starts producing a compound called interleukin 8, which helps the process along. We began wondering if there was a way we could switch that signal off, thereby blocking the inflammation’s progress.”
The researchers tested the extracts for their ability to suppress the “rogue enzymes” and oxidants (also known as free radicals) that cause inflammation and age the skin.
They used 3 different concentrations of each extract to stop inflammation:
- White tea (freeze dried powder)
- Witch hazel (dried herb)
- Rose extract (in a medicinal tincture form)
The team was amazed to see how well the various concentrations worked to suppress inflammation. Additional future studies will help determine the best way to use these extracts–both preventative and in the treatment of various ailments.
Meanwhile, you may wish to incorporate these extraordinary remedies into your health and personal care routines.
Natural health practitioners use all 3 of these plants for both internal and external applications, but cautions apply.
For example, experts warn that standard commercial formulations of witch hazel contain a type of alcohol not intended for human consumption, and thus should never be used internally.