Because the best inquiring minds want to know, we will continue to add references on clinical studies pointing to research related to alternative herbal medicine. These entries are in no particular order and this page will be updated over time.
1. “The results showed that the curry spice inhibited cancer cell viability and triggered cell death in three different melanoma cell samples.”
2. Researchers found that curcumin (a constituent in turmeric) caused cell death in eight melanoma cell lines. According to the Mayo Clinic turmeric is also a natural antioxidant.
3. Curcumin has been shown through studies to have a positive effect on both squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas. According to the American Association for Cancer Research The addition of curcumin resulted in a dose-dependent growth inhibition of all three cell lines.
4. A study was conducted to determine whether a liposomal formulation of curcumin would suppress the growth of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cell lines CAL27 and UM-SCC1 in vitro and in vivo. CONCLUDED that liposomal curcumin suppresses HNSCC growth in vitro and in vivo. The results suggest that liposomal curcumin is a viable nontoxic therapeutic agent for HNSCC that may work via an AKT-independent pathway.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
5. The result of the present study showed that Thymus vulgaris has antibacterial activities against Gram positive and negative pathogenic bacteria. “Our results supported the results of advanced studies that used Thymus spp. extracts as antimicrobial agents depend on presence of both thyme essential oil and thymol. Also, these studies suggested use of thyme as an antibiotic. Thymol is 25 times as effective as phenol, but less toxic.”
6. The antiviral effect of aqueous extracts from species of the lamiaceae family against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 and type 2 in vitro. “Both types of Herpes virus including ACVres were considerably neutralized after treatment with the extracts prior to infection. At maximum non-cytotoxic concentrations of the extracts, plaque formation was significantly reduced by > 90% for HSV-1 and HSV-2 and > 85 % for ACVres. Therefore, the extracts exert their antiviral effect on free HSV and offer a chance to use them for topical therapeutic application against recurrent Herpes infections.”
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia)
7. The results of a study from 2003 in Pakistan showed as little as 1 gram a day of cinnamon may benefit people who have Type 2 Diabetes. The study concluded that cinnamon lowered levels of fasting glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol after 40 days with levels continuing to drop for 20 days following.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
8. “Mosquito repellency was tested by determining the bite-deterrence of product samples applied on an experimental bird’s skin against a 2-day starved culture of Aedes aegypti L. mosquitoes. The 1%v/v solution and 15%v/w cream and ointment preparations of the oil exhibited 50% repellency lasting 2–3 h, which may be attributed to citral, a major oil constituent. This activity was comparable to that of a commercial mosquito repellent. Base properties of the lemongrass oil formulations influenced their effectiveness. The oil demonstrated efficacy from the different bases in the order of hydrophilic base > emulsion base > oleaginous base.”
9. “Of these [essential oils], lemongrass essential oil possessed the most potent anti-HSV-1 activity and completely inhibited viral replication after incubation for 24 h, even at a concentration of 0.1%.”
Aloe (Aloe vera)
10. “The botanical medicines Centella asiatica and Aloe vera have been used for decades, both topically and internally, to enhance wound repair, and scientific studies are now beginning to validate efficacy and explore mechanisms of action for these botanicals.”
See “Topical Wound Care” table under menu Definitions.
11. In a randomized, blinded clinical trial to determine the effect of aloe vera gel/mild soap versus mild soap alone in preventing skin reactions in patients undergoing radiation therapy, it was concluded that “when the cumulative dose increases over time, there seems to be a protective effect of adding aloe to the soap regimen.”
Plantain (Plantago major)
12. Published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine: A study was conducted to investigate the antiviral, cytotoxic and immunomodulatory activities of hot water extracts of the two species [Plantago major & Plantago asiatica] in vitro on a series of viruses, namely herpesviruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2), adenoviruses (ADV-3, ADV-8 and ADV-11), and on various human leukemia, lymphoma and carcinoma cells with XTT, BrdU and IFN-gamma kits. “Results showed that hot water extract of P. asiatica possessed significant inhibitory activity on the proliferation of lymphoma (U937) and carcinoma (bladder, bone, cervix, kidney, lung and stomach) cells and on viral infection (HSV-2 and ADV-11). P. major and P. asiatica both exhibited dual effects of immunodulatory activity, enhancing lymphocyte proliferation and secretion of interferon-gamma at low concentrations (< 50 microg/ml), but inhibiting this effect at high concentration (> 50 microg/ml). The present study concludes that hot water extracts of P. major and P. asiatica possess abroad-spectrum of antileukemia, anticarcinoma and antiviral activities, as well as activities which modulate cell-mediated immunity.”
Sweet Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
13. “Extracts and purified components of OB were used to identify possible antiviral activities against DNA viruses (herpes viruses (HSV), adenoviruses (ADV) and hepatitis B virus) and RNA viruses (coxsackievirus B1 (CVB1) and enterovirus 71 (EV71)). The results show that crude aqueous and ethanolic extracts of OB and selected purified components, namely apigenin, linalool and ursolic acid, exhibit a broad spectrum of antiviral activity. Of these compounds, ursolic acid showed the strongest activity against HSV-1, whereas apigenin showed the highest activity against HSV-2, hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B e antigen, and linalool showed strongest activity against AVD-II.”
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
14. Chamomile flowers are rich in flavonoids. The primary flavonoids are apigenin with smaller amounts of luteolin and quercetin. Chamomile extracts inhibit both cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase in vitro.* In one [Germany] trial, chamomile was found to have an effect that was 60% as active as 0.25% hydrocortisone when applied topically.** In another trial, the chamomile ointment was effective in reducing dermatitis.***
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
15. Pentacyclic triterpene trihydroxyalcohols, flavonoids, and saponins have been isolated and may contribute to Calendula’s anti-inflammatory and wound-healing actions topically.
White Tea & Green Tea
16. As an antioxidant: The inhibition of reporter activity was recapitulated by white tea and green tea, each tested at a 25 μM EGCG equivalent concentration in the assay. These data are consistent with the findings from in vivo studies, showing the suppression of intestinal polyps by tea, via an apparent down-regulation of β-catenin and Wnt target genes.
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
17. A parthenolide-depleted extract of Feverfew (PD-Feverfew), which was free of sensitization potential, was found to possess free radical scavenging activity against a wide range of reactive oxygen species and with greater activity than Vitamin C. In vitro, PD-Feverfew restored cigarette smoke-mediated depletion of cellular thiols, attenuated the formation of UV-induced hydrogen peroxide and reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine release.
18. One study evaluated the benefits of feverfew PFE in patients with sensitive skin. The study involved 31 women who applied a topical formulation of feverfew PFE and sunscreen in the morning and feverfew PFE moisturizer without sunscreen in the evening daily for 3 weeks. Weekly clinical evaluations revealed significant improvement in redness, roughness, and irritation, ranging from 60% to 80% compared with baseline. Patients noticed improvement in skin redness, blotchiness, dryness, tightness, and texture within 1 week.
19. Background: Sirtuins (SIRT1) link nutrient availability and energy metabolism. Calorie restriction, which increases lifespan and is beneficial in age-related disorders, activates sirtuin. Major efforts are thus focused to developing sirtuin activators. To date, resveratrol is the most potent natural compound able to activate SIRT1, mimicking the positive effect of calorie restriction. Resveratrol might help in the treatment or prevention of obesity and in preventing the aging-related decline in heart function and neuronal loss.
20. Other studies have found that resveratrol actually fights breast cancer.
21. Patchouli oil can be used to treat skin problems such as dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema, and can protect skin wounds from infection and scarring due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. The oil is also useful in removal of blemishes.
Oregon Grape Root
22. Two hundred subjects participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using either the topical cream Reliéva (a homeopathic product containing a proprietary M. aquifolium extract) or control (placebo) twice a day for 12 weeks. mild to moderate psoriasis.
23. Roots and stem-bark of Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape) (Berberidaceae) are effectively used in the treatment of skin inflammatory conditions. In the present study, the effect of Mahonia aquifolium crude extract and its two representative alkaloid fractions containing protoberberine and bisbenzylisoquinoline (BBIQ) alkaloids on activity of 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX), was studied. The reactivity with 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH), a free stable radical, was evaluated to elucidate the rate of possible lipid-derived radical scavenging in the mechanism of the enzyme inhibition.
24. Mahonia root and stem bark have long been considered to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activity and they are used particularly for treatment of skin diseases [1-4]. They are indicated for treatment of the eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
1. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 57(12):1121-1122, June 15, 2000. Grant, Kathryn L. Pharm.D.; Schneider, Craig D. M.D.
2. Experimental Cell Research Volume 271, Issue 2, 10 December 2001, pp. 305-314
Clinical Cancer Research Vol. 11, 6994-7002, October 1, 2005
3. Research Vol. 11, 6994-7002, October 1, 2005 American Association for Cancer Research
4. Cited in Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Oct 1;14(19):6228-36 Official publication of the American Assoc for Cancer Research.
5. The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness 2007 : Volume 4 Number 1
6. Journal Title: Planta medica, ISSN 0032-0943 CODEN PLMEAA 2006, vol. 72, no15, pp. 1378-1382 [5 page(s) (article)] (17 ref.)
7. Khan, MS, PHD, Alam, Safdar, MS, Mahpara, Ali Khan, MS, PHD, Mohammad Muzaffar, Khattak, MS, Khan Nawaz, and Anderson, PHD, Richard A.. “Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes.” Diabetes Care 26(2003): 3215-3218.
8. “Formulation of an Effective Mosquito Repellent Topical Product from Lemongrass Oil” Phytomedicine, Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 259-262. A.OYEDELE
9. Minami M, Kita M, Nakaya T, Yamamoto T, Kuriyama H, Imanishi J. 2003. The inhibitory effect of essential oils on herpes simplex virus type-1 replication in vitro. Microbiol Immunol 47: 681–684.
10. MacKay D, Miller AL. Nutritional support for wound healing. Altern Med Rev. 2003;8(4):359–377
11. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2001 Apr;28(3):543-7. The effect of aloe vera gel/mild soap versus mild soap alone in preventing skin reactions in patients undergoing radiation therapy. Olsen DL, Raub W Jr, Bradley C, Johnson M, Macias JL, Love V, Markoe A. Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami, USA.
12. Chiang Lien-Chai; Chiang Wen; Chang Mei-Yin; Lin Chun-Ching In vitro cytotoxic, antiviral and immuno- modulatory effects of Plantago major and Plantago asiatica. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 2003;31(2):225-34.
13. Chiang Lien-Chai; Ng Lean-Teik; Cheng Pei-Win; Chiang Win; Lin Chun-Ching Antiviral activities of extracts and selected pure constituents of Ocimum basilicum. Clinical and experimental pharmacology & physiology 2005;32(10):811-6.
14. Donald J Brown, ND; Alan M Dattner, MD. “Phytotherapeutic Approaches to Common Dermatologic Conditions” Arch Dermatol, Vol. 134, Nov 1998. citations: *Ammon HPT, Kaul R. Pharmakologie der Kamille und ihrer Inhalftsstoffe. Dtsch Apoth Ztg. 1992; 132(suppl 27):3-26. **Albring M, Albrecht H, Alcorn G, Lucker PV. The mesauring of the antiinflamatory effect of a compound on the skin of volunteers. Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 1983;5:75-77. ***Nissen HP, Blitz H, Kreyel HW. Prolifometrie, eine Methode zur beurteilung der therapeutischen wirksamkeit kon Kamillosan-Slabe. Z Hautkr. 1988;63:184-190.
15. Donald J Brown, ND; Alan M Dattner, MD. “Phytotherapeutic Approaches to Common Dermatologic Conditions” Arch Dermatol, Vol. 134, Nov 1998. citation: Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc; 1996; 1134.
16. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2002; Vol. 296:584-588.
17. Archives of Dermatological Research 2008;300(2):69-80. Parthenolide-depleted Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) protects skin from UV irradiation and external aggression.
18. Nebus J, Wallo W, Smith G, Kuttz E. Evaluating topical preparations in individuals with sensitive skin. 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology; Feb. 18-22, 2005; New Orleans, LA.
19. Alcaín FJ, Villalba JM (April 2009). “Sirtuin activators”. Expert Opin Ther Pat 19 (4): 403–14. doi:10.1517/13543770902762893
20. Levi F, Pasche C, Lucchini F, Ghidoni R, Ferraroni M, La Vecchia C (April 2005). “Resveratrol and breast cancer risk”. Eur J Cancer Prev. 14 (2): 139–42. ~ Garvin S, Ollinger K, Dabrosin C (January 2006). “Resveratrol induces apoptosis and inhibits angiogenesis in human breast cancer xenografts in vivo”. Cancer Lett. 231 (1): 113–22.
21.OrganicFacts.net and livestrong.com/article/115597-benefits-patchouli-oil/#ixzz1GJalIBpS
22. American Journal of Therapeutics: March/April 2006 – Volume 13 – Issue 2 – pp 121-126 Treatment of Mild to Moderate Psoriasis with Relieva, a Mahonia aquifolium Extract-A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study – Bernstein, Steve; Donsky, Howard*; Gulliver, Wayne; Hamilton, Douglas; Nobel, Sion; Norman, Robert
23. J Inflamm (Lond). 2007; 4: 15. Free radical scavenging activity and lipoxygenase inhibition of Mahonia aquifolium extract and isoquinoline alkaloids. – Lucia Rackova,corresponding author Marek Oblozinsky, Daniela Kostalova, Viktor Kettmann,and Lydia Bezakova
24. Gieler U, von der Weth A, Heger M. Mahonia aquifolium – a new type of topical treatment for psoriasis. J Dermatol Treatment. 1995;6:31–34.