Milk Thistle Seed (extract standardized to 80 % silymarin) Milk thistle promotes liver and gallbladder health by providing free-radical scavenging activity, stimulation of liver cell regeneration and prevention of toxin uptake by the liver cells. It has been seen to demonstrate strong protective activity when liver cells are challenged by a variety of toxins. Milk thistle supports the regeneration of damaged liver tissue, supports healthy liver and bile cholesterol, and helps limit liver damage as a result of disrupted oxygen supply. Milk thistle contains a compound called silymarin, a potent antioxidant that scavenges harmful free radicals. It has been found to also have a renewing effect on the kidneys and may be beneficial for the prostate gland. The name silymarin is a general term for the active chemicals, known as flavonolignans, which are found only in the seeds of milk thistle plant. Silymarin, as well as an isolated form of flavonolignan called silybin, has a particular effect in the liver where it can support a healthy liver by reducing or preventing damage by toxins, such as alcohol, environmental and bacterial toxins, and poisons. There is preliminary evidence that silymarin may support healthy serum transaminase levels and liver health. There have been many studies that indicate silymarin's effectiveness in cleansing the liver.
N-Acetyl-L-cysteine N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is derived from the sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine. It is produced naturally in the body and is found in foods. NAC mediates (along with glutamic acid and glycine) the conversion of cysteine into glutathione. Glutiathione is one of the body's primary cellular antioxidants. NAC has been indicated to enhance the immune system, detoxify heavy metals, support a healthy heart, relieve hangover symptoms and reduce exercise fatigue. It is thought that NAC's suggested benefits come from either of its two primary actions in the body. First, NAC is quickly metabolized to intracellular glutathione. Glutathione (GTH), and the enzyme complexes that it forms, acts as reducing agents and antioxidants in the body. GTH also detoxifies chemicals into less harmful compounds, as well as detoxifying heavy metals such as mercury and lead. GTH is also known to aid in the transport of nutrients to lymphocytes and phagocytes, two major types of immune cells, and to protect cell membranes. NAC is thought to be the best source method of boosting cellular GTH levels. NAC cleaves disulfide bonds by converting them to two sulfhydryl groups. This results in the breakup of mucoproteins in lung mucus, reducing their chain lengths and thinning the mucus. Further, NAC has also been shown to support healthy platelet aggregation; and supports healthy lipoprotein levels.
Several studies have confirmed that NAC is converted to glutathione in the body. Reviews of these studies show that oral NAC supplementation was successful in enhancing the levels of glutathione in the liver, in plasma and in the bronchioles of the lungs. NAC has also been shown to help reduce levels of fatigue and improve ability for muscle contraction during exhaustive exercise (possibly due to reduced levels of oxidative stress).
Dandelion Root The dandelion, the common stubborn plant of many front lawns, is an unusually nutritious food. Its leaves contain substantial amounts of vitamin A, as well as moderate amounts of vitamin D, vitamin C, various B vitamins, iron, silicon, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Dandelion takes its name from the French dent de lion, or lion's tooth - a reference to the toothed edges of its leaves. Dandelion root has been shown to support healthy liver, kidney, gallbladder and joints.
Dandelion root is regarded as a "liver tonic," a substance believed to support the liver in an unspecified way. The bitter properties of dandelion help to support healthy bile production in the gallbladder and bile flow from the liver. These compounds are unique to the dandelion plant and were previously referred to as taraxacin. These constituents are sesquiterpene lactones of the eudesmanolide and germacranolide classification. The bitters from dandelion are recommended to speed up slow liver function. The increase in bile flow may also help support healthy fat (including cholesterol) metabolism in the body. Dandelion root is also used like other bitter herbs to help support a healthy appetite and support a healthy digestive system.
Garlic Bulb Garlic was used in China as early as A.D. 510. Louis Pasteur studied the antibacterial action of garlic in 1858. These days it is largely used because it exerts a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. Garlic experts agree that the herb does support healthy cholesterol levels which, in turn, fights hardening of the arteries. It may also support healthy triglyceride levels. Garlic also has some antioxidant properties.
Hawthorn Berry Extract Hawthorn, or Crataegus oxyacantha, grows as a thorny shrub with white or pink flowers, and berries that resemble miniature apples. This shrub is native to northern temperate climates in Asia, Europe and eastern North America. Hawthorn has been used in China for centuries for digestion and other ailments. As early as the Renaissance, Europeans have used this supplement for digestive ailments; beginning in the late 1800s, doctors in Europe began to use hawthorn to promote a healthy heart. More recently, hawthorn has been used as a cardiotonic (to strengthen the heart muscle and promote more forceful contractions). The main benefit of Hawthorn seems to be in heart health. Hawthorn contains a group of chemicals known as flavonoids, the main group of components in this plant, thought to work together to support the heart in several ways. First, hawthorn extract can support health vessels of the heart, improving blood flow. Hawthorn supports healthy blood pressure. As an antioxidant, hawthorn helps to maintain healthy collagen matrices of arterial walls so that the vessels maintain elasticity.
Schizandra Chinensis Fruit and Seed Extract Schizandra has an extensive history in ancient Chinese medicine as an herb promoting general well-being and vitality. Schizandra originates from the red berries that grow on a vine-like plant belonging to the magnolia family. Approximately 25 species of schizandra exist, and all are indigenous to Asia except for a rare form of the vine that grows in wooded areas in North Carolina and surrounding states. In addition to its traditional uses for increasing energy and helping decrease stress-induced fatigue, schizandra has traditionally been taken to strengthen the sex organs, to promote mental function, to beautify the skin and to treat night sweats. It promotes liver and kidney health, enhances aerobic capacity and energy levels, helps with vision and supports mental functioning.
Schizandra is part of the adaptogen family made up of compounds believed to promote balance in the body. Schizandra contain lignans, which are a concentrated component of the seeds of the schisandra berry that may stimulate the immune system, protect the liver and increase the body's ability to cope with stress.
Burdock Root Burdock is a well-respected medicinal herb. It was used to support healthy joints and a healthy digestive system. Burdock root also contains high amounts of inulin and mucilage. This may explain its soothing effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Plus, burdock has been shown to support a healthy liver. Burdock is widely used in the treatment of scaly, dry skin conditions.
Licorice Root Licorice root has long been used in both foods and medicine. In Chinese medicine, licorice is an ingredient in nearly all herbal formulas. Among its most prominent uses are as a demulcent (soothing, coating agent) in the digestive and urinary tracts.
Rosemary Leaf Herbalists have long used rosemary as an energy booster for the elderly and to help with indigestion. In China, it's used for head discomfort. Rosemary has been used to support a healthy appetite, healthy blood pressure, liver and gallbladder. Germany's Commission E has even approved rosemary leaf for support of dyspepsia (non-specific digestive distress). Some less than conclusive evidence hints that rosemary, or its constituents, may have antioxidant effects.
Ginger Root Gingeris a shoot-like plant with a single purple-green flower that contains a thick root from which uses for this plant originate. It is native to coastal India, but it now grows and is harvested in Jamaica, China, Africa and the West Indies. The root is the source of ginger's aroma and is also the source of the spice. Ginger has been used for years to support healthy gastrointestinal health and to support healthy bowel movements. Its health benefits include the alleviation of motion sickness and nausea. Ginger also supports a healthy cardiovascular system.
Green Tea Leaf Extract Green tea has been used medicinally for centuries in India and China. A number of beneficial health effects are related to regular consumption of green tea and dried/powdered extracts are available as a part of dietary supplements. Green tea is prepared by picking, lightly steaming, and allowing the leaves to dry. The active components in green tea are a family of polyphenols (catechins) and flavonols which possess potent antioxidant activity. Tannins, large polyphenol molecules, form the bulk of the active compounds in green tea, with catechins comprising nearly 90 percent. Several catechins are present in major quantities: epicatechin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG makes up around 10-50 percent of the total catechin content and appears to be the most powerful of all the catechins - with antioxidant activity about 25-100 times more powerful than vitamins C and E. Green tea extract is reported to have positive effects including cardiovascular system support via supporting healthy cholesterol levels and triglycerides levels. It is a potent immune enhancer and has been found to be a potent energy promoter. Recent studies have suggested that catechins may be important in promoting weight loss. In some studies, green tea is associated with a mild increase in thermogenesis (increased caloric expenditure) - which is generally attributed to its caffeine content. At least one study has shown that green tea extract stimulates thermogenesis to an extent that is much greater than can be attributed to its caffeine content per se, meaning that the thermogenic properties of green tea may be due to an interaction between its high content of catechin-polyphenols along with caffeine. A probable theory for the thermogenic effect of green tea is an increase in levels of norepinephrine - because catechin-polyphenols are known to inhibit catechol-O-methyl-transferase (the enzyme that degrades norepinephrine).
Hyssop (aerial parts) The herb hyssop, also known as Hyssop officinalis, has been used for ages in both the religious and medical arenas. A two-foot high evergreen shrub with dark blue flowers, Hyssop grows naturally throughout the Mediterranean region but is also cultivated elsewhere. Hyssop has been used to treat a wide spectrum of digestive problems. The volatile oils are believed to contribute to hyssop's carminative actions, and used for mild cramping and discomfort in the digestive tract, including stomach aches and intestinal gas.
Red Clover Flower Red clover is a member of the legume (bean) family - the same class of plants as chickpeas and soybeans. Red clover was, and is, considered one of the premier purifying herbs for the blood. Red clover extracts are used as dietary supplements for their high content of isoflavone compounds. These compounds have proven to be of some benefit for women going through menopause due to their ability to mimic the activities of estrogen within the body. A double-blind trial found that red clover supported a healthy cardiovascular system in menopausal women.It is claimed that red clover can balance moods, support healthy sleeping patterns, reduce hot flashes, improve libido, support heart health and promote the maintenance of bone mass as well.
Turmeric Root Extract Turmeric is part of the ginger family. Its stalk is used in both food and medicine, creating the common yellow ingredient that colors and adds flavor to curry. In traditional Indian Ayurveda, turmeric is thought to support general body strength, vision and stimulate milk secretion. Within dietary supplements, turmeric is found alone and in combination with products created to exert antioxidant activity and provide gastrointestinal protection and support. The primary active compounds in turmeric are the flavonoid, curcumin and related "curcuminoid" compounds, which deliver potent antioxidant properties. As a part of the Nutriclean system, turmeric exerts positive effects with regards to indigestion.