Do Echinacea Supplements Have Benefits? The Research Explained

Introduction ‘Show me the money’ is the infamous line from the hit movie Gerry Maguire. Well, that’s pretty easy when it comes to echinacea. Echinacea ranks as one of the top selling herbs worldwide and grossed a staggering $15.1 million in 2008 alone. To put this in perspective, $15.1 million exceeds the national health budget… Continue reading

Do Selenium Supplements Have Benefits? 19 Research Papers Examined

Introduction Twenty years ago, there was a widespread belief in the medical and scientific community that optimizing selenium status would surely translate into better health for us all. At a minimum, improved selenium levels was touted as one of the solutions for better immune function, fertility, fighting infectious diseases, promoting heart health and as a… Continue reading

Do Tribulus Supplements Have Benefits? 363 Studies Reviewed

Introduction Tribulus is a plant that is used to increase not only male stamina, libido, and sexual function, but also female pleasure and sensitivity. Does this herbal supplement live up to its reputation? Is this really an x-rated plant? What Is Tribulus? Tribulus terrestris L. is a flowering plant of the zygophyllaceae family. It is… Continue reading

Do L-Arginine Supplements Have Benefits? 2,763 Clinical Studies Reviewed

Introduction L-arginine is described as an “ergogenic” or all-around “mojo booster” in plain English. It is marketed as an anti-ageing agent, sexual booster, and sports endurance agent. Fact or fiction? Let’s look at the evidence. What Is L-Arginine? Arginine was discovered back in 1886 by a Swiss chemist (Ernst Schulze), who isolated it from a lupine… Continue reading

Does Slippery Elm Have Health Benefits? The Evidence Reviewed

Introduction Slippery elm is a species of the elm tree family. It is commonly used for respiratory conditions (bronchitis, sore throat, cough, fever, and inflammation), gastrointestinal disease (peptic ulcers and diarrhea), dermatological conditions (skin abscesses and skin ulcers), and even cancer treatment. Unlike many other herbal folk remedies, slippery elm has the unique distinction of… Continue reading

Do Chaga Mushrooms Have Health Benefits? Current Studies Reviewed

Introduction The Chaga mushroom is called the “king of mushrooms,” while the better-known reishi mushroom gets the title of “queen of mushrooms.” Chaga mushrooms are marketed as having a wide range of medicinal benefits, including anti-inflammatory, cancer-treating and -preventive, hepatoprotective, and immuno-modulation effects. Given the fact that Chaga mushroom extract sells for as much as $130/oz, this mushroom… Continue reading

Does Lion’s Mane Mushroom Have Health Benefits? Here’s the Research

Introduction Lion’s Mane is a culinary and medicinal mushroom that is growing in popularity as a functional food. It is claimed to have anticancer, immuno-modulating, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, and wound healing properties. However, its real claim to fame is as a neuroprotective agent. I have plenty of patients (and friends) who are not just… Continue reading

Does Moringa Oleifera Have Health Benefits? The Research Examined

Introduction I am on holidays in the beautiful Sonoran desert, Arizona, and was told by the hotel gardener that many of the locals eat Moringa leaves to manage pre-diabetes and diabetes. Always the researcher (even on vacation), I had to try the leaves for myself. The leaves tasted pleasant enough, but do they actually have… Continue reading

Is Oxygen Therapy Effective for Anything? The Research Reviewed

Introduction The “oxygen bar” phenomenon is touted as the health-conscious alternative to shisha/hooka (or any other illegal substances that one might choose to inhale for fun). An “oxygen bar” is a free-standing booth that you can rent and sit/stand in to inhale over 90% pure oxygen and aromatherapy via disposable nasal cannula. Regular room air… Continue reading

Forbidden Rice (aka Black Rice): Does It Really Have Health Benefits?

Introduction Forbidden rice (aka black rice, the Emperor’s rice, Oryza sativa L. indica) has been consumed for centuries in Asia and is now gaining popularity as a functional superfood globally. Black rice is a special cultivar of rice which contains a high content of phytochemicals (including anthocyanins) in the aleurone layer. It is purported to… Continue reading

Does Skullcap Have Health Benefits? A Scientist Explains

Introduction Scutellaria baicalensis, also known as “Chinese skullcap” or “Huang Qin,” is a root extract that has been used in both traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine for centuries. Skullcap is also widely used as a backbone in herbal formulas in the western world, where it is often referred to as “scute.” Skullcap is believed to… Continue reading

Should You Eat Your Placenta (Pills) After Childbirth? A Scientist Explains

Introduction There is a growing interest in human placentophagy (also spelled placentophagia), which is the scientific term for either eating your own placenta or eating placenta pills after childbirth (1). Placentophagy is a common practice among non-mammals and has been described as being “conspicuously” among humans worldwide. Absent until now, that is. It was first… Continue reading

Does Lavender Oil Do Anything? We Review the Research

Introduction There are over 250,000 lavender-related products for sale on Amazon. That sure is a whole lot of lavender. These range from essential oils, teas, car fresheners, chocolates, perfumes, and cosmetics to religious crosses. Lavender is believed to offer a wide range of health and wellness benefits. Purported uses include relief and treatment of anxiety,… Continue reading

Does Clary Sage Oil Have Health Benefits? A Scientist Explains

Clary sage (Salvia sclarea L. Lamiaceae) is an aromatic plant which is cultivated in Europe and North America (1). The list of anecdotal benefits of clary sage is extremely long. It is used as an antidepressant, anticonvulsive, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, antibacterial, uterine tonic nervine, and for a sore throat, muscular pain, low estrogen, PMS, menstrual cramps,… Continue reading