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 anti-cancer, immuno-modulating, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic and wound healing properties. However it’s real claim to fame is as a neuroprotective agent. I have plenty of patients (and friends) who are not… Continue reading

Does Barberry Or Its Extract Have Health Benefits? Science Responds

Introduction We are all familiar with yummy blueberries, blackberries, and boysenberries…but have you heard of barberries?? Well, neither had I. Until now. It seems the barberry plant, including its tart red fruit, has traditionally been used in folk medicine for thousands of years, particularly in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries. There are a number… 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 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 and includes being used as an antidepressant, anti-convulsive, anti-septic, anti-spasmodic, astringent, antibacterial, uterine tonic nervine and for sore throat, muscular pain, low estrogen, PMS, menstrual… Continue reading

Does Ginseng Have Any Health Benefits? Science Answers

Ginseng is an herbaceous plant that belongs to genus Panax, of the family Araliaceae; panax means ‘all-healing’ or ‘panacea’ (1). The name ginseng comes from the Chinese words “Jen Sheng,” meaning “man-herb,” due to the humanoid shape of the rhizome (root) of the plant (2). The root is the most is the important medicinal part… Continue reading

Does Kombu Seaweed Have Health Benefits? Current Research Examined

There is great interest in the health benefits of kombu which is an edible form of Japanese brown seaweed kelp (Laminaria japonica). The long list of proported health benefits of kombu includes improved digestion, cancer prevention, improved thyroid function, higher iron stores and hemoglobin levels. And the list goes on. This all sounds very good… Continue reading

Does Emu Oil Have Health Benefits? The Research Reviewed

The flightless emu bird (Dromaius novaehallandiae), native to Australia, is probably best known for being on Australia’s coat-of-arms, opposite the kangaroo. Emu oil is a well-known, commercially available product, notably in countries such as Australia and the United States, and believed to have many therapeutic and medicinal properties. Being from Australia myself, I often come… Continue reading

Does Sarsaparilla Have Health Benefits? The Research Reviewed

Why the interest in Sarsaparilla? Remember Sarsaparilla, the fizzy soft drink in a bottle? It may be what first comes to mind when I mention the word. Although now sometimes made with artificial ingredients, the beverage was originally made with the sarsaparilla (SAR) plant. Nowadays, SAR is becoming more widely available in health food stores,… Continue reading

Phosphoric Acid: Are You Eating Too Much? The Research Reviewed

Too many people in the natural health world treat phosphoric acid as ‘public enemy number one’. This is simply misinformation that comes largely from tabloid style blogs which sensationalize and manipulate science. So what is the real backstory to phosphoric acid and health? What does the scientific literature have to tell us about the effect… Continue reading

Does Eating Garlic Reduce The Risk of Lung And Bowel Cancer By 40%?

Claim Eating Garlic Reduces Risk of Lung, Bowel Cancer By 40%. Verdict It is not possible to make any overall conclusions about the anticancer properties of garlic due to the limitations of the existing studies. Origin Natural News carried an article entitled ‘Eating Garlic Daily Reduces Risk of Lung, Bowel Cancer by 40%’. The author… Continue reading

Do Strawberries Really Cut Heart Attack Risk In Women By One Third?

Claim Flavanoids from strawberries and blueberries cut heart attack risk in women by one third. Verdict The scientific literature simply does not support the claim that anthocyanin containing berries such as strawberries and blueberries reduce the risk of heart attacks in women. Origin Medical News Today reviewed the health benefits and nutritional breakdown of strawberries… Continue reading

Does Eating Selenium Rich Foods Decrease The Risk Of Liver Cancer?

Claim Eating selenium rich foods including shellfish, nuts and onions, decreases the risk of liver cancer say scientists.  Verdict Two comprehensive meta-analysis of selenium studies do not support the claim that eating selenium rich food decreases the risk of liver cancer. Origin Websites such as liverdoctor.com ‘urge’ people to increase selenium intake (via their branded… Continue reading

Does Drinking Just Two Diet Drinks Per Day Really Double The Risk Of Diabetes?

Claim Drinking just two diet drinks per day doubles the risk of diabetes. Verdict There is no convincing science to support the claim that drinking two diet drinks per day increases the risk of diabetes. Origin Last year the media sensationalized the results of a research study and claimed that diet drinks increase the risk… Continue reading

Does Chocolate Really Reduce Stroke Risk In Women?

Claim Chocolate Reduces Stroke Risk In Women. Verdict There are no clinical trial data in women showing that chocolate affects stroke risk. Origin Dark chocolate is of great interest as a potentially healthy food choice that also tastes great. Dark chocolate contains flavanoids and is thought to impact positively on overall vascular health (3). The… Continue reading