It’s not every day that you see medical news outlets singing the praises of plants.
And yet, that’s exactly what this report on an extract of yerba santa (Eriodictyon californicum) delivered. Because new research shows this native Californian medicinal plant may hold promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
Fights inflammation and free radicals
Surprisingly, the authors of this study examined the neurological system as a whole. Including a wide range of Alzheimer’s pathways—like oxidative stress and antioxidant depletion, decreased metabolism and abnormal protein build-up, as well as changes to brain structure and inflammation.
Such cool stuff—and all things that a targeted supplementation approach would consider. Finally! Research that truly speaks to what we integrative physicians do…
Investigators looked at several plant extracts, all with identifiable benefits to aging brains. In analyzing yerba santa (Spanish for “holy herb”), they identified sterubin as the plant’s main active component.
Experiments revealed sterubin to have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. (And as I’ve mentioned many times, the root cause of Alzheimer’s—like any other disease—traces back to inflammation.)
Specifically, sterubin was able to suppress production of inflammation-producing cytokines—including interleukin-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)—in a dose-dependent manner.
But the researchers found that sterubin was also able to preserve, and even increase, levels of glutathione in the same manner. This is important because, as I’ve explained here before, glutathione is a crucial antioxidant that plays a pivotal role in “deep cleaning” the brain and warding off Alzheimer’s-related neurodegeneration.
This isn’t the first time we’re hearing about yerba santa’s medicinal properties. In fact, native tribes of California have traditionally used this plant to treat everything from respiratory conditions to fevers, infections, and pain.
And this kind of history isn’t an exception—it’s the rule.
The fact is, there are numerous plants that have medicinal uses. And sadly, once Big Pharma discovers them, it’s only a matter of time before they slap a patent and an outrageous price tag on them. (Not to mention we’re also rapidly destroying entire ecosystems with loads of undiscovered potential cures—but that’s another topic for another day.)
This is still an important study, as the drug industry really has nothing in its arsenal for Alzheimer’s—and what is does have quite simply doesn’t work.
There are no medications that effectively treat Alzheimer’s or any other age-related neurodegenerative diseases. And that’s probably because the people in charge are, once again, chasing the wrong culprit.
Ultimately, most of the drug research for Alzheimer’s has focused on the amyloid pathway. And unsurprisingly, most of the drugs that have been designed with this target in mind have tanked in clinical trials.
But of course, you know my theory as to why. It’s because amyloid plaque isn’t the cause of Alzheimer’s—it’s just the byproduct of your body’s attempts to repair what has already gone wrong.
Either way, this new research on yerba santa is truly exciting, despite only being in its early stages. I will keep you updated as I learn more on this powerful herb. But in the meantime, I urge you and anyone you know to pick up my Drug-Free Protocol for Reversing Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
It’s never too late—or too early—to slam the brakes on cognitive decline. And while Big Pharma might be short on effective solutions, I’m certainly not. Click here to learn more about this exciting online learning tool, or sign up today.
“Californian ‘Holy Herb’ a Potential Treatment for Alzheimer’s?” Medscape Medical News, 02/25/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/909499)