The purpose of this site is to collect lab research by medical doctors about herbs that are proven to treat illnesses and counter the false attacks on herbs by the medical industry and false claims by alternative medicine. I let the science tell the facts.
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Triterpenoid saponin 

This page will evaluate the reported ability to boost brain activity. Author's notes are in this color.

1. "Triterpenoid saponins are triterpenes which belong to the group of saponin compounds. Triterpenes belong to a large group of compounds arranged in a four or five ring configuration of 30 carbons with several oxygens attached."

2. "Triterpenoid saponins are a class of plant secondary metabolites with structure derived from the precursor oxidosqualene in which one or more sugar residues are added. They have a wide range of pharmacological applications, such as antiplatelet, hypocholesterolemic, antitumoral, anti-HIV, immunoadjuvant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, insecticide, fungicide and anti-leishmanial agents. Their accumulation in plant cells is stimulated in response to changes mediated by biotic and abiotic elicitors. ...Yields of bioactive saponins in various plant species and experimental systems have been successfully increased by treating cells and tissues with jasmonate or by exposing these to oxidative stress. These elicitation and molecular studies are consolidating a robust knowledge platform from which to launch the development of improved sources for commercial supply of bioactive saponins."  This is remarkable, it is saying triterpenoid saponins in some unamed plants contain metabolites which treat HIV, immune system, inflammation, bacteria, insecticide, and fungicide.  That is a huge, IMPORTANT discovery.  What it is saying is that plants with triterpenoid sapions and metabolites have a huge effect on the immune system or in other words on Kappa-B. Its importance is huge in that very few items I have come across have the ability to fight yeast and fungus..

3. Triterpenoid saponins are one of the key active components of many medicinal plants. The biosynthetic pathway of triterpenoid saponins in higher plants and a lot of experimental results both indicated that the key enzymes involved in triterpenoid saponin synthesis are squalene synthase (SS), squalene epoxidase (SE), lupeol synthase (LS), dammarenediol synthase (DS), beta-amyrin synthase (beta-AS), cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase (PDMO), and glycosyltransferase (GT).

4. "Triterpenoid saponins, which are present in leguminous plants and some marine animals, possess a broad range of biological actions. We have earlier reported the extraction of avicins, a family of triterpenoid saponins obtained from the Australian desert tree Acacia victoriae (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae) that inhibit tumor cell growth and induce apoptosis, in part, by perturbing mitochondrial function. These saponins have also been found to prevent chemical-induced carcinogenesis in mice..."

5. Plants that contain Triterpenoid saponins:

Bacopa monnieri

1. "Bacopa monnieri (Waterhyssop, Brahmi, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Water hyssop) is a perennial, creeping herb whose habitat includes wetlands and muddy shores...Uses Physiological Effects Bacopa monnieri has many active compounds including alkaloids (brahmine and herpestine), saponins (d-mannitol and hersaponin, acid A, and monnierin), flavonoids (luteolin and apigenin). It also contains significant amounts of betulic acid, stigmastarol, beta-sitosterol, bacopasaponins (bacosides A, bacosides B, bacopaside II, bacopaside I, bacopaside X, bacopasaponin C, bacopaside N2. The minor components include bacopasaponin F, bacopasaponin E, bacopaside N1, bacopaside III, bacopaside IV, and bacopaside V).[7] It has been used in traditional Ayurvedic treatment for epilepsy and asthma.[8] It is also used in Ayurveda to treat ulcers, tumors, ascities, enlarged spleen, indigestion, inflammations, leprosy, anemia, and biliousness.[5] In rats, bacosides A enhance antioxidant defenses, increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity.[7] Laboratory studies on rats indicate that extracts of the plant improve memory capacity.[9] Recent studies suggest bacopa may improve intellectual activity.[10][11][12] The sulfhydryl and polyphenol components of Bacopa monnieri extract have also been shown to impact the oxidative stress cascade by scavenging reactive oxygen species, inhibiting lipoxygenase activity and reducing divalent metals.[13] This mechanism of action may explain the effect of Bacopa monniera extract in reducing beta amyloid deposits in mice with Alzheimer's disease.[13] B. monnieri has a demonstrated ability to reverse diazepam-induced amnesia in the Morris water maze test. The mechanism of this action is unknown.[14] In some trials, bacopacide extract did not restore or enhance memory formation, but improved retention.[15][16] In others including a randomized clinical trial of 98 healthy older people (over 55 years) Bacopa significantly improved memory acquisition and retention.[17] Brahmi, can enhance immune function by increasing immunoglobulin production. It may regulate antibody production by augmenting both Th1 and Th2 cytokine production.[18] Bacopa may also increase the effects of calcium channel blocker Antihypertensive drugs and their doses may need to be reduced if using Bacopa as a supplement.[19] It may also cause a lower heart rate, stomach secretion of ulcers, and urinary tract obstruction.[20]  Helps memory, may reverse amnesia, treats ROS, is an anti-oxidant, may treat Alzhemiers, ulcers, tumors, leprosy, anemia etc.

2.  "To investigate the effect of bacosides...On the basis of the present results it can be concluded that bacosides facilitate anterograde memory and attenuate anterograde experimental amnesia induced by scopolamine and sodium nitrite possibly by improving acetylcholine level and hypoxic conditions, respectively. Beside this bacosides also reversed BN52021 induced retrograde amnesia, probably due to increase in platelet activating factor (PAF) synthesis by enhancing cerebral glutamate level.  Brahmi increases memory and decreased amnesia.

3. "The antistress effect of bacosides of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri, BBM), ...The data indicate that BBM has potential to modulate the activities of Hsp70, P450 and SOD thereby possibly allowing the brain to be prepared to act under adverse conditions such as stress. Brahmi allows the brain to increase its ability to handle stress.

4.  A web site with information about the plant.

5. Info about how to grow it in pots.


1. "A legume /'l?g?u?m/ in botanical writing is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or a fruit of these specific plants. A legume fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is also applied to a few other fruit types, such as vanilla and radish. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soy, and peanuts. Locust trees (Gleditsia or Robinia), wisteria, and the Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus) are also legumes.[1] They are referred in India as Kathod or pulses [2]..."

2. "To investigate the modulatory effect of fermented legume condiments diet on oxidative stress in streptozotocin (a naturally occurring chemical that is particularly toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. source) (STZ) induced diabetic rats...Adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups with six animals in each group. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of STZ (35 mg/kg b.w.). After being confirmed diabetic, the rats were fed with fermented Bambara groundnut, Locust bean and Soybean diets for 14 days...CONCLUSIONS: The attenuation (extinction) of oxidative stress and protection of hepatic tissue damage by the legume condiment diets in STZ induced diabetic rats compare favourably with that of metformin, a well known oral hypoglycemic drug.  This is phenomenal information, they are saying that the legumes studied can treat diabetics as good as the drug metformin, a drug used frequently by the medical industry to treat diabetics. It further states that legumes can stop oxidation, not just fight oxidation but stop it.  When a lab uses a word like attenuation it is something to take notice of. Labs are cautious to make such bold statements. Attenuation means to stop or cause something to become smaller.

3. "In vitro immunostimulatory effect of Abrus lectins derived peptide fractions (AGP and ABP) was investigated in DL bearing mice. Both AGP and ABP were found to activate splenocytes and induced production of cytokines like IL-2, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha indicating a Th1 type of immune response. Analysis of in vitro treated splenocytes by flow cytometry revealed an increase in percentage of T and B cell with high expression of activation markers (CD25(+) and CD71(+)). At the same time, expression of co-stimulatory markers was significantly high compared to tumor control. The tumor associated macrophages were able to stimulate NO production, IL-1 secretion, increased phagocytosis and decreased expression of mannose receptor. It was also observed that NK cell was activated by AGP and ABP. These results suggest that both AGP and ABP act as immunostimulants in vitro in DL bearing mice.  Abrus is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, and lectins is a chemical process.   This report although confusing to a lay person simply states that cancer in mice was killed by the flower of a pea plant.

4. "...Recent evidence indicates that soy isoflavones play a beneficial role in obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. The soybean isoflavone genistein is present at high levels in soy products. Genistein is structurally similar to 17beta-estradiol (E2), and genistein has been suggested to be act as E2 or an antagonist against E2. Genistein suppresses antigen-specific immune response in vivo and lymphocyte proliferation response in vitro. However, genistein enhances the cytotoxic response mediated by NK and cytotoxic T cells and the cytokine production from T cells. Thus, the effect of genistein on immunity is immune cell-dependent. Due to its unique effect on immune function, genistein has been used for the treatment of the diseases in animal models and it has been found that genistein inhibits allergic inflammatory responses. In this review, we summarize current studies related to the effect of isoflavone genistein on the immune system."    Soy products are tested to fight obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and Nk which is Kappa-B. In other words it is a powerful anti-oxidant.

5. "The objective of this study was to characterize the phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities of U.S.-produced cool season legumes. A total of 33 cool season legume samples were selected. Some common beans and soybeans were included for comparisons...Among cool season legume classes, lentils possessed the highest concentrations of the phenolic compounds and antioxidant activities. Colored common beans and black soybeans exhibited higher TPC, TFC, CTC, FRAP, DPPH, and ORAC values than those of yellow peas, green peas, and chickpeas. Antioxidant activities (FRAP, DPPH, and ORAC) were strongly correlated (r= 0.96, 0.94, and 0.89, respectively, P < 0.01) with TPC. TPC and ORAC were moderately correlated (P < 0.01) with either the seed hull surface color or the flour color. Summary: dark colored lentals have the highest levels of antioxidant power, more than yellow or green lentals.





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