Available third-party research on each ingredient in this formula can be found in the Tropical Plant Database (click on the ingredient names below) or on PubMed. A partial listing of published research on these ingredients is shown below:
Simarouba (Simarouba amara)
Simarouba shares some of the same bitter quassinoid chemicals as quinine and amargo. These bitter chemicals explain simarouba's long standing traditional uses as a digestive stimulant and for many types of digestive complaints.*
Zarse, K., et al. "The phytochemical glaucarubinone promotes mitochondrial metabolism, reduces body fat, and extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans." Horm Metab Res. 2011 Apr;43(4):241-3.
Caceres, A. "Plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. 1. Screening of 84 plants against enterobacteria." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1990; 30(1): 55-73.
Valdes, A., et al. "In vitro anti-microbial activity of the Cuban medicinal plants Simarouba glauca DC, Melaleuca leucadendron L and Artemisia absinthium L." Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2008 Sep;103(6):615-8.
Apers, S., et al. "Antiviral activity of simalikalactone D, a quassinoid from Quassia africana." Planta Med. 2002 Jan;68(1):20-4.
Quinine (Cinchona officinalis)
Quinine bark is still harvested today to make bitter tonic waters. Nearly half of the world harvest is directed to the food industry for the production of quinine water, tonic water, and as an FDA-approved bitter food additive. In traditional medicine systems around the world, quinine has been used for centuries as a digestive stimulant, a bitter tonic and appetite stimulant, and for a wide range if digestive complaints.*
Hui, G., et al. "Sweet and bitter tastants specific detection by the taste cell-based sensor." Biosens Bioelectron. 2012 May 15;35(1):429-38.
Zhao, X., et al. "Fos positive neurons in the brain stem and amygdala mostly express vesicular glutamate transporter 3 after bitter taste stimulation." Brain Res. 2012 Mar 22;1445:20-9.
Singh, N., et al. "Functional bitter taste receptors are expressed in brain cells." Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011 Mar 4;406(1):146-51.
Yeomans, M. R. "Olfactory influences on appetite and satiety in humans." Physiol. Behav. 2006 Aug; 89(1): 10-4.
Kozlov, A. P., et al. “Taste differentiation in the context of suckling and independent, adultlike ingestive behavior.”
Dev. Psychobiol. 2006 Mar; 48(2): 133-45.
Dinehart, M. E., et al. “Bitter taste markers explain variability in vegetable sweetness, bitterness, and intake.” Physiol. Behav. 2006; 87(2): 304-13.
Carqueja (Baccharis genistelloides)
In laboratory studies, carqueja has evidenced antiulcerous, antacid, digestive stimulant, and gastric protective actions.*
de Oliveira, C., et al. "Phenolic enriched extract of Baccharis trimera presents anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities." Molecules. 2012 Jan 23;17(1):1113-23.
Biondo, T., et al. "Antisecretory actions of Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC aqueous extract and isolated compounds: analysis of underlying mechanisms." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jun 22;136(2):368-73.
Gonzales, E., et al. “Gastric cytoprotection of Bolivian medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 70(3): 329–33.
Gamberini, M. T., et al. “Açoes antiúlcera e antiácida do extracto aquoso e das fraçoes da Baccharis trimera.”
Anais XII Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brasil. UFP: Curitiba, Paraná, 15–17 September 1992.
Sousa, B., et al., “Avaliaçao da atividade antiulcera do extrato bruto e fraçoes de Baccharis trimera.” Anais XII
Simposio de Plantas Medicinais do Brasil. UFP: Curitiba, Paraná, 15–17 September 1992.
Gamberini, M. T., et al. “Inhibition of gastric secretion by a water extract from Baccharis triptera. Mart.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz. 1991; 86(Suppl. 2): 137-9.
Amargo (Quassia amara)
Amargo bark contains many active constituents including bitter principles reported to be 50 times more bitter than quinine. While amargo contains many of the same types of antimalarial chemicals as quinine bark, it also contains another chemical called quassin. The large amount of quassin in the bark and wood gives amargo a bitterness rating of 40,000. In herbal medicine systems in South America, amargo is employed as a bitter digestive aid to stimulate gastric and other digestive secretions.*
Sugimoto, N., et al. “Analysis of constituents in Jamaica quassia extract, a natural bittering agent.” Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2003 Dec; 44(6): 328-31.
García-Barrantes, P., et al. "Anti-ulcerogenic properties of Quassia amara L. (Simaroubaceae) standardized extracts in rodent models." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Apr 12;134(3):904-10.
Toma, W., et al. “Antiulcerogenic activity of four extracts obtained from the bark wood of Quassia amara L. (Simaroubaceae).” Planta Med. 2002; 68(1): 20–24.
Garcia Gonzalez, M., et al. “Pharmacologic activity of the aqueous wood extract from Quassia amara (Simarubaceae) on albino rats and mice.” Rev. Biol. Trop. 1997; 44–45: 47–50.
Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)
Artichoke is popular for its pleasant bitter taste, which is attributed mostly to a plant chemical called cynarin found in the green parts of the plant. Cynarin is considered one of artichoke's main biologically active chemicals. It occurs in the highest concentration in the leaves of the plant, which is why leaf extracts are most commonly employed in herbal medicine.
Marteau, P. "Therapy: Probiotic-enriched artichokes for abdominal discomfort." Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Mar 20;9(5):251-2.
Riezzo, G., et al. "Randomised clinical trial: efficacy of Lactobacillus paracasei-enriched artichokes in the treatment of patients with functional constipation--a double-blind, controlled, crossover study." Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;35(4):441-50.
Costabile, A., et al. "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study to establish the bifidogenic effect of a very-long-chain inulin extracted from globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus) in healthy human subjects." Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104(7):1007-17.
Sannia, A. "[Phytotherapy with a mixture of dry extracts with hepato-protective effects containing artichoke leaves in the management of functional dyspepsia symptoms]." Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol. 2010 Jun;56(2):93-9.
Ishida, K., et al. "Effects of artichoke leaf extract on acute gastric mucosal injury in rats." Biol Pharm Bull. 2010;33(2):223-9.
Emendorfer, F., et al. “ Antispasmodic activity of fractions and cynaropicrin from Cynara scolymus on guinea-pig ileum.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2005; 28(5): 902-4.
Emendorfer, F., et al. “Evaluation of the relaxant action of some Brazilian medicinal plants in isolated guinea-pig ileum and rat duodenum.” J. Pharm. Pharm. Sci. 2005 Mar; 8(1): 63-8.
Bundy, R., et al. “Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and improves quality of life in otherwise healthy volunteers suffering from concomitant dyspepsia: a subset analysis.” J. Altern. Complement. Med. 2004 Aug; 10(4): 667-9.
Holtmann, G., et al. “Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in the treatment of patients with functional dyspepsia: a six-week placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicentre trial.” Aliment. Pharmacol. Ther. 2003 Dec; 18(11-12): 1099-105.
Walker, A. F., et al. “Artichoke leaf extract reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a post-marketing surveillance study.” Phytother. Res. 2001; 15(1): 58–61.