This product is no longer sold by Raintree Nutrition, Inc. See the main product page for more information why. Try doing a google search or see the rainforest products page to find other companies selling rainforest herbal supplements or rainforest plants if you want to make this rainforest formula yourself.
Keep your cells young, healthy, and vital with this dynamic formula of 8 rainforest plants documented with cellular protective actions for the skin, brain, liver, kidneys, gastric tract, heart, and immune system.* These rainforest plants have been reported with cellular-protecting or anti-ageing actions in independent research.* This product was featured in an article from the Health Sciences Institute.
For more information on the individual ingredients in Amazon Vitality, follow the links provided below to the plant database files in the Tropical Plant Database. More information on Amazon Vitality can be found the in the new Anti-Cancerous Guide
Ingredients: A herbal blend of calaguala, samambaia, chanca piedra, cat's claw, fedegoso, picão preto, gervâo, and tayuya. To prepare this natural remedy yourself: use two parts calaguala, samambaia, chanca piedra, and cat's claw, and one part each of the remaining plants in the list. To make a small amount... "1 part" could be one tablespoon (you'd have 12 tablespoons of the blended herbal formula). For larger amounts, use "1 part" as one ounce or one cup or one pound. Combine all the herbs together well. The herbal mixture can then be stuffed into capsules or brewed into tea, stirred into juice or other liquid, or taken however you'd like.
Suggested Use: Take 1 gram twice daily with meals. (one gram is approximately 1/2 teaspoon by volume)
Contraindications: None documented.
Drug Interactions: None documented.
Third-Party Published Research*
This rainforest formula has not been the subject of any clinical research. Available third-party documentation and clinical research on each plant ingredient in this formula can be found at the Raintree website or on PubMed. A synopsis and partial listing of published research on these plant ingredients is shown below. Please refer to the plant database files by clicking on the plant names below to see all available documentation and research on each plant ingredient.
Calaguala (Polypodium leucotomos) and Samambaia (Polypodium decumanum)
An herbal extract of these rare rainforest ferns is manufactured and sold in Europe (under the name anapsos) as a herbal drug for the treatment of psoriasis, and more recently, for dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. A 1997 U.S. patent and several in vivo clinical studies report that the plants protect against brain cell degeneration, promotes repair of damaged brain cells in Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, and provides a protective effect to brain cells in general. In a double-blind placebo human trial researchers reported in 2000 that patients with senile dementia improved cognitive performance, increased the blood supply to the brain, and also increased the electrical impulses in the brain. The same cellular protective effects to brain cells seems to extend to skin cells as well. Another U.S. patent was filed in 1997 which indicated these rainforest ferns are effective in preventing sunburn and skin damage (taken internally, as well as applied topically prior to exposure). Its protective effect was reported to be due, in part, to an antioxidant effect, as well as by protecting and increasing the amount of elastin in skin cells. One of the human studies confirming this activity was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital’s dermatology department. Another study (with hairless mice), conducted at Harvard medical school in 1999, reported that a samambaia extract applied topically helped to avoid skin damage and sun-associated skin aging, as well as reduced the number of UV-induced skin tumors in mice. The Harvard researchers published a human study in 2004 reporting that samambaia evidenced “substantial benefits of skin protection” to prevent sunburn and prevent skin aging when it was taken internally. Based on some test tube studies, other university student researchers suggested that samambaia may help prevent sun damage and skin aging at low dosages while higher dosages may actually reverse the loss of normal elastic fibers associated with intrinsic aging of the skin A pharmaceutical company in Spain has also published a study indicating that samambaia is suitable to use as a preventative treatment for sunburn and skin damage.
Solivellas, B., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract use to prevent and reduce the risk of infectious diseases in high performance athletes." Infect Drug Resist. 2012; 5:149-53.
Aguilera, P., et al. "Benefits of oral Polypodium Leucotomos extract in MM high-risk patients." J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012 Jul 31.
Rodríguez-Yanes, E., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos decreases UV-induced epidermal cell proliferation and enhances p53 expression and plasma antioxidant capacity in hairless mice." Exp Dermatol. 2012 Aug;21(8):638-40.
Konda, S., et al. "New horizons in treating disorders of hyperpigmentation in skin of color." Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2012 Jun;31(2):133-9.
Breithaupt, A., et al. "Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus: a case report of Polypodium leucotomos as an adjuvant therapy." Cutis. 2012 Apr;89(4):183-4.
Tanew, A., et al. "Oral administration of a hydrophilic extract of Polypodium leucotomos for the prevention of polymorphic light eruption." J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012 Jan;66(1):58-62.
Gonzales, S., et al. "Fernblock, a nutriceutical with photoprotective properties and potential preventive agent for skin photoaging and photoinduced skin cancers." Int J Mol Sci. 2011; 12(12):8466-75.
Caccialanza, M., et al. "Oral polypodium leucotomos extract photoprotective activity in 57 patients with idiopathic photodermatoses." G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Apr;146(2):85-7.
Reuter, J., et al. "Which plant for which skin disease? Part 2: Dermatophytes, chronic venous insufficiency, photoprotection, actinic keratoses, vitiligo, hair loss, cosmetic indications." J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2010 Nov;8(11):866-73.
Gonzales, S., et al. "Mechanistic insights in the use of a Polypodium leucotomos extract as an oral and topical photoprotective agent." Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2010 Apr;9(4):559-63.
Villa, A., et al. "Decrease of ultraviolet A light-induced "common deletion" in healthy volunteers after oral Polypodium leucotomos extract supplement in a randomized clinical trial." J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Mar;62(3):511-3.
Zattra, E., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases UV-induced Cox-2 expression and inflammation, enhances DNA repair, and decreases mutagenesis in hairless mice." Am J Pathol. 2009 Nov;175(5):1952-61.
Phillips, N., et al. "Cancer cell growth and extracellular matrix remodeling mechanism of ascorbate; beneficial modulation by P. leucotomos." Anticancer Res. 2009 Aug;29(8):3233-8.
Phillips, N., et al. "Beneficial regulation of matrixmetalloproteinases and their inhibitors, fibrillar collagens and transforming growth factor-beta by Polypodium leucotomos, directly or in dermal fibroblasts, ultraviolet radiated fibroblasts, and melanoma cells." Arch Dermatol Res. 2009 Aug;301(7):487-95.
Filip, A., et al. "Photochemoprevention of cutaneous neoplasia through natural products." Exp Oncol. 2009 Mar;31(1):9-15.
Mulero, M., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits glutathione oxidation and prevents Langerhans cell depletion induced by UVB/UVA radiation in a hairless rat model." Exp Dermatol. 2008 Aug;17(8):653-8.
Bauman, L., et al. "Less-known botanical cosmeceuticals." Dermatol Ther. 2007 Sep-Oct;20(5):330-42. Review.
Jan'czyk, A., et al. "A Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits solar-simulated radiation-induced TNF-alpha and iNOS expression, transcriptional activation and apoptosis." Exp Dermatol. 2007 Oct;16(10):823-9.
Gonzales, S., et al. "Polypodium leucotomos extract: a nutraceutical with photoprotective properties." Drugs Today (Barc). 2007 Jul;43(7):475-85. Review.
Luger, T. "[An alternative to creams? Sunscreens to swallow]." MMW Fortschr Med. 2007 Jun 28;149(27-28):8.
Middelkamp-Hup, M., et al. "Treatment of vitiligo vulgaris with narrow-band UVB and oral Polypodium leucotomos extract: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study." J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2007 Aug;21(7):942-50.
Caccialanza, M., et al. "Photoprotective activity of oral polypodium leucotomos extract in 25 patients with idiopathic photodermatoses." Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2007 Feb;23(1):46-7.
Reyes, E., et al. "Systemic immunomodulatory effects of Polypodium leucotomos as an adjuvant to PUVA therapy in generalized vitiligo: A pilot study." J. Dermatol. Sci. 2006; 41(3): 213-6.
Middelkamp-Hup, M. A., et al. “Orally administered Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases psoralen-UVA- induced phototoxicity, pigmentation, and damage of human skin.” J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2004; 50(1): 41-9.
Álvarez, X. A., et al. “Anapsos improves learning and memory in rats with Beta-Amyloid (1-28) deposits in the hippocampus” in Progress in Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s diseases, Ed. Fisher, A., Yoshida, M. and Hannin, I., Plenum Press, New York, pp. 699-703 (1998).
Álvarez, X. A., et al. “Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study with anapsos in senile dementia: effects on cognition, brain bioelectrical activity and cerebral hemodynamics." Methods Find. Exp. Clin. Pharmacol. 2000; 22(7): 585–94.
Gonzalez, S., et al. “Inhibition of ultraviolet-induced formation of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation, erythema and skin photosensitization by Polypodium leucotomos.” Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 1996; 12(2): 45–56.
Gonzalez, S., et al. “Topical or oral administration with an extract of Polypodium leucotomos prevents acute sunburn and psoralen-induced phototoxic reactions as well as depletion of Langerhans cells in human skin.” Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 1997; 13(1–2): 50–60.
Capote, R., et al. “Polypodium leucotomos extract inhibits trans-urocanic acid photoisomerization and
photodecomposition.” J. Photochem. Photobiol. B. 2005 Dec 30;
Alcaraz, M. V., et al. “An extract of Polypodium leucotomos appears to minimize certain photoaging changes in a hairless albino mouse animal model. A pilot study.” Photodermatol. Photoimmunol. Photomed. 1999; 15(3–4): 120–26.
Middelkamp-Hup, M. A., et al. “Oral Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases ultraviolet-induced damage of human skin.” J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2004 Dec; 51(6): 910-8.
Fernandez-Novoa, L., et al. “Effects of Anapsos on the activity of the enzyme Cu-Zn-superoxide dismutase in an animal model of neuronal degeneration.” Methods Find. Exp. Clin. Pharmacol. 1997; 19(2): 99–106.
Cacabelos, R., et al. “A pharmacogenomic approach to Alzheimer’s disease.” Acta Neurol. Scand. Suppl. 2000; 176: 12–19.
Vasange, M., et al. “The fern Polypodium decumanum, used in the treatment of psoriasis, and its fatty acid constituents as inhibitors of leukotriene B4 formation.” Prostaglandins Leukotrienes Essent. Fatty Acids 1994; 50: 279–284.
Vasange, M., et al. “A sulphonoglycolipid from the fern Polypodium decumanum and its effect on the platelet activating factor receptor in human neutrophils.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1997; 49(5): 562–617.
Quintanilla, A. E., et al. “Pharmaceutical composition of activity in the treatment of cognitive and/or neuroimmune dysfunctions.” U.S. patent no. 5,601,829; 1997.
Gombau, L., et al. “Polypodium leucotomos extract: Antioxidant activity and disposition.” Toxicol. In Vitro. 2005 Oct 29;
Chanca piedra (Phyllanthus niruri, amarus)
One test tube study and four animal studies documented that extracts of chanca piedra effectively protected against liver damage from introduced chemical liver toxins. Three human clinical studies reported that chanca piedra provided liver protective, liver repair, and liver detoxifying actions in children and adults with hepatitis and jaundice. An animal study documented that chanca piedra almost doubled the life span of mice with liver cancer while a different research group tried to induce liver cancer in mice that had been pre-treated with a water extract of chanca piedra. Their results indicated the chanca piedra extract dose-dependently lowered tumor incidence, levels of carcinogen-metabolizing enzymes, levels of liver cancer markers, and liver injury markers. Both of these studies suggest that the plant has a better ability to prevent cancer rather than a direct ability to kill cancer cells. It may well be that chanca piedra's documented ability to stop cells from mutating plays an important factor in this reported anticancerous activity. In several animal and test tube studies, chanca piedra was shown to stop or inhibit cells from mutating in the presence of chemical substances known to create cellular mutations and DNA strand breaks (which can lead to the creation of cancerous cells). One of these studies also indicated that chanca piedra inhibited several enzyme processes peculiar to cancer cells' replication and growth, rather than a direct toxic effect of killing the cancer cell. This cellular-protective quality was evidenced in other research which indicated that chanca piedra protected against chemically-induced bone marrow damage in mice, as well as against radiation-induced damage in mice.
Amin, Z., et al. "Assessment of in vitro antioxidant, antibacterial and immune activation potentials of aqueous and ethanol extracts of Phyllanthus niruri." J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Jul;92(9):1874-7
Londhe, J., et al. "Geraniin and amariin, ellagitannins from Phyllanthus amarus, protect liver cells against ethanol induced cytotoxicity." Fitoterapia. 2012 Dec;83(8):1562-8.
Amin, Z., et al. "Protective Role of Phyllanthus niruri Extract against Thioacetamide-Induced Liver Cirrhosis in Rat Model." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:241583.
Srirama, R., et al. "Hepatoprotective activity of Indian Phyllanthus." Pharm Biol. 2012 Aug;50(8):948-53.
Thakur, J., et al. "Enhancing hepatoprotective bioactives of phyllanthus amarus through immobilization by growth promoters and media changes." Indian J Pharm Sci. 2011 May;73(3):271-5.
Sharma, S., et al. "Hepatoprotective activity of the Phyllanthus species on tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BH)-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells." Pharmacogn Mag. 2011 Jul;7(27):229-33.
Surya Narayanan, B., et al. "Protective effects of Phyllanthus amarus on fibrotic markers during alcohol and polyunsaturated fatty acid-induced toxicity." Toxicol Mech Methods. 2011 Jan;21(1):48-52.
Chirdchupunseree, H., et al. "Protective activity of phyllanthin in ethanol-treated primary culture of rat hepatocytes." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jan 11.
Krithika, R., et al. "Ameliorative potential of Phyllanthus amarus against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity." Acta Pol. Pharm. 2009 Sep-Oct; 66(5): 579-83.
Guhu, G., et al. "Aqueous extract of Phyllanthus amarus inhibits chromium(VI)-induced toxicity in MDA-MB-435S cells." Food Chem. Toxicol. 2009 Oct 27.
Krithika, R., et al. "Mitigation of carbon tetrachloride-induced damage by Phyllanthus amarus in liver of mice." Acta Pol. Pharm. 2009 Jul-Aug; 66(4): 439-44.
Hau, D., et al. "Phyllanthus urinaria extract attenuates acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity: involvement of cytochrome P450 CYP2E1." Phytomedicine. 2009 Aug; 16(8): 751-60.
Krithika, R., et al. "Isolation, characterization and antioxidative effect of phyllanthin against CCl4-induced toxicity in HepG2 cell line." Chem. Biol. Interact. 2009 Oct; 181(3): 351-8.
Yadav, N., et al. "Synergistic effect of silymarin and standardized extract of Phyllanthus amarus against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in Rattus norvegicus." Phytomedicine. 2008 Dec; 15(12): 1053-61.
Negi, A., et al. "Recent advances in plant hepatoprotectives: a chemical and biological profile of some important leads." Med. Res. Rev. 2008 Sep; 28(5): 746-72.
Kumar K. B., et al. “Protective effect of an extract of Phyllanthus amarus against radiation-induced damage in mice.” J. Radiat. Res. 2004 Mar; 45(1):133-9.
Raphael, K. R. “Anti-mutagenic activity of Phyllanthus amarus (Schum. & Thonn.) in vitro as well as in vivo.” Teratog. Carcinog. Mutagen. 2002; 22(4): 285–91.
Prakash, A., et al. “Comparative hepatoprotective activity of three Phyllanthus species, P. urinaria, P. niruri and P.simplex, on carbon tetrachloride induced liver injury in the rat.” Phytother. Res. 1995; 9(8): 594–96.
Syamasundar, K. V., et al. “Antihepatotoxic principles of Phyllanthus niruri herbs.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1985; 14(1): 41–4.
Sreenivasa, R. Y., “Experimental production of liver damage and its protection with Phyllanthus niruri and Capparis spinosa in white albino rats.” Probe 1985; 24(2): 117–19.
Sripanidkulchai, B., et al. “Antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic effects of Phyllanthus amarus.” Phytomedicine 2002; 9(1): 26–32.
Rajeshkumar, N. V. “Antitumour and anticarcinogenic activity of Phyllanthus amarus extract.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2002; 81(1): 17–22.
Dhir, H., et al. “Protection afforded by aqueous extracts of Phyllanthus species against cytotoxicity induced by lead and aluminium salts.” Phytother. Res. 1990; 4(5): 172–76.
Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
This amazing rainforest vine has become quite popular in the U.S. for it’s patented ability to boost immune function. In addition to its immunostimulant benefits, researchers have reported that cat's claw can aid in DNA cellular repair and prevent cells from mutating; it also can help prevent the loss of white blood cells and immune cell damage caused by many toxins and drugs. Some of the newer research indicates that cat's claw might be helpful to people with Alzheimer's disease by reducing amyloid plaque normally found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Another research group recently reported that cat's claw's immune-stimulating alkaloids, pteropodine and isopteropodine, might have other properties and applications. They reported that these two chemicals have shown to have a positive modulating effect on brain neurotransmitters called 5-HT(2) receptors. These receptor sites are targets for drugs used in treating a variety of conditions, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, chronic pain conditions, and obesity.
Zhang, L., et al. "Quinic Acid Could Be a Potential Rejuvenating Natural Compound by Improving Survival of Caenorhabditis elegans under Deleterious Conditions." Rejuvenation Res. 2012 Sep 24
Bukowska, B., et al. "Uncaria tomentosa extracts protect human erythrocyte catalase against damage induced by 2,4-D-Na and its metabolites." Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Jun;50(6):2123-7.
Farias, I., et al. "Uncaria tomentosa stimulates the proliferation of myeloid progenitor cells." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;137(1):856-63.
Guthrie, O., et al. "Carboxy alkyl esters of Uncaria tomentosa augment recovery of sensorineural functions following noise injury." Brain Res. 2011 Aug 17;1407:97-106.
Bors, M., et al. "Protective activity of the Uncaria tomentosa extracts on human erythrocytes in oxidative stress induced by 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) and catechol." Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Sep;49(9):2202-11.
Mammone, T., et al. "A water soluble extract from Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's Claw) is a potent enhancer of DNA repair in primary organ cultures of human skin." Phytother. Res. 2006; 20(3): 178-83.
Pilarski, R., et al. "Anticancer activity of the Uncaria tomentosa (Willd.) DC. preparations with different oxindole alkaloid composition." Phytomedicine. 2010 Dec 1;17(14):1133-9.
Dreifuss, A., et al. "Antitumoral and antioxidant effects of a hydroalcoholic extract of cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) (Willd. Ex Roem. & Schult) in an in vivo carcinosarcoma model." J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Jul 6;130(1):127-33
Domingues, A., et al. "Prevention of experimental diabetes by Uncaria tomentosa extract: Th2 polarization, regulatory T cell preservation or both?" J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;137(1):635-42.
Domingues, A., et al. "Uncaria tomentosa aqueous-ethanol extract triggers an immunomodulation toward a Th2 cytokine profile." Phytother Res. 2011 Aug;25(8):1229-35
Erowele, G., et al. "Pharmacology and therapeutic uses of cat's claw." Am. J. Health Syst. Pharm. 2009 Jun 1; 66(11): 992-5.
Reis, S., et al. "Immunomodulating and antiviral activities of Uncaria tomentosa on human monocytes infected with Dengue Virus-2." Int. Immunopharmacol. 2008; 8(3): 468-76.
Holderness, J., et al. "Select plant tannins induce IL-2Ralpha up-regulation and augment cell division in gammadelta T cells." J. Immunol. 2007 Nov; 179(10): 6468-78.
Groom, S., et al. "The potency of immunomodulatory herbs may be primarily dependent upon macrophage activation." J. Med. Food. 2007 Mar; 10(1): 73-9.
Snow, A., et al. "Compounds, compositions and methods for the treatment of amyloid diseases and synucleinopathies such as Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's disease." United States Patent No. 7,514,583 April 7, 2009
Castillo, G., et al. "Methods of isolating amyloid-inhibiting compounds and use of compounds isolated from Uncaria tomentosa and related plants." United States Patent No. 7,314,642 January 1, 2008.
Cisneros, F. J., et al. “An Uncaria tomentosa (cat's claw) extract protects mice against ozone-induced lung inflammation.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan; 96(3): 355-64.
Goncalves, C., et al. “Antioxidant properties of proanthocyanidins of Uncaria tomentosa bark decoction: a mechanism for anti-inflammatory activity.” Phytochemistry. 2005; 66(1): 89-98.
Jurgensen, S., et al. “Involvement of 5-HT2 receptors in the antinociceptive effect of Uncaria tomentosa.” Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2005 Jul; 81(3): 466-77.
Lemaire, I., et al. “Stimulation of interleukin-1 and -6 production in alveolar macrophages by the neotropical liana, Uncaria tomentosa (uña de gato).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999; 64(2): 109–15.
Sheng, Y., et al., “DNA repair enhancement of aqueous extracts of Uncaria tomentosa in a human volunteer study.” Phytomedicine 2001; 8(4): 275–82.
Sheng, Y., et al., “Enhanced DNA repair, immune function and reduced toxicity of C-Med-100, a novel aqueous extract from Uncaria tomentosa.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000; 69(2): 115–26.
Rizzi, R., et al. “Mutagenic and antimutagenic activities of Uncaria tomentosa and its extracts.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1993; 38: 63–77.
Rizzi, R., et al. “Bacterial cytotoxicity, mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of Uncaria tomentosa and its extracts. Antimutagenic activity of Uncaria tomentosa in humans.” Premiere Colloque Européan d'Ethnopharmacologie, Metz, France, March 22–24, 1990.
Castillo, G., et al. “Pharmaceutical compositions containing Uncaria tomentosa extract for treating Alzheimer’s disease and other amyloidoses.” Patent-Pct. Int. Paol. 1998; 00 33,659: 67pp.
Mohamed, A. F., et al. “ Effects of Uncaria tomentosa total alkaloid and its components on experimental amnesia in mice: elucidation using the passive avoidance test.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 2001; 52(12): 1553–61.
Fedegoso (Cassia occidentalis)
Fedegoso has been the subject of recent clinical research for its beneficial effects on the liver and immune system. Two research groups published three studies citing the beneficial effects of fedegoso in human patients with liver toxicity, hepatitis, and even acute liver failure. Other researchers published four different animal studies indicating that fedegoso had the ability to protect the liver from various introduced chemical toxins, normalize liver enzymes and processes, and repair liver damage. Some of this research has also reported significant immunostimulant activity by increasing humoral immunity and bone marrow immune cells in mice, and protecting them from chemically-induced immunosuppression. These researchers and others also reported the cellular protective actions of fedegoso. In this research, fedegoso was able to prevent or reduce the mutation of healthy cells in the presence of laboratory chemicals which were known to mutate them. More recent research has reported that fedegoso helps normalize blood sugar and cholesterol levels which may be attributed to it's antioxidant actions.
Verma, L., et al. "Antidiabetic activity of Cassia occidentalis (Linn) in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats." Indian J Pharmacol. 2010 Aug;42(4):224-8.
Verma, L., et al. "Effect of ethanolic extract of Cassia occidentalis Linn. for the management of alloxan-induced diabetic rats." Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 May;2(3):132-7.
Sreejith, G., et al. "Anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipidperoxidant effects of Cassia occidentalis Linn." Indian J Exp Biol. 2010 May;48(5):494-8.
Arya, V., et al. "Antioxidant activity of organic and aqueous leaf extracts of Cassia occidentalis L. in relation to their phenolic content." Nat Prod Res. 2011 Sep;25(15):1473-9.
El-Hashash M., et al. "Antioxidant properties of methanolic extracts of the leaves of seven Egyptian Cassia species." Acta Pharm. 2010 Sep;60(3):361-7.
Sreejith, G., et al. "Anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory and anti-lipidperoxidant effects of Cassia occidentalis Linn." Indian J Exp Biol. 2010 May;48(5):494-8.
Sharma, N., et al. “Protective effect of Cassia occidentalis extract on chemical-induced chromosomal aberrations in mice.” Drug Chem. Toxicol. 1999; 22(4): 643–53.
Saraf, S., et al. “Antiheptatotoxic activity of Cassia occidentalis.” Int. J. Pharmacog. 1994; 32(2): 178–83.
Jafri, M. A., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of leaves of Cassia occidentalis against paracetamol and ethyl alcohol intoxication in rats.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1999; 66(3): 355–61.
Bin-Hafeez, B., et al. “Protective effect of Cassia occidentalis L. on cyclophosphamide-induced suppression of humoral immunity in mice.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2001; 75(1): 13–18.
Sharma, N., et al. “In vitro inhibition of carcinogen-induced mutagenicity by Cassia occidentalis and Emblica officinalis.” Drug Chem. Toxicol. 2000; 23(3): 477–84.
Picão preto (Bidens pilosa)
This rainforest plant has been documented with antioxidant and cellular protective actions. A research group in Taiwan reported that a picão preto extract was capable of protecting the liver of rats from various introduced toxins known to cause liver injury. This research group had previously demonstrated picão preto's anti-inflammatory actions in animals a year earlier. A Brazilian research group confirmed the anti-inflammatory activities in mice and attributed them to an immune modulation effect (noting the extract reduced the amount of pro-inflammatory immune cells in human blood in a previous study). In addition, other research demonstrated that a picão preto extract inhibited prostaglandin-synthesis and cyclooxygenase (COX) activities. Both are chemical processes in the body which are linked to inflammatory diseases. Picão preto was also documented to prevent hypertension in rats fed a high-fructose diet, and to lower the resulting (elevated) blood pressure and triglyceride levels. In hypertensive rats (including high dietary salt-induced hypertension), extracts of the plant significantly lowered blood pressure—without having an effect on heart rate and urine volume.
Wu, J., et al. "Investigation of the extracts from Bidens pilosa Linn. var. radiata Sch. Bip. for antioxidant activities and cytotoxicity against human tumor cells." J Nat Med. 2013 Jan;67(1):17-26.
Kviecinski, M., et al. "Brazilian Bidens pilosa Linné yields fraction containing quercetin-derived flavonoid with free radical scavenger activity and hepatoprotective effects." Libyan J Med. 2011 Jan 18;6.
Adedapo, A., et al. "Comparison of the nutritive value and biological activities of the acetone, methanol and water extracts of the leaves of Bidens pilosa and Chenopodium album." Acta Pol Pharm. 2011 Jan-Feb;68(1):83-92.
Horiuchi, M., et al. "Effects of Bidens pilosa L. var. radiata Scherff on experimental gastric lesion."
J Nat Med. 2010 Oct;64(4):430-5.
Suzigan, M., et al. "An acqueous extract of Bidens pilosa L. protects liver from cholestatic disease: experimental study in young rats." Acta Cir Bras. 2009 Sep-Oct;24(5):347-52.
Yuan, L., et al. "Protective effects of total flavonoids of Bidens pilosa L. (TFB) on animal liver injury and liver fibrosis." J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Mar 28;116(3):539-46.
Chang, C., et al. "Cytopiloyne, a polyacetylenic glucoside, prevents type 1 diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice."
J Immunol. 2007 Jun 1;178(11):6984-93.
Chang, S., et al. "Flavonoids, centaurein and centaureidin, from Bidens pilosa, stimulate IFN-gamma expression."
J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jun 13;112(2):232-6.
Chiang, Y., et al. "Cytopiloyne, a novel polyacetylenic glucoside from Bidens pilosa, functions as a T helper cell modulator." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 4;110(3):532-8.
Yang, H. L., et al. "Protection from oxidative damage using Bidens pilosa extracts in normal human erythrocytes." Food Chem. Toxicol. 2006 Sep; 44(9): 1513-21.
Chien, S., et al. "Anti-diabetic properties of three common Bidens pilosa variants in Taiwan." Phytochemistry. 2009 Jul;70(10):1246-54.
Hsu, Y., et al. "Anti-hyperglycemic effects and mechanism of Bidens pilosa water extract." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Mar 18;122(2):379-83.
Abajo. C. “In vitro study of the antioxidant and immunomodulatory activity of aqueous infusion of Bidens pilosa.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Aug; 93(2-3): 319-23.
Chang, C.L., et al. “The distinct effects of a butanol fraction of Bidens pilosa plant extract on the development of Th1-mediated diabetes and Th2-mediated air way inflammation in mice.” J. Biomed. Sci. 2005; 12(1): 79-89.
Wu, L. W., et al. “Polyacetylenes function as anti-angiogenic agents.” Pharm. Res. 2004 Nov;21(11):2112-9.
Dimo, T., et al. “Leaf methanol extract of Bidens pilosa prevents and attenuates the hypertension induced by high-fructose
diet in Wister rats.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2002; 83(3): 183–91.
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J. Chin. Med. 1996; 24(3–4): 231–40.
Gervâo (Stachytarpheta sp)
This tropical herb contains a plant chemical called verbascoside. In laboratory studies, this powerful antioxidant has been documented with brain cell protective, pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, liver protective, heart protective, and antitumorous effects. A flavonoid in gervâo called scutellarein has been documented with heart protective, anti-inflammatory and antiviral actions. Another flavonoid found in gervâo called hispidulin been reported to have liver detoxifing actions and helps to normalize sticky blood. Testing the plant extract, researchers reported it demonstrated antacid and antiulcerous effects in mice stating it had a protective effect to the gastric tract by increasing intestinal motility, protecting against ulcers from various chemical agents, and inhibiting gastric secretion.
Isacchi, N., et al. "Antihyperalgesic activity of verbascoside in two models of neuropathic pain." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2011 Apr;63(4):594-601.
Akdemir, Z., et al. "Bioassay-guided isolation of anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive and wound healer glycosides from the flowers of Verbascum mucronatum Lam." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jul 14;136(3):436-43.
Speranza, L., et al. "Antiinflammatory effects in THP-1 cells treated with verbascoside." Phytother Res. 2010 Sep;24(9):1398-404.
Sulaiman, M., et al. "Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl (Verbenaceae) in experimental animal models." Med Princ Pract. 2009;18(4):272-9.
Esposito, E., et al. "Protective effect of verbascoside in activated C6 glioma cells: possible molecular mechanisms." Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2010 Jan;381(1):93-105.
Hausmann, M., et al. "In vivo treatment with the herbal phenylethanoid acteoside ameliorates intestinal inflammation in dextran sulphate sodium-induced colitis." Clin Exp Immunol. 2007 May;148(2):373-81.
Penido, C., et al. “Anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcerogenic properties of Stachytarpheta cayennensis (L.C. Rich) Vahl.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Mar; 104(1-2): 225-33.
Alvarez, E., et al. “Inhibitory effects of leaf extracts of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (Verbenaceae) on the respiratory burst of rat macrophages. Phytother. Res. 2004; 18(6): 457-62.
Sheng, G. Q., et al. “Protective effect of verbascoside on 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion-induced neurotoxicity in PC12 cells.” Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2002; 451(2): 119–24.
Ferrandiz, M. L., et al. “Hispidulin protection against hepatotoxicity induced by bromobenzene in mice.” Life Sci. 1994; 55(8): PL145–50.
Schapoval, E. E., et al. “Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of extracts and isolated compounds from Stachytarpheta cayennensis.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1998; 60(1): 53–9.
Dabaghi-Barbosa, P., et al. “Hispidulin: antioxidant properties and effect on mitochondrial energy metabolism.” Free Radic. Res. 2005; 39(12): 1305-15.
Qiusheng, Z., et al. “Effects of verbascoside and luteolin on oxidative damage in brain of heroin treated mice.” Pharmazie. 2005; 60(7): 539-43.
Zhao, C., et al. "In vitro" protection of DNA from Fenton reaction by plant polyphenol verbascoside.”
Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 2005 May 25; 1723(1-3): 114-23.
Liu, M. J., et al.“The effects of verbascoside on plasma lipid peroxidation level and erythrocyte membrane fluidity during immobilization in rabbits: a time course study.” Life Sci. 2003 Jul; 73(7): 883-92.
Tayuya (Cayaponia tayuya)
Novel antioxidant chemicals have been discovered in tayuya and named cayaponosides (24 distinct cayaponosides have been discovered thus far). These phytochemicals have been documented to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and, more recently, to have anticancerous potential. The National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan reported that five cayaponosides in tayuya exhibited significant anti-tumor-promoter activity in screening tests. Another cucurbitacin found in tayuya, cucurbitacin R, has been studied extensively in Russia. There it is cited as a powerful adaptogen, preventing stress-induced alterations in the body. Other flavone phytochemicals in tayuya have been reported act as potent scavengers of free radicals, providing an antioxidant effect as well as protecting against damage induced by gamma-radiation.
Escandell, J. M., et al. "Inhibition of delayed-type hypersensitivity by Cucurbitacin R through the curbing of lymphocyte proliferation and cytokine expression by means of nuclear factor AT translocation to the nucleus."
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2010 Feb;332(2):352-63.
Aquila, S., et al. "Anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids from Cayaponia tayuya roots." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 21;121(2):333-7.
Escandell, J., et al. "Dihydrocucurbitacin B inhibits delayed type hypersensitivity reactions by suppressing lymphocyte proliferation." J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2007 Sep;322(3):1261-8.
Siqueira, J., et al. "Anti-inflammatory effects of a triterpenoid isolated from Wilbrandia ebracteata Cogn." Life Sci. 2007 Mar 20;80(15):1382-7.
Escandell, J. M., et al. “Dihydrocucurbitacin B, isolated from Cayaponia tayuya, reduces damage in adjuvant- induced arthritis.” Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2006 Jan 26;
Siqueira, J., et al. "Evaluation of the antitumoral effect of dihydrocucurbitacin-B in both in vitro and in vivo models." Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2009 Aug;64(3):529-38.
Escandell, J. M., et al. "Activated kRas protects colon cancer cells from cucurbitacin-induced apoptosis: the role of p53 and p21." Biochem Pharmacol. 2008 Jul 15;76(2):198-207.
Yang, L., et al. "23,24-Dihydrocucurbitacin B induces G2/M cell-cycle arrest and mitochondria-dependent apoptosis in human breast cancer cells (Bcap37)." Cancer Lett. 2007 Oct 28;256(2):267-78.
Recio, M. C., et al. “Anti-inflammatory activity of two cucurbitacins isolated from Cayaponia tayuya roots.” Planta Med. 2004; 70(5): 414-20.
Anon., “Anti-tumor-promoter activity of natural substances and related compounds.” Annual Report 1995. National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan, 1996.
Konoshima, T., et al. “Inhibitory effects of cucurbitane triterpenoids on Epstein-Barr virus activation and two-stage carcinogenesis of skin tumor.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 1995; 18(2): 284–87.
Panossian, A., et al. “On the mechanism of action of plant adaptogens with particular reference to cucurbitacin R diglucoside.” Phytomedicine. 1999 Jul; 6(3): 147-55.
Panosian, A. G., et al. “Action of adaptogens: cucurbitacin R diglucoside as a stimulator of arachidonic acid
metabolism in the rat adrenal gland.” Probl. Endokrinol. 1989 Mar-Apr; 35(2): 70-4.
Panosian, A. G., et al. “Effect of stress and the adaptogen cucurbitacin R diglycoside on arachidonic acid
metabolism.” Probl. Endokrinol. 1989 Jan-Feb; 35(1): 58-61.
Panosian, A. G., et al. “Cucurbitacin R glycoside—a regulator of steroidogenesis and of the formation of prostaglandin E2—a specific modulator of the hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal cortex system.” Biull. Eksp. Biol. Med. 1987; 104(10): 456-7.
Dadaian, M. A., et al. “Prostaglandin E2 and F2 alpha and 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid levels in the blood of immobilized rats: effect of dihydrocucurbitacin D diglucoside.” Vopr. Med. Khim. 1985 Nov-Dec; 31(6): 98-100.