Cat’s Claw for Immunity and Recovery - Medicinal Herbs Podcast Series

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Scientific Name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Constituents:

  • Volatile oil (borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, pinene, limonene & linalool)
  • Phenolic Diterpenes & Caffeic acid derivatives (carnosol, carnosic acid, rosmarinic acid, oleanolic & ursolic acid)
  • Flavonoids (apigenin, diosmin, diosmin)
  • Resin
  • Tannins

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Astringent
  • Cardiotonic
  • Carminative & Antispasmodic
  • Cerebral Circulatory stimulant
  • Choleretic & Cholagogue
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Nervine Tonic & Stimulant
  • Rubefacient

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Whole extract appears to have greater activity than isolated constituents. However, antioxidant activity is primarily attributed to the diterpenes, carnosol and carnosic acid.
  • Extract & constituents (carnosol & carnosic acid) have inhibited DNA adduct formation induced by the carcinogens benzo(a)pyrene and aflatoxin B1 in vitro.
  • Volatile oils (borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, limonene) are carminative, analgesic, and nervine stimulants.
  • Flavonoids & caffeic acid and its derivatives (e.g. Apigenin & rosmarinic acid) have potent anti-inflammatory & antioxidant effects and are well absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and from the skin. It increases the production of prostaglandin E2 and reduces the production of leukotriene B4 and inhibits the complement system.
  • Carnosic acid has demonstrated anti-androgenic activity through inhibition of 5αreductase inhibition and binding of dihydrotestosterone to androgen receptors for use in the treatment of androgenic alopecia.
  • Diosmin reduces capillary fragility.
  • Extracts have shown inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity and a stimulatory effect on butyrylcholinesterase expression in the brain cortex and hippocampus, possibly leading to improved long-term memory.

Pharmacy:

  • Infusion
  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • Culinary uses & as food
  • External applications: baths, ointments, chest rub, massage oil

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Topical use of essential oil may cause dermatitis & photosensitivity.
  • Avoid internal use of essential oil.
  • Avoid in pregnancy & lactation.
  • Use caution in epilepsy, as high dose camphor may cause convulsions.

Interactions:

  • May inhibit iron absorption (avoid taking with meals and supplements).

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