The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point

Archive for the 'G. BOTANICALS' Category

CAM use by children with pain in the United States

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

CAM is frequently used by children with pain in the USA and many parents report benefits for their child’s symptoms.

What we know

Chronic pain is reported by 15-25% of children. The objective of this study was to provide estimates of CAM use by children with pain in the United States.

The study revealed

CAM use among children with pain was associated with female sex, higher income, and presence of 4+ comorbidities.

The 2 most commonly used CAM were biologically-based therapies (47.3%) (e.g., special diets and herbal supplements) and manipulative or body-based therapies (46.3%) (e.g., chiropractic and massage).

When is black cohosh not black cohosh?

Monday, December 26th, 2016

This site has stated that the evidence for using black cohosh to treat the symptoms of menopause is disappointing.

A study in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry suggests that one reason might be related to the lack of manufacturing standards in the production of this product, which leads to significant variability in the contents of different brands. (more…)

Acne: Recommendations are easy; data, scarce

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Herbalists recommend more than a dozen herbal remedies for acne and scarring, according to a recent article.

Unfortunately, only 1 of these herbals is supported by the results of a study in patients. (more…)

Herbal treatments for acne vulgaris

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Faculty members from Hamdard University in New Delhi, India have published a review on Medscape of treatment options for acne, with emphasis on herbal treatment options.

Here’s a summary of the herbal section. (more…)

Ineffective herbal remedies for treating acne

Monday, July 11th, 2016

I recently came across a website advocating herbals to treat or prevent acne.

The website isn’t important, but the results of my PubMed searches might be useful. (more…)

Predicting the risk of psychosis in cannabis users

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of psychosis. It’s suggested that genetic variation in the AKT1 gene might influence this adverse effect.

Researchers at Kings College London, in the UK, studied the connection. (more…)

Acne treatments

Saturday, July 11th, 2015

The surest way to know that there is no truly effective treatment for a condition is to count the number of treatment recommendations. The more recommendations, the less likely it is that any of them have a significant effect. I’m not sure if there is a tipping point. Whether 6 or 12 or 20 recommended treatments guarantee that you will have less than complete cure.

Here are some of the recommendations from just one article.

(more…)

Avoid marijuana during pregnancy and breast feeding

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published its position on use of pot during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

The bottom line.

Yes, there are limitations in the available data about marijuana’s effects on the fetus during pregnancy and on the neonate during lactation. However, ACOG has seen enough to recommend that during pregnancy and during breast feeding to advise “discontinuation of maternal use [of marijuana], whether recreational or medicinal.”

There are no FDA-approved indications regarding marijuana use during pregnancy and lactation. Also, there are no standardized formulations, dosages, or delivery systems. Smoking, the most common route of administration of THC, cannot be medically condoned during pregnancy and lactation, according to ACOG.

The use of marijuana during pregnancy is associated with lower scores on tests of attention, coordination, and behavior in offspring.

6/25/15 JR

Up in smoke: Medical marijuana debunked

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

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Proponents of the use of medical marijuana like to start speeches and articles by quickly stating that cannabinoids are of proven value in treating many diseases.

Poppycock. This site has stated repeatedly: not true, not true, not true.

Now the evidence is in, and we were right. JAMA confirms that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabinoids is tenuous at best. And risk of side effects with cannabinoids to treat anything is high.

(more…)

Milk thistle interaction with raloxifene (Evista)

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

milk_thistleRaloxifene is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that is used to reduce the risk of invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

Researchers at Washington State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro evaluated the inhibitory effects of individual milk thistle constituents on the intestinal glucuronidation (detoxification) of raloxifene.

First, the details.

  • The inhibitory effects of individual milk thistle constituents on the intestinal metabolism of raloxifene were studied in the lab.
  • UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1-1 (also known as UGT-1A) is an enzyme in human intestines, which along with UGT1A8, and UGT1A10 are critical to metabolizing and removing raloxifene from the body.

And, the results.

  • Milk thistle components silybin A and silybin B were potent inhibitors of raloxifene metabolism.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded: “Silibinin and silymarin [the major active constituents] were predicted to increase raloxifene systemic exposure by about 5-fold, indicating a high risk of interaction. Safety of raloxifene is discussed here.

It’s understandable that these women seek CAM, including herbals, to supplement raloxifene treatment.

It needs to be studied in humans, but for now, the risk of taking milk thistle would seem to outweigh any potential benefits. Check with your healthcare professional.

6/20/15 JR

 

Lack of effect of Hibiscus sabdariffa L. on cholesterol

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

hisbiscus_0Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (roselle, red sorrel; Arabic: karkade) grows as large shrubs or small trees that produce huge, colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers promoted to reduce cholesterol levels.

Researchers at the University of Malaya, in Kuala Lumpur, reviewed the data on its effectiveness and safety. (more…)

The reality of herbal supplement contamination

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

little-guy2Adulteration of herbal products is common and a threat to consumer safety.

Researchers from Canada and India are the latest to investigate the integrity of herbal products. (more…)

Cannabis effective in patients with Crohn’s disease?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Marijuana1-150x150Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in Israel, focus on the positive in this small study. (more…)

Interaction of Ginkgo biloba with antiplatelet drugs

Monday, September 9th, 2013

little-guy2Back in the ‘90s there were several reports of serious interactions in people who used Ginkgo biloba with other “blood thinners” to treat peripheral vascular disease (ie, dementia and claudication).

Researchers at Inje University College of Medicine, in Busan, Republic of Korea, evaluated the effects of G. biloba extracts on the pharmacokinetics of the antiplatelet drug cilostazol (Pletal) and its metabolites. (more…)

Effects of red ginseng extract on sleep in healthy volunteers

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

ginssengThe ginseng root has been traditionally used as a sedative.

Researchers at Kwandong University, in Gangreung, Republic of Korea studied the response to red ginseng extract by human volunteers. (more…)

Profiling and assumed herb-induced liver toxicity

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

little-guy2Alternative explanations are common in about 47% of suspected drug-induced liver injury.

Researchers in Germany raised the question of whether a similar frequency might prevail in cases of assumed herb-induced liver injury. (more…)

Evening primrose oil and the risk of seizures

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

primrose-bannerThere’s a concern (here, here, and here) voiced by some reputable websites that taking evening primrose oil might make seizures more likely in some people.

Here’s what we know. (more…)

Lower fasting blood sugar levels associated with marijuana use

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Marijuana1-150x150This study has been picked up by just about every news organization — far different from recent study results on adverse effects of marijuana.

Since this site is fair and balance, here are the results from University of Nebraska College of Medicine, Omaha, on the relationship between marijuana use and fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance. (more…)

More dangers of pot smoking reported

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

MarijuanaTwo more research studies warn against having a cavalier approach to cannabis.

First, researchers at University of Sydney, in Australia, determined the prevalence of recent alcohol, nicotine, or cannabis use in young persons presenting for mental healthcare. (more…)

Ginkgo biloba fails to prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Monday, December 17th, 2012

Researchers in France participating in the GuidAge Study Group assessed the long-term use of standardized ginkgo biloba extract in elderly adults with memory complaints. (more…)