Benefits of Sutherlandia

Our immune system is the way our body fights with germs and infections. As this is our line of defense, it needs to be top notch for us to stay healthy. Defects in immune system can lead to diseases, allergies and even cancer. This is why it is important to take care of our immune system. We can do this by eating diet that helps to boost our immunity.

SUTHERLANDIA AS AN IMMUNE BOOSTER:

Sutherlandia microphylla and Sutherlandia frutescens are herbs that have been used safely for over a century in various diseases. They are safe to use as they help fight germs by aiding body’s own natural defenses. The herb is also known as Phetola which means a fundamental change.

Sutherlandia has been used as an immune enhancer, in anxiety, fatigue, influenza and asthma, diabetes, ulcers and as a general enhancer of appetite and feeling of well-being.

Professor Ben-Erik van Wyk, Carl Albrecht MD and Nigel Gericke MD are working to provide scientific basis for the benefits of this plants. They are isolating several compounds present in this plant that have beneficial role:

L-Canavinine:

This is a non-protein amino acid which has role against viruses, bacteria, fungi and even cancer cells. It can also be used in inflammation as it stops the production of nitric oxide synthase, which is important in inflammation. It also fights MIAPaCa-2 which is pancreatic cancer.

Canavinine can be found in legumes, onions and garlic. Its concentration is 2mg/g of Sutherlandia leaf. In this dose it is safe. The dose will have to be huge, about 14000mg, to be toxic. This is why it is safe to consume Sutherlandia.

Arginine:

Arginine acts by improving immunity as well enhancing thymus gland size and functionality. As a result it is of special interest in immune diseases like AIDS and also reduces tumor cell growth.

Other benefits include prevention against liver cirrhosis, decrease cholesterol in the body and increase the levels of insulin like growth factor. For these last two benefits, the levels of Arginine consumed need to be about 20 gram. The compound helps in repairing of wounds and fractures as well in healing damaged nerves.

Arginine should not be consumed in people with herpes. However, this is only for pure form of Arginine i.e. when it is used as a supplement. In Sutherlandia, the quantity of Arginine is not enough to hurt people with viral infections. In fact, Sutherlandia actually helps in fighting viral infections.

Pinitol:

Pinitol is important in glucose metabolism and glucose transport inside cells. Its metabolite can actually improve resistance to insulin, meaning it can help in diabetic patients and patients with polycystic ovaries.

Inzitol is a well known Pinitol product. It increases the production of glycogen which is the form in which body stores sugar in the body. This was discovered in St. George University, which led the researchers to believe that Inzitol provides fuel to the muscles for rapid utilization at the time of exercise.

Pinitol can help in building mass and improving weight in patients who have diseases like cancer or HIV in which their body rapidly and dangerously loses weight. When Sutherlandia was given to these patients, 10-15kg of weight gain was seen in a few weeks. The best thing is that healthy people do not gain this weight; only those suffering from such diseases do.

GABA:

Gamma amino butyric acid is most commonly used to control seizures. It is an amino acid, which is the building block of proteins; as well as a neurotransmitter. It can be used to reduce anxiety and to help fight depression that occurs in women as a result of hormonal changes.

During a research conducted, it was seen that GABA is very helpful in stroke patients. Given in a dose of 2g/day, the compound improved speech as well as helped in recovery of memory. It can reduce blood sugar while a slightly higher dose can do the same for blood pressure, making it a cardio protective compound.

Asparagine:

Asparagine is essential for excretion of urea from the body, which is produced during protein breakdown. If urea is not removed from the body, it can accumulate as a toxic compound, resulting in a condition called uremia. This is characterized by confusion, lethargy and headache and in extreme cases, coma and death.

Within the central nervous system, Asparagine converts to aspartic acid, providing energy to brain cells. It is also good for fatigue and depression and enhances antibody synthesis in the body.

CONCLUSION:

Sutherlandia has been shown by research as well as clinical experience to be effective as an immune enhancer, anti-inflammatory, pain killer, anti-cancer agent and has activity against viruses, bacteria and fungi. According to WHO guidelines, the herb is safe to consume.

It can cause diarrhea and dryness of mouth but these effects are not common. The only precaution is not to use the herb in pregnancy,

Although Sutherlandia is an amazing herb, the research in its use is still in its early phases. However, the herb has been clinically shown to be of benefit and research and trial results are also very encouraging, prompting health care professionals to start using this as a medicine.

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