As a Medical Herbalist, I am interested to know about the herbs and foods that promote our overall well-being and longevity, and particularly, the ones that prevent chronic diseases. If there is only one herb to take, what would it be?
To help me answer this question, I employ these criteria:
2) enduring value
3) promotion of longevity
5) effect against oxidative stress and inflammation
6) protection of liver
7) protection of heart
8) promotion of tissue and wound healing
9) protection against cancer
10) promotion of joint and bone health
12) promotion of good vision and healthy skin
13) prevention of diabetes
14) protection against toxins
15) enhancement of digestive health.
And the herb that fulfills all of the aforementioned criteria is Emblic Myrobalan.
In India, Tibet and Nepal, Emblic Myrobalan is considered the best among rejuvenating herbs. It is also called ‘fruit of prosperity’ and ‘life-sustainer’ because it promotes longevity. Health practitioners have been using Emblic Myrobalan for thousands of years in countries such as India, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Middle East nations, and China.
The Annual Report by the President’s (USA) Cancer Panel of Scientists stated that environmentally-induced cancer is grossly underestimated (Reuben, 2010). This report further highlighted the growing body of research that indicates how environmental factors are linked to genetic, immune, and endocrine dysfunctions, which have led to cancers and other diseases.
One of the most underestimated environmentally-induced toxins is radiation. Frequent travelling and constant exposure to electromagnetic radiation — generated by the increased use of wired and wireless technologies like cell phones, wireless-LAN and wireless communication at home and in the office — have also increased oxidative stress in our body. This is associated with cancer and many degenerative diseases.
Nobody knows about the long-term effects of our constant exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Yet it is a fact that radiation of any kind places stress on our immune system. Constant exposure has been associated with symptoms like ringing in the ears, allergies, problems with immunity, memory and vision, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, headaches and even cancer. The problem is compounded when we lead unhealthy lifestyle characterised by insufficient rest, poor diet and chronic mental stress.
Ferguson and Karunasinghe (2004) stated that our current intake of fruits and vegetables is not sufficient to protect us from the dietary or endogenous mutagens that are increasingly present in our environment and lifestyle. Therefore, the supplementation of whole herbs is necessary to counteract the increasing level of environmental toxins we encounter daily due to our food, environment and lifestyle choices.
Certain whole organic herbs can help us eliminate toxins through our liver, kidney, skin, lungs, digestive system and circulatory system. These organs either assimilate nutrients or eliminate toxins.
One of the most powerful herbs to protect us from radiation stress is Emblic Myrobalan, which is also contained in Phytolec™.
Emblic Myrobalan is extremely high in anti-oxidant content and it can counteract the symptoms of ageing, which is largely caused by oxidative stress, chronic stress, poor diet, poor elimination, environmental toxins and inflammation. In fact, in the anti-oxidant measurement study conducted by Carlsen et al. (2010), this herb was found to have the highest anti-oxidant content in the food category and among the top three in the herbs and spices category. An in vivo clinical study with mice exposed to different doses of gamma radiation demonstrated that those treated with Emblica officinalis hadreduced severity of symptoms of radiation, sickness and mortality (Singh, Sharma, Jindal, Soyal and Goyal, 2006). This protection is due to marked elevation of GSH (Glutathione) in the liver. GSH is the main antioxidant produced by the body to protect us from oxidative stress. This implies that Emblic Myrobalan holds great potential in preventing radiation stress from damaging our cells (which may lead to cancer).
Unfortunately, my market research on most Emblic Myrobalan extracts sold commercially shows low standard and quality. Most extracts are done with alcohol, and they are too low in clinical strength/concentration to be of any therapeutic and clinical effect. Further, the supplements distributed in the market are not regulated in many countries. Contamination of heavy metals such as mercury, arsenic and lead is common in many health supplements.
In view of that, I decided to create Phytolec™ – 100% certified organic Emblic Myrobalan fresh juice extract. It has clinical strength of more than 20 times, and has been tested both in the UK and Singapore to be free of all heavy metal toxicity and contaminants. This extract has been shown to be effective in treating chronic fatigue, poor immunity (constant flu, cold, allergy, and infection), aging skin, constipation/poor digestion, weak tissues and inflammatory diseases such as auto-immune, ulcerative colitis, tonsillitis and allergy.
If there is one herb you need to take to prevent diseases, this is it.