Medicinal mint’s ancient healing secrets decoded in the lab

Have you ever noticed that the second scientists discover that a natural substance — like an herb or plant — can help promote better health or fight disease, they immediately begin using it to design a drug that pharmaceutical companies can sell for a ridiculously high profit?

It happens again and again because after all, drug companies can’t put a patent on a plant. They can’t lock down access to an herb.

So, instead, they have to turn it into a medicine your doctor can prescribe, and you get to foot the bill.

Well, it’s happening again — this time with a medicinal mint used for 2,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine.

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The power’s in the flavonoids

The plant is the Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi, more commonly known as Chinese Skullcap. And, not only is it well-known in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it’s cultivated worldwide for its therapeutic properties.

Preparations of its dried roots, called ‘Huang Qin’, possess novel compounds called flavonoids. These are the compounds that give plants their antioxidant activity and in the case of Chinese Skullcap, they show pharmacological activities, including antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-cancer, liver-protective and neuroprotective properties.

This means that this one little plant could have the power to help:

  • Kill bacteria that cause dangerous infections
  • Destroy viruses that can’t be overcome using antibiotics
  • Fight premature aging by preventing or even reversing free radical damage
  • Ward off cancer
  • Keep your liver healthy so that your body can get rid of the toxins exposed to every day through the foods you eat and the world around you
  • Ensure your brain stays sharp as you age

No wonder Chinese doctors have been recommending it to patients for millennia!

And, with all of these benefits, it’s no wonder that drug companies are salivating at the thought of the uses they can find for it.

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A drug company’s dream

That’s why teams of researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the John Innes Centre set out to map the genome of the plant and figure out its chemistry so that a wide array of drugs could be created.

The team took DNA from a single plant and used a combination of sequencing strategies to assemble 93 percent of the genome organized into nine subsets of information or “pseudo-chromosomes.”

This development means that they’re now able to identify the genes that produce the benefits, take them individually, and then turn them into drug candidates in the lab.

Of course, if these drugs end up saving lives, I’m all for it. It just never ceases to amaze me that when a plant or herb works so incredibly well, the first thing drug companies have to do is isolate why so they can change it slightly, patent it, and profit from it.

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No prescription needed

Those issues aside, the good news is that Chinese skullcap can clearly provide an array of amazing health benefits.

Even better, you can access all those benefits without a prescription since supplements are widely available online and at your local natural health store.

So, if you’re ready to put the power of an ancient Chinese medicinal mint to work for you, you don’t have to wait for those scientists to develop a drug, or pay a hefty out-of-pocket for it. You can get it today, easily, and inexpensively and begin supporting your overall health immediately.

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  1. Chinese-UK project reveals ancient secrets of medicinal mint — EurekAlert!

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.