An ancient herb said to improve heart and liver health, more research is on the way

Saussurea is a flowering plant that thrives best at high altitudes. The root of the plant has been used for centuries in ancient medical practices such as Tibetan medicine, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), and Ayurveda to treat inflammation, prevent infection, relieve pain, clear up pinworm infections, and more.


It is so prized, in fact, certain species of the plant are endangered. One of these is the Himalayan snow lotus, Saussurea asteraceae (S. asterzceae), which grows at altitudes of 12,000 feet.

Dried forms of Saussurea are available as a nutritional supplement. However, aside from a handful of studies—mostly in animals—scientists have not looked closely at how Saussurea may be useful in modern medicine.

scientists do know the plant contains compounds called terpenes that can relieve pain and inflammation. Terpenes work in much the same way non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen) do, by suppressing an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX)


Heart Disease

A few animal studies suggest S. lappa may be beneficial for heart health. In one, researchers used chemicals to cause rats to develop angina—pain that occurs when the heart doesn't get enough oxygen. The researchers then gave one set of rats with angina an extract of S. lappa and left the rest untreated.

After 28 days, the rats treated with S. lappa showed no signs of myocardial infarction—injury to the heart muscle—while the untreated rats did.

A similar study found rabbits who got three doses of an S. lappa extract had better blood flow to the heart and a healthier heart rate than untreated rabbits. This effect was similar to that seen in rabbits treated with digoxin and diltiazem, medicines often prescribed to treat certain heart conditions.

Saussurea has been used in ancient healing practices to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. It hasn't been studied much, but scientists do know it may help relieve pain and fight infection, including pinworms. In animal studies, Saussurea has shown potential benefits for the heart and the liver.

Post time: Mar-29-2022

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