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HerbSprout Microbiome Blog -


Herbsprout is a webblog and podcast dedicated to sharing the health benefits of herbs, food, innovations related to our gut microbiome. Herbsprout seeks to bridge the vast chasm dividing the mainstream medical community and alternative medicine.

Turmeric - The Power Herb

Turmeric - The Power Herb
Curcumin a powerful anti-inflamatory herb/ spice, is a key compound found in turmeric root. Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes diseases of the heart and brain, such as Alzheimer's.

Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number.

One of the main drivers of the process where neurons form new connections and actually multiply in numbers, is the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) hormone. Curcumin is able to boost brain levels of BDNF. BDNF is a type of growth hormone that can also delay the progression of Alzheimer's and is believed to improve memory.

Turmeric is a particularly strong "anti-oxidant" that protects your body from free radicals, which are damaging to our body.

Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases, according to Healthline; see

Curcumin may help prevent heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. Endothelium dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease. It also reduces inflammation and oxidation. Now that's a power herb, arguably the most powerful herb.

Curcumin could improve pancreatic cells and decrease glucose levels, as well as other metabolic profile in T2D (type 2 diabetes) or atherosclerosis through inhibition of iNOS and COX-2. Furthermore, a curcumin-supplemented diet increased the richness of lactobacillales and improved the index of colon tumors. Ginsenoside also protected cardiac function and decreased blood glucose levels. (See
Contact Qinglong Guo; and Na Lu;
#ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #diet #gutmicrobiome #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbs #machinelearning #mindbody #plantnutrition #spices

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“100 Trillion Bacteria!”

“100 Trillion B...
The gut microbiome is a vast ecosystem of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans that live in our digestive pipes, which collectively weigh up to 2kg (heavier than the average brain), according to Amy Fleming, who wrote an article on gut microbiome and happiness in The Guardian (“Is your gut microbiome the key to health and happiness?” by Amy Fleming, November 06, 2017; It is increasingly treated by scientists as an organ.

Each gut contains about 100 trillion bacteria, many of which are vital, breaking down food and toxins, making vitamins and training our immune systems. The hope, says Fleming who quotes neuroscientist John Cryan, is that it may one day be possible to diagnose some brain diseases and mental health problems by analysing gut bacteria, and to treat them – or at least augment the effects of drug treatments – with specific bacteria. Cryan and his colleague Ted Dinan at the APC Microbiome Institute call these mood-altering germs “psychobiotics”, and have co-written a book with the American science writer Scott C Anderson called The Psychobiotic Revolution.

For example, though they differ from one to another, a person with diabetes is more likely to have a certain suite of microbes than a person without diabetes. A recent Popular Science article (“Scientists want to turn our gut bacteria into medicine”, August 31, 2017 by Claire Maldarelli) referred to this connection of gut microbiomes and diabetes.

An earlier article in The Guardian, “Gut bacteria regulate nerve fibre insulation” (Mo Costandi, April 05, 2016) claims that “alterations in our gut bacteria composition may be connected to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions, including autism, chronic pain, depression, and Parkinson’s Disease.” Psychosomatic Medicine reported that “various factors play a role (in PTSD), including a lack of social support and low levels of the neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y (see British Psychological Society blog, November 22, 2017;
#ai #artificialintelligence #bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #healthinnovation #healthtech #machinelearning #mindbody

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Anti-microbial herbal treatments

Anti-microbial herbal treatments
While other blog entries are focused on the healthy balance of trillions of microbes that reside inside our bodies, this entry discusses the unhealthy invasive microbes that are external to our bodies. “Health care was originally designed to address infectious diseases” (invasive microbes), and treating diseases were focused on “anti-microbial” treatments and today, anti-biotic treatments. This approach has its merits. However, anti-biotics are known to suppress the healthy growth of gut microbiome.

The preferred alternative for disease prevention might be the use of herbs in a person’s diet; a naturopathic “anti-microbial” approach instead of anti-biotic treatments. This is not to discourage the use of anti-biotics in emergency or critical care situations. However, the ongoing preventive consumption of “natural antibiotics” are less disruptive to the system. Again, these are “external” disease- prone microbes that can disrupt our body’s health.

Anti-microbial Herbs:

There are a number of anti-microbial herbs which serve to protect humans against invasive bacteria or viruses. These include oregano oil, manuka honey, garlic, onions, and echinacea, to name a few.

• Oregano oil is one of the most powerful antibacterial essential oils because it contains carvacrol and thymol, two antibacterial and antifungal compounds. In fact, research shows oregano oil is effective against many clinical strains of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

• Manuka honey can effectively inhibit multiple drug-resistant pathogens, indicating it has a broad spectrum of antibacterial capabilities unlike most antimicrobial agents.

• Garlic, especially raw garlic, contains chemical compounds, including allicin, have been proven to display antimicrobial activity and work to kill pathogens that are responsible for both common and rare infections. Garlic has been used for centuries to combat infectious diseases.

• Onions is a food often used in mixed vegetable dishes, soups, and stir fry meals. Onions contain powerful flavonoids that have antibiotic effects, and, like garlic, they contain therapeutic sulfur compounds called cysteine sulphoxides.

• Echinacea is a powerful immune system stimulator that can fight a number of infections.

#antimicrobiome #bacteria #datascience #diet #health #healthinnovation #healthtech #herbalmedicine #herbs #naturopathicmedicine #plantnutrition #spices

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Our Mind- Body Connection

Our Mind- Body Connection
The history of modern medicine in the U.S. and Europe had a defining moment in the 17thCentury led by Rene Descartes. The “Cartesian duality” of mind and body stated that the mind and body are independently functioning parts. Today, we can no longer assume this traditional western belief that the brain and body are independently functioning. Not only do we know the mind and body are intimately interconnected, but they are immersively interdependent, constantly communicating, and working collaboratively together. Scientific communities all over the world are delving deeper into researching the intricacies and connections between the mind and body.

“The Brain- Gut Connection”

The way we look at the brain and brain research has completely flipped on its head since a few decades ago when scientists first discovered that “messenger molecules” for the brain were circulating throughout the body in the bloodstream. None are more pervasive and penetrating than what scientists have found in the activities of microbiomes of the gut.

“Every cell is eavesdropping on the brain’s activity, sending and receiving messages identical to those that the brain processes,” says Deepak Chopra and contributing author Naveen Jain in their Huffington Post article “Will the Gut-Brain Connection Revolutionize Wellness?” (September 11, 2017). In this article, Chopra goes so far as to say that all the common experiences we have are indicators of the brain’s connection to the gut — “getting butterflies in your stomach when you feel nervous, overeating when you feel anxious, feeling dull and sluggish after taking an antibiotic, contracting stomach cramps before a competitive challenge, experiencing nausea or stomach upset from taking antidepressants.” Every major organ in the body from the heart to the stomach and liver combine to possess hundreds of millions of neurons with corresponding DNA, which again collectively makes up the “enteric nervous system”.

The bacteria inside our guts, microbiomes, include unlimited numbers of species and strains. They differ from person to person with limited or no relationship from person to person.” The known “messenger molecules” associated with the brain that circulate throughout the body in the bloodstream even produce neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals our brain uses to communicate with the rest of the body. Every cell is eavesdropping on the brain’s activity, sending and receiving messages identical to those that the brain processes.

The brain – microbial body connections seem endless, as the engine of microbial research redefines the health care industry.

#bacteria #datascience #gutmicrobiome #healthinnovation #healthtech #mindbody

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