Natural Herbs for Muscle, Suma Root aka Brazilian Ginseng


Suma Root (Pfaffia paniculata)

Common Use
Suma root, also known as Para Todo (For All Things) is called “Brazilian Ginseng” by some herbalists and is one of the most highly regarded South American herbs. While not a true member of the Panax ginseng family, it is an authentic adaptogenic herb, and as such exerts a normalizing influence on your body and can help regulate and enhance your endocrine, nervous, digestive, cardiovascular and immune systems. South American Natives have used Suma for centuries to treat wounds, skin rashes, low energy and sexual disinterest. The overall effect is to give you an increased resistance to stress while having a cell-building and regenerating effect.

The rain forests in Brazil are home to suma root. Some of the world’s best therapeutic plants are found throughout the rainforests of South America. Pfaffia paniculata, better known as suma, is a ground vine whose root has been used for centuries to promote health. In Portuguese, Suma Root is called “para tudo” which means “for everything”. The name is likely in reference to use it being used to improve various ailments including fatigue, anxiety, erectile malaise, and stress.

Ancient Uses
Ancient tribes of South America have high regard for the Suma root. It is used to treat fatigue, loss of weight, stress, low immune system functioning and many other illnesses.

Modern Uses
In modern times, the Suma root was studied and seen to contain amino acids, minerals, electrolytes, saponins and many other chemicals that may support its therapeutic healing abilities. It is used to treat hormonal imbalances and can also be beneficial to help people with thyroid problems.

It has anti inflammatory effects that could benefit people who suffer with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It can reduce swelling, pain, inflammation and reduced joint mobility. It has the ability to enhance immunity and to increase libido as well. It can provide cell and tissue rejuvenating effects; this is the main reason why it is thought to have anti cancer preventing capabilities.
Experts believe that the Suma root is a promising treatment to reduce cancer cells and leukemia cells. The ability of this herbal remedy to increase cellular oxygenation is possibly the backbone of this claim.

The Suma root has a spicy yet vanilla like flavor and is usually made into teas. When reduced to powdered form, it can be sprinkled on foods and can also be used to add flavor to certain beverages. In addition, it can be used as an herbal supplement, an extract and is also available in powdered form to be processed as capsules, or in tablet form.

Suma and Strength Building
Suma also has a nickname of “The Russian Secret”, and that’s because back in 1976 a Russian scientist called V.N. Syrov extracted an ergogenic compound called ecdysterone from the plant, and found out that it exerted more of an anabolic effect in-vitro than Dianabol and methandrostenolone, which are both anabolic steroids.

After that Syrov introduced suma and ecdysterone extracts to the Russian olympic team, and conducted several trials on the herb and extracts…

Here’s one abstract from Syrov’s trial on amateur athletes:
Experiment participants first noted a “sense of well-being” within 3-5 days, and a new increased desire to get to their next training session. Weight lifters experienced much less pain during heavy lifts when they took Suma. These researchers recommended 500 mg. for every 40 lbs. of body weight, spread out evenly in two divided doses, for the maximum gain in muscle strength and size. During a 54-day period (almost 8 weeks), the dosage was only taken on days 1-10, 16-25, and days 31-40. Despite the 24 days off the herb, researchers reported that Suma’s effects were still felt by the athletes on the off days.

This all happened during the cold war, and as suma gave a competitive edge to the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympics against U.S, it’s pretty clear that the knowledge and research conducted by V.N Syrov was kept as a secret…

Properties & Constituents
Suma root is also quite valuable nutritionally as it contains essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, plant sterols, steroidal saponins, nortripenes, ecdysteroids, pfaffic acids, electrolytes and trace elements. Researchers have identified 152 chemical constituents in the root, including 19 amino acids, electrolytic and trace minerals such as iron, magnesium, cobalt, silica and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B-1, B-2, E, K1, K2 and pantothenic acid. It contains high amounts of the trace element germanium, which is a powerful immune stimulator. The germanium may be partly responsible for Suma’s powerful ability to bring more oxygen to the cells.

It is considered one of the richest sources of B-Ecdysterone, a plant hormone that can help maintain your youth and strength. B-Ecdysterone can also accelerate wound healing , along with allantoin (comfrey also contains allantoin), a known cellular rebuilder that is present in this plant. Research in Brazil, Japan and the United States has found unique natural substances in Suma called pfaffosides which are believed to regulate blood sugar levels. Suma helps regulate blood pressure, cholesterol, hormones (especially estrogen) and acid-base balance. You can benefit by using Suma root as a healing agent, tonic or aphrodisiac. Suma also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate chronic and acute pain. Not recommended if pregnant or nursing mothers.



Herbs for Yoga. Brahmi-Gotu Kola


History of Brahmi

Gotu Kola also known as “Brahmi”, which is derived from Hinduism meaning the “Brahman”. The Brahman is the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world. In Sanskrit it is Sat-cit-ananda, which is being-consciousness-bliss and is the highest reality.

Throughout its history, Brahmi has been one of the more important herbs when it comes to Ayurvedic medicine. In India, the herb was used with newborn children, with the wide held belief being that the herb would cause the child to become more open minded and intelligent; essentially the Brahmi was actually believed to free the mind of the child.

Additionally, the herb was well known and used by the great sages of Indian philosophy, who appropriately gave it its name which means ‘knowledge’. Charaka, Ayurveda’s third legendary physician, who identifies the seasons and times of day when a particular plant’s medicinal powers achieve their maximum potency, states that the true value of brahmi lies in its outstanding performance against senile decay and loss of memory, and its capacity for enhancing verbal articulation.

One interesting piece of evidence for its effectiveness is given by Appa Rao in Medicinal Plants of India: “A double blind clinical test was conducted on thirty mentally retarded children, who were free from epilepsy and other neurological conditions, to study the effect of the drug extracted from Indian pennywort (brahmi) on general mental ability. The results indicated a significant improvement in both general ability and behavioural patterns when the drug was administered for a short period of twelve weeks.”


About the plant

Brahmi, a plant from the Umbelliferae family, is the Sanskrit name for the Indian pennywort, also known as khulakudi in Hindi. In the dictionary of herbs it is known as somavati or saraswati. It is a so-called ‘weed’ which is found growing wild in marshlands and reservoirs, and near the banks of rivers and lakes all over India and South Africa. This herb creeps along the ground, rooting at the nodes, and has small light green leaves fluted around the edges. In taste it resembles parsley, but unlike parsley it is slightly bitter. The entire plant, especially the leaves, is used for medicinal purposes. It is perhaps the most important nervine herb used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Brahmi and the yogi

Brahmi is an important food for yogis and improves meditation. A dosage of brahmi taken before meditation is a great aid in this practice. It helps to awaken the crown chakra at the top of the head (sahasrara), and balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Brahmi is one of the best herbs for balancing and rejuvenating the whole mind and consciousness system.

Consisting of triterpenoid saponins, sapogenins, Calcium, Phosphorous, Iron, Potassium, Beta-Carotene, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin.


Cordyceps Promotes Exercise Endurance – Even Without You Having to Exercise!


Cordyceps medicinal mushroom is believed to promote longevity and health and improve athletic performance and endurance. However, the specific mechanism for fighting fatigue and boosting physical fitness has long remained a mystery to scientists.

Researchers at the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences in Delhi, India, set up a study to evaluate the exercise endurance promoting activities of Cordyceps Sinensis medicinal mushroom.

Cordyceps supplements were given orally to rats for a little over two weeks. The results were remarkable. Rats who did not exercise, but consumed Cordyceps, were able to improve their exercise endurance by 1.79-fold. Rats who exercised and consumed Cordyceps, increased their endurance 2.9-fold as compared to placebo rats, i.e. rats who did not receive any medicinal mushroom supplements.

According to researchers, the mechanism through which Cordyceps supplementation produced results, was the upregulation of the skeletal muscle metabolic regulators, angiogenesis and better glucose and lactate uptake.

Unbelievable, But True — Cordyceps Improves Endurance Even If You Are Not Exercising

What does this mean to you? The study clearly suggests that you can (or at least test animals could) improve your exercise endurance even if you are not exercising, simply by consuming Cordyceps supplements.

Does this work with humans as well? We will look into human clinical studies and will report back to you as soon as we have more information on medicinal mushrooms’ ability to boost exercise endurance in humans.

Courtesy of Medicinal Mushroom Info.

Gonadotropins: Luteinizing and Follicle Stimulating Hormones

Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are called gonadotropins because they stimulate the gonads – in males, the testes, and in females, the ovaries. They are not necessary for life, but are essential for reproduction. These two hormones are secreted from cells in the anterior pituitary called gonadotrophs. Most gonadotrophs secrete only LH or FSH, but some appear to secrete both hormones.

As described for thyroid-simulating hormone, LH and FSH are large glycoproteins composed of alpha and beta subunits. The alpha subunit is identical in all three of these anterior pituitary hormones, while the beta subunit is unique and endows each hormone with the ability to bind its own receptor.

Physiologic Effects of Gonadotropins

Physiologic effects of the gonadotrophins are known only in the ovaries and testes. Together, then regulate many aspects of gonadal function in both males and females.

Luteinizing Hormone

In both sexes, LH stimulates secretion of sex steroids from the gonads. In the testes, LH binds to receptors on Leydig cells, stimulating synthesis and secretion of testosterone. Theca cells in the ovary respond to LH stimulation by secretion of testosterone, which is converted into estrogen by adjacent granulosa cells.

In females, ovulation of mature follicles on the ovary is induced by a large burst of LH secretion known as the preovulatory LH surge. Residual cells within ovulated follicles proliferate to form corpora lutea, which secrete the steroid hormones progesterone and estradiol. Progesterone is necessary for maintenance of pregnancy, and, in most mammals, LH is required for continued development and function of corpora lutea. The name luteinizing hormone derives from this effect of inducing luteinization of ovarian follicles.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

As its name implies, FSH stimulates the maturation of ovarian follicles. Administration of FSH to humans and animals induces “superovulation”, or development of more than the usual number of mature follicles and hence, an increased number of mature gametes.

FSH is also critical for sperm production. It supports the function of Sertoli cells, which in turn support many aspects of sperm cell maturation.

Control of Gonadotropin Secretion

The principle regulator of LH and FSH secretion is gonadotropin-releasing hormone(GnRH, also known as LH-releasing hormone). GnRH is a ten amino acid peptide that is synthesized and secreted from hypothalamic neurons and binds to receptors on gonadotrophs.

As depicted in the figure to the right, GnRH stimultes secretion of LH, which in turn stimulates gonadal secretion of the sex steroids testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. In a classical negative feedback loop, sex steroids inhibit secretion of GnRH and also appear to have direct negative effects on gonadotrophs.


This regulatory loop leads to pulsatile secretion of LH and, to a much lesser extent, FSH. The number of pulses of GnRH and LH varies from a few per day to one or more per hour. In females, pulse frequency is clearly related to stage of the cycle.

Numerous hormones influence GnRH secretion, and positive and negative control over GnRH and gonadotropin secretion is actually considerably more complex than depicted in the figure. For example, the gonads secrete at least two additional hormones – inhibin and activin – which selectively inhibit and activate FSH secretion from the pituitary.

Disease States

Diminished secretion of LH or FSH can result in failure of gonadal function (hypogonadism). This condition is typically manifest in males as failure in production of normal numbers of sperm. In females, cessation of reproductive cycles is commonly observed.

Elevated blood levels of gonadotropins usually reflect lack of steroid negative feedback. Removal of the gonads from either males or females, as is commonly done to animals, leads to persistent elevation in LH and FSH. In humans, excessive secretion of FSH and/or LH most commonly the result of gonadal failure or pituitary tumors. In general, elevated levels of gonadotropins per se have no biological effect.

Pharmacologic Manipulation of Gonadotropin Secretion

Normal patterns of gonadotropin secretion are absolutely required for reproduction, and interfering particularly with LH secretion is a widely-used strategy for contraception. Oral contraceptive pills contain a progestin (progesterone-mimicking compound), usually combined with an estrogen. As discussed above, progesterone and estrogen inhibit LH secretion, and oral contraceptives are effective because they inhibit the LH surge that induces ovulation.

Another route to suppressing gonadotropin secretion is to block the GnRH receptor. GnRH receptor antagonists have potent contraceptive effects in both males and females, but have not been widely deployed for that purpose.



Superoxide Dismutase Boosting the Body’s Primary Antioxidant Defense

Medical illustration of oxygen free radicals. After blood flow is restored to injured cells and tissues, the damaged cells produce oxygen free radicals, molecules that begin a process called lipid peroxidation, destroying cells around an injury. Here, the cell membrane lipid bilayer (blue) is being damaged by oxygen free radicals (red and white clusters).

For years, scientists have sought a way to boost one of the body’s most powerful natural antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase (SOD). Present both inside and outside cell membranes, SOD is one of the body’s primary internal anti-oxidant defenses, and plays a critical role in reducing the oxidative stress implicated in atherosclerosis and other life-threatening diseases. Studies have shown that SOD can play a critical role in reducing internal inflammation and lessening pain associated with conditions such as arthritis.

Until recently, attempts to supplement with oral preparations of pure SOD enzyme proved disappointing, since the SOD protein molecule is easily deactivated by harsh acids and enzymes contained in the digestive tract.1,2 Scientists have conquered these challenges by creating bioavailable forms of SOD using natural plant extracts.

When delicate SOD molecules are coupled with a protective protein derived from wheat and other plants, they can be delivered intact to the intestines and absorbed into the bloodstream, thus effectively enhancing the body’s own primary defense system.2-5 Once in circulation in the bloodstream, these powerful antioxidants go to work detoxifying potentially harmful substances and reducing oxidative stress that might otherwise contribute to aging and crippling diseases such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and arthritis.

By strengthening the body’s primary antioxidant systems, novel SOD-boosting supplements may offer the most powerful free radical protection available today.

The antioxidant enzymes produced within our bodies are complex proteins that often incorporate minerals such as selenium or zinc in their intricate structures. These antioxidant enzymes serve as the body’s most potent defense against free radicals and ensuing inflam-matory reactions. They include glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and perhaps the most important internally generated antioxidant of all: superoxide dismutase (SOD).

In the liver, enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase act as catalysts, facilitating reactions that render toxins less harmful.6

Some of the most potentially harmful substances in the body are not toxins that enter from the external environment, but rather internally generated pro-oxidants. While oxygen is essential for life, its use comes at a cost, as it poses a potential threat to biological systems. Accordingly, living systems require an entire system of compounds dedicated to neutralizing oxygen’s harmful effects.

Photomicrograph of glutathione crystals, an important antioxidant and naturally occurring tripeptide composed of the amino acids glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine.

The Dual Nature of Oxygen

Specialized functional compartments within our cells utilize oxy-gen, in combination with other molecules, to generate the energy that powers many biochemical processes. Without oxygen, we could not exist. However, in the process of generating energy by “burning” nutrients with oxygen, certain “rogue” oxygen molecules are created as inevitable byproducts. Known as free radicals and reactive oxygen species, these unstable, highly reactive molecules play a role in cell signaling and other beneficial processes when they exist in benign concentrations.7 But when their numbers climb, as may occur as a result of aging and other conditions, they may wreak havoc with other molecules with which they come into contact, such as DNA, proteins, and lipids. As such, these “pro-oxidant” molecules become especially toxic.

In fact, a prevailing theory of disease and aging states that the gradual accumulation of pro-oxidant molecules, and the harm they incur, is responsible for many of the adverse changes that eventually cause various diseases. These include cancer (possibly triggered by free radical-induced damage to cellular DNA) and inflammatory and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, atherosclerosis, and diabetes.8-13 While scientists have not yet reached consensus on the topic, accumulated evidence overwhelmingly identifies increased oxidative stress with age as a source of damage to cellular structure and function.14

As another example, consider the visible effects of free radical damage to collagen, which forms the skin’s “scaffolding.” Healthy collagen is responsible for the skin’s elasticity and, to no small degree, its youthful appearance. As we age, internally generated reactive oxygen species gradually damage the molecular structure of collagen, eventually producing outward signs of aging such as skin wrinkling and sagging. For the first time, scientists at the University of Aarhus in Denmark have shown that SOD plays an important role in preventing this damage from occurring.

The Danish researchers discovered that SOD binds directly to collagen, which it protects from oxidation. Reporting in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, they noted that superoxide dismutase significantly protects type I collagen from oxidative breakdown. Furthermore, they noted this interaction may play an essential physiological role in preventing fragmentation of collagen during oxidative stress.15

Disarming Superoxide Radicals

Superoxide dismutase is arguably the body’s most crucial antioxidant, as it is responsible for disarming the most dangerous free radicals of all: the highly reactive superoxide radicals. Superoxide radicals, or anions (negatively charged atoms), are produced when oxygen gains an excess electron. This occurs through normal metabolic processes, such as the catalytic transformation of various molecules by enzymes.

SOD is responsible for catalyzing the conversion of superoxide to elemental oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. This transformation is called dismutation, hence the enzyme’s name. Although hydrogen peroxide is also a pro-oxidant compound, it is subsequently converted by the enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase to simple water and oxygen.11

Superoxide and Degenerative Disease

Although SOD’s benefits go beyond the mere neutralization of superoxide anions, the threat of exposure to superoxide should not be underestimated. Superoxide anions are strongly implicated in the development of numerous degenerative diseases, including atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack, chronic and acute inflammatory conditions, and various other age-related disorders.16

For example, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh note that overproduction of reactive oxygen species is associated with the development of conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to neurological disorders and lung pathologies. According to these scientists, SOD is an ideal candidate for preventing cell and tissue damage initiated by reactive oxygen species such as superoxide.17

A Texas neuroscientist noted that chronic pain associated with inflammation appears to be mediated by superoxide. Conversely, experiments have shown that pain is decreased when superoxide is neutralized.18 Arthritis is another condition in which superoxide is implicated. Korean researchers demonstrated that SOD and glutathione peroxidase are significantly less active in rheumatoid arthritis patients than in normal control subjects. Not surprisingly, dietary intake of antioxidants was also lower among arthritis patients than among controls.19 Superoxide also wreaks havoc by reacting with nitric oxide to form peroxynitrite, another highly reactive molecule that subsequently induces cellular and tissue injury. Peroxynitrite is implicated in several diseases, including stroke, Alzheimer’s, and atherosclerosis.20

Americans spend billions of dollars each year on pharmaceuticals designed to lower cholesterol and thus avert atherosclerosis. However, one research team recently pointed out that low SOD levels may play a greater role than elevated cholesterol in the development of this life-threatening condition. According to the researchers, diminished levels of SOD and total antioxidant status may well play a larger role in the development of atherosclerosis than isolated elevations in total cholesterol or triglyceride levels.21

Natural Ways to Boost SOD Levels

Given the connection between superoxide and illness, scientists have long sought ways to boost SOD levels in order to combat oxidative damage and reduce the incidence or severity of disease. As one research team noted in a recent journal article, SOD may be an effective antioxidant therapy for managing the detrimental consequences of inflammatory diseases, as well as for mitigating other conditions associated with uncontrolled overproduction of superoxide.22

In the 1980s, scientists attempted to treat osteoarthritis by injecting SOD derived from the blood cells of livestock directly into diseased joints. Relief from inflammation was often dramatic in these early experiments, as the injected SOD scavenged and neutralized pro-inflammatory superoxide anions. This technique was far from practical, however, and was never embraced as a viable treatment for human patients.23

Efforts to boost SOD levels did not stop there, however. Turning to nature, scientists discovered that SOD and other primary antioxidants—like glutathione peroxidase and catalase—are produced by certain plants, including the sprouting seeds of crops such as wheat, corn, and soy. These young grains harbor an abundance of powerful antioxidants, which may serve to protect the fledgling plants from various environmental insults. Melons also manufacture some of these antioxidant proteins, and fruits with the highest concentrations of these beneficial enzymes have significantly longer shelf lives.

Some plants produce SOD naturally. However, when SOD is ingested in the body, it is quickly destroyed by stomach acids and intestinal enzymes, and virtually no SOD enters the bloodstream. Fortunately, it is possible to boost levels of this important antioxidant by consuming supplements that supply concentrated amounts of appropriate precursor molecules. Wheat sprouts represent one rich source of these SOD-boosting building blocks, and have been shown to significantly increase internal antioxidant levels.

Scientists have proposed that elevated levels of one form of glutathione, the enzyme glutathione reductase, may serve as a predictor of longevity.24,25 Falling levels of glutathione are associated with diseases such as AIDS, respiratory diseases and infection, osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even aging itself.26-33 Conversely, increased levels of glutathione are associated with improvements in these conditions.

Benefits of Wheat Sprout Enzymes

Wheat sprout enzymes are another source of bioactive plant flavonoids, and their potential benefits range from improving symptoms of fibromyalgia and joint pain to increasing energy and relieving symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. These benefits are likely related to the presence of several potent natural antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, and catalase.

Consuming wheat sprout extract is an excellent way to increase one’s levels of natural antioxidant enzymes. The sprouting process promotes increased enzyme activity,34 which makes grain sprouts ideal for human enzyme enhancement. Italian researchers recently published an analysis of the antioxidant content of wheat sprout extract, noting that “catalase and peroxidase activity appears very strong.”35 They also reported that biologically active substances from wheat sprout can be at least partially absorbed during the digestion process.35 Italian scientists compared the antioxidant activity of wheat sprout extract to known pure antioxidants such as ascorbic acid, quercetin, and reduced glutathione, and found that the oxygen superoxide-scavenging activity demonstrated by wheat sprout extracts is comparable to that of pure antioxidant compounds.”36

Research has also demonstrated that sprout enzymes possess powerful anti-mutagenic properties—that is, they help prevent mutations that may lead to the development of cancers.37,38 According to unpublished research compiled by scientists at the University of Hawaii, in a survey of 120 subjects who ingested large amounts of plant-based antioxidant enzymes, 88% reported increased energy and 72% reported feeling stronger. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents reported feeling better overall after supplementing with sprout-derived antioxidants.39

Formulating Bioavailable SOD

SOD is a large molecule that, when orally consumed, is not readily absorbed by the body. However, technological advances have enabled scientists to bond SOD (extracted from a type of cantaloupe melon that naturally produces high levels of the enzyme) to a biopolymer extracted from ordinary wheat. Studies have shown that the wheat component, known as gliadin, protects the fragile SOD molecule from the ravages of stomach acid and intestinal enzymes, thus allowing the molecule to enter the bloodstream intact.

The success of this novel pairing has been demonstrated in animal and human studies. Experiments in France showed that SOD/gliadin—but not SOD alone—caused a significant increase in circulating antioxidant enzyme activities when consumed by laboratory rodents. This increase in SOD was associated with an increased resistance of red blood cells to oxidative stress-induced rupture, according to the researchers.2

Biosensor molecule.Computer graphic representation of superoxide dismutase enzyme (white) embedded in a matrix (sphere). The enzyme is acting as a biosensor.
Biosensors are used to detect trace amounts of specific chemical substances such as metal ions.
In this representation, the yellow spheres are copper ions. They diffuse into the inert matrix and
react with the enzyme, causing an observable color change (to blue).

In another experiment, the French team examined the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of SOD extracted from melon, in both laboratory cell studies and live animals. Their studies showed that the antioxidant properties attributed to the melon extract were indeed due to active SOD. The SOD prompted immune cells (macrophages) to release the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 rather than inflammatory tumor necrosis factor, which the cells may release under conditions of oxidative stress. Subsequent studies of live animals showed that SOD levels increased when SOD/gliadin was administered orally. This led the scientists to conclude that it is possible to elicit the pharmacological effects of this antioxidant enzyme in animal subjects.3

More recently, Japanese scientists studied the effects of oral SOD/ gliadin on tumor development in laboratory rodents. Gliadin alone, or the SOD/gliadin combo, was administered orally to test animals before and during experimental tumor induction. About 80% of gliadin-only subjects developed tumors, but only about half as many animals in the SOD/gliadin group did so.

Furthermore, tumor cells from the group that did not receive the SOD/gliadin supplement exhibited signs that they would readily spread, or metastasize. By contrast, tumor cells from animals in the SOD/gliadin group showed decreased metastatic ability. In their report published in the British Journal of Cancer, the Japanese researchers noted that orally active SOD prevented tumor progression promoted by inflammation, and that it may have elicited these effects by scavenging the inflammatory superoxide anion.40

To test the hypothesis that SOD/gliadin improves antioxidant defenses in humans as well as animals, German scientists subjected 20 volunteers to an hour of hyperbaric oxygen treatment. During the procedure, 100% oxygen was forced into the bloodstream at two and a half times the normal atmospheric pressure. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment, though medically necessary on occasion, is known to induce oxidative stress. This stress may be quantified by measuring breaks that occur in strands of DNA and by monitoring levels of isoprostanes, which indicate oxidative damage to cellular membranes. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is also known to reduce levels of antioxidant enzymes, such as red blood cell SOD and catalase.41 In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, scientists demonstrated that supplementation with SOD/gliadin significantly decreased the oxidative damage resulting from hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The investigators found that an orally effective SOD/wheat gliadin mixture can protect against DNA damage, while also preventing elevations in isoprostane levels. These findings suggest that SOD may therefore be considered a powerful antioxidant.4

A previous experiment by another research team also found that hyperbaric oxygen treatment induces breaks in DNA strands. In an effort to reduce this oxidative damage, the scientists administered oral antioxidants such as vitamin E or N-acetylcysteine prior to treatment, but these measures failed to protect against oxidative damage induced by hyperbaric oxygen treatment. This discrepancy would seem to indicate that effective protection against oxidative stress requires increased levels of the primary antioxidant SOD, as opposed to a boost in secondary antioxidant levels.42


Primary antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase are our first and most important line of defense against highly reactive, potentially destructive oxygen-derived free radicals. Researchers believe that SOD decreases with aging,43,44 and evidence suggests that boosting falling SOD levels may help guard against disease and extend life span.45

In the past, it was difficult to raise levels of these beneficial enzymes. Now, however, it is possible to bolster weakened antioxidant defenses with nutritional supplements that include orally bioavailable SOD and other primary antioxidants.


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Fenugreek boosts growth hormone emissions

You probably know of fenugreek – scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum – as an herb that boosts testosterone levels and improves the ratio of muscle to fat mass. Well, it might be that you’ll be seeing the same fenugreek as a component in supplements that are supposed to boost growth hormone levels. Korean researchers at Yeungnam University discovered the effect when they did experiments with cells from rats.

The researchers stumbled upon the growth-hormone stimulatory effect of fenugreek when they screened a methanol-based extract of fenugreek using cells from the pituitary gland of rats. The pituitary is a gland in the brain, which, apart from secreting testosterone-stimulating hormones LH and FSH, also secretes growth hormone. The activity of the pituitary increases if the hypothalamus – another gland in the brain – synthesises more LHRH and more GHRH.

Growth Hormone
The Koreans were looking for substances that stimulate the production of growth hormone as remedies for osteoporosis, muscle decline and other signs of old age. In 2007, 2003 and 2004 they published studies which showed that GH production is boosted by glycyrrhizin and glycyrretic acid in Glycyrrhizae radix, 1-monopalmitin and 1-monlionlein in Astragalus membranaceus and puerarin inPueraria thunbergiana.

In the article we’re writing about here, which was published in 2008 in Chemistry & Biodiversity, the complete methanol extract boosted the production of growth hormone by almost 2200 percent, as shown in the table below. The concentration at which that happened was exceptionally high: 1 mg per millilitre.

When the researchers isolated compounds from the extract and studied them individually, it turned out that two components were active: fenugreek saponin I (compound 1) and dioscin (compound 9). These boosted the GH emission by a factor of 13 and 18 respectively, at a concentration of 20 micrograms per millilitre.




An increasing number of studies – nearly all funded by manufacturers – are revealing that fenugreek extracts have properties that are interesting for athletes. They enhance muscle mass and muscle power, they stimulate fat burning and endurance capacity and boost men’s sex drive. The theory most posited is that fenugreek extracts boost testosterone production. And fenugreek does indeed do this, but not to the extent that you can expect to see the effects measured.


The Korean study helps explain the paradox: fenugreek does work, but in a different way.


Chem Biodivers. 2008 Sep;5(9):1753-61.


Fenugreek improves effect of creatine more than carbs 08.08.2011
Testofen: fenugreek extract that boosts men’s libido 02.08.2011
Animal study: less fat with fenugreek 05.03.2011
Fenugreek enhances endurance 27.12.2010
Anabolic fenugreek extract Torabolic works inexplicably well 26.12.2010
Andropeak: anabolic furostanols from fenugreek 25.11.2010



Medicinal Mushroom – Cordyceps

History and Cultivation

Cordyceps Sinensis, also known as “Winter Worm, Summer Grass”, is a rare and exotic medicinal mushroom that has been used for a long time in China and Tibet, for at least a thousand years according to the written record. It has always been very highly regarded, but it has also been the most expensive herbal raw material in the world. This is because it only grows at high elevations in the Himalayas around Tibet and Nepal and in small border sections of India and China. The high altitude makes its collection difficult, and this rarity of Cordyceps has limited its use by the general public. The great demand and the limited supply act to drive the price up, sometimes to as much as $35,000 a pound! The scarcity and high price lead many people to try to cultivate Cordyceps like a normal farm product. But unlike the common button mushroom that we find on pizzas worldwide, Cordyceps proved to be extremely difficult to grow.

It was not until 1972 that the first successful Cordyceps cultivation was achieved. The first Cordyceps cultures were isolated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in that year. These strains were not isolated from Tibet, where most of the top quality Cordyceps comes from, but rather they were isolated from specimens found in Qinghai province in Central China. Originally three different strains of Cordyceps were isolated. The first three strains, named CS-1, CS-2 and CS-3, did not have the fast growth characteristics that make commercial cultivation practical. It was the fourth culture that had been isolated by this institute, named CS-4, that was hardy and fast growing. So this CS-4 strain was chosen for commercial production. Different strains in mushrooms are like different breeds in dogs. Chihuahuas and Golden Retrievers and Great Danes are all dogs, but they are all quite different in terms of size and personality. They are not alike at all. Or consider apples, different strains like the Red Delicious, or the green Granny Smith apples, or the Yellow Delicious apples are all apples, but they taste quite different, and they have different sugar content and even different textures and uses. Or as a scientist would say, they all have a different “Analytical Profile”. Not all Cordyceps are the same, just like not all apples or all dogs are the same.

Cordyceps a Cure-All
Cordyceps Sinensis has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure-all. Chinese use it to heal lung, heart and kidney diseases, to treat fatigue, cancer as well as male and female sexual dysfunction, to relieve pain, to enhance overall health, and to promote longevity.

Due to its rarity, and legendary efficacy against a variety of health conditions, Cordyceps has held, and continues to hold, a highly esteemed position in the vast ranks of Chinese herbal remedies.

Most people in the West have come to know this once rare herbal medicine in only the last twenty years or so, thanks to the advancement in modern cultivation technology. Those techniques have dramatically lowered the cost of consumption, and have allowed for more in-depth research into Cordyceps healing potential.

Today, modern scientific research has proven what Chinese practitioners have noted for centuries. Numerous clinical trials have proceeded to scientifically prove that Cordyceps works well in treating and healing a myriad of medical problems.

Traditionally used to increase vitality, alertness, and virility, Cordyceps is now favored by Olympic athletes and training enthusiasts to improve physical performance and endurance.

Research suggests that Cordyceps may improve the BIO ENERGY status of animals and humans. This would happen because Cordyceps improves the internal balance mechanism, thus making the utilization of OXYGEN more efficient. These properties may account for the overall physical enhancement, the added endurance, and the anti-fatigue effects which are seen in individuals using the Cordyceps supplement.

How It Enhances Physical Stamina

Cordyceps is best known medicinally for increasing physical stamina. It can cause a change in the biological action that allows for an increase in cellular oxygen absorption by up to 40 percent.

In 1993, the Chinese National Games brought this mushroom to the attention of the world’s sporting authorities. A group of nine women athletes who had been taking Cordyceps shattered nine world records. There have also been many reports of amazing improvements in performance in various sports due to the intake of Cordyceps. This has led to talk of possibly banning Cordyceps from sporting events as it could give an unfair advantage to those who are able to benefit from it.

Nowadays, most professional athletes who use it will not admit that they do, since there is a possibility that some sporting authority will outlaw its use. However, the Canadian Olympic Committee has taken an official stand on Cordyceps, ruling that it is allowed in professional competition.

Another benefit of Cordyceps sinensis is that is has also been shown to improve liver functions. The liver is the living filter of the body, cleaning the blood and all other fluids of impurities. Without a functioning liver, the body cannot survive.

The clinical research in controlled studies has revealed that elderly patients suffering from fatigue and senility- related symptoms reported relief in these areas after using Cordyceps for only 30 days.

Various studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis improved the flow of blood in the body by relaxing the smooth muscles of the blood vessels and allowing them to expand, and also enhanced the functioning of the heart and lungs.

Still, the best-known medicinal action of Cordyceps sinensis is the increase of physical stamina, or endurance, since Cordyceps has been shown to improve the internal balance mechanism, causing oxygen to be utilized more efficiently.




Cordyceps featured as one of the Top 5 Cures on the Dr Oz Show

Turmeric and the Yogi



The exact origin of turmeric is not known but it originates from South or Southeast Asia, most probably from western India.

Turmeric is a sterile plant, and does not produce seed. It is thought to have arisen by selection and vegetative propagation of a hybrid between the wild turmeric (Curcuma aromatica), native to India, Sri Lanka and the eastern Himalayas and some other closely related species.

Turmeric has been grown in India since ancient times. It reached China by 700 AD, East Africa by 800 AD and West Africa by 1200. It was introduced to Jamaica in the 18th Century. Today, turmeric is widely cultivated throughout the tropics.


Turmeric was probably cultivated at first as a dye, and then became valued as a condiment as well as for cosmetic purposes. It is often used in cooking as a substitute for the more costly saffron. In the 13th century Marco Polo wrote of this spice, marvelling at a vegetable which exhibited qualities so similar to saffron.

Familiar to the contemporary world as a prime component of curry powder, the orange-yellow rhizome’s striking colour lent it a special aura in ancient India. It has always been considered an auspicious material in the sub-continent, both amongst the Aryan cultures (mostly northern) and the Dravidian cultures (mostly southern) and its value may extend far in history to the beliefs of ancient indigenous peoples. Turmeric’s common name in the north, haldi, derives from the Sanskrit haridra, and in the south it is called manjal, a word that is frequently used in ancient Tamil literature.

Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use in South Asia, cited in Sanskrit medical treatises and widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani systems. Susruta’s Ayurvedic Compendium, dating to 250 BC, recommends an ointment containing turmeric to relieve the effects of poisoned food.

Medicinal Properties

Turmeric has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and can help you avoid discomfort associated with strength-building postures by reducing the buildup of free radicals that occurs as your muscle tissues consume oxygen; this also reduces post-practice pain and recovery time. Research published in the 1993 Journal of Ethnopharmacology (vol.38) showed turmeric to be a nutrient for connective tissue, stabilizing the collagen fibers and preventing adhesions caused by stress and overstretching.

Traditionally, turmeric is said to provide the energy of the Divine Mother and grant prosperity. It cleanses the chakras, purifies the channels of the subtle body and helps stretch the ligaments and, therefore, is highly recommended for the practice of hatha yoga. Mixed with honey, turmeric can be used externally for sprains and strains. Cinnamon bark is known throughout Asia for its ability to strengthen, warm, and harmonize the flow of circulation into the muscles, joints, and bones. And in the Taoist yoga systems of the Far East, a combination of peony root and licorice root is used to reduce muscle tension.

On the path of yoga the opportunity to cultivate flexibility is a gift that comes to us in many forms in addition to asana. It is a simple alchemy found in the way we live and work, our diet, emotions, and the karmic actions that affect the physical and subtle body. In a society where we look for the answers to our suffering in a pill, we must not forget that nature has given us herbs not only as remedies but also as special energetic foods to help us grow in our lives and, most especially, in our yoga practice.



Brahmi-Gotu Kola and Yoga

Brahmi-Gotu kola, the brain food of herbs, has long been prized by students and yogis for its memory-enhancing properties. Native to Sri Lanka and South Africa, gotu kola extract and herb has been used for centuries to relieve mental fatigue, and as a tonic for overall brain and nervous system support. Rich in vitamins A, B, E, K and magnesium, researchers have found that it also contains several glycosides that exhibit healing properties.


Taking Brahmi-Gotu Kola increases circulation and oxygen flow to the brain which increases energy without taxing the adrenal system. Brahmi-Gotu Kola is extremely powerful in helping to support memory, enhance physical, mental, and emotional clarity, and promote longevity.

Brahmi-Gotu Kola is a fabulous nutritive “long-life” adaptogen, with potent antioxidants that have special affinities for the brain and nervous system as well as circulation.

Brahmi-Gotu Kola is one of the world’s most powerful adaptogenic herbs. It helps replenish and nourish the nervous system. It promotes increased circulation to the brain and increases energy without stimulating the adrenals. It contains approximately 10% phenols, which are powerful antioxidants supporting anti-aging properties. Research has shown that Brahmi-Gotu Kola enhances memory function. It is calming to the nervous system, decreasing anxiety and mental fatigue. It lifts mood and enhances concentration. The ABC’s of Brahmi-Gotu Kola are adaptogen-brain-circulation.




mucuna prueriens testosterone and dopamine booster

(Mucuna pruriens, velvet bean, cowitch)


Mucuna pruriens is an annual climbing shrub with long vines that can reach over 15m in length.

When the plant is young it’s almost completely covered with fuzzy hair,
but when mucuna pruriens get’s older it grows almost completely free of hair.

The herb contains L-DOPA, a precursor to the neurotransmitter Dopamine. And what’s even better, is that Mucuna pruriens has been shown to improve Dopamine levels in rats.

That’s right, Mucuna makes your dopamine levels rise and also it contains Serotonin (5-HT).
Basically Serotonin is a chemical inside the brain that makes you happy. (more articles coming soon about serotonin)



Well for starters, it will significantly make your testicles bigger and fuller, thats a sure sign of increased testosterone levels. Bigger balls equals more sperm and the same time more testosterone produced.

Have you ever wondered why big testicles are one sign of masculinity? They’re full of testosterone.

Here’s a little study about Mucuna pruriens you might find interesting;
Researchers at the University of Lucknow in India have come to this conclusion after doing tests with 75 healthy men and 75 men who were unable to have children. The men were all aged between 25 and 40 and were given 5 g a day of dried and ground Mucuna powder every day for three months.

The supplement improved the quantity and quality of the men’s semen. Among the healthy men there was little room for improvement so the effect was also small, but among the men with a low sperm count (oligozoospermia is the scientific term) the effect was more noticeable.

Analysis of the men’s blood showed that the improvement in the semen was associated with an increased manufacture of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Oligozoospermia often rises if the testes which make testosterone as well as sperm don’t get the stimuli they need from the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland produces messenger hormones FSH and LH, which prompt the testes to manufacture sperm and TESTOSTERONE.

“Mucuna pruriens extract also significantly increased testosterone levels in the healthy male group”
The researchers also looked at the concentration of adrenalin and noradrenalin in the men’s blood. Both increased which was to be expected.

What’s even more exiting is that L-Dopa is not only a precursor of dopamine, but also for adrenalin.

L-Dopa isn’t a particularly good ergogenic substance as athletes have discovered. It disappears too quickly from the blood, But for reasons which aren’t yet understood, taking natural Mucuna pruriens leads to a steady increase in L-Dopa levels.


Here is the simplified version of what Mucuna pruriens does inside the body:

The body converts L-Dopa into the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine increases the activity in the brain centers that regulate sexuality and the production of sex hormones.

PS. Mucuna pruriens extract and Ashwagandha work great when combined because they’re both Serotonin activators.




Mucuna pruriens and Its Major Constituent L-DOPA Recover Spermatogenic Loss by Combating ROS,
Loss of Mitochondrial Membrane Potential and Apoptosis

Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men