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Nature is all about flow and everything has a path the flow must follow. But sometimes the flow is disrupted, leading to bad things happening.
The Kidney Stone Pill Story
The medicine man kept close watch on the tribe and so had been expecting the young man’s visit. The tribe had been successful lately, both in hunting and foraging, leading to a rich diet. But having plenty has its own issues, as the medicine man knew from years of treating the tribe. In the past he had supported the young man’s grimacing father and grandfather as they passed gravel in their urine. The medicine man knew this same issue would likely hit this generation. He had noticed the young man had a fondness for a particular leafy, green plant. This plant brought a lot of benefits to those who ate it…but in some it seemed to trigger the formation of the gravel in the kidneys. The medicine man handed the sweating, clench-jawed man a packet of dried leaves and berries to help with passing these stones and maintain the man’s urinary tract to avoid similar complaints in the future. “And drink more water.” was the medicine man’s parting advice.
The human body is complex mixture of chemistry, physics, and divine spark. As with any intricate system, a fault in one area can trigger more complications elsewhere. Injury, illness, or lifestyle can all lead to issues. Luckily, the human body is also amazingly tough and once the underlying cause is dealt with, the body’s perfect equilibrium returns. Our urinary tract is crucial for the elimination of wastes and toxins. Anything that causes a struggle in this flow causes trouble in our life. Being so key to survival, medicine men have finding helpful plants to support that crucial system since the dawn of time.
But a change occurred several hundred years ago. Scientists arrived and decided they could make something better than what nature provided. From their labs came strange molecules to replace the plants and mushrooms of the ancestors. There were some amazing creations…and many that would be considered failures when judged correctly. During this age of scientific hubris, some of the scientists rejected the new and devoted their studies to the old, the ancient. The plants that had once healed the tribe were carefully teased apart, studying the powers of the individual molecules they contained, studying the miracles of which they were capable. In this quest for understanding the components a universal truth was discovered…alone is weak, together is strong. No one molecule could be found that when used alone gave the benefit of using the entire leaf, flower, or root. Ancient wisdom had returned.
The Kidney Stone Pill Components
CHANCA PIEDRA “Stone Breaker” is the common name for the plant Phyllanthus niruri. This ancient South American weed has a long history of use to support the urinary tract, especially in regards to passing calcium oxalate stones.*(1). Compounds in this plant assist in early removal of stones before they grow large enough to cause suffering.*(1). They can also help “smooth” the crystalline surfaces of larger stones, making their passage less damaging.*(1)
Prostaglandins This class of lipid molecules in chanca piedra has many effects in the human body, one of which is increasing the flow of blood to the kidneys. This allows a faster clearing of wastes from the blood as well as diuretic effects of increased urine production. These effects helps wash away potential kidney stone nucleation crystals while still easily passed through the urethra.*(2) In the case where stones have formed before addition of stone breaker to your diet, the prostaglandins also have an anti-inflammatory effect on damaged, irritated tissues.*(2)
In addition to prostaglandins, Phyllanthus species are rich in assorted other phytochemicals such as terpenoids, alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, and saponins. Not surprisingly, science has found these compounds may serve all sorts of beneficial roles in the body, including anti-parasite, cardiovascular support, antioxidant, anti-cancer, maintaining skin, anti-diabetic, liver protection, nootropic effects, immunomodulation, antimicrobial, antiviral, glucose utilization, and pain relief.*(2) Of special note, fermentation of the aerial portions of this plant results in an even higher concentration of antioxidants.
CELERY SEED Because of its strong flavor, celery didn’t become a common food until the 16th century after selective breeding to have a milder taste. However, garlands of celery leaves were found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, believed to have been mummified in 1323 BC. The earliest signs of wild celery are found around the Mediterranean region but it had already been incorporated into Chinese medicine by the time it was woven into strands for King Tut. Celery’s scientific name Apium graveolens, give some indication of its use for humans, as a way to help flush out “gravel”. The most useful mixture of compounds is found in the seeds.
Celery seeds contain Caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, apiin, apigenin, rutaretin, umbelliferone, ocimene, isopimpinellin, bergapten, seslin, isoimperatorin, osthenol, and gravebiosides A and B. These seeds also contain a number of oils such as palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, petroselinic acid, d-limonene, selinene, terpineol, and santolol. Modern science has found these molecules are capable of protecting the liver, preventing oxidative damage, killing microbes and insects larva, fighting cancer, reducing inflammation, pain relief, soothing ulcers, and cholesterol reduction.*(4)
Apigenin: This member of the flavonoid family of chemicals is likely the main compound responsible for celery’s ability to dissolve calcium-based kidney stones.*(5) Celery seed is an extremely rich sources of this yellow molecule. In addition to attacking kidney stones, scientific research has shown agigenin may help fight gastric, liver, lung, pancreatic, prostate, skin, cervical, ovarian, thyroid, bladder, and mesothelioma cancers.*(6)
SAW PALMETTO is a small palm tree found growing across the North American southeast coastal region. Oddly, its short trunk remains underground and only the palm fronds and berry stalks stick up out of the swampy soil it prefers. The berries, also known as drupes, have been used by the Native Americans in the area, possible since soon after the first ones arrived over 10,000 years ago. It was used for urinary tract issues in both women and men, even though it’s most well-documented effect is on those suffering the effects caused by an enlarged prostate.*(7)
The chemical compounds found in saw palmetto fruit don’t shrink the prostate but rather through a combination of urethra relaxation and dilation, allows easier passage of urine (and other things!). Preliminary scientific research suggests an assortment of fatty acids and phytosterols are responsible for saw palmetto’s action.*(7) The actual mechanism of the urethra reaction/dilation hasn’t been completely worked out but tests suggest it involves inhibition of assorted inflammatory enzymes.*(7) Due to the nature of nature, the full effect of saw palmetto can take up to four weeks to be noticeable.
An interesting side effect of saw palmetto is the thickening hair on heads. Androgenetic alopecia is a thinning of hair of both men and women is generally caused by localized inflammation of hair follicles. The glycoside β-sitosterol found in saw palmetto fruit seems to be the key anti-inflammatory agent that targets hair follicles, allowing the hair to begin growing again.*(8-10)
The pharmacological potential of Phyllanthus niruri https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27283048/
Chemical Components and Biological Activities of the Genus Phyllanthus: A Review of the Recent Literature https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6222918/
An Updated Phytopharmacological Review on Medicinal Plant of Arab Region: Apium graveolens Linn. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414449/
Activity of Apigenin and Celery (Apium graveolens L.) Extract in Rats Induced by Ethylene Glycol-Ammonium Chloride https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32148363/
Plant flavone apigenin: An emerging anticancer agent https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791748/
Use of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) extract for benign prostatic hyperplasia https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6859144/
Inhibition of inflammatory gene expression in keratinocytes using a composition containing carnitine, thioctic Acid and saw palmetto extract https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19692448/
Hair Loss Treatment Shows Anti-inflammatory Activity in vitro https://www.longdom.org/open-access/hair-loss-treatment-shows-antiinflammatory-activity-in-vitro-2167-0951.1000103.pdf
*FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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