Rezume: Plant Medicine is Good Medicine

Written By Laura Allen, VP of Sales & Marketing on November 11, 2019

Plant medicine is as old as humankind. Wild or cultivated, plants have been used as remedies for thousands, of years, predating written history. Archaelogical evidence shows that humans were using plants as medicine during the Paleolithic period 60,000 years ago.

More than 307,000 species of plants have been discovered on earth to date. It's estimated that less than 5% have been studied for their medicinal properties. 

We have used what Mother Nature has provided to create a wonderful pain relieving product, Rezume®. Many people prefer a more natural way to treat pain, rather than using narcotics. 

Our Rezume® Tablets contain Inflagen Blend. Inflagen Blend Contains Natural Plant Extracts of: White Willow Bark Extract, Andrographics Paniculata Extract (ParActin®), Turmeric Root, MSM, Yucca Root, ILEX Paraguarineses (Yerba Mate Leaf), Boswellia, Devil's Claw Root Extract, Ulva Lactuca, Naringin and Hyaluronic Acid.

White willow bark extract contains salacin, which converts to salicylic acid, a key metabolite in aspirin. A small number of clinical studies have been conducted that support the use of willow bark extract in the treatment of chronic lower back pain, joint pain, and osteoarthritis.[i] Pharmacological studies, however, show that the efficacy of the salacin alone is not totally responsible for its anti-inflammatory properties. In vitro investigation suggests that there is significant anti-inflammatory activity in the willow bark water extract that inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines. Willow bark extract is frequently used in the treatment of painful rheumatological diseases.

Andrographics Paniculata Extract (ParActin®) has been studied in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. A. paniculata extract possesses anti-inflammatory effects, attributed to the main constituent andrographolide proposed as an alternative in the treatment of autoimmune disease. A. paniculata has been used for hundreds of years in traditional Asian medicine systems such as Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, and clinical trials have borne out its efficacy in reducing swelling and pain in the joints.[i]

Turmeric root is a member of the ginger family that has long been used in India as a valued spice and medicine for treating arthritis. A 2016 meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials provide evidence of the efficacy of turmeric for treating arthritis, and suggest the need for more research involving more trials.[ii]

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a sulfur-containing compound that occurs naturally in plants, animals, and humans. Research shows that MSM can significantly decrease inflammation in the body, and inhibit the breakdown of cartilage, which is often responsible for joint pain. It is believed that MSM acts to inhibit NF-kB, a protein complex involved in inflammation, and that it reduces cytokines that are signaling proteins linked to systemic inflammation. MSM also increases levels of glutathione, an anti-oxidant produced by the body.[iii]

Yucca is a medicinal plant native to Mexico. Yucca root has been used by Native Americans for centuries as a treatment for arthritis and inflammation, with good reason. Yucca is a rich source of polyphenolics, including resveratrol and a number of other stilbenes (yuccaols A, B, C, D and E). These phenolics have anti-inflammatory activity. Yucca extracts are also anti-oxidant, free-radical scavengers.[iv]

ILEX Paraguarineses (Yerba Mate Leaf) is rich in minerals and contains xanthing derivatives, about 1.5% caffeine, plus the phytochemicals theobromine (a vasodilator) and theophylline (used to treat respiratory illnesses), and up to 16% tannins (antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties). Yerba mate leaf is stimulating, diuretic, and antirheumatic. The leaves are traditionally used internally in the treatment of headaches, migraines, neuralgic and rheumatic pain, fatigue, mild depression.[v]

Boswellia is well-documented as an anti-inflammatory. In the last two decades, preparations of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata (a traditional ayurvedic medicine) and of other Boswellia species have experienced increasing popularity in Western countries. Animal studies and pilot clinical trials support the potential of B. serrata gum resin extract (BSE) for the treatment of a variety of inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and asthma.[vi]

Devil’s claw root contains a group of compounds called iridoid glucosides, which include harpagoside, and are anti-inflammatory. Other agents in devil’s claw root are anti-spasmodic. A published analysis of several devil’s claw root studies shows the extract proved valuable for the supportive treatment of painful degenerative rheumatism. Pharmacological experiments have shown analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions.[vii]

Ulva lactuca is a sea lettuce that contains a high amount of vitamin B12, which plays a key role in the homeostasis of the brain and the nervous system. It is also important to the formation of blood. Ulva lactuca is also rich in B2 (riboflavin). Humans are vulnerable to developing a deficency of vitamin B2 during periods of stress. It has also been found to be a better source of dietary fiber than fruits and vegetables.[viii]

Naringin modulates signalling pathways and interacts with signalling molecules and thus has a wide range of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer activities, as well as effects on bone regeneration, metabolic syndrome, oxidative stress, genetic damage and central nervous system (CNS) diseases.[ix]

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. It is found in highest concentrations in fluids around the eyes and joints. It works as a cushion and lubricant in the joints. Patients with osteoarthritis have been found to have a reduced amount of hyaluronic acid in the synovial fluid around the joints. Hyaluronic acid is often used by injection in medicine, and studies indicate that supplementation combined with anti-inflammatories, especially non-steroidal inflammatories, may provide the most therapeutic effect to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.[x]

[i] Shara M, Stohs SJ. Efficacy and Safety of White Willow Bark (Salix alba) Extracts. Phytotherapy Research. 2015 Aug;29(8):1112-6. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5377. Epub 2015 May 22. Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[ii] Burgos RA, Hancke JL, Bertoglio JC, Aguirre V, Arriagada S, Calvo M, Cáceres DD. Efficacy of an Andrographis paniculata composition for the relief of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: a prospective randomized placebo-controlled trial. Clinical Rheumatology. 2009 Aug;28(8):931-46. doi: 10.1007/s10067-009-1180-5. Epub 2009 Apr 29. Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[iii] Daily JW, Yang M, Parks S. Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2016 Aug;19(8):717-29. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.3705. Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[iv] Lawrence T. The Nuclear Factor NF-kB Pathway in Inflammation. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology. 2009 Dec; 1(6): a001651. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a001651. Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[v] PR Cheeke, S Piacente, W Oleszek. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects of yucca schidigera: A review. Journal of Inflammation (Lond). 2006; 3: 6. Published online 2006 Mar 29. doi: 10.1186/1476-9255-3-6. Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[vi] Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-03-27. tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Ilex+paraguariensis Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[vii] Abdel-Tawab M, Werz O, Schubert-Zsilavecz M. Boswellia serrata: an overall assessment of in vitro, preclinical, pharmacokinetic and clinical data. Clinical Pharmacokinetics. 2011 Jun;50(6):349-69. doi: 10.2165/11586800-000000000-00000. Retrieved 03/27/2019.

[viii] Mncwangi N, Chen W, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM, Gericke N. Devil's Claw-a review of the ethnobotany, phytochemistry and biological activity of Harpagophytum procumbens. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2012 Oct 11;143(3):755-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.08.013. Epub 2012 Aug 21. Retrieved 03/28/2019.

[ix] Se-Kwon K, Ratih P, Puji R. Sea Lettuces: Culinary Uses and Nutritional Value. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research. 2011; 64:57-70. Retrieved 03/28/2019.

[x] Chen R, Qi QL, Wang MT, Li QY. Therapeutic potential of naringin: an overview. Pharmaceutical Biology. 2016 Dec;54(12):3203-3210. Epub 2016 Aug 26. Retrieved 03/28/2019.

[xi] Pontes-Quero GM, García-Fernández L, Aguilar MR, San Román J, Pérez Cano J, Vázquez-Lasa B. Active viscosupplements for osteoarthritis treatment. Semininars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2019 Feb 19. pii: S0049-0172(18)30728-5. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2019.02.008. [Epub ahead of print]. Retrieved 03/28/2019.