We went through a lot of user requests this time, with most of them being pretty underwhelming.
Two of them are pretty impressive (especially as immunity boosting agents), and one of them you already have in your house.
Let's get the underwhemling ones out of the way:
Apocynum venetum is a plant which makes the tea known as 'luobuma'. At this moment in time it does not have human evidence but only seems to look promising for blood pressure reduction and anti-depression; it does contain bioactives from St. John's Wort that were once thought to be unique to that plant.
Orthosiphon stamineus is another tea known as Java (not referring to the coffee called Java) which is a mild diuretic and health tea. It appears to actually increase leptin in rodent studies, suggesting it may have a role as a fat burning agent in otherwise lean people (but no human studies at this point in time).
Rubus coreanus is in the same genera as the above, but is Korean Black Raspberry. Chemically, it is as if raspberries and blueberries had a child; it appears to be a very promising health promoting agent, but the reason we were asked to look into this (a 700% boost in testosterone in rodents) failed in humans. More research is needed, but it still remains possible that this could be a health promoting and testosterone boosting aphrodisiac wine product (which just sounds impressive).
Hoodia gordonii is the popular appetite suppressant 'cactus'. It turns out that there is no independent human evidence for this claim, that rodent evidence is impractical, and it probably gives you mild liver damage at the dose that was thought to be active (but is actually inactive); a good reason why supplements born from a single company with a patent are probably not a good idea. Additional potential side effects found from one study included disturbances of skin sensation, headache, dizziness, nausea, increased blood pressure, heart problems, and some blood chemistry abnormalities.
Uncaria rhynchophylla is a species of Cat's claw that is totally unrelated to the Amazonian vine commonly called Cat's claw (uncaria tomentosa), and it appears to be a very interesting herb for cognition. One of its bioactives, geissoschizine methyl ether (say that 10 times fast) may be antiaggressive and an antipsychotic very similar in potency and mechanisms of action as Aripiprazole. No human evidence aside from studies using the Kampo formulation 'Yokukansan' (this herb and a bunch of others) which is effective in improving quality of life in those with dementia
Butea monosperma is also very interesting, since some of its molecules (cajanin in particular) are more potent than estrogen at a molecular level in inducing bone growth, yet are not estrogenic. Oral ingestion of many of its isolated molecules (cajanin, medicarpin, cladrin) at a human equivalent of 1.6mg/kg can prevent menopausal bone loss in rats, and this remains very promising for a possible bone health agent even for athletes due to its lack of estrogenicity (pending future research)
Now, there are two very impressive immune boosters to follow.
Pelargonium sidoides is African Geranium, and unlike Hoodia, this African herb has been independently validated and appears to be so effective that is is actually a german phytopharmaceutical! Pelargonium sidoides is an anti-infective agent, and is strongly effective against acute bronchitis or any sickness characterized by lung mucus and cough, able to pretty much abolish all symptoms (including fever, fatigue, nausea, etc.) within a week of supplementation in all ages with no known toxicity.
Garlic is the major update this week, and has become the second largest page on Examine (behind only fish oil in citation quantity). Garlic is pretty incredible on all parameters due to influencing hydrogen sulfide signalling, which is a gasotransmitter that can be seen as the big sister of nitric oxide signalling (with carbon monoxide being the forgotten middle child of the three), and two studies have noted daily garlic consumption reduces the risk of catching the common cold up to 60%. There are a myriad of benefits of garlic extending to immunity, circulation, cholesterol, cancer prevention, and possible anti-erectile dysfunction which make this one of the most interesting additions to our database in the history of Examine.
Definitely worth taking a look.