June 27, 2020
Wondrous Plant Medicine in the Spotlight

In my work I never cease to be amazed at the things I discover day by day. As a nutritionist and holistic health practitioner I use many different modalities to help a person in their health journey, and often that includes some form of plant medicine. Not always, and not usually primarily, but somewhere in there.

Last week in my newsletter I made mention of a plant that has been intriguing me lately. It is commonly called "Guggul." The guggul tree is of the Commiphora genus, species mukul . It is closely related to the myrrh tree, which is Commiphora myrrha . The resin of each tree produces a fragrant odor, and both guggul and myrrh boast remarkable medicinal properties. Today I will be introducing you to the wondrous world of Guggul, and you might just see yourself as a candidate for this versatile plant medicine.

Many people today suffer from thyroid issues; many more than really should in a given population, and I've talked about problems with widespread iodine deficiency leading to that. However, once people begin thyroid hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism, many times clinical improvement is not appreciated, although the numbers fall into place. You still can't lose weight, your skin is still dry, your hair is still falling out, you're still constipated, etc.

Failure to convert inactive T4 (in the medication) to active T3 is often the reason for this. It appears Guggul helps with this problem. But it doesn't stop there...

Then , did you know there is a fern - yes, a fern - that can be taken internally to prevent sunburn? That it also demonstrates efficacy for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, even vitiligo, and, in addition, shows promise with regard to Alzheimer's disease and dementia? It is called Polypodium leucotomos , and I'll be touching on that, as well.

Polypodium leucotomas
What is "Guggul?"
Guggul is made from the sap (gum resin) of the Commiphora muku l tree, which is native to India. This tree has been used  in   Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and Ayurvedic texts dating back to 600 BC recommend it for treating  atherosclerosis .

Today guggul gum resin is used for  arthritis , lowering high  cholesterol , “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis),  acne  and other  skin  diseases, and  weight loss .

Guggul Resin

Medicinal Uses of Guggul
And now... as promised, a wondrous fern!
Polypodium leucotomas
...is a fern that grows wild in the rainforest and has been used as a folk remedy in Central America for centuries.

Orally administered Polypodium leucotomos extract may help to prevent sunburn, relieve psoriasis, and treat the skin condition vitiligo.

This is a topical patch supplement containing Polypodomas leucatomas and cofactors such as Vitamin D3, since you'll be blocking the sun.
Here is an oral supplement available on the market and the one primarily used in studies.
Proactive Health Collective of Keene
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