Herbal Oils May Aid in Diabetes, Staph InfectionsHerbal Oils May Aid in Diabetes, Staph Infections
October 11, 2001
WASHINGTON--In research conducted by Georgetown University researchers, certain herbal oils may benefit certain health conditions. Presented at the American College of Nutrition's annual meeting, a team of researchers led by Harry Preuss, M.D., a professor of physiology and biophysics at Georgetown, investigated the effects of a combination of edible oils extracted from fenugreek, cumin, pumpkin seed and oregano on rats with type 2 diabetes. A single dose of the oil combination decreased the rats' blood pressure, and daily doses over a three-week period kept pressure down during that time. In addition, the oils gave the rats enhanced sensitivity to insulin, which meant less insulin was required to keep glucose levels stable. When the researchers stopped administering the oils, the rats' blood pressure returned to normal levels.
"Patients taking drugs to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus, a disease that often accompanies obesity, can develop serious adverse drug reactions," Preuss said. "For this reason, it is important to examine the potential of safe and proven natural products to treat this increasingly wide-spread condition."
In a second study, Preuss found that oregano oil (in particular, the chemical component carvacrol) may work as well as antibiotics on staphylococcus. In a test tube assay, oregano oil combined with this bacteria inhibited the growth of staph as effectively as penicillin and other antibiotics. In the second phase of this study, 50-percent of mice receiving oregano for 30 days survived staph infections.
"While this investigation was performed only in test tubes and on a small number of mice, the preliminary results are promising and warrant further study," Preuss said. "Natural oils may turn out to be valuable adjuvants or even replacements for many anti-germicidals under a variety of conditions."
Both studies were sponsored by Waukegan, Ill.-based North American Herb and Spice. More information about these studies can be found through www.am-coll-nutr.org.
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