A plant native to China, Japan, and Korea whole active ingredient, known as decursin, may help prevent prostate cancer in men and hyperandrogenism in women, although this took place in vitro (e.g. in a Petri dish). The University of Minnesota study that found this occurred in 2007, and there remains insufficient clinical evidence to make any specific claims about the plant’s benefits.
These are essential nutrients found in food protein that contain leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which may stimulate protein production in muscle tissue, and even reduce muscle breakdown. Additionally, BCAAs have been shown to prevent the transmission of faulty messages within the brain of patients suffering from certain conditions. In a clinical setting, BCAAs have been shown possibly effective for the treatment of anorexia, poor brain function related to liver disease, mania, tardive dyskinesia, and muscle breakdown, but not necessarily for enhancing athletic performance. Depending on condition, up to 60 grams of BCAAs can be consumed per day, although fatigue and loss of coordination are common side effects.
An herb whose roots have been used to treat menopausal symptoms, PMS, acne, and osteoporosis, and to induce labor since the 1950s. Other than menopausal symptoms though, the herb has insufficient clinical evidence behind it showing it to be effective for any other conditions. Up to 160mg of black cohosh is thought to be safe on a daily basis, although cramps, headaches, rash, upset stomach, and spotting/bleeding are common side effects.
A species of vine often included in menopausal supplements, although there is little clinical evidence showing its efficacy. In fact, many species of this vine may be partially toxic.
This shrub is often used as an aphrodisiac, in addition to a treatment for headache, constipation, and nervous system issues, although there is insufficient clinical evidence showing it’s effective for any of these. There are no agreed-upon dosing guidelines for damiana, although you should avoid taking less than 200 grams or you might experience seizures.
See Angelica Root.
Flaxseed has been used for generations to treat gastrointestinal problems, protect against osteoporosis, increase regularity, and some types of cancer. However, other than lowering cholesterol, reducing glucose in diabetes patients, and improving kidney function in some instances, there is insufficient clinical evidence showing flax lignans to be effective. Dosing ranges between 320mg and 40g, depending on the product you’re taking (e.g. extract or including seeds in your food), and is thought to be safe for use up to 12 weeks.
A subspecies of plant recently added to a variety of women’s supplements, which is intended to address female sexual dysfunction. However, there is insufficient clinical evidence available showing its efficacy, safety, or appropriate dosing.
A form of silicon dioxide commonly used as a desiccant to help prevent moisture and the growth of mold in nutritional supplements. In very small doses, silica may be beneficial in promoting healthy blood vessel walls, although there remains insufficient clinical evidence to support this assertion, its safety, or appropriate dosage.
Derived from soybeans, the isoflavones in soy mimic estrogen and are used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including high cholesterol and blood pressure and certain types of cancer. From a clinical standpoint, soy has been shown to act as an effective treatment for most of these conditions, especially those related to feminine health. Dosing ranges between 2mg and 60 grams per day depending on your physician’s recommendations, although long term use should be avoided.
As the fruit of the chaste tree, this has been used for a variety of women’s conditions, including PMS, menopause symptoms, infertility, menstrual cycle irregularities, and more. However, other than reducing some symptoms associated with PMS and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), there is insufficient evidence showing vitex berry’s efficacy. Dosing ranges between 1.6mg and 240mg per day, depending on your condition, and common side effects include headache, nausea, and weight gain. Vitex berry can also interact with Parkinson’s and psychotic disorder medications, so speak with your physician before taking it (or any other supplements).
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