Recent scientific research includes:
Diabetes: Forty patients, aged 25-50 years, with type II diabetes and on stable medication were randomized to receive milk thistle (Silybum marianum) (dried extract, 140mg tid) or placebo for 45 days. Milk thistle was shown to significantly increase superoxide demutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and to significantly reduce high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) compared to placebo: hence improving antioxidant activity and reducing inflammation (see abstract).
Diabetes: A placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of 41 patients with type II diabetes found ginger (Zingiber officinale) (2g powder daily for 12 weeks) significantly reduced levels of fasting blood sugar, apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein B, malondialdehyde and haemoglobin A1c compared to placebo (see full text)..
Non-alcholic fatty liver disease: Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) extract (2 capsules, 750 mg daily for 3 months) was found to significantly decrease the level of liver enzymes, triglycerides and cholesterol in individuals with non-alcholic fatty liver disease, in a placebo-controlled clinical trial of 80 patients (see full text (pdf)).
Chronic hepatitis C: Viron®, a 1g film-coated tablet containing dried, powdered Tinospora cordifolia, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Elettaria cardamomum, Curcuma longa, Eclipta alba and Rumex crispus was shown to be potentially safe and beneficial for patients with chronic hepatitis C. In this clinical trial 82 patients with hepatitis C were randomised to three groups receiving escalating doses of Viron for 6 months – those on the highest dose showed complete virological response and a significantly greater improvement in liver enzyme levels and Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire compared to those on lower doses (see full text).