Centella Asiatica improves nerve healing

March 13, 2006

After nerve damage, regenerating the axon (the hairlike extension of a nerve that carries a signal to the next nerve) is important to the recovery of damaged nerve tissue. Centella asiatica has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as a nerve tonic. Here the researchers show that a Centella asiatica ethanolic extract causes a marked increase in neurite outgrowth (repair of the axon or dendrite). There are a number of compounds in Centella asiatica that help repair nerve tissue. When given to male rats in their drinking water, the nerve tissue regenerated quicker and healed quicker, with increased regeneration of axons and improvement in myelinated nerve axon tissue. Nerve function also improved. The research was performed at the Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University in Portland and is published in the September 2005 issue of The Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Studies show it is not the caffeine which helps decrease the risk of developing diabetes but probably the polyphenols.

Damaging and removing the meniscus will speed up cartilage loss in knee arthritis

The meniscus is a cartilage disc that cushions the knee joint. New research shows that damage to the meniscus increases the risk of and rate of cartilage loss in the knee joint in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine examined the role of meniscal damage in cartilage loss in 257 people with osteoarthritis of the knee. The researchers found a strong association between the improper positioning of the meniscus and cartilage loss. Damage to the meniscus was also strongly related to worsening osteoarthritis of the knee (cartilage loss). Every effort should be taken to preserve the meniscus. The study appears in the March 2006 issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism.