Research

At Mills and Bone Academy, research is at the forefront of our education and information. See headlines and links below to new and up to date information in the field of herbal medicine curated by Simon and Kerry.


  • In a small pilot trial, green tea extract plus exercise reduced postprandial glucose concentrations in physically inactive people (when compared to rest or exercise alone). Click here to read more 
  • A meta-analysis of randomised, placebo-controlled trials found that a proprietary lavender essential oil was superior to placebo in reducing the anxiety score in people with subthreshold anxiety during 10 weeks of treatment. Subthreshold psychiatric disorders are those that do not fully meet the diagnostic criteria of syndromal disorders, but may be associated with comparable disability. The lavender oil also had a beneficial effect on sleep (secondary to the anxiolytic effect) without causing sedation, and improved patients' health-related quality of life. Click here to read more
  • A meta-analysis found that around 20 weeks of treatment with Ginkgo biloba standardised extract improved the behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia (except for psychotic-like features) and reduced the caregiver distress caused by such symptoms. click here to read more
  • A systematic review with meta-analysis and trial sequential analysis of clinical trials found cranberry products significantly reduced the incidence of urinary tract infections by 32.5%. Subgroup analysis demonstrated that patients at higher risk for urinary tract infections were more likely to experience the beneficial effect of cranberry. Click here to read more
  • In a 60-day, randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study, the stress-relieving and pharmacological activities of an ashwagandha extract (Withania somnifera) were investigated in 60 stressed, healthy adults. Compared with the placebo, ashwagandha was associated with a statistically significant reduction in anxiety. Ashwagandha intake was also associated with greater reductions in morning cortisol and DHEA-S. Testosterone levels increased in men but not women over time, although this change was not statistically significant compared with the placebo. Click here to read more
  • In an 8-week, randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial, the impact of saffron was investigated in 80 patients with mild and moderate allergic asthma. Anti-HSP70, hs-CRP and spirometry tests were determined in patients before (week 0) and after (week 8) the herbal intervention. The anti-heat shock protein (anti-HSP) 70 is a novel risk factor for asthma, whereas high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is an inflammatory marker. Saffron (compared with placebo) significantly reduced hs-CRP (p < 0.001) and anti-HSP70 (p < 0.001) concentrations. In spirometry tests, forced expiratory volume in first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), the FEV1/FVC ratio and forced expiratory flow 25-75% (FEF 25-75) all increased significantly in saffron in comparison to placebo group (p < 0.05). Click here to read more
  • This interesting clinical trial has shown that pawpaw leaf tea boosts platelet count in dengue fever without any side effects and prevents the complication of thrombocytopaenia. Click here to read more
  • This timely review has noted that since the late 1990s, several epidemiological studies have suggested that the regular consumption of green tea decreases influenza infection rates and some cold symptoms, and that gargling with tea catechin may protect against the development of influenza infection. Click here to read more

  • A preliminary clinical study on the Chinese herb Lycium barbarum L. (also known as Goji berry) shows potential for providing a neuroprotective effect for the retina and could help delay or minimise cone degeneration in the hereditary eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. Could it be due to the anthocyanins it contains? Click here to read more
  • Over 12 months, grape seed extract worked better than the drug calcium dobesilate in reducing retinal hard exudates (plaques that often cause significant visual loss) in patients with diabetic retinopathy. This study highlights the key role of this herb for microcirculatory and endothelial health. Click here to read more
  • Topical sage (Salvia officinalis) in the form of vaginal tablet, alone and when combined with the antifungal drug clotrimazole, effectively treated vulvovaginal candidiasis. Click here to read more
  • The Chinese/Vietnamese herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum (with the wonderful common name immortality herb) has tonic and adaptogenic properties that should make it a regular clinical choice for helping patients with stress. In fact, it contains several ginsenosides as well as other related saponins (gypenosides). Its effects in cancer are also under active research (click here) In one recent clinical trial, Gynostemma reduced anxiety in healthy people under chronic psychological stress. Click here to read more
  • A small pilot trial found Rhodiola rosea enhanced anaerobic exercise performance and may possess ergogenic benefits. Click here to read more 
  • An extract of Boswellia over 8 months markedly reduced disease activity in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. This is in keeping with the known anti-inflammatory activity of the boswellic acids. Mechanistic studies showed a significant increase in regulatory T cells and a significant decrease in interleukin-17A-producing CD8+ T cells, indicating a distinct mechanism of action of the herb and a marked biological plausibility for the observed benefit. Click here to read more
  • Pomegranate extract has significant potential as a herbal prebiotic. A clinical trial found consumption of Pomegranate extract decreased endotoxaemia in overweight-obese individuals by reshaping the gut microbiota, mainly through the modulation of Faecalibacterium, Odoribacter and Parvimonas. The actice components are polyphenols, specifically hydrolysable tannins. Click here to read more
  • Standardised Ginkgo biloba extract significantly shortened the course of postoperative delirium in elderly patients undergoing general anaesthesia. Click here to read more
  • A liposterolic extract of saw palmetto extract of (Serenoa repens) on reduced prostatic inflammation in patients with this problem. Immunohistochemical staining after treatment showed a significant change in the expression of analysed antibodies for the saw palmetto patients, compared to their first biopsy. In the control group, no significant difference was found at the second biopsy. Click here to read more
  • A thorough meta-analysis that included ten randomised clinical trials involving a total of 918 patients concluded ginger was safe and well-tolerated and decreased the severity of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV). It may also lower the incidence of PONV, which in turn may reduce antiemetic drug demand, suggesting that ginger may be a useful alternative to antiemetic medications to alleviate PONV. Click here to read more
  • A small pilot trial found that a standardised bilberry extract improved tear secretion in people suffering from dry eye syndrome. Click here to read more
  • Contrary to popular myth, a systematic review and meta-analysis of 9 double blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trials found that neither Korean red ginseng (KRG) nor American ginseng increased blood pressure. In fact, the systematic review provided positive evidence for the efficacy of KRG on reducing blood pressure in patients with pre-hypertension and hypertension in both acute and long-term application. Click here to read more
  • While myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has been long-recognised as a topical analgesic, it appears to also relieve pain when taken internally. A placebo-controlled trial in people experiencing a range of pain scenarios including headache, fever-dependent pain, joint pain, muscle aches, lower back pain and menstrual cramps found oral intake of myrrh was generally effective for pain relief. Click to read more
  • Six weeks of treatment with Ginkgo biloba extract in physically active young men provided some marginal improvements in their endurance performance expressed as VO₂max and blood antioxidant capacity, as evidenced by specific biomarkers, and elicited better neuroprotection through increased exercise-induced production of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Click here to read more
  • The formulation HT042 is a standardised multiherbal mixture comprising Astragalus membranaceus, Eleutherococcus senticosus and Phlomis umbrosa used in Korea to promote growth in children. The safety and efficacy of HT042 on height growth in children with mild short stature was evaluated in a 24-week multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled parallel study in children aged 6 to 8 years with height ranked below the 25th percentile. The formulation helped to increase height growth in children without skeletal maturation and was more effective in much shorter children. Click here to read more
  • In a study from Thailand, ginger was found to be a promising natural galactagogue to improve breast milk volume in the immediate postpartum period without any notable side effects. Click here to read more
  • Green tea extract treatment for 12 weeks significantly reduced disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus patients. In addition, it significantly increased vitality and general health (p < 0.01). Click here to read more
  • From Japan, a single dose acute clinical study investigated whether the consumption of Siberian ginseng powder improved oedema in a 2-way, randomised, crossover trial in 50 healthy female volunteers. Oedema of the lower limbs was significantly attenuated at 2 and 4 hours after ingestion, as compared to the control group. Based on their prior pharmacological studies, the authors suggested Siberian ginseng exerts its potent anti-oedema activity mainly by promoting lymphatic function. This may hold promise for the treatment of lymphoedema. Click here to read

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