What is D-Flame?
NOW® D-Flame is a synergistic blend of herbs that can reduce the occasional minor pain resulting from over-exertion or stress. In addition, NOW® D-Flame contains a potent combination of antioxidants that contributes to heart health and proper immune system function. This formula can be used daily for the support of vascular and general health or, occasionally, to alleviate the aches and pains associated with daily life.
What do COX-2 and 5-LOX have to do with pain?
Scientific research has defined naturally occurring enzymes known as Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LOX) which are implicated in a number of inflammatory conditions. Unlike its more benign and protective sister COX-1, the harmful COX- 2 enzyme is present only during periods of inflammation. COX-2 and 5-LOX form the destructive duo responsible for the production of the pro-inflammatory type of mediators called eicocasonoids; specifically prostaglandins PGE-2 and leukotrienes.
Those suffering with pain have used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are available over the counter. These medications work by inhibiting the formation of the COX enzymes. The problem is that most NSAIDs block both the harmful COX-2 and the helpful COX-1 enzymes. The COX-1 enzyme functions as a protective mechanism for stomach lining. Long term inhibition of this vital COX-1 enzyme by overuse of these drugs has caused many gastric disorders, including bleeding ulcers.
These plants have been used for generations by the native peoples of various countries. Over time, researchers have discovered natural compounds in a number of different plant sources that can significantly support the body’s response to inflammatory conditions and reduce these undesirable enzymes.
Which plant extracts are in D-Flame and what do they do?
Holy Basil Extract (Ocimum sanctum)
Holy Basil is an annual herb native to India. Considered a sacred herb by the Hindus, it’s used in Ayurvedic medicine for a number of different conditions. Holy Basil contains the natural compound ursolic acid, which helps to support immune system function and has proven useful in modulating COX-2 & 5-LOX enzymes.
Turmeric Extract (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a perennial plant found primarily in southern and eastern Asia. A spice, it’s one of the most popular and widely used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. The active component in Turmeric is curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant compound that provides outstanding benefits against COX-2 & 5-LOX.
Ginger Extract (Zingiber officinale)
One of the most popular and widely used herbs today, the spice Ginger is an important part of many different Asian medical systems. Primarily used to detoxify the body and calm the stomach, Ginger also supports circulation and has a beneficial effect on COX-2 & 5-LOX.
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)
Green Tea contains a veritable treasure trove of antioxidant compounds including polyphenols, which support immune system function. Research shows that one particular polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is over 200 times more powerful than vitamin E!
Boswellin (Boswellia serrata)
This tree is native to India and yields a gummy resin with a wide variety of applications. One of the most widely-used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, Boswellin contains boswellic acids, which support healthy circulation and work to deactivate certain chemical triggers often associated with COX-2 & 5-LOX.
Bromelain is a compound extracted from pineapples that research shows has a number of beneficial effects in dealing with COX-2 & 5-LOX. Bromelain works by breaking down and removing proteins in damaged tissues.
D-Flame also contains Baikal Skullcap, Resveratrol and Berberine, other complementary natural compounds.
Holy Basil: Sacred Versatility
By Allen Studzinski, NOW Quality Assurance Dept.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum), also called Indian Basil or Sacred Basil, is known as Tulsi in Sanskrit, which means “the incomparable one”. As an important symbol in Hindu religious traditions it is worshiped and used in various religious rituals. The tradition of Ayurvedic Medicine recognizes the tremendous medicinal significance of Holy Basil, where it is considered an elixir that is healing to mind, body, and spirit. Ayurvedic medicine sees Holy Basil as an herb with bitter, pungent, and astringent tastes used as a major respiratory support herb that helps to mobilize mucus with colds, flu, and other respiratory ailments. It is also traditionally used to bring down fever, for earaches, digestive disorders such as bloating or colic, ringworm, malaria, and even as a mosquito repellant.
Modern research finds Holy Basil to have potent therapeutic potential for peptic ulcer sufferers due to its anti-ulcerogenic and ulcer healing properties.1 Through its various neurotransmitter-modulating effects it may have analgesic properties2 as well as anti-stress effects. Stress related changes in levels of hormones such as cortisol and the corticosteroids are generating interest due their negative impact on everything from weight management, to healing, and memory. Studies show Holy Basil to have anti-stressor properties and a normalizing influence on stress induced changes in these problematic corticosteroid hormone levels.3
Holy Basil supports healthy carbohydrate metabolism as well as healthy blood sugar levels.4 Studies suggest diabetics may benefit from Holy Basil’s blood sugar lowering properties and one study also showed cholesterol-lowering effects.5 Laboratory studies looking at sugar metabolism in the eye suggest Holy Basil may positively influence cataract formation.6
Antioxidants are believed to be key ingredients for health and longevity and Holy Basil contains a variety of components with free radical neutralizing and antioxidant activity.7,8 Many of the potential benefits attributable to Holy basil are believed to be due to it containing a component called Ursolic acid. Many studies have been performed showing ursolic acid’s protective qualities on nerve, liver, and skin tissues as well as immune modulatory effects. Holy Basil seems to offer significant protection against cancer and cancer causing substances.9 Lastly, Holy Basil derivatives have been shown to inhibit the inflammatory COX-2 and LOX enzyme systems.10 Sufferers of arthritis and inflammatory diseases usually are given side effect ridden prescription drugs to inhibit these very same enzymes.
Precautions: Holy Basil is a very safe herb with thousands of years of historical use. Ayurveda cautions its use in individuals with overly heated conditions and some studies suggest an anti-fertility potential so those looking to conceive may wish to not overdo Holy Basil.
1 J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Aug;93(2-3):197-206
2 J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Oct;88(2-3):293-6
3 Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997 Apr;41(2):139-43
4 J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jan;90(1):155-60
5 Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996 Sep;34(9):406-9
6 J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 May;86(1):113-6
7 Biochem Int. 1991 Jul;24(5):981-90
8 Biochem Int. 1992 Dec;28(4):735-44
9 Indian J Exp Biol. 1990 Nov;28(11):1008-11
10 J Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Oct;54(1):19-26