Natural Remedies and Cholesterol
WHAT IS THE TRENDING NEWS STORY
Recently, an Amish remedy prepared with ingredients readily available at home appeared online. The author of the article claims that this remedy is effective in managing high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, and strengthens the immune system.
The formulation of the Amish remedy includes a clove of garlic, a piece of ginger, one teaspoon of organic honey, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. The remedy is prepared by mixing all these ingredients in a blender for half a minute, straining the mixture and refrigerating for 5 days.
It is suggested that the remedy can be taken twice daily, one tablespoon in the morning and in the evening before meals. The effects of the remedy are claimed to be noticeable within a few days to a week.
WHY THE STORY HAS MISINFORMATION
There is a growing concern about the uncontrolled growth of the natural product market. While each of the ingredients in the Amish remedy has valuable effects on blood pressure and blood cholesterol, there are still unproven claims expressed in the article.
Until now, there are no published studies on physical characteristics, the compatibility profile, and the storage conditions of this remedy. Despite being composed of natural products, the remedy is not exempt from the incidence of possible interactions, not just with each ingredient but also with external factors such as oxidation or heat. Natural products are also often prone to deterioration. These are just a few factors that may affect the stability, efficacy, and safety of the natural remedy.
Due to the lack of researches on the recommended dosage, one tablespoon of the remedy twice a day cannot be generalized for all people. There's no scientific evidence that this dose will be effective in healthy people and in patients suffering from varying degrees of hypertension or hypercholesterolemia. Additionally, the dose requirements for each ingredient are also needed. There are no studies to substantiate the accuracy or adequacy in producing the desired effects, let alone achieving the results in a week.
Looking at the preparation method, it actually raises uncertainty on the correct manner of preparation and how it affects the remedy's efficacy. For instance, the active ingredient of garlic is an unstable component that is quick to change into different chemicals. The concentration of the active ingredient will highly depend on the processing method.
Even the researchers who performed studies on apple cider vinegar and ginger, for example, that showed promising data regarding the efficacy of these natural remedies, conceded that the discoveries made were preliminary and that further research was needed.
A study performed on garlic found that none of the forms of the product used in this study, including raw garlic, had statistically or clinically significant effects on LDL-C or other plasma lipid concentrations in adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia.
Some people think that this Amish remedy is safer than synthetic medications, thinking that being composed of natural ingredients ensures that it is 100% safe. This belief may not be completely true as people will experience varying reactions not just from synthetic drug products, but from natural remedies as well. For example, only one preparation of garlic has been proven to be safe while others are likely to cause adverse effects, such as anemia and stomach ulcers. The Amish remedy, or some of its ingredients, might also interact with the medications intended to treat other conditions and diseases.
A study was conducted to determine the knowledge of the Amish regarding the cardiovascular system. It was discovered that cardiac knowledge was limited and the required higher education above eighth grade was often seen skeptically in this technologically isolated population. This point raises questions about the credibility of the Amish remedy as this community follows health practices as given by their ancestors without any scientific authenticity. Hence, the use of this Amish remedy in mass therapy is a matter of debate.
- Thakur, L., Ghodasra, U., Patel, N., & Dabhi, M. (2011). Novel approaches for stability improvement in natural medicines. Pharmacognosy reviews, 5(9), 48.
- Sumiyoshi H. New pharmacological activities of garlic and its constituents. Folia Pharmacologica Japonica. 1997;110(supplement 1):93P–97P