The UIC Botanical Center Is Reseaerching the Properties of Botanicals that Women Are Taking to Promote Good Health and Resilience
Today’s emphasis on health maintenance and resilience is reflected in the increased use of botanical dietary supplements (BDS). Women – especially those over 55 – are the largest consumer group taking botanical dietary supplements. The ability of women to manage menopausal symptoms while maintaining an active lifestyle without the use of prescription hormone therapy is an appealing message which many women consumers of BDS respond to enthusiastically. In recognition of this trend, UIC Botanical Center investigators are committed to determining whether the Botanical Dietary Supplements regularly consumed by women to address menopausal symptoms are safe as well as effective.
Botanicals currently selected for investigation
|UIC Botanical Center Plants (Latin Name)||Common Name||Plant Part|
|Actaea racemosa||Actaea racemosa||Actaea racemosa|
|Angelica sinensis||Dang Gui (aka Dong Quai)||Root|
|Dioscorea villosa||Wild yam||Root|
|Glycyrrhiza glabra L., G. uralensis, G. inflata||Licorice||Rhizome|
|Lepidium meyenii||Maca||Root, tuber|
|Pueraria mirifica||Kwao Keur||Root|
|Rhodiola rosea||Rose root||Root|
|Silybum marianum||Milk thistle||Seed|
|Schisandra chinensis||Five flower berry||Fruit|
|Trifolium pratense||Red clover||Aerial|
Examples of two familiar botanicals under current investigation are hops (Humulus lupulus) and licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Hops are well known for their use in the beer-making process, as they add flavor and color and act as a preservative. Hops have also been used traditionally as a sleep aid and anti-anxiety medicine. The UIC Botanical Center is studying its application to the alleviation of symptoms such as hot flushes associated with menopause and testing hops for their cytoprotective properties.
Licorice is familiar to many as the candy or sweetener derived from the roots of this plant. However licorice was also traditionally used for coating/moisturizing tissue, such as the throat, and for healing gastric ulcers. Current Center research focuses on the estrogenic and related hormonal properties of licorice as well as its resiliency enhancing properties.