What are bioflavonoids? They are the pigments in plants, which give them their colors. Bioflavonoids have a wide number of actions and are therefore appropriate for many different diseases and conditions. One of the main activities of bioflavonoids is to scavenge free radicals , which damage cell membranes. Free radical damage aides in aging, cancer, and damage to blood vessels which permits the development of atherosclerosis. Bioflavonoids are especially important here, since cholesterol doesn't deposit unless there is already damage to the vessel wall, such as that caused by free radicals. Bioflavonoids also decrease cholesterol levels in the blood, as well as oxidation of cholesterol, decreasing the chance of plaque formation.
Free radical damage to cell membranes also allows for the release and formation of various inflammatory products, which is also prevented by bioflavonoids, making them appropriate for inflammatory conditions like allergies (including food allergies), ulcers, psoriasis, eczema, asthma, gout, and ulcerative colitis.
Another benefit of bioflavonoids is that they strengthen and protect collagen, the main protein in connective tissue. In addition, they increase intracellular Vitamin C levels and activity, which also increases collagen formation. This is another way in which they protect blood vessels from atherosclerosis, as well as from fragility which causes bleeding as in periodontal disease.
In addition, specific bioflavonoids perform unique functions in specific parts of the body. Catechin (Acacia catechu) and Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) act primarily on the liver. Catechin has anti-viral activity. It also enhances the liver's ability to filter bacterial toxins from the intestines and which can lead to free radical damage. Milk Thistle protects the liver not only from free radicals, but also from toxins, such as alcohol and the poisonous Amanita mushroom. It also stimulates regeneration of liver cells.
Hawthorne (Crategus oxycanthus) has an affinity for the cardiovascular system.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) acts especially on the brain and blood vessels. It causes increased oxygen to the brain as well as increased use of glucose, the brain's source of fuel. It enhances nerve transmission and short-term memory, as well as decreasing depression and lack of alertness.
The action of Quercitin (Quercus alba) is localized to the lungs and large intestine. It's especially beneficial for allergies (especially food allergies) and asthma. It is also the most potent anti-viral of the bioflavonoids.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) acts especially on blood vessels, joints, and eyes.
The food sources of bioflavonoids are dark berries, cherries, the white part of citrus fruits, the membrane between layers of onion, buckwheat, bee pollen and propolis, also a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. So enjoy a diet rich in bioflavonoids and reap the benefits of good health and the healing power of Nature!