Diterpenes: A bitter tasting terpenoid used widely as a
stomachic. Diterpenes are believed to help with hypertension and respiratory
tract complaints such as catarrh bronchitis and colds. Some diterpenes are
believed to have tumour inhibitor properties as well as a stimulating effect on
the immune system.
Tannins: Tannins are the largest group of polyphenols found
widely in bark, wood, leaves and even some fruit. Widely used to tan animal
hides in the leather production industry this constituent is an Astringent,
works against inflammation in mucus membranes and other skin conditions,
prevents bleeding of small wounds as well as uterine bleeding and is effective
against diarrhoea and dysentery.
Tannins should be used with care as they
tend to inhibit the absorption of other nutrients and substances therefore
reducing the efficacy of other medicinal compounds in the medication.
Flavonoids: Flavonoids occur (as white and yellow plant pigments
found almost as commonly as chlorophyll) as Glycosides or in a free state. In
plants it is essential for protecting plant tissue from UV radiation and acts as
antioxidants. As pigments it is also responsible for Autumn colors in leaves and
yellow/red pigmentation in flowers.
Laboratory experiments have been
conducted on the beneficiary effect of Flavonoids on the heart and circulatory
system. Flavonoids are also used to mitigate stress, especially environmental
stress. Flavonoids are often used for their antioxidant effect against free
radicals. There are also strong indications that they have antiviral,
anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive properties but dosage has not been
determined which will obviously have a profound effect on their efficacy as a
component of this herb.