Proflax’s Immunity and Digestion contains a 25% herbal blend to support vital body systems and promote all-round general health. Supplementing from a young age with this preparation is a brilliant preventative approach to many ailments our Pets suffer from with age. Today I am going to break down the benefits of each herb.
The Wellbeing & Vitality blend contains the following herbs:
- Milk Thistle
- Centella Asiatica
Echinacea has been shown to be effective in small doses against Chronic and Seasonal respiratory tract infections and is approved for use against Kennel Cough, Bronchitis, Tonsilitis and a range of other Chronic and Seasonal Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. Echinacea is regarded as an Adaptogen and an Immune Stimulant so care should be taken when administering it to Dogs with Auto-Immune disorders. Echinacea also has Anti-microbial properties so can be effective against a range of internal infections.
Some of the Viruses that it has been shown to be effective against are:
- Influenza virus
- Herpes simplex virus
Some of the Bacterias it has been shown to be effective against are:
- Streptococcus Pyogenes
- Hemophilus Influenzae
- Legionella Pneumophila
- Staphylococcus Aureus
- Klebsiella Pneumoniae
- Propionobacterium Acnes
- Mycobacterium Smegmatis
- Clostridium Difficile
- Candida Albicans
- Leishmania Donovani
- Trypanosoma Brucei
Astragalus is also an Adaptogenic Herb with Antiviral properties. Astragalus’s Antiviral properties aren’t directly against Viral Cells or Viruses, instead, the bioactive compound Astragalus Polysaccharide (APS) promotes the activation of Macrophages without Cytotoxic (Toxic to living cells) effects and protects important cells in the Central Nervous System called Astrocytes. This is also part of how Astragalus modulates the Immune system.
Commonly known as Ashwaghanda or Rennet, Withania Root has antibacterial properties and is also an Adaptogen. Withania has been used as a staple herb in Ayurvedic preparations for centuries. It has been shown to reduce Cortisol levels associated with Stress and Anxiety in humans and has had its anti-stress adaptogenic properties elucidated using modern study methods. It has also been shown to have Anti-tumor, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant and Cardioprotective properties.
Turmeric, another Adaptogenic Spice, taken from the roots of Curcuma Longa – a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the Ginger Family, has been used for over 3000 years in Ayurvedic medicine as an anti-inflammatory compound, in the last 25 years scientists have tried to elucidate the different compounds that convey medicinal benefits, in that time, as many as 133 different species of Curcuma have been identified across the globe. During those studies, 3000 or so of which have made it to published literature, over 100 compounds have been identified, of those, Curcuminoids give Turmeric its distinct colour and have been shown to possess Antioxidant properties. Turmeric is traditionally used as a medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Anterior Uveitis, Conjunctivitis, Skin Cancer, Smallpox, Chicken Pox, Wound Healing, UTI’s, Liver Ailments, Digestive Disorders, Reducing Flatulence, Jaundice, Menstrual Difficulties, Colic, Abdominal Pain and Distension. Overall, Turmeric has Anti-inflammatory, AntiCancer, Antimutagenic, Choleretic, Antimicrobial and Carminative properties.
The properties of Turmeric, its components and the mechanisms behind their actions are so widespread and well understood due to a large number of studies performed in the last 25 years, the supporting literature is so vast I would need a standalone post to properly explain and go into enough depth detail with suitable referencing. For anybody that would like further reading with supporting published literature See Here!
Milk Thistle is widely used in humans and Canines to support liver function and treat Liver Disease. Most commonly, Milk Thistle is used in Canines to mitigate Liver damage from the commonly used epilepsy medication – Phenobarbitol. Although many practitioners advocate that long-term use can be detrimental to Liver function, there is not much literature to support this, care should still be taken when considering this herb for long term supplementation. The benefits of Milk Thistle are:
Hepatoprotective: The ability to prevent damage to the Liver. Milk Thistle has been shown in preclinical trials to have multiple hepatoprotective actions. The Antioxidant properties and the increase in healthy cell regeneration as a by-product of increased protein synthesis are of the most interest in this area. It has also been shown to protect Liver Cells from injury caused by Ischaemia, Radiation and Viral Hepatitis.
Cytoprotective: The Cytoprotective activity of Milk Thistle can be attributed to its high flavonoid content. Flavonoids are good Antioxidants and scavenge free radicals quite readily. Milk Thistle components can also interact directly with Cell Membranes to prevent any abnormalities in the membrane contents. This is also applicable in the case of some early stage Cancers.
Anti-Inflammatory: Extracts of Milk Thistle have been shown to inhibit Inflammation of Immune Cells, providing a reduction in Lymphotoxicity, enhancing our Lymphatic systems ability to effectively mount an immune response when challenged. It has also been shown that the active components of Milk Thistle – Silymarin and Silibinin – can have inhibitory effects on the production of Leukotrienes and enhance the conversion of Lymphoblasts to Lymphocytes, further enhancing our Immune response.
Centella Asiatica is also an Adaptogenic Herb. Widely used throughout history in Ayurvedic Medicine as a blood purifier, for treating high blood pressure, memory enhancement, as a CNS and Brain cell revitalizer, Anti-depressant and for treatment of skin conditions such as Leprosy, Eczema, Lupus, Varicose Ulcers, Psoriasis, Fever, Amenorrhea and Diarrhoea, it has also historically been used to treat Anxiety, female Genitourinary tract diseases and improve cognition.
Wound Healing: Centella Asiatica extracts have been shown to increase Cellular proliferation at wound sites, improve Collagen synthesis (in turn increasing Skin tensile strength), Asiaticoside (an active constituent) has been shown to increase Collagen formation and Angiogenesis, it has also been shown to inhibit the inflammatory processes associated with hypertrophy in scars and improve Capillary permeability. In one study the Antioxidant effects of Asiaticoside in the initial stages of wound healing was investigated, concluding that it exhibited different effects at different stages of wound healing.
Venous Insufficiency: One of the effects of Centella Asiatica is to strengthen weakened Veins, in turn leading to an improvement in connective tissue maintenance, it was shown to have a stabilising effect on connective tissue growth by stimulating the formation Hyaluronidase and Chondroitin Sulfate (both extremely important in the maintenance of Joints, Cartilage and Synovial Fluids). It was also reported to act on the Connective tissues in the walls of Veins and Arteries, improving circulation.
Sedative and Anxiolytic: In Eastern cultures, Centella Asiatica has been used as a Central Nervous System depressant, lending to its sedative properties. It’s Anxiolytic (Anti-Anxiety) properties are in part due to modulating the release of several Hormones implicated in Anxiety, Nociception (the sensory nervous systems response to harmful or potentially harmful stimuli), Memory and Hunger.
Anti-depressant: Centella Asiatica has a range of Terpenoid substances (the substances that lend to the smell and taste of plants, fruit and vegetables by activation of various sensory nervous system receptors), these have been shown to Modulate the Amino Acid levels in Brain Tissues, primarily in the Cerebral Cortex, Hippocampus and Thalamus.
Antiepileptic: Centella Asiatica has been shown to prevent Cognitive impairment associated with seizures, protect against increases in intra-cranial electric stimulations (commonly associated with Epilepsy) and Chemo-Convulsions. It has also been shown to protect against Convulsions and seizures. the findings of various studies suggest its use as an adjuvant to epilepsy medication can have Neuroprotective effects, further adding to its use as an Antioxidant and CNS depressant.
Cognitive Improvement: Cognitive impairment in humans with Alzheimer's has been linked to an increase in Free Radical compounds within the Brain and Increases in Beta-Amyloid Plaques. Centella Asiatica compounds have been shown to increase the levels of important Brain Antioxidants like Glutathione that decrease with age. Some of the Compounds within Centella Asiatica have been shown to inhibit the formation of Beta-Amyloid Plaques and inhibit Free radical-induced Cell oxidisation, giving a Neuroprotective effect.
Gastric Ulcer Prevention/Treatment: Centella Asiatica, through the strengthening of the Gastric Mucosal barrier (intestinal Wall mucosa) has a protective effect against Ulcer formation and through the active constituents useful in wound healing, increases the healing rate of Gastric Ulcers.
Antiinflammatory: Centella Asiatica, through an active constituent called Madecassoside, has been shown to reduce inflammation in Collagen-induced Arthritis and have a protective effect against Joint Destruction. It has been shown to prevent the infiltration of Inflammatory Cells into Synovial Fluids. Madecassoside has been implicated as the major active compound responsible for regulating the Abnormal Humoral and Cellular Immunity.
For thousands of years, Liquorice has been used to aid in Digestive disorders, provide respiratory relief and to strengthen the Liver and Kidneys. It has Hepatoprotective, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-depressant, Anti-viral and Antioxidant properties. It is also classed as an Adaptogen due to its ability to modulate the stress hormone Cortisol.
Digestive Aid: Liquorice root has a range of Antacid compounds that are known to relieve Heartburn, Indigestion, Stomach and Intestinal Ulcers, Acid Reflux and is useful in managing symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It essentially coats the Digestive tract with a mucous layer, protecting the walls and decreasing recovery time from damage/injury. Due to also being a potent Diuretic and a mild Laxative in higher doses, it can also help in reducing Bloating, water retention and Constipation.
Respiratory support: Liquorice has been shown to increase the Mucous production throughout the Bronchial System, contrary to logical thought (that an increase of mucus production would be detrimental to respiratory function), the production of fresh, healthy Phlegm actually has a protective effect against contracting viruses that cause respiratory illness and can reduce Lung spasms associated with coughs and colds.
Hepatoprotective: One of the active compounds in Liquorice root – Glycyrrhizin – is a potent free radical scavenger, especially in the Liver and has been found to prevent damage from Alcohol and over the counter painkillers. Liquorice is also effective against the Virus that causes Hepatitis, in turn reducing Hepatitis related inflammation of the Liver.
Antidepressant: Liquorice has been found to have 8 different Antidepressant compounds, known as Monoamine Oxidase’s. One of the most potent is Glycyrrhizin, responsible for breaking down Cortisol – the stress hormone, some of the others are Isoflavan and Isoflavene – Both have been shown to be effective at treating all types of depression.
The Combination of these Potent Adaptogenic Herbs and the synergistic way in which their active compounds work to modulate the body’s reaction to stress, emotional stimuli, injury and illness make the Proflax Wellbeing and Vitality Blend a must have Daily supplement for even the Healthiest of Dogs.