You’re so special,
You’re so cool,
You make me hot,
So, why not,
Quit being a fool,
And, get a re-fill,
I think I will!
Gives my mouth a thrill,
Methyl sulfonyl methane,
Is critical to remain,
Without enough sulfur,
I’ll surely suffer.
Turns to a fire state,
Setting off a spark,
In the dark.
I won’t hesitate,
’cause I don’t need to catch my breath,
With your respiratory aftermath.
Try some… why not?
You, yew, you,
Creating defense proteins… more than a few.
I’m a proponent,
Of the anti-oxident component,
And, it’s evident,
From these plants I benefit.
From Basil Herb Information
by Holistic Online
Active Compounds: Volatile oils (up to 28 percent methyl cinnamate)
From University of California’s Glomerular Response Archive
by Brett A. Johnson and Michael Leon
Name: methyl cinnamate
Chemical Formula: C10H10O2
Volatile oil (1% including estragol, linalool, linalool, eugenol, methyl chavicol and small quantities of methyl cinnamate, cineole, and other terpenes)
Letter from Dr. Janson
I recently returned from the meeting of the American College for Advancement in Medicine in Reno, Nevada. Many speakers reported their research on various treatments in alternative medicine, including nutrition and dietary supplements. The speakers presented information on supportive cancer therapies, immune support, toxic metals, athletic performance, and more.
The health potential of MSM One of the reports was about the dietary sulfur supplement called MSM, or methyl sulfonyl methane. This was presented by Dr. Ronald Lawrence of the UCLA School of Medicine. Sulfur is an essential mineral, it is a component of antioxidant defense systems, and it has many therapeutic uses. It is present in the B-vitamin thiamine, and in several amino acids. MSM is an organic form of sulfur present in all living things. Sulfur is part of the liver detoxification systems, as it is often added to toxic molecules as a way of eliminating them. You may have heard about the benefits of DMSO, but one of the drawbacks of DMSO is its strong garlic-like odor residue, and local skin irritation where it is applied topically.
MSM is a derivative of DMSO, having the benefits without the odor or skin irritation. It is usually taken as a pill or powder, and it is both tasteless and odorless. MSM has been effective in treating the pain and swelling of arthritis-both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Other rheumatic disorders, such as lupus (SLE) with joint pain and inflammation may respond to supplements of MSM. Research is ongoing on the use of MSM for allergies, asthma and diabetes.
MSM inhibits the cross linking of collagen and therefore is useful to reduce hardening of connective tissue with age. One suggestion is to take it to prevent the signs of aging in the skin. The typical doses of MSM range from 500-1000 mg daily as a maintenance or preventive level, and up to 5000 mg daily as a treatment for allergies, arthritic disorders and fibromyalgia syndrome with a reduction of the dose after a period of a few days to a few weeks. Some people appear to benefit if they stay on MSM at a range of 2000 to 4000 mg daily. Taking it for only a day or two is probably ineffective-at least several days to several weeks of supplementation are necessary to see benefits.
From Bastyr University’s Mentha piperta
Mints have been used worldwide for centuries as medicinal and culinary herbs. M. piperita does not have the same history in the Western world because it is a hybrid and was not grown in England until the mid 1700’s. M. piperita is native to the Mediterranean region and may have been cultivated as long ago as the time of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Due to its penetrating odor, it has been used as a stimulant and nerve tonic. M. piperita can also be used in treating mouth sores, nausea and impaired digestion. M. spicata, spearmint, also has a pungent volatile oil but is reputed to be less powerful and may be better suited for children and for treatment of general upper respiratory infections.
Volatile oils-menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate, menthofuran, limonene, pulegone, cineol and azulenes; flavonoids-methoside and rutin; carotenes-tannins, betaine and choline.
Stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, antiseptic, antiemetic.
M. piperita is commonly used for the effects from its volatile oils, mainly menthol. The digestive system benefits greatly from these effects through a number of mechanisms. One way M. piperita works is that the menthol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (also known as the cardiac sphincter) to release pressure from the stomach. Another way M. piperita acts on the GI tract is by inhibiting the hyperactivity of intestinal smooth muscle through blocking the influx of calcium into the muscle cell. This helps to regulate the intestines by normalizing muscle function and facilitating the expiration of gas, improving such conditions as irritable bowel syndrome.
M. piperita stimulates digestive secretions through its bitter and choleretic properties. The bitter principle enhances pancreatic secretions and the choleretic effects stimulate the flow of bile and increase the solubility of bile. These effects may stimulate the release and shrinkage of gallstones (M. piperita may be contraindicated in some cases of gallstones. If gallstones are present or if there is a history or symptoms of gallstones, consult a doctor before use.) (Please note that gallstones may be asymptomatic.)
The antiseptic and diaphoretic qualities of M. piperita make it valuable in the treatment of colds and flu. Warm peppermint teas will encourage perspiration and recovery. The volatile oils are antiseptic and antiviral. M. piperita also reduces the catarrh from head colds.
Topically, peppermint oil may be used as a counter irritant to produce analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. The oils stimulate nerve perception of cold while pain perception is decreased. To the skin this feels like an initial sensation of cool, followed by warmth. This treatment is useful in musculoskeletal conditions, headaches and toothaches.
Peppermint oil may also be used topically as a chest rub for coughs and asthma. The oil will help ease breathing through relaxing the smooth muscles of the bronchioles.
Even though the use of peppermint can be quite safe, allergic reactions have been experienced. The most common reaction is contact dermatitis, although other signs such as bradycardia and muscle tremors have been noted. These reactions have a higher incidence of occurrence if the oil is used in conjunction with a heating pad.
The use of M. piperita oil for infants and young children may be contraindicated because of an increased risk of choking due to laryngeal spasms. Use by individuals with a predisposition to heartburn and LES reflux is also contraindicated because the oil will most likely worsen the condition. Even though in most cases M. piperita is safe to use, the volatile oil can be quite toxic. Consult a practitioner before use.
From the University of Illinois’ Herbs and Herbal Remedies
WINTERGREEN Have you ever used Ben-Gay? If you have, you are acquainted with the soothing quality of wintergreen’s active ingredient which is methyl salicylate. It is found in the leaves and berries. Sioux, Penobscot, Nez Perce, and other Indian tribes used a tea made from the leaves for a variety of ailments, as did many settlers. For aching muscles and joints, it is applied as a poultice. The familiar wintergreen flavor is now produced synthetically.
BIRCH Birch trees were enormously useful. Canoes were made from the bark, birch beer from the branches, and an infusion from the leaves. They drank the active ingredient, methyl salicylate prepared as a tea. They used it for fevers, kidney stones, and abdominal cramps. Birchweiser beer anyone?
From Methyl Jasmonat
By Simon Cotton, Uppingham School, Rutland, UK
Paclitaxel (taxol), obtained from yew trees, is the most important anticancer drug in existence; it is difficult to produce enough paclitaxel to satisfy demand, since it is widely used to treat breast cancer and ovarian cancer in particular. One promising method for its production involves cell cultures from the yew tree. Scientists have discovered that adding methyl jasmonate to the cell cultures greatly increases the amount of paclitaxel produced.
Another promising use for methyl jasmonate lies in prolonging the shelf-life of fresh fruit. It has been shown to reduce chilling injury as well as preventing the growth of mould on strawberries and grapes, as well as stopping bananas from turning brown. The role of methyl jasmonate is again believed to involve the production of defence proteins, which encourage formation of fungicides and antibacterial agents.
From Herbal Remedies Newsletter Issue 216
by Deb Jackson
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Although scientific research on MSM is limited, 55,000 studies have been published on the closely related dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). Stanley Jacob, M.D., of Oregon health Sciences University, Portland, a pioneer in researching both MSM, has found MSM very effective in reducing muscle and joint pain, interstitial cystitis (a type of very painful bladder inflammation). According to Jacob, MSM also eases symptoms of scleroderma, a chronic degenerative disease that scars skin, joints, and connective tissue. By weight, MSM is 34 percent sulfur. Dosage: 1,000-2,000 mg daily.
S-adenosyl-L-methionine. Better known as SAMe (pronounced “sammy”), this nutrient plays a central role in a process biochemists call methylation. By donating “methyl groups,” containing carbon and hydrogen, to 40 major chemical reactions, SAMe promotes the building of new cells and essential processes in existing cells. Because of these fundamental roles in health, SAMe has been shown helpful in treating depression, controlling inflammation and pain, and speeding healing. Dosage: 200-400 mg daily.
By Andy & Sharon
One of the most popular liniments for muscle-, head- and backache is Tigerbalm.
Tradition will have it that the Mongolian Horsemen from Genghis Khan, roaming the plains of central
Europe, had a very effective ointment against saddle and back ache. Part of this ointment came from the Siberian Birch Tree. A mixture was made out of lard, camphor and birch tree oil. For ages this ointment was in use and got quite famous.
At the end of the last century many products were replaced by synthetic components. The useful part of the birch oil (methyl salicylate) and the camphor oil (the crystals) were available in synthetic form. This made the ointment cheap and within reach for everyone.
From Salicylate-containing Herbs
By Integrative Medical Arts Group
Salicylates have long been known as water soluble compounds derived from a number of plants, particularly Willow (Salix spp.) and Meadowsweet (Spirea spp.) with analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Following the identification of salicin as the active principle of Willow bark, and the subsequent synthesis of acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), the use of natural salicylates has declined.
chemistry of salicylates:
Plant salicylates occur as phenolic glycosides, most commonly salicin, which is the glycoside of salicyl alcohol, or the related populin (benzoyl alcohol glycoside). Methyl salicylate, derived from Gaultheria spp. (Wintergreen) also exists as a glycoside. The properties of naturally derived salicylic acid are similar to those of aspirin, which basically involve the inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis by inactivation of COX1. However, the natural form presents important differences in bioavailability and pharmacokinetic properties from pharmaceutical aspirin due to both the glycoside linkage and the absence of the acetyl group.
Common salicylate-containing herbs:
o Betula lenta (Sweet Birch)
o Betula pendula (White birch)
o Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
o Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)
o Populus balsamifera (Balsam Poplar)
o Populus nigra (Black Poplar)
o Populus candicans (Balm Of Gilead)
o Salix alba (White Willow)
o Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw)
By Viable Herbal
Peppermint is more than just a candy flavor. This herb promotes healthy digestion by soothing and comforting the stomach. Peppermint is frequently used in herbal teas and capsules. The essential oil of this plant contains menthol, which also displays healthful powers, and is often found in throat-soothers and topical vapor rubs.
Official Latin Name: Mentha piperita
The historical information presented here is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Peppermint is also known by the names Mint, Balm Mint, Curled Mint, Lamb Mint, and Brandy Mint. The plant is found throughout Europe, in moist areas, along stream banks and in waste lands. Mint is one of the most ancient of all medicinal herbs. Ancient Athenians would rub the leaves of mint on their arms to improve their endurance. The Greeks and Romans crowned themselves with Peppermint at their feasts, and adorned their tables with its sprays. They also flavored both their sauces and their wines with its essence. Two species of mint were used medicinally by the ancient Greek physicians, but some writers doubt whether either was the modern Peppermint, though there is evidence that Mentha piperita was cultivated by the Egyptians. It is mentioned in the Icelandic Pharmacopoeias of the thirteenth century, but only came into general use in the medicine of Western Europe about the middle of the eighteenth century. Today, the United States is the most important producers of Peppermint and Peppermint oil. The primary chemical constituents of Peppermint include essential oils (menthol, menthone, methyl acetate, limonene, pulegone), tannins, flavonoids, choline, and potassium. Peppermint leaves contain about 0.5-4% volatile oil that is composed of 50-78% free menthol and 5-20% menthol combined with other constituents.
Peppermint is an excellent carminative, having a relaxing effect on the muscles of the digestive system, combats flatulence, and stimulates bile & digestive juice flow. It is used to relieve intestinal colic, flatulent dyspepsia and associated conditions. The volatile oil in Peppermint acts as a mild anesthetic to the stomach wall, which allays feelings of nausea and the desire to vomit. This herb has long been known to relieve nausea & vomiting of pregnancy, and travel sickness. Peppermint is also used in the treatment of ulcerative conditions of the bowels. It is a traditional treatment of fevers, colds and influenza.
As an inhalant, this herb is used as temporary relief for nasal catarrh. Where headaches are associated with digestion, Peppermint may help. As a nervine, it eases anxiety & tension. In painful menstrual periods, it relieves the pain and eases associated tension. Externally, it is used to relieve itching, inflammations, and a variety of respiratory conditions. Peppermint oil is also a great expectorant.
From The Chemistry of Garlic Health Benefits
An Interview with Professor Eric Block, Ph.D.
by Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D.
More stable products are formed when allicin and its “cousins” stand at room temperature for a few hours or days. A good example of this situation is macerate of garlic, a product formed when garlic is chopped (”macerated”) with salad oil or other edible oils. Macerate of garlic is a rich source of “naturally-formed” garlic-derived compounds having the scientific names ajoene, methyl ajoene, and dithiins. These products are stable enough to be stored at room temperature for more than a year, for example when dissolved in an edible oil.
From MadSci Network: Neuroscience
Re: is the cooling sensation of mint related to the hot sensation of chili?
Date: Sat Dec 29 23:55:48 2001
Posted By: Robin Cooper, Faculty, neurobiology, Univ. of Kentucky
Area of science: Neuroscience
Question: is the cooling sensation of mint related to the hot sensation of chili?
Sorry it took me a while to get back on this one. It was a busy month. This is really an interesting question. We see a lot of advertisements on TV about how cool some mint favored gums or breath fresheners are implied to be so cool as to freeze the people.
The mint flavor one is commonly refereeing to is a wintergreen mint. There are a number of chemicals associated with the mint flavor. One in particularly is methyl salicylate and methanol.
The methyl salicylate is even known to give off sparks of light when you bites down on a candy containing it. For more info on that topic see - http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/dec99/945895598.Ch.r.html
Now for the cool feeling one gets from such a chemical. I did not know anyone examined this topic until I found a reference on this www site http://members.aol.com/doder1/mint1.htm
Which stated, “Anatomy. Menthol (a crystalline alcohol obtained from peppermint oil) tricks heat-sensing organs (thermoreceptors) of the tongue and skin into sending messages to the brain that the sensation tastes and feels “cool” (Feldman 1991:192).”
I tried to track down the reference to Feldman 1991 but I could not find any related scientific article, but I did find another one below. It basically states that methyl salicylate can alter cutaneous nociceptors. These are a type of pain receptor. So, I am still at a loss in how the cooling effect come about.
Somatosens Mot Res 1989;6(3):253-74
Methyl salicylate as a cutaneous stimulus: a psychophysical analysis. Green BG, Flammer LJ.
Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104. “Two experiments were performed to examine the perceptual effects of methyl salicylate on hairy skin in humans. In the first experiment, the sensitivity to methyl salicylate (prepared in an ethanol and water vehicle and applied via filter paper) was measured in a paradigm that required subjects to report both the perceived intensity and the perceptual quality of the sensations they experienced. The results indicated that methyl salicylate could be reliably detected at concentrations between 3 and 12%.
Peak perceived intensities increased with increasing concentration, and the dominant sensation quality reported was “burning”. The second experiment, which measured the effect of methyl salicylate on the perception of temperature change, revealed that the compound enhances the perception of warming but does not affect the perception of cooling. For most subjects, methyl salicylate produced a hyperalgesia to heating.
Overall, the data suggest that methyl salicylate probably produces its sensory effects via stimulation and/or sensitization of a population of cutaneous nociceptors.”
The hot sensation of Chili also effects cutaneous nociceptors. In fact the active compound in chili is capsaicin. There are many reports on its effects. It is known to activate cutaneous nociceptors. In fact, over year of use of capsaicin the C- pain fibers in mammals are killed so the hot taste is not even sensed. In short to answer this part of the question, capsaicin gives a hot feeling or a burning sensation by activating the pain sensory neurons.
It appears that both of the compounds wintergreen and capsaicin do have some relation with cutaneous nociceptors. How wintergreen produces the cooling effect I do not know. If your interested in what the compounds do that you put in your mouth one should check out the chemical data sheets for such compounds and their toxic effects. Below I copied the data sheet for methyl salicylate.
All the best,
From Purdue University
Simon, J.E. 1990. Essential oils and culinary herbs. p. 472-483.
In: J. Janick and J.E. Simon (eds.), Advances in new crops.
Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Basil oil. Sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) is a popular culinary herb and a source of essential oils (ITC 1986) extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and flowering tops and used to flavor foods, in dental and oral products, and in fragrances. There are several types of basil oil on the world market European, French, or sweet basil; Egyptian; Reunion or Comoro; Bulgarian; and Java (Heath 1981). The European basil oils, considered to be the highest quality, contain methyl chavicol d-linalool and to a lesser extent 1,8-cineole, plus many other compounds (Guenther 1985, Simon et al. 1984). Egyptian basil oil is similar to the European, except that the concentration of d-linalool is lower and methyl chavicol is higher. Reunion or Comoro contains little d-linalool, but has a very high concentration of methyl chavicol (Lawrence et al. 1972, Simon et al. 1984). Bulgarian basil oil is rich in methyl-cinnamate and Java basil oil is rich in eugenol (Heath 1981). From an evaluation of the entire USDA collection plus other commercial and wild sources, we observed a wide range of chemical variation within O. basilicum and other species (O. canum, O. sanctum, O. gratissimum, and O. kilimandscharicum). We have identified chemotypes that represent each of the commercial types of basil oil. Promising lines are being screened for chemical stability, vigor, and uniformity. The characteristics of the population has continued to improve under mass selection. Isolation blocks serve as seed sources. We are currently developing a new line rich in methyl cinnamate (Simon et al. 1990).
From: Herbs, Vitamins and Amino Acids for Sexual Health
by 1st Chinese Herbs
Unless your major is college was chemistry, chances are you don’t remember learning about methyl donors. A methyl donor is simply any substance that can transfer a methyl group [a carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms (CH3)] to another substance. Methylation is a biochemical process that is essential to life, health, and regeneration of body cells. Vitamins, hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), and antibodies depend on the transfer of methyl groups to complete their synthesis. Scientists suspect that proper methylation of DNA may prevent the expression of harmful genes, such as cancer genes. It’s quite likely that our body’s ability to methylate declines with age, contributing to the aging process, and therefore supplementation may well be beneficial. The research in this area is still very early and no firm answers are yet available.
Methyl donors help in the production of several brain chemicals and hence have an influence on sexual enjoyment, mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity.
From Nutraceutica Health Information System, 1998
Assists in the protection of cell membrane Relieves pain and reduces inflammation Improves stiff and painful joints, hair, skin , nails, back problems, scar tissue Maintenance of the immune system Benefit in supporting against the ravages of stress
Mode of Action
MSM is a preferred dietary source of sulfur for many important compounds in the body. It acts as an analgesic. It passes through cellular membranes including the skin.
It dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. It is a cholinesterase inhibitor (cholinsterase is an enzyme that stops excessive passage of nerve impulses from one cell to another.)
From Herb & Supplement Guide: MSM
By Cathy Wong, N.D.,
Alternate name & form: Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, Dimethyl Sulfone (DMSO2)
MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) is a compound normally found in foods. It contributes sulfur, which helps with the strength of collagen in the joints.
It is related to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), an alternative treatment for arththritis. Approximately 15% of the DMSO applied to the skin or taken orally results in MSM. MSM may be safer than DMSO, and it does not have the unpleasant side effects of bad breath and body odor.
MSM occurs naturally in cow’s milk, meat, seafood, fruits, and vegetables, although there is no dietary requirement for MSM. MSM is also found in capsule or tablet forms. It is also available in creams and lotions, although MSM is not believed to be absorbed through the skin.
A typical dose of MSM ranges from 250 mg to 2,250 mg daily.
Arthritis - MSM may reduce pain of osteoarthritis. MSM is often combined with glucosamine in arthritis formulas. Preliminary research suggests it may help with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
interstitial cystitis - MSM has been proposed as a treatment for interstitial cystitis, although further research is needed.
snoring - one small study found that MSM resulted in “quieter snoring”
excess stomach acid
MSM is naturally found in foods, and is not believed to be toxic. However, it’s safety in pregnant and nursing women, children, and people with liver and kidney disease is not known.
From THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOLESTEROL
NATURALLY LOWERING CHOLESTEROL WITH HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS.
by Dr. Deborah Baker-Racine, 2004
Reducing Homocysteine Levels
The good news is…elevated homocysteine levels, whether due to nutrient deficiencies or defective genes, can easily be normalized in virtually all cases, simply and inexpensively, using a combination of nutritional supplements. The most effective defense against homocysteine buildup is a combination of vitamins B-6 and B-12, folio acid and trimethylglycine (TMG). So you have a way to naturally lower cholesterol.
There are three biochemical pathways used by the body to reduce homocysteine. In one pathway TMG donates a methyl group which detoxifies homocysteine. In this reaction, TMG is reduced to DMG (dimethylglycine), that familiar-product sold as a supplement for its energizing effects. In the other routes, folic acid, B12 and B6 convert homocysteine into nontoxic substances. Some people can’t utilize one or another of these pathways. That is why a combination of all these nutrients is most effective for lowering homocysteine. In some people vitamin B may not be efficiently converted to its active co-enzyme form, pyridoxyl-5-phosphate. In that case supplementing with pyridoxyl-5-phosphate would be necessary. There we go again… good health depends on nutrition and yet many medical types insist nutrition has nothing to do with overall health!
Trimethylglycine (aka TMG) is the biochemical term for betaine. TMG is able to donate methyl groups (a methyl group is one carbon molecule and three hydrogens… very, very important to our chemistries) to biochemical events and in the case of homocysteine this leads to the increased production of S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM or sometimes it is written SAMe) which is the bioactive form of the amino acid methionine? also a methyl donor. SAM has been used successfully to treat problems such as cirrhosis of the liver, depression, osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia.
Methyl groups are thought to protect cellular DNA from mutation, a process which is also helped by good antioxidants. As people age, they often do not have enough available methyl groups to safeguard DNA. Abnormal methylation patterns are found in many people with cancer. Eating foods that contain methyl groups such as beets, green leafy vegetables and legumes is helpful, but these must be eaten in relatively large quantities several times a week. Therefore, dietary supplements such as TMG may often be necessary to provide the body with sufficient protective methyl groups.
Betaine comes from beet sugar and is extracted through a very complex process. Don’t think the betaine HCL you see in digestive supports is the same thing..it isn’t. It has not been shown that betaine HCL is a methyl donator… although it may be. It is very acidic and for long term use, would not be a good plan.
There are essentially two ways to lower homocysteine levels. One, the most common, would be to add methyl groups to it to convert it to methionine or SAMe.
This is accomplished, as mentioned, through TMG (which as its name suggests, has three methyl groups on each glycine molecule - glycine is another amino acid. They are transferred to homocysteine, but need the help of folic acid, vitamin B12, and zinc.
Another methyl donor of importance is choline and this remethylation of homocysteine does NOT need co-factors. One hitch, though, is that this process is only active in the liver and kidneys… so to protect the whole body, in particular the brain one should be sure to take a complex with all factors present.