Ask The Herb Lady

With Cathy Schram

Weight Loss…

Q: Is African Mango used for weight loss or cholesterol control?

A: Actually, both. African Mango, aka Irvingia, has been shown to improve body weight and to reduce waist and hip circumference. It has also been shown to be helpful in reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The fruit has a high-soluble fiber content that helps to melt away belly fat and trim the waistline. When combined with green tea, it burns fat. When taken 30 minutes before meals, it is said to reduce the appetite.

As far as reducing cholesterol, the African Mango’s soluble fiber content helps to slow digestion and the absorption of dietary fats. The fiber binds to bile acids in the intestinal tract and helps carry it out of the body, forcing the body to convert more cholesterol into bile acids, which leads to lower LDL and triglycerides and increased HDL.

Q: I have sinusitis. Would I get better results from bromelain or quercetin?

A: They are both very helpful in reducing the symptoms associated with sinusitis or hayfever. When used together, they work synergistically to suppress inflammation. Quercetin, found predominantly in onions and apples, acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory. It helps stabilize the cells that release histamine in the body, thereby reducing the allergy symptoms.

Bromelain is a mixture of protein-digesting (proteolytic) enzymes that comes from pineapples. It is widely used to reduce digestive upset and to reduce irritation. It can help reduce cough and nasal mucus and relieve swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages. Bromelain also enhances the absorption of quercetin making it very beneficial to take both together. If you are sensitive to pineapples, do not take bromelain.

This herb information is for health education purposes only. It is not intended to replace the services of licensed health practitioners. Consult with a physician for any condition that requires professional care.

Do you have questions about herbs or vitamins? Send them to Cathy Schram, CNHP and Certified Herbalist. Write to: Herbs & More, 16021 Manchester Rd., Ellisville, MO 63011.