The Third King Emerges

(I swear this discovery was accidental and not at all related to Christmas)

Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb that has been traditionally used for a myriad of purposes; deemed the King of Ayurveda by many sources (despite this, my love still lies with his lover Bacopa Monnieri, sometimes referred to the Queen).

Ling Zhi (Ganoderma Lucidum), an anti-cancer and immunostimulatory mushroom; deemed the King of Traditional Chinese Medicine by even more numerous sources. Not sure who the Queen of TCM is, but I might be a Home Wrecker here too if the Queen is Panax Ginseng or Psoralea Corylifolia.

Now, there are tons of strains of traditional medicines that tout herbs, foods, or fungi as medicine but rarely do these regal designations work their way into their Pharmacopoeia. Having a third king is more poetic than anything, since this following herb is so understudied that it makes me shed a lone tear.

According to Tibetan Medicine, their ‘King’ is Oxytropus Falcate.

Yeah, I never heard of that before either. To be honest, I was in a GNC a while ago and snapping pictures of a bunch of supplement labels with weird sounding herbs or things I never looked up before so I can add them to Examine. This was in a Gaspari product, and given how it is Gaspari I though they were just doing some stupid stuff again (I mean, Oxytropus has ‘Oxy’ in it and you can probably say it Oxygenates your muscles or something; Falcate is reminiscient of a Falcon, and Falcones are awesome)

Then reading up on it… it didn’t take my breath away. It made me really confused to be honest, and if the beginning of the article made it seem like I was unlocking a secret to success then I’d like to take a moment to actually get at least one scientifically sound and prudent sentence in this article; there is insufficient evidence to recommend Oxytropus Falcate for any supplemental purpose at this time.

Okay, now that the disclaimer and logic is out of the way let me drool a bit over this herb; in bullet point form, because stringing together random bits of information into something that might resemble a coherent thought and possibly be helpful is what I was just doing making the Examine page for King Falcon here:

  • There is an astounding variety of flavanols and flavonoid compounds in this thing; these structures are those that are kinda similar to Quercetin in molecular structure (two hexagons with an attachment in the top right of the picture to a third hexagon; you can see this is you google ‘Quercetin Structure’). None of these have actually been quantified which kinda sucks, but the variation seem is quite unpredecented for a root
  • Traditional use of Oxytropus Falcate includes putting the root powder in your wounds to make it heal faster; seems legit (sarcasm, maybe…) but mechanism to accelerate wound healing do exist; I’d love to see this tested, since  a potent topical wound healer is every fighters wet dream and has medicinal usage as well
  • This is a confirmed herbal source of phenethylamine (PEA) structures; and to be honest, this is probably the reason it is in Gaspari’s product (these haven’t been quantified either, but you can just add more PEAs and claim they were derived from the herb)
  • Oxytropin C, a molecule, literally looks like a catecholamine bound to another catecholamine; the structure in on the Examine page, it even has nitrogens in just the right places (kind of)
  • First time N-benzoylindole compounds have been detected in a plant, ever
  • The single study in mice (yes, single study; this is why there is insufficient evidence to recommend it) noted a topical pain relieving effect and topical anti-inflammatory effect that was more potent than Diclofenac. This is really bloody sweet to be honest, and it had efficacy against an acetic acid writhing test, suggesting that it may be systemic pain relief (further evidence with a hot plate test; I’m not sure if they added the solution to their little mouse paws though)
  • Finally, the ‘toxic’ effects associated with the genera (Oxytropus) are due to another species containing a toxin that kinda killed livestock that ate it. This compound has not been detected in the species of Falcate yet, and it is possible it won’t be (since another herb with this toxin belongs to the Astragalus genera, and this toxin has not been detected in Astragalus Membranaceus which definitely is well studied)

To be honest, I think most of my excitement comes from how Traditional Medicines have a scary good hit rate when it comes to their elite herbs. Not all are good, but the ones that are ‘top tier’ in their medicines do actually tend to get scientific validation once we get around to studying them; I look forward to future studies on Oxytropus Falcate with open arms and a skeptical mind.

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