Studies Show How Palo Azul May Support The Immune System
Palo azul showed the "highest inhibitory effect" against certain bacteria
Studies have shown that palo azul can help to support the immune system because it showed inhibitory activity against several types of bacteria. Among these, were certain bacteria which are associated with fever, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, pneumonia, sore throat, cavities, tooth decay, periodontitis and others.
For example, a 2018 study concluded the following: “The results here presented corroborate the folk medicinal use of Eysenhardtia polystachya (palo azul) in the treatment of infections, diarrhea, inflammation, and pain."
How can palo azul tea inhibit bacteria?
The answer is simple...flavonoids! Numerous studies have shown that palo azul is rich in flavonoids, and many of its health benefits have actually been attributed to these magical phytonutrients!
Flavonoids are phytonutrients that are produced by plants in order to fight bacteria, virus, oxidative stress and inflammation. Thousands of studies have found that they're antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, anti-hypertensive, anti-bacterial and anti-mutagenic.
Fortunately for us palo azul tea lovers, a 2021 study found several phytochemicals in palo azul such as “flavones, isoflavones, flavanones, phenolic compounds, chalcones and dihydrochalcones” which have been linked to its health benefits, highlighting “diuretic, antidiabetic, antiglycation, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial potential.”
Antibacterial, Antimicrobial, Antifungal and Antiviral
A medical review that analyzed the results of 161 studies mentioned that "flavonoids proved to be potent antimicrobial and viral inhibitors." Therefore, they are found to be effective against many infectious diseases such as E. coli.
* Here's an interesting finding: “Flavonoids are known to be synthesized by plants in response to microbial infection; thus it should not be surprising that they have been found in vitro to be effective antimicrobial substances against a wide array of microorganisms.” It’s due to their potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral activity that flavonoids “show inhibitory activity against E. coli."
The researchers mention that "studies have suggested the protective effects of flavonoids against many infectious and degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers and other age-related diseases."
The researchers concluded the following: “Many researchers have isolated and identified the structures of flavonoids having properties of antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity. Because of this property, many flavonoids are now being used extensively in the fields of nutrition, food safety and health.”
What bacteria can palo azul fight?
A 2012 study tested 47 different plants for the treatment of dental diseases such as toothache, dental caries, periodontal disease, gingivitis and even bad breath. The researchers found that palo azul was among the plants that showed the "highest inhibitory effect against Streptococcus mutans and Porphyromonas gingivalis."
Another study found that "the extract of E. polystachya (palo azul) presented activity against E. aerogenes, P. vulgaris, Staphylococcus. aureus and S. epidermidis."
Lastly, a 2018 study found that palo azul "showed moderate antibacterial effects against Streptococcus and "good antimicrobial effects in E. coli."
Below, we briefly cover the diseases that each one of these bacteria are associated with. Let's start with that pesky Escherichia coli.
1. Escherichia Coli
According to the CDC, some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Moreover, the Minnesota Department of Health mentions that E. coli can cause serious illness in humans by producing toxins that can severely damage the lining of your intestines and kidneys.
2. Dental bacteria
Streptococcus mutans is commonly found in the human oral cavity and is a significant contributor to tooth decay.
Porphyromonas gingivalis is involved in the pathogenesis of periodontitis, an inflammatory disease that destroys the tissues supporting the tooth, eventually leading to tooth loss.
3. Urinary tract and respiratory infections
Enterobacter aerogenes can cause gastrointestinal infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), skin and soft tissue infections, respiratory infections, and adult meningitis.
P. vulgaris has been reported to cause UTIs, wound infections, burn infections, bloodstream infections, and respiratory tract infections.
4. Pneumonia, fever, sore throat, others
Staphylococcus. aureus has long been recognized as one of the most important bacteria that cause disease in humans. It is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections such as abscesses (boils), furuncles, cellulitis, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, or bone and joint infections.
Staphylococcus epidermidis can cause wound infections, boils, sinus infections, endocarditis and other inflammations.
Streptococcus can cause diseases ranging from streptococcal sore throat (strep throat) to necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease). They can also cause scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, puerperal (postpartum) fever, and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.
In summary, palo azul can to support the immune system because studies have demonstrated that it exhibited antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Because of these properties, palo azul may help to inhibit several types of bacteria that are associated with fever, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, pneumonia, sore throat, cavities, tooth decay, periodontitis and other infections.
P.S...Don’t forget to help your friends & family by sharing palo azul with them!
* Palo azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce