Pattarachotanant N, Sornkaew N, Warayanon W, Rangsinth P, Sillapachaiyaporn C, Vongthip W, Chuchawankul S, Prasansuklab A, Tencomnao T. Aquilaria crassna Leaf Extract Ameliorates Glucose-Induced Neurotoxicity In Vitro and Improves Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nutrients. 2022; 14(17):3668. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14173668
This article discusses a scientific study that tested a plant extract called "Aquilaria crassna Leaf Extract" to see if it could help protect cells in the brain from damage caused by too much sugar.
The study found that the Aquilaria plant's extract could improve brain cells' health in a test tube and even help improve the lifespan of a tiny worm called Caenorhabditis elegans in the lab.
This is interesting because it suggests that this plant extract might have the potential to be used to help protect our brains from damage caused by high levels of sugar and even help us live longer. However, more research is needed to see if this plant extract can have the same effects in humans.
Aquilaria Crassna is a plant used in traditional medicine because it has a good smell and can help heal people.
Some scientists studied to see if this plant could protect the brain from damage caused by high levels of sugar in the blood. They used a particular type of worm called C. elegans to help them study this.
They found out that high levels of sugar can hurt the brain and make it harder for nerves to grow correctly.
High sugar levels interfere with the worm's growth and development, reduce the number of baby worms, and increase the accumulation of harmful substances inside the worms' cells. This causes the worms to live for a shorter time.
But, when scientists gave the worms a unique extract from the Aquilaria crassna plant, which helped protect the worms' nerves and allowed them to grow better.
The scientist also found that high sugar levels can stop cells from growing and dividing correctly, but once again, the Aquilaria leaves extract helped the cells grow and divide as they should. They looked at some particular proteins in the cells and found that the Aquilaria leaves' section helped increase the level of one good protein for the cells.
Mitochondria are tiny structures inside most of the cells in the human body. They act like little power plants, producing our cells' energy to do their job.
Think about this
If our body is a car, then mitochondria are the engine that makes it go. They do this by turning food into energy, kind of like how fuel makes a car go.
Mitochondria are unique because they have their own set of instructions (DNA) and can make some of their parts (proteins) inside the cell. Scientists believe they were once bacteria that got swallowed by the cells we have now, and they've been living together ever since.
If our mitochondria don't work correctly, it can cause problems in our body, like making us feel tired or sick. So it is essential to take care of them by eating healthy food and exercising.
High levels of sugar in our diet can harm the health of our mitochondria. When we consume sugar, our body converts it into glucose, which is then used by our cells for energy production.
However, excessive sugar consumptionr can cause an overproduction of glucose in the body, which can lead to the formation of harmful byproducts called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs can damage the mitochondria by impairing their ability to produce energy efficiently and reducing their overall function.
Additionally, sugar can cause an increase in insulin production, which can lead to insulin resistance and inflammation. Both of these conditions have been linked to mitochondrial dysfunction and can contribute to developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Just like a human, a worm has Mitochondria in its cells too. That is why scientists want to know if Aquilaria leaves extract would work on worms.
The articles mentioned that when there is too much sugar in the worms' bodies for too long, it could cause problems with the worms' mitochondria and make them age faster.
But, when the scientists gave the worms a unique antioxidant extract from the Aquilaria Crassna leaves, it helped the worm live longer.
The plant extract was found to mitigate these harmful effects of sugar by improving the function of FoxO and other proteins. The scientists also discovered that Aquilaria leaves extract contains natural substances that can protect the brain and nerves, as evidenced by previous studies.
Dried Aquilaria leaves
Ground young Aquilaria leaves in a tea bag
Agarwood tea: Put the tea bag in a cup and brew with hot water
In summary, this study suggests that the Aquilaria leaf can potentially protect our brain cells from damage by sugar. It does this by helping our brain cells grow correctly and ensuring they work the way they should.
The Aquilaria leaf also has 27 unique phytochemical compounds that protect us from getting sick and help us live longer. Some of these beneficial compounds are "β-sitosterol" and "stigmasterol".
This plant extract could protect against high glucose-induced neurotoxicity and aging.
Aquilaria leaves could be infused and drink like tea.
In general, young leaves tend to have higher nutritional value than older leaves. This is because young leaves are still actively growing and developing, and therefore require more nutrients to support their growth.
At our Agarwood plantation, also known as Aquilaria plantation, is a place where the Aquilaria trees are grown and cultivated for their fragrant wood. However, in our plantation, we have a special nursery for Aquilaria saplings, which are young Aquilaria trees that have not yet reached full maturity. These saplings are carefully nurtured and tended to ensure that they grow into healthy and robust trees.
Source: self-taken 2023
But did you know the leaves of the Aquilaria saplings are also high in nutritional value and are sometimes used as a herbal drink to eliminate "heat" in Traditional Chinense Medicine
"Heat" is a concept that refers to a type of pathological energy or "qi" that can arise in the body due to various factors such as external pathogens, emotional stress, or dietary imbalances. Heat is characterized by symptoms such as fever, thirst, restlessness, inflammation, and rapid pulse. It is considered to be a "yang" condition, as it is associated with an excess of energetic activity and a relative deficiency of the body's cooling and nourishing functions. To treat heat conditions, Chinese medicine practitioners may recommend herbal remedies, acupuncture, dietary adjustments, or other therapies aimed at clearing heat and restoring balance to the body's energy systems. Aquilaria leaf is a Yin-stimulating herb which can help to reduce this excess heat. Because of that, Aquilaria leaves have anti-inflammatory properties (Wang et al 2018)
Just in case you want to try
Visit our Aquiliaria leaves (Agarwood tea) here and our tea bags here