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|Herbal Remedy - Extracts|
Species name Cactus extract, Opuntia ficus indica
Also known as Cactus, Hoodia, prickly pear cactus, Indian pear, Barbary pear, Nopal, tuna fig
What is Cactus Extract? Cactus extract is derived from the Opuntia ficus indica plant, commonly known as the cactus.
This particular cactus grows in warmer temperatures and is native to Mexico.
It has a woody trunk and a larger top to it. The flowers display in one of three colors, white, yellow or red.
It also has black seeds and a sweet tasting interior flesh.
In Mexico, it was used it as a food staple, especially in times of drought since the plant has a high water content.
The extract derived from the plant has long been used as a tool to aid in health improvements ranging from relief of hangovers to managing diabetes.
Home Remedies Using Cactus Extract:
Benefits of Cactus Extract:
The use of cactus extracts in natural health is quite common. It was first used in 5000 BC by prehistoric groups as a pain aid. Since then it has grown in popularity for its many other additional health benefits.
In particular, this plant, also known as Hoodia, contains a high number of carbohydrate fibers called mucilage. These do not dissolve in water but absorb water.
Because of this property, cactus can also maintain proper glucose levels in the blood, which is why it works well as a treatment for diabetes.
Another benefit to aid humans is the pectin within the plant. Prickly pear cactus also contains pectin in high levels and these do dissolve well in water. As such, it becomes a thick liquid which is able to coat the stomach.
It is beneficial as a treatment for numerous stomach problems by offering a soothing feeling.
The cactus extracts available commercially have numerous additional benefits aside from those already mentioned.
For example, studies suggest it can help lower high cholesterol levels.
There have also been a few small studies showing the benefits to those who are feeling nauseous or have dry mouth, especially when caused by alcohol consumption.
It can also be of benefit to reduce inflammation in the body.
Another external application of Cactus Extract is to apply it topically, to treat pimples and inflammation of the skin.
In addition, it can help alleviate rheumatic and asthmatic symptoms, reduce burn pain, improve insect bites and relieve the pain of hemorrhoids.
Side Effects of Cactus Extract:
Those who use cactus extract should only follow the recommended dosage.
Pregnant and nursing women should not use prickly pear, nor should those who have extensive gastrointestinal health concerns.
When taken in excess, in some people, it can cause a lowering of the blood sugar to dangerous levels.