Benefits of Dokudami
Organic Dokudami (Houttuynia cordata) is a strong component of our Detox Foot Pads. It has a long history in healing as well as cooking. It is a powerful Eastern herb that is gaining in popularity in Western naturopathic medicine. It's gaining more acceptance, too, as the research continues to bear out Dokudami's positive effects.
I've developed our foot pads with the highest quality ingredients to optimally perform detoxification while you sleep. My detox foot pads are designed to aid in your circulation which can improve your natural waste removal. They also are developed to draw and hold the toxins that are expelled by your body.
What is Organic Dokudami?
Dokudami is also known a 'Houttuynia cordata', which translates from Chinese as 'fishy-smell herb'. It is a flowering plant that grows across many Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, southern China and Southeast Asia.
Dokodami grows largely in darker, moister areas. The plant is an herb and is also perennial, meaning that it blooms and grows in all seasons. It grows in many areas and quickly, found on hills, fields, in asphalt crack, etc. It is known as the 'fishy-smell herb' because when you press its leaves it produces a smelly odor, which has been likened to the smell of fish. In fact, for this reason in Vietnam it is called 'fish mint'. Because of Organic Dokudami's unique smell, it can be found quite early on in medicinal records in early Asian history.
The plant is commonly called Dokudami due to its legendary medicinal power. 'Doku' means poison and 'dami' means that it blocks that poison. So 'Dokudami' means 'poison blocking plant' and this was its use from ancient times.
Organic Dokudami is ranked among the top ten medicinal herbs in Japan. It's typically used when it is freshly picked or dried. As a fresh herb, it is often eaten, applied to the skin, or placed in a bath. When it is dried, it is used in tea and as a healing powder.
Dokudami grows between twenty and eighty centimeters high. The leaves are typically heart-shared (thus generating one of its names - 'heartleaf') and are four to nine centimeters long and three to eight centimeters wide. The flowers of the Dokudami are green and yellow with white stems. Not only will it grow in many moist areas, but also it will even grow partly under water.
The Dokudami is treated as a leaf vegetable, specifically in Vietnam. It is often used as an herbal garnish but due to its fishy taste it is not broadly used as a mint.
The Health Benefits of Organic Dokudami
Many of our Detox Foot Pad ingredients have legendary healing power. Ancient Asian wisdom has it that Dokudami can be used as any of the following aids:
- Externally: Used for abscesses, antidotal astringent, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, used for anal prolapse, anti-tussive, boils, bone growth stimulation, diuretic, hemorrhoids, injuries, mild laxative, snakebites, swellings, urinary antiseptic and detoxification.
- Internally: Chronic bronchitis, chronic uterine or cervical infection, cough, cystitis, dysentery, dyspepsia, enteritis, fever, gastritis, infectious skin diseases, infected sores, laryngitis, leprospirosis, lung abscess, pernicious malaria, mastitis, pertusis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, snakebites, tumors, and urinary infection.
Along with the Eastern traditional uses and legend, I want to share with you some Western scientific backing for the health benefits that we state.
Six Verified Health Benefits of Dokudami:
- Fights Allergies and Asthma
In a recent article, researchers have shown that Dokudami (Houttuynia cordata) is an excellent aid in the fight against allergies and asthma.¹ Both disorders are the result of the excessive release of histamines. Histamine is used as a local immune response to toxin exposure. When you are allergic to a substance, the substances causes your body to overreact by producing an excessive amount of histamines.
These histamines cause what are called anaphylactic reactions, which lead to allergic responses in the body, asthma in the lungs and at the worst, anaphylactic shock. The article demonstrates that Dokudami has excellent inhibitory effects on histamine release. In other words, it's a histamine blocker and can aid in inhibiting anaphylactic effects.
- Removes Free Radicals (Toxins)
A free radical is any chemical compound with free electrons. They are thus able to combine with and/or destroy other molecules. Many free radicals in our bodies are essential and for our bodies to perform their regular biological functions. However, often free radicals are produced by the effects of modern industrial society - processed food, burned food, pollution, chemically treated water, and so on. Free radicals are thought to artificially age the body and cause cancer. They are also the source of many other ills.
Another recent article has shown that there are many plants native to Korea, including Dokudami, which are excellent 'free radical scavengers'.² In other words, the biological components of Dokudami search the blood and neutralize free radicals. They don't literally search but are instead drawn through electromagnetic and circulatory forces to free radicals. Dokudami contains polyphenols, the active free radical neutralizing chemical.
- Fights Bacteria
Of course, many of the bacteria in your body are natural and beneficial. But other sorts of bacteria can be quite harmful. A recent article³ has shown that Dokudami fights a variety of harmful bacteria. But it is particularly effective at fighting two species of bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis. Both of these bacteria are major causes of acne. It is for this reason that Dokudami may help calm acne breakouts by suppressing the bacteria that causes acne.
- Supports the Immune System
Dokudami helps to stimulate the immune system.4 The way it does so is by stimulating the production of lymphocytes, part of the body's natural defense systems. For those of you who don't know, a lymphocyte is a kind of white blood cell. They are sometimes called 'NK' or natural killer cells.
- Reduces Inflammation
We know now that Dokudami can reduce inflammation.5 Dokudami was chosen to be used as one of the eight compounds chosen for SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in China.. It also reduces the severity of one form of ear inflammation, known as xylene-induced ear edema. Within twenty-four hours, an injection of Dokudami extract significantly decreases inflammation of various types, such as pleurisy. And, it's more effective than dexamethasone, a standard anti-inflammatory.
- Beneficial in Other Ways
Dokudami has many benefits, but it can have a variety of positive effects that are the result of some of the benefits we've discussed.6 For instance, because Dokudami is a free-radical scavenger, it can eliminate a variety of toxins from your body. Since it functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, it can reduce swelling in many areas of the body. Remember its anti-bacterial power? Since Dokudami kills acne causing bacteria it aids in the discharging of pus. And due to its histamine blocking ability it can prevent anaphylactic shock in large enough quantities. The benefits of Dokudami are not limited to the first five on my list, as everything is connected. When you improve one area, it can improve other areas as well.
Why Organic Dokudami is in our Detox Foot Pads
Our Detox Foot Pads have many valuable ingredients of the same quality as our Organic Dokudami herb. These benefits are significant and they are backed by a reasonable degree of scientific evidence. In time, we expect a variety of other health benefits to be verified. Sometimes Western medicine raises an eyebrow to the traditional health wisdom of the East. But as we've seen in this article, many of those effects have been verified.
The presence of Organic Dokudami in our formula is yet another reason to try our Detox Foot Pads which promote your natural health while you sleep. With the presence of Organic Dokudami, you can expect to have better health and a cleaner body
- Li, Guang Z., Ok H. Chai, Moo S. Lee, Eui-Hyeog Han, Hyoung T. Kim, and Chang H. Song. "Inhibitory Effects of Houttuynia cordata Water Extracts on Anaphylactic Reaction and Mast Cell Activation." Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 28 (2005): 1864-868.
- Cho, E. J., T. Yokozawa, D. Y. Rhyu, S. C. Kim, N. Shibahara, and J. C. Park. "Study on the inhibitory effects of Korean medicinal plants and their main compounds on the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical." Phytomedicine 10 (2003): 544-51.
- Chomnawang, M. T., S. Surassmo, V. S. Nukoolkarn, and W. Gritsanapan. "Antimicrobial effects of Thai medicinal plants against acne-induicing bacteria." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 101 (2005): 330-33.
- Sriwanthana, Busarawan, Weena Treesangsri, Bongkod Boriboontrakul, Somchit Niumsakul, and Pranee Chavalittumrong. "In vitro effects of Thai medicinal plants on human lymphocyte activity." Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 29 (2007): 17-28.
- Lu, H. M., Y. Z. Liang, L. Z. Yi, and X. J. Wu. "Anti-inflammatory effect of Houttuynia cordata injection." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 104 (2006): 245-49.
- Meng, Jiang, Kelvin S. Leung, Zhihong Jiang, Xiaoping Dong, and Zhongzhen Zhao. "Establishment of GC-MS Fingerprint of Fresh Houttuynia cordata." Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 53 (2005): 1484-489.