Quercetin is a polyphenolic bioflavonoid compound with some interesting health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular, enzymatic, anti-neoplastic (or anti cancer), ionophoric (or ion loving) and anti-viral effects. It is found naturally in foods such as onions, apples, black tea, kale and red wine, as well as in the herbs Ginko Biloba (or Bai Guo), St. John’s Wort, and American Elder.
It’s cardiovascular benefits include lowering of high blood pressure, preventing blood clots, lowering atherosclerosis and strengthening capillaries. If you could put a patent on it, it would be a cardiologist’s dream drug. However, cardiologists aren’t the only ones with love for this molecule. We Chinese medicine practitioners love it, due to what we call its blood invigorating and tonifying properties, which are equivalent to the above cardiovascular benefits.
But the advantages don’t stop there. It’s antiviral properties are likely due to its Zinc ionophoric (or ion loving) properties. Essentially, this means that it gets zinc into your cells more efficiently, which in turn boosts your immune system function, or what Chinese medicine calls (wei qi). As we all know, this is paramount during viral pandemics.
Quercetin’s anti-cancer properties most likely stem from its role as an anti-oxidant, as it contributes to the recycling of vitamin C. Vitamin C in turn, increases the immune system’s ability to recognize cancer cells and destroy them.
Finally, it also plays a role in alleviating allergies by blocking mast cells ability to release histamine.
Be Well and Be Zen.
Alexander Audette TCMP, R.Ac.
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