Bioflavonoids: What They Do and Where They’re Found

With all the modern stresses our bodies face, it’s up to us to do what we can to stay healthy. Disease-preventing bioflavonoids (also known simply as flavonoids), which are compounds that occur naturally in plants, can help us do that.

In plants, bioflavonoids have several important functions. For example, they control the pigmentation of flowers. They may also play a role in UV filtration and symbiotic nitrogen fixation, and serve as cell cycle inhibitors.

Modern research suggests that bioflavonoids also have several health-promoting properties for people.

Flavon backbone

Flavonoid Molecular structure

Health benefits of bioflavonoids

Medical studies on the full extent of the health benefits of bioflavonoids are still continuing. However, research has already indicated that bioflavonoids are beneficial in treating cardiovascular disease, inflammation and possibly even cancer. They’re also valued for their antibacterial, anti-allergic, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-diarrheal properties.

In terms of cardiovascular disease, case studies have shown flavonoids to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of hypertension, reduce the effect of cholesterol on the heart, reduce oxidative stress and regulate the body’s carbohydrate metabolism.

Where are bioflavonoids found?

In their raw state, parsley, blueberries, all citrus fruits, bananas, gingko and the sea-buckthorns shrub are all excellent sources of bioflavonoids. Red wine, dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of 70% or more) and tea – including black, green and oolong tea – are also high in bioflavonoids.

In addition, the buchu plant, which is indigenous to South Africa and forms part of the fynbos plant kingdom, is among the best sources of bioflavonoids in the world.

Thanks to its bioflavonoids, as well as a high content of minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins, buchu (or Agothosma betulina, to give it its full name) has been used for its healing properties for hundreds of years. The plant’s use was first documented in 1652 by the Dutch colonists in the Cape, although prior to that the local Khoisan people were already using the plant for a range of medicinal purposes.

Today buchu is widely recognised for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal and diuretic properties. To promote good health and increase your consumption of bioflavonoids, you can drink buchu tea or enjoy flavoured buchu waters that are now on the market.

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