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Quercetin belongs to a group of water-soluble pigments known as flavonoids. Quercetin is a member of the class of flavonoids called flavonols.
Foods rich in quercetin include capers, lovage, apples, tea (Camellia sinensis), onion, especially red onion (higher concentrations of quercetin occur in the outermost rings), red grapes, citrus fruit, tomato, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables, and a number of berries including cherry, raspberry, bog whortleberry, lingonberry, cranberry, chokeberry, sweet rowan , rowanberry, sea buckthorn berry, crowberry and the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. A recent study found that organically grown tomatoes had 79% more quercetin than those conventionally grown.
A study by the University of Queensland, Australia has indicated the presence of quercetin in several varieties of honey, including honey derived from eucalyptus and tea tree flowers.
? Quercentin is an antioxidant, and so may help fight cell-damaging free radicals.
? Studies suggest that it may have anti-cancer effects, help prevent heart disease by reducing the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and act as an antihistamine. Specifically, it may help alleviate prostate cancer by blocking male hormones that encourage the growth of prostate cancer cells, according to preliminary laboratory research at the Mayo Clinic. In another study, men with an inflamed prostate (prostatitis) reported reduced urinary symptoms when they took quercetin.
? Population studies have found that people with high intake of foods containing quercetin and other flavonoids tend to have lower rates of heart disease and lung cancer.
? Several studies have linked a high intake of apples (rich in quercetin and other flavonoids) with improved lung function and a lower risk of certain respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
The benefits of quercetin have not yet been confirmed by human pharmacological studies.