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Birch tree contributes to good health

Date Posted: 2008-11-21

An extract drawn from the northern Okinawa birch tree is finding its way into an elixir essence that promises to reduce fatty acids and lower cholesterol.

More than 25 years in research and development, the birch extract essence is the handiwork of Tsutomu Gushiken, an agricultural arts and chemistry specialist first became interested in the esoteric business of natural products while working as a trust researcher for a cosmetics company in 1972.

He formed Okinawa Eco Science Company seven years ago, and serves as its president, and developed the method to extract the essence from the trees commercially to be used to suppress bad smells of organic origin.

Six years ago Ryukyu University Professor Takeshi Omi became interested in the product, and first took the birch tree essence extract through testing on pigs, confirming his theory it would be beneficial in increasing blood circulation and lowering cholesterol numbers. He published the results of his study in 2007.

Omi’s most recent one-year study compared pigs who’d received the birch tree essence extract against those who didn’t. Saturation fatty acid was softened in the pig with the essence, while non-saturated fats increased. This, says Omi, makes human blood circulation smooth and cleanses the blood at the same time.

Another experiment confirmed that the birch tree essence extract brings cholesterol numbers and sugar levels down. He measured a 340mg/dl of sugar at the outset, but saw the sugar level drop to 115mg/dl after three months taking the essence extract. Omi sees the essence extract as a boon for lowering cholesterol in humans, but says a side benefit was discovered; taking the essence extract after consuming alcohol leaves drinkers with no hangover.

Gushiken holds the patents on the birch tree essence extract, and is the only one handling distillation. He notes proudly that his product has been refined to have no odors or preservative scents.

The birch tree essence extract is being bottled and sold commercially at select stores on Okinawa. Okinawa Market stores on Chuo Avenue in Okinawa City, and at the Foster Concession Arcade have the new product.

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