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The Benefits of Prickly Pear

What is Prickly Pear Extract?

Prickly pear is a cactus and considered a plant. It can be found across the United States and is a commonly used ingredient in mexican-american diets. It gets its name from the fruit of the cactus that are pear shaped. [1] The prickly pear is only ripe for a rather short period of time. As the prickly pear ages, it hardens and loses its juicy taste. Used for various different medicinal purposes, the prickly pear has been seen to have many different health benefits. Described to taste somewhere in between bubblegum and watermelon, prickly pear extract is often used in gummies or candies for its sweet taste. [2], [3]

What are the Health Benefits of Prickly Pear Extract?

The primary health benefit of prickly pear extract is that it is high in antioxidants, and thus able to protect your cells from harmful diseases and other toxins. In this way, prickly pear extract is able to combat some hangover symptoms such as nausea, anorexia, and dry mouth. Prickly pear extract has also been shown to have impacts on lowering blood sugar levels. In this way, it can be used to fight diabetes and high blood sugar levels. [4] Similarly, prickly pear extract is used in some cases to fight high cholesterol levels in some patients. A study conducted by Tulane Health Sciences Center backed these claims. The study included 55 people who volunteered to drink prickly pear extract before a night of drinking alcohol. Half of the participants were used as a control group, not drinking the prickly pear extract for the first trial run. The participants' blood and urine were tested the following morning. Two weeks later, the control group was then flipped with the group who consumed the prickly pear extract the previous trial run and results were studied. The researchers concluded that drinking prickly pear extract before consuming alcohol reduced some effects of their hangovers, especially nausea, loss of appetite, and dry mouth. [5]

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