Polyrhachis Ant

Polyrhachis Vicina Roger: 12 Benefits of Black Ant Extract

What is Polyrhachis Ant?

Polyrhachis is a group of nearly seven hundred species of ants only found in the Eastern Hemisphere. These ants have been used for centuries in Ancient Chinese medicinal practices and is called the “King of Herbs.” Specifically, the species Polyrhachis vicina roger is approved by the Chinese Ministry of Public Health as a dietary supplement, but other species are ingested for medicinal purposes as well. As such, it is considered to be a medicinal herb, even though it is not at all a plant. The ants are typically dried and then crushed into a powder from which a tonic is typically made, however other products like health foods and drinks, including wine, have been produced with Polyrhachis.

Although the practice may seem strange and perhaps ineffective, the Polyrhachis ants are high in many vitamins and nutrients, like many other edible insects. Research reports that Polyrhachis is rich in the minerals potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc, Vitamins B, D, and E, and is scientifically recommended as a potential health food. Ants are also a rich source of protein, fats, and carbohydrates; as much as 67% of its body weight is pure protein. Pound for pound, ants have more than ten times the amount of protein in meat or fish.

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Although there are a few studies specifically testing the effects of Polyrhachis on various ailments and conditions, many of these studies are considered to be low quality, are only performed on rats, and are often only available in Chinese. This causes a problem with repeating the scientific process and determining which compounds of the ant specifically help. Additionally, no clinical trials on people have been performed yet. However, there are numerous studies on the effects of different vitamins and minerals found in Polyrhachis on different conditions. Many of the ailments which Polyrhachis claims to treat can be linked back to the many nutrients it contains.

Polyrhachis Ant Benefits and uses

Immune Health

Of the many vitamins and minerals gained from eating these ants, zinc may be one of the most important because it can boost the immune system, preventing and treating ailments, particularly the common cold. Although no studies specifically test the effects of Polyrhachis on the immune system, there are numerous studies that show a correlation between zinc and a healthy immune system.  A study performed in 1987 on rats supports the idea behind Polyrhachis as an immune booster, however more studies using current methods and involving human subjects are needed.

Energy

Polyrhachis has long been used as an energizer, which can be attributed to its health food status. The many essential vitamins and nutrients packed in each ant is bound to contribute a healthy lifestyle and increased energy. Particularly, the large amounts of protein and ATP are thought to help with chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal insufficiency. This is mostly based on testimony, and more research is required.

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Sexual Vitality

There is a long tradition of using Polyrhachis to increase both male and female libido and improve stamina and sexual performance. Zinc in particular is known to boost testosterone levels and boost semen production in men. Some even use ant powder to treat erectile dysfunction and prevent premature ejaculation. Laboratory tests from 2011 shows that some ants contain sildenafil which treats erectile dysfunction, however not all ant products available contain this compound because it is potentially dangerous. In treating erectile dysfunction, it claims to improve blood circulation and increase androgens, although there are no scientific reports on this yet.

Prostate

The use of Polyrhachis in ensuring prostate health can again be linked back to the large amounts of zinc it contains. Scientific studies and epidemiological reports show an inverse relationship between zinc levels and risk of prostate cancer.

Inflammation

One of the conditions that Polyrhachis is scientifically shown to treat is inflammation. A 2005 study, 2009 study, and a 2015 study show that extracts taken from Polyrhachis improves inflammation and pain in rats. Although a larger, human study is required, this research supports the traditional use of the ant to treat inflammation. Along with general inflammation, Polyrhachis is used to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and similar joint pain.

Muscles

Some suggest that Polyrhachis can prevent and reduce muscle soreness, which is in line with its anti-inflammatory properties. Many claim to feel relief after taking Polyrhachis supplements after hard exercise.

Cognition

Polyrhachis ants have been used to improve concentration, memory, thinking, and general cognition. The idea behind this is that a nutrient deficient body often leads to problems with the mind, so the nutrient dense superfood that is Polyrhachis may improve brain function by providing the necessary vitamins and minerals. No research has been performed in this area yet.

Cancer

A 2000 study on rats showed that Polyrhachis inhibits tumor growth in rats and prolongs survival time for terminal cases. More research is required on the effects of the ant and its cancer-inhibiting properties, but the results are promising.

Uveitis

Uveitis is a condition that produces swelling around the eyes and destroys the eye tissues; it is often treated with corticosteroids. A study on rats in 1999 showed that the immune regulating functions of Polyrhachis can treat recurrent uveitis (although slowly) while avoiding the side effects caused by corticosteroids.

Fertility

A study performed in 1999 showed that fetal growth rates were higher in rats given a Polyrhachis supplement versus those that were not. The scientists who performed this study suggest this may have to do with large amounts of amino acids, vitamins, and trace elements present in the ants.

Bones

The high amounts of calcium lend Polyrhachis to be used for treating bone pain and conditions like osteoporosis and osteopenia. More research is needed to support this, but anecdotes and testimonial evidence supports its use in this area.

Liver

Some reports claim that the use of Polyrhachis can improve liver function through its immune boosting properties, however others claim that it actually bypasses the liver and does not affect the liver positively or negatively.

Polyrhachis Ant Dosage

Use of Polyrhachis as a medicine is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, thus it cannot legally be considered safe to ingest or effective in doing what it claims to do. But, powdered forms and capsules are available for purchase. Because it is unregulated, there are no minimum or maximum dosages for particular ailments and many supplements are available at different potencies. Many powders available instruct taking anywhere from ¼ to 1 teaspoon mixed with water or juice two to three times a day. Supplements and powders may range anywhere from 500 to 2500 mg and are recommend two to three times daily as well.

Extracts are also available, and one ant extract reports that the daily recommended dose is anywhere from 2,850 – 12,825 mg. These extracts are typically served with a dropper, and it is recommended to take anywhere from two to nine drops a day in order to achieve the needed number of milligrams. Some suggest not drinking the extract, but instead suggest letting it sit on this tongue so it can be absorbed. This is a more effective way to take in the properties of the ants than having it pass through the digestive system.

In treating erectile dysfunction, there are specific supplements available. It is recommended to take one ant capsule approximately thirty minutes before engaging in sexual activity. For this condition, only one capsule should be taken within a twenty-four-hour period.

Many suggest taking small amounts at first (as for any condition) in case you might experience side effects, but if there are no side effects then dosages can be increased. Many report that, depending on the condition you are trying to treat and your age, height, and weight, it may take anywhere from days to weeks before any improvements are felt.

Polyrhachis Ant Side Effects, Safety, Dangers and Warnings

Although it is rare, some people develop an allergy to Polyrhachis ant extract, and it is described as being a similar reaction to an ant bite. It is considered to be a safe alternative to steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. Clinical trials show that there are no toxic effects even at over sixty times the recommend amount.

However, even though the ant extract itself may not be a problem, many companies include other substances in ant powders which can be toxic or result in unwanted side effects. Blank Ant Pills, for example, show side effects like trouble sleeping, headache, upset stomach, agitation, breast pain, high blood pressure, and dizziness. One extract reports side effects like abdominal distention, diarrhea, and skin rash.

The sildenafil contained in many powdered ant supplements is actually a dangerous erectile dysfunction compound because it dilates the arteries other blood vessels which drops blood pressure. If taking blood pressure medication, this can cause a serious and life-threatening reaction. Common side effects of sildenafil are memory lapse, stuffy nose, back pain, stomach upsets, headaches, chest pains, painful erections, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

It is not advised to use Polyrhachis is you are pregnant or under the age of eighteen. There are no reported drug interactions, but that does not mean there are not any. There is just no research on this subject yet. So, it is advised to consult a doctor if you are taking any other medications and want to take ant supplements as well.

References:

http://www.asian-myrmecology.org/publications/am04_103-120_ragosti_2011.pdf
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/d94d/34eb2dbdce731be53a840041c5c26b341bcf.pdf
https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/bpb/28/1/28_1_176/_pdf
http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-ZLYY200006007.htm
http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-HLYX199902000.htm
http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-ZLXZ198704017.htm
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kathy_Abascal/publication/273552706_Western_Use_of_Chinese_Herbs_for_Common_Urologic_Conditions/links/56a6b92f08ae0fd8b3fc731f.pdf
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11326937

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