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Prickly pear extract is sourced from the thick leaves of the nopal cactus. The plant has been valued in Mexican wellness practices for centuries due to its:

  • Optimization of blood glucose levels**

  • Support of cholesterol balance**

  • Working against oxidative stress**

Read more about Prickly Pear

What is Prickly Pear?

Native to the Western hemisphere, most notably Mexico, prickly pear is one of the world's most prominent cacti. A major part of Mexican folklore and culture dating back to the Aztecs, the cactus, sometimes referred to as nopal, is featured on the nation's flag and a staple in both its health traditions and cuisine. Historically used for a variety of wellness applications, the water-retaining plant is rich in fiber, antioxidant polyphenols called betalains and other botanical nutrients.**

Nopal cactus has been investigated for its antioxidant activity, which modulates inflammation and fights harmful free radicals that lead to oxidative stress. Researchers have suggested that this inflammatory-regulating quality helps to maintain the ideal balance of both blood glucose (sugar) and blood lipids (cholesterol). Specific studies have shown that the cactus extract encourages optimal blood glucose levels in part by protecting the liver, and it also upholds cholesterol stability by modulating circulating amounts of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). These attributes additionally promote overall cardiovascular health.**

Prickly pear's ability to influence inflammatory response has made it a time-honored botanical for aiding the body in recovering from excessive alcohol intake. The cactus has also been researched for its potential in encouraging exercise performance, as well as weight management, which scientists have associated with its natural fiber content. Cactus supplements consist of the gel-like extract of its dense leaves or its pear-shaped fruit. Since the succulent can be difficult to prepare due to its thorny prickles, supplements are a convenient alternative.**

Prickly Pear Products

Prickly pear products are derived from the fleshy leaves or fruit of the nopal cactus. Supplements are often available as capsules, tablets and liquids. Extract of the cactus is also offered as an ingredient in some skin and hair care products.**

Prickly Pear Directions for Use

Supplementation with cactus extract should not commence without seeking the advice of a health care provider. A recommended dose of cactus extract has not been established; capsules and tablets are generally presented in the range of 500 mg and 1,000 mg (1 g).**