Research into Chinese herbal medicine
Many patients with gastric cancer seek traditional medicine consultations in Asian countries. This study aimed to investigate the prescription of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) and its benefits for the patients with gastric cancer in Taiwan. There was a total of 1333 patients in the CHM-cohort and 44786 patients in the non-CHM cohort. After matching, we compared 962 newly diagnosed CHM users and 962 non-CHM users. Adjusted HRs (aHR) were higher among patients of above 60-year-old group, with a Charlson Comorbidity Index score =2 before the index date, and those who need surgery combined with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. CHM users had a lower HR of mortality risk (adjusted HR: 0.55, 95% CI: 0.48-0.62). Compared to the non-CHM users, the aHR among CHM-users is 0.37 (95% CI:0.2-0.67) for those who used CHM more than 180 days annually. The Kaplan-Meier curve revealed that the survival probability was higher for complementary CHM-users. Bai-Hua-She-She-Cao (Herba Hedyotidis Diffusae) was the most commonly used single herb and Xiang-Sha-Liu-Jun-Zi-Tang was the most commonly used herbal formula among CHM prescriptions. Complementary CHM improves the overall survival among patients with gastric cancer in Taiwan. J Ethnopharmacol. 2017 Mar 6;199:168-174. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2017.02.004.
For many decades, natural herbal medicines, polyherbal formulations and/or decoctions of plant-derived materials have widely been accepted as alternative complementary therapies for the treatment, cure or prevention of a wide range of acute and chronic skin diseases including chronic herpes, prurigo, acute and chronic wounds, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (AD). This review was aimed to summarize and critically discuss about the therapeutic viability and clinical applicability of natural herbal medicines for the treatment of AD in human. The critical analysis of the literature revealed that oral (in the form of capsules, syrup or granules) and/or topical application (alone or in conjunction with wet-wrap dressing and/or acupuncture) of natural herbal medicines exhibit remarkable potential for the treatment of mild-to-severe AD in adults, children, infants and in the pregnant women. In this review, the clinical efficacy of various herbal formulations such as Chinese herbal therapies, Korean medicines, Iranian medicines, honey, natural herbal oils (coconut oil, olive oil and mineral oil), beeswax, dodder seeds and whey for the treatment of AD has been discussed. The clinical anti-AD efficacy of these complementary therapies has been observed in terms of down-regulation in Scoring Atopic Dermatitis (SCORAD) index, erythematic intensity, Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI), Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), pruritus and itching frequency, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and expression of AD-mediated chemokines. Conclusively, we recognized that natural herbal medicines demonstrate remarkable clinical efficacy when used alone or in conjunction with other complementary therapies for the treatment of AD in patients of all ages as well as pregnant women. Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Jul 4;93:596-608. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.06.087.
In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects and mechanisms of cirsimaritin isolated from an ethanol extract of the aerial parts of Cirsium japonicum var. maackii Maxim. using RAW264.7 cells. The extract and its flavonoid cirsimaritin inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in RAW264.7 cells. Cirsimaritin inhibited interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-a, and NO production in a concentration-dependent manner in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. From a western blot study, pretreatment with cirsimaritin inhibited phosphorylation/degradation of I?Ba and phosphorylation of Akt in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Moreover, cirsimaritin suppressed activation of LPS-induced transcription factors, such as c-fos and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), in RAW264.7 cells. Collectively, these results show that cirsimaritin possesses anti-inflammatory activity, which is regulated by inhibition of c-fos and STAT3 phosphorylation in RAW264.7 cells. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2017 Jul 15;27(14):3076-3080. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.05.051.
The mechanisms of action of an herb-pair, Chuanxiong- Chishao, were investigated using the network pharmacological and pharmacodynamic strategies involving computational drug target prediction and network analysis, and experimental validation. A set of network pharmacology methods were created to study the herbs in the context of targets and diseases networks, including prediction of target profiles and pharmacological actions of main active compounds in Chuanxiong and Chishao. Furthermore, the therapeutic effects and putative molecular mechanisms of Chuanxiong-Chishao actions were experimentally validated in a chemical-induced vascular insufficiency model of transgenic zebrafish in vivo. The computational prediction results found that the compounds in Chuanxiong have antithrombotic, antihypertensive, antiarrhythmic, and antiatherosclerotic activities, which were closely related to protecting against hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction and heart failure. In addition, compounds in Chishao were found to participate in anti-inflammatory effect and analgesics. Particularly, estrogen receptor a (ESRa) and hypoxia-inducible factor 1-a (HIF-1a) were the most important potential protein targets in the predicted results. The network pharmacological strategies combining drug target prediction and network analysis identified some putative targets of CCHP. Moreover, the transgenic zebrafish experiments demonstrated that the Chuanxiong-Chishao combination synergistically promoted angiogenic activity, probably involving ESRa signaling pathway. Chin J Integr Med. 2017 May 27. doi: 10.1007/s11655-017-2408-x.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), including acupuncture and Chinese herbs, is used as an alternative therapy to increase the curative effect for erectile dysfunction (ED). A large number of studies have been conducted to investigate the effect and mechanism of TCM for treating ED. The therapeutic effect of acupuncture on ED is still controversial at present. However, some Chinese herbs exhibited satisfying outcomes and they might improve erectile function by activating nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) pathway, increasing cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) expression, elevating testosterone level, reducing intracellular Ca2+ concentration, down-regulating transforming growth factor ß1 (TGFß1)/Smad2 signaling pathway, or ameliorating the oxidative stress. Transl Androl Urol. 2017 Apr;6(2):192-198. doi: 10.21037/tau.2017.03.02.
The objective of this case study was to investigate the effectiveness of Chinese medicine in treating Tourette's syndrome. Tourette's syndrome is a childhood-onset disorder that is characterized by sudden, involuntary movements or tics. The participant in this study was a 33-year-old male who had been diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome at the age of 9 years. His major complaints included facial tics, shoulder shrugging, and clearing the throat. Using a combination of acupuncture, herbs, Gua-Sha, and lifestyle changes once a week for 35 treatments, all the symptoms were reduced by 70%, as reported by the patient. In this case, the results indicated that Chinese medicine was able to minimize the symptoms of Tourette's syndrome. Further investigation is needed to support this argument. Tourette's syndrome, which was first described in 1885 by a French physician named Gilles de la Tourette, is characterized by facial tics, involuntary body movements from the head to the extremities, or vocal tics, and it usually has its onset in childhood. It is a neuropsychiatric disorder. The treatment for Tourette's syndrome is based on pharmacological treatment, behavior treatment, and deep brain stimulation. Unfortunately, none of these could completely control the symptoms; furthermore, antipsychiatric drugs might cause additional side effects, such as Parkinson symptoms, tardive dyskinesia, and metabolic disturbances. 10.1016/j.jams.2016.12.005.
Despite good clinical results of current drugs, a good reason still exists to search for additional therapies for the management of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) has thus far been overlooked by researchers and no data exists on the subject. We studied the impact of adjunctive CHM on the disease course of CML, using mortality as the major outcome measurement. We used the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to perform a nationwide population-based cohort study. Our study included CML patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2010. We matched groups according to age, sex, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) score and use of imatinib, and compared the Hazard Ratios (HR) of CHM group and non-CHM users, as well as characterized trends of prescriptions used for treating CML. 1371 patients were diagnosed with CML in the years examined, of which 466 were included in to this study. We found that the HR of CHM group was significantly lower compared to non-CHM groups (0.32, 95% CI 0.22-0.48, P 0.0001). We also established that this association between reduced HR was dose-dependent, and the longer CHM users received prescriptions, the lower the HR (P 0.01). We also analyzed the most commonly used herbal products as well as the HR associated to their use, thus providing future research candidates. Our results supply a strong reason to assume that when administered by properly trained physicians, CHM may have a substantial positive impact on the management of CML. Cancer Med. 2016 Apr;5(4):640-8. doi: 10.1002/cam4.627. Epub 2016 Jan 15.
Leukemia is the most common malignancy among all childhood cancers and is associated with a low survival rate in adult patients. Since 1995, the National Health Insurance (NHI) program in Taiwan has been offering insurance coverage for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), along with conventional Western medicine (WM). A retrospective cohort study was conducted using population-based National Health Insurance Research Database of Registry of Catastrophic Illness, involving patient data from 2001 to 2010 and follow-up data through 2011. The effectiveness of TCM use was evaluated. Relevant sociodemographic data showed that both pediatric and adult patients who were TCM users one year prior to leukemia diagnosis were more likely to utilize TCM services for cancer therapy. A greater part of medical expenditure of TCM users was lower than that of TCM nonusers, except little discrepancy in drug fee of adult patients. The survival rate is also higher in TCM users. Altogether, these data show that TCM has the potential to serve as an adjuvant therapy when combined with conventional WM in the treatment of patients with leukemia. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; DOI: 10.1155/2016/8394850.
Eight RCTs involving 798 breast cancer patients were systematically reviewed. Three studies reported a significant difference in the improvement of quality of life (QOL) compared to the control group. Two studies reported an increase in the white blood cell count after treatment. Data on hot flashes and sleep quality were evaluated. Traditional herbal medicine combined with conventional therapy in the treatment of breast cancer is efficacious in improving QOL and in decreasing the number of hot flashes per day. Complement Ther Med. 2015 Aug;23(4):626-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2015.03.011. Epub 2015 Apr 16.
Red ginseng and vitamin C have immunomodulatory function and anti-viral effect. Red ginseng and vitamin C increased the expression of CD25 and CD69 of PBMCs and natural killer (NK) cells. Administration of red ginseng and vitamin C enhanced the activation of immune cells like T and NK cells, and repressed the progress of viral lytic cycle. It also reduced lung inflammation caused by viral infection, which consequently increased the survival rate. Kim, H., Jang, M., Kim, Y., Choi, J., Jeon, J., Kim, J., Hwang, Y.-i., Kang, J. S. and Lee, W. J. (2016), Red ginseng and vitamin C increase immune cell activity and decrease lung inflammation induced by influenza A virus/H1N1 infection. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. doi: 10.1111/jphp.12529
Acupuncture combined with herbal medicine outperforms acyclovir for the treatment of shingles (herpes zoster). Acupuncture plus herbs has a significantly higher total effective rate for the treatment of shingles than acyclovir, an antiviral medication. Researchers document that acupuncture plus herbs is both safe and effective for relieving pain, reducing overall symptomatic presentations, and for the resolution of shingles. Wei JD, Chen JM & Wang LS. (2014). Clinical Observation of Surround Acupuncture and Simiaoyon’an Decoction on Herpes Zoster. Journal of Hubei University of Chinese Medicine. 16(2).
We studied the impact of adjunctive CHM on the disease course of Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), using mortality as the major outcome measurement. We used the Taiwanese National Health Insurance Research Database to perform a nationwide population-based cohort study. We found that the HR of CHM group was significantly lower compared to non-CHM groups (0.32, 95% CI 0.22–0.48, P < 0.0001). We also established that this association between reduced HR was dose-dependent, and the longer CHM users received prescriptions, the lower the HR (P < 0.01). We also analyzed the most commonly used herbal products as well as the HR associated to their use, thus providing future research candidates. Our results supply a strong reason to assume that when administered by properly trained physicians, CHM may have a substantial positive impact on the management of CML.
Acupuncture and herbs relieve osteoporosis and increase bone mineral density. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion demonstrates that acupuncture and herbs reduce pain, numbness, and dizziness while improving walking for patients with osteoporosis. Compared with a control group receiving only standard medical care, a group receiving standard care plus acupuncture and herbal medicine achieved significantly greater positive patient outcomes. Yuan LM, Li YM, Chen LM, Lei XH & Jia SJ. (2015). Therapeutic Effect on Primary Osteoporosis Treated by Electro-acupuncture Combined with Jiawei Shentong Zhuyu Decoction. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 31(8).
A randomized controlled trial was conducted in a sample of 355 participants recruited from Guangdong general hospital of China. After baseline measurements, participants were randomly assigned to treatment-group or control group. Treatment group received Moxibustion with Chinese herbal. Control group received Loratadine. The main outcomes, including symptom severity and quality of life were measured using the Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (RQLQ). Both moxibustion with Chinese herbal and Loratadine improve nose symptoms such as stuffy/blocked, sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, sore nose and post-nasal drip in patients with AR. Symptoms fatigue, loss of taste, afraid of cold/wind and cold limb were improved significantly in moxibustion with Chinese herbal group. The mean quality of life scores decreased in both groups after treatment. Compare to control group, moxibustion with Chinese herbal is more effective than Loratadine in improving the quality of life in patients with AR. The results show moxibustion with Chinese herbal was effective to reduce symptoms and enhance quality of life in patients with allergic rhinitis. It is a simple, convenient and economic therapy for patients with AR. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2015 Sep 15;8(9):16480-7. eCollection 2015.
Researchers from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at the University of Western Sydney, today launched the final phase of a clinical trial into a herbal remedy known as Sailuotong (SLT), after pilot studies found the product could improve the memory and cognitive function of dementia patients. “It’s very exciting…it’s taken us 10 years to get here,” Chief Investigator from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM), Associate Professor Dennis Chang said. “We are looking at some medication which can slow down the progression and improve the quality of life of patients.”
The extract of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe-Jiang in Chinese) and its major pungent components, -shogaol and -gingerol, have been shown to have an anti-proliferative effect on several tumor cell lines. ur study revealed that daily intraperitoneal administration of the extract significantly prolonged survival (P = 0.0069) in a peritoneal dissemination model and suppressed tumor growth in an orthotopic model of pancreatic cancer (P < 0.01) without serious adverse effects. Together, these results show that ginger extract has potent anticancer activity against pancreatic cancer cells by inducing ROS-mediated autosis. PLoS One. 2015 May 11;10(5):e0126605
Clomiphene citrate (CC) and Chinese herbs have been widely used in treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in China. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, certain herbs promote blood circulation and enforce body functions especially the function of reproductive system. C treatment outcome in PCOS patients may be signif icantly improved by using Chinese herbs. Clomiphene Citrate Treatment Outcome Of PCOS Patients May Be Improved Ssignificantly By Using Chinese Herbs: A Meta-Analysis. Y. Han, J. Niu, J. Wang, C. Gao. Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China; IVF Wellness, Inc., Irvine, CA.
Primary dysmenorrheal has a negative impact on women's quality of life. The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of Cinnamon and Ibuprofen for treatment of primary dysmenorrhea. n a randomized, double-blind trial, out of 114, control group received placebo (empty capsules contain starch, TDS, n= 38) a test group received Ibuprofen (capsule containing 400mg Ibuprofen, TDS, n=38), or another test group received Cinnamon (capsule containing 420 mg Cinnamon, TDS, n=38) in 24 h. To determine severity of pain, we used the VAS scale. Pain intensity and duration of pain were monitored in the group during first 72 h of cycle. Cinnamon compared with placebo significantly reduced the severity and duration of pain during menstruation. Cinnamon can be regarded as a safe and effective treatment for primary dysmenorrhea. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015 Apr; 9(4): QC04–QC07.