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Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health)
web-based scientific information on natural medicine
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Effectiveness of Nigella sativa oil in the management of rheumatoid arthritis patients: a placebo controlled study.

Effectiveness of Nigella sativa oil in the management of rheumatoid arthritis patients: a placebo controlled study. | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

The constituents of Nigella sativa modulate the immune system. The aim of the present work was to study the effectiveness of Nigella sativa oil in RA patients. Data from 40 female RA patients diagnosed according to the 2010 ACR/EULAR were analysed and discussed. The patients took two placebo (starch filled) capsules daily for 1 month. This was followed by a month of Nigella sativa oil capsules 500 mg twice/day. The disease activity score (DAS-28) significantly decreased after receiving the Nigella sativa capsules (4.55 ± 0.82) compared with before and after placebo (4.98 ± 0.79 and 4.99 ± 0.72, respectively) (p = 0.017). Similarly, the number of swollen joints and the duration of morning stiffness improved. A marked improvement in the disease activity was shown by both the ACR20 and EULAR response criteria in 42.5% and 30% of the patients, respectively, after intake of Nigella. Supplementation with Nigella sativa during DMARD therapy in RA may be considered an affordable potential adjuvant biological therapy.

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An Integrative Platform of TCM Network Pharmacology and Its Application on a Herbal Formula, Qing-Luo-Yin.

An Integrative Platform of TCM Network Pharmacology and Its Application on a Herbal Formula, Qing-Luo-Yin. | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it
Abstract

The scientific understanding of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been hindered by the lack of methods that can explore the complex nature and combinatorial rules of herbal formulae. On the assumption that herbal ingredients mainly target a molecular network to adjust the imbalance of human body, here we present a-self-developed TCM network pharmacology platform for discovering herbal formulae in a systematic manner. Thisplatform integrates a set of network-based methods that we established previously to catch the network regulation mechanism and to identify active ingredients as well as synergistic combinations for a given herbal formula. We then provided a case study on an antirheumatoid arthritis (RA)formula, Qing-Luo-Yin (QLY), to demonstrate the usability of the platform. We revealed the target network of QLY against RA-related key processes including angiogenesis, inflammatory response, and immune response, based on which we not only predicted active and synergistic ingredients from QLY but also interpreted the combinatorial rule of this formula. These findings are either verified by the literature evidence or have the potential to guide further experiments. Therefore, such a network pharmacology strategy and platform is expected to make the systematical study of herbalformulae achievable and to make the TCM drug discovery predictable.

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Herbal Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf

Herbal Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

The global popularity of herbal supplements and the promise they hold in treating various disease states have caused an unprecedented interest in understanding the molecular basis of the biological activity of traditional remedies. This volume focuses on presenting current scientific evidence of biomolecular effects of selected herbs and their relation to clinical outcome and promotion of human health. This book also addresses the ethical challenges of using herbal medicine and its integration into modern, evidence-based medicine.

Drawing from the work of leading international researchers in different fields, this book contains an in-depth scientific examination of effects of individual herbs, as well as their use in the treatment of important diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, dermatologic disorders, neurodegenerative disease, and diabetes. Due to the strong associations among oxidative stress, ageing, and disease, the powerful antioxidant properties of herbs and spices are also examined. The herbs featured are some of the most widely used remedies and cover a wide range, including flowering herbs, fruits and berries, roots and rhizomes, and fungi.

To help bring a new level of quality control to the production of herbal extracts, the use of mass spectrometry and chemometric fingerprinting technology in the authentication of herbs is also presented. As the need for effective, affordable health promotion and treatment increases, especially in the growing ageing population, there is demand for rigorous scientific examination of herbal medicines. This timely and comprehensive volume addresses this need and is an important text for medical professionals and researchers, as well as those interested in herbal or complementary medicine.

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An excellent resource.

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Neuroprotective role of Withania somnifera root extract in maneb-paraquat induced mouse model of parkinsonism.

Neuroprotective role of Withania somnifera root extract in maneb-paraquat induced mouse model of parkinsonism. | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and these days a lot of emphasis is given on the treatment of this disease using herbal medicines. The present study evaluates the neuroprotective effect of Withania somnifera (Ws) root extract on Parkinsonian mice. The mice were divided into three groups; the first group served as control, the second group was given maneb (MB) and paraquat (PQ) and the last group was administered MB-PQ along with Ws root extract for 3, 6 and 9 weeks. The behavioral studies showed a significant improvement in the motor movement patterns and gripping ability of Ws root extract exposed Parkinsonian mice. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) immunostaining was reduced in the substantia nigra of MB-PQ exposed mice, while Ws co-exposure restored TH immunostaining significantly. Additionally, our results also demonstrate generation of oxidative stress in the nigrostriatal region of MB-PQ exposed mice. There was a marked decline in the level of catalase and a simultaneous increase in the level of nitrite and lipid peroxidation in Parkinsonian mice. Thus, the Ws root extract have shown to counteract the pro-oxidants and their associated oxidative stress in the PD model studied here. Our results clearly indicate the usefulness of Ws root extract in providing protection against MB-PQ induced nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurodegeneration and marked improvement in the behavioral, anatomical and the biochemical deformities.

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results indicate the usefulness of  withania somnifera root extract in providing protection ( behavioral, anatomical and the biochemical) against induced mouse model of parkinsonism 

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6 Herbs and Spices for Cancer Prevention - Cancer Center - Everyday Health

6 Herbs and Spices for Cancer Prevention - Cancer Center - Everyday Health | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it
From pepper to garlic to ginger some favorite ways to pep up your food may also protect you from cancer.
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The use of herbal medicine in cancer-related anorexia/ cachexia treatment around the world.

Abstract

Cancer-related cachexia, a condition in which the body is consumed by deranged carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism that is induced by inflammatory cytokines. Cachexia is associated with poor treatment outcome, fatigue and poor quality of life. Pharmacological intervention in the treatment and/or prevention of cachexia has been mainly aimed at the use of appetite enhancers to increase oral nutritional intake so far. Herbal remedies are part of traditional and folk healing methods with long histories of use. In this report, we have assessed which herbal approaches have had associated cancer cachexia case reports. Commonly used herbal medicines in western countries include essiac, iscador, pau d'arco tea, cannabinoids and so on. Some Kampo herbs and formulations are commonly used by cancer patients reduce the side effects and complications during the antitumor therapy. The relevant herbal medicines include ginseng, C. rhizome and radix astragali, and the related herbal remedies, such as TJ-48, TJ-41, PHY906 and Rikkunshito. However, there still have some adverse effects caused or amplified by herb and drug interactions that are difficult to separate. However, randomized effectiveness of herbal medicines shall be further identified in controlled clinical trials involving cancer patients with cachexia.

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Ursolic acid suppresses interleukin-17 (IL-17) production by selectively antagonizing the function of RORgamma t protein.

Ursolic acid suppresses interleukin-17 (IL-17) production by selectively antagonizing the function of RORgamma t protein. | Vitae Herbae (herbal, natural, integrative medicine  & health) | Scoop.it

Abstract

Th17 cells have recently emerged as a major player in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases via the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-17, IL-17F, and IL-22. The differentiation of Th17 cells and the associated cytokine production is directly controlled by RORγt. Here we show that ursolic acid (UA), a small molecule present in herbal medicine, selectively and effectively inhibits the function of RORγt, resulting in greatly decreased IL-17 expression in both developing and differentiated Th17 cells. In addition, treatment with UA ameliorated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The results thus suggest UA as a valuable drug candidate or leading compound for developing treatments of Th17-mediated inflammatory diseases and cancer.

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Turmeric, the Golden Spice - Herbal Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf

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The activities of turmeric include antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, antiseptic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, radioprotective, and digestive activities. Phytochemical analysis of turmeric has revealed a large number of compounds, including curcumin, volatile oil, and curcuminoids, which have been found to have potent pharmacological properties.

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Alzheimer's Research & Therapy | Full text | Ayurvedic medicinal plants for Alzheimer's disease: a review

Abstract

Alzheimer's disease is an age-associated, irreversible, progressive neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by severe memory loss, unusual behavior, personality changes, and a decline in cognitive function. No cure for Alzheimer's exists, and the drugs currently available to treat the disease have limited effectiveness. It is believed that therapeutic intervention that could postpone the onset or progression of Alzheimer's disease would dramatically reduce the number of cases in the next 50 years. Ayurvedic medicinal plants have been the single most productive source of leads for the development of drugs, and over a hundred new products are already in clinical development. Indeed, several scientific studies have described the use of various Ayurvedic medicinal plants and their constituents for treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Although the exact mechanism of their action is still not clear, phytochemical studies of the different parts of the plants have shown the presence of many valuable compounds, such as lignans, flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols, triterpenes, sterols, and alkaloids, that show a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anti-amyloidogenic, anti-cholinesterase, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant effects. This review gathers research on various medicinal plants that have shown promise in reversing the Alzheimer's disease pathology. The report summarizes information concerning the phytochemistry, biological, and cellular activities and clinical applications of these various plants in order to provide sufficient baseline information that could be used in drug discovery campaigns and development process, thereby providing new functional leads for Alzheimer's disease.

 


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" The report summarizes information concerning the phytochemistry, biological, and cellular activities and clinical applications of these various plants in order to provide sufficient baseline information that could be used in drug discovery campaigns and development process, thereby providing new functional leads for Alzheimer's disease."

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Plant-based medicines for anxiety disorders, part 2: a review of clinical studies with supporting preclinical evidence.

Abstract

Research in the area of herbal psychopharmacology has revealed a variety of promising medicines that may provide benefit in the treatment of general anxiety and specific anxiety disorders. However, a comprehensive review of plant-based anxiolytics has been absent to date. Thus, our aim was to provide a comprehensive narrative review of plant-based medicines that have clinical and/or preclinical evidence of anxiolytic activity. We present the article in two parts. In part one, we reviewed herbal medicines for which only preclinical investigations for anxiolytic activity have been performed. In this current article (part two), we review herbal medicines for which there have been both preclinical and clinical investigations of anxiolytic activity. A search of MEDLINE (PubMed), CINAHL, Scopus and the Cochrane Library databases was conducted (up to 28 October 2012) for English language papers using the search terms 'anxiety' OR 'anxiety disorder' OR 'generalized anxiety disorder' OR 'social phobia' OR 'post-traumatic stress disorder' OR 'panic disorder' OR 'agoraphobia' OR 'obsessive compulsive disorder' in combination with the search terms 'Herb*' OR 'Medicinal Plants' OR 'Botanical Medicine' OR 'Chinese herb*', in addition to individual herbal medicines. This search of the literature revealed 1,525 papers, of which 53 plants were included in the review (having at least one study using the whole plant extract). Of these plants, 21 had human clinical trial evidence (reviewed here in part two), with the other 32 having solely preclinical evidence (reviewed in part one). Support for efficacy was found for chronic use (i.e. greater than one day) of the following herbs in treating a range of anxiety disorders in human clinical trials: Piper methysticum, Matricaria recutita, Ginkgo biloba, Scutellaria lateriflora, Silybum marianum, Passiflora incarnata, Withania somniferum, Galphimia glauca, Centella asiatica, Rhodiola rosea, Echinacea spp., Melissa officinalis and Echium amoenum. For several of the plants studied, conclusions need to be tempered due to methodological issues such as small sample sizes, brief intervention durations and non-replication. Current evidence does not support Hypericum perforatum or Valeriana spp. for any anxiety disorder. Acute anxiolytic activity was found for Centella asiatica, Salvia spp., Melissa officinalis, Passiflora incarnata and Citrus aurantium. Bacopa monnieri has shown anxiolytic effects in people with cognitive decline. The therapeutic application of psychotropic plant-based treatments for anxiety disorders is also discussed, specifically Psychotria viridis and Banisteriopsis caarti (ayahuasca), Psilocybe spp. and cannabidiol-enriched (low tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC)) Cannabis spp.

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Neurohormones, rikkunshito and hypothalamic neurons interactively control appetite and anorexia.

Abstract

Ghrelin is the orexigenic peptide produced in the periphery, and its plasma level shows remarkable pre/postprandial changes. Ghrelin is considered a pivotal signal to the brain to stimulate feeding. Hence, characterizing the target neurons for ghrelin in the hypothalamic feeding center and the signaling cascade in the target neurons are essential for understanding the mechanisms regulating appetite. Anorexia and cachexia associated with gastric surgery, stress-related diseases, and use of anti-cancer drugs cause the health problems, markedly deteriorating the quality of life. The anorexia involves several neurotransmitters and neuropeptides in the hypothalamic feeding center, in which corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), urocortine, serotonin (5HT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) play a pivotal role. A Japanese herbal medicine, rikkunshito, has been reported to ameliorate the anorexia by promoting the appetite. This review describes 1) the interaction of ghrelin with the orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) and underlying signaling cascade in NPY neurons, 2) the anorectic pathway driven by BDNF-CRH/urocortine and 5HTCRH/ urocortine pathways, 3) the effect of rikkunshito on the interaction of ghrelin and NPY neurons in ARC, and 4) the effect of rikkunshito on the interaction of 5HT on CRH neurons in paraventricular nucleus (PVN).

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Lessons learnt from evidence-based approach of using chinese herbal medicines in liver cancer.

Abstract

This paper is a systematic review of evidence-based studies of the effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in the treatment of liver cancer. After a detailed analysis of the literature, five animal studies and four human clinical trials met the criteria for inclusion. Analysis revealed that results of the clinical trials, whilst encouraging, need to be interpreted with caution as problems with study designs may lead to apparent benefits being attributable to various forms of bias. However, as each of the CHM agents used in these studies appeared to be potentially beneficial, further well-designed and controlled randomized clinical trials are warranted. The second part of this review focused on the lessons learned from the relationships between Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, TCM Syndrome Differentiation, and modern scientific understanding of mechanisms of action of CHM agents. The understanding of TCM Syndrome Differentiation may allow identification of different patterns of disharmony and may provide important guidance to the prescription of CHM. Furthermore, quality control using both biological and chemical fingerprinting of CHM is important to ensure batch-to-batch consistency to deliver sustained therapeutic benefit. Also, careful assessment of herb-drug interactions is paramount for safety and integrative use of western chemotherapeutic and CHM agents.

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