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Implementing phytosterols into medical practice as a cholesterol-lowering strategy: overview of efficacy, effectiveness, and safety.

Sesame seeds

Implementing phytosterols into medical practice as a cholesterol-lowering strategy: overview of efficacy, effectiveness, and safety. Can J Cardiol. 2014 Oct;30(10):1225-32 Authors: AbuMweis SS, Marinangeli CP, Frohlich J, Jones PJ Abstract More than 200 clinical trial reports and several meta-analyses have demonstrated that phytosterols (PSs), natural components of plants, induce clinically relevant reductions in blood low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Here we review data regarding the biochemical effects and potential cardiovascular benefit of PSs as part of the dietary management of dyslipidemia. In addition to discussing the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of PSs as hypocholesterolemic agents, this review provides an overview of PSs as an adjunctive therapy to cholesterol-lowering pharmaceuticals. Given this lack of evidence regarding the benefits of PSs for reducing cardiovascular end points, this review also discusses the present knowledge that exists about the ability for therapeutic dosages of PSs […] – Read More



Potential Application of Curcumin and Its Analogues in the Treatment Strategy of Patients with Primary Epithelial Ovarian Cancer.

Curcuma longa (Turmeric)

Potential Application of Curcumin and Its Analogues in the Treatment Strategy of Patients with Primary Epithelial Ovarian Cancer. Int J Mol Sci. 2014;15(12):21703-21722 Authors: Terlikowska KM, Witkowska AM, Zujko ME, Dobrzycka B, Terlikowski SJ Abstract Recent findings on the molecular basis of ovarian cancer development and progression create new opportunities to develop anticancer medications that would affect specific metabolic pathways and decrease side systemic toxicity of conventional treatment. Among new possibilities for cancer chemoprevention, much attention is paid to curcumin-A broad-spectrum anticancer polyphenolic derivative extracted from the rhizome of Curcuma longa L. According to ClinicalTrials.gov at present there are no running pilot studies, which could assess possible therapeutic benefits from curcumin supplementation to patients with primary epithelial ovarian cancer. Therefore, the goal of this review was to evaluate potential preclinical properties of curcumin and its new analogues on the basis […] – Read More



Black henbane and its toxicity – a descriptive review.

Hyoscyamus niger (Black henbane)

Black henbane and its toxicity – a descriptive review. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2014 Sep;4(5):297-311 Authors: Alizadeh A, Moshiri M, Alizadeh J, Balali-Mood M Abstract Black henbane (BH) or Hyoscyamus niger, has been used as a medicine since last centuries and has been described in all traditional medicines. It applies as a herbal medicine, but may induce intoxication accidentally or intentionally. All part of BH including leaves, seeds and roots contain some alkaloids such as Hyoscyamine, Atropine, Tropane and Scopolamine. BH has pharmacological effects like bronchodilating, antisecretory, urinary bladder relaxant, spasmolytic, hypnotic, hallucinogenic, pupil dilating, sedative and anti-diarrheal properties. Clinical manifestations of acute BH poisoning are very wide which include mydriasis, tachycardia, arrhythmia, agitation, convulsion and coma, dry mouth, thirst, slurred speech, difficulty speaking, dysphagia, warm flushed skin, pyrexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision and photophobia, urinary retention, distension of the […] – Read More



Curcumin and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Major Mode of Action through Stimulating Endogenous Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase.

Curcuma longa (Turmeric)

Curcumin and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): Major Mode of Action through Stimulating Endogenous Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase. Molecules. 2014;19(12):20139-20156 Authors: Ghosh SS, Gehr TW, Ghosh S Abstract Curcumin, an active ingredient in the traditional herbal remedy and dietary spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), has significant anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic kidney disease (CKD), an inflammatory disease, can lead to end stage renal disease resulting in dialysis and transplant. Furthermore, it is frequently associated with other inflammatory disease such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. This review will focus on the clinically relevant inflammatory molecules that play a role in CKD and associated diseases. Various enzymes, transcription factors, growth factors modulate production and action of inflammatory molecules; curcumin can blunt the generation and action of these inflammatory molecules and ameliorate CKD as well as associated inflammatory disorders. Recent studies have shown that increased intestinal permeability results […] – Read More



Phytotherapy in the management of psoriasis: a review of the efficacy and safety of oral interventions and the pharmacological actions of the main plants.

Psoriasis

Phytotherapy in the management of psoriasis: a review of the efficacy and safety of oral interventions and the pharmacological actions of the main plants. Arch Dermatol Res. 2014 Apr;306(3):211-29 Authors: Deng S, May BH, Zhang AL, Lu C, Xue CC Abstract This review provides assessments of the efficacy and safety of oral forms of phytotherapy in psoriasis management and discusses the pharmacological actions of the plants that have been frequently used in clinical trials. It employed the methods described in the Cochrane Handbook. Ten randomized controlled trials that compared a plant-based intervention with placebo or a pharmacotherapy in the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris and used Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI) as an outcome measure were included. Superiority to placebo was found in two out of three studies. In six out of seven studies, the effect of the phytotherapy was reported […] – Read More



The Therapeutic Potential of Milk Thistle in Diabetes.

Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle)

The Therapeutic Potential of Milk Thistle in Diabetes. Rev Diabet Stud. 2014;11(2):167-174 Authors: Kazazis CE, Evangelopoulos AA, Kollas A, Vallianou NG Abstract Milk thistle has been known for more than 2.000 years as a herbal remedy for a variety of disorders. It has mainly been used to treat liver and gallbladder diseases. Silibum marianum, the Latin term for the plant, and its seeds contain a whole family of natural compounds, called flavonolignans. Silimarin is a dry mixture of these compounds; it is extracted after processing with ethanol, methanol, and acetone. Silimarin contains mainly silibin A, silibin B, taxifolin, isosilibin A, isosilibin B, silichristin A, silidianin, and other compounds in smaller concentrations. Apart from its use in liver and gallbladder disorders, milk thistle has recently gained attention due to its hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties. Recently, a substance from milk thistle has […] – Read More



Garlic for the common cold.

Allium sativum (Garlic)

Garlic for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Nov 11;11:CD006206 Authors: Lissiman E, Bhasale AL, Cohen M Abstract BACKGROUND: Garlic is alleged to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties that relieve the common cold, among other beneficial effects. There is widespread usage of garlic supplements. The common cold is associated with significant morbidity and economic consequences. On average, children have six to eight colds per year and adults have two to four. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether garlic (Allium sativum) is effective for the prevention or treatment of the common cold, when compared to placebo, no treatment or other treatments. SEARCH METHODS: We searched CENTRAL (2014, Issue 7), OLDMEDLINE (1950 to 1965), MEDLINE (January 1966 to July week 5, 2014), EMBASE (1974 to August 2014) and AMED (1985 to August 2014). SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials of common cold prevention […] – Read More



Phytochemical and medicinal importance of Ginkgo biloba L.

Ginkgo biloba

Phytochemical and medicinal importance of Ginkgo biloba L. Nat Prod Res. 2014;28(10):746-52 Authors: Mohanta TK, Tamboli Y, Zubaidha PK Abstract Ginkgo biloba L., also popularly known as living fossil, possesses a variety of biological and pharmacological activities. The leaf extract of G. biloba L. (EGb 761) has been used for years to treat age-related memory-deficit problems, including Alzheimer’s and dementia. Experimental and clinical studies have revealed its beneficial effects on a wide range of pathological conditions including hepatoprotective, photoprotective effects, DNA repair mechanism, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Recent studies have also suggested that leaf extract of G. biloba L. may exert beneficial effects on cancer. This review focuses on recent scientific evidence of the reported medicinal effects of G. biloba L. PMID: 24499319 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]  



Clerodendrum serratum (L.) Moon. – a review on traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities.

Clerodendrum serratum

Clerodendrum serratum (L.) Moon. – a review on traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacological activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Jun 11;154(2):268-85 Authors: Patel JJ, Acharya SR, Acharya NS Abstract ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Clerodendrum serratum (L.) Moon. (Verbenaceae) is an important medicinal plant growing in the tropical and warm temperate regions like Africa, Southern Asia; Malaysia and distributed throughout in forests of India and Sri Lanka. It is traditionally valued and reported for treating pain, inflammation, rheumatism, respiratory disorders, fever and malarial fever in India with a long history. To provide a comprehensive overview of the traditional and ethno medicinal uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of C. serratum with clinical and toxicity data and possibly make recommendations for further research. MATERIALS AND METHODS: All relevant worldwide accepted databases were searched for the terms “Clerodendrum”, “Clerodendrum serratum”, “Bharangi” and “Cheruthekku” along with the other literature […] – Read More



Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera.

Moringa oleifera (Horseradish tree)

Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Moringa oleifera. Phytother Res. 2015 Mar 24; Authors: Stohs SJ, Hartman MJ Abstract Moringa oleifera leaves, seeds, bark, roots, sap, and flowers are widely used in traditional medicine, and the leaves and immature seed pods are used as food products in human nutrition. Leaf extracts exhibit the greatest antioxidant activity, and various safety studies in animals involving aqueous leaf extracts indicate a high degree of safety. No adverse effects were reported in association with human studies. Five human studies using powdered whole leaf preparations of M. oleifera have been published, which have demonstrated anti-hyperglycemic (antidiabetic) and anti-dyslipidemic activities. These activities have been confirmed using extracts as well as leaf powders in animal studies. A rapidly growing number of published studies have shown that aqueous, hydroalcohol, or alcohol extracts of M. oleifera leaves possess a wide […] – Read More



A review of herbal medicines in wound healing.

Verbascum spp

A review of herbal medicines in wound healing. Int J Dermatol. 2015 Mar 24; Authors: Maver T, Maver U, Stana Kleinschek K, Smrke DM, Kreft S Abstract Herbs have been integral to both traditional and non-traditional forms of medicine dating back at least 5000 years. The enduring popularity of herbal medicines may be explained by the perception that herbs cause minimal unwanted side effects. More recently, scientists increasingly rely on modern scientific methods and evidence-based medicine to prove efficacy of herbal medicines and focus on better understanding of mechanisms of their action. However, information concerning quantitative human health benefits of herbal medicines is still rare or dispersed, limiting their proper valuation. Preparations from traditional medicinal plants are often used for wound healing purposes covering a broad area of different skin-related diseases. Herbal medicines in wound management involve disinfection, debridement, and provision […] – Read More



A review of traditional use, phytoconstituents and biological activities of Himalayan yew, Taxus wallichiana.

Taxus wallichiana

A review of traditional use, phytoconstituents and biological activities of Himalayan yew, Taxus wallichiana. J Integr Med. 2015 Mar;13(2):80-90 Authors: Sharma H, Garg M Abstract Plants synthesize certain phytoconstituents for their protection, which, because they are not of primary need, are known as secondary metabolites. These secondary metabolites of plants, have often been found to have medicinal uses for human beings. One such gymnosperm having secondary metabolites of medicinal potential for humans is Taxus wallichiana (Himalayan yew). Besides being the source of taxol, this plant has been investigated for its essential oil, diterpenoids, lignans, steroids, sterols and bioflavonoids. Traditionally, it is used to treat disorders of the digestive, respiratory, nervous and skeletal systems. Although pharmacologically underexplored, it has been used for antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antipyretic, analgesic, immunomodulatory and antimicrobial activities. The present review compiles traditional uses, phytochemical constituents (specifically the […] – Read More



Synergistic interactions between anticancer chemotherapeutics and phenolic compounds and anticancer synergy between polyphenols.

Polyphenols

Synergistic interactions between anticancer chemotherapeutics and phenolic compounds and anticancer synergy between polyphenols. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2014;68:528-40 Authors: Lewandowska U, Gorlach S, Owczarek K, Hrabec E, Szewczyk K Abstract Chemoprevention has recently gained a new dimension due to the possibility of studying the mechanisms of action of chemopreventive agents at the molecular level. Many compounds have been proved to inhibit early stages of carcinogenesis in experimental models. These compounds include both recognized drugs (such as tamoxifen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and natural constituents of edible and therapeutic plants, particularly polyphenols. Phenolics are characterized by high structural diversity and, consequently, a very broad spectrum of biological activities. They are increasingly looked upon as a valuable alternative or a support for synthetic drugs, as evidenced by a growing number of clinical trials regarding the use of phenolic compounds and polyphenol-rich […] – Read More



Dang shen [Codonopsis pilosula (Franch.) Nannf] herbal formulae for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Codonopsis pilosula

Dang shen [Codonopsis pilosula (Franch.) Nannf] herbal formulae for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Phytother Res. 2015 Feb;29(2):167-86 Authors: Shergis JL, Liu S, Chen X, Zhang AL, Guo X, Lu C, Xue CC Abstract This systematic review and meta-analysis assessed the efficacy and safety of Dang shen [Codonopsis pilosula (Franch.) Nannf., root] formulae for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). English and Chinese databases were searched, and 48 randomized controlled trials were included. Dang shen formulae improved lung function forced expiratory volume in 1 s compared with conventional pharmacotherapy (CP) [mean difference (MD) 0.22 L, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.13-0.31, p < 0.001, I(2)  = 5%] and quality of life (St. Georges Respiratory Questionnaire) compared with placebo (MD -7.19, 95% CI -10.82 to -3.56, p < 0.001, I(2)  = 0%) and when combined with CP versus CP (MD -9.05, 95% CI -12.72 […] – Read More



The application of metabolomics in traditional Chinese medicine opens up a dialogue between Chinese and Western medicine.

Chinese Medicine

The application of metabolomics in traditional Chinese medicine opens up a dialogue between Chinese and Western medicine. Phytother Res. 2015 Feb;29(2):159-66 Authors: Cao H, Zhang A, Zhang H, Sun H, Wang X Abstract Metabolomics provides an opportunity to develop the systematic analysis of the metabolites and has been applied to discovering biomarkers and perturbed pathways which can clarify the action mechanism of traditional Chinese medicines (TCM). TCM is a comprehensive system of medical practice that has been used to diagnose, treat and prevent illnesses more than 3000 years. Metabolomics represents a powerful approach that provides a dynamic picture of the phenotype of biosystems through the study of endogenous metabolites, and its methods resemble those of TCM. Recently, metabolomics tools have been used for facilitating interactional effects of both Western medicine and TCM. We describe a protocol for investigating how metabolomics can […] – Read More



Efficacy on borderline hypertension treated with acupuncture combined with anti-hypertensive plaster intervention.

Ligusticum wallichii

[Efficacy on borderline hypertension treated with acupuncture combined with anti-hypertensive plaster intervention]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2014 Nov;34(11):1057-60 Authors: Li YM Abstract OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy difference in treatment of borderline hypertension between acupuncture combined with anti-hypertensive plaster and simple acupuncture. METHODS: Sixty patients of borderline hypertension were randomized into an observation group and a control group, 30 cases in each one. In the observation group, acupuncture was applied to Fengchi (GB 20), Taichong (LR 3) and the others, once a day, 5 treatments made one session. There were 2 days at interval among the sessions. Totally, 4 sessions were required. Additionally, in combination, the anti-hypertensive plaster was prepared with the fine powder of Chuanxiong (ligusticum wallichii) and Wuzhuyu (fructus evodiae) at 1.1 and mixed with vinegar. The plaster was applied to the umbilicus, once every two days, totally 15 […] – Read More



From 2000 years of Ganoderma lucidum to recent developments in nutraceuticals.

Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi)

From 2000 years of Ganoderma lucidum to recent developments in nutraceuticals. Phytochemistry. 2015 Mar 17; Authors: Bishop KS, Kao CH, Xu Y, Glucina MP, Paterson RR, Ferguson LR Abstract Medicinal mushrooms have been used for centuries as nutraceuticals to improve health and to treat numerous chronic and infectious diseases. One such mushroom is Ganoderma lucidum, commonly known as Lingzhi, a species revered as a medicinal mushroom for treating assorted diseases and prolonging life. The fungus is found in diverse locations, and this may have contributed to confusion regarding the correct taxonomic classification of the genus Ganoderma. G. lucidum was first used to name a specimen found in England and thereafter was naively applied to a different Ganoderma species found in Asia, commonly known as Chinese Lingzhi. Despite the taxonomic confusion, which has largely been uncorrected, the popularity of Lingzhi has […] – Read More



Cannabis in the Management and Treatment of Seizures and Epilepsy: A Scientific Review. A Special Public Domain Report by AHP.

American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP)

[ March 12, 2014 ] The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) today announced the release of a section of the soon-to-be-completed Cannabis Therapeutic Compendium Cannabis in the Management and Treatment of Seizures and Epilepsy. This scientific review is one of numerous scientific reviews that will encompass the broad range of science regarding the therapeutic effects and safety of cannabis. In recent months there has been considerable attention given to the potential benefit of cannabis for treating intractable seizure disorders including rare forms of epilepsy. For this reason, the author of the section, Dr. Ben Whalley, and AHP felt it important to release this section, in its near-finalized form, into the public domain for free dissemination. The full release of AHP’s Therapeutic Compendium is scheduled for early 2014. Dr. Whalley is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and Pharmacy Director of Research at the […] – Read More



The advantages of using traditional Chinese medicine as an adjunctive therapy in the whole course of cancer treatment instead of only terminal stage of cancer.

Chinese Herbal Medicine

The advantages of using traditional Chinese medicine as an adjunctive therapy in the whole course of cancer treatment instead of only terminal stage of cancer. Biosci Trends. 2015;9(1):16-34 Authors: Qi F, Zhao L, Zhou A, Zhang B, Li A, Wang Z, Han J Abstract Recent studies indicate that Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can play an important role in the whole course of cancer treatment such as recovery stages of post-operative, radiotherapy or chemotherapy stages instead of only terminal stage of cancer. In this review, we have summarized current evidence for using TCM as adjuvant cancer treatment in different stages of cancer lesions. Some TCMs (e.g., TJ-41, Liu-jun-zi-tang, PHY906, Coumarin, and Aescine) are capable of improving the post-operative symptoms such as fatigue, pain, appetite, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and lymphedema. Some TCMs (e.g., Ginseng, Huang-Qi, BanZhiLian, TJ-48, Huachansu injection, Shenqi fuzheng injection, […] – Read More