Traditional Medicine in the Treatment of Drug Addiction
Lu L, et al. National Institute on Drug
Dependence, Peking University, Beijing, China.
Aims: To evaluate clinical trials and neurochemical mechanisms of the action of
traditional herbal remedies and acupuncture for treating drug addiction.
Methods: We used computerized literature searches in English and Chinese and
examined texts written before these computerized databases existed. We used
search terms of treatment and neurobiology of herbal medicines, and acupuncture
for drug abuse and dependence. Results: Acupuncture showed evidence for clinical
efficacy and relevant neurobiological mechanisms in opiate withdrawal, but it
showed poor efficacy for alcohol and nicotine withdrawal or relapse prevention,
and no large studies supported its efficacy for cocaine in well-designed
clinical trials. Clinical trials were rare for herbal remedies. Radix Puerariae
showed the most promising efficacy for alcoholism by acting through daidzin,
which inhibits mitocochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 and leads to disulfiram-like
alcohol reactions. Peyote also has some evidence for alcoholism treatment among
Native Americans. Ginseng and Kava lack efficacy data in addictions, and Kava
can be hepatotoxic. Thunbergia laurifolia can protect against alcoholic liver
toxicity. Withania somnifera and Salvia miltiorrhiza have no efficacy data, but
can reduce morphine tolerance and alcohol intake, respectively, in animal
models. Conclusions: Traditional herbal treatments can compliment
pharmacotherapies for drug withdrawal and possibly relapse prevention with less
expense and perhaps fewer side effects with notable exceptions. Both acupuncture
and herbal treatments need testing as adjuncts to reduce doses and durations of
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2009 Jan;35(1):1-11.
Auricular Acupuncture Effects on Postoperative Vomiting after
Sahmeddini MA, et al. Department of Anaesthesiology,
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Faghihi Hospital, Shiraz, Iran.
PURPOSE: To find the efficacy of auricular acupuncture for the prevention of
postoperative nausea and vomiting after cholecystectomy. MATERIALS AND METHODS:
One hundred (100) female patients undergoing transabdominal cholecystectomy were
randomly allocated to two groups of 50 (auricular acupuncture treatment group
and nontreatment group) in order to test the effectiveness of auricular
acupuncture. Statistical significance (p < 0.05) was determined using an
unpaired t-test for age, weight, height, and duration of anesthesia; a
chi-square test was used to analyze the incidence of vomiting. RESULTS: There
was no significant difference in age, weight, height, or duration of anesthesia
among the two groups of patients. There was a significant difference between the
control and auricular acupuncture treatment groups in the incidence of vomiting
24 hours after surgery (66% and 0%, respectively, p < 0.01). No noteworthy side
effects from treatment were observed. CONCLUSION: Auricular acupuncture is
effective in reducing vomiting following transabdominal cholecystectomy in
J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Dec;14(10):1275-9
Licorice Flavonoids Inhibit Eotaxin-1 Secretion by Human
Fetal Lung Fibroblasts in Vitro
Jayaprakasam B, et al . Departments of
Pediatrics, Genetics and Genomics Science, and Pharmacology and Systems
Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, New York 10029, and
Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Gan-Cao), commonly called "licorice", is one of the most
commonly used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In the United States,
licorice products are most often consumed as flavoring and sweetening agents in
food products. The licorice triterpenoid glycyrrhizin has several biological
activities, including anti-inflammatory activity. Other potential
anti-inflammatory constituents in G. uralensis have not been fully investigated.
Airway eosinophilic inflammation is a major feature of allergic asthma.
Eotaxin-1 (eotaxin) is involved in the recruitment of eosinophils to sites of
antigen-induced inflammation in asthmatic airways. Because human lung
fibroblasts are the major source of eotaxin, inhibition of eosinophil
recruitment by suppression of fibroblast eotaxin production is a potentially
valuable approach for the pharmacological intervention in asthma. A systematic
bioassay-guided purification of G. uralensis yielded five flavonoids: liquiritin,
liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone, and isoononin. The
structures of the compounds were established by (1)H and (13)C nuclear magnetic
resonance (NMR) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) studies. The
potential ability of these isolated pure compounds and glycyrrhizin to inhibit
secretion of eotaxin-1 by human fetal lung fibroblasts (HFL-1) was tested.
Liquiritigenin, isoliquiritigenin, and 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone were more effective
than liquiritin, isoononin, and glycyrrhizin in suppressing eotaxin secretion. A
concentration-response study showed the IC(50) concentrations of liquiritigenin,
isoliquiritigenin, and 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone were 4.2, 0.92, and 0.21 mug/mL,
respectively, demonstrating that Glycyrrhiza flavonoids inhibit eotaxin-1
secretion in vitro.
J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Jan 8.