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Home > Newsletters > September 2008 > The Thermal Nature of Chinese Herbs on Cultured Neural Cells

The Thermal Nature of Chinese Herbs on Cultured Neural Cells

Traditional Chinese herbs are the focus of more and more research in today’s scientific laboratories in order to understand their pharmacological nature and the molecular mechanisms of their actions. In a recent study, twenty Chinese herbs, classified into four TCM properties - hot, warm, cold, and cool - were analyzed for their ability to exhibit antioxidant action, to enhance glucose uptake by murine microglia N9 cells, and to influence neurotransmitter norepinephrine (NE) release from rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells.

Researchers found that there was a general protective effect of both the hot/warm-natured and cold/cool-natured herbs against H(2)O(2)-induced N9 cell death, partially by elevating superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. They noticed that glucose uptake was elevated after the neural cells were treated with some hot/warm-natured herbs. In addition, most of the hot/warm natured herbs tended to stimulate NE release, while such stimulatory effect was not observed in the cold/cool natured herbs. In fact, two cold/cool-natured herbs, Rhizoma coptidis and Radix scutellariae, even significantly suppressed the release of NE.

The researchers concluded that these laboratory results suggest that the particular abilities of Chinese herbs to regulate neural cell functions appear to be correlated with their natures identified in traditional TCM theory, and may be a useful guide for their utility in neural degenerative diseases.

Source: PubMed - "Functional analysis of cultured neural cells for evaluating cold/cool- and hot/warm-natured chinese herbs." Am J Chin Med. 2008;36(4):771-81.

This Month's Articles

September 2008
Volume 6, Number 9

Boost Your Chi Naturally

TCM and Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)

The Thermal Nature of Chinese Herbs on Cultured Neural Cells

Recent Research

Ask The Doctor

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