Monday, 28 October 2013

Popular Herbs - Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)

Cascara sagrada
is a species of buckthorn, genus Rhamnus, belonging to the family Rhamnaceae, native to western North America, it's bark has been used in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal support. and it is thought to have a laxative and natural cleansing, etc., effect.
Health Benefits 1. Constipation
Oral Oral diet including Cascara of 92 nursing home residents (all older than 65) on chronic constipation has shown to reduce the use of Laxatives in 63 of the 92 patients according to the study of "'Fiber 7' supplement as an alternative to laxatives in a nursing home" by Khaja M, Thakur CS, Bharathan T, Baccash E, Goldenberg G.(1)

2. Metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes
Emodin, a chemical compound found in Cascara Sagrada has inhibited 11beta-HSD1 activity of liver and fat significantly and reversed prednisone-induced insulin resistance in mice, according to the study of "Emodin, a natural product, selectively inhibits 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and ameliorates metabolic disorder in diet-induced obese mice" by Feng Y, Huang SL, Dou W, Zhang S, Chen JH, Shen Y, Shen JH, Leng Y.(2)

3. Enhances alveolar epithelial barrier function
Emodin, a chemical compound found in Cascara Sagrada have decreased, the expression level of claudin-4, claudin-5 and occluding was increased, and the pulmonary dye extravasation was reduced in lung tissue samples from rats with acute pancreatitis after treatment with emodin, according to the study of "Emodin enhances alveolar epithelial barrier function in rats with experimental acute pancreatitis" by Xia XM, Wang FY, Wang ZK, Wan HJ, Xu WA, Lu H.(3)

4. Pancreatic cancer
Emodin, (1, 3, 8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone) is an active constituent found in the root of Rheum palmatum L and bark of numerous plants of the genus Rhamnus has significantly decreased tumor weight and metastasis and , suppressed the expression of NF-κB, survivin and MMP-9 in tumor tissues, according to the study of "Antiproliferative and antimetastatic effects of emodin on human pancreatic cancer" by Liu A, Chen H, Wei W, Ye S, Liao W, Gong J, Jiang Z, Wang L, Lin S.(4)

5. Herpes simplex virus
Emodin, an anthraquinone derivative extracted found in the roots of Rheum tanguticum and and bark of numerous plants of the genus Rhamnus, has exerted the anti-HSV activity in vitro and in vivo, according to the study of "The effect of emodin, an anthraquinone derivative extracted from the roots of Rheum tanguticum, against herpes simplex virus in vitro and in vivo." by Xiong HR, Luo J, Hou W, Xiao H, Yang ZQ.(5)

6. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
Emodin found in Rheum palmatum L. and and bark of numerous plants of the genus Rhamnus has reduced the minimum inhibitory concentrations of oxacillin and ampicillin. Emodin and in combination with oxacillin and ampicillincould lead to the development of new combination antibiotics against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, according to the study of `Synergistic effect of emodin in combination with ampicillin or oxacillin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus`by Lee YS, Kang OH, Choi JG, Oh YC, Keum JH, Kim SB, Jeong GS, Kim YC, Shin DW, Kwon DY.(6)

7. Suppressing acute allograft rejection
Emodin has suppressed acute allograft rejection in a rat model of liver transplantationaccording to the study of `Effect of emodin in suppressing acute rejection following liver allograft transplantation in rats` by Lin SZ, Tong HF, Chen KJ, Jing H, Yang X, Zheng SS.(7)

8. Hyperlocomotion and startle response
Emodin has demonstrated a unique pharmacological activity, which interferes with acute methamphetamine signaling and behavior, according to the study of `The anthraquinone derivative emodin attenuates methamphetamine-induced hyperlocomotion and startle response in rats`by Mizuno M, Kawamura H, Ishizuka Y, Sotoyama H, Nawa H.(8)

9. Etc.

Side effects
1. Cascara Sagrada can be liver toxic, according to the abstract of "[Toxic hepatitis following consumption of the herbal medicinal product Cascara Sagrada].[Article in Danish]" by Jacobsen C, Semb S, Kromann-Andersen H(a)
2. Postal hypertension
Cascara sagrada (CS) has been associated with the development of cholestatic hepatitis, complicated by portal hypertension, according to the study of "Cascara sagrada-induced intrahepatic cholestasis causing portal hypertension: case report and review of herbal hepatotoxicity" by Nadir A, Reddy D, Van Thiel DH.(b)
3. Fresh cut, dried bark may cause vomiting and diarrhea.
4. It may allergic effect, according to the study of "Occupational respiratory allergic disease induced by Passiflora alata and Rhamnus purshiana" by Giavina-Bianchi PF Jr, Castro FF, Machado ML, Duarte AJ.(c)
5. Etc.

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