Monday, 4 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a small flower grouped with large compound leafy in the the genus Rheum, belonging to the family Polygonaceae. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as laxative agent, reduce inflammation and treat diarrhea, dysentery blood clots, tumor red and painful eyes abdominal-distention and/or pain blood in stool hemorrhoidal bleeding urination: burning sensation, absence of menses, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Cardiovascular diseases
In the elavuation of piceatannol-3'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside (PG), a potent component of stilbenes and theirs inhibited activity of arginase I and II prepared, found that PG showed IC((50)) value of 11.22 microM and 11.06 microM against arginase I and II, respectively. PG as an arginase inhibitor, therefore, represents a novel molecule for the therapy of cardiovascular diseases derived from endothelial dysfunction and may be used for the design of pharmaceutical compounds, according to 'Piceatannol-3'-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside as an active component of rhubarb activates endothelial nitric oxide synthase through inhibition of arginase activity" by Woo A, Min B, Ryoo S.(1)

2. Anti-cancers
In the investigation of the toxicological and anti-neoplastic potentials of the main anthraquinones from Rhubarb, Rheum palmatum, found that Rhein is the other major rhubarb anthraquinone, although less well studied. This compound could effectively inhibit the uptake of glucose in tumor cells, caused changes in membrane-associated functions and led to cell death. Interestingly, all three major rhubarb anthraquinones were reported to have in vitro phototoxic. This re-evaluation of an old remedy suggests that several bioactive anthraquinones of rhubarb possess promising anti-cancer properties and could have a broad therapeutic potential, according to "Anti-cancer properties of anthraquinones from rhubarb" by
Huang Q, Lu G, Shen HM, Chung MC, Ong CN.(2)

3. Breast cancer
In the investigation of antiproliferation effects of anthraquinone derivatives of rhubarb root on human breast cancer cells, found that rhein is processing anti-proliferative activity against HER2 overexpression or HER2-basal expression in breast cancer cells and playing important roles in apoptotic induction of human breast cancer cells, according to "Rhein induces apoptosis in human breast cancer cells" by Chang CY, Chan HL, Lin HY, Way TD, Kao MC, Song MZ, Lin YJ, Lin CW.(3)

4. Gastrointestinal protection against severe burn
In the identification of the influence of rhubarb in patients with severe burn, found that Rhubarb can protect intestinal mucosal barrier in patients with severe burn through increasing secretion of gastrointestinal hormones and promoting restoration of gastrointestinal motility, according to " [Influence of rhubarb on gastrointestinal motility and intestinal mucosal barrier in patients with severe burn].[Article in Chinese]" by Meng YB, Lei J, Hao ZM, Cao RL.(4)

5. Cirrhotic ascites
In the study of the efficacy of investigate the efficacy of Xiaozhang Tie, a traditional Chinese herbal cataplasm, including Rhubarb in patients with cirrhotic ascites, found that Xiaozhang Tie as an adjuvant to primary therapy of cirrhotic ascites is safe and shows a remarkable efficacy on relieving abdominal distention, according to 'Effects of Chinese herbal cataplasm Xiaozhang Tie on cirrhotic ascites" by Xing F, Tan Y, Yan GJ, Zhang JJ, Shi ZH, Tan SZ, Feng NP, Liu CH.(5)

6. Obesity
In the evaluation of the effects of the traditional Korean anti-obesity drug GGEx18, a mixture of three herbs, Laminaria japonica Aresch (Laminariaceae), Rheum palmatum L. (Polygonaceae), found that GGEx18 inhibited lipid accumulation, and similar activation of genes was observed in GGEx18-treated C2C12 cells. However, compound C inhibited these effects in C2C12 cells. Discussion and conclusion: These results suggest that GGEx18 improves obesity through skeletal muscle AMPK and AMPK-stimulated expression of PPARα and its target enzymes for fatty acid oxidation, according to "The herbal composition GGEx18 from Laminaria japonica, Rheum palmatum, and Ephedra sinica reduces obesity via skeletal muscle AMPK and PPARα" by Shin SS, Park D, Lee HY, Hong Y, Choi J, Oh J, Lee H, Lee HR, Kim MR, Shen ZB, Cui HH, Yoon M.(6)

7. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities
In the observation of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic activities of water and ethanol extracts of 14 Chinese medicinal plants, including Rheum officinale, found that Four plants, namely, Scutellaria baicalensis , Taxillus chinensis , Rheum officinale, and Sophora japonica , showed significant antioxidant activity in both yeast model and also free radical scavenging methods, according to "Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of selected medicinal plants containing phenolic and flavonoid compounds" by Zhang L, Ravipati AS, Koyyalamudi SR, Jeong SC, Reddy N, Smith PT, Bartlett J, Shanmugam K, Münch G, Wu MJ.(7)

8. Menopausal symptoms
In the investigation of the efficacy of ERr 731(®), a commercially available extract isolated from Rheum rhaponticum on menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes, depression, anxiety and vaginal dryness found that the observations from previous trials regarding the endometrial safety of ERr 731(®) have been supported by our experimental findings that exclude a stimulatory activity on proliferation in the uterus in a long-term administration in the young adult rat but no effect on the bone mineral density could be observed, according to "Long-term effects of the rhapontic rhubarb extract ERr 731® on estrogen-regulated targets in the uterus and on the bone in ovariectomized rats" by Keiler AM, Papke A, Kretzschmar G, Zierau O, Vollmer G.(8)

9. Hepatotoxicity or hepatoprotection?
In the determination of the efficacy of Rhubarb on Hepatotoxicity or hepatoprotection, found that The curative effect of administering the two lowest dosages of RE to CCl(4)-treated rats was mainly expressed as a decrease in the extent of cellular injury. The hepatoprotective mechanism of RE might be related to its antioxidant effect, the antagonism of the free radical damage to hepatocytes caused by CCl(4). By contrast, the RE-induced liver damage was mainly expressed as a significant increase in the amount of fibrosis in both normal rats at all dosage levels and CCl(4)-treated rats at the two highest dosage levels, according to "Hepatotoxicity or hepatoprotection? Pattern recognition for the paradoxical effect of the Chinese herb Rheum palmatum L. in treating rat liver injury" by Wang JB, Zhao HP, Zhao YL, Jin C, Liu DJ, Kong WJ, Fang F, Zhang L, Wang HJ, Xiao XH.(9)

10. Anti diabetes
In the comparison of the Western medicine treatment group (Group A) received insulin and orally took anti-diabetic drugs, while those in the TR group (Group B) received insulin and orally took TR (consisting of astragalus, raw rehmannia root, sanchi root, euonymus branchlet, rhubarb, bitter orange, and dogwood fruit, etc. 4 g/package), found that Treatment of insulin and TR showed similar favorable effect to Western medicine in treatment of diabetic nephropathy. It could improve in vivo hypomethylation and oxidative stress, according to "[Effects of tangshen recipe on the homocysteine metabolism of patients with diabetic nephropathy].[Article in Chinese]" by Jiang ZT, Liang QL, Wang YM.(10)

11. Antimicrobial peptides
In evaluation of the correlation between rhubarb and expressions of antimicrobial peptides (AP) in the small intestine of mice found that after gastrogavaged with rhubarb decoction, changes of AP contents in the small intestine homogenate of mice were not obvious, but the molecular weights of AP were different. But the AP contents in the small intestine perfusate obviously increased, with the molecular weights being 14.3 to 18.4 kDa. But its bactericidal capacity showed no statistical difference when compared with that of the control group (P>0.05), according to "[Correlation study of rhubarb and expression changes of antimicrobial peptides in the small intestine of mice].[Article in Chinese]" by Yan ZP, Chen XL, Zhang Z.(11)

12. Etc.
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Side effects
1. Do not use the herb as long-term treatment for constipation
2. Do not use the herb in children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without approval from the related field specialist.
3. Rhubarb may interact with other medicine, including Lanoxin
4. Overdose may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, such as diarrhea or vomiting, in some case cause liver damage
5. Etc.


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