Monday, 4 November 2013

Popular #Herbs - Sarsaparilla

Sarsaparilla is a perennial, trailing vine, in the genus Smilax, belonging to the family Smilacaceae, native to the Central America. The herb has been used in traditional medicine to treat skin inflammation, psoriasis, arthritis, herpes, and leprosy, reduce symptoms of eczema, etc.

Health Benefits
1. Anti-mycobacterial effects
In the identifyication ofantimycobacterial constituents from Aralia nudicaulis rhizomes, a wild sarsaparilla, found that Falcarinol and panaxydol were identified as the principal constituents responsible for the antimycobacterial activity of Aralia nudicaulis rhizomes validating an ethnopharmacological use of this plant by the Canadian First Nations, according to "Anti-mycobacterial diynes from the Canadian medicinal plant Aralia nudicaulis" by Li H, O'Neill T, Webster D, Johnson JA, Gray CA.(1)

2. Anti-cancer effects
In the investigation of Smilax glabra Roxb. (SGR)inhibited growth of human breast cancer cell line MCF7, colon carcinoma cell line HT-29, and gastric cancer cell line BGC-823 in a dose-dependent manner, found that the changes in expression profiles of genes related to apoptosis, proliferation and cell cycle control in the cells treated with SGR. Our results demonstrated the mitochondrial regulation of apoptosis by which SGR exerts the anti-cancer effect, according to "Mitochondrial apoptosis contributes to the anti-cancer effect of Smilax glabra Roxb" by Gao Y, Su Y, Qu L, Xu S, Meng L, Cai SQ, Shou C.(2)

3. Hyperuricemia and nephropathy
In the study of astilbin, a flavonoid compound isolated from the rhizome of Smilax china L. and its effects on hyperuricemia and nephropathy rats found that astilbin significantly decreased the serum uric acid (Sur) level by increasing the urinary uric acid (Uur) level and fractional excretion of urate (FEUA) but not inhibiting the xanthine oxidase (XOD) activity. In addition, kidney function parameters such as serum creatinine (Scr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were recovered in astilbin-treated hyperuricemic rats. Further investigation indicated that astilbin prevented the renal damage against the expression of transforming growth factor- β1 (TGF-β1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and also exerted a renal protective role by inhibiting formation of monosodium urate (MSU) and production of prostaglandin E₂ (PGE₂) and interleukin-1 (IL-1), according to "Astilbin attenuates hyperuricemia and ameliorates nephropathy in fructose-induced hyperuricemic rats" by Chen L, Lan Z, Zhou Y, Li F, Zhang X, Zhang C, Yang Z, Li P.(3)

4. Anticonvulsant activity and neurotoxicity
In the determination of the anticonvulsant activity and neurotoxicity of ethanolic extract and ethyl acetate fraction of the rhizome of Smilax china (EESC and EAF, respectively) in mice, found that MES test was reduced significantly (P < 0.001) by EESC at a dose level of 400 mg/kg and EAF at both higher dose levels (200 and 400 mg/kg). In PTZ model, the seizure latency was prolonged by all the test groups, according to " Anticonvulsant and neurotoxicity profile of the rhizome of Smilax china Linn. in mice" by Vijayalakshmi A, Ravichandiran V, Anbu J, Velraj M, Jayakumari S.(4)

5. Lung cancer
In the study of furostanol saponins and theirs cytotoxicity effect, found that The isolated furostanol saponins were evaluated for cytotoxic activity against human normal amniotic and human lung carcinoma cell lines using neutral red and MTT assays. In vitro experiments showed significant cytotoxicity in a dose dependent manner with IC(50) values in the range of 32.98-94.53 µM, according to 'New furostanol saponins from Smilax aspera L. and their in vitro cytotoxicity" by Ivanova A, Mikhova B, Batsalova T, Dzhambazov B, Kostova I.(5)

6. Breast cancer
In the investigation of the breast tumor cell toxic components in S. china L. continuously and systematically, found that among these six polyphenols, five (1, 3-6) were reported for the 1st time with in vitro activities on anti-breast tumor cell. It is likely that these polyphenols are the active components of S. china L. responsible for the anti-breast tumor cell activities, according to 'Cytotoxic polyphenols against breast tumor cell in Smilax china L" by Wu LS, Wang XJ, Wang H, Yang HW, Jia AQ, Ding Q.(6)

7. Diabetes
In the investigation of the efficacy of astilbin on experimental diabetic nephropathy (DN) in vivo and in vitro and its possible mechanisms, found that astilbin inhibition of CTGF may be a potential target in diabetic nephropathy (DN) therapy. This work provides the first evidence for astilbin as a new candidate of DN therapeutic medicine, according to "Effect of astilbin on experimental diabetic nephropathy in vivo and in vitro" by Li GS, Jiang WL, Yue XD, Qu GW, Tian JW, Wu J, Fu FH.(7)

8. Anti-inflammatory activities
In the identification of Smilax china Linn. used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as in Pakistan for its effect on anti inflammatory disorders, found that Sieboldogenin seems to be a potential new anti-inflammatory compound responsible for anti-inflammatory activities of Smilax china Linn. Its in vitro and in vivo inflammatory activities are in good agreement with the folk medicinal use of Smilax china Linn. in inflammatory disorders, according to "Anti-inflammatory activities of Sieboldogenin from Smilax china Linn.: experimental and computational studies" by Khan I, Nisar M, Ebad F, Nadeem S, Saeed M, Khan H, Samiullah, Khuda F, Karim N, Ahmad Z.(8)

9. Anti Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)
In the evaluation of the glycoproteins possessing antiviral and anti-proliferative activities were isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb Smilax glabra, found that the glycoprotein potencies for antiviral activity appeared to depend on the molecules' binding affinity for fetuin, that is, the fetuin-binding protein was more potent than the non-fetuin binding proteins, according to "Antiviral and anti-proliferative glycoproteins from the rhizome of Smilax glabra Roxb (Liliaceae)" by Ooi LS, Wong EY, Chiu LC, Sun SS, Ooi VE.(9)

10. Liver cancer and disease
In the determination of the raw SGR plant extracted with Accelerate Solvent Extractor anti-proliferative effect on the human hepatoma cell lines, HepG2 and Hep3B, found that SGRE inhibited HepG2 and Hep3B cell growth by causing cell-cycle arrest at either S phase or S/G2 transition and induced apoptosis, as evidenced by a DNA fragmentation assay. SGRE-induced apoptosis by alternation of mitochondrial transmembrane depolarization, release of mitochondrial cytochrome c, activation of caspase-3, and cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase, according to "Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effect of Smilax glabra Roxb. extract on hepatoma cell lines" by Sa F, Gao JL, Fung KP, Zheng Y, Lee SM, Wang YT.(10)

11. Dermatitis
In the assessment of astilbin for the treatment of human immune diseases, found that 3'-O-methylated astilbin, a new metabolite of astilbin and isolated it from the culture solution nhibited picryl chloride-induced ear swelling in mice and suppressed the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma, similarly to astilbin, according to "Identification of a new metabolite of astilbin, 3'-O-methylastilbin, and its immunosuppressive activity against contact dermatitis" by Guo J, Qian F, Li J, Xu Q, Chen T.(11)

12. Adjunctive arthritis(AA)
In the evaluation of the therapeutic action of decoction of Smilax china L. on adjunctive arthritis(AA) mouse and its mechanism, found that The decoction (90, 180 intragastric injection (ig) could significantly inhibit AA mouse's secondary inflammatory swelling, reduce thymus and spleen weights, decrease CD4/CD8, but had little influence on B Cell, according to '[Effect of Smilax china on adjunctive arthritis mouse].[Article in Chinese]" by Lü Y, Chen D, Deng J, Tian L.(12)

13. Etc.

Side effects
1. Overdoses of sarsaparilla can cause nausea and kidney damage.
2. Do not use the herb in new born or children or if you are pregnant and breast feeding without approval from the related field specialist
3. The herb may cause allergic effects, including chest pain, difficulty breathing, hives or a rash
4. Etc.
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