Monday, 20 January 2020

Herbal Elecampane (Inula helenium), A Natural and Potential Neuroprotective Remedy

By Kyle J. Norton

Neuroprotection is a process to preserve the neuronal structure and/or function against the death or gradual death of neurons, including the use of medicines and herbs.

In other words, neuroprotection protects the neuronal integrity against the reduction in the rate of neuronal loss over time inducing neurological disease, including neurodegenerative disease.

Neurodegenerative disease is the class of condition associated with the progressive loss of neuron occurred mostly in older adults, including dementia. The most common dementia in the US is Alzheimer`s disease (AD).

Alzheimer's disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder caused by the slowly lost of neuron in the brain that affects the memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks as the disease progress into advanced stage.

According to the statistic, dementia affects over 47.5 million people worldwide, approximately 58 percent are living within low and middle-income countries.

Believe it or not, 5.8 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2019 and two-thirds of people with Alzheimer's disease are women.

There is no single cause of the progressive death of brain neurons. Epidemiologically, genetic preposition, medical condition, such as alcoholism, brain cancer or a stroke in the brain are some of the most common prevalent factors found in patients with neurological diseases

A prolonged period of toxins, toxic chemicals accumulated that affects the brain function also have a strong impact to induce the onset of the disease.

Symptoms of neurotoxicity are totally depending on the degree of toxicity. Some symptoms may take some time to develop. However, in most cases, symptoms may appear immediately after exposure.

Depending on the area and location of neuron damage, weakness or numbness, loss of memory, vision, headache change of cognitive and behavioral and sexual dysfunction are the most common symptoms found in people with neurotoxicity.

On finding a natural ingredient for the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, scientists examined the neuroprotective effects of Costunolide (COS) is a natural sesquiterpene lactone originally isolated from Inula helenium (Compositae).

Elecampane, also known as Horse-heal (Inula helenium) is a perennial composite plant, genus nulla, belonging to Asteraceae, native to Southern Europe, and Asia. 

The plant has been used in traditional and herbal medicine in treating bronchitis or emphysema, night sweats, pulmonary tuberculosis, irritating cough, catarrhal discharges, etc.

According to tested analysis, on oxidative stress associated with the progression and pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases,
* COS showed strong activity in activating the expression of Nrf2 to counteract the oxidative injuries of PC12 cells.

* COS also exerted a cytotoxic effect in the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis through the expression of Nrf2 stimulation.

The results indicated that COS inhibited the levels of cellular reactive oxygen species level by restoring cellular thiol homeostasis, involved in maintaining the cellular redox balance.

In other words, treatment with COS promoted a range of antioxidant genes governed by Nrf2 and subsequently induced these gene expressions and activities against the overexpression of free radicals

Based on the results, researchers suggest, "COS provides neuroprotection via activating the Nrf2 signaling pathway in PC12 cells".

Taken altogether, Elecampane (Inula helenium) processed abundantly COS may be considered a neuroprotective remedy  pending to the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)
Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it's news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada - Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Activation of Nrf2 by costunolide provides neuroprotective effect in PC12 cells by Peng S 1, Hou Y , Yao J , Fang J. (PubMed)

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