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Ku shen is also known as Sopora root. The bitter and cold herb has been used in TCM as diuretic, antibiotic, anti inflammatory, anaesthesia agent and to treat acute diarrhea, eczema,
asthma, hepatitis B, tonsillitis, insomnia, etc., as its clears Heat, dries Dampness, expels Wind, expels worms and other parasites, etc., by enhancing the functions of the bladder, heart, liver, large intestine and small intestine, channels.
1. Anti-platelet effects
In the investigation of the isolation of four flavonoids and six flavonoid-glycosides: biochanin A (1), irisolidone (2), genistein (3), sissotrin (4), sophorabioside (5), genistin (6), tectoridin (7), apigenin (8), quercitrin (9), and rutin (10) of a methanol extract of Sophora japonica sor ita anti-platelet activity, found that the compounds, 1, 3, and 7 showed approximately 2.5-6.5 fold greater inhibitory effects on arachidonic acid (AA) and U46619 induced platelet aggregation (IC50: 19.9 and 99.8 microM; 20.3 and 53.8 microM; 25.9 and 123.4 microM, respectively (a).
2. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities
In the evaluation of the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cytotoxic activities of water and ethanol extracts of 14 Chinese medicinal plants. inluding Ku Shen (Sophora japonica), 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. The ethanol extract of S. japonica showed highest levels of phenolics and flavonoids (91.33 GAE mg/g and 151.86 QE mg/g, respectively)(b).
3. Estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities
In thje observation of the methanol extracts of 40 plants from the Egyptian and Thailand folk medicines were screened for their estrogen agonist and antagonist activities. Nigella sativa, Sophora japonica, Artabotrys harmandii, and Clitorea hanceana showed estrogenic effect only after naringinase treatment(c).
4. Heart failure
In the investigation of Oxymatrine, one of the alkaloids extracted from the Chinese herb Sophora japonica (Sophora flavescens Ait.) with anti-inflammatory, immune reaction inhibiting, antiviral, and hepatocyte and antihepatic fibrosis protective activities, found that
Side Effects oxymatrine could improve heart failure by improving the cardiac function and that this amelioration is associated with upregulation of SERCA2a and DHPR.(d).
5. Myocardial fibrosis protection
In the avaluation of Oxymatrine (1), a component extracted from a traditional Chinese herb Sophora japonica (Sophora flavescens Ait.), for its the possible role of 1 against myocardial fibrosis induced by acute myocardial infarction (AMI), found that Treatment with Oxymatrine significantly ameliorated hemodynamics, inhibited the expression of TβR(1) mRNA and Smad3 mRNA, and reduced the left ventricle weight/body weight. The results of this research indicated that Oxymatrine might protect against myocardial fibrosis and the mechanism may be involved in modulating TGF-β(1)-Smads signal pathway(e).
6. Prevent weight gain
In the seraching for natural alternative antiobesity agents in preventing obesity, found that a
four-week-old mice were fed either a control high-fat diet, or high-fat diet containing 1% or 5% of S japonica L. for 4 weeks. The administration of S japonica L. fed in combination with a 30% high-fat diet significantly decreased body weight gain. S japonica L. also reduced serum and hepatic triglyceride, serum total, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Consistent with the effects of lowering glucose level and fat mass, S japonica L. caused a decrease in the number of large adipocytes and a concomitant increase in the number of small adipocytes, which may explain at least in part the antiobesity effects of S japonica L.(f).
1. Do not use the herb in case of kidney and liver deficiency with out heat
2. Over doses can cause toxicity to liver
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