TCM plant found to have powerful antinociceptive properties

A joint effort by scientists from Kazakhstan, Brazil, Ukraine, and Ireland, was able to discover that desert ginseng (Cistanche salsa) has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. This finding, which was published in The Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy, was based on the results of in vivo experiments conducted in mice.

  • Desert ginseng, which is a parasitic plant native to Kazakhstan and China, is widely in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as a remedy for kidney problems, impotence, female infertility, uterine bleeding, constipation, and pain. Studies have also shown that this herb has the ability to lower cholesterol levels, protect the liver, reduce inflammation, and modulate immune response.
  • In this study, the researchers collected extracts from the stolons of desert ginseng and determined their phenolic composition. They identified phenylpropanoid glycosides, which is composed of echinacoside, acteoside, and tubuloside B, as the main component of desert ginseng.
  • The team then proceeded to determine pain-relieving properties of desert ginseng by inducing pain in rats using, formalin, capsaicin, or glutamate and then recording the duration of licking response. For the formalin-induced pain setup, there were two separate periods that were considered, which were early phase-neurogenic pain (zero to five minutes after injection) and late phase-inflammatory pain (15 to 30 minutes after injection).
  • The results for the formalin-induced pain showed that desert ginseng extracts reduced licking time in the first and second phase by 77 percent and 62 percent, respectively, indicating that it has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. The extracts also reduced licking time by 81 percent for both glutamate and capsaicin-induced pain.

Overall, these results show that desert ginseng has potential use as a natural pain reliever due to its anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties.

The full text of the study is available at this link.

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Journal Reference:

Kartbaeva EB, Donald GR, Sakipova ZB, Ibragimova LN, Bekbolatova EN, Ternynko II, Fernandes PD, Boylan F. ANTINOCICEPTIVE ACTIVITY OF CISTANCHE SALSA STOLONS, GROWING IN THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN. The Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy. 2 September 2017;27(5). DOI: 10.1016/j.bjp.2017.05.013

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