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Research Archive

Welcome to our Chinese medicine and acupuncture research news pages. We add to the content of these pages continuously as more research news comes in. Browse through the complete archive below or use the category links on the right.

Please note that the most twenty recent research archive items are free to view but access to the thousands of items in the archive require a journal subscription.

Scientists in China have found differences in microflora when comparing the tongues of patients with yellow tongue coating (YTC) with those of healthy volunteers and patients who had been treated with herbs ...

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The action of gut microflora on herbal medicines may be crucial in terms of their therapeutic effects on human diseases ...

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A study into the analgesic properties of various Chinese herbs has found that a compound of Yan Hu Suo (Rhizoma Corydalis) is able to effectively treat various kinds of pain, including inflammatory and neuropathic pain.

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A Chinese herbal formula, Jiang Zhi Granule (JZG), has been shown to benefit patients suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome.

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Chinese researchers have used a systems-pharmacology approach to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying the actions of Chinese tonic herbs.

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An in vitro study from Australia provides evidence that some Chinese herbal medicines traditionally used to promote longevity have neuroprotective effects.

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Cordycepin, one of the active components of the Chinese herb cordyceps (Dong Chong Xia Cao), reduces the production of inflammatory gene products in cultured human airway smooth muscle cells - the cells which contract during an asthma attack.

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Further evidence for biochemical synergy between the components of the herbal decoction Dang Gui Bu Xue Tang (DBT, Dang Gui Decoction to Tonify the Blood) have been found by scientists from Hong Kong.

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Chewing slices of ginseng root while having haemodialysis can prevent patients’ blood pressure from dropping dangerously, according to Taiwanese investigators.

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An extract of Dan Shen (Radix Salvia Miltiorrhizae) can reduce oxidative stress in diabetic patients with chronic heart disease (CHD).

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Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is poised to begin developing products based on traditional Chinese medicines as part of its revamped research and development strategy.

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American scientists have reported the identification of two substances in dried licorice root (Gan Cao, Radix Glycyrrhizae) that are capable of killing bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

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Extracts from Chinese herbs are capable of reversing multi-drug resistance in cancer cells, which is currently a major obstacle to successful anti-cancer therapy.

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Chinese researchers have found that an extract of the Chinese herb Tu Jing Pi (Cortex Pseudolaricis) has potent antifungal activity and may be a potential therapeutic agent for oral candidiasis.

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A flavonoid extracted from the Japanese raisin tree, Hovenia dulcis (Chi Chu Tzu), may counter the detrimental effects of alcohol consumption and offer a potential anti-hangover supplement, according to research from the USA.

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An active component extracted from the herb Chang Shan (Dichroae Radix) may be useful in the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

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Evidence is emerging that the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is becoming resistant to the drug artemisinin.

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A Nature Outlook supplement focusing on traditional Asian medicine includes a number of interesting articles, including one on how Chinese herbal medicines interact synergistically with microbes in the human gut.

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Chinese herbal medicine theory holds that herbs in a prescription potentise each other and that the doses described in classical prescriptions are crucial to their effect.

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An overview of systematic reviews of Chinese herbal medicines (CHM) published in the Cochrane Database has identified areas that could be improved in future studies.

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A pilot study carried out in Hong Kong has found that a formula containing the Chinese herb Gou Teng (Uncaria rhynchophylla) can help patients with Parkinson’s disease carry out their daily living activities.

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Triptolide, isolated from the Chinese herb Lei Gong Teng (Tripterygii wilfordii Radix) could be a source of potential new anticancer drugs.

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Two Chinese herbal formulae have been found to have antacid effects in an artificial stomach model.

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Chinese internet users were astonished to find the ‘secret’ ingredient list for the famous haemostatic herbal powder Yunnan Baiyao openly displayed on the websites of Amazon.com and the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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A two-herb formula consisting of the herbs Huang Qi (Astragali Radix, RA) and Sheng Di Huang (Rehmanniae Radix, RR) can enhance diabetic wound healing because of its angiogenic and anti-inflammatory activities, which promote tissue regeneration.

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Statistics from the American Association of Poison Control Centers show that no deaths were caused by dietary supplements in the country in 2008.

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Artesunate, a compound extracted from the Chinese herb Qing Hao (Artemisiae annuae Herba) should be the drug of choice for adults and children with severe malaria worldwide, according to two major new studies.

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Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomi Cortex [Rou Gui]) has a potential role in the prevention of many diseases, according to a review by American authors.

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Daily supplementation with ginger root (Gan Jiang [Zingiberis Rhizoma]) has been found to reduce exercise-induced pain by 25%.

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Hemp Seed Pill (HSP, [Ma Zi Ren Wan]) can improve the symptoms of patients suffering from functional constipation (FC). Researchers from Hong Kong carried out a rigorously designed two-part study to assess the efficacy of HSP in treating FC. In trial

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The Chinese herbal formula Huang Qin Tang (Scutellaria Decoction) reduces the intestinal side-effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients by stimulating gut cell division and reducing inflammation. The four-herb formula (consisting of Scutellariae

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Beany flavour is a traditional sensory indicator for evaluating the quality of Huang Qi (Astragali Radix). A root with a strong beany flavour is considered to be of good quality in Chinese medicine. A new study from China has linked the beany flav

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Ancient Chinese preparation methods, that involved either soaking and wringing, or pounding and squeezing the fresh herb Qing Hao (Artemesiae Annuaeare Herba) are more effective than the current method of preparing herbal teas from the dried herb for

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Salvianolic acid B (Sal B), a major active component of Dan Shen (Salviae miltiorrhizae Radix) may exert a neuroprotective effect by activating anti-inflammatory pathways in microglia (the resident macrophages of the brain and spinal cord). The resul

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A Hong Kong team has evaluated Twenty Chinese herbs for their antimicrobial activity against four common oral bacteria, using an in vitro assay. Thirteen herbs demonstrated activity against Porphyromonas gingivalis, including Hou Po (Magnoliae Cortex

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Chinese scientists recently performed a comprehensive metabonomic analysis to reveal potential mechanisms of berberine action in the treatment of patients with type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. Berberine is an alkaloid with a bright yellow color whos

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Metabonomics is an emerging technology that enables rapid in vivo screening of the metabolic responses of living systems to pathophysiological stimuli. It combines the power of high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with mul

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American scientists have developed a biological method of testing the effects of herbal formulae using a laboratory model based on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This worm shares genes for aging and other traits with humans and other organisms.

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Baicalein is a flavonoid extracted from Huang Qin (Scutellariae Radix) and is found in a wide range of Chinese herbal medicines that have been used historically for their anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and anti-tumor action. Recent Chinese studies

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Bi-Qi capsules, which are prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and other osteoarticular diseases, have been found to suppress inflammation via several molecular pathways. The capsules contents include Ma Qian Zi (Strychni Semen), Dang Shen (Codonopsis

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Consumption of ephedra (Ma Huang, Ephedrae Herba) extract has both acute and chronic effects on autonomic nervous activity. Twenty healthy Taiwanese subjects were given 1g of ephedra dry extract or placebo once per day for 14 days in a crossover fash

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American scientists using atomic force microscopy (AFM) have discovered nano-scale fibres in Yunnan Baiyao, the traditional Chinese herbal medicine used to treat wounds. AFM images revealed an abundance of uniform nanofibres, about 25nm in diameter a

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A compound extracted from a Chinese herb traditionally used in the treatment of cancer has been shown to have potent neuroprotective activity. Gambogic amide, derived from the resin of the Garcinia hanburryii tree (known as gamboge or tom rong), prov

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Researchers in China have identified the active ingredients of ‘dragon's blood’, a resin derived from the herb Xue Jie (Draconis Sanguis), which are responsible for its beneficial effects on peptic ulcers and ability to stop bleeding. Twenty-two

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Acupuncture can improve absorption of baicalin, one of the active components of Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae). Chinese scientists divided twenty rats randomly into two groups. Group A was treated with a combination of oral administration of Scutella

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Huang Qin (Radix Scutellariae) is a popular multi-purpose Chinese medicinal herb traditionally used to treat inflammation, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and bacterial and viral infections. Accumulating evidence is now demonstrating that S

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Cell culture experiments carried out by Chinese researchers have revealed an anti-inflammatory action of ginseng (Ren Shen). They identified nine separate compounds called ginsenosides in ginseng extract. By testing the effects of individual ginsenos

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Extracts of the root of Astragalus membranaceus (Huang Qi) have been observed to significantly accelerate cutaneous wound healing. According to a Korean team who observed the process of wound healing at a microscopic level, topically applied Astragal

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Cinnamon extract, which has been used in Chinese medicine to improve blood circulation, can induce angiogenesis (formation of blood vessels). Korean researchers observed the effect of ethanol extract of Cinnamomum cassia (Gui Zhi) on angiogenic proce

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In vivo studies have shown that anti-oxidant phytochemicals from Gou Qi Zi (Lycium barbarum fructus, aka Chinese wolfberry or goji berry) can protect eye tissues from oxidative damage. American researchers studying type-2 diabetic mice observed that

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Extracts of Bu Gu Zhi (Psoralea corylifolia fructus), a plant known as a Kidney yang tonic in Chinese medicine, can increase bone growth in vivo. The plant, whose Chinese name means ‘tonify bone resin’ is considered a common weed in Asia and i

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Antiviral compounds extracted from the foul-smelling herb Ferula assafoetida (Chinese name: A Wei, aka Devil’s Dung) show greater activity against the H1N1 swine flu virus than the drug amantadine. Taiwanese scientists found that the roots of the p

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A review paper from Hong Kong traces the use of Huang Lian (Coptidis rhizoma) from traditional Chinese medicine (CM) to recent pharmacological studies of Huang Lian and its major component, berberine. The modern discovery of anti-cancer effects for H

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Chen Pi (dried tangerine peel) exhibits strong antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities, which are due to its high content of ascorbic acid and citric acid. Japanese biochemists prepared water and ethanol extracts of Chen Pi and examined th

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American scientists using atomic force microscopy (AFM) have discovered nano-scale fibres in Yunnan Baiyao, the traditional Chinese herbal medicine used to treat wounds. AFM images revealed an abundance of uniform nanofibres, about 25nm in diameter a

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In a study on 16 healthy subjects it was found that Echinacea purpurea, Huang Qi (Astragali Radix) and Gan Cao (Glycyrrhizae Radix) were effective in boosting key blood lymphocytes, the basic building block of the immune system. Echinacea and Gan

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