About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Chinese Medicine Plant Fights Chronic Pain

by Sheela Philomena on January 2, 2014 at 10:49 PM
Font : A-A+

 Chinese Medicine Plant Fights Chronic Pain

A plant used in Chinese medicine helps fight chronic pain, say researchers. A key pain-relieving ingredient is a compound known as dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) found in the roots of the flowering plant Corydalis, a member of the poppy family, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on January 2.

"Our study reports the discovery of a new natural product that can relieve pain," says Olivier Civelli of the University of California, Irvine. "This analgesic acts in animal assays against the three types of pain that afflict humans, including acute, inflammatory, and neuropathic or chronic pain."

Advertisement

Civelli, along with Xinmiao Liang, made the discovery as part of the "herbalome" project, an effort to catalogue all of the chemical components of traditional Chinese medicine. The Corydalis plants that were the focus of the new study grow mainly in central eastern China, where underground tubers are harvested, ground, and boiled in hot vinegar. Those concoctions are often prescribed to treat pain, including headaches and back pain.

The researchers went looking for compounds in Corydalis that appeared likely to act in a manner similar to morphine. "We landed on DHCB but rapidly found that it acts not through the morphine receptor but through other receptors, in particular one that binds dopamine," Civelli explains. The discovery adds to earlier evidence showing that the dopamine D2 receptor plays a role in pain sensation.
Advertisement

While Corydalis extracts or isolated DHCB work against all types of pain, they hold special promise for those who suffer with persistent, low-level chronic pain. For one thing, DHCB doesn't appear to lose effectiveness with time in the way that traditional opiate drugs do.

"We have good pain medications for acute pain: codeine or morphine, for example," Civelli says. "We have pain medication for inflammatory pain, such as aspirin or acetaminophen. We do not have good medications for chronic pain. DHCB may not be able to relieve strong chronic pain, but may be used for low-level chronic pain."

Although Corydalis preparations of various types can already be purchased online, Civelli and Liang say DHCB isn't ready for prime time just yet. Further testing for toxicity is needed before doctors should consider prescribing it to patients.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Printed Temperature Sensors help with Continuous Temperature Monitoring
Health Benefits of Giloy
Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 - It's time to RISE
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Drug Toxicity Quiz on Acupuncture Health Benefits of Astragalus - An Ancient Root 

Recommended Reading
Cancer Pain
Every 1 out of 3 people undergoing cancer treatment experiences pain....
Quiz on Pain
Brain surgery without anesthesia? Take this pain quiz and find answers. ......
Chinese Medicine Continues to Evolve With Time
Chinese medicine may be a couple of thousand years old but despite its popularity, especially among ...
'Toxic Ingredients' in Traditional Chinese Medicines Exposed
A DNA analysis of samples of traditional Chinese medicines has revealed that many contain ......
Drug Toxicity
Drug toxicity is an adverse reaction of the body towards a drug that results as a side effect of a d...
Health Benefits of Astragalus - An Ancient Root
Astragalus, a traditional Chinese herb has a number of health benefits, side effects and drug intera...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use