Herbs For Diseases Of The Urogenital System

Herbs can treat a number of diseases of the urogenital system, including acute and chronic nephritis, cystitis, FLUTD, urinary incontinence, prostate and ovarian conditions, and urolithiasis (calcium oxalate, struvite, and urate). Herbal actions of interest include the renal protective herbs that aid chronic renal disease, diuretics, urinary antiseptics, bladder tonics, antilithic herbs, and demulcents. Herbs that benefit prostate health are also discussed. Renal-tonic and protective herbs Several herbs may be beneficial for nephropathies. Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has been shown to increase plasma and muscle protein and reduce urinary output of protein by improving dysfunctional protein metabolism in glomerulopathy. It can also prevent glomerular sclerosis. In rats with experimental nephritis, large doses of oral astragalus improved renal function, thus supporting the traditional use of large doses for the treatment of chronic nephritis in people. In China, another species of Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus) and Dong guai (Angelica sinensis) have been used to treat nephrotic syndrome. Both herbs together or enalapril were administered to rats with chronic induced nephrosis and compared with control Read more […]


CARBOXYPEPTIDASE INHIBITORS act against various members of carboxypeptidase enzyme family that cleave the C-terminal residue from oligopeptides or from proteins. They can be divided into classes on the basis of their functional characteristics. These classes are dealt with separately in terms of their alternate names, notable substrates and inhibitors. Most of these are thought to correspond to the metalloproteinase class of enzyme. There are a number of enzymes of special interest in relation to their neuropeptidase actions. Dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase A (EC; angiotensin-converting enzyme; ACE; kininase II) is a much-studied zinc-metalloproteinase, cleaving the last two carboxyterminal residues of peptides. It has a wide distribution and is found in a membrane-bound form, notably on vascular endothelial cells and in plasma. Notable substrates include angiotensin I (converted to an active product, angiotensin II), bradykinin, cholecystokinin, gastrin, leucine-enkephalin, methione-enkephalin, LH-RH, neurotensin and substance P. Inhibitors include the large family of ACE inhibitors used in therapeutics as antihypertensives. Examples in clinical use include captopril, cilazapril, enalapril, fosinopril, lisinopril, Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Garlic

Allium sativum L. (Alliaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Ajo, Allium. Pharmacopoeias Garlic (US Ph 32); Garlic Delayed Release Tablets (US Ph 32); Garlic Fluid Extract (US Ph 32); Garlic for Homeopathic Preparations (British Ph 2009, European Ph 2008); Garlic Powder (European Ph, 6th ed., 2008 and Supplements 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4, British Pharmacopoeia 2009); Powdered Garlic (US Ph 32); Powdered Garlic Extract (The United States Ph 32). Constituents Garlic products are produced from the bulbs (cloves) of garlic and are usually standardised according to the content of the sulphur-containing compounds, alliin, allicin (produced by the action of the enzyme alliinase on alliin) and/or γ-glutamyl-(S)-allyl-L-cysteine. Other sulphur compounds such as allylmethyltrisulfide. allylpropyldisulfide, diallyldisulfide, diallyltrisulfide, ajoene and vinyldithiines, and mercaptan are also present. Garlic also contains various glycosides, monoterpenoids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids based on kaempferol and quercetin. Use and indications Garlic has been used to treat respiratory infections (such as colds, flu, chronic bronchitis, and nasal and throat catarrh) and cardiovascular disorders. It is believed Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Flavonoids

Bioflavonoids The flavonoids are a large complex group of related compounds, which are widely available in the form of dietary supplements, as well as in the herbs or foods that they are originally derived from. They are the subject of intensive investigations and new information is constantly being published. You may have come to this monograph via a herb that contains flavonoids. Note that the information in this general monograph relates to the individual flavonoids, and the reader is referred back to the herb (and vice versa) where appropriate. It is very difficult to confidently predict whether a herb that contains one of the flavonoids mentioned will interact in the same way. The levels of the flavonoid in the particular herb can vary a great deal between specimens, related species, extracts and brands, and it is important to take this into account when viewing the interactions described below. Types, sources and related compounds Flavonoids are a very large family of polyphenolic compounds synthesised by plants that are common and widely distributed. With the exception of the flavanols (e.g. catechins) and their polymers, the proanthocyanidins, they usually occur naturally bound to one or more sugar molecules Read more […]

Korean ginseng: Main Actions

Clinical note — Adaptogens Adaptogens are innocuous agents, non-specifically increasing resistance against physical, chemical or biological factors (stressors), having a normalising effect independent of the nature of the pathological state (original definition of adaptogen by Brekhman & Dardymov 1969). Adaptogens are natural bioregulators, which increase the ability of the organism to adapt to environmental factors and to avoid damage from such factor (revised definition by Panossian et al 1999). (Refer to the Siberian ginseng post for more information about adaptogens and allostasis.) ADAPTOGEN The pharmacological effects of ginseng are many and varied, contributing to its reputation as a potent adaptogen. The adrenal gland and the pituitary gland are both known to have an effect on the body’s ability to respond to stress and alter work capacity, and ginseng is thought to profoundly influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The active metabolites of protopanaxadiol and protopanaxatriol saponins reduce acetylcholine-induced catecholamine secretion in animal models and this may help to explain the purported antistress effects of ginseng. Ginseng has been shown in numerous animal experiments Read more […]


ACE INHIBITORS (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors) act by inhibiting the enzyme EC, variously known as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), kininase II, dipeptidyl peptidase A. This peptidase, found in vascular endothelial cells and plasma, converts, by carboxyterminal dipeptidyl cleavage, the circulating vascular hormone angiotensin from its inactive decapeptide form angiotensin I, to the active octapeptide form, angiotensin II. Since angiotensin II is a very potent vasoconstrictor, the effect of ACE inhibitors is to cause vasodilatation with an overall hypotensive effect. Such drugs can be used as ANTIHYPERTENSIVES, and also in HEART FAILURE TREATMENT. However, drugs of this class have a number of side-effects (in particular an irritating cough), some of which can be attributed to the fact that ACE inhibitors necessarily prolong the duration of action of, and so potentiate, bradykinin. This sensory nerve activator and hypotensive hormone is degraded to an inactive dipeptidyl cleavage product by the same enzyme (in the kinin context commonly referred to as kininase II). ACE inhibitor drugs were developed by modelling interaction with the active site of the enzyme of a snake-venom-derived bradykinin-potentiating Read more […]


ANTIHYPERTENSIVE AGENTS are used to reduce high blood pressure when it is raised in disease, though such drugs are not necessarily hypotensive (i.e. they may not lower blood pressure in normotensive subjects). Hypertension is an elevation of arterial blood pressure above the normal range expected in a particular age group, sex etc. It can have several different causes, which to some extent determine the treatment. Above certain values, after making lifestyle corrections, intervention with drug therapy may reduce the risk of heart attacks, kidney failure or a stroke, and may help in the treatment of angina pectoris. There are several large groups of drugs used as antihypertensives, each with a specific mode of action. DIURETICS are in common use as antihypertensives, and often a mild diuretic may be all that is required: e.g. amiloride. chtorothiazide, ethacrynic acid, frusemide, hydrochlorothiazide, spironolactone, triamterene. Beta-blockers, of which there are many, may be used if further treatment is necessary, with or without simultaneous administration of a diuretic: e.g. acebutolol, oxprenolol, propranolol and sotalol. See β-ADRENOCEPTOR ANTAGONISTS. Other antihypertensive drugs work as antisympathetic Read more […]