Obesity-Depression and Prevention of Cardiovascuear Disorders

Excessive lipid induces obesity. This is a physiologically abnormal phenomenon in modern society. Obesity is closely related to excessive serum lipid. Experiments show that tea drinking plays an obesity-depressing role via an increase of fundamental metabolic rate and the degradation of fat. Investigations carried out by French, Japanese and Chinese scientists have also shown that Pu-Er tea and Oolong tea possess a significant obesity depressing effect (). Researches using different kinds of tea revealed that the serum lipid depressing and obesity depressing effects of compressed tea was greater than that of green tea and black tea (). High levels of blood cholesterol induce the deposit of lipid on the vessel wall and cause the constriction of coronary arteries, atherosclerosis and thrombus formation. It is related to the fact that tea drinking decreases the serum lipid and cholesterol level. In the past, atherosclerosis was thought to result from a level of serum cholesterol above 200dl and a relatively low level of high-density cholesterol and high level of LDL. Current views are that it is induced by the oxidation of low-density cholesterol cholesterol that leads to foci of endothelial abnormalities associated Read more […]

Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels.

Distribution Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels. (Chinese name Dang Gui) is a member of the family Umbelliferae. There are 80 species of Angelica, mainly distributed in the northern temperate zone and New Zealand. In China, there are approximately 40 species, mainly distributed in the south-west, north-east and north-west zones, e.g. in the provinces of Yung Nan, Si Chuan, Shan Si, Hu Bei, Gan Su etc. The altitude of these areas is about 1500-3000 m, the annual average temperature is 5.5-11.4°C, the annual rainfall is 500-600 mm. A few species of Angelica may be used for food, forage and medicine. The common species are A. acutiloba (Sieb. et Zucc), A. polymorpha, Maxin, A. porphyrocoulis Naxai et Kitag, A. tsinlingensis, A. sinensis etc., of which A. sinensis is the most important. A. sinensis: perennial herb (80-150 cm), leaves tridigitato-pinnate divided, petioles expand tubular sheath, flowers white compound umbel, fruit longelliptic lateral angular with wide wings. As a cultivated plant, Dang Gui (A. sinensis) is mainly produced in the southeast of the Gan Su province, China, e.g. Min Xian and Dang Chang Xian. Since 1970, Dang Gui has also been produced in Shan Xi, Si Chuan and Yung Nan provinces, the seeds, Read more […]


ENZYMES can be used in therapeutics, though in general there are difficulties in delivering them to their proposed sites of action. There are commonly serious side-effects, normally immune reactions. There have been repeated attempts to use proteolytic enzymes in therapeutics to supplement deficiencies within the gastrointestinal tract, and necessarily there are difficulties in administering such enzymes without erosion of the mouth and upper digestive tract. Some notes follow on enzymes currently used. Anistreplase is a plasminogen streptokinase activator used as a fibrinolytic agent in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction. Crisantaspase (asparaginase) is an enzyme isolated from E. coli, which is thought to have some activity as an anticancer and antileukaemic agent. Batroxobin from snake venom is a serine protease and with its thrombin-like enzyme it is a haemostatic and defibrinogenating agent, and can be used in peripheral arterial circulatory disorders. Cellulase is a concentrate of cellulose-splitting (cellulytic) enzymes isolated from Aspergillus niger. It can be given by mouth, in combination with other digestive enzymes, to aid digestion. Chymopapain is a proteolytic enzyme isolated from Carica papaya, Read more […]

Herbs For Diseases Of The Cardiovascular System

Herbs considered important for the cardiovascular system are classified according to traditional actions of cardioactive, cardioprotective, cardiotonic, and circulatory stimulants. Anticoagulants are a more modern application of herbs to cardiovascular disease and nervines and diuretic herbs are traditionally included in formulas. The diseases that are indicated for these herbs include cardiomyopathy (dilatative and hypertrophic), congestive heart failure / valvular disease, heartworm disease, and hypertension. Cardioactive herbs Cardioactive herbs are some of the most potentially toxic herbs. Many of these contain cardioactive glycosides such as Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) and Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), which are ionotropic and lead to a more efficient and coordinated cardiac contraction. Perhaps the most useful from a veterinary perspective is Bugleweed (Lycopus europaeus, L. virginicus). It does not contain cardiac glycosides but is still cardioactive. L. virginicus was recognized by the early Eclectics as an excellent sedative with properties similar to digitalis but without adverse side effects. L. europaeus may have applications in feline hyperthyroidism as well as cardiovascular disease. L. Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Cat’s claw

Uncaria tomentosa DC, Uncaria guianensis J.F.Gmel. (Rubiaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Life-giving vine of Peru, Samento, Saventaro, Una de gato. Pharmacopoeias Cat’s Claw (US Ph 32); Powdered Cat’s Claw (US Ph 32); Powdered Cat’s Claw Extract (US Ph 32); Cat’s Claw Tablets (US Ph 32); Cat’s Claw Capsules (The United States Ph 32). Constituents The main constituents of both the closely related species of cat’s claw include the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, isorhynchophylline and rhynchophylline, and the indole alkaloids, dihydrocoryynantheine, hirsutine, and hirsuteine. Quinovic acid glycosides have also been isolated. Note that there are two chemotypes of Uncaria tomentosa, one primarily containing the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids, isorhynochophylline and rhynchopylline, and one primarily containing the pentacychc oxindole alkaloids, (iso)pteropodine and (iso)mitraphylline. Use and indications Cat’s claw roots, bark and leaves have been used for gastric ulcers, arthritis, gonorrhoea, dysentry, herpes zoster, herpes simplex and HIV, and as a contraceptive. In various preclinical studies, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, immunostimulating, antimutagenic, antitumour and hypotensive Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Ginseng

Panax ginseng C.A.Mey (Araliaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Many species and varieties of ginseng are used. Panax ginseng C.A.Mey is also known as Asian ginseng. Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Oriental ginseng, Renshen. Panax quinquefolius L. is also known as American ginseng. Other species used include: Panax notoginseng (Burkill) F.H.Chen ex C.Y.Wu & K.M.Feng known as Sanchi ginseng, Tienchi ginseng and Panax pseudo-ginseng Wall, also known as Himalayan ginseng. It is important to note that Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim.) is often used and marketed as a ginseng, but it is from an entirely different plant of the Araliaceae family and possesses constituents that are chemically different. It will be covered in this monograph with distinctions made throughout. Not to be confused with ashwagandha, which is Withania somnifera. This is sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng. Not to be confused with Brazilian ginseng, which is Pfaffia paniculata. Pharmacopoeias American Ginseng (US Ph 32); American Ginseng Capsules (US Ph 32); American Ginseng Tablets (US Ph 32); Asian ginseng (US Ph 32); Asian Ginseng Tablets (US Ph 32); Eleuthero (US Ph 32); Eleutherococcus (British Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Danshen

Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge (Lamiaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Chinese salvia, Dan-Shen, Red root sage, Tan-Shen. Constituents Danshen products may be standardised according to the content of: tanshinones (diterpene quinones), tanshinone IIA and tanshinone IIB; the polyphenolic acid, salvianolic acid B; and the related compound danshensu (3,4-dihydroxy-phenyllactic acid). Other constituents include fatty-acid (oleoyl) derivatives, lithospermic acid B, and salvinal (a benzofuran) and nitrogen-containing compounds such as salvianen. Use and indications The dried root of danshen is traditionally used in Chinese medicine for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, specifically angina pectoris, hyperlipidaemia and acute ischaemic stroke, but also palpitations, hypertension, thrombosis and menstrual problems. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and for the treatment of cancer and liver disease. Pharmacokinetics Limited in vitro and animal studies suggest that danshen extracts affect the activities of various cytochrome P450 isoenzymes. However, these effects do not appear to be clinically relevant. In a study in mice, a commercial pharmaceutical extract of danshen induced the activity of the cytochrome Read more […]

Horse chestnut: Uses

Clinical Use HCSE is chiefly used in chronic pathological conditions of the veins where there is increased activity of lysosomal enzymes resulting in damage to and hyperpermeability of vascularwalls. Numerous pharmacological and clinical trials have confirmed the efficacy of HCSE (horse chestnut standardised extract) in stabilising the walls of the venous system and improving conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency. CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY There is strong evidence that HCSE is an effective treatment for chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). A recent Cochrane review that assessed 17 RCT of HCSE capsules (standardised to escin) concluded that signs and symptoms of CVI improve with HCSE as compared with placebo. Six of seven placebo-controlled trials reported a significant reduction in leg pain for horse chestnut standardised extract compared with placebo, another study reported a statistically significant improvement compared with baseline and one study reported that HCSE may be as effective as treatment with compression stockings. Pruritus was assessed in eight placebo-controlled trials. Four trials (n = 407) showed a statistically significant reduction compared with placebo and two trials showed a statistically Read more […]


ADENOSINE RECEPTOR AGONISTS act extra cellularly at receptors variously known as adenosine receptors, P1 purine receptors, P1 receptors, P1 purinoceptors, or nucleoside receptors. Adenosine receptors have a wide range of mainly inhibitory actions in the body, including cardiac slowing, a fall in blood pressure, dilation of bloqd vessels, inhibition of platelet aggregation, inhibition of intestinal movements and actions within the central nervous system. Subtypes of adenosine receptors exist — A1, A2 and A3 — which have differential sensitivities to adenosine nucleoside analogues, including 2-methylthio-AMP, 2-thioadenosine, DPMA, IB-MECA, NECA, CPA, CCPA and DPCPX. These receptors, and subtypes within A2, have all been cloned. They have structures typical of the seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled superfamily of receptors, but have amongst the shortest sequences known (A3 has only 318 amino acids), and a lack of sequence similarity with any other receptors appears to put them in a class of their own. Adenosine receptors are not sensitive to nucleotides such as ADP (adenosine diphosphate) and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which instead act as P2 receptor agonists that are nucleotide-preferring (see P2 receptor Read more […]


ANTICOAGULANTS are agents that prevent the clotting of blood. Blood coagulation involves the conversion of fluid blood to a solid gel or a clot. The formation of a clot contributes to the process of haemostasis (see HAEMOSTATICS). The formation of fibrin filament, together with the adhesion and activation of platelets, helps form the haemostatic plug, which serves to block the damaged blood vessel wall. The actual elements of the clot, insoluble strands of fibrin, are the end-product of a cascade largely involving serine protease enzymes, notably thrombin, and blood-borne proteins. A thrombus is the generally unwanted formation of a haemostatic plug or thrombus within blood vessels, often within the veins or arteries of the heart, commonly in pathological conditions associated with arterial disease or where there is stasis. The formation of a thrombus occurs only in vivo (unlike blood clots which can form in vitro). Pieces of the thrombus may break off and form an embolism, which may lodge in vessels in the lungs or brain, causing damage to the tissues supplied. Thrombolytic drugs are able to dissolve thrombi (see FIBRINOLYTIC AGENTS), whereas antiplatelet drugs are not thrombolytic drugs but diminish the adhesion of Read more […]