Chuan Niu Xi

Cyathulae Radix, Cyathulae

Dosage

4.5-9g.

Chemical Composition

b-ecdysterone; Trace element titanium. (1)

Precautions

Contraindications: hypermenorrhea and pregnancy.

Pharmacology

Effects on immune activity

Research shows that, in mice, Chuan Niu Xi polysaccharides can enhance red blood cells’ phagocytic function and plaque-forming cells’ reacting ability, and increase natural killer cells’ destruction activity. But they have no significant effect on lymphocytes’ transformation rate. Chuan Niu Xi polysaccharides can increase the piebaldism formation rate of C(7)b receptor, and decrease the piebaldism formation rate of IC. These effects indicate that Chuan Niu Xi polysaccharides not only enhance red cells’ immune adhesion function, they also help red cells remove the waste compounds generated in the immune cycle. Abdominal injection of ecdysterone at 1mg/kg can increase the number of antibody forming cells in the spleen of mice immunized with sheep red blood cells. Furthermore, it promotes protein synthesis in the fibroblasts of cultured human skin. But it usually inhibits phytohemagglutinin-stimulated DNA synthesis in cultured human lymphocytes. (2) , (3) , (4)

Counteracting mutations

Alcohol-based extract of Chuan Niu Xi has no anti-mutagenic effect against 3-amino and 4-dimethyl-5H-pyrido [4,3-b] indole (Trp-P-1), but its water-based extract does. (5)

Effects on the uterus

Experiments show that Chuan Niu Xi liquid extract relaxes the uteruses of guinea pigs (both pregnant and not) and those of cats (not pregnant). It, however, induces contraction in the uteruses of rabbits (both pregnant and not) and those of cats (pregnant). (6)

Abortive effects

At the dosage of 250mg/kg, benzene-based extract of Chuan Niu Xi has a 100% abortion rate. At 500mg/kg, it has a 100% anti-implantation rate. Effect is also 100%. Ethyl acetate and alcohol-based extracts of Chuan Niu Xi also have abortive effects, but the effects are much weaker. (7)

Effects on metabolism

Ecdysterone has an assimilation effect in rats. It can increase the weight of levator ani muscles of premature castrated rats, increase the body weight of both mature and premature rats, increase the weight of their internal organs and skeletal muscles, and increase the total protein level. It also has a significant effect on carbohydrate metabolism. It can increase the levels of liver and muscular glycogen. But it has little effect on lipid metabolism. (8)

Cholagogic effects

Daily gastrolavage of ecdysterone at 5mg/kg/day for 7 consecutive days can promote bile secretion in rats. It can also change the bile composition, increasing the levels of cholic acid and bilirubin, and decreasing that of cholesterol. (9)

Lowering lipid

Gastrolavage of ecdysterone at 10mg/kg can inhibit WR-1339-induced hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia in rats. It also has an inhibitory effect on experimental arteriosclerosis in rabbits. (10)

References

  1. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  2. Editorial Committee of Chinese Materia Medica. State Drug Administration of China. Chinese Materia Medica. Shanghai: Science and Techonology Press; 1998.
  3. Li Zu Lun, et al. Journal of Chinese Medicinal Materials. 1998;21(2):90-92.
  4. Li Zu Lun, et al. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1999;15(4):26-27.
  5. Wu Ah Fu, et al. Journal of Canceration, Aberration, and Mutation. 1999;11(4):198-201.
  6. China Medicine and Technology Research Institute. Chinese Herbs (vol 1) 2nd ed. Beijing: People’s Health Press; 1979.
  7. Li Qiang Wu, et al. Journal of Xi-An Medical University. 1990;11(1):27.
  8. Aizikov MI, et al. CA. 1979;90:180683q.
  9. Syrov VN, et al. CA. 1986;105:18769d.
  10. Syrov VN, et al. CA. 1984;100:114785y.