Niu Huang

Calculus Bovis, Cow Bezoar

Dosage

The powder or pill can be orally taken 1.5~3g each time.

Toxicity

LD50 (mice): 479.8mg/kg (cow bezoar/intraperitoneal injection), 1.52g/kg (cholic acid/endogastric infusion), 0.33g/kg (taurine/IV injection). (1)

Chemical Composition

Calcium bilirubinate calculus; Bile acid; Bilirubin; Cholesterol; Cholic acid; Hyocholalic acid. (2)

Precautions

Exercise caution when prescribing bow bezoar to pregnant women, and to patients with deficiency of the spleen and loose stool.

Pharmacology

Effects on the central nervous system

1) Anti-convulsive effect: Taurine has inhibitory effect on convulsion that is caused by the following factors: cardiazol, ouabin, bicuculline, cocculin, carbon monoxide, aluminum oxide, 4-aminopyridine, penicillin, high-pressure oxygen, hypoxia, calciprivia, audiogenic convulsion, L-kynurenine, and other factors. (3) 2) Analgesic effect: Experiments show that administered to mice, taurine, an active component of cow bezoar, has an analgesic effect. (4) 3) Sedative effect: Various types of artificially cultured cow bezoar in Inner Mongolian are shown to inhibit the spontaneous activity of mice and prolong the duration of pentobarbital-induced sleep in mice. (5) 4) Antipyretic effect: Artificially cultured or synthesized cowbezoar has an antipyretic effect on fever reaction of rats caused by 2, 4-dinitrophenol-induced fever in rats, and can lower normal rats’ body temperature. (6)

Effects on the cardiovascular system

Cow bezoar and its active components cholic acid and bilirubin have a cordial effect on the isolated heart of frogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits. (7) Experiments on rabbits show that cow bezoar can dilate blood vessels, and that use of cow bezoar for extended periods of time can prevent rapid progress of heart failure in experimental congestive heart failure caused by aortic insufficiency, and thereby prolonging the subjects’ lifespan. In vitro experiments show that taurine can inhibit platelet aggregation, and that it can counteract myocardial ischemia induced by injection of isoproterenol and prevent many kinds of experimental arrhythmia. Taurine has an effect of reducing blood pressure in rats with spontaneous hypertension or rats with hypertension caused by desoxycorticosterone acetate. It can decrease cholesterolemia, increase high-density lipid protein, and prevent atherosclerosis. (8)

Cholagogic effect

Fed to rats at 100mg/kg, cow bezoar can relax the sphincter muscle of the biliary tract and promote bile excretion. Administered to mice, taurine has a protective effect on liver damages caused by carbon tetrachloride and can inhibit subsequent rise of ALT. (9)

Effects on smooth muscles

Experiments show that taurine can increase both the amplitude and frequency of contraction in isolated rabbit uterus. Intravenous injection of taurine can strengthen uterine contraction in rabbits under anesthesia, and this effect lasts about 30 minutes. (10)

Anti-inflammatory effect

Various kinds of artificially-cultured cow bezoar have an inhibitory effect on dimethylbenzene-induced ear inflammation and capillary permeability increase in mice, and formaldehyde-induced edema in rat paws. (11)

Effects on the blood system

Fed to rabbits, cow bezoar rabbits can increase the number of red blood cells in the subjects’ peripheral blood. Cow bezoar can accelerate the recovery of anemia caused by bloodletting in rabbits. However, excessive dosage can decrease the numbers of the red blood cell and hemoglobin. (12)

Effects on the respiratory system

Phenolsulfonphthalein excretion tests on mice and tracheal aspiration tests on rats and dogs show that artificial cow bezoar can expel phlegm. Experiments show that cholic acid and deoxycholic acid, two active components can relieve cough. (13)

Effect on endocrine

Injected into the brain of rats, taurine can increase the secretion of prolactin and stimulate the subjects’ pineal body to produce melanin. Taurine can antagonize the release of luteinizing hormone caused by N-methyl aspartic acid but has no effect on the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone. (14)

Anti-microbial effect

Cow bezoar can directly inactivate A2 virus of encephalitis B. Its inhibition index is 4.0logTCID50/0.1ml viruses inoculated to renal cells in voles and 2.67logTCID50/0.1ml in mice. Daily intra-abdominal injection of 0.1ml of 10% taurine solution 0.1ml to mice with myocarditis can prolong the subjects’ survival time. (15) , (16)

Antineoplastic effect

The inhibitory rates of artificial cow bezoar on sarcoma S37 and S180 in mice are 54.3%-72.5% and 60%, respectively. Intra-abdominal injection of a non-dialytic substance extracted from bovine bile has an inhibitory effect on sarcoma W256 in rats -- appropriate amount of the substance can cause widespread and serious necrosis of tumor cells. (17)

Effects on immune function

Administered either by endogastric infusion, intra-muscular injection or intraperitoneal injection, artificial cow bezoar can enhance the phagocytic function of mice’s abdominal macrophages. (18)

Anti-oxidation effect

1) Inhibiting lipid peroxidation: Cultured cow bezoar has an inhibitory effect on the generation of LPO in rats’ liver homogenate. (19) 2) Effect of removing free radicals of oxygen: Cultured cow bezoar has a strong effect of removing free radicals. Its 50% removal concentration is 0.03mg/ml. (20) 3) Effect of free OH radicals: Cultured cow bezoar can remove free OH radicals. Its 50% removal concentration is 0.02mg/ml. (21)

References

  1. Zhang Shu Chen, et al. The pharmacology of taurine. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1981;(11):39.
  2. Ye Feng Ge, et al. Niu Huang’s effect in counteracting lipid peroxidation. China Journal of Medicine and Drug. 1998;(2):69.
  3. Huang Zheng Liang. The pharmacology and application of cow bezoar and its components. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1985;(10):26.
  4. Zhang Shu Chen, et al. The pharmacology of taurine. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1981;(11):39.
  5. He Chun Yang, et al. The pharmacology of cultivated cow bezoar. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1988;19(5): 213-216.
  6. He Chun Yang, et al. The pharmacology of cultivated cow bezoar. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1988;19(5): 213-216.
  7. Huang Zheng Liang. The pharmacology and application of cow bezoar and its components. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1985;(10):26.
  8. Chen Chang Xun, et al. Taurine’s effects on blood platelet aggregation and experimental thrombosis. Journal of Pharmacy of Chinese Medicine. 1991;26(4):207.
  9. Yang Ji Fan, et al. Artificial cow bezoar vs. other cow bezoars: the pharmacology. Journal of Technology of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1984;(4):14.
  10. Wang Shun Nian, et al. The pharmacology and application of taurine. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1993;9(4):42.
  11. He Chun Yang, et al. The pharmacology of cultivated cow bezoar. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1988;19(5): 213-216.
  12. Jiangsu New College of Medicine (ed). Dictionary of Chinese Herbs, vol 1. Shanghai: People’s Press; 1977.
  13. Huang Zheng Liang. The pharmacology and application of cow bezoar and its components. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1985;(10):26.
  14. Huang Zheng Liang. The pharmacology and application of cow bezoar and its components. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1985;(10):26.
  15. Wang Shun Nian, et al. The pharmacology and application of taurine. Journal of Pharmacology and Clinical Application of TCM. 1993;9(4):42.
  16. Jin En Yuan, et al. The effect of natural cow bezoar and its components on encephalitis B. Journal of Chinese Materia Medic. 1983;14(12):548.
  17. Huang Zheng Liang. The pharmacology and application of cow bezoar and its components. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine Research. 1985;(10):26.
  18. Wu Tie, et al. Cow bezoar’s effect on the phagocytic functions of abdominal macrophagocytes in mice. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1984;14(2):30.
  19. Ye Feng Ge, et al. Niu Huang’s effect in counteracting lipid peroxidation. China Journal of Medicine and Drug. 1998;(2):69.
  20. Yuan Chun Lian, et al. Cow bezoar’s effect in removing free radicals. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1998;29(5):328-329.
  21. Wang Fen, et al. Cultivated cow bezoar’s effect in removing hydroxide free radicals. Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1999;26(9):426-427.