Sheng Ma

Rhizoma Cimicifugae, Cimicifuga

Dosage

Decoction: for rising yang, 3-6g, it can be processed with honey, or cooked with wine; for removing heat and toxin, it can be used up to 15g. It may be taken raw; It can also be made into pill and power.

Chemical Composition

Cimigenol-3-O-b-D-xylopyranoside (23R, 24S); 25-O-acetylcimigenol-3-O-b-D-xylopyranoside (23R, 24S); 12-hydroxycimisine-3-O-b-D-xylopyrynoside (23R, 24S); Cimiside A; Cimigenol-3-O-b-D-pyraxylosidyl (3→1)- b-D-xylopyranoside (23R, 24S); Cimiside B; Cimicifugamide; Isocimicifugamide; Cimidahurine; Cimidahurinine; Isoferulic acid; 3-acetylcaffeic acid; Caffeicesterglucoside; Cimifugin; Cimifuginglucoside; 6-isoinosine; Cimidahurine; Cimidahurinine; D-glucose; Sucrose; Cyclo-artane-triterpenoid; Cd-S; Visnagin; Visamminol. (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7)

Precautions

Sheng Ma is contraindicated for those with floating yang due to yin deficiency, dyspnea with fullness and upward flow of qi, and advanced measles. Overdose may cause dizziness, and tremor, spasm, and contraction in the extremities.

Pharmacology

Detoxication

Methanol-based extract of Sheng Ma is effective in preventing CCl4-induced liver damages in mice, and in inhibiting increases in serum GOT and GPT. (8) , (9) Sheng Ma Gan Cao Tang (decoction) can reduce the death rate in endotoxin- and D-GALN-modeled mice, ameliorate symptoms, and lessen liver damage. (10)

Effects on immunity

Sheng Ma can suppress PHA-induced blastosis. Cimigenol xyloside does not affect cell proliferation, but it selectively suppresses endocytosis of nucleotide, and inhibits lymphocyte activation. Sheng Ma’s inhibitory effect on membrane permeability is superior to that of cytochalasin B, cortisol and triethyleneiminobenzine. Sheng Ma is also shown to inhibit the formation of antibodies. (11)

Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and analgesic effects

Sheng Ma can suppress the weight of granulomatous tissue and the amount of exudation in carrageenin-infected air sacs. It also suppresses cell proliferation and reduces cell count. (12) Sheng Ma has a bacteriostatic effect on Staphylococci aurens, E. coli, and Shigella dysenteriae. (13) Fed to mice, methanol-based extract of Sheng Ma can inhibit acetic acid-induced body twisting. (14)

Inhibiting fungal spores

A monomer isolated from Sheng Ma is shown to have an inhibitory effect on 11 fungal spores. The minimal inhibitory concentration on seven of the 11 fungal spores is 100ug/ml, and that on sporulus is 300ug/ml, indicating that Sheng Ma’s anti-fungal effect is similar to that of clotrimazole. Sheng Ma is effective in treating Microsporum gypseum-induced tinea corporis in guinea pigs, and it does not irritate normal or bruised skins in rats. (15)

Raising white cell count

Under normal physiological conditions, the decoction of Hu Zhang (Rhizoma of Giant Knotweed) and Sheng Ma cannot effect an increase in white cell count in experimental animals. In cyclophosphamide-modeled leucopenic animals with a low white cell count, however, at 55g/kg, the decoction of Hu Zhang and Sheng Ma can raise the white cell count from 6.22 ×10eg/L to 12.85×10eg/L (mainly neutrophils). (16)

References

  1. Li Cong Jun, et al. Chemical composition of the Chinese herb Sheng Ma. Journal of Pharmacy. 1993;28(10):777-781.
  2. Li Cong Jun, et al. Chemical composition of the Chinese herb Sheng Ma (II): The structure of cimicifugamide. Journal of Chemistry. 1994;(52):296-300.
  3. Li Cong Jun, et al. Xin Fan Sheng Ma (Cimicifuga dahurica (Turcz.) Maxim.)’s glycosides. Journal of Pharmacy. 1994;29(3):195-199.
  4. Li Cong Jun, et al. Chemical composition of the Chinese herb Sheng Ma. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1995;26(6):288-289.
  5. Ju Jian Hua, et al. Advances in research on cycloartane triterpenoid of the Sheng Ma family. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1999;24(9):517-521.
  6. Lin Xin, et al. Cd-S’s in vitro inhibitory effect on SIV. Journal of Chinese and Western Pharmacy. 1994;9(4):221-224.
  7. Liu Jing Min. Antispasmodic substances isolated from Xin An Sheng Ma (Cimicifuge dahurica Maxim.). Bulletin of Chinese Materia Medica. 1976;(10):34.
  8. Gao Mu Zhao, et al. Sheng Ma’s antidotal components. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol). 1984;(5):51.
  9. Jhoji Yamahara, et al. Sheng Ma’s active components in preventing CCl4-induced liver injury in mice. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol). 1986;(3):55.
  10. Kuang Zao Yuan, et al. The antidotal effects of Sheng Ma Gan Cao Tang. Journal of Guangzhou University of TCM. 1998;15(3):203-204.
  11. Zhu Nei Liang Fu, et al. Chinese Herbs and Immunity. Foreign Medicine (TCM vol). 1984;(1):47.
  12. Huang Yun. Sheng Ma’s effects on advanced inflammation. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1992;23(6):288.
  13. Hu Gui Qing, et al. The antibacterial effects of five regional Chinese herbs. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbs. 1993;(3):40.
  14. Ju Jian Hua, et al. Advances in research on cycloartane triterpenoid of the Sheng Ma family. China Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1999;24(9):517-521.
  15. Chang Zhi Qing, et al. Active components of Sheng Ma in counteracting fungal spores. Journal of Research in Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1990;3(3):26-28.
  16. Shi Rong Shan, et al. Hu Zhang and Sheng Ma’s effect in raising white blood cell count. Journal of Nanjin University of TCM. 1997;13(2):90-91.