Lian Zi

Semen Nelumbinis, Lotus Seed

Dosage

Oral: Decoction 6 to 15g, or made into pills or powder.
5:1 concentrated extracts: 1.25 to 3g.

Toxicity

Neferine, when administered to mice intravenously, the LD50 was 26±2.3mg/kg. (1)

Chemical Composition

Linoleum acid; Oleic acid; Palmitic acid; Linolenic acid; Myristic acid; Liensinine; Isoliensinine; Lotusine; Nuciferine; Pronuciferine; Neferine; Rutin; Hyperin; Galugeolin; b-sitosterol; b-sitosterol -n-octane acid ester; b-sitosterol palmitic acid ester; b-sitosterol-3-O-b-glucoside (V). (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7)

Inorganic Chemicals

It also contains trace elements such as Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Cd.

Precautions

It should be contraindicated for patients with abdominal distension and constipation. One case reported that there was a diarrhea recurrence induced by the seed. (8)

Pharmacology

Anti-aging effects

Lian Zi, at the dosage of 1%, can prolong the life of fruit flies by an average of 34.9%. The longest lifespan of male fruit flies was lengthened by 56.8 %. Furthermore, it caused a 53% decrease in lipofuscin levels in male fruit flies 40 days after administration. (9)

Increasing immunological effects

Wister rats were fed with fodder containing different dosages of Lian Zi. After one month, the quantity of T-lymphocytes in thymic cortex in the experimental group was higher than that of the control group, which suggested that Lian Zi had certain effects in enhancing immunity. (10)

Inhibiting contraction of smooth muscle

Neferine (a chemical component of Lian Zi) can inhibit the contraction of isolated normal and inflamed gallbladders caused by K+, with the inhibitory concentration of 50% of 120 mmol/L and 5 mmol/L respectively, which showed that the substance had strong inhibiting effects on inflammation in the gallbladder. (11) Lian Zi Xin (Plumaula Nelumbinis) can inhibit rabbit aorta ring contraction that was caused by PE, 5-HT, Histamine, and high K+. It can also inhibit the smooth muscle of the urethra in rabbits induced by PE. (12)

Effects on platelet aggregation and thrombus formation

Neferine, given via the stomach, can inhibit rat thrombus formation and the inhibiting rate on ADP, collagen and thrombase induced platelet aggregation and the rates were 55.8, 43.45, and 65.33, respectively. The substance can effectively inhibit platelet TXA2 release induced by ADP. (13)

Antiarrhythmic effect

Neferine, when given intravenously at 5mg/kg, can antagonize rabbit arrhythmia caused by adrenalin and increase the rabbit's ventricular fibrillation threshold value by electricity. It has antagonizing effects on arrhythmia in rats induced by aconitine, arrhythmia in guinea pigs caused by ouabain, and rat arrhythmia induced by the binding of the coronary artery. It can prevent the arrhythmia induced by electrical stimulation on thalamus. (14)

Effects on hemodynamics and the cardiac atrium characteristics

Liensinine (a chemical component of Lian Zi) at 3mg can transiently inhibit the hemodynamic indexes in rats and also can dose dependently inhibit the contractility of left atrium and frequency of right atrium. (15)

Others

Liensinine, in the dose range of 3 to 30mmol/L, can decrease the arterial pressure of single guinea pig cardiac muscle cells, prolonging the time-course of AP. Liensinine, in 10 and 30 mmol/L can decrease INa and ICa-L showing that it has blocking effects on sodium and L-type calcium channels, which could explain the mechanism of its antiarrhythmic effects partly. (16)

References

  1. Li Gui Rong, et al. Comparison on experimental antiarrhythmic effects of neferine and quinidine. Journal of Chinese Materia Medic. 19(5):217.
  2. Chinese Materia Medica, Shanghai Science and Technology Press, 1998.
  3. Ru Xin Nan, et al. Extraction and detection of water soluble saccharide from Lian Zi. Journal of Shizhen Medicinal Material Research. 1997;8(4):325-326.
  4. Wang Jia Ling, et al. Research on alkaloid compositions of Plumaula Nelumbinis. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1991;14(6):36-38.
  5. Xu Li, et al. Detection of alkaloid and flavonoid of Plumaula Nelumbinis. Journal of Medicine Analysis. 1991;11(6):349-351.
  6. Lou Hong Xiang, et al. Research on Chemical compositions of Plumaula Nelumbinis. Journal of Shandong Medical University. 1995;33(4):346-348.
  7. Jiang Lin, et al. Detection of trace elements of different parts of Lian Zi. Journal of Yunnan College of TCM. 1993;16(4):9-10,14.
  8. Li Qing Shi. One case of diarrhea recurrence due to the seed. Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 1980;(5):34-35.
  9. Hong Guo Cheng, et al. Lian Zi’s effects on life time of fruit flies. Journal of Modern Applied Pharmacy. 1994;11(2):14.
  10. Ma Zhong Jie, et al. Experimental research on anti-aging effects of Lian Zi. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1995;26(2):81-82.
  11. Ding Qing, et al. Neferine’s effects on isolated biliary tract smooth muscles of guinea pig. Journal of Tongji Medical University. 1996;25(4):264-266.
  12. Wang Yuan, et al. Liensinine’s effects on several kinds of smooth muscle. Chinese Pharmacology Bulletin. 1994;10(4):281-283.
  13. Huang Hong Lin, et al. The effects of combination of neferine and taurine on platelet aggregation and thrombus formation of rabbits. Journal of Pharmacy. 1995;30(7):486-490.
  14. Li Gui Rong, et al. Comparison on experimental antiarrhythmic effects of neferine and quinidine. Journal of Chinese Materia Medic. 19(5):217.
  15. Wang Jia Ling, et al. Liensinine’s effects on rat’s hemodynamics and rabbit’s cardiac atrium characteristics. Journal of Pharmacy. 1992;27(12):881-885.
  16. Wang Jia Ling, et al. Liensinine’s effects on guinea pig’s AP of cardiac muscle cell and sodium channel and calcium channel. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 2000;31(3):193-196.