Zhen Zhu

Margarita, Pearl

Dosage

For oral administration, Zhen Zhu 10 to 30g is crushed and decocted then 1.5 to 3g of the resulting Zhen Zhu powder is taken, or processed into pills.

Toxicity

LD50 of intragastric administration of hydrolytic liquid processed from Zhen Zhu laminar powder of Hyriopsis cumingii (Lea), Cristaria plicata, and Anodonta woodiana in rats is more than 21.5g/kg, while that of peeled pearl is more than 31.6g/kg when used externally. One-week's observation shows no poisonous symptoms. (1)

Chemical Composition

Calcium carbonate; Histidine; Arginine; Threonine; Serine; Glutamic acid; Glycine; Alanine; Valine; Leucine; Cystine; Tyrosine; Aspartic acid; Phenylalanine; Methionine; Taurine. (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7)

Inorganic Chemicals

It also contains metal elements such as Al, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Na, Zn, Si, and Ti.

Precautions

For spleen and stomach deficiency-cold syndrome patients, Zhen Zhu should be taken cautiously. There has been one report that the improper administration of Zhen Zhu powder worsened the condition of a urinary bladder carcinoma patient. (8)

Pharmacology

Anti-aging and anti-fatigue effects

The hydrolytic liquid from Zhen Zhu can raise SOD activity in red blood cells and brain tissues (homogenate). It can also reduce the production of serum lipid peroxides and lower the cerebral lipofuscin level (to the level of young rats) in middle and old-aged rats. Zhen Zhu has been shown to increase the serum hemolysin levels in mice sensitized by the introduction of sheep red blood cells, as well as raise the hypoxia tolerance, extend the swimming duration, and lessen the frequency of spontaneous activity in mice, suggesting an anti-aging effect. (9) The quick-lytic pearl powder can significantly lower lipid peroxide levels, raise SOD activity and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in 15 month and 1 month old mice, which could mean that quick-lytic pearl powder could be capable of eliminating free radicals and suppressing its reaction as well as possessing anti-aging effects. (10)

Anti-oxidation

Intra-gastric administration of hydrolytic liquid from the pearl powder at doses of 50mg/kg/d, 100mg/kg/d, and 200mg/kg/d, continuously for 15 days could significantly raise the activity of whole blood GSH-Px (P

Effect on immune function and memory

In one study it was shown that oral Zhen Zhu liquid could significantly enhance the PHA (Phytohemagglutinin)-stimulated lymphocyte transformation reaction, raise the serum IgG levels and the phagocytic force of the phagocytes in the abdominal cavity, and strengthen the memory and discerning processes in mice. (11)

Effect on cataracts

The hydrolytic liquid of Zhen Zhu powder contains 18 kinds of amino acids including 8 types of essential amino acids and multiple trace elements. It is capable of protecting SOD and glutathione in the crystalline lens of rat eyes, therefore inhibiting lipid peroxides and clearing away the activated oxygen free radicals in the rat, indicating a preventive effect on cataracts. (12)

Effect on radiation

Zhen Zhu laminar powder and Zhen Zhu powder (freshwater product) can significantly relieve cobalt-radiation-induced hematopoietic impairment and extend the life span in mice, suggesting a resistant power on harmful factors and a positive effect on longevity. (13)

Effect on the central nervous system

Zhen Zhu powder can significantly raise the pain threshold, help resist caffeine-induced convulsions, and increase the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters such as 5-HT and 5-HIAA in the brains of mice, and can also suppress the electrical activity of rabbits' cerebral cortex. (14)

Effect on cardiac function

The hydrolytic liquid of Zhen Zhu can raise atrium contractility and lower the basal tension of the atrium when used in lower doses, but it will increase the tension when used in high doses. Zhen Zhu has shown no effectiveness on cardiac rhythms. Common Zhen Zhu powder has an inhibitory effect on atrium contractility, basal tension, and heart rate. Neither the hydrolytic liquid nor the common powder of Zhen Zhu had any apparent effect on aconitine-induced arrhythmias. (15)

Effect on the hyperplasia of granulation tissue

In cases of Staphylococcus aureus induced infections in rabbit's forefeet, Zhen Zhu powder was applied to the local area from the 3rd day on after the infection. The newly generated granulation tissue was used as a pathological examination. It was found that the granulation tissue of the Zhen Zhu powder group primarily contained newly generated capillaries, fibroblasts, and a few collagenous fibrils as well as some immature plasmocytes and macro phagocytes. In the control group, the newly generated capillaries and fibroblasts were fewer, and the division was not active. Also the plasmocytes and macro phagocytes found were fewer in number. Additionally, the use of Zhen Zhu powder could accelerate the growth rate of new granulation tissue at the wound surface. (16)

References

  1. Yang Yong Nian, et al. Zhen Zhu laminar powder’s preclinical toxicology test. Journal of Marine Medicinal Material. 1986;5(1):16-19.
  2. Coordinating Group. Medicinal Animals of China. Vol.2. Tianjing Science and Technology Press. 1983.
  3. Sun Jia Mei. Comparison and research on inorganic elements in three kinds of Yu Zhu Bang Zhen Zhu. China Journal of Pharmacy. 1992;27(8):469.
  4. Chen Wei Ping, et al. Analysis on hydrolytic amino acid Hyriopsis Cumingii and its lamina. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1993;16(4):32-33.
  5. Chu Xiao Lan, et al. Comparison on amino acid content in various processed Zhen Zhu. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Material. 1993;16(7):29-30.
  6. Wang Shun Nian, et al. Research on active principle of Pinctada Martensii. Journal of Marine Medicinal Material. 1985;4(1):23.
  7. Sun Jia Mei. Research on the change of metal elements’ content in Zhen Zhu with different bearing ages. Traditional Chinese Medicine Bulletin. 1988;13(1):43.
  8. Du Shun Fu. One case of worsening the conditions of the urinary bladder carcinoma patient due to improper administration of Zhen Zhu powder. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine Research. 1990;(1):25.
  9. Hu Sheng Shan, et al. Experimental research on anti-aging effects of hydrolytic liquid of Zhen Zhu. Journal of Chinese Materia Medica. 1994;25(4):203-204,221.
  10. Hong Chang Fu, et al. Experimental research on anti-aging effects of quick-lytic pearl powder. China Journal of Geriatrics. 1995;15(4):236-237.
  11. Wang Jian, et al. Oral Zhen Zhu liquid’s effects on animal’s immune function and memory. Journal of Suzhou Medical University. 1997;17(2):216-217.
  12. Gao Qiu Hua, et al. Inquiry on mechanism of prevention action on cataract of hydrolytic liquid of Zhen Zhu powder. Journal of Guangdong College Pharmacy. 1999;15(3):167-170.
  13. Xu Zhi, et al. Zhen Zhu dust’s effects on fruit fly’s longevity and mouse’s radiation. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1998;20(2):29-31.
  14. Pan Jian Xin, et al. Research on central nervous system effects of Zhen Zhu powder. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1999;21(11):596-597.
  15. Zhang Wen Yi, et al. Hydrolytic liquid of Zhen Zhu’s pharmacological effects on cardiac function. Journal of Chinese Patented Medicine. 1994;16(9):35-37.
  16. Zhang Zhe Min, et al. Animal experiment and clinical observation on Zhen Zhu powder’s effects on the hyperplasia of granulation tissue of forefoot. Journal of Beijing College of TCM. 1992;15(1):58-59.