Withania somnifera (Ashawagandha) is very revered herb of the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine as a Rasayana (tonic). It is used for various kinds of disease processes and specially as a nervine tonic. Considering these facts many scientific studies were carried out and its adaptogenic / anti-stress activities were studied in detail. In experimental models it increases the stamina of rats during swimming endurance test and prevented adrenal gland changes of ascorbic acid and cortisol content produce by swimming stress. Pretreatment with Withania somnifera (WS) showed significance protection against stress induced gastric ulcers. WS have anti-tumor effect on Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell carcinoma. It was also found effective against urethane induced lung-adenoma in mice. In some cases of uterine fibroids, dermatosarcoma, long term treatment with WS controlled the condition. It has a Cognition Promoting Effect and was useful in children with memory deficit and in old age people loss of memory. It was also found useful in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzeimer's diseases. It has GABA mimetic effect and was shown to promote formation of dendrites. It has anxiolytic effect and improves energy levels and mitochondrial health. It is an anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic agent and was found useful in clinical cases of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis. Large scale studies are needed to prove its clinical efficacy in stress related disorders, neuronal disorders and cancers.
Chelidonium majus L. (family Papaveraceae), or greater celandine, is an important plant in western phytotherapy and in traditional Chinese medicine. Crude extracts of C. majus as well as purified compounds derived from it exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities (antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumoral, analgesic, hepatoprotective) that support some of the traditional uses of C. majus. However, herbal medicine also claims that this plant has several important properties which have not yet been scientifically studied: C. majus is supposed to have diuretic, antitussive and eye-regenerative effects. On the other hand, C. majus also has scientifically proven effects, e.g. anti-osteoporotic activity and radioprotection, which are not mentioned in traditional sources. Moreover, recent controversy about the hepatoprotective versus hepatotoxic effects of Chelidonium majus has renewed the interest of the medical community in this plant. This review is intended to integrate traditional ethno-medical knowledge and modern scientific findings about C. majus in order to promote understanding of its therapeutic actions as well as its toxic potential.
The oxidative hypothesis of senescence, since its origin in 1956, has garnered significant evidence and growing support among scientists for the notion that free radicals play an important role in ageing, either as "damaging" molecules or as signaling molecules. Age-increasing oxidative injuries induced by free radicals, higher susceptibility to oxidative stress in short-lived organisms, genetic manipulations that alter both oxidative resistance and longevity and the anti-ageing effect of caloric restriction and intermittent fasting are a few examples of accepted scientific facts that support the oxidative theory of senescence. Though not completely understood due to the complex "network" of redox regulatory systems, the implication of oxidative stress in the ageing process is now well documented. Moreover, it is compatible with other current ageing theories (e.g., those implicating the mitochondrial damage/mitochondrial-lysosomal axis, stress-induced premature senescence, biological "garbage" accumulation, etc). This review is intended to summarize and critically discuss the redox mechanisms involved during the ageing process: sources of oxidant agents in ageing (mitochondrial -electron transport chain, nitric oxide synthase reaction- and non-mitochondrial- Fenton reaction, microsomal cytochrome P450 enzymes, peroxisomal β -oxidation and respiratory burst of phagocytic cells), antioxidant changes in ageing (enzymatic- superoxide dismutase, glutathione-reductase, glutathion peroxidase, catalase- and non-enzymatic glutathione, ascorbate, urate, bilirubine, melatonin, tocopherols, carotenoids, ubiquinol), alteration of oxidative damage repairing mechanisms and the role of free radicals as signaling molecules in ageing.
IntroductionAtypical antipsychotics have significantly improved the quality of life for schizophrenic patients. Despite their beneficial effects, these antipsychotics induce weight gain, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. The aims of this study were to investigate the antioxidative activity of paraoxonase and assess lipid profile as a cardiovascular risk factor in patients with schizophrenia under long-term clozapine or risperidone treatment.MethodsThe study included 66 patients with schizophrenia under clozapine or risperidone treatment and 19 healthy control subjects. Serum paraoxonase activities against paraoxon (PON(PO)), phenylacetate (PON(PA)), dihydrocoumarin (PON(DHC)), serum Trolox equivalent antioxidant activity (TEAC), antioxidant gap (GAP), and lipid profile were determined.ResultsPON(DHC) activity was reduced in both antipsychotic drug-treated groups (clozapine 43.46 ± 1.06 U/ml, p < 0.001; risperidone 50.57 ± 1.54 U/ml, p < 0.01; control 52.27 ± 1.34 U/ml). A similar pattern was observed for the PON(DHC)/HDL-cholesterol (HDLC) ratio. On the contrary, PON(PO) and PON(PA) were increased in the treated group, but the corresponding paraoxonase/HDLC ratios were not significantly different from controls, except for PON/HDLC in the clozapine group. TEAC and GAP were only decreased in the clozapine-treated group.ConclusionsIn patients with schizophrenia, clozapine or risperidone treatment had different effects on various paraoxonase activities. The results of the present study suggest that patients with schizophrenia might be at increased risk for metabolic and cardiovascular disease related to reduced PON(DHC), TEAC, and GAP.
Chronic joint inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have in common an upsurge of inflammation, and oxidative stress, resulting in progressive histological alterations and disabling symptoms. Currently used conventional medication (ranging from pain-killers to biological agents) is potent, but frequently associated with serious, even life-threatening side effects. Used for millennia in traditional herbalism, medicinal plants are a promising alternative, with lower rate of adverse events and efficiency frequently comparable with that of conventional drugs. Nevertheless, their mechanism of action is in many cases elusive and/or uncertain. Even though many of them have been proven effective in studies done in vitro or on animal models, there is a scarcity of human clinical evidence. The purpose of this review is to summarize the available scientific information on the following joint-friendly medicinal plants, which have been tested in human studies: Arnica montana, Boswellia spp., Curcuma spp., Equisetum arvense, Harpagophytum procumbens, Salix spp., Sesamum indicum, Symphytum officinalis, Zingiber officinalis, Panax notoginseng, and Whitania somnifera.
Chronic joint inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have in common an upsurge of inflammation, and oxidative stress, resulting in progressive histological alterations and disabling symptoms. Currently used conventional medication (ranging from painkillers to biological agents) is potent, but frequently associated with serious, even life-threatening side effects. Used for millennia in traditional herbalism, medicinal plants are a promising alternative, with lower rate of adverse events and an efficiency frequently comparable with that of conventional drugs. Nevertheless, their mechanism of action is in many cases elusive and/or uncertain. Even many of them have been proved effective in studies done in vitro or on animal models, there is a scarcity of human clinical evidence. The purpose of this review is to summarise the available scientific information on these joint-friendly medicinal plants, which have been already tested in human studies: Arnica montana, Boswellia spp., Curcuma spp., Equisetum arvense, Harpagophytum procumbens, Salix spp., Sesamum indicum, Symphytum officinalis, Zingiber officinalis, Panax notoginseng, Whitania somnifera.
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