The immunomodulating activity of Chinese medicinal herbs



The effect of eight different Chinese medicinal herbs (CMHs) on lymphocytes was studied in vitro using murine spleen cells. Among the studied eight CMHs, Astragalus membranaceus and Oldenlandia diffusa markedly stimulated murine spleen cells to proliferate. The responder cells for CMHs were B cells, because the response was depleted by the treatment of spleen cells with anti-immunoglobulin (Ig) antibody and complement and after purification by nylon wool column. This response was not due to contamination by lipopolysaccharide (LPS), because CMHs could stimulate C3H/HeJ spleen cells which are low responders to LPS.
CMHs enhanced the production of Ig. CMHs also enhanced the induction of allo-antigen specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. However, CMHs had no effect on natural killer cells. Furthermore, CMHs stimulated macrophages to produce interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor. The electroelution of the proteins from SDS-PAGE gel showed that the active components of Oldenlandia diffusa had an apparent molecular weight of 9-200 kD and were sensitive to pronase E and NaIO4 treatment, suggesting glycoproteins in nature.
These results suggest that CMHs have immunomodulating activity in vitro and this activity could be used clinically for the modulation of immune responses.
Y. Yoshida, M.Q. Wang, J.N. Liu, B.E. Shan, U. Yamashita. Immunomodulating activity of Chinese medicinal herbs and Oldenlandia diffusa in particular. Int. J. Immunopharmacol., 19 (1997), pp. 359–370



Bai Hua She She Cao
Oldenlandia diffusa also named Hedyotis
Property: little bitter, neutral, cold, stomach meridian, large intestines meridian, small intestines meridian
Function: clear up the heat and toxic material strongly, widely used for carbuncles caused by heat, widely used for snake bite, promote urination
At high concentration, the crude preparation of the herb had inhibitory action against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma, Jitian sarcoma, and multiple kinds of leukemic cells in vitro. However, in vivo experiments showed that this herb had no significant therapeutic effects against some transplanted tumors…However, another report claimed that oldenlandia suppressed bacteriophage and inhibited ascetic liver carcinoma cells in vitro. Daily administration of the agent at the dose of 1 mg/animal for 9 days resulted in 57.4% growth inhibition of the transplanted sarcoma in mice; signification inhibition of the nuclear division of the carcinoma cells, especially that of the mitotic cells; and in more prominent cancerous degeneration and necrosis, relative to the controls.



In the book Anticancer Medicinal Herbs, some therapies are mentioned with oldenlandia and scutellaria as main ingredients for cancers of the specified areas as indicated below. The listing by cancer site should not be interpreted as meaning that the formulation is highly specific for the cancer type, only that this is what the formula had been applied for at the hospital where it was being used:
Stomach: combine oldenlandia (90 g) and imperata (60 g) or use scutellaria (30) and imperata (30)
Esophagus, rectum, and stomach: oldenlandia (70 g) and coix (30 g); plus other herbs in small quantities
Esophagus: oldenlandia (60 g), scutellaria (60 g), cycas leaf (60 g), imperata (60 g), cotton root (60 g)
Rectum: oldenlandia (60 g), scutellaria (15 g), solanum (60 g), lonicera stem (60 g), viola (15 g)
Ovary: oldenlandia (30 g), scutellaria (50 g), solanum (50 g S. nigri; 30 g S. lyrati), turtle shell (30 g)
Pleura (metastasize to): scutellaria (120 g), taraxacum (30 g)
Liver, rectum, lung: oldenlandia (60 g) and scutellaria (60 g)
Liver: oldenlandia (60 g), scutellaria (60 g), cycis (18 g), phragmites (30 g)

Effect of Curcumin Supplementation During Radiotherapy on Oxidative Status of Patients with Prostate Cancer: A Double Blinded, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study

Curcumin PC

Radioprotective Herbs
Radioprotection is an important function in complementary oncology. Ionizing radiation (IR) therapy has been used in cancer treatment for many decades; it is used to eradicate cancer and as a palliative to relieve pain associated with metastases. In the course of treatment, radiation produces numerous biological perturbations in cells; because normal cell toxicity limits the doses used in effective treatment, approaches are designed to strike a balance between eliminating cancer cells and protecting normal tissues. The primary focus in radiotherapy is to increase DNA damage in tumor cells, as double strand breaks are important in cell death. Read more »

Current Therapeutic Role and Medicinal Potential of Scutellaria barbata in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Research


JEP Integration

Current Western research related to S. barbata is focused on cancer treatment, which corresponds to the most common use of S. barbata by TCM practitioners. Other common uses that practitioners reported included infection and inflammation, for which Beijing practitioners reported use of S. barbata more often than Nanjing practitioners (p<0.05). Hedyotis diffusa was found to be the most commonly cited herb to pair with S. barbata for cancer treatment (p<0.05). When compared to Western clinical trials of BZL101, an S. barbata extract, TCM practitioners reported using smaller doses of S. barbata in shorter durations, in combination with numerous other herbs with the goal to potentiate therapeutic efficacy and mitigate side effects. Read more »