Herbs and Helpers ®

Herbal Services and Solutions | Herbalist | Supplier | Herbs

   Oct 22

A popular TCM ingredient is being studied as a potential cure for various bone diseases

(Natural News) An herb commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) could be the future of preventing crippling bone diseases, according to researchers from the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine. In their study, published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the team reported that the seeds of the Chinese mallow (Malva verticillata) can prevent bone degradation, making it an ideal for treating pathological bone diseases.

“We examined whether a water extract of M. verticillata seeds (WEMV) exerts a pharmaceutical effect to regulate osteoclastogenesis or osteogenesis,” the researchers wrote in their report.

The main function of the bones is to support the body and provide it with a shape. However, like all tissues, bones are also susceptible to disease, especially as a person ages. Aside from age, lifestyle choices compound the risk of getting a bone disease – smoking and excessive alcohol consumption being the highest factors. In particular, the main types of bone problems include:

• Osteoporosis – a condition where a person has a low bone density

• Osteogenesis imperfecta – this leads to brittle bones

• Paget’s disease of bone – an illness which leaves bones weak and misshapen

Other factors, such as poor nutrition, genetics, or problems with bone growth also lead to bone diseases.

In the study, researchers acknowledged the growing interest in natural methods to address these conditions.

“Herbal medicine and natural products have recently been suggested to mitigate bone loss and ameliorate osteoporosis with fewer side effects through their ability to affect bone cells,” they explained.

This led them to study the Chinese mallow, a plant widely used in TCM. The seeds of the Chinese mallow, known as Dong Kui Zi, are known to treat conditions that affect the kidney and lactation. However, some herbal formulas have also suggested the use of Dong Kui Zi in treating ovariectomy-induced osteoporosis, stating that it can regulate bone formation and degradation. In this study, researchers obtained a water extract (WEMV) using the seeds of the Chinese mallow and tested its efficacy against symptoms of imbalance between bone formation and resorption, which is the primary cause of osteoporosis.

The results indicated that WEMV slowed down bone loss by downregulating expression markers related to resorption. According to researchers, this meant that WEMV could affect how these biomarkers work during bone resorption. In addition, the chemical constituents of Dong Kui Zi could also account for this biological process. After further examination, the team noted that arabinogalactan and peptidoglycan, which are polysaccharide found in the seeds, can mildly inhibit the differentiation of osteoclasts – cells which are responsible for bone breakdown – based on in vitro tests.

These findings add weight to claims that Dong Kui Zi can be used to treat diseases of the musculoskeletal system. In TCM, the Dong Kui Zi enhances kidney function, allowing it to nourish the bone marrow and other organs with a life essence known as kidney essence. As a person ages, however, this essence is diminished, which can lead to the deterioration of musculoskeletal function and an imbalance in bone formation.

“This study reveals the molecular mechanism underlying the effect of WEMV on osteoclastogenesis and suggests that WEMV may be a valid component of therapeutic prescriptions used in TCM to treat bone diseases caused by excess osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption,” the researchers concluded. (Related: Osteoporosis remains undiagnosed in millions of Americans; here’s how to beat the disease with nutrition, exercise and sunlight.)

Learn of more plants that support bone health by following Herbs.news today.

Sources include:




Source: Natural News

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.