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   Nov 18

Chinese Herbs In Western View – Huo Xiang (Herba Agastaches seu Pogostemi) Health Benefits and Side Effects

Hou Xiang is also known as Agastache or Giant Hyssop. The acrid and slightly warm herb has been used in TCM to treat weak digestion, lack of appetite, diarrhea/vomiting, dysentery, coughing, bad breath, vomiting and diarrhea, etc., as it transforms dampness, disperses Summer-Heat, stops vomiting, etc., by enhancing the functions of spleen, stomach and lungs channels.

1. Mgthyl Chavicol
3. α-β Pinene
5. Linalool
6. β-Humluene
7. Agastacho
8. Sesquiterpene
9. Pogostol
10. Etc.

Health Benefits
1. Anti-influenza virus
In the determination of the methanol extract from the leaves of Pogostemon cablin Benth. showed potent in vitro antiviral activity (99.8% inhibition at a concentration of 10 μg/mL) against influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1), according to “Patchouli alcohol: in vitro direct anti-influenza virus sesquiterpene in Pogostemon cablin Benth” by Kiyohara H, Ichino C, Kawamura Y, Nagai T, Sato N, Yamada H.(1)

2. Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities
In the investigation of the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of standardized PC methanol extract (PCMeOH) in vivo, suggested that the anti-inflammatory effect was tested by lambda-carrageenan (Carr)-induced mice paw edema. These analgesic experimental results indicated that PCMeOH (1.0 g/kg) decreased the acetic acid-induced writhing responses and PCMeOH (0.5 and 1.0 g/kg) decreased the licking time in the second phase of the formalin test. This study has demonstrated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of PCMeOH, thus verifying its popular use in traditional medicine, according to “Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of the Methanol Extract from Pogostemon cablin” by Lu TC, Liao JC, Huang TH, Lin YC, Liu CY, Chiu YJ, Peng WH.(2)

3. Maintaining the membrane fluidity of IMC
In the observation of the effects of Pogostemon cablin (Blanco) Benth. (PCB), a Chinese aromatic herbal medicine, on serum levels of nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and membrane fluidity of intestinal epithelial cells (IMC) in rats undergoing lower limbs ischemic reperfusion (I/R), showed that PCB could effectively protect the intestinal barrier function by way of maintaining the membrane fluidity of IMC through regulating the level of NO and TNF-alpha in serum, according to “[Protective effect of Pogostemon cablin on membrane fluidity of intestinal epithelia cell in ischemia/ reperfusion rats after ischemia/reperfusion].[Article in Chinese]” by Xie YC, Tang F.(3)

4. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) Scavenger
In the examination of the efficacy of Pogostemon cablin, a well-known herb in Korean traditional medicine, on ROS-induced brain cell injury suggested that Pogostemon cablin effectively protected human neuroglioma cell line A172 against both the necrotic and apoptotic cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). The effect of Pogostemon cablin was dose dependent at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 5 mg ml(-1). Pogostemon cablin significantly prevented depletion of cellular ATP and activation of poly ADP-ribose polymerase induced by H(2)O(2), according to “Pogostemon cablin as ROS Scavenger in Oxidant-induced Cell Death of Human Neuroglioma Cells” by Kim HW, Cho SJ, Kim BY, Cho SI, Kim YK.(4)

5. Anti fungal activities
In the investigation of the effects of 12 essential oils, popularly used as antifungal treatments in aromatherapy, on growth of Candida albicans, found that Mycelial growth of C. albicans, which is known to give the fungus the capacity to invade mucosal tissues, was inhibited in the medium containing 100 micro g/ml of the oils: lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), according to “[Anti-Candida albicans activity of essential oils including Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) oil and its component, citral].[Article in Japanese]” by Abe S, Sato Y, Inoue S, Ishibashi H, Maruyama N, Takizawa T, Oshima H, Yamaguchi H.(5)

6. Antimutagenic activity
In the study of the suppressive compounds of methanol extract re-extracted against furylfuramide in the dichloromethane fraction isolated by SiO(2) column chromatography and identified as 7,4′-di-O-methyleriodictyol (1), 7, 3′,4′-tri-O-methyleriodictyol (2), and 3,7,4′-tri-O-methylkaempferol (3) and three flavonoids, ombuine (4), pachypodol (5), and kumatakenin (6), isolated and identified from the dichrolomethane fraction, showed that these compounds were assayed with activated Trp-P-1, and the suppressed effects of these compounds were further decreased when compared to Trp-P-1. The antimutagenic activities of these compounds against furylfuramide, Trp-P-1, and activated Trp-P-1 were assayed by the Ames test using S. typhimurium TA100, according to “Antimutagenic activity of flavonoids from Pogostemon cablin” by Miyazawa M, Okuno Y, Nakamura S, Kosaka H.(6)

7. Etc.

Side Effects
1. Do not use the herb in newborn, children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without consulting first with the related field specialist
2. Do not use Hou Xiang in case of Yin deficiency with heat and stomach fire
3. Etc.

Soutces can be found at http://medicaladvisorjournals.blogspot.ca/2012/03/chinese-herbs-in-western-view-huo-xiang.html

For other Chinese herbs in western view, visit http://chineseherbsinnutrientsperspective.blogspot.com/2011/10/chinese-herbs-in-western-view-health.html
For other health articles, please visit

Source: Bayside Journal

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