Chinese Herbs In Western View – Niu Bang Zi (Fructus Arctii Lappae) health Benefits and Side Effects

Niu Bang Zi is also known as great burdock fruit seed. The acrid bitter and cold herb has been used in TCM as antibiotic, antipyretic, anti tumor agent and to lower blood sugar and treat  influenza, swelling and pain of the throat, acute or chronic inflammation of the throat, tonsillitis, bronchitis, breast tumor, etc., as it disperses and drains Wind-Heat, expels toxins, promotes the eruption of exanthema, resolves edema, moves Qi, etc., by enhancing the functions of lung and stomach channels.

1. Phenylpropanoids
2. Terthienyl and gaiacol
3. Eremophilene
4. Fukinone
5. Petasitolone
6. β-eudesmol
7. α-amyrin
8. β-amyrin
9. Lupeol
10. Taraxasterol
11. β-sitosterol
12. β–daucosterol
13. Taraxasterol
14. Etc.

Health Benefits
1. The antitussive activity 
 In the study to investigate polysaccacharide influence on experimentally induced cough, showed that that the tested polysaccharides exhibited statistically significant cough-suppressing activity, which was noticeably higher than that of the non-narcotic drug used in clinical practice to treat coughing. The most expressive antitussive activity was observed with the polysaccharide from marsh mallow, containing the highest proportion of the uronic acid constituent. Negative influence of the tested compounds on expectoration was negligible when compared to that of codeine(1).

2. Gastroprotective effects
In the study to evaluate the effect and the possible mechanisms involved in the gastroprotective effects of a chloroform extract (CE) of the roots from A. lappa and its fractionsshow that the CE protects animals from gastric lesions by reducing gastric acid secretion via inhibition of gastric H+, K+ -ATPase(2).

3. Sexual enhancer
In the Oral administration of Arctium lappa L. roots extract at 600 and 1,200 mg/kg body weight significantly increased the frequencies of mount, intromission, and ejaculation frequency (p < 0.05), found that aqueous extract of Arctium lappa L. roots enhances sexual behavior in male rats. The aphrodisiac effects of the plant extract may be related to the presence of flavonoids, saponins, lignans and alkaloids, acting via a multitude of central and peripheral mechanisms. These results thus support the traditional use of Arctium lappa L. root extract for treating impotence and sterility(3).

4. Anti Cancers
In the study to  identify of non-toxic chemotherapeutics from herbal medicines remains to be an attractive goal to advance cancer treatments, showed that  purification of the selective cytotoxicity in the extract of Arctium lappa L. resulted in the identification of arctigenin as tumor specific agent that showed cytotoxicity to lung cancer (A549), liver cancer (HepG2) and stomach cancer (KATO III) cells, while no cytotoxicity to several normal cell lines. Arctigenin specifically inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells, which might consequently lead to the induction of apoptosis(4).

5. Anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects
In the study to examine the effect of ALBE on the release of β-hexosaminidase in antigen-stimulated-RBL-2H3 cells. We also evaluated the ConA-induced expression of IL-4, IL-5, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), and nuclear factor (NF)-κB using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and ELISA in mouse splenocytes after ALBE treatment, suggest that ALBE inhibits the expression of IL-4 and IL-5 by downregulating MAPKs and NF-κB activation in ConA-treated splenocytes and supports the hypothesis that ALBE may have beneficial effects in the treatment of allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis(5).

6. Etc.

Side Effects

1. Not to use the herb in case of  chicken pox, small pox,  qi deficiency and diarrhea.
2. Do not use the herb in newborn. children or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without first consulting with the related field specialist.
3. Etc.

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