Science News

Pharmacological studies prove the therapeutic effects of many active components from Chinese herbal medicine on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

Researchers from China looked at the effects of active components from Chinese herbal medicine on the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. They published their findings in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder, which not only severely reduces the quality of life for its victims but also brings a heavy economic burden to the family and society.
  • Drug treatments for the condition are often ineffective and have serious side effects.
  • Therefore, there is an urgent need for new strategies to be developed for Alzheimer’s disease treatment.
  • In this review, the researchers looked at the potential of certain compounds from Chinese herbal medicines in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
  • One of the studied compounds was ginsenoside Rg1, which is extracted from ginseng (Radix Ginseng). It exerts a gamma-secretase inhibitor effect to decrease amyloid-beta aggregation, which plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease development. It can also inhibit the programmed cell death of neuron cells.
  • Compounds tanshinone IIA, extracted from red sage root (Radix Salviae miltiorrhizae), and baicalin, extracted from the root of the Chinese skullcap (Radix Scutellariae), can inhibit the oxidative stress injury in neuronal cells.
  • Icariin, extracted from barrenwort (Epimedium brevicornum), can reduce amyloid beta levels and the hyperphosphorylation of tau protein, and can also inhibit oxidative stress and programmed cell death.
  • Huperzine A, extracted from toothed clubmoss (Huperzia serrata), exhibits a cholinesterase-inhibitor effect.
  • Evodiamine, extracted from evodia fruit (Fructus Evodiae), and curcumin, extracted from the dried rhizome of turmeric (Rhizoma Curcumae Longae), exhibit anti-inflammatory actions.
  • Moreover, these Chinese herbal medicines have multi-target effects and fewer side effects.

In sum, compounds from Chinese herbal medicines may help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

To read more studies on other Chinese herbal medicines, visit

Journal Reference:

Wang ZY, Liu JG, Li H, Yang HM. PHARMACOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF ACTIVE COMPONENTS OF CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE IN THE TREATMENT OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE: A REVIEW. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 16 November 2016; 44(8): 1525-1541.  DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X16500853

comments powered by Disqus