Cnidium officinale Ligusticum chuanxiong

The rhizome of Cnidium officinale Makino (umbelliferae) is one of the important traditional medicines used for the treatment of female genital inflammatory diseases. C. officinale contains a variety of volatile phthalide derivatives that have been shown to have pharmacological activities including sedative, antianemia, antifungal, smooth muscle relaxing, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anticomplement activities. Falcarindiol (1,9-Heptadecadiene-4, 6-diyne-3, 8-diol), which was isolated from C. officinale, and the ethyl acetate-soluble fraction of C. officinale reduced NO production and suppressed iNOS expression in BV-2 cells and primary microglia cells. The inhibition of excessive NO production played an important role in neuronal cell death in LPS-treated rat hippocampal slice cultures [83, 84].

The rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. has also been used in TCM for the same applications as C. officnale. L. chuanxiong inhibited platelet activation in bilateral common carotid artery occlusion (BCAo) in rabbits and corrected the TXA2-PGI2 imbalance in plasma after cerebral ischemia [85]. L. chuanxiong reduced cell damage-formation of peroxidation products after bilateral ligation of the common carotid arteries in rats [86]. Tetramethylpyrazine, a drug originally isolated from the rhizome of L. chuanxiong, has been used routinely in China for the treatment of stroke and angina pectoris. Tetramethylpyrazine has therapeutic potential for the treatment of dementia caused by cholinergic dysfunction and/or decrease of cerebral blood flow. Tetramethylpyrazine pretreatment showed a neuroprotective effect on cerebral ischemia in gerbils [87].

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