Other Herbs

The root of Dioscorea batatas Decne or D. japonica Thunb, called Yam, has been used in TEM for the treatment of diarrhea, cough, dyspnea, leucorrhagia, frequent urination, and diabetes. It is composed mainly of starch with small amounts of mucilage, dioscin, and dopamine [14]. Dioscoreae Rhizoma was reported to have anti-senility [181] and antioxidant activities [182]. My group found that water extracts of D. japonica protected against hippocampal cell death in 4-VO of Wistar rats.

Curcumin, an active constituent of the rhizome Curcuma longa, was demonstrated to have antioxidant potential in many in vitro and in vivo studies. Curcumin has a neuroprotective effect in tMCAo [183] and bilateral common carotid artery occlusion [184] that is mediated through its antioxidant activity.

Withania somnifera, referred to as Aswagandha in the Indian system of medicine, is a central nervous system active herb that has been used for various neurological disorders. Studies with W. somnifera have indicated that it exerts an antiag-ing effect anxiolytic and antidepressant activity [185]. The other pharmacological actions exerted by W. somnifera include anti-inflammatory, antistress, hemopoietic immunomodulatory, and antioxidant effects [186-188]. W. somnifera decreased MDA levels and hemispheric lesion area in focal cerebral ischemia induced by MCAo [189].

Spiramine T is an atisine-type diterpene alkaloid isolated from the Spiraea japonica var. acuta (Rosaceae). It was shown to have neuroprotective effects on cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury produced by bilateral occlusion of the common carotid arteries in gerbils, and its mechanism might be related to reducing calcium accumulation and lipid peroxidation [190]. Spiramine T reduced the content of lipid peroxide, increased glutathione peroxidase activity, and inhibited the increase of nitric oxidase activity and NO production in the cortex during global forebrain ischemia-reperfusion in gerbils [191].

Gypenosides, saponins isolated from Gynostemma pentaphyllum, are widely used as they are thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including inhibition of inflammation and prevention of cardiovascular disease, due to antiox-idant and lipid-lowering properties [192, 193]. Gypenosides decreased injury of DNA and RNA in rat neurons in the 4-VO cerebral ischemia-reperfusion model [194]. Gypenosides suppressed NO synthesis in murine macrophages by inhibiting iNOS enzymatic activity and attenuating NF-KB-mediated iNOS protein expression, thereby invoking a mechanism by which gypenosides may exert their therapeutic effects [195].

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