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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.86  suppl.2 Rio de Janeiro  1991 

Immunomodulating Chinese herbal medicines

Xiao-Yu Li1 

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai, China


Traditional Chinese medicine always pays close attention to the strengthening of the patient"s general resitence against illness, ther are many Chinese herbs used for thousands of years are considered as tonics. Animal experiments and modern clinica; trails have shown that quite a number herbs are immunologically active, and most of the tonics are excellent immunomodulating agents, such as polysaccharides or saponins isolated from Astragalus mongholicus, Acanthopanax senticosus and Panax notoginseng, which stimulated mactophages, promoted antibody formation, actived complement and increased T lymphocyte proliferation. Moreover, some of them were proved to be anti-irradiative and protected animals from liver intoxications. On the other hand, some anti-inflammative or anti-pyretic hervs such as Tripterygium wilfordii, Aconitum and Artemiasiae species were proved to have immunosuppressive principles, some of them were now used clinically for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, chronic nephritis, systemic lupus erythematosis and various skin disorders. Pharmacological studies revealed that they have depressant effect on most of the humoral-immunity but not on the cell-mediated immunity. Some of them stimulated adrenal cortex functions and prolonged the survival time of transplanted allograft tissues.

Key words: Astragalus mongholicus; Acanthopanax senticosus; Panax notoginseng; Tripterygium wilfordii; Aconitum; Artemisiae; immunomodulating


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