Health Care Professional Information
Sarcandra glabra (Thunb.) Nakai, Chloranthus glaber (Thunb.) Makino
Herba Sarcandrae, Zhong Jie Feng, Glabrous Sarcandra Herb, Cao Shan Hu.
Sarcandra glabra, an herb native to Southeast Asia, has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of bruises, bone fractures, arthritis, nausea, internal pain, and cough (1). Some constituents are reported to have hepatoprotective (4) and cytotoxic (8) properties.
S. glabra inhibits growth of human leukemic cell lines (3) and is effective against chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia in mice (2). Preliminary findings suggest it may be useful in the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (3).
S. glabra extract is marketed to cancer patients to relieve fatigue and as an alternative cancer treatment. However, it has not been studied in clinical trials.
- Bone fractures
- Internal pain
- Bleeding disorders
- Cancer treatment
- Fumaric acid, flavonoids, succinic acid, volatile oils and coumarin
- Sesquiterpene glycosides: Eudesmanolide, elemanolide, lindenane, germacranolide, chloranoside
- Sesquiterpene lactones
(4) (5) (7) (8)
Mechanism of Action
An ethyl acetate extract of Sarcandra glabra was shown to inhibit the proliferation and viability of human promyelocytic leukemic HL-60 cells by arresting the cell cycle S phase via up-regulation of Bax, a pro-apoptotic factor (6). Sarcandra glabra was also shown to increase platelet production and may play a role in preventing chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (2).
Literature Summary and Critique
Sarcandra glabra has not been studied in clinical trials.
- Hocking, G.M., A Dictionary of Natural Products. 1997, Medford, NJ: Plexus Publishing, Inc.
- Zhong, L., et al., The study on effect of Sarcandra glabra on prevention and treatment of thrombocytopenia by chemotherapy. Zhong Yao Cai 2005. 28(1): p. 35-8.
- Zhang, J.Z., Clinical observation of 26 cases of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura treated with Sarcandra glaber. J Tradit Chin Med 1981. 1(1): p. 61-2.
- Li, Y., et al., Hepatoprotective sesquiterpene glycosides from Sarcandra glabra. J Nat Prod 2006. 69(4): p. 616-20.
- Feng S, Xu L, Wu M, et al. A new coumarin from Sarcandra glabra. Fitoterapia. 2010 Jan 7. [Epub ahead of print]
- Li, W.Y., et al., Ethyl acetate extract of Chinese medicinal herb Sarcandra glabra induces growth inhibition on human leukemic HL-60 cells, associated with cell cycle arrest and up-regulation of pro-apoptotic Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Oncol Rep 2007. 17(2): p. 425-31.
- Zhu LP, Li Y, Yang JZ, et al. Two new sesquiterpene lactones from Sarcandra glabra. J Asian Nat Prod Res 2008;10(5-6):541-5.
- He XF, Yin S, Ji YC, et al. Sesquiterpenes and dimeric sesquiterpenoids from Sarcandra glabra. J Nat Prod. 2010 Jan;73(1):45-50.
How It Works
Bottom Line: Sarcandra glabra has not been shown to treat cancer in humans. It may have benefits in treating certain bleeding disorders but clinical trials are needed to confirm these effects.
Sarcandra glabra is an herb used in traditional medicine for bone and joint pain and other bleeding disorders. An extract of this herb has been examined in the lab and is claimed to stop cancer cells from multiplying. However, this effect has not been studies in humans. Long term adverse effects are unclear.
Laboratory studies have shown that an extract of Sarcandra glabra can stop cancer cell division, but human data are lacking.
- Bleeding disorders
Studies done in laboratory and in animals suggest Sarcandra glabra can improve platelet count after chemotherapy. But this has not been studied in humans.
- Bone fractures and arthritis
As used in traditional medicine. Clinical studies have not been conducted in humans.
Sarcandra glabra has not been studied in humans.
Last updated: September 25, 2012