- Bei sha shen
- American silvertop root
For Patients & Caregivers
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How It Works
There is no scientific evidence to support the traditional uses of glehnia.
Scientists do not know how glehnia works. Very little laboratory research has been done with this herb, which is often used in traditional Chinese medicine. A few lab studies in mice show that glehnia has anti-inflammatory properties. It is not known if these effects occur in the human body.
Do Not Take If
For Healthcare Professionals
Derived from the root of the plant, glehnia is used in traditional medicine to treat bronchitis and fevers. It is also used in Asia to treat immune-related diseases. Laboratory studies indicate anti-inflammatory (1) (11) and antitumor properties (3) (12) (13). However, studies in humans have not been conducted.
Both pyranocoumarins as well as furanocoumarins such as imperatorin, psoralen, and bergapten have been indentified in glehnia (11) (14) (15). Theoretically, glehnia may have phototoxic effects or CYP3A4 interactions due to furanocoumarin components. Additional research is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of this botanical.
Mechanism of Action
Reports suggest that glehnia root can hemolyze blood cells, stimulate myocardial contractility, and exert antibacterial effects (8). Studies in mice demonstrated analgesic effects with glehnia root extracts (2). An intraperitoneal injection of a glehnia extract inhibited topical edema and reduced inflammation, vascular permeability, cytokine production, and neutrophil-mediated myeloperoxidase activity (1). Anti-inflammatory effects may be due to inhibition of proinflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin 1-beta via suppression of NF-kappaB- and mitogen-activated protein kinases-dependent pathways (9). Imperatorin, a compound isolated from glehnia root, blocks protein expression of inducible NO synthase and COX-2 in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages (11).
Polyacetylenic compounds extracted from glehnia fruit may have antiproliferative activity against human gastric adenocarcinoma, human uterine carcinoma, and murine malignant melanoma cancer cell lines (3).