- Glabrous greenbrier rhizome
- Tu Fu Ling
- China root
For Patients & Caregivers
How It Works
Smilax glabra has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer.
Smilax glabra is known as Tufuling in traditional Chinese medicine. The root has been used in combination with other herbs to treat various types of infections and inflammatory conditions. Laboratory studies have shown that this plant has anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. However, clinical studies have not been conducted and it is not known if the same effects would occur in humans.
Anti-inflammatory activity has been observed in rat models, but studies in humans are lacking.
Lab studies suggest Smilax glabra has antiviral activity.
Astilbin, a compound present in Smilax glabra, has been studied in rats with diabetic nephropathy. However, clinical trials are lacking.
Smilaxin, a protein isolated from Smilax glabra, stimulated immune activity in mice, but studies have not been conducted in humans.
In vitro studies suggest antioxidant and antitumor effects. However, clinical trials have not been conducted.
For Healthcare Professionals
Smilax glabra is a plant prevalent in South Asia, the rhizome of which is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various types of infections and inflammatory conditions.
In vitro and animal studies have shown that this botanical has antioxidant (1) (2), antiviral (3), renoprotective (4), immunostimulatory (5), anti-inflammatory (6) (7), hepatoprotective (16) and anticancer properties (8) (9) (10) (11) (12), but it has not been studied in clinical trials.
Smilax glabra should not be confused with Smilax officinalis, another species commonly known as sarsaparilla.
Mechanism of Action
Anticancer effects of Smilax glabra may be due to its ability to induce apoptosis (9) by upregulating Bax and downregulating Bcl2 genes respectively. Another possible mechanism is via cell cycle arrest. Studies have shown a decrease in mRNA expression of Cyclin B1 and Cdk1 (G2 regulations proteins) in carcinoma cells following administration of Smilax glabra (9).
Anti-inflammatory effects may be due to inhibition of T-lymphocyte adhesion, thereby causing a decrease in T-cell ability to express CD44 and produce TNF alpha (6).
Inhibition of transforming factor-Beta (TGF-Beta) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), both thought to induce the fibrotic process in diabetic nephropathy, was observed in HK-2 cells after astilbin exposure (4). In animal studies, the constituent astilbin demonstrated renoprotective activities in diabetic nephropathy models (4) and improved renal function as demonstrated by significant reductions in urinary volume and albumin, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine clearance. In another study, Smilax glabra exerted anticardiac hypertrophy effects by targeting inhibition of ryanodine receptor (RyR)-mediated intracellular Ca(2+) release (18).