Exploring How Two Herbs Improve Blood Flow by Inhibiting Fat Conversion

David Palenski
24th January, 2024

Exploring How Two Herbs Improve Blood Flow by Inhibiting Fat Conversion

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Have you ever marveled at the intricate ballet performed by the human body's inner workings to maintain balance and health? What happens when that delicate dance is disrupted, such as when blood doesn't flow as freely as it should? The body's response to such an imbalance can lead to pain and disease, but what if an ancient herbal duo, deeply rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, could step in and restore harmony? Panax notoginseng and Salvia miltiorrhiza, two herbs celebrated in Eastern medicine, have been the stars of a fascinating scientific exploration, combined in various ratios to form what is known as the PS herb pair. What is it about this particular botanical ensemble that might hold the key to better blood circulation and the resolution of blood stasis? Could natural remedies from ages past still holds secrets that modern science is just beginning to unlock? Imagine the body as a network of streams and rivers. If a blockage occurs – a fallen log, say, or a clump of leaves – the downstream flow is impeded. In our bodies, such blockages can manifest as blood stasis, where the normal flow of blood is interrupted, leading to swelling and pain. Blood stasis is a concept well-acknowledged in Traditional Chinese Medicine, believed to contribute to various maladies. But how do we study this phenomenon in a controlled scientific manner? Researchers from the Affiliated Hospital of Integrative Medicine at Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine devised an experiment using rats. They simulated blood stasis by inducing trauma to a hind limb, creating a condition they termed traumatic blood stasis (TBS). But the real question stands: How do you test the effectiveness of PS in alleviating this condition? The rats, bearing the artificially induced stasis, were then treated with the PS herb pair in different ratios. Some received a mixture favoring Panax notoginseng, others Salvia miltiorrhiza, and yet others received equal amounts, exploring the notion - does the ratio make a difference? After five days of treatment, researchers didn't just examine the outward physical improvement; they looked deeper. The blood was analyzed using a technique called metabolomics, which, quite simply, is like taking a snapshot of the chemical fingerprints that cellular processes leave behind. By examining these fingerprints, one can infer the biochemical changes that occur in response to an intervention - in this case, the herbal treatments. The study uncovered that, indeed, these herbs conjured an impact – reducing swelling, improving blood stasis, and decreasing blood viscosity, essentially making it 'thinner' and less prone to 'sticking' or clotting. But which mixture performed best? Astonishingly, the 3:1 ratio of Panax notoginseng to Salvia miltiorrhiza not only improved physical signs of stasis the most but also showed the most substantial shift back to normal in the pattern of metabolites altered by TBS. But what exactly was at play on the microscopic level? Further investigations through targeted metabolomics – a more focused approach looking at specific biochemicals – revealed that this particular herb pair's effectiveness might be through the modulation of the metabolism of arachidonic acid (AA), a substance involved in the creation of inflammatory agents called prostaglandins. The PS (3:1) concoction was able to increase AA levels while decreasing a particular prostaglandin (PGF2-α), by influencing the genetic expression of enzymes involved in this metabolic dance. The scientific trio of enzymes – Ptgs1, Cbrl12, and Hpgd – each plays a role in converting AA to prostaglandins, and here they were, being orchestrated by the herbal pair to potentially bring balance to disrupted bodily rhythms. This study ventures beyond simply identifying an effect; it begins to decipher the mechanisms by which Traditional Chinese Medicine might exert its healing touch. But could this be a significant breakthrough in the understanding of natural, herbal interventions and their application in modern clinical scenarios? It's remarkable to consider that the knowledge of ancient practices, married with cutting-edge analytical techniques, might pave the way for future therapies. How many other traditional remedies await rediscovery through the lens of modern science? The journey of blending old wisdom with new discoveries continues, sparking the eternal question: what other mysteries of health and healing can we unravel from nature's own medicine cabinet?



Main Study

1) Study on the mechanism of Panax notoginseng-Salvia miltiorrhiza herb pair on invigorating blood circulation and eliminating blood stasis by blocking the conversion of arachidonic acid to prostaglandin.

Published 23rd January, 2024


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