Abstract: For many years now, a number of Western herbs have been widely used in health food products in Japan and as pharmaceuticals in Europe. There are few or no mandated criteria concerning the quality of these herbal health food products, thus clarification is warranted. Here, we performed disintegration tests of 26 pharmaceutical and health food products containing the Western herbs ginkgo leaf and chaste tree fruit, in accord with the Japanese Pharmacopoeia. All eight pharmaceutical herbal products found in the European market completely disintegrated within the defined test time, and 11 of the 18 tested herbal products distributed as health foods in Japan disintegrated. Among the incompatible products identified in the Pharmacopoeia test, some products remained intact after incubation in water for 60 min. To ensure the efficacy of Western herbal products sold as health food in Japan, quality control, including disintegration, is therefore recommended, even though these products are not regulated under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.
Abstract: Tajikistan is a small country located in Central Asia. The mostly mountainous terrain with a continental, subtropical, and semiarid climate, is characterized by diverse flora. Many people in Tajikistan rely on medicinal plants as their traditional form of medicine to prevent and cure health disorders. Aromatic medicinal plants, in particular, have played an important role for the local people. In this review, we present a summary of the uses of 18 aromatic medicinal plants from Tajikistan and their compositions of secondary metabolites.
Abstract: Background: Whether acupuncture treatment employing multiple penetrating, skin-touch placebo, or no-touch placebo needles designed for double blinding actually do blind practitioners and patients has not been investigated. We aimed to investigate this question. Subjects: 120 patients with functional neck/shoulder stiffness but in otherwise healthy condition were randomly assigned to a treatment using four penetrating, four skin-touch placebo, or four no-touch placebo needles. Each of six acupuncturists applied four needles to four acupoints in the neck/shoulder of 20 patients. Acupuncturists and patients were asked to guess the treatment mode and their confidence in their guesses on 100 mm visual analog scales. Results: The kappa coefficients between practitioner guesses and treatment type and between patient guesses and treatment type were 0.15 and 0.44, respectively. The median score of practitioner confidence was 46.8, and no significant difference in confidence between correct and incorrect guesses was revealed for any treatment. The median score of patient confidence for correct guesses was 77.6. The kappa coefficient between practitioner and patient guesses was 0.06. Conclusions: The practitioners were blinded to the nature of treatment using the same multiple needles, but patient blinding was insufficient. Further improvement is necessary to achieve satisfactory patient blinding with these acupuncture needles.
Abstract: The Sino-Austrian High-Tech Acupuncture Research Network was founded in 2005 and has been growing ever since. The network comprises many partners from China and is highly involved in research and publication activities. This report introduces the network’s activities in the year 2014.
Abstract: Background: According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, acupuncture effects are based on the integrity function of meridians. Meridians are thought to regulate body function through the normal flow of qi and/or blood. Disturbances in this flow are thought to cause disease, and acupuncture techniques are believed to cure disease by regulating this flow. However, it is still difficult to understand the exact meaning of qi and to evaluate the activation of meridians. Thus, more and more attention has been focused on the relationship of acupuncture and circulation. Methods: In this narrative review, the authors focus on the state of the art in acupoint activation, microcirculation response, and on investigation of mast cells, based on current literature research. Results: Altogether, 52 references are cited and discussed critically. A schematic diagram of the relationship between acupuncture stimulation, changes of microcirculation and mast cells is presented as result. Conclusion: The block diagram presented in this review article shows that mast cells might play an important role in circulation response after acupoint stimulation.
Abstract: A total of 115 different plant extracts from our collection, representing 96 plant species, have been evaluated for in vitro antileishmanial activity against L. amazonensis promastigotes. In addition, the extracts were screened for cytotoxic activity against BALB/c mouse macrophages in order to assess a selectivity index. Crude extracts that showed a selectivity index (CC50 for macrophage / IC50 for promastigotes) ³ 5 or with IC50 < 12.5 μg/mL against promastigotes, a total of 28 extracts,were further screened for anti-amastigote activity. A total of 25 extracts showed promising activity against L. amazonensis promastigotes with low cytotoxic activity. Ten of these extracts showed selectivity indices, (CC50 for macrophages / IC50 for amastigotes) greater than 10 and are considered “hits”, worthy candidates for further phytochemical exploration: Conostegia xalapensis methanol bark extract, Endiandra palmerstonii bark extract, Eugenia monteverdensis acetone bark extract, Eugenia sp. “fine leaf” acetone bark extract, Exothea paniculata chloroform bark extract, Mallotus paniculatus ethanol bark extract, Matelea pseudobarbata ethanol extract, Quercus insignis ethanol bark extract, Sassafras albidum dichloromethane bark extract, and Stemmadenia donnell-smithii acetone bark extract.