A literature survey was conducted on herbs, their preparations and ingredients with reported liver protection activities, in which a total of 274 different species and hundreds of active ingredients have been examined.
A literature survey was conducted on herbs, their preparations and ingredients with reported liver protection activities, in which a total of 274 different species and hundreds of active ingredients have been examined. These ingredients can be roughly classified into two categories according to their activities: (1) the main ingredients, such as silybin, osthole, coumarin, glycyrrhizin, saikosaponin A, schisandrin A, flavonoids; and (2) supporting substances, such as sugars, amino acids, resins, tannins and volatile oil.
Among them, some active ingredients have hepatoprotective activities (e.g. anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, immunomodulating and liver cirrhosis-regulating effects). Calculation of physicochemical parameters indicates that the main ingredients with negative and positive Elumo values possibly display their hepatoprotective effects through different mechanisms, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects. As the combination of herbs may achieve some treatment effects synergistically and/or additively, it is common in Chinese medicine to use mixtures of various medicinal herbs with pharmacologically active compounds to have synergistic and/or additive effects, or to reduce harmful effects of some pharmacologically active compounds. In particular, the active compounds with Clog P around 2 are suitable for passive transport across membranes and accessible to the target sites. Thus, Elumo and Clog P values are good indicators among the calculated parameters.
Seven different physicochemical parameters (MW, Clog P, CMR, μ, Ehomo, Elumo and Hf) and four major biological activities (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral/antitumor and immunomodulating) are discussed in this review. It is hoped that the discussion may provide some leads in the development of new hepatoprotective drugs.
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Chin Med. 2007; 2: 5.
Published online 2007 May 10. doi: 10.1186/1749-8546-2-5.
© 2007 Wang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Articles from Chinese Medicine are provided courtesy of BioMed Central