Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Corydalis Yanhusuo: Plant Extract For Neuropathic Pain

Today's post from sciencedaily.com (see link below) comes once again from the world of nature and shows again how much undiscovered knowledge there is yet to be found regarding plants and animals and their pain-killing properties. We've had, scorpions, spiders and snakes plus various fish, whose toxins have all been found to be powerful painkillers via their influence on the brain and now we have Corydalis yanhusuo, which is a species of genus Corydalis and a pretty common or garden herbal plant. However, research has indicated that the alkaloid dehydrocorybulbine, extracted from the roots of the plant, can be helpful in reducing neuropathic pain. Another plus is that there seem to be no side effects at all and if it's being compared to morphine, that's a pretty big plus! Slightly worrying is the fact that this is not news. The plant has been highlighted before as a possible nerve pain relief (also on this blog) but there seems to be little progress on producing it commercially. Hopefully, this won't end up in the slush pile of pharmaceutical company research projects.  Read the short article to learn more.

Corydalis yanhusuo extract for use as an adjunct medicine for low to moderate chronic pain 
Date: September 14, 2016 Source: University of California, Irvine

Root extracts from the flowering herbal plant Corydalis yanhusuo, or YHS, has widely used for centuries as a pain treatment. Yet few studies have investigated how it works on different forms of pain, and little is known about its molecular mechanisms.

In a new study, Olivier Civelli, professor and chair of pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues show how YHS effectively treats different forms of pain.

Most notably it can reduce chronic neuropathic pain which is poorly treated with common medicines. They also show that YHS seems to not lose its potency over time, as happens with many analgesics. Study results appear in one open-access online journal, PLOS ONE.

The researchers analyzed YHS pain relief properties in mouse tests that monitor acute, persistent inflammatory and chronic neuropathic pain, respectively, while in vitro tests revealed its mechanism of action as a prominent dopamine receptor blocker. Interestingly, in mice that have no dopamine D2 receptor, YHS effect is weakened in neuropathic pain.

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitters that when released from nerve cells to send signals to other nerves. It is known to be involved in reward but studies have also shown that dopamine may play a role in maintaining chronic pain, and that removing dopamine-containing cells can reduce this pain.

Additionally, the researchers found that YHS use did not lead to tolerance. They administered YHS four times over a seven-day period and measured the mice responses in acute pain, noting that YHS kept its potency while morphine lost its.

Since YHS is a dietary supplement commercially available in the United States, Civelli suggests that it might be an adjunct medicine for alternative pain treatment. "YHS is not a highly potent medicine when compared to morphine," he said. "But I would propose that it can be used for low to moderate chronic pain."

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California, Irvine. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:
Lien Wang, Yan Zhang, Zhiwei Wang, Nian Gong, Tae Dong Kweon, Benjamin Vo, Chaoran Wang, Xiuli Zhang, Jae Yoon Chung, Amal Alachkar, Xinmiao Liang, David Z. Luo, Olivier Civelli. The Antinociceptive Properties of the Corydalis yanhusuo Extract. PLOS ONE, 2016; 11 (9): e0162875 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0162875


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