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Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2004 May;26(2):299-308.

Inhibition of mast cell-dependent allergy reaction by extract of black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa).

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  • 1Oriental Hospital, Oriental Medical College of Daejeon University, Daejeon, South Korea.


Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) has been used as therapeutics for pain and inflammation in Korean folk medicine. The potential effects of black cohosh extract (BCE) on mast cell-dependent allergy reaction, however, have not been well elucidated yet. In the present study, we investigated the effect of BCE on the allergy reaction using mast cell-dependent in vivo and in vitro models. BCE showed no potential of skin sensitization in local lymph node assay (LLNA). The oral administration of BCE significantly inhibited the anti-IgE-induced passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) reaction. BCE also showed inhibitory potential on the compound 48/80-induced histamine release from rat peritoneal mast cells. In addition, BCE inhibited the IL-4, IL-5 and TNF-alpha mRNA induction by PMA and A23187 in human leukemia mast cells, HMC-1. These results demonstrated that BCE has an anti-allergic potential and it may be due to the inhibition of histamine release and cytokine gene expression in the mast cells.

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