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J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Apr 26;98(3):295-300.

In vitro estrogenic activities of Chinese medicinal plants traditionally used for the management of menopausal symptoms.

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Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongshan Road No. 161, Dalian 116011, PR China.


The estrogenic activity of 70% EtOH extracts of 32 traditional Chinese medicinal plants, selected according to their reported efficacy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, was assessed using a recombinant yeast system with both a human estrogen receptor expression plasmid and a reporter plasmid. Among them, 11 (34%) species proved to be active. Polygonum cuspidatum had the highest estrogenic relative potency (RP) (3.28 x 10(-3)), followed by Rheumpalmatum (3.85 x 10(-4)), Cassia obtusifolia (3.49 x 10(-4)), Polygonum multiflorum (2.87 x 10(-4)), Epimedium brevicornum (2.30 x 10(-4)), Psoralea corylifolia (1.90 x 10(-4)), Cynomorium songaricum (1.78 x 10(-4)), Belamcanda chinensis (1.26 x 10(-4)), Scutellaria baicalensis (8.77 x 10(-5)), Astragalus membranaceus (8.47 x 10(-5)) and Pueraria lobata (6.17 x 10(-5)). The EC(50) value of 17beta-estradiol used as the positive control was 0.205+/-0.025 ng/ml (RP=100). This study gave support to the reported efficacy of Chinese medicines used for hormone replacement therapy.

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