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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Dec 18;144(3):457-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.09.044. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Herbal medicines for the prevention of alcoholic liver disease: a review.

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1
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Macao, PR China.

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE:

Long-term excess alcohol exposure leads to alcoholic liver disease (ALD)-a global health problem without effective therapeutic approach. ALD is increasingly considered as a complex and multifaceted pathological process, involving oxidative stress, inflammation and excessive fatty acid synthesis. Over the past decade, herbal medicines have attracted much attention as potential therapeutic agents in the prevention and treatment of ALD, due to their multiple targets and less toxic side effects. Several herbs, such as Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cusson (Apiaceae), Curcuma longa L. (Zingiberaceae) and Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi (Leguminosae), etc., have been shown to be quite effective and are being widely used in China today for the treatment of ALD when used alone or in combination.

AIM OF THE REVIEW:

To review current available knowledge on herbal medicines used to prevent or treat ALD and their underlying mechanisms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

We used the pre-set searching syntax and inclusion criteria to retrieve available published literature from PUBMED and Web of Science databases, all herbal medicines and their active compounds tested on ALD induced by both acute and chronic alcohol ingestion were included.

RESULTS:

A total of 40 experimental studies involving 34 herbal medicines and (or) active compounds were retrieved and reviewed. We found that all reported extracts and individual compounds from herbal medicines/natural plants could be beneficial to ALD, which might be attributed to regulate multiple critical targets involved in the pathways of oxidation, inflammation and lipid metabolism.

CONCLUSIONS:

Screening chemical candidate from herbal medicine might be a promising approach to drug discovery for the prevention or treatment of ALD. However, further studies remain to be done on the systematic assessment of herbal medicines against ALD and the underlying mechanisms, as well as their quality control studies.

PMID:
23058988
DOI:
10.1016/j.jep.2012.09.044
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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