Anti-aging effects of the traditional Chinese medicine bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang in mice

Am J Chin Med. 2000;28(1):77-86. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X00000106.


Among the "alternative medicines," which may ably supplement modern Western medicine in the treatment of certain diseases, the holistic approach and mild nature of the majority of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) may make it particularly suitable for the treatment of diseases associated with old age, as the general health of elderly patients is already compromised. The TCM formulation of bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang (B.Z.Y.Q.T.), prescribed mainly for the improvement of circulation and in particular that to the gastroenteric regions, may have anti-aging effects. In the present study, possible anti-aging effects of B.Z.Y.Q.T. were studied using normal (ICR) mice and the Dull, P/8 and R/1 strains of the Senescence Accelerated Mouse (S.A.M.). Following repeated oral administrations of B.Z.Y.Q.T. at 250 and 500 mg/kg the test mice were assessed for (1) endurance (2) learning and memory (3) neuromuscular coordination and (4) changes in the levels of monoamines in the brain. The results indicated that B.Z.Y.Q.T. improved endurance in all strains in a dose-dependent manner. At the higher dose of 500 mg/kg, it improved memory in the R/1 and P/8 S.A.M. mice. In prolonged rota-rod tests, which assessed both motor coordination and endurance, B.Z.Y.Q.T. significantly improved performance in the P/8 S.A.M. mice. Elevated dopamine and noradrenaline were observed in cortical tissues of the S.A.M./Dull and ICR mice respectively with the high dose of 500 mg/Kg, B.Z.Y.Q.T. Taken together, the results indicated that B.Z.Y.Q.T. appeared to exert anti-aging effects in mice and elevation in certain monoamines in brain cortical tissues. How and whether the monoamines changes after B.Z.Y.Q.T. treatment might be related to the behavioral effects await further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology
  • Animals
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang