Pharmacological effects of urinary products obtained after treatment with saiboku-to, a herbal medicine for bronchial asthma, on type IV allergic reaction

Planta Med. 2000 Oct;66(7):607-11. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8626.


To define the anti-allergic components in Saiboku-To, a herbal medicine for bronchial asthma, we examined the effects of 11 compounds found in post-administrative urine of Saiboku-To on concanavalin A-induced human lymphocyte blastogenesis in vitro and picryl chloride (PC)-induced mouse ear swelling in vivo. The urinary products of Saiboku-To were flavonoids and lignans derived from the constitutional herbs and their hydrogenated metabolites. Medicarpin derived from Glycyrrhiza glabra, magnolol and 8,9-dihydroxydihydromagnolol from Magnolia officinalis, baicalein, wogonin and oroxylin A from Suctellaria baicalensis inhibited lymphocyte blastogenesis in dose-dependent fashion with IC50 values ranging from 3.0 to 7.7 micrograms/mL, which corresponded to 20-100 times that of prednisolone IC50 (0.08 microgram/mL). Davidigenin, dihydrowogonin and dihydrooroxylin A, which are hydrogenated metabolites of liquiritigenin, wogonin and oroxylin A, respectively, had no or little effects on lymphocyte blastogenesis. Oral administration of Saiboku-To, medicarpin, baicalein, magnolol and baicalin (100 mg/kg), inhibited PC-induced ear swelling significantly by 23.5, 40.1, 30.5, 23.6 and 20.9%, respectively, though the effects were weaker than that of 5 mg/kg of prednisolone (52.9%). The results suggested that flavonoids and lignans tested in the present study were implicated in anti-asthmatic effect of Saiboku-To through suppression of type IV allergic reaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / urine
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Kampo*
  • Mice


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • saiboku-to