Therapeutic potential of traditional chinese medicine on inflammatory diseases

J Tradit Complement Med. 2013 Jul;3(3):142-51. doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.114898.


Increased oxidative stress induces inflammation to several tissues/organs leading to cell death and long-term injury. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and autophagic regulatory functions has been widely used as preventive or therapeutic strategy in modern medicine. Oxidative stress and inflammation have been widely reported to contribute to cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation, hepatotoxicity, or sympathetic activation-induced liver inflammation, lipopolysaccharide-induced renal inflammation, and substance P-mediated neurogenic hyperactive bladder based on clinical findings. In this review, we introduce several evidences for TCM treatment including Monascus adlay (MA) produced by inoculating adlay (Cois lachrymal-jobi L. var. ma-yuen Stapf) with Monascus purpureus on lung injury, Amla (Emblica officinalis Gaertn. of Euphorbiaceae family) on hepatotoxin-induced liver inflammation, Virgate Wormwood Decoction (Yīn Chén Hāo tāng) and its active component genipin on sympathetic activation-induced liver inflammation, and green tea extract and its active components, catechins, or a modified TCM formula Five Stranguries Powder (Wǔ Lén Sǎn) plus Crataegi Fructus (Shān Zhā) on hyperactive bladder. The pathophysiologic and molecular mechanisms of TCM on ameliorating inflammatory diseases are discussed in the review.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Autophagy; Endoplasmic reticulum stress; Inflammation; Oxidative stress; Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Publication types

  • Review