CM NEWS – Acupuncture is able to help first time moms to better endure pain and labour duration during delivery without side effects, according to a recently published study.
In this randomized controlled trial completed in the Department of Obstetrics and , Vali Asr Research Centre for Reproductive Health, Imam Medical Complex, Tehran, Iran, 144 healthy nulliparous women in active phase were randomised into the study and control group, receiving real and minimal acupuncture, respectively. Visual analogue scale was used to assess pain. Objectives were to evaluate acupuncture effect on pain and labour duration and patients’ willingness to receive acupuncture for subsequent pregnancies.
The aim of the trial is to assess the effects of acupuncture on nulliparous women during labour with respect to pain, labour duration and maternal acceptability.
The results showed that visual analogue scale pain score in the study group was lower after two hours. Active phase duration and the oxytocin units administered were lower in the study group. Study group patients had greater willingness to receive acupuncture again. No adverse effects were detected.
The researchers concluded that acupuncture could reduce pain experience, active phase duration and oxytocin units. Patients were satisfied and no adverse effects were noted.
[Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Feb;47(1):26-30 ]
CM NEWS – A group of Chinese researchers find that a TCM herb radix linderae (wu yao, ??; aka ??????????) could be used in treating rheumatoid arthritis because radix linderae is found to be able to suppresses inflammation and protects joints from destruction.
The study was done by scientists at the Department of Pharmacology of Chinese Materia Medica, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China.
Radix linderae, the dry roots of Lindera aggregata (Sims) Kosterm., is frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine. It contains alkaloids, volatile oils and sesquiterpene esters.
What are contained in radix linderae? A nets aporphinoid alkaloid, trivially named linderaline (1), along with eight known isoquinoline alkaloids as (-)-pallidine (2), protosinomenine (3), laudanosoline 3′,4′-dimethyl ether (4), boldine (5), norisoboldine (6), laurolitsine (7), pronuciferine (8) and reticulline (9) were isolated from ethanol extract of the dried root of Lindera aggregata (Sims) Kosterm. Their structures were established on the basis of the spectral analysis. Compounds 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 were found from the plant for the first time.
In the present study, researchers investigated the therapeutic potential and underlying mechanisms of the total alkaloids from Radix Linderae (TARL) on collagen II-induced arthritis in mice.
The results indicated that TARL (50, 100 and 200mg/kg), orally administered on the same day of an antigen challenge for 20 consecutive days, alleviated disease severity in a dose-dependent manner, while it did not significantly affect body weights.
Researchers also found that the TARL treatment reduced the serum level of anti-CII IgG (IgG is the most abundant form, or class, of antibody in the blood), and suppressed the delayed type hypersensitivity.
What is hypersensitivity? Hypersensitivity refers to undesirable (damaging, discomfort-producing and sometimes fatal) reactions produced by the normal immune system. Hypersensitivity reactions require a pre-sensitized (immune) state of the host.
What is delayed type hypersensitivity? This is the only class of hypersensitive reactions to be triggered by antigen-specific T cells, which are linked to inflammation. This type of hypersensitivity is often called “delayed type” as the reaction takes two to three days to develop. Unlike the other types, it is not antibody mediated but rather is a type of cell-mediated response. T cells belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. Antigen-specific T cells provides the immune system with “memory” against past infections.
TARL also protected joint destruction based on the evidence of reducing the histopathological scores (which are the total scores based on the sum of peribronchial, perivascular, interstitial, and alveolar inflammation).
The researchers thus conclude that TARL is a potential therapeutic agent for rheumatoid arthritis that suppresses inflammation and protects joints from destruction.
[J Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Dec 13]