Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Journal of complementary & integrative medicine


Abstract Background: Malaria remains a major global health concern in developing regions of the world. Homeopathy, a holistic system of medicine, has a lot to offer in protecting against malaria. Methods: In the present study, antimalarial efficacy of combination of two homeopathic drugs Chelidonium 30 and nosode 30 has been evaluated in vivo against Plasmodium berghei (P. berghei) infection using Peters 4-day test. Biochemical assays have been performed to assess the levels of hepatic and renal function biomarkers upon drug treatment using diagnostic kits. Results: The combination of the drugs demonstrated considerable in vivo antimalarial activity with chemosuppression of 91.45% on day 7. The combination also significantly (p<0.0005) enhanced the mean survival time of mice which was calculated to be 22.5±6.31 days, whereas it was 8.55±0.83 days in infected control. The increase in levels of the liver function marker enzymes tested in serum of treated mice were significantly less (p<0.0005) than those observed in infected control on day 10. The serum urea and creatinine used for assessment of renal sufficiency were slightly elevated above normal, but were statistically significant (p<0.0005) as compared to infected control. Conclusions: The study establishes the effectiveness of the combination against P. berghei in vivo along with the safety of the drugs to the liver and kidney functions of the host.

Concepts: Kidney, Statistics, Blood urea nitrogen, Liver, Peritoneum, Urea, Offal, Homeopathy


Homeopathy is a therapeutic method based on the application of similia principle, utilizing ultra-low doses of medicinal substances made from natural products. The present study has been designed to evaluate the efficacy of Cinchona officinalis (Chin.) 30C and Chelidonium majus (Chel.) 30C in combination therapy against lethal murine malaria. Five groups having twelve BALB/c mice each were administered orally with 0.2 ml/mouse/day of different drugs, and their antimalarial potential was evaluated by Peter’s 4-day test. The combination of Chin. 30 and Chel. 30 exhibited complete parasite clearance by the 28th day post-inoculation which was similar to the positive control [artesunate (4 mg/kg)+sulphadoxine-primethamine (1.2 mg/kg)] group. Both the groups exhibited enhanced mean survival time (MST) 28±0 days,whereas, the mice of infected control group survived up to 7.6±0.4 days only. The preventive and curative activities of the combination in comparison to the positive controls [pyrimethamine (1.2 mg/Kg) and chloroquine (20 mg/Kg), respectively] were also evaluated. The combination had a significant preventive activity (p<0.0005), with 89.2% chemosuppression which was higher than the standard drug, pyrimethamine (83.8%). It also showed a moderate curative activity with complete clearance of parasite in 50% of surviving mice, and enhancing the MST of mice up to 26.8±2.8 days. These findings point to the significant antiplasmodial efficacy of the combination of these homeopathic drugs against Plasmodium berghei.

Concepts: Scientific control, Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium, Apicomplexa, Cinchona, Homeopathy, Plasmodium berghei


Abstract Background: The goal of this study was to examine the effect of Virgin Argan Oil (VAO) obtained from the fruit of Argania spinosa in a model of type 2 diabetes and hypertensive rats. Neonatal diabetes was induced by a single i.p. injection of streptozotocin (90 mg/kg) 2 days after birth. To induce NO-deficient hypertension, the adult diabetic animals were treated with l-nitroarginine methylester (l-NAME) (30 mg/kg/day) given orally for 21 days.Methods: Following treatment with VAO (21 days), the hyperglycemia decreased to 1.3 ± 0.07 g/l compared with 1.92 ± 0.09 g/l (p < 0.01) in the untreated diabetic-hypertensive rats. The simultaneous administration of VAO with l-NAME prevented the increase in blood pressure during the 3 weeks of treatment. Blood pressure remained constant at 131 ± 1 mm Hg after 21 days - vs 157 ± 0.64 mm Hg in untreated animals (p < 0.001).Results: The treatment with VAO to diabetic-hypertensive rats caused a significant increase of hepatic glycogen levels (13.3 ± 1.8 vs 6.34 ± 0.75 mg/g tissue in untreated diabetic-hypertensive control group; p < 0.01).Conclusions: In conclusion, the overall findings indicate that VAO possesses antidiabetic and antihypertensive activity in n-stz/l-NAME rats. This effect may be related to its high content of tocopherols, phenolic compounds, and unsaturated fatty acids.

Concepts: Myocardial infarction, Hypertension, Insulin, Diabetes mellitus, Obesity, Unsaturated fat, Argan, Argan oil


Abstract Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a traditional Chinese medicine practice and martial art with biopsychosocial aspects. This study aimed to examine the impact of participation in TCC on multiple domains of Quality of Life (QoL) and to assess the involvement of the psychological factors of self-efficacy, Locus of Control (LoC) and Hope in these effects. A total of 68 participants from the general community (13 males and 55 females) aged between 18 and 68 (M=43.55 years) and not currently suffering from a mental or physical illness took part in the study. It was found that TCC participants, as a group, scored significantly better than those in sedentary (book club) and active (gym exercise) control conditions on Psychological and Physical QoL, and that the Physical QoL benefits of TCC continue to accrue with years of practice. The three psychological factors were shown to variously mediate (self-efficacy) and moderate (internal LoC and Hope) this latter relationship. Whilst the results bear limitations (in particular small sample sizes), it is hoped that these findings will encourage further research into TCC, and consideration of TCC as part of the range of treatment options available in community-based mental and physical health management.

Concepts: Health, Sample size, Personal life, Traditional Chinese medicine, Qi, Locus of control, Qigong, Tai chi chuan


Abstract Background: This study investigated the acute toxicity effect of aqueous stem bark extract of Lophira lanceolata and the activities of liver enzymes and other markers of organ damage in rats pretreated with aqueous stem bark extract of L. lanceolata extract and subsequently intoxicated with paracetamol (PCM). Methods: A total of 30 rats were used to determine the acute toxicity of aqueous extract of L. lanceolata stem. They were divided into six groups consisting of five rats each. The groups (A-F) were administered the increasing doses of the extract (500 mg/kg, 1,000 mg/kg, 2,000 mg/kg, 3,200 mg/kg, 4,000 mg/kg and 5,000 mg/kg) orally. The rats were observed over a period of 24 h for acute toxicity signs such as dullness, anorexia, morbidity and death. Thirty rats of mixed sexes randomly assigned to six groups (A-F) of five rats each were used for the study on the effects of L. lanceolata extract on the haematology, liver enzymes and markers of organ damage of extract-pretreated PCM-intoxicated rats. The rats in groups A-D were pretreated with 100 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg, 300 mg/kg of L. lanceolata extract and 100 mg/kg Silymarin, respectively, twice a day for 7 days. On the seventh day, all the rats in groups A-E received 1,000 mg/kg PCM (per os). Group E rats served as negative control while group F rats were neither intoxicated nor treated with the extract and served as positive control. Eighteen hours after PCM intoxication, blood samples were collected for biochemical analyses. The serum activities of these enzymes (aspartate aminotransferase [AST], alanine aminotransferase [ALT], alkaline phosphatase [ALP]) and other markers of organ damages (bilirubin and total protein) were investigated. Haematologic parameters such as packed cell volume, red blood cell count, white blood cell count and haemoglobin concentration were also determined. Results: The extract did not cause any death in all the groups even at the highest dose (5,000 mg/kg body weight). The results also showed varying degrees in the activity of the enzymes in the serum in comparison with the negative control. The mean serum ALP, ALT and AST activity of group C (rats pretreated with 300 mg/kg of the extract and 1,000 mg/kg PCM) were significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of the group E (rats intoxicated with 1,000 mg/kg PCM only). The AST and ALP activities of groups C-E rats) were statistically comparable. The serum ALT activities of group C rats were significantly (p<0.05) lower than that of group E rats but were statistically comparable (p>0.05) with the group F counterpart. The bilirubin levels were significantly (p<0.05) lower in the groups pretreated with the extract and Silymarin in comparison with the D group. The total protein and the haematologic indices were not significantly different (p>0.05) across the groups. Conclusions: This study therefore showed that the aqueous stem bark extract of L. lanceolata possesses some active constituents that have antihepatotoxic potentials.

Concepts: Hemoglobin, Blood, Red blood cell, Liver, Liver function tests, Aspartate transaminase, Alanine transaminase, Anemia


Introduction Fennel has many medicinal properties and is used in the treatment of dysmenorrhea. Given the widespread use of herbal medicine among women for menstrual problems and considering the fact that there has been no study to date about the effect of fennel on menstrual bleeding and duration of menstrual bleeding through systematic review, the present study was conducted to determine the effect of fennel on the amount (primary outcome) and duration of menstrual bleeding and its side-effects (secondary outcomes). Materials All articles, including Persian and English, with no time limit were searched for in the following databases: Medline (through PubMed), Scopus, EMBASE (through Ovid), Cochrane Library, Web of Sciences, Google Scholar, ProQuest,, SID, Magiran, Irandoc, and Iranmedex, using MeSH terms, including menstrual bleeding, menstruation, severity of bleeding, hypermenorrhea, menorrhagia, fennel, fennelin, Foeniculum vulgare, dysmenorrhea, and painful menstruation, which were searched separately or in combination. Two authors separately reviewed articles to determine the inclusion criteria, and any disagreement was resolved by reaching consensus with a third person. Results A total of 7993 articles were identified through searching the databases, of which 7327 were excluded as duplicates and 666 were screened for inclusion. Six hundread and forty six were excluded by title and abstract based on not being relevant to the review and being conducted on animals. Eventually, six articles were included in the study and four articles entered into the meta-analysis. The results from meta-analysis showed that using fennel caused a significant increase in mean menstrual bleeding in the first cycle after treatment in the intervention group compared to the control (Std. mean difference: 0.46; 95 % CI: 0.18-0.73; p = 0.001; I2 = 9 %). However, it had no significant effect on menstrual bleeding in the second cycle after treatment (Mean difference: 1.44; 95 % CI:-5.09 to 7.96; p = 0.67; I2 = 0 %). Conclusions The results of meta-analysis of four articles showed that in the first cycle after treatment, use of fennel increased menstrual bleeding in the intervention group compared to the control, but meta-analysis of two articles showed no significant difference between intervention and control groups in the amount of menstrual bleeding in the second cycle after treatment. Given the poor quality of articles, conducting clinical trials to determine the effect of fennel on menstrual bleeding appears necessary.

Concepts: Evidence-based medicine, Statistical significance, Menstrual cycle, MEDLINE, Meta-analysis, Menstruation, Menorrhagia, Fennel


Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the functional foods which contains biological compounds including gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone. Ginger has been proposed to have anti-cancer, anti-thrombotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, hypolipidemic and analgesic properties. Here, we report the effect of ginger supplementation on glycemic indices in Iranian patients with type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus, Diabetes, Insulin resistance, Vinegar, Ginger, Gingerol, Zingerone


Abstract Nutrients present in various foods plays an important role in maintaining the normal functions of the human body. The major nutrients present in foods include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. Besides these, there are some bioactive food components known as “phytonutrients” that play an important role in human health. They have tremendous impact on the health care system and may provide medical health benefits including the prevention and/or treatment of disease and various physiological disorders. Phytonutrients play a positive role by maintaining and modulating immune function to prevent specific diseases. Being natural products, they hold a great promise in clinical therapy as they possess no side effects that are usually associated with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. They are also comparatively cheap and thus significantly reduce health care cost. Phytonutrients are the plant nutrients with specific biological activities that support human health. Some of the important bioactive phytonutrients include polyphenols, terpenoids, resveratrol, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, carotenoids, limonoids, glucosinolates, phytoestrogens, phytosterols, anthocyanins, ω-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. They play specific pharmacological effects in human health such as anti-microbial, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-spasmodic, anti-cancer, anti-aging, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, neuroprotective, hypotensive, diabetes, osteoporosis, CNS stimulant, analgesic, protection from UVB-induced carcinogenesis, immuno-modulator, and carminative. This mini-review attempts to summarize the major important types of phytonutrients and their role in promoting human health and as therapeutic agents along with the current market trend and commercialization.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Health, Nutrition, Antioxidant, Chemotherapy, Lipid


Abstract Although a wide variety of cytotoxic plant extracts and phytochemicals are known to act synergistically with anticancer drug doxorubicin (D), their clinical application is hindered by safety concerns of such combination therapy. Our earlier studies showed that red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract (B), approved by Food and Drug Administration and European Union as red food color E162, reduced multi-organ tumor formations in various animal models when administered in drinking water. This led us to postulate that a long-term daily exposure to low doses of B through diet might be safe and sufficient to produce cancer chemopreventive effect in humans. Further, our recent comparative cytotoxic investigation with B and D in several human cancer cell lines indicated their potential for synergistic activity. Since B is considered safe for human use with no known toxicity, we conducted the present study to evaluate its synergistic antiproliferative activity with D against pancreatic (PaCa), breast (MCF-7) and prostate (PC-3) tumor cells of human origin. Different concentrations of B and D (0.29-290 μg/ml) and in various combinations (B:D ratio = 1:0, 1:1, 5:1, 1:5 and 0:1) were tested for cytotoxic effects against the three cancer cells. The viability of cells was assessed after 72 h incubation with various combinations of B and D using the trypan-blue staining method. The cytotoxic data were analyzed by the combination index method of Chou and Talalay to establish synergy between B and D. The results indicated that an overall positive reduction in drug concentration was achieved by D when combined with B in its cytotoxicity profile in the three human cancer cells tested. The synergistic cytotoxicity was best when the B:D ratio of 1:5 was used in PaCa cells at IC50, IC75 and IC90 dose levels and in MCF-7 cells at IC90 dose level. These results warrant further studies on the potential of red beetroot extract-doxorubicin combination in treating human cancers.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Prostate cancer, Neoplasm, Beet


Abstract Mushrooms are considered as nutritionally functional foods and source of physiologically beneficial medicines. Hericium erinaceus, also known as Lion’s Mane Mushroom or Hedgehog Mushroom, is an edible fungus, which has a long history of usage in traditional Chinese medicine. This mushroom is rich in some physiologically important components, especially β-glucan polysaccharides, which are responsible for anti-cancer, immuno-modulating, hypolipidemic, antioxidant and neuro-protective activities of this mushroom. H. erinaceus has also been reported to have anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, anti-diabetic, wound healing properties among other therapeutic potentials. This review article has overviewed the recent advances in the research and study on H. erinaceus and discussed the potential health beneficial activities of this mushroom, with the recognition of bioactive compounds responsible for these medicinal properties.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Nutrition, Fungus, Vegetarian cuisine, Edible mushroom, Edible fungi, Hericium erinaceus