Herbal remedies used by patients, for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), include slippery elm, fenugreek, devil's claw, Mexican yam, tormentil, and wei tong ning, a traditional Chinese medicine.
Researchers from London, England, assessed the antioxidant effects of these herbal remedies in cell-free oxidant-generating systems and inflamed colorectal biopsies from patients with IBD.
It is thought that reactive oxygen metabolites produced by inflamed colonic mucosa may be pathogenic.
They also assessed the effects of antioxidant aminosalicylates (5-ASA), and compared these with the herbs.
Luminol-enhanced chemiluminescence in a xanthine/xanthine oxidase cell-free system was used to detect superoxide scavenging by herbs and 5-ASA. In addition, fluorimetry was used to define peroxyl radical scavenging, using a phycoerythrin degradation assay.
|Some herbs that should be evaluated as IBD therapies:|
- Slippery elm
- Devil's claw
| Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics |
Furthermore, chemiluminescence was employed to detect herbal effects on generation of oxygen radicals by mucosal biopsies from patients with active ulcerative colitis.
Like 5-ASA, all herbs, except fenugreek, scavenged superoxide dose-dependently.
The researchers found that all materials tested scavenged peroxyl dose-dependently.
Oxygen radical release from biopsies was reduced after incubation in all herbs, except Mexican yam, and by 5-ASA.
Dr L. Langmead, of Queen Mary's Hospital, London, said on behalf of fellow authors, "All 6 herbal remedies have antioxidant effects.
"Fenugreek is not a superoxide scavenger, while Mexican yam did not inhibit radical generation by inflamed biopsies."
"Slippery elm, fenugreek, devil's claw, tormenti, and wei tong ning merit formal evaluation as novel therapies in inflammatory bowel disease," it was concluded.