Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for thousands of years and continues to be widely used today. One of the key components found in many traditional Chinese medicine formulations is oxymatrine. As research on natural and herbal remedies expands, understanding the uses and potential benefits of oxymatrine is becoming increasingly important.
Introduction to Oxymatrine
Oxymatrine is a type of alkaloid emulsion that comes from the roots, stems, and leaves of the Sophora flavescens factory, also known as Ku Shen. This evanescent shrub has been used in traditional Chinese drug for over 2,000 times to treat a variety of health conditions. Oxymatrine is uprooted from Sophora flavescens and has been shown to haveanti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, and vulnerable- regulating parcels in laboratory studies. Understanding what oxymatrine is, where it comes from, and how it has been used historically can give lesser sapience into its numerous implicit medicinal benefits.
What is Oxymatrine?
Oxymatrine, also known as matrine N-oxide, is a quinolizidine alkaloid. Its molecular formula is C15H24N2O and it has a molecular weight of 264.36 g/mol. Oxymatrine has a tetracyclic structure and contains several hydroxyl, carbonyl, amine, and ether functional groups. It appears as a fine crystalline powder that is white to pale yellow in color.
Sophora flavescens contains several related alkaloids including matrine, sophocarpine, sophoramine, and oxymatrine. The roots of Sophora flavescens undergo an extraction process using ethanol to obtain oxymatrine. Oxymatrine can then be purified from the crude extract through techniques like recrystallization and chromatographic separation. The total oxymatrine content in Sophora flavescens can range from 0.5% to 2.5% by weight.
Traditional Uses of Oxymatrine
In traditional Chinese medicine, Sophora flavescens and its extracted compounds have been used to treat fever, inflammation, cancer, viral infections, skin conditions, and cardiac arrhythmias. Oxymatrine specifically has been used to reduce heat, dry dampness, and calm adverse ascendant Qi according to traditional Chinese medicine principles.
Some of the traditional uses of oxymatrine include:
- Alleviating pain and reducing swelling associated with skin infections and boils
- Soothing skin irritation and lesions in conditions like eczema
- Treating diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues
- Promoting skin wound healing
- Combatting hepatitis viruses
- Killing parasites like schistosomiasis
- Preventing miscarriage
- Regulating heart rhythm problems
Oxymatrine has been consumed orally in powder or capsule form as well as used topically in traditional Chinese medicine. The reported medicinal properties of oxymatrine in ancient Chinese texts helped contribute to its continued study and use.
Modern Research on Oxymatrine
In recent decades, there has been growing scientific interest in assessing the pharmacological goods of oxymatrine. Studies have shown that oxymatrine showsanti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, analgesic, and immunosuppressive parcels. Some of the conditions oxymatrine is being investigated for include:
- Hepatitis B and C - Oxymatrine may inhibit viral replication and improve liver function. In one study, oxymatrine was as effective as the antiviral lamivudine in treating hepatitis B.
- Cancer- Oxymatrine has shown antiproliferative goods against certain cancer cell lines in laboratory studies. It may inhibit cancer cell migration, induce apoptosis, and enhance the goods of chemotherapy medicines.
-Non-alcoholic adipose liver complaint( NAFLD)- Beast studies indicate oxymatrine can reduce fat accumulation in the liver and cover against liver fibrosis frequently associated with NAFLD.
- Heart complaint- Oxymatrine may cover against myocardial ischemia- reperfusion injury and reduce myocardial infarct size in beast models.
- Skin infections Oxymatrine shows broad antimicrobial exertion against colorful bacterial and fungal pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.
- Autoimmune conditions- The immunosuppressive goods of oxymatrine may be salutary for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and skin disinclinations.
Compared to similar herbal alkaloids like matrine, oxymatrine possesses greater absorption and bioavailability. The structural differences between matrine and oxymatrine appear to enhance oxymatrine's medicinal effects.
Safety Profile of Oxymatrine
Numerous animal studies have shown oxymatrine to have low toxicity and most adverse effects in humans have been mild. However, there is still limited data from large human trials on the safety of oxymatrine. Some of the side effects linked to oxymatrine include:
- Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
- Allergic reactions such as skin rash, itching
- Dizziness, headache
- Changes in heart rhythm
Oxymatrine should be used cautiously in individuals with heart conditions or those taking medications that affect heart rhythm. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also avoid oxymatrine due to lack of safety data. Oxymatrine may potentially interact with drugs metabolized by the liver so caution is advised when combining it with certain medications. As with any herbal supplement, it's important to consult your healthcare provider before taking oxymatrine.
Proper Dosage and Usage
There is currently no standardized recommended dosage for oxymatrine. Doses used in research studies range widely from 60 to 600 mg taken one to three times daily. Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners often prescribe doses of 100-200 mg. The dosage required can vary substantially depending on the condition being treated and individual factors.
Oxymatrine is available over-the-counter as oral capsules, liquid extracts, powder, and injectable formulations. It should be taken with food to minimize possible stomach upset. Oxymatrine should not be used for the long term without periodic breaks in consumption. It is critical to speak with a knowledgeable practitioner to determine the appropriate oxymatrine dosage and duration of use for your specific health needs.
Availability and Access to Oxymatrine
Oxymatrine derived from Sophora flavescens is available as an oral supplement from various online retailers and in some specialized herbal medicine or supplement stores. There are currently no regulations restricting oxymatrine purchase in the United States and many other countries. However, oxymatrine is prohibited for medical use in its native China. Consulting a doctor knowledgeable in Chinese medicine is recommended when considering oxymatrine therapy.
Additional Key Facts About Oxymatrine
- Oxymatrine comes from the roots, stems, leaves, and flowers of Sophora flavescens. This Chinese herb is also known as Ku Shen.
- The molecular composition of oxymatrine consists of C15H24N2O with a molar mass of 264.36 g/mol.
- The CAS Registry Number for oxymatrine is 16837-52-8.
- In addition to its traditional Chinese medicine uses, oxymatrine is under investigation for treating cancer, hepatitis, liver disease, skin infections, and more.
- Oxymatrine and matrine come from the same source plant and share structural similarities but oxymatrine possesses greater bioavailability.
- Reported side effects of oxymatrine include gastrointestinal distress, headache, dizziness, rash, and heart rhythm changes.
Oxymatrine is a unique tetracyclic quinolizidine alkaloid compound extracted from the Chinese herb Sophora flavescens. It has been used traditionally for over 2,000 times to treat a variety of health conditions. ultramodern exploration indicates oxymatrine has broad pharmacological goods that may be salutary for certain conditions. However, larger human studies are still needed to validate many of oxymatrine's proposed uses. When used appropriately under medical supervision and at suitable dosages, oxymatrine may have potential as an alternative and complementary therapy. Patients should discuss the risks and benefits of oxymatrine with a knowledgeable healthcare professional before use.
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