Published on 04-22-2015
As the liver is such an important organ to our overall health and there is such a strong focus within Chinese Medicine on proper diet and lifestyle, keeping the liver healthy is given much emphasis. There are a host of formulas that have long been shown to benefit various aspects of liver disease. Xiao Chai Hu Tang would be one of the more commonly used, Da Bu Gan Wan would be another example. This particular study looked at the affects of an herbal formula, Yin Chen Hao Tang, which is comprised of Yin Chen Hao, Zhi Zi and Da Huang. Yin Chen Hao is in many liver and gallbladder disease formulas including Li Dan Wan.
Even though we have a wealth of clinical experience utilizing many of these herbs and formulas within Chinese Medicine, studies that better understand the mechanisms are important for improved patient responses. This particular study looked at the biochemical affects of Yin Chen Hao on cholestatic liver diseases which involves the blockage of bile flow. Symptoms may include jaundice, itchy skin, foul stools, lack of absorption of other vitamins D, K and calcium - all of which are involved in conditions such as cirrhosis.
Yin Chen Hao Tang has been studied extensively previously which showed it can approve triglyceride levels and oxidative stress on the liver. The researchers in this study wanted to know about the role in chlolestatic liver injury - particularly from the anti-psychotic drug chlorpromazine (thorazine). In particular researchers evaluated the herbal formulas ability to block damage from bile acids and fatty acids.
To conduct the study researchers induced cholestatic liver damage in a rat population for 9 days and gave one group the herbal formula Yin Chen Hao Tang and the other nothing as a control. They monitored liver markers such as AST, ALT, bilirubin, and triglyceride levels, total cholesterol and LDL levels. Additionally they evaluated tissue samples to deeper evaluate tissue changes in the liver. They found that the rats who were given the herbal formula had their liver protected from injury by the formula. They concluded that Yin Chen Hao Tang "exerted a protective effect on CPZ-induced cholestasis liver injury."
These studies are important for both individuals seeking Chinese Medicine as an important alternative route to liver disease, but also as a way to find eastern and western approaches working together for good advantage. So in this case using strong western medications that can be helpful for schizophrenia as an example, but reducing or outright limiting possible liver damage from such treatments.
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