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Essential oils from traditional Chinese medicine: pharmacological activity

Herbal Essential Oils

The volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine is a characteristic manifestation of aromatic conventional Chinese medicine and has vigorous biological activity. It has been confirmed by professional research that the curative effect is exact.

The traditional application methods of the volatile oil in traditional Chinese medicine include aromatherapy, incense body, moxibustion, massage, fragrant pillow, antiseptic, etc., to drive away impurities and prevent and treat infectious diseases.

Herbal Essential Oils
Herbal Essential Oils

Classic prescriptions containing volatile essential oils of traditional Chinese medicines are widely used for various pains (head, back, shoulders, waist, hands, feet, etc.), beauty, regulating the gastrointestinal tract, soothing the mind, refreshing the mind, etc. effect.

Antibacterial and anti-drug activity

The volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine has a wide range of antibacterial activities, and a large amount of volatile oil shows good antibacterial activity against common strains such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

However, the material basis and mechanism of the antibacterial activity of volatile oils of traditional Chinese medicines are still unclear.

The researchers found that Litsea cubeba oil can destroy the cell membrane of bacteria, reduce the osmotic pressure in the cell, interfere with its normal metabolism, and cause cell death.

The antibacterial mechanism of volatile oil from Euratopseria may involve affecting the cell membrane integrity, soluble protein expression, and nucleic acid synthesis of Staphylococcus aureus.

The volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine can also improve the sensitivity of bacteria by destroying the cell membrane of bacteria, thereby inhibiting the active efflux of antibiotics of drug-resistant bacteria, achieving the effect of anti-bacterial drug resistance, and is not easy to produce drug resistance.

For example, thymol and carvacrol in oregano can act on bacterial cell membranes and change their permeability.

In addition, the volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine can also reverse bacterial drug resistance by eliminating drug-resistant plasmids, thereby exerting the advantages of drug resistance.

Studies have shown that the volatile oil of Eucalyptus Grandis can eliminate plasmids and significantly inhibit the growth of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

The study found that the volatile oil of mulberry octopus had good antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Antiviral activity

Through in vitro and in vivo experiments, it was observed that the volatile oil of Nepeta mustard can significantly reduce the titer of the lung tissue of virus-infected mice, showing an antiviral effect in vivo. 2 (IL-2) levels, inhibition of IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) secretion.

By establishing two double staining methods of SYBR/PI and CFDA/PI and applying them to the anti-Mycoplasma gallisepticum traditional Chinese medicine flow cytometry drug sensitivity test, it shows that the volatile oil of Houttuynia cordata is an effective part of inhibiting the growth of Mycoplasma gallisepticum in vitro. cellular immunity.

The volatile oil of cinnamon twig has a significant inhibitory effect on the proliferation of influenza virus H1N1, and the mechanism of action may be related to the activation of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) signaling pathway, the activation of interleukin-1 receptor-related kinase 4 (IRAK-4), and the induction of IFN-β. high expression.

Anti-inflammatory activity

The study found that the volatile oil of Artemisia argyi has an inhibitory effect on the ear swelling of mice induced by xylene, indicating that the volatile oil of Artemisia argyi has a certain anti-inflammatory activity.

The researchers also found that iron chopsticks’ volatile oil can reduce local tissue swelling in model animals, reduce capillary permeability, and inhibit granuloma proliferation in model mice. Iron chopstick’s volatile oil has good anti-inflammatory activity against acute, early, and late inflammation.

Regulate cardiovascular activity

The volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine can expand peripheral blood vessels and improve microcirculation, such as a cinnamon twig, mint, nepeta, etc.

In addition, it can also dilate or contract blood vessels by regulating the autonomic nervous system, regulating blood pressure, or playing a role in regulating cardiovascular activity by stimulating the heart, constricting blood vessels, and increasing blood pressure.

The volatile oil of the calamus can reduce the probability of elevated blood lipids in atherosclerotic rats, improve the blood rheology of hyperviscosity animals, reduce myocardial tissue damage, and have obvious protective effects on cardiovascular.

The study found that Ligusticum glutinosa, Liaoning Ligusticum, and its substitute Xinjiang Ligusticum volatile oil have different degrees of relaxation effect on rat thoracic aortic ring.

The researchers used a theoretical virtual computing model to find that the volatile oil of rose has cardioprotective effects.

Studies have found that Angelica volatile oil has a certain effect on regulating blood lipids in hyperlipidemia model rats, and can effectively repair the damage to the vascular endothelial structure.

Regulates digestive system activity

The volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine has a fragrant smell, which can stimulate the sense of smell and taste, promote the secretion of digestive juice, increase the blood flow of gastric mucosa, slow down gastric spasms, smooth muscle spasms and stimulate intestinal peristalsis, eliminate flatulence, thereby regulating gastrointestinal function.

The researchers found that Amomum volatile oil has an anti-peptic ulcer effect, which is better than ranitidine; Amomum volatile oil can increase the expression of milk ai-related peptide (PS2), affect the content of hexosamine and phospholipid in gastric mucosa and the hydrophobicity of gastric mucosa. Promote gastric ulcer healing.

Adding traditional Chinese medicine volatile oil to animal feed can stimulate the gastrointestinal mucosa of livestock and poultry, improve the activity of digestive enzymes, and promote the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The researchers added different doses of safflower oil to the pig feed. With the increase of the dietary safflower oil dose, the average daily weight gain and feed utilization rate of the finishing pigs in each group were significantly improved.

Regulate central nervous system activity

Chinese medicine volatile oil can also act on the central nervous system.

By establishing a REM sleep deprivation recovery model, the researchers found that Yizhiren volatile oil can regulate the content of neurotransmitters and up-regulate the expression in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus.

The researchers found that Chuanxiong volatile oil can increase the superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), cerebral ischemia-reperfusion model rat by improving the survival rate of cerebral cortex neurons in vitro. Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, reducing malondialdehyde (MDA) content and reducing the rate of cerebral infarction in rats play a protective effect on cerebral ischemia.

Essential oils from traditional Chinese medicine
Essential oils from traditional Chinese medicine


Chinese medicine volatile oils also have anti-allergic effects, such as Nepeta volatile oil, Qi Ai volatile oil, Xin Yi volatile oil, etc.

The volatile oil of traditional Chinese medicine also has anti-oxidation and anti-aging effects, because the volatile oil is rich in aldehydes, phenols, and their derivatives, which can provide hydrogen or electrons for free radicals, and the aromatic structure of some volatile oils can modify unpaired electrons.

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