In their study, the research team found that self-heal herb (Prunella vulgaris) may be used as a potential treatment for kidney diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy. This plant is popular in traditional medicine, where it's used to treat abscess, scrofula, hypertension, and urinary diseases.
The research team looked at the effect of self-heal herb on improving the symptoms of diabetic nephropathy. To do so, they used an aqueous extract of the self-heal herb to test whether it can inhibit kidney inflammation and fibrosis in cell and animal models.
Pretreatment with self-heal herb inhibited inflammatory cytokines and significantly decreased fibrosis markers such as connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and collagen IV. It also suppressed inflammatory factors such as intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). In addition, it inhibited the activation and translocation of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-?B) and significantly improved reactive oxygen species in a dose-dependent manner.
In diabetic rat models, treatment with self-heal aqueous extract significantly reduced blood sugar, blood urea nitrogen, and plasma creatinine levels. It also inhibited fibrosis-related proteins such as collagen IV and TGF-Beta1. The results of both experiments indicated that aqueous self-heal herb extract exhibits a potent protective effect against diabetic nephropathy symptoms such as inflammation and fibrosis.
Overall, the research team concluded that self-heal herb might be used as a potential treatment for kidney diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy. They published their findings in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. (Related: Diabetic? Regular exercise can reduce your risk of kidney disease.)
In addition to treating diabetic nephropathy, self-heal herb offers many other health benefits, according to some preliminary research. Here are some of them:
The self-heal herb also contains several anti-inflammatory compounds and vitamins, such as vitamin C. It is also said to stimulate the immune system. In alternative medicine, it is also used to help treat or prevent allergies, colic, headache, and sore throat.
Learn more about other medicinal plants like self-heal herb at NaturalMedicine.news.