(Natural News) Researchers at Mahatma Gandhi University in India evaluated the immunomodulatory effects of extracts derived from the heartwood of Acacia catechu, also known as black cutch. They reported their findings in an article published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.
- A. catechu is widely used in Ayurveda to treat a variety of diseases. Its heartwood extract is a natural remedy for asthma, cough, bronchitis, colic, diarrhea, boils, skin afflictions, sores and stomatitis.
- In the south of India, especially in Kerala, a decoction made with A. catechu‘s heartwood is also used as medicine.
- The researchers investigated the in vivo immunomodulatory activity of A. catechu heartwood extract using hemagglutinating antibody (HA) titer, plaque forming cell assay and delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) skin testing.
- They used peritoneal macrophages and mouse splenocytes to test the extract’s in vitro immunomodulatory potential.
- The phagocytic activity of macrophages was analyzed using nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) reduction assay and cellular lysosomal enzyme assay, while anti-inflammatory activity was evaluated using nitric oxide (NO) assay and by testing for TNF-a and IL-10 expression.
- The researchers reported that the A. catechu extract increased antibody titer in a dose-dependent manner.
- It also enhanced the number of antibody-producing cells in the spleen of mice.
- In vitro, the extract significantly decreased DTH reaction but increased phagocytic response in macrophages. This was evidenced by the extract’s effect on NBT reduction and lysosomal enzyme activity.
- The A. catechu extract also inhibited the release of pro-inflammatory TNF-a and the production of NO.
- On the other hand, treatment significantly increased IL-10 production.
Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that A. catechu has immunomodulatory effects on humoral, cell-mediated and non-specific immune functions.
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Sunil MA, Sunitha VS, Radhakrishnan EK, Jyothis M. IMMUNOMODULATORY ACTIVITIES OF ACACIA CATECHU, A TRADITIONAL THIRST QUENCHER OF SOUTH INDIA. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2019;10(3):185-191. DOI: doi.org/10.1016/j.jaim.2017.10.010