New drugs derived from medicinal plants
by
Zhang JT.
Institute of Materia Medica,
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences,
Beijing 100050, P.R. China.
Therapie. 2002 Mar-Apr;57(2):137-50


ABSTRACT

In China, increasing emphasis has been laid in recent years on research on natural products. About 140 new drugs have been developed from Chinese medicinal plants. For example, anisodamine possesses good effects in the treatment of septic shock and morphine addiction; 3-n-butylphthalide isolated from seeds of celery was shown to be a new cerebral anti-ischemic agent; indirubin was identified as an anti-leukemic drug with no inhibition of bone marrow; huperzine is a potent and reversible inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and its selective action is superior to that of donepezil; clausenamide was shown to be a potassium channel blocker, its nootropic effect was 50-100 times more potent than that of piracetam; bicyclol was synthesized from schizandrin C isolated from Fructus schizandrae. It has remarkable hepatoprotective and certain anti-hepatitis virus actions; salvianolic acid B is a very strong antioxidant agent with potential anti-dementia effects; yingzhaosu A and artemisinin are anti-malaria drugs containing a peroxide ring which is very rarely seen in natural substances.

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