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Cimicifugae Rhizoma: From Origins, Bioactive Constituents to Clinical Outcomes

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Cimicifugae Rhizoma, mainly originated from C. acerina, C. dahurica, C. foetida, C. heracleifolia, C. racemosa and C. simplex, has long been used in traditional medicine system. During the past 45 years, a lot of efforts have been dedicated to the studies on their bioactive constituents, pharmacological effects and clinical uses, and a variety of biological activities including relief of hot flash, anti-osteoporosis, anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), antiinflammatory, antidiabetes, antimalaria and vasoactive property have been discovered. Although C. racemosa is widely applied to relieve menopause symptoms in clinic for its hormonal-like action, meaningfully, no estrogenic effect was confirmed up to date. The purpose of this paper is to systematically highlight these achievements and the further therapeutic potential. The origins and distributions of the rhizome are simply listed and phytochemical aspects including over 200 compounds mainly belonging to cycloartane-type triterpenoids have been summarized. The pharmacological characterizations, especially, as a clinically effective phytomedicine, the effects of the rhizoma on menopause symptoms and the clinical applications including possible mechanism have been reviewed in detail. Various in vivo, in vitro studies on the anti-bone resorption effects of the triterpenoids, together with structure-activity relationships are also incorporated to explore the therapeutic potential on osteoporosis, a major public health threat for postmenopausal women.

Keywords: Cimicifugae rhizoma; anti-menopause symptoms; anti-osteoporosis; bioactivities; phytochemicals; triterpenoids

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University, 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing, 210093, China.

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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