Chinese Name:
Medical Name:
Latin Name: Aralia elata
Property: Mild
Taste: Bitter

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

DICTIONARY OF CHINESE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE: "Promotes feelngs of ease and energy, expels wind and activates blood flow."

Western Research

Exp Mol Med. 2009 Apr 21.
Protection of total aralosides of aralia elata (Miq) Seem (TASAES) against diabetic cardiomyopathy in rats during the early stage, and possible mechanisms.
Xi S, Zhou G, Zhang X, Zhang W, Cai L, Zhao C.
Total aralosides of aralia elata (Miq) Seem (TASAES) from Chinese traditional herb Longya Aralia chinensis L was found to improve cardiac function. The present study was to determine the protective effects of TASAES on diabetic cardiomyopathy, and the possible mechanisms. Therefore, a single dose of streptozotocin was used to induce diabetes in Wister rats. Diabetic rats were immediately treated with low, medium and high doses of TASAES at 4.9, 9.8 mg/kg and 19.6 mg/kg body weight by gavage, respectively, for eight weeks. Cardiac function was evaluated by in situ hemodynamic measurements, and patch clamp for the L-type Ca2+ channel current (ICa2+-L) and transient outward K+ channel current (Ito). Histopathological changes were observed under light and electron microscope. The expression of pro-fibrotic factor, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) was monitored using immunohistochemistry staining. Compared with diabetic group, medium and high doses, but not low dose, of TASAES showed a significant protection against diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction, shown by increased absolute value of left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP) and +/-dp/dtmax, and enhanced amplitude of ICa2+-L (p<0.05). Histological staining indicated a significant inhibition of diabetes-caused pathological changes and up-regulation of CTGF expression (p<0.05). The results suggest that TASAES prevents diabetes-induced cardiac dysfunction and pathological damage through up-regulating ICa2+-L in cardiac cells and decreasing CTGF expression.

J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct 3;101(1-3):49-54
Water extract of Aralia elata prevents cataractogenesis in vitro and in vivo.
Chung YS, Choi YH, Lee SJ, Choi SA, Lee JH, Kim H, Hong EK.
Medvill Research Laboratory, 432-10, Pyungchang-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul 110-848, South Korea. medvill@unitel.co.kr
The water extract of Aralia elata (Aralia extract) has been used in Korean traditional medicine to treat diabetes mellitus. Here, we investigated the aldose reductase inhibitory activity, antioxidant activity and anticataract capacity of Aralia extract using various experimental systems. To determine its aldose reductase inhibitory activity and its antioxidant effect, we used rat lens homogenates. Rat lens cultures and a rat model were used to observe anticataract activity. The resulting IC50 value of Aralia extract in vitro as an aldose reductase inhibitor was 11.3 microg/ml and as an antioxidant was 25.1 microg/ml. Rat lenses in media containing 20 mM xylose developed a distinctly opaque ring in 9h, and treatment with Aralia extract at a concentration of 1mg/ml lowered lens opacity by 36.4 and 31.3% after 24 and 48 h, respectively. In vivo experiments were performed with streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats. The diabetic control animals developed cataracts at 11 weeks after STZ injection, while oral Aralia extract administered at 300 and 600 mg/kg body weight for 11 weeks reduced cataract formation by 15 and 12%, respectively. The present study shows that Aralia extract inhibits aldose reductase and acts in vitro as an antioxidant, and suggests that these activities have a preventive effect on cataractogenesis in xylose containing lens organ cultures and in in vivo in STZ induced diabetic rats.

Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Mar;28(3):523-6.
Araloside A, an antiulcer constituent from the root bark of Aralia elata.
Lee EB, Kim OJ, Kang SS, Jeong C.
Natural Products Research Institute and College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, Yeongun-dong, Chongno-ku, Seoul, Korea. eblee@snu.ac.kr
Araloside A, a potent inhibitor of gastric lesion and ulcer formation in rats, was isolated from the root bark of Aralia elata through a bioassay-guided separation procedure. The compound exhibited significant reduction of HCl.ethanol-induced gastric lesions and aspirin-induced gastric ulcers at oral doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively. These activities are comparable to those of cimetidine.

Biol Pharm Bull. 2003 Oct;26(10):1502-4.
Ethanol fraction of Aralia elata Seemann enhances antioxidant activity and lowers serum lipids in rats when administered with benzo(a)pyrene.
Chung CK, Jung ME.
School of Life Sciences, Hallym University.
Aralia elata Seemann is an edible mountain vegetable in Korea containing saponin, alkaloid, palmitic acid, linoleic acid, methyl eicosanoate and hexacosol, and is known to manifest an effect on cardiac infarction, gastric ulcer, colitis, and enervation. This study has examined the effects of Aralia elata Seemann ethanol extract on antioxidant enzyme systems and lipid metabolism in rats along with benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) administration. Rats were divided into four groups: control (C), an extract fed group (CE), a B(a)P fed group (CB), and a B(a)P and extract fed group (CBE). The ethanol extracts of Aralia elata Seemann (50 mg/kg body weight) were fed to the rats for 4 weeks by stomach tubing. Extract administration increased the antioxidant activities of glutathione sulfur transferase (GST). Total superoxide dismutase (SOD) and Cu,Zn-SOD activities were stimulated. Catalase activities were increased by 50% with extract feeding. Cu,Zn-SOD was greatly enhanced from 0.10 unit to 0.18 unit and catalase activity also was increased. Serum alpha-tocopherol was markedly increased by the extracts. The ethanol fraction of Aralia elata Seemann decreased total serum cholesterol. However, serum HDL-cholesterol was increased by 35% (p<0.05). The results indicate that Aralia elata Seemann exerts antioxidant and strong hypocholesterolemic and hypolipidemic effects in vivo with the administration of B(a)P.

Cancer Lett. 2003 Sep 10;199(1):19-25
Aralin, a new cytotoxic protein from Aralia elata, inducing apoptosis in human cancer cells
Tomatsu M, Ohnishi-Kameyama M, Shibamoto N.
Akita Research Institute of Food and Brewing (ARIF), 4-26 Sanuki, Araya-machi, Akita 010-1623, Japan. tomatsu@arif.pref.akita.jp
In this study, we purified a novel cytotoxic protein, aralin, from the shoots of Aralia elata. Aralin is composed of two subunits, A and B chains whose molecular weights are 29,100 and 32,200, respectively. In the assay using a normal human lung fibroblast cells (WI-38) and its SV40-transformed cells (VA-13), aralin demonstrated selective cytotoxicity against the virus-transformed cell line; the IC50 values of WI-38 and VA-13 were 10 and 0.8 ng/ml, respectively. Aralin showed positive response to DNA fragmentation in human lymphocyte HL-60 cells, and caspase specific inhibitors suppressed aralin-induced DNA fragmentation. These results indicate that the cytotoxicity of aralin is brought about primarily through the induction of apoptosis. Aralin also exhibited potent cytotoxic activity against various types of human cancer cell lines; cervical carcinoma cells (HeLa) proved the most sensitive, with an IC50 value of 0.08 ng/ml.