Swordlike Atractylodes Rhizome

Chinese Name: Kang zhu
Medical Name:
Latin Name: Atractylodes lancea (Thunb.) DC.
Taste: Pungent and bitter

Quotes from Chinese historical sources:

THE HERBAL CLASSIC OF SHEN-NONG: "The flavor is bitter and mild. It disperses aches in the joints arising from damp and cold, revives dead muscles, relieves convulsive diseases, expels deep-rooted carbuncles; counters sweating; disperses fevers and relieves dyspepsia."

INTERPRETATION OF THE PROPERTIES OF MEDICINES: "The flavour of Swordlike Atractylodes root is sweet and pungent, and its property is warm and not poisonous. It acts particularly on the spleen and stomach channels, easing the stomach and strengthening the function of the spleen; soothes chest disorders and disperses stagnant energy by inducing perspiration; counters miasma-borne ailments and malaria."

Western Research:

Am J Chin Med. 1996;24(2):165-8.
Pharmacotherapeutic effects of toki-shakuyaku-san on leukorrhagia in young women.
Sakamoto S, Kudo H, Suzuki S, Sassa S, Yoshimura S, Nakayama T, Maemura M, Mitamura T, Qi Z, Liu XD, Yagishita Y, Asai A.
Department of Endocrinology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.
Toki-shakuyaku-san is a traditional Chinese herbal prescriptions that is composed of 6 herbal plants, i.e., peony root, atractylodes lancea rhizome, alisma rhizome, hoelen, cnidium rhizome and Japanese angelica root. Administration with Toki-shakuyaku-san normalized irregular menstrual cycle, healed cervical pseudo-erosion and reduced leukorrhagia in young women who had insufficient luteal function.

Phytother Res. 2007 Jan 15;
Atractylenolide I and atractylenolide III inhibit Lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-alpha and NO production in macrophages.
Li CQ, He LC, Jin JQ.
School of Medicine, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an 710061, China.
In order to clarify the mechanism involved in the antiinflammatory activity of atractylenolide I and atractylenolide III from the rhizomes of Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz, their effects on tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and nitric oxide (NO) production in peritoneal macrophages were examined. Atractylenolide I and atractylenolide III decreased the TNF-alpha level in LPS-stimulated peritoneal macrophages in a dose-dependent manner, their IC(50) values were 23.1 microm and 56.3 microm, respectively. RT-PCR analysis indicated that they inhibited TNF-alpha mRNA expression. Furthermore, they inhibited NO production in LPS-activated peritoneal macrophages, the IC(50) value of atractylenolide I was 41.0 microm, and the inhibition ratio of 100 microm of atractylenolide III was 45.1% +/- 6.2%. The activity analysis of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) indicated that they could inhibit the activity of iNOS, their IC(50) values were 67.3 microm and 76.1 microm, respectively. Western blot analysis showed that atractylenolide I and atractylenolide III attenuated LPS-induced synthesis of iNOS protein in the macrophages, in parallel. These results imply that the antiinflammatory mechanism of atractylenolide I and atractylenolide III may be explained at least in part, by the inhibition of TNF-alpha and NO production. Atractylenolide I showed more potent inhibition than atractylenolide III in the production of TNF-alpha and NO in LPS-activated peritoneal macrophages. So, atractylenolide I could be a candidate for the development of new drugs to treat inflammatory diseases accompanied by the overproduction of TNF-alpha and NO. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.