A team of researchers from Wonkwang University in South Korea looked at the effect of the self-heal herb (Prunella vulgaris) on improving the symptoms of diabetic nephropathy, also known as diabetic kidney disease. The research team published their findings in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
Diabetic nephropathy is the most common complication and the leading cause of death associated with diabetes.
The self-heal herb is a popular traditional medicinal plant used to treat abscess, scrofula, hypertension, and urinary diseases.
For this study, the research team used an aqueous extract of the self-heal herb to tests whether it can inhibit kidney inflammation and fibrosis in cell and animal models.
The pretreatment with self-heal herb suppressed inflammatory cytokines and significantly decreased fibrosis markers connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and collagen IV.
It also suppressed inflammatory factors such as intracellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1).
Additionally, it inhibited the activation and translocation of nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-?B) and significantly improved reactive oxygen species in a dose-dependent manner.
In diabetic rat models, treatment with the self-heal aqueous extract significantly reduced blood sugar, blood urea nitrogen, and plasma creatinine levels.
It also inhibited fibrosis-related proteins such as collagen IV and TGF-Beta1.
These results indicated that aqueous self-heal herb extract exhibits a potent protective effect against diabetic nephropathy symptoms such as inflammation and fibrosis.
Taken together, the research team concluded that self-heal herb may be used as a potential treatment for kidney diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy.
Learn more on natural treatments for diabetes complications, such as diabetic nephropathy at DiabetesScienceNews.com.
Namgung S, Yoon JJ, Yoon CS, Han BH, Choi ES, Oh H, Kim YC, Lee YJ, Kang DG, Lee HS. PRUNELLA VULGARIS ATTENUATES DIABETIC RENAL INJURY BY SUPPRESSING GLOMERULAR FIBROSIS AND INFLAMMATION. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 31 March 2017; 45(03): 475-495. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X1750029X