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Chinese Herbs In Western View – Ming Tian Ma Or Tian Ma (Rhizoma Gastrodiae Elatae) Health Benefits And Side Effects

Thursday, May 31, 2012 13:33
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Ming tian Ma or Tian Ma (Rhizoma Gastrodiae Elatae) is also known as Gastrodia Tuber. The sweet and neutral herb has been used in TCM to relieve pain, treat neurasthenia and insomnia, depression, blood-vessel type of migraine, etc., as it calms internal Wind and convulsions, soothes the Liver, controls ascending Yang due to Yin Deficiency, etc., by enhancing the function of liver channels.

1. Vanilline
2. Vanillic acid
3. Vanillyl alcohol
4. Gastrodin
5.  P-hydroxymethylphenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside
6. P-hydroxybenzyl alcohol
7. β-sitosterol
8. Daucosterol
9. Citric acid
10. Citric acid monomethyl ester
11. Palmitic acid
12. P-hydroxybenzaldehyde
13. Succinic acid
14.  Bis (4-hydroxybenzyl) ether mono-β-D-glucopyranosid
5. 4-hydroxybenzyl methyl ether,
16. 4-(4′-hydroxybenzyloxy) benzyl methyl ether
17. Etc.

Health Benefits
1. Anticonvulsive and free radical scavenging actions
Uncaria rhynchophylla (Miq.) Jack (UR) and Gastrodia elata BI. (GE) are traditional Chinese herbs that are usually used in combination to treat convulsive disorders, such as epilepsy, in China. In the study to compare the anticonvulsive and free radical scavenging activities of UR alone and UR in combination with GE in rats, showed that the anticonvulsive effects of UR and GE may be synergistic. However, the mechanism of interaction between UR and GE remains unknown(1).

2. Antipsychotic effects
In the study to examine whether GE could affect phencyclidine (PCP)-induced abnormal behavior in mice suggest that the antipsychotic effects of GE are, at least in part, mediated via activation of 5-HT(1A) in mice(2).

3. Protection against cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis
Phenolic glucoside gastrodin (Gas), which is a main component extracted from the Chinese herbs Gastrodia elata Bl, is a well-known natural calcium antagonist with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions., researchers at Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University found that gastrodin, which is a potentially safe and inexpensive therapy for clinical use, has protective potential in targeting cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis through suppression of ERK1/2 signaling(3).

4. Anti-asthmatic activity 
In the study of the effects of nine phenolic compounds from GE on immediate-phase (IAR) and late-phase (LAR) asthmatic responses after aerosolized-ovalbumin (OA) challenge were evaluated by determining the specific airway resistance (sRaw) using a double-chambered plethysmograph in conscious guinea pigs with IgE-mediated asthma showed that the C(4) hydroxy and C(3) methoxy radicals in benzyl alcohols and aldehydes play important roles in mediating the anti-asthmatic activities of these compounds(4).

5. The antidepressant effect 
The study to test the antidepressant effect of Gastrodia elata Bl. extract (GE) using forced-swimming test (FST). Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to control, GE, and fluoxetine groups, treated with 10 ml/kg bw (body weight) water, 1 g/kg bw of GE, and 15 mg/kg bw of fluoxetine, respectively, indicated that Gastrodia elata Bl. extract modulates the turnover of DA in rats, and thus probably possesses antidepressant effect in rats(5).

6. Anticoagulation and antithrombosis
In the study to investigate the effects of polysaccharide 2-1 from Gastrodia elata (PGE2-1) on blood coagulation and thrombosis, showed that PGE2-1 has remarkable effects of anticoagulation and antithrombosis, so it may be the main component of the isolation from G. elata in the field of antithrombosis(6).

7. Etc.

Side Effects
1. Do not use in case of yin deficiency
2. Do not use the herb in newborn, children, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding without first consulting with related field specialist
3. Etc.

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For other Chinese herbs in western view, visit

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