Chinese herbal medicine has been around for thousands of years and has been known to treat various ailments affecting the human body. Although knowledge of potential benefits has been passed down through the years, there haven’t been many modern controlled experiments to verify or debunk claims about Chinese herbal medicine. A group of researchers in Canada published a study they conducted analyzing the effects of a type of Chinese herbal medicine, Ji-Sui-Kang, on acute spinal cord injury (SCI) in rats. They found that the herbal formulation may help the recovery of SCI in humans.
In the study, rats with SCI were given either Ji-Sui-Kang treatment or saline (control group). After a week of the treatment, the Ji-Sui-Kang-treated rats demonstrated significantly better hindlimb locomotor function than those rats only receiving saline. The rats that received the Ji-Sui-Kang treatment continued to have better motor function while the control group did not during the duration of the 21-day study. Additionally, the treated rats appeared better able to support their own weight and move in a more coordinated fashion, Medical Xpress reports.
Histological samples of the treated rats’ spinal cords also showed that the overall architecture of the spinal cord was “better preserved in JSK-treated animals and the size of the injured area was significantly smaller 7 days after injury,” according to Medical Xpress. Other positive signs of the treatment included “more intact axons and myelin in the injured areas … less deposition of fibrinogen in the injured areas of JSK-treated animals, a decrease in pro-inflammatory COX-2 expression and fewer cell deaths at the lesion site.” The data revealed that the treatment might help improve tissue recovery and help protect against injury caused by spinal cord blood vessel damage.
According to the authors of the study, Ji-Sui-Kang can help facilitate greater protection against primary traumatic spine injuries and also against any secondary spine injuries that may occur in the future. Due to proprietary reasons, the researchers were only able to disclose part of the composition of Ji-Sui-Kang, which includes Ginseng, Rhizoma (chuan xiong), Glycyrrhizae Radix (gan cao), Paeoniae Alba Radix (bai shao) and Cinnamomi Cortex (rou gui). The researchers say the present study provides a foundation for future research of Ji-Sui-Kang.