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A new study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience demonstrates that Chinese herbal medicine Ji-Sui-Kang (JSK), given systemically for three weeks after injury in rats, improved locomotor function, reduced tissue damage, and preserved the structure of neural cells compared to control rats. The report also includes data showing that JSK may first act to reduce inflammation and cell apoptosis and death, and boost local oxygen supply while, later on, it appears to restore function and promote tissue regeneration. Although Chinese herbal medicines have traditionally been used for a variety of ailments, the rationale for their use relies more on anecdotal evidence than the results of modern-day controlled experiments.

Chinese herbal medicine, which has been used for thousands of years in China, has long been considered an effective treatment for vascular dementia. There are already meta-analyses of the effects of herbal extracts (ginkgo biloba and huperzine A) on vascular dementia. However, there has been no systematic review of the efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicines for vascular dementia, despite its wide use in clinical practice.

Scientists today reported discovery of the active ingredients in an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for skin whitening, changing skin color to a lighter shade. The ingredients are poised for clinical trials as a safer, more effective alternative to skin whitening creams and lotions that millions of women and some men use in Asia and elsewhere, they said. The report was among more than 9,500 presentations this week at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).