Latest News » Scientists see promise in herbal compound for pain relief

Many Chinese herbal remedies may be backed by science.

For all of the advancements in prescription medications, scientists are still continually discovering new beneficial properties in natural compounds that have long been touted as medicinal around the world. We often discuss the merits of curcumin – the bioactive ingredient in turmeric – on this blog, as this substance is a staple in Indian cuisine and has a reputation throughout the region for its health benefits. As Western researchers have begun to examine curcumin under the microscope, many of its proposed benefits have been reaffirmed by clinical analysis.

Now, it seems that another natural compound – an herbal element widely used in Chinese medicine – is facing similar scrutiny. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of California at Irvine paired with Chinese scientists to investigate the compound dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), derived from a plant called Corydalis yanhusuo.

"Today the pharmaceutical industry struggles to find new drugs. Yet for centuries people have used herbal remedies to address myriad health conditions, including pain,' said Olivier Civelli, one of the UC Irvine project's chief researchers, in a press release. "Our objective was to identify compounds in these herbal remedies that may help us discover new ways to treat health problems."

The researchers found that DHCB exhibited promising results when it came to managing pain and combating inflammation. Further research is necessary to confirm these properties, but this study does serve to reinforce the concept that natural compounds – which are often too easily written off in the medical community – can boast incredible benefits for brain health, physical ability and more.

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