Arefeh Banizaman and Maryam
Accepted Abstracts: Altern Integ Med
The earth planet is endowed with a rich heritage of medicinal plants which are extremely wonderful in their properties and effects. Polygonum bistora is one of these mysterious herbs. Its appearance with red or pale flowers which is very eye-catching, but the main part is hidden in the earth in the rhizome which has the effects that are unknown. In the modern world, Bistora has a therapeutic power that can be put to medical application. In traditional medicine it has been used for stop bleeding of any site of the body specially chest and lung. According to the idea of traditional healers, Bistora is cold and dry in temper, so it is astringent. The main component of the plant's active ingredient which is responsible for the astringency is tannin at about 20 percent. The anti hemorrhagic effects are probably due to the tannin ingredient but further studies are recommended to confirm this relationship. Other main components are the oils, accounted for 0.004 to 0.010% of the fresh plant. Several studies have revealed several classes of other compounds with a predominance of alcohols in the vegetative phase, terpenes and linear- chained saturated hydrocarbons in the flowering phase, and saturated aliphatic acids and their methyl esters in the fruiting phase. Despite the important role of the plant in the Iranian Traditional Medicine prescriptions and even other herbal medicines, only few studies have evaluated the basic mechanisms of Bistorta therapeutic effects. An animal study to investigate the effect of Bistorta n-butyl alcohol (PBNA) extract on the NO content and NOS activity in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury in the rat retina suggested that PBNA have a therapeutic effect on retinal ischemia/reperfusion injury by increasing the activities of T-NOS and eNOS, decreasing the activity of iNOS, elevating the content of NO, enhancing the anti-oxidation and expanding the blood vessel. This effect of increasing blood flow can be beneficial for limb fracture to treat fast or for scars to disappear very soon. The other main effect of Bistora , the anti inflammatory effect, seems to be due to the active compounds such as 5-glutinen-3-one and friedelanol. It has been shown that the plant has also a good protective effect against hepatic toxicity of acetaminophen overdose. The latter two features are proven by studies; these few studies could not show all the miraculous healing Power of this herb though. Bistora is still an open gate for researchers to discover its mysteries. This article can be the start point to suggest a wider exploration of the healing power of Poygonum bistora according to Iranian traditional medicine literatures.
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