Tokai Univ. School of Med. Molecular Life Sciences

Kajiwara K.

Kajiwara, Kagemasa Dental MD Ph.D

Research Unit

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Molecular Analysis of Japanese Herbal Medicine


Preparation of Clinically Useful Sennoside-reduced Rhubarb

Sennoside is a major component of rhubarb, is classified as an irritant purgative, and is utilized widely as a purgative not only in Kampo medicine but also in western medicine. In recent years, rhubarb has been shown to have pharmacological activities other than cathartic activity. However, it is often not possible to take advantage of these other effects because the cathartic component of rhubarb (sennoside) is so overwhelming. Therefore, the aim of this study is to find an efficient method of selective sennoside inactivation to permit clinical application of rhubarb's other active components.

Steam autoclaving the rhubarb for 20 minutes reduces sennoside levels and its cathartic activity while conserving its other pharmacological activities.

Please refer to the following article for further information.

Arai, M. et al. Tokai J. experimental clinical medicine (2016) in press.

Mice were fed non-autoclaved or 20-minute-autoclaved rhubarb extracts. Feces were collected and weighed over a 24-hour period. India ink was orally administered to determine the distance of fecal migration through the intestinal tract.