Oldenlandia has one of the longest of Chinese herb names, outdoing even cordyceps (dongchongxiacao) when it comes to today’s commonly used herbs. Oldenlandia is called baihuasheshecao (sometimes written Bai Hua She She Cao). This term has a relatively simple meaning, referring to an early use of this herb as a treatment for snake bites.
Oldenlandia Historical Medicinal Usage
This term has a relatively simple meaning, referring to an early use of this herb as a treatment for snake bites. Baihuashe is the name of the agkistrodon snake (baihua means white flower and refers to the pattern on the snake’s skin; she means snake), a type of pit viper that is also used as a medicine. Because of the herb’s reputation for treating poisonous snake bites and the appearance of the leaves, called is shecao, literally tongue weed; referring to the long thin leaves of the herb (cao is used to describe any weedy plant) that are like a snake’s tongue.
Oldenlandia was first described formally in the 1949 Herbal Records of Guanxi. The text says that “the herb is used to cure childhood malnutrition, snakebite, and tumor, and, when used externally, oldenlandia is effective for vesicles and ichthyosis.” It had been mentioned briefly in the modern book Folk Medicine Herbs of Southern Fujian that “the herb is bitter, neutral, non-toxic, and used to clear heat, remove toxin, and alleviate pain.”
The book Materia Medica of Quanzhou (Quanzhou is a port city of Fujian Province) summarizes: “Oldenlandia clears heat, removes toxin, dispels fire, and vitalizes blood; Oldenladia is used to treat carbuncle, cellulitis, scrofula, and other external diseases, as well as pneumonia and pulmonary infections.” Its range of folk uses and clinical applications in modern Chinese medicine are extensive and include treatment of carbuncles, skin sores and ulcerations, swollen and painful throat, bronchitis, gynecologic infections and pelvic inflammatory disease, hepatitis, and cancer. Topically, the herb is applied as a blood vitalizing herb to treat injuries, and, of course, for treatment of snake bite.
The herb first came to prominent attention for its value in resolving acute appendicitis at a time when China had limited medical facilities and drugs to work with. In the early 1970s, there was a report that more than a 1,000 cases of appendicitis and peritonitis had been documented as effectively treated with decoction of oldenlandia (60 grams per day, divided into 2-3 doses, usually with a few other herbs).
Oldenlandia Health Benefits
Oldenlandia is for clearing heat, fire toxicity, abscesses, toxic sores, ulcerations, swellings, snake bites, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, cellulites, furunculosis, tonsillitis, and hemorrhoids, hot painful urinary tract infection and damp heat jaundice (infectious hepatitis), tonsillitis, appendicitis, urethral infection and malignant tumors of liver, lung and stomach . This herb promotes urination. Clears heat and toxin, activates blood circulation, removes blood stasis, promotes diuresis, and relieves stranguria (urinary obstruction). Strengthen the Immune System and balance the the body
Oldenlandia Cancer Cure
The inconsistent laboratory results have been a barrier to more extensive use of oldenlandia for cancer in modern medicine. Nonetheless, oldenlandia was being utilized clinically by traditional medicine doctors. In 1975, it was claimed that beneficial effects could be achieved in those cases of cancer resistant to other therapies and that the herb could be used synergistically with or alternating with other anticancer drugs.
The book An Illustrated Guide to Antineoplastic Chinese Herbal Medicine lists properties and indications of oldenlandia as follows:
Properties: sweet, bland, slightly bitter, and slightly cold.
Indications: various kinds of tumor, especially tumors of the digestive tract, lymphosarcoma, carcinoma of the liver and larynx.
Dr. Jiao Shude, in his Ten Lectures On The Use Of Medicinals , says that he “frequently adds about 30-40 grams of this medicinal to an appropriate decoction medicine devised according to the principle of pattern identification” for treating various forms of cancer. He also suggests adding some other anticancer herbs, such as scutellaria. In Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica , it is noted for oldenlandia that: “The herb at the dose of 30-60 grams is often added to conventional prescriptions for carcinoma.” In Chinese Medicinal Herbs of Hong Kong , among the indications for oldenlandia is “early stage of cancer of lungs, liver, and rectum.” It is recommended there that oldenlandia be used in a dosage of 60 grams along with 30 grams of scutellaria as a decoction, taken once a day.
There were some claimed benefits to use of these herbs for cancer, including both short-term symptom relief and a significant number of tumor remissions, but it is difficult to know if a cure was ever attained (and, if so, whether that was due to an accompanying modern drug therapy). Still, oldenlandia remains subject of considerable investigation.
The active components of oldenlandia that inhibit cancers, viruses, and bacteria are not clearly established. The herb has significant amounts of oleanolic acid and its isomer ursolic acid, both pentacyclic triterpenes that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential. These compounds are found in several other Chinese herbs, including some that are classified along with oldenlandia as “clearing heat and removing toxins” (e.g., forsythia) and herbs that have been shown to promote immune functions (e.g., ligustrum). Forsythia and ligustrum are in the Oleanaceae plant family, from which the term oleanolic acid is derived.
Recent laboratory studies of the action of oldenlandia. Suggesting that that the herb may contribute to inhibiting growth of cancer cells, promoting cancer cell death (apoptosis), and enhancing immune attack against cancer cells. It remains unknown whether these effects actually occur in people who consume the herb. As a preventive health care agent, oldenlandia is understood to inhibit mutation of cells by carcinogens. As an immune regulating herb, oldenlandia remains of interest for use along with modern cancer therapies.
One of the best scientific studies on oldenlandia’s affect on cancer is published in the 2004 issue of the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy. This study reports that oldenlandia was tested against eight different cancer cell types, and it showed that it was able to stop the growth of these cancer cells. Not only did it stop the growth of the cancer, it also promoted the death of the cancer cells. Researchers conclude that oldenlandia may be a powerful anti-cancer herb.
50-120g, decocted in water for an oral dose or fresh plant is smashed to get juice for external application. Injection, extract andtablet can be made of the herb.
The amount of oldenlandia to be taken depends on the condition being treated. To treat skin problems and acne, 20 to 30 grams of oldenlandia can be combined with other herbs and boiled in water, then applied to the skin as a type of wash. Larger doses (extracts of 30-60 grams) have been used in clinical studies to help treat some forms of cancer. Oldenlandia is often used with other herbs, such as scutellaria, as a decoction. Typically, it is recommended that patients take small amounts of oldenlandia first, gradually raising the dosage to an acceptable level.
Oldenlandia should not be taken by pregnant women. In addition, oldenlandia may cause allergic skin reactions in some individuals; if this occurs, patients should discontinue use. As always, make sure to consult with a licensed health care provider before taking oldenlandia or any other herbal remedy or dietary supplement.
Fresh oldenlandia can be found at many Asian markets and specialty stores. Oldenlandia is also available in pill, powder, extract and infusion form. Fresh oldenlandia can also be harvested and crushed to create oldenlandia juice.
Search for oldenlandia products in Google.
Oldenlandia Research Links
Oldenlandia diffusa is traditionally prescribed in the treatment of a number of cancers and studies suggest that it exerts a cytotoxic action specific to cancer cells.
Cytotoxicity and bioavailability studies on a decoction of Oldenlandia