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Chinese herbal medicine ingredient has new anti-inflammatory effects

By Sharon Kingman
Staff Writer

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

LONDON – A compound found in a traditional Chinese medicine has anti-inflammatory properties and could point the way to a novel class of drugs, a study in zebrafish larvae has shown. Capitalizing on the transparency of the fish larvae, researchers have been able to show that fluorescence-labeled white blood cells, which are partly responsible for inflammation following injury, respond to an active ingredient found in the Chinese medicinal herb known as red sage. The active compound, known as tanshinone IIA, was one of several thousand compounds screened by a team from the University of Sheffield in the UK.

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