Pharmacological potential of the combination of Salvia miltiorrhiza (Danshen) and Carthamus tinctorius (Honghua) for diabetes mellitus and its cardiovascular complications.
Pharmacol Res. 2020 03 ;153:104654. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31945473
John O Orgah
Metabolic syndrome, such as diabetes mellitus, obesity, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure (HBP), are closely linked pathophysiologically. However, current monotherapies for metabolic syndrome fail to target the multifactorial pathology via multiple mechanisms, as well as resolving the dysfunctionality of the cells and organs of the body. We aimed to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the pharmacological advances, therapeutic potential, and phytochemistry of Salvia miltiorrhiza, Carthamus tinctorius, and Danhong injection (DHI). We discussed the molecular mechanisms of the bioactive constituents relating to diabetes mellitus and metabolic disease for further research and drug development. Interestingly, Salvia miltiorrhiza, Carthamus tinctorius, and DHI have anti-inflammatory, anti-glycemic, anti-thrombotic, and anti-cancer properties; and they mainly act by targeting the dysfunctional vasculatures including the inflammatory components of the disease to provide vascular repair as well as resolving oxidative stress. The major bioactive chemical constituents of these plants include polyphenolic acids, diterpene compounds, carthamin, and hydroxysafflor yellow A. Treatment of diabetes mellitus and its associated cardiovascular complication requires a comprehensive approach involving the use of appropriate traditional Chinese medicine formula. Danshen, Honghua, and DHI target the multiple risk factors regulating the physiologic function of the body and restore normalcy, apart from the traditional advice on exercise and diet control as treatment options in a metabolic syndrome patient.