Chinese Medicinal Herbs In Urinary Tract Infection Treatment Biology Essay

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Assessing complementary therapies such as traditional Chinese medicinal herbs and its use in acute and recurrent UTI. To know which herbs are commonly used in acute and recurrent UTI and whether they have active components.

To determine mechanisms of action and antibacterial properties of traditional medicinal herbs in the treatment of acute and recurrent UTI.

Hypothesis

If common traditional Chinese medicinal herbs utilized in UTI are tested then unknown properties could be found and therefore alternative approaches other than using antibiotics could be adopt.

Background

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are considered to be the most common bacterial infection. It can be defined as the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in the urine, urethra, bladder, or prostate. In most cases threshold of bacteria is greater than≥10⁴ colony forming units per millilitre (cfu/ml). (1) Usually classified by the site of infection, it includes cystitis, pyelonephritis, and urine bacteriuria. The epidemiology of infection varies with sex, age, and presence of associated genitourinary abnormalities.(2)

Women are significantly more likely to experience UTI than men. Nearly 1 in 3 women will have had at least one episode of UTI by the age of 24 and almost half of all women will experience one UTI during their lifetime.(3) In the USA, every year over 11 million women reported having UTI accounting for S 1.6 billion in medical cost,(4) in Europe, there are no good data concerning the prevalence of various types of UTIs and their impact on the quality of life of the affected population.(5)

UTIs are caused by a variety of types of bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Proteus mirabilis, and Klebsiella pneumonie. Signs and symptoms of UTIs are typically cloudy urine, dysuria,haematuria ,urinary frequency lower abdominal pain and low back pain. Furthermore infection is accompanied by inflammation.(6)The term acute UTI refers mainly to acute symptomatic cystitis.(7) Recurrent UTI refers to attacks of cystitis, but some have frequent recurrences (e.g. more than twice/yr). (8)

When the body's normal immune cannot eradicate pathogen it is often treated with chemotherapeutic agents such as antibiotics. Antibiotics have reduced bacterial infectious diseases but its inappropriate prescribe has contributed to drug resistance. (9)Alternative methods are needed in the treatment against those infections. Despite the modernity of Western medicine,(10) it cannot be denied that Chinese medicinal treatments date back as early as 700 B.C. and the Taoists were the first to develop what is known as traditional Chinese medicine(TCM)(11). Chinese medicine has been successful in establishing a position as a complementary and alternative therapy in the west, especially UK and USA The herbal site of Chinese medicine came relatively late to the UK in comparison with acupuncture.(12).These complementary therapies are potentially reach sources of compounds to combat pathogenic bacteria.

Chinese herbal theory, defines the character and functions of each herb, which include property, functional tendency, meridian channel tropism, and toxicity. Chinese herbal theory is based on the theory of Yin-Yang and the Five Phases which are the foundation of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition each herb is related to Zang-Fu organs and Meridian channel systems.(13) The Yin Yang represents a state of good health in which a person has a balance. Any form of life depends on substance and activity. Substance is Yin; it is the stuff our bodies are made of: bones, muscles, internal on blood, fluid and so on. Activity is Yang; it is movement or transformation including the transformation required to repair and build body tissue.(14)The way to preserve health and achieve longevity is to maintain a harmony of Yin and Yang. This means creating a balance between substance and activity that will maximize Qi (close to energy), which is necessary for all life functions.

If the Yin is in excess relative to the Yang and vice versa the Qi will be compromised leading to dysfunction and disease and therefore disharmony. A body in disharmony may be vulnerable to External or Internal causes of disease. One example of External causes in terms of TCM is exposure to Climatic factors, Dump, Heat, Dryness /Cold environment, eg. wanding in cold water or not changing bathing suit after swimming, sitting on damp grass, living in a damp environment or damp house, being expose to early morning dampness while jogging and sweating, dampness during period or after child birth, Heat stroke through long hours of sun exposure is believed to cause temperature deregulation. (15) Examples of Internal causes, relate to the emotional sphere.eg. long standing anxiety and repressed anger joy, worry, pensiveness, sadness, fear, fright, grieve, stress could lead to Heat-Fire. This, may be transmitted to Small Intestine to which the Heart is interiorly-exteriorly related.Because the connection between the small intestine and bladder channels, Fire is transmitted to the bladder causing pain. These emotional factors cause Liver Qi stagnation which may cause Qi painful urination. Dietary habits such as excessive consumption of sweats, sugar dairy and greasy foods leads to the formation of dampness which if settles in the urinary system causes painful urination. (16-)Excessive consumption of spicy foods and alcohol may generate Heat which combines with Dampness causes Damp-Heat in the lower burner, imbalances of work, rest and excessive sexual activity weakens the Kidneys and leads to either cloud urination or painful urination, these are classified as miscellaneous. In contrast to conventional medicine, TCM recognises internal causes as being significant whereas they not necessary acknowledge by western medicine. (16)

The clinical practice of TCM includes differential diagnosis and treatments based on the analysis of signs and symptoms.(17) Another mean of diagnosis involves identifying patterns. These patterns are classified under the title of "stranguria syndromes and the two common patterns are damp Heat pattern and kidney spleen deficiency pattern. For example, in TCM, the Kidney has functions that include not only the filtration of consumed liquids and the absorption of nutrients from those liquids, but also the regulation of mental and emotional states.(18) In TCM acute UTI is described as damp heat condition of the urinary bladder and recurrent, is a disharmony due to the development of repeated attacks of damp heat in the urinary bladder, and it looks at women's vulnerability to UTI.

TCM has a long history of using plants-based drugs for treatment of UTIs Furthermore, plants have been widely used with considerable therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of various urologic disorders.(19)

Chinese Medicinal Herbs are commonly used in a combination of two or more herbs, called a formula, to increase or to reinforce the effects of each medicinal substance, to minimize toxicity or side effects, and to alter the actions of the substances. (20) Each herb is classified according to its energies,Flavours, Organs, Meridians channel , actions, indications contraindication and dosage

Pharmaceutical name:

Glycyrrhiza uralensis

English / Chinese name:

Lincorise root (Gan Cao)

Part Used:

Dried root, it is collected in spring and autumn sliced and dried in sunlight, and used unprepared or stir-baked with honey.

Flavour and properties

Sweet,peculiarly sweet in taste. It is about five hundred times the sweetness of cane sugar.

Distribution:

It is mainly produced in the Shanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang regions of China.

Channel tropism:

Acts mainlyon the Heart, Lung, Spleen.

Energetic effects

Tonifies Pi (Spleen), enhances Qi, clears Heat.

Moistens the Lung to stop cough.

Relieves spasm and pain,

Moderates the properties of other herbs.

Effects on digestive system: anti ulcer, anti convulsion,promotes secretion of insulin,protects liver from toxin.

Anti inflammation

Anti allergy

Pharmaceutical name:

Toosendan Fructus

English / Chinese name:

Chuan Lie Zi

Part Used:

Flavour and properties

Bitter, cold slightly toxic

Distribution:

Guizhou, Hubei provinces of China

Channel tropism:

Bladder, Liver, small Intestine, Stomach

Energetic effects

Promote Qi flow, 

Rid of dampness-heat, clear Liver Fire

Rid of pain, promote urination

Regulates Qi, kills parasites.

Also used externally for fungus infections of Scalp.

Pharmaceutical name:

Phellodendri Cortex

English / Chinese name:

Huang Bai

Part Used:

Dried bark

Flavour and properties

Bitt,acts on the Kidney, Bladder, and Large Intestine channels.

Distribution:

Produced in Liaoning, Jilin, Hebe

Channel tropism:

kidney﹐bladder

Energetic effects

Clears Damp Heat especially in

Removes toxins, relieves consumptive fever.

 

Recurrent

Pharmaceutical name:

Alismatis Rhizoma

English / Chinese name:

Alisma / Ze xie

Part Used:

Flavour and properties

Sweet, bland, cold

Distribution:

It is mainly produced in Fu Jian provinces of China.

Channel tropism:

Kidney and Bladder

Energetic effects

General tonic, anti oxidant, anti cancer.

For edema, painful and difficult urination.

Diarrhea , leucorrhagia, caused by damp heat in the lower burner.

Pharmaceutical name:

Semen Cuscutae Chinensis

English / Chinese name:

Cuscuta / Tu Si ZI

Part Used:

Flavour and properties

Acrid, sweet, neutral

Distribution:

Produced in Shandong, Henan provinces of China.

Channel tropism:

kidney, Liver

Energetic effects

Tonifies kidneys, Liver and Spleen.

Pharmaceutical name:

Epidimdii Herba

English / Chinese name:

Epimedium / YinYang Huo

Part Used:

Flavour and properties

Acrid, sweet, warm

Distribution:

Shaanxi, Liaoning, Shanxi, Hubei, Sichuan.

Channel tropism:

kidney, Liver

Energetic effects

Tonifies the Kidneys and fortifies the yang.

 Patterns with such symptoms as impotence, spermatorrhea, frequent urination , forgetfulness, withdrawal, and painful cold lower back and knees.

Expels wind-damp-cold: for wind-damp-cold painful obstruction with such symptoms as spasms or cramps in the hands and feet, joint pain, and numbness in the extremities due to bad circulation.

Tonifies the yin and yang and harnesses liver yang ascending, for lower back pain.

Dizziness, and menstrual irregularity from deficiency of Liver and Kidney.

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