Curing Incurable Alzheimer’s Disease with Medicinal Plants

Narong Chomchalow

Abstract


Up to the present, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), a dementia, is believed to be incurable; even its cause has not been documented. A few hypotheses have been postulated, however; among these are the destruction of acetylcholine by the enzyme acetylcholine-esterase, the accumulation of amyloid beta plaque, and peroxidation of the brain cells.
Since the disease was unknown in the olden days in Thailand, traditional Thai medicine pharmacopoeia did not include any therapy. This has encouraged a few Thai scientists to study a number of Thai medicinal plants (MPs) for curing AD. These are: (1) coconut – Cocos nucifera, Arecaceae, whose water of young coconut contains phytoestrogen that mitigates the symptoms of AD of infected mice; (2) gardenia – Gardenia augusta, Rubiaceae, whose root extract counteracts acetylcholinesterase and amyloid beta plaque formation; (3) snowflake – Wrightia antidysentarica, Apocynaceae, whose stem extract inhibits the action of acetylcholinesterase; (4) ‘Phrommi’ – Bacopa monnieri, Schrophurariaceae, whose plant extract – bacoside – prolongs the symptoms of AD, (5) pepper – Piper nigrum, Piperaceae, whose black seed extract helps to recover AD of experimental animals; (6) ‘Kwao Khruea Khao’ – Pueraria mirifica, Papilio-noideae, whose root extract reduces the death of brain cells; and (7) ‘Chan Chamot’ – Aglaia silvestris, Meliaceae, whose plant extract - coumarin - inhibits acetylcholinesterase.
In addition to the MPs studied by the Thai scientists, there are a few other MPs that were found to improve the symptoms of AD by other scientists. These are: (1) coconut oil that was found to produce ketone that substitutes glucose of the brain cells, thus improving the symptoms of AD; (2) turmeric – Curcuma longa, Zingiberaceae, whose rhizome extract prevents peroxidation of the brain cells as well as destroying amyloid beta plaque; (3) Chinese clubmoss – Huperzia serrata, Lycopodiaceae, whose plant extract – huperzine A – inhibits the action of acetylcholinesterase; (4) snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis, Amaryllidiaceae, whose bulb alkaloid extract – galantamine – inhibits the action of acetylcholinesterase; and (5) tea – Camellia sinensis, Theaceae, whose green leaf extract inhibits the action of acetylcholinesterase as well as destroying amyloid beta plaque.


Keywords


Acetylcholinesterase; amyloid beta; coconut; gardenia; snowflake; tea pepper; ‘Kwao Khreua Khao’; ‘Chan Chamot’; turmeric; Chinese clubmoss; snowdrop

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.