What is Danggui Duxue Tang? Danggui Buxue Tang, a Chinese herbal formula
containing 83.3 percent of Huanggi (Radix Astragali) and 16.7 percent of Danggui (Angelicae
Sinensis), has been used to treat ailments in women since AD 1247.
What are the potential health benefits of Danggui Duxue Tang?
Hong Kong researchers demonstrated that Danggui Buxue Tang triggered the phosphorylation of
estrogen receptor alpha and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 in a time-dependent manner.
Same group of researchers from Hong Kong prepared Danggui Buxue Tang at different ratios of
Huanggi and Danggui and treated cultures of T-lymphocytes and macrophages with these herbal
combinations. They found that combinations induced cell proliferation, secretion of interleukin-2 and
phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and the ratio of 5:1 had the strongest
immunomodulatory effects. 
Zhang H and co-workers from Sichuan University, China, has shown that Danggui Buxue Tang
could regulate blood lipid, inhibit the genes expression of MCP-1, ICAM-1 and CD36 in a study of
rats.  Zhang further studied its effects on inflammation in diabetic atherosclerosis rats. He and his
co-workers found that Danggui Buxue Tang decreased the concentrations of C-reactive protein and
TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor-alpha), produced a higher survival rate and less body weight
loss, and decreased water intake in diabetic atherosclerosis in GK rats. 
Danggui Buxue Tang is also used widely in China for stimulating red blood cell production and
enhancing cardiovascular function. Researchers from Wuhan University, China, found that intake of
Danggui Buxue Tang partially attenuated the increases in blood glucose, triglycerides and
cholesterol in STZ-diabetic rats. They suggest that Danggui Buxue Tang as an adjuvant therapy
may benefit diabetes. 
What is Indirubin?
Indirubin is a bis-indole found in Danggui Longhui Wan.
Researchers from Germany identified indirubin and its analogues as potent inhibitors of
cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). Indirubin interacts with the kinase's ATP-binding site through van
der Waals interactions and three hydrogen bonds. Indirubin-3'-monoxime inhibits the proliferation of
a large range of cells, mainly through arresting the cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. [A2]
Indirubin has also been reported to have anti-leukemia activities. French researchers proposed the
indirubin and its derivatives are anti-cancer molecules. They noticed that the cytotoxic effects of
indirubins are aryl hydrocarbon receptor -independent and the mechanism is more likely to be
linked to its activation in their cell studies. [A1]
Korean researchers, Moon MJ and co-workers, synthesized a series of indirubin and tested the
inhibition activities against several human cancer cell lines. They found that 5-nitro, halide, and
bulky group containing acylamino substituted analogs showed high anti-proliferative effects. [A3]
Though Danggui Buxue Tang has been used for many years, its side effects have not studied thoroughly. Clinical studies are also
needed to support the claims. This article is for your information only. Discuss with your doctor before using any supplements or
herbal medicine. All rights are reserved 2006
[A1] Knockaert M, et al, Independent actions on cyclin-dependent kinases and aryl hydrocarbon receptor mediate the
antiproliferative effects of indirubins. Oncogene. 2004 May 27;23(25):4400-12. [A2] Hoessel R, et al, Indirubin, the active constituent
of a Chinese antileukaemia medicine, inhibits cyclin-dependent kinases. Nat Cell Biol. 1999 May;1(1):60-7. [A3] Moon MJ, et al,
Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of novel indirubin derivatives as potent anti-proliferative agents with CDK2 inhibitory
activities. Bioorg Med Chem. 2006 Jan 1;14(1):237-46. Epub 2005 Sep 22.  Gao QT, et al, Danggui Buxue Tang - A Chinese
herbal decoction activates the phosphorylations of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and estrogen receptor alpha in cultured
MCF-7 cells. FEBS Lett. 2007 Jan 23;581(2):233-40. Epub 2006 Dec 14.  Zhang H, et al, The effects of Danggui-Buxue-Tang on
blood lipid and expression of genes related to foam cell formation in the early stage of atherosclerosis in diabetic GK rats. Diabetes
Res Clin Pract. 2006 Dec 11.  Gao QT, et al, A Chinese herbal decoction, Danggui Buxue Tang, prepared from Radix Astragali
and Radix Angelicae Sinensis stimulates the immune responses. Planta Med. 2006 Oct;72(13):1227-31. Epub 2006 Aug 10. 
Zhang H, et al, Danggui-Buxue-Tang decoction has an anti-inflammatory effect in diabetic atherosclerosis rat model. Diabetes Res
Clin Pract. 2006 Nov;74(2):194-6. Epub 2006 May 19.  Zhang YW, et al, Suppression of transforming growth factor-beta1 gene
expression by Danggui buxue tang, a traditional Chinese herbal preparation, in retarding the progress of renal damage in
streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Horm Metab Res. 2006 Feb;38(2):82-8.
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