I. Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is defined as a condition of blockage of blood flow due to a blood clot of either in main artery of the lung or somewhere else in the body. In most cases, it is in the deep veins of the legs or pelvic. The disease is a common and affects as many as 500,000 persons annually in the United States.
B. In Herbal medicine perspective
In the study to investigate the effect of aqueous extract of several herbs on human platelet aggregation in vitro of of 28 herbs/nutriceuticals investigated, camomile, nettle alfalfa, garlic and onion exhibited most significant anti-platelet activity (>or=45% inhibition), indicated that queous extracts of alfalfa, fresh nettle, and camomile inhibited ADP induced-platelet aggregation by 73, 65 and 60%, respectively, compared with control (P < 0.05). Camomile and alfalfa inhibited collagen-induced platelet aggregation by 84 and 65%, respectively, but nettle could not inhibit collagen-induced aggregation. In contrast, nettle was the most potent inhibitor (66%) of whole blood aggregation induced by collagen, followed by alfalfa (52%), and camomile (30%) compared with control (P < 0.05). None of these three herbs however could inhibit arachidonic acid or thrombin induced platelet aggregation. Camomile and alfalfa strongly inhibited thromboxane B2 synthesis induced by ADP or collagen, but nettle had no effect. Alfalfa and nettle increased cGMP levels in platelets by 50 and 35%, respectively, compared with the control (1.85 +/- 0.23 nM) (P < 0.005). All these data indicate that camomile, nettle and alfalfa have potent anti-platelet properties, and their inhibitory actions are mediated via different mechanisms(53).
C. In traditional Chinese perspective
According to the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, in the study of Herbs of activating blood circulation to remove blood stasis, drugs of anti-hyperviscosemia, anti-coagulants, anti-platelet drugs, anti-thrombotics, vasodilators, endothelial cell protectors and anti-arthrosclerosis should be considered as hemorheologicals due to the actions in keeping blood fluidity and in maintaining normal vascular functions. Hemorheologicals are importance for and aging and life-threatening diseases. Blood stasis syndrome is a common pathological syndrome in the elderly. In traditional Chinese medicine, the treatment for the syndrome is by herbs which activates blood circulation to remove blood stasis. The herbs have the efficacy of improving hemorheological events. Therefore, the herbs are the source for developing hemorheologicals. Ligustrazine isolated from Chuangxiong is an example. It showed significant inhibition on shear induced platelet aggregation and on platelet intracellular calcium demonstrated by laser confocal microscope(54).
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