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Salvia miltiorrhiza found to be toxic to multi-drug resistant cancer cells

A study published in the journal The American Journal of Chinese Medicine examined the cytotoxicity and the biological mechanisms of red sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza) on diverse resistant and sensitive cancer cell lines. The study was conducted by researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Institute of Biotechnology and Drug Research in Germany.

  • Red sage is a popular Chinese herb that has numerous therapeutic activities, including anticancer effects.
  • In this study, the researchers investigated the anticancer effects of red sage root extract.
  • The results suggested that red sage root extract can induce cancer cell death.
  • The researchers noted the increased cleavage of caspase 3, 7, 9, and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP), which confirmed the induction of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.
  • In addition, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) were phosphorylated and nuclear P65 was downregulated upon red sage root extract treatment.
  • They associated the expression of encoding genes with diverse functions with the cellular response to cryptotanshinone, one of the main constituents of red sage root extract.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that red sage root extract exhibits significant cytotoxicity against various sensitive and resistant cancer cells and activates the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.

Learn more about herbal medicines that have anticancer effects like red sage at

Journal Reference:

Wu CF, Bohnert S, Thines E, Efferth T. CYTOTOXICITY OF SALVIA MILTIORRHIZA AGAINST MULTIDRUG-RESISTANT CANCER CELLS. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 24 May 2016;44(4):871-894. DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X16500488

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