Higenamine, a Dual Agonist for β1- and β2-Adrenergic Receptors Identified by Screening a Traditional Chinese Medicine Library
A recent Chinese study has found an herbal compound that promises to treat chronic heart failure. Higenamine, an alkaloid found in monkshood, has been found to be a dual agonist for a receptor pathway that has been implicated in the late stages of heart disease. Monkshood has already been utilized in Chinese medicine and the isolation of higenamine is an exciting advancement for the therapeutic benefits this herb provides. Further studies are needed to confirm higenamine’s ability to treat chronic heart failure.
This study brings to light the number of herbal compounds used in eastern medicine that are not yet being utilized in western medicine. In the United States herbs are just now starting to be seriously researched for medicinal properties in a lab setting despite their importance in eastern medicine and home remedies. Extracts of naturally occurring compounds are finally coming to the forefront of medicine as the public looks for natural and sustainable remedies for everyday ailments, treatment-resistant disorders, and even cancer. The potential of these compounds deserves serious consideration in today’s medicine.
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