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- Dr.SHIVA Ayyadurai, MIT PhD – Inventor of Email, Systems Scientist, engineer, educator – presents a CytoSolve®Molecular Systems Analysis on Chinese Skullcap.
- CytoSolve® technology is designed to take a Systems Approach and distilled nearly 1,757 articles written, 19 clinical trials, and over 84 years of research.
- Chinese Skullcap has a total of 75 different chemical compounds and they go into four different types of flavonoids, terpenoids, polysaccharides, and essential oils.
- It’s a neuroprotector, anticonvulsant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and hepatoprotective.
- Health benefits can help with fighting diarrhea, dysentery, hypertension, hemorrhaging, insomnia, respiratory infections, and allergies.
Good evening, everyone, it’s 6:30pm on Tuesday, and today we’re going to be continuing our lung health series on lung congestion. Yesterday we spoke about an interesting fruit called Schisandra fruit, SCHISANDRA. And we talked about its effects on alleviating lung congestion.
And as usual, we take a Systems Approach here at VA Shiva, because one of our goals is to teach you how to look at the world from a Systems perspective, which helps you understand the interconnection. We’re going to continue that series on lung congestion today, but today, we’re going to be looking at another very interesting, and powerful herb. It’s a Chinese herb called Chinese Skullcap, and we’re going to look at it, and its effect on lung congestion.
CytoSolve® Open Science Institute
This talk is brought to you by the CytoSolve® Open Science Institute. And a little bit about the Open Science Institute I’ll get to, is more details about is that we have an infrastructure that came out of my PhD work at MIT, called CytoSolve®, which helps us model, use the computer to model molecular pathways, essentially model the human cell, on the computer so we can eliminate the need for hurting animals and killing animals.
So, it’s a very powerful technology. And as a part of our public service, we use that technology and based on people’s contributions and based on our own resources, we do research using that technology on particular herbs, on particular types of biomolecular mechanisms.
Today, we’re looking at Chinese Skullcap, and its effects on lung congestion or lung health. If anyone wants to know information of all the different kinds of things that VA Shiva is involved it go to VAshiva.com, and you can find out more. Let’s go right into this.
First of all, Chinese Skullcap, is called Scutellaria baicalensis, it’s a perennial herb, it’s indigenous to China. And it belongs to the Lamiaceae family. And it’s widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. And the properties in our world that are attributed to its benefits are the flower, the root, and the stem. The flower, the root, and the stem. As I spoke about last time, when I spoke about Schisandra, they use a fruit and the root here, we’re using multiple other components, we’re using the flower, the stem, that’s important to remember when whenever you’re looking at herbs, you want to take an understanding that where are the components coming from. So, that’s what we’re looking at.
What You Will Learn
What we’re going to learn today is, first of all, what is Chinese Skullcap. We’re going to review what is lung congestion. We’re going to look at the molecular pathway systems of lung congestion. And really there’s about five molecular systems you’re going to learn. And then we’re going to look at how Chinese Skullcap affects lung congestion. That’s we’re going to do just to at a very high level and get more details.
Here are your lungs, the left lung, and the right lung. Here, sort of your normal air pathways, here are congested pathways. The top is normal, the bottom is congested. And the typical thing in a normal airway is, you don’t have these widened, you have nice thin, normal airways, you have the airway wall, which is again, thin, and then you have the muscle.
But notice a difference with what you see here, in the congested airways it’s filled with mucus. And notice how thick the walls have become, they’ve actually become scarred, and the airways themselves have become very thick. And the airways are also wide, wider than normal, and the airway is actually thicker, and it’s been scarred. So that’s a big thing.
Journey to Systems
Before I go into this, we take a Systems Approach and I always like to give people a little bit of background on my journey to systems. For those of you are new, let me play this I’ll give you my journey to systems. Here we go.
That gives you an idea of my Journey to Systems and I hope it inspires all of you to take a Systems Approach.
Science on Chinese Skullcap
Let’s go back to Chinese Skullcap. So, when we look at Chinese Skullcap here, to those of you just joining, it’s an herb that’s indigenous to China. It belongs to the Lamiaceae Family, and it’s a traditional Chinese medicine. And we’re going to focus on the flower, the root, and the stem, because that’s where the medicinal properties are attributed to. We’re going to learn what is Chinese Skullcap, you’re going to learn, what is lung congestion? What are the molecular pathways, and then the effects of Skullcap on lung congestion?
There’s been about 1,700 or right as of now 1,757 articles, 19 clinical trials, and over 84 years of research. So, there’s been a decent amount of work. It’s not like some of the other herbs we looked at where they have 100,000 articles, 1000’s of clinical trials, but it’s reasonably steady. It’s not unknown to the medical community. And you can see over here on this graph, that the studies over the last 1015 years have explosively grown in the amount of research that’s been going on.
There are total of 75 different chemical compounds that have been identified so far. And they go into four different types of flavonoids, terpenoids, polysaccharides, and essential oils. Again, to emphasize, we have to recognize that pharmaceutical companies typically just focused on one chemical compound, which doesn’t actually occur in nature. That’s called a synthetic compound here.
When we look at natural products, we’re looking at an ingredient or food like, or an herb like Skullcap, which contains 75 different compounds. And this is what makes the complexity of studying herbs far more difficult, because it’s not just one, you’re looking at the Synergy of how all these 75 compounds work. And this is why food, this is why CytoSolve® is such a powerful technology. We’ll get more into that.
Active Components of Chinese Skullcap
But here are the active components of Chinese Skullcap. Again, these are the different chemical structures. Here’s Baicalin, Baicalein, Wogonoside, and those are the main chemical structures. There are really four main chemical structures here. And you notice that a lot of them have these ring structures, the hydroxy groups.
And you can see some of them are very similar. This is similar sort of to this, but you notice it’s flipped. And these are called stereochemical differences, but there’s four major substantive different types of active components that have been studied.
Biological Effects and Health Benefits
What are the biological effects of Chinese Skullcap? It’s an anticonvulsant. And that’s very, very important when you’re trying to stop a cough or you’re trying to stop something and your congestive issues that are going on. It’s a neuroprotector. It’s antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and hepatoprotective. This means it protects your liver . You can look at it as having seven different biological effects, but it also has some health benefits too. Here are the health benefits, which help fight diarrhea, dysentery, hypertension, hemorrhaging, insomnia, respiratory infections, and allergies. So, these are the broad health benefits of Chinese Skullcap.
Let’s talk about lung congestion. What happens when you get lung congestion? As we talked about earlier, here’s your lungs, the upper part we’re showing to be clear in this red and here you see sort of this tan area. And this is where the lungs essentially have a lot of mucus in them. The walls become thicker, and the airways become wider unlike the normal condition where they’re thin, the walls are thin, and the muscle is right there.
What happens is when you get respiratory blockage, and this occurs as a result of excess blood in a specific part of the lungs, you can think about it. If your lungs are undergoing infection, blood will rush into those areas, and you’re going to get excess blood.
And the common symptoms of respiratory tract infection are the mucous membranes become inflamed, and there’s excessive mucus production. So, it’s not like you don’t have any mucus production. But there’s excess mucus production that blocks a different area airway. And obviously, when you have mucus filled in your airways, it becomes hard to breathe.
And the further problem with this, this becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to secondary infection. So, you have an infection that takes place blood rushes in, that starts the excess blood results in mucous membranes being inflamed, you get excess mucus production, you get difficulty breathing, and this all sets up a condition for more bacteria, not a good state to be in.
Mechanism of Lung Congestion
What I want to now think about is, at a very high level, if you took your microscope and you looked way down into the molecular systems, and using a “microscope” in double quotes, you would start recognizing that different biomolecular machinery are involved in either increasing congestion of the lungs or getting rid of it. And there are five different mechanisms. We’re going to go over biological biomolecular mechanisms. And when I reviewed Schisandra, I went over this is maybe a review for some of you, but these are the five biomolecular mechanisms.
One of them is where your body metabolizes Arachidonic acid and that results in inflammation we’ll talk about. Then you have cytokine production via two pathways, MAPK or NF-κB, both of them resulting in you need cytokines, which are an immune response, but the issue is how much do you have because when you have too much of them, you get create the cytokine storm. So, there’s two cytokine production pathways MAPK and NF-κB. Then the third one is mucus production through mucin production. And then the last one is smooth muscle relaxation.
Mapping Molecular Pathways with CytoSolve®
What I want to now let you know is that the way we understand these pathways and how Skullcap affects them is using a tool called CytoSolve®. You can go to CytoSolve.com, it’s a technology. That’s really the future of, someone here, Heather Burden, just put up an interesting point here, too. It’s really, as Heather said, “CytoSolve® is the future of health using systems biology. It completes rapid, safe, and economical analysis using computer modeling of molecules.” That’s what CytoSolve® really is. And what we’ve done here, which CytoSolve® is that we’re able to take all of this literature so here we’re looking at lung congestion and Skullcap.
We take all of that literature, we extract out the relevant papers and we extract out the molecular pathways, the five that I just covered, and then we look at how Skullcap affects those pathways, not only just sort of hand waving, but mathematically, because CytoSolve® lets us take this very medieval process of drug development where they can only handle a single compound and they do stuff in a test tube, then they go kill a bunch of animals and they do human testing. What CytoSolve® does we start way before this, we do modeling way ahead. The pharma companies spend more and more money in R&D, and they’re finding less and less new drugs. This is why they need vaccines because they’re losing money. Vaccines aren’t regulated there. There are no lawsuits if you hurt somebody. Before I go into the details of this, for those of you who want to know a little bit more about CytoSolve® let me share that with you.
Molecular Pathway Systems of Lung Congestion
With CytoSolve®, we identified the following five mechanisms of action, these are the five mechanisms, let’s go through them. You have Arachidonic acid metabolism, cytokine production via MAPK, cytokine production of NF-κB, mucin production, and smooth muscle relaxation. Now, you don’t have to worry about these, but I wanted to just let you become aware that the body has molecular reactions taking place and these are called molecular pathways.
Now these five pathways are central to understanding what causes lung congestion and what you can do to alleviate them. The first pathway, Arachidonic acid metabolism and these pathways look like this. You have Arachidonic acid here, it gets metabolized. And it produces, through a series of pathways here and here, Prostaglandins. Prostaglandin, PGH-2.
And these Prostaglandins eventually, over here, it also produces PGE-2. When Arachidonic acid gets metabolized, this is where you have the inflammatory process taking place. And a variable called PGE-2 gets created. And you don’t want that because you have high inflammation. This is the cytokine production.
Another mechanism is called cytokine, production of the cytokine. Here’s IL-6, you can look at also TNF-Alpha and COX-2, these are cytokines but they’re being produced through this pathway through what’s called MAPK.
Another pathway that’s involved in lung congestion is NF-κB, which gets produced through NF-κB here. NF-κB. This is the cell wall. This is the cytoplasm. And then NF-κB crosses the nuclear membrane. And here you get IL-6, which is another inflammatory cytokine.
And then you have Mucin, mucus production, and you can see right here, for example, cigarette smoke through a series of pathways results in mucus here, but there’s other mechanisms that lead to the production of mucus. Again, the main thing I want you to take away from here, they are all these biomolecules, these reactions taking place, and CytoSolve® maps all these out.
And then you have smooth muscle relaxation. Your muscle can either relax or it can contract through MLCP. When MLCP’s there, you get relaxation, when MLCP is blocked, you don’t get relaxation. So, MLCP is a very, very important chemical that supports relaxation.
The net of it is if you want to just think about it very simply, if you want to reduce lung congestion, we want to reduce inflammation, which means reduce PGE-2 which is produced during Arachidonic metabolism, acid metabolism. We want to reduce IL-1 and IL-8, as you can see here, from this cytokine production pathway.
And we also want to reduce these variables IL-6 and IL-8 again two other cytokines. So, these four cytokines, we want to down regulate this biomarker of inflammation we want to bring down and obviously want to bring down mucus production, but we want to increase MLCP because when you increase this, guess what, you get smooth muscle relaxation, which helps alleviate lung congestion. So, these are bad guys. These are good guys. To put in a simple way.
Effects of Chinese Skullcap on Long Congestion
Now, what happens with Chinese Skullcap? Now that we understand how the body’s working, how does Chinese Skullcap go and influence that, and the best way, I’m going to give away sort of the story the punch line right here, is you can see here the different mechanisms of action. Now when something is in the green area, which means there’s an effective it’s in the gray area. That means there’s no effect.
So, when you look at Chinese Skullcap root, you can see right away Chinese Skullcap root has an effect on lowering PGE-2 to lowering those four cytokines. But it also has an effect in increasing MLCP, which allows your smooth muscles to relax. But it doesn’t have that much effect on Mucin-5, which is the mucin production.
If you remember yesterday, we showed you that Schisandra berry actually reduces mucin production, but here, what you’re seeing is from the CytoSolve® analysis, and I’ll take you through the more detail, we find that the Skullcap reduces the others, you know, the four cytokines, plus PGE-2 and it increases MLCP, which is good, but has really no effect on mucin production.
Think about if you wanted to make a combination that if you included Schisandra, and Skullcap, you’re now getting an aggregate effect because the Schisandra for example, did not affect PGE-2. But if did it lower the cytokines, all four and it increased MLCP. And it reduced mucin. But it had no effect on PGE-2. This is sort of the alchemy that you can start seeing. And the reason we want to do alchemy is because you want to hit all these pathways. But you notice we have a gaping hole here for Chinese Skullcap on reducing mucus production. Good.
One of the things that I want to share with you is, when I share this research with you, we have actually over the last16 years of developing CytoSolve® and using it for research to understand how things work. In the last couple years, we actually use CytoSolve®, just like I’m doing here, mapping out all the molecular pathways of pain, and inflammation, and then looking at all different flavonoids and herbs that are out there. And we started testing them again without killing animals, on the computer.
And we were very fortunate to discover a combination of bioflavonoids, which had a very profound effect on reducing inflammation, and pain and discomfort to say specifically. So, let me just play you a little thing so you get an idea that not only can we use CytoSolve®, like what we’re doing here, to give away knowledge as part of the Open Science Project. And you can go to VAShiva.com if you want to support the Open Science Initiative you can contribute. But let me just show you that we’ve also created a product that people have been asking us to do so this is our product. Let me share with you
And if you want to go to VAShiva.com You can go right there. People asked me about it, and you go to the shop, you can find them mV25™ right there. Let’s go back to the lung congestion. CytoSolve® mapped out all of these molecular pathways, these five. We identified the particular biomarkers; PGE-2, IL-1, IL-8, IL-6, IL-8, Mucin-5, these six we want to bring down an MLCP-1 increased, and you can see Chinese Skullcap does that on the first five here, doesn’t do much on Mucin-5, and it does increase MLCP.
Let’s look at PGE-2. What does it do to PGE-2? We did our analysis of PGE-2 at a level of 400 and control. Again, all of this is done computationally without killing animals. That’s what the power of CytoSolve® is, we definitely find out that it brings down PGE-2 to values by almost 15%. You can see that 15; 10 to 15, 10 to 15%. That’s pretty good. That lowers inflammation.
The next thing is that Skullcap also lowers IL-1, which is an inflammatory cytokine. Not that much, but it does work on it. And same with IL-8, brings it down. And you can see it also with IL-6, it brings that down, and also with IL-8 . And relative to MLCP, it has no effects on Mucin-5.
But when it comes to MLCP, which is the important chemical that reduces contraction, which means increases the smooth muscle relaxation, you can see it as an incredible effect. This almost went up by 20%. Chinese Skullcap, this is similar to Schisandra berry, Schisandra berry also increased smooth muscle relaxation, because you want the muscles around that the airways to relax, because then you can get out the mucus. Otherwise, you get congestion. That’s why the smooth muscle relaxation pathway is so important. So, there you go.
In summary, and I’ll come back to this, Chinese Skullcap has several benefits for lung health that we’ve looked over, it down regulates inflammatory cytokines, those four cytokines, thereby controlling inflammation lung airways, but one of the most important things it does; it down regulates MLCP production, thereby promoting lung airway, muscle relaxation. So that’s really, really important to understand.
I hope this was valuable. Because you now have an understanding of the second herb in our series, we did Schisandra Berry. Today we did Skullcap and tomorrow we’re going to do Dong Quai, DONG QUAI if you want to go do some research on it. I want to let everyone know what we’ve been doing, if you go to VAShiva.com.
VA Shiva Platform – Solutions
One of the important things that we’ve been doing at VA Shiva is that we have been creating the Open Science Institute. And that’s one piece, but the other is to really offer all of you the opportunity to learn the Science of Systems.
If you go to VAshiva.com, you’ll notice that you go to the main page, we have the Journey to Systems video, but we’re promoting now solutions. It’s one thing to just yell at the opposition. But the other thing is actually created new solutions. The Open Science Institute is right here. And you can also propose new ideas.
The CytoSolve® Open Science Institute, we talk about the problem, the solution, and you notice we have different projects going on. So, if you want to support the lung health research, you just click on here, we haven’t put all the text up here, but you get the idea that you can contribute to any of these research projects.
And you can also come up with your own research project. Please take advantage of that because our goal is to give you an opportunity to actually do science by the people, for the people. That’s why when we have the slogan here that we put up here. Let me go over to this, you can see that that’s what we’re saying that we want to create an environment now that anyone can propose ideas, you guys can go be your own research directors, and we have this incredible capability called CytoSolve®. For you to take advantage of.
I hope that was valuable. And tomorrow we’ll be doing another herb in the lung congestion series. Be well, have a good night. And please email me if you have any questions VAShiva@VAShiva.com. I do go through all your emails, and I do respond to them as I can. Perhaps I don’t get to them right away, but I do respond to them. Thank you.
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