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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 790784, 6 pages
Original Article

A Chinese Herbal Preparation Containing Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Radix Notoginseng and Borneolum Syntheticum Reduces Circulating Adhesion Molecules

1Monash University Department of Medicine, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
2Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, Victoria University, P.O. Box 14428, Melbourne, VIC 8001, Australia
3Division of Chinese Medicine, School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
4Registered Chinese medicine practitioner in private practice, Prahran, VIC, Australia
5National Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia
6Institute of Research and Development, Tianjin Tasly Pharmaceutical Corporation, Tianjin, China

Received 13 December 2007; Accepted 21 August 2008

Copyright © 2011 Kylie A. O’Brien et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Circulating adhesion molecules (CAMs), surface proteins expressed in the vascular endothelium, have emerged as risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). CAMs are involved in intercellular communication that are believed to play a role in atherosclerosis. A Chinese medicine, the “Dantonic Pill” (DP) (also known as the “Cardiotonic Pill”), containing three Chinese herbal material medica, Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae, Radix Notoginseng and Borneolum Syntheticum, has been used in China for the prevention and management of CVD. Previous laboratory and animal studies have suggested that this preparation reduces both atherogenesis and adhesion molecule expression. A parallel double blind randomized placebo-controlled study was conducted to assess the effects of the DP on three species of CAM (intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and endothelial cell selectin (E-selectin)) in participants with mild-moderate hypercholesterolemia. Secondary endpoints included biochemical and hematological variables and clinical effects. Forty participants were randomized to either treatment or control for 12 weeks. Treatment with DP was associated with a statistically significant decrease in ICAM-1 (9% decrease, P = .03) and E-Selectin (15% decrease, P = .004). There was no significant change in renal function tests, liver function tests, glucose, lipids or C-reactive protein levels and clinical adverse effects did not differ between the active and the control groups. There were no relevant changes in participants receiving placebo. These results suggest that this herbal medicine may contribute to the development of a novel approach to cardiovascular risk reduction.