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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 732126, 13 pages
Research Article

Interaction of Veratrum nigrum with Panax ginseng against Obesity: A Sang-ban Relationship

1College of Korean Medicine, Institute of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 26 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-Gu, Seoul 130701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Oriental Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Wonkwang University, 460 Iksandae-ro, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570749, Republic of Korea
3Department of Cosmeceutical Science, Daegu Haany University, 1 Haanydaero, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-Do 712715, Republic of Korea

Received 2 April 2013; Revised 18 July 2013; Accepted 19 July 2013

Academic Editor: Seong-Gyu Ko

Copyright © 2013 Jinbong Park 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.


Obesity has become a major health threat in developed countries. However, current medications for obesity are limited because of their adverse effects. Interest in natural products for the treatment of obesity is thus rapidly growing. Korean Medicine (KM) is characterized by the wide use of herbal formulas. However, the combination rule of herbal formulas in KM lacks experimental evidence. According to Shennong’s Classic of Materia Medica, the earliest book of herbal medicine, Veratrum nigrum (VN) has antagonistic features against Panax ginseng (PG), and the PG-VN pair is strictly forbidden. In this study, we have shown the effects of PG, VN, and their combination on obesity in high-fat (HF) diet-induced obese mice and in 3T3-L1 cells. PG, VN, and PG-VN combination significantly reduced weight gain and the fat pad weight in HF diet-induced obese mice. They also significantly decreased lipid accumulation and the expressions of two major adipogenesis factors, PPARγ and C/EBPα, in 3T3-L1 cells. In addition, the PG-VN combination had synergistic effects compared with the mixture of extracts of PG and VN on inhibition of PPARγ and C/EBPα expressions at lower doses. These results indicate a new potential anti-obese pharmacotherapy and also provide scientific evidence supporting the usage of herbal combinations instead of mixtures in KM.