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Matrine And Oxymatrine

Matrine and oxymatrine are the two major alkaloid components found in sophora roots. They are obtained primarily from Sophora japonica (kushen), but also from Sophora subprostrata (shandougen), and from the above ground portion of Sophora alopecuroides. Matrine has been widely used on vegetables, fruits, tea, tobacco and so on, it has high efficacy against aphid, cabbage worm, army worm, red spider, mite etc. on dilution of 800-1000 times. The matrines were first isolated and identified in 1958; they are unique tetracyclo-quinolizindine alkaloids found only in Sophora species thus far. An intensive investigation into the pharmacology and clinical applications of these alkaloids has gone on for the past decade and remains one of the focal points of Chinese medical research. The main clinical applications are treatment of people with cancer, viral hepatitis, cardiac diseases (such as viral myocarditis), and skin diseases (such as psoriasis and eczema). In addition, we should also pay attention to the efficacy of matrine on vegetable downy mildew, anthracnose etc. better.

 

Sophora japonica contains about a dozen alkaloids, with matrine and oxymatrine being by far the highest, together comprising about 2% of the dried root stock (most of it in the form of oxymatrine), followed by closely related alkaloids: mainly sophocarpine, but also minute amounts of sophoranol, sophoramine, sophoridine, allomatrine, isomatrine, and others. These alkaloids were first reported as constituents of kushen in a series of publications from 1958-1978.

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