Plant Medicine for the treatment of Gingivitis, An East-West Perspective

(Images credit in refs section)

  Plant medicine for the treatment of Gingivitis, an East-West Perspective:

What is Gingivitis?

A mild form of periodontal disease, where the gums become inflamed due to a build-up of bacteria/plaque underneath or around the gumline, that then release waste or endotoxins.  Gingivitis is quite common. It can be kept at bay with consistent oral hygiene practices (brushing and flossing), regular dental hygienist visits (more in-depth cleaning), and at-home herbal treatments.  If left, gingivitis can lead to a more severe disease called periodontitis, causing receding gums, bleeding gums, pain, and degradation of tooth structure leading to the loss of teeth.

Eastern and Western Herbal Research:

1) “This study was to estimate the effect of herbal medicines on periodontal disease. To screen effective materials for periodontal disease, we performed a series of test for herbal medicine extracts”, “Eunhang (Gingko biloba), Youkdoogu, Daewhang (Platycodon), Hoobak (Tobacco), Goojulcho (Pinguicula or butterwort), Yongacho (Tropaeolum), Mokhyang, Sesin (Cyclaman), Sancho (Euonymus planipes) and Hoehyang extracts were effective for reduce P. gingivalis” (Lee, Dong-Jae, et al. 2010).

2)  Aloe, Alma, Burdock root, Blackberry, Clove, Chamomile, Green Tea, Horsetail, Echinacea, Myrrh, Neem, Raspberry leaf, Rose– “Development in alternative medicine research has led to many mouth rinses and toothpastes based on plant extracts” (Rao, N. Jagan, K. R. Subash, and K. Sandeep Kumar, 2012).  Outlined researched plants in relation to anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, astringent, and other sot-after phytochemical actions to combat mild P. gingivitis infections.

3)  TRP (Triphala)- “TRP mouthwash can be considered a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of gingivitis” (Pradeep, A. R., et al. 2016).

4)  “Hence it can be concluded that the pomegranate gel when used as an adjunct with mechanical debridement was efficient in treating gingivitis” (Somu, C. Ashwini, et al. 2012).

5)  MCR (Moutan Peony Root bark extract)- “This study showed that the MCR extract could comprehensively inhibit a wide variety of activations of inflammation-related genes, which may be due to paeonol and paeoniflorin. It is, thus, suggested that MCR may be applied to alleviate the inflammation of periodontal diseases” (Yun, Cheol-Sang, et al. 2013)

6)  “In the present study, a toothpaste containing the herbal ingredients dried heartwood of Acacia chundra Willd. (Red ebony tree), dried leaves of Adhatoda vasica Nees. (Malabar nut), dried bark of Mimusops elengi L. (Spanish cherry wood), dried seeds of Piper nigrum L. (Black pepper), dried roots of Pongamia pinnata L. Pirerre (Indian beech tree), dried gall of Quercus infectoria Olivier. (Aleppo oak), dried flower bud of Syzygium aromaticum L. (clove), dried fruit of Terminalia chebula Retz. (chebulic myrobalan), dried rhizome of Zingiber officinale Rosce. (Ginger), was tested for its efficacy during 12 weeks of twice daily use in improving gingival and oral hygiene and salivary microbial variables.”  &  “The findings of the present study showed statistically significant reductions in all variables tested (gingival bleeding, oral hygiene and salivary anaerobic bacterial counts)” (Jayashankar, S., et al. 2011).

7)  Pomegranate and chamomile plant extracts– “The mouth rinses with the herbal products were effective for this case, showing thus, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties similar to that of chlorhexidine 0.12%” (Batista, Ana Luzia Araújo, et al. 2014).

8) “The herbal mouth rinses achieved significant reductions in dental plaque and gingival inflammation compared to placebo rinses. Five herbal products (Camelia sinensis (Tea leaf), Azadirachta indica (Neem), Anacardium occidentale Linn (Cashew), Schinus terebinthifolius (Brazilian pepper) and Curcuma longa (Turmeric) showed better results than chlorhexidine in dental plaque and gingival inflammation reductions” (Santi, Samantha Simoni, et al. 2019)


Image herbal mouthwash: © 2020 · DESIGNED BY DELUXE DESIGNS

Image teeth:  2020 Airdrie Springs Dental,

1)  Lee, Dong-Jae, et al. “Anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of herbal medicine extracts as anti-gingivitis ingredients.” Journal of dental hygiene science 10.1 (2010): 25-29.

2) Rao, N. Jagan, K. R. Subash, and K. Sandeep Kumar. “Role of phytotherapy in gingivitis: A review.” Int J Pharmacol 1 (2012): 1-5.

3)  Pradeep, A. R., et al. “Triphala, a new herbal mouthwash for the treatment of gingivitis: A randomized controlled clinical trial.” Journal of periodontology 87.11 (2016): 1352-1359.

4)  Somu, C. Ashwini, et al. “Efficacy of a herbal extract gel in the treatment of gingivitis: A clinical study.” Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine 3.2 (2012): 85.

5)  Yun, Cheol-Sang, et al. “Moutan Cortex Radicis inhibits inflammatory changes of gene expression in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated gingival fibroblasts.” Journal of natural medicines 67.3 (2013): 576-589.

6)  Jayashankar, S., et al. “A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study on the effects of a herbal toothpaste on gingival bleeding, oral hygiene, and microbial variables.” Ceylon Medical Journal 56.1 (2011).

7)  Batista, Ana Luzia Araújo, et al. “Clinical efficacy analysis of the mouth rinsing with pomegranate and chamomile plant extracts in the gingival bleeding reduction.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 20.1 (2014): 93-98.

8)  Santi, Samantha Simoni, et al. “Effect of herbal mouth rinses on dental plaque formation and gingival inflammation: A systematic review.” Oral Diseases (2019).


This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment.


Plant medicine for the treatment of GER, GERD/GORD, an East West Perspective:


*Image references in REFs section

What is GER?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux or GER, is a mild/medium form of acid reflux that occurs occasionally, also known as heartburn.  The stomach acid and contents back up into the esophagus causing irritation to the tissues.  GER can be caused by a defective/damaged/relaxed lower esophageal sphincter (the opening from the esophagus to the stomach).  Some contributors to acid reflux are obesity, hiatal hernia, smoking, acidic drinks like orange juice/coffee/tea, alcohol intake, caffeine/fat found in chocolate, fried foods, etc.


What is GERD/GORD?

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a more chronic (defined as 1-2 episodes per week on average)*1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER) and is a more severe form of acid reflux.  The stomach acid and contents back up into the esophagus causing consistent tissue irritation, a bitter taste in the mouth, potentially coughing, pain when lying down, etc.  Untreated GERD/GORD can potentially lead to esophageal cancer and long-term damage.



Chinese Herbal Formula Research:

Ligan Hewei & Jianpi therapies– are combined therapies used in China, pharmaceuticals like PPIs (proton-pump inhibitors), herbs, acupuncture, etc. to lessen symptoms of GERD.  The list of herbs used is extensive. Some herbs included are Panax Ginseng, Licorice root, Codonopsis root, Atractylodes, Zizyphus seed, Poria mushroom, Pinella, etc.   Many of these herbs act on the Spleen and/or Kidneys.

“Therefore, Ligan Hewei therapy and Jianpi therapy could be promising complementary and alternative therapies in the management of GERD, which potentially provides TCM practitioners with more suggestions and guidance in clinical decisions, as well as for treatments based on syndrome differentiation.” (Dai, Yun-kai, et al. 2020)

Wu chu yu tang- (Evodia, Ginger, Zizyphus seed, jujube date fruit) “A clinical study showed that wu chu yu tang (affiliated to Jianpi therapy) could improve the symptoms of GERD through anti-inflammation, antioxidant activity, acid suppression, reduction in pepsin secretion, and mucosal protection.” (Dai, Yun-kai, et al. 2020)

Modified Banxia Xiexin decoction (MBXD)- (Pinellia, Ginger, Zizyphus seed, Licorice root, Baikal skullcap, Panax ginseng, Coptis)- “This systematic review indicates that MBXD may have potential effects on the treatment of patients with GERD.” (Dai, Yunkai, et al. 2017)

Sini Zuojin Decoction (SNZJD)- (Bupleurum root, Immature bitter orange peel, White Peony root, Honey-fried licorice root)- “SNZJD might be useful in the treatment of GERD, but its long-term effects and specific clinical mechanisms are unclear.” (Li, Shaowei, et al. 2020)

Wendan decoction (WDD)- (Bamboo shavings, Immature bitter orange peel, Citrus peel, jujube date fruit, Pinellia, Poria, Ginger root, Prepare licorice root)- “The relapse rate was 12.4% for WDD, significantly lower than 44.0% for conventional therapies” (Ling, Wei, et al. 2015)


Western Herbal Research:

Full formulations unspecified but contained Slippery Elm, Peppermint oil, and an altered form of Licorice root– “A herbal formula designed to sooth and protect the gastric mucosa may be a better alternative than acid-suppressive drugs for people suffering with gastric irritation and GERD.” (Setright, Russell, 2017)

Some herbs outlined- (Calendula, Marshmallow root, Licorice root, Slippery elm, Ginger root, Turmeric root, Rosemary, Comfrey leaf, Aloe vera, Celandine)-“A multifaceted herbal approach can help both treat underlying causes of GERD as well as managing symptoms, helping many patients reduce or avoid long-term use of antiacid drugs.” (Kathy Abascal, 2010)

Aloe vera, Slippery elm, Licorice root, Marshmallow root– “Demulcent herbs contain mucilaginous materials that coat the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can soothe irritation and inflammation. They repair the mucosa by reducing irritation of the bowel and decreasing sensitivity to gastric acid.” (Czibulka, Agnes, 2019)

Bitter candytuft, Angelica root, Chamomile flowers, Caraway fruits, Milk thistle fruits, Ginger root, Citrus peels–  “Other herbs, including Iberogast, ginger, and D-limonene, have been found in clinical studies to reduce gastric acidity, improve gastric emptying, and promote gastric healing.” (Czibulka, Agnes, 2019)





Marshmallow root-

  • Dai, Yun-kai, et al. “Different Traditional Herbal Medicines for the Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Adults.” Frontiers in pharmacology 11 (2020): 884.
  • Dai, Yunkai, et al. “Efficacy and safety of modified Banxia Xiexin decoction (Pinellia decoction for draining the heart) for gastroesophageal reflux disease in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2017 (2017).
  • Li, Shaowei, et al. “Efficacy of Chinese Herbal Formula Sini Zuojin Decoction in Treating Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Clinical Evidence and Potential Mechanisms.” Frontiers in pharmacology 11 (2020): 76.
  • Ling, Wei, et al. “Consistent efficacy of wendan decoction for the treatment of digestive reflux disorders.” The American journal of Chinese medicine 43.05 (2015): 893-913.
  • Setright, Russell. “Prevention of symptoms of gastric irritation (GERD) using two herbal formulas: an observational study.” Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society 23.2 (2017): 68.
  • Kathy Abascal, B. S. “Herbs for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.” ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES (2010).
  • Czibulka, Agnes. “Probiotics and Herbal Therapies.” Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease. Springer, Cham, 2019. 103-113.

This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment.


Plant medicine for the treatment of bone-related diseases, focus on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, an East West Perspective:


(Images references in Refs section)

Plant medicine for the treatment of bone-related diseases, focus on osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, an East West Perspective:

Western Definitions:

What is Osteoporosis?

The consistent break-down of porous bone mass leading to increased risk of fractures.  This can be caused by diet, prolonged exposure to chemicals, genetics, sickness, lack of exercise, etc.

What is Osteoarthritis?

The wear down of protective cartilage between joints.  This can be caused by prolonged repetitive movement(s), diet, genetics, general ‘wear & tear’, trauma, etc.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Perspective: Relates the onset of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis to an energy imbalance in the Liver (Blood), Spleen, and/or Kidneys, individually or together.

  • Liver is the main organ, being the major blood filtration system in the body, that brings nourishment in the form of Blood to the tendons/bones/ligaments.
  • Spleen, being the major organ of digestion, defines the quality of Blood that is produced because of food/drink we ingest.
  • Kidney, the main organ of Jing/Essence/born-with vitality, maintenance and quality of Jing is the foundation to the production of quality bone marrow.

Osteoporosis Research:

“We conclude that Chinese herbs substantially increased BMD (bone mass density) of the lumbar spine compared to placebo or anti-osteoporotic drugs as indicated in the current clinical reports on osteoporosis treatment.” (Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. 2013)

Curculigo orchioides (CO, common/Chinese name golden eye-grass, weevil-wort, xian mao)-“CO ethanol extract has a definite protective effect on bone loss in ovariectomized rats by inhibiting bone resorption and increasing serum phosphorus and calcium levels, without affecting bone formation [33]. In traditional Chinese medicine, CO rhizomes are considered to have the effects of maintaining healthy energy and nourishing the liver and kidneys.” (Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. 2013)

Herba epimedii (common/Chinese name Epimedium, horny goat weed, Xian Ling Pi/ Yin Yang Huo)-  “contains a plenty of Isoflavone [37]. Isoflavone is also one of the determined substance in most of the recipes. Pharmacological studies, either on murine models of osteoporosis or in vitro, have provided some convincing evidence of positive effects of soya and isoflavones on bone health.” (Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. 2013)

Common Onion– “Rutin, the glycosylated form of quercetin, is abundant in onion… The vitro trails showed that rutin consumption increased femoral strength and trabecular bone density by decreasing bone resorption, although cortical bone density was unchanged.” (Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. 2013)

Puerariae radix (common/Chinese name Kudzu root, Ge Gen)- “reversed the bone loss induced by castration, with femur BMD and trabecular number increasing… along with its bone-sparing effect.” (Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. 2013)

Other significant plants/herbs in this systematic review: (Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. 2013)

*systematic reviews are considered one of the top ‘golden’ standards in research, as it weans out insignificant or ‘outliner’ studies

  • Eucommia bark
  • Ligustrum lucidum
  • Rhizoma Drynariae
  • Achyranthes bidentate
  • Cibotium barometz (wolly fern)

Red sage root– “The review highlights the anti-osteoporotic potential of Salvia miltiorrhiza in clinical applications and the potential of the herb to provide potent compounds targeting specific pathways in bone resorption and bone formation.” (Guo, Yubo, et al. 2014)

Soy– “There are several mechanisms for anti-osteoporosis effects. Estrogen-like effects, especially soy phytoestrogenic compounds and other herbal compounds and formulations, can enhance bone formation markers, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity, while decreasing bone resorption biomarkers. Therefore, they can be used as complementary medicine for osteoporosis, especially in postmenopausal older women.” (Habibi Ghahfarrokhi, Shahrzad, and Roya Reisi, 2019)

“We observed the release of markers and anti-inflammatory mediators after treatment with plants, which accelerated the recovery process of bone repair.” & “this study demonstrated that the use of plant extracts stimulates bone repair, increasing osteogenesis, the rate of calcification, and the formation and mineralization of bone callus, accelerating the process of new bone formation on the fracture region. Possibly, these effects are related to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power of these extracts.” (Miranda, Lyvia Lopes, et al. 2019)


Osteoarthritis (OA) Research:

“Although the effect size was small, the meta-analysis revealed that rosehip powder does reduce pain and results in a statistically significant reduction in the use of analgesics.” (Mobasheri, Ali. 2012)

Pure form Turmeric for prevention– “three major curcuminoids was found to be efficacious in preventing joint inflammation when treatment was started before, but not after, the onset of joint inflammation.” (Mobasheri, Ali. 2012)

Resveratrol found in grapes, berries, and peanuts– “These results suggest the use of resveratrol as an herbal medicine for treatment of OA.” (Mobasheri, Ali. 2012)

Resveratrol combined with turmeric– “On the basis of these results, we have proposed that combining these natural compounds may be a more useful strategy in developing herbal medicines than using the individual compounds alone.” (Mobasheri, Ali. 2012)

GCSB-5 (Shinbaro®; Green Cross Corp., Yongin, Korea) is a medicine prepared from six herbs,

“The result of this study supports that GCSB-5 is comparable to Celecoxib in terms of the efficacy and safety for the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee joint.” (Park, Yong-Geun, et al. 2013)

  1. Siler root (Ledebouriellae Radix)
  2. Achyranthes root (Achyranthis Radix)
  3. Acanthopanax bark (Acanthopanacis Cortex)
  4. Chain fern rhizome (Cibotii Rhizoma)
  5. Soya bean (Glycine Semen)
  6. Eucommia bark (Eucommiae Cortex)

Kidney-Tonifying and Blood-activating Chinese herbs (KTBAMs) – “KTBAMs appear to be as effective as NSAIDs and seem to have an add-on effect to NSAIDs for the treatment of KOA (Knee Osteoarthritis).” (Huang, Hetao, et al. 2019) *Table 2 for herbs

Table 2:   (Huang, Hetao, et al. 2019)

Top 20 Chinese herbs and efficacy based on frequency of usage in the 38 study prescriptions.

Kidney-tonifying herbs
Achyranthes Root Radix achyranthis bidentatae Niuxi 24
Prepared Radix Rehmanniae Radix rehmanniae preparata Shudihuang 18
Malaytea Scurfpea Fruit Fructus psoraleae Buguzhi 14
Eucommia bark Cortex eucommia Duzhong 13
Chinese Taxillus Twig Herba taxilli Sangjisheng 13
Drynaria Fortunei Rhizoma drynariae Gusuibu 13
Epimedium herb Herba epimedii Yinyanghuo 10
Common Macrocarpium Fruit Fructus corni Shanzhuyu 7
Prepared common Monkshood Daughter Root Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata Fuzi 7
Blood-activating herbs
Achyranthes Root Radix achyranthis bidentatae Niuxi 24
Chinese Angelica Radix angelicae sinensis Danggui 20
Suberect Spatholobus Stem Caulis spatholobi Jixueteng 14
Danshen Root Radix salviae miltiorrhizae Danshen 11
Szechwan Lovage Rhizome Rhizoma chuanxiong Chuanxiong 10
Pain relief
Doubleteeth Pubescent Angelica Root Radix angelicae pubescentis Duhuo 10
Clematis Root Radix clematidis Weilingxian 10
White Peony Root Radix paeoniae alba Baishao 9
Common Flowering Quince Fruit Fructus chaenomelis Mugua 9
Licorice Root Radix glycyrrhizae Gancao 16
Astragalus Radix astragalus Huangqi 10
Wolfiporia Extensa Poria cocos Fuling 7


Image references:


Herbs and bottles- © 2017 WAKUNAGA OF AMERICA CO., LTD.

  • Wang, Zhi-qian, et al. “Chinese herbal medicine for osteoporosis: a systematic review of randomized controlled trails.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013).
  • Guo, Yubo, et al. “Salvia miltiorrhiza: an ancient Chinese herbal medicine as a source for anti-osteoporotic drugs.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 155.3 (2014): 1401-1416.
  • Habibi Ghahfarrokhi, Shahrzad, and Roya Reisi. “Effects of medicinal herbs on osteoporosis: a systematic review based on clinical trials.” Journal of Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences (2019).
  • Miranda, Lyvia Lopes, et al. “Plant Extracts in the Bone Repair Process: A Systematic Review.” Mediators of inflammation 2019 (2019).
  • Mobasheri, Ali. “Intersection of inflammation and herbal medicine in the treatment of osteoarthritis.” Current rheumatology reports 14.6 (2012): 604-616.
  • Park, Yong-Geun, et al. “A prospective, randomized, double-blind, multicenter comparative study on the safety and efficacy of Celecoxib and GCSB-5, dried extracts of six herbs, for the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee joint.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 149.3 (2013): 816-824.
  • Huang, Hetao, et al. “Are Kidney-Tonifying and Blood-Activating Medicinal Herbs Better than NSAIDs for Knee Osteoarthritis? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2019 (2019).


This blog does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment.