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The origin herb is named Radix Clematidis in western herbal medicine. Its scientific name is Clematis chinensis or Clematis mandshurica). It’s proven to work well in combination with herbs like Achyranthis and Puerariae for relieving joint and muscle damage. Such mixed herbal formulas offer many different interactive benefits, such as relieving pain, relaxing tight and sore muscles, and reducing swelling and inflammation.

Clematidis in Traditional Chinese Medicine

Radix Clematidis is called Wei Ling Xian in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In TCM it is called a salty, acrid, warm, slightly bitter herb. It’s used to expel Wind-Damp (i.e., eliminate pathogenic wind) and to reduce swelling and painful lumps.

These activities of Clematidis would be the basis for its use in TCM in treating various painful conditions. These include headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, strokes, gout, and lower back pain. Its significance for expelling Wind-Damp also underscores its significance of improving the functions of the liver and bladder channels and for boosting circulation.

Research on Clematidis

Plant chemists have found an assortment of natural substances in this herb which are characteristic of members of the buttercup family. One of the principal ingredients is a substance called oleanolic acid, which can be found in some other herbs. Studies on this substance show it is effective toward protecting the liver, inhibiting tumor growth, and reducing viral growth.

Research on how Clematidis functions have started to demonstrate that the origin extracts inhibit an integral protein complex, which is included in human cellular responses to stress, inflammatory hormones, UV light, autoimmune disorders, disease, and cancerous tumors.

Skin Care Research

Research on Clematidis in Japan, found a particularly remarkable action of the herb on human dermal fibroblasts. These are the cells which are responsible for building connective tissue which helps skin to recover from injury. Such rebuilt connective tissue allows the outer skin cells to combine together for the formation of this new surface of skin because it is repaired.

When UV light damages skin, among its initial responses is that the activation of NF-kB. The activation of NF-kB, in turn, suppresses key enzymes which are important for fixing the UV-induced damage. However, the Japanese study showed that pretreatment of dermal fibroblasts using Clematidis extract completely blocked the activation of NF-kB.

This study underscores the value of Clematidis extracts for preventing and treating skin photoaging brought on by exposure to UV light.

A frequent problem with aging skin is the formation of dark spots that come from the accumulation of the pigment melanin in cells called melanocytes. Recently a survey of 90 herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine found that extracts of Clematidis are among the two most effective herbal remedies for improving melanocyte depigmentation.