Bacteria on Plant Is the Source of Its Immune-Boosting Effects

Juzen-taiho-to, also known as shi quan da bu tang, is an herbal remedy commonly prescribed by traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine practitioners. It translates to “all-inclusive great tonifying decoction” and is made up of cinnamon, astralagus, dong quai, ginseng, female ginseng, peony, atractylodes, ginger, licorice, hoelen, cnidium, and rehmannia. Ingredients are typically ground into a powder and drank as a tea.

Juzen-taiho-to is typically used to treat fatigue, anemia, appetite loss, dry skin, and night sweating. And according to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, studies indicate that juzen-taiho-to can help defend against cancer and metastases.

Researchers from Hunter College of the City University of New York aimed to look at the individual constituents that make up the popular herbal formula, focusing primarily on juzen-taiho-to’s most potent component, Angelica sinensis, or female ginseng. In the past, researchers have been unable to determine the exact mechanism behind the plant’s immune-boosting activities, so for this study they implemented a technique called metagenomics. They were able to analyze both the active parts of the female ginseng plant and the organisms that grow on it.

Test results showed that a beneficial bacteria called Rahnella aquatilis grows on the roots of the Angelica sinensis plant. The bacteria are infused with lipopolysaccharides. Researchers determined that the lipopolysaccharide Lipid A helps stimulate the immune-strengthening effects of the herb.

“Our study reinforces the growing awareness of ‘good bacteria’ and their health benefits,” said researcher Kriti Kalpana. “This type of bacteria, in this context, seems to be non-toxic, safe to use and effective in helping you fight off disease.”

Findings were presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Annual Meeting during Experimental Biology 2016.

Interested in Taking Shi Quan Da Bu Tang 

Traditional chinese herbal medicine selection with mortar and pestle over papyrus background.

Chinese herbal formulations are unregulated, and the components of medicines of the same name can be vastly different. When researchers tested different brands they found varying levels of helpful bacteria and immune-stimulating compounds. It all depends on how the herbs are cultivated and processed.

Herbal treatments are very potent. Always consult a licensed health care practitioner who should be able to point you to a trustworthy source of juzen-taiho-to. Many traditional Asian medicine practitioners source their own herbs for formulation.