Significant and Safe Pain Relief with Korean AngelicaJuly 2007
By Christie C. Yerby, ND
Other Benefits of Korean Angelica
Like many other natural therapies, Korean Angelica may offer numerous benefits for human health. Cancer researchers are turning their attention to this promising botanical remedy, as studies show that Korean Angelica may help inhibit tumor growth and metastasis while increasing the rates of programmed cell death in leukemia, melanoma, and prostate cancers.6-11 While much remains to be learned about Korean Angelica’s benefits for cancer protection, it seems likely that the herbal extract’s effects are linked with its ability to modulate inflammation—a contributor to cancer and many other chronic diseases.
Averting Alzheimer’s Disease
The benefits of Korean Angelica may extend beyond fighting pain and guarding against cancer to protecting the brain and nervous system against age-associated disease and decline. Studies suggest that compounds derived from Korean Angelica may protect the delicate brain from a variety of damaging factors, and may even mitigate susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.12,13
Evidence suggests that Korean Angelica prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitter involved in healthy memory function.14,15 This mechanism is shared by several pharmaceuticals such as Aricept® that are commonly used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, Korean Angelica helps protect against memory impairment induced by amyloid-beta, damaging plaques seen in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.12-16
These exciting studies strongly suggest that Korean Angelica may one day find applications in the prevention and management of Alzheimer’s disease. Further research may illuminate the effects of Korean Angelica in preserving healthy cognitive function with aging.
Dosing and Safety
The recommended dose of the specialized Korean Angelica formulation called Decursinol-50™ is 250 mg, once or twice daily as needed. Some individuals find it helpful to begin with the larger dose of 500 mg daily to aggressively manage pain, and are able to later reduce their daily dose to 250 mg as their pain subsides.
Angelica plants are natural source of sweet-smelling phytochemicals called coumarins.17,18 Like their chemical cousin warfarin (Coumadin®), coumarins inhibit platelet aggregation, and may thus help prevent blood clots.17-19 Individuals who use medications that inhibit platelet aggregation such as warfarin (Coumadin®) should consult a physician before using Korean Angelica.20
An estimated 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis. Many more are plagued with other forms of chronic pain, and even more are suffering from acute pain syndromes. Unfortunately, there is very little safe help available through pharmaceutical resources. The science of phytochemisty may be our best source of relief, as it brings us centuries of anecdotal evidence, and more recently, documented clinical results of the pain-relieving benefits of Korean Angelica.