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Shinbaro Pharmacopuncture (Shinbaro 3): Excellent Anti-inflammatory Effect by Simultaneous Suppression of Various Inflammatory Factors

Shinbaro Pharmacopuncture (Shinbaro 3): Excellent Anti-inflammatory Effect by Simultaneous Suppression of Various Inflammatory Factors

The research result showed that Shinbaro pharmacopuncture (Shinbaro 3), which is composed of Harpagophytum procumbens (H.procumbens) as main ingredient, simultaneously suppresses various inflammatory factors. This was published in the current edition (2018-04) of the International Journal of ‘Mediators of Inflammation’ (IF=3.232).

H.procumbens, called “Devil’s Claw”, is medicinal herb used for the treatment of arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant effects. Hwa-jin Chung and Wonil Koh of Jaseng Spine and Joint Research Institute (Director In-Hyuk Ha) have developed Shinbaro 3 pharmacopuncture by hydrolyzing H.procumbens to improve the efficacy and to increase the absorption rate.

Shinbaro 3 pharmacopuncture is now used to treat variety of inflammatory diseases and musculoskeletal disease in Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine. This study revealed the precise mechanism of anti-inflammation of Shinbaro 3 and this anti-inflammatory effect is superior to that of the H.procumbens.

Shinbaro 3, which was prepared by hydrolyzing H.procumbens, was developed by separating harpagide and cinnamic acid from harpagoside. The anti-inflammatory effects of H. procumbens, harpagoside, harpagide, cinnamic acid have already been reported, but it is unclear what mechanism the effect appears.

To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of Shinbaro 3, the research team used inflammation induced macrophage (LPS stimulated) to measure the formation of NO (nitric oxide), iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase), which is inflammation inducing protein, COX-2 and so on.


[Table 1] According to the results of the study, Shinbaro 3 was shown to be more effective in inhibiting NO generation than the same amount of H. procumbens. Significant Inhibition of NO generation means that it has large anti-inflammatory effects.   

As a result, Shinbaro 3 showed a superior inhibition effect of NO generation compared to the same amount of H.procumbens. At 200, 400, 800, 1,000㎍/ML concentration, Shinbaro 3 exhibited superior anti-oxidative effects to those of H.procumbens. This means that Shinbaro 3 has an anti-inflammatory effect in dose-dependent manner.

In addition, the expression of genes, COX2 and iNOS, which are involved in inflammation induction, has been decreased by Shinbaro 3, and inflammatory cytokynes such as TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta have also been shown to decrease.


[Table 2] NF-kappaB is a key transcription factor mediating various inflammatory changes. Sinabaro 3 pharmacopuncture effectively inhibits this transcriptional activity and has anti-inflammatory effects.

Thus, Shinbaro 3, which was developed by hydrolyzing H.procumbens, showed superior anti-inflammatory activity compared to the same amount of H.procumbens. However, further research is needed to determine if these properties are due to the hydrolysis process.

Several recent studies have shown that invisible chemical changes, such as ‘localized chronic inflammatory changes’ in MRI imaging, are one of the causes of clinical symptoms. It means that symptoms can easily recur if the chronic inflammation of the local tissue is not resolved. In this study, an anti-inflammatory efficacy of Shinbaro 3 was confirmed through an experimental study, suggesting Shinbaro 3 can be a fundamental treatment without recurrence of musculoskeletal pain disease.

“This study is meaningful in that it clarified the scientific mechanism of the clinical efficacy of Shinbaro 3, which was prepared by hydrolyzing harpagophytum procumbens” and “according to this result, Shinbaro 3 has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory effects by modulating the inflammatory response mechanisms such as inhibition of NO and COX2. As this mechanism is revealed, Shinbaro 3 is expected to become a potent anti-inflammatory treatment substance” said In-Hyuk Ha, Director of Jaseng Spine and Joint Research Institute.