It is a native perennial plant growing in Korea and used as a traditional Korean herbal medicine. It can be found in China too; on the border between China and North Korea.
The rhizomes of. P. koreana have been used as a traditional Korean medicine for amoebic dysentery, malaria, epistaxis, leucorrhoea, scrofula, internal hemorrhoids and also as a contraceptive. The root is antiinflammatory and antiparasitic. It contains several medically active constituents including saponins and anemonin. There are 17 saponins, two of which, derived from the saponin hederagenin, were found to be potent anti-tumor agents. Anemonin has been shown to have both cardiotoxic and cardiotonic properties.
To investigate the therapeutic effect of a Korean herbal medicine Pulsatilla koreana as an anti-septic agent, anti-inflammatory effects of the herbal medicine were determined in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-exposed rats. Treatment with a methanol extract from Pulsatilla koreana significantly inhibited LPS-induced inflammatory responses. Results from ELISA analysis showed that Pulsatilla koreana decreased the plasma and hepatic levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1 β, IL-6, TNF-α while increased the level of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in LPS-exposed rats. Pulsatilla koreana also decreased the plasma levels of other inflammatory mediators such as NO3 -/NO2 -, ICAM-1, PGE2, and CINC-1 in LPS-exposed rats.
Although no significant effects were observed in the phagocytic activities, the distribution of lymphocyte population was significantly shifted by the treatment with Pulsatilla koreana. All together, Pulsatilla koreana exerts anti-inflammatory activities in the immune-challenged animals implicating that this Korean herbal medicine is therapeutically useful for the treatment of inflammatory diseases like sepsis.
Anti-inflammatory effects of a methanol extract from Pulsatilla koreana in lipopolysaccharide-exposed rats.
Antitumor activity of Pulsatilla koreana saponins and their structure-activity relationship. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2005 November; 53(11):1451-4