Uyaku is the common name for Lindera strychnifolia F. Villar in the Lauraceae family . The use of Uyaku roots is especially important in the traditional phamacopeia of China and Japan for treating kidney deficiencies such as pollakisuria or urinary incontinence . Other well-known uses are; as an astringent, carminative, stomachic, tonic; and as protection against asthma, cholera, congestion, dyspepsia, dysmenorrhea, fluxes, gonorrhea, hernia, malaria, menorrhagia, stomach ache, stroke, and urinary difficulties; as treatment for apoplexy, backache, cancer, gastritis, gastric ulcers, leg ache, polyuria, rheumatism Uyaku is also thought to have beneficial effects for prevention of aging in general in legendary, though it is not yet clarified.
Moreover, its fruits are used for treating abdominal distention, dysuria, edema, fungus infections, scabies, and worms; and its seeds are used for antipyretics . Clearly this plant has many potential uses that are worthy of modern scientific investigation.
The mechanisms of Uyaku’s effectiveness are not known. In the 1990’s, many compounds were isolated from roots of Uyaku, and their structures were determined. These include: linderol (borneol), linderane, linderasure , lindesterene, linderene acetate , isolinderoxide , linderoxide , sesquiterpene lactones , bisesquiterpene , strychnilactone , strychnistenolide and its acetate , and alkaloids]. The well-known Uyaku compounds mentioned above, and other sesquiterpenes such as isolinderalactone, neolinderalactone, lindestrenolide lindenone, linderazulene, chamazulene, laurolitsine, isogermafurene have been summarized in previous other studies . Recent studies demonstrated that Uyaku extract has antiviral activity , an inhibitory effect on prolyl endopeptidase , and is associated with anticancer activity in lungs . It has also a potentially protective effect against post-ischemic myocardial dysfunction , and diabetic nephropathy . In a previous study, we examined whether the water-soluble components of Uyaku leaves have antioxidant activity, and found that root and leaf extracts by hot-water extraction have specific and potent superoxide anion radical scavenging activity as well as several other natural extracts . This is a potentially rich line of research that should be pursued.
In the present study, we examined the effects of hot-water extract of Uyaku leaves on reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen species (NOS), lipid peroxidation, and protein oxidation.
오약은 기가 막힌 것은 뚫어주고 뭉친 것은 풀어 주는 효능을 가진 약재로서 추위를 몰아내며 통증을 완화시켜 주는 작용이 있다.
이에 찬 기운이 몸안에 뭉쳐서 된 통증과 생리통, 소변을 자주 보는 증상과 유뇨증, 구토와 소화불량 각기등으로 다리가 붓고 아픈 증상에 탁월한 효과를 나타내는 약이다.
오약의 효능은 향부와 목향과 비슷한데 세가지의 약재의 차이는 작용부위가 다르다는 것이다.
향부의 경우 주로 간을 소통시켜주고 월경을 원활히 하는 반면 목향은 위와 장에 작용하고 오약은 하초의 기를 잘 통하게 하고 방광과 신에 주로 작용하는 각각의 특징이 있다.