Immune-boosting botanicals are used throughout the world to prevent/alleviate infectious diseases, but the mechanism of their therapeutic action has remained unclear.
Kawamura and co-workers found that some immune-boosting herbs do not produce immunostimulatory factors; instead, they enrich probiotics (beneficial bacteria with immune-boosting effects). The finding suggests that immune-boosting botanicals may be a treasure trove of new probiotics. The study also opens the possibility of using plant probiotics as a source of new vaccine adjuvants (i.e., chemical agents to boost the efficacy of vaccines), which are needed to address pressing health challenges, including the threat of pandemics.
The paper is published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters.
Montenegro, D., Kalpana, K., Chrissian, C., Sharma, A., Takaoka, A., Iacovidou, M., Soll, C.E., Aminova O., Heguy, A., Cohen, L., Shen, S., Kawamura, A. “Uncovering potential 'herbal probiotics' in Juzen-taiho-to through the study of associated bacterial populations” Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2015;25(3):466-9. PMID: 25547935. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2014.12.036