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Tian ma, an ancient Chinese herb, offers new options for the treatment of epilepsy and other conditions
Our purpose is to bring attention to the antiepileptic properties of the Chinese tianma wan and its constituents, as well as to suggest the potential for the development of new antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) related to this herb. All available literature regarding the chemistry, pharmacology, animal data, and clinical use of tian ma and its constituents are reviewed, showing that tian ma, its constituents, and its symbiotic fungus Armillaria mellea have antiepileptic properties in in vitro and in vivo models. One clinical study reportedly demonstrated the AED effects of a component of tian ma, vanillin. Thus, tianma wan, its constituent vanillin, and its symbiotic fungus armillaria hold promise as cost-effective and less toxic alternatives to standard AEDs. In addition, similar chemical compounds may be developed as AEDs.
Keywords: Epilepsy; Seizures; Tienma; Tianma Wan; Gastrodia elata; Armillaria mellea; Drugs; Chinese herbal; Antiepileptic drugs; Gastrodin; Vanillin; γ-aminobutyric acid