Naturally Occurring Compounds Could Treat Pain, Inflammation

Compounds found in rosemary and sage could inhibit pain and inflammatory pathways.

Researchers found that 2 plant-derived compounds could potentially treat inflammation and pain, since they inhibit associated pathways.

Carnosol (CS) and carnosic acid (CA) are diterpenoids found in sage and rosemary. Diterpenoids can be found in plants, fungi, and marine organisms. In a study published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, researchers tested the effect CS and CA had on inflammatory pain in human cells and mice.

These compounds were seen to inhibit 2 enzymes involved with inflammation, fever, and pain. Researchers found that 1 of the enzymes is linked to inflammatory disorders and human tumors, while the other enzyme is linked to inflammation and immune processes.

“We have demonstrated that 5-LO and mPGES-1, 2 key enzymes of inflammation, are primary targets of CS and CA, which are major bioactive ingredients of herbs that are used as spices - namely sage and rosemary - and in traditional medicine,” said lead researcher Giuseppe Bifulco, PhD. “Our study provides comprehensive insights into their anti-inflammatory mechanism. Understanding both the molecular basis and pharmacological relevance of natural products is essential to fully exploit the power of nature for human health.”

Researchers said that inhibitors of 5-LO and mPGES-1 are alternatives to standard anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.

“The discovery of new dual 5-LO/mPGES-1 inhibitors, like CS and CA, represents a valid strategy for the treatment of inflammatory and cancer diseases and further justifies the use of sage and rosemary in traditional medicine,” lead researcher Andreas Koeberle, PhD concluded. “It is important that these natural products are tested in different experimental inflammation and cancer animal models as well as in imaging studies to obtain a complete comprehension of the molecular basis behind their observed biological activity.”