Teasel for Treatment of Lyme?

In a recent Pharmaceuticals article, researchers continued the search for phytochemicals effective against resistant Lyme disease. The root of Dipsacus fullonum L., also known as wild teasel, is known as “Xu duan” in Chinese medicine and is recognized for both its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. As a promising plant source, investigators in this new study evaluated the activity of wild teasel leaves extract and its fractions against stationary phase B. burgdorferi in vitro.  

Two main classes of substances were identified in the study: polyphenols and iridoids. The two major polyphenols were saponarin and chlorogenic acid, the main iridoids were sylvestrosides III and IV, loganic acid and loganin.

Sylvestrosides III and IV bioactives showed effective anti-Borrelia activity in vitro, as well as proving to be least toxic to murine fibroblast NIH/3T3 cells. The concentration of sylvestrosides was about 15% of wild teasel extract, demonstrating the potential for purification of the compounds from wild teasel leaves. Wild teasel leaf extract has now been characterized as a potential source of anti-Borrelia bioactives. 

Previously, bioactives from wild teasel roots have exhibited minimal activity against Lyme disease, however studies have demonstrated the significant differences in composition of leaves from that of the root. Researchers have now found great potential for testing the bioactive sylvestrosides against the latent forms of B. burgdorferi as separate phytochemicals, as well as testing in combination with other bioactives, antibiotics and micronutrients to evaluate effectiveness against latent Lyme bacteria.

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