Sophora flavescens is a species of plant in the genus Sophora. Ku shen (the root) or kushenin (a flavonoid compound) is a typical traditional chinese medicine that is found in this plant. It is commonly used for the treatment of viral hepatitis, enteritis, cancer, viral myocarditis, gastrointestinal hemorrhage and skin diseases (such as colpitis, psoriasis and eczema). Its roots contain quinolizidine alkaloids, includying matrine and its oxide, matrine oxide that interfere TNF-alpha and IL-6, suggesting that oxymatrine may inhibit the expression of the above pro-inflammatory cytokines.Matrine also inhibited expression of Substance P and NK-1R in a human model of skin inflammation, as well as acting as an agonist at mu and kappa opioid receptors.
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