Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Characterization of Salvia Miltiorrhiza ethanol extract as an anti-osteoporotic agent

Yan Cui1, Bidur Bhandary1, Anu Marahatta1, Geum-Hwa Lee2, Bo Li1, Do-Sung Kim1, Soo-Wan Chae1, Hyung-Ryong Kim2* and Han-Jung Chae1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pharmacology and Institute of Cardiovascular Research, School of Medicine, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Chonbuk, South Korea

2 Department of Dental Pharmacology and Wonkwang Dental Research Institute, School of Dentistry, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Chonbuk, South Korea

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Citation and License

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:120  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-120

Published: 28 November 2011



Salvia miltiorrhiza (SM) has long been used as a traditional oriental medicine for cardiovascular disease. Accumulating evidence also indicates that SM has anti-osteoporotic effects. This study was conducted to examine the SM-induced anti-osteoporotic effect and its possible mechanisms with various doses of SM.


We studied Sprague-Dawley female rats aged 12 weeks, divided into six groups: sham-operated control (SHAM), OVX rats supplemented with SM (1, 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg) orally for 8 weeks. At the end of the experiment, blood samples were collected and biochemistry analysis was performed. Specimens from both tibia and liver were processed for light microscopic examination. DEXA and μ-CT analyses of the tibia were also performed.


SM treatment significantly ameliorated the decrease in BMD and trabecular bone mass according to DEXA and trabecular bone architecture analysis of trabecular bone structural parameters by μ-CT scanning. In serum biochemical analysis, SM decreased the released TRAP-5b, an osteoclast activation marker and oxidative stress parameters including MDA and NO induced by OVX.


The preventive effect of SM was presumably due to its anti-oxidative stress partly via modulation of osteoclast maturation and number. In current study, SM appears to be a promising osteoporosis therapeutic natural product.

Salvia miltiorrhiza; OVX; BMD; morphometry; oxidative stress