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IPFS News Link • Drugs and Medications

Thistle extract accelerates nerve regeneration by up to 29%

• New Atlas

According to a new study, a compound found in the blessed thistle plant accelerates the regeneration of damaged nerves, restoring motor function and touch sensation.

Damaged nerve fibers (axons) in the peripheral nervous system can regenerate themselves, but complete functional recovery often doesn't occur. That's because the Schwann cells responsible for regeneration stop providing support after about three months. If the restoration of nerve function, called reinnervation, hasn't happened in that time, the axonal injury often results in lifelong incomplete recovery and can lead to nerve or neuropathic pain.

Researchers from the University of Cologne in Germany used cnicin from the blessed thistle plant on cultured cells, including human cells, and live animals to see whether it sped up nerve regeneration and reduced pain.