Tanshinone IIa is one of the most abundant constituents of Chinese sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza) roots, which are highly prized in traditional medicine for their ability to treat cardiovascular disease and stroke. In additional to its traditional uses, tanshinone IIA is under study for anti-cancer treatments.
Yet another use for tanshinone IIA is being investigated. S. A. Renshaw and colleagues at the University of Sheffield found that it causes neutrophils to move away from animals' injury sites, allowing the wounds to heal. Neutrophils are sent by the immune system to reduce inflammation, but if they stay around, healing can be delayed. Tanshinone IIA's mechanism for removing neutrophils is under study.
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