Oxymatrine an alkaloid derived from the roots and above ground portions of the Sophora plants. Many plant alkaloids are used in medicine; The best known alkaloids are the opiates but others include quinine (malaria), atropine, vincristine (an anti-leukemia drug) and hallucinogenic plants such as datura and mandrake.
Oxymatrine has antiviral effects in cell cultures and some Chinese studies suggest it can reduce the viral load and liver damage in humans with hepatitis B.
Some Chinese researchers suggest oxymatrine injections in combination with Chinese herbs may be as effective as interferon in treating hepatitis but without the side effects.
A review of Chinese studies suggested oxymatrine may be able to increase blood flow, increase heart muscle contractility and reduce coxsackie virus activity in patients with viral myocarditis.
Oxymatrine is also considered an anti-cancer drug in China.