For many centuries earthworm has been used in the Far East traditional medical practice for conditions associated with circulatory abnormalities. It was recorded in the "Ben Cao Gang Mu", the traditional Eastern world's pharmacopoeia, as a potent medicine for “Liver Wind uprising and Channel blockage” conditions.
In order to elucidate the power of earthworms, Japanese scholars Dr. Hisashi Mihara and others succeeded in extracting a fibrin-dissolving enzyme from Lumbricus rubellus in the 1980s. This enzyme was later found to consist of a few proteolytic sub-enzymes, which are collectively named lumbrokinase. Lumbrokinase is also referred to as earthworm fibrinolytic enzymes (EFE), earthworm powder enzymes (EPE), or e-PA.
Since then many Korean and Chinese researchers have compiled extensive scientific and clinical data on lumbrokinase extracted from Lumbricus rubellus and Eisenia fetida. In Japan and Korea lumbrokinase has been the main ingredient in “Dragon Heart”, a popular health supplement for supporting circulatory health. Whereas in China, earthworm protein extracts and lumbrokinase have been studied thoroughly and have been used to support a healthier blood state.
As science and technology advanced over the last century, so did the knowledge about the active constituents in traditional medicine.
First there was dried earthworms used in traditional oriental medicine decoctions, and then there was ground-up earthworm powder. Later came the granular crude extract of earthworms, and now there is Boluoke®, a nutraceutical product containing purified enzymes extracted from earthworms. Just like omega-3 molecules in fish oil, polyphenols in green tea, and curcumin and turmeric, the group of enzymes called lumbrokinase shall in time be known as the most valuable ingredients in earthworms.
Boluoke® (lumbrokinase) is the only fully researched oral enzyme on the market supporting a healthier blood state, and it shows great promise in supporting a healthy coagulation/fibrinolysis balance in the body. Coagulation system is a complicated and highly regulated system. Modern lifestyles often tip the balance towards hypercoagulation and rarely towards hypocoagulation. For most people, Boluoke® can support the body in keeping the system in a more balanced state. Some practitioners are also recommending Boluoke® for those who choose to be on hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, and for those who could not tolerate standard preventative pharmaceutical drugs.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The conservative approach is to stop Boluoke® 1 week prior to surgery. The patient may resume taking Boluoke® 15 days after surgery if no complication or earlier if the physician deems appropriate.
Boluoke® does not significantly affect blood tests like PT and aPTT (thus it does not affect INR). However, patients should always consult their physicians before taking Boluoke® while on any prescriptions.
The capsules used in Boluoke® are enteric coated capsules. They are designed to resist stomach acid and dissolve in the small intestines, because lumbrokinase may be inactivated by stomach acid. Preliminary in-house tests using Sonoclot® machine (manufactured by Sienco, Inc.) indicated that Boluoke® is still effective when taken without the capsules on an empty stomach. However, it is highly recommended that the patients take Boluoke® in its original capsulated format whenever possible.
Contra-indications for Boluoke® are: allergy to lumbrokinase or earthworm; recent surgery; pre-surgery; lumbar puncture or arterial puncture; trauma; active internal bleeding or GI ulceration; any other bleeding disorders/tendencies. Patients should always consult their physicians before taking Boluoke®.
The earthworm has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for a few thousand years, and is considered to be one of the safest ingredients in the traditional pharmacopoeias. The studies on Boluoke® showed that when taken at high dosage, some people may experience nausea, diarrhea, bloating, skin itch/rash, which resolved when the product was stopped.
There is a theoretical possibility that Boluoke® may be cleaved and rendered ineffective by other enzymes, so we currently do not recommend taking Boluoke® with another enzyme product at the same time. If you do have to take other enzyme products while on Boluoke®, try to space more time between the dosing of the two enzyme products (i.e. at least 2 hours).
Boluoke® is the only lumbrokinase that has been thoroughly researched and its enzymatic strength is standardized. Other lumbrokinase products currently on the market often are citing Boluoke®’s credentials and research, and are not disclosing the enzymatic strength of their lumbrokinase. On the raw material market, the price of lumbrokinase can vary by up to 15 folds, and the enzymatic strengths of various lumbrokinase also differ greatly.
In addition, lumbrokinase is a preparation containing multiple enzyme fractions, and the extraction and purification methods would determine the final compositions of the various enzyme fractions. Therefore, different products would have different lumbrokinase compositions and cannot be considered the same. This is also the reason why Boluoke® does not significantly affect blood tests like prothrombin time (PT) or activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), while other lumbrokinase products may affect the test results.