Microcirculation dysfunction and organ injury after ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) result from a complex pathologic process consisting of multiple links, with metabolism impairment in the ischemia phase and oxidative stress in the reperfusion phase as initiators, and any treatment targeting a single link is insufficient to cope with this.
Compound Chinese medicine (CCM) has been applied in clinics in China and some Asian nations for >2000 years. Studies over the past decades revealed the protective and therapeutic effect of CCMs and major ingredients on I/R-induced microcirculatory dysfunction and tissue injury in the heart, brain, liver, intestine, and so on. CCM contains diverse bioactive components with potential for energy metabolism regulation; antioxidant effect; inhibiting inflammatory cytokines release; adhesion molecule expression in leukocyte, platelet, and vascular endothelial cells; and the protection of thrombosis, albumin leakage, and mast cell degranulation. This review covers the major works with respect to the effects and underlying mechanisms of CCM and its ingredients on microcirculatory dysfunction and organ injury after I/R, providing novel ideas for dealing with this threat.