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Journal: Journal of ethnopharmacology

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The rhizome of Polygonum cuspidatum SIEB. et ZUCC. (Polygonaceae, PC), a widely used Chinese medicine, is commonly prescribed for the treatments of amenorrhea, arthralgia, jaundice, abscess, scald and bruises.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Resveratrol, Ming Dynasty, Fallopia, Polygonaceae, Tang Dynasty

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn. is regarded useful for peptic ulcer in traditional systems of medicine in India. AIM OF THE STUDY: Helicobacter pylori has been considered as one of the causative factors for peptic ulcer. Aim of the present study was to evaluate the anti-H. pylori action of GutGard(®), a flavonoid rich extract of G. glabra and further to elucidate the possible mechanisms of its anti-H. pylori action. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Agar dilution and microbroth dilution methods were used to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration of GutGard(®) against H. pylori. Protein synthesis, DNA gyrase, dihydrofolate reductase assays and anti-adhesion assay in human gastric mucosal cell line were performed to understand the mechanisms of anti-H. pylori activity of GutGard(®). RESULTS: GutGard(®) exhibited anti-H. pylori activity in both agar dilution and microbroth dilution methods. Glabridin, the major flavonoid present in GutGard(®) exhibited superior activity against H. pylori while glycyrrhizin did not show activity even at 250µg/ml concentration. In protein synthesis assay, GutGard(®) showed a significant time dependent inhibition as witnessed by the reduction in (35)S methionine incorporation into H. pylori ATCC 700392 strain. Additionally, GutGard(®) showed a potent inhibitory effect on DNA gyrase and dihydrofolate reductase with IC(50) value of 4.40μg/ml and 3.33μg/ml respectively. However, the extract did not show significant inhibition on the adhesion of H. pylori to human gastric mucosal cell line at the tested concentrations. CONCLUSION: The present study shows that, GutGard(®) acts against H. pylori possibly by inhibiting protein synthesis, DNA gyrase and dihydrofolate reductase.

Concepts: DNA, Bacteria, Gastroenterology, Stomach, Helicobacter pylori, Peptic ulcer, Helicobacter, Urease

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Cyathocline purpurea (D. Don.) O. Ktze. (Asteraceae) is a rare existence Indian medicinal plant and traditionally has antimicrobial property. AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of the present study was to identify chemical composition of the essential oil from the roots of Cyathocline purpurea and to screened in vitro antibacterial activity against eight human pathogenic bacteria. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The essential oil of roots was analyzed by using GC-FID and GC-MS. The antibacterial activity of oil was tested against four Gram-positive and four Gram-negative bacteria and antibacterial activity was determined by the tube dilution method. RESULTS: The main constituents of the oil were thymohydroquinone dimethyl ether (57.4%) and β-selinene (14.0%), among twenty five identified compounds, which represented 90.1% of the total oil. The oil was found active against Gram-positive bacteria with minimal bactericidal concentration (MBC) values in the range of 0.26-0.57mg/mL. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report on the chemical composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oil of roots of Cyathocline purpurea. The observation of MBC assay suggested that the Gram positive microorganisms were susceptible to essential oil, while oil was found to be resistant against Gram-negative bacteria, and the oil has bactericidal property.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Staining, Pathogenic bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, Gram staining, Gram-positive bacteria, Bacteriology

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Withania somnifera (WS) root extract has been used traditionally in ayurvedic system of medicine as a memory enhancer and anti-stress agent. AIM OF THE STUDY: To evaluate the neuroprotective and prophylactic potential of WS root extract in ameliorating hypobaric hypoxia (HH) induced memory impairment and to explore the underlying molecular mechanism. MATERIALS AND METHODS: WS root extract was administered to male Sprague Dawley rats during a period of 21 days pre-exposure and 07 days exposure to a simulated altitude of 25,000ft. Spatial memory was assessed by Morris Water Maze. Neurodegeneration, corticosterone, acetylcholine (Ach) levels, acetylcholine esterase (AchE) activity, oxidative stress markers and nitric oxide (NO) concentration were assessed in the hippocampus. Synaptic and apoptotic markers were also investigated by immunoblotting. To study the role of NO in regulating corticosterone mediated signaling, the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (n-NOS) inhibitor, L-Nitro-arginine methyl ester (L-Name) and NO agonist sodium nitroprusside (SNP) were administered from 3(rd) to 7(th) day of hypoxic exposure. RESULTS: Administration of WS root extract prevented HH induced memory impairment and neurodegeneration along with decreased NO, corticosterone, oxidative stress and AchE activity in hippocampal region. Inhibition of NO synthesis by administration of L-Name reduced corticosterone levels in hippocampus during hypoxic exposure while co-administration of corticosterone increased neurodegeneration. Administration of sodium nitroprusside (SNP) along with WS root extract supplementation during hypoxic exposure increased corticosterone levels and increased the number of pyknotic cells. CONCLUSION: WS root extract ameliorated HH induced memory impairment and neurodegeneration in hippocampus through NO mediated modulation of corticosterone levels.

Concepts: Brain, Hippocampus, Acetylcholine, Nitric oxide, Episodic memory, Laboratory rat, Withania somnifera, Spatial memory

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: We studied the local knowledge and uses of medicinal plants among the Ivatan people of Batan Island by documenting their traditional practices. AIM OF THE STUDY: To identify the types of medicinal plants used in self-care by the indigenous people of Batan Island, the Philippines and to investigate the extent to which the plants are used. Conservation of medicinal plants and natural resources is becoming increasingly important; thus, this research aims to collect information from local people concerning the use of medicinal plants on Batan Island. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 116 informants were interviewed, allowing for calculated informant consensus factors (ICF), use value (UV), and fidelity levels (FL) for each medicinal plant species used to cure various ailments. This helped to establish a consensus on which species are effective for particular ailments, as well as the species' relative importance, and enabled us to understand the extent of the potential utilization of each species. RESULTS: We describe the therapeutic effects of 112 plant species used medicinally against 13 categories of ailments. The highest ICF value (1.00) was cited for diseases of the ear and respiratory system and for use during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. The maximum FL of 100% was found for Carica papaya, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, Musa sapientum, and Pedilanthus tithymaloides, used for the treatment of constipation, cuts and wounds, diarrhea, and dislocations and fractures, respectively. The highest UV was for Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (0.67). All plants with high UV were used for exogenous diseases, certain infectious and parasitic diseases, injuries, poisonings and other consequences of external factors, and diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissues. In addition to its use for endogenous disease and lifestyle-related diseases and illnesses, Moringa oleifera is also used for diseases of the circulatory system, with a UV of 0.57 and Cocos nucifera is used for diseases of the genitourinary system, with a UV of 0.56. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that many plant species play an important role in local healing practices and that knowledge of traditional medicine is still utilized and plays a significant role on Batan Island. The documentation of this rich traditional ethno-medicinal knowledge has furnished us with novel information that not only will provide recognition of this undocumented knowledge but also could provide new avenues for pharmacological investigations to improve healthcare for a range of ailments.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Medicine, Ayurveda, Philippines, Alternative medicine, Herbalism, Medicinal plants, Batanes

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: The stem-barks of Hintonia latiflora and H. standleyana, locally known as “copalchi”, are used for treating several maladies such as diabetes and gastrointestinal complaints, including gastric ulcers. Although the antidiabetic properties have been demonstrated, the gastroprotective action remains unexplored. AIM OF THE STUDY: The main goals of this study were to establish the potential acute toxicity and the gastroprotective activity of aqueous extracts and compounds from H. latiflora and H. standleyana in order to demonstrate their preclinical efficacy for the treatment of gastric ulcers in Mexican folk medicine. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The aqueous extracts from the stem-barks (HLSB and HSSB) and leaves (HLL and HSL) from H. latiflora and H standleyana were prepared by infusion. Investigation of the acute toxicity was accomplished by the Lorke method. The gastroprotective effect was assessed by means of a conventional ethanol-induced gastric injury model in rats using carbenoxolone as positive control. 5-O-[β-D-apiofuranosyl-(1→6)-β-D-glucopyranosyl]-7-methoxy-3',4'-dihydroxy-4-phenylcoumarin (1) and chlorogenic acid (2) were also assayed. Preliminary mechanism of action of the tested compounds was analyzed using the same pharmacological models but pretreating the animals with N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) and indomethacin. RESULTS: Investigation of the acute toxicity revealed that infusions of the leaves and stem-barks of both Hintonia species were not toxic to mice (LD(50)>5000mg/kg in all cases). HLSB, HSSB, HLL and HSL provoked a significant gastroprotective effect [80.5±3.35% (ED(50)=184.7mg/kg), 80.26±3.96%, 75.1±7.26% % (ED(50)=109.1mg/kg), 76.85±3.17% (ED(50)=149.7mg/kg) of gastroprotection respectively]. Compounds 1 and 2, present in all the extracts, were also active [68.85±8.4% (ED(50)=15mg/kg), 74.04±4.4% (ED(50)=26mg/kg) of gastroprotection respectively] and their mode of action involved non-protein sulfhydryl endogenous (NP-SH) compounds, since only pretreatment with NEM inhibited their gastroprotective action. CONCLUSIONS: The present investigation tends to support the ethnomedical use of HLSB, HSSB for treating gastric ulceration. Since HLL and HSL were also active, the leaves could be use alternatively, which in terms of natural resources conservation is an outstanding finding, considering that the plant populations of both Hintonia are scarce and in danger of extinction. Mainly two compounds (1 and 2) are important active principles of the plants.

Concepts: Present, Toxicology, Ester, Helicobacter pylori, Acute accent, Acute toxicity, Traditional medicine, Hintonia latiflora

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Red edible bird’s nests are regarded as of higher beneficial value for health and hence fetch a higher price than the white ones. Their red colour remains a myth. AIM OF THE STUDY: To determine if white edible bird’s nests can turn red by vapours generated from sodium nitrite in acidic conditions and by vapours from ‘bird soil’. MATERIALS AND METHODS: White edible bird’s nests were exposed to vapours from sodium nitrite dissolved in 2% HCl or from ‘bird soil’ in hot and humid conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Vapours from sodium nitrite dissolved in 2% HCl or from ‘bird soil’ containing guano droppings from swiftlet houses were able to turn white edible bird’s nests red. The reddening agent in ‘bird soil’ was water-soluble and heat-stable. The red colour of edible bird’s nests is likely caused by the environmental factors in cave interiors and swiftlet houses.

Concepts: Ammonia, Color, Green, Red, White, Primary color, Guano, Manure

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Boophone disticha is the most common member of the South African Amaryllidaceae used extensively in traditional medicine of the various indigenous population groups, including the Sotho, Xhosa and Zulu as well as the San.

Concepts: Pharmacology, Ayurveda, South Africa, Alternative medicine, Herbalism, Xhosa, Pharmacognosy, Khoisan

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Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) signaling in keratinocytes plays an important role in mediating inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Illicium verum Hook. f. has been used in traditional medicine for treating skin inflammation, rheumatism, asthma, and bronchitis in Asia.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Asthma, Eczema, Dermatitis, Star anise, Illicium

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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: This study has identified not only the wild plants collected for medical purposes by local people of Solhan District in the Eastern Anatolia Region, but also the uses and local names of these plants. It tried to provide a source for researchers studying in ethnobotany, pharmacology and chemistry by comparing the information obtained from traditionally used herbs with previous laboratory studies. AIM OF THE STUDY: This study aims to identify wild plants collected for medical purposes by the local people of Solhan District located in the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey and to determine the uses and local names of these plants. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A field study had been carried out for a period of approximately 2 years (2011-2012). During this period, 214 vascular plant specimens were collected. Demographic characteristics of participants, names of the local plants, their utilized parts and preparation methods were investigated and recorded. The plant species were collected within the scope of the study; herbarium materials were prepared; and the specimens were entitled. In addition, the relative importance value of the species was determined and informant consensus factor (FIC) was calculated for the medicinal plants included in the study. Our research area also includes people with Kurdish and Zaza ethnic origins. RESULTS: 82 plants were found to be used for medical purposes before in the literature analysis of the plants used in our study, while 9 plants were found to have no literature records. The most common families are: Asteraceae (12 plants), Rosaceae (10 plants), and Lamiaceae (9 plants). The medicinal uses of Anthriscus cerefolium (L.) Hoffm., Arum elongnatum Steven, Astragalus lamarckii Boiss., Chaerophyllum bulbosum L., Crataegus atrosanguinea Pojark., Hordeum bulbosum L., Pastinaca armena Fisch. & Mey., Prunus kurdica Fenzl ex Fritsch, Sium sisarum L. var. lancifolium (M. Bieb.) Thell. that we found were used in our study area and recorded for the first time. No information could be obtained regarding the names of two wild plants that are being used in Solhan. In Turkey, local plant names display differences especially due to local dialects. The plants used in Solhan are known by the same or different local names in various parts of Anatolia. CONCLUSION: In the research area, local people were found to use 82 plants from 31 families for curative purposes. The respondents of the questionnaire are Turkish citizens, with various ethnic backgrounds. Mean age of the respondents was 55 years. These plants are used in the treatment of many diseases. Comparison of the data obtained in this study with the experimental data obtained in the previous laboratory studies derived from the plants growing in Solhan proved ethnobotanical usages to a great extent. Literature review indicated that the curative plants that grow in Solhan are used in different parts of the world for the treatment of similar diseases. These plants, used for the treatment of various diseases, are abundantly found in this region. Drying of the medicinal plants enabled the local people to use them in every season of the year.

Concepts: Plant, Ethnic group, Vascular plant, Fern, Plants, Apiaceae, Turkey, Chaerophyllum bulbosum