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J Ethnopharmacol [journal]
- When Foods become Remedies in ancient Greece: The curious case of garlic and other substances. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 27.
The debate on the food-drug continuum could benefit from a historical dimension. This study aims at showing this through one case: the food-drug continuum in Greece in the fifth- and fourth-century BCE. I suggest that at the time the boundary between food and drug - and that between dietetics and pharmacology - was rather blurred.I study definitions of 'food' and 'medicine' in texts from the fifth- and fourth-century BCE: the Hippocratic texts; the botanical treatises of Theophrastus and the pseudo-Aristotelian Problems. To illustrate these abstract definitions, I focus on two substances: garlic and silphium.The Hippocratics were writing in a context of increased professionalization and masculinization of medicine, a context in which dietetics became the most prestigious branch of medicine, praised above pharmacology and surgery. While medicine, was becoming more specialised, professionalised and masculine, it avoided becoming too conspicuously so. The Hippocratic authors sometimes noted that medical discoveries are serendipitous and can be made by anyone, whether medically trained or not. By doing so, they allowed themselves to integrate common knowledge and practice into their writings.In the context of the professionalization of ancient medicine, the Hippocratic authors started to address the difference between food and medicine. They saw, however, some advantage in acknowledging the continuum between food and medicine. Scholars should avoid drawing too strict a boundary between ancient dietetics and pharmacology and should instead adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to the therapeutics of the Hippocratic texts.
- Blighia sapida leaves halt elevated blood glucose, dyslipidemia and oxidative stress in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 26.
Blighia sapida leaves are used in the management of diabetics in Nigeria. Thus the antidiabetic activity of methanolic Blighia sapida leaf extract and its capability to halt oxidative stress and dyslipidemia in alloxan-induced diabetic rats was investigated.In vitro antioxidant activity of the extract (0.2-1.0mg/mL) was investigated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-1picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, superoxide ion, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radical and ferric ion reducing system. Antidiabetic was evaluated in alloxan-induced diabetes rats.The methanolic extract of B. sapida leaves at 1.0mg/mL scavenged DPPH, superoxide ion, hydrogen peroxide, and hydroxyl radical at 80.34%, 57.39%, 72.36% and 77.0% respectively, while ferric ion was significantly reduced. Single oral dose of the extract significantly reduced blood glucose level in a dose dependent manner with highest dose producing 18.6% reduction after 240min. Similar reduction was produced after 28 days of extract administration with the highest dose producing 65.65% reduction which compared significantly (P<0.05) with the control group and glibenclamide treated groups. Alloxan-induced diabetic mediated alterations in liver and serum cholesterol, triacylglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDLc) were significantly (P<0.05) restored by the extract. Methanolic extract of B. sapida leaves significantly attenuated the decrease in reactive oxygen species detoxifying enzymes (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase) in the liver and pancreas of alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Elevation in the concentrations of malondialdehyde, conjugated dienes, lipid hydroperoxides, protein carbonyl, and percentage DNA fragmentation were significantly (P<0.05) lowered by B. sapida leaves extract.Overall, methanolic extract of B. sapida leaves at all doses used reduced blood glucose level and prevented oxidative stress and dyslipidemia in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.
- Regulation of herbal medicines in Brazil. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 25.
Ethnopharmacological relevance: Rich Brazilian biodiversity is accompanied by a long acceptance of medicinal plants and traditional knowledge by the Brazilian population. To improve the regulatory framework for herbal medicines in Brazil, ANVISA recently revised it's legislations. Aim of the study: To discuss the new Brazilian standards for herbal medicines regulation. Materials and methods: The national and international legislation on herbal medicines was revised to prepare new Brazilian standards. This new legislation is discussed. Results: This new proposed regulation separates herbal into two categories: herbal medicines (HM) and traditional herbal product (THP). The safety and efficacy of HM must be proven by clinical data. ANVISA recognizes some plants as safe and effective; therefore, the registration of these species can be simplified. ANVISA also recognizes the monographs of the European community as simplified registrations. THP can prove their safety and effectiveness by tradition of use or following a simplified registration. Conclusion: Brazil has been altering their legal standards for herbal medicines, based on harmonization with internationally practiced requirements and the characteristics of the Brazilian market, facilitating the safe access and rational use of medicinal plants and herbal products to Brazilian population.
- Plants Fagonia cretica L. and Hedera nepalensis K. Koch contain natural compounds with potent dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitory activity. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 25.
The two plants investigated here (Fagonia cretica L. and Hedera nepalensis K. Koch) have been previously reported as natural folk medicines for the treatment of diabetes but until now no scientific investigation of potential anti-diabetic effects has been reported.The present study evaluated first time that two medicinal plants from Pakistan F. cretica and H. nepalensis possess potent DPP-4 inhibitory activity and determined the chemical compounds that may correlate with their pharmacological activity.In vitro inhibitory effect of the two tested plants and their five isolated compounds on the Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP-4) was studied for the assessment of anti-diabetic activity.A crude extract of F. cretica possessed good inhibitory activity (IC50 value: 38.1μg/ml) which was also present in its n-hexane (FCN), ethyl acetate (FCE) or aqueous (FCA) fractions. A crude extract of H. nepalensis (HNC) possessed even higher inhibitory activity (IC50 value: 17.2μg/ml) and this activity was largely retained when further fractionated in either ethyl acetate (HNE; IC50: 34.4μg/ml) or n-hexane (HNN; 34.2μg/ml). Bioactivity guided isolation led to the identification of four known compounds (isolated for the first time) from F. cretica: quinovic acid (1), quinovic acid-3β-O-β-D-glycopyranoside (2), quinovic acid-3β-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(28→1)-β-D-glucopyranosyl ester (3), and stigmasterol (4) all of which inhibited DPP-4 activity (IC50: 30.7, 57.9, 23.5 and >100µM, respectively). The fifth DPP-4 inhibitor, the triterpenoid lupeol (5) was identified in H. nepalensis (IC50: 31.6μM).The experimental study revealed that F. cretica and H. nepalensis contain compounds with significant DPP-4 inhibitory activity which should be further investigated for their anti-diabetic potential.
- Non-European traditional herbal medicines in Europe: a Community herbal monograph perspective. [REVIEW]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 25.
The European Directive 2004/24/EC introducing a simplified registration procedure for traditional herbal medicinal products, plays an important role in harmonising the current legislation framework for all herbal medicinal products in the European Union (EU). Although substantial achievements have been made under the new scheme, only a limited number of herbal medicinal products from non-European traditions commonly used in Europe have been registered. This has resulted in health concerns for EU patients who rely on these herbal remedies. Therefore, identification of the obstacles, and determination of appropriate means to overcome the major challenges in the registration of non-European traditional herbal medicinal products are of critical importance for the EU herbal medicinal product market.The primary aims of this study were to understand the key issues and obstacles to registration of non-European traditional herbal medicinal products within the EU. The findings may identify the need for more attention on the Community herbal monographs elaborated by the Herbal Medicinal Products Committee (HMPC), as well as further evidence based scientific research on non-European herbal substances/preparations by the scientific community.A systematic evaluation of the herbal substances and preparations included in Community herbal monographs and public statements has been carried out. The focus was herbal substances and preparations derived from non-European traditions.Of the 109 adopted Community herbal monographs, ten are herbal substances used in Chinese traditional medicine. Where the HMPC issued a public statement because it was unable to elaborate a monograph more than half involved herbal substances/preparations from non-European traditions. The main reasons herbal substances/preparations from non-European traditions were not accepted for inclusion in the Community herbal monographs have been identified as due to unfulfilled requirements of Directive 2004/24/EC. The most common reasons were the lack of evidence to demonstrate a 15-year minimum medicinal use period in the EU and evidence of absence of health risk as required by Article 16a (1) (d), and Article 16a (1) (e).Under the current EU legislation, the requirement to demonstrate 15-year minimum medicinal use in the EU is a major obstacle to the registration of non-European traditional herbal medicinal products. Access to scientific data to support the product safety profile may be a possible solution to overcome the hurdle presented by the 15-year minimum medicinal use period. Furthermore, the Community herbal monographs play an important role in the registration process. Therefore, making full use of existing Community herbal monographs, and promoting scientific research and subsequent development of additional monographs for herbal substances and preparations, and combinations thereof from non-European traditions would be of benefit to herbal medicinal product registration from non-European traditions.
- Effects of Kaempferia parviflora rhizomes dichloromethane extract on vascular functions in middle-aged male rat. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 25.
In Thai traditional medicine, rhizomes of Kaempferia parviflora (KP) have been used for treating hypertension and for the promotion of longevity with good health and well being. Ageing is one of the most important risk factors for development of cardiovascular disease.To investigate whether a 6 weeks oral administration of a dichloromethane extract of fresh rhizomes of Kaempferia parviflora (KPD) had any effects on vascular functions, on the accumulation of lipid, as well as on any signs of gross organ toxicity in middle-aged rats.Fresh rhizomes of Kaempferia parviflora were first macerated twice with 95% ethanol to remove the dark color before extracting three times with 100% dichloromethane. The dichloromethane extract was evaporated under reduced pressure to obtain the dried Kaempferia parviflora dichloromethane extract (KPD). The rats were orally administered with the KPD at a dosage of 100mg/kg body weight, or with the same volume of the vehicle (tween 80, 0.2g: carboxy-methylcellulose sodium, 0.2g: distilled water 10ml) once or twice a day for 6 weeks. Vascular functions were studied on isolated thoracic aorta and the mesenteric artery. The vascular eNOS enzyme was measured by Western blot analysis. Blood chemistry was measured by enzymatic methods. Liver cell lipid accumulation was measured using oil red O staining.A 6 weeks treatment of KPD once a day had no significant effects on any of the studied parameters. When the KPD was given twice a day, the contractile responses to phenylephrine of the thoracic aorta and mesenteric artery were lower than the vehicle control group, and this effect was abolished by N-nitro-L-arginine or by removal of the vascular endothelium. Vasorelaxation to acetylcholine, but not to glyceryl trinitrate, by the thoracic aortic and mesenteric ring precontracted with phenylephrine was higher from the KPD treated rats than those from the vehicle control groups. Western blot analysis showed a higher quantity of thoracic- and mesenteric-eNOS protein obtained from the KPD treated rats. In addition, the body weight, serum glucose and triglycerides levels, visceral and subcutaneous fat, as well as liver lipid accumulation were all significantly decreased in the KPD treated rats compared to those of the vehicle control. No differences were found between the KPD treated-, and the vehicle-control for animal food intake, internal organ weight, serum ALP, SGOT, SGPT, BUN and creatinine levels, serum cholesterol, HDL-C and LDL-C levels, nor total blood cell counts.The chronic oral administration of KPD extract, to middle aged rats, caused a decrease in vascular responsiveness to phenylephrine with an increase in the acetylcholine induced vasorelaxation, due to an increase in nitric oxide production from their blood vessels. The extract also caused a decrease in visceral and subcutaneous fat, fasting serum glucose and triglyceride levels and liver lipid accumulation, with no changes to liver and kidney functions or to total blood cell counts. It is possible that these KPD extracts could be development as a health product for mid-aged humans to reduce obesity, diabetes type II and cardiovascular disease.
- The Gardenia jasminoides extract and its constituent, geniposide, elicit anti-allergic effects on atopic dermatitis by inhibiting histamine in vitro and in vivo. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 19.
Gardenia jasminoides Ellis has been used in traditional medicine for treatment of inflammation, edema, and dermaitis. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which Gardenia jasminoides extract (GJE) elicits anti-allergic effects in mast cells and in mice with atopic dermatitis (AD).We investigated the effects of GJE and its fractions on compound 48/80-induced histamine release from MC/9 cells and Dermatophagoides farinae-exposed NC/Nga mice. The effects of its constituents on histamine release from MC/9 cells were also investigated.GJE and its ethyl acetate fraction (GJE-EA) inhibited compound 48/80-induced histamine release from MC/9 mast cells. The topical application of GJE or GJE-EA to Dermatophagoides farinae-exposed NC/Nga mice reduced the symptoms of AD, inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells, and lowered the serum levels of immunoglobulin E and histamine. Both GJE and GJE-EA reduced the expression of cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) and adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1) in ear lesions. In addition, the quantitative analysis of GJE and GJE-EA by high-performance liquid chromatography revealed the presence of crocin and geniposide. Geniposide, but not crocin, inhibited the release of histamine from mast cells, which may contribute to the anti-allergic effect of GJE and GJE-EA.These results suggest that GJE and GJE-EA can suppress mast cell degranulation-induced histamine release, and geniposide may be potential therapeutic candidates for AD.
- Cathinone, an active principle of Catha edulis, accelerates oxidative stress in the limbic area of swiss albino mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 19.
Cathinone hydrochloride is an active principle of the khat plant (Catha edulis) that produces pleasurable and stimulating effects in khat chewers. To the best of our knowledge no data of cathinone on oxidative stress in limbic areas of mice is available. This is the first study of cathinone on oxidative stress in limbic areas of the brain in Swiss albino male mice.The animals were divided into four groups. Group-I was the control group and received vehicle, while groups-II to IV received (-)-cathinone hydrochloride (0.125, 0.25 and 0.5mg/kg body wt., i.p.) once daily for 15 days.The level of lipid peroxidation (LPO) was elevated dose-dependently and was significant (p<0.05, p<0.01) with doses of 0.25 and 0.5mg/kg body wt. of cathinone as compared to control group. In contrast, the content of reduced glutathione (GSH) was decreased significantly (p<0.01, p<0.001) with doses of 0.25 and 0.5mg/kg body wt. of cathinone as compared to control group. The activity of antioxidant enzymes (GPx, GR, GST, CAT, and SOD) was also decreased dose-dependently: the decreased activity of GPx, GR, catalase and SOD was significant with doses of 0.25 and 0.5mg of cathinone as compared to control group, while the activity of GST was decreased dose-dependently and was significant with 0.5mg of cathinone as compared to control group.The results indicate that the cathinone generated oxidative stress hampered antioxidant enzymes, glutathione and lipid peroxidation.
- Ethnobotanical uses of medicinal plants for respiratory disorders among the inhabitants of Gallies - Abbottabad, Northern Pakistan. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 19.
Rich accessibility of medicinal plants in the study area provides low cost health care for respiratory disorders to local communities. This first report survey was commenced with an aim to document ethnic knowledge regarding the use of folk herbal medicine for respiratory diseases among the local communities of Gallies Abbottabad, Northern Pakistan using quantitative ethnobotanical approaches.Field survey was carried out over the period of 2 years i.e., March 2012-March 2014 in study area. The ethnomedicinal data was collected through interviews among the local communities. Documented data was evaluated using use value (UV) and Relative Frequency Citation (RFC).A total of 120 species of plants belonging to 90 genera of 51 families were reported to be used ethnomedicinally for the treatment of 25 different respiratory disorders. Leaves were the most commonly used plant parts and most of the herbal medicines were prepared in the form of decoctions and administered orally. The most significant species according to their use value were Solanum virginianum (5.00), Althea officinalis (3.00), Inula obtusifolia (3.00), Saxifraga hirculus (3.00) and Sisymbrium erysimoides (3.00).This study reported traditional herbal medicines for the first time to be used against respiratory disorders in the Gallies, Northern Pakistan are still in common practice by the local communities. Some of the new ethnobotanical claims documented in this investigation should need to be further explore clinically. The medicinal plants with highest use values recorded in this study may signpost the probable existence of valuable phytochemical compounds that requires a search for prospective new drugs to cure many respiratory disorders.
- Mechanisms involved in the gastroprotective activity of Celtis iguanaea (Jacq.) Sargent on gastric lesions in mice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Ethnopharmacol 2014 Aug 18.
Celtis iguanaea (Canabaceae) is popularly known as esporão-de-galo, stands out among the medicinal plants used for treatment of gastric ulcers. In Brazil, the leaves they are used traditionally in infusion forms as an analgesic, antiasthmatic, digestive and diuretic.The present study was aimed to investigate the antiulcer mechanisms of hexane extract Celtis iguanaea leaves (HE) in several induced-gastric ulcer and characterize its chemical composition.The HE was obtained by exhaustive extraction in Soxhlet apparatus. The chemical characterization of HE was perfomed Electrospray Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectrometry (ESI FT-ICR MS) analysis. Mice were used for the evaluation of the gastroprotective activity. HE was analyzed in the HCl/ethanol, hypothermic restraint stress ulcer and acetic acid. In the investigation of the gastroprotective mechanisms of HE, were performed the amount of adhered gastric mucus, participation of the α2-adrenoceptor, nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandins (PGs) using the HCl/ethanol -induced gastric mucosa lesion model.ESI FT-ICR MS analysis of HE suggest the presence of compounds as lipids, sterol lipids, steroids glycosides and polyphenol glycosides. The oral administration of HE at doses of 100mg/kg or 200mg/kg was able to protect the gastric mucosa against HCl/ethanol (10mL/kg p.o.), and HE at dose of 100mg/kg protected against hypothermic-restraint stress and acetic -induced gastric lesions. The pretreatment with Yoimbine (2mg/kg, s.c.), an antagonist α2-adrenergic, L-NAME (20mg/kg, s.c.), an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthesis or indomethacin (10mg/kg, s.c.), an inhibitor of prostaglandin production, reversed the gastroprotective activity of HE (100mg/kg, p.o.).Our results suggestive that the Celtis iguanaea HE exhibits gastroprotective activity in different gastric ulcer models. The mechanism of gastroprotective effect of Celtis iguanaea HE suggests the participation of mucus as well as the involvement of α2-adrenergic receptors, NO and prostaglandins. The hydroxyl-linolenic acid, linoleic acids and conjugated oxo-linoleic acids are among the phytoconstituents that were identified in the Celtis iguanaea HE.