Vitis vinifera L. (Grapevine)

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The genus Vitis belongs to the family Vitaceae and comprises two subgenera, the Euuitis (true grapes), also called "bunch grapes", and Muscadiana, which grow as separate berries (). The subgenus Euvitis is divided into fewer than 60 species. By far the most economically important species is Vitis vinifera, which is native to the area of Asia Minor south of the Black and Caspian seas. The United States has more different native species than any other country/Two species of Muscadinia are native to the southeast (Vitis rotundifolia and Vitis munsoniana), but the most native American vines are Euvitis species. In the latter group, the only one used much in wine-making today is Vitis labrusca. However, several native American species are parents of hybrid grape varieties used as wine grapes or grape rootstocks. Grapes are the most important fruit crop grown in the world, exceeding in quantity all other fruits combined. Most of this crop is destined for wine, but a significant amount is also used for juice products. Processing grapes into both wines and juices yields a sizable amount of grape press residue or pomace. Potentially the most valuable component of grape pomace are the anthocyanin pigments (). In fact, grape Read more [...]

Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz Bip. (Feverfew)

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Tanacetum parthenium (L.) Schultz (Family Compositae) is a member of a genus of 14 species native to Europe and Asia; it has several synonyms: e.g., Matricaria parthenium L.; Chrysanthemum parthenium (L.) Bernh., Pyrethrum parthenium (L.) Sm.; Leucanthemum parthenium (L.) Gren. and Godron; and is very closely related to Parthenium parthenifblium (Willd., Schultz Bip. ().Tanacetum parthenium is a perennial herb strongly aromatic in all its parts with a vertical rootstock and erect stem (up to 70 cm) with yellow-green leaves and a flowering period from June to late August. The flowerheads (1 to 2.4 cm in diam.) are carried in dense corymbs with spreading, white, rather short ray florets and yellow disk florets. (). The species was probably originally confined to S.E. Europe, Asia Minor, and the Caucasus but is now naturalized throughout Europe and the Americas. It is abundant on waysides and waste ground and in mountain shrub. The plant is commercially grown on a small but increasing scale and is much privately cultivated as a pot herb. Extracts of the leaves or the fresh foliage have been extensively used in folk medicine. This has led to the adoption of a rich variety of local names: midsummer daisy, nosebleed, devil Read more [...]

Stauntonia hexaphylla

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Stauntonia hexaphylla (Lardizabalaceae, Japanese name mube) () is widely distributed in thickets in lowlands and foothills in warmer regions of Japan, Korea and China. It is an evergreen, glabrous woody climber, whose flowers, usually unisexual, bloom pale yellow in April-May (). Stauntonia plants occur over 15 species in eastern Asia. A general outline of the lardizabalaceous family has been earlier cited (). A decoction of the stem and the root of the plant or the pericarp of the fruit is used as a diuretic in Japan and China. The fruits also activate the circulation and improve the eyesight, the barks are prepared in a compound to treat blennorrhea and to regulate menstruation (India-China) (). From defatted powdered seeds of Stauntonia hexaphylla extd. (1.1 kg), three acidic triterpene glycosides mubenins A (7.2 g), B (7.9 g), and C (5.2 g) containing oleanolic acid for A and B, and hederagenin for C as the sapogenins were isolated and determined. Furthermore, six triterpene saponins (Yemuoside YM 7, 8, 9,11,13, and 14) and two lignan glycosides (YM 2 and 6) have been reported from Stauntonia chinensis DCNE grown in South China. This plant has been used as a traditional medicine in China especially for analgesic Read more [...]

Sophora flavescens (Kurara)

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Distribution and Medicinal Usage Sophora flavescens, (Kurara) belongs to the family Leguminosae and is distributed in Mongolia, the eastern part of Russia, China, Korea, and Japan. The dry roots of this plant have been used as antipyretic analgesic, bitter stomachic, anthelmintic, as an external preparation for eczema, and an agricultural insecticide in China and Japan (). A number of interesting pharmacological activities were reported for alkaloids and the extracts of this plant, for example, a diuretic activity, an antimicrobial activity, an antiarrhythmic activity (), and an antiulcerogenic activity (). History of Alkaloid Study In 1889, Nagai first reported the isolation of matrine, a main alkaloidal constituent, from the dry roots of Sophora flavescens. The skeletal structure of matrine was proposed by Tsuda (), and subsequently it was proved by synthetic studies (). The absolute structure of (+)-matrine was confirmed by Okuda et al. (). Several new alkaloids related to matrine were isolated and their structures were determined from Sophora flavescens and related plant species in the course of our continued studies of lupin alkaloids (). The biosynthesis of matrine was also investigated in intact plants of Read more [...]

Solanum aculeatissimum

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Solanum aculeatissimum Jacq. () is a perennial undershrub (30 to 90 cm in height) and tropical America is its place of origin. It grows wild throughout the world, and is used to treat bronchitis and rheumatism in China. Three alkaloids, solanine (), solasonine (), and β-solamardine () have been isolated from the acid methanolic extracts of the fruits (). The fruit, Kikania lei (Hawaii), is cooked and eaten. Solanum aculeatissimum also contains two new steroidal glycosides, aculeatisides A () and B () in the roots (). The yields of solasodine and aculeatiside B are surprisingly high (3.8 and 3.0% dry weight, respectively). Solasodine (), an aglycon of solasonine and β-solamargine and nuatigenin (), an aglycon of aculeatiside A and B are potentially useful precursors for the manufacture of steroidal hormones and pharmaceuticals, since nuatigenin and solasodine can be converted to the pregnane derivatives () as well as diosgenin (). Thus the potential utilization of the sapogenin nuatigenin has stimulated investigations on the biosynthesis, as well as the potential economic production, of the steroidal saponins by tissue culture. Solasodine and its glycosides, solasonine and β-solamardine, have been isolated from Read more [...]

Sanguinaria canadensis L. (Sanguinarius)

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Sanguinaria canadensis L. () is a low perennial with mostly white flowers and thick rhizomes containing an acrid red-orange juice from whence the plant was named (sanguinarius, bleeding). This monotypic genus is a member of the Papaver-aceae family, known to contain a diversity of isoquinoline alkaloids, including the protoberberine and benzophenanthridine alkaloids which are found in many species of this family (). The synonymous Latin binomials for Sanguinaria canadensis are claimed to be Chelidonium maximum canadense, Sanguinaria acaulis, and Sanguinaria vernalis. Moreover, a number of vernacular names of Sanguinaria canadensis have been used, some examples include: bloodroot, Indian paint, red root, snakebite, and sweet slumber. Sanguinaria canadensis is distributed across Canada east to Nova Scotia, south from New England to Florida, west to Texas and north to Manitoba (). Historically speaking, the red-orange juice obtained from the roots and stem of the plant was used by native American Indians as a dye for clothing, baskets, and skin. Medicinal uses of this plant by native American Indians included a tea derived from roots which was used as a treatment for rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, and as an emetic Read more [...]

Quercus spp. (Oak)

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The genus Quercus covers several hundred species and natural hybrids, distributed mainly over the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere (subgenus euquercus), as well as in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia (subgenus cyclobalanopsis). Oaks may be evergreen or deciduous trees, arborescent shrubs, or bushes. Their longevity often exceeds 400 years (). The different tissues of oak trees often accumulate large amounts of poly-phenols. These polyphenols are mainly tannins. The bark of Quercus robur and Quercus petraea in Europe (known as tan) (Meunier and Vaney 1903), and that of Quercus velutina and Quercus prinus in the United States (), were used on a large scale in the leather industry until the end of the last century. Bark, acorn cups, and galls from oaks, all rich in tannins, have been traditionally used in pharmacology for their astringent, hemostatic, and antiseptic properties. Tannic acid produced from galls of Quercus infectoria has been most commonly used; acorns from Quercus robur and galls from Quercus suber, as well as barks from both species, have also been used (). The main therapeutic applications of these tannins were externally to heal wounds, burns, dermatosis, hemorrhoids, etc., and Read more [...]

Orthosiphon aristatus (Java Tea)

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Orthosiphon aristatus (Bl.) Miq. (syn. Orthosiphon grandiflorus Bold, syn. Orthosiphon spicatus (Thunb.) Bak., syn. Orthosiphon stamineus Benth.) is a member of the Lamiaceae () native to tropical Asia and is currently under cultivation in Indonesia, the main exporter of this medicinal plant (). Due to its broad distribution as a medicinal plant, 0. aristatus has adopted several synonymes such as Indischer Nierentee (German), Koemis koetjihg (Dutch), Kumis kuting (Indonesian), Java tea (English) or feuilles de barbiflore (French) (). Leaves of Orthosiphon aristatus (Orthosiphonis folium DAB 10) are used to prepare a tea which is known for its diuretic properties. The tea is especially recommended as a treatment of chronic kidney or bladder inflammations (). In addition to its diuretic effect, the tea is reported to cause increased excretion of NaCl (). The bioactive constituents of this medicinal plant, however, are still basically unknown. In a previous study with differentiated plants of Orthosiphon aristatus we showed for the first time that hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives such as the main compound rosmarinic acid () are the major phenolic constituents present in leaves and stems (). The predominance of rosmarinic Read more [...]

Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (Roselle)

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The genus Hibiscus (Malvaceae) consists of about 200 species, distributed in tropical and subtropical zones, many of which are cultivated as ornamentals. Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L.) is an annual shrub 1.5-2.5 m in height). The calyces contain red pigments and are used for making jelly, jams, beverages, and food colorants in a number of tropical countries (). Roselle has also been used as a source of plant fiber called roselle hemp (). Due to its widespread use, the red pigments of roselle have been investigated by many researchers since Yamamoto and Oshima first obtained a crystalline anthocyanin, hibiscin (). However, chemical structures of the anthocyanins had not been clarified until Du and Francis () identified delphinidin-3-sambubioside and cyanidin-3-sambubioside as major anthocyanins, and delphinidin-3-monoglucoside and cyanidin-3-monoglucoside as minor pigments. Recently, Pouget et al. () isolated anthocyanins from roselle using HPLC, and detected both delphinidin and cyanidin as anthocyanidins, and glucose, xylose, and fructose as sugar residues. Delphinidin-3-diglucoside and cyanidin-3-diglucoside were identified by Jiang et al. () as major anthocyanins of roselle in addition to delphinidin-3-monoglucoside. Read more [...]

Eustoma grandiflorum Shinn (Texas Bluebell)

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Eustoma belongs to the family Gentianaceae. The taxonomy of this genus has been studied by Shinners (), who distinguished the species Eustoma grandiflorum Shinn. and Eustoma exaltatum (L.) Salisb. Taking into account morphological features of the leaves and growth, the author proposed distinguishing another species - Eustoma barkleyi Standley. Table List of synonyms used in the terminology of the genus Eustoma will help obtain a clear picture of the synonyms used in the nomenclature of the genus Eustoma. Table List of synonyms used in the terminology of the genus Eustoma. () Reference Eustoma grandiflorum Shinn. 1957 Eustoma exaltatum Salisb. 1838 Index Kewensis et Supplementa 1-16 (1895-1981) Eustoma russellianum Don. 1839 Eustoma silenifolium Salisb. 1806 Eustoma russellianum Griseb. 1845 Eustoma chironioides Griseb. 1845 Eustoma gracile Engelm. 1876 Eustoma andrewsii Nels. 1904 Eustoma lacteum Lindl. 1854 Shinners (1957) Synopsis of the genus Eustoma Bilamista grandiflora Raf. 1838 Gentiana exaltata L. 1762 Lisianthus russellianus Hook. 1839 Lisianthus glaucifolius Jacq. 1781 Urananthus russellianus Benth. 1840 Lisianthus exaltatus Lam. 1791 Eustoma Read more [...]