Chamomile: Traditional Use and Therapeutic Indications

Traditional Use Chamomile has been known for centuries and is well established in therapy. In traditional folk medicine it is found in the form of chamomile tea, which is drunk internally in cases of painful gastric and intestinal complaints connected with convulsions such as diarrhea and flatulence, but also with inflammatory gastric and intestinal diseases such as gastritis and enteritis. Externally chamomile is applied in the form of hot compresses to badly healing wounds, such as for a hip bath with abscesses, furuncles, hemorrhoids, and female diseases; as a rinse of the mouth with inflammations of the oral cavity and the cavity of the pharynx; as chamomile steam inhalation for the treatment of acne vulgaris and for the inhalation with nasal catarrhs and bronchitis; and as an additive to baby baths. In Roman countries it is quite common to use chamomile tea even in restaurants or bars and finally even in the form of a concentrated espresso. This is also a good way of fighting against an upset stomach due to a sumptuous meal, plenty of alcohol, or nicotine. In this case it is not easy to draw a line and find out where the limit to luxury is. Clinic and practice Preliminary remark The suitability of the empirical Read more […]

Hyoscyamus reticulatus L.

Tropane alkaloids constitute one of the distinctive groups of secondary metabolites of the Solanaceae and many plants containing them have long been utilized for their medicinal, hallucinogenic, and poisonous properties. Hyoscyamus plants are a natural source for the isolation of hyoscyamine (atropine) and scopolamine, 6-7 epoxide of hyoscyamine. Both alkaloids are of medicinal importance because of their suppressive activity on the parasympathetic nervous system. In addition, scopolamine is also applied to suppress the central nervous system, whereas hyoscyamine excites it. Ratios of hyoscyamine content to scopolamine content vary markedly between plant species. These differences result in a higher commercial demand for scopolamine than for hyoscyamine (and its racemic form atropine). Both appear in the USA in the list of the ten most used compounds of plant origin. Because many tropane alkaloid-producing species accumulate hyoscyamine as the major alkaloid and scopolamine in minor quantities, it is of commercial importance to increase scopolamine content in these species. Moreover, these plants also synthesize the calystegines, a pseudotropine-derived group of alkaloids, found in considerable amounts in Atropa and Read more […]

Tabernaemontana spp.

The family Apocynaceae is probably one of the richest sources of drugs in the plant kingdom. Both alkaloids, e.g. reserpine, vincristine, vinblastine, ajmalicine and serpentine, and steroids, e.g. strophantidine, are found in species of this family. One of the larger indole alkaloid-bearing tribes within this family is Tabernaemontaneae. The tribe Plumerieae comprises well-known genera such as Catharanthus, Vinca, Amsonia, Rhazya and Alstonia. The Tribe Tabernaemontaneae For the genera belonging to the tribe Tabernaemontaneae, as presented in Table Genera belonging to the tribe Tabernaemontaneae, we followed the classification of Leeuwenberg. For the most recent classification see Leeuwenberg (1987). In this paper is also reporten, that T. orientalis is a synonym for T. pandacaqui Poir. Table Genera belonging to the tribe Tabernaemontaneae Family Apocynaceae Subfamily Plumerioideae Tribe Tabernaemontaneae Genus Tabernaemontana 120 species, tropics Stemmadenia 17 species, America Voacanga 14 species, Africa, Asia Callichilia 7 species, Africa Tabernanthe 1 species, Africa Schizozygia 1 species, Africa Carvalhoa 1 species, Africa Crioceras 1 Read more […]

Hyoscyamus spp.

The aim of this post is to review the published work on Hyoscyamus sp. plants and their in vitro-derived cultures in the context of their uses for drug and tropane alkaloid production. Hyoscyamus plants have been known to man from ancient times as a remedy for various diseases, and serve today also as a source of their pharmaceutically active constituents, the tropane alkaloids. The medicinal importance of scopolamine, hyoscyamine and atropine is illustrated by their presence in the list of the ten substances of plant origin most used as drugs in the USA in 1973. Due to their strong action on neuroreceptors, tropane alkaloids and chemically derived compounds thereof are presently employed as curative and prophylactic agents in various treatments. Recent advances in plant in vitro techniques open up new ways for plant improvement and for production of secondary metabolites. The progress in this field is given here for Hyoscyamus spp. and problems encountered with Hyoscyamus sp. cell cultures in tropane alkaloid production are discussed. This post will mainly deal with H. muticus and H. niger, the two Hyoscyamus species predominantly used in folk medicine, phytotherapy, and as a source of tropane alkaloids, and the most Read more […]