Duboisia spp.

Duboisia (Solanaceae), indigenous to Australia and New Caledonia, comprises three species; D. myoporoides R. Br., D. leichhardtii F. Muell and D. hopwoodii F. Muell. D. myoporoides is a tree with broad-lanceolate to obovate glabrous leaves 7.5 to 10 cm long and may grow 13 m tall. The flowers, are small, white, and bell-shaped with occasional mauve streakings in the throat of the corolla. The fruits is a small black globular berry about 0.5 cm in diameter. D. leichhardtii is much like D. myoporoides in general habit, though not so leafy. Its leaves are smaller and narrow, and its flowers a little larger. D. hopwoodii is a small shrub seldom exceeding 2.5 m in height with narrow lanceolate leaves which are smaller than those of D. leichhardtii (). Duboisia contains not only tropane alkaloids but also pyridine alkaloids; and this is the first plant found to contain both types of alkaloids. The main alkaloids in the leaves of D. myoporoides and D. leichhardtii are scopolamine and hyoscyamine, both of which are commercially important anesthetic and antispasmodic drugs. On the other hand, leaves of D. hopwoodii “pituri” used by Australian aborigines contain nornicotine and nicotine as predominant alkaloids. Therefore, Read more […]

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Medical Uses Garlic is used for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, infections, and cancer prevention. Historical Uses Called the “stinking rose,” garlic has been used by the Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and native North Americans to heal many ailments. In the early 1900s, Dr. W Minuchin, a physician who was interested in the effects of garlic, performed clinical trials that showed its usefulness in treating tuberculosis, lupus, diphtheria, and infections. Growth Plant garlic cloves in the spring, about 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart, in well-drained soil. Planting garlic around vegetable plants helps to repel insects; planting it around fruit and nut trees helps to repel moles. Harvest the garlic when the top of the plant dies. Garlic: Part used • Bulb Major Chemical Compounds • Allicin • Ajoene • Selenium • Saponins • Fructans • Potassium • Thiamine • Calcium • Magnesium • Iron • Phosphorus • Zinc Garlic: Clinical Uses Garlic is used for hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, infection, and cancer prevention. It is approved by the German Commission E and the World Health Organization for hyperlipidemia and atherosclerotic vascular changes. Read more […]

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow: Medical Uses Yarrow encourages perspiration, appetite, and strength. Historical Uses Yarrow was called “soldiers’ woundwort” because the leaves were taken onto the battlefield and applied to stop wounds from bleeding. Yarrow compresses were used for hemorrhoids. In folklore, fresh yarrow root was used as an anesthetic for surgery. Fresh roots or leaves were also mashed in whiskey and used for toothache. Growth Yarrow grows wild in meadows and on roadsides in North America. The flower heads grow in clusters of different-colored varieties of white, yellow, orange, and bright red. White yarrow is the variety most often used medicinally. Yarrow repels ants, flies, Japanese beetles, and termites. Part Used • Flowers (whole white flower heads) Major Chemical Compounds • Tannins • Volatile oils • Flavonoids • Vitamins (ascorbic acid, folic acid) • Coumarins Yarrow: Clinical Uses Yarrow encourages perspiration, appetite, and strength. It is approved by the German Commission E for loss of appetite and dyspepsia and externally for psychosomatic cramps of the female pelvis. Mechanism of Action The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of yarrow may result from its flavonoid Read more […]

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as pelvic pain lasting more than 6 months. Some authors add the additional criteria that the pain be noncyclic. It is one of the most common presenting complaints in gynecologic practice, affecting as many as one in seven American women. Chronic pelvic pain comprises up to 10% of outpatient gynecologic visits, accounts for 20% of laparoscopies, and results in 12% (75,000 / year) of all hysterectomies performed annually in the United States. Estimated annual direct medical costs for outpatient visits for chronic pelvic pain in the United States among women 18 to 50 years old is estimated to be $881.5 million. It is often an extremely frustrating condition for both patient and care provider because in many cases an etiology cannot be identified and there is no apparent pathology. Treatment of presumed underlying conditions is frequently ineffective, and the “pain itself becomes the illness.” Because the cause often cannot be identified, chronic pelvic pain is frequently attributed to psychogenic causes. Although these may play a role in chronic pelvic pain for some women with lack of an identifiable cause, this does not necessarily equate with a psychosomatic origin for this complaint. Common Read more […]

Cervical Dysplasia: Discussion Of Botanicals

Blood Root The blood-red color of the sap from the roots of blood root led to its traditional use as a blood purifier. It was used as an emmenagogue, in the treatment of respiratory conditions, as a strong emetic, and for the treatment of fungal infections and ulcers. By the eighteenth century, blood root was used topically to treat indolent chancres and tumors as an ingredient in the popular “black salve,” an escharotic treatment that was used topically for the treatment of tumors. Extracts of sanguinarine, an alkaloid from the herb, have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, antiproliferative, and apoptotic activities, and are under active research for the treatment of cancer. Sanguinarine, an alkaloid compound fund in blood root, is a potent inhibitor of NF-kappa B activation.’ Sanguinarine is an ingredient in dental hygiene products, for example, toothpaste, used for its antiplaque activity and in the treatment of gingivitis. There is controversy over the safety of its use in dental products, with contradictory research over whether it may cause malignant cell change and lead to the development of leukoplakia. Most studies have concluded that the extract is safe for dental Read more […]

CNS Neurotransmitters

Central Nervous System Neurotransmitters A large number of central nervous system (CNS) neurotransmitters have been either tentatively or positively identified. While a detailed discussion of the various central neurotransmitters and the criteria for their identification is beyond the scope of this text, a summary of the most important mammalian central neurotransmitters follows. Acetylcholine The discovery that ACh was a transmitter in the peripheral nervous system formed the basis for the theory of neurotransmission. ACh is also a neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain; however, only a few cholinergic tracts have been clearly delineated. ACh is an excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). There is good evidence that ACh (among other neurotransmitters) is decreased in certain cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Dopamine Quantitatively, dopamine is the most important of the biogenic amine neurotransmitters in the central nervous system (CNS). The three major distinct dopaminergic systems in the mammalian brain are categorized according to the lengths of the neurons. There is a system comprising ultrashort neurons within amacrine cells of the retina and peri-glomerular Read more […]