Choisya ternata (Mexican Orange)

Choisya ternata Kunth (Rutaceae family) are bushy shrubs of 2 m maximum height. They are ornamental, with persistent leaves and white flowers resembling those of orange trees whence their French name: Oranger du Mexique or English name: Mexican orange (). In Germany they are called Dreizahlige Choisya, and in their native country, Mexico, they are known as Hierba del Clavo, Flor del Clavo, Clavillo, and Clavo de Olor. The genus name is dedicated to the Genevan naturalist, Choisy (1799-1859). Botanical Traits and Classification The genus Choisya was studied by Gray (1888), Standley (1923), and later by Muller (1940). Choisya neglecta is the nearest to Choisya ternata, differing only by smaller leaflets and inflorescences. The other species counted by Muller are sometimes classified in a related genus, Astrophyllum, but according to Dreyer et al. (1972), the comparison of the chemical constituents of Choisya ternata, Choisya mollis, and Choisya arizonica cannot justify this distinction. Therefore, the genus Choisya contains seven species: C. ternata Kunth, C. neglecta Muller, C. dumosa A. Gray, C. mollis Standley = Choisya dumosa var. mollis Benson, C. arizonica Standley = Choisya dumosa var. arizonica Benson, C. palmeri Read more […]

The use of eucalyptus oils in consumer products

Insect repellents As noted in the introduction, Eucalyptus citriodora oil has been used as a ‘natural’ insect repellent. Depending on the product formulation it is used in, Lemon Eucalyptus (known as Quwenling in China) is up to four or five times more effective and longer-lasting than citronella oil (from Cymbopogon nardus), one of the best known natural insect repellents. p-Menthane-3,8-diol is the main active component of Quwenling and this can be isolated and used as a highly effective insect repellent. Eucalyptus citriodora oil contains up to 80–90 per cent citronellal, along with geraniol, both of which are known to have insect repellent activity but tend to dilute the much higher activity of the p-menthane-3,8-diol. The Mosi-guard Natural insect repellent spray produced by MASTA in the UK contains ‘Extract of Lemon Eucalyptus’ and claims on the label: Approved and recommended by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Field trials have shown effective protection for 6 h after a single application in mosquito infected areas. Also protects against many other biting insects. Mosi-guard Natural is made from a natural and renewable resource. It is kind to your skin and has no adverse effects Read more […]

Scopolia spp.

Scopolia comprises a number of species which are a rich source of tropane alkaloids. In the literature the following species and synonyms have been mentioned: Scopolia acutangula Wu et Chen Scopolia atropoides Scopolia carniolica Jacq. [Asia, Eastern Europe] Scopolia hladnikiana Scopolia japonica Maxim [Japan] Scopolia lurida Scopolia parviflora Nakai [Korea] Scopolia physaloides Dun Scopolia sinensis [China] Scopolia stramonifolia [Central Himalaya] Scopolia tangutica [West China] Synonyms are: Scopolia atropoides = Scopolia hladnikiana = Scopolia carniolica Scopolia stramonifolia = Scopolia lurida = Anisodus luridus = Anisodus stramonifolius Scopolia physaloides = Physalis virginiana Scopolia acutangula = Anisodus acutangulus Scopolia tangutica = Anisodus tanguticus Scopolia parviflora = Scopolia japonica var. parviflora Zheng () gives a fourth species of Anisodus: A. mairei. It is not known whether this species has been described as a Scopolia species. Scopolia carniolica from West Asia was naturalized in Europe. As far as is known, in the last century Scopolia carniolica was cultivated to some extent in the Netherlands and in Lithuania. There was Uttle Read more […]

The Citrus in Pharmacology Treatises and in Therapy from the Eighteenth to Twentieth Centuries

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, all Materia medica and Pharmacology treatises reported drugs obtained from Citrus species, already present in the above-mentioned Pharmacopoeias (Boehraave, 1772; De Rochefort, 1789; Edwards and Vavasseur, 1829; Chevallier and Richard, 1830; Ferrarini, 1825; Semmola, 1836; Cassola, 1838; Targioni-Tozzetti, 1847; Bouchardat, 1855; Orosi, 1856-57; Cantani, 1887). Boerhaave (1772) attributes to Citrus fruits the property of curing various illnesses (morbes), and lists citron oil among remedies for fevers in general, heart disease (Pulvis cardiacus, calidus, narcoticus), or to be used together with other medicinals against burning fevers (In siti febbrili, Decoctum in valida siti et debilitati); as an antiemetic (Haustus anti-emeticus), antiscorbutic (Antiscorbutica frigidiuscula), colluttorium (Colluttoria oris. In Calidis), in treating dropsy (Mistura aromatica, cardiaca, acida, sitim sedans, vires vitales excitans, lymphae fluorem concilians), infirmities in pregnant women (ad gravidarum morbos), as an aromatic cardiac medicated wine (yinum medicatum, aromaticum, cardiacuni) or in an acid aromatic cardiac mixture, and also in hue Venerea as Mistura anodina e diaforetica. An Read more […]

Citrus in Traditional Medicine

Citrus in traditional Asiatic medicine In a comparative study of the use of herbal drugs in the traditional medicines of India and Europe, Pun () found a marked similarity between the drugs used in the two continents. He attributed this not only to the similarity of the vegetation in the two areas, but also to the influence that traditional Indian medicine, in particular the Atherveda, one of the most ancient repositories of human knowledge, had on Egypt, Greece and Rome. He listed the principal uses of a small number of these drugs, including bitter orange peel, which in India is used as an aromatic, stomachic, tonic, astringent and carminative agent, and lemon, which is used as a flavouring and for its carminative and stomachic effects. In the Valmiki-Ramayana, written after the Vedas and one of the most sacred of all religious books which enumerates the virtues of the medicinal plants that Lord Rama (Vishnu) met during his fourteen-year journey around different parts of India, Karnick and Hocking () identified and listed fifty of these drugs with their use as described in the Ayurvedica (or native Indian) system of medicine. The immature fruit of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) Swingle was used as an fortifier, Read more […]

Spasmolytic effects of Thyme

The spasmolytic properties are commonly considered as the major action of thyme preparations. In this regard Thymus vulgaris is the most representative species. Therefore many publications have focused on the effects of thyme preparations on smooth muscles, especially rat and guinea pig intestines, such as duodenum and ileum, guinea pig trachea.. seminal vesicles and rabbit jejunum. Two different protocols are typically followed: (i) The isolated smooth muscle is first contracted using several agonists (acetylcholine, histamine, adrenaline, nicotine and BaCl2) and the thyme preparations are subsequently added until maximum relaxation is achieved. The spasmolytical effect is evaluated by measuring the maximum relaxant effect and the ED50 (contraction that produces 50 per cent of the maximum spasmolytic response), (ii) The isolated smooth muscle is first incubated with the thyme preparations; the modification of the dose-response curves produced by the contracting agents are calculated. In this protocol, the relaxant agent remains in the bath throughout the experiment. The use of various spasmogens with different mechanisms of action causing muscle contraction can provide information on the pharmacological Read more […]

Artemisia Herba-Alba

The genus Artemisia is a member of the large and evolutionary advanced plant family Asteraceae (Compositae). More than 300 different species comprise this diverse genus which is mainly found in arid and semi-arid areas of Europe, America, North Africa as well as in Asia. Artemisia species are widely used as medicinal plants in folk medicine. Some species such as Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia annua or Artemisia vulgaris have even been incorporated into the pharmacopoeias of several European and Asian countries. Sesquiterpene lactones are among the most prominent natural products found in Artemisia species and are largely responsible for the importance of these plants in medicine and pharmacy. For example, the antimalarial effect of the long known Chinese medicinal plant Qing Hao (Artemisia annua) is due to the sesquiterpene lactone artemisinin which is active against Plasmodium falciparum (). Another sesquiterpene lactone, absinthin, is the bitter tasting principle found in Artemisia absinthium formerly used to produce an alcolohic beverage called “absinth”. In addition to sesquiterpene lactones volatile terpenoids that constitute the so called essential oils are also characteristic metabolites of Artemisia species. Read more […]

Artemisia Absinthium L.

Artemisia absinthium L. is a member of the family Compositae (Asteraceae) and is known by the common names wormwood (UK), absinthe (France) and wermut (Germany). The name Artemisia is derived from the Goddess Artemis, the Greek name for Diana, who is said to have discovered the plant’s virtues, while absinthium comes from the Greek word apinthion meaning “undrinkable”, reflecting the very bitter nature of the plant. The plant is also known by a number of synonyms which include: Absinthium, Wermutkraut, Absinthii Herba, Assenzio, Losna, Pelin, Armoise, Ajenjo and Alsem. The herb is native to warm Mediterranean countries, usually found growing in dry waste places such as roadsides, preferring a nitrogen-rich stoney and hence loose soil. It is also native to the British Isles and is fairly widespread. Wormwood has been naturalised in northeastern North America, North and West Asia and Africa. Brief Botanical Description The stem of this shrubby perennial herb is multibranched and firm, almost woody at the base, and grows up to 130 cm in height. The root stock produces many shoots which are covered in fine silky hairs, as are the leaves. The leaves themselves are silvery grey, 8 cm long by 3 cm broad, abundantly pinnate Read more […]

Ruta graveolens

Ruta graveolens (Rutaceae) and its tissue cultures are investigated from a wide variety of aspects, such as botanical studies, medicinal activities, chemical constituents and biosynthesis of some compounds. The in vitro culture of Ruta, quick-growing and with strong biogenetic potentialities, is an optimal implement for biochemical and physiological studies, and many research teams are using it in various fields which are reported in this chapter. Distribution and Importance of the Plant The genus Ruta belongs to the family Rutaceae, subfamily Rutoideae and tribe Ruteae. The subtribe Rutinae contains the following genera: Ruta L., Haplophyllum A. Juss., Thamnosma Torr. and Fr. and Boenninghausenia Reichb. Engler (1931) included Ruta and Haplophyllum in one genus. However, Waterman (1975) found that from a chemical standpoint Haplophyllum and Thamnosma are similar, but quite different from Ruta. According to the Flora Europaea, five species are assigned to the genus Ruta (). Ruta graveolens L. (common names: Engl.: common rue, herb of grace; French: rue fetide; German: Gartenraute; Spanish: ruda, arruda) is a well-known evergreen, half shrubby plant of 0.5 to 1 m in height, with leaves two- to three-pinnate and Read more […]

Foeniculum vulgare Miller

Fennel as a Crop Plant Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Miller) belongs to the Umbelliferae family and was originally found around the Mediterranean Basin. It has long been cultivated and introduced into many regions outside of that zone and has become naturalized in some of them. Although it can bear widely different climates and be cultivated in cold climates as well as in tropical regions, it develops best in temperate climates. In the Mediterranean climate, wild fennel often grows densely, with a potentiality of invading crops. In some areas where it has become naturalized, as in California for example, it has spread so much that in some cases it has become a weed. As in most Umbelliferae, the plant has secretory canals in all the organs and produces an essential oil rich in aromatic components. The chief constituent of the essence is anethole, which gives the plant its anise fragrance, but it also contains, in variable quantities, other elements, such as fenchone, estragole, anisaldehyde and terpenes (d-pinene, α-d-phellandrene, camphene). The genus Foeniculum is monospecific, and is represented only by the vulgare species. The latter, however, has been split into two subspecies: ssp. piperitum (Ucria) Coutinho and Read more […]