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 […]

Adverse Reactions Associated with Echinacea and Other Asteraceae

Fifty percent of Australians report using some form of complementary alternative medicines (CAM) apart from vitamins in any 12-month period, with similar patterns of use in British and North American subjects. Despite the common perception that “natural therapy” is safe, toxic and hypersensitivity reactions to complementary and alternative medicine have been described. Given that these products are rarely packaged in childproof containers, accidental exposure also occurs. Allergic reactions are most common in atopic subjects. This is not surprising when one considers that up to 20% of atopic subjects use CAM. Furthermore, these patients are more likely than others to become sensitized to cross-reactive allergens and some use (or are advised to use) products such as Echinacea for treatment of allergic disease. When interpreting reports of immediate hypersensitivity to Asteraceae-derived CAM, it is helpful to bear in mind a number of important concepts: (1) exposure to Asteraceae is common; (2) sensitization is more common in subjects with preexistent allergic disease; (3) there is allergenic cross-reactivity between different Asteraceae, and between Asteraceae and some foods; and (4) patients sensitized by inhalation Read more […]


Syncope is a frequently encountered urgent condition characterized by sudden fainting with temporary loss of consciousness. Etiology and Pathology Syncope may be due to a variety of causes, including disturbances in the activities of Qi or blood, emotional upset or postural changes. In Chinese medicine, according to the causative factors, syncope may be classified into the following categories: Qi syncope, blood (circulation) syncope, Phlegm syncope, Summer Heat syncope and food retention syncope. Qi and blood syncope, especially of the strength type, account for most of the cases. Qi Syncope. In a person with constitutionally abundant Qi sudden emotional upset, such as anger, fright or terror, may induce abnormal ascent of Qi, which in turn blocks the clear orifices and induces syncope. Conversely, in a person with constitutionally deficient genuine Qi strong grief or sadness or overstrain may prevent pure Yang from ascending. This compromises nourishment of the mind and may precipitate syncope. Blood Syncope. In a patient with constitutionally abundant liver-Yang rage can induce Qi and blood to move erratically. In such circumstances the abnormal ascent of Qi and blood may block the clear orifices, leading Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Ginger

Zingiber offidnale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Gan Jiang, Zingiber. Not to be confused with the wild gingers, which are Asarum canadense L. and Asarum europaeum L. Pharmacopoeias Ginger (British Ph 2009, European Ph 2008, US Ph 32); Ginger Capsules (US Ph 32); Ginger Tincture (US Ph 32); Powdered Ginger (The United States Ph 32). Constituents The constituents of ginger vary depending on whether fresh or dried forms are used. Generally, ginger rhizomes contain volatile oils of which zingiberene and bisabolene are major components: zingerone, zingiberol, zingiberenol, curcumene, camphene and linalool are minor components. The rhizomes also contain gingerols and their derivatives, gingerdiols, gingerdiones and dihydrogingerdiones. Sho-gaols are formed from gingerols during drying, and together these make up the pungent principles of ginger. Ginger extracts have been standardised to contain a minimum of 15mL/kg of essential oil with reference to the dried drug. Use and indications Ginger is thought to possess carminative, anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antiplatelet properties. Both fresh and dried ginger are mainly used to settle the stomach, to alleviate Read more […]