Artemisia Ludoviciana ssp. Mexicana (Estafiate)

Estafiate or iztauyatl (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. mexicana) is one of the most popular medicinal plants in Mexican phytotherapy and is nowadays used especially for gastrointestinal pain, as a vermifuge and as a bitter stimulant. The historical and modern uses of this species are reviewed. The first report of its medicinal use dates back to the 16th century, but at that time it was used for completely different illnesses. Only very limited pharmacological studies to evaluate these claims are available; anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antihelmintic effects have been reported. The aerial parts contain a large number of sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids as well as essential oil which has not yet been studied in detail. Estafiate or iztauyatl (Artemisia ludoviciana ssp. mexicana) is one of the most popular remedies in Mexican phytotherapy. It is frequently sold in markets in the cities and also grown in many house gardens (). It is thus a locally important economic product and a phytotherapeutic resource which requires documentation of its regional or national importance as well as evaluation and monitoring for efficacy and safety. Plants generally are an important medicinal resource to many people in Mexico and Read more […]

Bioactivity of Basil

Traditional Medicine Basil has traditionally been used for head colds and as a cure for warts and worms, as an appetite stimulant, carminative, and diuretic. In addition, it has been used as a mouth wash and adstringent to cure inflammations in the mouth and throat. Alcoholic extracts of basil have been used in creams to treat slowly healing wounds. Basil is more widely used as a medicinal herb in the Far East, especially in China and India. It was first described in a major Chinese herbal around A.D. 1060 and has since been used in China for spasms of the stomach and kidney ailments, among others. It is especially recommended for use before and after parturition to promote blood circulation. The whole herb is also used to treat snakebite and insect bites. In Nigeria, a decoction of the leaves of Ocimum gratissimum is used in the treatment of fever, as a diaphoretic and also as a stomachic and laxative. In Franchophone West Africa, the plant is used in treating coughs and fevers and as an anthelmintic. In areas around Ibadan (Western State of Nigeria), Ocimum gratissimum is most often taken as a decoction of the whole herb (Agbo) and is particularly used in treating diarrhoea. It is known to the Yorubas as “Efirin-nla” Read more […]

Euphorbia characias L.

Since antiquity, Euphorbia species have been used for multiple purposes. The leaves and branchlets of Euphorbia lancifolia Schlecht were used by Mayam Indians to produce a tea named Ixbut which is reported to act as a galactogogue, increasing the flow or volume of milk in postpartem women. Some species have been used for treatment of cancer, tumors, and warts for more than 2000 years. This is the case for E.fischeriana Steud., that was used in traditional Chinese medicine as an antitumor drug. Medicinal uses of Euphorbia species include treatment of skin diseases, warts, intestinal parasites, and gonorrhea. Table Some species of Euphorbia used in folk medicine summarizes the uses in folk medicine. The latex of some plants of Euphorbia is toxic, causing poisoning in human beings and livestock, skin dermatitis, and inflammations of mucous membranes, conjunctivitis, tumor promotion, and cancer. Table Some species of Euphorbia used in folk medicine Species Used as treatment of E. antiquorum L. Dyspepsia E. caudicifolia Haines Purgative, expectorant E. fischeriana Steud. Antitumor E. genistoides Berg. Diaphoretic E. helioscopia L. Bronchitis E. hirta L. Antihistaminic E. Read more […]

The Americas

This is the only geopolitical region which extends from the Arctic circle to the Antarctic circle. This, in combination with other geographic factors, results in an impressive biological diversity — more than 100,000 species of higher plants occur naturally on these continents. At the same time it is or was the home to numerous indigenous groups speaking a multitude of languages. It is estimated that about 1,200 ethnolinguistic groups existed in 1492, but today about 420 (i.e., only a third) remain. Most of these belong to the poorest sections of society in their respective countries. Recent attempts to strengthen indigenous traditions have been diverse and it is to be hoped that these attempts succeed in improving the generally appalling living conditions and strengthening the local traditions. The Amazon basin and the Central American region are particularly diverse botanically. Historically, some regions of the Americas have distinguished themselves for the development of dominant cultures that left impressive religious and civil monuments, like the Maya, Zapotecs/ Mixtecs, and Aztecs (Nahua) in Mesoamerica, and the Inca in South America. In the case of the Aztecs, some written manuscripts or codices are available Read more […]

Slippery elm: Clinical Use. Dosage

The therapeutic effectiveness of slippery elm has not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions, so evidence is derived from traditional, in vitro and animal studies. GASTROINTESTINAL CONDITIONS Based on traditional evidence, slippery elm is taken internally to relieve the symptoms of gastritis, acid dyspepsia, gastric reflux, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. It is widely accepted that the mucilage acts as a barrier against the damaging effects of stomach acid on the oesophagus and may also exert mild anti-inflammatory activity locally. Currently, clinical research is not available to determine the effectiveness of slippery elm in these conditions; however, anecdotally the treatment appears to be very successful and patients report rapid improvement in upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Solid dose tablets and capsules are used in the treatment of diarrhea when it is believed the fibre will slow down gastric transit time and act as a bulking agent. Although clinical studies are not available to determine its effectiveness, the high mucilaginous content and presence of tannins in the herb provide a theoretical basis for its use. DERMATITIS AND WOUNDS Slippery elm Read more […]