Herb-Drug Interactions: Hawthorn

Crataegus laevigata (Poir.) DC, Crataegus monogyna Jacq. (Rosaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Crataegus, Haw, May, Weissdorn, Whitethorn. Crataegus oxyacantha auct, Crataegus oxyacanthoides Thuill. Pharmacopoeias Hawthorn Berries (British Ph 2009, European Ph 2008); Hawthorn Leaf and Flower (British Ph 2009, European Ph, 6th ed., 2008 and Supplements 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4); Hawthorn Leaf and Flower Dry Extract (British Ph 2009, European Ph 2008); Hawthorn Leaf with Flower (US Ph 32); Quantified Hawthorn Leaf and Flower Liquid Extract (British Ph 2009, European Ph, 6th ed., 2008 and Supplements 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4). Constituents The leaves and flowers of hawthorn are usually standardised to their flavonoid content, and the berries may be standardised to their procyanidin content. Other flavonoids present include quercetin, isoquercetin and their glycosides, and rutin. Other constituents include catechins and epicatechin dimers, polyphenolic acid derivatives including chlorogenic and caffeic acids, phenethylamine, dopamine, and ursolic and oleanolic acid triterpenenoid derivatives. Use and indications Hawthorn extracts are used as a cardiotonic, mild anti-hypertensive and antisclerotic. Pharmacokinetics No Read more […]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Ginseng

Panax ginseng C.A.Mey (Araliaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Many species and varieties of ginseng are used. Panax ginseng C.A.Mey is also known as Asian ginseng. Chinese ginseng, Korean ginseng, Oriental ginseng, Renshen. Panax quinquefolius L. is also known as American ginseng. Other species used include: Panax notoginseng (Burkill) F.H.Chen ex C.Y.Wu & K.M.Feng known as Sanchi ginseng, Tienchi ginseng and Panax pseudo-ginseng Wall, also known as Himalayan ginseng. It is important to note that Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus Maxim.) is often used and marketed as a ginseng, but it is from an entirely different plant of the Araliaceae family and possesses constituents that are chemically different. It will be covered in this monograph with distinctions made throughout. Not to be confused with ashwagandha, which is Withania somnifera. This is sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng. Not to be confused with Brazilian ginseng, which is Pfaffia paniculata. Pharmacopoeias American Ginseng (US Ph 32); American Ginseng Capsules (US Ph 32); American Ginseng Tablets (US Ph 32); Asian ginseng (US Ph 32); Asian Ginseng Tablets (US Ph 32); Eleuthero (US Ph 32); Eleutherococcus (British Read more […]

Goldenseal: Background. Actions

Historical Note Goldenseal is indigenous to North America and was traditionally used by the Cherokees and then by early American pioneers. Preparations of the root and rhizome were used for gastritis, diarrhea, vaginitis, dropsy, menstrual abnormalities, eye and mouth inflammation, and general ulceration. In addition to this, the plant was used for dyeing fabric and weapons. Practitioners of the eclectic school created a high demand for goldenseal around 1847. This ensured the herb’s ongoing popularity in Western herbal medicine, but unfortunately led to it being named a threatened species in 1997. Today, most high-quality goldenseal is from cultivated sources. Common Name Goldenseal Other Names Eye root, jaundice root, orange root, yellow root Botanical Name / Family Hydrastis canadensis (family Ranunculaceae) Plant Parts Used Root and rhizome Chemical Components Isoquinoline alkaloids, including hydrastine (1.5-5%), berberine (0.5-6%) and canadine (tetrahydroberberine, 0.5-1.0%). Other related alkaloids include canadaline, hydrastidine, corypalmineand isohydrastidine. Clinical note — Isoquinoline alkaloids Isoquinoline alkaloids are derived from phenylalanine or tyrosine and are most frequently found Read more […]


ANTIDIABETIC AGENTS have a number of mechanisms of action. The most frequently used drugs are essentially antihyperglycaemic agents; often called hypoglycaemics. These are used principally in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Such drugs are quite distinct from those used to treat diabetes insipidus (see ANTIDIURETIC AGENTS). There are several types of antidiabetic treatment for diabetes mellitus. Firstly, insulin, which is used mainly in Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus; IDDM; juvenile-onset diabetes) cannot be taken by mouth and must be injected. Insulin is a protein hormone produced and secreted by the β-cells of the Islets of Langerhans within the pancreas. It has the effect of reducing the level of glucose in the blood, and is part of a balancing mechanism with the opposing hormone glucagon, which increases blood glucose. Its deficiency disorder — diabetes mellitus — therefore can result in hyperglycaemia, which can rapidly lead to severe symptoms, and potentially coma and death. There are many insulin preparations available, of both human and animal sequences, differing mainly in their duration of action. Secondly, oral hypoglycaemics are synthetic agents taken by mouth to reduce Read more […]