Black Nightshade, Terong Meranti, Poison Berry

Solanum nigrum L. (Solanaceae) Solanum nigrum L. is a small herb, up to 1.5 m tall. Leaves are ovate, ovate-oblong, glabrous, hairy, 1-16 cm by 0.25-12 cm. Inflorescence of 2-10 in an extra-axillary cluster, with white or purple corolla and yellow central protrusion. Fruit is globose, black in colour but is green when immature, 0.5 cm in diameter, with many seeds. Origin Native to Southwest Asia, Europe, India and Japan. Phytoconstituents Solanidine, α-, β-, γ-chaconine, desgalactotigonin, α-, β-solamargine, diosgenin, solanadiol, α-, β-, γ-solanines, soladulcidine, solanocapsine, α-, β-solansodamine, solasodine, α-solasonine, tigogenin, tomatidenol, uttronins A and B, uttrosides A and B, solanigroside A-H and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses The stem, leaves and roots are used as a decoction for wounds, tumours and cancerous growths, sores and as an astringent. They are also used as a condiment, stimulant, tonic, for treatment of piles, dysentery, abdominal pain, inflammation of bladder, relief of asthma, bronchitis, coughs, eye ailments, itch, psoriasis, skin diseases, eczema, ulcer, relief of cramps, rheumatism, neuralgia and expulsion of excess fluids. The roots are used as an expectorant. The Read more […]

Yellow Oleander, Trumpet Flower

Thevetia peruviana (Pers.) K. Schum. (Apocynaceae) Thevetia peruviana (Pers.) K. Schum. is a shrub, up to 6 m tall. All parts contain highly poisonous milky latex. Leaves are simple, few, exstipulate and spirally arranged. Blade is linear, 7-13 cm by 0.5-1 cm and glossy. Flowers are large, yellow, 5 cm across, gathered in few flowered terminal cymes. Fruits are green, shiny, globose, 4-5.5 cm across with 4 or less poisonous seeds. Origin Native to Central and South America. Phytoconstituents Thevetins A and B, thevetosides, acetylperuvoside, epipemviol, perusitin, theveneriin, thevebioside, thevefolin, pervianoside I-III and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses Used as an abortifacient, to treat congestive heart failure, malaria, leprosy, indigestion, ringworm, venereal disease and even as a suicide instrument. Used in India as an astringent to the bowel, useful in urethral discharge, worms, skin diseases, wounds, piles, eye problems and itch. Used in continental Europe and is considered particularly useful in mild myocardial insufficiency and digitalis intolerance. Its bark is used as an emetic, febrifuge, insecticidal, poison and for reviving patients with heart failure. Pharmacological Activities Antiarrhythmic, Read more […]

Alkyl Phenols in Ginkgo Biloba

The phenolic lipids are a comparatively little known group of compounds which may be considered as biogenetically derived from fatty acids and containing a benzene ring, one to two phenolic groups and zero to one carboxyl group on the benzene ring. Some of them have had an applied artistic use for centuries for the preparation of Japanese and Chinese lacs, and others, e.g. the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) play a vital role in certain modern technical uses for chemical treatments and industrial utilizations. Historically, most of the analytical work on alkyl phenols has been carried out on Anacardium occidentale, because of its commercial value, and the acquired experience was translated to other alkyl phenols containing plants. This paper reviews the literature concerning the characterization of these compounds in Ginkgo biloba plant materials and in pharmaceutical preparations mainly derived from the leaves of the plant. In fact, side effects concerning the allergenic properties of this class of compounds, have been described, and a number of industrial processes have been set up in order to avoid their occurrence in phytopharmaceuticals. A small review on the chemistry and biology of ginkgo alkylphenols has appeared Read more […]

Ginger: Background. Actions

Historical Note Ginger has been used as both a food and a medicine since ancient times. Confucius wrote about it in his Analects, the Greek physician, Dioscorides, listed ginger as an antidote to poisoning, as a digestive, and as being warming to the stomach in De Materia Medica, and the Koran, the Talmud and the Bible all mention ginger. Records suggest that ginger was highly valued as an article of trade and in 13th and 14th century England, one pound of ginger was worth the same as a sheep. Ginger is still extremely popular in the practice of phytotherapy, particularly in TCM, which distinguishes between the dried and fresh root. It is widely used to stimulate circulation, treat various gastrointestinal disorders and as a stimulant heating agent. Other Names African ginger, Indian ginger, Jamaica ginger, common ginger, rhizoma zingiberis, shokyo (Japanese) Botanical Name / Family Zingiber officinale Roscoe (family Zingiberaceae) Plant Part Used Rhizome Chemical Components The ginger rhizome contains an essential oil and resin known collectively as oleoresin. The composition of the essential oil varies according to the geographical origin, but the chief constituents, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, which are Read more […]

Myrrh: Other Uses. Dosage

TRADITIONAL INDICATIONS Myrrh has been used in TCM, Tibetan medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Middle Eastern medicine and in Europe; therefore, it has numerous traditional indications. Myrrh has been used to treat infections, respiratory conditions, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, pharyngitis, respiratory catarrh, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, menopausal symptoms, wounds and haemorrhoids. It has also been used to treat arthritis and as an embalming agent. PARASITIC DISEASES Schistosomiasis Schistosomiasis is an important trematode infection affecting over 200 million people in the tropics and subtropics. After malaria, it is the next most important parasitic disease with chronic infection causing significant morbidity. Currently, the drug praziquantel is often recommended, but it does not affect the immature stage and may not abort an early infection. Additionally, a drug-resistant strain has developed. Due to these factors, there is great interest in discovering alternative treatments. One clinical study involving 204 patients with schistosomiasis produced impressive results with a 3 day oral dose regimen producing a cure rate of 92%. Re-treatment of non-responders increased the overall cure rate to 98%. A field study produced Read more […]