Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Medicinal Plant Tour/ Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Medicinal Plant Tour/ Royal Botanic Gardens Kew


Salix – Willow -- salicylic acid – used as a pain killer in ancient Sumaria 4000 years ago.  Problmatic side effects --Salicin isolated by Felix Hoffman in 1899 – leading to Bayer *Asperin

Betulus – Birch – infusion of dried leaves said to help inappropriate fluid retention.  And, swelling joints.

Sweetgum – Liquid Amber – sap – Chewing gum -- storax—strong antimicrobial agent -- *Timiflu for flu prevention.

Tilia – Lime  -- dried flowers and bracts, mild sedative, antisposmodic, coughs, sore throat

                   *80% - 20% story
Med Garden

Euphedra – Stimulates the brain, increases heart rate, increases blood pressure – a performance enhancer – possibly the source of Soma in ancient Iran.  Meth, chrystal meth, banned by Olympic Committee, but is basis of *Desoxyn, used for ADHD and weight loss.

Santalina – flowers and leaves made into a decoction to expel intestinal parasites

Ginkgo biloba (dementia), found in fossils 270 million years old.  Traditional medicine.  Dietary supplement sold to improve cognitive function.  Reasearch re treatment of Alziemers and dementia.

Palm House

Madagasgan Periwinkle – Catharanthus roseus, Vincristine (lukemia) – Vinblastine (hodgkin’s lymphoma) 10% to 90%

Strophantus –arrow poison – Livingstones– John Kirk –cardiac glycosides – toothbrush – slower heart rate – stronger contractions – *Ouabain

Aristolochia – Birthwort – Doctrine of Signatures – expulsion of the placenta – TCM - dieting pills – kidney failure – cancer of the urinary tract.

Dioscorea composite – Yams – Mexico  -- Chinatec healers -- Oxaca – Russell Marker – progesterone – used to make cortisone and oral contraceptives.

Banasteriopsis caapi – ayahuasca – cumandero – entheogen -- psychoactive – method for letting the plants themselves identify what they will cure – contains harmaline, harmine, and tetrahydroharmine.  Insurace reinbursement.

On the Way to Queen’s Garden

Eucalyptus (common colds, nasal congestion) *Vicks Vapor Rub.

Horse Chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum – vericlose viens, ulceration, piles  *Aescin

Yew – Taxus Bacatta – in 1967, discovery that compounds found in the back of Taxus was an effective Chemotherapy drug-  *Taxol – ovarian, breast, lung and pancreatic cancer.

Queen’s Garden

Laburnum – poisonous, but not too.  No known instances of death in last 60 years.  Entire plant is poisonous.  Seed in pods ingested by children

Davos carota –wild carrot – Queen Anne’s Lace – traditionally used for soothing the digestive system.  Also used as morning after contraception.  Big danger is  confusing it with poison hemlock.

Artichoke Thistle – Cynara cardunculos -- used traditionally for cronic liver and gall bladder problems.  Oakeley:  Arm pits and bodily lust.

Hypericum – St John’s wort – contains two compounds – hyperforin and hypericin.  Used for mild to medium depression.  A reuptake inhibitor.  Originally used for hurts and wounds.

Pulmonaria – Lungwort – Doctrine of Signatures

Marsh Mallow – Althaea officinales – softening and healing.  Good for irritants of the mucus membrane – mouth ulcers and gastric ulcers.

Valerianna officinales – Root – used as an anti-anxiety agent – a sedative – tranquilizer.

Kew project, Monique Simmons – traditional remedies.

French Lilac – Galega officinales – medieval remedy for diabetes – and, in fact, the guaridine compounds contained do lower blood sugar levels.  But it was too toxic for ordinary use, so researchers used the chemistry of its compounds as a roadmap, and created *Metformin, which has the benefits but not the toxicity.

Artemisia – Sweet wormwood – Tu Youyou won the nobel prize for developing an effective antimalarial drug from sweet wormwood.  Just in time:  the old Cinchona (Jesuit bark) remedy was loosing effectiveness.  Traditionally a love potion – stirs up bodily lusts.

 Artemisia maritinaSea wormwood – Bases for *Santonin – gets rid of worms – and good for hysteria.

Digitalis – Foxglove – contains cardiac glycosides – in particular, digoxin.  Entire plant is poisonous.  !775, Wm. Withering used it for congestive heart failure.  *Acetyidigoxin; *Desianoside; *Digitalin; *Digitoxin, and  *Gitalin.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by people in Zegie Peninsula, Northwestern Ethiopia

Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by people in Zegie Peninsula, Northwestern Ethiopia

An ethnobotanical study was conducted from October 2005 to June 2006 to investigate the uses of medicinal plants by people in Zegie Peninsula, northwestern Ethiopia. Information was gathered from 200 people: 70 female and 130 males, using semistructured questionnaire. Of which, six were male local healers. The informants, except the healers, were selected randomly and no appointment was made prior to the visits. Informant consensus factor (ICF) for category of aliments and the fidelity level (FL) of the medicinal plants were determined. Sixty-seven medicinal plants used as a cure for 52 aliments were documented. They are distributed across 42 families and 64 genera. The most frequently utilized plant part was the underground part (root/rhizome/bulb) (42%). The largest number of remedies was used to treat gastrointestinal disorder and parasites infections (22.8%) followed by external injuries and parasites infections (22.1%). The administration routes are oral (51.4%), external (38.6%), nasal (7.9%), and ear (2.1%). The medicinal plants that were presumed to be effective in treating a certain category of disease, such as 'mich' and febrile diseases (0.80) had higher ICF values. This probably indicates a high incidence of these types of diseases in the region, possibly due to the poor socio-economic and sanitary conditions of this people. The medicinal plants that are widely used by the local people or used as a remedy for a specific aliment have higher FL values (Carissa spinarum, Clausena anisata, Acokanthera schimperi, Calpurnia aurea, Ficus thonningii, and Cyphostemma junceum) than those that are less popular or used to treat more than one type of aliments (Plumbago zeylanicum, Dorstenia barnimiana).

Ethnobotanical study of indigenous knowledge on medicinal plant use by traditional healers in Oshikoto region, Namibia


The objective of this study was to establish a regional profile of the indigenous knowledge system (IKS) for medicinal plant use and cultural practices associated with the healing process of these plants by traditional healers in the Oshikoto region, Namibia.


An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken to collect information from traditional healers during September and October 2008. Data was collected through the use of questionnaires and personal interviews during field trips in the ten constituencies of the Oshikoto region. A total of 47 respondents were interviewed with most of them aged 66 and above.


The traditional healers in Oshikoto region use 61 medicinal plant species that belong to 25 families for the treatment of various diseases and disorders with the highest number of species being used for mental diseases followed by skin infection and external injuries. Trees (28 species) were found to be the most used plants followed by herbs (15 species), shrubs (10 species) and climbers (4 species). The average of the informant consensus factor (FIC) value for all ailment categories was 0.75. High FIC values were obtained for Pergularia daemia, and Tragia okanyua, which were reported to treat weakness and dizziness problems, snake bite, swelling and cardiovascular problems indicating that these species traditionally used to treat these ailments are worth examining for bioactive compounds.


The traditional healers in Oshikoto possess rich ethno-pharmacological knowledge. This study allows for identifying many high value medicinal plant species, indicating high potential for economic development through sustainable collection of these medicinal plants.

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies among Racial and Ethnic Minority Adults:
Results from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey

Understanding Immigrants' Reluctance to Use Mental Health Services: A Qualitative Study from Montreal


Objective: Studies suggest that non-European immigrants to Canada tend to under use mental health services, compared with Canadian-born people. Social, cultural, religious, linguistic, geographic, and economic variables may contribute to this underuse. This paper explores the reasons for underuse of conventional mental health services in a community sample of immigrants with identified emotional and somatic symptoms.
Method: Fifteen West Indian immigrants in Montreal with somatic symptoms and (or) emotional distress, not currently using mental health services, participated in a face-to-face in-depth interview exploring health care use. Interviews were analyzed thematically to discern common factors explaining reluctance to use services.
Results: Across participants' narratives, we identified 3 significant factors explaining their reluctance to use mental health services. First, there was a perceived overwillingness of doctors to rely on pharmaceutical medications as interventions. Second, participants perceived a dismissive attitude and lack of time from physicians in previous encounters that deterred their use of current health service. Third, many participants reported a belief in the curative power of nonmedical interventions, most notably God and to a lesser extent, traditional folk medicine.
Conclusion: The above factors may highlight important areas for intervention to reduce disparities in immigrant use of mental health care. We present our framework as a model, grounded in empirical data, that further research can explore.

Use of Traditional Medicine by Immigrant Chinese Patients

Chinese immigrants constitute the largest group of foreign-born Asians living in the United
States. Knowledge of their use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is limited. A survey was conducted
to determine their TCM use and to evaluate physician awareness of these practices.



interviews were conducted with 198 Chinese immigrant patients, and a survey was administered to 17
physicians in two federally funded community health clinics.


Nearly 100% of the patients had
used TCM during the previous year, mostly for musculoskeletal or abdominal pain, fatigue, and health
maintenance. Self-medication with herbal products was the most common (93% at least once, 43% weekly).
A smaller number (23%) had used herbs prescribed by a TCM provider. Use of acupuncture was less
common (14%), although higher than the national average. Most patients indicated a preference to consult
Western physicians for acute infections. Only 5% reported that their physicians had ever asked about their
use of TCM. By contrast, 77% of physicians reported that they “usually or sometimes” asked about TCM


Results suggest that these patients used TCM, primarily self-prescribed over-the-counter
herbal preparations, for many health problems. Information about use was not shared with their physi
cians, nor did patients perceive their doctors as soliciting sufficient information on TCM use. Physician
education in this area may be warranted


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Medicinal Plants and Traditional Healing in Contemporary Rural South Africa

Medicinal Plants and Traditional Healing in
Contemporary Rural South Africa

A review of plants used in divination in southern Africa and their psychoactive effect

Numerous indigenous healing traditions around the world employ plants with psychoactive effects to facilitate
divination and other spiritual healing rituals. Southern Africa has thus far been considered to have relatively
few psychoactive plant species of cultural importance, and little has been published on the subject. This
paper reports on 85 species of plants that are used for divination by southern Bantu-speaking people. Of
these, 39 species (45 %) have other reported psychoactive uses, and a number have established hallucinogenic
activity. These findings indicate that psychoactive plants have an important role in traditional healing practices
in southern Africa.


Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

Ritual uses of palms in traditional medicine in sub-Saharan Africa: a review

Palms (Arecaceae) are prominent elements in African traditional medicines. It is, however, a challenge to find detailed information on the ritual use of palms, which are an inextricable part of African medicinal and spiritual systems. This work reviews ritual uses of palms within African ethnomedicine. We studied over 200 publications on uses of African palms and found information about ritual uses in 26 of them. At least 12 palm species in sub-Saharan Africa are involved in various ritual practices: Borassus aethiopum, Cocos nucifera, Dypsis canaliculata, D. fibrosa, D. pinnatifrons, Elaeis guineensis, Hyphaene coriacea, H. petersiana, Phoenix reclinata, Raphia farinifera, R. hookeri, and R. vinifera. In some rituals, palms play a central role as sacred objects, for example the seeds accompany oracles and palm leaves are used in offerings. In other cases, palms are added as a support to other powerful ingredients, for example palm oil used as a medium to blend and make coherent the healing mixture. A better understanding of the cultural context of medicinal use of palms is needed in order to obtain a more accurate and complete insight into palm-based traditional medicines.


Traditional Medicines in Africa: An Appraisal of Ten Potent African Medicinal Plants

Traditional Medicines in Africa: An Appraisal of Ten Potent African Medicinal Plants

The use of medicinal plants as a fundamental component of the African traditional healthcare system is perhaps the oldest and the most assorted of all therapeutic systems. In many parts of rural Africa, traditional healers prescribing medicinal plants are the most easily accessible and affordable health resource available to the local community and at times the only therapy that subsists. Nonetheless, there is still a paucity of updated comprehensive compilation of promising medicinal plants from the African continent. The major focus of the present review is to provide an updated overview of 10 promising medicinal plants from the African biodiversity which have short- as well as long-term potential to be developed as future phytopharmaceuticals to treat and/or manage panoply of infectious and chronic conditions. In this endeavour, key scientific databases have been probed to investigate trends in the rapidly increasing number of scientific publications on African traditional medicinal plants. Within the framework of enhancing the significance of traditional African medicinal plants, aspects such as traditional use, phytochemical profile, in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies and also future challenges pertaining to the use of these plants have been explored.


Healing Herbs and Medicinal Plants List

Healing Herbs and Medicinal Plants List

.... Read Original Article: http://www.herbslist.net/