Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia]]> vol. 24 num. 5 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[A year in partnership with Elsevier]]> <![CDATA[What is the role of exotic medicinal plants in local medical systems? A study from the perspective of utilitarian redundancy]]> Medicinal plants are an important aspect of local medical systems. The composition of a medicinal plant collection is influenced by cultural and environmental factors. Additionally, the functionality of a local medical system can be threatened by the replacement of native species with exotic ones, as well as by cultural factors such as the erosion of knowledge. The objectives of this study are: 1) examine the composition of the medicinal plant collection of two rural communities settled in the caatinga (savanna-like vegetation) of the state of Pernambuco (Brazil); 2) observe the role of exotic plants in the local medical systems; and 3) identify the profile of the species utilized according to the Utilitarian Redundancy Model. Similarities were observed between the medicinal floras of the communities studied, emphasizing the importance of the surrounding biome within the possibilities of species selection, although exotic species appear to contribute by increasing the diversity of species considered in the communities to be medicinal. The native species act broadly among the body systems recognized in the two communities, whereas exotic species act in specific body systems, for which there are few associated native species. <![CDATA[Light affects <em>Varronia curassavica</em> essential oil yield by increasing trichomes frequency]]> Light can act on essential oil yield directly on synthesis of secondary metabolites, or indirectly on plant growth. Varronia curassavica Jacq., Boraginaceae, is a native medicinal species from Brazil known as “erva-baleeira”, with anti-inflammatory activity related to its essential oil. Despite pharmacological evidences of this species and its economic importance for herbal medicine production, little is known about the effect of light on growth and essential oil production. This study aimed to analyze the influence of different irradiances on growth, frequency of trichomes, essential oil yield and composition of V. curassavica. The irradiance affected plant growth, but no significant alteration on leaf biomass was detected. The increase in essential oil content under higher irradiance reflected on essential oil yield, and is associated with higher frequency of glandular, globular trichomes. The essential oil composition, rich in caryophyllene derivatives was affected by irradiance, but α-humulene, the constituent of pharmaceutical interest, remained unchanged. <![CDATA[Rupture of glandular trichomes in <em>Ocimum gratissimum</em> leaves influences the content of essential oil during the drying method]]> Medicinal and aromatic plants are commonly sold dried; however, it is necessary to understand the effects different drying methods have on these materials, to ensure their efficiency and quality. Ocimum gratissimum L., Lamiaceae, is an aromatic plant whose essential oil is stored in glandular trichomes. This study aimed to confirm the effects of different drying temperatures and methods of O. gratissimum leaves on trichome integrity and essential oil content. Leaves dried in a forced ventilation oven at 60ºC display damaged trichomes and a reduction in the essential oil content. The different drying methods (oven, dehumidification and air drying) were not identified to elicit changes in the essential oil content or damage to trichomes. All of the drying methods showed a reduction in fungal contamination in a logarithmic cycle. <![CDATA[Pharmacobotanical study of the leaf and stem of <em>Mikania lanuginosa</em> for its quality control]]> Mikania lanuginosa DC, Asteraceae, is popularly known as "cipó-cabeludo" in Brazil due to a remarkable number of trichomes on its leaves and stems. It shows antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis and Bacillus cereus. This species can be confused with M. microlepis Baker and M. hirsutissima DC for substitution and tampering purposes. The aim of this study was to investigate the morpho-anatomy of leaf and stem of M. lanuginosa to obtain pharmacobotanical data that may contribute to its identification and taxonomic definition from other species of Mikania. The leaves and stems were investigated using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy techniques. Mikania lanuginosa shows a uniseriate epidermis covered by a thin and smooth cuticle. The epidermal cells present sinuous anticlinal walls on both sides and anomocytic stomata were observed. A few glandular trichomes and numerous non-glandular trichomes were identified on both surfaces. The mesophyll is dorsiventral, the midrib has a biconvex contour and the petiole shows a circular shape in a cross-section. The stem has a circular shape. These pharmacobotanical features described for M. lanuginosa support data for its identification and taxonomic delimitation from other Mikania species, and are a contribution for the quality control of herbal drugs. <![CDATA[Safflower oil: an integrated assessment of phytochemistry, antiulcerogenic activity, and rodent and environmental toxicity]]> Gastric ulcers are a significant medical problem and the development of complications lead to significant mortality rates worldwide. In Brazil, Carthamus tinctorius L., Asteraceae, seeds essential oil, the safflower oil, is currently used as a thermogenic compound and as treatment for problems related to the cardiovascular system. In this study, by Raman spectroscopy, it was shown that oleic and linoleic acids are the compounds present in higher concentrations in the safflower oil. We demonstrated that safflower oil (750 mg/kg, p.o.) decrease the ulcerogenic lesions in mice after the administration of hydrochloric acid-ethanol. The gastric ulcers induced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in mice treated with cholinomimetics were treated with four different doses of safflower oil, of which, the dose of 187.5 mg/kg (p.o.) showed significant antiulcerogenic properties (**p &lt; 0.01). Moreover, the safflower oil at doses of 187.5 mg/kg (i.d.) increased the pH levels, gastric volume (**p &lt; 0.01) and gastric mucus production (***p &lt; 0.001), and decreased the total gastric acid secretion (***p &lt; 0.001). The acute toxicity tests showed that safflower oil (5.000 mg/kg, p.o.) had no effect on mortality or any other physiological parameter. Ecotoxicological tests performed using Daphnia similis showed an EC50 at 223.17 mg/l, and therefore safflower oil can be considered “non-toxic” based on the directive 93/67/EEC on risk assessment for new notified substances by European legislation. These results indicate that the antiulcer activity of Safflower oil may be due to cytoprotective effects, which serve as support for new scientific studies related to this pathology. <![CDATA[Seasonal influence and cytotoxicity of extracts, fractions and major compounds from <em>Allamanda schottii</em>]]> The aim of this research was to evaluate the fractions obtained from the leaf, stem and roots of Allamanda schottii Pohl, Apocynaceae, responsible for the cytotoxicity, using several cell lines. Cytotoxicity was correlated with the season the part of the plant, and the major compounds were assessed. The ethanol extracts of leaves, stems and roots obtained at different seasons were evaluated in the human erythromyeloblastoid leukemia cell line (K562). Subsequently the ethanol extracts and dichloromethane fractions collected in winter were evaluated in mouse fibroblast cell line (Mus musculus) (L929), cervix adenocarcinoma (HeLa), human pre-B leukemia (Nalm6), as well as K562 cell line. The compounds plumericin, plumieride and ursolic acid isolated from ethanol extracts of the stems were evaluated in the same cell lines, as well as on breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF-7), and Mus musculus skin melanoma cell line (B16F10). The chromatographic profiles of the dichloromethane fractions were obtained by high performance liquid chromatography. The results revealed that the season during which A. schottii was collected, and the part of the plant analyzed, influence the cytotoxicity on the K562 cells tested. On the other hand the dichloromethane fractions, mainly from the stems and roots, are responsible for the cytoxicity on the cells tested. These results may be associated with the seasonal variation of plumericin in these parts of the plant. This information is in accordance with the HPLC analysis. The results clearly show the potential for the phytotherapeutic use of this species, and suggest that the cytotoxic activity observed may be due to the presence of plumericin, or to minor compounds not yet identified. The seasonal influence on the production of secondary metabolites was verified. <![CDATA[Assessment of acute toxicity of the ethanolic extract of <em>Lychnophora pinaster</em> (Brazilian arnica)]]> Species of the Lychnophora genus are plants native to Brazil, popularly known as "Brazilian arnica" and used in folk medicine as alcoholic and hydro-alcoholic preparations for the treatment of bruises, inflammation, pain, rheumatism and insect bites. The present study aimed to evaluate the safety of the use of Lychnophora pinaster Mart., Asteraceae. Acute toxicity of the crude ethanolic extract was evaluated by administration of the extract by oral route to male and female Swiss mice. A single extract dose of 125, 250 or 500 mg/kg was administered and the effects on spontaneous locomotor activity, exploratory behavior, muscle strength, body weight, food and water consumption, relative organ weight, histology, as well as hematological and biochemical parameters were evaluated. The three doses administered to the animals did not cause muscle tone alterations, but doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg induced a significant inhibition of the spontaneous locomotor activity and exploratory behavior of the animals in open-field test. There was no alteration to hematological parameters and consumption of water and food, body weight variation and organs relative weight. Changes were observed in AST and ALT during assessment of biochemical parameters. The histopathological evaluation showed that the extract provoked cellular alterations, such as vacuolar degeneration and inflammation in kidneys and liver at all doses. Liver morphometric analyses of male and female mice showed that the extract did not have dose-dependent effects. Although females showed a significant increase in inflammatory cells, the effect was not dose-dependent. <![CDATA[Cytotoxic tirucallane triterpenes from the stem of <em>Luvunga scandens</em>]]> Two tirucallane triterpenes, namely flindissol (1) and 3-oxotirucalla-7,24-dien-21-oic-acid (2), were isolated from the dichloromethane extract of the stem of Luvunga scandens (Roxb.) Buch-Ham ex Wight &amp; Arn, Rutaceae. This is the first report of their isolation from this plant. Their structures were constructed by high resolution mass and 2D NMR spectroscopic data. The cytotoxic potential of the two pure compounds 1 and 2 were determined by MTT assay against human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF-7). Compounds 1 and 2 showed potent cytotoxicity against MCF-7 cell line with IC50 values of 13.8 μM and 27.5 μM, respectively. This result suggested their potential activity as antitumor agents. <![CDATA[Evaluation of anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, chemopreventive and wound healing potentials from <em>Schinus terebinthifolius</em> methanolic extract]]> Inflammatory and genetic alterations are related to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer. Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi, Anacardiaceae, is used in folk medicine to treat inflammation, wounds and tumors. This study evaluated the anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, chemopreventive, and wound healing potentials of the methanolic extract from the leaves of Schinus terebinthifolius. The chemical composition of the extract was characterized using preliminary analytical LC methods. The results showed that the anti-inflammatory activity of the methanolic extract was similar to that of dexamethasone for edema reduction. Also, it inhibited the leukocyte migration into the air pouch and decreased plasma extravasation. In addition, the methanolic extract showed a healing action similar to that observed with collagenase. The methanolic extract is not genotoxic nor mutagenic, and in contrast it has chemopreventive activity, which elicits a high percentage of damage reduction by comet and micronucleus assay, preferably by bioantimutagenic action. The methanolic extract induced apoptosis and enhanced splenic phagocytosis in animals treated with cyclophosphamide. The methanolic extract contents, resolved by LC, include phenolic acid and flavonoids. Our results suggest a therapeutic potential for the methanolic extract. <![CDATA[Extraction of flavonoids from <em>Tagetes patula</em>: process optimization and screening for biological activity]]> The flowers of Tagetes patula L., Asteraceae, commonly known as French marigold, are used in folk medicine as an antiseptic, diuretic, blood purifier and insect repellent. This study was conducted to optimize the extraction process through the biomonitoring of flavonoids, using a statistical mixture simplex-centroid design, to evaluate the effect of the solvents water, ethanol and acetone, as well as mixtures of these solvents, assessed by the total flavonoid content. The extracts were tested for dry residue, radical scavenging activity, chromatographic profile, and larvicidal activity. The acetone extract had the highest total flavonoid content, 25.13 ± 1.02% (4.07%); and the best radical scavenging activity, with IC50 of 15.74 μg/ml ± 1.09 (6.92%), but with lower dry residue, 6.62 ± 1.33% (20.10%). The water extracts showed higher levels of dry residue, but lower total flavonoid content and radical scavenging activity than the acetone extract. The positive correlation between the total flavonoid content and radical scavenging activity of the extracts showed that flavonoids contribute significantly to the antioxidant capacity. The statistical mixture design allowed us to optimize the extraction of flavonoids from flowers of T. patula, with acetone as the best extraction solvent. Preliminary studies on the biological activity of the optimized extracts demonstrated a larvicidal effect of the acetone extract on Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. <![CDATA[Effect of superfine pulverization on physicochemical and medicinal properties of Qili Powder]]> Qili Powder, a preparation from Traditional Chinese Medicine, commonly used to treat injuries from falling or stumbling, pain caused by bruising, and traumatic hemorrhage. The aim of the present work was to investigate the application of the superfine pulverization on Qili Powder properties. The physicochemical and medicinal properties of fine Qili Powder with D90 particle size of 164.5 μm, and superfine Qili Powder with D90 particle size of 32.2 μm were investigated. The results showed that with decreasing particle size, the specific surface area and pore volume increased, the fluidity decreased, and the percentage of moisture absorption and the balanced moisture content decreased. Analysis HPLC, XRD and FTIR results indicated that superfine pulverization didn’t influence dracorhodin content, nor the molecular structure and crystal form of Qili Powder. The percentage of dissolution of dracorhodin was significantly improved after superfine pulverization. Pharmacokinetics results confirmed that superfine pulverization increases the absorption rate in rats and dracorhodin content of Qili Powder. <![CDATA[Medicinal plants for the treatment of “nervios”, anxiety, and depression in Mexican Traditional Medicine]]> The term “nervios” is referred as a folk illness recognized by Mexican Traditional Medicine, and also widely reported across many countries in Latin America. “Nervios” are characterized by a “state of bodily and mental unrest”, which decreases the ability to achieve daily goals. The causes are varied; in fact, any situation that alters the emotional state or mood is interpreted as a possible triggering agent. Depression and anxiety are psychiatric disorders, which share symptoms, or can be included in the same group of disorders with “nervios”. The therapies are designed to reassure health, i.e. “calm the nerves”. For this propose, the oral administration of plants infusions is common. In this review we compile information regarding the plants used for the treatment of “nervios” in México, along with those for which reports of anxiolytic or/and antidepressive activity exist. We found 92 plant species used in folk medicine for the treatment of “nervios”, among these, sixteen have been studied experimentally. The most studied plant is Galphimia glauca Cav., Malpighiaceae, which current clinical studies have validated its efficacy in patients, and their active components, the triterpenes galphimine A, B, and C, identified. Interestingly only nine plants were found to be reported in folk medicine for the treatment of sadness or/and depression, but their antidepressant activity has not been investigated. However, among the plants used in folk medicine for treatment of “nervios”, several, as Litsea glaucescens Kunth, Lauraceae, have been proven to show antidepressant activity in experimental models, and some of their active compounds have been determined. These species could be a potential source of compounds with activity in the central nervous system.