Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia]]> vol. 21 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>JCR 2009 and its consequences</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>To the great scientist Otto Richard Gottlieb, a short farewell essay</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>The academic plagiarism and its punishments - a review</b>]]> Currently there is an increase in the occurrence of plagiarism in varied types of academic texts. Therefore, in agreement with the Brazilian Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) policies, Brazilian higher education institutions should establish guidelines for the detection and inhibition of academic plagiarism. However, the notion of plagiarism is extremely complex, since the ability of textual construction acquired during education is also developed using others' words. Thus, it is necessary to better know the concept of plagiarism and its implications, as well as the consequences of plagiarism and the punishments that may result from it. Consequently, rules and policies to be established will be better founded in order to address the problem of plagiarism in academic texts in a comprehensive and consistent way, not only to inhibit plagiarism but also to promote education on how is possible to create texts in an original fashion. <![CDATA[<b>Leaf anatomy and morphology of <i>Eugenia rotundifolia</i> Casar.</b><b>, </b><b>Myrtaceae, applied to the authentication of the "abajurú" commercially sold</b>]]> Eugenia rotundifolia Casar., Myrtaceae, occurs in the sandy coastal environments of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo States. To the best of our knowledge, E. rotundifolia was not included in ethnobotanical and nor in pharmacological research, but its leaves are sold in a public market of Rio de Janeiro City as "abajurú", the common name for Chrysobalanus icaco L., Chrysobalanaceae. C. icaco, in contrast, has been studied and its medicinal effects reported. Since E. rotundifolia is often sold in the public market as "abajurú," this paper describes and compares the leaf anatomy and morphology of E. rotundifolia with C. icaco, previously described in the literature, in order to provide tools for the authentication of commercialized "abajurú." Phyllotaxy; texture; color; margin; midrib prominence; stomata type; type and shape of midrib and petiole vascular bundle; the presence of marginal vein, secretory cavities, which are seen as translucent dots, and overlying cells only in E. rotundifolia; and the presence of trichomes, periclinal divisions in adaxial face epidermis, hypodermis and vascular bundle extensions only in C. icaco were found to be the most distinguishable diagnostic characters. <![CDATA[<b>Dynamics of traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in a rural community in the Brazilian semi-arid region</b>]]> Human beings have accumulated rich experience with natural resources over time, but such knowledge can be strongly influenced by several factors, such as age, sex and occupation. This study focuses on the influence of these factors on knowledge of medicinal plants in a rural community in northeastern Brazil. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 102 people, with the number of plants and uses cited studied for quantitative analysis. Through this research, it was possible to show that the social variables studied (age, sex and informants occupation) have contributed to the formation of different patterns of knowledge regarding medicinal resources. The results indicate that awareness of this dynamic is necessary for the proper implementation of projects where the goal is the sustainable use of natural resources (because it indicates the different levels of knowledge within a community), for studies intended to discover new drugs (because it indicates the peculiarities of certain groups), and for biodiversity conservation strategies. <![CDATA[<b>A new approach for quantifying furanodiene and curzerene</b>: <b>a case study on the essential oils of <i>Eugenia uniflora</i> L., Myrtaceae (pitangueira) leaves</b>]]> The essential oil obtained from the leaves of Eugenia uniflora L., Myrtaceae, which grows in the Brazilian savannah, was studied by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Furanodiene (1.2%) was thermally rearranged to curzerene (85.1%) to produce a combined content of 86.3%. GC analysis carried out under mild conditions (with a constant temperature of 100 ºC) showed that the furanodiene concentration was three-fold greater than the curzerene concentration, i.e., the essential oil contained 64.7% furanodiene and 21.6% curzerene. Germacrene B also rearranged to γ-elemene and the concentration of both was 2.3%. Special care should be taken when conventional gas chromatography analysis is used for quantifying compounds that can rearrange at high temperatures. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical constituents from <i>Piptadenia rigida</i> Benth., Fabaceae, "angico"</b>]]> The phytochemical investigation of the roots of Piptadenia rigida Benth., Fabaceae, known as "angico", afforded sitosterol, lupeol, betuline, the chalcone isoliquiritigenin, the flavonoids, 7,4'-dihydroxyflavone, 7,3',4'-trihydroxyflavone, 7,8,3',4'-tetrahydroxyflavanone, 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxybenzaldehyde and methyl-3,4-dihydroxy-benzoate. Both flavones were also isolated from the branches of this plant. Five derivatives of the aldehyde were obtained by diazomethane treatment. The structures of compounds were identified by IR, NMR and mass spectral data analysis of natural compounds and some derivatives, and by comparison with literature data. <![CDATA[<b>Development and validation of a HPLC method for standardization of herbal and commercial extracts of <i>Myrcia uniflora</i></b>]]> Myrcia uniflora Barb. Rodr., Myrtaceae, popularly known as "pedra-hume-caá" in Brazil, is sold as dry extracts in capsules or as tinctures for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Previous phytochemical studies on this species described the occurrence of the flavonoids mearnsitrin and myricitrin. In the present study, the chromatographic profiles of M. uniflora leaves and commercial extracts were determined using HPLC-PAD. Myricitrin was used as an external standard in the development and validation of the HPLC method. The proposed method is simple, rapid and reliable and can be successfully applied in industry for standardization of herbs and phytomedicines commercialised in Brazil as "pedra-hume-caá". <![CDATA[<b>Chemical composition and effect of an essential oil of <i>Salix aegyptiaca</i> L., <i>Salicaceae</i>, (musk willow) in hypercholesterolemic rabbit model</b>]]> The essential oils (EO) of Salix aegyptiaca L., Salicaceae (SA), leaves were extracted using the hydrodistillation method and their chemical composition was further determined by GC-MS. 1,4-Dimethoxybenzene was the main isolated compound. Other major isolated constitutes were phenylethyl alcohol, carvone, citronellol, methyleugenol, eugenol, n-tetradecane and 4'-methoxyacetophenone. Twenty rabbits were equally divided into four groups: Normal control (NC) which fed a standard diet and three cholesterol-fed groups: HC, HC+1.0% SA and HC+3.0% SA groups which received 0.0%, 1.0% and 3.0% EO, respectively for four weeks. The serum lipid and lipoprotein profiles and atherogenic index (AI) were measured weekly. The high cholesterol diet significantly raised the TC, LDL-C, VLDL-C, HDL-C, TG and AI level compared with NC group. HC+1.0% SA and HC+3.0% SA groups showed similar results compared with HC group. It can be concluded that the EO of SA leaves could not prevent dyslipidemia that occurred in rabbits following inclusion of cholesterol in diet in both dose-and time-dependent manners. <![CDATA[<b><i>Maytenus salicifolia</i></b><b> Reissek, Celastraceae</b>: <b> triterpenes isolated from stems and antioxidant property of extracts from aerial parts</b>]]> Six pentacyclic triterpenes were isolated from hexane extract of stems of Maytenus salicifolia Reissek, Celastraceae: 30-hydroxyfriedelan-3-one (1), 3,16-dioxofriedelane (2), friedeline (3), lupeol (4), betuline (5) and lup-20(29)-en-3,30-diol (6). The structure each one was established on the basis of detailed ¹H and 13C NMR spectral investigation and by comparison with the respective literature values. For compound 1, the complete 2D NMR (HMBC, HMQC and NOESY) spectral data were herein reported for the first time. Compounds 1, 2, 5 and 6 were isolated for the first time from this plant. Antioxidant activity is described for some extracts from species of the Celastraceae family, then, the extracts from aerial parts of M. salicifolia were evaluated in relation to antioxidant potential using the DPPH method. Compared to quecertin, the AcEt extract (EAF) from leaves, AcEt (EAPF) and MeOH (EMPF) from pulp fruit and AcEt (EAT) and MeOH (EMT) from stems showed significant antioxidant property. <![CDATA[<b>Antioxidant activity of natural compounds of <i>Stachytarpheta cayennensis </i>(Rich.) Vahl, Verbenaceae, by scavenger of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species</b>]]> The etiology of a range of diseases is associated with an excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Exacerbated ROS production leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular damage and apoptosis. Nowadays, many strategies are being developed for the targeted delivery of antioxidants compounds to mitochondria, trying to minimize the damages. Production of ROS was investigated by the molecular probes CM-H2DCFDA and Amplex Red. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of verbascoside, martinoside, betulinic acid from the Stachytarpheta cayennensis and quercetin by an in vitro assay with isolated mitochondria from mice's brain The results showed that all compounds tested exhibited a scavenger effect on the ROS generated by the isolated mitochondria, which displayed a dependent dose increase. <![CDATA[<b>Anticonvulsant activity of thymoquinone and its structural analogues</b>]]> It has been widely reported that the crude oil of Nigella sativa L., Ranunculaceae, seeds and its major chemical component thymoquinone present anticonvulsant activity. These facts led us to verify the pharmacological potential of five structurally related para-benzoquinones on the pentylenotetrazol-induced seizures model, and establish the structural characteristics that influence the anticonvulsant activity of thymoquinone. The unsubstituted para-benzoquinone was the compound that exhibited the highest potency, while 2-methyl-p-benzoquinone was inactive. It was found that the presence of alkyl groups attached to the ring influence the pharmacological activity of the para-benzoquinones. In addition, the number, position, and size of these groups change the anticonvulsant potency of the compounds. <![CDATA[<b>Efficiency of the latex from <i>Euphorbia splendens</i> var. <i>hislopii</i> (N.E. Br.) Ursch & Leandri, Euphorbiaceae, in the control of <i>Rhipicephalus</i> (<i>Boophilus</i>) <i>sanguineus</i> (Latreille, 1806) (Acari: Ixodidae)</b>]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the latex from Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii (N.E. Br.) Ursch & Leandri, Euphorbiaceae, on the eggs and engorged larvae of Rhipicephalus (B.) sanguineus (Latreille, 1806) (Acari: Ixodidae). Six aqueous concentrations: 25, 50, 100, 125, 250 and 500 μL/L of the latex of this plant were tested. The control group was tested only with distilled water. The latex of E. splendens var. hislopii presented an LD50 of 18.031 μL/L and LD90 of 84.610 μL/L against the eggs of R. (B.) sanguineus. The larvae of all the groups treated with the latex presented a low survival rate of 0% at 25 μL/L, 1% at 50 μL/L, 2% at 100 μL/L, 3% at 125 μL/L, 9% at 250 μL/L, 5% at 500 μL/L when compared with the control group (91%). On day 7 and 14 after the application the latex killed more efficiently the treated groups (25, 50, 100, 125, 250 and 500 μL/L). As from day 21 the latex became less effective for all treatments. Our results clearly show that the aqueous concentration of the latex have a strong effect on tick eggs and larvae suggesting that it could become an important acaricide. <![CDATA[<b>Antioxidant mechanisms of iso-6-cassine in suppressing seizures induced by pilocarpine</b>]]> The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antioxidant effects of 12-[(2R,5R,6R)-5-hydroxy-6-methylpiperidin-2-yl]dodecan-2-one (iso-6-cassine; ISO) and the anticonvulsant effects of ISO on pilocarpine-induced seizures in rats. Wistar rats were treated with 0.9% saline (i.p., control group), pilocarpine (400 mg/kg, i.p., pilocarpine group), and the association of ISO (1.0 mg/kg, i.p.) plus pilocarpine (400 mg/kg, i.p.), 30 min after administration of ISO (ISO plus pilocarpine group). After the treatments all groups were observed for 1h. The antioxidant effect of ISO on the pilocarpine model was assessed by determining the activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and catalase (CAT) as well as the levels of reactive species (RS) and lipid peroxidation (LP). In vitro, ISO (5 μM) reduced RS and LP. ISO (1.0 mg/kg) and abolished seizures and death induced by pilocarpine in rats. ISO protected against the increase in the RS and LP levels, GST activity as well as the inhibition of GPx activity caused by pilocarpine. In addition, ISO increased the catalase activity in hippocampus of seized rats. In conclusion, the dta suggest that ISO can present anticonvulsant and antioxidant properties in the pilocarpine model of seizures in rats. <![CDATA[<b>Influence of gamma radiation on the antimicrobial activity of crude extracts of <i>Anacardium occidentale</i> L., Anacardiaceae, rich in tannins</b>]]> Anacardium occidentale L. Anacardiaceae, known as cashew, commonly found in northeastern of Brazil, has high levels of secondary metabolites, particularly tannins, used as raw material for herbal medicines. An efficient alternative to decontaminate plant products is the total sterilization or reduction of the initial microbial count, the process of gamma irradiation with 60Co. The objective of this study was to analyze the antimicrobial activity of crude extracts of bark and leaves of A. occidentale, based on the quantification of total phenols and tannins, before and after exposure to gamma radiation from 60Co. The extracts were obtained in the laboratory by cold maceration in ethanol, filtered and dryness. They were divided into non-irradiated control group (0 kGy) and irradiated: groups exposed to gamma radiation at doses of 5, 7.5 and 10 kGy. The total phenols was obtained by the Folin-Ciocalteau method and tannins, by the precipitation of casein. The antimicrobial potential activities of these extracts were also evaluated. The results showed that gamma radiation doses employed in this study did not influence statistically the percentage of total phenols and tannins in the bark extracts, at levels ranging from 5.73±0.14 and 5.20±0.14, respectively. The levels of metabolites in the leaves were statistically (p<0.05) influenced by radiation, observed average total phenols between 3.13±0.04 (0 kGy) and 3.50±0.08 (10 kGy), and tannin between 2.47±0.06 (0 kGy) and 2.93±0.04 (10 kGy). The extracts of bark and leaves were active against Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, Candida albicans. Gamma radiation caused an increase in antimicrobial activity of extracts against Staphylococcus aureus (Gram positive), with average inhibition zones for shells: 14.33±058 (0 kGy) and 22.33±0.58 (10 kGy), and leaves: 11.33±0.58 (0 kGy) and 19.00±1.00 (10 kGy). Exposure to radiation caused changes in physical and chemical constituents of phenolic extracts of leaves of cashew, increasing levels of tannins. <![CDATA[<b>Inhibition of pancreatic lipase by extracts of <i>Baccharis trimera </i>(Less.) DC., Asteraceae</b>: <b>evaluation of antinutrients and effect on glycosidases</b>]]> In order to confirm the traditional use of Baccharis trimera (Less.) DC., Asteraceae, for the reduction of weight, plant extracts were evaluated on the activity of pancreatic lipase (PL), an enzyme responsible for hydrolysis of triacylglycerols in the diet for its subsequent absorption. The aqueous and infused extracts did not show inhibitory activity on the PL, the ethanol inhibited 16% (66 ALI/g) and methanol extract inhibited 78% (241 ALI/g). The methanol extract of B. trimera (MEB) was subjected to a wash with decreasing solvent polarity (n-hexane, ethyl acetate and methanol) and only the methanol fraction inhibited the lipase by 72% (230 ALI/g). We evaluated the MEB and infused inhibitory activity on the enzymes α-amylase and α and β-glycosidases. The α-amylase was not inhibited by any of the extracts, the enzyme α-glucosidase was inhibited by both extracts in the same proportion (46.9±0.1) and β-glucosidase was inhibited by 73% by the methanol extract and 65% by the infused. We also evaluated the presence of anti-nutrients. We detected the presence of saponins, polyphenols and trypsin inhibitors in the two samples. Tests performed in vivo can assess at which therapeutic concentration the presence of these anti-nutrients can be harmful to health. <![CDATA[<b><i>In vitro</i></b><b> cytotoxic activity of Brazilian Middle West plant extracts</b>]]> Cytotoxic activity of eight plant extracts, native from the Mid-West of Brazil comprising Cerrado, Pantanal and semideciduous forest, was evaluated for MDA-MB-435, SF-295, and HCT-8 cancer cell strains. A single 100 µg.mL-1 dose of each extract was employed with 72 h of incubation for all tests. Doxorubicin (1 µg.mL-1) was used as the positive control and the MTT method was used to detect the activity. Cytotoxicity of distinct polarities was observed in thirty extracts (46%), from different parts of the following species: Tabebuia heptaphylla (Vell.) Toledo, Bignoniaceae, Tapirira guianensis Aubl., Anacardiaceae, Myracrodruon urundeuva Allemão, Anacardiaceae, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi, Anacardiaceae, Gomphrena elegans Mart., Amaranthaceae, Attalea phalerata Mart. ex Spreng., Arecaceae, Eugenia uniflora L., Myrtaceae, and Annona dioica A. St.-Hil., Annonaceae. Extracts of at least two tested cell strains were considered to be highly active since their inhibition rate was over 75%. <![CDATA[<b>Biological activities of <i>Juglans regia</i> flowers</b>]]> Antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antihypoxic and antioxidant activities of methanol extract of Juglans regia L., Juglandaceae, flower were investigated. Antidepressant activity was examined by forced swimming test and tail suspension test in mice. Antihypoxic activity was investigated in haemic and circulatory models. The effects were pronounced in both models. It produced statistically significant anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan induced edema at nearly all doses, compared to control groups. IC50 for DPPH radical-scavenging activity was 674±27.6 µg mL-1. Extract showed good Fe2+ chelating ability (IC50 43±1.5 µg mL-1). It exhibited low antioxidant activity in linoleic acid peroxidation test. Its pharmacological effects may be attributed, in part, to the presence of phenols and ISSN 0102-695X flavonoids in the extract. <![CDATA[<b>Preliminary evaluation of antitumor effect and induction apoptosis in PC-3 cells of extract from <i>Patrinia heterophylla</i></b>]]> Patrinia heterophylla Bunge, Caprifoliaceae, is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for cancer therapy. In our study, a panel of human cancer cells was treated with extract of Patrinia heterophylla Bunge. (PHEB), MTT study showed that PC-3 Human prostate adenocarcinoma was the most responsive (IC50 9.21±0.32 µg/mL) one to cell growth inhibition, the further study also demonstrated that PHEB could inhibit the proliferation of PC-3 based on a concentration-and time-dependent manner. The transplanted model of sarcoma 180 (S180) and hepatoma 22 (H22) was established in mice, the study demonstrated that i.p. administration of 20, 40, 60 mg/kg PHEB exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on the growth of transplantation tumor, with inhibition rate 23.9, 48.4 and 53.6% on S180 and 21.0, 46.3 and 57.2% on H22, respectively. To investigate the molecular mechanism of PHEB in PC-3, the morphological changes of apoptosis were observed by fluorescent microscopy, apoptosis rate was analyzed by flow cytometry (FCM). Morphological characterizations such as apoptotic bodies and membrane blebs were shown by microscopy. The increase of an early apoptotic population was observed in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that PHEB has anti-tumor effects and its mechanism is attributed partially to apoptosis induced. <![CDATA[<b><i>Bothrops pirajai</i></b><b> snake venom L-amino acid oxidase</b>: <b><i>in vitro</i></b><b> effects on infection of <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i> in human foreskin fibroblasts</b>]]> The effect of an L-amino acid oxidase isolated from Bothrops pirajai snake venom (BpirLAAO-I) was investigated on infection of Toxoplasma gondii in human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). The cytotoxic activity of BpirLAAO-I on HFF cells showed a dose-dependent toxicity with median cytotoxic dose (TD50) of 11.8 µg/mL. BpirLAAO-I induced considerable dose-dependent decrease in the T. gondii infection index under two different conditions, treatment of tachyzoites before infection or treatment of HFF cells after infection. A maximal inhibition of infection (56%) was found for treatment before infection, with a median inhibitory dose (ID50) at 1.83 µg/mL and selectivity index (SI) at 6.45. For treatment after infection, it was observed a maximal inhibition of infection at 65%, ID50 of 1.20 µg/mL and SI of 9.83. The treatment before infection was also effective to reduce intracellular parasitism up to 62%, although presenting higher values of ID50 (3.14 µg/mL) and lower values of SI (3.76). However, treatment after infection was not effective, suggesting that the enzyme seems to have no effect on the parasite intracellular replication for this condition. In conclusion, BpirLAAO-I was more effective to inhibit the infection of neighboring cells and consequently parasite dissemination than primary infection and parasite replication. Thus, the effect of BpirLAAO-I described herein could be taken into account for the development of new synthetic anti-parasite therapeutic agents. <![CDATA[<b>Assessment of antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of <i>Porophyllum ruderale </i>(Jacq.) Cass., Asteraceae, aqueous extract</b>]]> The present work investigated the antinociceptive and antiinflammatory activities of the Porophyllum ruderale (Jacq.) Cass., Asteraceae, aqueous extract (PRAE). For this purpose, acetic acid writhing, paw licking induced by formalin, hot-plate and pleurisy tests were performed. The doses of 100, 200 and 400 mg/kg (p.o.) significantly inhibited the writhing 63.4, 89.6 and 94.8%, respectively, in comparison with control group. The lick of the paw 1st phase was reduced at the dose of 400 mg/ kg (24.9%), while the 2nd phase had reduction at doses 200 and 400 mg/ kg (23.1 and 34.4%), respectively. The PRAE inhibited the carrageenaninduced neutrophil migration to the peritoneal cavity in a higher dose (p<0.05). Taken together, our results suggest that the PRAE can constitute target potential for use in therapies of the pain and inflammation. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of post-surgical healing in rats using a topical preparation based on extract of <i>Musa sapientum</i> L., Musaceae, epicarp</b>]]> Considering that oral preparations made with peel green bananas (e.g. flour and extracts) demonstrated healing effects on mucous membranes and skin, this study evaluated the healing and the antimicrobial property of a topical preparation based on extract of Musa sapientum L., Musaceae, (apple banana) in surgically induced wounds in the skin of male Wistar rats, 100 g. The extract was obtained by decoction, the presence of tannins was detected by phytochemical screening and 10% of the extract was incorporated into the carbopol gel (CMS gel). The processes of healing and bacterial isolation were evaluated in the following experimental groups: control (no treatment), treatment with placebo or with the CMS gel. The healing of surgical wounds treated with the CMS gel was faster when compared with the control and placebo groups and the treatment with CMS gel also inhibited the growth of pyogenic bacteria and enterobacteria in the wounds. The results indicate that the extract of Musa sapientum epicarp has healing and antimicrobial properties (in vivo), probably, due to tannins. <![CDATA[<b>Citral reduces nociceptive and inflammatory response in rodents</b>]]> Citral (CIT), which contains the chiral enantiomers, neral (cis) and geranial (trans), is the majority monoterpene from Lippia alba and Cymbopogon citratus. The present study aimed to evaluate CIT for antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities in rodents. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects were studied by measuring nociception through acetic acid and formalin tests, while inflammation was verified by inducing peritonitis and paw edema with carrageenan. All tested doses of CIT had significant protection (p<0.001) against acetic acid (0.8%) induced nociceptive behavior and the effects were also similar to morphine while formalin induced nociception was significantly protected (p<0.05) only at higher dose (200 mg/kg) of CIT in the first phase of the test. CIT significantly reduce (p<0.001) nociceptive behavior emanating from inflammation in second phase at all the doses.The pretreatment with CIT (100 and 200 mg/kg) significantly reduced the paw edema induced by carrageenan. Moreover, systemic treatment with CIT (100 and 200 mg/kg) significantly reduced (p<0.001) the leukocyte migration in the carrageenan-induced migration to the peritoneal cavity. Our investigation shows that CIT possess significant central and peripheral antinociceptive effects. It was also verified an anti-inflammatory activity. All together these results suggest that CIT might represent important tool for treatment of painful conditions. <![CDATA[<b>Potentiation of aminoglycoside antibiotic activity using the body fat from the snake <i>Boa constrictor</i></b>]]> Boa constrictor is widely used in traditional communities in many different folk remedies and products derived from it are sold in public markets throughout northeastern Brazil and as its body fat has many different therapeutic indications as a folk remedy. The present work evaluates the antibacterial activity of the body fat from the snake Boa constrictor when employed either alone or in combination with antibiotics and discusses the ecological implications of the use of this traditional remedy. Oil (OBC) was extracted from body fat located in the ventral region of B. constrictor using hexane as a solvent. The antibacterial activity of OBC was tested against standard as well as multi-resistant lines, either alone and in combination with antibiotics. OBC did not demonstrate any relevant antibacterial activity against standard or multidrug-resistant bacterial strains. OBC showed synergistic activity when combined with the aminoglycoside antibiotics. Our results indicate that the body fat of Boa constrictor does not possess bactericidal activity, from the clinical point of view, but when combined with an antibiotic, the fat demonstrated a significant synergistic activity. <![CDATA[<b>Co-processed extracts of <i>Cassia angustifolia</i> Vahl, Fabaceae, and <i>Maytenus ilicifolia</i> (Schrad.) Planch., Celastraceae, for production of high load tablets</b>]]> The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility of a co-processing technique for improving the manufacturing properties of Maytenus ilicifolia (Schrad.) Planch., Celastraceae, and Cassia angustifolia Vahl, Fabaceae, extracts in order to obtain tablets containing a high dose of such extracts. An experimental mixture design was used to optimise the formulation composition. Flowability parameters, such as compressibility index, time flow and angle of repose, were determined. Additional important industrial parameters, such as granulometry, bulk density and moisture stability, were also studied. The results demonstrated that co-processing technique was able to improve the flowability of vegetal extracts, making these materials suitable for a direct compression process. The contour plots revealed that formulations with a higher amount of lactose produced the best flow results as well as a larger particle size and a greater bulk density. Tablets from co-processed extracts containing lactose as majority diluent showed appropriate physical-chemical characteristics and presented a more stable moisture sorption behaviour compared to commercial gelatine capsules. <![CDATA[<b>Drying of <i>Echinodorus macrophyllus</i> and autoclaving and lyophilization of the fluid-extract</b>: <b>effects on the pharmacochemical composition</b>]]> Some pharmaceutical industries of phytomedicines are using conservation procedures (drying, autoclaving), in an attempt to avoid medicinal plants degradation, and of their fluid-extracts. Or, by adopting techniques adequate to foods, which not always are appropriate. On this sense, there is less research with Brazilian plants, causing some difficulties for their use as raw material by the domestic industry. Thus, the effects of drying at various temperatures or irradiation with microwaves, as well as autoclaving or lyophilization of the fluid-extract of samples collected in natura of Echinodorus macrophyllus (Kunth) Micheli, Alismataceae, on the pharmacochemical composition were analyzed. At the research for chemical groups, the preponderating presence of flavones and coumarin derivatives was observed. The chromatographic profiles of the flavonic extracts were analyzed by TLC and HPLC and the levels of total flavonoids were determined. According to the results obtained, qualitative and quantitative changes were caused by the various processes employed. <![CDATA[<b>Dissolution test of herbal medicines containing <i>Passiflora</i> sp.</b>]]> The dissolution test is an essential tool to assess the quality of herbal medicines in the solid dosage form for oral use. This work aimed to evaluate the dissolution behavior of three herbal medicines in the form of capsules and tablet containing Passiflora, produced with powder or dried extract. Assay of total flavonoids and dissolution methods were validated and obtained results allowed the quantification of flavonoids with precision, accuracy and selectivity. The percentage of total flavonoids found was 2% for capsule A (containing only powder), 0.97% for capsule B (containing only dried extract) and 5.5% for tablet. Although the content was lower, the release of flavonoids present in the capsule containing dried extract was 12% higher over 30 min, with dissolved percentage values of 87 and 75, for the capsules containing extract and powder, respectively. The tablet containing dried extract presented dissolution of 76%, despite the higher content of flavonoids, which may be due to pharmacotechnical problems. Obtained data demonstrated the need to implement these tests in the quality control of herbal medicines, confirming the release of the active ingredients that underlie the pharmacological action of these medicines. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of a preservative system in a gel containing hydroalcoholic extract of <i>Schinus terebinthifolius</i></b>]]> Currently, microbial contamination is one of the major problems faced by the phytomedicine industry with respect to the quality of the raw materials. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a preservative system in a formulation with hydrogel containing hydroalcoholic extract of Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi, Anacardiaceae ("aroeira" or "Brazilian Peppertree"), through the challenge test. The extracts were prepared by maceration at a ratio of 1:10 plant/solvent in 40% alcohol. Gel samples were artificially contaminated with separate inocula of Aspergillus niger, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the number of viable microorganisms determined in triplicate by the "pour plate" method for counting colonies at 0, 24 and 48h, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days. The addition of the preservatives (methyl and propylparaben) in the "aroeira" gel proved to be effective against the studied species when the samples were evaluated using the challenge test. According to the criterion A of the European Pharmacopoeia, it was verified that the hydrogel product showed good conservation in a 28 days period. <![CDATA[<b>Brazilian plants with possible action on the Central Nervous System</b>: <b>a study of historical sources from the 16<sup>th</sup> to 19<sup>th</sup> century</b>]]> Ethnopharmacological research when grounded on historic literature has for its objective retrieving traditional knowledge compiled throughout history by early cultures. The current study has used literature from the 16th to the 19th centuries to assess reports that include accounts of Brazil's native plants, with possible reports of disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Visits were paid to 27 institutions located in four Brazilian states. This resulted in raising 529 publications, out of which 65 were read, revealing that 33 of them contained reports of plants exerting effects on CNS ailments. These plants' scientific names underwent an updating process. The updating process resulted in 788 species names (129 correct scientific names and their 659 synonyms) out of which 66 hold current ethnopharmacology, pharmacology studies and/or patent application. Coincidences among past and present data have been observed in 46 cases. Only three of them carried applications for patents all of which coincided with past uses. There have hardly been any studies whatsoever throughout the centuries for many of the species currently being studied. Although of very seldom use, research in ethnopharmacology and historic literature can be promising tools for the selecting of new pharmaco products, further to contributing with retrieving traditional knowledge. <![CDATA[<b>Triterpenes from the flowers of <i>Gochnatia polymorpha</i> subsp. <i>floccosa</i></b>]]> Phytochemical study of the flowers of Gochnatia polymorpha subsp. floccosa, Asteraceae, yielded eleven known triterpenes identified as lupeol, lupeyl acetate, lupeyl palmitate, taraxasterol, taraxasteryl acetate, pseudotaraxasterol, pseudotaraxasterol acetate, α-amyrin, α-amyryl palmitate, β-amyrin and β-amyryl palmitate, along with sitosterol, stigmasterol, palmitic and stearic acids. These compounds are been reported for the first time in the species. The compounds were identified by analysis of NMR spectra (¹H, 13C and DEPT), GC-MS and comparison with literature data. Previous work have reported the isolation of triterpenes, diterpenes, sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, coumarins and phenolic compounds from aerial parts and roots from G. polymorpha. <![CDATA[<b>The developmental toxicity of cottonseed extraction on chicken embryo</b>]]> Cottonseed meal is widely used as one of the protein supplement in poultry diets. Its mechanism of toxic action on chicken embryo is poorly understood. In this study, direct effects and abnormalities of cottonseed on chicken embryo were studied. Oxidative stress, cholinergic stress, mineral analysis and microscopic lesions were analyzed in chicken embryo which injected cottonseed extraction in 0.1, 1 and 10 mg concentration (with free gossypol 0.25 ppm, 2.5 ppm and 25 ppm respectively) at day 4 of incubation. Higher group had 100% mortality. Serum of alive chicken embryo at day 20 of incubation were measured for FRAP (ferric reducing ability of serum), total SH groups assay, cholinesterase assay and potassium concentration. The results expressed as mean±SD show to increase oxidative stress, cholinergic stress but significant difference (p<0.05) wasn't observed between groups. The significant difference was observed in potassium concentration in serum. Some evidence of hematotoxicity such as hemorrhage and higher number of puntate reticulocytes were detected. It is concluded, hematoxicity and hyperkalemia are toxicity mechanisms that could initiate in low concentrations of cottonseed in chick embryo. <![CDATA[<b>Extraction with supercritical fluid and comparison of chemical composition from adults and young leaves of <i>Zanthoxylum tingoassuiba</i></b>]]> Plants differ in metabolism during their life cycle. In species used as phytotherapics, these changes determine the quality and effectiveness of the product. The aim of this study to evaluate the differences of chemical extracts obtained with supercritical CO2 from young and adult leaves of Zanthoxylum tingoassuiba St.-Hil., Rutaceae, a species used in the folk medicine in Brazil. The chemical composition of the extracts was elucidated by spectroscopic analysis and comparison with literature data. The results showed difference in the composition of the leaves from Z. tingoassuiba and allowed the determination of parameters for the extraction of α-bisabolol and furanocoumarins in this vegetal matrix.