Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia]]> vol. 22 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Ethnobotanical, pharmacognostical, pharmacological and phytochemical studies on <i>Smilax domingensis</i> in Guatemala</b>]]> Smilax domingensis Willd., Smilacaceae, known as zarzaparrilla, is a climbing shrub from Tropical America. The rhizome is popularly used in medicine as anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and tonic. Since 1983 studies are being conducted in Guatemala for validation of the ethnobotanical uses, particularly in vitro demonstration of antimicrobial activity, using wild material, with high variability and some taxonomic problems. This article reports the taxonomic determination, cultivation of drug material, evaluation of use by in vitro and in vivo pharmacological assays, and phytochemical characterization. Extracts from cultivated material was evaluated by antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and immunomodulatory models, confirming the antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities. Phytochemistry was done in the crude drug and extracts. Quality control parameters are described (micrographic drawings and phytochemical characteristics). Evidence is presented that cultivated rhizome has antimicrobial and immunomodulatory activities, validating the popular use and helping the industrial development of phytopharmaceutical products. <![CDATA[<b><i>Centrolobium tomentosum</i></b>: <b>macro-and microscopic diagnosis of the leaf and stem</b>]]> Centrolobium tomentosum Guillemin ex Benth., Fabaceae, known as "araribá-rosa", is a large tree that is widespread throughout Brazil. The bark of its stem is used in folk medicine as an astringent and the leaves are employed as a poultice for wounds and bruises. The aim of this study was to contribute to the pharmacognostic quality control of this medicinal species through a macro- and microscopic diagnosis of its leaves and stems. Mature leaves and young stems were collected at Embrapa (Colombo, PR) and analyzed using standard microtechniques. The leaves are opposite or alternate, compound, imparipinnate, oblong-lanceolate and hypostomatic with paracytic stomata. The mesophyll is dorsiventral and the midrib is biconvex with a collateral vascular bundle in a circular arrangement. The petiolule is circular and its vascular system is composed of two major vascular bundles in the middle, with smaller bundles between them. The rachis has a structure similar to the petiole, and these parts have a sclerenchymatic sheath shaped in multiple arcs, which surrounds a collateral vascular bundle that is centrally located. The stem has a uniseriate epidermis with peripheral phellogen and a sclerenchymatic sheath composed of many arcs, which surrounds the phloem. The stems and leaves also have non-glandular and glandular trichomes, phenolic compounds and idioblasts made of calcium oxalate crystals. This manuscript has an important role in the morpho-anatomical diagnosis of the Brazilian flora. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluating methods for the isolation of marine-derived fungal strains and production of bioactive secondary metabolites</b>]]> In the present investigation we evaluate methods for the isolation and growth of marine-derived fungal strains in artificial media for the production of secondary metabolites. Inoculation of marine macroorganisms fragments in Petri dishes proved to be the most convenient procedure for the isolation of the largest number of strains. Among the growth media used, 3% malt extract showed the best result for strains isolation and growth, and yielded the largest number of strains from marine macroorganisms. The percentage of strains isolated using each of the growth media which yielded cytotoxic and/or antibiotic extracts was in the range of 23-35%, regardless of the growth media used. Further investigation of extracts obtained from different marine-derived fungal strains yielded several bioactive secondary metabolites, among which (E)-4-methoxy-5-(3-methoxybut-1-enyl)-6-methyl-2H-pyran-2-one is a new metabolite isolated from the Penicillium paxilli strain Ma(G)K. <![CDATA[<b>Wogonin and neobaicalein from <i>Scutellaria litwinowii</i> roots are apoptotic for HeLa cells</b>]]> Chemical investigation on the CH2Cl2 fraction of the Scutellaria litwinowii Bornm. & Sint., Lamiaceace, root extract for the first time resulted in the isolation of wogonin, and neobaicalein. These compounds were evaluated for their cytotoxicity towards HeLa cell lines and lymphocytes. Meanwhile, the role of apoptosis was explored in this toxicity. The cells were cultured in RPMI medium and incubated with different concentrations of isolated flavonoids. Cell viability was quantified by MTS assay. Apoptotic cells were determined using propidium iodide staining of DNA fragmentation by flow cytometry (sub-G1peak). Wogonin, and neobaicalein inhibited the growth of malignant cells in a dose-dependent manner. The IC50 values of 46.62 and 79.34 µM were, respectively, found for neobaicalein and wogonin against HeLa cells after 48 h of treatment. Neobaicalein induced a sub-G1 peak in the flow cytometry histogram of treated cells compared to control cells indicating that apoptotic cell death is involved in neobaicalein toxicity. Neobaicalein exerts cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic effects in HeLa cell lines and could be considered as a potential chemotherapeutic agent in cancer treatment. <![CDATA[<b>Composition and antimicrobial activities of the leaf essential oil of <i>Machilus zuihoensis </i>from Taiwan</b>]]> This study investigated the chemical composition, and antimicrobial and anti-wood-decay fungal activities of the essential oil isolated from the leaf of endemic Machilus zuihoensis Hayata, Lauraceae, of Taiwan. The essential oil from the fresh leaves of M. zuihoensis was isolated using hydrodistillation in a Clevenger-type apparatus, and characterized by GC-FID and GC-MS. A total of 104 compounds were identified, representing 100% of the oil. The main components identified were n-dodecanal (23.8%) and (E)-nerolidol (10.5%). The antimicrobial activity of the oil was tested by the disc diffusion method and micro-broth dilution method against ten microbial species (Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Aspergillus niger, and Candida albicans), respectively. The oil exhibited strong growth suppression against Gram-positive bacteria and yeast with inhibition zones of 35~43 mm to MIC values of 125 µg mL-1, respectively. The anti-wood-decay fungal activity of the oil was also evaluated. Results showed that the oil demonstrated excellent activity against four wood-decay-fungi species (Trametes versicolor, Phaneochaete chrysosporium, Phaeolus schweintizii, and Lenzites sulphureu). For the antimicrobial and anti-wooddecay fungal activities of the oil, the active source compounds were determined to be τ-cadinol, β-eudesmol, and n-dodecanal. <![CDATA[<b>Physicochemical characteristics and antioxidant activity of melanoidin pigment from the fermented leaves of <i>Orthosiphon stamineus</i></b>]]> The melanoidin pigment (OS-M) was isolated from fermented leaves of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth. (Lamiaceae), with a 0.37% yield (from dry plant weight), and characterised. OS-M is a phenolic polymer with a molecular weight Keywords: of 4.4 kDa. Determination of basic physicochemical parameters using elemental antioxidant activity analysis, functional group analysis, UV-Vis-and FTIR-spectroscopy of OS-M fermented leaves indicated that the isolated polymer was similar to typical melanoidins. Experimental Lamiaceae data show that aromatic fragments dominate the OS-M structure, which also contains melanoidin a small amount of aliphatic fragments. Investigation into the antioxidant activity of Orthosiphon stamineus Benth OS-M under in vitro conditions demonstrated that O. stamineus melanoidin has a scavenging effect against free radicals (DPPH•, ABTS•+, O2•-) and NO molecules, inactivates molecules of H2O2, chelates Fe2+-ions and oxidises NADH. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of lichen <i>Toninia candida</i></b>]]> In the present investigation, methanol, chloroform and petrol ether extracts from the lichen Toninia candida (Weber) Th. Fr, Catillariaceae, were assayed for their antioxidant activity. The phenolic composition of the extracts was determined by HPLC-UV analysis. The predominant phenolic compound in all the extracts was depsidone, norstictic acid. All the tested extracts of T. candida contain, besides norstictic acid, atranorin, stictic, protocetraric and usnic acid, but in different amounts and relations. The lichen extracts showed comparable and strong antioxidant activity, exhibited higher DPPH and hydroxyl radical scavengings, chelating activity and inhibitory activity towards lipid peroxidation. This is the first report of chemical composition and antioxidant antimicrobial activity of the lichen Toninia candida. <![CDATA[<b>Essential oil composition and isolation of freeradical-scavenging phenolic glycosides from the aerial parts of <i>Ajuga chamaepitys </i>growing in Iran</b>]]> From the methanolic extract of the aerial parts of Ajuga chamaepitys (L.) Schreb., Lamiaceae, one of the Iranian medicinal plants, the phenylethanoid glycoside, acteoside, and two flavone glycosides, chrysoeriol 7-O-glucopyranoside (3'-methoxy-luteolin 7-O-glucopyranoside) and apigenin 7-O-rhamnopyranoside, were isolated by a combination of solid-phase extraction (SPE) and preparative reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (prep-RP-HPLC) methods. Structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated by spectroscopic means. The free-radical-scavenging properties of the extracts, fractions and isolated compounds were determined by the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) assay. While among the extracts, the MeOH extract showed the highest level of free-radical-scavenging activity (RC50 1.15 × 10-1 mg/mL), chrysoeriol 7-O-glucopyranoside was the most active (RC50 3.00 × 10-3 mg/mL) among the isolated compounds. The GC-MS and the GC-FID analyses revealed α-pinene (23.66%), β-pinene (9.33%), 1-octen-3-ol (9.72%), β-phellandrene (8.70%) and germacrene-D (7.92%) as the major components of the essential oils derived from the aerial parts of this plant. The presence of phenolic glycosides and the α- and β-pinene-rich essential oils in A. chamaepitys may provide some rationale for the traditional medicinal uses of this species in Iran. <![CDATA[<b>Antiherpetic activity of a flavonoid fraction from <i>Ocotea notata</i> leaves</b>]]> This study describes the isolation of a flavonoid fraction from leaves of Ocotea notata (Nees & Mart.) Mez, Lauraceae, the identification of six major compounds (an A-type proanthocyanidin trimer [3], isoquercitrin [4], reynoutrin [5], miquelianin [6], quercitrin [7], afzelin [8]) and four minor compounds (catechin [1], epicatechin [2], quercetin [9], kaempferol [10]) present in the fraction and its activity against the Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). The 50% effective concentrations values (EC50) calculated from the dose-response curve and the selectivity indices (SI) against the virus were: EC50 35.8 µg/mL and SI 5.5 to HSV-1 and EC50 23.5 µg/mL and SI 8.5 to HSV-2. The flavonoid fraction was more active against HSV-2 than HSV-1. The mechanisms of antiviral action of the flavonoid fraction against the virus were also evaluated. The percentage inhibition (PI) obtained for HSV-2 was higher than 90% in the following assays: virucidal, pre-treatment of cells, treatment of cells after viral adsorption and treatment of cells after viral penetration. For HSV-1, the flavonoid fraction had no effect in pre-treatment of cells and showed 60% of inhibition in virucidal assay. <![CDATA[<b>Anti-schistosomiasis triterpene glycoside from the Egyptian medicinal plant <i>Asparagus stipularis</i></b>]]> Bioassay-guided isolation using an in vitro assay testing for anti- schistosomiasis yielded a novel triterpene saponin, asparagalin A, from the n-butanol extract of the roots of Asparagus stipularis Forssk., Asparagaceae. The structure was elucidated by spectroscopic analysis and chemical transformations. Administration of asparagalin A resulted in a retardation of worm growth and locomotion at the first day and showed a significant activity of egg-laying suppression at 200 µg/mL concentration. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical constituents and evaluation of the toxic and antioxidant activities of <i>Averrhoa carambola</i> leaves</b>]]> The liquid-liquid partitioning of a crude hydroalcoholic extract of Averrhoa carambola L., Oxalidaceae, leaves led to the isolation of a sterol and three flavone C-glycosides. From the n-hexane fraction β-sitosterol was isolated and from the ethyl acetate fraction apigenin-6-C-β-L-fucopyranoside (1) and apigenin6-C-(2"-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-β-L-fucopyranoside (2) were obtained. Apigenin6-C-(2"-O-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-β-D-glucopyranoside (3) was isolated from the n-butanol fraction. Compound 3 is new, while 1 and 2 have been previously isolated from A. carambola. The antioxidant activity was measured using the DPPH radical scavenging assay and reducing power of iron (III) to iron (II) ions. The ethyl acetate and n-butanol fractions showed the most antioxidant activity. As evaluated by ability of the sample to scavenge DPPH the IC50 values were 90.92 and 124.48 µg/ mL, respectively. In the assay of reducing power these fractions presented 135.64 and 125.12 of ascorbic acid equivalents, respectively. The antioxidant activity exhibited a significant relationship with the phenolic content (r² = 0.997), but a poor relationship with the flavonoids content (r² = 0.424). The n-hexane fraction was the only fraction to present good toxicity using A. salina with LC50 800.2 µg/mL. <![CDATA[<b>Polyphenols of <i>Mangifera indica </i>modulate arsenite-induced cytotoxicity in a human proximal tubule cell line</b>]]> Inorganic arsenic is an ubiquitous environmental contaminant able to cause severe pathologies in humans, including kidney disorders. The possible protective effects of Mangifera indica L., Anacardiaceae, stem bark extract (MSBE) and some mango phenols on the cytotoxicity of arsenite (AsIII) in the proximal tubule cell line HK-2 was investigated. In cells cultured for 24 h in presence of AsIII, a dose-dependent loss of cell viability occurred that was significantly alleviated by MSBE, followed by gallic acid, catechin and mangiferin. Mangiferin complexed with Fe+++ proved more efficacious than mangiferin alone. MSBE and pure phenols increased significantly the cell surviving fraction in clonogenic assays. In cells pretreated with MSBE or phenols for 72 h the protection afforded by MSBE resulted decreased in comparison with the shorter experiments. Cells pretreated with a subcytotoxic amount of AsIII or cultured in continuous presence of low concentration of mangiferin proved to be more resistant to AsIII, while cells cultured in presence of albumin resulted more sensitive. Because all the above conditions share changes in expression/activity of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), a transporter potentially involved in arsenic resistance, the capability of M. indica phenols in modulating AsIII-induced cytotoxicity would be at least in part dependent on their interactions with P-gp. <![CDATA[<b><i>Syzygium aromaticum</i></b><b> extracts as good source of betulinic acid and potential anti-breast cancer</b>]]> Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Merr. & L.M. Perry, Myrtaceae, is an evergreen tree with anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic, aphrodisiac, antimicrobial, antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. This study aims to investigate the anti-breast cancer effect of extracts from leaves, stem and bark of S. aromaticum and to develop a method for preparation of betulinic acid fraction from the leaves. Betulinic acid, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid contents of the extracts were determined by HPLC. A betulinic acid fraction was prepared by simple crystallization of leaves extract and was characterized by HPLC and mass analysis. Anti-breast cancer effects were studied on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. The extracts were found to contain high levels of betulinic acid particularly the leaves extract which contained 17% wt/wt. The betulinic acid fraction contains 75% betulinic acid. Cytotoxicity testing reveals high and selective cytotoxic effect of the stem extract on MCF-7 cells with IC50 33±1.6 µg/mL. Cytotoxic effect of the stem extract was due to activation of apoptotic machinery of cell death. Combination studies of stem extract with tamoxifen reveals antagonistic effect at high concentration of tamoxifen and enhancement effect at low concentration. The selective cytotoxicity of the stem extract of S. aromaticum on MCF-7 is not due to betulinic acid but due to other constituents yet to be discovered. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of a plant origin drug on the biodistribution of <sup>99m</sup>Tc-DTPA in <i>Wistar</i> albino rats</b>]]> In recent years all over the world, medicinal plants are used quite a lot but side effects of biological and chemical contents and radiopharmaceutical interactions for each consumer in question aren't entirely well-known. The studies of plant origin drug interaction with radiopharmaceuticals are highly relevant and desired. One of them is passiflora syrup (Passiflora incarnata L., Passifloraceae) which is widely used for depression, insomnia, anxiety and menopause period. The aim of current study is to evaluate possible effects of passiflora syrup on the biodistribution of 99mTc-DTPA and its blood cells uptake. DTPA was labeled with 99mTc radionuclide. Biodistribution studies were performed on male Wistar albino rats which were treated via oral feeding-gavage-method with either passiflora syrup or 0.9 % NaCl as control group for ten days. Blood samples were obtained by cardiac blood withdrawal from the rats and they were radiolabeled. The biodistribution results showed that the passiflora syrup decreased the uptake of 99mTc-DTPA in kidneys and in blood cells. 99mTc-DTPA being used widely as a kidney diagnostic agent in nuclear medicine seems to be interacting with orally taken passiflora. Passiflora syrup may modify the uptake of 99mTc-DTPA by kidney. The knowledge of this negative effect may contribute to reduce the risk of misdiagnosis and/or repetition of the examinations in nuclear medicine. <![CDATA[<b>Metabolic and biological prospecting of <i>Coreopsis tinctoria</i></b>]]> Coreopsis tinctoria Nutt., Asteraceae, flowering tops infusion has been traditionally used in many countries to control hyperglycaemia. In this work we report for the first time fatty acids and volatile compounds in this species. Fifteen fatty acids and sixteen volatile compounds were determined by GC-ITMS, being saturated fatty acids and monoterpenes the main compounds. The antioxidant and antibacterial potential of this matrix was checked for the first time by several in vitro assays. A concentration-dependent activity was noticed against DPPH, nitric oxide and superoxide radicals. Antibacterial capacity was assessed against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, being more effective against the first. Additionally, acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitory activity was also evaluated, but no effect was found. Our results provide evidence of a wide diversity of compounds with several biological properties, improving the knowledge on this poorly studied matrix, which can lead to an increment of the use of C. tinctoria flowering tops, namely in food and pharmaceutical applications. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of petroleum ether and ethanol fractions of seeds of <i>Abrus precatorius</i> on androgenic alopecia</b>]]> Seeds of Abrus precatorius L., Fabaceae, are commonly used as purgative, emetic, aphrodisiac and in nervous disorder in traditional and folk medicines. In present study petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts of A. precatorius seeds are evaluated for reversal of androgen (testosterone by i.m route) induced alopecia in male albino wistar rats and compared to topical administration of standard antiandrogenic drug finasteride for 21 days. The results were reflected from visual observation and histological study of several skin sections via various parameters as anagen to telogen ratio and follicle density/mm area of skin surface. The animal of group 1 who were treated with only testosterone became alopecic on visual observation. Animals of Group 2, 3 and 4 who were treated with finasteride, petroleum ether and ethanolic extract of seed respectively topically along with testosterone (i.m) did not developed alopecia. To investigate the mechanism of observed activity, in vitro experiments were performed. Inhibition of 5α-reductase activity by extracts and finasteride suggest that they reversed androgen induced alopecia by inhibiting conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (potent androgen responsible for androgenic alopecia). So it may be concluded that petroleum ether and ethanolic extract of A. precatorius seed posses anti androgenic alopecia activity due to inhibition of 5α-reductase enzyme. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of <i>Arrabidaea chica</i> extracts on the Ehrlich solid tumor development</b>]]> The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Arrabidaea chica (Humb. & Bonpl.) B. Verl., Bignoniaceae, extracts on Ehrlich solid tumor development in Swiss mice. Leaves of A. chica were extracted with two distinct solvents, ethanol and water. The phytochemical analysis of the extracts indicated different classes of secondary metabolites like as anthocyanidins, flavonoids, tannins and saponins. Ethanol (EE) and aqueous (AE) extracts at 30 mg/kg reduced the development of Ehrlich solid tumor after ten days of oral treatment. The EE group presented increase in neutrophil count, α1 and β globulin values, and decrease of α2 globulin values. Furthermore, EE reduced the percentage of CD4+ T cells in blood but did not alter the percentage of inflammatory mononuclear cells associated with tumor suggesting a direct action of EE on tumor cells. Reduced tumor development observed in AE group was accompanied by a lower percentage of CD4+ T lymphocytes in blood. At the tumor microenvironment, this treatment decreased the percentage of CD3+ T cells, especially due to a reduction of CD8+ T subpopulation and NK cells. The antitumor activity presented by the AE is possibly related to an anti-inflammatory activity. None of the extracts produced toxic effects in animals. In conclusion, the ethanol and aqueous extracts of A. chica have immunomodulatory and antitumor activities attributed to the presence of flavonoids, such as kaempferol. These effects appear to be related to different mechanisms of action for each extract. This study demonstrates the potential of A. chica as an antitumor agent confirming its use in traditional popular medicine. <![CDATA[<b>Anticholinesterase activity evaluation of alkaloids and coumarin from stems of <i>Conchocarpus fontanesianus</i></b>]]> Conchocarpus fontanesianus (A. St.-Hill.) Kallunki & Pirani, Rutaceae, popularly known as pitaguará, is a native and endemic tree from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro States, Brazil. Based in the information that anticholinesterasic derivatives could act as new prototypes to treatment of Alzheimer disease, this work describes the fractionation guided by evaluation of the anticholinesterase activity of the ethanolic stems extract from C. fontanesianus. This procedure afforded the alkaloids dictamnine (1), γ-fagarine (2), skimianine (3), and 2-phenyl-1-methyl-4-quinolone (4), as well as the coumarin marmesin (5). <![CDATA[<b>Anti-tumor activity of the methanolic extracts of <i>Salvia menthifolia</i></b>]]> In the present research we investigated the anti-proliferative activity of Salvia menthifolia Ten. (formerly Salvia menthaefolia), Lamiaceae, on a glioblastoma cell line, since up to date poor therapeutic results have been reported for treatment of malignant glioblastoma. Methanol extracts from different anatomical parts of S. menthifolia were tested on DBTRG-05MG cell line by MTT assay. The most active primary stems extract was also evaluated for apoptosis induction. Results confirmed the anti-tumor property of all the organs and demonstrated that the primary stems extract induced apoptosis after 4 h with the highest values of DNA fragmentation after 6 to 24 h. Some extracts were also HPLC analyzed for polyphenols, althought activities could be due also to other constituents and to synergistic interactions. Rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, luteolin-7-O-glucosyde and quercitrin were found in all the extracts. The good performance revealed for S. menthifolia towards this extremely aggressive human glioblastoma cell line confirms that the genus Salvia is a natural source of anti-tumor agents though there are great differences among the various species. <![CDATA[<b>The antigenotoxic activity of latex from <i>Himatanthus articulatus</i></b>]]> Himatanthus articulatus (Vahl) Woodson (Apocynaceae) is a native plant to the Amazon popularly used to treat ulcers, tumors, inflammations, cancer, syphilis and malaria. The aim of the present study was to investigate the in vivo genotoxic/antigenotoxic and mutagenic potential of this plant, using the comet and the micronucleus assays in mice. Female and male adult mice were treated with different doses of H. articulatus latex by gavage for two consecutive days. For the experiments, the latex was serially diluted with water to 1:2 (D1); 1:4 (D½) and 1:8 (D¼) and administered to the animals. The blood slides were exposed to hydrogen peroxide (ex vivo) to evaluate antigenotoxic effect. Under the experimental conditions used in this study, the latex of H. articulatus did not increase the frequency of DNA damage as measured by the comet assay and micronucleus test in treated mice, indicating a non-genotoxic and non-mutagenic activity. In relation to the antigenotoxicity, latex exerted protective effect against DNA damage induced by hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, our results add new information about the antigenotoxic potential of H. articulatus latex, which is popularly used in the Amazon to treat different pathologies. <![CDATA[<b>Healing potential of Iranian traditional medicinal plants on burn wounds in alloxan-induced diabetic rats</b>]]> Malva sylvestris, Punica granatum, Amygdalus communis, Arnebia euchroma and Scrophularia deserti are important medicinal plants in Iranian traditional medicine (Unani) whose have been used as remedy against edema, burn, and wound and for their carminative, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities. The ethanol extracts of M. sylvestris and P. granatum flowers, A. communis leaves, A. euchroma roots and S. deserti stems were used to evaluate the burn healing activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Burns were induced in Wistar rats divided into nine groups as following; Group-I: normal rats were treated with simple ointment base (control), Group-II: diabetic rats were treated with simple ointment base (control), Groups-III and -VII: diabetic rats were treated with simple ointment base containing of extracts (diabetic animals), Groups VIII: diabetic rats were treated with simple ointment base containing of mixed extracts, Group-IX: diabetic rats received the standard drug (Silver Sulfadiazine). The efficacy of treatments was evaluated based on wound area, epithelialization time and histopathological characteristics. Wound contraction showed that there is high significant difference between the different groups (p<0.001). At the 18th day, A. euchroma, S. deserti, A. communis and mixed extract ointment treated groups healed 80-90%. At the 9th and 18th days the experiment, the best results were obtained with A. communis and standard drug, when compared to the other groups as well as to the controls. It may be concluded that almond leaves (sweet and bitter) formulated in the simple ointment base is effective in the treatment of burns and thus supports its traditional use. <![CDATA[<b>Reversal of CRF- and stress-induced anorexia by an ayurvedic formulation</b>]]> Trikatu churna is one of the commonly used Ayurvedic formulations in the traditional system of medicine in India for the treatment of agnimandya, i.e. anorexia. Trikatu contains equal amounts of finely powdered rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) and fruits of Piper longum L. and Piper nigrum L. (Piperaceae). The chief objective of the study was to determine the antianorectic effects of three drugs individually and to compare these effects with the effect of Trikatu. The activity of the drugs was studied after anorexia was induced in rats by (1) physical stress arising from immobilization for 60 min; (2) intraperitoneal injection of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 100 μg/kg body weight); and (3) intraperitoneal administration of fluoxetine (8 mg/kg body weight). Similar doses of the extracts were tested on freely feeding rats and on rats that had been deprived of food for 20 h. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF, 0.3 μg/rat) can induce anxiogenic-like behavior and reduced food intake. This model was also studied, and the results were compared. The components of Trikatu churna failed to individually reverse the inhibition of feeding. In contrast, Trikatu churna pretreatment reversed stress-, fluoxetine- and CRF-induced anorexia. The study provides strong evidence of the synergistic action of Ayurvedic formulas and also proves the ability of Trikatu churna to reduce stress and CRF-induced anorexia. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of hepatoprotective activity of aqueous and ethanolic extract of <i>Oxalis corniculata</i> against intoxication of thioacetamide induced rats</b>]]> The present study was carried out to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of aqueous and ethanolic leaves extracts of Oxalis corniculata L., Oxalidaceae, against thioacetamide-induced hepatotoxicity. Hepatotoxicity was induced in Wistar rats of either sex by subcutaneous injection of thioacetamide. An aqueous and ethanolic extract of aerial parts of O. corniculata (200 and 400 mg/kg/day) were evaluated. Oral administration of O. corniculata aqueous and ethanolic leaves extract at 400 mg/kg resulted in a significant reduction in SGOT (146.42±2.54 and 136.75±1.37 IU/L respectively), SGPT (81.96±3.15 and 72.05±2.33 IU/L respectively), GGTP (16.6±0.49 and 15.02±0.68 IU/L respectively), ALP (241.86±3.94 and 202.42±5.37 IU/L respectively) and total bilirubin (0.226±0.00 mg/dL 0.288±0.01 mg/dL respectively) content that were lesser than positive control, thioacetamide damaged rats. Histology of the liver sections of the animals treated with the extract also showed dose dependent reduction of necrosis. Hence the study concluded that O. corniculata has potential hepatoprotective activity. <![CDATA[<b>Evaluation of wound healing activity of <i>Ammannia baccifera</i> and <i>Blepharis maderaspatensis</i> leaf extracts on rats</b>]]> Wound healing activity of the leaf extracts of Ammannia baccifera L., Lythraceae, and Blepharis maderaspatensis (L.) B.Heyne ex Roth., Acanthaceae, was investigated by excision and incision wound healing models in rats. A phytochemical screening was done to determine the major constituents of the chloroform, ethyl acetate and ethanolic fractions of ethanolic leaf extracts. The excision and incision models were used to assess the effect of the plant extracts on wound healing in rats. Phytochemical screening reveals the presence of tannins, saponins, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoids in the extract. The wound healing effect was comparatively evaluated with a standard drug Framycetin cream. Significant wound healing activity was observed for the creams prepared with 5% ethanol fraction of B. maderaspatensis and 5% chloroform fraction of A. baccifera ethanolic leaf extracts. The results of histopathological evaluation supported the outcome of both incision and excision wound models. Ethanolic fraction of B. maderaspatensis and chloroform fraction of A. baccifera exhibited marked wound healing activity. B. maderaspatensis extract displayed a remarkable wound healing activity compared to A. baccifera. <![CDATA[<b>Attenuating effect of seeds of <i>Adenanthera pavonina</i> aqueous extract in neuropathic pain in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats</b>: <b>an evidence of neuroprotective effects</b>]]> The aim of present study was to investigate the attenuating effects of Adenanthera pavonina L., Leguminosae-Mimosaceae seeds aqueous extract (APSAE), in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic neuropathy in rats. APSAE (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg per day) was given to diabetic rats for twelve weeks. Cold and hot water tail immersion tests, photoactometer and Rota-rod tests were performed to assess degree of colder, thermal, spontaneous motor activity and motor co-ordination changes respectively at different time intervals i.e., week 0, 4, 8 and 12. Tissue superoxide anion and total calcium levels were determined after twelve weeks to assess biochemical alterations. Histopathological evaluations of sciatic nerve were also performed to assess nerve damage. APSAE treatment increased tail flick latency significantly in diabetic rats. APSAE also reduced superoxide anion and total calcium levels. These results suggested that APSAE has attenuated development of diabetic neuropathy in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats when compared with pregabalin (10 mg/kg, p.o.) and could be beneficial in preventing the progression of diabetic nephropathy. <![CDATA[<b><i>Erythroxylum pungens</i></b><b> elicits vasorelaxation by reducing intracellular calcium concentration in vascular smooth muscle cells of rats</b>]]> The cardiovascular effects elicited by the ethanolic extract obtained from the roots of Erythroxylum pungens O.E. Schulz, Erythroxylaceae (EEEP) and the vasorelaxant effect induced by its main tropane alkaloid (pungencine) were investigated. In normotensive rats, administration of EEEP (1, 10, 30 and 60 mg/kg i.v., randomly) produced dose-dependent hypotension (-2±1, -7±0.5 -17.6±1, -24±1 Δ mmHg, n=5) followed by tachycardia (3±0.5, 7±2, 7.1±1, 10±5 Δ bpm, n=5). In intact phenylephrine (Phe, 10 µM)-pre-contracted rings, EEEP (0.01-500 µg/mL) induced concentration-dependent vasorelaxation (EC50 13.7±5.5 µg/mL, Maximal Response= 92±2.6%), and this effect was unchanged after the removal of the vascular endothelium (EC50 27.2±4.7 µg/ml, Maximal Response= 88.3±3.3 %). In KCl (80 mM)-pre-contracted-endothelium-denuded rings, EEEP elicited concentration-dependent relaxation (EC50= 128.2±11.2 µg/mL, Maximal Response 76.8±3.4%). Vasorelaxation has also been achieved with tonic contractions evoked by the L-type Ca2+ channel agonist Bay K 8644 (EC50 80.2±9.1 µg/mL, Maximal Response 86.3±8.3%). In addition, in a depolarizing medium, EEEP inhibited CaCl2 (30-500 µg/mL) induced contractions and caused a concentration-dependent rightward shift of the relaxation curves. Lastly, the tropane alkaloid pungencine caused vasorelaxation in mesenteric arteries resembling to the EEEP responses. These results suggests that EEEP induces hypotension and vasorelaxation, at least in part, due to the reduction in [Ca2+]i in vascular smooth muscle cells. <![CDATA[<b>Phytochemical screening, antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of <i>Chrysopogon zizanioides </i>essential oil</b>]]> Chrysopogon zizanioides (L.) Roberty, Poaceae, is a plant widely used in northeast Brazil in folk medicine for the treatment of various pathological conditions, including inflammatory pain. The present study evaluated the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of C. zizanioides essential oil (EO) in rodents. EO was further characterized by GC/MS. The major components of EO were identified as khusimol (19.57%), E-isovalencenol (13.24%), α-vetivone (5.25%), β-vetivone (4.87%) and hydroxy-valencene (4.64%). Following intraperitoneal injection (i.p.), EO at 50 and 100 mg/kg significantly reduced the number of writhes (51.9 and 64.9%, respectively) and the number of paw licks during phase 2 (56.7 and 86.2%, respectively) of a formalin model when compared to control group animals. However, EO-treated mice were ineffective at all doses in hot-plate and rota-rod tests. The EO inhibited the carrageenan-induced leukocyte migration to the peritoneal cavity in a dose-dependent manner (34.7, 35.4, and 62.5% at doses of 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively). In the paw edema test, the EO (100 mg/kg) inhibited all three phases of the edema equally well, suggesting that the EO has a non-selective inhibitory effect on the release or actions of these mediators. Our results suggest possible antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of the EO. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical constituents of <i>Rourea doniana</i></b>]]> The chromatography fractionation of the hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts from the leaves and stems of Rourea doniana Baker, Connaraceae, resulted in the isolation of five triterpenes (lupeol, lupenone, α-amyrenone, β-amyrenone, and taraxerol), a flavonol (7,4'-dimethylkaempferol), a coumarin (scopoletin) and four phytosteroids (β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, β-sitosteryl-3-O-β- D-glucopyranoside and stigmasteryl-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside). All compounds are being for the first time in this species and all triterpenes and the flavonol are being described for the first time in the family Connaraceae. These compounds were identified on basis of their IR and NMR (¹H, 13C, DEPT, HSQC, HMBC, and NOESY) spectral data and by comparison with literature data. <![CDATA[<b>Chemical study and anti-inflammatory activity of <i>Capsicum chacoense</i> and <i>C. baccatum</i></b>]]> Capsicum species, Solanaceae, have been used for centuries as food additives by populations of different regions of the world. Capsaicin (trans-methyl-N-vainillyl-nonenamide) is the main pungent compound extracted from the red hot pepper fruit (Capsicum spp.). The capsaicin content was determined by means of a HPLC method. The results showed that Capsicum chacoense Hunz., contains similar amounts of capsaicin (13.9 mg/100 g of dry fruit) in comparison with Capsicum baccatum L. (12.6 mg/100 g) and Capsicum annum L. (10.1 mg/100 g). Dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) and ethanol (EtOH) extracts of C. chacoense elicited a 46% and 38 % of inhibition on the arachidonic acid (AA) pathway in ear edema respectively while the CH2Cl2 and EtOH extracts of C. baccatum inhibited 52% and 35% the arachidonic acid response respectively. <![CDATA[<b>Mushrooms as therapeutic agents</b>]]> Mushrooms have been known for their nutritional and culinary values and used as medicines and tonics by humans for ages. In modern terms, they can be considered as functional foods which can provide health benefits beyond the traditional nutrients. There are monographs that cover the medicinal and healing properties of some individual traditional mushrooms. There has been a recent upsurge of interest in mushrooms not only as a health food which is rich in protein but also as a source of biologically active compounds of medicinal value which include complementary medicine/dietary supplements for anticancer, antiviral, hepatoprotective, immunopotentiating and hypocholesterolemic agents. However the mechanisms of the various health benefits of mushrooms to humans still require intensive investigation, especially given the emergence of new evidence of their health benefits. In the present paper the medicinal potential of mushrooms is being discussed.