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Medicinal Plants

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Medicinal Plants

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  1. Medicinal Plants The whole medicine.

  2. How many are used? • 75% of the world population depends on traditional herbal medicine • In the United state 10% of all prescribed drugs have primary component extract from plant • 25% of our common medicine contain some compounds from plants

  3. History • Discovery by trial and error • Passed on from generation to generation through word of mouth • First recorded history – 2500 BC from Sumerian drawings of opium poppy

  4. Golden age of Greece • Hippocrates (460-377 BC) - father of medicine, rational approach to treatment and documented illness and treatment, identified about 300-400 effective medicinal plants • Aristotle and Theophrastus (Aristotle's best pupil)- compiled list of medicinal plants. Opium. • Dioscorides – significant contribution, largest and most complete work until 14th century - De Materia Medica. Standard reference work for doctors and pharmacists. Not a perfect document. • Very little else done in the West until the Renaissance, people in Dark Ages and Middle Ages felt that they could not do anything that was as good as the work of the Greeks so they were reluctant to try to improve on Classical works.

  5. Renaissance • Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)- studies the human body • Paracelsus – public burning of works of former scientist • Proclaimed to have superior insight in prevention and cure of illness. • “Doctrine of signature” explained that God had provided signs in plants as to their proper use • plants with red sap for blood disorders • Walnuts for brain disorders, • Hepatica (liver leaf) for liver ailments, etc. • Idea was obviously wrong but he at least tried something new. Something happened to Western attitudes during the Renaissance, they had enough confidence to do original work and challenge the work of the Ancients. • The 17th and 18th Century - hypothesis testing in medicine which replaced the wild speculation and rumors that were common. • Extraction of chemical compounds from traditional plants. • Chemical modification to improve effectiveness. • The 20th century has seen an explosion of development of new procedures and drugs

  6. The story of Digitalis • Box 11.1 • Box 11.3

  7. Chemistry • Three main groups • Steroids • Alkaloids • Phenolics

  8. Estrogen Progesterone Cholesterol Testosterone

  9. Ephedrine papverine Quinine

  10. http://www.friedli.com/herbs/phytochem/flavonoids.html#isoflahttp://www.friedli.com/herbs/phytochem/flavonoids.html#isofla

  11. Plants Formerly ImportantAncestral plants??? • Chaulmoogra oil (Hydnocarpus) • Cinchona officinalis • Ephedra • Salix alba • Erythroxylum coca

  12. Plant Formerly of Importance Medicinal Plants

  13. Sources for Synthetic Drugs • Dioscorea:Yams • Tubers yield a sapogenin called diosgenin • Good starting material for synthetic hormones • Birth control pills, hormones that regulate menstrual cycle or component of fertility drug • Cortisone, hydrocortisone for treating allergic reactions, arthritis, Addison’s disease caused by malfunction

  14. Healing the Heart • Digitalis purpurea • Effective in treating heart problems • Digoxin – cardiac glycoside • Have strong effect on cardiac muscle • Improve blood circulation • Relieve fluid retention • Kidney function

  15. The Pain Killer • Papaver somniferum • Pain is important warning of potentially harmful disruption of people’s body and mind. • Analgesics – relieves pain without causing unconsciousness. • Originally from eastern Europe and western Asia

  16. Poppy • Latex from the fruit wall • Fertilized fruit capsule is slashed, let dry for a day and harvest • Dried latex simply powdered and dissolved in wine. • May be subjected to chromatography to separate pure compound

  17. Chemistry • Alkaloids – three main compounds • Morphine- most addictive and an excellent pain killer • Once used as anesthesia during operations and was important to treat wounds incurred during war • Now used only for extreme pain management, terminally ill cancer patients, chronic pains

  18. Poppy • Codeine – milder and usually non-habit forming painkiller • Over the counter medicines - Tylenol with codeine • Papaverine – internal spasm, particularly those of intestinal tract. • Diarrhea, and cramps

  19. The other pain killers • Other Alkaloid with similar effect • Solanaceae members – tropane alkaloids • All parts of the plant contain alkaloids • Analgesic – soothing muscle spasms • Pupil dilations • Also effect heart • Urinary tract infection after combining with methylene blue, phenyl salicylate and benzoic acid

  20. The muscle relaxants • Rauwolfia serpentina – snake root • Relax heart muscles and lower blood pressure • Side effects depression and produces tremors • Chemical – reserpine concentrated in root • Reserpine used to treat schizophrenia

  21. Plants for cancer treatment • Catharanthus roseus - Periwinkle • Vinblastin and vincristine • Slow cell division • 50 -70% success rate • 50% survival rate • For treatment of cancer and Hodgkin’s disease

  22. Plants for cancer treatment • Podophyllum peltatum - Mayapple • Podophyllin and alpha and beta peltatin • Used for purgative, skin disease and skin cancer • Now used for testicular tumors and with other for lung and breast cancer

  23. Plant for the treatment of cancer • Colchicum autumnale - Autumn crocus • Colchicine – disrupts mitotic spindles and thereby cell division • Mainly used for reduction inflammation and pain due to gout

  24. Plants for cancer treatment • Taxus brevifolia - Texas yew plant • Called “tree of death” • Bark has taxol – multicyclic alcohol • Inhibits mitotic spindles

  25. Upset stomach?? • Plantago ovata and P. psyllium – mucilage in seed husks • 30% psyllium • Absorbs water in the intestinal tract, providing a smooth bulky mass that is not affected by bacteria

  26. Beauty is skin deep • Aloe barbadensis - aloe • Mucilage from underside of epidermis • Has quinones – purgatives • Used to sooth skin from burn, infections • Mixed with other belladona for intestinal problems

  27. http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGIH,http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGIH, GGIH:2007-04,GGIH:en&q=picture+of+aloe+plant

  28. Vomit plants • Cephaelis ipecacuanha - Ipecac • Alkaloids similar to coffee – causes vomiting • Standard item in poison control kit

  29. Protein digesters • Carica papaya - papaya • An enzyme called chymopapain – similar to papain used for meat tenderizer • Used for treatment of severe back pain caused by slippage of a disk in the spinal column • When injected into the disk, it will dissolve and relieve the pain