Pharmacological Toxicological Effects

John's wort is not known. It is composed of many different compounds. The concentrations of these chemicals vary from brand to brand and batch to batch. Hyperforin, hypericin, and pseudohypericin are considered by most to be the major active ingredients. Hypericin, pseudohypericin, isohypericin, protohypericin, protopseudohypericin, and cyclopseudohypericin are all anthraquinone derivatives (naphthodianthrones) (1-5). Hyperforin and adhyperforin are both prenylated...

History

Ephedra, and other medicinal plants have been identified at European neanderthal burial sites dating from 60,000 BCE (1). Thousands of years later, Pliny accurately described the medicinal uses of ephedra. But thousands of years before Pliny, traditional Chinese healers used ephedra extracts. Chinese texts from the 15 th century recommended ephedra as an antipyretic and antitussive. In Russia, around the same time, extracts of ephedra were used to treat joint pain and though recent laboratory...

Garlic Allergy

Allergic reactions to garlic have also been reported in the literature. Garlic allergy can manifest as occupational asthma, contact dermatitis, urticaria, angioedema, rhinitis, and diarrhea. A 35-year-old woman experienced several episodes of urticaria and angioedema associated with ingestion of raw or cooked garlic, as well as urticaria from touching garlic. Two garlic extracts as well as fresh garlic produced a 4+ reaction on skin prick tests (SPTs) in this patient, but no other food...

References

Herbal research review vitex agnus castus. Clinical monograph. Q Rev Nat Med 1994 2 111-121. 2. Hobbs C. The chaste tree Vitex agnus castus. Pharm Hist 1991 33 19-24. 3. Foster S. A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs. Boston Houghton Mifflin Co., 2002. 4. Du Mee C. Medicinal plant review vitex agnus castus. Aust J Med Herbalism 1993 5 63-65. 5. Jellin JM, Gregory, P, eds. Natural medicines comprehensive database. Stockton Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2003....

Antimicrobial Activity

Garlic has in vitro activity against many Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including species of Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Klebsiella, Proteus, Bacillus, Clostridium, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Even some bacteria resistant to antibiotics, including methicil-lin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, multidrug-resistant strains of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus spp., and Shigella spp. were sensitive to garlic (40). Activity against H. pylori is discussed in...

Pharmacological Toxicological Effects 51 Neurological Effects

The neurological effects of kava are attributed to a group of substituted dihydropyrones called kava lactones (1). The main bioactive constituents include yangonin, desmethoxyyangonin, 11-methoxyyangonin, kavain (kawain), dihydrokavain, methysticin, dihydromethysticin, and 5,6-dehydromethysticin (8). It is believed that the components present in the lipid-soluble kava extract, or kava resin, are responsible for the central nervous system (CNS) activities of kava including sedation, hypnosis,...

Pharmacological Toxicological Effects 51 Endocrine Effects

P. ginseng may exert hypoglycemic effects possibly by accelerating hepatic lipogenesis and increasing glycogen storage (16-18). In a study of 36 newly diagnosed patients with type II diabetes, ginseng at a dose of 200 mg daily exerted a statistically significant benefit on glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) compared to 100 mg of ginseng daily or placebo after 8 weeks of therapy, and patients receiving 100 mg of ginseng had smaller mean fasting blood glucose levels than patients taking 200 mg of...

Case Reports of Toxicity Caused By Commercial Kava Products

Kava dermatopathy in association with traditional use of kava is well described in the literature (3). In addition, two cases of dermopathy have recently been associated with commercially available kava products (26). A 70-year-old man who had been using kava as an antidepressant for 2-3 weeks experienced itching, and later erythematous, infiltrated plaques on his chest, back, and face after several hours of sun exposure. Skin biopsy revealed CD8 lymphocytic infiltration with destruction of the...

Nervous System Effects

The pharmacological basis of the effects of GBE on brain function has been addressed in a number of studies. One study (6) showed that dietary GBE 761 (prepared by the Henri Baeufour Institute) protected striatal dopaminergic neurons of male Sprague-Dawley rats from damage caused by (MPTP). MPTP, which has caused Parkinsonism in young drug abusers, is thought to damage these neurons through formation of free radicals. The mechanism of GBE's protective effect was attributed to an antioxidant...

Migraine Prevention

A case reported the use of ginger for the prevention of migraines (30). A 42-year-old woman suffered migraine with aura once or twice every 2 or 3 months for 10 years. Because the frequency and duration of migraine increased, the patient was prescribed 500-600 mg of powdered ginger to be taken at the onset of aura, then every 4 hours for the next 3-4 days. The patient reported some relief within 30 minutes of the first dose. Then she added uncooked fresh ginger to her diet. In a 13-month...