Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center

Nablus, Palestinian Territory

Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center

Nablus, Palestinian Territory
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Ali-Shtayeh M.S.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | Ali-Shtayeh M.S.,An Najah University | Jamous R.M.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice | Year: 2012

Objectives: To measure the frequency of herbal medicine use among patients with diabetes mellitus in Palestine; to determine demographic characteristics that may increase the likelihood of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use and to find out how benefits, if any, were perceived by patients. Method: Cross-sectional survey of patients attending the outpatient diabetes departments at 7 Governmental Hospitals. The method was based on semi-structured questionnaires. Results: A total of 1883 patients with diabetes were interviewed. Of the participants, 51.9% (n = 977) reported taking herbs primarily bought from Palestine (98%) and used in crude form mainly as decoctions (44.1%). The five most common herbal products used were: Trigonella berythea (Fabaceae) (n = 191, 19.6%), Rosmarinus officinalis (Lamiaceae) (n = 132, 13.5%), Olea europaea (Oleaceae) (n = 131, 13.4%), Teucrium capitatum (Lamiaceae) (n = 111, 11.4%), and Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Lauraceae) (n = 105, 10.8%). Most CAM users were above 40 years old 79.6% (n = 778), predominantly female (53.2%) and residents of refugee camps and rural areas (59.3, and 53.5, respectively). The recommendations of a family member or friend was the main factor prompting the use of CAM (40.2 and 37.1%). Most CAM users (71.7%) were satisfied with the perceived effects. Interestingly, 68% of patients recruited in the study did not disclose CAM use to their physicians or pharmacists. Conclusion: Use of herbal therapies in diabetes is highly prevalent in Palestine. More than 70% of those using CAM (977, 51.9%) reported positive benefits including a feeling of slowing down disease progression, symptom relief, disease resolution or a reduction in the side effects of allopathic medication. Use of CAM should be explored with patients before clinical decisions are made. There is a need for health education relating to herbal use in conjunction with conventional medicines in diabetes. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Abu-Reidah I.M.,University of Granada | Ali-Shtayeh M.S.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | Jamous R.M.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | Arraez-Roman D.,University of Granada | Segura-Carretero A.,University of Granada
Food Chemistry | Year: 2015

Rhus coriaria L. (sumac) is an important crop widely used in the Mediterranean basin as a food spice, and also in folk medicine, due to its health-promoting properties. Phytochemicals present in plant foods are in part responsible for these consequent health benefits. Nevertheless, detailed information on these bioactive compounds is still scarce. Therefore, the present work was aimed at investigating the phytochemical components of sumac fruit epicarp using HPLC-DAD-ESI-MS/MS in two different ionisation modes. The proposed method provided tentative identification of 211 phenolic and other phyto-constituents, most of which have not been described so far in R. coriaria fruits. More than 180 phytochemicals (tannins, (iso)flavonoids, terpenoids, etc.) are reported herein in sumac fruits for the first time. The obtained results highlight the importance of R. coriaria as a promising source of functional ingredients, and boost its potential use in the food and nutraceutical industries. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Abu-Reidah I.M.,University of Granada | Abu-Reidah I.M.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | del Mar Contreras M.,University of Granada | Arraez-Roman D.,University of Granada | And 2 more authors.
Electrophoresis | Year: 2014

Vicia faba (Fabaceae) is a popular food in many countries and a good source of nutrients. However, little is known about its phytochemical composition, specially referring to phenolic compounds. In the present work, the dietary metabolites from a hydro-methanolic extract of V. faba seeds were thoroughly characterized by a nontargeted analytical approach based on reversed-phase ultra-HPLC (UHPLC) coupled to QTOF-MS. A total of 155 primary and secondary metabolites of various structural types were characterized: carbohydrates, amino acids, organic acids, alkaloids, terpenoids, jasmonates, and, mainly, polyphenols. Among the latter group, 73 compounds were characterized for the first time in this legume. In addition, 24 new structures, belonging to jasmonates and glycosylated N-containing compounds, were also proposed. Thus, this methodology could be implemented in foodomics as a characterization strategy to complement the knowledge of the phytochemical composition of vegetables. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Amessis-Ouchemoukh N.,University of Abderrahmane Mira de Béjaïa | Abu-Reidah I.M.,University of Granada | Abu-Reidah I.M.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | Quirantes-Pine R.,University of Granada | And 4 more authors.
Phytochemical Analysis | Year: 2014

Introduction Globularia alypum L., belonging to the Globulariaceae family, is a perennial wild shrub found throughout the Mediterranean area, Europe, and Africa. This plant is widely used to treat many diseases, but no previous work on the phytochemical composition of the Algerian G. alypum species has yet been reported. Objective To investigate the phytoconstituents of the methanolic extract of G. alypum using an LC-ESI-QTOF-MS method. Methods Ground air-dried leaves of G. alypum were macerated with methanol at room temperature for 24 h. The supernatant was filtered and concentrated to dryness under reduced pressure in a rotary evaporator, and extracts were recovered with methanol and filtered. Afterwards, the G. alypum extract was injected into the LC-ESI-QTOF-MS system. Results The combined LC-MS/MS led to the tentative characterisation of 63 phytochemicals. In this work, a large number of compounds have been characterised in the leaf-extract analysis of this plant. Among others, 24 iridoids and secoiridoids were found, of which nine compounds have not previously been recorded in G. alypum. Also, nine unusual phenylethanoid glycosides were characterised for the first time in this species. Conclusion The method used has proved to be a valued tool for the characterisation of a wide range of compounds from G. alypum leaves. This work constitutes a detailed investigation of the chemical composition of G. alypum leaves, which are widely used in different traditional systems of medicine. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Azaizeh H.,Haifa University | Azaizeh H.,Galilée College | Linden K.G.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Barstow C.,University of Colorado at Boulder | And 4 more authors.
Water Science and Technology | Year: 2013

Water shortage is an ongoing cardinal issue in the Middle East region. Wastewater reuse offers some remediation, but to-date many rural communities in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and in Jordan are not connected to centralized wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), many of them are disposing of their wastewater using infiltration septic tanks. This highlights the need for a small, local, low cost WWTP that can directly benefit local communities, producing effluents suitable for unrestricted irrigation. Constructed wetlands (CWs) could offer a solution as they are relatively easy and cheap to construct and maintain, and effective in removal of many pollutants. Nevertheless, pathogen removal in CWs is often not adequate, calling for additional disinfection. Here we describe the use of low-cost, consumer level, UV based disinfection systems coupled to CWs for wastewater treatment in three CWs: in Israel, Jordan and in the PA. Once mature, our adapted CWs reduced chemical oxygen demand (COD) load, and, given proper use of the UV systems, inactivated indicator bacteria (faecal and E. coli) to levels suitable for irrigation, even when UV transmission (UVT) levels were low (∼40%). Our results demonstrate the promise in this combined treatment technique for cheap and simple wastewater treatment suitable for the Middle East region. © IWA Publishing 2013.

Husein A.I.,University of Palestine | Ali-Shtayeh M.S.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | Jondi W.J.,University of Palestine | Zatar N.A.-A.,University of Palestine | And 2 more authors.
Pharmaceutical Biology | Year: 2014

Discussion and conclusion: The results suggest that the investigated plants have shown varied antioxidant capacities which were strongly correlated with their contents of phenolics. Accordingly, this study proposes that the therapeutic benefit of these plants can be, at least in part, attributed to its potential inhibition of oxidative processes. © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA.Results: Among the extracts, the U. pilulifera had the highest amount of total phenolics, possessing the second highest total flavonoids. It also showed a maximum cytotoxic activity (IC50= 63 μg/ml), followed by C. capitatus, and A. palaestinum. Otherwise, the extract of T. creticum was demonstrated to be an efficient scavenger of O2(IC50= 83 μg/ml), followed by M. syriaca, C. capitatus, T. capitatum, A. palaestinum, and U. pilulifera.Context: Despite several pharmacological applications of the medicinal plants in the Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herbal Medicine in Palestine (TAPHM), studies on their antioxidant properties are still scarce.Objective: This work evaluates the antioxidant and antitumor activities of the ethanol extracts from different parts of six plants: [Arum palaestinum Boiss (Araceae), Urtica pilulifera L. (Urticaceae), Coridothymus capitatus (L.) Reichb (Lamiaceae), Majorana syriaca (L.) Rafin. (Lamiaceae), Teucrium creticum L. (Lamiaceae), and Teucrium capitatum L. (Lamiaceae)] used in the TAPHM.Materials and methods: The antioxidant activity was evaluated for the ethanol extracts by DPPH and β-carotene-linoleic acid assays together with total contents of phenols and flavonoids. For the anti-carcinogenic evaluation, the extracts were tested for the ability to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells (MCF-7) using the MTT reduction assay.

Ali-Shtayeh M.S.,University of Palestine | Jamous R.M.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice | Year: 2011

This study sought to describe type, frequency, purpose and patterns of herbal medicine used by a sample of patients with cancer in Palestine.A cross-sectional survey of patients attending the outpatient cancer departments at the Governmental Hospitals was undertaken using semi-structured questionnaires. Results: A total of 1260 patients with cancer were interviewed. Of the participants, 60.9% (n = 767) reported using herbs primarily bought from Palestine (92.3%) frequently employed in the form of decoctions (43%). The most common herbal product was Arum palaestinum (22.5%). Most Complementary and Alternative (CAM) users were more than 40 years of age, predominantly female, and living in rural areas of Palestine. Family member's recommendation was cited as the main factor prompting participants to use CAM (43.5%). Conclusion: This study revealed that there is an appreciable prevalence of herbal use among patients with cancer in Palestine. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Ali-Shtayeh M.S.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center | Jamous R.M.,Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice | Year: 2015

Purpose: This study aims to evaluate the prevalence and the factors related to the use of herbs by women during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and for infant healthcare. The study also aims to identify the herbs therapeutic uses and preparation. To date, no previous studies have investigated this prevalence in Palestine. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of women of different child-bearing age group inhabiting different locations in Palestine was carried out by means of a semi-structured questionnaire. Results: A total of 372 women were interviewed. Of the participants 72.3% reported using herbs at different pregnancy stages and for infant healthcare. The most common herbal products used in this study at different stages of pregnancy were Pimpinella anisum, Salvia fruticosa, Matricaria aurea, and Mentha spicata. Conclusion: This study revealed that there is an appreciable prevalence of herbal use among pregnant women at different pregnancy stages and for infant healthcare in Palestine. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

PubMed | Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center
Type: | Journal: Journal of ethnopharmacology | Year: 2016

The use of CAM including herbal medicine as the most preferred CAM modality, among cancer patients who are taking prescription medications has shown to be highly prevalent worldwide as well as in several Middle Eastern countries, with a high percentage of the patients do not disclose their CAM use to treating physician.The current study aimed to evaluate the patterns of CAM use among two cohorts of cancer patients in Palestine over a three-year period, and to identify socio-demographic factors that are associated with CAM use.Across-sectional survey of patients attending outpatient cancer clinics. The method was based on a semi-structured questionnaire. In order to identify safety-related concerns associated with the products listed, a literature search was conducted using different databases (PubMed, Micromedex, AltMedDex, and the Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database).In 472 cancer patients including 372 of the 2011 cohort; and 100 of the 2014 cohort, the overall prevalence of CAM use was 69.5%. CAM users were more likely to be 65 years old, village resident, being in the midst of chemotherapy, to have high interest spiritual quest, and to have no other chronic diseases. A significant number of CAM users reported using herbal preparations (98.3%, and 89.6% in the two study cohorts, respectively). In the current study, a total of 40 plant taxa belonging to 23 botanical families were reported by 3 cancer patients in the two cohort groups. The top most commonly used plant in the 2011 cohort group was Arum palaestinum (43.5%), while Ephedra foeminea emerged as the top most commonly utilized plant (from 0.0% in 2011 to 55.2% in the 2014 cohort), mainly due to a recent publicizing and portraying of the plant in the local media as an effective cancer herbal remedy. Safety-related concerns were associated with 33 (82.5%) herbs, including herb-drug interactions with altered pharmacokinetics (8, 20% herbs), direct toxic effects (16, 40% herbs), and increased in vitro response of cancer cells to chemotherapy (30, 75% herbs).CAM use, especially herbal medicine in cancer is highly prevalent in Palestine. This study has demonstrated the role of the media on the emergence of new CAM herbal therapies among cancer patients in Palestine, and discussed its potential implications on patients and for oncologists who are treating them. Some of the most widely used herbal medicines by cancer patients in the present work are known to interact with conventional anticancer drugs. Hence, the disclosure of the use of herbal remedies by patients to health professionals with sufficient training in CAM use is important for the later in order to assess whether there are any possible herbal drug interactions and/or harmful drug reactions.

PubMed | Biodiversity and Environmental Research Center
Type: | Journal: Journal of ethnopharmacology | Year: 2016

In Palestine, medicinal plants have continued to play a vital role in fulfilling animal healthcare needs of rural communities. However, these valuable resources are being depleted mainly due to over-harvesting, inappropriate agricultural practices (e.g., over use of herbicides), agricultural expansion, and over-grazing. Therefore, immediate action is required to conserve these resources and document the associated knowledge. The purpose of this study was, thus, to document and analyze information associated with medicinal plants that are used in managing animal health problems in the West Bank, Palestine.Ethnobotanical data were collected from Apr 2012 to Feb 2014 mainly using semi-structured interviews with informants sampled using purposive sampling technique and through field observations.The study revealed the use of 138 medicinal plant species in the West Bank for the treatment of several livestock diseases, of these 75 species representing 70 genera and 33 families were reported by 3 independent informants or above. Classification of the ethnoveterinary plant species cited by three informants or above used in a rank-order priority (ROP) based on their claimed relative healing potential has demonstrated that the following are the plants with the highest efficacy: Camellia sinenses, Teucrium capitatum, and Salvia fruticosa with ROPs of 97.1, 93.2, and 91.4, respectively, are used primarily to relieve gastric disorders. Gastrointestinal disorders is the disease group in the study area that scored the highest Informant consensus factor (ICF) value (0.90), followed by urinary, and reproductive disorders (0.89).Our study provided evidence that medicinal plants are still playing important role in the management of livestock diseases, and showed that ethnoveterinary plants used in animal health care in Palestine have been also recorded in human Traditional Arabic Palestinian Herbal Medicine (TAPHM), and demonstrated a strong link between human and veterinary medical practices. This survey has identified a number of important medicinal plants used by the Palestinian farmers of the West Bank area for the treatment of various animal ailments. It provides a baseline for future phytochemical and pharmacological investigations into the beneficial medicinal properties of such plants.

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