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INTRODUCTION: the dissemination of information about "fantastic" remedies to cure diseases feared by everybody because of their possible fatal outcome, or those "cure all" substances that may solve more than one hundred health problems is unfortunately frequent on Internet and creates false expectations in patients, relatives and even health professionals. There are some pieces of information on the Web that Annona muricata L. is able to cure cancer. OBJECTIVES: to determine if there is published scientific information that allows validating the use of this plant in the treatment of cancer. METHODS: the main scientific biomedical literature databases available (BVSBIREME /11/, COCHRANE /0/, PubMed /5/, LILACS /2/, SciELO /0/, SeCiMed /0/, EBSCO /2) were reviewed, using key words as Annona AND muricata AND cancer. Likewise, review was made in Google using graviola and cancer. The obtained information was then analyzed to ascertain whether it can substantiate the abovementioned recommendation. RESULTS: it was found that the published scientific studies that might substantiate the use of this plant or some of its extracts are based on in vitro experimental models and most of them used pure extracted active principles. CONCLUSIONS: there is not enough evidence to recommend the use of any extract or active principle from A. muricata, so the groundless publication of its "extraordinary anti-cancer properties" is unacceptable from the ethical viewpoint.


Perez Machin M.,University of Medical Sciences of Costa Rica | Sueiro Oyarzun M.L.,University "Marta Abreu" of Las Villas | Boffill Cardenas M.D.L.A.,University of Medical Sciences of Costa Rica | Moron Rodriguez F.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | And 3 more authors.
Boletin Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Plantas Medicinales y Aromaticas | Year: 2011

An ethnobotanic study was carried out combining methods and techniques characteristic of the qualitative and quantitative investigation, in 10 municipalities of Villa Clara province, Cuba. It was taken a heterogeneous sample of 250 people constituted for: experts of plants, herbalists and expert doctors in phytotherapy who identified the plants more used with these ends in the studied communities. The data obtained starting from the consent of informants, were analyzed by means of the index of use value (IVU) and the level of significant use (UST) of the Tradicional of the Medicine of the Island (TRAMIL). They registered 20 medicinal species contained in 14 botanical families and they met 8 plants with a bigger use level and a bigger IVU. 60% of the plants reported as diuretic lacked scientific validation, the rest of the identified species has been studied at preclinic level, although in its great majority they don't appear in the Cuban Pharmacopeia of Medicinal Plants neither they are authorized by the agency Cuban reguladora, Center for the State Control of the Quality of the Medications (CECMED). The documentation related with the uses of the medicinal plants in the study areas, reveal that the traditional knowledge continues deeply ingrained to the communities and the popular knowledge stays in the representative figures of the herbalists and the experts of plants. The present work intends to evaluate through the medical ethnobotany, the current state of the traditional knowledge on medicinal plants with diuretic activity attributed in several communities of Villa Clara province, Cuba. © 2011 The Authors.


Pena Nunez B.D.R.,Cerro | Dumenigo Gonzalez A.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Martinez Hormaza I.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2015

Introduction: Punica granatum L. is known in Cuba as grenade. In traditional medicine, among other properties, antiflu action is attributed to this plant. In previous studies with the hydroalcoholic lyophilized extract, prepared with the fruit of this specie, several chemical compounds were reported, specially the presence of flavonoids. The variety of secondary metabolites detected for this lyophilized extract, added to a flavonoid fraction confers a high possibility of anti-influenza activity, as has been demonstrated in previous studies. Objective: to evaluate the virucidal activity of the hydroalcoholic lyophilized extract of P. granatum against Influenza A/Mississippi/1/85 (H3N2), with different schemes of treatments. Methods: the different schemes of treatments included 27 variants of the variables such as contact time of 60, 30 and 15 minutes; extract concentration of 1000, 200 and 125 μg/mL; an incubation temperature of the mix extract-virus of 4, 25 and 37 °C; and the corresponding replicas. The presence or not of hemaglutinin of influenza virus in each one of the treated samples, was measured by titration of Hemaglutination Inhibition (HAI) and the Embryo Infection Doses (EID50). Results: the minimal effective concentration to show in the hydroalcoholic lyophilized extract the direct virucidal action in vitro was 125 μg/mL, in 15 minutes of contact. This virucidal action was always present in the different assessed temperature and time exposures. Conclusions: the treatment of 125 μg/mL, regardless of time and temperature of treatment, was effective enough to reduce the presence of hemaglutinin of the influenza virus. © 2015, Editorial Ciencias Medicas. All rights reserved.


Mena Valdes L.,University of Habana | Tamargo Santos B.,University of Habana | Salas Olivet E.,University of Habana | Plaza Paredes L.E.,University of Medical Sciences of Costa Rica | And 3 more authors.
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2015

Introduction: The species Sapindus saponaria L. is widely distributed in America. The abundant presence of saponins is characteristic of this specie and it offers a high pharmacological value. Determine the concentration of these metabolites in various plant parts; allow the development of biological assessments. Objectives: To determine qualitatively and quantitatively the presence of saponins in aqueous extracts of seeds, stems and fruit of Sapindus saponaria L. and identify other metabolites that may be present in the plant. Methods: The extracts of the plant, with the fruits, seeds and stem was prepare. The extraction by solvent method and the infusion and decoction techniques was used. To identify the presence of secondary metabolites a phytochemical screening was performed on all extracts. Erythrocyte hemolysis assay was used to determine the concentration of saponins in the extracts. The carbohydrates and proteins were quantitatively determinate by Orcinol Sulphuric method and Lowry method respectively. Results: The phytochemical analysis suggested the presence of saponins, tannins, reducing sugars and flavonoids in the three extracts. The extract of the pericarp had higher concentration of saponins, followed by the seeds and stem. The concentration of carbohydrates and protein was higher in fruit extract than in the rest. Conclusions: The aqueous extracts obtained by conventional methods, contain secondary metabolites of high pharmacological value. The saponins are found in high concentrations in fruit; however, the carbohydrates and proteins are present at low concentrations in the three evaluated extracts. © 2015, Editorial Ciencias Medicas. All rights reserved.


Brito Alvarez G.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Frias Vazquez A.I.,University of Habana | Moron Rodriguez F.J.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Garcia Delgado N.,University of Habana | And 4 more authors.
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2014

Introduction: the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of conditions such as tonsilitis, headaches, aphtas, insect bites and arthritis, has been reported in Cuba and other Caribbean countries. Pain and inflammation are among the signs and symptoms of these conditions. There are not enough studies about the preclinical validation of the preparations used. Objectives: evaluate the preclinical anti-inflammatory effect of preparations from five medicinal plants of traditional use: Bidens pilosa L. (romerillo), Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) S. (lemon), Hyptis verticillata J., Morinda citrifolia L. (noni) and Musa × paradisiaca L. (banana). Methods: the Croton oil ear edema test model was used in male albino OF-1 mice (20-25 g), 6 animals per group. Juice from fresh aerial parts of Bidens pilosa (romerillo) and from the fruit of Citrus aurantifolia (lemon), 30% decoctions of dry aerial parts of Hyptis verticillata, fresh leaves of Morinda citrifolia (noni), and fresh leaves of Musa × paradisiaca (banana), 10 μL, were topically applied on both sides of the ear being treated. Dexamethasone 0.1 mg/ear was used as positive control. Results: Citrus aurantifolia juice preparations and the 30% Morinda citrifolia and Musa × paradisiaca decoctions reduced Croton oil ear edema with a high inhibition percentage. Bidens pilosa juice and the 30% Hyptis verticillata decoction did not reduce edema formation significantly. Conclusions: experimental results support the preclinical validation of the anti-inflammatory activity of Citrus aurantifolia juice and the 30% decoctions of Morinda citrifolia and Musa × paradisiaca, as well as their traditional use. Bidens pilosa juice and the 30% decoction of Hyptis verticillata are not validated.


Suarez H.C.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Figueredo Y.N.,Research Center sarrollo Of Medicamentos
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2010

INTRODUCTION: Pedilanthus tithymaloides (L.) Poit. (known as ítamo real) is a widely distributed plant in Cuba and at the same time a sustainable source of active principles. OBJECTIVE: to evaluate the neurosedative effect of cycloartanol triterpene from dichlorometane extract obtained from Pedilanthus tithymaloides (L.) Poit. leaves. METHODS: models based on exploratory behaviour, barbiturate-induced sleep, pentilenotetrazol-induced seizures and amphetamine-induced stereotyped behaviours were used. Cyclocartanol was orally administered 30 minutes before every test. RESULTS: exploratory behaviour was inhibited at over 50 mg/kg dose; amphetamine-induced stereotyped behaviours were inhibited at 200 mg/kg dose; thiopental-induced sleep was potentiated at over 50 mg/kg dose, however, protection against pentilenotetrazole-induced seizures was not observed. CONCLUSIONS: the results of several tests indicate a depressing effect on the central nervous system of laboratory animal treated with Cycloartanal; however, the sedative effect does not seem to be mediated by the GABAergic system. Antidepressive effects were not observed either.


Acosta de la Luz C.L.L.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2014

Introduction: growing medicinal species in containers is a beneficial practice permitting the profitable utilization of small household areas, such as balconies, roofs and terraces, which will look better if a touch of gardening is added. Objectives: in view of the growing demand for medicinal plants, a workshop was conducted in the municipality of Old Havana (Havana Pharmacy Museum) to be attended by gardeners and housewives from the community, to discuss the advantages of this form of plant cultivation. Methods: the topics dealt with included general knowledge about the cultivation of various species based on their characteristics and demand, the use of a variety of containers depending on the area available, the substratum to be used, the best use of light, watering and fertilization requirements, and the problems that may arise and how to solve them. Results: analysis of some selected plants showed that this activity may facilitate lifestyle change by providing easy access to a variety of species serving many different purposes, not only medicinal, but also as spices to be used either fresh or dry to flavor food, and for ornamental purposes. Her freces which could be erent purposes, not. Conclusions: household economy may be improved with the consumption of spices, vegetables, medicinal plants and other crops grown in small containers. These contribute to the preservation of health by constituting a home pharmacy providing phytomedicines for the treatment of common diseases.


Lopez Barreiro M.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Garcia Hernandez A.I.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Rodriguez E.B.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Rodriguez Z.M.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2014

Introduction: Piper auritum Kunth, commonly known as caisimón de anís or anisón in some regions of the country, is a plant widely used as topical antiinflammatory. To this end, leaves may be warmed up and applied to the damaged area or a decoction prepared and drunk. Objective: determine the acute topical toxicity and primary dermal irritability of a 50 % decoction of Piper auritum fresh leaves. Methods: fresh leaves collected on the same day of the assay were used to prepare a decoction, following the techniques described in Guideline 434 of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD 434) about dermal toxicity in Wistar rats. Decoction was kept in contact with previously shaved skin for 24 hours. The weight of animals was controlled before, during and upon completion of the experiment. OECD Guideline 404 was used for topical irritability in New Zealand rabbits, applying the extract to a previously shaved area for 4 hours. Results: no sign or symptom of toxicity due to dermal absorption was observed in the rats. Rabbits did not show any evidence of edema or erythema. Conclusions: Piper auritum Kunth 50 % decoction has a low irritability and dermal toxicity rate in our test conditions. © 2015, Editorial Ciencias Medicas. All rights reserved.


del Carmen Victoria Amador M.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Rodriguez F.J.M.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2010

INTRODUCTION: bioethics in research involving laboratory animals has shown important advances in Cuba and worldwide. OBJECTIVES: to update information about the research ethics involving animals and its development in Cuba and in research laboratory setting. METHODS: The main scientific biomedical literature database available and also Google were reviewed (BVS-BIREME, PubMed, LILACS, SciELO, EBSCO) using key words bioethics, animals and experimental. The obtained information was analyzed to ascertain whether it could be used for the present paper. RESULTS: the concepts of ethics and bioethics, the use of animals as source of knowledge and biological models were reviewed. The importance of health control, the barriers, genetics and the production in certified centers, the environmental conditions of breeding and experimentation were stated; the bioters and the advantages of the most used species were characterized; the importance of alternative methods as the 3R principle (replacement, reduction and refining) as well as the ethical considerations that one must take into account since they are alive were also pointed out. The present situation in Europe, North America, Latin America and Cuba- where the National Center for the Production of Laboratory Animals is the leading center of lab animal production- was assessed. The Central Laboratory of Pharmacology, its objectives, the techniques and animal species used there were described. A comparison was made between the number of animals used in the past and at present. CONCLUSIONS: the implementation of bioethical principles of lab animal experimentation is a priority in Cuba.


Suarez H.R.C.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Rodriguez Dr. C.F.J.M.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Amador M.C.V.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | Hernandez A.I.G.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia | de la Luz C.L.A.,Laboratorio Central Of Farmacologia
Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales | Year: 2012

Introduction: drugs and phytotherapeutic preparations obtained from them, hold an important place in the drug marketing, so quality assurance is required. Phania matricarioides (Spreng.) Griseb. Species is widely known by the Cuban population since it is used to treat dermatologic and digestive problems. Objectives: to explain the results of the phytochemical study of the fresh aerial parts of this species. Methods: the drying study was conducted as well as residual humidity, total ashes, soluble substances, qualitative determinations and essential oils were estimated. Results: from the two drying methods, 81.8 % was extracted, which assures a relative humidity of 12 % approximately; it was found that the hydroalcohol solvent extracted more solid residues; the chemical composition of the fresh aerial parts mainly comprised phenols, tannins, flavonoids, lactose compounds, triterpenes or steroids, terpens and organic acids. Essential oils accounted for 0.4 %. Conclusions: the main components of fresh aerial parts of Phania matricaroides are phenolic compounds, tannins, flavonoids, lactonic compounds, triterpens or steroids, terpens and organic acids.

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