Morphology, culture requirements, and medicinal effects of Androsace septentrionalis L. (Primulaceae) are described. In mice, water extracts of the plant (.5 ml/100g body weight) produced disturbances of the menstrual cycle and infertility after copulation. Histological studies showed enlargement of glandular mucosa cells and increased uterine connective tissue. Compared with controls, more corpora lutea were found in the fallopian tubes of treated animals. The plant is used in Siberian folk medicine for angina, heart diseases, epilepsy, gonorrhea, and as a contraceptive. The contraceptive and tranquilizing effects of the water extract of Androsace were evident in this experimentation.
Fifty-eight medicinal plants used for the management of reproduction and the treatment of women's reproductive health problems in an indigenous community in southern Mexico are described. The efficacy of these plants is assessed according to both community members' understandings of the therapeutic effects they seek and the standards of conventional Western medicine. The majority of the plants contain chemicals which would appear to enable them to accomplish their intended effects in either or both the popular and the conventional medical systems.
In Denmark it is legal to grow opium poppies for the production of poppy seeds and until 1986 for decoration purposes, too. Danish poppy capsules contain 0.3-5 mg morphine per capsule and the content of morphine in opium exuded from the capsules may amount to 24%. This has resulted in misuse as both fresh and dried poppy capsules have been used for the production of "opium tea". During the period 1982-1985, seven casualties occurred among drug addicts in Denmark which were solely or partly caused by these opium poppies.
References to either indigenous uses or the results of controlled assays are numerous for species of Phyllanthus (Euphorbiaceae). These citations have been arranged by subgenus, section, subsection and species and will be published as three separate papers, followed by a paper discussing the apparent clustering of some uses or effects within taxa. This paper, the first of the series, covers the subgenera Isocladus, Kirganelia, Cicca and Emblica.
Infusions and decoctions of the leaves, roots and inflorescences of the herbaceous shrub Chenopodium ambrosioides (American wormseed, goosefoot, epazote, paico) and related species indigenous to the New World have been used for centuries as dietary condiments and as traditional anthelmintics by native peoples for the treatment of intestinal worms. Commercial preparations of oil of chenopodium and its active constituent, ascaridol, obtained by steam distillation, have been and continue to be, used with considerable success in mass treatment campaigns. Ethnopharmacological studies in a community of Mayan subsistence farmers in Chiapas, Mexico, confirmed that decoctions containing up to 300 mg of dry plant material per kg body weight (MGKGW) were widely used and traditionally highly regarded in the treatment of ascariasis. However, therapeutic doses of up to 6000 MGKGW of powdered, dried plant had no significant anthelmintic effect on the adults of Necator, Trichuris of Ascaris. Gas-liquid chromatographic analyses of plant samples used consistently demonstrated the presence of ascaridol in the expected amounts. Possible origins of subjective belief in the efficacy of C. ambrosioides as used, may be related to the positive association of spontaneous, or peristalsis-induced passage of senescent worms immediately following a therapeutic episode. It is also possible that in the past varieties of the plant containing much more ascaridol were used. The results of these controlled field studies did not sustain widely held traditional beliefs, nor the value of therapeutic practices regarding this plant. It is, therefore, essential that all indigenous ethnomedical practices be objectively evaluated for efficacy and safety using appropriate protocols before being considered for adoptation or promotion in health care programs.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)