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      Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae): A Review of Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, and Toxicology of This Medicinal Plant

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          Abstract

          Jatropha gossypiifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae), widely known as “ bellyache bush,” is a medicinal plant largely used throughout Africa and America. Several human and veterinary uses in traditional medicine are described for different parts and preparations based on this plant. However, critical reviews discussing emphatically its medicinal value are missing. This review aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the traditional uses, as well as the phytochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicity data of J. gossypiifolia species, in view of discussing its medicinal value and potential application in complementary and alternative medicine. Pharmacological studies have demonstrated significant action of different extracts and/or isolated compounds as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, antihypertensive, and anticancer agents, among others, supporting some of its popular uses. No clinical trial has been detected to date. Further studies are necessary to assay important folk uses, as well as to find new bioactive molecules with pharmacological relevance based on the popular claims. Toxicological studies associated with phytochemical analysis are important to understand the eventual toxic effects that could reduce its medicinal value. The present review provides insights for future research aiming for both ethnopharmacological validation of its popular use and its exploration as a new source of herbal drugs and/or bioactive natural products.

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          Medicinal plants of the caatinga (semi-arid) vegetation of NE Brazil: a quantitative approach.

          The caatinga (semi-arid vegetation) is a Brazilian biome with a significant but poorly studied biodiversity closely associated with a diverse cultural heritage. The present work focused on analyzing published information available concerning medicinal plants used by traditional communities. We sought to contribute to future phytochemical and pharmacological investigations by documenting the therapeutic uses of native caatinga plants within the aims of modern ethnopharmacological research. Twenty-one published works cited a total of 389 plant species used by indigenous and rural communities in northeastern Brazil for medicinal purposes. The relative importance index (RI) of each species in these inventories was calculated, and information concerning the plant's local status (spontaneous or cultivated), distribution, and habit was recorded. Of the 275 spontaneous (non-cultivated) species cited, 15.3% were endemic to the caatinga. A statistical relationship was verified between the relative importance of the species and their endemic status (p<0.05). Herbaceous plants were more numerous (169) than trees (90) or shrubs and sub-shrubs (130) at a statistically significant level (p<0.05). A survey of published information on the phytochemical and pharmacological status of the plants demonstrating the highest RI supported the veracity of their attributed folk uses.
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            Ethnopharmacological approaches to wound healing--exploring medicinal plants of India.

            India has a rich tradition of plant-based knowledge on healthcare. A large number of plants/plant extracts/decoctions or pastes are equally used by tribals and folklore traditions in India for treatment of cuts, wounds, and burns. The present review thus attempts to analyze the ethnobotanical knowledge base for treatment of cuts and wounds which includes a usage of plants, methods employed by tribals and folklore practices prevailing in India. Pharmacological reports available on Indian medicinal plants employing various wound healing models and its underlying molecular mechanism, wherever available, has also been briefly reviewed. This pharmacological validation on Indian medicinal plants is very limited and a large number of plants used in tribal and folklore with enormous potential have not been validated for their wound healing activity. This review therefore attempts to bridge the lacunae in the existing literature and offers immense scope for researchers engaged in validation of the traditional claims and development of safe and effective and globally accepted herbal drugs for cuts and wounds.
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              Medicinal and magic plants from a public market in northeastern Brazil.

              Markets are public spaces in which many kinds of products are sold, as well as places of cultural information exchange. These spaces are distinctive for each given culture or society as they represent small-scale reproductions of that region's cultural and biological diversity. We carried out ethnobotanical studies in an important traditional market in the city of Recife (Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil) in two distinct years, 1995 and 2002. Our objectives were to compare the taxonomic richness of the plants being sold there in these different years, to investigate differences between the species' relative importance, and to present descriptions of their main uses. Considering the lack of ethnobotanical studies in these markets and the great methodological difficulties in gaining access to this type of information, we discuss the limitations of this kind of study and offer suggestions to deal with specific problems. Semi-structured interviews with the plant vendors were carried out in the market, along with other data-collection and analysis techniques common to ethnobotanical studies. A total of 136 species were recorded--an increase of 58 species between the two study periods--with significant differences among the proportions of families, genera, and species (p<0.05). Despite differences in the relative importance of species found in both surveys, there was an underlying trend maintaining the same species of greatest importance. Our data suggest that markets conserve their basic repertoire while at the same time act as open and dynamic systems that is enriched by adding new plants and their respective use-indications.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                Evid Based Complement Alternat Med
                ECAM
                Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1741-427X
                1741-4288
                2014
                5 June 2014
                5 June 2014
                : 2014
                : 369204
                Affiliations
                1Laboratório de Tecnologia & Biotecnologia Farmacêutica (TecBioFar), Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas (PPgCF), Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Rua General Cordeiro de Farias, s/n, Petrópolis, 59012-570 Natal, RN, Brazil
                2Laboratório de Farmacognosia, Departamento de Farmácia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Rua General Cordeiro de Farias, s/n, Petrópolis, 59012-570 Natal, RN, Brazil
                Author notes
                *Matheus de Freitas Fernandes-Pedrosa: mpedrosa31@ 123456uol.com.br

                Academic Editor: Shi-Biao Wu

                Article
                10.1155/2014/369204
                4070477
                25002902
                74c4e73e-94f8-4416-98a2-1f807eb1bce0
                Copyright © 2014 Juliana Félix-Silva et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 24 February 2014
                : 1 May 2014
                : 1 May 2014
                Categories
                Review Article

                Complementary & Alternative medicine
                Complementary & Alternative medicine

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