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Research Journal of Pharmacognosy
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2345-4458 - ISSN (Online) 2345-5977
Published by Iranian Society of Pharmacognosy Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Ethnopharmacological Properties of African Medicinal Plants for the
           Treatment of Neglected Tropical Diseases

    • Abstract: Agriculture is considered the primary source of income and livelihood in Africa. It is rational for people to look around their environment for food and medicine. The African legacy regarding the traditional use of medicinal plants is vast and diverse, due to cultural myths and economic logic. This review briefly defines the neglected tropical diseases and surveys African medicinal plants used for neglected tropical diseases. In Africa, people may share several plants for similar diseases, e.g., Nicotiana tabacum L. and Ricinus comminus L. are used for treating Buruli ulcer infection. Folkloric African plants for the treatment of bacterial, fungal, and viral neglected tropical diseases are listed and reported in the first parts. Medicinal plants for curing parasitic neglected tropical diseases are tabulated. A plethora of medicinal plants and bioactive compounds and their preparation methods, such as macerations and boiling are reported. This report reflects the richness of Africa with medicinal plants and herbal preparations being used for the treatment of various diseases, including neglected tropical diseases. Scientific investigation of these plants has yet to be conducted to isolate the active components and determine any toxic activities. Besides, knowledge of the mechanism of action behind these beneficial effects is highly required. This review will draw the attention of pharmaceutical companies and research institutions to examine the plants presented here for further laboratory analysis and experiments. 
       
  • Synergistic Activity of Three Iranian Medicinal Plants in Combination with
           Ceftazidime and Neomycin against Bacterial Strains Causing Nosocomial
           Infections

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: This study aimed to investigate the antimicrobial properties of Salvia limbata, Centella asiatica, and Bacopa Monnieri extracts against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). We also examined the synergistic effect of these extracts with ceftazidime and neomycin. The antimicrobial effects of these plants had been reported before but synergistic effect with broad spectrum antibiotics such as ceftazidime and neomycin was an important issue that we tried to determine. Methods: Methanol extracts were prepared by percolation method and phenolics content was determined by Folin–Ciocalteu method. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the extracts were determined by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) broth microdilution method. Checkerboard assay was used to evaluate the synergistic effect of the extracts with ceftazidime and neomycin. Results: Salvia limbata methanolic extract with MIC of 25, 100, and 150 mg/mL could inhibit the growth of S. aureus, P. aeruginosa, and MRSA, respectively. Bacopa monnieri with MIC of 50 mg/mL and 100 mg/mL inhibited the growth of S. aureus and P. aeruginosa, respectively. Centella asiatica did not affect the studied strains. The fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) results showed partial synergistic activity between S. limbata with ceftazidime and neomycin against P. aeruginosa and MRSA. The MIC of ceftazidime and neomycin in combination with S. limbata was reduced fourfold for each antibiotic. Conclusion: Salvia limbata is a potentially rich source of bioactive compounds with antimicrobial properties that can be used with ceftazidime and neomycin to provide a synergistic effect.
       
  • Cytotoxic and Apoptotic Effects of Flavonoids and a Geraniol Derivative
           from Artemisia kermanensis on Normal and Breast Cancer Cell Lines

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: The aim of this study was extraction, isolation, and identification of potent metabolites from aerial parts of Artemisia kermanensis Podl.“Dermaneh kermani’, the Iranian endemic species of Asteraceae family, and finally evaluation the anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects against normal and breast cancer cell lines. Methods: Air-dried aerial parts of A. kermanensis Podl. were extracted by maceration method with acetone/dichloromethane and then fractionated with MPLC apparatus using a gradient solvent system. The chemical structures of the isolated compounds were determined based on analysis of mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectra. Anti-proliferative effects of the three compounds were determined by MTT assay against HUVEC, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells. The apoptotic effects of compounds 2 and 3 were determined by flow cytometry on MCF-7 cells. Results: Compound 1 (5,7-dihydroxy-3',4',6-trimethoxyflavone, eupatilin), compound 2 (5,7,3'-Trihydroxy-6,4',5'-trimethoxyflavone) and compound 3 (1-acetoxy-3,7-dimethyl-7-hydroxy-octa-2E,5E-dien-4-one) were isolated from the plant extract. Compound 3 was identified for the first time from A. kermanensis. Statistical studies revealed that this compound showed the most anti-proliferative properties on all three cell lines. In MCF-7 cells treated with concentration of 10 µg/mL of compound 3, 36% apoptosis was observed. Furthermore, compound 2 (5,7,3'-Trihydroxy-6,4',5'-trimethoxyflavone) showed 33% apoptosis at 650 µg/mL. Conclusion: In the present study, the cytotoxic and apoptotic effects of 5,7,3'-trihydroxy-6,4',5'-trimethoxyflavone and Compound 3 (1-acetoxy-3,7-dimethyl-7-hydroxy-octa-2E,5E-dien-4-one) were determined for the first time. On the other hand, since Compound 3 showed the most cytotoxic effects on the cancer cell lines, investigation of its biological effects is recommended.
       
  • Cuscuta chinensis Antidepressant-Like Effect, the Role of 5-HT and the
           Impact on Behavioral Response in Mice

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Depression is a chronic mental disorder that influences people’s lives and functionality.  The available medications do not give full guaranty of effectiveness and are not devoid of unwanted side effects.  Cuscuta chinensis has been recommended for the treatment of depression in traditional medicine. In this study, the antidepressant-like activity of C. chinensis has been evaluated by using forced swimming test (FST) in mice. Methods: Cuscuta chinensis extract was provided by boiling in water. The antidepressant effect was evaluated by forced swimming test (FST) in mice with daily gavage of 270, 360 and 430 mg/kg of the treatments for four weeks. The immobility time and behavioral activity and also the blood levels of 5-HT and norepinephrine were measured. Results: The FST confirmed antidepressant effect of the extract with decreased time of immobility and increased swimming time alongside increase in serum 5-HT in all groups (p<0.01compared to the control) except for the extract at the dose of 270 mg/kg (MA270).  This effect was not statistically significant with fluoxetine group. Conclusion: Cuscuta chinensis demonstrated antidepressant effects in mice model which is a confirmation for its traditional use in depression.
       
  • Network Analysis of 20S-Ginsenoside Rg3 Effect on Human Colorectal
           Adenocarcinoma Cell Line HT-29

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: 20S-Ginsenoside Rg3 is a pharmacological active compound of ginseng. Evidences indicate that S20-Rg3 as an anti-cancer factor plays role in prevention and treatment of cancer. In the present study, proteomic data of 20S-ginsenoside Rg3 effect on human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29 was analyzed via network analysis to understand more details about the molecular events. Methods: The differentially expressed proteins (DEPs) related to the effect of 20S-ginsenoside Rg3 on human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line HT-29 were extracted from literature and analyzed via protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. The central nodes of the network were determined based on degree value and betweenness centrality. Results: Eight DEPS plus 100 added first neighbors were included in the PPI network. Five central nodes as hub-bottlenecks including ACTB, GAPDH, TP53, AKT1, and ALB among the added first neighbors and ANXA5 as hub-bottleneck and GSTP1 and PCNA as bottlenecks among the queried DEPs were introduced. Conclusion: PCNA, GSTP1, and ANxA5 as cell protective proteins are the crucial targeted proteins by 20S-ginsenoside Rg3 in the treated cell line HT-29. Up-regulation of GSTP1 and ANXA5 is correspondent to the cell protective property of 20S-ginsenoside Rg3, and down-regulation of PCNA refers to the opposite effect. It seems that cell protective roles of 20S-ginsenoside Rg3 are accompanied with the possible side effects.
       
  • Chemical Composition and Biological Effects of Pistacia atlantica Desf.
           Oleoresin Essential Oil

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: The oleoresin of Pistacia atlantica Desf. (known as “Baneh” in Iran) has been frequently used in traditional medicine for its medicinal properties. Herein, P. atlantica essential oil was investigated for its antimicrobial and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities since α-pinene which has been identified as the most abundant component in Pistacia genus oil, has demonstrated antimicrobial and anti-α-glucosidase properties. Methods: Fresh oleoresin was collected from Javanroud, Kermanshah, Iran and the essential oil was obtained by Clevenger-type apparatus. The chemical composition of essential oil was identified with GC/MS analysis and compared with those reported from various regions. The antimicrobial activity was evaluated against various strains (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Lactobacilli spp.) through MIC method. Also, its anti-α-glucosidase property and antioxidant activity by DPPH assay were investigated. Results: GC/MS analysis of the essential oil confirmed the presence of nineteen compounds and among them, α-pinene (64.8%) was identified as the major constituent. Also, β-pinene (5.7%) and cis-limonene oxide (4.5%) were relatively abundant. Our results revealed antimicrobial properties of the “Baneh” essential oil against various bacterial and fungal strains. Moreover, it demonstrated inhibitory activity toward α-glucosidase with IC50 value of 41.5 ± 2.5 mg/mL compared with acarbose (IC50=0.5±0.2 mg/mL). DPPH free-radical scavenging activity assay showed antioxidant activity with IC50 value of 155.2 ± 1.4 mg/mL compared with quercetin (IC50=250.0±0.0 μg/mL). Conclusion: Pistacia atlantica oleoresin essential oil depicted satisfactory antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains. However, it demonstrated low antioxidant and α-glucosidase inhibitory effects.
       
  • Significance of Pharmacognosy: Students’ Perspective

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: The use of herbal medicine dates back to ancient times when humans used to consume natural substances such as medicinal plants to treat various diseases. Advancement in technology increases the importance of natural medicines in health care. Numerous drugs have been derived from natural sources and the alternative system of medicine mainly utilizes herbs and other natural sources or their extracts to treat different diseases. These herbs also possess herb-drug, food-drug interactions and other side effects; therefore, the knowledge of pharmacognosy is mandatory for pharmacists in order to work efficiently in their field. The present study was conducted to evaluate the significance of pharmacognosy from the viewpoint of pharmacy students. Methods:  An online survey was conducted in which students from all the recognized institutes of pharmacy located in Karachi, Pakistan were given a questionnaire to evaluate their knowledge about the significance of pharmacognosy. Results: Majority of students were satisfied with the curriculum of pharmacognosy in the Pharm-D curriculum and they believed that one can’t be a good pharmacist without studying pharmacognosy. They have the concept of herb-drug and food-drug interactions. They have studied the doses and side effects of herbal drugs in their undergrad curriculum, and they will consider studying pharmacognosy in their postgrad program. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that pharmacy students of various institutes of Karachi, Pakistan are well aware of the importance of pharmacognosy.
       
  • Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim. (Meadowsweet): a Review of Traditional
           Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

    • Abstract: Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim. commonly known as "meadowsweet", is a perennial herb native to Iran, Europe, and Western Asia. Several medicinal properties of the plant have been reported in Persian medicine. Filipendula ulmaria is traditionally used for fever, pain, inflammatory diseases (arthrosis, rheumatism, and arthritis), gastric disorders, liver dysfunction, and gout. The phytochemical studies indicate the presence of several active compounds, mainly phenolic acids, flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids. Salicylic acid and its derivatives are the most important compounds found in essential oil and extracts of different parts of the plant. Pharmacological evaluations have shown the anti-arthritis, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-coagulant, anti-microbial, immunomodulatory, gastro-protective, and hepato-protective activity of F. ulmaria. Despite pharmacological activities, traditional uses and herbal supplements, there is no complete review article on this herb's properties. In this paper, we have provided a review on traditional uses, phytochemicals, pharmacological properties and medical information of this valuable medicinal plant.
       
  • Potential Cytotoxic Activity of Galegine on Human Melanoma Cells

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Melanoma, the most lethal type of skin cancer, has a high recurrence rate within one year in melanoma patients following treatment by chemotherapy or immunotherapy. In an effort toward reducing this event, the present study aimed to investigate whether galegine has inhibitory effects on human melanoma cell lines. Galegine is a natural active compound found in Galega officinalis which was known and used in Europe for medicinal purposes for centuries.  Methods: Cell viability by MTT assay was conducted to measure the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of galegine on DFW and SK-MEL-5 cells. Also, apoptosis level was determined using Annexin V/FITC-propidium iodide (PI) flow cytometry. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) for Bax, Bcl2, and p53 genes was performed with specific primers to evaluate their expression pattern in each group. Results: The experimental results indicated that galegine induced cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner with IC50 of 630 µM and 3300 µM in DFW and SK-MEL-5 cells, respectively. Also, apoptosis induction occurred in both melanoma cell lines, in a way that 12.4% of the DFW cells and 41.8% of SK-MEL-5 were detected in the apoptotic phase. Furthermore, it was found that the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was upregulated in both melanoma cells. An upregulation in p53 gene expression was observed in SK-MEL-5 cells, as well. Conclusion: The results of the present study revealed that galegine induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in human melanoma cells with the potential toward more research as a novel therapeutic candidate for melanoma treatment.
       
  • Antiparasitic Effects and Cellular Mechanism of Astragalus maximus
           Chloroform Extract Against Clinical Isolates of Giardia lamblia

    • Abstract: Background and objectives:  Chemical drugs such as metronidazole, quinacrine and furazolidone are used to treat giardiasis. Although these drugs are useful in most cases, they are associated with some side effects. The present investigation was designed to evaluate the antiparasitic effects and cellular mechanisms of Astragalus maximus chloroformic extract against both trophozoites and cysts of Giardia. Methods:  The extraction was done based on the maceration method with 70% methanol. The in vitro anti-Giardia effects of various concentrations of A. maximus extract (11.25, 22.5, and 450 mg/mL) were evaluated on cysts and trophozoites of G. lamblia for 15-360 min. In addition, the effects on the plasma membrane permeability and the induction of apoptosis in the trophozoites of G. lamblia were studied. Results: Astragalus maximus extract significantly (p<0.0001) declined the viability of cysts of G. lamblia; in both concentrations of 22.5 mg/mL and 45 mg/mL, the extract killed 100% of G. lamblia cysts after 240 and 360 min of incubation. The results also showed that the extract in both concentrations of 22.5 mg/mL and 45 mg/mL, killed 100% of G. lamblia trophozoites after 120 and 240 min incubation The findings revealed that treatment of G. lamblia trophozoites with A. maximus extract increased the permeability of the plasma membrane in a dose dependent response. The extract, especially at the concentration of 10 mg/mL, significantly (p<0.001) induced caspase-3 activation. Conclusion: The present study showed the promising in vitro antiparasitic effects of A. maximus extract against both trophozoites and cysts of G. lamblia by affecting the permeability of the plasma membrane and induction of apoptosis. Further investigations especially in animal models and clinical setting are required to clarify the accurate efficacy and mechanisms against G. lamblia infection.
       
  • Therapeutic Potential of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) on Sports
           Injuries: a Review of Patents

    • Abstract: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) has been used for its therapeutic effects since a long time ago. Most of the healing properties of rosemary might be attributed to its antinociceptive, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects. The present review covers the certified patents and discoveries on medicinal, pharmaceutical, and therapeutic properties of rosemary to disclose its brilliant value on athletes’ health. An extended literature review was carried out in Google Patent, US Patent, and Patentscope in the field of sports injuries, inflammation, and pain. Numerous patents uncovered the importance of rosemary to apply in various healing, pharmaceutical, and medicinal fields. These discoveries might also be used as complementary methods in sports medicine for sore muscle, muscle and ligament sprain, strain, bruise, spasm, tendinitis, tendon rupture, cartilage, and joint injuries. Due to a lack of clinical trials, the use of rosemary in the clinic has been limited to a few medicinal products. Considering the human trend to use phytocompounds rather than medications based on chemical compounds, precise attention must be devoted to linking the value of rosemary from basic science to clinical usage.  
       
  • Carvacrol Ameliorating Effects on Trimethyltin Chloride-Induced
           Neurotoxicity by Modulating the Interplay between Nrf2/Keap1/ARE Pathway
           and Sirt1

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Trimethyltin chloride (TMT) is a chemical with neurotoxic effects on central nervous system. Carvacrol is a phenolic monoterpenoid with antioxidative properties derived from oregano, thyme, and other plants. We aimed to explore carvacrol effects on TMT-induced oxidative damage focusing on nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/ kelch-like ECH associated protein 1 (Keap1)/antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway and Sirt1. Methods: Thirty- two male rats were divided into four equal groups. Groups 1 and 2 received normal saline (control) and Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, sham) for 21 days, respectively. Groups 3 and 4 were first treated with TMT (8 mg/kg) and then received normal saline and carvacrol (40 mg/kg) for 21 days, respectively. Finally, the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and total oxidant status (TOS) in serums and expressions of Nrf2, heme oxygenase-1 (Ho-1), Keap1, NADPH quinone oxidoreductase (NQO-1) and Sirtuin1 (Sirt1) in the hippocampus of the rats were quantified. Results: TMT significantly decreased Nrf2, HO1, NQO1, Sirt1 expressions and TAC level, while markedly increased expression of Keap-1 and levels MDA and TOS compared with control groups. Carvacrol treatment significantly upregulated Nrf2, HO1, NQO1, and Sirt1 along with an increase in TAC level as compared with TMT-treated rats. On the other hand, carvacrol caused a significant decrease in the expression of Keap-1 and levels of MDA and TOS compared with controls. Conclusion: Our results suggested the potential neuroprotective effects of carvacrol on TMT-triggered neurotoxicity probably by reciprocal regulation of Keap1/Nrf2/ARE pathway and Sirt1 activity.
       
  • Effect of Different Extracts of Ganoderma lucidum on Ochratoxin A
           Formation by Aspergillus ochraceus

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi contaminated agricultural products and have toxic effect in human and animals. Ochratoxin A is produced by many filamentous fungi species such as Aspergillus and Penicillium, and is classified as a possible carcinogen and nephrotoxic. Ganoderma lucidum is a famous mushroom with antifungal properties and probably preventive effect on toxin production. The aim of this study was to investigate the antitoxigenic properties of Iranian strain of G. lucidum as a natural antitoxigenic agent against harmful filamentous fungi in food industry. Methods: Different extracts of G. lucidum were prepared and the antifungal and antitoxigenic effects were studied on toxigenic Aspergillus ochraceus. Ethanolic, hydroalcoholic and aqueous extracts were prepared by cold maceration method and compared with commercial extracts. Ochratoxin A was analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with fluorescence detector in A. ochraceus culture media which was treated with the extracts. Results: The results expressed that the alcoholic extracts could inhibit fungal growth but the aqueous extracts were able to significantly prevent toxin production while the fungus totally grew. Conclusion: Ganoderma lucidum and its products, may be used as a pharmaceutical and nutraceutical mushroom and could be considered as safe and useful agents for prevention of fungal growth and mycotoxin formation in food and agricultural products.
       
  • Vaginal Honey as an Adjuvant Therapy for Standard Antibiotic Protocol of
           Cervicitis: a Randomized Clinical Trial

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: More than half of the cervicitis cases are non-gonococcal and non-chlamydial. Therefore, the cure rate of the principal treatment protocol has reduced to less than 50%. Complementary therapy is an option for adjuvant therapy when standard medical treatment is not effective enough. Honey is used as a natural agent for wound healing and antibacterial effect. This study aimed to compare the effect of honey adjuvant therapy with the standard antibiotic therapy in improving the cure rate of cervicitis. Methods: In this double-blind randomized clinical trial, we enrolled 102 women diagnosed with cervicitis with standard criteria who referred to the gynecological clinic of Mousavi Hospital, Zanjan, Iran. They were randomly divided into two groups. The control group received the oral standard antibiotic treatment plus lubricant gel as placebo, and the intervention group received the oral standard treatment plus vaginal Ziziphus honey as adjuvant therapy. Both groups received the treatment once a day for two weeks. The symptoms and clinical findings of the patients were evaluated for three weeks following the initiation of the treatments. Results: All clinical symptoms of cervicitis significantly decreased after the treatment in both groups (p≤0.05), but the vaginal discharge of the intervention group reduced more (p≤0.05). In addition, the intervention group showed better results for the restoration of cervical erosion in comparison with the control group (p<0.05). Conclusion: Vaginal honey adjuvant therapy can improve the efficiency of standard antibiotic treatment to reduce the clinical symptoms of cervicitis.  
       
  • The Effect of Boswellia Vaginal Gel on Oxidative Stress and Expression of
           Apoptotic Biomarkers in Vaginal Discharge of Women With Vaginitis

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Boswellia serrata is an important medicinal plant with strong antioxidant activity. The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of Boswellia vaginal gel on apoptosis and oxidative damage in vaginal mucosal cells of women with vaginal candidiasis. Methods: Ninety-five women with vaginal candidiasis were enrolled in the clinical trial and received the gel for seven consecutive nights. The clinical symptoms of the disease including vaginal secretion, pain, itching, unpleasant odor, and dyspareunia were recorded. Vaginal discharges were collected before and after treatment for the assessment of malondialdehyde (MDA) and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) using TBAR and FRAP methods, respectively. Expression of Bax, Bcl2, and Caspases-3 genes was surveyed by RT-PCR. Results: Gel therapy significantly decreased the frequency of pain, burning, itching, dyspareunia and secretion compared to the baseline (p<0.001). Boswellia vaginal gel treatment significantly improved TAC values (from 1.27 ± 0.41 μM/mL to 4.69 ± 0.53 μM/mL; p<0.001) and decreased MDA values (from 31.47 ± 6.69 nM/L to 13.85 ± 3.72 nM/L; p<0.001). The therapy caused a significant decrease in Bax and Casp3 expression, as well as Bax/Bcl2 ratio by 2.34-fold (p=0.018), 2.86-fold (p=0.002), and 12.72-fold (p<0.001), respectively. In contrast, BVG treatment significantly enhanced the expression of Bcl2 expression by 5.42- fold (p<0.001).  Conclusion: Vaginal candidiasis is remarkably linked to oxidative stress, reduction of the antioxidants and vaginal mucosal cells apoptosis. Boswellia vaginal gel has potential role to improve vaginitis symptoms by elevating antioxidants capacity, mitigating oxidative stress, as well as down-regulating of apoptotic factors.
       
  • Chemical Composition of the Lumpy Bracket Mushroom (Trametes gibbosa)

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Trametes species have been used for centuries in traditional medicine of Asian countries. Recently, some of the bioactive compound have been isolated and evaluated for therapeutic purposes from these species. The aim of this study was to report the isolation and structure elucidation of major sterols from fruiting bodies of Trametes gibbosa. Volatile compounds and antioxidant activities of the different mushroom extracts of mushroom were also examined. Methods: The fruiting bodies of T. gibbosa were extracted with n-hexane, methanol, and hot water, respectively. For isolation of sterols, the n-hexane extract was subjected to column chromatography and fractionated by step gradient of n-hexane: ethyl acetate. The volatile oil was prepared by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC-MS. For evaluation of the antioxidant activity, 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and ferric reducing antioxidant power assays were used. Moreover, the phenolic and carbohydrate contents were assessed using spectrophotometry methods. Results: The column chromatography of the n-hexane extract led to the isolation of three sterols. These compounds were identified for the first time in T. gibbosa as follows: ergosta-5,7,22-trien-3β-ol (ergosterol); 5,8-epidioxy-ergosta-6,22-dien-3-ol; 5,9-epidioxy-8,14-epoxy-ergosta-6,22-dien-3-ol. The most abundant volatile compounds were identified as aldehydes (29.01%), fatty acids (21.2%) and alcohols (12.07%). Based on antioxidant results, methanol and hot water extracts showed the highest activities in DPPH (EC50=588.56±36.37 µg/mL) and FRAP (432±6.6 mmol Fe2+/g DW) methods, respectively. Conclusion: Trametes gibbosa is a valuable source of mycochemicals such as sterols, carbohydrate and phenolics. Further investigations are required for evaluation of the therapeutic potentials of the isolated compounds.
       
  • In Vitro Anti-Diabetic and Anti-Oxidant Activities of Geum Species from
           Iran

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Medicinal plants have been considered as important sources of potent free radical scavengers as well as digestive enzymes inhibitors. Several plants are used in traditional and modern medicine for their biological properties such as anti-oxidant and anti-diabetic activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant activities of roots and aerial parts from three of five native Iranian herbaceaous Geum species, including G. iranicum, G. kokanicum and G. urbanum. The Geum species and their bio-active substances are getting a lot of attention due to their various biological effects, such as anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor and anti-microbial activities. Methods: The anti-diabetic activity of the Geum species was evaluated via α-glucosidase and α-amylase inhibition assays. The anti-oxidant effect was analyzed using the free radical scavenging method and the total phenolics content was determined via a colorimetric assay. Results: Based on our study, all the examined species revealed moderate to high anti-diabetic and anti-oxidant effects. Geum kokanicum roots showed the highest α-glucosidase inhibition activity (91.0%±1.7) at the concentration of 500 µg/mL and DPPH radical scavenging potential (IC50: 11.6±0.5 μg/mL). Conclusion: The results demonstrated in-vitro anti-diabetic property of G. kokanicum, so detailed investigation to isolate the active compounds is suggested.  
       
  • Evaluating the Healing Effects of Ajuga chamaecistus ssp. tomentella, on
           Second Grade Burn Wounds, a Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Clinical
           Trial

    • Abstract: Background and objectives: Nowadays, the use of medicinal plants is on the rise mainly due to the fewer side effects and lower costs. Despite the traditional reports about the healing properties of Ajuga species, no clinical studies have been conducted. In this study, the effect of hydroalcoholic extract cream (3%) of Ajuga chamaecistus ssp. tomentella, one of the exclusive species of Ajuga in Iran, was compared with nitrofurazone cream (0.2%) on the second-degree burn wound healing. Methods: This clinical trial was performed at Motahhari Burns Hospital in Tehran. Fifty-two cases of second-degree burn patients were randomly assigned to two groups of 26 members, including nitrofurazone and Ajuga. We evaluated the wounds based on the onset of epithelialization, healing time, post-drug irritation, primary irritation, decreased irritation, post-drug pain, primary pain, decreased pain, allergy, infection parameters, and the Bates-Jensen Wound Assessment Tool. Results: Ajuga cream was more effective than nitrofurazone in terms of the mean day of epithelialization onset (p = 0.007), healing time (p = 0.001), post-drug irritation (p = 0.007), decreased irritation (p <0.001), post-drug pain (p = 0.018) and decreased pain (p = 0.001). Conclusion: According to the results, the Ajuga cream (3%) can be a useful remedy for burn wounds due to the reduction in the onset of epithelialization, healing time, post-drug irritation, irritation reduction, post-drug pain, and pain reduction. However, further large clinical trials are needed to confirm these results.
       
  • Design and Optimization of PLGA-Based Tribulus terrestris Loaded
           Nanoparticles

    • Abstract: Background and Objectives: Novel drug delivery systems improve bioavailability of standardized plant extracts which enables them to cross the biological membranes. Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticle systems are an approach to circumvent problems in drug delivery. Tribulus terrestris growing in subtropical areas has exhibited some biological and pharmacological activities; it contains compounds like flavonoids and steroids. To improve bioavailability of active compounds of the plant, its extract was subjected to prepare nanoparticles. Methods: Aqueous ethanol 80% extract of the whole plant was used for preparation of encapsulated nanoparticles using poly DL-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) polymer. Mean particle size, polydispersity, drug loading and encapsulation efficiency of the nanoparticles systems were evaluated in various ratios of T. terrestris extract. Results: All the applied concentrations of the extract provided particles in nano-scale size (163-214 nm). By increasing the extract ratio encapsulation efficacy also increased ranging between 40.3-78.5%. Above 50% of the loaded extract released in the first 3 h and it continued for 10 days. Conclusion: the plant extract has been successfully encapsulated into PLGA polymer. The quantification of encapsulation efficiency and in vitro release also showed that application of the plant in pharmaceutical field can be improved using nanoparticles.
       
 
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