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Table 5 Non-experimental validation of plants used for ruminants in British Columbia

From: Ethnoveterinary medicines used for ruminants in British Columbia, Canada

Medicinal plant Validation information Reference
Acer macrophyllum Acer macrophyllum young shoots were eaten raw in spring by the Thompson Indians. The bark slips off easily at that time. The leaves of Acer saccharum contain less than 2% percent calcium, 0.24 percent magnesium, 0.75 percent potassium, 0.11 percent phosphorus, 0.67 percent nitrogen, and 11.85 percent ash (dry weight). Mid level validity as bedding. 10, 13, 14
Achillea millefolium Achilles reportedly staunched the wounds of his soldiers with this plant thus providing the name of the genus Achillea. Achillea millefolium is also used traditionally as an emmenagogue. An in vitro assay using the crude extract of the aerial parts of A. millefolium showed estrogenic activity. Apigenin and luteolin are reportedly the most important estrogenic compounds. The aqueous extract of Achillea millefolium (0.3–1.2 g/kg, p.o./day) was effective in protecting the gastric mucosa of male and female Wistar rats against acute gastric lesions induced by ethanol and indomethacin and in healing chronic gastric lesions induced by acetic acid with (ED(50) = 32 mg/kg, p.o.). Mid level validity for all uses. 9, 16, 17
Achlys triphylla The use of this plant as a fly repellent is Native American in origin. Four new flavonol glycosides were isolated from the underground parts of Achlys triphylla in addition to eight known compounds. Mid level validity as a fly repellent 8, 15
Alchemilla vulgaris Lady's mantle has the nickname, "a woman's best friend", and this is reflected in the ethnoveterinary use for retained placenta. Extracts from Alchemilla vulgaris L. inhibited 50% of the activity of porcine pancreas elastase at concentrations of 0.16 mg/ml, against a synthetic substrate. This study claimed a possible role by the extract in the protection of conjunctive and elastic tissues adversely affected by proteolytic enzymes. Mid level validity for retained placenta. 12, 18
Allium cepa Allium cepa oil given at 5 mg/kg body weight/day for 2 weeks showed anthelmintic activity in rats experimentally infected with Trichinella spiralis with a decline in the adult worms and muscle larvae. It was less effective as a prophylactic treatment prior to Trichinella spiralis infection. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 19
Allium sativum Experiments with the intestinal parasite Entamoeba histolytica have shown that pure allicin inhibits both the cytopathological effects associated with infection and the growth of the parasite by blocking its cysteine proteases. Other studies with allicin have shown that it has inhibitory effects on a wide range of bacteria, on some fungi and on a few protozoans. Mid level validity for all uses. 20
Allium sativum Treatment with garlic extract has been shown to activate macrophages, and suppress lesion growth in L. major infected mice. A garlic extract, showed no significant effect in the reduction of L. chagasi parasite load. The maximal survival of the garlic treated animals, despite their high parasitic burden, might be explained by a mild non-specific protective effect of the garlic treatment. In a L. major model, garlic treatment was more effective than chemotherapy with the first line drug glucantime, showing an additive effect with the antibiotic. There may be a protective effect of garlic treatment if administered previous to infection, in an immunoprophylactic vaccination schedule against visceral leishmaniasis. Mid level validity for all uses. 21
Althaea officinalis Originally from China, this plant was an ingredient in the original marshmallows eaten by Egyptians and Romans. Over 1000 species in the Malvaceae family contain healing mucilage. The methanol extract of Althaea officinalis roots was active against P. gingivalis, Prevotella spp. and Actinomyces spp. (9 of 12 strains had a MIC ≤ 3125 mg/L. The decoction had higher MIC values (4096–8192 mg/L. The strains of C. gingivalis, V. parvula, E. corrodens and Peptostreptococcus spp. were inhibited by an MIC = 8192 mg/L, those of F. nucleatum by an MIC ≥ 16384 mg/L. Mid level validity for diarrhea. 12, 22
Anethum graveolens The ancient Egyptians and Greeks recorded the medicinal value of dill. The monoterpene carvone is a major constituent (50%–60%) of the essential oil. This monoterpene has a calming effect and is used in gripe water preparations. Falcarindiol exhibited the greatest activity of the three active principles isolated from the whole herb of Anethum graveolens with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values in the range 2–4 μg/mL against mycobacteria (Mycobacteriumfortuitum, Mycobacterium phlei, Mycobacteriumaurum and Mycobacterium smegmatis). Plant compounds oxypeucedanin and oxypeucedanin hydrate also showed moderate anti-mycobacterial activity against the same mycobacteria with MIC values in the range 32–128 μg/mL. Mid level validity for diarrhea. 12, 23, 24
Apium graveolens The Greeks recorded the medicinal value of wild celery. The ascaricidal efficacy of the oil of Apium graveolens tested in vitro against the eggs and larvae of Ascaris lumbricoides was less effective than the aqueous extracts of 1% Artemesia and 5% of Albizzia and Inula. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 12, 25
Arctium lappa Arctium lappa has anti-bacterial and antifungal activity, diuretic, anti-oxidant and anxiolytic action, a platelet anti-aggregating effect and HIV-inhibitory action. Arctium lappa constituents inhibited the tested endodontic pathogens Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and Candida albicans. A previous study on three forms of the rough extract of this plant (20% tincture, extract concentrated by rotaevaporation and lyophilized extract), found that the lyophilized extract was the most effective against B. subtilis and C. albicans. Mid level validity for mastitis. 26
Arnica sp. Arnica montana is indigenous to Central Europe. The methanol extract of Arnica montana flowers had a better antibacterial activity than the decoction (with MICs two or three times lower). The inhibiting concentrations of the methanol extract against P. gingivalis (3 of 5 strains), Prevotella spp., E. corrodens, Peptostreptococcus spp. and Actinomyces spp. had acceptable values (MIC ≤ 2048 mg/L) for the use in mouthwashes for the correct hygiene of the oral cavity. C. gingivalis and V. parvula (MIC 4096 mg/L) were less sensitive and so was F. nucleatum (MIC 16384 mg/L). Mid level validity for wounds. 9, 22
Artemisia sp., Artemisia Tarragon leaves are rich in iodine, minerals and vitamins C and A. This study compared the in vitro and in vivo anthelmintic activity of Artemisia brevifolia with levamisole. In vitro studies revealed anthelmintic effects of crude aqueous (CAE) and methanol extracts (CME) of Artemisia brevifolia (whole plant) on live Haemonchus contortus as evident from their paralysis and/or mortality at 6 h post exposure. For in vivo studies, the whole plant of Artemisia brevifolia was administered as crude powder (CP), CAE and CME at graded doses (1, 2 and 3 g kg(-1) body weight (b.w.) to sheep naturally infected with mixed species of gastrointestinal nematodes. Maximum reduction (67.2%) in eggs per gram (EPG) of faeces was recorded on day 14 post treatment in sheep treated with Artemisia brevifolia CAE at 3 g kg(-1) b.w. Levamisole produced a 99.2% reduction in EPG. However, increase in EPG reduction was noted with an increase in the dose of Artemisia brevifolia administered as CP, CAE and CME. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 12, 27
Azadirachta indica Groups of 11–12 angora goats were treated with an azadirachtin-rich extract of neem seeds with an azadirachtin concentration of 650 ppm or 125 ppm, with Neguvon((R)), or untreated (control). Their louse burden (Damalinia limbata Phthiraptera) was assessed for 22 weeks. A reduction in louse densities of 76–96% was observed from week 2 to week 18 after treatment with the neem solution containing azadirachtin at a concentration of 650 ppm. At the lower test concentration (125 ppm) a reduction of 60–92% was recorded from week 2 to week 14. The extract reduced the survival of both adult and nymph stages of Damalinia limbata. Mid level validity for ectoparasites. 28
Berberis aquifolium/Mahonia aquifolium Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid that has been isolated from Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis aristata (tree turmeric) and Berberis vulgaris (barberry). It has antibiotic, antitumor and antidiarrheal activities. Berberine may have multiple effects on the cardiovascular system. Mid level validity as a respiratory tonic and for wounds. 29-32
Blechnum spicant Low level validity for magnesium imbalance but the plant is reported to grow in magnesium rich soil. 33
Bovista pila The basidiomycete Bovista sp contains psathyrellon B. The hexacyclic metabolite bovistol exhibited very weak antibacterial (MIC Micrococcus luteus 100 μM) and antifungal (MIC Mucor miehei 100 μM) activities. Mid level validity for wounds. 34
Bovista plumbea Puffball has been traditionally used to stem bleeding and promote healing. Penicillin acylase (penicillin amidohydrolase, EC was isolated in the basidiomycete Bovista plumbea. Mid level validity for wounds. 35
Calendula officinalis Culpepper describes Calendula flowers as a "comforter of the heart and spirits". The methanol extract of Calendula officinalis flowers had antibacterial activity; it inhibited Actinomyces spp. at MICs ≥ 8192 mg/L. Mid level validity for wounds and diarrhea. 9, 22
Capsella bursa-pastoris Culpepper recorded the use of the European plant Capsella for wounds. Capsella bursa-pastoris is included in the VIIIth and IXth editions of USSR pharmacopoeia and is an official remedy in other countries. It is used for uterine bleeding, malignant ulcers and cancer of the stomach, tumors, uterine cancer and fibroma, and for all types of kidney bleeding and diseases in homeopathy. Extracts of leaves and roots contain neutral lipids (62.6 and 58.5%), glyco-(20.8 and 17.8%), and phospholipids (16.6 and 23.7%, respectively). The seed oil contains fatty acids (FA) up to 50% linolenic and ~1% erucic acid. Beta-carotene and beta-sitosterol were identified in the aerial part. Mid level validity for wounds but more data is needed. 9, 36
Cinnamomum zeylanicum An anecdotal report described the resolution of Salmonella in a chronic carrier by the use of cinnamon. There are other reports that cinnamon is a natural antimicrobial. A potent inhibitor of bacterial infection endotoxin is present in cinnamon bark. Cinnamomum bejolghota essential oils had activity against Salmonella spp. isolated from poultry (S. agona, S. braenderup, S. derby, S. gallinarum, S. hadar, S. mbandaka, S. monterideo, S. saintpaul, S. schwarzergrund, S. senftenberg) and E. coli O157. Pasteurized apple juice with nisin (0, 25, 50, 100, and 200 ppm, wt/vol) and cinnamon (0 and 0.3%, wt/vol) accelerates the death of Salmonella typhimurium and E. coli O157:H7 in apple juice enhancing product safety. Essential oils obtained from fresh leaves of Cinnamomum aromaticum were effective against the flagelated poultry parasites Tetratrichomonas gallinarum and Histomonas meleagridis. High level validity for diarrhea. 37-41
Curcuma longa Curcumin, a yellow pigment of turmeric (Curcuma longa), is known to possess chemopreventive properties in various animal tumor models. Curcumin can effectively suppress the DEN-induced development of AHF in rat liver. The aqueous and alcoholic extracts isolated from turmeric are as effective as butylated hydroxy anisole in their anti-oxidative activity. There is a strong correlation between antioxidant activity and antiinflammatory activities of curcuminoids. Curcumin was also found to possess antiviral potential. Curcuma longa has an anti-thrombotic effect in mice. Mid level validity for proud flesh and caprine arthritis and as a palliative. 42-46
Cymbopogon nardus Mosquito coils made from the leaves of Cymbopogon nardus had moderate knockingdown but insignificant killing effects on Aedes aegypti. High concentrations of C. nardus, were effective when screened against the mosquito Aedes aegypti under laboratory conditions using human subjects. Cymbopogon nardus provided at least 2 h complete repellency. The protection times of this oil was less when diluted. At 50% concentration, C. nardus showed 50 min protection and the repellent activity decreased to 30 min or less when diluted to 10%. The undiluted oil of C. nardus provided better protection against Ae. aegypti, Cx quinquefasciatus and An. dirus. Mid level validity as a fly repellent. 47, 48
Cytisus scoparius Broom (Cytisus scoparius, syn. Sarothamnus scoparius) is a leguminous species with low contents of extractable condensed tannins, which would be unlikely to affect the digestion of nutrients in ruminants and has a high protein content. The young shoot tips of the broom, Cytisus scoparius, contain greater concentrations of sparteine than older leaves. Sparteine and the analogue BRB-I-28 produced a dose-dependent reduction in heart rate and blood pressure over the dose range 1–64 mumol/kg/min in pentobarbitone-anaesthetized rats subjected to left-ventricle electrical stimulation and occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery. High level validity as a cardiac tonic and browse plant. 49-51
Daucus carota The LC50 values for Daucus carota against 4th instars of Culex annulirostris using acetone, ethanol, hexane, and methanol extracts were 236.00, 36.59, 77.19, and 241.8 mg/liter, respectively. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 52
Echinacea purpurea Echinacea purpurea has been investigated for its potential to enhance immune function, primarily through activation of innate immune responses. A time course study, using the time of SRBC immunization to mimic the onset of illness, examined the effects of 8 and 4 days of Echinacea purpurea treatment at 0.6 mL/kg/day. Only in the 4-day administration, with dosing beginning 1 hour after SRBC immunization, was there an observed enhancement of the antibody forming cell response. This supports the acute use of Echinacea purpurea as suggested by anecdotal reports, and demonstrates the potential for enhancement of humoral immune responses as well as innate immune responses. High level validity for immune protection. 53
Epilobium angustifolium Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) has an abundance of vitamin C and was used by Indians and settlers who picked and boiled the fresh green sprouts in springtime. A tea was also made from the leaves. Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium L.) extracts showed inhibitory activity against metallopeptidases. Fireweed contains several flavonoids and phenolic acids and an ellagitannin with anti-inflammatory activity. The dimeric macrocyclic ellagitannin oenothein B and other polyphenols may partly support the use of Epilobium extracts in folk medicine for prostate conditions. Epilobium angustifolium, Epilobium hirsutum, Epilobium palustre, Epilobium tetragonum and Epilobium rosmarinifolium ethanolic extracts showed antimicrobial activity in a range of concentrations between 10 and 650 microgml of dry extract. Epilobium angustifolium and Epilobium rosmarinifolium had broad spectrum activity against bacteria, yeasts and fungi. The analgesic properties of Epilobium angustifolium (Ea) was established using the dry extract of Ea obtained by evaporating a commercially available mother tincture. High level validity as a tonic feed. 54-56
Equisetum arvense The short-term actions of Equisetum arvense and Lavandula officinalis dry extracts, and of isoquercitrin, a flavonoid found in Equisetum arvense, on in vitro fermentation by rumen microbes was investigated. The addition of Lavandula officinalis and Equisetum arvense enhanced the fermentation rate of the hay only substrate by 50%, through an increased release of acetate and propionate. Isoquercitrin lowered the fermentation rate of the other two diets. High level validity as a source of minerals. 57
Eugenia caryophyllata (synonym Syzygium aromaticum L., Eugenia aromatica L., Caryophyllus aromaticus L.) The antibacterial activity of different extracts of Eugenia caryophyllata was demonstrated against pathogenic bacteria. The fungicidal activity of the essential oil of E. caryophyllata was demonstrated against several food-borne fungal species, on fungi isolated from onychomicosis and on the yeast model Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The inhibition of adult emergence by E. caryophyllata extracts was demonstrated on Culex pipiens larvae. The essential oil of this plant showed repellency on the mosquitoes Ades aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles dirus. Extracts showed insecticidal activity on Pediculus capitis and acaricidal activity on Dermatophagoides farinae and D. pteronyssinus. High level validity as a fly repellent. 58-64
Euphrasia officinalis The major bioactive components in Euphrasia species are tannins, phenolic acids, flavones and iridoid glycosides. Compounds show a variety of effects including anti-inflammation, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiallergic, asthma and antihistamine activity. Eye drops made from Euphrasia rostkoviana Hayne have been used in anthroposophical medicine for more than 70 years for the structuring of the fluid organism in the eye, especially in inflammatory and catarrhal conjunctivitis. A prospective cohort trial was undertaken to describe the efficacy and tolerability of these eye drops in a community-based setting. Sixty-five (65) patients were involved. Complete recovery was seen in 53 patients (81.5%) and a clear improvement in 11 patients (17.0%). No serious adverse events were observed. A dosage of one drop three times a day was the general prescribed dosage. High level validity for eye problems. 65, 66
Fucus sp. Fucus vesiculosus has antioxidant activity. High level validity as a feed supplement. 67
Galium aparine Water distilled essential oils from aerial parts of Galium aparine and Galium odoratum contained seventy-two compounds. The major component of the essential oil of G. aparine was hexadecanoic acid (22.3%), and the major components of the essential oil of G. odoratum were thymol (30.6%) and isothymol (22.8%). Galium aparine oil contained mostly fatty acids and four terpenoids. The major components of the oil of G. odoratuni were thymol (30.6%) and isothymol (22.8%). Low level validity for mastitis. 70
Gaultheria shallon High antioxidant activity was obtained from the extracts of Gaultheria shallon. Catechin and epicatechin, potent polyphenolic antioxidants, were identified in the EtOAc extracts of Gaultheria shallon. Gaultheria shallon fruits have high antioxidant activity and vitamin C. Salal foliage contains 21% condensed tannins by weight. High level validity as a feed supplement. 68, 69
Hedera helix The secretolytic and bronchodilating properties found in Hedera helix extract are due to isaponins, especially alfa hederin. H. helix decreased arterial pressure in cats and also decreased stomach ulcer formation in rats. Extracts from H. helix wood presented spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tussive activity. The sapogenins of Hedera helix L., non-competitively inhibit hyaluronidase activity in a dose-dependent fashion, showing comparable IC50 values (hederagenin IC50 = 280.4 microM; oleanolic acid IC50 = 300.2 microM); the saponins hederacoside C and alpha-hederin are very weak inhibitors. Hyaluronidase, a proteoglycan-degrading enzyme, may have an influence on collagenolysis in bovine placenta and take part in the separation processes of the placenta in cows. High level validity for retained placenta. 71-73
Helianthus annuus Salicylic acid (SA)-treated sunflower leaves displayed potent antimicrobial activity against a set of phytopathogens which was due to proteins of approximately 60 kDa. Seeds of Helianthus species contain trypsin and subtilisin which are used in plant defense. Sunflower has allelopathic compounds which may include phenols and terpenes. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 74-76
Hypericum perforatum The flowering tops of Hypericum perforatum contain a resinous substance, hypericine and pseudohypericine, a flavonoid, hyperoxide, essential oil, tannic and mucilaginous substances. The resin and the essence contribute to the vulnerary and epithelising properties of the plant and explain its use in folk phytotherapy as a topical remedy against ulceration and burns. An experiment was carried out on 24 female patients of a mean age of 33 ± 3 years, who had had a caesarean section. The tested substance was a mixture of 70% oily extract of Hypericum and 30% oily extract of Calendula. The surface perimeter area of the surgical wound in the group treated with the Hypericum-Calendula mixture was reduced by 37.6 ± 9.9% compared to a reduction of 15.83 ± 4.64% in the control group (wheat germ oil). High level validity for proud flesh and wounds. 77
Juniperus communis Acetone extracts of the fruits of Juniperus sabina showed prominent antifeedant and stomach toxic effects to Pieris rapae. The extract also showed strong antifeedant activity against Mythimna separata Walker and Plutella xylostella L, inhibited the population growth of Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky and Tribolium castaneum Herbst and disrupted the growth of Helicoverpa armigera Hübner. The insecticidal compound was identified as deoxypodophyllotoxin. Hexane and methanol extracts from Juniperus communis inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mycobacterium avium was inhibited by Juniperus communis hexane extract. High level validity for endoparasites. 78, 79
Lavandula officinalis Lavandula was used as a strewing herb due to its insect-repellent properties. The essential oil of Lavandula officinalis showed repellent activities against Culex pipiens pallens on hairless mice. Essential oils were extracted by steam distillation from flowers of Lavandula stoechas. Compounds found were fenchone, 1,8-cineole, bornyl acetate, myrtenyl acetate, myrtenol, alpha-pinene and viridiflorol. High level validity as a fly repellent. Mid level validity for proud flesh. 12, 80, 81
Malvasp. Dioscorides, Pliny and Arab physicians described similar medicinal uses for Malva as the ethnoveterinary uses in this paper. Hexane extracts from Malva parviflora inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Mycobacterium avium was inhibited by the methanol extract of Malva parviflora. Aerial parts of Malva neglecta protected two of six rat stomachs from ethanol-induced ulcerogenesis. Hexane and methanol extracts made from the roots of Malva parviflora were active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. These extracts also had high cox-1 inhibiting activity. Extracts made from the creeping prostate and upright forms showed variation in antibacterial activity but the cox-1 anti-inflammatory activity was similar for all of the extracts. High level validity for wounds. 9, 82,83, 79
Matricaria chamomilla A comprehensive review of chamomile was published in 2006. Chamomile flowers contain more than 120 constituents. The flower head contains 10% mucilage, which in turn consists of amino acids, polysaccharides and fatty acids. The compounds found in the essential oil derived from the flowers include the terpenoids alpha-bisabolol and its oxides and azulenes, including matricin. The antioxidant capacity of chamomile is relatively low (<18 mmol/100 g). German chamomile oils (Matricaria chamomilla) were slightly more effective against 25 different Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and 20 strains of Listeria monocytogenes than oil from Roman 'chamomile' (Chamaemelum nobile). Chamomile aqueous extracts showed significant antiplatelet activity in vitro. A freeze-dried extract of chamomile given to Wistar albino rats suppressed both the inflammatory effect and leukocyte infiltration induced by a simultaneous injection of carrageenan and prostaglandin E1. Mid level validity for eye problems. 84
Medicago sativa Cattle fed diets high in Se from agricultural products such as high Se wheat and alfalfa hay will accumulate substantial amounts of Se in the meat without developing signs of Se toxicity. High level validity for selenium deficiency. 85
Melaleuca alternifolia Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel essential oil and its major component terpinen-4-ol had anti-staphylococcal activity against strains resistant to mupirocin, fusidic acid, vancomycin, methicillin and linezolid. Melaleuca alternifolia oil has antiprotozoal activity. Melaleuca alternifolia oilcaused a 50% reduction in growth (compared to controls) of the protozoa Leishmania major and Trypanosoma brucei at concentrations of 403 mg/ml and 0.5 mg/ml, respectively. This activity was attributed to terpinen-4-ol. Melaleuca alternifolia oil at 300 mg/ml killed all cells of Trichomonas vaginalis. High level validity for endoparasites. 86, 87
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm tea reportedly gives long life by dispelling melancholy. Melissa officinalis (lemon balm) and Valeriana officinalis (valerian) were assessed on their anxiolytic properties during laboratory-induced stress in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, balanced cross-over experiment. 24 healthy volunteers received three separate single doses (600 mg, 1200 mg, 1800 mg) of a standardized product containing M. officinalis and V. officinalis extracts, plus a placebo, on separate days separated by a 7 day wash out period. The 600 mg dose of the combination product ameliorated the negative effects of the stress. The highest dose (1800 mg) produced an increase in anxiety. High level validity for anxiety. 12, 88
Mentha piperita, Mentha pulegium Pulegium was named by Pliny for its reputation of driving away fleas. Mentha piperita is effective in controlling the larvae of C. quinquefasciatus Say. Extracts of Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds., Melissa officinalis L., and Mentha pulegium L. were tested against the house mosquito C. pipiens. Ethanol extracts of Melissa officinalis, Mentha longifolia exhibited complete (100%) larvicidal activity at 200 ppm. At this concentration, mortality was not significantly different from that of the reference temephos, although 200-fold more material was needed to achieve that result. At this same concentration Mentha pulegium extracts resulted in 90% mortality. In addition, the extracts of Mentha longifolia and Melissa officinalis also showed good (>85%) larvicidal activity at 100 ppm. The volatile oils of Mentha microphylla was tested against adult Lucilia sericata implicated in myiasis. The LC50 was 130 ppm by Mentha microphylla. High level validity as a fly repellent. 9, 89, 90
Nepeta caesarea The Roman town of Nepeti grew catnip as a medicine. The leaves contain vitamin C and the infusion reportedly relieves colds by inducing sleep and increasing perspiration without a corresponding body temperature increase. Nepeta caesarea showed significant analgesic activity, besides marked sedation, which was also blocked by naloxone, indicating involvement of opioid receptors but excluding mu-opioid receptors. The main antinociceptive component of the plant is nepetalactone. High level validity for pain relief. 12, 91, 92
Origanum × majoricum The medicinal properties of Origanum were known to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Sweet marjoram was introduced to Europe during the Middle Ages. Origanum × majoricum, Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum, and Poliomintha longiflora have higher phenolic contents as compared to other culinary herbs. Rosmarinic acid was the predominant phenolic compound in Salvia officinalis, Thymus vulgaris and Origanum × majoricum. High level validity as a feed supplement. 12, 93
Pastinaca sativa There are at least seven furanocoumarins present in green tissues of wild parsnip that deter plant pests. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 94
Petroselinum crispum Homer reported that warriors fed parsley to their horses. Petroselinum crispum produces a complex mixture of phenylpropanoids, coumarins, and terpenoids. The tested species contained phenylpropanoids, myristicin and parsley apiole; three linear furanocoumarins, xanthotoxin, imperatorin, and bergapten and two monoterpenes. The myristicin from parsley oil showed insecticidal activity. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 12, 95
Pinus ponderosa Pine oil had larvicidal activity against mosquitoes with LC50 values ranging between 82 and 112 ppm. The pine oil provided 100% repellent protection against Anopheles culicifacies for 11 h and 97% protection against Culex quinquefasciatus for nine hours. Pycnogenol® is a phytochemical extracted from the bark of Pinus pinaster Ait. Pycnogenol® consists of standardized proportions of monomeric and oligomeric procyanidins and phenolic acids (derivatives of benzoic acid and cinnamic acid). Pycnogenol was tested for its antimicrobial activity against 23 different pathogenic prokaryotic (gram-positive and gram-negative) and eukaryotic (yeast and fungi) microorganisms. Pycnogenol inhibited the growth of all the tested microorganisms in minimum concentrations ranging from 20 to 250 microg/mL. Dilution of the Pycnogenol®-containing media re-initiated the proliferation of microorganisms. High level validity for diarrhea. 96, 97
Plantago major EH0202 is a health-food additive from Japan. It is a mixture of four herbal extracts known to stimulate macrophage activity (interferon inducers). They are: pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita moschata), plantain seeds (Plantago asiatica), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), and safflower (Carthamus tinctorius). EH0202 administration decreases the incidence of viral pneumonia and the mortality rate in pigs with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. EH0202 acts to stimulate immunological systems and may improve endocrine dysfunction. Hot water extracts of Plantago major and Plantago asiatica were investigated in vitro on herpesviruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2) and adenoviruses (ADV-3, ADV-8 and ADV-11). The hot water extract of Plantago asiatica possessed significant inhibitory activity on viral infection (HSV-2 and ADV-11). Plantago major and Plantago asiatica both showed dual effects of immunodulatory activity, enhancing lymphocyte proliferation and secretion of interferon-gamma at low concentrations (< 50 microg/ml), but inhibiting this effect at high concentration (> 50 microg/ml). High level validity for diarrhea. 98, 99
Polystichum munitum The acetone extract of Polystichum pungens inhibited five gram-positive bacteria. Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus kristinae and Staphylococcus aureus. The methanol extracts of Polystichum pungens inhibited the growth of both the gram-positive as well as the gram-negative bacteria, with the exception of E. coli at 5.0 mg/ml. The water extract of Polystichum pungens showed activity against four of the gram-positive bacteria and Enterobacter cloacae. Polystichum squarrosum is asssociated with microscopic enzootic bovine haematuria in cattle. Mid level validity as a digestive stimulant. 100, 101
Portulaca oleracea Portulaca oleracea and Portulaca intraterranea have a zinc content of 6.5 mg/100 g. The genus Portulaca contains oxalates and an oxalic acid content of up to 9%. These plants also contain alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids and anthraquinone glycosides. Portulaca oleracea nutritive values are: ash (32.5%), crude protein (17.9%), ether extract (5.6%), crude fibre (20.3%), moisture (97.3%) soluble carbohydrate (23.6%), calcium (1.8%), magnesium (3.5%), phosphorus (0.3%), and calcium: phosphorus ratio (5.9%). Nubian goats fed fresh Portulaca oleracea (5 g/kg BW) showed weakness of the fore and hind limbs with inability to stand, greenish watery diarrhoea and polyuria. The aqueous extract of the Portulaca oleracea leaves and stems might act in part on postsynaptic a-adrenoceptors and interfere with transmembrane calcium influx. The plant was not recommended for daily use when fresh and in large quantities. Mid level validity for zinc deficiency. 102, 103
Potentilla tormentilla, Potentilla pacifica The name Tormentil is said to come from the Latin tormentum, referring to the gripings of the intestines that the herb will serve to relieve. A randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at Children's Hospital for Infectious Diseases #3, St. Petersburg, Russia in 40 children ranging in age from 3 months to 7 years with rotavirus diarrhea. There were 2 comparison groups: a treatment group that consisted of 20 children treated with tormentil root extract (Potentilla tormentilla); and a control group of 20 children who received a placebo. Administration of tormentil root extract in controlled doses shortened the duration of rotavirus diarrhea and decreased the requirement for rehydration solutions. Tormentil root extract was said to be an effective treatment for rotavirus diarrhea in children. A root extract of Potentilla arguta completely inhibited respiratory syncytial virus. High level validity as an appetite stimulant. 9, 104, 105
Prunella vulgaris Gerard describes Prunella as a wound herb. Prunella vulgaris L. contains polysaccharides with antiviral activity. Prunella vulgaris ontains oleanolic, betulinic, ursolic, rosmarinic (antioxidant), caffeic and other acids, triterpenoids, flavonoids, tannins and the antiviral polysaccharide prunelline. The aqueous fraction of the plant inhibits anaphylactic shock, allergic reactions, protects rat erythrocytes against haemolysis and kidney and brain homogenates against lipid peroxidation. Antimicrobial activity was also found. This study concluded that the ethnomedicinal use of Prunella vulgaris for wound healing and as an anti-inflammatory remedy is supported. High level validity for wounds. 9,106, 107
Pseudotsuga menziesii Pseudotsuga menziesii oils contain about 60 compounds with monoterpenes (especially sabinene and beta-pinene) as the major constituents. These had antimicrobial effects against bacteria, fungi and worms. Mid level validity for coccidiosis, endoparasites and as an appetite stimulant. 108
Quercus alba Quercus robur leaves contain 141 ± 16 ppm (dry weight) zinc. Mid level validity for zinc deficiency. 109
Rosa nutkana The extracts of Rosa nutkana and Amelanchier alnifolia were very active against an enteric coronavirus. High level validity as a feed supplement. 105
Rubus ursinus, Rubus laciniatus Pharmacological studies of the leaf extract of Rubus idaeus on the uterus in vitro and other smooth muscle preparations have found activity. Specific compounds in Rubus pinfaensis (triterpenoids, phenols) and Rubus imperialis (triterpenes) have antibacterial and antinociceptive properties, respectively. The leaves of Rubus idaeus have volatile compounds and waxes. Diterpene glycosides are found in the leaves of Rubus chingii and Rubus suavissimus and triterpenes in the leaves of Rubus imperialis and Rubus pinfaensis. Compounds in the leaves of Rubus idaeus, produce a relaxant response on a transmurally stimulated guinea-pig ileum in vitro, and are polar in nature. Mid level validity for milk production and to treat unknown illnesses. 110
Ruta graveolens Rue has historically been a strewing herb and anti-plague plant. Common rue (Ruta graveolens) has an antifeedant activity against mahogany shootborer larvae (Hypsipyla grandella). Mid level validity as a fly repellent. 12, 111
Salix sp. The principal active component of Salix sp. is salicin, however the species also contains phenolic glycosides (salicortin, fragilin, tremulacin) in the bark. A standardized willow bark extract was examined in 127 outpatients with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in 2 randomized, controlled, double-blind trials with follow up for 6 weeks. The difference between willow bark extract and placebo was not statistically significant in either trial. Ethanolic Salix extract 1520L inhibits COX-2-mediated PGE2 release through compounds other than salicin or salicylate. The Salix extract is a weak inhibitor of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Mid level validity for mastitis and unknown illnesses. 92, 112-114
Salix sp. 210 patients with an exacerbation of chronic low back pain who reported current pain of 5 or more (out of 10) on a visual analog scale were randomly assigned to receive an oral willow bark extract with either 120 mg (low dose) or 240 mg (high dose) of salicin, or placebo, with tramadol as the sole rescue medication, in a 4-week blinded trial. The principal outcome measure was the proportion of patients who were pain-free without tramadol for at least 5 days during the final week of the study. The numbers of pain-free patients in the last week of treatment were 27 (39%) of 65 in the group receiving high-dose extract, 15 (21%) of 67 in the group receiving low-dose extract, and 4 (6%) of 59 in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Significantly more patients in the placebo group required tramadol (P < 0.001) during each week of the study. One patient suffered a severe allergic reaction, perhaps to the extract. High level validity for pain. Mid level validity for caprine arthritis. 114
Salvia sp. In the 17th century the Dutch found that the Chinese would trade three chests of tea for one of sage leaves. The ingestion of 200, 400 and 800 mg/kg of aqueous or 400 mg/kg of ethanolic extracts of Salvia fruticosa from day one to day six of pregnancy by female rats did not cause pregnancy failure. However, the ingestion of an ethanolic extract reduced the number of viable fetuses and increased the number of resorptions in the pregnant rats. A highly significant fetal resorptive effect was seen with the ethanolic extract, with 37% fetuses degenerated, while the aqueous extract showed significant activity with 31% of fetuses resorbed. The ingestion of Salvia fruticosa by adult male rats had no effect on the fertility of females impregnated by the treated males. However, the number of implantation sites and the number of viable fetuses were reduced. These losses appear to be due to either faulty preimplantation development or decrease in sperm function. Mid level validity for drying off. 12, 115
Senna sp. Ten Nubian goats were given oral doses of the fresh fruits and leaves of Cassia senna at 1, 5, and 10 g/kg/day. Eight goats died within 30 days and two others were slaughtered in a poor condition on days 18 and 29. The clinical signs shown were diarrhoea, inappetence, loss of condition, and dyspnea. Senna is not carcinogenic to rats given dosages of up to 300 mg/kg/day daily for 2 years. Mid level validity for diarrhea. 116, 117
Symphoricarposalbus var. laevigatus Symphoricarpos albus was found to have phenolic acids in the extracts and fractions from leaves, flowers and fruit with antimicrobial activity. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 119
Symphytum officinale The ethnoveterinary uses of comfrey are related to medicinal uses recorded in Gerard and Culpepper. The antiinflammatory activity of comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is linked to rosmarinic acid, which has antioxidant, antiviral, bactericidal and viricidal activities. The soothing and wound healing properties are due to allantoin with reported anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant and vulnerary activities. Mid level validity as a laxative, for ketosis and to increase butterfat. High level validity for proud flesh, wounds and udder edema. 9, 120
Syzygium aromaticum Undiluted clove oil gave the longest duration of 100% repellency (2–4 h) against all tested species of mosquito: Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus and Anopheles dirus. Low level validity for coccidia. 48
Taraxacum officinale Dandelion was first described as a medicine by Arabian physicians of the tenth and eleventh centuries. A comprehensive review of all studies conducted on dandelion has been recently published. One study found a partial inhibition of rat paw oedema induced by carrageenan and following intraperitoneal treatment with 100 mg/kg dm. A dried 80% ethanolic extract of Taraxacum officinale root administered orally at 100 mg/kg body weight 1 h before oedema elicitation inhibited carrageena ninduced rat paw oedema by 25%, versus a 45% inhibition with indomethacin at 5 mg/kg. The methanolic extract of flowers of Taraxacum officinale and Taraxacum platycarpum showed inhibition rates of 95 and 87%, respectively, of tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced ear oedema in mice. The triterpene uvaol isolated from dried flowers of Taraxacum platycarpum inhibited the TPA-induced inflammation at an equivalent level to indomethacin with 0.1 mg/ear being the 50% inhibitory dose. Extracts of Taraxacum officinale leaf and roots exhibited slightly lower inhibition rates of 69 and 51%, respectively, in the same assay. Dandelion leaf extract was also shown to have an anti-inflammatory activity on the central nervous system. Mid level validity for udder edema and high level validity as a feed. 9, 121
Teucrium scorodonia Ethyl acetate, chloroform and n-butanol extracts of Teucrium montanum showed a wide range of inhibiting activity against both Gram (+) and Gram (-) bacteria. Mid level validity for mastitis. 122
Thuja plicata Ethanolic and acetone extracts of Thuja orientelis were studied against III instar larvae of Anopheles stephensi and Culex quinquefasciatus. The ethanolic extract of T. orientelis was effective against both larval species with LC50 values of 13.10 and 9.02 ppm after 24 and 48 hours for anopheline and 22.74 and 16.72 ppm against culicine larvae. The acetone extract showed LC50 values of 200.87 and 127.53 ppm against anopheline and 69.03 and 51.14 ppm against culicine larvae. Mid level validity for endoparasites and lice. Low level validity for copper deficiency. 123
Ulmus fulva Ulmus macrocarpa Hance has low to moderate anti-protozoal efficacy against Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. One-day-old broiler chicks were infected with Eimeria tenella and given various herbal extracts. Survival rates, lesion scores, body weight gains, bloody diarrhea, and oocysts excretions were investigated at the first and the second week after infection. All the birds treated with Ulmus macrocarpa survived. Lesion scores in the groups treated with Ulmus macrocarpa (1.40 +/- 1.14) were lower than the control. Mid level validity for endoparasites. 124, 125
Urtica dioica Urtica dioica is reported to have anti-inflammatory, acute diuretic, natriuretic and hypotensive effects. The phenolic compounds present in Urtica dioica L. may contribute to its antioxidant activity. A water extract of Urtica dioica showed antimicrobial activity against 9 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and one yeast. A water extract of Urtica dioica also showed antiulcer activity against ethanol-induced ulcerogenesis and an analgesic effect. Ultica dioica agglutinin, a plant lectin, consists of seven individual isolectins. Isolectin I binds Zn(2+) ions. Mid level validity for zinc deficiency. Mid level validity for immune system protection. High level validity as a tonic and for diarrhea. Low level validity for endoparasites. 126, 127
Urtica dioica A multicenter, prospective clinical trial was performed on 257 patients to study the efficacy and tolerance of a compound drug PRO 160/120 (Sabal palmetto and nettle) in elderly men with lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Group 1 of 129 patients received PRO 160/120 which was found to be superior to the placebo. High level validity as a tonic and for diarrhea. 128
Usnea longissima, Usnea barbata Usnea barbata (L.) Mott and Usnea hirta (L.) Wigg hydroalcoholic extracts have antiinflammatory activity comparable to phenylbutazone and hydrocortisone hemisuccinate; the analgesic activity was close to that of noraminophenazone; the antipyretic activity was equivalent or better than aminophenazone. Usnea hirta has usnic, thamnolic and usnaric acids with antibiotic effects. Usnea longissima contains usnic and evernic acids which act as expectorants. Usnic acid has 2 enantiomeric forms with different activities including antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and anaerobic bacteria including antibiotic-resistant pathogenic strains. It also has antiviral, antiprotozoal, antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory (equivalent to ibuprofen) and analgesic activity. High level validity for wounds and foot rot. 129-131
Vaccinium sp. The compounds absorbed into the rat blood after oral administration of ethanol extract of the stems and leaves of Vaccinium vitis-idaea were analyzed. Two compounds found in the plasma were arbutin and fraxin. Both arbutin and fraxin have anti-inflammatory, anti-coughing and phlegm-removing effects. Fraxin at the higher dosage tested had similar activity to dexamethasone; arbutin was less active. Docosane, quercetin, daucosterol, hyperoside, have also been isolated from the stem and leaf of the plant. Two huckleberry species, Vaccinium membranaceum and Vaccinium ovatum were evaluated for their total, and individual, anthocyanin and polyphenolic compositions. Vaccinium ovatum had greater total anthocyanin, total phenolics, oxygen radical absorbing capacity, and ferric reducing antioxidant potential than Vaccinium membranaceum. The pH and degrees Brix were also higher in Vaccinium ovatum. Each species contained 15 anthocyanins (galactoside, glucoside, and arabinoside of delphinidin, cyanidin, petunidin, peonidin, and malvidin) but in different quantities. They also had a different polyphenolic profile. The polyphenolics of both species had a high proportion of cinnamic acid derivatives and flavonol glycosides. The major polyphenolic compound in V. membranaceum was neochlorogenic acid, and in Vaccinium ovatum, chlorogenic acid. Mid level validity for ketosis and as a feed supplement. 132, 133
Valeriana officinalis Valerian was used in World Wars 1 and II to treat shell shock. A review of Valeriana officinalis states that the compounds in the volatile oil vary due to genetics and environmental causes. Main constituents include the monoterpene bornyl acetate and the sesquiterpene valerenic acid. Some sesquiterpenes act on the amygdaloid body of the brain and valerenic acid inhibits enzyme-induced breakdown of GABA in the brain producing sedation. The valepotriates are changed into homobaldrinal which reduces the spontaneous motility of mice. The aqueous extracts of the roots contain GABA which could cause sedation depending on its bioavailability. A lignan, hydroxypinoresinol, can bind to benzodiazepine receptors. 12, 134
Verbascum thapsus The use of mullein for respiratory problems is derived from traditional folk medicine. Extracts of Verbascum thapsus exhibited antiviral activity against herpesvirus type 1 and influenza viruses. High level validity as a respiratory tonic. 12, 135
Vitis sp. The components of the pure plant-based extract AS 195 (Folia vitis viniferae) are flavon(ol)-glycosides and glucuronides with quercetin-3-O-beta-D-glucuronide (main flavonoid) and isoquercitrin (quercetin-3-O-beta-glycoside; a secondary flavonoid). Low level validity for unknown illnesses. 136
Zea mays The use of the stigma and styles of Zea mays as a diuretic is found only in those parts of Italy where the Spanish influence was strong. This ethnomedicinal use is also found in the Caribbean and in Latin America and is still found in Spain. Corn silk aqueous extract is diuretic in rats at large dosages. Mid level validity for udder edema. 137, 138
Zingiber officinale Zingiber officinale is active against Helicobacter pylori strains, and also has antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antitumoral activity. An extract from the root of Zingiber officinale reduced the minimum inhibitory concentrations of aminoglycosides in vancomycin-resistant enterococci. The effective compound [10]-gingerol with its detergent-like effect potentiated the antimicrobial activity of the aminoglycosides. High level validity for diarrhea and scours. 139, 140