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Table 1 Plants with possible antimalarial activity gathered from ethnomedical reports published in Flora Medicinal

From: Plants used traditionally to treat malaria in Brazil: the archives of Flora Medicinal

Scientific name and family Vernacular name Part used General indications found in ethnomedical studies Information regarding use for malaria Scientific data on anti-malarial activity Origin and geographic distribution Ref.
Aniba canelilla (H.B.K.) Mez. (Lauraceae) Preciosa, Casca preciosa, Pau rosa, Casca do Maranhão, Rosewood, Brazilian rosewood Barks and leaves Arthritis, fever, colic, heart problems, dyspepsia, infection, intermittent fevers, weakness, malaria, leukorrhea, chronic discharge. Thoracic, stimulant. Dr. Monteiro da Silva indicates that Amazon Indians used this plant to treat malaria.   Large tree that occurs in the Amazon and Atlantic Forest. (32)
Acanthospermum australe (Loefl.) Kunt. (Asteraceae) Amor de negro, Mata-pasto, Picão da praia, Picão da prata, Paraguayan starburr Leaves and roots Fever, malaria, diarrhea, erysipelas, anemia, urinary infections, blennorrhea, bronchitis, dyspepsia. Tonic, diaphoretic, eupeptic, antidiarrheal, mucilaginous, antimalarial, antiblennorrhagic. Dr. Monteiro da Silva indicates this plant as a substitute for quina and reports that doctors have a good outcome when using this species in malaria. Plants of the same genus used to treat malaria in Africa showed antiplasmodial activity against P. falciparum in vitro. Herbaceous, invasive and ruderal plant that usually invades crops and occurs spontaneously in the Cerrado. (33,34)
Aristolochia cymbifera Mart. & Zucc. (Aristolochiaceae) Jarrinha, Mil homens Roots Asthma, fever, diarrhea, dyspepsia, gout, infection, amenorrhea, orchitis, intermittent fevers. Dr. Monteiro da Silva reports that this must be associated to Cayaponia tayuya for use in malaria.    (35,36)
Aspidosperma polyneuron Müll. Arg. (Apocynaceae) Peroba rosa, Sobro, Peroba amargosa Barks Fever, diarrhea. Febrifuge, antimalarial, astringent. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. Plant contains alkaloids with antimalarial action. Cases of malaria controlled with this bark are reported.   Its alkaloids were extensively studied. (37)
Bathysa cuspidata (St. Hil.) Hook. f. (Rubiaceae) Quina do mato Barks Febrifuge, bitter tonic, eupeptic used as a substitute for quina in malaria Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature.   Tree that occurs in the Atlantic Rainforest. (38)
Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae) Picão, Picão preto, Erva picão, Cuambu, Farmer's Friend, Cobbler's pegs, Beggar's ticks, Pitchforks, Hairy beggarticks Leaves Jaundice, fever, hepatitis, leukorrhea, diarrhea, pharyngitis, worms, cough, pneumonia, hepatomegaly. Mucilaginous. Indicated in many medical texts in the past for malaria. Dr. Monteiro da Silva used for patients that did not respond to quinine. Preclinical tests revealed strong antiplasmodial activity. Plant with worldwide distribution. (33,39)
Cosmos sulphureus Cav. Syn. Bidens sulphurea (Cav.) Sch. Bip. (Asteraceae) Picão de flor grande, Picão grande, Beijo de moça, Cosmo amarelo, Yellow cosmos, Klondike Cosmos, Sulphur cosmos, Orange cosmos Fruits and aerial parts Jaundice, intermittent fever, splenomegaly. Tonic, hepatic, hepatoprotective. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature.   Plant bred with ornamental purposes. (33)
Cassia fistula L. (Leguminosae Caesalpinioideae) Chuva de ouro, Cássia amarela, Cássia imperial, Canafístula, Golden shower, Indian laburnum, Purging fistula, Drumstick tree Barks, leaves and seeds Poisons, erysipelas. Febrifuge, purgative, emmenagogue, diuretic, hepatic, skin problems. Indicated by Dr. Monteiro da Silva as an adjuvant for the treatment of malaria.   Ornamental plant found all over Brazil. (32)
Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don. (Apocynaceae) Vinca, Boa noite, Lavadeira, Vinca rósea, Cape periwinkle, Catharanthus, Church flower, Madagascar periwinkle, Red periwinkle, Rosy periwinkle Aerial parts Diabetes, urinary infection, malaria, intermittent fever. Sudorific, diuretic, hypoglycemic, febrifuge. Indicated as a substitute for quina by Dr. Monteiro da Silva.   Ornamental plant used by the pharmacy industry for obtaining alkaloids. (33)
Cecropia hololeuca Miq. (Cecropiaceae) Emabaúba, Imbaúba, Embaúba branca, Embaúba prateada, Trumpet tree, Silver embauva, Black embauva, White embauva Leaves, fruit and sprouts juice Diuretic, antihypertensive, sedative, refreshing, antiinflammatory, thoracic, healing, expectorant antiasthmatic, cough suppressant, resolutive, antithermal. Indicated by Dr. Monteiro da Silva as an adjuvant in malaria with very high fever or neurological symptoms.   Tree that occurs in the Atlantic Rainforest. (40)
Cedrela fissilis Vell. (Meliaceae) Cedro rosa, Cedro vermelho, South American cedar Barks Swamp fever, urinary infection, diarrhea. Aromatic, astringent, diuretic, depurative, febrifuge. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature.   Plant that occurs in the Atlantic Forest. (41)
Chondodendron platyphyllum (St. Hill.) Miers. (Menispermaceae) Abútua, Bútua, Uva do mato Roots, barks and leaves Gases, colic, diarrhea, abdominal pain, verminosis, fever, emesis, nausea, infection, bronchitis, amenorrhea, intermittent fever. Antiasthmatic, bitter tonic, eupeptic. Use by Indians from the Tupi-Guarani tribe for treating malaria, reported by Dr. Monteiro da Silva.   Isoquinolinic alkaloid-rich plant with antiparasitary activity, natural from the Atlantic Forest. (42,43)
Cinchona calisaya Wedd. (Rubiaceae) Quina peruana, Casca dos jesuítas, Quina verdadeira, Ledger quinine, Calisaya, Jesuit's powder, Yellow cinchona Barks Fever, malaria, eczema. Hair tonic. Used as the main source of quinin by Dr. Monteiro da Silva. It has quinolinic and quinin derivatives in its composition.   Originary from the Amazon. (38,44)
Coffea arabica L. (Rubiaceae) Café, Cafeeiro, Coffee, Arabica coffee, Arabian coffee, Abyssinian coffee, Brazilian coffee Leaves and seeds Colds, intermittent fever. Clears the blood, diuretic, stimulant, antiasthmatic, digestive, hypoglycemic. Dr. Monteiro da Silva used the leaves decoction to potentiate other plants with anti-malarial activity.   Plant with African origin, adapted to Brazil. (45)
Coutarea hexandra (Jacq.) Schum. (Rubiaceae) Quina-quina, Quina-brava, Quina-de-pernambuco, Quineira, Murta do mato Barks Intermittent fever, gallbladder stones or problems, digestive problems, colic. Antithermal, antimalarial. Dr. Monteiro da Silva relates this plant as one of the substitutes for quina and reports cases of malaria cure with its use, some described in the book Botânica Médica Cearence, from Dr. Francisco Dias da Rocha.   Plant from the Cerrado used for ornamental purposes. (33)
Cuphea ingrata Hoehne (Lythraceae) Sete sangrias, Perna de saracura, Mata cana, Pega pinto Aerial parts and whole plant High blood pressure, syphilis, dermatoses, intermittent fever, stomachache, rheumatism, venereal diseases, urethral discharge. Depurative, antisyphilitic, cholesterol-reducing, antihemorrhagic, mucous membrane protector, tonic, analgesic. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. According to Dr. Monteiro da Silva co-workers, this plant potentiates other antimalarial extracts and help preventing renal and cerebral complications in severe cases.   Herbaceous and ruderal plant that occurs in almost all regions of Brazil, used also for ornamental purposes. It is described in all South and Central America. Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva.
Dipteryx odorata (Aublet) Willd. (Fabaceae) Fava de Tonka, Faveira de cheiro, Imburana de cheiro, Cumaru de cheiro, Cumaru de folha grande, Tonka bean, Cumaru, Coumarou, Tonquin bean Seeds Antispasmodic, emmenagogue, analgesic, febrifuge, brain stimulating. In a review, Dr. Monteiro da Silva points this species as having potential use in malaria based on ethnopharmacological reports obtained in his expeditions.   Plant from the Amazon that is rich in coumarins, which gives it a special odor, and for this reason it has been used in the food and tobacco industry as an odorizing agent. (32)
Elephantopus mollis Kunth. (Asteraceae) Erva grossa, Língua de vaca, Pé de elefante, Elephantopus, Elephant's foot, False tobacco, Tobacco weed Aerial parts Fever, jaundice, gallstone, diarrhea, herpes, syphilis, colds, flu, rheumatism, general pruritus. Tonic, depurative. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. Some doctors suggest that this plant could be tried if no chinchona bark or substitute is available.   Herbaceous and ruderal plant that is found all over Latin America. (41)
Erisma calcaratum (Link) Warm. (Vochysiaceae) Jaboti, Erva de Jaboti, Jabuti, Jabuti-araconha, Jabuti da várzea, Jaboty, Jaboty palm Fruits Skin infections, dermatoses, fever, malaria. Oleaginous, resolutive. Reported in review as a plant used by the Amazonian Indians for the treatment of malaria.   Medium sized tree that grows along the moist lowlands of the Amazon. (32)
Esenbeckia febrifuga (St. Hil.) A. Juss. ex Mart. (Rutaceae) Quina do mato, Angustura, Gumarim Barks Malaria, intermittent fever, adenitis, constipation, dyspepsia. Bitter tonic, febrifuge. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature.   Tree natural from the Southern and Southeast regions. (38)
Galipea multiflora Schultz (Rutaceae) Quina falsa, Jasmim do mato, Ticoró, Guamixinga Barks Dyspepsias, gastric atony, fever, infections, malaria. Tonic, astrigent, bitter, eupeptic, febrifuge, antidiarrheal. Reported as a substitute for quina in the treatment of malaria in a review by Dr. Monteiro da Silva. Effective in malaria, but weaker than Peruvian chinchona.   Tree that occurs in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. (32,38)
Geissospermum sericeum (Sagot) Benth (Apocynaceae) Pau pereira, Quinarana, Pau forquilha, Acariranha Barks Dermatoses, inflammations, swamp fevers. Bitter tonic. Reported in a review as being a plant tested and approved by doctors for malaria. Alkaloids with activity against Plasmodium falciparum were isolated from trees of the genus Geissospermum. Species from the Atlantic Forest. (32,42,46)
Gomphrena arborescens L. (Amaranthaceae) Paratudo, Paratudinho, Perpétua raiz do padre Leaves, flowers and tuberous roots Weakness, colitis, fevers, mental fatigue, intermittent fevers. Antithermal, antidiarrheal, febrifuge, tonic, emmenagogue, aromatic, eupeptic, antitoxic, protector. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. Use in malaria introduced by Brazilian priests that learned it from Indians.   Plant natural from the central region (Cerrado) of Brazil, sometimes cultivated as ornamental. (47)
Himatanthus lancifolius (Mull. Arg) Wood. Syn. Plumeria lancifolia Müll. Arg. (Apocynaceae) Agoniada, Plumeria, Agonium, Arapuê Barks Menstrual cramps, fever, hysteria, gastric atony, malaria. Purgative, antispasmodic. Use for malaria described by Pekolt among Guarani Indians.   Plant that occurs in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. (48)
Jateorhiza palmata Miers. (Menispermaceae) Calumba, Calunga Barks Flatulence, colic, diarrhea, abdominal pain, verminosis, fever, emesis, nausea, infection, hypertension, bronchitis, dyspepsia, digestive atony. Bitter tonic, eupeptic. Plant rich in quinolinic alkaloids with antiparasitary potential.   Exotic plant, natural from Africa, adapted to Brazil. (41)
Melampodium divaricatum (L.C. Rich.) DC. (Asteracea) Picão da praia, Fel da terra, Salsa da praia, Butter daisy Leaves Fever, malaria, flatulence, stomachache, colics, joint pain, muscular pain, palpitation, vertigo, rheumatism, jaundice, anuria. Diuretic, carminative. Dr. Monteiro da Silva reports many cases of malaria cure using the extract of this plant.   Worldwide distribution. (32,49)
Mikania glomerata Spreng. (Asteracea) Guaco, Coração de Jesus, Erva de cobra, Cipó almecega Leaves and flowers Rheumatism, snake poison, intestinal problems, colics, dysmenorrhea, fever, malaria. Dr. Pires de Almeida reports to have observed Indians using this plant for malaria with good outcomes.   Liana that is common in the Atlantic Forest. (50,51)
Musa paradisiaca L. (Musacea) Banana, Bananeira Stem juice Worms, diarrhea, intermittent fever, weakness. Tonic, antidiarrheal, thoracic, expectorant, nutritive. Indicated by Dr. Monteiro da Silva to potentiate other plants used in malaria and help in the recovery of patients.   Exotic plant adapted to Brazil. (52)
Ocotea odorifera (Vell.) Rohwer Syn.Ocotea pretiosa (Nees) Mez (Lauraceae) Sassafraz, Canela de sassafraz, Sassafraz do Brasil, Brazilian sassafras Barks and roots Dermatoses, joint pain, fever, rheumatism, syphilis, gout. Sudorific, depurative. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. One of the plants used by Guarany Indians to treat fever and malaria.   Species form the Atlantic Forest. (41)
Picrolemma sprucei Hook. f. (Simaroubacea) Caferana, Caferana verdadeira Aerial parts and roots Malaria, intermittent fevers. Sudorific, depurative, febrifuge, antiinfectious. Dr. Monteiro da Silva reports many cases of recovery from malaria after treatment with the extract of this plant.   Shrub that grows on solid ground in the Amazon. (49)
Pradosia lactescens (Vell.) Radlk. (Sapotaceae) Bunhanhém, Pau de remo, Pau doce, Guaranhém, Monesia Barks Discharge, bronchitis, hemoptysis, diarrhea, ocular inflammation, tuberculosis, cutaneous ulcers, metrorrhagia. Bark provides a milky juice that is astringent and tonic. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. According to Dr. Monteiro da Silva, this plant could be associated to any antimalarial therapeutic drug if the patient is not recovering quickly.   Species from the Atlantic Forest. Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva.
Quassia amara L. (Simaroubacea) Quassia, Casca amargosa, Pau amargo, Pau de surinã, Quassia-wood, Surinam quassia, Bitter quassia, Bitterwood Barks Gastric debility, dyspepsia, blennorrhea, flatulence, fever, malaria, diarrhea, worms. Bitter tonic. According to a survey by Dr. Monteiro da Silva, it is used by Indians from the North of Brazil and from Suriname for treating malaria. Extracts showed antimalarial activity in experimental malaria in mice. Plant from the Amazonian Rainforest. (53,54)
Remijia ferruginea A. St. Hil. (Rubiaceae) Quina mineira Barks Intermittent fever, malaria. Cited by Dr. Monteiro da Silva as one of the species popularly used to substitute quina in the treatment of malaria. Tested in mice with experimental malaria caused by P. berghei, with reduction of 98% of infected red blood cells. Medium sized tree that occurs in Atlantic Rainforest and South Amazonia. (33,55)
Simaba ferruginea A. St. Hil. (Simarubacea) Calunga Barks and roots Malaria, fevers, diarrhea. Tonic, eupeptic, febrifuge, antidiarrheal, diuretic. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. According to Peckolt, it was used by Amazonian Indians to treat malaria. A quassinoid isolated from Simaba sp showed activity against Plasmodium falciparum in vitro. Huge tree from the Amazon Forest. (41,56)
Simarouba amara L. (Simaroubacea) Calunga, Marubá, Marupá, Dysentery bark, Bitterwood, Slave wood, Bitter damson Barks and roots Intestinal infections, verminosis, fever, wounds, infected ulcers, abdominal pain. Antidiarrheal, antispasmodic, healing. Used by Amazonian Indians to treat fever and malaria. According to Dr. Monteiro da Silva, it can be used in cases with neurological signs.   Big size tree that occurs in the Atlantic Rainforest and South Amazonia. Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva.
Strychnos pseudoquina A. St. Hil. (Loganiaceae) Quina do campo, Quina branca, Quineira, Quina-grossa, Quina do cerrado Barks Splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, intermittent fever, malaria, gastric problems. Tonic, bitter, febrifuge, depurative. Cited by Dr. Monteiro da Silva as one of the species popularly used to substitute quina in the treatment of malaria. According to Andrade-Neto, its potency is inferior to Peruvian quina bark and must be associated with other antimalarial plants. In a test with experimental malaria in chicken caused by P. berghei, no activity was found. Shrub from the Cerrado that produces edible fruits. (33,38,55)
Tabebuia avellanedae Lor. Ex Griseb. (Bignoniaceae) Ipê roxo, Pau d'arco, Trumpet tree Barks Fever, tumors, allergy, weakness, psoriasis. Antiinfectious, antifungic, anticancer, tonic, immunestimulant. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. Should be added to antimalarial regimens for weak patients or in cases of renal failure.   Tree that occurs in the Cerrado and Atlantic Rainforest, with strong medicinal uses. Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva.
Tachia guianensis Aubl. (Gentianacea) Jacaruaru, Quassia do Pará, Caferana, Tinguá-aba Branches and roots Infections, abdominal pain, worms, malaria. Digestive, antiinflamatory, febrifuge. One of the plants cited by Dr. Monteiro da Silva as having potential for treating malaria. Plant used in Amazon by Indians to treat malaria.    Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva. (47)
Tabebuia impetiginosa Syn. Tabebuia roseo-alba (Bignoniaceae) Ipê preto, Ipê roxo, Ipê rosa, Trumpet tree Barks Fever, tumors, malaria, parasitosis. Antiinfectious, antifungic, anticancer, tonic, immunestimulant. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature. Should be added to antimalarial regimens for weak patients or in cases of renal failure.   Tree that occurs in the Cerrado and Atlantic Rainforest, with strong medicinal uses. Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva.
Xylopia brasiliensis Spreng. (Annonaceae) Embira de caçador, Pindaíba Seeds and barks Stomachaches, flatulence, malaria. Stomachic, carminative, febrifuge. Indicated for malaria in the Flora Medicinal literature, but Dr. Monteiro da Silva considered it a weak antimalarial drug. Xylopia sp extracts proved active against P. falciparum with IC50 between 3 and 10 mcg/ml. Plant that occurs in the Cerrado and Atlantic Forest. Personal writings and archives of Mr. Monteiro da Silva. (57)