- Open Access
Comparison of plants used for skin and stomach problems in Trinidad and Tobago with Asian ethnomedicine
Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine volume 3, Article number: 3 (2007)
This paper provides a preliminary evaluation of fifty-eight ethnomedicinal plants used in Trinidad and Tobago for skin problems, stomach problems, pain and internal parasites for safety and possible efficacy. Thirty respondents, ten of whom were male were interviewed from September 1996 to September 2000 on medicinal plant use for health problems. The respondents were obtained by snowball sampling, and were found in thirteen different sites, 12 in Trinidad and one in Tobago. The uses are compared to those current in Asia. Bambusa vulgaris, Bidens alba, Jatropha curcas, Neurolaena lobata, Peperomia rotundifolia and Phyllanthus urinaria are possibly efficacous for stomach problems, pain and internal parasites. Further scientific study of these plants is warranted.
Trinidad and Tobago is one country consisting of two adjacent islands located just northeast of the Venezuelan coast with a combined area of 5070 km2 . The human population of 1.25 million is multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multicultural and increases at 1% annually. In Trinidad, the major population centres are concentrated along the west coast and along an east-west transportation corridor in the north of the island .
The multi-ethnic population of Trinidad and Tobago is reflected in its folk medicinal use. Previous research has indicated that the folk medicines used by hunters are derived from ancient Amerindian practices . This paper will continue to explore the cultural origins of Caribbean folk medicine by investigating the contribution of the Chinese to Caribbean folk medicine. Chinese medicine has been described as a complex and holistic system of medical practice with its own philosophy, diagnosis, treatment systems and pharmacology which also includes acupuncture, moxibustion and Qi Gong. However in this paper I will focus on 'Ben Cao' (Herbalism) .
The Chinese were the first Asian immigrants, arriving before the original East Indians who arrived in 1845. Chinese Tartars (192 men and one woman) were brought to Trinidad in the fall of 1806. These men from Macao, Penang and Canton were brought to cultivate tea but most were dissatisfied with local conditions and returned on the same ship [4, 5]. The twenty-three who stayed made a living as entrepreneurs (butchers, shopkeepers, carpenters and market gardeners) and creolised (integrated into the local population).
Prominent sugarcane planters believed that the emancipation of Caribbean slaves in 1838 would create a labour shortage. In the 1840s, the British "opened" a labor market of displaced or impoverished peasantry in southern China to fill this shortage and 2,500 mainly-male Chinese were brought legitimately to Trinidad as indentured workers, or were 'shanghaied' (abducted by European traders) . After the first Opium War (1840–42), and second Opium War, the British (as well as French and Americans) occupied twelve major ports (and colonized Hong Kong) . China's defeats in the Opium Wars led to the deregulation of Chinese immigration. This combined with the unrest, rebellion, and war in China, facilitated the organized labour traffic of one million southern Chinese to the West from 1840 to 1875 .
Three vessels brought 1,100 Chinese indentured labourers to Trinidad in 1853 and 600 more came in 1865 and 1866. In 1862, 467 immigrants came from Hong Kong. Most of the immigrants arriving between1853 and 1866 came from the southern Guangdongprovince (Macao, Hong Kong and Canton). In the last 5 trips, a total of 2837 emigrants came from Macao, Amoy, Canton and Hong Kong. Chinese migration after 1911wasdriven by the Chinese revolution. Punti traders described Hakka prisoners as pigs on the bills of lading and shipped them to the Caribbean and South America [4, 5]. Between 1920s and 1940s new immigrantsconsisted of the families and friends of earlier migrants. They came as merchants, peddlers, traders and shopkeepers, not indentured labour . Almost 9,000 more Chinese immigrants came voluntarily from British Guyana to Trinidad over the next century, after having served their indentureship . Chinese people now constitute approximately 1% of the Trinidad and Tobago population as an ethnic group but are also present in the large mixed-raced population of 18 – 25%.
There is one publication that describes the use of medicinal plants by the Chinese community in Trinidad ; it contained no plants in common with those in this research . Nevertheless in the discussion section of this paper, comparisons will be made of the uses of the plants in Trinidad and Tobago and those current in Asia and South-east Asia. The ethnomedicinal literature available from Asia will be used in the non-experimental validation.
Fifty-eight plants used in ethnomedicine in Trinidad and Tobago for skin problems, stomach problems, pain and internal parasites are described in this paper and a non-experimental validation of them is presented. The recent publication of high-quality studies and clinical trials on the ethnomedicinal plants in this paper has enhanced the non-experimental validation of the plants presented in the discussion section.
This study adhered to the research guidelines and ethical protocols of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Thirty respondents, ten of whom were male were interviewed from September 1996 to September 2000. The respondents were obtained by snowball sampling, and were found in thirteen different sites, 12 in Trinidad and one in Tobago. Snowball sampling was used because there was no other means of identifying respondents. The chief objective of the sampling method was to identify knowledgeable respondents.
Twenty respondents were interviewed once, the other ten (who were healers) were interviewed three or four times. Healers were also asked to reconstruct the circumstances and contexts of the plant uses so that the means of administration of the plants could be identified. No interview schedule of questions was used but a more qualitative, conversational technique. Plants were collected when available to verify that the common names used by each respondent were the same in each ethnic group as those recorded in the literature. The majority of the plants were identified at the Herbarium of the University of the West Indies but voucher samples were not deposited. This ethnomedicinal study was part of a larger research project on ethnoveterinary medicine; other data collecting techniques were used in the larger study .
The plant-based remedies were evaluated for safety and efficacy with a non-experimental method. Published sources such as journal articles and books and databases on pharmacology and ethnomedicine available on the Internet were searched to identify the plants' chemical compounds and clinically tested physiological effects. This data was incorporated with data on the reported folk uses, and their preparation and administration in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. For each species or genus the ethnomedicinal uses in other countries are given if available; then follows a summary of chemical constituents, in addition to active compounds if relevant (Tables 3 and 4). This type of ethnopharmacological review and evaluation has been previously published . The plant uses in China are then given (Table 5) and a comparison of the uses in Trinidad and China is made in the discussion.
Plants used for skin problems
Twelve plants are used for skin problems including one for the rash caused by measles plus one for shingles. The majority of the plants were being used for children including babies. The thirteen plants belong to nine plant families. Eight plants are used to bathe babies. Acnistus arborescens Croton gossypifolius and Manihot esculenta are used to bathe babies for eczema. Bidens alba/Bidens pilosa and Origanum vulgare are used to bathe babies and older children. Eclipta prostrata is combined with a non-plant material and used to bathe children for malnutrition. Solanum americanum is also used to bathe children for malnutrition.Azadirachta indica and Chamaesyce hirta/hypericifolia are used for measles. Sida carpinifolia (syn. Sida acuta) and Spondias mombiin are used for eczema. Achyranthes indica, Cassia alata and Chamaesyce hirta/hypericifolia are used for skin rashes and other skin problems.
Plants used for stomach problems, pain, internal parasites
The medicinal plants used for stomach problems, injuries, endoparasites, arthritis and bites are combined in Table 2. This grouping partially reflects the analgesic activity of many of the plants used. Eighteen plants are used for stomach problems including diarrhoea. Another fifteen plants are used for various kinds of pain including cuts, bites, sprains and arthritis. Four plants are used as anthelmintics. Other plants in the table are used for dropsy. Twenty-seven plant families are represented in Table 2.
The following plants are used as carminatives: Cecropia peltata,Aframomum melegueta,Ferula asafoetida and Tournefortia hirsutissima.
The following plants are used for stomach problems: Ambrosia cumanenesis, Aristolochia rugosa/trilobata, Capraria biflora, Dorstenia contrajerva, Cajanus cajan, Momordica charantia,Punica granatum, Brownea latifolia and Cocos nucifera.
Diarrhoea is treated with the following plants: Chamaesyce hirta, Eleusine indica, Peperomia rotundifolia, Phyllanthus urinaria and Scoparia dulcis.
The plants used as anthelmintics are Citharexylum spinosum, Cucurbita maxima, Portulaca oleraceae,Tagetes patula and Eupatorium triplinerve.
Plants used specifically for pain are: Brownea latifolia,Abelmoschus moschatus, Eupatorium macrophyllum, Morinda citrifolia and Cola nitida.
Arthritis is treated with the following plants: Nicotiana tabacum, Petiveria alliacea, Rosmarinus officinalis and Neurolaena lobata.
Plants used for cuts, injuries and swellings are: Solanum melongena, Jatropha curcas/gossypifolia, Bidens alba/Bidens pilosa, Cucurbita pepo, Tournefortia hirsutissima, Bambusa vulgaris, Bixa orellana and Cocos nucifera.
Scorpion and snake bites are treated with Tamarindus indica, Nopalea cochinellifera, Centropogon cornutus and Rosmarinus officinalis.
Non-experimental validation of plants used for skin problems in Trinidad and Tobago
For each species or genus the ethnomedicinal uses in other countries, particularly Asian countries, are given if available; then follows a summary of chemical constituents, in addition to active compounds if relevant to the condition being treated (Tables 3 and 4).
Comparative evaluation of plants used for skin problems, stomach problems, pain and internal parasites
Table 5 contains a preliminary listing of the ethnomedicinal plants discussed in this paper that are used similarly in Chinese ethnomedicine. If the specific plant was not found in the literature search the closely related species that are used similarly in Chinese traditional medicine are listed.
The commonalities between Chinese traditional medicine and Trinidad and Tobago "bush medicine" are provided below.
Abelmoschus moschatus is used to treat depression and anxiety in traditional Chinese medicine . In Trinidad and Tobago it is used for pain.
Achyranthes bidentata ("Niu Xi" in Chinese medicine, Radix Achyranthes Bidentatae) is used as a tonic, to nourish the liver and kidneys, and invigorate circulation .Achyranthes indica is used in Trinidad and Tobago for skin rashes and other skin problems.
Aristolochia manshuriensis (AMA, "Guanmuton") is used in China as a diuretic and anti-inflammatory . Aristolochia rugosa/trilobata are used in Trinidad and Tobago for stomach problems. Zhu claims that the Chinese herb "Mu Tong" has been based on Aristolochia manshuriensis only since the 1950s. The classical Chinese herbal literature until the mid 17th century identifies "Mu Tong" as several Akebia species and no toxicity related to "Mu Tong" was recorded in these traditional Chinese herbal texts.
Bidens parviflora ("Xiaohua-Guizhencao") is used as a traditional antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic medicine in China . Plants used for cuts, injuries and swellings in Trinidad and Tobago include Bidens alba/Bidens pilosa.
During the ethnomedicinal research one of the respondents claimed that the use of Cajanus cajan for internal parasites was a recent addition to Trinidad folk medicine. This ethnomedicinal practice in Trinidad is the same as that reported for the folk medicine of China (to kill parasites)  but no definitive statements about its origins can be made at this time. Momordica charantia seeds or "Ku guazi" are used for infections and immune disorders ; in Trinidad and Tobago the plant is used for stomach problems.
"BaJiTian" (Morinda officinalis) has been prescribed in China for about two thousand years, for tonifying the kidney, strengthening "Yang-qi" and relieving rheumatism . Plants used for pain in Trinidad and Tobago include Morinda citrifolia.
Phyllanthus urinaria is extensively grown in China. It is used to treat jaundice, hepatitis B, neprolithiasis, and painful disorders . Diarrhoea is treated with Phyllanthus urinaria in Trinidad and Tobago.
Portulaca oleracea ("Ma-Chi-Xian") is grown widely in China, and is used traditionally for alleviating pain and swelling . It is used as an anthelmintic in Trinidad and Tobago.Tamarindus indica fruit is used as a blood tonic and the seed coat of Tamarindus indica is used to treat burns and aid in wound healing in China. In Trinidad and Tobago, scorpion and snake bites are treated with Tamarindus indica.
Discussion and conclusion
Vincent Yáñes, the captain of the caravel Niña reportedly dug up Morinda citrifolia in Hispaniola on December 30, 1492 ; yet this plant was not considered special in Trinidad until the forces of globalisation made "Noni" ubiquitous as an "Australasian cure-all" and it was then sold on the streets of Trinidad by herbalists and other traders . This story illustrates that since Caribbean folk medicine is a product of globalisation and colonisation, research into its origins and plant uses is complex. Attributing specific uses to Chinese folk medicine would necessitate access to the earliest Chinese herbals.
The ship that brought 467 Chinese men, women, and children (from an original 549) in 1862 was the first ship to bring Chinese women to Trinidad. In the last 5 voyages (1862–1866), of 367 females embarked, 309 landed. The immigrant gender imbalance may have affected the dissemination of Chinese folk medicine into the Caribbean culture. Two wars taking place in eastern China in 1862 facilitated the immigration or abduction of Hakka peoples to the Americas and presumably the Punti peoples came in the later stages of immigration [108, 109]. If any of these original immigrants had expertise in Chinese plants, besides knowledge of opium, they did not widely advertise this under the British colonial administration.
It may be the case that the Chinese contribution to Caribbean folk medicine has formed part of its earliest foundation and its provenance is not remembered. Research on the Chinese contribution to Trinidad is complicated by the fact that many of the Hakka research population have lived up to their migratory reputation – moving on to North America. Language is also a barrier.
Cuba and other Caribbean countries have not adopted the model of China's barefoot doctors. Cuba's medical diplomacy and investment in biotechnology generates symbolic capital: intangible qualities (like honour, prestige, and reputation) which appear opposed to strictly economic interests, are in fact convertible back into material capital . The Cuban policy is to demonstrate that its socialist state can provide a modern health care system and need not settle for small-scale technologies like traditional medicine . In contrast it has been estimated that 80% of medications used in Chinese rural areas are derived from Chinese materia medica and related products. These products are economical and therefore provide important cost savings [2, 111, 112].
Similarly to the process taking place in the Caribbean, younger people in Taiwan have been moving away from Chinese medicines because work pressures force them to seek faster cures from allopathic doctors . However tonic herbs such as "Danggui" (Radix Angelica sinensis), "Huangqi" (Radix Astragali/Astragalus membranaceus), "Gou Qi Zi" (Fructus barbarum) and "Renshen" (Radix Panax ginseng /Panax notoginseng), are used by Taiwanese families in slow-cooking winter meals. These herbs are also popular for postnatal care, for the eldely and for postsurgical therapy .
Non-experimental validation is a new approach that is designed to introduce cost effectiveness into medicinal plant research. The findings of the non-experimental validation suggest that the majority of the therapeutic applications of the plants used in Caribbean folk medicine listed in this paper are justified, and more studies are warranted to explore their efficacy. All of the plants used in Trinidad and Tobago for skin problems merit clinical trials. The plants used for stomach problems, pain and internal parasites that should take priority in clinical trials are Bambusa vulgaris, Bidens alba, Jatropha curcas, Neurolaena lobata, Peperomia rotundifolia and Phyllanthus urinaria.
Lans C: Creole remedies of Trinidad and Tobago, book self-published on Lulu.com. 2006
Lans C, Harper T, Georges K, Bridgewater E: Medicinal and ethnoveterinary remedies of hunters in Trinidad. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2001, 1: 10-10.1186/1472-6882-1-10.
Chan K: Chinese medicinal materials and their interface with Western medical concepts. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005, 96: 1-18. 10.1016/j.jep.2004.09.019.
Anon: The Chinese in Trinidad and Tobago. 2006, [http://library2.nalis.gov.tt/Default.aspx?tabid=249]
Gerard Besson: The 'Land of Beginnings'. A historical digest. Newsday Newspaper Sunday August 27. 2000
Yun L, Laremont R: Chinese Coolies and African Slaves in Cuba, 1847–74. Journal of Asian American Studies. 2001, 4: 99-122.
Harris R: Local Herbs Used in the Chinese Way (Tonics). Book 1. The Traditional Chinese Medical Centre, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I. 1991
Deng HB, Cui DP, Jiang JM, Feng YC, Cai NS, Li DD: Inhibiting effects of Achyranthes bidentata polysaccharide and Lycium barbarum polysaccharide on nonenzyme glycation in D-galactose induced mouse aging model. Biomed Environ Sci. 2003, 16 (3): 267-75.
Zeng Y, Zhong JM, Ye SQ, Ni ZY, Miao XQ, Mo YK, Li ZL: Screening of Epstein-Barr virus early antigen expression inducers from Chinese medicinal herbs and plants. Biomed Environ Sci. 1994, 7: 50-5.
Chakraborty A, Brantner A, Mukainaka T, Nobukuni Y, Kuchide M, Konoshima T, Tokuda H, Nishino H: Cancer chemopreventive activity of Achyranthes aspera leaves on Epstein-Barr virus activation and two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis. Cancer Lett. 2002, 177 (1): 1-5. 10.1016/S0304-3835(01)00766-2.
Baboolal S, Rawlins SC: Seroprevalence of toxocariasis in schoolchildren in Trinidad. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2002, 96 (2): 139-43. 10.1016/S0035-9203(02)90281-6.
Charles V, Charles SX: The use and efficacy of Azadirachta indica ADR ('Neem') and Curcuma longa ('Turmeric') in scabies. A pilot study. Tropical and Geographical Medicine. 1992, 44: 178-181.
Dasgupta T, Banerjee S, Yadava PK, Rao AR: Chemopreventive potential of Azadirachta indica (Neem) leaf extract in murine carcinogenesis model systems. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004, 92: 23-36. 10.1016/j.jep.2003.12.004.
Aftab Saeed: Medicinal, culinary and aromatic plants in Pakistan. Medicinal, Culinary and Aromatic plants in the Near East. Proceedings of the International Expert Meeting organized by the Forest Products Division FAO Forestry Department and the FAO Regional Office for the Near East. Cairo, Egypt, 19 – 21 May 1997, [http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5402e/x5402e15.htm]
Chiang YM, Lo CP, Chen YP, Wang SY, Yang NS, Kuo YH, Shyur LF: Ethyl caffeate suppresses NF-kappaB activation and its downstream inflammatory mediators, iNOS, COX-2, and PGE2 in vitro or in mouse skin. Br J Pharmacol. 2005, 146: 352-63. 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706343.
Alvarez A, Pomar F, Sevilla , Montero MJ: Gastric antisecretory and antiulcer activities of an ethanolic extract of Bidens pilosa L. var. radiata Schult. Bip. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999, 67: 333-40. 10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00092-6.
Geissberger P, Sequin U: Constituents of Bidens pilosa L.: do the components found so far explain the use of this plant in traditional medicine?. Acta Trop. 1991, 48: 251-61. 10.1016/0001-706X(91)90013-A.
Crockett CO, Guede-Guina F, Pugh D, Vangah-Manda M, Robinson TJ, Olubadewo JO, Ochillo RF: Cassia alata and the preclinical search for therapeutic agents for the treatment of opportunistic infections in AIDS patients. Cell Mol Biol. 1992, 38: 505-11. Erratum in: Cell Mol Biol 1992; 38: 615.
Damodaran S, Venkataraman S: A study on the therapeutic efficacy of Cassia alata, Linn. leaf extract against Pityriasis versicolor. J Ethnopharmacol. 1994, 42: 19-23. 10.1016/0378-8741(94)90018-3.
Yen GC, Chen HW, Duh PD: Extraction and identification of antioxidative component from Jue Ming Zi (Cassia tora L.). J Agric Food Chem. 1998, 46: 820-824. 10.1021/jf970690z.
Cuellar MJ, Giner RM, Recio MC, Manez S, Rios JL: Topical anti-inflammatory activity of some Asian medicinal plants used in dermatological disorders. Fitoterapia. 2001, 72: 221-9. 10.1016/S0367-326X(00)00305-1. cassia antiinfla
Mukhopadhyay SK, Buddhadeb D, Duary B, Dasgupta MK, (Ed), Ghosh DC, (Ed), Gupta DD, (Ed), Majumdar DK, (Ed), Chattopadhyay GN, (Ed), Ganguli PK, (Ed), Munsi PS, (Ed), Bhattacharya D: . Ethnobotany of some common crop field weeds in a sub-humid agricultural tract of West Bengal. Proceedings of the national symposium on sustainable agriculture in sub-humid zone, Sriniketan, West Bengal, India, 272-277. 3 – 5 March 1995
Tayanin GL, Bratthall D: Black teeth: beauty or caries prevention? Practice and beliefs of the Kammu people. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2006, 34: 81-6. 10.1111/j.1600-0528.2006.00264.x. croton
Frum Y, Viljoen AM: In vitro 5-lipoxygenase and anti-oxidant activities of South African medicinal plants commonly used topically for skin diseases. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2006, 19: 329-335. 10.1159/000095253.
Thongtan J, Kittakoop P, Ruangrungsi N, Saenboonrueng J, Thebtaranonth Y: New antimycobacterial and antimalarial 8,9-secokaurane diterpenes from Croton kongensis. J Nat Prod. 2003, 66: 868-70.
Jones K: Review of sangre de drago (Croton lechleri) – a South American tree sap in the treatment of diarrhea, inflammation, insect bites, viral infections, and wounds: traditional uses to clinical research. J Altern Complement Med. 2003, 9: 877-96. 10.1089/107555303771952235.
Sawangjaroen N, Subhadhirasakul S, Phongpaichit S, Siripanth C, Jamjaroen K, Sawangjaroen K: The in vitro anti-giardial activity of extracts from plants that are used for self-medication by AIDS patients in southern Thailand. Parasitol Res. 2005, 95: 17-21. 10.1007/s00436-004-1264-8.
Liao F, Huang Q, Yang Z, Xu H, Gao Q: Experimental study on the antibacterial effect of origanum volatile oil on dysentery bacilli in vivo and in vitro. J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2004, 24: 400-3.
Santoyo S, Cavero S, Jaime L, Ibanez E, Senorans FJ, Reglero G: Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of compounds with antimicrobial activity from Origanum vulgare L.: determination of optimal extraction parameters. J Food Prot. 2006, 69: 369-75.
Khan-Mohammed Z, Adesiyun AA, Swanston WH, Chadee DD: Frequency and characteristics of selected enteropathogens in fecal and rectal specimens from childhood diarrhea in Trinidad, 1998–2000. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2005, 17: 170-7.
Malairajan P, Geetha Gopalakrishnan, Narasimhan S, Jessi Kala Veni K: Analgesic activity of some Indian medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006, 106: 425-8. 10.1016/j.jep.2006.03.015. sida acuta
Al Chami L, Mendez R, Chataing B, O'Callaghan J, Usubillaga A, LaCruz L: Toxicological effects of alpha-solamargine in experimental animals. Phytother Res. 2003, 17: 254-8. 10.1002/ptr.1122.
Nagase H, Sasaki K, Kito H, Haga A, Sato T: Inhibitory effect of delphinidin from Solanum melongena on human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 invasiveness in vitro. Planta Medica. 1998, 64: 216-9.
Konning GH, Agyare C, Ennison B: Antimicrobial activity of some medicinal plants from Ghana. Fitoterapia. 2004, 75: 65-7. 10.1016/j.fitote.2003.07.001. aframomum
Adegoke GO, Skura BJ: Nutritional profile and antimicrobial spectrum of the spice Aframomum danielli K. Schum. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1994, 45: 175-82. 10.1007/BF01088475.
Suite M: Cutaneous infections in Trinidad. Int J Dermatol. 1990, 29: 31-4.
Lastra AL, Ramirez TO, Salazar L, Martinez M, Trujillo-Ferrara J: The ambrosanolide cumanin inhibits macrophage nitric oxide synthesis: some structural considerations. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004, 95: 221-7. 10.1016/j.jep.2004.07.020.
Zhu YP: Toxicity of the Chinese herb mu tong (Aristolochia manshuriensis). What history tells us. Adverse Drug React Toxicol Rev. 2002, 21: 171-7.
Camporese A, Balick MJ, Arvigo R, Esposito RG, Morsellino N, De Simone F, Tubaro A: Screening of anti-bacterial activity of medicinal plants from Belize (Central America). J Ethnopharmacol. 2003, 87: 103-7. 10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00115-6.
Muniappan M, Sundararaj T: Antiinflammatory and antiulcer activities of Bambusa arundinacea. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003, 88: 161-7. 10.1016/S0378-8741(03)00183-1.
Chih HW, Lin CC, Tang KS: Anti-inflammatory activity of Taiwan folk medicine "ham-hong-chho" in rats. American Journal of Chinese Medicine. 1995, 23: 273-8. 10.1142/S0192415X95000328. bidens
Xie ZW: Textural research on "Shidachuan" and "Shijianchuan" in "Ben Cao Gang Mu Shi Yi" (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica). Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2000, 25: 49-51. bidens
Rojas JJ, Ochoa VJ, Ocampo SA, Munoz JF: Screening for antimicrobial activity of ten medicinal plants used in Colombian folkloric medicine: a possible alternative in the treatment of non-nosocomial infections. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006, 6: 2-10.1186/1472-6882-6-2. bidens, bixa
Duker-Eshun G, Jaroszewski JW, Asomaning WA, Oppong-Boachie F, Brogger Christensen S: Antiplasmodial constituents of Cajanus cajan. Phytother Res. 2004, 18: 128-30. 10.1002/ptr.1375.
Datta S, Sinha S, Bhattacharyya P: Effect of a herbal protein, CI-1, isolated from Cajanus indicus on immune response of control and stressed mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 1999, 67: 259-267. 10.1016/S0378-8741(99)00046-X.
Ghosh A, Sarkar K, Sil PC: Protective effect of a 43 kD protein from the leaves of the herb, Cajanus indicus L on chloroform induced hepatic-disorder. J Biochem Mol Biol. 2006, 39: 197-207.
Acosta SL, Muro LV, Sacerio AL, Pena AR, Okwei SN: Analgesic properties of Capraria biflora leaves aqueous extract. Fitoterapia. 2003, 74: 686-8. 10.1016/S0367-326X(03)00162-X.
Consolini AE, Ragone MI, Migliori GN, Conforti P, Volonte MG: Cardiotonic and sedative effects of Cecropia pachystachya Mart. (ambay) on isolated rat hearts and conscious mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006, 106: 90-6. 10.1016/j.jep.2005.12.006.
Rocha FF, Lapa AJ, De Lima TC: Evaluation of the anxiolytic-like effects of Cecropia glazioui Sneth in mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2002, 71: 183-90. 10.1016/S0091-3057(01)00695-5.
Philipov S, Istatkova R, Ivanovska N, Denkova P, Tosheva K, Navas H, Villegas J: Phytochemical study and antiinflammatory properties of Lobelia laxiflora L. Z Naturforsch [C]. 1998, 53: 311-7.
Vijaya K, Ananthan S, Nalini R: Antibacterial effect of theaflavin, polyphenon 60 (Camellia sinensis) and Euphorbia hirta on Shigella spp. – a cell culture study. J Ethnopharmacol. 1995, 49: 115-8.
Tona L, Kambu K, Ngimbi N, Mesia K, Penge O, Lusakibanza M, Cimanga K, De Bruyne T, Apers S, Totte J, Pieters L, Vlietinck AJ: Antiamoebic and spasmolytic activities of extracts from some antidiarrhoeal traditional preparations used in Kinshasa, Congo. Phytomedicine. 2000, 7: 31-8.
Wang YC, Huang TL: Screening of anti-Helicobacter pylori herbs deriving from Taiwanese folk medicinal plants. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2005, 43: 295-300. 10.1016/j.femsim.2004.09.008. euphorbia
Ayers S, Sneden AT, Caudatosides A-F: New iridoid glucosides from Citharexylum caudatum. J Nat Prod. 2002, 65: 1621-6. 10.1021/np020211c.
Balazs B, Toth G, Duddeck H, Soliman HS: Iridoid and lignan glycosides from Citharexylum spinosum L. Nat Prod Res. 2006, 20: 201-5. 10.1080/14786410500056694.
Bahgat M, Shalaby NM, Ruppel A, Maghraby AS: Humoral and cellular immune responses induced in mice by purified iridoid mixture that inhibits penetration of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae upon topical treatment of mice tails. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2005, 35: 597-613.
Pillai MG, Thampi BS, Menon VP, Leelamma S: Influence of dietary fiber from coconut kernel (Cocos nucifera) on the 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced lipid peroxidation in rats. J Nutr Biochem. 1999, 10: 555-60. 10.1016/S0955-2863(99)00035-2.
Alanis AD, Calzada F, Cervantes JA, Torres J, Ceballos GM: Antibacterial properties of some plants used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005, 100: 153-7. 10.1016/j.jep.2005.02.022.
Adeniyi BA, Groves MJ, Gangadharam PR: In vitro anti-mycobacterial activities of three species of Cola plant extracts (Sterculiaceae). Phytother Res. 2004, 18: 414-8. 10.1002/ptr.1468.
Diaz Obregon D, Lloja Lozano L, Carbajal Zuniga V: Preclinical studies of Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin seeds) a traditional intestinal antiparasitic in rural urban areas. Rev Gastroenterol Peru. 2004, 24: 323-7. [Article in Spanish]
Tovar-Miranda R, Cortés-García R, Santos-Sánchez NF, Joseph-Nathan P: Isolation, total synthesis, and relative stereochemistry of a dihydrofurocoumarin from Dorstenia contrajerva. J Nat Prod. 1998, 61: 1216-20. 10.1021/np9801209.
Ngameni B, Touaibia M, Patnam R, Belkaid A, Sonna P, Ngadjui BT, Annabi B, Roy R: Inhibition of MMP-2 secretion from brain tumor cells suggests chemopreventive properties of a furanocoumarin glycoside and of chalcones isolated from the twigs of Dorstenia turbinata. Phytochemistry. 2006, 67: 2573-9. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.09.017.
Calzada F, Yepez-Mulia L, Aguilar A: In vitro susceptibility of Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lambliato plants used in Mexican traditional medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006, Jun 2; dorstenia,
Ali Abdul M, Mackeen MM, El-Sharkawy S, Hamid J, Ismail N, Ahmad F, Lajis N: Antiviral and cytotoxic activities of some plants used in Malaysian indigenous medicine. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science. 1996, 19: 129-136.
Mandal SK, Boominathan R, Parimaladevi B, Dewanjee S, Mandal SC: Analgesic activity of methanol extract of Eupatorium adenophorum Spreng. leaves. Indian J Exp Biol. 2005, 43: 662-3.
Gupta M, Mazumder UK, Chaudhuri I, Chaudhuri RK, Bose P, Bhattacharya S, Manikandan L, Patra S: Antimicrobial activity of Eupatorium ayapana. Fitoterapia. 2002, 73: 168-70. 10.1016/S0367-326X(02)00007-2.
Blair S, Mesa J, Correa A, Carmona-Fonseca J, Granados H, Saez JL: Antimalarial activity of neurolenin B and derivates of Eupatorium inulaefolium (Asteraceae). Pharmazie. 2002, 57: 413-5.
Fatehi M, Farifteh F, Fatehi-Hassanabad Z: Antispasmodic and hypotensive effects of Ferula asafoetida gum extract. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004, 91: 321-4. 10.1016/j.jep.2004.01.002.
Ravindranath N, Reddy MR, Mahender G, Ramu R, Kumar KR, Das B: Deoxypreussomerins from Jatropha curcas : are they also plant metabolites?. Phytochemistry. 2004, 65: 2387-90. 10.1016/j.phytochem.2004.06.032.
Shetty S, Udupa SL, Udupa AL, Vollala VR: Wound healing activities of bark extract of Jatropha curcas Linn in albino rats. Saudi Med J. 2006, 27: 1473-6.
Manabe M, Takenaka R, Nakasa T, Okinaka O: Induction of anti-inflammatory responses by dietary Momordica charantia L. (bitter gourd). Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003, 67: 2512-7. 10.1271/bbb.67.2512.
Grover JK, Yadav SP: Pharmacological actions and potential uses of Momordica charantia: a review. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004, 93: 123-32. 10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.035.
Wang MY, West BJ, Jensen CJ, Nowicki D, Su C, Palu AK, Anderson G: Morinda citrifolia (Noni): a literature review and recent advances in Noni research. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002, 23: 1127-41.
Younos C, Rolland A, Fleurentin J, Lanhers MC, Misslin R, Mortier F: Analgesic and behavioural effects of Morinda citrifolia. Planta Med. 1990, 56: 430-4. 10.1055/s-2006-961004.
Li RW, Myers SP, Leach DN, Lin GD, Leach G: A cross-cultural study: anti-inflammatory activity of Australian and Chinese plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003, 85: 25-32. 10.1016/S0378-8741(02)00336-7.
Fujimaki Y, Kamachi T, Yanagi T, Caceres A, Maki J, Aoki Y: Macrofilaricidal and microfilaricidal effects of Neurolaena lobata, a Guatemalan medicinal plant, on Brugia pahangi. J Helminthol. 2005, 79: 23-8. 10.1079/JOH2004262.
Carstens E, Anderson KA, Simons CT, Carstens MI, Jinks SL: Analgesia induced by chronic nicotine infusion in rats: differences by gender and pain test. Psychopharmacologia. 2001, 157: 40-45. 10.1007/s002130100770.
Khan MR, Omoloso AD: Antibacterial activity of Hygrophila stricta and Peperomia pellucida. Fitoterapia. 2002, 73: 251-4. 10.1016/S0367-326X(02)00066-7.
Kim S, Kubec R, Musah RA: Antibacterial and antifungal activity of sulfur-containing compounds from Petiveria alliacea L. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006, 104: 188-92. 10.1016/j.jep.2005.08.072.
Lopes-Martins RA, Pegoraro DH, Woisky R, Penna SC, Sertie JA: The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of a crude extract of Petiveria alliacea L. (Phytolaccaceae). Phytomedicine. 2002, 9: 245-8. 10.1078/0944-7113-00118.
Kubec R, Kim S, Musah RA: S-Substituted cysteine derivatives and thiosulfinate formation in Petiveria alliacea – part II. Phytochemistry. 2002, 61: 675-80. 10.1016/S0031-9422(02)00328-X.
Malek F, Boskabady MH, Borushaki MT, Tohidi M: Bronchodilatory effect of Portulaca oleracea in airways of asthmatic patients. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004, 93: 57-62. 10.1016/j.jep.2004.03.015.
Braga LC, Shupp JW, Cummings C, Jett M, Takahashi JA, Carmo LS, Chartone-Souza E, Nascimento AM: Pomegranate extract inhibits Staphylococcus aureus growth and subsequent enterotoxin production. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005, 96: 335-9. 10.1016/j.jep.2004.08.034.
Hosseinzadeh H, Nourbakhsh M: Effect of Rosmarinus officinalis L. aerial parts extract on morphine withdrawal syndrome in mice. Phytother Res. 2003, 17: 938-41. 10.1002/ptr.1311.
Lukaczer D, Darland G, Tripp M, Liska D, Lerman RH, Schiltz B, Bland JS: A pilot trial evaluating Meta050, a proprietary combination of reduced iso-alpha acids, rosemary extract and oleanolic acid in patients with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Phytother Res. 2005, 19: 864-9. 10.1002/ptr.1709.
Pramod SN, Venkatesh YP: Allergy to eggplant (Solanum melongena). J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004, 113: 171-3. 10.1016/j.jaci.2003.10.037.
Latha M, Ramkumar KM, Pari L, Damodaran PN, Rajeshkannan V, Suresh T: Phytochemical and antimicrobial study of an antidiabetic plant: Scoparia dulcis L. J Med Food. 2006, 9: 391-4. 10.1089/jmf.2006.9.391.
Sarin R: Insecticidal activity of callus culture of Tagetes erecta. Fitoterapia. 2004, 75: 62-4. 10.1016/j.fitote.2003.07.011.
Dharmagadda VS, Naik SN, Mittal PK, Vasudevan P: Larvicidal activity of Tagetes patula essential oil against three mosquito species. Bioresour Technol. 2005, 96: 1235-40. 10.1016/j.biortech.2004.10.020.
Ushanandini S, Nagaraju S, Harish Kumar K, Vedavathi M, Machiah DK, Kemparaju K, Vishwanath BS, Gowda TV, Girish KS: The anti-snake venom properties of Tamarindus indica (leguminosae) seed extract. Phytother Res. 2006, 20: 851-8. 10.1002/ptr.1951.
Komutarin T, Azadi S, Butterworth L, Keil D, Chitsomboon B, Suttajit M, Meade BJ: Extract of the seed coat of Tamarindus indica inhibits nitric oxide production by murine macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Food Chem Toxico. 2004, 42: 649-58. 10.1016/j.fct.2003.12.001.
Lin YL, Tsai YL, Kuo YH, Liu YH, Shiao MS: Phenolic compounds from Tournefortia sarmentosa. J Nat Prod. 1999, 62: 1500-3. 10.1021/np9901332.
Roque-Abelo L: Chemical defense and aposematism: the case of Utetheisa galapagensis. Chemoecology. 2002, 12: 153-157. 10.1007/s00012-002-8341-6.
Liu IM, Liou SS, Cheng JT: Mediation of beta-endorphin by myricetin to lower plasma glucose in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006, 104: 199-206. 10.1016/j.jep.2005.09.001. abelmoschus
Sun HX: Adjuvant effect of Achyranthes bidentata saponins on specific antibody and cellular response to ovalbumin in mice. Vaccine. 2006, 24: 3432-9. 10.1016/j.vaccine.2006.02.014.
Hu SL, Zhang HQ, Chan K, Mei QX: Studies on the toxicity of Aristolochia manshuriensis (Guanmuton). Toxicology. 2004, 198: 195-201. 10.1016/j.tox.2004.01.026.
Wang N, Yao X, Ishii R, Kitanaka S: Bioactive sucrose esters from Bidens parviflora. Phytochemistry. 2003, 62: 741-6. 10.1016/S0031-9422(02)00454-5.
Zu Yg, Fu Yj, Liu W, Hou Cl: Simultaneous determination of four flavonoids in Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] leaves using RP-LC-DAD. Chromatographia. 2006, 63: 499-10.1365/s10337-006-0784-z.
Jiang TF, Lv ZH, Wang YH: Separation and determination of anthraquinones in Cassia obtusifolia (Leguminosae) by micellar electrokinetic capillary electrophoresis. J Sep Sci. 2005, 28: 2225-9. 10.1002/jssc.200500144.
Wei Chen, Xiao-Dong Yang, Jing-Feng Zhao, Jing-Hua Yang, Hong-Bin Zhang, Zi-Yan Li, Liang Li: Three New, 1-Oxygenated ent-8,9-Secokaurane Diterpenes from Croton kongensis. Helvetica Chimica Acta. 89: 537-541.
Du A, Hu S: Effects of a herbal complex against Eimeria tenella infection in chickens. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health. 2004, 51: 194-7. eclipta
Yang SP, Cheng JG, Huo J, Jiang HL, Chen KX, Yue JM: Seven New Sesquiterpene Lactones from Eupatorium chinense. Chinese Journal of Chemistry. 2005, 23: 1530-1536. 10.1002/cjoc.200591530.
Fong WP, Poon YT, Wong TM, Mock JW, Ng TB, Wong RN, Yao QZ, Yeung HW: A highly efficient procedure for purifying the ribosome-inactivating proteins alpha- and beta-momorcharins from Momordica charantia seeds, N-terminal sequence comparison and establishment of their N-glycosidase activity. Life Sci. 1996, 59: 901-9. 10.1016/0024-3205(96)00388-8.
Li YF, Gong ZH, Yang M, Zhao YM, Luo ZP: Inhibition of the oligosaccharides extracted from Morinda officinalis, a Chinese traditional herbal medicine, on the corticosterone induced apoptosis in PC12 cells. Life Sci. 2003, 72: 933-42. 10.1016/S0024-3205(02)02331-7.
Wanxing Wei, Yuanjiang Pan, Yaozu Chen, Cuiwu Lin, Tengyou Wei, Shukai Zhao: Carboxylic Acids from Phyllanthus urinaria. Chemistry of Natural Compounds. 2005, 41: 17-21. 10.1007/s10600-005-0064-4.
Li Y, Ooi LS, Wang H, But PP, Ooi VE: Antiviral activities of medicinal herbs traditionally used in southern mainland China. Phytother Res. 2004, 18: 718-22. 10.1002/ptr.1518. portulaca
Cao JH, Qi YP: Studies on the chemical constituents of the herb huanghuaren (Sida acuta Burm. f.). Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1993, 18: 681-2. [Article in Chinese]
Helen Atteck, Philip Atteck: Stress of Weather. A Collection of Original Source Documents Relating to a voyage from China to Trinidad, West Indies in 1862 in conjunction with a family chronicle. 2000, Wanata Enterprises, Ontario, Canada
Millett Trevor M: The Chinese in Trinidad. 1993, Port of Spain, Trinidad: Inprint Caribbean
Brodwin P: The cultural politics of biomedicine in the Caribbean. Review article. New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids. 1998, 72: 101-109.
Gauri V, Cercone J, Briceno R: Separating financing from provision: evidence from 10 years of partnership with health cooperatives in Costa Rica. Health Policy Plan. 2004, 19: 292-301. 10.1093/heapol/czh034.
Fischer K: On Building Alliances: Credit Union Service Organizations. The Anthill. 2005, 5 (1): [http://bcics.uvic.ca/anthill/v5/i1/cuso.htm]
This data collection was part of a larger study for a Ph.D. at Wageningen UR, the Netherlands. The fellowship support provided is appreciated. The Herbarium staff of the University of the West Indies provided essential plant identification. Thanks to all of the respondents. This paper serves as a small recognition of the official Bicentennial of the Arrival of the Chinese in T&T, 1806 – 2006.
The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.
Authors’ original submitted files for images
Below are the links to the authors’ original submitted files for images.
About this article
Cite this article
Lans, C. Comparison of plants used for skin and stomach problems in Trinidad and Tobago with Asian ethnomedicine. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 3, 3 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/1746-4269-3-3
- Folk Medicine
- Skin Problem
- Internal Parasite
- Stomach Problem
- Ethnomedicinal Plant