Ch. 9 - Plants and Medicinal Value

Ch. 9 - Plants and Medicinal Value - Chapter 9 Plants and...

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Chapter 9: Plants and Medicinal Value Plants of Medicinal Value   -One in four of all the Rx drugs is likely to contain ingredients derived from plants. -The connection between plants and health has existed for 1000s of years.  -Plants have contributed to about 7000 different medical compounds.  About 120 plant-based drugs world-wide come from just 95 tested species!  Reasons:  -cost of testing is too high -testing consumes a lot of time -not all of the potential medicinal plants are acknowledged in the West to have any real  therapeutic value.  WHO  -World Health Organization (WHO): attempts to incorporate traditional medicine into the  healthcare systems. Active principles in Plants  Secondary plant products  -Made by the plants but have no direct benefit; latex, phenols, resins, (essential oils) -Makes them useful as a beverage or spice. Primary plant products
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-Carbohydrates -Proteins -Fats Alkaloids -Caffeine (stimulant), nicotine (addictive), cocaine (addictive), morphine (pain killer), quinine  (therapeutic), ephedrine, theobromine, theophylline. -Alkaloids always end in “ine” -Alkaloids are basic, contain N 2 , and taste bitter. -Facaceae (legume family), Solanaceae (nightshade family), Rubiaceae (madder family –  coffee) -Tropane alkaloids – similar chemical structure (mostly abundant in Solanaceae). -Some alkaloids are medicinally important, others are hallucinogenic or poisonous. -Often the dosage determines if an alkaloid is medicinal or toxic. Glycosides Cyanaogenic glycosides -Cassava; pits of Rosaceae fruits Steroids -Cardioactive glycosides (stimulate heart) *Digitalis *Milkweeds *Oleander -Saponins
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*Yams (birth control pills – hormones) -A sugar molecule glycol (glycon) is attached to a non-sugar active component (aglycone). -Aglycone – non-sugar component   can be cyanide (pits of Rosaceae); can be steroidal  (like digitalis); can be sulfuric (horseradish – sinigrin) -Glycosides or bitter, inert until activated (crushed and added to water). History of Herbal Medicine -2500 B.C.: Sumerian clay tablets describe the use of opium poppy, thyme, and laurel in  medicine; Chinese herbal book mentions the use of Ephedra -1550 B.C.: The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian written record, mentions the use of mandrake and  garlic for the treatment of pain and heart disorders.  -Rig-Veda, one of Hinduism’s sacred records, talks about the use of snakeroot for sedative  effects still used today.  -Medical manuscripts of the Aztec tribes created in 1592 provide an illustrated record of  traditional medicinal plants.  -460-377 B.C.: The Greek physician, Hippocrates, believed that bodily problems caused  sickness and used herbal remedies in his treatments. Because his work and that of his followers 
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