Loranthus parasiticus Merr (L. parasiticus) is a member of Loranthaceae family and is an important medicinal plant with a long history of Chinese traditional use. L. parasiticus, also known as Sang Ji Sheng (in Chinese), benalu teh (in Malay) and baso-kisei (in Japanese), is a semiparasitic plant, which is mostly distributed in the southern and southwestern regions of China. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the ethnomedicinal use, phytochemistry and pharmacological activity of L. parasiticus and to highlight the needs for further investigation and greater global development of the plant's medicinal properties. To date, pharmacological studies have demonstrated significant biological activities, which support the traditional use of the plant as a neuroprotective, tranquilizing, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antiviral, diuretic and hypotensive agent. In addition, studies have identified antioxidative, antimutagenic, antiviral, antihepatotoxic and antinephrotoxic activity. The key bioactive constituents in L. parasiticus include coriaria lactone comprised of sesquiterpene lactones: coriamyrtin, tutin, corianin, and coriatin. In addition, two proanthocyanidins, namely, AC trimer and (+)-catechin, have been recently discovered as novel to L. parasiticus. L. parasiticus usefulness as a medicinal plant with current widespread traditional use warrants further research, clinical trials and product development to fully exploit its medicinal value.
The in vitro antiproliferative and antioxidant activities of the aqueous, chloroform and methanol extracts of Muntingia calabura leaves were determined in the present study. Assessed using the 3,(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) (MTT) assay, the aqueous and methanol extracts of M. calabura inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7, HeLa, HT-29, HL-60 and K-562 cancer cells while the chloroform extract only inhibited the proliferation of MCF-7, HeLa, HL-60 and K-562 cancer cells. Interestingly, all extracts of M. calabura, which failed to inhibit the MDA-MB-231 cells proliferation, did not inhibit the proliferation of 3T3 (normal) cells, indicating its safety. All extracts (20, 100 and 500 μg/ml) were found to possess antioxidant activity when tested using the DPPH radical scavenging and superoxide scavenging assays with the methanol, followed by the aqueous and chloroform, extract exhibiting the highest antioxidant activity in both assays. The total phenolic content for the aqueous, methanol and chloroform extracts were 2970.4 ± 6.6, 1279.9 ± 6.1 and 2978.1 ± 4.3 mg/100 g gallic acid, respectively. In conclusion, the M. calabura leaves possess potential antiproliferative and antioxidant activities that could be attributed to its high content of phenolic compounds, and thus, needs to be further explored.
In the present study, L. ferrugineus methanol extract (LFME) was evaluated for its blood pressure lowering effect in anesthetized normotensive Sprague Dawley (SD) rats and its spasmogenic effect in isolated guinea pig ileum. The possible mechanism(s) of action were also investigated. LFME was obtained by Soxhlet extraction. The rats were fasted overnight and anesthetized with sodium pentobarbitone (60 mg/kg i.p.). LFME was administered in i.v. boluses in the concentrations of 25, 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg respectively, with concomitant monitoring of mean arterial pressure (MAP). It was found that LFME dose-dependently reduced MAP. An i.v. bolus injection of atropine significantly decreased the blood pressure lowering effect of LFME. Similarly, L-NAME (Nomega-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester) significantly lowered both the MAP and the action duration. Conversely, no significant change in MAP was seen following i.v. injections of neostigmine, hexamethonium, prazosin and propranolol. LFME also produced a dose-dependent contractile effect in guinea pig ileum. This contraction was significantly reduced in atropine pre-incubated tissue segments, yet it was significantly enhanced in the presence of neostigmine. No appreciable change in the ability of LFME to contract guinea pig ileum was seen in the presence of hexamethonium. Accordingly, it can be postulated that LFME possesses a marked hypotensive effect that can be attributed to stimulation of muscarinic receptors and/or stimulation of nitric oxide (NO) release. Moreover, LFME retains a considerable spasmogenic action due to its cholinergic properties. The hypotensive and spasmogenic effects of LFME justify its traditional uses.
Orthosiphon stamineus Benth. (Lamiaceae) is an important plant in traditional folk medicine that is used to treat hypertension and kidney stones. In humans, this plant has been tested as an addition regiment for antihypertensive treatment. Among the treatments for hypertension, O. stamineus had been to have diuretic and vasorelaxant effects in animal models. There is still very little information regarding the vasorelaxant effect of O. stamineus. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the vasorelaxant activity and mechanism of action of the fractions of O. stamineus. The vasorelaxant activity and the underlying mechanisms of the chloroform fraction of the 50% methanolic extract of O. stamineus (CF) was evaluated on thoracic aortic rings isolated from Sprague Dawley rats. CF caused relaxation of the aortic ring pre-contracted with phenylephrine in the presence and absence of endothelium, and pre-contracted with potassium chloride in endothelium-intact aortic ring. In the presence of endothelium, both indomethacin (a nonselective cyclooxygenase inhibitor) and [Formula: see text]-[1,2,4]Oxadiazolo[4,3-[Formula: see text]]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, selective soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor) had a small effect on the vasorelaxation response. On the other hand, in the presence of Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor), methylene blue (cyclic guanosine monophosphate lowering agent), tetraethylammonium ([Formula: see text], nonselective calcium activator [Formula: see text] channel blocker), 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, voltage-dependent [Formula: see text] channel blocker), barium chloride ([Formula: see text], inwardly rectifying [Formula: see text] channel blocker), glibenclamide (nonspecific ATP-sensitive [Formula: see text] channel blocker), atropine (muscarinic receptor blocker) and propranolol (β-adrenergic receptor blocker), the vasorelaxant effect significantly reduced the relaxation stimulated by CF. CF was also found to be active in reducing [Formula: see text] release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum and blocking calcium channels.
Orthosiphon stamineus (OS), Benth. (Lamiaceae) is widely used in Malaysia for treatments of various kidney and liver ailments. In the experiment, DPPH* radicals scavenging, Fe(3+)-induced lipid peroxidation inhibiting activities and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) of methanol/water extract of Orthosiphon stamineus (SEOS) were determined. The results indicated that SEOS exhibited antioxidant, lipid peroxidation inhibition and free radical scavenging activities. The hepatoprotective activity of the SEOS was studied using CCl(4)-induced liver toxicity in rats. The activity was assessed by monitoring liver function tests through the measurement of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST). Furthermore, hepatic tissues were also subjected to histopathological studies. Pretreatment of SEOS (125, 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg p.o.) dose-dependently reduced the necrotic changes in rat liver and inhibited the increase of serum ALT and AST activities. The results of the present study indicated that the hepatoprotective effect of Orthosiphon stamineus might be ascribable to its antioxidant and free radical scavenging property.
Traditional Chinese medicine as it persists in several East and Southeast Asian countries, has undergone major changes. Such changes have reinforced the trading aspects of traditional Chinese medical practice with relatively little advantage for the medical care component. This paper examines the nature of changes in contemporary ethnic Chinese medical practice in Malaysia and Singapore with the aim of understanding their implications for the persistence of this medical tradition.
Heart mitochondria freshly isolated from ginseng treated rats respired higher at ADP-induced, state 3 respiratory rates and with greater respiratory indices. These mitochondria were less susceptible to experimentally-induced functional impairment. Control heart mitochondria incubated with ginseng extract also showed that ginseng prevented mitochondria from incubation induced deterioration with NAD-linked substrates. Comparison of force of contraction of isolated, perfused and electrically paced hearts showed that deterioration of the force of heart contraction was consistently smaller throughout the experiment in hearts from ginseng treated rats. These results indicated that Panax ginseng was able to delay experimentally induced heart mitochondrial impairment and muscle contraction deterioration.
A survey of plants used in Malaysia for treating female diseases was made by consulting books, journals and traditional healers. In this report on the survey, forty-four plants are described. Information on plant parts used, methods of preparation and administration, and other usages of plants are given for each species.
Malaysia has a large variety of traditional medical systems that are a direct reflection of the wide ethnic diversity of its population. These can be grouped into four basic varieties, namely, traditional "native," traditional Chinese, traditional Indian and modern medicine, examples of which are described. In spite of the great inroads made by modern medicine, the traditional systems are firmly established. Patients move from one system to another or use several systems simultaneously. The integration of the traditional Malay birth attendant into the health team is described. The forces influencing the development, acceptance and integration of the medical systems is discussed.