AIM OF THIS REVIEW: The present study is a critical assessment of the state-of-the-art concerning the traditional uses, the phytochemistry and the pharmacology of species belonging to the genus Hedyosmum to suggest further research strategies and to facilitate the exploitation of the therapeutic potential of Hedyosmum species for the treatment of human disorders.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present review consists of a systematic overview of scientific literature concerning the genus Hedyosmum published between 1965 and 2018. Moreover, an older text, dated from 1843, concerning the traditional uses of H. bonplandianum Kunth has also been considered. Several databases (Francis & Taylor, Google Scholar, PubMed, SciELO, SciFinder, Springer, Wiley, and The Plant List Database) have been used to perform this work.
RESULTS: Sixteen species of the genus Hedyosmum have been mentioned as traditional remedies, and a large number of ethnomedicinal uses, including for the treatment of pain, depression, migraine, stomach-ache and ovary diseases, have been reported. Five species have been used as flavouring agents, tea substitutes or foods. Sesterterpenes, sesquiterpene lactones, monoterpenes, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, flavonoids, and neolignans have been reported as the most important compounds in these species. Studies concerning their biological activities have shown that members of the Hedyosmum genus possesses promising biological properties, such as analgesic, antinociceptive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, sedative, and hypnotic effects. Preliminary studies concerning the antibacterial, antioxidant, antiplasmodial, and antifungal activities of these plants as well as their cytotoxic activities against different tumour cell lines have been reported. Some active compounds from the Hedyosmum genus have been used as starting points for the innovative and bioinspired development of synthetic molecules. A critical assessment of these papers has been performed, and some conceptual and methodological problems have been identified regarding the materials and methods and the experimental design used in these studies, including a lack of ethnopharmacological research.
CONCLUSIONS: The present review partially confirms the basis for some of the traditional uses of Hedyosmum species (mainly H. brasiliense) through preclinical studies that demonstrated their antinociceptive and neuroprotective effects. Due to promising preliminary results, further studies should be conducted on 13-hydroxy-8,9-dehydroshizukanolide and podoandin. Moreover, several essential oils (EOs) from this genus have been preliminarily investigated, and the cytotoxic and antibacterial activities of H. brasiliense and H. sprucei EOs certainly deserve further investigation. From the promising findings of the present analysis, we can affirm that this genus deserves further research from ethnopharmacological and toxicological perspectives.
AIM OF THE STUDY: Since kratom is reported to deform sperm morphology and reduce sperm motility, we aimed to clinically investigate the testosterone levels following long-term kratom tea/juice use in regular kratom users.
METHODS: A total of 19 regular kratom users were recruited for this cross-sectional study. A full-blood test was conducted including determination of testosterone level, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) profile, as well as hematological and biochemical parameters of participants.
RESULTS: We found long-term kratom tea/juice consumption with a daily mitragynine dose of 76.23-94.15 mg did not impair testosterone levels, or gonadotrophins, hematological and biochemical parameters in regular kratom users.
CONCLUSION: Regular kratom tea/juice consumption over prolonged periods (>2 years) was not associated with testosterone impairing effects in humans.
OBJECTIVES: This article compiles the ethnomedicinal uses of CN and its phytochemistry, and thus provides a phytochemical library of CN. It also discusses the known pharmacological and biological effects of CN to enable better investigation of CN.
METHODS: This literature review was limited to articles and websites published in the English language. MEDLINE and Google Scholar databases were searched from December 2014 to September 2016 using the following keywords: "Clinacanthus nutans" and "Belalai gajah". The results were reviewed to identify relevant articles. Information from relevant selected studies was systematically analyzed from contemporary ethnopharmacological sources, evaluated against scientific literature, and extracted into tables.
RESULTS: The literature search yielded 124 articles which were then further scrutinized revealing the promising biological activities of CN, including antimicrobial, antiproliferative, antitumorigenic and anti-inflammatory effects. Few articles discussed the mechanisms for these pharmacological activities. Furthermore, CN was beneficial in small-scale clinical trials for genital Herpes and aphthous stomatitis.
CONCLUSION: Despite the rich ethnomedicinal knowledge behind the traditional uses of CN, the current scientific evidence to support these claims remains scant. More research is still needed to validate these medicinal claims, beginning by increasing the understanding of the biological actions of this plant.