Bellavite, Paolo; Bonafini, Clara; Marzotto, Marta
Gelsemium sempervirens L. (Gelsemium) is traditionally used for its anxiolytic-like properties and its action mechanism in laboratory models are under scrutiny. Evidence from rodent models was reported suggesting the existence of a high sensitivity of central nervous system to anxiolytic power of Gelsemium extracts and Homeopathic dilutions. In vitro investigation of extremely low doses of this plant extract showed a modulation of gene expression of human neurocytes. These studies were criticized in a few commentaries, generated a debate in literature and were followed by further experimental studies from various laboratories. Toxic doses of Gelsemium cause neurological signs characterized by marked weakness and convulsions, while ultra-low doses or high Homeopathic dilutions counteract seizures induced by lithium and pilocarpine, decrease anxiety after stress and increases the anti-stress allopregnanolone hormone, through glycine receptors. Low (non-Homeopathic) doses of this plant or its alkaloids decrease neuropathic pain and c-Fos expression in mice brain and oxidative stress. Due to the complexity of the matter, several aspects deserve interpretation and the main controversial topics, with a focus on the issues of high dilution pharmacology, are discussed and clarified. Copyright © 2017 Transdisciplinary University, Bangalore and World Ayurveda Foundation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
... Food and Drug Administration that gelsemium is not a proper ingredient in any product that is to be... prominent and conspicuous fashion the statement “Rx only.” [40 FR 14033, Mar. 27, 1975, as amended at 67 FR...
Jin, Gui-Lin; Su, Yan-Ping; Liu, Ming; Xu, Ying; Yang, Jian; Liao, Kai-Jun; Yu, Chang-Xi
In the genus Gelsemium, Gelsemium elegans (Gardn. & Champ.) Benth. has been recognized as a toxic plant that is widely distributed in Southeast Asia and has been used as traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of rheumatoid pain, neuropathic pain, spasticity, skin ulcers and cancers for many years. Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) J.St.-Hil. has been used since the nineteenth century in homeopathy for treating anxiety, neuralgia, migraine and spasmodic disorders, such as asthma and whooping cough in North America. This review aims to provide comprehensive information on the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological research and toxicology of medicinal plants in the genus Gelsemium. The overall objective is to explore the evidence supporting its ethnopharmacological effectiveness. A literature survey was performed by searching the scientific databases Pubmed, Google Scholar, SciFinder, Scopus, Web of Science and the Chinese CNKI, in addition to traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathic texts for information on Gelsemium. Plants of the genus Gelsemium have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of migraines, neuralgia, sciatica, cancer and various types of sores. Studies into the phytochemical composition of this genus have shown that all of the species are rich sources of monoterpene indole alkaloids and that they have attracted the attention of many researchers due to their markedly diverse and complex architecture. To date, a total of 121 alkaloids have been isolated and identified from the genus. The crude extracts, as well as the monomeric compounds, from the genus possess anti-tumor, analgesic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating pharmacological activities. It is evident from the available literature that Gelsemium species possess potential for use as a beneficial therapeutic remedy. However, the analysis of previous pharmacological research suggests that a clear assignment of active molecules and mechanisms of
Background Gelsemium sempervirens L. (Gelsemium s.) is a traditional medicinal plant, employed as an anxiolytic at ultra-low doses and animal models recently confirmed this activity. However the mechanisms by which it might operate on the nervous system are largely unknown. This work investigates the gene expression of a human neurocyte cell line treated with increasing dilutions of Gelsemium s. extract. Methods Starting from the crude extract, six 100 × (centesimal, c) dilutions of Gelsemium s. (2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 9c and 30c) were prepared according to the French homeopathic pharmacopoeia. Human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells were exposed for 24 h to test dilutions, and their transcriptome compared by microarray to that of cells treated with control vehicle solutions. Results Exposure to the Gelsemium s. 2c dilution (the highest dose employed, corresponding to a gelsemine concentration of 6.5 × 10-9 M) significantly changed the expression of 56 genes, of which 49 were down-regulated and 7 were overexpressed. Several of the down-regulated genes belonged to G-protein coupled receptor signaling pathways, calcium homeostasis, inflammatory response and neuropeptide receptors. Fisher exact test, applied to the group of 49 genes down-regulated by Gelsemium s. 2c, showed that the direction of effects was significantly maintained across the treatment with high homeopathic dilutions, even though the size of the differences was distributed in a small range. Conclusions The study shows that Gelsemium s., a medicinal plant used in traditional remedies and homeopathy, modulates a series of genes involved in neuronal function. A small, but statistically significant, response was detected even to very low doses/high dilutions (up to 30c), indicating that the human neurocyte genome is extremely sensitive to this regulation. PMID:24642002
Full Text Available Gelsemium sempervirens is used in homeopathy for treating patients with anxiety related symptoms, however there have been few experimental studies evaluating its pharmacological activity. We have investigated the effects of homeopathic doses of G. sempervirens on mice, using validated behavioral models. Centesimal (CH dilutions/dynamizations of G. sempervirens, the reference drug diazepam (1 mg/kg body weight or a placebo (solvent vehicle were intraperitoneally delivered to groups of mice of CD1 strain during 8 days, then the effects were assessed by the Light-Dark (LD choice test and by the Open-Field (OF exploration test, in a fully blind manner. In the LD test, the mean time spent in the illuminated area by control and placebo-treated animals was 15.98%, for mice treated with diazepam it increased to 19.91% (P = .047, while with G. sempervirens 5 CH it was 18.11% (P = .341, non-significant. The number of transitions between the two compartments increased with diazepam from 6.19 to 9.64 (P < .001 but not with G. Sempervirens. In the OF test, G. sempervirens 5 CH significantly increased the time spent and the distance traveled in the central zone (P = .009 and P = .003, resp., while diazepam had no effect on these OF test parameters. In a subsequent series of experiments, G. sempervirens 7 and 30 CH also significantly improved the behavioral responses of mice in the OF test (P < .01 for all tested variables. Neither dilutions of G. sempervirens affected the total distance traveled, indicating that the behavioral effect was not due to unspecific changes in locomotor activity. In conclusion, homeopathic doses of G. sempervirens influence the emotional responses of mice to novel environments, suggesting an improvement in exploratory behavior and a diminution of thigmotaxis or neophobia.
Van Wassenhoven, Michel; Goyens, Martine; Henry, Marc; Capieaux, Etienne; Devos, Philippe
NMR proton relaxation is sensitive to the dynamics of the water molecule H 2 O, through the interaction of the spin of the proton ( 1 H) with external magnetic and electromagnetic fields. We measured dilution and potentization processes through measurements of 1 H spin-lattice T 1 and spin-spin T 2 relaxation times. In order to interpret the recorded fluctuations in T 1 - or T 2 -values, experimental data were linearized by investigating how the area under a fluctuating time = f(dilution) curve (dilution integral or DI) changes with dilution. Two kinds of fitting procedures were considered: chi-square fitting with a goodness-of-fit probability, and least absolute deviations criterion with Pearson's linear correlation coefficient. We showed that fluctuations are not attributable to random noise and/or experimental errors, evidencing a memory effect quantifiable by the slope of the DI = f(dilution) straight line. For all experiments, correlation coefficients were found to lie above 0.9999, against 0.999 for random noise. The discrimination between experimental slopes and slopes associated with random noise data was very good at a five-sigma level of confidence (i.e. probability 3 × 10 -7 ). Discrimination between experimental slopes at a five-sigma level was possible in most cases, with three exceptions: gelsemium aqua pura v gelsemium dilution (four-sigma); copper aqua pura v gelsemium aqua pura (four-sigma) and copper simple dilution v gelsemium simple dilution (three-sigma). All potentized samples show very good discrimination (at least nine-sigma level) against aqua pura, lactose or simple dilution. It was possible to transform the associated relaxation times into a molecular rotational correlation time τ c and an average spin-spin distance d. Our experiments thus point to a considerable slowing down of molecular movements (τ c > 1300 ps or T = 224-225 K) around water molecules up to a distance of 3.7 Å, values. It was also possible to rule out
Full Text Available BackgroundGelsemium elegans (G. elegans is a toxic plant indigenous to Southeast Asia. It is highly poisonous due to its strong respiratory depressive effect. However, G. elegans poisoning cases have not been summarized comprehensively and are rarely reported in English journals. Furthermore, none of the present reports present prognosis in detail.Case presentationA 26-year-old female was found comatose at home and brought to the hospital with deep coma, hypoxia, and acidosis. After mechanical ventilation for hours, the patient recovered from coma with sequelae of impaired short-term memory, disorientation, and childish behaviors. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI showed bilateral hippocampus and basal ganglia damage due to hypoxia. During 8 months of follow-up, both her symptoms and brain MRI scan improved significantly.ConclusionG. elegans is highly toxic. Although patients may die within 30 min due to its strong respiratory depressive effect, they can survive with timely respiratory support and enjoy gradual improvement without delayed postanoxic encephalopathy.
Full Text Available Centesimal dilutions (5, 9 and 15 cH of Gelsemium sempervirens are claimed to be capable of exerting anxiolytic and analgesic effects. However, basic results supporting this assertion are rare, and the mechanism of action of G. sempervirens is completely unknown. To clarify the point, we performed a comparative analysis of the effects of dilutions 5, 9 and 15 cH of G. sempervirens or gelsemine (the major active principle of G. sempervirens on allopregnanolone (3α,5α-THP production in the rat limbic system (hippocampus and amygdala or H-A and spinal cord (SC. Indeed, H-A and SC are two pivotal structures controlling, respectively, anxiety and pain that are also modulated by the neurosteroid 3α,5α-THP. At the dilution 5 cH, both G. sempervirens and gelsemine stimulated [3H]progesterone conversion into [3H]3α,5α-THP by H-A and SC slices, and the stimulatory effect was fully (100% reproducible in all assays. The dilution 9 cH of G. sempervirens or gelsemine also stimulated 3α,5α-THP formation in H-A and SC but the reproducibility rate decreased to 75%. At 15 cH of G. sempervirens or gelsemine, no effect was observed on 3α,5α-THP neosynthesis in H-A and SC slices. The stimulatory action of G. sempervirens and gelsemine (5 cH on 3α,5α-THP production was blocked by strychnine, the selective antagonist of glycine receptors. Altogether, these results, which constitute the first basic demonstration of cellular effects of G. sempervirens, also offer interesting possibilities for the improvement of G. sempervirens-based therapeutic strategies.
Ultrasound/microwave-assisted extraction and comparative analysis of bioactive/toxic indole alkaloids in different medicinal parts of Gelsemium elegans Benth by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with MS/MS.
Li, Yu; Zeng, Rong-Jie; Lu, Qing; Wu, Shui-Sheng; Chen, Jian-Zhong
Indole alkaloids are the main bioactive/toxic components in Gelsemium elegans Benth. To determine the distribution and contents of indole alkaloids in its different medicinal parts, a novel and rapid method using ultra-high performance LC (UPLC) with MS/MS has been established and validated with an optimized ultrasound/microwave-assisted extraction method. Four constituents, namely, humantenidine, humantenmine, gelsemine, and koumine, were simultaneously determined in 6 min. Chromatographic separation was achieved on an ultra-high performance LC BEH C18 column with a gradient mobile phase consisting of methanol and water (containing 0.1% formic acid both in methanol and water) at a flow rate of 0.3 mL/min. The detection was performed on a triple quadrupole electrospray MS/MS by positive ion multiple-reaction monitoring mode. All the analytes showed good linearity (r ≥ 0.9934) within a concentration range from 0.1-25 μg/mL with a LOQ of 25-50 ng/mL. The overall intra- and intervariations of four components were <4.7% with an accuracy of 97.3-101.3%. The analysis results showed that there were remarkable differences in the distribution and contents of four chemical markers in the roots, stems, and leaves of G. elegans Benth. The findings can provide necessary and meaningful information for the rational utilization of its resources. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Full Text Available Two previous investigations were performed to assess the activity of Gelsemium sempervirens (Gelsemium s. in mice, using emotional response models. These two series are pooled and analysed here. Gelsemium s. in various homeopathic centesimal dilutions/dynamizations (4C, 5C, 7C, 9C, and 30C, a placebo (solvent vehicle, and the reference drugs diazepam (1 mg/kg body weight or buspirone (5 mg/kg body weight were delivered intraperitoneally to groups of albino CD1 mice, and their effects on animal behaviour were assessed by the light-dark (LD choice test and the open-field (OF exploration test. Up to 14 separate replications were carried out in fully blind and randomised conditions. Pooled analysis demonstrated highly significant effects of Gelsemium s. 5C, 7C, and 30C on the OF parameter “time spent in central area” and of Gelsemium s. 5C, 9C, and 30C on the LD parameters “time spent in lit area” and “number of light-dark transitions,” without any sedative action or adverse effects on locomotion. This pooled data analysis confirms and reinforces the evidence that Gelsemium s. regulates emotional responses and behaviour of laboratory mice in a nonlinear fashion with dilution/dynamization.
royal fern (Osmunda regalis), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), and cane (Arundinaria gigantea). Common vines are yellow jasmine (Gelsemium... Ledbetter , Major, U.S. Air Force, Attorney, AFRCE-BMS/DES B.S., 1973, Mathematics, University of Georgia. Athens M.A., 1978, 1 ublic Administration...Richard Garthe F. Lee Howell Murray Geddes Sharon F. Howell Peggy J. Geddes Gary Hoyve Fred G. Gerty Greg Hucks C-5 Jeannine Hucks Jessie R. Lee Lacy K
Liu, Yunbao; Li, Yong; Liu, Zhen; Li, Li; Qu, Jing; Ma, Shuanggang; Chen, Ridao; Dai, Jungui; Yu, Shishan
From the cultured endophytic fungus Glomerella cingulata isolated from a toxic plant, Gelsemium elegans, one new phenanthrene (1), four new sesquiterpenes (2-5), and three known sesquiterpenes (6-8) were isolated. Their structures were elucidated using spectroscopic methods. Based on the ECD calculations, the absolute configurations of the new compounds were determined. Compounds 2, 4, and 5 inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced NO production in BV2 cells by 50.6, 36.1, and 29.4%, respectively, at 1 μM (positive control curcumin, IC 50 = 4.0 μM).
Chen, Chao-Jie; Zhong, Zhi-Feng; Xin, Zhi-Ming; Hong, Long-Hui; Su, Yan-Ping; Yu, Chang-Xi
Koumine, an active alkaloid of neurotoxic plant Gelsemium, has been focused on its therapeutic uses, especially in central nervous system. Nevertheless, less is known about the neurological effects of koumine, which hampers its potential therapeutic exploitation. Moreover, as the anxiolytic potential of Gelsemium has raised many critical issues, its active principles on the anxiolytic and other neurological effects need to be further investigated. Here, we used functional observation battery (FOB) of mice to systematically measure the neurological effects of koumine at the effective doses, and then further confirmed its anxiolytic properties in open-field test (OFT) of mice and Vogel conflict test (VCT) of rats. Koumine exhibited anxiolytic-like activities but did not affect other autonomic, neurological and physical functions in FOB. Furthermore, koumine released anxiolytic responses and anti-punishment action in a manner similar to diazepam in OFT and VCT, respectively. The results constitutes solid set of fundamental data further demonstrating anxiolytic properties of koumine at the therapeutic doses without inducing adverse neurological effects, which supports the perspectives for the development of safe and effective koumine medicine against pathological anxiety.
Zhang, H.; Li, Z.; Chen, T.; Liu, J.-J.
The aim of this paper is the application of terahertz (THz) spectroscopy combined with chemometrics techniques to distinguish poisonous and non-poisonous herbs which both have a similar appearance. Spectra of one poisonous and two non-poisonous herbs (Gelsemium elegans, Lonicera japonica Thunb, and Ficus Hirta Vahl) were obtained in the range 0.2-1.4 THz by using a THz time-domain spectroscopy system. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used for feature extraction. The prediction accuracy of classification is between 97.78 to 100%. The results demonstrate an efficient and applicative method to distinguish poisonous herbs, and it may be implemented by using THz spectroscopy combined with chemometric algorithms.
Tian, Enwei; Liu, Qianqian; Ye, Haoting; Li, Fang; Chao, Zhi
Background: Wuzhimaotao (the dry root of Ficus hirta ) is used as both medicine and food ingredient by the locals in areas around Nanling Mountains of China. Due to its very similar external morphologies with Duanchangcao (the root of Gelsemium elegans , which contains gelsemine that is extremely neurotoxic) and the associated growth of these two plants, incidents of food poisoning and even death frequently occur, resulting from the misuse of Duanchangcao as Wuzhimaotao. The aim of this study is to develop a fast, even, on-spot approach to identification of Wuzhimaotao. Methods: We used DNA barcode-based recombinase polymerase amplification (BAR-RPA) with species-specific primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rDNA of F. hirta. BAR-RPA reaction time and temperature were optimized and the specificity and sensitivity of BAR-RPA species-specific primers were assessed. Results: This technique showed a high specificity and sensitivity to amplify the genomic DNA of F. hirta and allowed for rapid amplification (within 15 min) of the ITS region under a constant and mild temperature range of 37-42 °C without using thermocyclers. Conclusions: The BAR-RPA assay with a fast DNA extraction protocol provides a simple, energy-saving, and rapid method for identification of Wuzhimaotao in both laboratory and field settings.
Islam, Md Nazmul; Khalil, Md Ibrahim; Islam, Md Asiful; Gan, Siew Hua
There is a wealth of information about the nutritional and medicinal properties of honey. However, honey may contain compounds that may lead to toxicity. A compound not naturally present in honey, named 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), may be formed during the heating or preservation processes of honey. HMF has gained much interest, as it is commonly detected in honey samples, especially samples that have been stored for a long time. HMF is a compound that may be mutagenic, carcinogenic and cytotoxic. It has also been reported that honey can be contaminated with heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium. Honey produced from the nectar of Rhododendron ponticum contains alkaloids that can be poisonous to humans, while honey collected from Andromeda flowers contains grayanotoxins, which can cause paralysis of limbs in humans and eventually leads to death. In addition, Melicope ternata and Coriaria arborea from New Zealand produce toxic honey that can be fatal. There are reports that honey is not safe to be consumed when it is collected from Datura plants (from Mexico and Hungary), belladonna flowers and Hyoscamus niger plants (from Hungary), Serjania lethalis (from Brazil), Gelsemium sempervirens (from the American Southwest), Kalmia latifolia, Tripetalia paniculata and Ledum palustre. Although the symptoms of poisoning due to honey consumption may differ depending on the source of toxins, most common symptoms generally include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, convulsions, headache, palpitations or even death. It has been suggested that honey should not be considered a completely safe food. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Full Text Available Background: Wuzhimaotao (the dry root of Ficus hirta is used as both medicine and food ingredient by the locals in areas around Nanling Mountains of China. Due to its very similar external morphologies with Duanchangcao (the root of Gelsemium elegans, which contains gelsemine that is extremely neurotoxic and the associated growth of these two plants, incidents of food poisoning and even death frequently occur, resulting from the misuse of Duanchangcao as Wuzhimaotao. The aim of this study is to develop a fast, even, on-spot approach to identification of Wuzhimaotao. Methods: We used DNA barcode-based recombinase polymerase amplification (BAR-RPA with species–specific primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS region of the rDNA of F. hirta. BAR-RPA reaction time and temperature were optimized and the specificity and sensitivity of BAR-RPA species–specific primers were assessed. Results: This technique showed a high specificity and sensitivity to amplify the genomic DNA of F. hirta and allowed for rapid amplification (within 15 min of the ITS region under a constant and mild temperature range of 37–42 °C without using thermocyclers. Conclusions: The BAR-RPA assay with a fast DNA extraction protocol provides a simple, energy-saving, and rapid method for identification of Wuzhimaotao in both laboratory and field settings.
Bhattacharyya, Soumya S; Paul, Saili; Mandal, Sushil K; Banerjee, Antara; Boujedaini, Naoual; Khuda-Bukhsh, Anisur R
Scopoletin, an alkaloid separated from ethanolic extract of the medicinal plant, Gelsemium sempervirens (Fam: Loganiaceae) has been reported to have anti-cancer potentials. The synthetic coumarin (4-Methyl-7 hydroxy coumarin) derived from resorcinol and ethyl aceto-acetate in presence of concentrated sulphuric acid is structurally close to scopoletin, being a coumarin derivative. Whether this synthetic compound also has anti-cancer potentials has been evaluated in vivo on DMBA (7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene) induced skin cancer in mice by analyzing results of several cytogenetic endpoints, Comet assay, and fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Further, expressions of signal proteins like Aryl hydrocarbon receptor , p53, PCNA, Akt, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Bad, Bax, NF-kappaB Apaf, IL-6, Cytochrome-c, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 were studied by immunoblot analysis along with histology of skin and immuno-histochemical localization of Aryl hydrocarbon receptor and PCNA in DMBA treated mice vis-a-vis carcinogen treated synthetic coumarin fed mice. Feeding of this synthetic coumarin induced positive modulations in expression of all biomarkers in DMBA administered mice, giving clues on its possible signaling pathway(s) - primarily through down-regulation of Aryl hydrocarbon receptor and PCNA and up-regulation of apoptotic proteins like Bax, Bad, Cytochrome c, Apaf, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9, resulting in an appreciable reduction in growth of papilloma in mice. Therefore, this synthetic coumarin shows promise for use in cancer therapy, particularly in skin cancer.
Adler, Lynn S; Leege, Lissa M; Irwin, Rebecca E
Floral evolution is frequently ascribed to selection by pollinators, but may also be shaped by antagonists. However, remarkably few studies have examined geographic mosaics in resistance to floral antagonists or the consequences for other floral interactions. Gelsemium sempervirens experiences frequent nectar robbing in northern Georgia, but rarely in southern Georgia. We conducted common-garden experiments in both locations using genotypes from each region and measured robbing, pollinator attraction, floral attractive and defensive traits, and plant reproduction. Nectar robbing was more than four times higher in the north vs. south, and pollinator visits did not differ between gardens. Across both gardens, northern genotypes were half as likely to be nectar-robbed but received half as many pollinator visits as southern genotypes, suggesting evolution of resistance to robbing at a cost of reduced pollinator attraction. Plant-level traits, such as height and number of flowers, were more closely associated with resistance to robbing than floral size, shape, or chemistry. Northern genotypes had lower female and estimated male reproduction compared to southern genotypes at both locations, which could be due to costs of resistance to nectar robbing, or costs of adaptations to other biotic or abiotic differences between regions. Our study indicates that geographic variation can play a strong role structuring interactions with floral antagonists and mutualists and provides evidence consistent with the hypothesis that local resistance to nectar robbing imposes costs in terms of decreased pollinator attraction and reproduction. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.
Van Wassenhoven, Michel
The literature on clinical research in allergic conditions treated with homeopathy includes a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCT) for hay fever with positive conclusions and two positive RCTs in asthma. Cohort surveys using validated Quality of Life questionnaires have shown improvement in asthma in children, general allergic conditions and skin diseases. Economic surveys have shown positive results in eczema, allergy, seasonal allergic rhinitis, asthma, food allergy and chronic allergic rhinitis. This paper reports clinical verification of homeopathic symptoms in all patients and especially in various allergic conditions in my own primary care practice. For preventive treatments in hay fever patients, Arsenicum album was the most effective homeopathic medicine followed by Nux vomica, Pulsatilla pratensis, Gelsemium, Sarsaparilla, Silicea and Natrum muriaticum. For asthma patients, Arsenicum iodatum appeared most effective, followed by Lachesis, Calcarea arsenicosa, Carbo vegetabilis and Silicea. For eczema and urticaria, Mezereum was most effective, followed by Lycopodium, Sepia, Arsenicum iodatum, Calcarea carbonica and Psorinum. The choice of homeopathic medicine depends on the presence of other associated symptoms and 'constitutional' features. Repertories should be updated by including results of such clinical verifications of homeopathic prescribing symptoms. Copyright © 2012 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cantrell, F Lee
Many substances deemed too dangerous for commercial use are still available to the general public. The purchase of these substances may potentially place members of the general public at risk for serious poisonings. This study was designed to document the large variety of dangerous poisons readily available on a popular online auction Web site. Methods. Over a 10-month period, the online auction Web site eBays was searched daily using the terms "poison" and "contents." Product name, active ingredients, what form the product is in, amount in container, and relative toxicity rating (Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, Gosselin, et al.) were recorded. If available, pictures of the products were saved. One hundred twenty-one individual products were identified. Fifty-five were in solid/tablet form, 37 were powders, and 29 were liquids. Product containers were full for 56 items and partially full for 65. Twenty-four products contained ingredients rated as "supertoxic" and included strychnine (10), arsenic trioxide (8), cyanide (2) and nicotine, pilocarpine, phosphorus, powdered conium maculatum (1 each). Sixty-three products contained "extremely toxic" ingredients including thallium, picrotoxin, soluble barium, antimony, mercury, arsenates, podophyllin, fluoride, zinc phosphide, atropine, scopolamine, and plant extracts of gelsemium, aconite, larkspur, and croton. Twenty-one products contained "very toxic" ingredients including lead, copper, camphor, caffeine, theobromine, creosote, pyrogallic acid, sparteine, quinine, lindane, warfarin, phenol, and digitalis. The remaining 13 were "moderately-slightly toxic." While the viability of the labeled ingredients could not be verified, the transportation, handling, and potential utilization of these dangerous poisons by the general public could result in serious poisonings.
Adler, Lynn S; Irwin, Rebecca E
The evolution of floral traits may be shaped by a community of floral visitors that affect plant fitness, including pollinators and floral antagonists. The role of nectar in attracting pollinators has been extensively studied, but its effects on floral antagonists are less understood. Furthermore, the composition of non-sugar nectar components, such as secondary compounds, may affect plant reproduction via changes in both pollinator and floral antagonist behavior. We manipulated the nectar alkaloid gelsemine in wild plants of the native perennial vine Gelsemium sempervirens. We crossed nectar gelsemine manipulations with a hand-pollination treatment, allowing us to determine the effect of both the trait and the interaction on plant female reproduction. We measured pollen deposition, pollen removal, and nectar robbing to assess whether gelsemine altered the behavior of mutualists and antagonists. High nectar gelsemine reduced conspecific pollen receipt by nearly half and also reduced the proportion of conspecific pollen grains received, but had no effect on nectar robbing. Although high nectar gelsemine reduced pollen removal, an estimate of male reproduction, by one-third, this effect was not statistically significant. Fruit set was limited by pollen receipt. However, this effect varied across sites such that the sites that were most pollen-limited were also the sites where nectar alkaloids had the least effect on pollen receipt, resulting in no significant effect of nectar alkaloids on fruit set. Finally, high nectar gelsemine significantly reduced seed weight; however, this effect was mediated by a mechanism other than pollen limitation. Taken together, our work suggests that nectar alkaloids are more costly than beneficial in our system, and that relatively small-scale spatial variation in trait effects and interactions could determine the selective impacts of traits such as nectar composition.
Full Text Available Despite decades of studies, the currently available drugs largely fail to control neuropathic pain. Koumine—an alkaloidal constituent derived from the medicinal plant Gelsemium elegans Benth.—has been shown to possess analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties; however, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and the possible underlying mechanisms of koumine. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of koumine were explored by using chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve (CCI neuropathic pain model in vivo and LPS-induced injury in microglia BV2 cells in vitro. Immunofluorescence staining and Western blot analysis were used to assess the modulator effect of koumine on microglia and astrocyte activation after CCI surgery. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA was used to evaluate the levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Western blot analysis and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR were used to examine the modulator effect of koumine on microglial M1 polarization. We found that single or repeated treatment of koumine can significantly reduce neuropathic pain after nerve injury. Moreover, koumine showed inhibitory effects on CCI-evoked microglia and astrocyte activation and reduced proinflammatory cytokine production in the spinal cord in rat CCI models. In BV2 cells, koumine significantly inhibited microglia M1 polarization. Furthermore, the analgesic effect of koumine was inhibited by a TSPO antagonist PK11195. These findings suggest that the analgesic effects of koumine on CCI-induced neuropathic pain may result from the inhibition of microglia activation and M1 polarization as well as the activation of astrocytes while sparing the anti-inflammatory responses to neuropathic pain.