Article

Plant Secondary Metabolites in some Medicinal Plants of Mongolia Used for Enhancing Animal Health and Production

Tropicultura 01/2009;
Source: DOAJ

ABSTRACT The levels and activities of a number of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) are known to increase in response to increase in stress. The Mongolian plants considered to possess medicinal properties may contain novel compounds since they are exposed to severe conditions; such plants could become good candidates for modern drug discovery programmes. Information on distribution, palatability to livestock and opinion of local people on their nutritive and medicinal values was compiled for 15 plant materials from 14 plant species considered important for medicinal purposes. These plants were evaluated for nutritive value and PSMs: tannins, saponins, lectins, alkaloids and cyanogens. High levels of tannins were found in roots of Bergenia crassifolia and in leaves of B. crassifolia, Vaccinium vitisidaea and Rheum undulatum. High lectin activity (haemagglutination) was present in B. crassifolia roots, and leaves of R. undulatum, Iris lacteal and Thymus gobicus contained weak lectin activity. Tanacetum vulgare, Serratula centauroids, Taraxacum officinale and Delphinum elatum leaves contained saponin activity (haemolysis). Alkaloids and cyanogens were not present in any of the samples. The paper discusses the known medicinal uses of these plants in light of the PSMs levels, and identifies plant samples for future applications in human and livestock health, welfare and safety.

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