Plants popularly used for loosing weight purposes in Porto Alegre, South Brazil

Depto. de Botanica, Instituto de Biociencias, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Prédio 43433, Campus do Vale, 91501-970 Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3). 02/2007; 109(1):60-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2006.07.003
Source: PubMed


In this study, 14 herbalists (herb sellers) were interviewed about popular use of plants with weight loss purpose in Porto Alegre, a South Brazil city. For all identified species, scientific data were reviewed aiming to establish a correlation between popular use and biological properties. Seventy-eight samples were reported as having weigh loss properties. These samples come from 23 species and Asteraceae encompasses the greatest number of representatives. The greatest number of herbalist's citations was Baccharis articulata. The majority of plants have traditional use in Brazil but none is explicitly cited for loosing weight purposes. The pharmacological data are mainly from animal and in vitro studies and do not straight related to obesity. Only Ilex paraguariensis presents clinical data of efficacy in the treatment of obesity. Seven species present pre-clinical data that indicate a potential role in the control of certain conditions which are associated with obesity, such as hyperlipidemia (Campomanesia xanthocarpa, Cuphea carthagenensis, Cynara scolymus, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Ilex paraguariensis) and high levels of blood glucose (Achyrocline satureioides, Baccharis trimera, Campomanesia xanthocarpa). In conclusion, scientific data found are insufficient to guarantee the efficacy and safety of these plants for treating obesity. However, some of them present activities which could be useful to treat certain obesity comorbidities and deserve further studies.

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    • "Scutia buxifolia Reissek, from the Rhamnaceae family, is a native tree found in Uruguay, Northern Argentina, and Southern Brazil (Daners and Telleria, 1998; Majas and Romero, 1992), where it is popularly known as "coronilha". In Brazil, the bark of Scutia buxifolia is traditionally indicated and commonly sold for the treatment of blood pressure disorders and as diuretic (Dickel et al., 2007; Pio Correa, 1931). Phytochemical studies have revealed the presence of several classes of compounds, such as esterified sterols and terpenoids (Boligon et al., 2010; Boligon et al., 2014c), flavonoids (Boligon et al., 2009a), and alkaloids (Maldaner et al., 2011; Menezes et al., 1995; Morel et al., 1998; Morel et al., 1979; Sierra et al., 1974), among others, which have been described mainly in the leaves and stem bark of Scutia buxifolia. "
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    ABSTRACT: Scutia buxifolia, a native tree popularly known as "coronilha", is widely used in Brazilian folk medicine for diuretic and anti-hypertensive purposes. We investigated the effects of a butanolic (BuOH) soluble fraction of the hydroethanolic extract (HESB) of bark of Scutia buxifolia on both blood pressure and urinary excretion of rats. The involvement of the nitric oxide/guanylate cyclase pathway in the hypotensive effect found was also explored. We tested the effect of the BuOH soluble fraction of HESB on the mean arterial pressure (MAP) of anesthetized rats. The fraction was administered at doses of 1, 3 and 10mg/kg (i.v.) in normotensive rats during continuous infusion of vehicle (10μl/min), or phenylephrine (4μg/kg/min), or l-NAME (7mg/kg/min), two approaches able to induce a sustained hypertensive state. In some experiments, a bolus injection of ODQ (2mg/kg) was administered in animals infused with phenylephrine before the administration of the BuOH soluble fraction of HESB. We also measured the effects of the BuOH soluble fraction on the MAP of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Separate groups of rats were treated orally with either HESB (10, 30 or 100mg/kg), or its BuOH soluble fraction (3, 10 or 30mg/kg), and were subjected to measurement of diuresis and blood pressure. The BuOH soluble fraction of HESB (10mg/kg, i.v.) reduced the MAP of both phenylephrine-infused and SHR rats by 20.6±6.0 and 41.8±8.3mmHg, respectively. However, no hypotensive effect was found in normotensive animals infused with l-NAME, a non-selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, or animals previously treated with the soluble guanylate cyclase inhibitor ODQ. The urinary excretion was increased by 70% at 6-8h after a single oral administration of the BuOH soluble fraction of HESB (10mg/kg), without change in urinary density, pH, or Na(+) and K(+) concentrations. In addition, MAP was lower 3h after the acute oral treatment with the BuOH soluble fraction (82.1±3.8mmHg), compared with MAP of animals from the control group (97±3.2mmHg). This study demonstrates that the BuOH soluble fraction of the hydroethanolic bark of Scutia buxifolia, which has its bark used in folk medicine for the treatment of hypertension mainly by its presumed diuretic properties, possesses both diuretic and hypotensive effects in rats, and that at least the hypotensive effect is fully dependent on activation of the nitric oxide/guanylate cyclase pathway. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of ethnopharmacology
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    • "Studies have shown that C. xanthocarpa possesses a wide spectrum of physiological effects: the leaves of this plant are used as infusion in folk medicine to treat inflammatory diseases and hypercholesterolemia [11]. Moreover, C. xanthocarpa is empirically used for weight loss and for the control of a number of conditions associated with obesity [12]. One of the most recent studies demonstrated that the C. xanthocarpa produced an effect parallel with the mechanism of oral hypolipemiants, and that this plant showed intense presence of saponins [13], which are widely distributed in plants and have many biological activities, such as antiplatelet activity [14] [15]. "

    Full-text · Dataset · Apr 2015
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    • "Eugenia jambolana Lam.) is a tropical tree of the family Myrtaceae, which is popularly known as jambolan. The plant is extensively used for the treatment of different diseases, such as inflammation, constipation , obesity, urinary disorders, diabetes, and hypertension [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. Pharmacological studies have suggested hypoglycemic and antihyperglycemic properties of this medicinal species [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluated the in vivo potential antihypertensive effect of hydroalcoholic extract of Syzygium cumini leaves (HESC) in normotensive Wistar rats and in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), as well as its in vitro effect on the vascular reactivity of resistance arteries. The hypotensive effect caused by intravenous infusion of HESC (0.01–4.0 mg/kg) in anesthetized Wistar rats was dose-dependent and was partially inhibited by pretreatment with atropine sulfate. SHR received HESC (0.5 g/kg/day), orally, for 8 weeks and mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and vascular reactivity were evaluated. Daily oral administration of HESC resulted in a time-dependent blood pressure reduction in SHR, with a maximum reduction of 62%. In the endothelium-deprived superior mesenteric arteries rings the treatment with HESC reduced by 40% the maximum effect () of contraction induced by NE. The contractile response to calcium and NE of endothelium-deprived mesenteric rings isolated from untreated SHR was reduced in a concentration-dependent manner by HESC (0.1, 0.25, and 0.5 mg/mL). This study demonstrated that Syzygium cumini reduces the blood pressure and heart rate of SHR and that this antihypertensive effect is probably due to the inhibition of arterial tone and extracellular calcium influx.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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