Description: Ruta graveolens L. is a glabrous herb with stem that can grow up to 14-45 cm. Lower leaves are more or less long-petiolate with ultimate segments 2-9 mm wide, lanceolate to narrowly oblong. Inflorescence is rather lax; pedicels are as long as or longer than the capsule; bracts are lanceolate, leaf-like. Sepals are lanceolate and acute. Petals are oblong-ovate, denticulate and undulate. Capsule is glabrous; segments somewhat narrowed above to an obtuse apex.
Origin: Native to Europe.
Phytoconstituents: Rutoside, rutaverine, arborinine, rutin, elemol, pregei-jerene, geijerene, furocoumarins, bergapten, xanthotoxin, fagarine, graveolinine and others.[3-5]
Traditional Medicinal Uses: It is frequently used to treat worm and parasitic infection. It has been commonly used for the treatment of psoriasis and vitiligo due to the psoralens and methoxypsoralens present. It is also used to relieve muscle spasms, as carminative, emmenagogue, haemostat, uter-onic, vermifuge, to treat hepatitis, dyspepsia, diarrhoea, bug bite, cancer, cold, fever, snakebite, earache, toothache and as an antidote especially in malarial poisoning.[3,4,8] It is also used as an abortifacient to terminate pregnancy.^ The plant has been used for pain relief in Mexico.
Pharmacological Activities: Analgesic, Antibacterial, Anticancer,[13-17] Antifertility,[18-20] Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial,[22-24] Antiprotozoal and Cytotoxic.
Dosage: For the treatment of earache, the oil is poured on cotton and inserted into the affected ear. For oral administration, 1 capsule or 0.5 to 1 teaspoon of extract is taken three times daily with meals. The topical cream may be applied to the affected area when necessary. For delayed menstruation, 2 cups of infusion per day is used.
Adverse Reactions: Hypotension, hypersensitivity, rash, erythema and blisters may occur when applied topically. Therapeutic dosages could bring about melancholic moods, sleep disorders, tiredness, dizziness and spasms. Misuse as an abortive during pregnancy can lead to vomiting, epigastric pain, kidney damage, depression, sleep disorders, feelings of vertigo, delirium, fainting, tremor, spasm and sometimes may end up with fatal outcome.
Toxicity: Toxic to humans[27-33] and animals.
Contraindications: Should not be used during pregnancy. Should not be used during lactation, in children and in person with hypersensitivity to rue. Patients with heart diseases should use it with caution. Contraindicated in patients with poor renal function.
Drug-Herb Interactions: Concurrent use of cardiac glycosides (e.g. digoxin, digitoxin) with rue may cause increased inotropic effects. Concurrent use of antihypertensives with rue may cause increased vasodilation.
66. Saccharum officinarum L. (Gramineae)
Description: Saccharum officinarum L. is a perennial plant that forms tall clumps that can grow up to 6 m tall. Stems are greenish, yellowish or dark purplish and juicy. Leaf blades are broadly linear, glabrous and 80-150 cm by 4-6 cm. Inflorescence is a large silky panicle.[1,2]
Origin: Native to Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands, widely cultivated elsewhere.
Phytoconstituents: Octacosanol, policosanol, orientin, tricin-7-O-glycoside, palmitic acid, oleic acid and linolenic acid and others.[3-9]
Traditional Medicinal Uses: Consumption of beets (Beta vulgaris) combined with molasses from S. officinarum, is used by Dominican healers to shrink fibroids or to "strengthen and fortify the uterus after the fibroid had been drained from the body". The cane juice promotes expulsion of phlegm from the respiratory passages, stimulates gastric activities, treats wounds, ulcers and boils.
Pharmacological Activities: Analgesic,[31 Anticancer,[61 Anti-inflammatory,[3,9,121
Antiosteoporotic,[51 Antioxidant,[613141 Antiplatelet/15-171 Antithrombotic/181
Hypocholesterolaemic,[19-241 Immunomodulatory,[25,261 Immunostimulatory,[271
Antiatherogenic™ and Myocardial protective/4471
Adverse Reactions: Pollen extract of S. officinarum showed strong sensitising potential which induces allergy/291
Toxicity: Studies on the toxicity of higher aliphatic primary acids (D003) and higher aliphatic primary alcohols (policosanol) isolated from S. officinarum did not show any toxic effects/30-331
Contraindications: No information as yet.
Drug-Herb Interactions: Pretreatment with high doses of policosanol significantly increased propranolol-induced hypotensive effects, while the effects of nifedipine remained unchanged. Policosanol does not antagonise the hypotensive effect of ^-blockers but it can increase the hypotensive effect of beta-blockers without modifying cardiac frequency/341 Pretreatment with single doses of policosanol significantly increased the nitroprusside-induced hypotensive effect/351 Warfarin alone and the combination of policosanol and warfarin induced a moderate, but significant prolongation of the bleeding time.[361
[Authors' Note: Freshly squeezed sugarcane juice is commonly consumed and sugar is commercially obtained from sugarcane.1
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