Persea americana Mill. (Lauraceae) Avocado (Medicine)

Medicinal Uses (Avocado) —

Considered abortifacient, antifertility, antiseptic, aperient, aphrodisiac, astringent, calmant, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, parasiticide, piscicide, poison, raticide, resolvent, rodenticide, rubefacient, stomachic, suppurative, and vermifuge. Fruit pulp is used as an aphrodisiac and emmenagogue. Pulp is used for tumors in Mexico. Avocado is used for labial tumors in Peru. Pulverized seed used as a rubefacient. Decoction of the seed used locally to relieve toothache. Powdered seed is used for dandruff. Seed oil used for skin eruptions. Rind used as vermifuge and liniment for intercostal neuralgia. Fruit skin considered antiseptic and is used for dysentery and worms. Leaves are chewed to alleviate pyorrhea. Leaf poulticed onto wounds; heated leaves applied to forehead for neuralgia. Leaf juice also considered antiseptic. Leaf decoction taken for diarrhea, sore throat, hemorrhage, and used to stimulate and regulate menstruation. Decoction of the shoots is used for cough. Boiled leaves or shoots of purple-skinned type are used as abortifacient (DAD).
And on April 10, 2001, America lost its greatest ethnobotanist, Richard Evans Schultes, who spent more than 12 years botanizing in the Amazon basin, where some of our spices occur naturally (avocado, cacao, capsicum, culantro, tonka, and vanilla), and others are so long introduced as to appear native (garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric). Like Dr. Schultes, I love the Amazon and the Native Americans there. And, like Schultes, I was always delighted when new science tended to back up some old folklore he had picked up in the Amazon. Schultes and Raffauf (1990) reported that Native Americans there used the avocado for liver problems. Japanese scientists in 2001 produced some solid science singling out the avocado as a food “farmaceutical” with hepatoprotective properties. As measured by changes in the levels of plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST), avocado showed potent hepatoprotective activity. Five active compounds were isolated. We still have much to learn about the Amazonian food farmacy (X11368579).
Kim et al. (2000a, 2000b) isolated persenone A from the fruits as an effective inhibitor of both nitric oxide (NO) and superoxide (O2) generation, at least in cell culture systems. It suppressed lipopolysaccharide- and interferon-y-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and cycloox-ygenase (COX-2) in a mouse cell line. Persenone A (20 \\M) almost completely suppressed both iNOS and COX-2 protein expression. In mouse skin, double treatments with persenone A (810 nmol) significantly suppressed double 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), 8.1 nmol application-induced hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generation. Persenone A, as a COX-2-Inhibitor (JAD), could help prevent such inflammatory diseases as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and cancer, including colon cancer (X11193428).
Stucker et al. (2001) concluded that vitamin B(12) preparation containing avocado oil may be suitable for use in long-term therapy of psoriasis.
Little et al. (2001) evaluated the effectiveness of herbal therapies in osteoarthritis. Data were extracted independently by the same two reviewers. No serious side effects were reported.
Indications (Avocado) — Alopecia (f; DAV); Alzheimer’s (1; X11193428); Ameba (f; DAV); Amenorrhea (f; JFM; TRA); Anemia (f; DAV; JFM); Arthrosis (1; X11069724) Atherosclerosis (1; FNF; JNU); Bacteria (1; FNF; WOI); Bleeding (f; DAD); Bruise (f; DAD); Calculus (f; DAV); Cancer (1; JLH; JNU; X11193428); Cancer, colon (1; X11193428); Cancer, labial (f; JLH); Cancer, skin (1; X11193428); Catarrh (f; DAD; JFM); Cold (1; AAB; FNF; JFM); Cough (f; AAB; DAD; JFM); Dandruff (f; DAD; DAV); Dermatosis (1; DAD; FNF; PH2); Diabetes (1; DAD; DAV; FNF);
Diarrhea (f; AAB; JFM); Dysentery (f; DAV; JFM); Dysmenorrhea (f; AAB; DAD); Dyspepsia (1;
AAB; FNF); Enterosis (f; AAB); Escherichia (1; WOI); Fertility (f; DAV); Fever (f; AAB; DAD; JFM); Frigidity (f; JFM); Fungus (1; FNF; X10872209); Gas (f; JFM); Gout (f; JFM); Headache (1; AAB; FNF; JFM); Hematoma (f; DAD); Hemorrhoid (f; JFM); Hepatosis (1; DAD; DAV; JFM; X11368579); High Blood Pressure (1; AAB; DAD; FNF; JFM); High Cholesterol (1; FNF; JNU); High Triglyceride (1; JNU); Ichthyosis (1; PHR; PH2); Impotence (f; JFM); Infection (1; FNF; WOI); Inflammation (1; FNF; X11193428); Malaria (f; DAD); Metrorrhagia (f; DAD); Mucososis (f; JFM); Mycosis (1; X10872209); Neuralgia (f; DAD); Poor Milk Supply (1; TRA); Psoriasis (1; X11586013); Pulmonosis (f; DAD); Pyorrhea (f; DAD); Rheumatism (f; AAB; DAD; JFM); Scabies
(f; DAD); Snakebite (f; DAV); Sore Throat (f; DAD); Sprain (f; AAB; DAD); Stone (f; DAV); Toothache (f; DAD); Whitlow (f; JFM); Worm (f; JFM); Wound (f; DAD).

Avocado for atherosclerosis:

• Antiaggregant: caffeic-acid; estragole; pyridoxine; quercetin; salicylates; serotonin; tyramine
• Antianginal: carnitine
• Antiatherosclerotic: lutein; proanthocyanidins; pyridoxine; quercetin
• Antibacterial: 1,2,4-trihydroxyheptadeca-16-ene; anethole; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; p-coumaric-acid; pinene; quercetin
• Anticoronary: carnitine; folic-acid
• Antidiabetic: pyridoxine; quercetin
• Antiedemic: caffeic-acid; proanthocyanidins
• Antihomocystinuric: pyridoxine
• Antiinflammatory: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; quercetin; salicylates
• Antiischemic: carnitine; proanthocyanidins
• Antileukotriene: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; quercetin
• Antilipoperoxidant: quercetin
• Antioxidant: caffeic-acid; catechol; chlorogenic-acid; lutein; p-coumaric-acid; proantho-cyanidins; quercetin
• Antiplaque: folic-acid; proanthocyanidins; quercetin
• Antistroke: proanthocyanidins
• Antithrombic: quercetin
• Bacteristat: quercetin
• Calcium-Antagonist: caffeic-acid; estragole; methyl-chavicol
• Cardioprotective: proanthocyanidins
• Cardiotonic: dopamine
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Diuretic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; dopamine
• Hypocholesterolemic: caffeic-acid; carnitine; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol
• Hypotensive: phylloquinone; quercetin; subaphyllin; valeric-acid
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Metal-Chelator: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid
• Natriuretic: dopamine
• Phospholipase-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Prostaglandin-Synthesis-Inhibitor: p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Sedative: caffeic-acid; valeric-acid
• Vasodilator: dopamine; proanthocyanidins; quercetin
• cAMP-Phosphodiesterase-Inhibitor: quercetin

Avocado for dermatosis:

• Analgesic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; pyridoxine; quercetin; serotonin
• Antibacterial: 1,2,4-trihydroxyheptadeca-16-ene; anethole; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; p-coumaric-acid; pinene; quercetin
• Antidermatitic: biotin; pyridoxine; quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; quercetin; salicylates
• Antiseptic: anethole; caffeic-acid; catechol; chlorogenic-acid; pinene; proanthocyanidins
• COX-2-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Fungicide: anethole; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; phylloquinone; pinene; propionic-acid; quercetin
Avocado for hepatosis:
• AntiEBV: chlorogenic-acid
• Antiedemic: caffeic-acid; proanthocyanidins
• Antiendotoxic: serotonin
• Antihepatosis: anethole
• Antihepatotoxic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Antiherpetic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; cycloartenol; quercetin; salicylates
• Antileukotriene: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; quercetin
• Antilipoperoxidant: quercetin
• Antioxidant: caffeic-acid; catechol; chlorogenic-acid; lutein; p-coumaric-acid; proantho-cyanidins; quercetin
• Antiperoxidant: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Antiprostaglandin: caffeic-acid
• Antiradicular: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; lutein; quercetin
• Antiviral: caffeic-acid; catechol; chlorogenic-acid; nonacosane; proanthocyanidins; quer-cetin; subaphyllin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Cholagogue: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid
• Choleretic: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Cytoprotective: caffeic-acid
• Hepatoprotective: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; proanthocyanidins; quercetin
• Hepatotropic: caffeic-acid
• Immunostimulant: anethole; caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; folic-acid
• Interferonogenic: chlorogenic-acid
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; chlorogenic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Previtamin-A: alpha-carotene
• Vitamin-A-Activity: alpha-cryptoxanthin; cryptoxanthin

Other Uses (Avocado) —

Fruit is highly nutritious and yields highest energy value of any fruit. It is eaten fresh, seasoned with salt, pepper, sugar, and lime juice; used in guacamole, ice cream, salads, sandwiches, soups, spreads, with tortillas, and made into wine (FAC). In Bali, the fruits are added to sugar and water to form a popular iced drink known as “es apokat” and are mixed with other fruits, chipped ice, and brilliant red sugar syrup in the dessert called “es campur” (FAC). It also freezes well. Pulp yields 3-30% of oil, used in moisturizing gels in cosmetics. Oil has excellent keeping quality. Crude oil used as a dressing for the hair, without refining; used in making soap, face cream, hand lotion, and as a salad oil. The non-allergenic oil, similar to lanolin in its penetrating and skin-softening action, may filter out the tanning rays of the sun. Pulp residue may be used as stock feed after oil extraction. An indelible red-brown or blackish ink, provided by the milky fluid of the seed, was once used to write documents and to mark cotton and linen textiles. Leaf used as a tea (DAD). Leaves are used in broths, stews, and moles (sauces), especially good with fish, chicken, and beans. The soaked leaves are used as smoke flavorings in Mexican barbecues (FAC). Lightly toast avocado leaves slowly in a low oven or quickly on a grill. The leaves may then be used like a bay leaf; or they may be ground fine with the other seasonings in a mole, such as the famous thick, black, chocolate mole of Oaxaca. Larger leaves used as wrappers for foods to be steamed, such as chicken or fish. Hoja santa can substitute for avocado leaf and vice versa (AAR). The worse the fruit, the more flavorful the leaves. Leaves can be dried and carefully stored for up to a year. Flowers provide a dark, thick honey produced by honeybees. Wood used for construction, boards, turnery, and carving.
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Avocado) —

Seeds are viable 2-3 weeks after removal from tree; for longer periods, store in dry peat at 5.50C. Do not allow to dry out. Avocados are usually propagated by veneer-grafting, shield-budding, and cleft grafts. Seeds are planted in boxes, pots, or in open ground with pointed end uppermost and barely covered with soil. Two to four months after planting, when stems are 0.6-1.3 cm in diameter, seedlings are ready for budding. Bud wood should be selected as recent growth but not so sappy that it will break when bent. Buds should be cut smoothly with a very sharp knife. The graft is inserted, wrapped in waxed tape or raffia, leaving the eye exposed. When bud unites with stock, wrap is loosened. When bud sprout is 15 cm or more long, the old stock should be cut off cleanly, close to the bud. Trees are transplanted to orchard at 9-30 months, spaced 6-12 m each way. Clean cultivate or intercrop with cover crops. Fertilize when young with nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, and magnesium. Avocados should be fertilized four or five times the first year after planting, giving them 450 g of fertilizer containing about 5% nitrogen, 6-7% phosphoric acid, and 3-4% potash, and increased to 900 g the second year. Full bearing, they should receive from 18-27 kg annually. It is difficult to overfeed an avocado. Vegetatively propagated trees begin to bear fruit in 3-4 years but tend to bear biannually. Yields are variable, 100-500 or more fruits per tree. Orchards yield 6750-13,500 kg/ha.

Chemistry (Avocado) —

Bown (2001) notes that it is the fruit richest in protein; I note that it is the fruit richest in MUFAs (up to 69% oleic-acid). Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in avocado. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Linoleic-Acid — See also Ceratonia siliqua.
Mufas — Anemiagenic; Anticancer; Antiinflammatory IC50 = 21 |jM; Antileukotriene-D4 IC50 = 21 |jM; Choleretic 5 ml/man; Dermatitigenic; Hypocholesterolemic; Insectifuge; Irritant; Percuta-neostimulant; LD50 = 230 ivn mus; LDlo = 50 ivn cat.
Oleic-Acid — See also Dipteryx odorata.
Palmitic-Acid — 5-Alpha-reductase-inhibitor; Antifibrinolytic; Hemolytic; Hypercholesterolemic; Lubricant; Nematicide; Soap; LD50 = 57 ivn mus.
Persenone-A — Antiinflammatory 20 [M; Antioxidant; Antiradicular; Antitumor 20 [M; Antitumor-Promoter IC50 = 1.4 [M; Chemopreventive; COX-2-Inhibitor 20 [M; Nitric-Oxide-Inhibitor IC50 = 1.2 [M; Superoxide-Inhibitor.
Pufas — Antiacne; Antieczemic; AntiMS; Antipolyneuritic.

Peumus boldus Molina (Monimiaceae) Boldo

Peumus boldus Molina (Monimiaceae) Boldo

Synonyms —

Boldea fragrans (Ruiz & Pav). Gay, Peumus fragrans Ruiz & Pav.

Medicinal Uses (Boldo) —

A site was found in Monte Verde, Chile, 10,000 miles south of the Bering Land Bridge, where man's remains (I, and probably only I, call him Boldo Man) were co-mingled with slabs of mastodon meat, clay-lined fire-pits, boldo leaves (today used for GI disorders), chewed remains of seaweeds (today used for stomach distress), and 24 more medicinal plants, and 700 stone tools, including bolo stones (maybe I should call him Bolo Man) used with slings for hunting animals. I suppose a big mastodon kill and meat surfeit could lead to dyspepsia in those days. If Boldo Man was there 12,500 years ago, then his ancestors may have crossed the Bering Land Bridge considerably earlier than the usually accepted 12,000 years ago. According to Tim Friend, USA Today, February 11, 1997, "DNA studies of Native Americans also suggest migrations occurred 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. A site at Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania is carbon dated as 19,000 years old, but that date remains controversial."
Boldo, a Chilean tree used traditionally in folk medicine, mainly for the treatment of liver ailments, has recently been the subject of increasing attention. Boldo is listed in several pharmacopoeia, perhaps due to the alkaloid boldine. The EO is used medicinally (and possibly dangerously) as an anthelminthic, because it contains ascaridole, a proven anthelminthic. Certain as yet unnamed components of boldo relax smooth muscle and prolong intestinal transit (HAD). Boldo leaf and its preparations stimulate the production of bile, and its secretion from the gall bladder, and the secretion of gastric juice. Boiling water is poured over 1-2 g of the finely cut drug and strained after 10 min; a cupful is drunk two or three times a day as a choleretic. Losses of 80% or more of the aromatic boldine may occur. Standardized preparations are hence preferred. European tests of Hapatran, a trademarked hydroalcoholic extract of the herb, revealed its hepatoprotective activity, probably involving boldine, and a dose-related antiinflammatory activity, not necessarily involving the boldine (BIS). All this analgesic, antiinflammatory, and uricosuric activity suggests strongly to me that this might be considered as a mixture with celeryseed extract as a gout preventive and cure.
Boldine ([s]-2,9-dihydroxy-1, 10-dimethoxyaporphine) is the major alkaloid found both in the leaves and bark. It has pronounced antiinflammatory, antioxidant potential. Jang et al. (2000) look to it for antidiabetic potential as well. Increased oxidative stress may lead to pathogenesis and progression of diabetic tissue damage. Boldine attenuates development of hyperglycemia and weight loss STZ-induced in rats. Boldine treatment restores altered enzyme activities in liver and pancreas (but not kidney). It decomposes superoxide anions, hydrogen peroxides, and hydroxyl radicals dose-depen-dently. It attenuates production of superoxide anions, hydrogen peroxide, and nitric oxide caused by liver mitochondria (Jang et al., 2000). Jimenez et al. (2000) note that boldine prevents free radical-induced erythrocyte lysis, protecting intact red cells from hemolytic damage induced by free radical initiators (2, 2′-azobis-(2-amidinopropane) Boldine dose-dependently prevents leakage of hemoglobin into the extracellular medium. It is cytoprotective whether added 1 hr prior to, or simultaneously with, the inducer (X10925398). Dried hydro-alcoholic extracts show hepatoprotective, antiedemic, and antiinflammatory effects in mice and rats. Boldine, exhibits a dose-dependent antiinflammatory activity in the carrageenan-induced guinea pig paw edema test (ED50 = 34 mg/kg org gpg). Boldine also reduces bacterial hyperthermia in rabbits (ED51-98 = 60 mg/kg orl rbt). Boldine effectively inhibits prostaglandin biosynthesis IC53 = 75 | M. Boldine has mild diuretic, uric-acid excretory (perhaps useful in gout, JAD), and weak hypnotic effects. Injected boldine paralyzes both motor and sensory nerves and muscle fibers. Still, it is used veterinarially for jaundice.

Indications (Boldo) —

Aging (1; APA); Anorexia (2; PHR); Atherosclerosis (1; APA; FNF); Autoimmune Disease (1; APA); Bacteria (1; FNF); Biliousness (2; APA; CAN; SHT); Cancer (1; APA; FNF); Cholecystosis (f; BGB; CAN; HHB); Cholelithiasis (1; CAN; HHB); Cold (f; CRC); Cough (f; CRC); Cramp (2; APA; BRU; FNF; KOM; SHT); Cystosis (1; CAN; PNC); Diabetes (1; X10987997); Dyspepsia (2; APA; BGB; BRU; FNF; KOM; PH2); Earache (f; CRC); Enterosis (2; APA; BOW; KOM); Gallstone (1; BOW; CAN; HHB; PNC); Gastrosis (2; CRC; KOM);
Gonorrhea (1; CAN; GMH; HHB); Gout (f; APA; BGB; CRC); Head Cold (f; CRC); Heartburn (f; BGB; BRU); Hepatosis (2; APA; CAN; CRC; FNF; HHB; PHR); Hyperglycemia (1;
X10987997); Hypertonia (2; KOM); Infection (1; CAN; CRC; EFS; FNF); Inflammation (1; APA;
FNF); Insomnia (f; APA; CAN; EFS); Jaundice (f; CRC; GMH); Lethargy (f; EFS); Nephrosis (f;
BGB); Nervousness (1; FNF); Obesity (f; BOW; PNC); Pain (1; BGB; FNF); Parasite (1; BOW); Prostatosis (f; BGB); Rheumatism (f; APA; BGB; CAN); Stomachache (1; APA); Stone (1; BRU); Syphilis (f; CRC; HHB); Urogenitosis (f; GMH); UTI (1; BOW); VD (f; CRC; HHB); Water Retention (1; APA; BGB; CAN; FNF); Worm (1; APA; CRC); Wound (f; CRC).

Boldo for atherosclerosis:

• Antiadrenergic: isocorydine
• Antiaggregant: coumarin; eugenol; thymol
• Antiatherosclerotic: carvacrol; thymol
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; alpha-thujone; benzaldehyde; beta-thujone; bornyl-acetate; carvacrol; cuminaldehyde; eugenol; geraniol; isorhamnetin; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; nerol; p-cymene; reticuline; terpinen-4-ol; thymol
• Antiedemic: boldine; coumarin; eugenol
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; boldine; carvacrol; coumarin; eugenol; guaiazulene; isorhamnetin; sinoacutine; sparteine; thymol
• Antioxidant: boldine; camphene; carvacrol; eugenol; gamma-terpinene; isorhamnetin; methyl-eugenol; sparteine; thymol
• Antioxidant (LDL): carvacrol; thymol
• Antiplaque: carvacrol; thymol
• Antithromboxane: eugenol
• Bacteristat: coumarin; terpinen-4-ol
• Beta-Adrenergic Receptor Blocker: boldine
• Calcium-Antagonist: eugenol
• Cardiotonic: coumarin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: carvacrol; thymol
• Diuretic: boldine; sparteine; terpinen-4-ol
• Hypotensive: 1,8-cineole; benzyl-benzoate
• Prostaglandin-Synthesis-Inhibitor: boldine; eugenol
• Sedative: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; ascaridole; benzaldehyde; bornyl-acetate; coumarin; eugenol; farnesol; geraniol; isocorydine; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; nerol; norisocorydine; p-cymene; thymol

Boldo for dyspepsia:

• Analgesic: ascaridole; camphor; coumarin; eugenol; p-cymene; reticuline; thymol
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; benzaldehyde; camphor; carvacrol; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; pronuciferine; thymol
• Antiemetic: camphor
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; boldine; carvacrol; coumarin; eugenol; guaiazulene; isorhamnetin; sinoacutine; sparteine; thymol
• Antioxidant: boldine; camphene; carvacrol; eugenol; gamma-terpinene; isorhamnetin; methyl-eugenol; sparteine; thymol
• Antipeptic: benzaldehyde; guaiazulene
• Antiulcer: eugenol; guaiazulene
• Carminative: ascaridole; camphor; carvacrol; eugenol; thymol; thymyl-acetate
• Gastrostimulant: boldine
• Secretagogue: 1,8-cineole
• Sedative: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; ascaridole; benzaldehyde; bornyl-acetate; coumarin; eugenol; farnesol; geraniol; isocorydine; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; nerol; norisocorydine; p-cymene; thymol
• Tranquilizer: alpha-pinene

Boldo for hepatosis:

• Antiedemic: boldine; coumarin; eugenol
• Antihepatosis: boldine
• Antiherpetic: thymol
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; boldine; carvacrol; coumarin; eugenol; guaiazulene; isorhamnetin; sinoacutine; sparteine; thymol
• Antioxidant: boldine; camphene; carvacrol; eugenol; gamma-terpinene; isorhamnetin; methyl-eugenol; sparteine; thymol
• Antiperoxidant: sparteine
• Antiprostaglandin: carvacrol; eugenol
• Antiradicular: boldine; carvacrol; eugenol; methyl-eugenol; thymol
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; bornyl-acetate; limonene; linalool; p-cymene
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Choleretic: 1,8-cineole; boldine; eugenol
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: carvacrol; thymol
• Hepatoprotective: boldine; eugenol; isorhamnetin
• Hepatotonic: 1,8-cineole
• Immunostimulant: benzaldehyde; coumarin
• Phagocytotic: coumarin

Other Uses (Boldo) —

The sweet, aromatic fruits are eaten. Leaves and the bark used as a spice in Chile (FAC). It looks a little iffy to me, though approved by Commission E. It is listed by the council of Europe as a natural source of food flavoring. Category N3 implies that boldo can be added to foodstuffs “in the traditionally accepted manner, although insufficient information is available for an adequate assessment of potential toxicity” (CAN). The EO, like that of ascaridole-containing wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosioides), is used in the food and liqueur industries as a flavoring (Miraldi et al., 1996). While I have consumed the tea, with modest pleasure, in Chile, I can’t endorse it—a little nervous about the camphor and more nervous about the ascaridole and thujone. Boldo the herb, with up to 1.1% of the endoperoxide, ascaridole, has been approved for certain indications by both the British (CAN, PNC) and German (KOM, PHR) herbal gurus, while our wormseed, alias epasote, Chenopodium ambrosioides, was excluded. With up to 1.8% ascaridole, wormseed has largely fallen by the wayside. I’ll wager a case of beano that boldo would do two-thirds as well as the wormseed, known to Latinos as epazote, at preventing the gas of bean dishes (JAD). Bark is used for tanning and dyeing fibers. The wood used for charcoal (GMH).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Boldo) —

The Chilean tree (exports 1000 tons dry leaves per year) was introduced to Europe ca. 1870. It is thriving in California and temperate frost-free zones elsewhere. According to Bown (2001), the shrub or small tree does well, sown by seed in spring, or by semi-ripe cuttings in summer, in acid, sandy, sunny, well-drained soils, zone 9. Leaves are harvested during the growing season. Bark may be collected for alkaloid extraction.

Chemistry (Boldo) —

Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in boldo. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database .
Ascaridole — Analgesic; Ancylostomicide; Carcinogenic; Carminative; Fungicide; Nematicide; Sedative; Vermifuge; LDlo = 250 orl rat.
Boldine — Abortifacient; Antiedemic ED50 = 34 mg/kg; Antihepatosis; Antiinflammatory ED50 = 34 mg/kg; Antilithic; Antioxidant IC50 = 17-33 [ig/ml; Antiprostaglandin IC53 = 75 [M; Antipyretic ED51-98 = 60 mg/kg orl rbt; Antiradicular; Beta-Blocker 0.1 [M; Choleretic; Con-vulsant; Diuretic; Gastrostimulant; Hepatoprotective; Hypnotic; Immunomodulator; Myorelaxant; Neuroleptic; Teratogenic; Uricosuric.
Laurotetanine — Curaroid.

Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. (Myrtaceae) Allspice, Clove Pepper, Jamaica Pepper, Pimienta, Pimento

Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. (Myrtaceae) Allspice, Clove Pepper, Jamaica Pepper, Pimienta, Pimento

Synonyms —

Myrtus dioica L., M. pimenta L., Pimenta officinalis Lindl., P. pimenta (L.) H. Karst., P. vulgaris Lindl.

Medicinal Uses (Allspice) —

Reported to be analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, aromatic, carminative, fungicidal, stimulant, and stomachic. Jamaicans take the fruit decoction for colds, men-orrhagia, and stomachache. Costa Ricans take the leaf infusion as a carminative and stomachic, useful for diabetes. Guatemalans apply it externally for bruises and rheumatic pain. Cubans drink the refreshing tea as depurative, stimulant, and tonic. I was pleased and surprised to find the late Prof. Varro Tyler rationalizing allspice for athlete's foot in Prevention (Apr. 2000). Dr. Tyler rightly noted that allspice oil may contain 70% of the fungicide eugenol. "Eugenol has both analgesic and antiseptic properties. It could possibly inhibit the growth of athlete's foot fungus," Dr. Tyler is quoted as saying. He suggested topical application, sprinkling ground allspice on the toes. Allspice is loaded with eugenol, and, perhaps more importantly, other antiseptic and fungicidal compounds, e.g., 1,8-cineole, alpha-terpineol, aromadendrene, ascorbic-acid, beta-pinene, chavicol, cinnamal-dehyde, eugenol, hexanol, limonene, linalool, methyl-eugenol, myrcene, p-cymene, proanthocya-nidins, selenium, terpinen-4-ol, and terpinolene with limonene classified as fungistatic.
Eugenol, the principal constituent of leaves and fruits, is toxic in large quantities and causes contact dermatitis. Allspice itself is irritant to the skin. Rinzler (1990) reports a study of 408 eczema patients, in which 19 reacted positively to allspice patch tests (RIN).

Indications (Allspice) —

Arthrosis (1; RIN); Athlete's Foot (1; AAB; FNF); Bacteria (1; APA; FNF); Bruise (f; CRC); Cold (f; CRC); Colic (1; APA); Convulsion (1; APA; FNF); Corn (f; CRC; JLH); Cramp (1; AAB; APA; FNF); Diabetes (f; CRC; JFM); Diarrhea (f; APA); Dysmenorrhea (1; AAB; CRC; JFM); Dyspepsia (1; AAB; APA; CRC; FNF); Enterosis (f; APA); Exhaustion (1; AAB); Fever (f; JFM); Fungus (1; APA; FNF); Gas (1; AAB; APA; CRC); Gingivosis (1; APA); High Blood Pressure (1; ABS; FNF); Infection (1; APA; FNF); Mycosis (1; AAB; FNF); Myosis (1; APA); Nervousness (1; FNF); Neuralgia (f; CRC); Neurasthenia (f; BOW); Pain (1; AAB; APA; CRC; FNF); Parasite (1; APA); Pulmonosis (f; BOW); Rheumatism (1; AAB; CRC; FNF); Stomachache (1; APA; CRC); Stomatosis (1; APA); Toothache (1; APA); Vaginosis (1; APA); Virus (1; FNF); Vomiting (1; APA; FNF); Water Retention (1; FNF); Yeast (1; APA).

Allspice for high blood pressure:

• Antiaggregant: cinnamaldehyde; eugenol; isoeugenol; salicylates
• Antioxidant: eugenol; gamma-terpinene; isoeugenol; isoquercitrin; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; proanthocyanidins; quercitrin
• Antistroke: proanthocyanidins
• Antithromboxane: eugenol
• Cardioprotective: proanthocyanidins
• Cardiotonic: quercitrin
• Diuretic: isoquercitrin; quercitrin; terpinen-4-ol
• Hypotensive: 1,8-cineole; cinnamaldehyde; isoquercitrin; quercitrin
• Sedative: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; cinnamaldehyde; eugenol; geranyl-acetate; isoeugenol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; p-cymene
• Vasodilator: cinnamaldehyde; proanthocyanidins

Allspice for infection:

• Analgesic: eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; cinnamaldehyde; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; cinnamalde-hyde; delta-3-carene; delta-cadinene; eugenol; isoquercitrin; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; quercitrin; terpinen-4-ol
• Antiedemic: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol; proanthocyanidins; quercitrin
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; cin-namaldehyde; delta-3-carene; eugenol; quercitrin; salicylates
• Antiseptic: 1,8-cineole; alpha-terpineol; aromadendrene; beta-pinene; eugenol; hexanol; limonene; linalool; methyl-benzoate; methyl-eugenol; proanthocyanidins; terpinen-4-ol
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; ar-curcumene; cinnamaldehyde; limonene; linalool; p-cymene; proanthocyanidins; quercitrin
• Bacteristat: isoeugenol; malic-acid
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Circulostimulant: cinnamaldehyde
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: cinnamaldehyde
• Fungicide: 1,8-cineole; alpha-phellandrene; beta-phellandrene; caryophyllene; caryo-phyllene-oxide; chavicol; cinnamaldehyde; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; terpinen-4-ol; terpinolene
• Fungistat: isoeugenol; limonene; methyl-eugenol
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: cinnamaldehyde

Allspice for rheumatism:

• Analgesic: eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; cinnamaldehyde; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene
• Antiedemic: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol; proanthocyanidins; quercitrin
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; cin-namaldehyde; delta-3-carene; eugenol; quercitrin; salicylates
• Antiprostaglandin: eugenol
• Antirheumatalgic: p-cymene
• Antispasmodic: 1,8-cineole; caryophyllene; cinnamaldehyde; eugenol; limonene; lina-lool; myrcene; quercitrin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Collagenase-Inhibitor: proanthocyanidins
• Counterirritant: 1,8-cineole
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: cinnamaldehyde
• Elastase-Inhibitor: proanthocyanidins
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: cinnamaldehyde
• Myorelaxant: 1,8-cineole; eugenol-methyl-ether; methyl-eugenol

Other Uses (Allspice) —

Allspice of commerce is the dried unripe fruit, used as a condiment; in baked goods, chutney, ice cream, ketchup, mixed spices, pickles, sauces, soups; and in flavoring sausages and curing meats. Allspice powder consists of whole ground dried fruit. It's called "allspice" because it supposedly embraces the aromas of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. To make an allspice substitute, merely combine one part nutmeg, two parts cinnamon, and two parts clove (RIN). Mexican Indians used allspice to flavor chocolate. I use it to flavor eggnog. Allspice is an essential ingredient of the rubs and marinades used in seasoning Jamaican jerked foods, which are also flavored by the smoke of pimento wood fires (FAC). In Jamaica, a local drink called "pimento dram" is made of ripe fruits and rum. It is regarded as a panacea. Allspice is used in such liqueurs as Benedictine and Chartreuse. A volatile oil, extracted from the spice and leaves, is used to flavor essences and perfumes and as a source of eugenol and vanillin. The oil is also used in flavoring beverages, candies, chewing gums, liqueurs, meats and sauces, and in Asian perfumery and shaving lotions. Bahamians make a pleasing tea from the leaves. Costa Ricans use the leaves as a spice. Many ethnic groups use the leaves in tea. Saplings are used as walking sticks and umbrella handles(DAD, FAD).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Allspice) —

Fresh seeds germinate readily but lose viability quickly. Seeds extracted from fruits are planted in nursery beds with 50% shade. Seedlings transplanted to pots at the two-to four-leaf stage and outplanted when 30-40 cm high (ca. 10 months old). Allspice may also be propagated by bud propagation, which permits clonal female trees to predominate, with few male trees as pollinators. Allspice may be intercropped with banana or other crops for 5 years and then removed. Bown (2001) recommends rich, sandy, sunny, well-drained soils, zone 10, min. temp. 15-18°C (59-64°F). Nitrogenous manuring is particularly favorable for heavy leaf crop. A mixture of 10:10:10, ca. 100 g/tree, twice a year, is reasonable fertilization for young trees, with up to nearly 2.5 kg/tree for trees over 10 years old. For berry production, plants should be spaced 8-10 m apart each way; if grown for leaf oil, they may be planted much closer (2 m) and trimmed to bush size. It is not advisable to harvest berries and leaves from the same tree. Trees may be planted in pastures but must be protected and weeded. Trees should be trained low and spreading. Fruits ripen 3-4 months after flowering (DAD). Fruits should be harvested at full size, but not ripe (ca. 3-4 months after flowering). They lose aroma when mature. Trees can bear at age 5-8 (-12) years but are not fully producing until 20-25 years. They continue for several more years. Twigs with berries are broken off by hand and the berries stripped off, sun-dried for 7-10 days, and winnowed. An average yield is about 1 kg of dried berries per tree/year. Yields fluctuate, with a good crop every 3 years. Trees 10-15 years old may yield 0.9-25 kg/year. Mature trees at times yield 70 kg of green berries, but this is higher than one should expect (DAD).

Chemistry (Allspice) —

Purseglove et al. (1981) give a long tabular comparison of the berry and leaf oils. Tucker et al. (2000) characterize the leaf oil as principally composed of eugenol (0.9-83.5%), methyl eugenol (0.1-84.9%), and myrcene (0.2-14.0%). Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in allspice. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Chavicol — Fungicide; Nematicide.
Eugenol — ADI = 2.5 mg/kg; Analgesic; Anesthetic 200-400; Antiaggregant IC50 = 0.3 | M; Antiarachidonate; Antibacterial MBC = 400 | g/ml, 500 ppm; Anticancer; Anticonvulsant; Anti-edemic; Antifeedant; Antigenotoxic 50-500 mg/kg orl mus; Antiherpetic IC50 = 16.2-25.6 ng/ml;
Antiinflammatory 11 [M, IC~97 = 1000 [M; Antikeratotic IC50 = 16.2-25.6 [g/ml; Antimitotic; Antimutagenic; Antinitrosating; Antioxidant 10 [M, IC65 = 30 ppm; Antiprostaglandin 11 [M,
IC50 = 9.2 mM; Antipyretic 3 ml/man/day; Antiradicular EC50 = 2 [ l/l; Antisalmonella MIC = 400 [ g/ml; Antiseptic 400 [ g/ml; Antispasmodic; Antithromboxane; Anti-TNF; Antitumor; Anti-ulcer; Antiviral IC50 = 16.2-25.6 [g/ml; Apifuge; Calcium-Antagonist IC50 = 224 [M; Can-didicide; Carcinogen; Carminative; Choleretic; CNS-Depressant; COX-1-Inhibitor IC97 = 1000 [M; COX-2-Inhibitor IC > 97 = 1000 [M; Cytochrome-p450-Inhibitor; Cytotoxic 25 [ig/ml; Dermatitigenic; Enterorelaxant; Fungicide; Hepatoprotective 100 ppm; Herbicide; Insectifuge; Insecticide; Irritant; Juvabional; Larvicide; Motor-Depressant; Nematicide MLC = 2000 [ g/ml; Neurotoxic; Sedative; Trichomonicide LD100 = 300 [ig/ml; Trichomonistat IC50 = 10 [ig/ml; Trypsin-Enhancer; Ulcerogenic; Vasodilator; Vermifuge; LD50 = 2680 orl rat; LD50 = 3000 orl mus; LDlo = 500 orl rat.
Methyleugenol — Anesthetic; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticonvulsant; Antidote (Strychine); Antifeedant; Antioxidant EC50 = 100 [l/l; Antiradicular EC50 = 100 [l/l; Antiseptic; Carcinogenic; Fungicide; Fungistatic 100 [ g/ml; Insectifuge; Myorelaxant; Narcotic; Nematicide MLC = 1 mg/ml; Sedative.

Pimenta racemosa (Mill.) J. W. Moore (Myrtaceae) Bayrum Tree, West Indian Bay

Pimenta racemosa (Mill.) J. W. Moore (Myrtaceae) Bayrum Tree, West Indian Bay

Medicinal Uses (Bayrum Tree) —

Reported to be analgesic, antiseptic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, and stomachic. Cubans decoct four seed in a cup of water as a stimulant. Bahamians drink the hot leaf tea as a stimulant, using the cooled tea as a skin bracer. Jamaicans take the tea for cold and fever; Grenadans for diarrhea; Trinidad natives for chest colds, flu, pneumonia, and stroke. Leaves are pasted with macerated leaves of Caesalpinia coriaria to relieve toothache.
According to Teissedre and Waterhouse (2000), the EO of P. racemosa inhibited LDL oxidation (IC71 = 2 [M; IC94 = 5 [M). That's close to tops in their survey of 23 EOs. They first assessed EOs as antibacterial and antifungal, second as flavorants and preservatives in foods, and third as cosmetics, for their aromatic and antioxidant properties. In their survey of 23 EOs, star anise was most potent (IC83 = 2 [ M) and Spanish red thyme (Thymus zygis) least potent (JAF4:3801).

Indications (Bayrum Tree) —

Adenosis (f; CRC); Alopecia (f; BOW); Arthrosis (1; FNF; JFM); Bacteria (1; FNF); Bite (f; CRC); Bruise (f; CRC); Cancer (f; CRC); Cancer, breast (f; JLH); Cancer, uterus (f; JLH); Candida (1; FNF); Caries (1; FNF); Chest Cold (f; CRC; JFM); Chill (f; BOW); Cold (f; CRC); Cramp (1; FNF); Dandruff (f; BOW); Dermatosis (f; JFM); Diarrhea (f; CRC; JFM); Dyspepsia (f; CRC); Dysuria (f; CRC; JFM); Edema (f; CRC); Elephantiasis (f; CRC);
Fever (f; CRC; JFM); Flu (f; CRC; JFM); Fungus (1; FNF); Gas (f; JFM); Grippe (1; FNF; JFM); Headache (f; CRC); Incontinence (f; CRC); Induration (f; JLH); Infection (1; CRC; FNF); Inflammation (1; FNF); Lethargy (f; JFM); Mycosis (1; FNF); Myosis (1; FNF; JFM); Nausea (f; CRC); Neuralgia (f; BOW); Nicotinism (f; JFM); Pain (1; FNF; JFM); Pleurisy (f; CRC; JFM); Pneumonia (f; CRC; JFM); Rheumatism (1; FNF; JFM); Scirrhus (f; JLH); Smoking (f; CRC; JFM); Sore Throat (f; CRC); Spasm (1; CRC; FNF); Stroke (f; CRC; JFM); Toothache (1; CRC; FNF; JFM);
Tumor (f; JLH); Uterosis (f; JLH); Varicosis (f; CRC); Vertigo (f; CRC); Virus (1; FNF); Water
Retention (1; FNF).

Bayrum Tree for infection:

• Analgesic: camphor; eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; camphor; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; citral; delta-cadinene; eugenol; geranial; geraniol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; neral; nerol; p-cymene; terpinen-4-ol; thujone
• Antiedemic: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol
• Antiseptic: 1,8-cineole; alpha-terpineol; beta-pinene; camphor; citral; eugenol; geraniol; hexanol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; nerol; terpinen-4-ol; thujone
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; geranial; limonene; linalool; neryl-acetate; p-cymene
• Bacteristat: isoeugenol
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Fungicide: 1,8-cineole; alpha-phellandrene; beta-phellandrene; camphor; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; chavicol; citral; eugenol; geraniol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; terpinen-4-ol
• Fungistat: isoeugenol; limonene; methyl-eugenol

Bayrum Tree for rheumatism:

• Analgesic: camphor; eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; camphor; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene
• Antiedemic: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol
• Antiprostaglandin: eugenol
• Antirheumatalgic: p-cymene
• Antispasmodic: 1,8-cineole; camphor; caryophyllene; eugenol; geraniol; limonene; lina-lool; myrcene; thujone
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Counterirritant: 1,8-cineole; camphor; thujone
• Myorelaxant: 1,8-cineole; eugenol-methyl-ether; methyl-eugenol
Bayrum Tree for toothache:
• Analgesic: camphor; eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; camphor; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; citral; delta-cadinene; eugenol; geranial; geraniol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; neral; nerol; p-cymene; terpinen-4-ol; thujone
• Anticariogenic: alpha-terpineol; caryophyllene; delta-cadinene; geraniol; linalool
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol
• Antioxidant: eugenol; gamma-terpinene; isoeugenol; methyl-eugenol; myrcene
• Antiseptic: 1,8-cineole; alpha-terpineol; beta-pinene; camphor; citral; eugenol; geraniol; hexanol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; nerol; terpinen-4-ol; thujone
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Candidicide: 1,8-cineole; beta-pinene; caryophyllene; eugenol; geraniol
• Candidistat: isoeugenol; limonene; linalool
• Fungicide: 1,8-cineole; alpha-phellandrene; beta-phellandrene; camphor; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; chavicol; citral; eugenol; geraniol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; terpinen-4-ol
• Fungistat: isoeugenol; limonene; methyl-eugenol
• Vulnerary: terpinen-4-ol

Other Uses (Bayrum Tree) —

Leaves distilled for the spicy bay oil, used in perfumery and in the preparation of bay rum. Formerly, leaves were distilled in rum and water, now oil is dissolved in alcohol or, in Dominica, only in water. Bay rum, with soothing and antiseptic qualities, is also used in toilet preparations and as a hair tonic. Bay rum is occasionally drunk. Oil also used on a limited scale for flavoring foods, chiefly in table sauces. Both bark and fruits used for flavoring in the Caribbean, e.g., in "blaff" (a fish broth). A leaf held in the mouth is said to discourage smoking. The dried green berries have a flavor. Wood is moderately hard and heavy, with a fine compact texture.
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Bayrum Tree) —

Much as in allspice. Bown (2001) recommends rich, sandy, sunny, well-drained soils, zone 10, min. temp. 15-18° C (59-64° F). Propagated by seeds sown when ripe, or semi-ripe cuttings in summer (BOW).
Chemistry (Bayrum Tree) — Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in bayrum tree. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Chrysanthenone — Dentifrice (tobacco-stain remover).
Estragole — Antiaggregant IC50 = 320 | M; Anticancer; Antipyretic; Carcinogenic 4.4 | M/15 mos scu mus; DNA-Binder; Hepatocarcinogenic 0.23-0.46% diet/12mos; Insecticide; Insectifuge; Mutagenic; LD50 = 1250 orl mus; LD50 = 1820 orl rat.
Eugenol — See also Pimenta dioica.
Methyl-Eugenol — See also Pimenta dioica.
Thujone — Abortifacient; Antibacterial; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic ED50 = 0.127 mg/ml; Cere-brodepressant; Convulsant 40 mg/kg; Counterirritant; Emmenagogue; Epileptigenic; Hallucinogenic; Herbicide IC50 = 22 mM; Neurotoxic; Respirainhibitor; Toxic; Vermifuge; LD50 = 395 mg/kg orl gpg; LD50 = 192 mg/kg orl rat; LD50 = 230 mg/kg orl mus; LD50 = 140 mg/kg ipr rat; LDlo = 120 ipr rat; LD50 = 73-134 scu mus.

Piper auritum Kunth. (Piperaceae) Anisillo, Hoja Santa

Piper auritum Kunth. (Piperaceae) Anisillo, Hoja Santa

Medicinal Uses (Hoja Santa) —

Half spice, half medicine, the aromatic leaves are widely used. The leaf decoction is used as a diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, and stimulant. Extracts of the leaves are anesthetic, making the topical application rational for sundry aches and pains. In Costa Rica, our guides and ecotourists apply the leaf to headache, much as is done with Pothomorphe peltata. Both work. Warmed leaves are applied to inflammations. Leaves heated in almond oil are applied over the liver for colic (JFM). Leaf tea and/or pulverized seed is used to settle the stomach, e.g., the tea from half a leaf is taken after eating, almost like a digestive after-dinner mint. In Nicaragua, the leaf infusion and juice are administered orally or topically for aches and pains, childbirth and pregnancy, fever, digestive disorders, and burns.
The TRAMIL Commission (in my opinion, the Caribbean equivalent of Germany's Commission E) mentions that the tea is used for high blood pressure but warns of the toxicity of the aromatic ingredient safrole. Safrole and elemicin may exert hallucinogenic and/or psychotropic activities (TRA). At 0.1 ml/kg intravenously in dogs, the aqueous extract is hypotensive (TRA). The 95% ethanolic extract at 0.33 ml/l is spasmogenic and uterotonic in vitro (TRA). At 3 ml/l, the aqueous extracts have a vasodilator effect on lab rats (TRA). Myrcene has anesthetic activities. As a alpha-2-adrenergic agonist, myrcene affects arterial blood pressure.

Indications (Hoja Santa) —

Angina (1; JFM; FNF); Bacteria (1; FNF); Colic (f; JFM); Cramp (1; FNF); Erysipelas (f; JFM); Fever (1; FNF; JFM); Fungus (1; FNF); Gonorrhea (f; JFM); Gout (f; JFM); Headache (1; FNF; JFM; TRA); High Blood Pressure (1; FNF; TRA); Infection (1; FNF); Inflammation (1; FNF; JFM); Nervousness (1; FNF); Pain (1; FNF; TRA); VD (f; JFM); Water Retention (1; FNF); Wound (1; FNF; JFM).

Hoja Santa for headache:

• Analgesic: borneol; camphor; eugenol; myrcene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; benzoic-acid; camphor; eugenol; linalool; myrcene; myristicin; safrole
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; borneol; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol; myristicin
• Antineuralgic: camphor
• Antispasmodic: 1,8-cineole; borneol; camphor; caryophyllene; eugenol; limonene; lina-lool; myrcene; myristicin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Counterirritant: 1,8-cineole; camphor
• Myorelaxant: 1,8-cineole; borneol
• Sedative: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; borneol; caryophyllene; eugenol; limonene; linalool; myristicin
• Tranquilizer: alpha-pinene

Hoja Santa for wound:

• Analgesic: borneol; camphor; eugenol; myrcene
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; benzoic-acid; camphor; eugenol; linalool; myrcene; myristicin; safrole
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; alpha-pinene; benzoic-acid; caryophyllene; delta-cadinene; eugenol; limonene; linalool; myrcene; safrole
• Antiedemic: caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; borneol; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol; myristicin
• Antipyretic: benzoic-acid; borneol; eugenol
• Antiseptic: 1,8-cineole; benzoic-acid; beta-pinene; camphor; eugenol; limonene; linalool; safrole
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; beta-bisabolene; lignans; limonene; linalool
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol
• Fungicide: 1,8-cineole; alpha-phellandrene; benzoic-acid; beta-phellandrene; camphor; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; eugenol; linalool; myrcene; myristicin; terpinolene
• Fungistat: limonene
• Vulnerary: benzoic-acid

Other Uses (Hoja Santa) —

The leaves, with flavor and aroma (and carcinogen) of sassafras, are used fresh for seasoning soups, wild game such as armadillo, freshwater snails (called "jute" in Guatemala), and many other dishes (FAC, JAD, JFM). The leaves are not used dried (AAR). With pleasant anise flavor with minty overtones, leaves are also are used as wrappers for steamed or baked fish, shrimp, chicken, or cheese. Fresh leaves are wrapped around tamale dough before it is packaged in corn leaves and steamed (FAC). These leafy wrappers are eaten right along with the filling. Discard the tough central vein and use the two large pieces as wrappers (AAR). In Vera Cruz, leaves are ground with chiles, garlic, and roast tomatoes to make a feisty fish sauce. Leaves are also sauteed with shrimp and roasted peppers (TAD). Other Mexicans season a mole for pork and sometimes add them to posole verde. With a blended hoja santa sauce, you can improve fish or chicken. Puree one cup of leaves and one-third cup chicken broth; season with salt and pepper, garlic, onions, green chiles. Fry the sauce, as they do in Mexican cooking, with a small amount of oil bringing to a boil. In Honduras, young leaves are sometimes cooked and eaten as greens. The natives of Panama trap river fish using the leaves and/or fruits as bait. After feeding on it regularly, the flesh of the fish takes on the flavor of the leaf. Hence, the plant is recommended for aquaculture applications in parts of Central America (AAR, FAC).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Hoja Santa) —

Tucker and Debaggio (2000) note that it is rarely hardy above zone 9 in the U.S. Bown (2001) suggests minimum temperatures of 100C (500F), seeds sown at 20-240C (66-750F). It seems to fare best on well-drained garden loam, moist but not constantly wet, tolerating some shade and full sun. They suggest propagating by summer cuttings. I too have had great luck
(better than with kava-kava, which is not so pleasantly aromatic) with this in my garden, bringing it in to the greenhouse in winter. It makes cuttings readily. Pot bound plants make root sprouts that can be used for propagation. In the tropics, it can form pure stands attaining 20 ft in two years, much like kava-kava. Harvest as needed.
Chemistry (Hoja Santa) — Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in hoja santa. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Borneol — Allelochemic; Analgesic; Antiacetytlcholine; Antibacterial MIC = 125-250 |lg/ml; Antibronchitic; Antiescherichic MIC = 125 |lg/ml; Antifeedant; Antiinflammatory; Antiotitic; Antipyretic; Antisalmonella MIC = 125 |lg/ml; Antispasmodic ED50 = 0.008 mg/ml; Antistaphylococcic MIC = 250 ng/ml; Candidicide MIC = 250 ng/ml; Choleretic; CNS-Stimulant; CNS-Toxic; Fungicide; Hepatoprotectant; Herbicide IC50 = 470 mM; IC50 = 470 |lM; Inhalant; Insectifuge; Irritant; Myorelaxant; Negative Chronotropic 29 |ig/ml; Negative Inotropic 29 |ig/ml; Nematicide MLC = 1 mg/ml; Sedative; Tranquilizer; LDlo = 2000 orl rbt.
Elemicine — Antiaggregant IC50 = 360 [iM; Antidepressant ihl; Antifeedant; Antihistaminic; Antiserotonic; Antistress ihl; DNA-Binder; Fungicide MIC = 8 |lg; Hallucinogenic; Hypotensive ihl; Insecticide 100 ppm; Insectifuge; Larvicide 100 ppm; Neurotoxic; Schistosomicide.
Eugenol — See also Pimenta dioica.
Myrcene — Analgesic; Anesthetic 10-20 mg/kg ipr mus, 20-40 mg/kg scu mus; Antibacterial; Anticonvulsant; Antimutagenic; Antinitrosaminic; Antioxidant; Antipyretic; Antispasmodic; Fungicide; Insectifuge; Irritant; p450(2B1)-Inhibitor IC50 = 0.14 [iM.
Safrole — See also Sassafras albidum.

Piper nigrum L. (Piperaceae) Black Pepper

Piper nigrum L. (Piperaceae) Black Pepper

Medicinal Uses (Black Pepper) —

Considered antipyretic, aromatic, carminative, rubefacient, and stimulant. Modern medicine in India utilizes black pepper as an aromatic stimulant in cholera,
weakness following fevers, vertigo, coma, etc.; as a stomachic in gas and indigestion; as an alterative in arthritic diseases and paraplegia; and as an antimalarial. Rinzler (1990) rationalizes, "Because pepper irritates mucous membranes, highly spiced foods may be beneficial when you have hay fever or a head cold. The spice irritates tissues inside your nose and throat, causing them to weep a water secretion that makes it easier for you to cough up mucus or to blow your nose" (RIN). Pepper root, in the form of ghees, powders, enemas, and balms, is a folk remedy for abdominal tumors. Chinese poultice the leaves onto headaches and use them for urinary calculus as well. Powdered fruits are said to alleviate "superfluous flesh." An electuary prepared from the seed is said to help hard tumors, while a salve prepared from the seed is said to help eye indurations and internal tumors. The grain, with warm wine and egg, is said to help indurations of the stomach. A poultice, made from the pepper, salt, and vinegar, may help corns. Pepper is also poulticed, like mustard plasters, for colic, headache, parturition, puerperium, and rheumatism. A heavy dose of pepper with wild bamboo shoots is said to induce abortion. Although pepper contains the carcinogen safrole, it is at very low levels compared to sassafras.
Some unidentified compounds from pepper are even more potent that pepper phytosterols at lowering cholesterol, possibly some via HMG-CoA-reductase inhibition. Black pepper also speeds up transit through the gut, more than just increasing peristalsis. TCM practitioners boil 1 g black pepper with 15 g ginger 25 min in a liter of water to drink for idiopathic diarrhea. They use both black and red pepper for frostbite (Lin, 1994). Ayurvedics often prescribe black pepper in a synergistic triad called "trikatu" (three acrid spices, Piper nigrum, P. longum, and Zingiber officinale). Trikatu is of great interest, since it increases the bioavailability of other drugs. Trikatu may increase bioavailability either by (1) promoting absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, (2) protecting the drug from being metabolized/oxidized in the first passage through the liver after being absorbed, (3) a combination of these two mechanisms, or (4) causing increased production of bile. Under the influence of piperine (30 mg/kg), experimental blood levels of sparteine were increased by more than 100%. In human volunteers, 20 mg piperine increases bioavailability of curcumin twentyfold (MAB).
One pungent principle of pepper is piperine, present at levels of 2-6%. According to Rinzler (1990), chavicine, piperidine, and piperine are all diaphoretic (none of them were in my database at home as such) (RIN). Like other pungent principles, capsaicin from Capsicum and zingerone (from Zingiber), piperine is an adrenergic secretagogue, enhancing the secretion of catecholamines, especially epinephrine, from the adrenal gland, thereby leading to a warming sensation. Oral black pepper, or piperine, increases the flow of bile in rats. Desai and Kalro (1985) demonstrated under their experimental conditions that powdered black pepper does not damage the gastric mucosa, but that Ferula does, based on the rate of exfoliation of human gastric mucosa surface epithelial cells. Piperine may be useful as an analeptic in barbiturate poisoning. It has a central stimulant action in frogs, mice, rats, and dogs. Piperine, at 1 mg/ml, decreased the contraction of isolated guinea pig ileum. When injected i.v. into dogs at 1 mg/kg, it decreased blood pressure and respiration rate. When given orally to rats at 100 mg/100 g, it showed slight antipyretic activity. Piperine interacts with nitrite in vitro under slightly acidic conditions at 37° to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Piperine is a stimulant. Piperine is also used in synthesizing heliotropine, which has its own medicinal indications. Piperine should not be combined with astringents, which may be rendered inert. Curcumin and piperine were also concluded to be radioprotective.
Isolated piperine has an inhibiting effect on Lactobacillus plantarum, Micrococcus specialis, and two fecal micro-organisms (E. coli and Streptococcusfaecalis). It is mutagenic with Leptospira; with large doses, a bactericidal effect is produced. Piperine inhibits the ubiquitous, deadly bacterium Clostridium botulinum.
And piperine is more toxic to houseflies than pyrethrin. A mix of 0.05% piperine and 0.01 pyrethrins is more toxic than 0.1% pyrethrin (WOI). It improves insecticidal activity of other oils, like eucalyptus oil. Piperine is synergistically insecticidal to rice weevils and cowpea weevils. As insect repellent, spray with 0.5 tsp ground pepper in one qt warm water (RIN).
Lin (1994) has some novel observations. Merely holding 100 mg pepper in the mouth causes a transient increase of 13 mm Hg in systolic, 18 mm Hg in diastolic pressure. A parallel result has resulted from chewing 1 g ginger 11 for systolic, 14 for diastolic (MAB). Aqueous leaf extract raised blood pressure in dogs modestly (not stated whether oral or injected) (MPI).
The EO reportedly inhibits Alternaria oryzae, A. tenuis, Aspergillus oryzae, Beauveria sp., Cryptococcus neoformans, Fusarium solani, Histoplasma capsulatum, Microsporum gypseum, Nocardia brasiliensis, Penicillium javanicum, P. striatum, Staphylococcus "albus," Trichoderma viride, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Vibrio cholera. Alcoholic, aqueous, and ether extracts have taenicidal activity at 1:100 concentrations. Sharma et al. (2000) showed that, though bactericidal on their own, extracts of black pepper, capsicum, and turmeric partially protected Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus pumilus, and Escherichia from radiation, probably protecting their DNA. Chile was strongest. Karen Dean has been preparing her interesting column, Plant Patents, in HerbalGram, e.g., in HerbalGram #50, where she covers three new patents. One was for treating various mycoses, e.g., athlete's foot, candida, dermatomycoses, favus, jock itch, ringworm, all based on a "new class of general antiinfective agents" extracted from black-pepper (Piper), ginger (Zingiber), and other plant species containing vanillyl and piperidine ring structures typical of some of the pungent principals found in pepper and ginger. I suppose this does represent a better mousetrap, but the spices themselves have quite a history as fungicides. Staggs patent claims that his compositions constitute a less expensive, more effective, less toxic treatment for mycoses in humans and livestock (than widely used antifungal medications). I suspect we might do almost as well right there in the spice rack, grabbing the pungent compounds from our red and black peppers, and ginger and turmeric. The piperine from black pepper has been shown to synergize with a lot of natural and synthetic medications, including some fungicides. Stagg's compositions contain the pungent active ingredient in an oleoresin base, formulated into bath products, drops, douches, infusions, lotions, plasters, powders, shampoos, and tinctures. I'd like to compare Staggs composition with my Hot Foot [a mix of five powdered hot spices, black and red pepper, ginger and turmeric, and the stinking rose, the Biblical garlic, which adds the proven candidicidal and/or fungicidal compounds (ajoene (IC100 = 100 |Jg/ml)), allicin, caffeic-acid MIC = 400 g/ml, chlo-rogenic acid, citral, p-coumaric-acid, diallyl-disulfide, eruboside-B (MIC = 25 g/ml), ferulic acid, geraniol IC93 = 2 mM, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, linalol, phloroglucinol, and sinapic-acid].
Here I’d like to list a few of the comments from a hundred-year-old volume (Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, six vols. by George Watt. 1889-1892). It devotes seven fine print pages to black pepper and/or trikatu. Trikatu, used externally for dermatosis (and alopecia), might do just as well as Stagg’s combo. Externally, it is valued as a rubefacient, for sore throat, piles, and some skin diseases. Moreover, Watt quotes a historical spice formula for poor eyesight. “He that hath a bad or thick sight, let him use pepper cornes, with annis, fennel seed, and cloves, for thereby the mystinesse of the eyes which darken the sight is cleared and driven away” (DEP). I like that quote, more than 100 years old. It might even help with glaucoma. But some eager beaver neonate might try to patent it. I hope not. It’s an all spice formula, food farmacy, which belongs in the public domain. I’ll not try to patent my “Peppery Phytopotentiator.” It’s a mix of grapefruit juice spiced up with cayenne or tabasco for its capsaicin, black pepper (for its piperine), licorice (for its glycyrrhizin, a saponin which saponifies making more readily available many medicines), cardamom (for its cineole which speeds up transdermal and probably transgut availability), and turmeric (for its curcumin). Odds are that if you are running low on a pharmaceutical or phy-tochemical medicine, this will stretch it, potentiating by one- to fivefold the medicine, Be careful with hard core pharmaceuticals! My friends Alan Tillotsen and his wife Naixim, MD, both also clinical herbalists, make the following suggestion to some of his indigent patients. Take a pound of turmeric (about $3), and add 5% ground black pepper (11 level teaspoons), which makes 460 g of medicine for less than $4. Dose is 2.5 grams twice a day (a huge dose = 250 mg black pepper), 92 days (3 months) for $4 or $1.35 per month. The piperine augments significantly the availability of curcumin, one of nature’s Cox-2-Inhibitors, of great potential in Alzheimer’s,
arthritis, and cancer, especially the colon cancer to which I am genetically targeted. Nor will I try to patent my High Colonic Tea or Gobo Gumbo, a food farmacy approach to Alzheimer’s, arthritis, colon cancer, and lymphoma. Again, it emphasizes the black pepper to increase the availability of the curcumin. I don’t believe in patenting nature or Father Nature’s Farmacy. But my database can be helpful to those trying to break (or make) a patent. The updated database at home can lead you to the early references and recipes for a given indication for a given herb. The lawyers I have worked for are silent and, like me, sworn to secrecy, but I’ll bet I helped them break two million-dollar patents recently.
And regarding toxicity, levels of 60,000-110,000 ppm piperine, 14,000 ppm piperetine, and 8000 ppm chavicine, levels higher than those, e.g., in the Wealth of India, have been assumed. It is hinted that chavicine, piperine, and piperetine may be like pepper’s safroles and tannins, carcinogenic, accompanied by limonene, phellandrene, and pinene, which “have been shown to be either oncogens, cooncogens, or tumor promoters…. In addition, the high concentration of terpenes in black pepper oil suggests a high tumor promoting activity.” Since piperine and other pepper alkaloids have chemical structures similar to that of the mutagenic urinary safrole metabolite, 3-piperidyl-1-(3′,4′-methylenedioxyphenyl)-1 propanone, pungent components of black pepper are suspected to be mutagenic and/or carcinogenic. Russians have suggested that the consumption of too much tea flavored with black pepper may have contributed to the unusually high incidence of esophageal cancer in the their Aktibinsk region. Like safrole, piperine stimulates hepatic regeneration in partially hepatectomized rats. Topical application of pepper extract to mice skin has increased the incidence of total malignant tumors. Reviewing the work on safrole, Buchanan (1978) concluded that it is the most thoroughly investigated methylenedioxybenzene derivative. The major flavoring constituent in sassafras root bark, safrole also occurs in basil, black pepper, cinnamon leaf oil, cocoa, mace, nutmeg, parsley, and star anise oil. When safrole was identified as a “low-grade hepatocarcinogen,” it was banned in root beer, and the FDA in 1976 banned interstate marketing of sassafras for sassafras tea. The oral LD50 for safrole in rats is 1950 mg/kg body weight, with major symptoms including ataxia, depression, and diarrhea, death occurring in 4-5 days. Ingestion of relatively large amounts of sassafras oil produced psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects persisting several days in humans. With rats, dietary safrole at levels of 0.25%, 0.5%, and 1% produced growth retardation, stomach and testicular atrophy, liver necrosis, and biliary proliferation, and primary hepatomas. But at 10 mg/rat/day, safrole stimulates liver regeneration, like isosafrole and dihydrosafrole at 15 mg/rat/day, piperine at 25 mg/rat/day and estragole at 50 mg/rat/day. Is it conceivable that small doses help the liver while large doses hurt? Does this suggest hormetics or homeopathy? Also reviewing research on myristicin, which occurs in nutmeg, mace, carrot seed, celery seed, and parsley, as well as black pepper, Buchanan (1978) noted that the psychoactive and hallucinogenic properties of mace, nutmeg, and purified myristicin have been studied. It has been hypothesized that myristicin and elemicin can be readily modified in the body to amphetamines. The oral LD50 for nutmeg oil in rats, mice, and hamsters is 2600, 5620, and 6000 mg/kg, respectively. Based on LD50s, caffeine at 192 is much more dangerous. For more data on the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendia,  and , 1993.

Indications (Black Pepper) —

Adenitis (f; CRC; DAA); Alopecia (f; DEP); Amenorrhea (f; FEL); Anorexia (1; EFS; FNF); Arthrosis (1; CRC; DAD; DEP; FNF; PH2); Asthma (f; PH2; SKJ); Athlete’s Foot (1; HG50); Atony (f; FEL); Bacteria (1; CRC; FNF; JBU); Bite (f; DEP; SKJ); Boil (f; DEP); Bronchosis (1; FNF; PHR); Calculus (1; CRC; DAD); Cancer (1; CRC; DAA; FNF); Cancer, abdomen (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, anus (f; JLH); Cancer, breast (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, colon
(f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, eye (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, face (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, gum (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, liver (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, mouth (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, nose (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, parotid (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, sinew (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, spleen (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, stomach (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, throat (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, uvula (f; CRC; JLH); Candida (1;
HG50); Catarrh (f; PH2); Chill (f; BOW); Cholera (1; CRC; DAD; FEL; SKJ); Cold (1; CRC); Colic (f; CRC; DEP); Coma (f; DEP); Condyloma (f; JLH); Constipation (1; CRC; DAD; FEL); Congestion (f; RIN); Convulsion (1; FNF; SKJ; SPI); Corn (f; JLH); Cough (1; CRC; PH2; SKJ); Cramp (1; FNF); Debility (f; DEP); Dermatosis (1; DEP; FNF; PH2; SKJ); Diarrhea (f; CRC; DEP; PH2; SPI); Dog Bite (f; SKJ); Dry Mouth (1; PHR); Dysentery (f; CRC; PH2); Dysmenorrhea (f;
CRC; FEL); Dyspepsia (1; DAD; DEP; EFS; FEL; FNF; PHR; PH2); Dysuria (f; CRC); Epididy-
mosis (1; SPI); Epilepsy (f; BOW); Escherichia (1; CRC); Favus (1; HG50:30); Fever (1; CRC; DAD; PH2); Frostbite (1; SPI); Fungus (1; FNF); Furunculosis (f; CRC); Galactorrhea (f; PH2); Gas (1; DAD; EFS; FEL; PH2); Gastrosis (f; FEL; PHR; PH2); Gingivosis (f; JLH); Gonorrhea (f; DEP); Gravel (f; CRC); Hay Fever (1; RIN); Headache (1; CRC; PHR); Head Cold (1; RIN);
Hemorrhoid (f; DEP; HHB; PH2; SKJ); Hepatosis (f; JLH); Hiccup (f; PH2); High Blood Pressure (1; CRC; FNF); High Cholesterol (1; FNF; LIN); Induration (f; JLH); Infection (1; CRC; JBU);
Inflammation (1; BOW; FNF); Itch (f; DEP); Leishmaniasis (1; PHR); Lethargy (1; DAD); Malaria (f; CRC; DEP); Mucososis (f; PH2; RIN); Mycosis (1; FNF; HG50); Nausea (f; CRC); Nervousness (1; FNF); Neuralgia (1; HHB; PHR; PH2); Onychiosis (1; HG50:31); Ophthalmia (f; JLH); Pain (1; FNF; JBU); Paralysis (f; CRC; DEP); Paraplegia (1; CRC; DAD; DEP; WOI); Parturition (f; CRC);
Phymata (f; JLH); Prolapse (f; DEP); Respirosis (f; SPI); Rhinosis (f; SKJ); Ringworm (1; HG50);
Scabies (1; PHR; PH2); Scarlatina (1; CRC; DAD); Scirrhus (f; JLH); Sinusosis (f; BOW); Snakebite (f; SKJ); Sore Throat (f; DEP; SKJ); Splenosis (f; JLH); Staphylococcus (1; MPI); Stomachache (f; DAA); Swelling (f; JLH); Tinea (1; HG50); Toothache (1; DEP; FNF); Tumor (1; CRC; FNF); Ulcer (1; FNF; JLH); Urethrosis (f; PH2); Urolithiasis (1; CRC); Vertigo (f; CRC); Vomiting (f; PH2); Wart (f; JLH); Water Retention (f; PNC); Wen (f; JLH); Yeast (1; HG50).

Black Pepper for dermatosis:

• Analgesic: borneol; caffeic-acid; camphor; eugenol; myrcene; p-cymene; piperine; quercetin
• Anesthetic: 1,8-cineole; benzoic-acid; camphor; carvacrol; cinnamic-acid; eugenol; lina-lool; linalyl-acetate; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; myristicin; piperine; safrole
• Antibacterial: 1,8-cineole; acetophenone; alpha-pinene; alpha-terpineol; benzoic-acid; caffeic-acid; carvacrol; caryophyllene; cinnamic-acid; citral; citronellal; citronellol; delta-3-carene; delta-cadinene; eugenol; hyperoside; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; nerolidol; p-coumaric-acid; p-cymene; perillaldehyde; piperine; quercetin; quercitrin; rhamnetin; rutin; safrole; terpinen-4-ol; terpinyl-acetate
• Antidermatitic: hyperoside; quercetin; rutin
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-linolenic-acid; alpha-pinene; beta-pinene; borneol; caffeic-acid; carvacrol; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; cinnamic-acid; cuparene; delta-3-carene; eugenol; hyperoside; kaempferol; myristicin; n-hentriacontane; piperine; quercetin; quer-citrin; rutin; salicylates
• Antiitch: camphor
• Antiseptic: 1,8-cineole; alpha-terpineol; benzoic-acid; beta-pinene; caffeic-acid; camphor; carvacrol; carvone; citral; citronellal; citronellol; eugenol; kaempferol; limonene; linalool; methyl-eugenol; oxalic-acid; piperine; safrole; terpinen-4-ol
• Antistress: gaba; myristicin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: carvacrol; kaempferol; n-isobutyl-octadeca-trans-2-trans-4-dienamide; pellitorine; quercetin
• Fungicide: 1,8-cineole; acetophenone; alpha-phellandrene; benzoic-acid; beta-phelland-rene; caffeic-acid; camphor; carvacrol; caryophyllene; caryophyllene-oxide; cinnamic-acid; citral; citronellol; eugenol; linalool; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; myristicin; p-cou-maric-acid; p-cymene; perillaldehyde; quercetin; terpinen-4-ol; terpinolene
Black Pepper for high cholesterol:
• Antiaggregant: alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; eugenol; kaempferol; myristicin; quer-cetin; safrole; salicylates
• Antiatherogenic: rutin
• Antiatherosclerotic: carvacrol; quercetin
• Antidiabetic: quercetin; rutin
• Antiischemic: ubiquinone
• Antilipoperoxidant: quercetin
• Antioxidant: caffeic-acid; camphene; carvacrol; eugenol; gamma-terpinene; hyperoside; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; linalyl-acetate; methyl-eugenol; myrcene; myristicin; p-cou-maric-acid; quercetin; quercitrin; rhamnetin; rutin; ubiquinone
• Antioxidant (LDL): carvacrol
• Cholagogue: caffeic-acid
• Choleretic: 1,8-cineole; benzoic-acid; caffeic-acid; cinnamic-acid; eugenol; kaempferol; p-coumaric-acid; quercitrin
• Diuretic: caffeic-acid; gaba; hyperoside; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; myristicin; n-hentri-acontane; quercitrin; terpinen-4-ol
• Hepatoprotective: borneol; caffeic-acid; eugenol; piperine; quercetin
• Hypocholesterolemic: caffeic-acid; d-limonene; rutin
• Hypotensive: 1,8-cineole; acetyl-choline; alpha-linolenic-acid; astragalin; gaba; hypero-side; isoquercitrin; kaempferol; myristicin; piperine; quercetin; quercitrin; rutin
• Thyrostimulant: piperine

Other Uses (Black Pepper) —

Pepper has been used as a condiment and medicine since times of Hippocrates. Spices were so valued in the past that when Alarich, a Gothic leader, laid siege to Rome in A.D. 408, he demanded as ransom 3000 lb of pepper as well as various precious metals. Marco Polo, Magellan, and Columbus all took hazardous journeys seeking better routes to spice-growing countries. “Black the world’s most widely used spice even though Piper nigum is an exclusively tropical plant with several useful properties” (Sherman and Flaxman, 2001). In 4578 meat-based recipes, 93% call for at least one spice. Some lacked spices entirely, and others had up to 12 spices. In 10 countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, and Thailand), every meat-based recipe.called for at least one spice. Black pepper and onion were called for most frequently, in 63% and 65% of all meat-based recipes, then garlic, 35%; chilis, 24%; lemon and lime juice, 23%; parsley, 22%; ginger, 16%; and bay leaf, 13% (Sherman and Billing, 1999).
Black pepper is the whole unripe dried fruit; white pepper is obtained by removal or blanching of the outer coating (pericarp). Both are available whole, cracked, coarsely ground, or finely ground. Both have numerous culinary uses, including seasoning and flavoring of soups, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, vegetables, salads, sauces, and gravies. Both are employed commercially in preparation of processed meats of all kinds, soups, sauces, pickles, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and other foods. Tellicherry and Muntok are famous grades of black and white pepper, respectively. Mignonette pepper or shot pepper is a mixture of white and black pepper widely used in France. Poivre gris is finely ground mignonette. Unripe, green peppercorns are pickled in vinegar and used as a relish (FAC). Pepato is a sheep’s milk cheese from Sicily, flavored with whole black peppercorns (FAC). Seeds yield an EO used to flavor sausages, pickles, canned foods, and beverages (FAC). The pepper oil also serves in perfumery. Rinzler (1990) suggests a pinch of pepper where I would not have thought of pepper, i.e., apple pie, applesauce, baked apples or pears, eggnog, gingerbread, hot chocolate, and spiced wine punch. She wisely reminds us to grind peppercorns just before using to retain maximum flavor. She suggests using metal or plastic pepper mills, since wood absorbs the aromatic oils and is harder to keep clean and fresh (DAD, FAC, RIN).
And how often have you heard it said that spices were important before refrigeration to slow the spoilage of foods; spices were the original antioxidants? Lin (1994) laments that many expert committees, based only on the tocopherol content of pepper, concluded that it could not slow spoilage. Lin however, thinks of the whole antioxidant complex, noting that, in addition to 0.54% mixed tocopherols in the oleoresin (including 0.1% alpha-tocopherol), pepper contains five phenolic amides that are superior as antioxidants to alpha tocopherol in vitro (SPI). If you consult my database, you’ll find many more antioxidants, suggesting the possibility of synergy in antioxidant effects. Interestingly, Lin (1994) suggests that the pungencies of black (piperine) and red pepper (capsaicin) are synergic, too.
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Black Pepper) —

Pepper is usually propagated by cuttings from straight shoots of vines less than two years old. However, cuttings from vines as old as 10 years have been used successfully. Terminal buds are clipped with leaves and branches of the third through seventh nodes. When the terminal bud regenerates, after about 10 days, the 60-cm cuttings are planted obliquely to the shaded side of the support, with three to four nodes below the surface, no deeper than 15 cm, and shaded. Stolons, marcots, and grafts are also used. Seedlings are rarely used for propagation. Scientists report ca. 80% germination with fresh seed after one month, adding that seedlings from seed obtained from cultivated plants are fairly uniform. Like vanilla, pepper needs support and may be grown upon some commercial tree crop, as betel palm, coffee, mango, Strychnos, or Erythrina. In Sarawak, Eusideroxylon zwageri, the Borneo ironwood, is used for stakes because of its resistance to termites. In Ponape, tree ferns 15-20 years old were recommended, but they are harder and harder to come by. Environmentalists would frown on destruction of tree ferns. Catch crops of capsicum, ginger, peanuts, soy, or tobacco may be grown if removed well before the vines reach the top of the post. One should avoid too dense a shade. Concrete posts, though expensive, are recommended in some areas. Elmo Davis (pers. comm., 1990) suggests that newcomers start out with several germplasm lots, growing on living fenceposts at first, later going into expanded production with the better germplasm and technology. There is some evidence to show that vines grown on posts establish themselves more quickly and yield more pepper berries than do plants grown on living trees. However, it does cost more to purchase and set posts than it does to grow plants on living trees. In some areas, when vines reach top of posts, they are detached from support and coiled around the base of support and buried, thus increasing the vigor of the plants. Fairly heavy manuring is given. Height of posts and spacings differ in different countries. Wood supports are commonly used. In Asia, wood supports may be 3.3-4.6 m high and spaced 2.3-2.6 m apart with same distance between rows. In Brazil, they are 2.6-3.3 m high and spaced 2.6-3.3 m apart each way. In Sarawak, higher yields have been obtained by growing pepper plants as hedges 2 m high in rows 2.6 m apart with plants 1.3 m apart in hedge with seven leading shoots trained up wires. For mechanized farms, 3.3 m avenues are minimal. On new plantings in infertile soils, preplant recommendations are 4000-4500 kg/ha crushed coral limestone, 1000-1200 kg/ha superphosphate, or 450-500 kg/ha treble superphosphate, 3000-3500 kg/ha muriate of potash, 10-12 kg/ha zinc as zinc sulfate, all disced in to a depth of 10-15 cm. On planting, each plant should receive ca. 100 g magnesium sulfate and 250 g nitrogen as ammonium sulfate. Each plant should receive ca. 600 g 10/10/10 fertilizer, divided in six applications, where labor is cheap and rainfall is high. Once full production is attained, individual fertilizations should be doubled. Old pepper plantings and half-dead vines may be rejuvenated by using a heavy mulch of compost and an application of fertilizer at frequent intervals. Guano with small amounts of sulfate of ammonia and superphosphate are added. Organic fertilizers are extensively used today, such as guano, fish meal, soybean cake, and more recently blood-bone meal. After fruiting begins, guano is applied up to 2 kg per vine, applied four times per year. Inorganic fertilizers produce as good yields as organic fertilizers, provided they contain trace elements, as iron, copper, zinc, manganese, boron, and molybdenum. A mixture of NPK in proportion of 12:5:14 with additional magnesium is recommended as a basic application for all soil types. Sarawak recommendations are 11-13% N, 5-7% P2O5, 16-18 percent K2O, and 4-5 percent MgO. Pepper is a nutrient-exhaustive crop. In Sarawak, mulching with cut grass seems to increase yields. In nineteenth century Malaysia, gambir (Uncaria gambir) residues were used to mulch the plants. Elsewhere, Calopogonium mucunoides is grown as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop between the plants. Plants should be pruned when 60 cm tall. Pruning encourages lateral fertile branches and dense foliage indicates a maximum number of fruiting branches. After vine has begun to bear, only two (or three) stems should be allowed to grow from a single root (DAD). Vines may start producing in the third year, bearing on until the fifteenth year. Flowering is preceded by flushing, usually at the beginning of the rainier season. First harvest is usually 3 years after planting, when the vines have reached the top of their posts. All fruiting spikes, ripe and unripe, are picked. That way, vines will fruit more evenly in the following season. If a whitish liquid oozes from a thumbnail injury to the fruit, the “corn” is too green. Whole fruiting spikes are picked after some fruits have reddened and others are green or yellow. Vines are picked once a week over the ripening period, or only in one big picking (e.g., in India). When partially dry, “corns” are separated from the stalks by rubbing the spikes between the palms of the hands or by trampling underfoot. For black pepper, the drupes are sun dried for 3-4 days. For white pepper, lightly-crushed riper spikes are sacked and soaked in running water for 7-10 days, then trampled underfoot, and the fruits separated by hand and sun dried for 3-4 days. White pepper can also be made by mechanical abrasion of dried black peppercorns. Small plantings of hedges, 2.5 m apart with plants 1.2 m apart in the hedge and 2 m high, have yielded 35,000 kg green pepper/ha. For each 100 kg of green pepper, 25-28 kg of white or 33-37 kg of black pepper can be produced. Well-cultivated vines yield to 1.8 kg green pepper the third year to 9 kg until the seventh year, declining to 2.3 kg in the eighth to fifteenth year, when plantings should be abandoned. In India, production may continue for 25 years, even 100 years in backyard gardens.

Chemistry (Black Pepper) —

Patel and Srinivasan (1985) noted that dietary piperine significantly increased lipase, maltase, and sucrase activities. Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in black pepper. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Piperidine — Antienzymatic; CNS-Depressant; Diaphoretic; Hepatotropic; Insectifuge 50 ppm; Spinoconvulsant; Urate-Solvent; LD50 = 400 orl rat; LD50 = 0.52 ml/kg.
Piperine — Abortifacient; Adrenergic; Analeptic; Analgesic; Anesthetic; Antiaflatoxin; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Anticlastogen; Anticonvulsant 50-400 mg/kg ipr; Antiedemic 10 mg/kg; Antifer-tility 12.5 mg/kg; Antiglucuronidase IC20 = 1 |M, IC20 = 25 |M, IC42 = 50 |M, IC57 = 100 |M; Antiimplantation; Antiinflammatory 10 mg/kg; Antileishmannic; Antimutagenic; Antinarcotic; Antipyretic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; AntiSubstance-P; Aryl-Hydrocarbon-Hydroxylase (AHH)-Inhibitor 125 mg/kg; ATPase-Stimulant; Carcinogenic; Cardiotonic; Carminative; Catecholamino-genic 650 nM/kg; Choleretic; CNS-stimulant; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Endorphinogenic; Epine-phreninergic; Glutathione-Sparing; Hepatoprotective; Hepatoregenerative; Hypertensive; Hypoten-sive 1 mg/kg iv dog; Insecticide; Insectifuge; Lactase-Promoter; Maltase-Promoter; Mutagenic; Myocontractor; Myorelaxant; Positive Chronotropic; Positive Inotropic; p450-Inducer; p450-Inhib-itor; Parasiticide; Peristaltic; Plasmodicide; Radioprotective; Respirastimulant 5 mg/kg ivn; Secre-tagogue; Sedative; Serotoninergic; Spasmogenic; Spermogenic; Stimulant; Sucrase-Promoter; Ther-mogenic 5 mg/man; Thyrostimulant; LD50 = 349 mg/kg ipr rat; LD50 = 514-800 mg/kg orl rat; LD50 = 330-1639 mg/kg orl mus.
Piperonal — Anticancer; Pediculicide; LD50 = 2700 orl rat.
Pistacia lentiscus L. (Anacardiaceae) Chios Mastictree, Mastic

Medicinal Uses (Mastic) —

The best grades of mastic, yellowish-white translucent tears, are medicinally employed as an aromatic astringent. The resin is painted over wounds to protect them. Frequently cited in the cancer folklore, using the resin or juice from mastic. Used for diarrhea in children. Regarded as analgesic, antitussive, aperitif, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, hemostatic, stimulant to the mucous membranes, and stomachic (JLH). Lebanese dissolve the resin in alcohol, adding lemon juice, for gall bladder and liver trouble. Algerians use the root decoction for cough. The oil obtained by hot extraction of the nuts is used for itch and rheumatism (BIB).

Indications (Mastic) —

Adenosis (f; JLH); Aposteme (f; CRC; JLH); Bacteria (1; FNF;
X8808717); Bleeding (f; CRC); Blennorrhea (f; CRC); Boil (f; BIB; CRC); Bronchosis (f; FEL);
Cancer (1; CRC; FNF; JLH); Cancer, anus (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, breast (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, liver (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, parotid (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, spleen (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, stomach
(f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, testicle (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, throat (f; CRC; JLH); Cancer, uterus (f;
CRC; JLH); Candida (1; HH3; X8808717); Canker (1; BIB; CRC; FNF); Carbuncle (f; CRC); Caries (1; CRC; FEL; FNF); Catarrh (f; CRC; FEL; HH3); Cholecystosis (f; BIB; CRC); Cirrhosis (f; CRC; HH3); Condyloma (f; CRC; JLH); Cough (f; BIB); Cramp (1; FNF); Debility (f; CRC);
Dermatosis (f; GHA); Diarrhea (f; CRC; HH3); Dysentery (f; CRC; HH3); Escherichia (1; HH3);
Fever (1; GHA); Fungus (1; FNF; HH3; X8808717); Gastrosis (f; BIB; CRC); Gingivosis (1; FEL; FNF; PHR; PH2); Gonorrhea (f; CRC; HH3); Gout (f; HH3); Halitosis (1; BIB; CRC; DEP; FEL;
FNF; PHR); Heart (f; CRC); Hepatosis (f; BIB; CRC; HH3); High Blood Pressure (1; FNF; HH3;
X1409845); Induration (f; CRC; JLH); Infection (1; FNF; X8808717); Inflammation (1; FNF; JLH);
Itch (f; BIB); Leukorrhea (f; CRC; HH3); Mastosis (f; CRC); Mucososis (f; CRC); Mycosis (1;
FNF; HH3; X8808717); Myosis (f; BOW); Nephrosis (f; FEL); Nervousness (1; FNF); Pain (f;
CRC; GHA); Phymata (f; CRC); Rheumatism (f; BIB; HH3); Ringworm (f; BOW); Sclerosis (f;
CRC); Scirrhus (f; CRC; JLH); Sore (f; HH3); Staphylococcus (1; HH3); Toothache (1; CRC;
FNF); Tumor (1; CRC; FNF); Ulcer (1; FNF; PH2; X3724207); VD (f; CRC; HH3); Virus (1;
FNF); Water Retention (1; FNF); Wound (1; GHA); Yeast (1; HH3; X8808717). Mastic for infection:
• Analgesic: myrcene; quercetin
• Anesthetic: linalool; myrcene
• Antibacterial: alpha-pinene; aucubin; cycloartenol; kaempferol; linalool; myrcene; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antiedemic: lupeol; oleanolic-acid
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; aucubin; beta-pinene; cycloartenol; kaempferol; lupeol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antiseptic: beta-pinene; kaempferol; linalool; myricetin; oleanolic-acid
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; kaempferol; linalool; lupeol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Bacteristat: quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Fungicide: linalool; myrcene; quercetin
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin

Mastic for ulcer:

• Analgesic: myrcene; quercetin
• Anesthetic: linalool; myrcene
• Antibacterial: alpha-pinene; aucubin; cycloartenol; kaempferol; linalool; myrcene; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-pinene; aucubin; beta-pinene; cycloartenol; kaempferol; lupeol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antioxidant: aucubin; kaempferol; lupeol; myrcene; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Antiseptic: beta-pinene; kaempferol; linalool; myricetin; oleanolic-acid
• Antispasmodic: kaempferol; linalool; myrcene; quercetin
• Antiulcer: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid
• Antiviral: alpha-pinene; kaempferol; linalool; lupeol; myricetin; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Bacteristat: quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; oleanolic-acid; quercetin
• Fungicide: linalool; myrcene; quercetin
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; myricetin; quercetin

Other Uses (Mastic) —

Cultivated primarily for the resin, it is used as a licorice-flavored masticatory and a medicine. Women living in harems use the resin obtained from the bark by incision. They chew it to sweeten their breath and strengthen their gums. Also used to harden gums and alleviate toothache. Eastern children buy this for a chewing gum. Used for filling dental caries. Also used in cosmetics and depilatory creams and perfumes (DEP). Used in the manufacture of confectionary, liqueurs, and varnishes. Mastic also provides a flavor option for the jelly-like candy called “lokum,” or Turkish delight, and to flavor masticha liqueur, rahat lokum, puddings, almond paste, cookies, Nabulsi cheese, cakes, and candies (FAC). All over the Middle East, mastic is used to flavor milk puddings. It enriches sweet apricot pudding made of dried apricot “leather.” In the Middle East, mastic is as common for ice cream as vanilla in America (AAR). Many Saudi cooks drop a nugget of this spice into meaty stews, soup, or broth (AAR). The Romans used the fruits as an aromatic seasoning (FAC). In Arab countries, a little mastic is mixed with ground dates, butter, and some chopped walnuts for cookies. Mastikha, an alcoholic drink of Chios, similar to ouzo, is flavored with mastic as well as anise. Greeks made a liqueur, mastiche, flavoring the mastic with grape skins. Syrians also make a mastic beverage. A nonalcoholic drink is made by stirring a spoonful of sweet mastic jam into a glass of water. Poorer grades are used for varnish, used for coating metals and paintings, for lithography for retouching negatives, and for microscopy (mounts). Egyptians used mastic as an embalming agent. Sometimes used in incense. Oil of mastic used in cosmetics. The wood and leaves burn green when burned; both the fruit and wood give out a pleasant aroma. In Sardinia, wild boar and other meats are roasted with the wood, smoke of which contributes its own aroma and flavor. The oil expressed from the berries is used by the Arabs for both food and illumination. It is known as shina oil of Cyprus. Leaves, containing 10-12% tannic acid, gathered for dyeing and tanning (FEL). The twigs are used in basketry. (AAR, BIB, FAC, FEL).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Mastic) —

Rarely cultivated, e.g., in the Canary Islands. It grows in southern Europe, northern Africa, Algeria, and the East. It grows wild along shores of the Adriatic Sea. In Algeria, it forms dense copses along the coast. Bown (2001) suggests cultivating in alkaline, dry, sandy or rocky, sunny soils, zone 9. Seeds are sown in spring at ca. 25°C (77°F), or green cuttings are taken in late spring or early summer, or semiripe cuttings later in summer. Trees are trimmed in spring to keep them small. One major source has been the island of Chios at elevations up to 500 m and annual rainfall 70-75 cm. Only male trees are propagated by cuttings, as the females have an inferior resin. Wild crafters may harvest the naturally exuded resin. Commercial, vertical incisions are made in the trunk, from which the resin exudes. It is collected after it hardens in about 3 weeks (WOI). According to Bown (2001), trees are tapped for 5-6 weeks,
by making some 200-300 vertical incisions ca. 2 cm long in a tree. In Chios, harvesting is restricted by law to between July 15 and October 15.

Chemistry (Mastic) —

Sixty-nine constituents were identified in the EOs; alpha-pinene, myrcene, trans-caryophyllene, and germacrene D were the major components. The in vitro antimicrobial activity of the EOs and resin (total, acid and neutral fraction) against six bacteria and three fungi were reported (PM65:749). Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in mastic. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Alpha-Pinene — Allelochemic; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Antifedant; Antiflu; Antiinflammatory; Antispasmodic; Antiviral; Coleoptiphile; Expectorant; Herbicide IC50 = 30 \\M; Insectifuge 50 ppm; Insectiphile; Irritant; p450(2B1)-Inhibitor IC50 = 0.087 |jM; Sedative; Spasmogenic; Tran-quilizer; Transdermal.
Shikimic-Acid — Analgesic; Anticancer; Antioxidant (7 x quercetin); Antiradicular (7 x querce-tin); Antispasmodic; Antitumor; Bruchifuge; Carcinogenic; Ileorelaxant; Mutagenic; LD50 = 1000 ipr mus.
Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D. A. Webb (Rosaceae) Almond, Bitter Almond, Sweet Almond
Synonyms — Amygdalus communis L., A. dulcis Mill., Prunus amygdalus Batsch, P. communis (L.) Arcang., P. dulcis var. amara (DC). Buchheim.

Medicinal Uses (Almond) —

Regarded as alterative, astringent, carminative, cyanogenetic, demulcent, discutient, diuretic, emollient, laxative, lithontryptic, nervine, sedative, stimulant, and tonic. It is no surprise that the seeds and/or oil (containing amygdalin or benzaldehyde) are widely acclaimed as folk cancer remedies, for all sorts of cancers and tumors, calluses, condylomata, and corns (1983; Hartwell, 1982). Lebanese use the oil for skin trouble, including white leuko-derma-like patches on skin. Throughout the Middle East, the oil is used as an emollient and to alleviate itching. Raw oil from the bitter variety is used for acne. Almond and honey was given for cough. Thin almond paste was added to wheat porridge to pass gravel or stone. Lebanese believe that almonds and/or almond oil restore virility. Iranians make an ointment from bitter almonds for furuncles. Bitter almonds, when eaten in small quantity, sometimes produce nettle rash and, when taken in large quantity, they may cause poisoning. Ayurvedics consider the fruit, the seed, and its oil aphrodisiac, using the oil for biliousness, headache, the seed as a laxative. Unani use the seed for ascites, bronchitis, colic, cough, delirium, earache, gleet, hepatitis, headache, hydrophobia, inflammation, renitis, skin ailments, sore throat, and weak eyes. Burnt almond shells are used as a dentifrice. Unripe fruits are applied as an astringent to gums and mouth. Bitter almond in vinegar is plastered onto neuralgia. The Biblical pair, almonds and figs, are considered laxative and useful at allaying intestinal pain (DEP).
Like many other plants (not just green tea, grape, pinebark, and peanut skins), almonds, especially green almonds, are well endowed with antioxidant OPCs. De Pascual et al. (1998) note that green almond extracts contain two monomers, (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin, and 15 oligomeric procy-anidins (6 dimers, 7 trimers, and 2 tetramers). And bitter almonds are not the only source of laetrile, or for that matter amygdalin. Over 100 years, George Watt, (DEP, 1892) compared the amygdalin content of bitter almond and peach pits (2.3-2.5%); cherry, laurel leaves 1.38%; apple, cherry, plum seeds, and Rhamnus frangula, less than 1%. Laetrile is a semisynthetic derivative of amygdalin. Claims for laetrile were based on three different theories. Theory (1) claimed that cancerous cells contained copious beta-glucosidases, which release HCN from laetrile via hydrolysis. Normal cells were reportedly unaffected, because they contained low concentrations of beta-glucosidases and high concentrations of rhodanese, which converts HCN to the less toxic thiocyanate. Later, however, it was shown that both cancerous and normal cells contain only trace amounts of beta-glucosidases and similar amounts of rhodanese. Also, it was thought that amygdalin was not absorbed intact from the gastrointestinal tract. Theory (2) proposed that, after ingestion, amygdalin was hydrolyzed to mandelonitrile, transported intact to the liver and converted to a beta-glucuronide complex, which was then carried to the cancerous cells, hydrolyzed by beta-glucuronidases to release mandelonitrile and then HCN. This was believed an untenable theory. Theory (3) called laetrile vitamin B-17, suggesting that cancer is a result of B-17 deficiency. It postulated that chronic administration of laetrile would prevent cancer. No evidence was adduced to substantiate this hypothesis. It was even claimed that patients taking laetrile reduced their life expectancy, both through of lack of proper medical care and chronic cyanide poisoning (which might be useful in sickle cell anemia patients). In order to reduce potential risks to the general public, amygdalin was made a prescription-only medicine in 1984 (CAN). The NCI-favored taxol sold for over $1 billion in 2000, but some cancer researchers still study amygdalin and/or laetrile “… laetrile stopped the spread of cancer, the metastases, about 80% of the time” [Kanematsu Suguira, one pioneer of chemotherapy who had worked at Sloane Kettering since 1917; as quoted in Mason (2001)]. Meanwhile, the official position of Sloane Kettering: “Its laetrile studies were negative” (Mason, 2001). I personally straddle the fence; I think laetrile is probably as useful as some of the other plant-derived drugs, like perhaps etoposide and taxol, yet not so toxic. If diagnosed with cancer, I’d be eating almonds (or apple seeds or wild cherries) for their amygdalin, and brazilnuts for their selenium, and maybe some hazelnuts, for homeopathic doses of taxol. Moss (2001), like me, recommends more fruits and vegetables than does the NIH, but he recommends fewer fruits and more veggies for cancer patients “an abundance of sugar—even natural sugars—might have an adverse effect.”
Fatalities from cyanide poisoning have been reported for apple, apricot, and bitter almond seeds. And reportedly, feeding 2.5 g almond seed to rabbits resulted in hypoglycemic activity (JAC7:405).

Indications (Almond) —

Acne (f; BIB); Adenosis (1; JLH); Ascites (f; BIB); Asthma (1; BIB; FNF); Bacteria (1; FNF); Biliousness (f; BIB); Bronchosis (1; BIB; FNF); Callus (f; BIB; JLH); Cancer (1; BIB; FNF; JLH); Cancer, bladder (1; APA); Cancer, breast (1; APA; JLH); Cancer, colon (1; ABS); Cancer, gland (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, liver (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, mouth (1; APA); Cancer, spleen (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, stomach (1; FNF; JLH); Cancer, uterus (1; FNF; JLH); Cardiopathy (1; APA; FNF); Cold (f; BIB); Colic (f; BIB); Condyloma (f; BIB; JLH); Constipation (1; APA); Corn (f; BIB; JLH); Cough (f; BIB; DEP; PH2); Cramp (1; BIB; FNF); Cystosis (f; BIB; JLH); Delirium (f; BIB); Dermatosis (1; BIB; FNF; PH2; WOI); Diabetes (f; DAa); Dysmenorrhea (f; DEP); Dyspnea (f; BIB); Earache (f; BIB); Enterosis (f; DEP); Fungus (1; FNF); Furuncle (f; BIB); Gallstone (f; BOW);
Gingivosis (1; BIB; FNF); Gleet (f; BIB); Gravel (f; BIB); Headache (f; BIB; DEP); Heartburn (f;
BIB); Hepatosis (1; BIB; DEP; FNF; JLH); High Cholesterol (1; APA; FNF); Hydrophobia (f; BIB); Immunodepression (1; FNF); Impotence (f; BIB); Induration (f; BIB; JLH); Infection (1; FNF); Inflammation (1; BIB; FNF); Itch (f; BIB; WOI); Kidney Stone (f; BOW); Leukoderma (f; BIB); Nausea (f; PH2); Nephrosis (f; BIB); Nervousness (1; FNF); Neuralgia (f; DEP); Ophthalmia (f;
DEP); Pain (f; DEP); Pulmonosis (f; BIB); Respirosis (f; EFS); Sclerosis (f; JLH) Sore (f; BIB; JLH); Sore Throat (f; BIB); Splenosis (f; BIB; DEP; JLH); Staphylococcus (1; MPI); Stomatosis (1; BIB;
FNF); Stone (f; BOW); Streptococcus (1; MPI); Swelling (f; JLH); Tumor (1; FNF); Ulcer (1; BIB; FNF); VD (f; BIB); Virus (1; FNF); Vomiting (f; PH2); Water Retention (1; FNF).

Almond for cancer:

• 5-Alpha-Reductase-Inhibitor: alpha-linolenic-acid
• AntiHIV: caffeic-acid; quercetin
• Antiaggregant: alpha-linolenic-acid; caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; kaempferol; phytic-acid; quercetin; salicylates; triolein
• Antiarachidonate: eugenol
• Anticancer: alpha-linolenic-acid; amygdalin; benzaldehyde; caffeic-acid; eugenol; feru-lic-acid; folic-acid; geraniol; kaempferol; mucilage; p-coumaric-acid; phytic-acid; quer-cetin; quercitrin
• Anticarcinogenic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid
• Anticervicaldysplasic: folic-acid
• Antiestrogenic: ferulic-acid; quercetin
• Antifibrosarcomic: quercetin
• Antihepatotoxic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin; quercitrin
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-linolenic-acid; amygdalin; caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; kaempferol; quercetin; quercitrin; salicylates
• Antileukemic: daucosterol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Antileukotriene: caffeic-acid; quercetin
• Antilipoperoxidant: quercetin
• Antimelanomic: geraniol; quercetin
• Antimetaplastic: folic-acid
• Antimetastatic: alpha-linolenic-acid
• Antimutagenic: caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; kaempferol; quercetin; quercitrin
• Antineoplastic: ferulic-acid
• Antinitrosaminic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Antioxidant: caffeic-acid; cyanidin; eugenol; ferulic-acid; gamma-tocopherol; kaempferol; p-coumaric-acid; phytic-acid; quercetin; quercitrin
• Antiperoxidant: caffeic-acid; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Antipolyp: folic-acid
• Antiproliferant: quercetin
• Antiprostaglandin: caffeic-acid; eugenol
• Antithromboxane: eugenol
• Antitumor: benzaldehyde; caffeic-acid; daucosterol; eugenol; ferulic-acid; geraniol; kaempferol; p-coumaric-acid; phytic-acid; quercetin; quercitrin
• Antiviral: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; kaempferol; quercetin; quercitrin
• Apoptotic: kaempferol; quercetin
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; quercetin
• Cytoprotective: caffeic-acid
• Cytotoxic: caffeic-acid; eugenol; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Hepatoprotective: caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; quercetin
• Hepatotonic: quercitrin
• Immunostimulant: alpha-linolenic-acid; benzaldehyde; caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; folic-acid
• Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; kaempferol; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin
• Lymphocytogenic: alpha-linolenic-acid
• Mast-Cell-Stabilizer: quercetin
• Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; quercetin
• p450-Inducer: quercetin
• PTK-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Prostaglandigenic: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid; p-coumaric-acid
• Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor: quercetin
• Sunscreen: caffeic-acid; ferulic-acid
• Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor: kaempferol; quercetin
• Tyrosine-Kinase-Inhibitor: quercetin

Almond for dermatosis:

• Analgesic: caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; quercetin
• Anesthetic: benzaldehyde; eugenol
• Antibacterial: benzaldehyde; caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; geraniol; kaempferol; p-coumaric-acid; quercetin; quercitrin
• Antidermatitic: quercetin
• Antiinflammatory: alpha-linolenic-acid; amygdalin; caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; kaempferol; quercetin; quercitrin; salicylates
• Antiseptic: benzaldehyde; caffeic-acid; cresol; eugenol; geraniol; kaempferol; oxalic-acid
• COX-2-Inhibitor: eugenol; kaempferol; quercetin
• Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor: kaempferol; quercetin
• Demulcent: mucilage
• Fungicide: caffeic-acid; eugenol; ferulic-acid; geraniol; p-coumaric-acid; phytic-acid; quercetin

Other Uses (Almond) —

The almond was very important, even in Biblical times. It has been inferred that almonds did not grow naturally in Egypt, since Jacob’s sons took almonds to Joseph. Nowadays, the almond is widespread in the Holy Land. Almond branches were reportedly used as divining rods to locate hidden treasure. There is the legendary story of Charlemagne’s troops’ spears (almond) sprouting in the ground overnight and shading the tents the next day. Almonds are one of the earliest trees to flower in Tuscany. They are also one of the first to flower in the Palestinian spring. Because of their association with spring, the almond flower is also associated with life after death, or immortality. Modern English Jews carry branches of flowering almonds into the synagogue on spring festival days. Almond is a sophisticated flavoring, hence spice, sweet (var. dulcis) and bitter (var. amara). Raw, bitter almonds are not usually available commercially in the U.S. Almond extract provides the bitter flavor without the toxicity. A small amount of extract should always be added to the sweet almonds in a recipe. A hint of almond flavor will liven up whipped cream (one-fourth teaspoon extract per cup unwhipped cream) (AAR). Seeds are a favorite of mine, raw, salted, roasted, or sprouted. They are used in baked goods, cakes, confectionery, and pastry. Seed are ground and blended with water to make almond milk. In the Middle Ages, “almond milk” was a staple. Simmer blanched, chopped, or coarsely ground almonds in water (half a pound in two cups of water) for 10 min. This “milk” will give a recipe the desired almond flavor. Add a teaspoon of almond extract to supply the bitter almond taste (AAR). The milk can be made into almond butter. The tender kernels of young almonds, picked before they mature, are a traditional delicacy in the Middle East. Almond paste is used in amaretto, macaroons, marzipan, etc. Toast almonds by spreading whole nuts on a cookie sheet in a 3500F oven, no more than 8 min; sliced or slivered almonds, only 5 min. Do not let them brown (AAR). The dish “picada,” a mix of almonds, garlic and olive oil, and chopped parsley, is important in Catalan cuisine. Edible almond oil, expressed from the seeds, is sweet and nutty, and serves well with salads and vegetables. It is used in flavoring, perfumery, and medicines. Benzaldehyde may be used for almond flavoring, usually being cheaper than almond oil. The fatty oil is used in cosmetic ointments and other natural cosmetics. Almond and olive oil are particularly recommended for people with dry skin; and dry skins are what we expect in Biblical country. It is used in cold creams, nourishing creams, and skin creams (WOI). For aging skin, Aubrey Hampton, author of one of the better topics on natural cosmetics, recommends cleaning with olive oil castille soap and then moisturizing with almond oil. Both bitter and sweet almond oil contain 35-55% fixed oils, but the bitter oil may contain 3-40% amygdalin. Aubrey classifies the sweet oil as an excellent emollient for chapped hands and face lotions. Kernels of apricot, cherry, peach, and plum yield EOs almost identical to almond oil. Flowers are the source of a smooth, caramel-colored honey with an excellent nutty flavor. On La Palma, in the Canary Islands, where transatlantic flights often refuel, there’s a special goat cheese that is smoked over a fire fueled with almond shells. Shells of almond (and other related Prunus) are used in soft grit blasting for machine parts and moulds in various industries. I remember chewing the gum that exudes from the related peach. The gum exuding from almond trees is used as a substitute for tragacanth (BIB, FAC, PH2, WOI).
For more information on activities, dosages, and contraindications, see the CRC Handtopic of Medicinal Herbs, ed. 2,  et al. 2002.

Cultivation (Almond) —

In India, trees are raised from seedlings, the seeds usually having a chilling requirement. Seeds are sown in nurseries, the seedlings transplanted after about 1 year. For special types, as in the U.S., scions are budded or grafted on to bitter or sweet almond, apricot, myrobalan, peach, or plum seedlings. Trees are planted 6-8 m apart and irrigated, in spite of their drought tolerance. Application of nitrogenous and/or organic fertilizers is said to improve yield. Trees should be pruned to a modified leader system. All types are self-sterile, so cvs or seedlings should be mixed (NUT, WOI).

Chemistry (Almond) —

Here are a few of the more notable chemicals found in almond. For a complete listing of the phytochemicals and their activities, see the CRC phytochemical compendium,  and , 1993 (DAD) and the USDA database.
Amygdalin — Anticancer; Antiinflammatory; Antispasmodic; Antitussive; Bitter; Cyanogenic; Expectorant; Toxic.
Lysine — Antialkalotic; Antiherpetic 0.5-3 g/day; Essential; Hypoarginanemic 250 mg/kg/; LD50 = 181 ivn mus.
Mufas — Anemiagenic; Anticancer; Antiinflammatory IC50 = 21 |jM; Antileukotriene-D4 IC50 = 21 | M; Choleretic 5 ml/man; Dermatitigenic; Hypocholesterolemic; Insectifuge; Irritant; Percuta-neostimulant; LD50 = 230 ivn mus; LDlo = 50 ivn cat.
Prunasin — Cyanogenic.
Pufas — Antiacne; Antieczemic; AntiMS; Antipolyneuritic.

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