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1. Protocols for establishment of an in vitro collection of medicinal plants in the

 genus scutellaria.

Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair, University of British Columbia Okanagan, 3333 University Way, Kelowna, British Columbia,

Canada V1V 1V7.


The study of medicinal plants has many unique challenges and special considerations. These plants are studied for their specific chemistry, or

 pharmacologic activity. Plants are highly sensitive to their environment and respond through changes in their chemistry. To date, one of the biggest

problems in the study of medicinal plants has been the acquisition of consistent, positively identified material for chemical analysis. Successful

protocols for the collection, identification, and establishment of medicinal plants species in tissue culture is invaluable for future studies. This protocol

 outlines methods to establish Scutellaria baicalenisis, and Scutellaria lateriflora from commercial seed sources, and collection and establishment of

Scutellaria racemosa from wild populations.

PMID: 19521843 [PubMed - in process]

         2:Medicinal plants used in British Columbia, Canada for reproductive health in pets.

PO Box 72045, Vancouver, British Columbia V6R 4P2, Canada. cher2lans@netscape.net

In 2003, semi-structured interviews were conducted in British Columbia, Canada with participants obtained using a purposive sample on the

ethnoveterinary remedies used for animals. Twenty-nine participants provided the information in this paper on the ethnoveterinary remedies used for

 reproductive health in dogs and cats. The plants used for pregnancy support and milk production in pets were raspberry-leaf (Rubus idaeus),

motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) and ginger (Zingiber officinale). Uterine infections were treated with black cohosh

(Actaea racemosa) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis). Most of the studies conducted on these plants have not been conducted on companion


PMID: 19482367 [PubMed - in process]

      3:Phytoestrogens: endocrine disrupters or replacement for hormone replacement therapy?

Department of Clinical and Experimental Endocrinology, University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen,

Germany. ufkendo@med.uni-goettingen.de


OBJECTIVES: This review presents findings with clear statements from the literature as well as own results of effects of soy, red clover

 and their isoflavones as well as of the Cimicifuga racemosa extract BNO 1055. Experimental and clinical effects on climacteric complaints,

osteoprotective effects, activity in the urogenital tract, and risks concerning cardiovascular diseases and mammary and endometrial tissue will

 be compared, also in comparison to classical hormone preparations. The question whether soy and red clover products and/or Cimicifuga

racemosa (CR) preparations are endocrine disrupters or may fulfill the criteria of the so-called phyto-SERMs will be discussed.

 METHODS: Review of selected publications since 1980 and summary of unpublished own results of the authors. RESULTS: Experimental and

clinical evidences suggest that soy/red clover and their isoflavones do not fulfill the criteria of an ideal SERM. They appear to have mild

osteoprotective effects but do not improve climacteric complaints. Furthermore, they seem to stimulate uterine growth and mammary

epithelial proliferation. In ovariectomized rats, the CR extract BNO 1055 showed many of the beneficial effects of 17beta-estradiol, including

effects in the brain/hypothalamus to reduce serum LH levels, effects in the bone to prevent osteoporosis and estrogenic effects in the urinary bladder. The CR extract BNO 1055 had no uterotrophic effect. CONCLUSION: If clinical studies confirm these results, the Cimicifuga racemosa

preparation BNO 1055 would appear as an ideal SERM and may therefore be an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.

PMID: 19434888 [PubMed]


      4:   Severe hepatitis associated with the use of black cohosh: a report of two

         cases and an advice for caution.


Departments of aInternal Medicine bGastroenterology, Clinique Saint Pierre, Ottignies cDepartment of Gastroenterology, Clinique St Joseph,

Mons Departments of dPathology eGastroenterology, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Université Catholique de Louvain, Bruxelles, Belgium.

In spite of the fact that severe side effects have been reported, black cohosh [Actaea racemosa (syn. Cimifuga racemosa)] is likely to be one of the

most popular herbs used in the treatment of postmenopausal symptoms and menstrual dysfunction. We report the cases of two patients, one with

submassive liver necrosis and the other with chronic hepatitis most likely related to the use of two different preparations containing black cohosh.

This represents another advice for caution concerning this popular preparation of inconsistent therapeutic value.

PMID: 19404202 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

 5: Livedo racemosa as a marker of increased risk of recurrent thrombosis in patients
with negative anti-phospholipid antibodies.

Martínez-Valle F, Ordi-Ros J, Selva-O'Callaghan A, Balada E, Solans-Laque R, Vilardell-Tarres M.
Research Unit in Systemic Autoimmune diseases, Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Livedo reticularis racemosa and cerebrovascular lesions characterize Sneddon's syndrome. We report 23
 patients with livedo racemosa and describe the association with thrombotic events. Our objective was to determine whether livedo racemosa may
 be an independent clinical marker for the development of thrombotic events in patients who test negative for anti-phospholipid antibodies.
METHODS: Twenty-three patients with widespread livedo racemosa were studied. None of the patients were positive for anti-phospholipid
antibodies. The clinical protocol included a register of thrombotic events, fetal death or miscarriages, hypertension, and valvular heart disease.
Cerebral MRI and echocardiography were systematically performed in all patients. RESULTS: Nineteen patients (82.60%) had thrombotic events.
Fifteen (65.21%) had arterial thrombosis and eleven (47.82%) presented venous occlusions. Seven patients (30.43%) had both arterial and venous
 thrombosis. Fetal losses were recorded in seven cases (30.43%), with a total number of 33; five patients had 3 or more fetal losses. Eleven out of
23 patients (47.82%) had valvular heart disease. Arterial hypertension was detected in 16 (69.56%) patients. Four patients did not have thrombotic
 events but had other clinical manifestations. After anti-coagulation therapy was withdrawn, a new thrombotic event was observed in 9 out of the
 14 treated patients (64.28%). CONCLUSIONS: Livedo racemosa seems to be a good clinical marker for the detection of hypercoagulable states
 even in the absence of anti-phospholipid antibodies or other known biologic markers of thrombosis. Long-term anti-coagulation is probably
warranted in patients with livedo racemosa and a previous thrombotic event.

PMID: 19403146 [PubMed - in process]

  6: Oleanane-type isomeric triterpenoids from Barringtonia racemosa.

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India. mangala@iict.res.in


Two new isomeric acylated oleanane-type triterpenoids along with three known compounds were isolated from the MeOH extract of the dried fruits of Barringtonia racemosa. On the basis of spectroscopic methods, with special emphasis on 1D and 2D NMR techniques as well as chemical

 methods, the structures were characterized as racemosol A (1) [22alpha-acetoxy-3beta,15alpha,16alpha,21beta-tetrahydroxy-28-(2-methylbutyryl) olean-12-ene] and isoracemosol A (2) [21beta-acetoxy-3beta,15alpha,16alpha,28-tetrahydroxy-22alpha-(2-methylbutyryl)olean-12-ene]. The isolated compounds (1-5) were not active against HeLa and P388 D1 carcinoma cell lines.

PMID: 19388709 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


7: Effects of Estradiol Benzoate, Raloxifen and an Ethanolic Extract of Cimicifuga

racemosa in Nonclassical Estrogen Regulated Organs of Ovariectomized Rats.

Department of Endocrinology, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.

The special extract of CIMICIFUGA RACEMOSA (CR) BNO 1055 was shown to have bone protective effects without exerting estrogenic

 effects in the uterus or mammary gland. Whether the effects of CR BNO 1055 would be exerted in other organs that also express estrogen

receptors (ERs) but in which the effects of estrogens and of the selective estrogen receptor modulator raloxifen (Ral) were not thoroughly studied

was therefore investigated in the present contribution. Rats were ovariectomized (ovx) and their food immediately substituted with estradiol benzoate (EB), Ral or 2 doses of CR BNO 1055 for 3 months. Expressions of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha), estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta) and of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) genes were determined in the vagina, liver, thyroid gland, lung, spleen, colon and kidney by means of quantitative RT-PCRs. Body weights in all treatment groups were significantly reduced and uterine weights in the EB treated animals were largely and in the Ral treated animals slightly but significantly increased. CR BNO 1055 was without effects in the uterus. We tested 3 genes: ERalpha geneexpression was significantly reduced in the vagina, liver and kidney and remained unaffected in all other organs with the exception of the thyroid gland where ERalpha gene expression was stimulated by EB, Ral had - if any - similar effects in these organs. The CR extract BNO 1055 was devoid of any effect on ERalpha gene expression. ERbeta gene expression was suppressed in the vagina and colon by EB and this effect was sharedby Ral in the colon. In the thyroid, EB and Ral stimulated ERbeta gene expression. Expression of IGF-1 gene was stimulated by EB and CR BNO 1055 in the vagina and kidney and inhibited by EB and Ral in the liver. No effects were observed by CR BNO 1055 in these organs. The effects of Ral, if occurring, were similar to those of EB while CR BNO 1055 was ineffective in all organs but the vagina. In the colon, reduced ERbeta gene activity may augment ERalpha mediated effects. In all other organs the effects of ER await further investigation. The CR BNO 1055 did not show any activity pattern which would be similar to the pattern observed under EB or Ral. Therefore the observed effects of CR BNO 1055 in these organs are most likely not estrogenic in nature.

PMID: 19350480 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


 8:Black cohosh hepatotoxicity: quantitative causality evaluation in nine suspected cases.

From the Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Klinikum Hanau, Teaching Hospital of the Johann

Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, Hanau, Germany.

OBJECTIVE:: Black cohosh (BC), synonym for Actaea racemosa and Cimicifuga racemosa, is a herbal remedy for the treatment of menopausal

symptoms. Recently, worldwide discussions have emerged as to whether its use may be associated with the risk of rare hepatotoxicity in a few

susceptible women. METHODS:: We have evaluated the causal relationship in nine cases with suspected hepatotoxicity by the use of BC. The

 updated Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences scale was used to quantitatively assess the causality for BC.

RESULTS:: In eight of nine patients with liver disease, causality for BC +/- comedication was excluded (n = 4) or unlikely (n = 4). The failure to

 ascribe causality in these cases was mainly due to alternative diagnosis, missing temporal association and dechallenge, and presentation of low

 quality data. In only one case, causality was possible for a BC preparation of an unknown brand taken for 2 months with an unknown daily dose

. Confounding factors in this case include symptomatic cholelithiasis and fatty liver. Comedication with synthetic drugs and herbal or other dietary

supplements was reported in five of nine patients. CONCLUSIONS:: In nine cases of patients with liver disease, causality for BC +/- comedication

was possible (n = 1), unlikely (n = 4), or excluded (n = 4). Due to this lack of significant circumstantial evidence, the present study shows little, if any,hepatotoxic risks by the use of BC in the analyzed cases.

PMID: 19339903 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]


  9: Hypoglycaemic and antioxidant activities of Ficus racemosa Linn. fruits.

Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh. ismet0103@yahoo.com


The effects of Ficus racemosa Linn. fruit extract and fraction on fasting serum glucose levels of normal, type 1 and type 2 diabetic model rats are

 presented. The aqueous 80% EtOH extract and its water soluble fraction of F. racemosa fruit did not show any serum glucose lowering effect on

non-diabetic and type 2 diabetic rats at the fasting condition, whereas the extract showed significant hypoglycaemic effect on the type 1 diabetic

model rats. Both the extract and fraction were consistently active in both non-diabetic and types 1 and 2 diabetic model rats when fed

simultaneously with glucose load. On the contrary, they were ineffective in lowering blood glucose levels when fed 30 min prior to glucose load.

 The 1-BuOH soluble part of the ethanol extract exhibited significant antioxidant activity in DPPH free radical scavenging assay. 3-O-(E)-Caffeoyl

quinate (1) was isolated for the first time from this plant, which also showed significant antioxidant activity.

PMID: 19296381 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


  10: Differences in anti-phosphatidylserine-prothrombin complex antibodies and cutaneous vasculitis between regular livedo reticularis and livedo racemosa.

Department of Dermatology, St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Japan. tami@marianna-u.ac.jp

OBJECTIVES: We examined the prevalence of LAC, aCL antibodies (Abs), anti-beta(2)-glycoprotein I (anti-beta(2)GPI) Abs and anti-

phosphatidylserine-prothrombin complex (anti-PS/PT) Abs in patients with regular livedo reticularis or with livedo racemosa to determine whether

 those Abs correlate with the clinical or serological features. Assuming that a correlation exists, early recognition of the serological features of the

cutaneous manifestations may aid in the treatment and prediction of complications. METHODS: We examined the prevalence of LAC, aCL Abs,

 anti-beta(2)GPI Abs and anti-PS/PT Abs in 143 Japanese patients who presented at our department with regular livedo reticularis or livedo

racemosa between 2003 and 2008. LAC was determined according to the guidelines recommended by the Subcommittee on Lupus

Anticoagulant/Phospholipid-Dependent Antibodies. Levels of anti-PS/PT, aCL and anti-beta(2)GPI Abs in serum samples taken from patients weremeasured by specific ELISAs. RESULTS: Anti-PS/PT Abs were detected in 94 (65.7%) of the livedo patients. Further, IgM anti-PS/PT Abs were detected in 90 (62.9%) of the livedo patients. Serum IgM anti-PS/PT Ab levels were significantly higher in livedo racemosa patients compared with regular livedo reticularis (19.2 +/- 17.0 vs 8.93 +/- 8.48 U/ml, P = 0.0013). Cutaneous vasculitis was significantly more prevalent among patients with livedo racemosa compared with regular livedo reticularis (P = 0.0014). Livedo racemosa patients had significantly higher CRP serum levels than regular livedo reticularis patients. Livedo racemosa has a stronger association with skin ulceration and arthralgia compared with regular livedoreticularis. Overall, we found a statistically significant association between cutaneous vasculitis and ischaemic cerebrovascular events in our livedo patients. CONCLUSIONS: We speculate that IgM anti-PS/PT Abs could be implicated in disease susceptibility for livedo racemosa. We further suspect that cutaneous vasculitis could be closely related to pathogenic factors that trigger the development of livedo racemosa. Early detection of cutaneous vasculitis in skin biopsies of livedo patients should be useful for prognostic evaluation, including ischaemic cerebrovascular events.

PMID: 19273539 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


 11: Guanidine Alkaloids and Pictet-Spengler Adducts from Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga

 racemosa) (dagger).

UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research and Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department

 of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60612.

As an extension of work on the recently discovered nitrogenous metabolites from Cimicifuga/Actaea species, three new guanidine alkaloids have

 been isolated and characterized from C. racemosa (syn. A. racemosa) roots. Of these, cyclo-cimipronidine (1) and cimipronidine methyl ester (2)

 are congeners of cimipronidine (3), whereas dopargine (5) is a derivative of dopamine. By employing NMR- and MS-guided chemodiversity

 profiling of a polar serotonergic (5-HT(7)) fraction, the guanidine alkaloids were initially detected in a clinical extract of black cohosh and were

isolated along with a congener of salsolinol 4, 5, and 3-hydroxytyrosol 3-O-glucoside (7). The structures of 1, 2, and 5 were confirmed by 1D and

2D NMR spectroscopy as well as LC-MS and HRMS spectroscopy. A plausible biosynthetic relationship may be inferred between the

homoproline-analogue cimipronidines and the dopamine-derived Cimicifuga alkaloids. These strongly basic and frequently zwitterionic nitrogenous

 metabolites contribute considerable chemical diversity to the polar serotonergic fraction of black cohosh.


PMID: 19220011 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



 12:An investigation of the kinetic and anti-angiogenic properties of plant glycoside

inhibitors of thymidine phosphorylase.

School of Biology, Chemistry and Health Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.


We investigated the potential of symplocomoside (1) and symponoside (2), glycosides isolated from the bark of Symplocos racemosa to inhibit

 thymidine phosphorylase (TP) activity and associated angiogenesis. Compound 1 was a reversible, noncompetitive inhibitor of deoxythymidine

binding to TP (IC(50) = 65.45 +/- 5.08 microM; K(i) = 62.83 +/- 2.10 microM) and 2 was a reversible, uncompetitive inhibitor (IC(50) = 94.17

+/- 4.05 microM; K(i) = 101.95 +/- 1.65 microM). Molecular modeling analysis indicated that both compounds bound at the active site of the

 enzyme but not solely to amino acid residues involved in catalysis. Both compounds were active in in vitro angiogenic assays inhibiting endothelial

cell migration and invasion in Matrigel, but did not inhibit growth factor-induced proliferation and were not cytotoxic. Compound 1 may have

potential as an anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor agent.

PMID: 19219729 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]




 13: Rapid high-performance thin-layer chromatographic method for detection of 5%

  adulteration of black cohosh with Cimicifuga foetida, C. heracleifolia, C. dahurica,

  or C. americana.


CAMAG Laboratory, Sonnenmattstr. 11, CH-4132 Muttenz, Switzerland. anita.ankli@camag.com


Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) is used to treat discomfort during menopause and as a substitute for synthetic drugs in hormone replacement

 therapy. The mostly wildcrafted plant is ranked among the top-selling herbs in the United States. There is a risk for adulteration with the

similar-looking C. americana, which grows in the same habitats of the eastern United States. Other adulterants found in today's global marketplace

 are the 3 Asian Cimicifuga species C. foetida, C. heracleifolia, and C. dahurica. A very practical, rapid, and reliable high-performance thin-layer

chromatographic (HPTLC) method was developed for identification of C. racemosa and detection of its most common adulterants by fingerprint

profiles. With specific derivatization reagents, mixtures of C. racemosa with a minimum of 5% of one of the adulterants can be detected. The propose

d method was validated with respect to specificity, stability, precision, and robustness. It can be used for quality control of black cohosh raw

material in a current Good Manufacturing Practices environment.


PMID: 19202784 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



14:Cimicifuga racemosa treatment and health related quality of life in post-menopausal Spanish women.


Gynaecology and Reproduction Medicine Service, University Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain.


OBJECTIVE: The effect of Cimicifuga racemosa (CR) treatment was evaluated in healthy symptomatic post-menopausal women using the

Cervantes health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) scale. DESIGN: A prospective observational study was carried out in 122 healthy symptomatic

post-menopausal Spanish women with elevated body weight, aged between 45 and 59 years. Three groups were formed according to age intervals.

 Each patient completed the Cervantes HR-QoL scale before and after CR treatment (20 mg, twice a day for 3 months). Changes in Cervantes

scale global quality of life scores as well as in their domains (menopause and health, psychic, sexuality and couple relationship) were analysed.

 RESULTS: The CR treatment ameliorated global quality of life in both the whole group of patients and when women were analysed by age

subgroups. There were significant positive changes in Z scores for the Cervantes HR-QoL scale 'menopause and health', and 'psychic' domains in

both the entire population and by age groups. The 'sexuality domain' significantly improved when the entire population was assessed, but not when

 each age-group was separately analysed; while there were no changes in 'couple relationship domain' scores. CONCLUSION: CR treatment

increased both global quality of life and the four domains of the Cervantes HR-QoL scale, being an effective treatment to reduce symptoms in

post-menopausal woman with elevated body weight.


PMID: 19165659 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


15:Phytochemistry of cimicifugic acids and associated bases in Cimicifuga racemosa root extracts.

UIC/NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy and PCRPS, College

of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

INTRODUCTION: Earlier studies reported serotonergic activity for cimicifugic acids (CA) isolated from Cimicifuga racemosa. The discovery of

strongly basic alkaloids, cimipronidines, from the active extract partition and evaluation of previously employed work-up procedures has led to the

hypothesis of strong acid/base association in the extract. OBJECTIVE: Re-isolation of the CAs was desired to permit further detailed studies. Based on the acid/base association hypothesis, a new separation scheme of the active partition was required, which separates acids from associated bases.

 METHODOLOGY: A new 5-HT(7) bioassay guided work-up procedure was developed that concentrates activity into one partition. The latter

was subjected to a new two-step centrifugal partitioning chromatography (CPC) method, which applies pH zone refinement gradient (pHZR CPC)

 to dissociate the acid/base complexes. The resulting CA fraction was subjected to a second CPC step. Fractions and compounds were monitored

by (1)H NMR using a structure-based spin-pattern analysis facilitating dereplication of the known acids. Bioassay results were obtained for the

 pHZR CPC fractions and for purified CAs. RESULTS: A new CA was characterised. While none of the pure CAs was active, the serotonergic

activity was concentrated in a single pHZR CPC fraction, which was subsequently shown to contain low levels of the potent 5-HT(7) ligand,

N(omega)-methylserotonin. CONCLUSION: This study shows that CAs are not responsible for serotonergic activity in black cohosh. New

phytochemical methodology (pHZR CPC) and a sensitive dereplication method (LC-MS) led to the identification of N(omega)-methylserotonin as

 serotonergic active principle. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID: 19140115 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


 16:Black cohosh for the management of menopausal symptoms : a systematic review of

clinical trials.

Department of Medicine, University of Florida, College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. carlos.palacio@jax.ufl.edu

Alternative medicine preparations represent a significant industry worldwide. Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), a buttercup plant grown in

North America, is one such popular preparation for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. Because the proportion of women experiencing

climacteric symptoms is high, black cohosh merits further study as to its efficacy and safety. Convincing evidence for its efficacy in this setting

remains to be demonstrated. The purpose of this systematic review was to assess the current literature on the benefits of black cohosh for women

experiencing climacteric symptoms. To this end, a PubMed search was conducted on 1 November 2007 using the search terms 'black cohosh'

AND 'menopause'. The search was limited to randomized controlled trials in the English language involving adults. Several additional reviews

dealing with alternative therapies for menopause were included to capture additional older and non-English language literature. Ultimately, 16

studies eligible for review were identified. Many of the studies had conflicting results. Methodological flaws included lack of uniformity of the

drug preparation used, variable outcome measures and lack of a placebo group. The benefits of black cohosh in the management of climacteric

 symptoms remain to be proven. Case studies suggest an additional unexplored area of adverse events that also needs to be addressed.

PMID: 19102512 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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