Traditional Use of Medicinal Plants in Kerman Province, Iran

Roses in a flower garden, Kerman Province, Iran. Photo from Pxfuel. Public Domain.

The authors of this study surveyed the use by herbal healers of plant species found in Kerman Province, south-east Iran. They note that traditional (folk) medicine is a major component of healthcare in south-east Iran.

Kerman Province, Iran. Image from Wikipedia. Public Domain.

The study findings suggest that plants in the Asteraceae and Apiaceae families are used for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, Lamiaceae plants for respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, and Apocynaceae and Euphorbiaceae plants for dermatological problems.

Photo of Rayen Citadel, Kerman Province, Iran, by Ninara, via Flickr. Creative Commons CC BY 2.0.

A full table of the medicinal plants identified and their uses by local herbal healers can be found here.

Hosseini, S.H., Bibak, H., Ghara, A.R. et al. Ethnobotany of the medicinal plants used by the ethnic communities of Kerman province, Southeast Iran. J Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine 17, 31 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-021-00438-z .

Copyright © Robert Hale 2021.

Rosemary Extract Decreases Acetylcholinesterase Activity and Increases Antioxidant Capacity

Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus Spenn. syn. Rosmarinus officinalis L.). Photo taken by the author in Ibiza in 2013.

A small scale double-blind randomized controlled trial carried out by the Iranian team of Fatemeh Dabaghzadeh and co-workers looked at the effect in healthy subjects of Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus Spenn.) powder taken by mouth on acetyl cholinesterase (AChE) activity and biomarkers of oxidative stress.

Rosemary is used traditionally in some cultures to improve memory. Combined antioxidant and AChE-inhibitory effects might suggest its potential application against Alzheimer’s disease.

In the present study, 1000 mg/day of rosemary powder was found to increase total antioxidant activity and decrease acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity.

Decreased AChE activity means increased activity in cholinergic neurons; thus, contrary to the paper’s title, rosemary does not have an anticholinergic effect but a cholinergic one.

The dysfunction and loss of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and their cortical projections are among the earliest pathological events in Alzheimer’s disease (Wikipedia).

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2212958821000215

Dabaghzadeh F et al. (2021). Antioxidant and anticholinergic effects of rosemary extract: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Advances in Integrative Medicine. In-Press, Journal Pre-Proof. Available online 3 April 2021. Retrieved 19 April 2021.

Significance and Use of Walnut: A Review

Persian Walnut. Photo from Piklist.com. Free to use.

This review summarises ethnobotanical use, pharmacology, nutritional value, preclinical and clinical studies, toxicity, other uses and current research prospects of Juglans regia L. (Walnut).

Walnut leaf has been found to possess the following properties of potential clinical significance:

  • Antimicrobial, antifungal and anti-viral.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antidiabetic.
  • Antityrosinase (against skin hyperpigmentation).
  • Anti-cancer

Walnut bark shares some of these properties but in particular, it is anthelmintic.

Walnut fruit (the nut) is antidepressant, antitrigliceridaemic, hepatoprotective, anti-amyloidogenic improves motor and cognitive performance.

Nael Abu Taha and Mohammed A. Al-wadaan (2021) Significance and use of walnut, Juglans regia Linn: A review. Advanced Journal of Microbiology Research ISSN 2736-1756Vol. 15 (1), pp. 001-010, January, 2021.

Plantago Major Improves Liver Enzyme Levels in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Image: Jan Kops: Flora Batava, Volume 4 (1822). Public domain.

This randomised double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial showed a reduction in liver enzymes ALT and AST as well as serum triglycerides in subjects with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who took 2 g Plantago major (Common Plantain) seed twice weekly for 12 weeks.

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2021/6693887/

Seyedeh Ferdows Jazayeri, Roshanak Ghods, Fataneh Hashem Dabaghian, Asie Shojaii, Seyed Ali Al-Hadi Moravej, Ebrahim Khadem, Seyed Saeed Seyedian, “The Efficacy of Plantago major Seed on Liver Enzymes in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2021, Article ID 6693887, 7 pages, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6693887

Stinging Nettle and Evening Primrose for Rheumatoid Arthritis

This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial from Iran indicates that taking Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) or Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis L.) can reduce some of the biomarkers and inflammatory markers associated with rheumatoid arthritis, although over the three month period of the trial there was no significant difference in patients’ symptoms.

Abd-Nikfarjam B. et al. (2021). Therapeutic Efficacy of Urtica dioica and Evening Primrose in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Research Square. DOI: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-309562/v1 (Retrieved 30/03/2021).

N.B. This is a preprint, a preliminary version of a manuscript that has not completed peer review at a journal.