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While all plants have some medicinal value to humans, these members of the family Fabaceae have been investigated.

Acacia farnesiana[edit | edit source]

Vachellia farnesiana, also known as Acacia farnesiana, and previously Mimosa farnesiana, commonly known as sweet acacia,[1] huisache,[2] or needle bush, is a species of shrub or small tree in the legume family, Fabaceae. It is deciduous over part of its range,[3] but evergreen in most locales.[4] The species grows to a height of 15–30 feet (4.6–9.1 m) and grows multiple trunks.[2] The base of each leaf is accompanied by a pair of thorns on the branch.[5]

Analysis of essences of the floral extract from this plant, long used in perfumery, resulted in the name for the sesquiterpene biosynthetic chemical farnesol, found as a basic sterol precursor in plants, and cholesterol precursor in animals.[6]

Acacia smallii was used in the United States for the 'native' A. farnesiana growing in the drylands west of Louisiana, but at the same time, the taxon A. farnesiana was recognised in the United States for purportedly imported non-native plants originally cultivated in the Southeastern United States as ornamentals and later thought naturalised there. Additionally, in Florida, A. pinetorum was recognised as a rare endemic native.[1]

The seeds of V. farnesiana are not toxic to humans.[7]

Acacia penninervis[edit | edit source]

Acacia penninervis is from Black Mountain, Canberra, ACT. Credit: Donald Hobern from Canberra, Australia.{{free media}}

Acacia penninervis, commonly known as mountain hickory wattle, or blackwood,[8] is a perennial shrub or tree is an Acacia belonging to subgenus Phyllodineae,[9] that is native to eastern Australia.

"The bark (and, according to some, the leaves) of this tree was formerly used by the aboriginals [sic.] of southern New South Wales for catching fish. They would throw them into a waterhole when the fish would rise to the top and be easily caught. Neither the leaves nor bark contain strictly poisonous substances, but, like the other species of Acacia, they would be deleterious, owing to their astringency."[10]

Astragalus membranaceus[edit | edit source]

Astragalus propinquus (syn. Astragalus membranaceus,[11] commonly known as Mongolian milkvetch[12] in English,[13] in Mongolia, is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae. It is one of the Mongolian herbology 50 fundamental herbs used in traditional Mongolian medicine.[14] It is a perennial plant and it is not listed as being threatened.[15]

Chemical constituents of the roots (Radix Astragali) include polysaccharides and triterpenoids (such as astragalosides),[16] as well as isoflavones (including kumatakenin, calycosin, and formononetin) and their glycosides and malonates.[17] An extract of A. propinquus called TA-65 may activate telomerase, extending the lengths of the shortest telomeres which protect the terminal DNA at the ends of all chromosomes.[18] It contains the saponin cycloastragenol.

Cassia abbreviata[edit | edit source]

Guibourtinidol is a flavan-3ol that can be found in Cassia abbreviata heartwood.[19]

Cassia javanica[edit | edit source]

Cassia javanica, or Cassia agnes, also known as Java cassia, pink shower, apple blossom tree and rainbow shower tree, Filipino: balayong),[20] is a species of tree in the family Fabaceae. Its origin is in Southeast Asia, but it has been extensively grown in tropical areas worldwide as a garden tree owing to its beautiful crimson and pink flower bunches.[21]

It is used medicinally as a substitute to Cassia fistula for treating constipation, colic, chlorosis and urinary disorders.[22] Its leaves are effective against herpes simplex and the bark of C. javanica is one of the ingredients in ayurvedic and other traditional medicine antidiabetic formulations.[23][24]

Glycyrrhiza glabra[edit | edit source]

Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin. Credit: Yikrazuul.{{free media}}

The scent of liquorice (licorice) root comes from a complex and variable combination of compounds, of which anethole is up to 3% of total volatiles. Much of the sweetness in liquorice comes from glycyrrhizin, which has a sweet taste, 30–50 times the sweetness of sugar. The sweetness is very different from sugar, being less instant, tart, and lasting longer.

Glycyrrhizin (or glycyrrhizic acid or glycyrrhizinic acid) is the chief sweet-tasting constituent of Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice) root. Structurally, it is a saponin used as an emulsifier and gel-forming agent in foodstuffs and cosmetics. Its aglycone is enoxolone.

The isoflavene glabrene and the isoflavane glabridin, found in the roots of liquorice, are phytoestrogens.[25][26]

Griffonia simplicifolia[edit | edit source]

The seeds of the plant are used as a herbal supplement for their 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) content.[27][28] 5-Hydroxytryptophan is an important building block for the human body to form serotonin, a neurotransmitter.[29] In one "randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial" in 2010 Griffonia simplicifolia extract, administered via oral spray to twenty overweight females resulting in increased satiety.[30]

Griffonia simplicifolia also has a legume lectin called GS Isolectin B4, which binds to alpha-D-galactosyl residues of polysaccharides and glycoproteins. This supplement is often given by spider silk farmers to increase production of stronger silk.

Mucuna pruriens[edit | edit source]

The beautiful inflorescence of the itchy Mucuna pruriens is shown. Credit: Agong1.{{free media}}

The seeds of the plant contain about 3.1–6.1% L-DOPA,[31] with trace amounts of serotonin, nicotine, and bufotenine.[32] One study using 36 samples of seeds found no tryptamines present.[33] M. pruriens var. pruriens has the highest content of L-dopa. An average of 52.11% degradation of L-dopa into damaging quinones and reactive oxygen species was found in seeds of M. pruriens varieties.[34]

The plant and its extracts have long been used in tribal communities as an antidote for snakebite. More recently, its effects against bites by Naja (cobra),[35] Echis (saw-scaled viper),[36] Calloselasma (Malayan pit viper), and Bungarus (krait) species have been studied. Moreover, it has been investigated as a treatment for Parkinson's disease[37] due to its high L-DOPA content,[38] while the seeds have been recognized for their ability to significantly alleviate neurotoxicity associated with the condition.[39]

Pueraria mirifica[edit | edit source]

Pueraria mirifica contains various phytoestrogens including deoxymiroestrol, daidzin, daidzein, genistin, genistein, coumestrol, kwakhurin, and mirificine,[40] β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, and mirificoumestan. There is contradictory evidence for the presence of miroestrol.[41][42] It also contains the cytotoxic non-phytoestrogen spinasterol.[40]

Pueraria tuberosa[edit | edit source]

Kudzu contains isoflavones, including puerarin (about 60% of the total isoflavones), daidzein, daidzin (structurally related to genistein), mirificin, and salvianolic acid, among numerous others identified.[43] In traditional Chinese medicine, where it is known as gé gēn (gegen), kudzu is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs thought to have therapeutic effects, although there is no high-quality clinical research to indicate it has any activity or therapeutic use in humans.[44][45]

Roots, flowers, and leaves of kudzu show antioxidant activity that suggests food uses.[46]

Senna alexandrina[edit | edit source]

Photographed at Eastren ghats of Nellore district. Credit: Lalithamba from India.{{free media}}

Historically, Senna alexandrina was used in the form of senna pods, or as herbal tea made from the leaves, as a laxative.[47] It also serves as a fungicide.[47]

Modern medicine has used extracts since at least the 1950s[48] as a laxative.[49][50] If accidentally ingested by infants, it can cause side effects such as severe diaper rash.[49] The active ingredients are several senna glycosides[51] which interact with immune cells in the colon.[52]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 2 September 2021.Vachellia farnesiana, accessdate, 25 March 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin". Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  3. PDF Ursula K. Schuch and Margaret Norem, Growth of Legume Tree Species Growing in the Southwestern United States, University of Arizona.
  4. "Discover Life - Fabaceae: Acacia farnesiana (L. ) Willd. - Cassie Flower, Vachellia farnesiana, Poponax farnesiana, Mimosa farnesiana, Ellington Curse, Klu, Sweet Acacia, Mimosa Bush, Huisache". Archived from the original on 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  5. "Sweet Acacia (Acacia farnesiana)". Native Plants of South Texas. Texas AgriLife Research and Extension. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  6. Fluckiger, F. A. (March 1885). "The Essential Oil Industry in Grasse". American Journal of Pharmacy 57 (3). Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  7. [1]
  8. Common names for mountain-hickory (Acacia penninervis), In: Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  9. PlantNet
  10. J. H. Maiden (1889). The useful native plants of Australia : Including Tasmania. Turner and Henderson, Sydney. 
  11. "Astragalus propinquus". Archived from the original on 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2013-09-09.
  12. English Names for Korean Native Plants. Pocheon: Korea National Arboretum. 2015. pp. 368. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Retrieved 26 January 2017. 
  13. Joe Hing Kwok Chu. "Huang qi". Complementary and Alternative Healing University. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  14. "Astragalus membranaceus – Moench". Plants for a Future.
  15. "Astragalus propinquus Schischkin". LegumeWeb. International Legume Database & Information Service. 2005-11-01. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  16. Xu, Q.; Ma, X.; Liang, X. (2007). "Determination of Astragalosides in the Roots of Astragalus spp. Using Liquid Chromatography Tandem Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry". Phytochemical Analysis 18 (5): 419–427. doi:10.1002/pca.997. PMID 17624885. 
  17. Lin, L. Z.; He, X. G.; Lindenmaier, M.; Nolan, G.; Yang, J.; Cleary, M.; Qiu, S. X.; Cordell, G. A. (2000). "Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Study of the Flavonoids of the Roots of Astragalus mongholicus and A. membranaceus". Journal of Chromatography A 876 (1–2): 87–95. doi:10.1016/S0021-9673(00)00149-7. PMID 10823504. 
  18. Harley, C. B.; Liu, W.; Blasco, M.; Vera, E.; Andrews, W. H.; Briggs, L. A.; Raffaele, J. M. (2011). "A Natural Product Telomerase Activator As Part of a Health Maintenance Program". Rejuvenation Research 14 (1): 45–56. doi:10.1089/rej.2010.1085. PMID 20822369. PMC 3045570. // 
  19. The novel Flavan-3-ol, (2R,3S )-guibourtinidol and its diastereomers. Reinier J.J. Nel, Makhosazana Mthembu, Johan Coetzee, Hendrik van Rensburg, Elfranco Malan and Daneel Ferreira, Phytochemistry 52 (1999) 1153-1158
  21. UFL - Cassia javanica
  22. Khare, C.P. (2007). Indian Medicinal Plants. Springer Verlag. pp. 128. ISBN 978-0-387-70637-5. 
  23. Kumavat, UC; Shimpi, SN; Jagdale, SP (2012). "Hypoglycemic activity of Cassia javanica Linn. in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats". J Adv Pharm Technol Res 3 (1): 47–51. doi:10.4103/2231-4040.93562. PMID 22470893. PMC 3312727. // 
  24. C.Javanica Phytochemical and Pharmocologocal Profile
  25. Somjen, D.; Katzburg, S.; Vaya, J.; Kaye, A. M.; Hendel, D.; Posner, G. H.; Tamir, S. (2004). "Estrogenic activity of glabridin and glabrene from licorice roots on human osteoblasts and prepubertal rat skeletal tissues". The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 91 (4–5): 241–246. doi:10.1016/j.jsbmb.2004.04.008. PMID 15336701. 
  26. Tamir, S.; Eizenberg, M.; Somjen, D.; Izrael, S.; Vaya, J. (2001). "Estrogen-like activity of glabrene and other constituents isolated from licorice root". The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 78 (3): 291–298. doi:10.1016/S0960-0760(01)00093-0. PMID 11595510. 
  27. A.D.A.M., Inc. "5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)". University of Maryland Medical Center.
  28. Emanuele, E; Bertona, M; Minoretti, P; Geroldi, D (2010). "An open-label trial of L-5-hydroxytryptophan in subjects with romantic stress". Neuro Endocrinology Letters 31 (5): 663–6. PMID 21178946. 
  29. Lemaire, Peter A.; Adosraku, Reimmel K. (2002). "An HPLC method for the direct assay of the serotonin precursor, 5-hydroxytrophan, in seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia". Phytochemical Analysis 13 (6): 333–7. doi:10.1002/pca.659. PMID 12494751. 
  30. Rondanelli M; Opizzi A; Faliva M; Bucci M; Perna S (Mar 2012). "Relationship between the absorption of 5-hydroxytryptophan from an integrated diet, by means of Griffonia simplicifolia extract, and the effect on satiety in overweight females after oral spray administration". Eat Weight Disord. 17 (1): e22-8. doi:10.3275/8165. PMID 22142813. 
  31. Dart, Richard C. (2004). Medical Toxicology - Google Book Search. Retrieved 2008-03-15. 
  32. "Species Information". Retrieved 2008-03-02. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= requires |archive-url= (help)
  33. "The phytochemistry, toxicology, and food potential of velvetbean". Retrieved 2008-03-02. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= requires |archive-url= (help)
  34. Pulikkalpura H, Kurup R, Mathew PJ, Baby S (June 2015). "Levodopa in Mucuna pruriens and its degradation". Scientific Reports 5 (1): 11078. doi:10.1038/srep11078. PMID 26058043. PMC 4460905. // 
  35. Tan NH, Fung SY, Sim SM, Marinello E, Guerranti R, Aguiyi JC (June 2009). "The protective effect of Mucuna pruriens seeds against snake venom poisoning". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 123 (2): 356–8. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2009.03.025. PMID 19429384. 
  36. "Characterization of the factor responsible for the antisnake activity of Mucuna Pruriens seeds". Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene 40: 25–28. 1999. Archived on 2010-09-23. Error: If you specify |archivedate=, you must also specify |archiveurl=. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  37. Katzenschlager R, Evans A, Manson A, Patsalos PN, Ratnaraj N, Watt H, Timmermann L, Van der Giessen R, Lees AJ (December 2004). "Mucuna pruriens in Parkinson's disease: a double blind clinical and pharmacological study". Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 75 (12): 1672–7. doi:10.1136/jnnp.2003.028761. PMID 15548480. PMC 1738871. // 
  38. Cassani E, Cilia R, Laguna J, Barichella M, Contin M, Cereda E, Isaias IU, Sparvoli F, Akpalu A, Budu KO, Scarpa MT, Pezzoli G (June 2016). "Mucuna pruriens for Parkinson's disease: Low-cost preparation method, laboratory measures and pharmacokinetics profile". Journal of the Neurological Sciences 365: 175–80. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2016.04.001. PMID 27206902. 
  39. Singh, Surya P.; Gedda, Mallikarjuna R.; Jadhav, Jyoti P.; Patil, Ravishankar R.; Zahra, Walia; Singh, Saumitra S.; Birla, Hareram; Rai, Sachchida N. (2017). "Mucuna pruriens Protects against MPTP Intoxicated Neuroinflammation in Parkinson's Disease through NF-κB/pAKT Signaling Pathways". Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 9: 421. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2017.00421. ISSN 1663-4365. PMID 29311905. PMC 5742110. // 
  40. 40.0 40.1 Pueraria,
  41. Pope GS; Grundy HM; Jone HEH; Tait SAS (1958). "The estrogenic substance miroestrol from the tuberous roots of P. mirifica". J Endocrinol 17: 15–16. 
  42. Chansakaow S; Ishikawa T; Seki H; Sekine K; Okada M; Chaichantipyuth C (2000). "Identification of deoxymiroestrol as the actual rejuvenating principle of "Kwao Keur", Pueraria Mirifica. The known miroestrol may be an artifact". J Nat Prod 63 (2): 173–175. doi:10.1021/np990547v. PMID 10691701. 
  43. Wang, F. R.; Zhang, Y; Yang, X. B.; Liu, C. X.; Yang, X. W.; Xu, W; Liu, J. X. (2017). "Rapid Determination of 30 Polyphenols in Tongmai Formula, a Combination of Puerariae Lobatae Radix, Salviae Miltiorrhizae Radix et Rhizoma, and Chuanxiong Rhizoma, via Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry". Molecules 22 (4): 545. doi:10.3390/molecules22040545. PMID 28353641. PMC 6154678. // 
  44. "Kudzu". 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  45. "Kudzu". Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  46. Sandra Lynn Burney (2010). "Determination of antioxidant and total phenolic content of Pueraria lobata and evaluation of novel food products containing kudzu". Mississippi State University.
  47. 47.0 47.1 Duke, James A. (2002). Handbook of medicinal herbs (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. OCLC 48876592. 
  48. Duncan, As (February 1957). "Standardized Senna as a Laxative in the Puerperium". British Medical Journal 1 (5016): 439–41. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.5016.439. ISSN 0007-1447. PMID 13396280. PMC 1974525. // 
  49. 49.0 49.1 Spiller, Ha; Winter, Ml; Weber, Ja; Krenzelok, Ep; Anderson, Dl; Ryan, Ml (May 2003). "Skin breakdown and blisters from senna-containing laxatives in young children". The Annals of Pharmacotherapy 37 (5): 636–9. doi:10.1345/aph.1C439. ISSN 1060-0280. PMID 12708936. 
  50. Kinnunen, O; Winblad, I; Koistinen, P; Salokannel, J (October 1993). "Safety and efficacy of a bulk laxative containing senna versus lactulose in the treatment of chronic constipation in geriatric patients" (Free full text). Pharmacology 47 Suppl 1: 253–5. doi:10.1159/000139866. ISSN 0031-7012. PMID 8234438. 
  51. Hietala, P; Marvola, M; Parviainen, T; Lainonen, H (August 1987). "Laxative potency and acute toxicity of some anthraquinone derivatives, senna extracts and fractions of senna extracts". Pharmacology & Toxicology 61 (2): 153–6. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0773.1987.tb01794.x. ISSN 0901-9928. PMID 3671329. 
  52. Lemli, J (November 1995). "Mechanism of action of sennosides". Bulletin de l'Académie Nationale de Médecine 179 (8): 1605–11. ISSN 0001-4079. PMID 8717178. 

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