- Ipecacuanha (Psychotria
ipecacuanha) of family Rubiaceae is a flowering plant, the root
of which is most commonly used to make syrup of ipecac, a powerful
emetic. Its name comes from the Tupi i-pe-kaa-guéne,
translated as 'road-side sick-making plant'. It is native to Brazil.
- Ipecac’s major
constituents are the alkaloids emetine and cephaline. The roots also
contain tannins and small amounts of anthraquinone glycosides.3
The alkaloids have several important actions, including activation
of brain centers that can induce vomiting, inhibition of the
sympathetic nervous system, and inhibition of protein synthesis.
- Ipecac is a
remedy of first importance in many respiratory disorders. These
conditions are similar to those indicating its employment in
gastro-intestinal diseases, viz., irritation, capillary engorgement,
and hypersecretion. Thus, associated with the special sedatives and
asclepias and bryonia, if necessary, it is a very valuable agent, in
congestion of the vocal cords,
broncho-pulmonary congestion from
irritable and spasmodic coughs,
and in the early stage of acute
catarrhal affections, dyspnoea of pregnancy, and
- The world
trade in the areas of plant based raw materials for the
pharmaceuticals, drugs, perfumery items, cosmetics is fast and
increasing as evidenced by trade statistics. Although, India
exported and imported large number of medicinal plants,
phytopharmaceuticals and their derivatives, its share in the world
trade has been rather insignificant.
plants assumed commercial significance since millennia, but it is
only during the last few decades that this significance has
increased remarkably with the growing production as well as
popularity of herbal drugs, herbal cosmetics and nutraceuticals.
- While 80% of
the world population still uses traditional medicines, in the
developed countries the interest in alternative medicines has
increased by 60% since 1989. In the US, consumer use of herbal
products was less than 5% in 1991 which increased to about 50% in
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