Petiveria alliacea L. - Phytolaccaceae (Petiveriaceae) - Guinea hen weed, garlicweed, gullyroot, Anamu
Perennial herb (shrub), up to 1m tall, native to the Americas (Florida-Argentina); roots and leaves with garlic-like odor; flowers small, greenish.
„The Guinea Hen Weed is used in teas, extracts, capsules. The leaves and also the roots are used with medicinal purposes. This plant has been used to reduce inflammation and pain. It has been reported to be used to eliminate bacteria, fungi, candida, and viruses. It is also used to enhance the immune system and increase urination.“
„Brazilian folk medicine attributes to the hot water infusion of its roots or leaves the following pharmacologicalproperties: antipyretic, antispasmodic, abortifacient, antirrheumatic, diuretic, analgesic and sedative. The present study has evaluated the alleged effects of P. alliacea on central nervous system (CNS), particularly, the sedative and analgesic properties of root crude aqueous extract of this plant in mice and rats. This extract showed an antinociceptive effect in acetic acid - acetylcholine - and hypertonic saline - induced abdominal constrictions, but not in hot-plate and tail flick tests P. alliacea did not produce any CNS depressor effect. Thus its antinociceptive action in animals can be responsible by its poplar use as an analgesic.“
[Evaluation of antinociceptive effect of Petiveria alliacea (Guine) in animals., Lima, T., Morato, G.S., Takahashi, R.N., Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol.86, 1991, 153-158]
„The main compounds found in the inflorescences of P. alliacea were benzaldehyde (54.8%), benzyl thiol (20.3%) and dibenzyl disulphide (18.0%).“
[Volatile constituents from Adenocalymma alliaceum Miers and Petiveria alliacea L., two medicinal herbs of the Amazon., Zoghbi, M.D.G.B., Andrade, E.H.A., Maia, J.G.S., Flavour and fragrance journal, Vol.17(2), 2002, 133-135]
A crude lyophilized extract of P. alliacea roots was administered to rats with pleurisy and showed significant antiinflammatory and analgesic effect.
[The anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of a crude extract of Petiveria alliacea L.(Phytolaccaceae)., Lopes-Martins, R.A.B., Pegoraro, D.H., Woisky, R., Penna, S.C., Sertié, J.A.A., Phytomedicine, Vol.9(3), 2002, 245-248]
„The lachrymatory principle of Petiveria alliacea has been isolated from a fresh homogenate of the root. Its structure and geometric configuration have been determined as (Z)-thiobenzaldehyde S-oxide by means of NMR, IR, MALDI-MS and by comparison with an authentic compound obtained by synthesis. This unique compound represents only the third naturally occurring sulfine (thiocarbonyl S-oxide) to be reported.“
[The lachrymatory principle of Petiveria alliacea., Kubec, R., Kim, S., Musah, R.A., Phytochemistry, Vol.63(1), 2003, 37-40]
„The data compiled in the present review on dibenzyl trisulphide (DTS) isolated from Petiveria alliacea L (the guinea hen weed or anamu) revealed that the compound and its derivatives could be of tremendous pharmaceutical interest… Dibenzyl trisulphide seems to have a cytokine switching mechanism in which it down regulates cytokines from the Type I helper cells (Th -1 cell) pathway which contained several pro-inflammatory cytokines and up-regulates those on the Type 2 helper cells (Th-2) pathway.“
[A critical review of the therapeutic potential of dibenzyl trisulphide isolated from Petiveria alliacea L (guinea hen weed, anamu)., Williams, L.A.D., Rosner, H., Levy, H.G., Barton, E.N., West Indian Medical Journal, Vol.56(1), 2007, 17-21]
Engler,H.G.A., Das Pflanzenreich, Phytolaccaceae, vol.83, [Heft 39], p.119, fig.34 (1909)
picture source Toluaye, wikimedia commons