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Información cientifica (Inglés) - Sinergia Natural
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Información cientifica (Inglés)

MACELA / MARCELA (Achyrocline satureoides)

Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Achyrocline
Species: satureoides
Synonyms: Achyrocline candicans, Egletes viscosa, Gnaphalium candicans, G. satureioides.
Common Names: Macela, marcela, birabira, marcela-da-mata, hembra marcela, Juan blanco, macela-do-campo, marcela hembra, camomila-nacional, marcelita, mirabira, perpétua do mato suso, viravira, wira-wira, yatey-caa, yerba de chivo.
Parts Used: Aerial parts, leaves, flowers.

From "The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs":

MACELA

HERBAL PROPERTIES AND ACTIONS

Main Actions

Other Actions

Standard Dosage

enhances immunity

protects liver

Whole herb

kills viruses

prevents tumors

Infusion: 1 cup 2-3 times daily

kills bacteria

expels worms

Capsules: 1-2 g 2-3 times daily

relieves pain

supports heart

Tincture: 2-3 ml twice daily

reduces inflammation

kills insects

 

fights free radicals

promotes perspiration

 

reduces spasms

regulates menstruation

 

stimulates bile

 

 

relaxes muscles

 

 

lowers blood sugar

 

 

stimulates digestion

 

 

mildly sedative

 

 

Macela is a medium-sized aromatic annual herb that grows up to 1-1/2 m high. It produces small white flowers with yellow centers and serrated green leaves. It is indigenous to much of tropical South America including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It often springs up on disturbed soils and some consider it a weed.

TRIBAL AND HERBAL MEDICINE USES

In Brazil, the plant is called macela or marcela and it has been used in herbal medicine for many years. Using the entire plant or just its flowers, a tea is prepared with 5 g of dried herb to 1 liter of boiling water. This infusion is used as a natural remedy for nervous colic, epilepsy, nausea, and gastric problems. It is also employed as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, menstrual promoter, sedative, and analgesic for gastric disturbances, liver problems, diarrhea, and dysentery. This same infusion (or a slightly stronger one) is used externally for rheumatism, neuralgia, sore muscles, and even menstrual pain. The flowers are crushed and added to pillows as a natural sleeping aid (much in the same manner as the American hops flower). In Argentina, 20 g of fresh flowers are infused in 1 liter of hot water and taken to help regulate menstruation and for asthma; the aerial parts or entire plant is decocted as an aid for digestion and diabetes. In Uruguay it is used much the same way - for stomach, digestion, and gastrointestinal disorders, as a menstrual regulator, and as a sedative and antispasmodic. In Venezuela, the entire plant is infused or decocted and taken internally to treat diabetes, as a menstrual promoter, and to help overcome impotency. In Peru, the leaves are made into a tea for a cough suppressant to treat bronchitis; an infusion of the entire plant is used to treat diabetes (Type II).

PLANT CHEMICALS

Phytochemical analysis of macela, which began in the mid-1980s, shows that it is a rich source of flavonoids - including novel ones never seen before. Many of its active properties are attributed to these flavonoids as well as to other chemicals (called terpenes) isolated in the plant.

The main plant chemicals found in macela include: achyrocline polysaccharides, achyrofuran, auricepyrone, cadinene, caffeic acid, callerianin, calleryanin, caryatin, caryophyllene, chlorogenic acid, cineol, flavones, galangin, germacrene D, gnaphaliin, italidipyrone, lauricepyrone, luteolin, ocimene, pinene, pyrone, quercetagetin, quercetin, scoparol, scoparone, and tamarixetin.

BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES AND CLINICAL RESEARCH

Macela has been the subject of western research and many of its long-time uses in herbal medicine have been validated by scientists. In animal studies with mice and rats, macela demonstrated pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and smooth-muscle (gastrointestinal) relaxant properties internally without toxicity, in addition to anti-inflammatory and pain-relief actions externally. This may explain why macela has long been used effectively for many types of pain, gastrointestinal difficulties, menstrual cramps, and asthma. In vitro studies have demonstrated that macela is molluscicidal (in a test used to ascertain its effectiveness against the tropical disease schistosomiasis), and active against Salmonella, E. coli, and Staphylococcus. This could explain its long history of use for dysentery, diarrhea, and infections. It also has shown to be a strong antioxidant, to increases the flow of bile from the gallbladder, to help protect against liver damage and to lower liver enzymes levels. Again, this certainly supports its traditional uses for liver and gallbladder problems of various kinds.

Some of the in vitro antioxidant testing performed suggested that macela interfered in the degenerative processes of arteriosclerosis (it reduced blood stickiness, blood fats, and blood oxidation). Macela has been used traditionally for diabetes throughout the tropics where it grows. Not until 2002 did researchers validate this use: a water extract of the entire plant exhibited blood sugar-lowering activity in a mouse model of Type 2 diabetes. This hypoglycemic action was attributed to a novel plant chemical found in macela called achyrofuran.

Other research on macela has concentrated on its antitumorous, antiviral, and immunostimulant properties. It passed the initial screening test used to predict antitumor activity in the mid-1990s by two separate research groups. In subsequent research, macela was reported to inhibit cancer cell growth in vitro, and another research group showed that an extract of macela flowers inhibited the growth of cancer cells by 67% in vitro. Most recently (in 2002), researchers in Argentina studying macela reported a toxic effect against a human liver cancer cell line. In the mid-1980s, German researchers extracted the whole dried plant and demonstrated that, in both humans and mice, it showed strong immunostimulant activity (by increasing phagocytosis and immune cell activity). In 1996, researchers in Texas demonstrated its in vitro antiviral properties against HIV, and Argentinean researchers found it to be active against Pseudorabies (a type of animal herpes virus).

Toxicity studies indicate no toxicity in animals given macela orally or even when water or ethanol extracts of the plant were injected into mice. They did report, however, that a hot water extract potentiated the effects of barbiturates when injected (at a dose of 200 mg/kg).

CURRENT PRACTICAL USES

With so many active biological properties documented thus far, macela should continue to be the subject of further research. Regardless, a simple macela tea (standard infusion) is still a highly effective natural remedy for many types of gastrointestinal complaints - especially where inflammation and spasms occur. Many practitioners in South and North America use macela for spastic colon, Crohn's disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a general digestive aid. In South America it is still widely used to help regulate menstrual cycles. Although this has been done for many years with reported good results, this effect has not been studied by scientists.

MACELA PLANT SUMMARY

Main Preparation Method: infusion or tincture

Main Actions (in order):
antiviral, antibacterial, analgesic (pain-reliever), anti-inflammatory, bile stimulant

Main Uses:

  1. applied externally for pain and inflammation

  2. for respiratory problems (asthma, bronchitis, flu, and upper respiratory bacterial and viral infections)

  3. for arteriosclerosis

  4. for viral infections (hepatitis, HIV, herpes, etc.)

  5. for gallbladder and liver disorders

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
analgesic (pain-reliever), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticoagulant (blood thinner), antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitumorous, antiviral, bile stimulant, gastrototonic (tones, balances, strengthens the gastric tract), hepatoprotective (liver protector), hepatotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the liver), hypoglycemic, immunostimulant, molluscicidal (kills snails)

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
anticonvulsant, antiseptic, cough suppressant, astringent, bitter digestive aid, cardiotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the heart), carminative (expels gas), diaphoretic (promotes sweating), digestive stimulant, menstrual stimulant, muscle relaxant, neurasthenic (reduces nerve pain), sedative, vermifuge (expels worms)

Cautions: It has a sedative effect and might increase the effects of other sedatives. People with diabetes should use with caution as it has a mild hypoglycemic effect.

Traditional Preparation: The therapeutic dosage is reported to be 1-2 g two or three times daily of dried whole herb and/or flowers. One cup of a whole herb infusion 2-3 times daily or 2-3 ml of a 4:1 tincture twice daily can be used. See Traditional Herbal Remedies Preparation Methods page if necessary for definitions.

Contraindications:

  • This plant has been documented with hypoglycemic effects; people with hypoglycemia and/or diabetes should only use this plant under the care and direction of a qualified health care practitioner who can monitor blood glucose levels.

  • This plant has a long history of use as a menstrual promoter and regulator and its biological effects during pregnancy have not been studied or reported. While these traditional uses have not been clinically validated, pregnant women should still refrain from using this plant.

  • One study demonstrated barbiturate potentiation activity when a hot water extract of macela was injected in mice; it remains unclear if this effect is evident when taken orally. In herbal medicine systems, the plant is used as a sedative. Natural herb capsules, teas or tinctures might potentiate the effects of other sedatives and barbiturates. Use with caution when taking other prescription sedatives and pain-killers.

Drug Interactions: May potentiate insulin and diabetic medications. May potentiate barbiturate drugs.

WORLDWIDE ETHNOMEDICAL USES

Argentina

for asthma, diabetes, digestive disorders, menstrual regulation

Bolivia

for intestinal gas

Brazil

for appetite, bacterial infections, colds, colic, diabetes, diarrhea, digestive disorders, dysentery, epilepsy, flu, gallstones, gastritis, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, inflammation, intestinal disorders, liver disorders, menstrual disorders, menstrual pain, nausea, neuralgia, pain, rheumatism, spasms, as a sedative, and to increase perspiration

Colombia

for gallbladder disorders, tumors

Paraguay

for bacterial infections, worms

Peru

for bronchitis, coughs, diabetes

Uruguay

for bacterial infections, digestive disorders, impotence, inflammation, menstrual disorders, spasms, and as a sedative

Venezuela

for diabetes, impotence, menstrual disorders

The above text has been printed from The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs by Leslie Taylor, copyrighted © 2005

The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this plant database file is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease.


Third Party Research on Macela

Available third-party documentation and clinical research on Macela can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of published research on macela is shown below:

Pain-Relieving, Anti-inflammatory, & Muscle Relaxant Actions:
Melo, C. M., et al. "12-Acetoxyhawtriwaic acid lactone, a diterpene from Egletes viscosa, attenuates capsaicin-induced ear edema and hindpaw nociception in mice: possible mechanisms." Planta Med. 2006 Jun; 72(7): 584-9.
Hnatyszyn, O., et al. “Flavonoids from Achyrocline satureioides with relaxant effects on the smooth muscle of guinea pig corpus cavernosum.” Phytomedicine. 2004; 11(4): 366-9.
Rao. V. S., et al. “Ternatin, an anti-inflammatory flavonoid, inhibits thioglycolate-elicited rat peritoneal neutrophil accumulation and LPS-activated nitric oxide production in murine macrophages.” Planta Med. 2003; 69(9): 851-3.
Guedes, M. M., et al. “Antinociceptive and gastroprotective effects of diterpenes from the flower buds of Egletes viscosa.” Planta Med. 2002; 68(11): 1044-6.
Lima, M. A., et al. ”Biologically active flavonoids and terpenoids from Egletes viscosa.” Phytochemistry. 1996; 41(1): 217-23.
Souza, M. F., et al. “Anti-anaphylactic and anti-inflammatory effects of ternatin, a flavonoid isolated from Egletes viscosa Less.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 1992; 25(10): 1029-32.
Simoes, C. M., “Anti-inflammatory action of Achyrocline satureoides extracts applied topically.” Fitoterapia. 1988; 59(5): 419–21.
Simoes, C. M., et al. “Pharmacological investigations on Achyrocline satureoides (Lam). D.C., Compositae.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1988 Apr; 22(3): 281–93.

Anti-microbial Actions:
Bettega, J. M., et al. “Evaluation of the antiherpetic activity of standardized extracts of Achyrocline satureioides.” Phytother. Res. 2004; 18(10): 819-23.
Zanon, S. M., et al. “Search for antiviral activity of certain medicinal plants from Cordoba, Argentina.” Rev. Latinoamer. Microbiol. 1999; 41(2): 59–62.
Abdel-Malek, S., et al. “Drug leads from the Kallawaya herbalists of Bolivia. 1. Background, rationale, protocol and anti-HIV activity.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1996; 50: 157–22.
Anesini, C., et al. “Screening of plants used in Argentine folk medicine for antimicrobial activity.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1993; 39(2): 119–28.
Vargas, V., et al. “Genotoxicity of plant extracts.” Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 1991; 86(11): 67–70.
Vargas, V., et al. “Mutagenic and genotoxic effects of aqueous extracts of Achyrocline satureoides in prokaryotic organisms.” Mutat. Res. 1990; 240(1): 13–18.
de Souza, C. P., et al. “Chemoprophylaxis of schistosomiasis: molluscicidal activity of natural products.” An. Acad. Brasil. Cienc. 1984; 56(3): 333–38.

Cellular protective & Antioxidant Actions:
Morquio, A, et al. “Photoprotection by topical application of Achyrocline satureioides ('Marcela'). Phytother. Res. 2005; 19(6): 486-90.
Rivera, F., et al. “Toxicological studies of the aqueous extract from Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) DC (Marcela).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Dec; 95(2-3): 359-62.
Polydoro, M., et al. “Antioxidant, a pro-oxidant and cytotoxic effects of Achyrocline satureioides extracts.” Life Sci. 2004 Apr; 74(23): 2815-26.
Vieira, M. M., et al. “Ternatin, a flavonoid, prevents cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide-induced hemorrhagic cystitis in rats.” Phytother. Res. 2004; 18(2): 135-41.
Gugliucci, A., et al. “Three different pathways for human LDL oxidation are inhibited in vitro by water extracts of the medicinal herb Achyrocline satureoides.” Life Sci. 2002; 71(6): 693–705.
Kadarian, C., et al. “Hepatoprotective activity of Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C.” Pharmacol. Res. 2002; 45(1): 57–61.
Souza, M.F., et al. “Inhibition by the bioflavonoid ternatin of aflatoxin B1-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver.” J. Pharm. Pharmacol. 1999; 51(2):125-9.
Desmarchelier, C., et al. “Antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects in extracts of the medicinal herb Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. (marcela).” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 1998; 31(9): 163–70.
Desmarchelier, C., et al. “Antioxidant and prooxidant activities in aqueous extracts of Argentine Plants.” Int. J. Pharmacog. 1997; 35(2): 116–20.
Rao, V. S., et al. “Investigations on the gastroprotective and antidiarrhoeal properties of ternatin, a tetramethoxyflavone from Egletes viscosa.” Planta Med. 1997 Apr; 63(2): 146-9.
Lima, M. A., et al. ”Biologically active flavonoids and terpenoids from Egletes viscosa.” Phytochemistry. 1996; 41(1): 217-23.
Rao, V. S., et al. “Protective effect of ternatin, a flavonoid isolated from Egletes viscosa Less., in experimental liver injury.”
Pharmacology. 1994; 48(6): 392-7.

Cytotoxic & Anticancerous Actions:
Polydoro, M., et al. “Antioxidant, a pro-oxidant and cytotoxic effects of Achyrocline satureioides extracts.” Life Sci. 2004 Apr; 74(23): 2815-26.
Arredondo, M. F., et al. “Cytoprotection by Achyrocline satureioides (Lam) D.C. and some of its main flavonoids against oxidative stress.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Mar; 91(1): 13-20.
Ruffa, M. J., et al. “Cytotoxic effect of Argentine medicinal plant extracts on human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2002; 79(3): 335–39.
Pessoa, C., et al. “Antiproliferative effects of compounds derived from plants of Northeast Brazil.” Phytother. Res. 2000 May; 14(3): 187-91.
Rojas De Arias, A., et al. “Mutagenicity, insecticidal and trypanocidal activity of some Paraguayan Asteraceae.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1995; 45(1): 35–41.
Arisawa, M. “Cell growth inhibition of KB cells by plant extracts.” Nat. Med. 1994; 48(4): 338–47.
Gonzalez, A., et al. “Biological screening of Uruguayan medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1993; 39(3): 217–20.

Immunostimulant Actions:
Santos, A. L., et al. “Immunomodulatory effect of Achyrocline satureioides (Lam.) D.C. aqueous extracts.” Phytother. Res. 1999; 13(1):65–66.
Puhlmann J, et al. “Immunologically active metallic ion-containing polysaccharides of Achyrocline satureioides.” Phytochemistry. 1992; 31(8): 2617-21.
Wagner, H., et al. “Immunostimulating polysaccharides (heteroglycanes) of higher plants.” Arzneimforsch. 1985; 35(7): 1069–75.
Wagner, H., et al. “Immunostimulating polysaccharides (heteroglycanes) of higher plants/preliminary communication.” Arzneimforsch. 1984; 34(6): 659–61.

Antidiabetic & Hypoglycemic Actions:
Gugliucci, A., et al. “The botanical extracts of Achyrocline satureoides and Ilex paraguariensis prevent methylglyoxal-induced inhibition of plasminogen and antithrombin III.” Life Sci. 2002 Dec 6; 72(3): 279-92.
Carney, J. R., et al. “Achyrofuran, a new antihyperglycemic dibenzofuran from the South American medicinal plant Achyrocline satureioides.” J. Nat. Prod. 2002; 65(2): 203–5.

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