A compilation of articles by means of well known specialists of their respective fields on reimbursement for and collaboration with indigenous humans in regard to their wisdom and provision of infrequent crops that are used for essentially the most effective medicines in Western drugs.


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Beutler, J. Cardellina, K. Gustafson, P. Blumberg, J. McMahon and many others. Analysis of indigenous plant uses How deep are the waters of indigenous knowledge systems? How many and what type of drugs remain to be discovered through the ethnobotanical approach? Some estimate of the potential catch can be provided by an analysis of maladies for which plants are used by indigenous peoples. My students, A. LeFranca, W. McClatchey, A. Paul, and I reviewed literature accounts of plant uses in 15 widespread geographical areas, including Australia (Cribb & Cribb 1981), Fiji (Spencer 1941), Haiti (Pierre-Noel 1960), India (Rao 1981), Kenya (Morgan & Morgan 1981), Mexico (Alfaro 1980), Nepal (Joshi & Edington 1990), Nicaragua (Dennis 1988), North America (Moerman 1986), Peru (Lewis et a1 1987), Rotuma (McClatchey 1993), Saudi Arabia (Abulafatih 1981), Thailand (Anderson 1986), Tonga (George 1989) and West Africa (Oliver-Bever 1986).

HO H FIG. 1. Digitoxigin, a cardiotonic drug discovered from Digitalis purpurea using the et hnobotanical approach. 27 The ethnobotanical approach to drug discovery TABLE 1 Fifty drugs discovered from ethnobotanical leads Drug Medical use Plant source Ajmaline Aspirin Atropine Benzoin Caffeine Camphor Cascara Cocaine Codeine Colchicine Demecolcine Deserpidine Dicoumarol Digoxin Digitoxin Emetine Ephedrine Eugenol Gallot anins Hyoscyamine Ipecac Ipratropium Morphine Noscapine Papain Papaverine Physostigmine Picrotoxin Pilocarpine Podophyllotoxin Proscillaridin Protoveratrine Pseudoephedrine Psoralen Quinine Quinidine Rescinnamine Reserpine Sennoside A,B Scopalamine Sigmasterol Strophanthin Tubocurarine For heart arrhythmia Analgesic, antiinflammatory Pupil dilator Oral disinfectant Stimulant For rheumatic pain Purgative Ophthalmic anaesthetic Analgesic, antitussive For gout For leukaemia, lymphomata Antihypertensive Antithrombotic For atrial fibrillation For atrial fibrillation For amoebic dysentery Bronchodilator For toothache Haemorrhoid suppository Anticholinergic Emetic Bronchodilator Analgesic Antitussive Attenuator of mucus Antispasmodic For glaucoma Barbiturate antidote For glaucoma For condyloma acuminatum For cardiac malfunction Antihypertensive For rhinitis For vitiligo For malaria prophylaxis For cardiac arrhythmia Antihypertensive Antihypertensive Laxative For motion sickness Steroidal precursor For congestive heart failure Muscle relaxant Teniposide Tetrahydrocannabinol Theophylline Toxiferine Vinblastine Vincristine Xanthotoxin For bladder neoplasms Antiemetic Rauvo[fia spp.

The general features of this theoretical model are either searched through the inventory of substances previously synthesized to find relatives of the theoretical molecule or the theoretical molecule and analogues are synthesized. These molecules are then subjected to specific biological assays to test the hypothesis that initiated the programme, but they are almost always entered into all of the high-throughput screens currently being offered by the pharmaceutical firm. Hundreds or even thousands of compounds can be evaluated over one to four days.

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