Friday, 29 November 2019

Effects of co-administration of methanol leaf extract of Catharanthus roseus on the hypoglycemic activity of metformin and glibenclamide in rats

Plant-plant combination: an important option in the phase of failing anthelmintics to control nematodes in small ruminants


A comparison of the efficacy of two commercial acaricides (fipronil and amitraz) with Azadirachta indica (neem) on the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) from canines in Trinidad


Author information

School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

The brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) is prevalent on canids in Trinidad. It is directly (by causing anaemia) and indirectly (by acting as a vector of tick‐borne pathogens) responsible for morbidity and mortalities in the canine population. The most commonly used commercial acaricides available to pet owners in Trinidad are amitraz and fipronil. Often, these acaricides may be abused and misused in a desperate attempt to rid pets of ticks. The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of amitraz and fipronil with the herbal alternative, neem (Azadirachta indica). Triplicate in vitro trials utilizing the Larval Packet Test (LPT) were conducted using three concentrations (low, recommended and high) of fipronil (0.025%, 0.05% and 0.1%), amitraz (0.01%, 0.02% and 1%), neem oil (10%, 20% and 40%) and neem leaf extract (0.25%, 0.5% and 2%) for each trial. Statistical analysis using the mixed‐effect Poisson regression analysis indicated that there was a significant difference (p < .05) in the survival of ticks pre‐treatment versus post‐treatment with amitraz, fipronil and all controls when compared to the neem oil. Fipronil and amitraz caused ≥99% mortality for all concentrations used in this study. Mortalities for neem oil and neem leaf extract ranged from 72.7% to 82% and 38% to 95.3%, respectively, with the greatest percentage of mortalities occurring at the lower concentrations. Neem oil and neem leaf extract can be used as alternative acaricides, and however, they are less efficacious against the brown dog tick than amitraz and fipronil.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Estrogenic effects of phytoestrogens derived from Flemingia strobilifera in MCF-7 cells and immature rats

 2018 May;41(5):519-529. doi: 10.1007/s12272-018-1027-1. Epub 2018 May 24.

Author information

College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, 04310, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, 04310, Republic of Korea.
Natural Medicine Research Center, KRIBB, Chungbuk, 363-883, Republic of Korea.
Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin, 300193, China.
Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Departments of Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, 02129, USA.
College of Pharmacy, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, 04310, Republic of Korea.


Phytoestrogen (PE) has received considerable attention due to the physiological significance of its estrogenicity. Flemingia strobilifera (FS) has been used as a folk medicine in Asia for the treatment of inflammation, cancer, and infection; however, the estrogenic effects and chemical components of FS have not yet been reported. We aimed to uncover the estrogenic properties and PEs derived from FS using phytochemical and pharmacological evaluation. PEs from FS extract (FSE) were analyzed by NMR, HPLC, and MS. To evaluate estrogenic activity, FSE and its compounds were evaluated by in vitro and in vivo assays, including human estrogen receptor alpha (hERα) binding, estrogen response element (ERE)-luciferase reporter assays, and uterotrophic assays. FSE and its compounds 1-5 showed binding affinities for hERα and activated ERE transcription in MCF-7 cells. Additionally, FSE and compounds 1-5 induced MCF-7 cell proliferation and trefoil factor 1 (pS2) expression. In immature female rats, significant increases in uterine weight and pS2 gene were observed in FSE-treated groups. We identified estrogenic activities of FSE and its bioactive compounds, suggesting their possible roles as PEs via ERs. PEs derived from FSE are promising candidates for ER-targeted therapy for post-menopausal symptoms.


ERE transcription; Estrogen receptor; Flemingia strobilifera; Immature rat; Phytoestrogen; Uterotrophic effect
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Traditional Uses of the Family Piperaceae in Oaxaca, Mexico

  • December 2018 
  • Tropical Conservation Science 12(2):194008291987931

The ethnobotanical importance of the family Piperaceae is recognized mainly for its medicinal properties. A total of 106 species of two genera of this family (Piper and Peperomia) have been collected in Oaxaca, but only 18 are recorded in scientific publications as medicinal, edible, veterinary, or ritual plants. The objectives of this study are to describe the traditional knowledge and uses of the Piperaceae in areas of high biocultural diversity of Oaxaca and to analyze the relationship between its geographic distribution with ethnobotanical records among ethnic groups. Fieldwork was carried out between 2013 and 2016, and voucher specimens were reviewed in Mexican herbaria. Two multivariate analyses were applied to compare the geographic distribution of Piperaceae with ethnobotanical knowledge in Oaxaca. A total of 13 species of Peperomia, and 7 of Piper were collected, besides some unidentified species of both genera. Seven use categories were registered, with medicinal and edible being the most important. A high percentage (65%) of the species is named in at least one native language. Most species have a single use, mainly medicinal. Peperomia has been collected in Oaxaca since 1980, while Piper since 1960. Multivariate analysis indicated the existence of a differentiated ethnobotanical knowledge of this family among ethnic groups, related to the geographic distribution of species. This study evidences that ethnic groups, who maintain areas of higher biodiversity, obtain these species mainly from the wild, from specific microenvironments; hence, conservation practices must be reinforced for them, as for all ecosystems in general.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Pumpkin Waste as Livestock Feed: Impact on Nutrition and Animal Health and on Quality of Meat, Milk, and Egg

Abstract and figures
Simple Summary: Pumpkin waste are part of the millions of tons of vegetable residues produced yearly that could be used in livestock feeding. Their value not only relies in its nutritional content as its bioactive compounds could modify meat, milk, and egg composition which are of uttermost value for human nutrition. Furthermore, pumpkin waste, which cannot be used in human consumption, may contribute to diminish human-livestock competition for cropland. In this review, we describe the potential of pumpkin waste as animal feedstock as a strategy for more sustainable livestock production while making emphasis on the importance of food from animal origin in human health. Abstract: Meat, milk, and egg contribute positively to the nutrition and health of humans; however, livestock requires a large number of resources, including land for fodder and grains. Worldwide millions of tons of vegetable waste are produced without any further processing, causing pollution and health risks. Properly managed vegetable waste could provide a source of feed for livestock, thus reducing feeding costs. In this regard, pumpkin waste (Cucurbita sp.) is an alternative. Research on pumpkin waste on animal nutrition is scarce, however, it has potential as animal feed not only for its nutritional value but also for its antioxidants, pigments, and polysaccharides content that could enhance quality of meat, milk, and egg, as well animal health. In this review, we describe the environmental impact of livestock as a result of greater demand for food of animal origin, including the importance of the consumption of animal foods in human nutrition and health. Moreover, we emphasize the potential of plant residues and, particularly, on the characteristics of pumpkins and how their use as feedstuff for livestock could improve productivity and modify the composition of meat, milk, and egg.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ground Flaxseed – How Safe is it for Companion Animals and for Us?

EFSA released the 89-page Scientific Opinion “Evaluation of the health risks related to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides in foods other than raw apricot kernels”. This opinion, and the ensuring media coverage, has left uncertainty in the minds of consumers, feed and supplement manufacturers and flaxseed producers of how much ground flaxseed can safely be consumed without crossing the threshold of cyanide toxicity. This editorial updates the science and tries to bring clarity to the question “how much flaxseed can I safely feed my dog, cat, horse on a daily basis?” and “how much can I safely eat?” The great majority of ground flaxseed products have a cyanogenic glycoside content of less than 200 mg / kg seed. For people, consuming 30 grams of such flaxseed the average peak blood cyanide concentration will be about 5 µmole / L, much less than the toxic threshold value of 20 to 40 µmole / L favoured by EFSA. Thus, as much as 120 grams of crushed / ground flaxseed can be consumed by a 70 kg adult person before a toxic threshold of 40 µmole / L is reached (up to 1.7 grams ground flaxseed / kg body weight). The toxic threshold of cyanide for dogs is 2 to 4-fold greater than for humans, and unknown for cats and horses. The daily serving amounts for dogs and cats are about 0.23 grams / kg body mass per day, which will result in blood cyanide well below the toxic threshold. The highest recommended daily serving amount for horses is 454 grams per day, or 0.8 to 2 grams per kg / body mass depending on mass of the horse. This amount for horses should not be exceeded.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Kalanchoe laciniata and Bryophyllum pinnatum: an updated review about ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology

  • July 2019
  • Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 29(4):529-558
  • DOI: 
  • 10.1016/j.bjp.2019.01.012
  • Júlia M. Fernandes
  • Lorena M. Cunha
  • Eduardo Pereira Azevedo
  • Silvana M. Zucolotto

Abstract and figures
The species Kalanchoe laciniata (L.) DC. and Bryophyllum pinnatum (Lam) Pers. are native from Brazil and Madagascar, respectively. Both belonging to the Crassulaceae family and being widely used by population as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. These species have similar leaf morphology and for this reason, they are known by the same popular name as “ saião ” or “ coirama ”. Several studies have been published involving different parts and preparations of these species. Therefore, this review aims to provide an update overview about the traditional uses, chemical constitution, pharmacology and toxicology of K. laciniata and B. pinnatum species. An extensive literature review was conducted in different scientific databases. Various chemical constituents have been identified in extracts from different parts of K. laciniata and B. pinnatum , being flavonoids the major compounds. They have been traditionally used to treat inflammation, microbial infection, pain, respiratory diseases, gastritis, ulcers, diabetes and cancer tumors. Non-clinical in vitro assays evaluated mainly the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities, while in vivo assays evaluated the leishmanicide, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. Regarding toxicity, few studies have been conducted for the two species. The information reported in this work might contribute to the recognition of the importance of K. laciniata and B. pinnatum species, as well as to direct further studies

Friday, 1 November 2019

Value Added Products, Chemical Constituents and Medicinal Uses of Celery (Apium graveolens L.) -A Review

Celery (Apium graveolens L.) is an annual or perennial plant that is widespread in distribution and belongs to the family Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. This plant has long been used for the treatment of various illnesses due to excellent therapeutic potentials and as flavoring agent in several food articles owing to high nutritional value. The genus Apium is known to contain about 20 well-known species of Apiaceae family and its several varieties are found native to Eurasia and are mainly grown in coastal regions. Celery requires relatively high level of humidity and comparatively low level of temperature. Therefore, maximum yield is obtained in cool weather of temperate regions. The aggregated world production of seed oil of celery is estimated to be 51 tons while only India produces 25 tons among all and rest of the contribution is made by United Kingdom, Egypt, France, United States of America and China. Different parts of celery contain fatty acids, volatile essential oils, vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium along with chlorophyll, silica, β-carotene, fibers, sodium and folic acid. Various post-harvest methodologies and treatment processes for preservation of celery are discussed in detail in this review. Different parts of this plant are used for preparation of medicinal formulations in traditional systems of medicines due to their anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-virus, anti-cancer, anti-spasmodic, gastro-intestinal and anti-oxidant potentials.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

UCBS: Open Level Faculty Position – Environmental Ethics

Open Level Faculty Position – Environmental Ethics
The Environmental Studies Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara invites applications for a tenured or tenure-track faculty position at the level of Assistant, Associate, or
Full Professor, with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2020. The Program is looking for individuals with particular emphasis in the area of Environmental Ethics.
The Program seeks candidates with backgrounds in philosophy or a related field in the social sciences or humanities. For this position, we define “ethics” broadly to include any of the three traditional areas of inquiry in this field —meta-, normative, or applied ethics. The Program is particularly interested in scholars who have both theoretical and applied interests, and whose work crosses disciplinary, methodological, cultural, or geographic boundaries. Possible focus areas include climate change, conservation, food and agriculture, risk and vulnerability, the role of science in society, decision-making, social inequality, law, and politics.
Established in 1970, the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara is one of the oldest and largest programs of its kind, with more than 1,000 current majors and over 7,000 alumni. The program has a longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary research and teaching, and a
balance among the biophysical sciences, social sciences, humanities, and applied professions. UC Santa Barbara is a Hispanic Serving Institution, and more than 40 percent of our undergraduates are first-generation college students.
For more information, please see
Responsibilities of faculty members generally include a research program of the highest quality, teaching at undergraduate and/or graduate levels, recruitment, supervision, and mentorship of graduate students, and participation in university service and professional activities. At a minimum, all applicants must have completed all requirements for a PhD (or equivalent) except the dissertation at the time of application. A PhD in Environmental Ethics or a related field is
required by anticipated appointment start date. Additionally, Associate/Full rank candidates should have research experience in academia or industry after receipt of PhD. A demonstrated record of excellence in research, and a record of (or potential for) excellent teaching are desired. We are especially interested in candidates who show a potential for cross-campus collaboration, and who can contribute to the diversity of our university community. Successful candidates will have a record of collaborative research, and will be able to participate in an interdisciplinary
environment within the Environmental Studies Program and Division. The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to the position.
Applications should be submitted electronically, and must include:
  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Statement of research
  • Statement of teaching
  • Two recent publications, draft manuscripts, or dissertation/book chapters
  • Applicants at the Assistant rank will need to arrange for 3 references to submit letters of
    recommendation on their behalf via UC Recruit
  • Applicants at the Associate/Full rank will need to submit the names and contact
information for 3 references.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at UC Santa Barbara. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. The Program strongly encourages all applicants to submit an optional Statement of Contributions to Diversity addressing past and/or potential contributions to diversity through research, teaching, and service.
Applications received by November 15, 2019 will be given priority consideration, but the position will remain open until filled.
To apply please visit
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Correspondence: Kalanchoe pinnata aqueous extract safety and potential cardioprotective effects in isoprenaline treated rats

Greater Accra’s new urban extension at Ningo-Prampram: urban promise or urban peril?


New private property investments in Africa’s cities are on the rise, often manifested as comprehensively planned urban extensions. Greater Accra has several competing city projects under development, potentially launching new city-making trajectories and competitive struggles among rival projects. This article assesses the rationale and early evolution of Ghana’s largest, most ambitious project the Ningo-Prampram Urban Extension, aiming to accommodate 1.5 million people. Supported by UN-Habitat, international consultants, government, and local Chiefs, the constellation of actors supports a public-private partnership to engage in urban entrepreneurialism, underpinned by sustainable development features and promising increased global connectivity. However, this project raises socio-spatial contradictions with regard to how affordable housing, an airport city and other developments can augment Accra’s development. Global economy articulation as well as intra-city connectivity is promised but at its peril it amplifies sprawl so that the Accra City Region evolves into a string of beads along the Trans-West African Highway.

Monday, 9 September 2019

The Intersection of Race and Gender in Leadership of Co-operatives: of Whom, by Whom, and for Whom?


This paper describes the intersection of class, gender and race in the leadership of cooperatives in North America. Movement of labour across North American borders changes the membership of cooperatives as well as the leadership and formation of cooperatives. The socio-economic shifts that affect cooperatives are also accompanied by marginalization of particular populations, including Indigenous communities and racial minorities. International cooperative principles remain ideals to aspire to rather than a reality in practice. Although women and racial minorities have made some advances in equity in cooperatives, racialized women in particular are not represented in leadership positions in cooperatives in proportion to membership in the broader population. On an optimistic note, cooperatives continue to be more egalitarian organizations than other types of organizations and therefore have the potential for leading as positive role models, addressing the intersection of gender and race for other organizations to follow. Women leading cooperatives will form different types of cooperatives than men leading cooperatives in the same industry. Additionally women of colour leading cooperatives will form different types of organizations than traditional cooperatives, providing for enriched plurality of organizational forms required for addressing complex socio-economic problems.

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Ethnoveterinary knowledge of farmers in bilingual regions of Switzerland – is there potential to extend veterinary options to reduce antimicrobial use?

 2019 Aug 26;246:112184. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2019.112184. [Epub ahead of print]



In the pre-antibiotic era, a broad spectrum of medicinal plants was used to treat livestock. This knowledge was neglected in European veterinary medicine for decades but kept alive by farmers. Emergence of multidrug resistant bacterial strains requires a severely restricted use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. We conducted a survey on the ethnoveterinary knowledge of farmers in the bilingual (French and German speaking) Western region of Switzerland, namely the cantons of Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Jura, and in the French speaking part of the canton of Bern.


To find out whether differences exist in plants used by farmers in French speaking and bilingual regions of Switzerland as compared to our earlier studies conducted in Switzerland. Additional focus was on plants that are used in diseases which commonly are treated with antimicrobials, on plants used in skin afflictions, and on plants used in animal species such as horses, for which the range of veterinary medicinal products is limited.


We conducted in 2015 semistructured interviews with 62 dialog partners, mainly cattle keeping farmers but also 18 horse keeping farmers. Of these, 41 were native French (FNS) and 21 native German speakers (GNS). Detailed information about homemade herbal remedies (plant species, plant part, manufacturing process) and the corresponding use reports (target animal species, category of use, route of administration, dosage, source of knowledge, frequency of use, last time of use and farmers satisfaction) were collected.


A total of 345 homemade remedies were reported, of which 240 contained only one plant species (Homemade Single Species Herbal Remedy Reports; HSHR). A total of 289 use reports (UR) were mentioned for the 240 HSHR, and they comprised 77 plant species belonging to 41 botanical families. Of these, 35 plant species were solely reported from FNS, 20 from GNS, and 22 from both. Taking into account earlier ethnoveterinary studies conducted in Switzerland only 10 (FNS) and 6 (GNS) plant species connected with 7% of FNS and GNS UR respectively were "unique" to the respective language group. The majority of the UR (219) was for treatment of cattle, while 38 UR were intended to treat horses. The most UR were for treatment of gastrointestinal and skin diseases. The most frequently mentioned plants were Linum usitatissimum L., Coffea L., Matricaria chamomilla L., Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, and Quercus robur L. for gastrointestinal diseases, and Calendula officinalis L., Hypericum perforatum L. and Sanicula europaea L. for skin afflictions.


No clear differences were found between the medicinal plants used by French native speakers and German native speakers. Several of the reported plants seem to be justified to widen the spectrum of veterinary therapeutic options in gastrointestinal and dermatological disorders in cattle and horses, and to reduce, at least to a certain degree, the need for antibiotic treatments. Our findings may help to strengthen the role of medicinal plants in veterinary research and practice, and to consider them as a further measure in official strategies for lowering the use of antibiotics.


AntimicrobialEthnoveterinary medicine; French speaking swiss regions (Fribourg; Jura; Jura bernois); Livestock diseases; Medicinal plants; Neuchâtel