Acalypha alopecuroidea

scientific name: 
Acalypha alopecuroidea Jacq.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Erect, annual herb, up to 50 cm high.  Leaves 3-7 cm long, triangular to rounded-ovate, acuminate or cuspidate-acuminate, crenate. Inflorescence terminal and axillary spikes up to 5 cm long; bracts of pistillate flowers 7-9 mm long, with long hairs; fruit 2 mm long capsule.

Voucher(s)

Rouzier,59&61,SOE

Jiménez,215,JBSD

flatulence:

  leaves, decoction with salt, taken orally1-2

Use for flatulence:

Prepare a decoction with 30 grams of leaves in 1 liter (4 cups) of water, boil uncovered for at least 10 minutes.  Cool, filter, and drink one cup after meals.

According to published and other information:

Use for flatulence is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional uses documented in TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, and published scientific information.

Not for use in children under 5 years of age, or pregnant or lactating women. 

Do not consume for more than 3 days in a row.

TRAMIL Research9

A 70% hydroalcoholic extract was prepared with all plant parts, dried and ground (100 g), via a dynamic maceration over a 90 minute period at room temperature.  It was then filtered and concentrated under a vacuum at 45°C.  The resulting gross extract (15 g) was diluted again in 100 mL of 40% ethanol and from this two organic fractions were prepared; one apolar and one polar.

The LD50 was administered orally to male Swiss mice (weighing 25-30 g), which were then systematically observed over a period of 14 days, being watched specifically for death and/or for signs of toxicity (weight, alterations in skin and/or mucous membranes, diarrhea, convulsions, etc.), and compared with a control group.  The study demonstrated that neither of the 2 organic fractions at doses of up to 5 g of the extract/kg caused death or any evident signs of toxicity.

TRAMIL Research10

The aqueous extract (decoction) (30% weight/volume) from fresh leaves administered orally at single doses (500, 1000, 2000 y 5000 mg/kg), in the LD50 assay in mice did not cause death. However, drowsiness was observed during the first few hours after administration of the extract in the mice that had received doses of 2000 and 5000 mg/kg.  No other adverse effects were detected over a 14-day observation period.  The histological study of the organs did not reveal histological effects or other abnomalities.

TRAMIL Research11

The aqueous extract (decoction) (30% weight/volume) from fresh leaves administered orally in two doses (2 and 5 g/kg), in a toxicity assey in rats, did not cause death or clinical adverse effects over a 14-day observation period.  The histological study of the organs did not reveal injuries.

In some plants of this genus, the cyanogenic derivatives in the presence of b-glucosidases provoke acute or chronic hydrocyanic poisoning when administered orally12-13.  Nevertheless, the hydrocyanic acid evaporates during boiling, as long as this process is carried out in an open container14.

There is no available information documenting the safety of use in children or in pregnant or lactating women.

TRAMIL Research3

Preliminary phytochemical screening (entire plant)

alkaloids:

-

saponins :

+

quinones :

-

tannins:

+

flavonoids:

+

polyphenols:

+

steroids, terpenoids:

-

 

           

There have been reports of the presence of cyanogenic derivatives in this genus4, specifically acalyphine, accompanied by a potent b-glucosidase5.

TRAMIL Research6

A 95% ethanolic extract of dried leaves did not show antimicrobial activity in vitro against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Aspergillus niger orCandida albicans.

TRAMIL Research7

An aqueous extract in decoction, 15 minutes, of dried leaves (40 and 80 mg/mL) did not significantly alter the mobility of a rabbit’s duodenum in an isolated organ bath.

TRAMIL Research8

The 30% aqueous decoction extract of fresh leaves administered orally to mice (1000 and 5000 mg/kg) did not significantly alter the mobility of the intestine, in the model of intestinal movement with activated charcoal at a 10% suspension in carboxymethylcellulose.

The antispasmodic effect is attributable to b-sitosterol-b-D-glucoside5.

References:  

1 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

2 GERMOSEN-ROBINEAU L, GERONIMO M, AMPARO C, 1984 Encuesta TRAMIL. enda-caribe, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

3 WENIGER B, SAVARY H, DAGUIHL R, 1984 Tri phytochimique de plantes de la liste TRAMIL. Faculté de Médecine, Université de Haïti, Port au Prince, Haïti.

4 HEGNAUER R, 1973 Chemotaxonomy der Pflanzen. Basel, Schweiz: Birkhauser Verlag, 6:882.

5 HOSTETTMANN K, LEA P, Eds., 1987 Biologically active natural products. Oxford, England: Oxford Science Publications.

6DEL ROSARIO PEREZ R, WENIGER B, 1988 Actividad de Acalypha alopecuroides sobre intestino aislado. Informe TRAMIL. Universidad de Estrasburgo, Estrasburgo, Francia.

7 MORON F, BETANCOURT J, PINEDO Z, BOUCOURT E, 2000 Efecto de hoja fresca deAcalypha alopecuroides Jacq. en el tránsito intestinal de ratones in vivo. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas “Dr. Salvador Allende”, La Habana, Cuba.

8 LE GRAND A, WONDERGEM PA, 1986 Activités antimicrobiennes et études bibliographiques de la toxicologie de dix plantes médicinales de la Caraïbe. Informe TRAMIL. Dép. de Pharmacognosie, Universités de Groningen & Leyden, Groningen & Leyden, Hollande.

9SOUZA BRITO A, 1995 Toxicidad aguda deAcalypha alopecuroides. Informe TRAMIL. Dep. de Fisiología y Biofísica, Universidad de Campinas, Campinas, Brasil.

10 MARTINEZ MJ, BETANCOURT J, LOPEZ M, MOREJON Z, BARCELO H, LAINEZ A, MONTES ME, REGO R, BOUCOURT E, MORON F, 2000 Toxicidad aguda clásica de hoja fresca de Acalypha alopecuroides Jacq. Informe TRAMIL. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas “Dr. Salvador Allende”, La Habana, Cuba.

11MARTINEZ MJ, BETANCOURT J, LOPEZ M, MOREJON Z, BARCELO H, LAINEZ A, MONTES ME, REGO R, BOUCOURT E, MORON F, 2000 Toxicidad aguda de hoja fresca de Acalypha alopecuroides Jacq. en el modelo de clases tóxicas agudas. Laboratorio Central de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas “Dr. Salvador Allende”.

12 POULTON J, KEELER R, TU T, Eds., 1983 Handbook of natural toxins 1.New York, USA: Marcel Dekker, p117.

13 NAHRSTEDT A, 1987 Recent developments in chemistry, distribution and biology of the cyanogenic glycosides. In: Hostettmann K, Lea P, Eds. Biologically active natural products. Oxford, England: Oxford Science Publications. p167-184,213-234.

14 ARGEHEORE EM, AGUNBIADE OO, 1991 The toxic effects of Cassava (Manihot esculenta Grants) diets on humans: a review. Hum Toxicol 33(3):273-275.

DISCLAIMER

The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.