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Open Access Research article

Ethnopharmacological evaluation of radal (leaves of Lomatia hirsuta) and isolation of 2-methoxyjuglone

Henrik T Simonsen1, Anne Adsersen2, Louise Berthelsen2, Søren B Christensen2, Alfonso Guzmán2 and Per Mølgaard2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Plant Biology, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

2 Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universitetsparken 2, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2006, 6:29  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-29

Published: 31 August 2006

Abstract

Background

Leaves of Lomatia hirsuta are used in traditional medicine in Chile under the common name of "radal". A tea of radal is traditionally used for treatment of cough, bronchial troubles, and asthma. In a preliminary screening, extracts of the leaves revealed antifungal activity, and the present phytochemical study was undertaken to explain this activity and support the traditional use.

Methods

Along with the traditional tea, extracts of the leaves were screened for antifungal and toxic activities. The profile of secondary constituents was obtained using GC-MS.

Results

2-Methoxyjuglone was isolated from the leaves of Lomatia hirsuta and found to be active against the pathogenic fungus Candida albicans (MIC = 8 μg/mL). Cinnamic acid and vanillic acid were identified as major constituents in the tea by GC-MS. The tea was found not to be toxic against Artemia salina.

Conclusion

The presence of phenolic acids with antimicrobial properties supports the traditional use of Radal, and encourages further studies.