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Medicinal Plants of Jamaica and Their Uses – Part 1

Salvia (Sage)

The information provided in this article are excerpts from the research of medicinal plants carried out at the Faculty of Pure and Applied Science, The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, Jamaica, between 1948 and 2001. The data is organised as listed in the following tables but will be presented in two (2) separate parts.

Table 1: Organisms used for testing bioactivity of plant extracts and natural products.
Table 2: Summary of plants that exhibited the most medicinal bioactivity.
Table 3: Summary of plants that exhibited the most agricultural bioactivity.
Table 4: Natural products isolated from plants tested at UWI between 1948 and 2001.
Table 5: ‘Medicinal’ plants of Jamaica studied at the University of the West Indies, Mona – family, botanical name, common name, growth range, growth.
Table 6: ‘Medicinal’ plants of Jamaica studied at the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona – Research conducted between 1948 and 2001, and literature reference.

Below you will find tables 1 to 4.

Medicinal Plants of Jamaica and Their Uses – Part 1

Bioactivity potentialTest organismReason for choiceMethod used and literature source
Antihelminthic potential Anti-bacterialStrongyloides stercoralis Streptococcus group A Staphylococcus aureus Proteus mirabilis Pseudomonas aeruginosa E. coli E. coliHuman intestinal nematode Pathogens of widespread occurrence in infections treated at UHWI, JamaicaBioassay using infective larvae Disk diffusion method (45)
Streptococcus group A Streptococcus group B Streptococcus group D Staphylococcus epidermis Staphylococcus aureus Salmonella spp 1,2Human pathogensDisk diffusion method (46)
Mycobacterium tuberculosisTuberculosis pathogenTested by Tuberculosis Antimicrobial Acquisition and Coordinating Facility, Southern Research Institute, Alabama. (47)
AntifungalCandida albicans Candida krusei Microsporum gypeseum Trichophyton mentagraphytisHuman pathogensDisk diffusion method (48)
Insecticidal potentialTrilobium confusum AdultsSpray 10% concentrate under a Potter’s tower (49)
Cylas formicariusSweet potato weevil(50, 51)
Exophthalamus vittatusCitrus root weevilLab conditions (16)
Hypothenemus hampeiCoffee berry borerSpray under Potter’s Tower (16)
Plutella xylostellaDiamondback moth of of cabbageApplied topically to third instar larvae (16)
Oomyzus sokolowakiiAdult parasite of cabbage mothExposed to film of extracts (16)
Aedes aegyptiiMosquito larvaeTest sample applied topically at 100 ppm conc (52)
Acaricidal potentialBoophilis microplus Engorged ticksTicks affecting cattle industryTested mortality, inhibition of oviposition, inhibition of embryogenesis, acaricidal index (AI) (14, 50)
Nematocidal activityMeloidogyne incognito Rotylenchulus reniformisPlant pathogenic nematodesOrganic admendments to soil - count eggmasses and galls on roots (53)
UHWI = University Hospital of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica
Antihelminthic potential = potential to kill parasitic worms of humans including flukes, tapeworms and nematodes; Anti-bacterial = potential to kill bacteria; Insecticidal potential = potential to kill insects including mosquitoes; Acaricidal potential = potential to kill mites and ticks; Nematocidal activity = potential to kill nematodes; Antifungal = potential to kill fungi, numbers in parentheses are the reference numbers.

Table 2: Summary of plants that exhibited the most medicinal bioactivity

PharmacologicalJusticia pectoralis (2.fresh cut), Achyranthes indica (3.
devil’s horse whip), Bromelia pinguin (30. ping wing),
Cinnamodendron corticosum (45. mountain cinna-
mon), Cannibis sativa (46. ganja), Carica papaya (49.
papaya), Momordica charantia (83. cerassee), Sechium
edule (84. cho-cho), Euphorbia hirta (95.), Hyptis verti-
cillata (106. John Charles), Abutilon trisulcatum (123.),
Azadirachta indica (130. neem), Artocarpus altilis
(135. breadfruit), Trophis racemosa (139. ramoon),
Petiveria alliacea (159. guinea hen weed), Peperomia
clusifolia (161.), Piper amalgo var nigrinodum (165.
pepper elder), Eryngium foetidum (212. spirit weed),
Jatropha gossypiifolia (226. belly-ache bush)
Antihelminthic(76.), (112.), Mimosa pudica (134. shame-mi-lady),
(135.), (212.)
DiabetesAnacardium occidentalis (5.cashew), Spondias dulcis
(7. June plum), Catharanthus roseus (12. periwinkle),
Bixa orellana (21. annatto), Symphytum officinale (26.
Comfrey), Cassia alata (35. king of the forest), (46.),
Mikania micrantha (64. guaco), (83.), Cocus nucifera
(146 coconut), Capsicum baccatum (204. bird pepper),
Capsicum frutescens (205. pepper)
Fungicidal(45.), (130.), (161.), (165.), Piper betle (167.), Piper
murrayanum (170.)

Mosquitocidal(45.), Peperomia proctorii (163.), (165.)
Antibacterial Cordia brownei (22. black sage), Cassia jamaicensis
(36. Jamaican broom), Haematoxylum campechianum
(39.logwood), (64.), Veronia pluvalis (72.), (83.),
Rytidophyllum tomentosum (99. search me heart),
Ocimum basilicum (109. sweet parsley), (110.), (130.),
Coccoloba krugii (174.), Lantana camara (217. white
sage), Lippia alba (221. colic mint)

Numbers in bold are plant reference numbers (PRN) as listed in Tables 5 and 6; Plant names in bold are endemic plants.

Table 3: Summary of plants that exhibited the most agricultural bioactivity

InsecticidalErvatamia divaricata (13. coffee rose), Cleome viscosa (48. wild caia), Eupatorium odoratum (62. Jack-in-the-bush), Cuscuta americana (76. dodder), Dioscorea polygonoides (85. wild yam), Croton linearis (91. rosemary), (106.), (130.), (135.), Bontia daphnoides (140. kidney bush), Piper aduncum (164.), Piper fadyenii (168.), Piper hispidum (169.), Piper verrucosum (171.), Cycloptis semicordata (175. fern), Capraria biflora (196. goat weed), Capsicum annum (203. pepper), Nicotiana tabacum (207. tobacco) Eucalyptus spp. (227.)
Acaricidal(13.), (26.), Ricinus communis (98. castor oil), Ocimum micranthum (110. wild parsley), Salvia serotina (112. chicken weed), Spigelia anthelmia (118. worm grass), Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (125.), (130.), (175.), Blighia sapida (192. ackee), Simarouba glauca (200. bitter damson), Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (224. vervine)
NematocidalHibiscus sabdariffa (124. sorrel), Pimento dioica (142. pimento)

Numbers in bold are plant reference numbers as listed in Tables 5 and 6; plant names in bold are endemic plants.

Table 4: Natural products isolated from plants tested at UWI between 1948 and 2001

PRNIsolated Natural ProductBioactivity
2CoumarineIncreased wound healing but not coagulation
21Trans-bixinHyperglycaemic, activity at receptor sites
34Caesalpine FBioactivity not determined
45Sesquiterpenoids and sesquiterpeneAnti-microbial, anticancer and mosquitocidal activity
46CannabtriolCanosol effects eye (glaucoma)
48Diterpene cleomolideInsecticidal activity
54Flavanoids, heliangolideBioactivity not determined
73TricinBioactivity not determined
826 novel cucurbitacinBioactivity not determined
86Steroidal sapogeninBioactivity not determined
90PeptidesBioactivity not determined
91TerpeneLethal to Cylas formicus
93Morphinandienones and proporphinesBioactivity not determined
103Plukentione A, B-G and xerophenone ABioactivity not determined
106Cadina-4,10(15)-dien-3-one FlavonolLethal to Cylas formicus Antitumour and antimicrobial activity
119TriterpeneBioactivity not determined
123CholineImproved short-term memory in rats
131PhotogeduninBioactivity not determined
132TriterpenoidsBioactivity not determined
135Pentacyclic triterpene

Gamma-aminobutyric acid
Lethal to Cylas formicus

Hypertensive agent
140EpingaioneActive against C. formicus, B. microplus, Candida albicans and inhibited elongation of radish roots
142Essential oils, oleoresinsBioactivity not determined
159PolysulphideHad insecticidal and acaricidal activity
161Clusifoliol, 3 NPBioactivity not determined, Anticancer properties
NigrinodineAntifungal activity
1635 NP2 NP had mosquitocidal activity
1646 amides, 3 amides synthesised from NPNo bioactivity, insecticidal activity
165Nigrodine, pipercide, guineesineAntifeedant, anticancer, antifungal
6 amides3 amides lethal to Aedes aegyptii
Gamma-butyric acidHypertensive agent
1686 amides, 3 amides synthesised from NPNo bioactivity, insecticidal activity
1696 amides, 3 amides synthesised from NPNo bioactivity, insecticidal activity
170Prenylated hydroxybenzoic derivates, 6 NPAntimicrobial activity
1712 NPOne had contact insecticidal activity
178Triterpenoid saponinsBioactivity not determined
179TripterpenoidsInsecticidal activity
1832,5-diaryl oxazole, chromeneBioactivity not determined
190GlabresolBioactivity not determined
191Chromenes, 2-quinoloneBioactivity not determined
192Oil - 3 fatty acidsPotent insecticide - C. formicus, B. microplus, Leucoptera, Hypothenemus hampei, Plutella xylostella
196Sesquiterpenoids and 4 caprariolides2 NP combined had insecticidal activity against
C. formicarius equitoxic to eugenol
1974 alvaradoinsBioactivity not determined
Chrysophanol, physcionNo activity against M. tuberculosis
209Freidelane terpenesBioactivity not determined
212Unsaturated fatty aldehydeAntihelminthic activity - S. stercoralis
220TerpenesBioactivity not determined
224Phytosterol, spinasterolBioactivity not determined
DopaminePressor activity
226JatrophoneAnti-leukaemic agent

PRN = Plant Reference Number as given in Tables 5 and 6.

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