Copper globemallow is a natural remedy for diarrhea and dysentery

Folk healers in Mexico often prescribe copper globemallow (Sphaeralcea angustifolia) as a herbal remedy for various gastrointestinal disorders. In a recent study, researchers confirmed the plant’s effectiveness against two common protozoa that causes diarrhea and dysentery.

The researchers received support from the Mexican Social Security Institute Foundation. They published their paper in the science journal Pharmacognosy Research.

  • The aerial parts of copper globemallow were processed into an ethanol extract and fractions. The phytochemicals apigenin, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, protocatechuic acid, and tiliroside were also acquired through the fractionation process.
  • The extracts and plant-based compounds were tested on Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia cultures. These are anaerobic protozoa that cause amoebiasis and giardiasis, respectively.
  • Tiliroside was also tested for its ability to dock with glycolytic enzymes found in anaerobic protozoa. These enzymes are pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (G/FBPA).
  • Out of the tested substances, tiliroside displayed the best antiprotozoal activity against both Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia. The minimum inhibitory concentration for the amoebiasis-related protozoa is 17.5 micrograms per milliliter (mcg/ml), while 17.4 mcg/ml is required to suppress giardiasis.
  • Furthermore, tiliroside showed significant affinity and inhibitory activity towards PFOR and G/FBPA enzymes. Once it connects to protozoa at the molecular level, tiliroside can inhibit its victim in the same way the antibiotic metronidazole works.

The researchers were able to confirm the traditional use of copper globemallow as a natural therapy for protozoa-caused gastrointestinal disease. Given the flavonoid’s significant inhibitory effect on amoebiasis and giardiasis, it was also determined that tiliroside is a potential antiprotozoal compound responsible for the plant’s effectiveness.

This site has the full text of this study.

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Journal Reference:

Calzada F. ANTIPROTOZOAL ACTIVITIES OF TILIROSIDE AND OTHER COMPOUNDS FROM SPHAERALCEA ANGUSTIFOLIA (CAV.) G. DON. Pharmacognosy Research. 2017;9(2):133–137. DOI: 10.4103/0974-8490.204644.

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