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Analysis of medicinal potions currently used in the Mayan traditional medicine
The Yucatan peninsula is a region particularly recognized for its ancient Mayan culture. Much of the ancestral knowledge about the different properties of the native plants is kept by traditional healers, and is currently used, despite the appearance of hospitals and medical services. The Mayan medicinal potions are often composed by more than two plants. One of the main health problems of the population are diarrhoeic diseases . Since very few studies on traditional remedies have been done in the region, and according to the obtained ethnobotanical data, 37 medicinal formulations, used for the treatment of some diarrheal diseases known traditionally as dysenteries, were prepared. The medicinal formulations were evaluated on their biological activity against some of the causal agents of diarrheal diseases such as G. duodenalis, E. hystolitica, E. coli, S. flexneri, S. tiphy and K. pneumoniae.
Our results showed 10 formulations active against bacteria (MIC 0.5mg/mL), 13 against G. duodenalis (IC50<20µg/mL) and 15 for E. hystolitica (IC50<20µg/mL). These results support the importance of the study of traditional medicinal potions from the biological, chemical and pharmacological perspectives.
Based on the results, one formulation has been selected for further analysis towards the isolation of the active compound.
Acknowledgements: to the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) for the scholarship.
The technical assistance of MPSS Efrén Alberto Sánchez Campos and the Pharmacology department of the Faculty of Chemistry of the Autonomous University of Yucatan are greatly appreciated.
Reference: 1. Secretaría de Salud (January 10th 2008) http://sinais.salud.gob.mx/mortalidad/