A Guide ToMedicinal Plants Used By LatinosIn Madison, WIIntroductionThis pamphlet describes some of the most frequently usedmedicinal plants by Latinos in Madison. It is the result of a projectof Dr. David Kiefer (Research Fellow, UW Department of FamilyMedicine), with help from numerous other people.The objective of this guide is to begin to collect Latinomedicinal plant knowledge to serve as a future reference, anda resource for the public and medical community.We hope that you find the information contained within to beuseful and interesting!SectionsUses mentioned by Latinos in Madison: Result of interviews andfocus groups conducted in 2012-2013Scientific evidence supporting those uses: This section detailsthe scientific evidence that might exist for the mentionedmedicinal usesSide effects: The most common and /or importantDrug interactions: The most important and common, though theremay be more not mentioned hereDisclaimerSecond EditionAugust 23, 2013This pamphlet is meant to increase general knowledge aboutmedicinal herbs in Madison, and should not be considered asspecific advice intended for any particular individual. To the bestof our knowledge, the information provided is accurate at the timeof its publication. It is not intended as a medical manual, andneither the authors, the University of Wisconsin nor the publisherare engaged in providing medical or other professional advice tothe individual reader and no ongoing relationship of any sort isimplied nor offered. You should not use the information containedin this pamphlet as a substitute for the advice of a licensed healthcare professional. Because everyone is different, we urge you tosee a licensed health care professional to diagnose problemsand supervise the use of herbs to treat individual conditions.
AloeChamomile(Spanish name sábila; scientific name Aloe vera orAloe barbadensis)(Spanish name manzanilla; scientific name Matricariarecutita)“I take chamomile and mint tea every morning and with everymeal.”“Yes, there are countries that do not, but we use a lot of aloe in(Latin America)”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Insomnia or anxiety Gas Indigestion, gastritis, childhood colic, stomach ache Heartburn, acid reflux CoughUses Mentioned by Latinos in Madison Hepatitis Kidney stones Skin burns Dermatitis GastritisScientific Evidence For Those Uses Colic, Indigestion Mouth ulcersScientific Evidence For Those Uses Colitis Skin damage caused by radiotherapy for cancer Wound healing Burns, psoriasis, herpes labialis (cold sores) ConstipationSide Effects (the most common) Allergies in people sensitive to other plants in theAsteraceae plant family (“daisies”)Prescription Drug Interactions Sedative drugs (additional effect) Via liver metabolism: amitriptyline, haloperidol,ondansetron, propranolol, theophylline, verapamil,lovastatin, ketoconazole, itraconazole, fexofenadine,triazolam, others Tamoxifen WarfarinSide Effects Stomach pain, diarrhea Reduced potassiumPrescription Drug Interactions Diabetes medications (could cause hypoglycemia) Anesthesia: sevoflurane2
CloveEucalyptus(Spanish name clavo; scientific name Syzgiumaromaticum (synonym Eugenia aromatica))(Spanish name eucalipto; scientific name Eucalyptusglobulus)“(We use) eucalyptus for everything.”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Cough Chills Flu Phlegm“It takes away toothache.”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Tooth painScientific Evidence For Those Uses Decongestant Headache (topical) Arthritis AsthmaScientific Evidence For Those Uses Tooth painSide Effects (the most common) Allergic/contact dermatitis Asthma Excessive consumption may cause liver or brain damageSide Effects (the most common) Allergic contact dermatits Avoid directly consuming concentrated oils due to livertoxicity, though vapor can be harmful (neurotoxicity, andrespiratory irritation) Avoid use with children or pregnant womenPrescription Drug Interactions Anticoagulants Antiplatelets ImmunosuppressantsPrescription Drug Interactions Diabetic medications Sedatives3
GarlicLemon Grass(Spanish name ajo; scientific name Allium sativum)(Spanish name hierba luisa; scientific name Cymbopogon citratus)“My father would usually have garlic every morning beforebreakfast, like a pill. His grandfather used it to prevent manydiseases.”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Cancer Infections Blood pressure Heart disease, high cholesterol, chest angina Rheumatism Anticoagulant“We use lemon grass in Peru.”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Gas (especially for children) Digestive aid Stomach painScientific evidence for those uses Analgesic AntioxidantScientific Evidence For Those Uses High blood pressure Arteriosclerosis Colds (flu), Chronic bronchitisSide Effects (the most common) Concentrated extracts (e.g. essential oil) may cause skinreactions or irritation upon swallowingSide Effects (the most common) Allergic reaction of the skin Large amounts cause heartburnDrug Interactions None documentedDrug Interactions Antiviral drugs ( eg, amprenavir, atazanavir,fosamprenavir, indininavir, iopnavir, and others) Aspirin, psuedoephedrine4
MulleinOregano(Spanish name gordolobo; scientific name Verbascumthapsus)(Spanish name orégano; scientific name Origanumvulgare)“Oregano as well, they give to infants as a tea for colic”“I take mullein for stomach ache”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Stomach acheUses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Stomach pain (tea) Colic (tea) Ingredient in soupsScientific evidence for those uses Inflammation of the respiratory tract, kidneys, and pelvicarea Bronchitis Asthma Ear painScientific evidence for those uses Intestinal parasites Respiratory problems Gastrointestinal problemsSide Effects (the most common) Miscarriage: in doses higher than food amountscympo Allergic reactionCommon adverse effects Potential liver toxicity Hypersensitivity (allergy to mullein)Drug Interactions Diabetes medications Antidepressants Immunosuppressants May block iron, zinc and copper absorption in the bodyLikely pharmaceutical interactions Anticoagulants due to coumarins in mullein Not recommended in pregnancy and lactation due to lackof studies supporting that use.5
PeppermintPrickly Pear(Spanish name hierba buena, yerba buena, menta;scientific name Mentha x piperita)(Spanish name nopal; scientific name Opuntia spp.)“Nopal is also very good for diabetes.”“Oh, yes, spearmint is also very good. I have a plant at home.”“Also in the long term, taken on a daily basis, for burning fat.”Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison As food (in broth) Indigestion Gastritis Headache (applied to temples)Uses mentioned by Latinos in Madison Diabetes Burning fat Improve circulation (combined with celery) Pineapple enhances efficacyScientific evidence for those uses Irritable bowel syndrome Anti-spasmodic (intestinal)Scientific evidence for those uses DiabetesSide Effects (the most common) Laxative effects, diarrhea Abdominal swellingSide Effects (the most common) Dermatitis HeartburnDrug Interactions Reduces absorption of medications due topolysaccharide content May enhance effect of diabetes medications May enhance effect of cholesterol medicationsDrug Interactions A possible interaction with cyclosporine via livermetabolism6
Other plantsReferencesThe hope is to continue this project, adding to the number ofplants included in this guide and, eventually, to explore the use ofmedicinal plants by people of other cultures.The use of herbal medicinesBlumenthal M (ed). The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs.Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; 2003Other plants mentioned in the interviews: Cinnamon Mint Many more!Bonakdar RA, editor. The H.E.R.B.A.L. Guide: DietarySupplement Resources for the Clinician. Philadelphia;Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010AcknowledgementsThere are many people who made this project possible.Johnson RL, Foster S, Low Dog T, Kiefer D. NationalGeographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. Washington D.C.;National Geographic: 2010Of course the Latino community of Madison and the participantsin the focal groups and interviews, helped me a great deal. Ilearned much from them and it was a pleasure to get to knowthem. I thank them for their time and willingness to confide andshare with me their knowledge and wisdom.Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database(www.naturaldatabase.com)Natural Standard Research Collaboration(www.naturalstandard.com)Dr. Patricia Tellez-Girón, who, from the very beginning, helpedand supported me to organize this project.Checking on adverse effectsAt the University of Wisconsin, thanks to Dr. Bruce Barrett, MD,Eve Emshwiller, PhD, Andrew Gardner, PhD, Jane Bradbury,Maria Paulina Duarte, Katelyn Crowley, Katie Ray, MD, MarielaQuesada Centeno, and Yolanda Arguelles Yoho. This projectwould not have been possible without their help!Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug InteractionsPlus Herbal Adjuncts With Medicines. Fourth Edition.Sandy, Oregon: Eclectic Medical Productions; 2010Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database(www.naturaldatabase.com)Finally, thanks to the plants that give us their healing powers andoptions for treatment when there may be no other alternatives.Natural Standard Research Collaboration(www.naturalstandard.com)In health,Stargrove MB. Herb, Nutrient, and Drug Interactions:Clinical Implications and Therapeutic Strategies.David Kiefer, MD7