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Keywords:

  • inflammation;
  • medicinal plant;
  • Mikania glomerata;
  • Mikania laevigata;
  • phytotherapy

Abstract

Objectives  Historically, the majority of new drugs have been generated from natural products as well as from compounds derived from natural products. In this context, Mikania laevigata and M. glomerata, popularly known as ‘guaco’, have a long history of use. Brazilian Indians have an ancient tradition of using ‘guaco’ for snakebites. In current herbal medicine in Brazil, ‘guaco’ is used as an effective natural bronchodilator, expectorant and cough suppressant employed for all types of upper respiratory problems including bronchitis, pleurisy, colds and flu, coughs and asthma.

Key findings  In Brazil, this plant has been widely used, even as commercial preparations. Its medicinal properties are widely recognized, mainly in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, bronchodilator activity, anti-ulcerogenic, antiophidian as well as antibacterial and antiparasitic activity, although the efficacy of the antibacterial activity is so far controversial.

Summary  The studies on Mikania glomerata and M. laevigata have provided scientific evidence that those plants have a considerable anti-inflammatory therapeutic potential.