Larrea divaricata Cav.: evidencia específica mostrando sus efectos beneficiosos y su amplia aplicación potencial.

Resumen / abstract: 

Larrea divaricata Cav. (Jarilla) (Zygophyllaceae) es utilizada en medicina popular Argentina. Contiene ácido nordihidroguaiarético (NDGA), un lignano con efectos nefrotóxicos y hepatotóxicos. La presencia de NDGA hace controvertido el uso de L. divaricata. La cantidad de NDGA es mayor en extractos alcohólicos que en extractos acuosos (EA). Los últimos 20 años han tenido un gran avance en el uso de EA para el tratamiento de diferentes condiciones en forma segura. En esta revisión se presentan resultados científicos que confirman los efectos potencialmente beneficiosos de los EA sobre la salud humana. Los efectos anti-proliferativos se han ensayado en una línea de tumor linfoide, así como los mecanismos involucrados. La actividad anti-microbiana se determinó usando pruebas para bacterias y hongos. La actividad anti-inflamatoria fue evaluada mediante el uso de inflamación inducida por carragenina y TPA. Los efectos inmunomoduladores fueron investigados "in vivo" e "in vitro" en ratones. Sub-fracciones de los EA fueron obtenidos y analizados.

 

Larrea divaricata Cav.: Scientific evidence showing its beneficial effects and its wide potential application.

Larrea divaricata Cav. (jarilla) (Zygophyllaceae) is used in Argentinean folk medicine. It contains nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), a lignan with nefrotoxic and hepatotoxic effects. The presence of NDGA converts controversial the use of L. divaricata. The amount of NDGA is higher in alcoholic extracts than in aqueous extracts (AE). The last 20 years had a great advance on the use of AE to treat different conditions in a safe manner. In this review, we present the scientific results tending to confirm the potential beneficial effects of the AE on human health. The anti-proliferative effects of AE of L. divaricata have been assayed on a tumor lymphoid line (BW 5147) and the pathways involved in such effects were described. The anti-microbial activity was determined by tests for bacteria and fungus. The anti-inflammatory activity was assayed by using carrageen and TPA induced-inflammation tests. The Immunomodulatory effects were investigated ―in vivo‖ and ―in vitro‖ on mice. Sub-fractions of aqueous extracts were obtained and analyzed. The immunogenicity of proteins from crude AE was characterized and antioxidant and nutritional activity were studied. The effect of an AE on hair loss was assayed. In summary, AE from L. divaricata has pharmacological activities including anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effects.

Keywords: Larrea divaricata Cav., jarilla, potential mechanism, aqueous extract, anti-tumor effect.