The pharmacological validation of medicinal plants used for digestive problems in Navarra, Spain
Introduction: To provide significant ethnopharmacological information on the plants used to treat digestive problems in the Navarra region of Spain.
Materials and methods: Information was collected using semi-structured, ethnobotanical interviews with 667 informants (mean age 72; 55.47% women, 44.53% men) in 265 locations. Monographs from the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP), the German Commission E, the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) and the Real Farmacopea Espanola (RFE) were used to confirm and validate the pharmacological actions for the reported uses of these plants. In cases when frequently reported plants were not covered by a monograph, a literature review was performed using a new tool from the University of Navarra: the UNIKA database.
Results: A total of 1214 pharmaceutical uses were reported by the informants of this study; these uses originated from 126 plants and 47 families and were mainly represented by Asteraceae, Lamiaceae and Rosaceae. The most frequently used parts of the plants were the inflorescences, followed by the flowered aerial parts and fruits. Thirty-three out of 126 plants (26%) and 322 of their identified 1214 popular uses (27%), have already been pharmacologically validated.
Conclusions: The authors propose that four species should be explored and validated (Santolina chamaecyparissus ssp. squarrosa, Jasonia glutinosa, Jasonia tuberosa and Prunus spinosa) because these species are frequently mentioned and show promise for therapeutic treatments.