Atractylis gummifera and Centaurea ornata in the Province of Badajoz (Extremadura, Spain)-ethnopharmacological importance and toxicological risk

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Vallejo, JR, Peral, D, Gemio, P, Carrasco, MC, Heinrich, M, & Pardo-de-Santayana, M 2009, 'Atractylis gummifera and Centaurea ornata in the Province of Badajoz (Extremadura, Spain)- ethnopharmacological importance and toxicological risk', Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 126, no. 2, pp. 366-370.

The publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.08.036

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Ethnopharmacological relevance: Atractylis gummifera L. and Centaurea ornata Willd. are locally marketed herbal remedies, even though in Spain it is forbidden to sell toxic plants like Atractylis gummifera. Intoxications in Spain are mainly due to accidental substitution of Centaurea ornata with Atractylis gummifera which may be fatal. Aim of study: The aim of this article is to analyse the current use and marketing of Atractylis gummifera and Centaurea ornata in Badajoz and analyse the ethnopharmacological relevance of two recent cases of Atractylis gummifera poisoning. Background and methods: An ethnopharmacological survey was conducted in the area where one of the poisoned patients lives and in Guadiana del Caudillo. The use, knowledge and naming of the species involved in the poisoning was assessed. This information was complemented with an exhaustive search in Spanish ethnobotanical works on the ethnopharmacological uses of both species. Results: Intoxications are due to species' substitutions. The two species are similar in name and use in the area, and both are locally marketed. AG is mainly used to heal wounds and calcaneal spurs, and CO to treat gastric ulcers and wounds. Conclusions: New intoxications are likely since consumers often have limited knowledge of the plants they consume. Also, it is common to think that all medicinal plants are harmless. As the use of Atractylis gummifera seems to increase in the area, preventive measures need to be taken.

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