Pharmacognosy

Terra Sigillata

Category archives for Pharmacognosy

You just never know – some weeks you don’t get The Friday Fermentable; other weeks you get two posts. Well, several readers gave me the heads up this week about an NPR story about resveratrol supplements. You may remember that this is the chemical present in red wine that kills cancer cells in culture and,…

Orac’s recent post, A Real Death By Homeopathy, led me to dig through the archives at my old blog and reprint one of my first posts, this one from 6 January 2006. As a natural products researcher, I often see homeopathy associated with herbal medicines, the latter of which has often been the source of…

Welcome, Reader: This post was updated on Halloween 2009 to remedy linkrot and add an interesting tidbit on the famous Macbeth passage. As it is likely you ended up here via a search engine, click here to go to the updated post. Have you ever wondered, perhaps on 31 October, why witches are depicted as…

In a post the other day, we noted that the semi-synthetic natural product, ixabepilone, approved for advanced breast cancer was derived from a soil bacterium. Colleague PharmCanuck reminded us that the soil is not a new source for drugs: the anthracyclines, daunorubicin and doxorubicin, are derived from a strain of Streptomyces found growing on a…

As we discussed here yesterday, ixabepilone, a semi-synthetic anticancer drug derived from a soil bacterium was up for review by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Just over a half hour ago the manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, announced that the drug has indeed been approved for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. The drug will…

Today’s edition of the NCI Cancer Bulletin features another natural product clinical trial, this time for depsipeptide in T-cell lymphoma. Depsipeptide (Romidepsin or FR901228) is an early histone deacetylase inhibitor isolated from fermentation of Chromobacterium violaceum. Several histone deacetylase inhibitors are in clinical trials for various cancers and many are derived from natural products. However,…

So say the American elder statesmen of natural products in the 2007 update of their periodic review of the subject to be published in the 23 March issue of the Journal of Natural Products. (Details are in this Reuters article with by Julie Steenhuysen). I will post more about the article when I get my…

While I wait for my copy of Dan Hurley’s book, “Natural Causes: Death, Lies and Politics in America’s Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry,” it is interesting to read the media reports on his interviews and the responses from the dietary supplement industry. While the Natural Products Association has simply responded with a measured, educational piece…

Brazilian researchers have been experimenting with an gel containing an algae-based anti-HIV compound designed for use by women to prevent the spread of the virus. Derived from the Brazilian brown alga, Dictyota pfaffii, two papers are available the describe the isolation and biological activity of the most active of the components, the dolabellane diterpene 8,10,18-trihydroxy-2,6-dolabelladiene.…

More on negative black cohosh results

As we discussed briefly on Tuesday, trial results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed that alternative botanical supplements containing black cohosh were without benefit relative to placebo in treating the vasomotor symptoms (e.g., hot flashes, night sweats) of peri- and postmenopausal women. The Cheerful Oncologist followed up with a post entitled, “Oh M’Gosh!…