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Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales

versión On-line ISSN 1028-4796


ABREU GUIRADO, Orlando A. Medicinal potential of the genus Sapindus L. (Sapindaceae) and of the Sapindus saponaria L. species. Rev Cubana Plant Med [online]. 2005, vol.10, n.3-4. ISSN 1028-4796.

The etnomedical information and the tested biological activities of the genus Sapindus (Sapindaceae) and of the species that grows in Cuba, S. saponaria L. , published in the available literature and included in the NAPRALERT, Native American Ethnobotany and Phytochemical & Ethnobotanical Database, are exposed. 55 traditional uses and 29 different biological effects of the genus have been reported, whereas of S. saponaria , commonly known as “jaboncillo”, 32 and 14 have been found, respectively. This species is acknowledged the greatest amount of traditional applications and as S. trifoliatu , it presents the higest number of biological tests. Several of the uses referred in Cuba for the species of the genus Sapindus coincide with those in other latitudes. It is stressed the use of different parts of the trees or bushes of these species in other cultures, mainly for health problems in the gynecoobstetric field, such as an abortive, delivery inducer and in the treatment of uterine pain. It is also used as an emetic, in the treatment of hysteria., antifebrile, piscicide and molluscacide , among others. In one way or another, various traditional uses have been confirmed by laboratory tests, which demonstrate the validity of the traditional knowledge of the peoples as a criterion for studying the medicinal plants.

Palabras clave : Sapindaceae; Sapindus saponaria ; etnobotany; etnopharmacology; pharmacological tests; medicinal plants; saponins.

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