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Scientific Name: Viburnum opulus

Constituents:

  • Salicylates (e.g. salicin)
  • Coumarins (scopoletin & scopaline)
  • Tannins & Phenolic acids (cinnamic & benzoic acid derivatives, including caffeic, p-coumaric, ferulic acid, gallic, ellagic & syringic)
  • Sesquiterpenes (Viopudial & Viburtinal)
  • Resin glycoside (Viburnin)
  • Valeric acid
  • Proanthocyanidins (Flavonols)
  • Hydroquinone glycosides (arbutin)
  • Bitter (viburnin)

Medicinal actions:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Bitter
  • Emmenagogue
  • Hypotensive
  • Nervine Relaxant
  • Uterine Tonic

Mechanism of Action & Pharmacology:

  • Salicylates are anti-inflammatory & analgesic.
  • Coumarins (scopoletin & scopaline) are uterine relaxants, scopoletin being especially antispasmodic.
  • Tannins are astringent and may reduce excessive blood loss during menstruation.
  • Hydroquinone glycosides (arbutin) have emmenagogue effects.
  • Proanthocyanidins have demonstrated gastroprotective effects via an increase in endogenous NO generation, suppression of lipid peroxidation and mobilization of antioxidant activity (increased the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase) of the gastroduodenal mucosa in rat models.
  • Sesquiterpenes (Viopudial) is hypotensive & a smooth muscle antispasmodic.

Pharmacy:

  • Decoction
  • Tincture
  • Capsules
  • Topical as a liniment, compress or ointment

Safety & Toxicity Concerns:

  • Nausea, vomiting and gastric upset may occur with large doses.
  • Avoid in those with allergy or hypersensitivity to salicylates (may experience rare reaction, causing urticaria, rhinitis, asthma & bronchial spasm), and in glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-deficient (causes hemolytic anemia).
  • Use with caution during lactation (salicylates may cause rashes in babies).
  • Expected to have only mild effects on platelet function.
  • Theoretical possibility of Reye’s syndrome, an acute sepsis-like illness encountered exclusively in children below 15 years of age. The cause is unknown, although viral agents and drugs, especially salicylates, have been implicated.
  • In high doses, salicylic acid has an ototoxic effect by inhibiting prestin, which is the motor protein of the outer hair cells of the inner ear of the mammalian cochlea. It has been known to induce transient hearing loss in zinc-deficient individuals.
  • Theoretically, Salicylism, which is an acute overdose of salicylates, can produce toxicity symptoms, ranging from mild nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, tinnitus, and dizziness, depending on the dose consumed.

Interactions:

  • Avoid while using aspirin or other salicylate containing substances, alcohol, barbiturates/sedatives, NSAIDs, anticoagulants, methotrexate, spironolactone, phenytoin, valproate medications.

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