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Herbal remedies of the Maritime Indians: sterols and triterpenes of Achillea millefolium L. (Yarrow).

As part of ongoing studies of the medicinal aspects of Maritime flora, particularly the herbal remedies of the Micmac and Malecite Indians, the sterols and triterpenes of Achillea millefolium L. (Compositae), a widely used herbal remedy known commonly as yarrow, were determined. Using modern techniques, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and combined GC-mass spectrometry, beta-sitosterol was identified as the major sterol and alpha-amyrin as the major triterpene of this plant. The sterols stigmasterol, campesterol, and cholesterol and the triterpenses beta-amyrin, taraxasterol, and pseudotaraxasterol were also identified. Successful therapeutic application of yarrow may be partly due to the presence of one or more of these compounds since many sterols and triterpenes exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities. This is the first reported occurrence of cholesterol, campesterol, and the four triterpenes in yarrow.[1]

References

  1. Herbal remedies of the Maritime Indians: sterols and triterpenes of Achillea millefolium L. (Yarrow). Chandler, R.F., Hooper, S.N., Hooper, D.L., Jamieson, W.D., Flinn, C.G., Safe, L.M. Journal of pharmaceutical sciences. (1982) [Pubmed]
 
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