1 Effect of Cecropia polyphlebia , Ce cropia obtusifolia , and Bidens pilosa on Human Lung Capacity Michelle Gin Department of International Studies (European Studies, Human Rights, and Global Health), University of Iowa Abstract Traditional medicine is u sed by 80% of the world population as their primary care. Monteverde, Costa Rica houses a rich flora including Cecropia polyphlebia (Cecropiaceae), Cecropia obtusifolia (Cecropiaceae), and Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) that have been identified as medicinal p lants to reduce the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory ailments . Fifty eight human subjects were divided into four groups of tea treatments, including Chamomile Chamaemelum nobile (Asteraceae) as a control. Lung capacity was measured using the amount of air blown into a balloon in a single breath. Initial (pre treatment) as well as the immediate and long term effects of plant extracts on lung capacity were measured for the four tea treatments. Results showed no statistically significant difference be tween the immediate and long term effects of any of the treatments. However, there was a statistically significant difference between B. pilosa and C. obtusifolia ; B. Pilosa and C. nobile ; and C. polyphlebia and C. nobile. B. Pilosa and C. polyphlebia are symptoms. Resumen Medicina tradicional esta usada por 80% del mundo para mejorar la salud. Monteverde, Costa Rica tiene una flora con una riqueza alta que contie ne plantas medicinales, incluyendo plantas como Cecropia polyphlebia (Cecropiaceae), Cecropia obtusifolia (Cecropiaceae), y Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) que reduzcan las sÃntomas de asma y otros enfermedades respiratorios. Para este estudio, cincuenta y ocho personas estaban divididas en cuatro grupos de tratamientos de te diferentes, incluyendo manzanillo, Chamaemelum nobile (Asteraceae) , como un control. La capacidad de los pulmones estaba medida usando una sopla de aire por un globo por cada persona. Efect os iniciales, inmediatos, y largo plazo de la capacidad de los pulmones estaban medidas por los cuatro tratamientos de tÃ©. Los resultados mostraron no diferencia entre los efectos inmediatos y de largo plazo. Sin embargo, era una diferencia entre B. pilosa y C. obtusifolia ; B. Pilosa y C. nobile ; y C. polyphlebia y C. nobile . Bidens pilosa y C. polyphlebia son lo mÃ¡s eficientes para mejorar la capacidad de los pulmones y bajar las sÃntomas de asma. Introduction Approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by asthma, disproportionately affecting people living in lower income, inner city environments (Fauci 2009). Unfortunately, there is no cure for this chronic lung disease that often begin s in the first year of life and causes chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing (Castro RodrÃguez 2000). It has also been shown that 80% of the world population relies on traditional medicine for primary care (Farnsworth 1985). Part of this is because a number of countries naturally have m edicinal plants present (Farnsworth 1985). This may also be accounted to tradition as well as the high costs of medical pr ocedures, drugs, and vaccines. Further, i n developed countries, there is also a lack of access to health care as well as the issues of poor quality and counterfeit drugs,
2 lack of availability of essential drugs due to fluctuating production or prohibitive cost , and the need to develop field based drug research to determine optimum utilization (PÃ©coul et al. 1999). Also, i t has been shown that many who are afflicted by asthma do not have access to basic asthmatic medication or medical care (Masoli 2003). Therefore, this shows the importance of being that do not have acce ss to healthcare. In Costa Rica, plants such as Cecropia polyphlebia (Cecropiaceae), Cecropia obtusifolia (Cecropiaceae), and Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) are abundant and have been identified as medicinal plants to relieve asthma (Raintree 2007). For respi ratory problems like asthma, making a tea from these plants could be cost effective for many in the developing world, compared to high tech, expensive pharmaceuticals (McCaleb 1997). Two grams of C. obtusifolia leaves per liter of water produced a signif icant short term but not long term change in lung capacity (Ross, 2003). A similar concentration of C. polyphlebia was also tested and showed a higher level of alkaloids than C. obtusifolia . This was because of the mutualistic relationship between C. obtus ifolia and ants that help with protecting the plant. Therefore, C. polyphlebia would require higher alkaloid levels to protect itself. The study found no statistically significant increase in lung capacity with either tea (Xiong 2009). The purpose of thi s study is to determine which of the three species, C. polyphlebia, C. obtusifolia , and B. pilosa, B. pilosa would be least effective because it was placed in the tier three category of medicin al plants to use for respiratory problems. The Cecropia family was listed in the tier one category (Raintree 2007). I also predict that C. polyphlebia will be more effective than C. obtusifolia because of its higher alkaloid levels (Xiong 2009). Furthermo re, short term and long term effects will be measured to determine if the herbal tea derived from C. polyphlebia , C. obtusifolia , and B. pilosa is best used on a by need basis or a regular basis. Methods C. polyphlebia tea and C. obtusifolia tea were ma de following a standard leaf infusion process. C. obtusifolia leaves were collected along roadsides near Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI) at 1430 m. C. polyphlebia leaves were collected at 1550 m around the EstaciÃ³n Biologica de Monteverde. Once dried i n a dry box, they were torn into smaller pieces, and soaked for 15 minutes in boiling water (Herbs 2009). B. pilosa , a common weed, was collected along the roadsides between Santa Elena (1370 m) and CPI (1430 m). It also went through the same process to cr eate a third tea sample. The fourth tea sample was dried Chamaemelum nobile (Asteraceae), produced commercially as Chamomile tea and bought from a local supermarket. This was meant to be the control for lung capacity because it is not reported to increase lung capacity, unlike the others. The teas were made in mass quantity, 10 grams of dried material per liter of water, then refrigerated for no more than 6 days (Schulte 2009). Fifty eight human subjects, with a 16:42 ratio of males to females, were rando mly divided into the four sample groups. Subjects ranged from 20 51 years old, the majority aged between 20 and 21 years old. There were no smokers, though there was one 20 year old female with exercised induced asthma. Each subject measured their lung c apacity by blowing a full consecutive days, subjects drank 200 mL each day of their respective assigned treatment for a total of 1 liter (Raintree 2007). On day o ne, within 2 minutes of drinking the tea, subjects
3 measured their lung capacity in the same manner. This showed the immediate effects of the medicinal properties of the tea. On day five, at least thirty minutes after the final dose of treatment, a final me term effects of the tea. Throughout the experiment, as soon as balloons were collected, volume levels were determined through water displacement. Each balloon was completely submerged u sing a thin piece of plastic into a plastic bucket filled to the brim with water. The excess water spilled into a second, larger container which represented the volume inside the balloon. The volume was measured with a graduated cylinder to the nearest 5 m L. To ensure consistent results amongst all subjects, the following actions were taken. All subjects had to have a resting heart beat by sitting for at least 20 minutes before blowing up a balloon. All balloons were the same brand and size, and none wer e stretched out before a subject expelled into them. Results capacity before treatment began to calculate the percent of change. The long term effects were foun percent of change. There was no statistically significant difference in immediate reaction to tea compared to the long term reaction to tea for any of the four treat ments (two way ANOVA test; F 1,99 = 2.13, p = 0.14). However, trends were present within each treatment. B. pilosa had an initial mean percent increase of 10% which then further increased to 23% after five days of treatment. C. obtusifolia showed a slight i ncrease from the initial and final treatment starting at 2% and increasing to a 4% change. C. polyphlebia also had a slight increase from 12% to 13% rate of change in lung capacity from the initial lung capacity. Lastly, C. nobile , the control, had a 2% de crease in lung capacity after the initial and final dose of treatment (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2).
4 FIGURE 1. Percent of change in mean volume (mL) between B. pilosa, C. obtusifolia , C. polyphlebia, and C. nobile immediately after the first dose.
5 FIGURE 2. Percent of change in mean volume (mL) between B. pilosa, C. obtusifolia, C. polyphlebia, and C. nobile after fifth day. Though there was not a statistically significant difference within each treatment , there was a statistically significant difference b etween the four treatments (two way ANOVA test; F 3,99 = 7.8, p = 0.001). Using the Tu key t est, significant differences were seen between the treatments (Table 1). TABLE 1. Tukey test result for comparisons between treatments categories. B. pilosa C. po lyphlebia C. obtusifolia C. nobile B. pilosa -----p > 0.05 p < 0.05 p < 0.05 C. polyphlebia ----------p > 0.05 p < 0.05 C. obtusifolia ----------------p > 0.05 C. nobile ---------------------Discussion As there is no statisticall y significant difference on lung capacity from drinking one cup of tea compared to a cup a day for five days, it is unnecessary to drink an herbal tea derived from B. pilosa, C. obtusifolia, or C. polyphlebia for the long term. However, the results have sh own that the two most effective teas are B. pilosa and C. polyphlebia. This is because they were significantly different from C. nobile C. obtusifolia was significantly different from B. pilosa , but not significantly different from C. nobile studies differ in their ability to demonstrate a difference. Out of the four teas presented in this experiment B. pilosa and C. polyphlebia would be most beneficial for a person to drink to subdue the effects of asthma. My results contradicted both prior studies. In 2003, it was found that C. obtusifolia significantly increased human lung capacity, but did not in this study . Earlier this year, significant differences in alkaloid levels were confirmed. This was due to the mutualism of ants with C. obtusifolia . It was shown that C. polyphlebia would require higher alkaloid levels because it did not have the additional protecti on by ants like C. obtusifolia. Though, the study did not show a significant difference on lung capacity between the two Cecropia species. However, this study hypothesized that significant alkaloid levels would affect lung capacity and results proved accur ate. The reasons for differences between the spring 2009 study and this is The results of B. pilosa and C. polyphlebia are very important for those living with asth ma as well as other similar respiratory ailments. These plants are widely available in Monteverde. However, C. obtusifolia and C. polyphlebia may be difficult to differentiate unless if one knows which has a mutualistic ant relationship or at which elevati ons they are found. Once locals can identify and locate these valuable plats, they can take advantage of this natural remedy and save their money on medication from a pharmacy. Those who cannot afford healthcare or live in a remote area with limited healt hcare access can greatly benefit from these natural remedies. The effectiveness of these medicinal plants is important for the 80% of the Farnsworth 1985 ).
6 The next step is educ ation. The knowledge gained through this experiment is valuable, especially for Monteverde locals who have direct access to these plants. However, the information and results are limited to whoever reads this report which is unlikely to be the disparate po pulation in Monteverde. Though, it is unknown if the Monteverde population is already aware of the natural remedies that can easily be found on roadsides like B. pilosa . Therefore, I suggest that future studies should poll locals on their knowledge of loca l medicinal plants including B. pilosa, C. obtusifolia, and C. polyphlebia . Another study may look into the biological reasons for why B. pilosa was as effective when stated otherwise. Lastly, one more future study could resolve the conflicting data found between the three independent studies involving C. obtusifolia, and C. polyphlebia . Acknowledgements I would like to thank Alan Masters for his help to develop a project of interest for me as well as for his guidance. I would also like to thank Yimen Ara ya for his endless help with statistics. Moncho CalderÃ³n aided in compiling the various required equipment. Further, this project would not have been possible without the help from all the Fall 2009 CIEE and EAP students and staff members who participated in the project and remembered to drink their tea every day. Lastly, I thank the University of Iowa Stanley Foundation for their financial support. Literature Cited A KINBAMI , L.J. AND K.C. S CHOENDORF . 2002. Trends in Childhood Asthma: Prevalence, Health Care Utilization, and Mortalit y. PEDIATRICS Vol. 110 No. 2 August 2002, pp. 315 322. C ASTRO R ODRÃGUEZ , J.A., C.J. H OLBERG , A.L., W RIGHT , AND F.D. M ARTINEZ . 2000. A Clinical Index to Define Risk of Asthma in Young Children with Recurrent Wheezing. Am . J. Respir. Crit. Care Med., Volume 162, Number 4, October 2000, 1403 1406. F ARNSWORTH , N., O. A KERELE , A.S. B INGEL , D.D. S OEJARTO , AND Z. G UO . 1985. Medicinal Plants in Therapy. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 63 (6): 965 981 (1985). F AUCI , A . 2009. World Asthma Day Statement. Retrieved from National Institute of Health webpage. Retrieved Oct 21. 2009 from http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2009/niaid 05.htm H ERBS H ERBAL . 2009. How to dry herbs. Herbsherbal webpage. Retrieved Oct. 21, 2009 from http://www.herbsherbals.com/info.html H UFFMAN M.A. 2001. Self medicated behavior in the African Great Apes: An evolutionary perspective into the origins of human traditional medicine. Bioscience. August 01, 2001 M ASOLI , M., D. F ABIAN , S. H OLT , AND R. B EASLEY . 2003. Global Burden or Asthma: Developed for the Global Initiative of Asthma. Retrieved Nov. 21 2009 from http://www.acpsolutions.co.uk/Docs/ISAACReport.pdf M C C ALEB , R . 1997. Medicinal Plants for Healing the Planet: Biodiversity a nd Environmental Health Care. In: Biodiversity and Human Health . Francesca Grifo and Joshua Rosenthal, ed. Island Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 221 221 242. P Ã‰COUL , B ERNARD , P. C HIRAC , P. T ROULLIER , AND J. P INNEL . 1999. Access to Essential Drugs in De veloping Countries. A Lost Battle? Vol. 281No. 4, January 27, 1999. R AINTREE N UTRITION I NC . 2007. Raintree Nutrition Tropical Plant Database webpage. Austin, TX. Retrieved Oct. 18, 2009 from www.rain tree.com/ R OSS , C. Fall 2003. Effects of Cecropia obtusifolia leaf ingestion on lung capacity. Tropical Ecology and Conversation. p. 207 11. S CHULTE , H . 2009. How to make herbal infusions or decoctions. Suite 101 webpage. Retrieved Oct. 22, 2009 from http://herbalmedicine.suite101.com/article.cfm/w hat_is_an_herbal_infusion_or_decoction X IONG , M. Spring 2009. The effects of Cecropia obtusifolia and Cecropia polyphlebia on lung capacity in relation to alkaloid concentration. Tropical Ecology and Conservation . p. 189 94.
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Efecto de Cecropia polyphlebia, Cecropia obtusifolia, y Bidens pilosa en la capacidad pulmonar humana
Effect of Cecropia polyphlebia, Cecropia obtusifolia, and Bidens pilosa on human lung capacity
Traditional medicine is used by 80% of the world population as their primary care. Monteverde, Costa Rica houses a rich flora including Cecropia polyphlebia (Cecropiaceae), Cecropia obtusifolia (Cecropiaceae), and Bidens pilosa
(Asteraceae) that have been identified as medicinal plants to reduce the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory ailments. Fifty-eight human subjects were divided into four groups of tea treatments, including Chamomile
Chamaemelum nobile (Asteraceae) as a control. Lung capacity was measured using the amount of air blown into a balloon in a single breath. Initial (pre-treatment) as well as the immediate and long-term effects of plant extracts on lung capacity were measured for the four tea treatments. Results showed no statistically significant difference
between the immediate and long-term effects of any of the treatments. However, there was a statistically significant difference between B. pilosa and C. obtusifolia; B. Pilosa and C. nobile; and C. polyphlebia and C. nobile. B. Pilosa and C. polyphlebia are most effective to increase ones lung capacity and, therefore, most likely to lessen asthma symptoms.
La medicina tradicional est siendo usada por un 80% del mundo para mejorar la salud. Monteverde, Costa Rica tiene una flora con una riqueza alta que contiene plantas medicinales, incluyendo plantas como Cecropia polyphlebia (Cecropiaceae), Cecropia obtusifolia (Cecropiaceae), y Bidens pilosa (Asteraceae) que reducen los sntomas de asma y otras enfermedades respiratorias. Para este estudio, cincuenta y ocho personas estaban divididas en cuatro grupos de tratamientos de te diferentes, incluyendo manzanillo, Chamaemelum nobile (Asteraceae), como un control. La capacidad de los pulmones estaba medida usando una sopla de aire por un globo por cada persona. Efectos iniciales, inmediatos, y a largo plazo de la capacidad de los pulmones estaban medidos por los cuatro tratamientos de t. Los resultados mostraron que no hubo diferencia entre los efectos inmediatos y los de largo plazo. Sin embargo, era una diferencia entre B. pilosa y C. obtusifolia; B. Pilosa y C. nobile; y C. polyphlebia y C. nobile. Bidens pilosa y C. polyphlebia son los ms eficientes para mejorar la capacidad de los pulmones y bajar los sntomas de asma.
Text in English.
Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Zona de Monteverde
Tropical Ecology Fall 2009
Ecologa Tropical Otoo 2009
t Monteverde Institute : Tropical Ecology