Maca: rise and fall of a hype

Historically, maca was cultivated only in a small region in Peru, and this plant was threatened with extinction in the 1980s. From the end of the 1990s, however, maca developed into a popular herbal remedy. It has since been cultivated on a large scale, even in China. Maca is sold as ‘super food’, ‘Peruvian Viagra’… Continue reading Maca: rise and fall of a hype

Erythroxylum spp. (‘coca’): a versatile and controversial medicinal plant

Abstract. Erythroxylum spp, known as ‘coca’ are an essential part of several cultures in Latin America since thousands of years. Coca is used in social interactions, as medicine, food and in magical-religious rituals. This article discuses some of the research done on the effects of coca that are most known in Europe, namely on altitude,… Continue reading Erythroxylum spp. (‘coca’): a versatile and controversial medicinal plant

The sharp nails of Uncaria tomentosa: POA’s and TOA’s

Abstract. Uncaria tomentosa (Willd. ex Schult.) DC. or Cat’s claw is not only known for its therapeutic effects, such as inflammatory action and immune system enhancement, but also because of the controversy surrounding some of its constituents: the POAs and the TOAs. One would be “bad”, the other “good”. This has led to the sale… Continue reading The sharp nails of Uncaria tomentosa: POA’s and TOA’s

Phytolacca dodecandra berries as a means of controlling bilharzia-transmitting snails

Abstract. As part of the search for effective control over bilharzia transmitting snails, a project was launched in Ethiopia to further the development of the use of Phytolacca dodecandra berries. Its aim was to select and test P. dodecandra types for their suitability for cropping and their molluscicidal potency. Results showed that fairly small quantities… Continue reading Phytolacca dodecandra berries as a means of controlling bilharzia-transmitting snails

Coca loca

There doesn’t seem to be a plant surrounded with so many persistent misconceptions as Erythroxylum spp, better known as ‘coca’. This plant has been an essential part of the cultures around the Andes in South America for thousands of years. Coca is used in social interactions, as medicine, nutrition, in magic-religious rituals and much more.… Continue reading Coca loca