Bioactive compounds from selected plants used in the XVI century mexican traditional medicine
Mexican ethnobotanical documents from the XVI century have inspired the search of plant bioactive compounds. These treatises were written by Native American and Spaniard naturalists after the Spanish conquest of México in 1521, and contain painstaking descriptions of more than 3,000 plants. The present and ancient native medical applications of selected plants quoted in these ethnohistorical sources are revisited and discussed under the current chemical and biological knowledge. Phytochemicals isolated from Montanoa tomentosa Cerv (cihuapatli), Piqueria trinervia Cav (cuapupoltzin) (Asteraceae), Pachyrrhizus erosus L. (Sor.) (coentic) (Leguminosae), Byrsonima crassifolia (L.) Kunth (nantzinxocotl) (Malphighiaceae), Castilleja tenuiflora Benth (atzoyatl), and Penstemon barbatus Nutt (chilpanxochitl) (Scrophulariaceae) comprise: alkaloids, non-protein aminoacids, aryl coumarins, diterpenes, flavonoids, iridoids, monoterpenes, phenyl propanoids, proanthocyanidines, rotenoids, sesquiterpene lactones, sterols, glycolipids, and triterpenes. These compounds elicit a broad spectrum of activities including acaricidal, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, antisecretory, antiserotonergic, choleretic, cytotoxic, herbicidal, insecticide, molluscicidal, spasmogenic, spasmolytic, and trypanosomal.