Helleborus (family Ranunculaceae) are well-known as ornamental plants, but less known for their therapeutic benefits. Over the past few years, Helleborus sp. has become a subject of interest for phytochemistry, pharmacology and other medical research areas. On the basis of their usefulness in traditional medicine, it was assumed that their biochemical profile could be a source of metabolites with the potential to overcome critical medical issues. There are studies involving natural extracts from these species which demonstrate that Helleborus plants are a valuable source of chemical compounds with great medical potential. Some phytochemicals produced by these species have been separated and identified a few decades ago: hellebrin, deglucohellebrin, 20-hydroxyecdysone and protoanemonin. Lately, many other active compounds have been reported and considered as promising remedies for severe diseases such as cancer, ulcer, diabetes and also for common medical problems such as toothache, eczema, low immunity and arthritis. This paper is an overview of the Helleborus genus focusing on some recentlydiscovered compounds and their potential for finding new drugs and useful biochemicals derived from these species.
Plants may live and grow under suboptimal environmental conditions having certain biochemical and metabolic adaptations that facilitate their survival. Plant ''metabolic flexibility'' consists of the accomplishment of the same step in a metabolic pathway in a variety of different ways. Pyrophosphate which works as an energy donor when cellular ATP pools become diminished during stresses, alternative glycolytic reactions that bypass ATP-requiring steps, additional pathways for electron transport in plant mithocondria and the salvage pathways are some of the aspects related to ''energetic flexibility''. This key feature that plays an important role in plant acclimation to stress can be an important target for engineering enhanced stress tolerance in crop plants.
SUMMARY.Datura stramonium is an annual plant which belongs to the Solanaceae family. Datura stramonium is also a toxic plant, with toxicity given by the presence of alkaloids hyoscyamine, atropine and scopolamine.This study performs phytochemical and antibacterial analysis of ethanolic extracts from Datura stramonium. Fresh plants have been used in order to obtain Datura stramonium tincture. The quality index was 1:5, the concentration of ethanol being 90%. Based on this tincture a qualitative and quantitative phytochemical analysis was performed through thin layer chromatography and high performance liquid chromatography. By thin-layer chromatography the qualitative alkaloids, such as atropine and scopolamine from Datura stramonium extract, have been identified. By high performance liquid chromatography with reversed phase the alkaloids quantity from Datura stramonium herbs was assessed and that is 1.7 mg/mL. The plant extracts were tested on Gram negative bacteria Escherichia coli and on Gram positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. Both tested strains showed resistance but for E. coli a higher inhibition was observed at all samples containing Datura extract.
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