Gramineae
Cymbopogon aff. citratus • Capim Santo

Cymbopogon grass species have tradionally been prepared by Amazonian peoples for a variety of conditions (1,2). Citral, a component in the essential oil of cymbopogon citratrus, has been studied for the treatment of cancer and works by activating enzymes required for cell death (3). The essential oil showed antibacterial, antifungal and larvicidal properties in other studies (4,5,6). Extracts from this species were also found to have free radical scavenger and antioxidant activity (7).

(1) Mors, WB, Rizzini, CT and Pereira, NA (2000) Medicinal Plants of Brazil. Reference Publications Inc: 501 p.

(2) Castner, JL, Timme, SL and Duke, JA (1998) A field guide to Medicinal and Useful Plants of the Upper Amazon. 154 p.

(3) Dudai, N, Weinstein, Y, Krup, M, Rabinski, T, Ofir, R (2005) Citral is a New Inducer of Caspase-3 in Tumor Cell Lines. Planta med 71: 484-488

(4) Wannissorn B, Jarikasem S, Siriwangchai T, Thubthimthed S. (2005) Antibacterial properties of essential oils from Thai medicinal plants. Fitoterapia 76(2): 233-6

(5) Nguefack J, Leth V, Amvam Zollo PH, Mathur SB (2004) Evaluation of five essential oils from aromatic plants of Cameroon for controlling food spoilage and mycotoxin producing fungi. Int J Food Microbiol 94(3): 329-34

(6) Cavalcanti ES, Morais SM, Lima MA, Santana EW (2004) Larvicidal activity of essential oils from Brazilian plants against Aedes aegypti L. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 99(5): 541-4

(7) Cheel, J, Theoduloz, C, Rodríguez, J, Schmeda-Hirschmann, G (2005) Free Radical Scavengers and Antioxidants from Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf.). J Agric Food Chem 53 (7), 2511-2517