Herb 502 Module 3 Discussion
Laura Susan Johns
Herbal Materia Medica
February 09, 2014
Herb 502 Module 3 Discussion
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is a perennial that grows in my area of Central Florida, and is one of the Foxglove types that produces the cardiac glycosides, known as digitalis. The plant produces flowering stalks, with the flowers growing on only one side of the stalk and having a long, tubular shape that hangs downward, similar to the fingers of a glove. Its name comes from the Latin, “digitus”, meaning finger, and purpurea, which means purple. Foxglove comes in colors ranging from purple to pink to yellow to white with purple and white spots or streaks on the inside. (Christman, 2000)
The cardiac glycosides from this plant are positive inotropes, meaning that they increase the contractility of the heart, improving cardiac output, and controlling heart rate. It has a very narrow therapeutic window, and ...view middle of the document...
Cardiac glycosides, such as nerioside, oleandrin, neriin, oleandroside, and digitoxigenin, are obtained from this decorative plant. Toxicities similar to digitalis intoxication are a hallmark of these cardiac glycosides, and the same specific antidote used for reversal of digoxin poisoning, digoxin-specific FAB, has been used successfully to treat oleander poisoning. ("Mosby’s Handbook," 2010) Additionally, a little-known antibiotic, oleandomycin, isolated from Nerium oleander, demonstrates in vitro antibiotic characteristics, meaning that it has shown these types of properties in isolated components outside of their usual biological environment. (Natural Standard, 2013)
("Oleander, Rosebay (Nerium oleander)," 2014)
I have known about the dangers of the oleander most of my life, but I did not learn about
foxglove until I went to pharmacy school. In researching this article, I have discovered many
other plants in my area that are poisonous, some that I knew about, and some that I didn’t. One
of the plants I didn’t know about, the Rosary Pea, I played with and collected extensively as a child. I now have found that it is considered to be one of the most dangerous plants known. ("Cute Killers," 2014)
Christman, S. (2000). Digitalis purpurea. Retrieved February 09, 2014, from http://www.floridata.com/ref/d/digi_pur.cfm
Cute killers: 16 unassuming-but-lethal poison plants. (2014). Retrieved from http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2008/09/16/16-most-unassuming-yet-lethal-killer-plants/
Foster, S. (1998). Origins of medicine: foxglove plants. Retrieved from http://www.motherearthliving.com/plant-profile/origins-of-medicine-foxglove.aspx
Natural Standard. (2013). Oleander (Nerium oleander, Thevetia peruviana). Retrieved from http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/herbssupplements/oleander.asp?
Oleander. (2010). In L. Skidmore-Roth (Ed.), Mosby’s handbook of herbs and natural supplements (4th, pp. 471-473). St Louis, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
[Oleander, Rosebay (Nerium oleander)]. (2014). Fotosearch.com, http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/oleander.html, Waukesha, WI.
Robertson, J. (2014). Digitalis spp., foxglove. Retrieved from http://www.thepoisongarden.co.uk/atoz/digitalis.htm
Scheper, J. (1996). Nerium oleander. Retrieved February 09, 2014, from http://www.floridata.com/ref/n/nerium.cfm