Some Mexican Plants Used in Traditional Medicine


Mayela Govea-Salas, Jésus Morlett-Chávez, Raúl Rodriguez-Herrera and Juan Ascacio-Valdés


In Mexico, there is an area known as semiarid region that is located in northern Mexico, and this region is rich in biodiversity (endemic flora and fauna). In the semiarid region of Mexico are more than 3500 species of plants that have been identified and used as natural alternatives to treat different ailments (digestive ailments, kidney problems, skin conditions, etc.). The use of plants for medicinal purposes was a common practice in Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century; although this knowledge was underestimated for a long time, now interest has reemerged in the use of plants as alternative remedies or traditional medicine. It is now known that the medicinal plant capacity is due to its biological properties, which are due to chemical compounds that are synthesized by the plant metabolisms, called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are bioactive compounds that have important biological properties such as anticancer property, antimicrobial, antiparasitic, antioxidant, and interest in the recovery of these compounds has grown in recent years, in order to find natural alternatives to synthetic drugs, which they are used for different chronic conditions such as cancer. Keywords: phytochemical, bioactive compounds, medicinal plant, antioxidant

Morlett1 – 5 Chapter 2017