Guinea Henweed

Guinea Henweed Plant Information


Guinea Henweed grows in the following 2 states:

Florida, Texas

Petiveria alliacea is a species of flowering plant in the pokeweed family, Phytolaccaceae, that is native to Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States,Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and tropical South America.Introduced populations occur in Benin and Nigeria. It is a deeply rooted herbaceous perennial shrub growing up to 1m (3.3ft) in height and has small greenish piccate flowers. The roots and leaves have a strong acrid, garlic-like odor which taints the milk and meat of animals that graze on it.

It is known by a wide number of common names including: guinea henweed, anamu in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Brazil (where it is also known as tipi), apacin in Guatemala, mucura in Peru, and guine in many other parts of Latin America, feuilles ave, herbe aux poules, petevere a odeur ail, and, in Trinidad, as mapurite (pronounced Ma-po-reete) and gully root, and in Jamaica as guinea hen weed and many others.
This plant is native to Southeastern United States, Florida, Texas, the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. It-s been reported in the following habitats: disturbed Upland and Wetland; maritime, mesic, prairie and Rockland Hammock and Shell Mound. (1)
The habit is herbaceous shrub, Leaves are simple, alternate, pinnate in the first order and netted the second order. It has determinate inflorescence. The plant reproduces during all year even though there are certain differences reported on the time of the year that the reproductive activity is the highest. For example, in Mexico this period is On September to October while in Central America is July to January. (3)
Petiveria alliacea is wildly present in corn, coffee and apple plantations and also in the forest. There are certain animals that fed on this plant like cows. When animals fed on the Guinea Hen Weed plant their products, meat, milk acquire a garlic like odor characteristic of the plant. When animals are fed on this plant regularly they may be poisoned because of the high content of nitrate present in the plant. (3)
P. alliacea is used as a bat and insect repellent.
The Guinea Hen Weed is used in teas, extracts, capsules. The leaves and also the roots are used with medicinal purposes. This plant has been used to reduce inflammation and pain. It has been reported to be used to eliminate bacteria, fungi, candida, and viruses. It is also used to enhance the immune system and increase urination (2). Recent studies report beneficial results in the use of this plant to lower the blood sugar levels and in the elimination of cancer cells. (3)(4) The plant is also used for arthritis, allergies, as therapy for fever, malaria. Besides its beneficial medical uses the plant is also been reported to induce abortions important property that has to take into consideration when used by woman of childbearing age. (3)
Petiveria alliacea has been found to contain a large number of biologically active chemicals including benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, benzyl 2-hydroxyethyl trisulphide, coumarin, isoarborinol, isoarborinol acetate, isoarborinol cinnamate, isothiocyanates, polyphenols, senfol, tannins, and trithiolaniacine.
The plant's roots have also been shown to contain cysteine sulfoxide derivatives that are analogous to, but different from, those found in such plants as garlic and onion. For example, P. alliacea contains S-phenylmethyl-L-cysteine sulfoxides (petiveriins A and B) and S-(2-hydroxyethyl)-L-cysteines (6-hydroxyethiins A and B). These compounds serve as the precursors of several thiosulfinates such as S-(2-hydroxyethyl) 2-hydroxyethane)thiosulfinate, S-(2-hydroxylethyl) phenylmethanethiosulfinate, S-benzyl 2-hydroxyethane)thiosulfinate and S-benzyl phenylmethanethiosulfinate (petivericin). All four of these thiosulfinates have been found to exhibit antimicrobial activity. Petiveriin also serves as percursor to phenylmethanethial S-oxide, a lachrymatory agent structurally similar to syn-propanethial-S-oxide from onion, but whose formation requires novel cysteine sulfoxide lyase and lachrymatory factor synthase enzymes differing from those found in onion.
1. http://regionalconservation.org/ircs/database/plants/PlantPage.asTXCODE=Petialli
2. http://www.rain-tree.com/anamu.htm#.VI5e5Hk5Bes
3. http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/70236
4. Hernndez, John Fredy, Claudia Patricia Urueaa, Maria Claudia Cifuentesa, Tito Alejandro Sandovala, Luis Miguel Pombob, Diana Castaedaa, Alexzander Aseac, Susana Fiorentino. A Petiveria alliacea standardized fraction induces breast adenocarcinoma cell death by modulating glycolytic metabolism. Journal of Ethnopharmacology Volume 153, Issue 3, 14 May 2014, 641-649
Media related to Petiveria alliacea at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Petiveria alliacea at Wikispecies

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