Economic Botany: Applied Plant Biology
Hasan, Nabeeh A. , Gonzalez-Stuart, Armando , Alexander, Patrick J. , Bailey, C. Donovan .
Reading Tea Leaves: Morphological and Molecular Analysis of Té Gastronol Constituents.
Herbal remedies are increasingly sought as alternatives to pharmaceuticals. An increase in consumers suffering from more severe gastro-intestinal symptoms after consuming Té Gastronol, an herbal tea remedy manufactured, packaged, and commonly sold in markets of Ciudad Júarez, MÃ©xico, has brought this herbal remedy renewed interest from public health research. Here, we report our findings after an investigation of the constituents in a package of Té Gastronol. Utilizing plant morphology in tandem with molecular phylogenetic methods, we identified some important constituents of Té Gastronol. According to morphological assessment of the plant material and phylogenetic analysis of approximately 600 nucleotides of nrDNA ITS DNA sequence data, our analyses indicated that Arnica, Cancerina and Tlachichinole, approximately 65 % of the tea’s constituents according to ingredient percentages provided on the product label, were not actually included. In contrast, we detected the presence of unlisted adulterant ingredients Heterothca cf. inuloides and Tagetes cf. micrantha in Té Gastronol. Our analyses also suggest the potential misidentification of plant ingredients before manufacturing of Té Gastronol, as well as evidence of fungal contamination. A combination of misidentification of plants used to produce this tea accompanied with possible fungal contamination are the likely contributors to the problematic symptoms of those suffering after consuming Té Gastronol, which raises interesting public health and folk/herbal remedy issues, particularly for border towns where confusion with common names can be a particularly acute problem.
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1 - New Mexico State University, Department of Biology, Po Box 30001, Department 3Af, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88003-8001, USA
2 - University of Texas, El Paso & University of Texas, Austin, Cooperative Pharmacy Program, 1100N. Stanton, Suite 301, El Paso, Texas, 79902, USA
3 - New Mexico State University, Department of Biology, Po Box 30001, Department 3Af, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88003-8001, USA
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM