Tillandsia usneoides L.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA= Used part: Planta entera.

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA= Pharmacological action: Antihemorroidal.

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA= Chemical composition: Bioactivity-directed fractionation, using brine shrimp lethality and murine hypoglycemia, of an ethanol extract prepared from Tillandsia usneoides, led to the isolation of four apparently bioactive compounds from the water-soluble fraction. The compounds were identified as citric acid, succinic acid, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaric acid (HMG), and 3,6,3',5'-tetramethoxy-5,7,4'-trihydroxyflavone-7-O-beta-D-g lucoside. The brine shrimp lethality of the acids was simply due to acidity; however, HMG elicited significant hypoglycemic responses in fasting normal mice. Ethyl and methyl esters of citric acid were prepared and tested in the murine hypoglycemic assay. Five of the predominant sugars were identified by tlc. Free thymidine was also isolated. Further evaluation of HMG and other potential inhibitors of HMG CoA lyase, in the treatment of symptoms of diabetes mellitus, is suggested.


Nota de alcance

DIVERSIDAD GENÉTICA Y MEJORAMIENTO DE PLANTAS MEDICINALES= Medicinal plants and improvement of medicinal herbs

Monitoring of immission of persistent organic pollutants in the industrialized area of Volta Redonda (V.R.) and in the National Park of Itatiaia (PNI) in southeast Brazil was performed using an endemic bromeliad species as biomonitor and measuring bulk deposition rates of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). For the sum of PCB, overall deposition rates were between 17 and 314 ng/(m2 day) in winter and between 43 and 81 ng/(m2 day) in summer, respectively. Deposition rates of dioxin-like PCBs ranged from 0.14 to 2.8 pg WHO-TEQ/(m2 day) in winter and from 0.90 to 4.3 pg WHO-TEQ/(m2 day) in summer. PCB deposition rates (total PCB and WHO-TEQ) were in the same range in winter in V.R. and PNI. In summer, contamination levels in V.R. were 6-10-folds higher than in PNI. PCB concentrations in biomonitor samples from V.R. and PNI were in the same range in summer and in winter. Concentrations of total PCB ranged from 14 to 95 ug/kg dry matter (d.m.) in winter and from 18 to 27 ug/kg d.m. in summer, respectively. The TEQ values were between 1.7 and 4.1 ng WHO-TEQ/kg d.m. in winter and between 1.9 and 2.9 ng WHO-TEQ/kg d.m. in summer. PCB concentrations of di-ortho PCB but not of non-ortho PCB were a factor of 2-4 lower in summer in both areas. PCB congener profiles resembled those from technical formulations. The profiles shifted to the higher chlorinated congeners in summer, probable due to revolatilisation of the lighter components at higher temperatures. PCB profiles in biomonitor resembled those from deposition samples and the shift to the heavier congeners in summer was even more pronounced. PAH deposition rates were in a similar range in both areas (131-2415 ng/(m2 day)). PAH levels in biomonitor samples from V.R. were about one order of magnitude higher than in samples from PNI indicating the impact of local sources. PAH profiles revealed stationary thermal processes as main source of contamination in V.R. whereas in PNI, biomass burning seems to be the main contamination source. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Nota de alcance (en)

Whole plant: To strengthen and make the hair more attractive, the Surinam Arawak steep the plants in a pot of water until decomposed, and wash their hair in the liquid to impart a glossy shine.


Spanish Moss is the vernacular name used to identify several epiphytes belonging to the genus Tillandsia. A wide and unspecific range of medicinal indications has been attributed to these plants throughout the American continent. However, some preliminary and pre-clinical studies have shown that the extracts and isolated compounds could be promising agents in the treatment of diabetes, a fact that could encourage future clinical trials given the global significance of this medical condition.

Nota bibliográfica

1) TOURSARKISSIAN, Martín. Plantas medicinales de Argentina : sus nombres botánicos, vulgares, usos y distribución geográfica. Buenos Aires : Hemisferio Sur, 1980, p.18.

2) WITHERUP, K M., et al. Identification of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaric acid (HMG) as a hypoglycemic principle of Spanish moss ( Tillandsia usneoides ). Journal of natural products. 1995, vol.58, nº8, p.1285-90.

3) ALONSO, Jorge ; DESMARCHELIER, Cristian. Plantas medicinales autóctonas de la Argentina : bases científicas para su aplicación en atención primaria de la salud.  Buenos Aires: L.O.L.A, 2005, p. 83.

4) Robertt, A., et al.. Medicinal Plants of the Guianas (Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana)/Smithsonian NMNH. cited online: 17-08-2017.

5) Plantas medicinales autóctonas de la Argentina. Bases científicas para su aplicación en atención primaria de la salud / Jorge Alonso y Cristian Jorge Desmarchelier. - 1a ed. - Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires: Corpus Libros Médicos y Científicos, 2015.

Tillandsia usneoides L.
Término aceptado: 06-Sep-2007