Amaranthus muricatus (Moq.) Hieron.

Nota de alcance

PARTE UTILIZADA=Used part: Partes aéreas. 

ACCIÓN FARMACOLÓGICA= Pharmacological action: Laxante, diurético, descongestionante del higado y para el empacho de los niños. 

COMPOSICIÓN QUÍMICA= Chemical composition: Se ha continuado con el estudio de las partes aéreas de Amaranthus muricatus (Moquin) Gill. ex Hicken (Amaranthaceae), de nombre vulgar “yerba meona”,”paiquillo” o “ataco”, usada en la medicina popular. Los esteroles aislados poseen acción analgésica y antiiflamatoria 12,13. La colina actúa como agente lipotrópico 14 .Las saponinas, poseen, entre otros efectos, una acción irritante de las células que se manifiesta, a nivel renal, aumentando la circulación sanguínea e incrementando consecuentemente la filtración glomerular y provocando un efecto diurético 15,16. La presencia de estos compuestos podría justificar algunas de las aplicaciones que tiene la planta en la medicina popular. 

ZONA GEOGRÁFICA=Geografical zone: Uruguay y Argentina. 

Nota de alcance

ÚLTIMOS AVANCES EN LA QUÍMICA Y ACTIVIDADES BACTERIOLÓGICAS EN LAS PLANTAS MEDICINALES= Medicinal plants, last advances on chemistry and bacteria activities on the medicinal herbs

1) The seed protein profiles and amino acid compn. were detd. in 11 amaranth species (Amaranthus viridis, A. powellii, A. muricatus, A. deflexus, A. graecizans, A. blitoides, A. retroflexus, A. blitum, A. albus, A. cruentus, A. hypochondriacus).  Seed samples were obtained from wild plants growing in Southwest Spain.  The protein profiles were studied by gel filtration chromatog. and denaturing electrophoresis.  The protein profiles were similar in all 11 species, with small variations in mol. wts. and amts. of the main seed proteins.  The 6 main protein fractions sepd. by gel filtration chromatog. had mol. wts. 300, 180, 120, 40-50, 20-30 kDa, and <10 kDa.  The electrophoretic anal. grouped the peptides into 3 main fractions (50-64, 33-37, and 18-25 kDa).  The most balanced amino acid compns. were seen in A. muricatus, A. blitum, and A. powellii.  A. hypochondriacus and A. graecizans were the most deficient in amino acid compn., with limitations in 5 essential amino acids.  The data show the potential of wild Amaranthus species for use as crops or their use in plant breeding.

2) Amaranthus grain of 104 genotypes from 30 species was investigated for oil and squalene contents and fatty acid profiles.  The overall av. oil content in Amaranthus grain was 5.0%, ranging from 1.9 to 8.7%.  Squalene concn. in extd. oils ranged from trace to 7.3%, with an av. concn. of 4.2%.  The av. contents of three major fatty acids in Amaranthus grain were 22.2, 29.1, and 44.6% for palmitic, oleic, and linoleic, resp.  The av. fat content in dried mature leaves of 45 Amaranthus genotypes was 1.63%, ranging from 1.08 to 2.18%.  The squalene concn. in leaf lipid exts. averaged 0.26%, ranging from trace to 0.77%, which is much lower than that from seeds.  The major fatty acids of leaf exts. were linolenic, linoleic, and palmitic.  Linolenic ranged from 56.5 to 62.0% of total fatty acids; linoleic, from 15.5 to 24.7%; and palmitic acid, from 13.5 to 15.5%.  As for the fatty acid compns. at different growth stages, fatty acid content in leaf lipid was lower in mature leaves than in young leaves.  The satd./unsatd. ratio decreased when the leaf grew to maturity.  Principal component anal. (PCA) was carried out on compositional characteristics of grain.  The first two components accounted for 70% of the total variance (38.3 and 21.7%, resp.).  There was a pos. correlation between oil content and squalene yield, and a neg. correlations were found between linoleic and either of the other two major fatty acids, palmitic and oleic.  The taxonomic relationship among the species was also elucidated by PCA.

3) The chemical and nutritional composition of the aerial parts of Amaranthus muricatus was assessed.  This is a wild plant growing well in arid and poor soil, which are not suitable for cereals.  The material under study was boiled, dried and ground and then evaluated for chemical, nutritional and antinutritional properties.  Protein concentration of the amaranth flour was 15.74 g/100 g and total dietary fiber content was high (53.81 g/100 g), with 79% coming from insoluble dietary fiber.  The calcium content was 1533 mg/100 g and the Ca/P ratio (5.94) was markedly higher than the value suggested in the 1989 Recommended Dietary Allowances.  Fifty-nine percent of the fatty acids present were unsaturated with linoleic acid accounting for 40% of the total fatty acid content.  Nitrate, hemagglutinin, trypsin inhibitor and saponin contents were within the non-critical values.  Net protein utilization (NPU), true digestibility (tD) and biological value (BV) measurements indicated a nitrogen gain of 74% that of casein.  The results of this study indicate a nutritive potential for the A. muricatus leaves, therefore, domestication of this plant is suggested along with assessment of its chemical and nutritional properties.

Nota bibliográfica

1) GONZALEZ, Matías ; LOMBARDO, Atilio ; VALLARINO, Aida. Plantas de la medicina vulgar del Uruguay. Montevideo : Talleres Gráficos, 1937, p.98.

2) JUAN, R., et al. Characterization of protein in seeds of eleven species of Amaranthus. Grasas y Aceites (Sevilla, Spain). 2007, vol.58, nº1, p.49-55. 

3) HE, Han-Ping; CORKE, Harold. Oil and squalene in Amaranthus grain and leaf. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2003, vol.51, nº27, p.7913-7920.     

4) ESCUDERO, N. L., et al. Nutrient and antinutrient composition of Amaranthus muricatus. Plant foods for human nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands). 1999, vol.54, nº4, p.327-36.

Amaranthus muricatus (Moq.) Hieron.
Término aceptado: 13-May-2008