An Ethnobotanical, Pharmacological, and Phytochemical Analysis of Achillea millefolium L. by Parts

Title: An Ethnobotanical, Pharmacological, and Phytochemical Analysis of Achillea millefolium L. by Parts
Authors: Kachura, Alexandra
Date: 2018-11-30
Abstract: This thesis investigated the pharmacology and phytochemistry of Achillea millefolium L. (yarrow) flowers, roots, stems, and leaves based on ethnobotanical reports in North America, with a focus on applications in a respiratory model. Seasonal changes in the phytochemical profile of yarrow were also assessed. A comprehensive dataset of medicinal Asteraceae was created after collecting ethnobotanical reports from the Native American Ethnobotany (NAEB) database. Using residual and binomial analyses, 14 tribes of Asteraceae were quantitatively evaluated and ranked within ten therapeutic categories as either over- or under-selected for treatment by North American indigenous peoples. Flora belonging to the Anthemideae tribe were over-utilized as pulmonary aids, particularly species of Achillea. Yarrow was selected for further analysis in the subsequent chapters of this thesis. The respiratory pharmacology of yarrow was examined by testing the immunomodulatory effects of four plant parts in an in vitro assay using BEAS-2B human bronchial epithelial cells. Concentrations of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 were quantified using ELISA kits. Flowers demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity at 40 μg/ml in both assays, and also at 20 μg/ml in the IL-8 assay, suggesting a dose-dependent response. Roots displayed significant pro-inflammatory activity at all concentrations. A second mechanism of action via the endocannabinoid system was tested through inhibitory enzyme assays for fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), in which the flowers and roots were most active. Since extracts of the four plant parts exhibited significantly different bioactivities, active metabolites previously identified in yarrow were quantified in each part through the targeted profiling of phenolics and alkylamides using analytical chromatographic techniques. Phenolic compounds were found at highest concentrations in the flowerheads, while alkylamides were detected predominantly within roots. An accompanying phenological analysis of alkylamide and phenolic levels in all parts was explored. Collectively, this research provides the first integrated comparison of yarrow ethnobotany, bioactivity, and phytochemistry across different parts of the plant, contributing novel insights into the traditional, contemporary, and future uses of one of North America’s most important medicinal plants.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -