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PICO PRETO Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Bidens Species: pilosa Synonyms: Bidens adhaerescens, B. alausensis, B. chilensis, B. hirsuta, B. leucantha, B. montaubani, B. reflexa, B. scandicina, B. sundaica, Coreopsis leucantha, Kerneria pilosa Common Names: Pico preto, carrapicho, amor seco, pirca, aceitilla, cadillo, chilca, pacunga, cuambu, erva-pico, alfiler, clavelito de monte, romerillo, saltillo, yema de huevo, zaiguille, jarongan, ketul, pau-pau pasir, Spanish needles, bident herisse, herbe daiguille, z eizahn, bidente piloso, mozote, beggars tick Parts Used: hole herb From The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs: PICO PRETO HERB ! PROPERTIES N" CTIONS #ain ctions Ot$er ctions Standard "osa%e kills bacteria dries secretions !hole herb kills viruses increases urination "ecoction: "#$ to " cup kills germs inhibits tumors t ice daily kills leukemia cells lo ers blood sugar Capsu&es: $ g t ice daily promotes Tincture: $-% ml t ice kills yeast menstruation daily reduces inflammation e&pels orms protects liver stimulates digestion prevents ulcers inhibits stomach acid helps diabetes reduces spasms fights free radicals Pico preto is a small, erect annual herb that gro s to " m high' (t has bright green leaves ith serrated, prickly edges and produces small, yello flo ers and black fruit' (ts root has a distinctive aroma similar to that of a carrot' (t is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South America, Africa, the )aribbean, and the Philippines' (t is often considered a eed in many places' (t is a southern cousin to Bidens tripartita, the *uropean bur marigold, hich has an

ancient history in *uropean herbal medicine' (n +razil, the plant is most commonly kno n as pico preto or carrapicho, in Peru it is kno n as amor seco or pirca' TRIB ! N" HERB ! #E"ICINE USES Pico preto has a long history of use among the indigenous people of the Amazon, and virtually all parts of the plant are used' -enerally the hole plant is uprooted and prepared in decoctions or infusions for internal use, and#or crushed into a paste or poultice for e&ternal use' (n the Peruvian Amazon pico preto is used for aftosa .foot-and-mouth disease/, angina, diabetes, menstrual disorders, hepatitis, laryngitis, intestinal orms and for internal and e&ternal inflammations' (n Piura region of Peru, a decoction of the roots is used for alcoholic hepatitis and orms' 0he )una tribe mi&es the crushed leaves ith ater to treat headaches' 1ear Pucallpa, Peru, the leaf is balled up and applied to a toothache, the leaves also are used for headaches' (n other parts of the Amazon, a decoction of the plant is mi&ed ith lemon juice and used to treat angina, hepatitis, sore throat, and ater retention' 0he *&uma tribe grinds the sun-dried leaves ith olive oil to make poultices for sores and lacerations and, in 0onga, an infusion of the flo ers is used to treat upset stomach in food poisoning' (n Peruvian herbal medicine pico preto is employed to reduce inflammation, increase urination, and to support and protect the liver' (t is commonly used there for hepatitis, conjunctivitis, abscesses, fungal infections, urinary infections, as a eight loss aid, and to stimulate childbirth' (n +razilian herbal medicine it is used for fevers, malaria, hepatitis, diabetes, sore throat, tonsillitis, obstructions in the liver and other liver disorders, urinary infections, and vaginal discharge and infections' An infusion or decoction of the entire plant is often gargled for tonsilitis and pharyngitis' *&ternally it is used for ounds, fungal infections, ulcers, diaper rash, insect bites, and hemorrhoids' +razilian herbalists also report using pico preto to normalize insulin and bilirubin levels in the pancreas, liver, and blood' (n 2e&ico the entire plant or leaf is used to treat diabetes, stomach disorders, hemorrhoids, hepatitis, nervous problems, and fever' (t is used as a gargle for mouth blisters, and the juice of the plant is used in an e&ternal poultice for kidney and liver inflammation' P! NT CHE#IC !S Pico preto is rich in flavonoids, terpenes, phenylpropanoids, lipids, and benzenoids' *ven as early as "343 and "356, scientists demonstrated that specific chemicals found in the herb ere to&ic to bacteria and fungi' 2any of the flavonoids in pico preto have been documented ith antimalarial activity' (n

"33", S iss scientists isolated several kno n phytochemicals ith antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, hich led them to infer that the presence of these compounds 7may rationalize the use of this plant in traditional medicine in the treatment of ounds, against inflammation and against bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract'7 1e bioactive phytochemicals, discovered in "338, sho ed activity against transformed human cell lines' 0he plant chemicals in pico preto include9 aesculetin, behenic acid, betasitosterol, borneol, butanedioic acid, buto&ylinoleates, cadinols, caffeine, caffeoylic acids, capric acid, daucosterol, elaidic acid, erythronic acids, friedelans, friedelins, germacrene :, glucopyranoses, glucopyranosides, inositol, iso;uercitrin, lauric acid, limonene, linoleic acids, lupeol, luteolin, muurolol, myristic acid, okanin-glucosides, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid, paracoumaric acids, phenylheptatriynes, phytenoic acid, phytol, pilosola A, polyacetylenes, precocene (, pyranoses, ;uercetin, sandaracopimaradiols, s;ualene, stigmasterols, tannic acid, tetrahydro&yaurones, tocopherol;uinones, tridecapentaynenes, tridecatetrayndienes, and vanillic acid' BIO!OGIC ! CTI'ITIES N" C!INIC ! RESE RCH Pico preto has been the subject of recent clinical research that has supported many of its uses in herbal medicine' A research group in 0ai an reported that a pico preto e&tract as capable of protecting the liver of rats from various introduced to&ins kno n to cause liver injury' 0his research group had previously demonstrated pico preto<s anti-inflammatory actions in animals a year earlier .in "33=/' (n "333, a +razilian research group confirmed the anti-inflammatory activities in mice and attributed them to an immune modulation effect .noting the e&tract reduced the amount of pro-inflammatory immune cells in human blood in a previous study/' (n addition, other research demonstrated that a pico preto e&tract inhibited prostaglandin-synthesis and cycloo&ygenase .)>?/ activities' +oth are chemical processes in the body hich are linked to inflammatory diseases .and provide the focus for ne er 7)>?-inhibitor7 classes of antiinflammatory and arthritis pharmaceutical drugs/' >ther areas of research have validated pico preto<s traditional use for ulcers and diabetes' *&tracts of the leaf .as ell as the entire plant/ have clinically sho n to protect rats against chemical- and bacteria-induced gastric lesions and ulcers and, also, to reduce gastric acid secretion' 0he activity noted in these studies as higher than that sho n by t o prescription anti-ulcer drugs' >ther in vivo studies ith rats and mice have demonstrated that pico preto has hypoglycemic activity and is able to improve insulin sensitivity hich validates its long history in herbal

medicine for diabetes' @esearchers .in $666/ attributed the plant<s hypoglycemic properties to a group of glucoside chemicals found in the aerial parts of the plant' Pico preto as also documented to prevent hypertension in rats fed a highfructose diet, and to lo er the resulting .elevated/ blood pressure and triglyceride levels' (n hypertensive rats .including high dietary salt-induced hypertension/, e&tracts of the plant significantly lo ered blood pressure - ithout having an effect on heart rate and urine volume'"3 A leaf e&tract as also sho n to have smooth-muscle rela&ant activity on the heart' Pico preto has long been used in traditional medicine systems for infections of all kinds9 from such upper respiratory tract infections as colds and flu to urinary tract infections and venereal diseases-and even infected ounds on the skin' @esearch has begun to confirm these uses in several in vitro microbial studies' (n "33", scientists in *gypt first documented pico preto<s antimicrobial activity against various pathogens' >ther in vitro studies have demonstrated its antibacterial activity against a ide range of bacteria including Klebsiella pneumonia, Bacillus, Neisseria gonorrhea, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, and Salmonella' *&tracts of the leaf also have been documented to have antimycobacterial activity to ards ycobacterium tuberculosis and . smegmatis' A ater e&tract of the leaf has sho n significant anti-yeast activity to ards Candida albicans' 2uch of pico preto<s antimicrobial actions have been attributed to a group of chemicals called polyacetylenes, hich includes a chemical called phenylheptatriyne' Phenylheptatriyne has sho n strong in vitro activity against numerous human and animal viruses, bacteria, fungi, and molds in very small amounts' (n the tropics, pico preto is also used for snakebite and malaria, research has confirmed these uses as ell' Several studies have confirmed the plant<s antimalarial activity, it reduced malaria in animals by A%-88 percent, and in vitro by 36B' !ith regard to its status as a traditional snakebite remedy, one research group confirmed that a pico preto e&tract could protect mice from lethal injections of neuroto&ic snake venom' 0he last area of research has focused on pico preto<s anticancerous possibilities' *arly research, in various in vitro assay systems designed to predict antitumor activity, indicated positive results in the early "336s' Pico preto first as reported to have antileukemic actions in "33=' 0hen researchers from 0ai an reported .in $66"/ that a simple hot- ater e&tract of pico preto could inhibit the gro th of five strains of human and mouse leukemia at less than $66 mcg per ml in vitro' 0hey summarized their research by saying that pico preto 7' ' ' may prove to be a useful medicinal plant for treating leukemia'7

CURRENT PR CTIC ! USES Pico preto, one of South America<s ell-kno n medicinal plants, is idely used for numerous conditions' 2any of its indigenous uses for inflammation, hypertension, ulcers, diabetes and infections of all kinds are being validated and verified by modern research' Cnfortunately, little is kno n of it in herbal medicine practices in the C'S' - and it is not idely available here' (n South America, it is considered a safe plant to use, in the various animals studies performed to date, no to&ic effects have been reported' Specific to&icology studies have sho n no to&icity hen dosages of .up to/ " g per kg of body eight ere injected into mice'