Labisia Pumila; female libido booster

Discussion in 'Sex and Drugs' started by Alfa, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

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    117 y/o from The Netherlands
    This is actually an ethnobotanical, but as it is a female aphrodisiac as well, i'll post here. Does anyone have more info on this herb?
    What i know so far is that it is a Malaysian female libido booster with andronergic effects.
     
  2. Alicia

    Alicia Gold Member

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    hmmm... maybe helpful.. might not be. Hope it helps :p

    The source of info swia found was,
    http://www.imr.gov.my/org/hmrc_r2.htm

    Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila)


    ยท Literature review summary

    Labisia pumila (Myrsinaceae), popularly known as "Kacip Fatimah", has been used by many generation of the Malay women to induce and facilitate childbirth as well as a post-partum medicine (Burkill, 1935). Three varieties of L. pumila had been identified and found in Malaysia, they are var. alata, var. pumila and var. lanceolata (Stone, 1988). It is imperative to differentiate the three varieties in terms of their physical and chemical characteristics as well as biological activity, in order to determine the proper plant material for use, hence producing quality herbal medicines with proven safety and efficacy.



    The current high rate of demand and methods of harvesting medicinal plants, particularly from the wild, for the herbal market has lowered natural population sizes for many species. Even for wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), regardless of its historical abundance, in some locations it has been reduced to populations of a few dozen individuals (Van der Voort, 1998). This has made research on the propagation of medicinal plants more urgent than ever.



    There is, presently, a great local market demand for Kacip fatimah especially as afterbirth tonics, however, a paucity exists in technical information on plant identification, propagation techniques, agronomy and sivicultural aspects (Jaganath & Ng, 2000).



    According to Stone (1988), there exists three varieties of Kf in Malaysia, namely, Labisia pumila var. alata, L. pumila var. pumila and L. pumila var. lanceolata. Each variety commands a different use and thus, it is important to ensure that the right variety is used in each case. Species identification is made difficult by the lack of difference in the leaves and petioles between var. alata and var. pumila. Thus, an efficient method of authentification need to be developed.



    Preliminary studies had been conducted previously on Kf using the agroforestry approach involving intercropping of Kf under rubber and rattan (pers. Comm. Khozirah Shaari). However, the planting of Kf as a monoculture crop has yet to be studied but nonetheless, these studies showed that Kf was best propagated by seeds or root cuttings. The plants thrive best in shady areas and non-waterlogged, humus rich soil.



    Kacip Fatimah (KF) has also been used by the indigenous people of the Malay archipelago for menstrual irregularities and post partum (1). The plants are usually boiled and water soluble extract taken as a drink. Interest has recently been shown in the herbal preparation to determine its mode of action and potential pharmacological application. In the mean time commercial preparations as can drinks have been marketed without knowledge of the mode of action, potential toxicity and side effects. Because it is given to women post-partum, the possibility of it being a phytoestrogen was considered highly likely. An earlier in-vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extract of the roots of L. pumila var. alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase (2). Recent studies in the Institute for Medical Research, the water extracts of the KF were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estriol (3).



    Binding to estrogen receptors are being investigated. If they were phytoestrogens, the extract should also displace estradiol binding to the estrogen receptors. These phytoestrogens will then have certain effects on the animals depending on whether they are full estrogen agonists, or antagonists, or partial agonists like clomiphene. It is also possible that KF acts as estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) like Tamoxifen or Raloxifene which is active at certain tissues only (4,5). For example, Reloxifene being active only at the bones and lipids and not the breasts and uterus, common target tissues for estrogen action.



    On the other hand, a lot more is known about estrogen receptors and how it causes effects at the cellular level. There are two isoforms, alpha ( ERa) and beta (ERb) with 97% homology at the DNA binding site and 59% homology at the ligand binding site and more diverse at the or regions of the receptor molecule. Both isomers bind estradiol effectively and combine together or dimerized upon binding to estradiol at the DNA binding site called the estrogen response element ERE. The two isomers differ most at the so called Activation Function 1 and Activation Function 2 ( AF1 and AF2 ) in the N- and C- terminus respectively. When E2 binds to the receptor binding domain, the AF2 is exposed and interacts with cofactors which helps transmit the signal to the DNA (5,6,7). Other mechanism of action also exists in the tissues. Rather than dimerize, the ER may actually bind to DNA bound protein complexes such as Activating protein-1 and causes transrepression.



    The gene expressions are controlled by the AP-1 sits. The SERMS raloxifene and Tamoxifen for example stimulate the AP-1 with ERa or ERb, whilst E2 stimulate the tyranscription only in presence of ERa. If ERb is present then the AP-1 regulated transcription is repressed (8). The E2 signalling action may also be modified by other signal transducing systems, independent of the ligand itself. Example, epidermal growth factor may cause phosphorylation of the serine residues of the estrogen receptor at the AF-1 region and increase the transcription activity of the E2 ER binding (9). The action of estrogens may also be modified by enzymes which may convert the active E2 to inactive Estriol or Estrone similar to the enzyme 11-? hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in the tissues which convert active cortisol to inactive cortisone (10,11).



    In theory therefore, the phytoestrogen may have effects at the site of binding at both or one or other of the Estrogen receptor isomers, or act as an AF or as an activating Protein or like EGF act by modulating the receptor molecule, or as a peripheral enzyme modulator such as 11HSD. Recent studies at the IMR gave some clues to its mode of action. Given to normal female rats, the serum level of estradiol E2 were unchanged but the level of free testosterone wee significantly higher. In castrated rats, there were no significant effects on the levels of E2 or testosterone. These preliminary data suggest that Kacip Fatimah does not increase estrogen levels and but instead causes increase free testosterone from the ovaries a it does not work without ovaries. The increase in free testosterone may cause increase in libido and sexuality in women. This could be the effect that the women taking Kacip Fatimah are looking for!! It also means the Herb should not work in menopausal women if the effect is via increase production of testosterone ifrom the ovaries. On the other hand, if it were to work by peripheral enzymes converting E2 to testosterone, then it is independent of the ovaries but still needs adequate levels of estradiol. In women without pituitaries therefore, the herb should not work, unless the effect is like Clomiphene and causes increase in secretion of FSH from the pituitary, or by antagonizing the hormone, Inhibin produced by the ovaries at the pituitary level.



    Clearly the potential effect of Kacip Fatimah as a SERM and any possible increase risk for breast or uterine cancer has to be considered. The following pharmacological studies, in-vitro and in-vivo are being proposed to determine the possible mechanism of actions of KF, and the Clinical trials (Phase I, II, III) would evaluate the physiological effects of Kacip Fatimah in women and support the basic research being carried out in the IMR.



    A small genus of slightly woody plants of the family Myrsinaceae, Labisia pumila, is found in Indochina and throughout Malaysia 1. It grows wild in the Malaysia rain forest about 80 to 100 metres above sea level. Three different varieties of L. pumila were identified that is Labisia pumila var alata, var. pumila .



    The traditional herb, Labisia pumila or better known locally as "Kacip Fatimah", are used by Malay women much in childbirth in inducing and ease delivery and as a postpartum medication to help contract the birth channel, to delay conception and to regain body strength 2. Other claimed traditional uses of the plants include used effectively to treat dysentery, rheumatism and gonorrhoea. It is also used as antiflatulence by helping to drive away and prevent the formation of gas. It has been claimed to be used as an anti-dysmenorrhoea, helps in cleansing and avoiding painful or difficult menstruation. The plant will also help to firm and tone the abdominal muscles. All these properties and biological activity is due to the presence of phytoestrogens that is naturally found in the plant.



    Not much work or scientific studies have been done on this plant. Two studies have shown that the plant exhibit oestrogenic properties. Jamal et al. (1999)2 in vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extracts of the roots of Labisia pumila var alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase. Husniza et al. (2000)3 shows the water extracts of the Kacip Fatimah were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estradiol.



    Thus this study is proposed to assessed the toxicological aspect of the traditional herb and evaluate the safety and efficacy of the standardised preparation of Kacip Fatimah and thereby to be used as a herbal medicine.



    Kacip Fatimah (KF) or Labisia pumila,, a plant from the family Myrsinaceae, has been used by the indigenous people of the Malay archipelago for menstrual irregularities and post partum (1). The plants are usually boiled and water soluble extract taken as a drink. Interest has recently been shown in the herbal preparation to determine its mode of action and potential pharmacological application. In the mean time commercial preparations as can drinks have been marketed without knowledge of the mode of action, potential toxicity and side effects. Because it is given to women post-partum, the possibility of it being a phytoestrogen was considered highly likely. An earlier in-vitro study using human endometrial adenocarcinoma cells of the Ishikawa-Var I line showed that the ethanolic extract of the roots of L. pumila var. alata exhibited a weak but specific estrogenic effect on the cells, resulting in enhanced secretion of alkaline phosphatase (2). Recent studies in the Institute for Medical Research, the water extracts of the KF were able to displace estradiol binding to antibodies raised against estradiol, making it similar to other estrogens such as estrone and estriol (3). Binding to estrogen receptors are being investigated. If they were phytoestrogens, the extract should also displace estradiol binding to the estrogen receptors. These phytoestrogens will then have certain effects on the animals depending on whether they are full estrogen agonists, or antagonists, or partial agonists like clomiphene. It is also possible that KF acts as estrogen receptor modulators (SERMS) like Tamoxifen or Raloxifene which is active at certain tissues only (4,5). For example, Reloxifene being active only at the bones and lipids and not the breasts and uterus, common target tissues for estrogen action.
     
    1. 4/5,
      Thanks for the helping. . . hand o: q;
      Jan 22, 2008
    2. 5/5,
      Helpful SWIa: Good find
      Dec 13, 2006
    3. 4/5,
      nice thorough information - thanks
      Dec 12, 2006
    4. 5/5,
      informative article
      Dec 11, 2006