[ Pharmaceutical Sciences Asia - ONLINE ]
E-ISSN 2586-8470
[ Journal Abbreviation: Pharm.Sci.Asia ]
Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  FORMER NAME   "Mahidol University Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences" Published Since 1974


DOI: 10.29090/psa.2022.03.21.220Pharm Sci Asia 2022; 49(3), 230-241

An ethnobotanical study of the genus Smilax in Thailand and its botanical authentication for Hua-khao-yen crude drugs

Pithkanda Pansumrit1, Thanika Pathomwichaiwat1, Pornchai Kladwong2, Suppachai Tiyaworanant3, Varangrat Nguanchoo4, Bhanubong Bongcheewin1*

1 Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mahidol University, Ratchathewi, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Biology, Center of Excellence on Biodiversity and Applied Taxonomic Research Center, Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
3 Department of Pharmacognosy and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
4 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Phetchaburi Rajabhat University, Phetchaburi, Thailand

The first ethnobotanical work of the genus Smilax in Thailand was carried out to investigate the medicinal use of the Smilax species by folk healers, using the semi-structured interview, questionnaire survey, and literature review. Three quantitative indices were calculated, i.e. the Use Value (UV), the Relative Frequency Citation (RFC), and the Informant Agreement Ratio (IAR). Eleven species were recorded. Three of which, i.e. S. bracteata, S. hemsleyana, and S. leucophylla, are new records as medicinal species in Thailand. The genus has the potential use for the treatment of the genitourinary illnesses (IAR=1.00) and the neoplasms (IAR=0.71). Smilax glabra was the most used species with UVs=0.67, RFC=0.39. The results indicate the species being threatened due to over harvesting from the natural habitat. Furthermore, this study shows that the semi-structured interview coupled with the questionnaire survey is useful to gather the ethnobotanical data of a specific plant group. Botanical authentication of the commercial crude drugs based on chromatographic fingerprinting and macroscopic characters was carried out to verify the botanical identity of the homonym Hua-khao-yen crude drugs. Smilax glabra and Premna herbacea (Lamiaceae) were authenticated as the source of Hua-khao-yen-nuea and the Hua-khao-yen tai crude drugs, respectively.


Smilacaceae, Folk medicine, Chemical authentication, Market survey, Thai materia medica

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