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Ramgoat Regular

Ramgoat regular is native to Central America and the Caribbean, but now grows in Africa and Asia. The shrub can grow up to 1.5m in height and has bright green leaves and yellow flowers. Ramgoat regular is related to damiana, which is similar in appearance and shares some of its medicinal properties.

Traditional Uses

Rat Ears  

Scientific Name:

(Turnera ulmifolia - Turneraceae)
Other Names:
Ramgoat Dashalong, Holly Rose, Chanana, Cuban Buttercup, Yellow Alder
Parts Used:
Leaves, Whole Plant

In Jamaica ramgoat regular is a traditional remedy for colds. The tea is also used as a general tonic for debility, constipation and fever and externally for prickly heat. Ramgoat regular is reputed to cause abortions, so care must be exercised when using it.

In the Eastern Caribbean, ramgoat regular is boiled and taken for diarrhoea, piles and menstrual cramps. It is also mixed with carry-mi-seed and used for fevers, colds and for expulsion of the afterbirth. In Brazil, tea made from ramgoat regular is traditionally used to treat gastric problems, including gastric and duodenal ulcers and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Modern Research & Uses

Recent research in Brazil has confirmed the traditional use of ramgoat regular for both duodenal and gastric ulcers. Phenolic compounds in the herb are thought to be responsible for these anti-ulcerogenic properties.

Another study in Brazil reported that ramgoat regular has significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties might explain why ramgoat regular is reputed to be effective in treating degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and other muskulo-skeletal conditions.

Results from lab trials with rats, indicated that a leaf extract from ramgoat regular was able to lower blood sugar levels in the rats. Given the complex plant chemicals, which are in ramgoat regular, there should be further research into potential uses of the plant.

Plant Chemicals

The plant chemicals identified in ramgoat regular include: phenolic compounds; alkaloids; flavonoids; saponins; cyanogenic glycosides; steroids; proteins; carbohydrates and essential oils

Caution!
Ramgoat regular should not to be used in pregnancy due to its reputation as an abortifacient.
 

References

  • Asprey, GF & Thornton, P - Medicinal Plants of Jamaica Parts 1-4 - West Indian Journal of Medicine vol. 2-4 (1953-1955)
  • Gracioso, J de S et al - Effects of tea from Turnera Ulmifolia L. on mouse gastric mucosa support the Turneraceae as a new source of anti-ulcerogenic drugs - Biol Pharm Bull (2002) Apr; 25(4): 487-491
  • Honeychurch, PN Caribbean wild plants & their uses - (1986) - Macmillan Caribbean
  • Kumar, S & Sharma, A – Pharmacognostic Ivestigations on Turnera ulmifolia – Nigerian Journal of Natural Products & Medicine, vol 11 (2007) pp 5-9
  • Mitchell & Ahmad - A Review of Medicinal Plant Research at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica 1948-2001 - WI Med J (2006);55(4):243
  • Prabu, D et al – Effects of Turnera Ulmifolia (Linn.) Leaves on Blood Glucose Levels in Normal and Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats – DPT (2009); July; Vol 8:2 pp 77-81
  • Nascimneto, MA et al - Turnera Ulmifolia (Turneraceae) preliminary study of its anti-oxidant activity - Bioresour Technol (2006) Aug; 97(12): 1387-91
  • Robertson, D - Jamaican Herbs: Nutritional & Medicinal Values - (1982) - Jamaican Herbs Ltd