Medicinal Rubiaceae

The family Rubiaceae consists of about 450 genera and 6500 species of tropical and sub-tropical trees, shrubs, and climbers that can be quite easily recognized in field collection by their leaves, which are opposite and stipulate, the stipule being interpetiolar. Cephaelis, Nauclea, Cinchona, Mitragyna, Corynanthe, Pausinystalia, Uncaria, Pogonopus, and Remijia species are of particular interest in the family because they produce monoter-penoid indole and quinoline alkaloids, some of which are used as therapeutic alkaloids, such as quinine and emetine. Yohimbine occurs in the genera Pseudocinchona and Yohimbe. In human subjects, yohimbine at 0.5 mg/kg produces a psychic state stimulating considerable anxiety with tensless, restlessness, irritability, and schizophrenic psychosis.

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