Several North American Indian tribes used Cypridedium parviflorum, Lady Slipper as a nerve medicine. Recent scientific findings have shown it to produce cypripedin, an antispasmodic, which lessens anxiety and restlessness (13, 267).
The Greeks and Romans employed delphinium. Dioscorides, a first-century Greek physician famous for his writings on medicines, mentions it. Delphinine, the plant's main alkaloid, has effects similar to those of aconitine, the main alkaloid of aconite. Delphinine has been employed to treat neuralgia, rheumatism, and asthma, although improper dosage and administration can prove fatal. Delphinium has been used to expel worms and other intestinal parasites. However, scientific efficacy is not well established, and delphinium may cause cardiac problems. For this reason, it is not recommended by Germany's herbal experts, Commission E (239).
Members of this Genus are known to produce delphinine C34H47NO9, veatchine, atisine C22H33O2N, lycoctonine C27H37NO5(OH)4, and anthocyanins (97, 168, 169, 238).
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