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The Calabar Bean and its Alkaloids

From Magic, via Miracle, to Memory

Authors: Robinson, Brian

  • One of the most exciting and interesting aspects of the study of natural products is the “field work” involving ethnological and ethnobotanical studies and which, where apposite, have been alluded to in the present treatise
  • Many texts on alkaloids are limited to chemical aspects, whereas the somewhat unique and therapeutically significant biological activities of the Calabar bean’s alkaloids (particularly l-physostigmine) has led to a detailed and through presentation of these facets in the present treatise
  • Throughout this present study, along with a detailed account of what has been done, investigations of what remains to be done have been high-lighted and approaches to effecting this are suggested, including the interpretations of already – published data
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eBook $169.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: January 19, 2020
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1191-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover $219.99
price for USA in USD
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: January 22, 2020
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1190-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

Investigations into Calabar beans (the dried ripe seeds of Physostigma venenosum) and their alkaloidal components compose a classical scientific journey throughout some one-and-a-half centuries and not only represent a fascinating aspect of the history of medicine but which is, moreover, still ongoing at the forefront of chemical and medical discovery. Those in particular involving its major such component, l-physostigmine, have led to an understanding of some of the fundamental mechanisms occurring in physiology, pharmacology and biochemistry and, either actually or potentially (by providing a template and thereby acting as a “lead compound”) have provided a useful treatment for a variety of neurological disorders associated with irregularities in cholinergic transmission in which augmentation of cholinergic activity has proved to be beneficial.

Physostigma venenosum  is distributed throughout equatorial West Africa and having a colourful history – by virtue of their former use as an ordeal poison in trials for witchcraft in the Efik society of Old Calabar – are its dried ripe seeds (Calabar beans). The major toxic compound isolated from these, l-physostigmine, which is also known as eserine and is the only alkaloid as yet also to be isolated from a microbial source (along with l-N(8)-norphysostigmine) and is the first alkaloid found to contain a 1,2,3,3a,8,8a-hexahydropyrrolo[2,3-b]indole ring system, and the first natural product found to contain a carbamyl group. It also became one of the first examples whereby the mechanism of action of a drug could be defined at the molecular level relatively simply, played a crucial role in the Nobel Prize – winning discovery of the mechanism of neurohumoral transmission, and has led to products for the treatment of a wide range of disorders associated with deficiencies in cholinergic transmission. Several other alkaloids have also been isolated from the Calabar bean. For some of these, structures have been established, syntheses effected and pharmacology investigated.

Buy this book

eBook $169.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: January 19, 2020
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1191-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover $219.99
price for USA in USD
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
  • Due: January 22, 2020
  • ISBN 978-94-024-1190-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Calabar Bean and its Alkaloids
Book Subtitle
From Magic, via Miracle, to Memory
Authors
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-94-024-1191-1
DOI
10.1007/978-94-024-1191-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-94-024-1190-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 218
Number of Illustrations
12 b/w illustrations
Topics