Porophyllum scoparium

Porophyllum scoparium : shrubby poreleaf, hierba del venado, jarilla, romerillo, pomerillo, Transpecos poreleaf.

In Mexico P.scoparium is used as a remedy for rheumatism, fever and intestinal problems. This herb is currently being used by the Grupo Medico Dr. Zurita SA de CV in Mexico City.

Dr’s Manuel A Zurita Lopez and Maria Esther Zurita Jiminez on their website state,

“We are a Mexican medical group dedicated to comprehensive health, which seeks to take the best of allopathic medicine, homeopathy, homotoxicology and the ancestral knowledge of traditional Mexican indigenous medicine, of which we are deeply proud.” “We feel true passion for the knowledge and use of herbalism, which is a scientific and cultural heritage that we have inherited from both pre-Hispanic and Asian cultures. As Mexicans, in addition to being proud of this heritage, we intend to recover its place within the integral health of patients.”

They state that this herb (hierba del venado) has utility against allergies and as a complement in the treatment of some autoimmune diseases (1) and that this particular variety of the herb has a multitude of uses as it works against the allergy process through the stabilisation and regulation of IgE production (2). It has use in hypersensitivity issues particularly when it occurs in the eyes, skin, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory system. Positive results occur within three weeks and after 9-12 months of use some patients reported the removal of all allergies, particularly when the herb was taken by children. With women in the 28-29 year age group there was some return of allergies and the Dr’s assume that this is due to some hormonal change that is not as evident as the changes in adolescence or menopause. With respect to autoimmune diseases it is recommended that the herbal extract should initially be used with all allopathic medicines (particularly corticosteroids) prescribed by the doctor. The doses of these medications can then be reduced as symptoms improve.

Close up of flower.

The doctors using these herbs also make the claim that P.scoparium is the only herb in this family that has medical utility. They do not say what manner of herbal extract they use (aqueous, dried, alcoholic tincture, etc.) Further investigation has revealed that a “fluid extract” which they call the “D-Z extract” is used. This extract has also shown great promise in eradicating acne.

They list the conditions that have been successfully treated with Hierba del Venado as,

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema, neurodermatitis (3), rosacea, contact dermatitis, urticaria
  • Asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis (stuffy nose, runny nose, itching, intense odor perception)
  • Allergic conjunctivitis (watery, red, itchy eyes)
  • Some types of colitis (when colitis is associated with other allergy diagnoses)
  • Other allergies: “allergy to cold”, allergy to latex, among others.

In Oman (4) this herb is used as a general tonic for rheumatism.(Handa etal 2007, p257)

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, Sjorgens syndrome, non-specific chronic ulcerative colitis, mixed collagen disease
  2. Immunoglobulin E. an antibody secreted by plasma cells in the skin, tonsils and mucosae of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. These cells release chemicals that mediate inflammation and allergic reactions.
  3. a skin condition that starts with an itchy patch of skin. Scratching makes it even itchier. This itch-scratch cycle causes the affected skin to become thick and leathery. Several itchy spots may develop, typically on the neck, wrists, forearms, legs or anal region
  4. The Sultanate of Oman is located in the South Eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Its land borders with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to the west and the Republic of Yemen to the south.

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