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Phytother Res. 2011 Jul;25(7):947-58. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3396.

A review of traditional remedies of ciguatera fish poisoning in the Pacific.

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UMR 152-Laboratoire de Pharmacochimie des Substances Naturelles et Pharmacophores Redox, Université de Toulouse, UPS, 118 Rte de Narbonne, F-31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France.


Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is an illness caused by eating tropical coral fish contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). The clinical management of patients with CFP is generally supportive and symptomatic in nature as no antidote exists. Of the many drugs prescribed, several have been claimed to be efficient in small, uncontrolled studies, but the outcomes of treatments with these medicines are often contradictory. In New Caledonia, traditional remedies are commonly employed in the treatment of CFP and of the 90 plant species catalogued as useful in CFP, the most popular herbal remedy by far is a decoction prepared from the leaves of Heliotropium foertherianum Diane & Hilger (Boraginaceae). Other important plants used in the treatment of CFP include Euphorbia hirta L. (Euphorbiaceae) and Vitex L. sp. (Lamiaceae). This review focuses on the evidence for efficacy of these species and pharmacological studies which support their use. Other plants used in CFP and the conventional treatment of CFP are also discussed briefly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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