dinsdag, oktober 10, 2017

Heilige tabak?

Nicotiana rustica in eigen tuin
Laat het duidelijk zijn. Ik heb nooit tabak in welke vorm dan ook gerookt. Behalve... even bij mijn plechtige communie op twaalfjarige leeftijd, dan meer als ritueel om volwassen te worden. Toch wil ik hier wat positieve dingen vertellen over die 'dodelijke' Nicotiana.

Nicotiana rustica is bij Indiaanse volkeren altijd als een heilige plant beschouwd. Hij was bekend onder de namen 'mapacho', 'heilige tabak', 'sjamaanse tabak' en 'wilde tabak'. De plant komt vooral voor in het tropische regenwoud van het Amazonegebied, de bladeren bevatten zowat 20 maal meer nicotine dan andere Noord-Amerikaanse tabaksplanten.
Nicotiana rustica werd vooral als ritueel middel gebruikt door bijna alle inheemse stammen van Amerika. Het zou de geesten gunstig stemmen en helpen bij een goede oogst of bij het verzamelen van voedsel. Daarnaast werd de plant gebruikt tijdens genezingsrituelen en andere ceremonies.

De plant werd ook als vredespijp gerookt. Nicotiana rustica speelt nog steeds een rol bij rituelen van de sjamanen in het Amazonegebied. Sommige stammen gebruiken het blad bij de bereiding van ayahuasca, maar meestal wordt de plant gerookt tijdens ayahuasca rituelen. De rook wordt als heilig beschouwd en dient om te genezen en te beschermen.

Bij deze dan ook nog een waslijst van wetenschappelijke onderzoeken over de 'gezonde' tabak.
It is well known that tobacco has dangerous effects on human health. However, some reports have demonstrated that this plant has some beneficial effects such as its action against ulcerative colitis pathogenesis due to its nicotine content and possibly some flavonoid components found in the ethanol smoke extract (Ko & Cho, 2005). In fact, there are constituents in tobacco smoke other than nicotine that have been reported to possess anti-oxidative properties (Chen & Loo, 1995Chen C, Loo G (1995): Cigarette smoke extract inhibits oxidative modification of low density lipoprotein. Atherosclerosis 112, 177–185. [Google Scholar]Kamisaki et al., 1997Kamisaki Y, Wada K, Nakamoto K, Kishimoto Y, Ashida K, Itoh T (1997): Inhibition by cigarette smoke of lipid peroxidation induced neurotransmitter release. Life Sci 60, 229–233. [Google Scholar]Lapenna et al., 1995Lapenna D, DeGioia S, Mezzetti A, Ciofani G, Consoli A, Marzio L, Cuccurullo F (1995): Cigarette smoke, ferritin, and lipid peroxidation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 151, 431–435.[Crossref][PubMed][Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]).

Nicotiana rustica Linn. (Solanaceae) is an annual plant originating in Andean South America. Since antiquity, this plant has been used as a sedative by the old civilizations, in particular Maya tribes, to treat convulsions, fever, nervous affections, and pain of the eyes and the skin (Tierra, 1986Tierra M (1986): Healing herbs - tobacco: Native blessing or whiteman’s curse. Shaman’s Drum 9, 56–58. [Google Scholar]).

In ancient China, snuff was considered as a good remedy for many common illnesses such as colds, headaches, and stomach disorders. Therefore, it was preserved in small medicine bottles like other Chinese medicines (Denis, 2007Denis SKL (2007): Chinese snuff bottles: From the sanctum of enlightened respect III. Laurence King Publishing, London. pp. 7–8. [Google Scholar]).

In Morocco, it is used to treat ear pain, lesions, and cutaneous burns in rural zones. In traditional medicine, N. rustica is used as a vehicle for therapeutic cigarettes: mixed with Origanum vulgare Linn. (Lamiaceae) for pain of the throat, with Eucalyptus for bronchitis, or with leaves of Datura or Brugmansia for asthma and emphysema. This plant is also chewed as a preventive for toothache and decay (Bellakhdar, 1997Bellakhdar J (1997): La pharmacopée marocaine traditionnelle médecine arabe ancienne et savoirs populaires. Ibis Press, Paris, pp. 501–503. [Google Scholar]).

In addition, nicotine, the psychoactive component of tobacco products, is widely consumed by humans (Shields, 2000Shields PG (2000): Epidemiology of tobacco carcinogenesis. Curr Oncol Rep 2, 257–262.[Crossref][Google Scholar]Sutherland, 2002Sutherland G (2002): Current approaches to the management of smoking cessation. Drugs 62, 53–61.[Crossref][PubMed][Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]). The drug exhibits several pharmacological actions in the central and peripheral nervous systems and releases a number of neurotransmitters (Mihailescu et al., 2002Mihailescu S, Guzman-Marin R, DominguezMdel C, Drucker-Colin R(2002): Mechanisms of nicotine actions on dorsal raphe serotoninergic neurons. Eur J Pharmacol 452, 77–82. [Google Scholar]Miller et al., 2003Miller DK, Harrod SB, Green TA, Wong MY, Bardo MT, Dwoskin LP (2003): Lobeline attenuates locomotor stimulation induced by repeated nicotine administration in rats. Pharmacol Biochem Be 74, 279–286. [Google Scholar]). It induces pharmacological effects by acting on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) (Dani, 2001Dani JA (2001): Overview of nicotinic receptors and their roles in the central nervous system. Biol Psychiat 49, 166–174. [Google Scholar]). It has been used as an alternative therapeutic agent for treating ulcerative colitis in some clinical trials (Guslandi & Tittobello, 1998Guslandi M, Tittobello A (1998): Outcome of ulcerative colitis after treatment with transdermal nicotine. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 10, 513–515.[Crossref][PubMed][Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]Sandborn et al., 1997Sandborn WJ, Tremaine WJ, Offord KP, Lawson GM, Petersen BT, Batts KP, Croghan IT, Dale LC, Schroeder DR, Hurt RD (1997): Transdermal nicotine for mildly to moderately active ulcerative colitis. Ann Intern Med 126, 364–371. [Google Scholar]). Other animal and clinical studies have suggested the participation of the endogenous opioid system in different behavioral responses to nicotine, mainly concerning its antinociceptive and addictive properties (Berrendero et al., 2005Berrendero F, Mendiza´bal V, Robledo P, Galeote L, Bilkei-Gorzo A, Zimmer A, Maldonado R (2005): Nicotine-induced antinociception, rewarding effects, and physical dependence are decreased in mice lacking the preproenkephalin gene. J Neurosci 25, 1103–1112. [Google Scholar]).

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