Hercampuri is a name applied to two species of Gentianella – Gentianella nitida and Gentianella alborosea. It has been used in Peruvian folk medicine since before the time of the Incas. These small shrubs are native to the high Andes of Peru. The Junin Province is a region of Peru that grows hercampuri.
The whole plant[which?] is used as an infusion. The roots are thin and yellow in color and the infusion of hercampuri also has a yellow color.
The infusion of hercampuri is one of the most bitter flavors of all herbs. The beneficial compounds that give hercampuri its unique taste contribute to the bitterness of the infusion. Chemical constituents isolated from Gentianella nitida include amaronitidin and nitiol.
- Nobuo Kawahara; Masato Nozawa; Diana Flores; Pablo Bonilla; Setsuko Sekita; Motoyoshi Satake (2000). "Sesterterpenoid from Gentianella alborosea". Phytochemistry. 53 (8): 881–884. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(99)00518-X. PMID 10820797.
- Nobuo Kawahara; Kazuo Masuda; Setsuko Sekita; Motoyoshi Satake (2001). "A new secoiridoid glucoside, amaronitidin, from the Peruvian folk medicine "hercampuri" (Gentianella nitida)". Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 49 (6): 771–772. doi:10.1248/cpb.49.771. PMID 11411536.
- Nobuo Kawahara; Masato Nozawa; Atsuyo Kurata; Takashi Hakamatsuka; Setsuko Sekita; Motoyoshi Satake (1999). "A novel sesterterpenoid, nitiol, as a potent enhancer of IL-2 gene expression in a human T cell line, from the Peruvian folk medicine "hercumpuri" (Gentianella nitida)" (PDF). Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 47 (9): 1344–1345. PMID 10517015.
- Rojas R, Doroteo V, Bustamante B, Bauer J, Lock O (December 2004). "Antimicrobial and free radical scavenging activity of Gentianella nitida". Fitoterapia. 75 (7–8): 754–757. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2004.09.011. PMID 15567257.
- Acero N, Llinares F, Galán de Mera A, Oltra B, Muñoz-Mingarro D (2006). "Apoptotic and free radical scavenging properties of the methanolic extract of Gentianella alborosea". Fitoterapia. 77 (6): 475–477. doi:10.1016/j.fitote.2006.05.020. PMID 16814959.
Gentianella alborosea ("Hercampure") is a Peruvian species used in folk medicine for the treatment of a variety of health disorders. We tested the free radical scavenging (DPPH) and induction of apoptosis on a human uterus tumor cell line (HeLa) by its methanolic extract. The results showed a noticeable radical scavenging activity and a dose-dependent apoptotic effect.
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