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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 164215, 7 pages
Research Article

Biological Activities and Chemical Characterization of Cordia verbenacea DC. as Tool to Validate the Ethnobiological Usage

1Universidade Estadual do Ceará-UECE-60740-000, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Rede Nordeste de Biotecnologia-RENORBIO-60740-000, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
3Faculdade Leão Sampaio-CE-FALS-63180-000, Juazeiro do Norte, CE, Brazil
4Universidade Regional do Cariri-URCA-63.100-000, Crato, CE, Brazil
5Universidade Federal do Maranhão-UFMA-65085-580, São Luís, MA, Brazil
6Universidade Federal de Santa Maria-UFSM-97105-900, Santa Maria, RS, Brazil
7Laboratório de Microbiologia e Biologia Molecular, Departamento de Química Biológica, Universidade Regional do Cariri-URCA, Crato-CE, Brasil. Rua Cel. Antonio Luis 1161, Pimenta 63105-000, Brazil

Received 5 April 2013; Revised 1 May 2013; Accepted 4 May 2013

Academic Editor: Ulysses Paulino de Albuquerque

Copyright © 2013 Edinardo Fagner Ferreira Matias et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Knowledge of medicinal plants is often the only therapeutic resource of many communities and ethnic groups. “Erva-baleeira”, Cordia verbenacea DC., is one of the species of plants currently exploited for the purpose of producing a phytotherapeutic product extracted from its leaves. In Brazil, its major distribution is in the region of the Atlantic Forest and similar vegetation. The crude extract is utilized in popular cultures in the form of hydroalcoholic, decoctions and infusions, mainly as antimicrobial, antiinflammatory and analgesic agents. The aim of the present study was to establish a chemical and comparative profile of the experimental antibacterial activity and resistance modifying activity with ethnopharmacological reports. Phytochemical prospecting and HPLC analysis of the extract and fractions were in agreement with the literature with regard to the presence of secondary metabolites (tannins and flavonoids). The extract and fraction tested did not show clinically relevant antibacterial activity, but a synergistic effect was observed when combined with antibiotic, potentiating the antibacterial effect of aminoglycosides. We conclude that tests of antibacterial activity and modulating the resistance presented in this work results confirm the ethnobotanical and ethnopharmacological information, serving as a parameter in the search for new alternatives for the treatment of diseases.