Espinheira Santa Leaf Powder - Maytenus ilicifolia Espinheira Santa Powder

Maytenus ilicifolia

This product is no longer sold by Raintree Nutrition, Inc. See the main product page for more information why. Try doing a google search for products available from other suppliers or see the rainforest products page to find other companies selling rainforest herbal supplements or rainforest plants if you want to make this rainforest formula yourself.

Espinheira santa contains a group of well known plant chemicals called maytansinoids including two important chemicals named maytansine and maytanprine. These plant chemicals have been studied since the early 1970's and are now developed into several chemotherapy drugs.* For more information about espinheira santa (Maytenus ilicifolia), please refer to the Database File for Espinheira Santa in the Tropical Plant Database. To see pictures of this plant, click here. Check out the new Discussion Forums to see if anyone is talking about how they are using this natural rainforest remedy.

Traditional Uses:* for cancer (melanoma, carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, leukemia); for stomach disorders (ulcers, acid reflux, gastritis, dyspepsia, indigestion, and to tone, balance, and strengthen the gastric tract); as a menstrual stimulant and for estrogen hormonal balancing during menopause; for adrenal exhaustion and to support adrenal function; for detoxification (skin, blood, kidney, stomach, adrenals)

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea): Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken in ½ to 1 cup dosages, 2-3 times daily. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

  • Animal studies suggests that water extracts of espinheira santa may have estrogenic effects and reduce fertility in females. Women seeking treatment for infertility, attempting to get pregnant, or those with estrogen positive cancers should not use this plant.
Drug Interactions: None reported.

Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on espinheira santa be found at PubMed/Medline. A partial listing of the third-party published research on espinheira santa is shown below:

Anticancerous & Antileukemic Actions:
Wang, Y., et al. "Pristimerin causes G1 arrest, induces apoptosis, and enhances the chemosensitivity to gemcitabine in pancreatic cancer cells." PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e43826.
Mu, X., et al. "Pristimerin inhibits breast cancer cell migration by up- regulating regulator of G protein signaling 4 expression." Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(4):1097-104.
Mu, X., et al. "Pristimerin, a triterpenoid, inhibits tumor angiogenesis by targeting VEGFR2 activation." Molecules. 2012 Jun 5;17(6):6854-68.
Yadav, V., et al. "Targeting inflammatory pathways by triterpenoids for prevention and treatment of cancer." Toxins (Basel). 2010 Oct;2(10):2428-66.
Lu, Z., et al. "Pristimerin induces apoptosis in imatinib-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia cells harboring T315I mutation by blocking NF-kappaB signaling and depleting Bcr-Abl." Mol Cancer. 2010 May 19;9:112.
Petronelli, A., et al. "Triterpenoids as new promising anticancer drugs." Anticancer Drugs. 2009 Nov;20(10):880-92
Byun, J., et al. "Reactive oxygen species-dependent activation of Bax and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 is required for mitochondrial cell death induced by triterpenoid pristimerin in human cervical cancer cells." Mol Pharmacol. 2009 Oct;76(4):734-44.
Tiedemann, R., et al. "Identification of a potent natural triterpenoid inhibitor of proteosome chymotrypsin-like activity and NF-kappaB with antimyeloma activity in vitro and in vivo." Blood. 2009 Apr 23;113(17):4027-37.
Costa, P., et al. "Antiproliferative activity of pristimerin isolated from Maytenus ilicifolia (Celastraceae) in human HL-60 cells." Toxicol In Vitro. 2008 Jun;22(4):854-63.
Liu Z, et al. “Metabolism studies of the anti-tumor agent maytansine and its analog ansamitocin P-3 using liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry.” J. Mass. Spectrom. 2005; 40(3): 389-99.
Nakao, H., et al. “Cytotoxic activity of maytanprine isolated from Maytenus diversifolia in human leukemia K562 cells.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 2004; 27(8): 1236-40.
Cassady, J. M., et al. “Recent developments in the maytansinoid antitumor agents.” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 2004; 52(1): 1-26.
Ohsaki, A., et al. “Four new triterpenoids from Maytenus ilicifolia.” J. Nat. Prod. 2004; 67(3): 469-71.
Horn, R. C., et al. “Antimutagenic activity of extracts of natural substances in the Salmonella/microsome assay.” Mutagenesis. 2003 Mar; 18(2): 113-8.
Buffa Filho, W., et al. “Quantitative determination for cytotoxic Friedo-nor-oleanane derivatives from five morphological types of Maytenus ilicifolia (Celastraceae) by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography.” Phytochem. Anal. 2002 Mar-Apr; 13(2): 75-8.
Miura, N. et al. “Protective effects of triterpene compounds against the cytotoxicity of cadmium in HepG2 cells.” Mol. Pharm. 1999; 56(6); 1324–28.
Liu, C., et al. “Eradication of large colon tumor xenografts by targeted delivery of maytansinoids.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 1996 Aug; 93(16): 8618-23.
Shirota, O., et al. “Cytotoxic aromatic triterpenes from Maytenus ilicifolia and Maytenus chuchuhuasca.” J. Nat. Prod. 1994; 57(12): 1675–81.
Itokawa, H., et al. “Cangorins F–J, five additional oligo-nicotinated sesquiterpene polyesters from Maytenus ilicifolia." J. Nat. Prod. 1994; 57(4): 460–70.
Arisawa, M., et al. “Cell growth inhibition of KB cells by plant extracts.” Natural Med. 1994; 48(4): 338–347.
Itokawa, H., et al. “Oligo-nicotinated sesquiterpene polyesters from Maytenus ilicifolia." J. Nat. Prod. 1993; 56(9); 1479–1485.
Itokawa, H., et al. “Antitumor substances from South American plants.” Pharmacobio. Dyn. 1992; 15(1): S
Fox, B. W. “Medicinal plants in tropical medicine. 2. Natural products in cancer treatment from bench to the clinic.” Trans. R. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. 1991; 85(1): 22-5.
Ravry, M. J., et al. “Phase II evaluation of maytansine (NSC 153858) in advanced cancer. A Southeastern Cancer Study Group trial.” Am. J. Clin. Oncol. 1985 Apr; 8(2): 148-50.
Suffnes, M. J., et al. “Current status of the NCI plant and animal product program.” J. Nat. Prod. 1982; 45: 1–14.
Cabanillas, F., et al. “Phase I study of maytansine using a 3-day schedule.” Cancer Treatment Reports. 1976; (60): 1127–39.
Chabner, B. A., et al. “Initial clinical trials of mayansine, an antitumor plant alkaloid.” Cancer Treatment Reports. 1978; (62): 429–33.
O'Connell, M. J., et al. “Phase II trial of maytansine in patients with advanced colorectal carcinoma.” Cancer Treatment Reports. 1978 (62); 1237-38.
Wolpert-Defillipes, M. K., et al. “Initial studies on the cytotoxic action of maytansine, a novel ansa macrolide.” Biochemical Pharmacology. 1975; 24: 751–54.
Melo, A. M., et al. “First observations on the topical use of primin, plumbagin and maytenin in patients with skin cancer.” Rev. Inst. Antibiot. 1974 Dec.
Monache, F. D., et al., “Maitenin: A new antitumoral substance from Maytenus sp.” Gazetta Chimica Italiana 1972; 102: 317–20.
de Santana, C. F., et al. “Primeiras observacoes sobre o emprego da maitenina em pacientes cancerosos.” Rev. Inst. Antibiot. 1971; 11: 37–49.
Hartwell, J. L. “Plants used against cancer: A survey.” Lloydia. 1968; 31: 114.

Anti-ulcer, Antacid & Gastroprotective Actions:
Baggio, C., et al. "In vivo/in vitro studies of the effects of the type II arabinogalactan isolated from Maytenus ilicifolia Mart. ex Reissek on the gastrointestinal tract of rats." Z Naturforsch C. 2012 Jul-Aug;67(7-8):405-10.
Baggio, C., et al. "Muscarinic-dependent inhibition of gastric emptying and intestinal motility by fractions of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart ex. Reissek." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jun 25;123(3):385-91.
Baggio, C., et al. "Flavonoid-rich fraction of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart. ex. Reiss protects the gastric mucosa of rodents through inhibition of both H+,K+ -ATPase activity and formation of nitric oxide." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Sep 25;113(3):433-40.
de Andrade, S.., et al. "Evaluation of the antiulcerogenic activity of Maytenus robusta (Celastraceae) in different experimental ulcer models." J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Sep 5;113(2):252-7.
Cipriani, T. R., et al. "A polysaccharide from a tea (infusion) of Maytenus ilicifolia leaves with anti-ulcer protective effects." J. Nat. Prod. 2006; 69(7):1018-21.
Ferreira, P. M., et al. “A lyophilized aqueous extract of Maytenus ilicifolia leaves inhibits histamine-mediated acid secretion in isolated frog gastric mucosa.” Planta Med. 2004 Jun; 219(2): 319-24.
Jorge, R. M., et al. “Evaluation of antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities of Maytenus ilicifolia.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Sep; 94(1): 93-100.
Tabach, R., et al. “Evaluation of the anti-ulcerogenic activity of a dry extract of Maytenus ilicifolia Martius ex. Reiss produced by a jet spouted bed dryer.” Pharmazie. 2003 Aug; 58(8): 573-6.
Leite, J. P., et al. “Isolation and HPLC quantitative analysis of flavonoid glycosides from Brazilian beverages (Maytenus ilicifolia and M. aquifolium).” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2001; 49(8): 3796-801.
Queiroga, C. L., et al. “Evaluation of the antiulcerogenic activity of friedelan-3beta-ol and friedelin isolated from Maytenus ilicifolia (Celastraceae).”J. Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Oct; 72(3): 465-8.
Souza-Formigoni, M. L., et al. “Antiulcerogenic effects of two Maytenus species in laboratory animals.” J. Ethnopharmacol. August 1991.

Anti-inflammatory, Pain-Relieving & Muscle-Relaxant Actions:
Jorge, R. M., et al. “Evaluation of antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities of Maytenus ilicifolia.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Sep; 94(1): 93-100.
Hnatyszyn, O., et al. “Argentinian plant extracts with relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the corpus cavernosum of guinea pig.” Phytomedicine. 2003 Nov; 10(8): 669-74.

Antioxidant Actions:
Baggio, C., et al. "In vivo/in vitro studies of the effects of the type II arabinogalactan isolated from Maytenus ilicifolia Mart. ex Reissek on the gastrointestinal tract of rats." Z Naturforsch C. 2012 Jul-Aug;67(7-8):405-10.
dos Santos, V., et al. "Evaluation of antioxidant capacity and synergistic associations of quinonemethide triterpenes and phenolic substances from Maytenus ilicifolia (Celastraceae)." Molecules. 2010 Oct 11;15(10):6956-73.
Vellosa, J. C., et al. "Antioxidant activity of Maytenus ilicifolia root bark." Fitoterapia. 2006 Apr; 77(3): 243-4.
Soares, L. A., et al. "Development and validation of a LC-method for determination of catechin and epicatechin in aqueous extractives from leaves of Maytenus ilicifolia." J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 2004 Nov; 36(4): 787-90.
Corsino, J., et al. "Antioxidant flavan-3-ols and flavonol glycosides from Maytenus aquifolium." Phytother. Res. 2003 Sep; 17(8) :913-6.

Hypotensive & Vasorelaxant Actions:
Crestani, S., et al. "A potent and nitric oxide-dependent hypotensive effect induced in rats by semi-purified fractions from Maytenus ilicifolia." Vascul Pharmacol. 2009 Jul;51(1):57-63.
Rattmann, Y. D., et al. "Nitric oxide-dependent vasorelaxation induced by extractive solutions and fractions of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart ex Reissek (Celastraceae) leaves." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2006 Apr; 104(3): 328-35.

Antimicrobial & Anti-parasitic Actions:
Kohn, L., et al. "In vitro antiviral activity of Brazilian plants (Maytenus ilicifolia and Aniba rosaeodora) against bovine herpesvirus type 5 and avian metapneumovirus." Pharm Biol. 2012 Oct;50(10):1269-75.
Gullo, F., et al. "Antifungal activity of maytenin and pristimerin." Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:340787
Santos, V., et al. "Antiprotozoal sesquiterpene pyridine alkaloids from Maytenus ilicifolia." J Nat Prod. 2012 May 25;75(5):991-5.
Melo, S. F., et al. “Effect of the Cymbopogon citratus, Maytenus ilicifolia and Baccharis genistelloides extracts against the stannous chloride oxidative damage in Escherichia coli.Mutat. Res. 2001 Sep; 496(1-2): 33-8.
de Lima, O. G., et al. “Antimicrobial substances from higher plants. XXXVI. On the presence of maytenin and pristimerine in the cortical part of the roots of Maytenus ilicifolia from the south of Brazil." Rev. Inst. Antibiot. 1971 Jun.
de Lima, O. G., et al. “Substabcias antimicrobiano de plantas superiores. Comunicacao XXXI. Maitenina, novo antimicrobiano con acao antineoplastica, isolade de celastracea de pernambuco.” Revista do Instituto de Antibioticos 1969; (9): 17–25.

Hormonal & Antifertility Actions:
Montanari, T., et al. “Effect of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart. on pregnant mice." Contraception. 2002 Feb; 65(2): 171–75.
Montanari, T., et al. “Effect of Maytenus ilicifolia Mart. Ex. Reiss on spermatogenesis." Contraception. 1998; 57(5): 335–39.
Bingel, A. S., et al. “Antifertility screening of selected plants in female rats.” Lloydia. 1976: 39(6): 475C.

* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.
Please refer to our Conditions of Use for this web site and product.

© Copyrighted 1996 to present by Leslie Taylor, Milam County, TX 77857.
All rights reserved. Please read the Conditions of Use, and Copyright Statement
for this web page and web site.
Last updated 12-17-2012