Family Loganiaceae Martius 1827 nom conserv the Logania Family

Physical description: The family Loganiaceae consists of about 20 genera and 500 species of tropical trees, shrubs or climbers known to abound with iridoid glycosides and monoterpenoid indole alkaloids, formed by the condensation of tryptamine and secologanin (an iridoid). The leaves of Logani-aceae are simple, opposite, entire, and stipulate. The stipules are interpetiolar. The flowers are showy, often solitary, perfect, and regular. The calyx comprises of 4-5 connate sepals. The corolla is tubular and develops 5 (or more) imbricate, convolute or valvate lobes. The andrecium comprises of as many stamens as, and alternate with, the corolla lobes; the anthers are dithecal, tetrasporangiate, and open by longitudinal slits. The gynecium consists of 2-3 carpels, forming a 2-3-locular superior ovary, with each locule containing several ovules attached to axil placentas. The fruits are capsular, berries, or drupes.

Pharmaceutical interest: Classical examples of pharmaceutical products from Loganiaceae are the dried ripe seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica L. (Nux Vomica, British Pharmacopoeia, 1963) and Strychnos ignatii (Ignatia, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934), which have been used as bitter and as ingredients of purgative pills and tablets. The bitterness of the Strychnos species is attributed to the presence of series of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids, such as strychnine (British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1959) and brucine which are freakishly poisonous. The dried rhizome and roots of Gelsenium sempervirens (Gelsenium, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1963), containing not less than 0.32% of gelsemine, has been used as a tincture to treat migraine (Gelsenium Tincture, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1963). Note that Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) Ait. f (evening trumpet-flower) is a common ornamental garden plant in North America. Another example of medicinal Loganiaceae is Gelsemium nitidum (American yellow jasmine), the roots of which are occasionally used to assuage headache. In the Asia-Pacific, about 20 species of Loganiaceae are of medicinal value and often used to invigorate the body, counteract putrefaction, treat eye diseases and expel worms from intestines.

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