Part of the book: Molecular Approaches to Genetic Diversity
Grain legumes are considered major sources of dietary proteins, calories, certain minerals and vitamins, and they are the most widely cultivated and consumed crops worldwide. Among them are the common beans, whose major production volumes came from landraces cultivated in traditional farming systems. The objective of this study was to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of a set of common bean landraces from Mexico based on the agromorphological traits and nutritional composition of the grain in the context of traditional farming systems. Different field and laboratory data were collected and complemented with secondary information published in refereed journals and research reports. The results showed that there are significant differences in the morphological and physiological traits of the plant, pod and grain among groups of common bean landraces of different geographic origins, which were associated with different indigenous groups. Similar patterns were observed in the contents of anthocyanins, polyphenols, flavoinds and minerals as well as antioxidant activity. In the evaluated population groups in each region, there are outstanding populations in terms of agromorphological traits and the nutritional value of the grain that can enable a participatory breeding initiative guided by regional objectives. Some populations from Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, presented higher values in Zn and Fe, and populations from Estado de Mexico exhibited high polyphenol and flavonoid values but stable agronomic behaviour.
Part of the book: Grain Legumes
There is insufficient evidence to identify the precise health effects of chili pepper consumption. However, there is evidence of their topical use as an analgesic to decrease pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, neuralgias, neuropathic diabetes, neuronal dysfunctions and inflammation, among others. In this work, the diversity and variety of consumed forms of chilis in Mexico, flavonoid and capsaicinoid content in fruits, and their potential health uses are documented, based on various research results and bibliographic information. In Mexico, more than 150 landraces of wild and cultivated origins are consumed and preserved and are distributed throughout the country; the greatest diversity is concentrated in the central and south-southeastern regions. Consumption per capita in urban households is from 8 to 9 kg, and in rural communities, it varies from 14 to 17 kg. Chili peppers contain up to 23 flavonoids and 20 capsaicinoids, differing among landraces because of crop management, maturation of fruits, postharvest management and ecological-environmental influences. Flavonoids and capsaicinoids confer antioxidant, anticarcinogenic properties on the fruit and have lipolytic and preventative effects on chronic degenerative diseases. However, in vitro and in vivo experimental trials of capsaicinoids and flavonoids with beneficial effects must be conducted with regard to human health.
Part of the book: Flavonoids
The use of medicinal plants for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and ethnodiseases such as diarrhea, stomachache, dysentery, “empacho” (blockage), and bile is a common strategy among indigenous communities. It is estimated that approximately 34% of medicinal plants are used to treat diseases of the digestive tract. In Mexico, gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses represent one of the main causes of death in children in rural populations. Our objective was to document the use of medicinal plants used by the indigenous groups of Oaxaca, Mexico, for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, based on previous studies, experiences, and field observations in indigenous communities and supplemented with bibliographic references. In Oaxaca, there are 16 indigenous groups, the largest being the speakers of the Zapoteco, Mixteco, Mazateco, Mixe, Chinanteco, Amuzgo, Tacuate, Chatino, and Cuicateco languages. In this review of the medicinal plants used for gastrointestinal disorders, 186 species were grouped into 147 genera and 71 botanical families, among which the largest number of species belonged to Asteraceae (29), Fabaceae (15), Euphorbiaceae (9), Solanaceae (9), and Lamiaceae (9). Different pharmacological studies showed potential for preventing microbial and fungal pathogens that cause gastrointestinal disease.
Part of the book: Pharmacognosy