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Antibiotic Activity of an Extract Of Peyote PDF Print Email
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Written by David L. Walkington   
Thursday, 07 January 2010 21:28

Antibiotic Activity of an Extract Of Peyote

David L. Walkington

Economic Botany, 1960

The use of peyote in religious rites by many Indian tribes is common knowledge. In addition, curative properties for such varied ailments as toothache, pain in childbirth, fever, breast pain, skin diseases, rheumatism, diabetes, colds, and blindness, among other things, have been claimed for this plant by the same peoples...The U.S. DISPENSATORY lists peyote under the name Anhalonium and indicates its use to some extent in various forms for neurasthenia and hysteria and also in cases of asthma...
Extracts of whole peyote plants were prepared in various solvents and screened for antimicrobial activity...and showed positive microbial inhibition...the principle antibiotic substance was given the name Peyocactin.
Swiss-Webster white mice were used for preliminary animal toxicity tests and protection studies to indicate the degree of inhibitory action of peocactin against fatal staphylococcal infection. In every case the protected animals survived while those in the control group succumbed within 60 hours after infection with S. aureus... Summary: A water-soluble crystalline substance separated from an ethanol extract of Lophophora williamsii... exhibited antibiotic activity against a wide spectrum of bacteria and a species of the imperfect fungi...Of particular interest was its inhibitory action against 18 strains of penicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

—David L. Walkington
Department of Bacteriology
University of Arizona