young Pao pereira (Geissospermum)

young Pao pereira - photography by Sylvie Beljanski

After the University of Kansas’ interest in Pao pereira (Geissospermum) for the inhibition of pancreatic cancer cells, now Guyana University is interested in the same plant. A student has just published his thesis on the inhibition of C38 steel in 1M HC1 acid medium using alkaloids extracted from two plants: Aspidosperma album and Geissospermum laeve. According to this student, biodegradable and environmentally friendly alkaloids of these two plants could be used temporarily to prevent corrosion of steel with a higher rate of inhibition than those described in other writings.

However, in this latest study, completely unrelated to the research conducted by Natural Source International, the inhibition of corrosion of steel could be due to the action of the major alkaloid from Geissospermum.  Mirko Beljanski and subsequently Natural Source International focused on the secondary alkaloid. This distinction is important and explains the very low cytotoxicity repeatedly observed in the extracts manufactured according to Beljanski’s method. Of course, when it comes to steel, the cytotoxicity issue is not relevant!

It is always interesting to see that nature brings, in all areas, a better choice than chemicals that humans produce in huge quantities!

Pao pereira was first described by the botanist John Miers, who published in 1878 a memorandum on the Apocynaceae, the botanical family of Pao pereira.
Robert Bentley reveals in this book, “A Manual of Botany – including the Structure, Classification, Properties, Uses, And Functions of Plants”, that the bark was widely used in Brazil as a febrifuge and antiperiodic.

We are grateful to  Mirko Beljanski for developing a selective extraction process of alkaloids from Geissospermum and demonstrating the anti-cancer activity of some of these alkaloids. This discovery was recently  confirmed by Kansas University.