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A native plant known as maria-milagrosa ('Mary-miracle') is the base of a new anti-inflammatory which has just received the approval of the Brazilian agency of health vigilance. The drug is expected to be for sale in drugstores within six months. 

It will be launched as a cream and under the tradename Acheflan. According to José Roberto Lazzarini, director of research and development at Aché, the company that developed it, Acheflan will be the first topical anti-inflammatory prepared from maria-milagrosa, whose latin name is Cordia verbenacea.

According to Lazzarini, there are other plant based anti-inflammatory drugs on the market, but these are prepared with plants from abroad, for example from African countries.

Reynaldo Jesus-Garcia Filho, a researcher at the Federal University of São Paulo, says that clinical trials demonstrated that Acheflan is as effective and safe as the current drug, when used treat chronical tendinitis and persistent muscular pains. Studies showed that Acheflan causes fewer side-effects.  

The herb has traditionally used been used by Brazilians to make medicinal infusions, often sold in fairs.

Link to the full article in Revista da Fapesp (in Portuguese)

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