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Revista de Gastroenterología del Perú

Print version ISSN 1022-5129


CASTILLO CONTRERAS, Ofelia  and  FRISANCHO VELARDE, Oscar. The "Chaco": eatable medicinal clay in the Peruvian highlands and his properties in digestive diseases. Rev. gastroenterol. Perú [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.1, pp.97-99. ISSN 1022-5129.

The inhabitants of the peruvian-bolivian plateau consume a natural substance known as "Chaco", widespread since pre-Columbian era and appreciated for its digestive properties. The Chaco is an edible medicinal clay that is used as slurry with water to restrain dyspeptic discomfort or acid-peptic manifestations. In this contribution we present physicochemical aspects of the composition of the Chaco, experimental animal studies that evaluate its antiulcer effect and in vitro test that studies the antacid property. The proposed mechanism of therapeutic action is due to a cytoprotective effect on the gastric mucosa by independent mechanisms of acid secretion inhibition, as it has no antacid property in vitro. Also it has an adsorptivity to different organic molecules due to their large surface area and tetrahedral charge that makes it to interact with polar substances such as water and toxins. The other purpose of this special contribution is to recognize the coexistence of "Traditional Medicine" and "Western Medicine", a situation which leads to the need for preclinical research of various natural resources

Keywords : Clay; Pica; Medicine, traditional.

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