Author(s): Pandey A, Negi PS
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Abstract ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: There are more than 3000 officially documented plants in the Indian subcontinent that hold great medicinal potential. One such under-explored plant is an evergreen tropical tree Neolamarckia cadamba (Roxb.) Bosser (Rubiaceae). It is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world and has therapeutic potential against many diseases such as diabetes, anaemia, stomatitis, leprosy, cancer and infectious diseases. Neolamarckia cadamba has historical existence in India and it is mentioned in mythical stories. There are several reports on medicinal values of root, bark and leaves of N. cadamba; but the literature on its fruits is scanty. Therefore, the present review aims to provide updated comprehensive information on the phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of different parts of N. cadamba tree with special reference to its fruit, in order to open new perspectives for future food and pharmacological research. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature search was performed on N. cadamba using ethnobotanical textbooks, published articles in peer-reviewed journals, unpublished materials, government survey reports and scientific databases such as Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, Science Direct, Google Scholar and other web search engines (Google, Yahoo). The Plant List, International Plant Name Index and Kew Botanical Garden Plant name databases were used to validate the scientific names. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Neolamarckia cadamba is one of the economically important trees, which is being exploited for paper, pulp and wood industry. In folk medicine, various parts of N. cadamba are used in the treatment of various ailments such as fever, uterine complaints, blood diseases, skin diseases, tumour, anaemia, eye inflammation and diarrhoea. Other reported uses of N. cadamba include antihepatotoxic, antimalarial, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic and laxative. Various phytochemicals such as cadambine and its derivatives (dihydrocadambine and isodihydrocadambine) and indole alkaloids (Neolamarckines) were isolated from the leaves; whereas the presence of quinovic acid derivatives have been reported in the bark of N. cadamba. CONCLUSION: The present review compiles information on an ethnopharmacologically useful plant N. cadamba. Bioactive compounds responsible for its various medicinal properties and their effects at the molecular level need to be investigated in more detail. Furthermore, the detailed study of toxicity and pharmacological properties of extracts as well as molecules in N. cadamba is required to confirm the ethnomedicinal claims of N. cadamba for food and pharmaceutical applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine