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Chemical constituents and biological activities of species of Justicia - a review. Geone M. The Acanthaceae family is an important source of therapeutic drugs, and the ethnopharmacological knowledge of this family requires urgent documentation as several of its species are near extinction. Justicia is the largest genus of Acanthaceae, with approximately species. The present work provides a review addressing the chemistry and pharmacology of the genus Justicia.

In addition, the biological activities of compounds isolated from the genus are also covered. The chemical and pharmacological information in the present work may inspire new biomedical applications for the species of Justicia , considering atom economy, the synthesis of environmentally benign products without producing toxic by-products, the use of renewable sources of raw materials, and the search for processes with maximal efficiency of energy.

Keywords: Acanthaceae, biological activity, Justicia, lignans, medicinal plants. The Acanthaceae family, order Scrophulariales, superorder Lamiiflorae sensu Dahlgren , comprises almost genera with species.

Justicia is the largest genus of Acanthaceae, with approximately species that are found in pantropical and tropical regions Durkee, The species of Justicia are described as erect or scandent perennial herbs or subshrubs. Leaves present cystoliths and are petiolate with a leaf margin that is usually entire. Inflorescences are in spikes or panicles cimas, and the species rarely has solitary, terminal, or axillary flowers.

The bracts and bracteoles are usually conspicuous and imbricate. The species of Justicia can be easily recognized by their bilabial corolla, with a posterior lip that is generally two-lobed, an anterior lip that is three-lobed, two stamens, a capsule with four seeds, and a basal sterile portion Graham, ; Braz et al, Few species of Justicia have been studied 36 species of approximately cataloged species , with fifteen species found in the Americas, thirteen species in Asia, and eight species in Africa.

The most studied species are Justicia pectoralis Jacq. Consequently, the phytochemical and biological potential of other species of Justicia have yet to be fully explored. An extensive search in original and review articles was carried out in this work.

The keywords used for this review were Justicia, Acanhaceae and Medicinal Plants. Ethnopharmacological information for the species of Justicia. Several species of Justicia are widely used in folk medicine as shown in Table 2 for the treatment of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases thirteen and ten occurrences, respectively as well as inflammation ten occurrences, including applications in rheumatism and arthritis.

The plants are also utilized for their effects on the central nervous system as hallucinogens, somniferous agents, sedatives, depressors, and treatments for epilepsy and other mental disorders, with eleven occurrences. Other species are popularly used in the treatment of headache and fever eight occurrences, which may be associated with their sedative and analgesic properties , cancer seven occurrences , diabetes three occurrences , and HIV two occurrences.

Whole plant and aerial parts are usually used in folk medicine. Extracts made from only the leaves are the most used nineteen occurrences , followed by those extracts made from only the roots five occurrences.

Some species are used as mixtures three occurrences. For example, traditional physicians around Kotagiri village near Ootacamund use a mixture of the powdered roots of Cassia occidentalis L. Don, Acanthaceae, to control fertility. Administration of this mixture for a few days after menstruation prevents conception without any toxic effects. The number of pregnancies among treated women was significantly less than that of the control group. These results indicate the abortifacient nature of the roots of these plants Badami et al.

The species Justicia pectoralis Jacq. Moreover, Justicia insularis T. Anderson is used as an infusion mixed with the leaves of Ambrosia maritime L. Table 3 shows the pharmacological activities of the species of Justicia described in the literature. Some species show antitumoral activity against different cancer cell lines seven occurrences. An ethanol extract of Justicia neesii Ramamoorthy Acanthaceae exhibited anticancer activity against P lymphocytic leukemia in mice.

A methanol extract of the whole plant of Justicia procumbens L. Some species also showed inhibition of human cancer cell lines, mainly toward human cervical carcinoma Justicia ciliata Jaqc. The activity of popularly used whole-plant extracts of J. However, the anticancer properties of Justicia adhatoda L.

The whole-plant extract of J. The plant extract induces apoptosis in the human leukemia cell line TF-1, but not in the bcl-2 transfectant cell line TB These data suggest a strong correlation between the cytotoxic effect and cell proliferation.

The results indicate that the infusion of the aerial parts of J. Some species show antiviral activity five occurrences, i. Anderson, Justicia gendarussa Burm. However, the species popularly used as antiviral agents, Justicia betonica L. Crude water extracts of the aerial parts of J. Based on these observations, this species might be further explored for its antiviral indications. Moreover, this species shows positive antimosquito tests, which were observed on the growth and development of IV-stage larvae of Aedes aegypt i mosquitoes.

A brief exposure to concentrations of 0. The extracts of J. Extracts of J. The methanol extract of the whole plant of J. The antiplatelet aggregation activity can be related to the popular use of extracts obtained from Justicia ansellian a Nees T.

Anderson in the treatment of heart disease Table 2. The ethanol extract of the leaves of J. These pharmacological results align with the popular use of J. The species J. The popular use of J. The ethanol extracts of J. A significant positive correlation between GABA-T inhibition and the relative frequency of use for epilepsy was observed.

Moreover, an even stronger correlation between GABAA binding and the relative frequency of use for shock was observed. Thus the Q'eqchi' traditional knowledge of J. The pharmacological studies of some species were not based on their use in folk medicine. Extracts of the whole plant of Justicia prostrata Gamble showed antiulcer activity Table 3.

The aqueous extract was more active than the alcoholic extract when tests were made using the aspirin-induced pylorus ligated rat model. The antiulcerogenic activities of both extracts were compared with the drug Rantidine, an H2-receptor antagonist. Alcoholic extracts of J. The aerial part of the plant produced more significant effects on the growth parameters of the cowpea plant Vigna unguiculata L.

Likewise, the popular use of the leaves of Justicia schimperiana Hochst. Anderson in the treatment of liver disease Table 2 may be related to the hepatoprotective activity of the leaf extracts of the plant Table 3.

However, the hepatoprotective activity of J. In addition, some other species, such as J. Graham, Justicia diffusa Willd. A great diversity of chemical classes is found in the species of Justicia , mainly alkaloids, lignans, flavonoids, and terpenoids iridods, diterpenoids, and triterpenoids.

Other chemical classes have been isolated from species of Justicia , such as essential oils, vitamins, fatty acids docosanoic acid , and salicylic acid Angonese et al. The steroids campesterol, stigmasterol, sitosterol, and sitosterol-D-glucoside were isolated from the leaves and roots of J. The literature describes the allelopathy effect of the sterols and triterpenes. Both of the chemical classes isolated from the alcoholic extract of the aerial parts of J.

The allelopathic effects of the leaf and root extracts of J. Table 4 shows a coumarin, flavonoids, alkaloids, and triterpenoidal glycosides isolated from the species of Justicia. Only one coumarin, umbeliferone 1 , and a small variety of flavonoids , alkaloids , and triterpenoidal glycosides were identified. Leaf extracts from J. Compounds of this chemical class have been previously reported to display anti-HIV properties including reverse transcriptase or integrase inhibition, but this is the first time that they are described as virucides Kumar et al.

Pharmacological tests using the ethanol extract from J. A large variety of lignans has been isolated from species of Justicia Table 5. Lignans are a large group of natural products that show diverse biological effects. For example, lignans obtained from J. Potent anti-inflammatory activities were described for lignan glycosides isolated from J. For example, jusmicranthin 22 was isolated from a chloroform extract of J. The dry leaves of J.

Some arylnaphthalide lignans are glycosylated derivatives , 39 , 42 , and Other miscellaneous-type lignans are also found in species of Justicia Biological activity of compounds isolated from species of Justicia. Some compounds show biological activities related to those observed in the species from which they are isolated. Coumarin umbeliferone 1 , isolated from hydroalcoholic extract of the leaves of J.


Justicia adhatoda

Chemical constituents and biological activities of species of Justicia - a review. Geone M. The Acanthaceae family is an important source of therapeutic drugs, and the ethnopharmacological knowledge of this family requires urgent documentation as several of its species are near extinction. Justicia is the largest genus of Acanthaceae, with approximately species. The present work provides a review addressing the chemistry and pharmacology of the genus Justicia.


Adusa/अडूसा/Vasaka/Vasa/Malabar Nut/Adhatoda vasica

It has been introduced elsewhere. Justicia adhatoda is a shrub with lance-shaped leaves 10 to 15 centimeters in length by four wide. They are oppositely arranged, smooth-edged, and borne on short petioles. They are bitter-tasting. When a leaf is cleared with chloral hydrate and examined microscopically the oval stomata can be seen.

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