Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 469-475. 2008.
Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Mussaenda Species (Rubiaceae)
K.S.Vidyalakshmi,1 Hannah R.Vasanthi,3 G.V.Rajamanickam2
For Advanced Research In Indian System of Medicine,
The genus Mussaenda is an important source of medicinal natural products, particularly iridoids, triterpenes and flavonoids. The purpose of this paper is to cover the more recent developments in the ethnobotany, pharmacology and phytochemistry of this genus. The species in which the largest number of compounds has been identified is Mussaenda pubescens. Pharmacological studies have also been made, however, of other species in this genus. These lesser known plants of the genus are described here according to their cytotoxicity, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant and antibacterial properties. The information given here is intended to serve as a reference tool for practitioners in the fields of ethnopharmacology and natural products chemistry.
Key words: Mussaenda; Rubiaceae; Mussaein; antifertility.
One way in which the study of medicinal plants has progressed is in the discovery of bioactive compounds from new promising drug species. In this respect, the genus Mussaenda has been important in providing us with several natural products of interest to workers in the field of pharmacology. The species of this genus have the further advantage of being easy to grow. They are pest and disease free and can withstand heavy pruning.
Very few species have been explored for chemical and biological studies. This review focuses on the different species of Mussaenda and their chemical constituents and biological activity. Thus, it includes all compounds known to Mussaenda species, and is intended as a guide for future research. The depth and breadth of research involving Mussaenda plants has been organized into easily accessible and comparable units of information.
Ethnobotanical uses of Mussaenda species
They are members of the Rubiaceae (madder or
coffee family) and are native to the
is distributed in
is found widely in Central and
a native of
is a liana-like
shrub, distributed in shady hillside, valley and shrub jungle of East, South
laryngopharyngitis, acute gastroenteritis, and dysentery and as a contraceptive agent (Dictionary of Chinese traditional medicine, 1986).
It is distributed in the Eastern and
Mussaenda frondosa (Dhobi tree)
It is found from Indo-China to
It is native
Phytochemistry of Mussaenda species
The phytochemistry of Mussaenda species has been studied extensively since 1990s. Iridoids, flavonoids and triterpenes are the common chemical ingredients distributed in Mussaenda species. The most recognized compounds in Mussaendas are the iridoids and triterpene saponins.
Iridoid glycosides, Mussaenoside and shanzhiside methyl ester 1 have been reported from Mussaenda parviflora and Mussaenda shikokiana (Yoshio Takeda et al., 1977). The leaves of M. arcuata yield Astragalin, isoquercitrin, kaempferol-3-O-beta-Drutinoside and the two phenylpropanoid derivatives as melilotoside and dihydromelilotoside (Ranarivelo et al., 1990). Mussaendosides M 2 and N 3 are the saponins from M.pubescens (Jun-Ping Xu and Ren-Sheng Xu, 1992). Mussaein A 4, Mussaein B 5 and Mussaein C 6 (Weimin Zhao et al., 1996) are the monoterpenes from M.pubesens. Mussaenda pubescens is reported to contain several triterpenes and triterpenoid saponins namely mussaendosides U, V, M, O, P and Q (Weimin Zhao et al., 1997). M.macrophylla afforded Mussaendoside W 7 (Kim et al., 1999). A new compound Sanzhilactone 8 along with mussaenoside, barlerin, lupeol and beta-D-glucose has been obtained from the stem of M. incana (Biswanath Dinda et al., 2005). Quercetin, rutin, hyperin, ferulic acid, sinapic acid, beta sitosterol, saponin occurs in M.raiatensis (WHO, 1998).
is a liana-like shrub, distributed in shady hillside, valley and shrub jungle
of east, south and southwest
1. Sanshiside methyl ester 5. Mussaein A
6. Mussaein B 7. Mussaein C
2. Mussaenoside M; R=H
3. Mussaenoside N; R=Glu
4. Mussaendoside W
The authors wish to thank Prof R.Sethuraman,
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