SUMMARY: This review assesses the accumulated evidences on the mutual influence of monoamines, hormones and neuropeptides that are linked to obesity. A few anti-obesity drugs that exert their mechanisms of action through monoamines are briefly discussed to support the notion of monoamines being a critical target of drug discovery for new anti-obesity drugs. Subsequently, the review provides a comprehensive overview of central dopamine and serotonin changes that are associated with the use of khat or its alkaloids. Then, all the studies on khat that describe physical, biochemical and hormonal changes are summarised and discussed in depth.
CONCLUSION: The reviewed studies provide relatively acceptable evidence that different khat extracts or cathinone produces changes in terms of weight, fat mass, appetite, lipid biochemistry and hormonal levels. These changes are more pronounced at higher doses and long durations of intervention. The most suggested mechanism of these changes is the central action that produces changes in the physiology of dopamine and serotonin. Nonetheless, there are a number of variations in the study design, including species, doses and durations of intervention, which makes it difficult to arrive at a final conclusion about khat regarding obesity, and further studies are necessary in the future to overcome these limitations.
THE AIM OF THE REVIEW: The aim of this review is to summarize the current studies on ethnomedicinal practices, phytochemistry, pharmacological studies and a potential study of Acalypha indica in different locations around the world. This review updates related information regarding the potential therapeutic treatments and also discusses the toxicity issue of Acalypha indica.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This review was performed through a systematic search related to Acalypha indica including the ethnomedicinal practices, phytochemistry and pharmacological studies around the world. The data was collected from online journals, magazines, and books, all of which were published in English, Malay and Indonesian. Search engine websites such as Google, Google Scholar, PubMed, Science Direct, Researchgate and other online collections were utilized in this review to obtain information.
RESULTS: The links between ethnomedicinal practices and scientific studies have been discussed with a fair justification. Several pharmacological properties exhibited certain potentials based on the obtained results that came from different related studies. Based on literature studies, Acalypha indica has the capability to serve as anthelmintic, anti-inflammation, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-obesity, anti-venom, hepatoprotective, hypoxia, and wound healing medicine. For the traditional practices, the authors also mentioned several benefits of consuming the raw plant and decoction.
CONCLUSION: This review summarizes the current studies of Acalypha indica collected from many regions. This review hopefully will provide a useful and basic knowledge platform for anyone interested in gaining information regarding Acalypha indica.