Glycyrrhiza glabra L. (Fabaceae), commonly known as 'liquorice', is a well-known medicinal plant. Roots of this plant have long been used as a sweetening and flavouring agent in food and pharmaceutical products, and also as a traditional remedy for cough, upper and lower respiratory ailments, kidney stones, hepatitis C, skin disorder, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal ulcers and stomach ache. Previous pharmacological and clinical studies have revealed its antitussive, antiinflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective and cardioprotective properties. While glycyrrhizin, a sweet-tasting triterpene saponin, is the principal bioactive compound, several bioactive flavonoids and isoflavonoids are also present in the roots of this plant. In the present study, the cytotoxicity of the methanol extracts of nine samples of the roots of G. glabra, collected from various geographical origins, was assessed against immortal human keratinocyte (HaCaT), lung adenocarcinoma (A549) and liver carcinoma (HepG2) cell lines using the in vitro 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyl tetrazoliumbromide cell toxicity/viability assay. Considerable variations in levels of cytotoxicity were observed among various samples of G. glabra.
Till to date, the advancement of medical science and technology is still unable to provide inclusive treatment to liver inflammation caused by neither microbial invasion nor antibiotics nor environmental toxins. Therefore, this article provides the basic knowledge of liver inflammation up to the cellular level and its current medical treatment for inflammatory symptom suppression. Because of the adverse effects of drug treatment, people start looking for comprehensive alternative nowadays. Herbal medicine is believed to be the best of choice because it is being practiced until now for centuries. Although numerous herbal plants have been reported for their efficacies in liver protection, Andrographis paniculata is the most widely used herb for hepatoprotection, particularly in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. This review covers the significant observation on the biochemical responses due to the experimental induction of liver damage in vitro and in vivo using the marker compound of the herb, namely andrographolide and its derivatives. The standardized extract of A. paniculata with the right phytochemical composition of diterpenic labdanes is likely to have tremendous potential for the development of hepatoprotective medicine. This standardized herbal medicine may not provide immediate remedy, but it can be considered as a comprehensive therapy for liver inflammation.
Carum carvi L. (Apiaceae) is known as caraway, and its derivatives find wide medicinal use for health purposes, including for gastrointestinal problems and obesity. Since there is inconsistency among the reports on the safety of this plant in humans, this research was aimed at assessing the safety of a characterized caraway aqueous extract (CAE) in a randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled study. Seventy, overweight and obese, healthy women were randomly assigned into placebo (n = 35) and plant extract (n = 35) groups. Participants received either 30 ml/day of CAE or placebo. Subjects were examined at baseline and after 12 weeks for changes in heart rate, blood pressure, urine test, 25-item blood chemistries, and general health status. No significant changes of blood pressure, heart rate, urine specific gravity, and serum blood tests were observed between the two groups before and after treatment. However, in the complete blood count test, red blood cell levels were significantly (p
The roots of Eurycoma longifolia Jack are popularly sought as herbal medicinal supplements to improve libido and general health amongst the local ethnic population. The major quassinoids of E. longifolia improved spermatogenesis and fertility but toxicity studies have not been well documented. The reproductive toxicity, two generation of foetus teratology and the up-and-down acute toxicity were investigated in Sprague-Dawley rats orally treated with quassinoid-rich E. longifolia extract (TAF273). The results showed that the median lethal dose (LD50 ) of TAF273 for female and male rats was 1293 and >2000 mg/kg, respectively. Fertility index and litter size of the TAF273 treated were significantly increased when compared with those of the non-treated animals. The TAF273-treated dams decreased in percentage of pre-implantation loss, post-implantation loss and late resorption. No toxic symptoms were observed on the TAF273-treated pregnant female rats and their foetuses were normal. The no-observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) obtained from reproductive toxicity and teratology studies of TAF273 in rats was 100 mg/kg body weight/day, being more than 10-fold lower than the LD50 value. Thus, any human dose derived from converting the rat doses of 100 mg/kg and below may be considered as safe for further clinical studies.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), a herbal plant, belonging to the family Apiceae, is valued for its culinary and medicinal uses. All parts of this herb are in use as flavoring agent and/or as traditional remedies for the treatment of different disorders in the folk medicine systems of different civilizations. The plant is a potential source of lipids (rich in petroselinic acid) and an essential oil (high in linalool) isolated from the seeds and the aerial parts. Due to the presence of a multitude of bioactives, a wide array of pharmacological activities have been ascribed to different parts of this herb, which include anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anxiolytic, anti-epileptic, anti-depressant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-dyslipidemic, anti-hypertensive, neuro-protective and diuretic. Interestingly, coriander also possessed lead-detoxifying potential. This review focuses on the medicinal uses, detailed phytochemistry, and the biological activities of this valuable herb to explore its potential uses as a functional food for the nutraceutical industry.
The present study served to gain further insight into the bactericidal effects of ellagitannins from Acalypha wilkesiana var. macafeana hort. against pathogenic bacteria. Ellagitannins from the aerial parts of A. wilkesiana var. macafeana hort. (EAW) inhibited the growth of Bacillus cereus (ATCC 11778), Bacillus subtilis (ATCC 6633), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 11632) and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) clinical strain with inhibition zones equal to 11.01 ± 1.53 mm, 16.63 ± 0.11 mm, 11.40 ± 1.10 mm and 8.22 ± 0.19 mm, respectively. The minimal inhibition concentration and the minimal bactericidal concentration of ellagitannins from A. wilkesiana var. macafeana hort. (EAW) against MRSA were 750 µg/mL and 3000 µg/mL, respectively. We then examined the synergistic effect of EAW with three antibiotics, i.e. ampicillin, streptomycin and tetracycline, via the checkerboard assay and time-kill assay and observed that EAW is synergistic with ampicillin against S. aureus (ATCC 11632). Environmental electron scanning microscopy analysis showed cell lysis against S. aureus (ATCC 11632) upon treatment with the ellagitannin fraction. The ellagitannin fraction from A. wilkesiana var. macafeana hort. is bactericidal against gram-positive bacteria tested and works synergistically with ampicillin against S. aureus. Morphology analysis of the cell suggests that the bactericidal property of the ellagitannin fraction mechanism involves lysis of the cell wall. In summary, our studies demonstrate that A. wilkesiana var. macafeana hort. produces bactericidal ellagitannins of clinical and/or cosmetological value.
Following the current 'Globesity' trend, there is an increasing demand for alternative natural therapies for weight management. Numerous phytoconstituents reduce body weight through suppressing appetite and reducing food intake. Caraway (Carum carvi L.) is one of the medicinal plants that is traditionally used for weight loss. In this study, the appetite-suppressing effects of caraway aqueous extract (CAE) on 70 aerobically trained, overweight, and obese women were examined in a triple-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study. Subjects were randomly allocated into placebo and experimental groups and consumed either 30 mL/day of CAE or placebo without changing their diet or physical activity over a period of 90 days. Calorie and macronutrient intake and anthropometric indices were measured before and after the intervention. In addition, appetite changes were assessed through a visual analog scale and an ad libitum pizza test. After the intervention, the results showed a significant reduction in appetite levels and carbohydrate intake of the experimental group compared with the placebo group. All of the anthropometric indices were reduced significantly in CAE compared with placebo group (p
This study was aimed to investigate the capacity of a standardized root water extract of Eurycoma longifolia (Tongkat Ali, TA), Physta® to modulate human immunity in a middle-aged Japanese population. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel study was conducted for 4 weeks. Eighty-four of 126 subjects had relatively lower scores according to Scoring of Immunological Vigor (SIV) screening. Subjects were instructed to ingest either 200 mg/day of TA or rice powder as a placebo for 4 weeks [TA and Placebo (P) groups] and to visit a clinic in Tokyo twice (weeks 0 and 4). SIV, immunological grade, immunological age, and other immune parameters were measured. Eighty-three subjects completed the study; 40 in the TA group and 41 in the P group were statistically analyzed, whereas two were excluded from the analyses. At week 4, the SIV and immunological grade were significantly higher in the TA group than those in P group (p
Tinospora crispa is a medicinal plant belonging to the botanical family Menispermiaceae. The plant is widely distributed in Southeast Asia and the northeastern region of India. A related species Tinospora cordifolia is used in Ayurveda for treating a large spectrum of diseases. Traditional healers of Thailand, Malaysia, Guyana, Bangladesh and the southern Indian province of Kerala use this plant in the treatment of diabetes. Many diterpenes, triterpenes, phytosteroids, alkaloids and their glycosides have been isolated from T. crispa. Cell culture and animal studies suggest that the herb stimulates secretion of insulin from β-cells. It also causes dose-dependent and time-dependent enhancement of glucose uptake in muscles. However, in view of the reported hepatotoxicity, this herb may be used with caution. This article reviews the animal studies and human clinical trials carried out using this herb. Areas of future research are also identified.
The increase in endothelial permeability often promotes edema formation in various pathological conditions. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), a pro-atherogenic cytokine, impairs endothelial barrier function and causes endothelial dysfunction in early stage of atherosclerosis. Asiaticoside, one of the triterpenoids derived from Centella asiatica, is known to possess antiinflammatory activity. In order to examine the role of asiaticoside in preserving the endothelial barrier, we assessed its effects on endothelial hyperpermeability and disruption of actin filaments evoked by TNF-α in human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). TNF-α caused an increase in endothelial permeability to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran. Asiaticoside pretreatment significantly suppressed TNF-α-induced increased permeability. Asiaticoside also prevented TNF-α-induced actin redistribution by suppressing stress fiber formation. However, the increased F to G actin ratio stimulated by TNF-α was not changed by asiaticoside. Cytochalasin D, an actin depolymerizing agent, was used to correlate the anti-hyperpermeability effect of asiaticoside with actin cytoskeleton. Surprisingly, asiaticoside failed to prevent cytochalasin D-induced increased permeability. These results suggest that asiaticoside protects against the disruption of endothelial barrier and actin rearrangement triggered by TNF-α without a significant change in total actin pool. However, asiaticoside seems to work by other mechanisms to maintain the integrity of endothelial barrier rather than stabilizing the F-actin organization.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the activity of xanthorrhizol isolated from Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb. on Candida albicans biofilms at adherent, intermediate, and mature phase of growth. C. albicans biofilms were formed in flat-bottom 96-well microtiter plates. The biofilms of C. albicans at different phases of development were exposed to xanthorrhizol at different concentrations (0.5 µg/mL-256 µg/mL) for 24 h. The metabolic activity of cells within the biofilms was quantified using the XTT reduction assay. Sessile minimum inhibitory concentrations (SMICs) were determined at 50% and 80% reduction in the biofilm OD₄₉₀ compared to the control wells. The SMIC₅₀ and SMIC₈₀ of xanthorrhizol against 18 C. albicans biofilms were 4--16 µg/mL and 8--32 µg/mL, respectively. The results demonstrated that the activity of xanthorrhizol in reducing C. albicans biofilms OD₄₉₀ was dependent on the concentration and the phase of growth of biofilm. Xanthorrhizol at concentration of 8 µg/mL completely reduced in biofilm referring to XTT-colorimetric readings at adherent phase, whereas 32 µg/mL of xanthorrhizol reduced 87.95% and 67.48 % of biofilm referring to XTT-colorimetric readings at intermediate and mature phases, respectively. Xanthorrhizol displayed potent activity against C. albicans biofilms in vitro and therefore might have potential therapeutic implication for biofilm-associated candidal infections.
Bioassay guided fractionation of the roots of Cyathostemma argenteum using the brine shrimp resulted in the isolation of two uncommon flavanones, 2,5-dihydroxy-7-methoxy flavanone 1 and 2,5-dihydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy flavanone 2 while the stem bark yielded the related compounds 5-hydroxy-7-methoxy flavone 3 and 5-hydroxy-6,7-dimethoxy flavone 4. The alkaloids liriodenine 5 and discretamine 6 as well as benzyl benzoate 7 were isolated from the roots and 6 was also isolated from the stembark. In cytotoxicity tests using four human breast cancer cell lines, 1 and 2 were weakly toxic to MCF-7 cells (IC(50) = 19.6 and 19.0 microM, respectively) but showed little activity against MCF-7 cells resistant to doxorubicin or against two oestrogen receptor-deficient cell lines. Compound 5, but not 6 and 7, was moderately cytotoxic against all four cell lines. These results are discussed in the context of the traditional use of C. argenteum in the treatment of breast cancer.
The ethanol extract of leaves of Piper porphyrophyllum N.E. Br. showed a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity. The activity was increased on fractionation (hexane, dichloromethane and aqueous), particularly in the aqueous fraction. No activity was shown against tested Candida albicans.
In the search for agents effective against immune-mediated disorders and inflammation, we have screened Malaysian medicinal plants for the ability to inhibit the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) on the surface of murine endothelial cells (F-2), and mouse myeloid leukaemia cells (M1), respectively. Of 41 kinds (29 species, 24 genera, 16 families) of Malaysian plants tested, 10 and 19 plant samples significantly downregulated the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, respectively. Bioassay-directed fractionation of an extract prepared from the bark of Goniothalamus andersonii showed that its ingredients, goniothalamin (1) and goniodiol (2) inhibited the cell surface expression of both ICAM-1 and VCAM-1. The present results suggest that Malaysian medicinal plants may be abundant natural resources for immunosuppressive and antiinflammatory substances.
The butanol, methanol, water and chloroform extracts of the roots of Eurycoma longifolia Jack were studied using various tests of potency of treated male rats. The results showed that E. longifolia produced a dose-dependent, recurrent and significant increase in the episodes of penile reflexes as evidenced by increases in quick flips, long flips and erections of the treated male rats during the 30 min observation period. These results provide further evidence that E. longifolia increases the aphrodisiac potency activity in treated animals.
The plant Typhonium flagelliforme (Araceae), commonly known as the 'rodent tuber', is often included as an essential ingredient in various herbal remedies recommended for cancer therapies in Malaysia. Various extracts prepared from either the roots, tubers, stems or leaves were tested for cytotoxic activity on murine P388 leukaemia cells using the MTT assay method. Both the chloroform (IC50 = 6.0 microg/mL) and hexane (IC50 = 15.0 microg/mL) extract from the 'roots and tubers' exhibited weak cytotoxic activity. The hexane extract (IC50 = 65.0 microg/mL) from the 'stems and leaves' exhibited weaker cytotoxic activity than the chloroform extract (IC50 = 8.0 microg/mL). Although the juice extract from the 'roots and tubers' is frequently consumed for cancer treatment, it exhibited poor cytotoxic activity. Further analysis using an amino acid analyser revealed that the juice extract contained a high concentration of arginine (0.874%). A high tryptophan content (0.800%) was confirmed by NMR and HPLC analysis.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by signs of major oxidative stress and the loss of cholinergic cells. The present study was designed to investigate the role of the total alkaloidal extract from Murraya koenigii (MKA) leaves on age related oxidative stress and the cholinergic pathway in aged mice. Ascorbic acid (100 mg/kg, p.o.) was used as a standard drug. The MKA improved the level of protective antioxidants such as glutathione peroxidase (GPx), reduced glutathione (GSH), glutathione reductase (GRD), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in brain homogenate at higher doses (20 and 40 mg/kg, p.o.). Moreover, a dose dependent decline was noted in lipid peroxidation (LPO) and the nitric oxide assay (NO) at all doses of MKA (10, 20 and 40 mg/kg, p.o.). Interestingly, significant progress was noted with the supplementation of MKA by an improvement of the acetylcholine (ACh) levels and a reduction in the acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in aged mouse brain. In addition, a significant elevation of serum albumin (ALBU), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and total protein as well as a decline in creatinine, total cholesterol, urea nitrogen and glucose levels with MKA also ameliorated the hepatic and renal functions in normal ageing process. The results showed the possible utility of Murraya koenigii leaves in neuroprotection against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
Phytochemical investigation on the bark of Goniothalamus tapis Miq. and G. uvaroides King has resulted in the isolation of eight styryl-lactones, (-)-cryptomeridiol, liriodenine, 3-methyl-1H-benz[f]indole-4,9-dione, (-)-stigmasterol and dimethyl terephthalate. The structures of the compounds were elucidated by spectroscopic techniques. The compounds were evaluated for their effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor binding on rabbit platelets using (3) H-PAF as a ligand. Among the compounds tested, (-)-cryptomeridiol, (+)-goniothalamin and (+)-isoaltholactone exhibited a significant and concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on PAF receptor binding, with inhibitory concentration (IC)(50) values of 17.5, 19.7 and 46.5 µm, respectively. The inhibitory effects of the first two compounds were comparable to that obtained from the positive control, cedrol. The results indicated that these compounds were strong PAF receptor binding inhibitors.