MEDICINAL PLANTS OF THE GENUS SAPINDUS (SAPINDACEAE) - A REVIEW OF THEIR BOTANY, PHYTOCHEMISTRY, BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY AND TRADITIONAL USES
Authors: Sachin Goyal
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Objective: Sapindus is a genus of Sapindaceae family comprises three major species: The American spices, Sapindus saponaria and two Asian species, Sapindus mukorossi and Sapindus trifoliatus and are well known for their folk medicinal values. Several important studies have been published in the intervening years, which have prompted us to reassess Sapindus. In the current review, we provide a comprehensive over view on the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of the species of Sapindus.
Methods: A literature survey was performed by searching the scientific data bases Pubmed, Google Scholar, SciFinder, Scopus and Web of Science, in addition to traditional Indian medicine and Ayurvedic texts for information on Sapindus.
Results: Plants of the genus Sapindus have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of ulcers, external wounds, inflammation, epilepsy, dental caries, arthritis, joint pain, gout and rheumatism. Phytochemical studies of this genus have identified more than 103 compounds. Of these compounds, triterpenoidal saponins of oleanane, dammarane and tirucullane are regarded as the active group that is most likely to be responsible for the observed biological activities. The crude extracts, as well as the isolated compounds, from the genus possess antimicrobial, anticancer, spermicidal, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-migraine, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcerogenic and analgesic properties.
Conclusion: It is evident from the available literature that Sapindus species possess potential for use as a beneficial therapeutic remedy. Nevertheless, there is clearly a need for further studies focusing on in-vivo with emphasis on molecular mechanisms and eventually clinical trials.