Recent Advances in Pharmacological and Phytochemistry Studies on Phyllanthus amarus

Mansi Gupta*, J S Vaghela

Bhupal Nobles‘ College of Pharmacy, Udaipur-313001, Rajasthan, India

Received: 05-Nov-2018 , Accepted: 12-Jan-2019

Keywords: Phyllanthus amarus, Pharmacological, Phytochemistry

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20510/ukjpb/7/i1/179295

 

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Abstract

The use of medicinal plants for the treatment of various diseases has been increased due to minimum side effect compared to synthetic drug. Further the herbal products are considered as safe drugs. Phyllanthus amarus claimed tribal people for remedy of different diseases namely diarrhoea, dysentery, dropsy, jaundice, intermittent fevers, kidney problems, urinary bladder disturbances, pain, gonorrhea, diabetes, urogenital disorders, chronic dysentery, skin ulcers, sores, swelling, itchiness, tubercular ulcers, ringworm, scabies and wounds. Phyllanthus amarus contains isobubbialine, epibubbialine, securinine, nor-securinine, dihydrosecurinine, geraniin, corilagin, 1,6-digalloylglucopyranoside rutin , quercetin3-O-glucopyranoside, amarulone, niranthin, nirtetralin, phyltetralin, hypophyllanthin, phyllanthin, hypo-phyllanthin, demethylenedioxy-niranthin, kaempferol, astragalin, etc chemical constituents in its different parts. The extract of Phyllanthus amarus retains multiple pharmacological activities such as Anticarcinogenic, Antiproliferative, Gastroprotective, Cardioprotective, Antileptospiral, Antibacterial, Antidiabetic, Antiviral, Antivenom,Antiinflammatory etc. We planned to illustrate the recent studies appeared in Phytochemisty and Pharmacological activities of Phyllanthus amarus in order to highlight its multi-activity properties.

1 Introduction

Medicinal plants may be defined as those plants that are commonly used in treating and preventing specific ailments and that are generally considered to be harmful to humans. From thousands of year plants have been an important source of medicine and plays a key role in world health. It is estimated that approximately one quarter of prescribed drugs are plant extracts or active ingredients obtained from plant sources. World Health Organization estimates that about 80% of these people rely almost exclusively on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare needs. Medicinal plants are the “backbone” of traditional medicine, which means more than 3.3 billion people in the less developed countries utilize medicinal plants on a regular basis1.

Medicinal plants not used only for the treatment of diseases but also as potential material for maintaining good health and conditions.  The reasons for this is because of their better cultural acceptability, better compatibility and adaptability with the human body and pose lesser side effects. Medicinal plant contains chemical compounds that dictate their therapeutic potency. Researchers have shown that different plants contain different bioactive components at different concentrations. The higher the amount of the important phytochemical in medicinal plants, the greater therapeutic potency or medicinal importance of the plants1,2

Phyllanthus is one of the ancient medicinal plants cultivated for its highly priced fruits and other parts. The genus Phyllanthus belongs to family Euphorbiaceae, is one of the largest genera of flowering plants consists of about 800 species which are distributed in a wide range of habitats exhibiting relatively wider range of habits such as annual or biennial herbs, shrubs and trees throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of both the hemispheres.

The name ‘Phyllanthus’ means “leaf and flower” and named so because of its appearance where flower, fruit and leaf appears fused3. Different species of Phyllanthus are considered to be very effective and rich in biochemical compounds used in health care, food and cosmetic industry. Numerous phytochemical and bioactivity studies have been carried out on Phyllanthus species, resulting in the isolation and identification of various compounds (alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, and terpenes). The major lignans of the genus namely, phyllanthin and hypophyllanthin, have been shown to be antihepatotoxic against carbon tetrachloride and galactosamine induced hepatotoxicity.

Phyllanthus amarus commonly known as Bhumi amla, is upright or prostrate herbs or shrubs, often with milky acrid juice. In Unani literature, it is described by the name of ‘Bhuti’ which means Bhum Amlak - Amla of Land. Phyllanthus amarus  has been found throughout the tropics and sub- tropics such as West Africa (including Nigeria and Ghana), Europe, Asia (including China, Pakistan, India and Malaysia Indian ocean), central and south America.

In India, it is widely distributed as a weed in cultivated and waste lands. It is an annual herb grows to a height 6 inches to15 inches. Stem is angular with numerous distichous, elliptic oblong leaves. Flowers are yellowish, whitish or greenish, auxillary, males flowers in groups of 1-3 whereas females are solitary. Fruits are depressed-globose like smooth capsules present underneath the branches and seeds are trigonous, pale brown with longitudinal parallel ribs on the back4-6.

Phyllanthus amarus herb has a number of traditional uses such as diarrhoea, dysentery, dropsy, jaundice, intermittent fevers, kidney problems, urinary bladder disturbances, pain, gonorrhea, diabetes, urogenital disorders, chronic dysentery, skin ulcers, sores, swelling, itchiness, tubercular ulcers, ringworm, scabies and wounds. It is also used in cough, asthma, other bronchial infections, kidney related problems, appendix inflammation and prostate problems. Because of its efficacy in the field of gastro-intestinal disorders it is used in the treatment of disorders like dyspepsia, colic, constipation and dysentery. The herb has found to be effective in several female problems such as in leucorrhoea, menorrhagia and mammary abscess and can act as galactagogue7-9.

Hence it will be worthy to review on Phyllanthus amarus and produce data mainly on the pharmacological activities and chemical constituents of the plant to the scientists.

2 Phytochemistry of Phyllanthus amarus

Phyllanthus amarus have numerous phytochemical constituents such asalkaloids, phenols, tannins, and flavonoids, terpenoids, steroids, saponins, carbohydrates etc displayed in table 1 & Fig 1. Also mineral elements such as iron manganese, magnesium, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and chromium were found in appreciable amount, with calcium present in the highest concentration.

3 Pharmacological activities of Phyllanthus amarus

The Phyllanthus amarus has pharmacological activities such as anti-diabetic, antitumor, immunomodulation, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammation activities and antioxidant effects24 (Table 2).

4 Conclusion

Presently the use of medicinal plants increased considerably globally due to lesser side effects. The studies explored Phyllanthus amarus is one of the utmost needed medicinal plants for the treatment of different diseases. Phyllanthus amarus are rich in secondary metabolite and are the key factors for various pharmacological activities. The present information concerning Phyllanthus amarus may serve as the baseline data to impose to do widespread studies for the innovative of novel active compounds and promote evaluation for their pharmacological activities.    

5 Conflict of interests

None

6 Author’s contributions

MG and JSV collected the data and drafted the manuscript. Both authors have read and approved the final manuscript. 

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