THE MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF PHYTOCHEMICALS IN CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS - A REVIEW
Renjini K. R., Gopakumar G. and Latha M. S.*
Plants have been a rich source of compoundsfor the development of clinically useful therapeutic agents. Catharanthus Roseus, also known as Madagascar Periwinkle is a pretty ornamental plant of Apocyanate family. Medicinal value of this plant has been known from ancient Mesopotamian age. The plant contains enormous phytoconstituents which are used intraditional Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine and conventional Chinese medication and other curative systems. All parts of the plantare reported to contain alkaloids. More than400 unique alkaloids had been isolated and named from this plant. Its curative action is due to the presence of alkaloids like Ajamalicine, serpentine and reserpine which are known for hypotensive, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-oxidantand antispasmodic properties. With the presence of cancer fighter Vincaalkaloids vincristine, vinblastine, vinorelbine and vindesine, it became eminent anticancer herb along with many other therapeutic effects. Vincristine is in the List of Essential Medicines of World Health Organization's, the most important medication needed in a basic health system. This review gives an overview of the medicinal properties of the phytochemicals present in Catharanthus Roseus.
Keywords: Catharanthus Roseus; Phytochemicals; Vinca Alkaloids; Anticancer; Vincristine; Vinblastine.
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