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Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicity of Strychnos nux-vomica L.: A Review.

Authors
  • Guo, Rixin1
  • Wang, Ting1
  • Zhou, Guohong2
  • Xu, Mengying1, 3
  • Yu, Xiankuo1
  • Zhang, Xiao1, 3
  • Sui, Feng1
  • Li, Chun1
  • Tang, Liying1
  • Wang, Zhuju1
  • 1 * Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Science, No. 16 Nanxiaojie, Dongzhimennei Ave., Beijing 100700, P. R. China. , (China)
  • 2 † School of Chinese Material Medica, Guangdong Food and Drug Vocational College, No. 321 Longdongbei Ave., Guangzhou 510520, P. R. China. , (China)
  • 3 ‡ School of Medicine, Henan University of Chinese Medicine, No. 156 Jinshuidong Ave., Zhengzhou 450046, P. R. China. , (China)
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American journal of Chinese medicine
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
Volume
46
Issue
1
Pages
1–23
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1142/S0192415X18500015
PMID: 29298518
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Strychnos nux-vomica L. belongs to the genus Strychnos of the family Loganiaceae and grows in Sri Lanka, India and Australia. The traditional medicinal component is its seed, called Nux vomica. This study provides a relevant and comprehensive review of S. nux-vomica L., including its botany, ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology, thus providing a foundation for future studies. Up to the present day, over 84 compounds, including alkaloids, iridoid glycosides, flavonoid glycosides, triterpenoids, steroids and organic acids, among others, have been isolated and identified from S. nux-vomica. These compounds possess an array of biological activities, including effects on the nervous system, analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions, antitumor effects, inhibition of the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and regulation of immune function. Furthermore, toxicity and detoxification methods are preliminarily discussed toward the end of this review. In further research on S. nux-vomica, bioactivity-guided isolation strategies should be emphasized. Its antitumor effects should be investigated further and in vivo animal experiments should be performed alongside in vitro testing. The pharmacological activity and toxicology of strychnine [Formula: see text]-oxide and brucine [Formula: see text]-oxide should be studied to explore the detoxification mechanism associated with processing more deeply.

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