A Review on Bioactive Compounds and Medicinal Uses of Commiphora mukul
Nakuleshwar Dut Jasuja,
Suresh C. Joshi
Commiphora mukul possesses a vast ethnomedical history and represents a phytochemical reservoir of heuristic medical value. It plays a very important role in all these processes as a key ingredient of the treatment procedures. C. mukul contains wide numbers of phytochemical constituents i.e., flavonoid, terpenes, phytosterols etc. which have different biological activities like antimicrobial, anti inflammatory, anti carcinogenic activity and various other important medicinal properties. There is a need to review this plant in order to provide scientific proof for its application in traditional medicine system. Guggulsterone is a main active substance in gugulipid, an extract of the C. mukul, used to treat a variety of disorders in humans, including dyslipidemia, obesity and inflammation. In this review an effort was made to update the information on its phytochemicals and pharmacological properties.
Received: June 05, 2012;
Accepted: July 09, 2012;
Published: September 01, 2012
The biological and pharmacological properties of many plants are still unknown.
Importance of medicinal plants and traditional health systems are always a concerning
issue to resolve the health care problems of the world (Sarwar
et al., 2011). The major source for drug discovery still comes from
herbs and plants in spite of the great development of synthetic molecules (Joshi
and Joshi, 2007). The inherent properties of herbal medicine have increased
to fill the lacunae created by synthetic medicines (Paarakh,
2010; Joshi et al., 2012a). World-over, the
scientists are exploring the possibilities of utilizing or finding out pharmacologically
active compounds from medicinal plants (Joshi et al.,
2012b; Karmegam et al., 2012; Bairwa
et al., 2011). Commiphora mukul is a small thorny plant (Fig.
1) indigenous to the India subcontinent and parts of the Near East (Mesrob
et al., 1998). The flowers are red and the fruit is oval in shape
and pulpy in nature. It is also known as guggul gum, guggal, guggulsterone,
guggulu and gum guggul.
The ole-gum-resin of C. mukul is called gugulipid (Satyavati,
1991). The yellowish resin produced by the stem of the plant has been widely
used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 2000 years, mainly to treat arthritis
Inflammation and to improve hepatic antioxidant defense system (Urizar
and Moore, 2003; Kimmatkar et al., 2003;
|| Plant of C. mukul
The active ingredients in gugulipid are the ketosteroids cis- and trans-4,17
(20)-pregnadiene-3,16-dione, also known as E- and Z guggulsterone (Ding
and Staudinger, 2005), are extracted from the resin, that is safer and more
effective than many cholesterol lowering drugs (Szapary
et al., 2003). C. mukul was found relatively safe effective
supplement for osteoarthritis of the knee (Singh et al.,
1995). This medicinal plant has a wide range of usefulness in indigenous
medicine (Joshi et al., 2012a). Like all oleo-resins,
it causes an increase of leucocytes in the blood and stimulates phagocytosis
(Speh and Vogan, 1980). Guggulu is a complex mixture
of steroids, diterpenoids, aliphatic esters, carbohydrates, amino acids and
triglycerides used into the preparation of several compound medicines (Rout
et al., 2012). C. mukul has been used as an anti-inflammatory,
antispasmodic, anti-suppurative, thyroid-stimulant, nervous diseases, cardiovascular
diseases, anthelmintic, depurative, skin disorders, leprosy, pyorrhea, muscle
spasms, hypertension, urinary disorders, vulnerary, antiseptic, demulcent, aphrodisiac
stimulant, liver tonic etc. (Singh et al., 1990;
Gupta, 1990; Singh et al.,
1997; Ghorai et al., 2000; Chander
et al., 2002; Singh et al., 2003;
Deng, 2007; Saxena et al.,
2007; Siddiqui, 2011). C. mukul has antiarthritic,
anti- inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal activity (Chaturvedi
and Singh, 1965; Kakrani, 1981; Pardhasaradhi
et al., 2001; Manjula et al., 2006).
Dixit et al. (1980) reported the hypolipidemic
effects of Commiphora mukul (guggulu) in dog and Presbytis monkeys. The
active plant extract showed significant antibacterial activities against human
pathogenic strains, adding credence to the ethnomedicinal uses of the plant
(Dey et al., 2011; Omer et
al., 2011). Antibacterial and antifungal activity of oils and active
components of guggulu were also assayed against a variety of human pathogenic
bacteria (Kazemi et al., 2012). Bag
et al. (2009) used plant generated bioactive compounds as an alternative
antimicrobial agent against multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens. Zongo
et al. (2009) also worked on antimicrobial activity of alkaloids
and conformed the importance of plant in traditional medicine against some infectious
diseases. The hydroalcoholic extract of C. mukul significantly improved
the cardiac function and prevented myocardial ischemic impairment manifested
in the form of increased heart rate, decreased arterial pressure, increased
left ventricular end diastolic pressure and altered myocardial contractility
indices (Ojha et al., 2008). Modern therapeutic
uses of C. mukul are cover nervous diseases, leprosy, muscle spasms,
pyorrhoea, scrofula, skin disorders, spongy gums, hypertension, ulcerative pharyngitis,
urinary disorders and cardiovascular diseases. It is also an anti-oxidant agent
and reduces the stickiness of platelets. The Ayurvedic herb Inula racemosa,
in combination with Commiphora mukul, is used to reduce chest pain and
dyspnea of angina (Gupta, 1990; Chander
et al., 2002; Deng, 2007). The gum resin contains
Z and E isomers of guggulsterone and its related gugggulsterols: guggulsterol-I,
guggulsterol-II, guggulsterol- III, guggulsterol-IV, guggulsterol-V and guggulsterol-VI.
Major components of essential oil from gum resin are myrcene and dimyrcene (Patil
et al., 1972; Purushothaman and Chandrasekharan,
1976). That plant is associated with lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
It might be beneficial for people with atherosclerosis (Lata
et al., 1991). Gugulipid, a fraction of Commiphora mukul has
been developed at CDRI, Lucknow as a hyperlipidaemic agent (Metha
et al., 1968; Satyavati et al., 1969).
Plants have been the basis of many traditional medicines because they are one
of the richest sources of bioactive compounds and have continued to provide
new remedies to mankind (Ingale and Hivrale, 2010).
Some bioactive compounds has been reported in the extract of C. mukul
such as dimyrcene (Delay and Ohloff, 1979), α-camphorene
(Raldugin et al., 1976), linoleic, oleic, stearic,
palmitic acids, sitosterol (Kakrani, 1982), Z- and E-guggulsterones
(Mesrob et al., 1998), (8R)-3α,8-dihydroxy-polypoda-13E,17E,21-triene
(myrrhanolC,4-pregnene-3,16-dione, 20S-acetyloxy-4-pregnene-3,16-dione, 4,17(20)-(cis)-pregnadiene-3,16-dione,
4,17(20)-(trans)-pregnadiene-3,16-dione, 16 β-acetyloxy-pregn-4,17(20)-trans-dien-3-one,
3 α-acetyloxy-5α-pregnan-16-one, 20R,22R-dihydroxycholest-4-en-3-one
(Matsuda et al., 2004).
Amino acids: The amino acids are reported in the extract of Commiphora
mukul such as cystine, histidine, alanine, proline, tyrosine, tryptophan,
valine, leucine and isoleucine (Arora et al., 1971).
EFFECT OF BIOACTIVE COMPOUNDS AND THEIR ACTIVITY
Epiexcelsin and 5'-demethoxy-epiexcelsin: These two lignans (Fig.
2, 3) were isolate by phytochemical study of Commiphora
mukul. These lignans showed the significant inhibitory activity against
α-glucosidase with the IC50 59.8±3.63455 and 75.2±8.1616
μM, weak inhibitory potential against chymotrypsin with the IC50
of 110±0.025 and 649±0.013 μM, respectively (Abbasi
et al., 2005).
Guggulsterone: Sharma et al. (2009) observed
the effects of guggulsterone on diabetic rat and found that guggulsterone showed
a differential effect with a significantly improved PPARgamma expression and
activity in in vivo and in vitro conditions, respectively. However,
it inhibited 3T3-L1 preadipocytes differentiation in vitro.
The results presented here suggest that the guggulsterone has both hypoglycemic
and hypolipidemic effect which can help to cure type II diabetes (Sharma
et al., 2009). Guggulsterone is a potent inhibitor NF-κB, COX-2
and MMp-9 (Shishodia and Aggarwal, 2004). As gugulipid,
guggulsterone also inhibited platelets aggregation (Mester
et al., 1979) and provide protection against myocardial ischemia
induced by isoproterenol (Kaul and Kapoor, 1989). The
protective action of guggulsterone is due to antioxidant property because it
inhibits the generation of oxygen free radicals (Chander
et al., 2002).
According to Shah et al. (2012) the Z- and E-guggulsterones,
have been demonstrated to exhibit their biological activities by binding to
nuclear receptors and modulating the expression of proteins involved in carcinogenic
activities. Guggulsterones have also been reported to regulate gene expression
by exhibiting control over other molecular targets including transcription factors
such as nuclear factor (NF)-κB, signal transducer and activator of transcription
(STAT) and steroid receptors (Shah et al., 2012).
Yu et al. (2009) studied the effect of guggulsterone
and observed that guggulsterone antagonized the chenodeoxycholic acid activated
by nuclear Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR), which regulates cholesterol metabolism
in the liver.
The Z-Guggulsterone and E-Guggulsterone are the active components and Non-Ketonic
part of guggul which appear to be responsible for lowering blood lipids and
hypolipidemic activity. Macha et al. (2010) were
studied on guggulsterone targets smokeless tobacco induced PI3K/Akt pathway
in head and neck cancer cells. According to them guggulsterone may be able to
suppress carcinogenic growth in head and neck cells from smokeless (chewing)
tobacco. Because in their research they observed that Guggulsterone (GS) is
a biosafe nutraceutical, inhibits the PI3K/Akt pathway that plays a critical
role in HNSCC development. However, the potential of GS to suppress Smokeless
Tobacco (ST) and nicotine (major component of ST) induced HNSCC remains unexplored.
They hypothesized GS can abrogate the effects of ST and nicotine on apoptosis
in HNSCC cells, in part by activation of PI3K/Akt pathway and its downstream
targets, Bax and Bad. So, they conclude that GS treatment not only inhibited
proliferation, but also induced apoptosis by abrogating the effects of ST/nicotine
on PI3K/Akt pathway in head and neck cancer cells (Macha et
al., 2011). Guggulsterones seem to have special mechanisms for head
and neck anti-carcinogenesis (Leeman-Neill et al.,
2009; Macha et al., 2010). Guggulsterones also
appear to reduce circulating levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and markers
such as IL-1b, IL-2 and TNF-α (Manjula et al.,
2006). Guggulsterones are also able to reduce Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) mRNA
levels and suppress its TNFa mediated induction (activation) (Shishodia
and Aggarwal, 2004).
|| 4, 17(20)-(trans)-pregnadiene-3
16-dione (guggulsterone, E-isomer) (Patil et al.,
Urizar et al. (2002) studied on a natural product
that lowers cholesterol as an antagonist ligand for FXR and observed that sterol
guggulsterone [4,17(20)-pregnadiene-3,16-dione] (Fig. 5) is
the active agent, highly efficacious antagonist of the Farnesoid X Receptor
(FXR) and a nuclear hormone receptor that is activated by bile acids (Urizar
et al., 2002).
Some researchers also studied guggulsterone and isolated the Z- and E- isomer
of guggulsterone (Fig. 4 and 5) and its
related guggulsterols like guggulsterol-I (Fig. 6), guggulsterol-II
(Fig. 7), guggulsterol-III (Fig. 8), guggulsterol
IV (Fig. 9), guggulsterol V (Fig. 10),
Guggulsterol VI (Fig. 11) from the extract of resin. These
compounds have hypolipidemic properties (Singh et al.,
2005; Mishra and Kaur, 2012).
A search was done on these two tetrols (Fig. 12, 13),
but no references describing biological activity were found (Dev,
Naringenin: Naringenin (Fig. 14) can efficiently
prevent the accumulation of plasma lipids and lipoproteins. Naringenin has hepatoprotective
efficacy. It is flavonoids which display anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic,
antibacterial and antiviral properties (Kay, 1996).
Cembranoids: Yu et al. (2009) studied
the Effect cembranoids (Fig. 15) of Commiphora mukul
and observed that the cembranoids did not show a noticeable effect on FXR, but
lowered the cholate (1)-activated rate of human pancreatic IB phospholipase
A2 (hPLA2), which controls gastrointestinal absorption of fat and cholesterol
(Yu et al., 2009).
Myrrhanol A: Myrrhanol A (Fig. 16), a triterpene
of Commiphora mukul gum resin displayed a potent anti-inflammatory effect
on exudative pouch fluid, angiogenesis and granuloma weights in adjuvant-induced
air-pouch granuloma of mice. Researchers noted that the effects were more marked
than those of hydrocortisone (Kimura et al., 2001).
A petroleum ether extract of the oleo-gum resin of Commiphora molmol,
dosed at 500 mg kg-1 produced a significant inhibition of carrageenan
-induced inflammation and cotton pellet granuloma, as well as significant antipyretic
activity in mice (Tariq et al., 1986). Myrrhanol
A, is significantly reduces pain and stiffness in patients with osteoarthritis.
α-pinene: The bicyclic monoterpenes α-pinene (Fig.
17) showed considerable antifungal activity (Lis-Balcnin
et al., 1999; Aligiannis et al., 2001;
Mourey and Canillac, 2002; Delaquis
et al., 2002; Kim et al., 2003; Martins
et al., 2003; Staniszewska et al., 2005).
However, there is no clear consensus yet as to which pinene isomer is more antimicrobially
active (Griffin et al., 1999; Hammer
et al., 2003).
Eugenol (Fig. 18) is known to inhibit lipid peroxidation
by acting as a chain-breaking antioxidant (Nagababu and
Lakshmaiah, 1992; Fugisawa et al., 2002).
The lipid peroxidation may play a very important role in cell proliferation
especially in tumours (Udilova et al., 2003)
thus; lipid peroxidation control could be a mechanism of action of eugenol as
an anti microbial agent. Eugenol is involved in cytotoxic process and can cause
apoptotic cell death (Yoo et al., 2005). Eugenol
inhibited the mutagenicity of aflatoxin B1 and N-methyl-N-nitrosoguanidine
(Francis et al., 2004).
Ellagic acid: Ellagic acid (Fig. 19) has antioxidant, anti-mutagen and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown the anti-cancer activity on cancer cells of the breast, oesophagus, skin, colon, prostate and pancreas. More specifically, ellagic acid prevents the destruction of P53 gene by cancer cells. Ellagic acid can bind with cancer causing molecules, thereby making them inactive.
Ahn et al. (1996) studied on the effects of
dietary ellagic acid on rat hepatic and esophageal mucosal cytochromes P450
and phase II enzymes. They showed that ellagic acid causes a decrease in total
hepatic mucosal cytochromes and an increase in some hepatic phase II enzyme
activities, thereby enhancing the ability of the target tissues to detoxify
the reactive intermediates. Ellagic acid showed also a chemo-protective effect
against various chemically induced cancers (Ahn et al.,
1996). A study by Thresiamma et al. (1996)
indicate that oral administration of ellagic acid by rats can circumvent the
carbon tetrachloride toxicity and subsequent fibrosis of the liver. Ellagic
acid has also antiviral and antibacterial activities (Thresiamma
et al., 1996). In plants, ellagic acid is bound to a sugar molecule
to form ellagitannin, a potent antimicrobial agent. This molecule may have evolved
to protect plants from infections and parasites, but there is some evidence
that ellagic acid might serve antiviral and antibacterial functions.
L-arabinose: L-Arabinose (Fig. 20) found in plant,
has no reported biological activity, but makes the bean pods a good source of
sugar (Kay, 1996).
|| Myrrhanols B
Myrrhanols B, myrrhanones A, myrrhanones B: Matsuda
et al. (2004) studied on absolute stereo structures of polypodane-
and octanordammarane-type triterpenes with nitric oxide production inhibitory
activity from guggul-gum resins. They observed that the several triterpenes (Fig.
21-23) constituents showed inhibitory effects on nitric
oxide production and induction of inducible nitric oxide synthase.
Muscanone: Fatope et al. (2003) were
isolated a new antifungal flavanone, muscanone (Fig. 24)
along with known naringenin from Commiphora wightii which show the antifungal
activity against Candida albicans. Muscanone inhibited the growth of
Candida albicans at 250 μg mL-1 (Fatope
et al., 2003).
Diayangambin: De Leon et al. (2002) studied
on diayangambin (Fig. 25) have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory
efficacy in vitro and in vivo condition. They observed that Human mononuclear
cell proliferation was inhibited by diayangambin with an IC50 value
of 1.5 (0.5-2.8) micro M.
|| Myrrhanones A
In addition, the compound reduced for 40.8% prostaglandin E 2 generation in
stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cell line at 10 micro M and In vivo,
a clear reduction of ear swelling was observed when diayangambin (40 mg kg-1)
was administered orally to 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene-treated mice. The inhibition
of swelling was associated with a reduction of leukocyte infiltration determined
as myeloperoxidase activity. In the carrageenan mouse paw edema model, diayangambin
significantly suppressed inflamed paw volume and prostaglandin E 2 levels. So,
they conclude that the potential interest of diayangambin in the treatment of
immune and inflammatory responses (De Leon et al.,
Quercetin: The major flavonoid components of the flowers of Commiphora
mukul were identified as quercetin (Fig. 26), quercetin-3-O-α-L-arabinoside
(Fig. 27), quercetin-3-O-β-D-galactoside (Fig.
28), quercetin-3-O-α-L-rhamnoside (Fig. 29), quercetin-3-
O-β-D glucuronide (Fig. 30) (Kakrani,
1981). The flavonoid pelargonidin-3, 5-di-O-glucoside (Fig.
31) is an anthocyanidin also isolated from C. mukul flowers. Some
studies have also reported that, in vitro, quercetin (Fig.
26) can inhibit various cytokines, including tumour necrosis factor β
(TNFβ) (Manjeet and Ghosh, 1999; Nair
et al., 2006). Quercetin aglycone was the most effective inducer
of the anticarcinogenic phase II marker enzyme, Quinone Reductase (QR), in mouse
Hepalclc7 cells. Of the glycosides, only quercetin-4'-glucoside was able to
induce QR activity in this assay (Williamson et al.,
Quercetin has a range of activities. It has been shown in vitro to act
as an antioxidant (Filipe et al., 2004), inhibit
LDL oxidation (Formica and Regelson, 1995; Yamamoto
et al., 1999; Janisch et al., 2004),
inhibit the nitric oxide pathway (Chan et al., 2000;
Mu et al., 2001), have anti-inflammatory activity,
possibly due to an influence on the production of eicosanoids, including leukotrienes
and prostaglandins (Formica and Regelson, 1995) and also
cytokines (Wadsworth and Koop, 1999), have potential
as an anti-cancer agent through interaction with type II oestrogen binding sites
(Shenouda et al., 2004), inhibition of tyrosine
kinase (Huang et al., 1999), up-regulation of
tumour suppressor genes (Nair et al., 2004; Van
Erk et al., 2005) induction of apoptosis (Mertens-Talcott
and Percival, 2005; Mertens-Talcott et al., 2003)
and inhibition of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (Wadsworth
et al., 2001), have antihistamine activity (Marozzi
et al., 1970).
Methyl chavicol: Methyl chavicol (Fig. 32), also
known as estragole (Lewinsohn et al., 2000).
1, 8-cineole: Santos and Rao (2000) were studied
on anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of 1,8-cineole (Fig.
33) a terpenoid oxide present in many plant essential oils. They observed
that 1,8-Cineole (cineole), a terpenoid oxide present in many plant essential
oils displays an inhibitory effect on some types of experimental inflammation
in rats, i.e., paw edema induced by carrageenan and cotton pellet-induced granuloma.
Cineole also inhibits in mice, the acetic acid-induced increase in peritoneal
capillary permeability and the chemical nociception induced by intraplantar
formalin and intraperitoneal acetic acid (Santos and Rao,
β-sitosterol: The structures of β-sitosterol (Fig.
34) and cholesterol are quite similar. It is reasonable that β-sitosterol
can inhibit the absorbing of cholesterol in the body (Miettinen
and Gylling, 2002) and thus reduce the cholesterol levels in the plasma
(MacLatchy and Van Der Kraak, 1995). The liver function
activity (GDP, GOP) can improve with β-sitosterol (Zak
et al., 2005).
β-sitosterol can reduce prostate cancer and colon-cancer cell growth (Awad
and Fink, 2000). β-sitosterol has been reported that it has in vivo
topical anti-inflammatory properties in acute TPA-induced ear oedema in mice
but not in the chronic one (Gomez et al., 1999).
Stigmasterol and campesterol: The most commonly found phytosterols are
campesterol (C28) (Fig. 35) and stigmasterol (C29) (Fig.
36) (Pegel, 1980; Ostlund, 2002).
Phytosterols are incorporated in a variety of food products (functional foods
(Vorster et al., 2003) due to their cholesterol-lowering
effect, hence providing protection against cardiovascular disease (Tapiero
et al., 2003).
Stigmasterol was found to markedly inhibit tumor promotion in two-stage carcinogenesis
in mice (Yasukawa et al., 1991; Kasahara
et al., 1994) and to exhibit significant inhibitory effect on HIV
reverse transcriptase (Akihisa et al., 2001).
A mixture of stigmasterol and sitosterol were shown to possess anti-inflammatory
activity after topical application (Gomez et al.,
(±)-linalool and α-terpineol: Linalool (Fig.
37) and α-terpineol (Fig. 38) exhibited strong antimicrobial
activity against periodontopathic and cariogenic bacteria and their concentration
should be kept below 0.4 mg mL-1 (Park et
Mansumbinoic acid and mansumbinone: Research on anti-inflammatory activity
of C. mukul. They observed that two octanodammarane triterpenes and mansumbinoic
acid (Fig. 39) mansumbinone (Fig. 40)
exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity. The effect of mansumbinoic
acid to reduced the joint swelling (Duwiejua et al.,
1993; Sosa et al., 1993). Rahman
et al. (2008) studied on antibacterial terpenes from the oleo-resin
of Commiphora molmol (Engl.).
|| Mansumbinoic acid
They observed that two octane-dammaranes; mansumbinone and 3,4-seco-mansumbinoic
acid and two sesquiterpenes; beta-elemene and T-cadinol were show the antimicrobial
activity against a number of Staphylococcus aureus strains: SA1199B,
ATCC25923, XU212, RN4220 and EMRSA15. The 3,4-seco -mansumbinoic acid were show
the highest Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) against Staphylococcus
aureus SA1199B (4 mL-1) (Rahman et al.,
Pharmacological effects of Commiphora mukul have been studied in various laboratories. C. mukul is a most food and feed plant, produced a broad range of bioactive chemical constituent via their so called secondary metabolism. Bioactive compounds are often characterized as both poisonous and medicinal and a beneficial or an adverse result may depend on the amount eaten and context of intake.
Pharmacological studies on C. mukul have been studied in various laboratories.
C. mukul can be regarded as plant of high medicinal value as it is an
active source of number of bioactive compounds such as guggulsterone, eugenol,
ellagic acid, quercitin, stigmasterol and campesterol. Studies showed that these
bioactive compounds possess immense utility. Guggulsterones may be able to suppress
carcinogenic growth in head and neck cells from smokeless (chewing) tobacco.
Eugenol also known as lipid peroxidation may play a very important role in cell
proliferation especially in tumours. Ellagic acid possesses antioxidant, anti-mutagen
and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown the anti-cancer activity on cancer
cells of the breast, oesophagus, skin, colon, prostate and pancreas. Quercitin
has been shown in vitro to act as an antioxidant inhibit LDL oxidation,
inhibit the nitric oxide pathway have anti-inflammatory activity. In todays
era deadly disease as cancer, tumor has become epidemic. Plants, gift of nature
still possess unexplored potential. Studies on C. mukul have shown a
light in treating such diseases through natural means.
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