Bauhinia purpurea Linn.: A Review of its Ethnobotany, Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile
The use of natural products as medicinal agents presumably predates the earliest recorded history. Bauhinia purpurea is a species of flowering plant is used in several traditional medicine systems to cure various diseases. This plant has been known to possess antibacterial, antidiabetic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, anticancerous, nephroprotective and thyroid hormone regulating activity. A wide range of chemical compounds including 5,6-Dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavone 6-O- β D xylopyrano-Side, bis [3,4-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-7,8-furano-5,6-mono-methylalloxy]-5-C-5-biflavonyl and (4-hydroxy-7-methyl 3-C-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-5-C-5-(4-hydroxy-7- methyl-3-C-α-D-glucopyranosyl) bioflavonoid, bibenzyls, dibenzooxepins, mixture of phytol fatty esters, lutein, β-sitosterol, isoquercitin and astragalin etc. The present review discusses phyto-chemistry, pharmacology, medicinal properties and biological activity of B. purpurea and its usage in different ailments.
August 30, 2010; Accepted: September 09, 2010;
Published: November 08, 2010
Nature has provided a complete storehouse of remedies to cure ailment of mankind.
Medicinal plants have been used for centuries as remedies for disease because
they contain component of therapeutic values. According to the WHO, 80% of the
world population continues to rely mainly on traditional medicines for their
health care (WHO, 1993). Herbal medicines, as the major
remedy in traditional medical systems, have been used in medical practice for
thousands of years and have made a great contribution to maintaining human health.
A majority of the worlds population in developing countries still relies
on herbal medicines to meet its health needs. The attention paid by health authorities
to the use of herbal medicines has increased considerably, both because they
are often the only medicine available in less developed areas and because they
are becoming a popular alternative medicine in more developed areas (Gurib-Fakim,
2006). The continued investigation into the secondary plant metabolites
has gained importance for their safe use.
Bauhinia purpurea L. is a medium sized deciduous tree belongs to the
family Leguminosae (Caesalpinioideae), native to South China (which includes
Hong Kong) and Southeastern Asia and it is found throughout India, ascending
to an altitude of 1300 m in the Himalayan (Khare, 2004).
B. purpurea is a moderate evergreen tree in sub-Himalayan region and
western track of India and often its leaves are used as fodder during the lean
period (Jha, 1995). The genus Bauhinia, consisting
of 300 species (Chopra et al., 1996). In the United
States of America, the tree grows in Hawaii, coastal California, southern Texas
and southwest Florida. Common names include Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Purple camel's
foot and Hawaiian orchid tree.
Plant profile: It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing
up to 17 m tall. The bark is ashy to dark brown, nearly smooth, young parts
brown-pubescent. The leaves are 7.5-15 cm long, rather than longer than broad,
cleft about half way down into 2 acute or rounded bilobed very minutely pubescent
beneath when young, base usually cordarte, 9-11 nerved; petiole 2.25-3.8 cm
long. The flowers are conspicuous, pink and fragrant with five petals. Pedicels
5-13 mm long, stout, tementose, bract and bracteoles small tementose, deltoid.
Calyx tementose, tube 7.5-10 mm long, limb long as the tube. Petals 3.8 to 5
cm long, oblanceolate, long clawed, spreadind veined. Stamens usually 3 fertile,
others reduced to antherless filaments. Ovary downy, long-stalked; style long;
stigma large, oblique. Pod 15-25 by 1.5-2 cm on a tementose stipe 1.5 to 2.5
cm long, linear, flat, pointed, greenish, tinged with purple till ripe, late
in dehiscing. Seeds 12-15 suborbicular, flattened, 1.3 cm. wide and dark brown
smooth (Kritikar and Basu, 1991).
Indian names: In India it is known by its various vernacular names, the most commonly used ones are Orchid tree (English), Khairwal, Kaniar (Hindi), Sarul (Kannada), Chuvanna Mandaram (Malayalam), Vanaraja (Sanskrit), Mandari (Tamil), Bodanta (Telgu), Kaanchanaara, Kaanchana (Ayurveda): Sivappumanchori (Siddha).
Medicinal uses: The young pods and mature seeds of kachnar are known
to be cooked and eaten by tribles such as the Kathkors and Gondas of India (Rajaram
and Janardhanan, 1991). Species of Bauhinia are rich in polyphenolics and
are known for its medicinal properties (Patil, 2003).
B. purpurea known to the Malays as pokok tapak kerbau, has been traditionally
used by the Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani people to treat ailment like ulcer,
wound, glandular swelling and stomach tumor. The decoction of the root is used
for expelling gases, flatulence and griping pain from the stomach and bowel,
the bark of the plant is used as an astringent in the treatment of diarrhea.
Its decoctions are recommended for ulcers as a useful wash solution. The bark
or root and flower mixture with boiled rice water is used as maturant for boils
and abscesses (Kurian, 2004). The decoction of flower
works as a laxative (Wassel et al., 1986). Fresh
bark of Kaanchanaara (B. purpurea) mixed with Shunthi (dry Zingiber
offficinale), pounded with sour gruel, was prescribed in enlarge cervical
glands (Vrindamaadhava) as well as in goiter (Shaarangadhara Samhitaa, Bhavaprakaasha).
Over the counter Kaanchanaara (B. purpurea) Guggulu (Shaarangadhar Samhitaa)
is used to treat enlarge cervical glands, goiter and scrofulous tumors, so is
kaanchan-gudikaa (Bhaishjya Ratnaavali). It has also been reported to contain
high phenolics which are usually referred to as anti-quality factor for ruminant
nutritions because of their high affinity with proteins (Yadav
and Bhadoria, 2001). Although, there is no documentation on its traditional
use to treat diseases among the Malaysians, this plant has been used in the
Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani folklore medicine to treat ailments like glandular
swellings, skin diseases, ulcers, diarrhea, stomach tumors and wounds (Jones
and German, 1993). Several ethnomedicinal importance of B. purpurea is
given in Table 1.
Ethnomedicinal uses of different parts of B. purpurea
PHYTOCHEMISTRY OF B. PURPUREA
B. purpurea contain major class of secondary metabolites are glycosides,
flavonoids, saponins, triterpenoids, phenolic compounds, oxepins, fatty acids
and phytosterols. From the ethanolic extract of the whole plant of B. purpurea
two new oxepins named bauhiniastatins1 and 2 have been isolated and the
ethanolic extract of root provides bauhiniastatins 1, 2, 3 and pacharin (Fig.
1) exhibit significant growth inhibition against a minipanel of human cancer
cell lines (Pettit et al., 2006). The structures have
been established on the basis of chemical evidence and spectroscopic methods.
A novel flavone glycoside, 5,6-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavone 6-O-b-D-xylopyranoside
(Fig. 2) was isolated from the chloroform-soluble fraction
of the ethanolic extract of B. purpurea stems (Yadav
and Tripathi, 2000). Three glycerol derivatives and 6- butyl-3-hydroxyflavanone
derivatives are 2, 3-dihydroxypropyl oleate, 2,3 dihroxypropyl linoleate, 2,3-
dihydroxypropyl 16-hyroxydecanoate and 6-butyl-3-hydroxyflavanone, 6-(3-oxobutyl)-taxifolin
(Fig. 3) respectively isolated from methanolic extract of
heartwood of B. purpurea (Kuo et al., 1998).
The two new dimeric flavonoids namely bis [3,4-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-7,8-furano-5,6-mono
methylalloxy]-5-C-5-biflavonyl and (4-hydroxy-7-methyl 3-C-α-L-rhamnopyranosyl)-5-C-5-(4-hydroxy-7-
methyl-3-C-α-D-glucopyranosyl) bioflavonoid (Fig. 4)
with protein precipitating property obtained from 70% aq. acetone extract of
B. purpurea leaves (Yadav and Bhadoria, 2005).
The leaves of B. purpurea also afforded a mixture of phytol fatty esters,
leutin and β-sitosterol (Fig. 5) (Ragasa
et al., 2004). The petroleum ether fraction of ethanolic extract
(95%) of Bauhinia purpurea leaf gave α- amyrin caprylate on successive
column chromatography with petroleum ether (60-80°) and chloroform which
gives Liebermann-Burchard test of triterpene. The compound is characterized
by spectral analysis (Verma and Chandrashekar, 2009).
In the flower volatile oils of both B. purpurea and B. variegata
found monoterpenes (e.g., a-terpinene, limonene, myrcene, linalool, citronellyl
acetate) and a phenylpropanoid (eugenol) (Wassel et al.,
1986). The aqueous methanolic extract of fresh flower of B. purpurea
gives flavonoid quercetin and flavonoid glycosides isoquercitin, astragalin
(Fig. 6) (Ramchandra and Joshi, 1967)
butein 4 O-β-L-arabinopyranosyl-O-β-D-galactoside (mp 265°)
isolated from seed of B. purpurea. This gave the characteristic colour
reactions of a chalcone and ion hydrolysis with 8% ethanolic H2SO4
for 12 h gave butein and a disaccharide, the component sugars which were found
as galactose and arabinose (Bharatiya et al., 1979).
of flavone glycoside
A new glycoside 3,4-dihydroxychalcone 4-O-β-L-arabinopyranosyl-O-β-D-galactopyranoside
(mp 365°) isolated from seed which gave the characteristic colour reactions
of a chalcone and gave 3,4-dihydroxychalcone, galactose and arabinose on acid
hydrolysis (8% ethanolic H2SO4 for 12 h). The identity
of sugars was confirmed by co-chromatography with authentic samples and by the
preparation of their osazones (Bharatiya and Gupta, 1981). After chalcone glycoside
a novel flavone glycoside were isolated, Glycoside-6-4-Diahydroxy-3-prenyl-3,7,5,7-Tetramethoxy
Flavone-6-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside (Fig. 7) from acetone
soluble of ethanolic extract from seed of B.
of dimeric flavonoids
of leutin and beta-sitosterol
of flavonoids and flavonoid glycosides
purpurea which gives positive test for Molisch and structure are confirmed
by spectral data analysis (Yadav and Sodhi, 2001). The
CH2Cl2 extract of root of B. purpurea on purification
yield 11 new compounds bauhinoxepin C-J, bauhinobenzofurin A, bauhispirorin
A, bauhinol E, two flavanones (-)-strobopinin and demethoxymatteucinol and five
known bibenzyls (Fig. 8) which posses various pharmacological
activities (Boophong et al., 2007). All the compounds
were characterized by spectral analysis. Kachnar (B. purpurea) seeds
were found to contain about 17.5% crude seed oil. The amount of neutral lipids
in the crude seed oil was the highest (99% of total lipids), followed by glycolipids
and phospholipids, respectively. Linoleic, followed by palmitic, oleic and stearic,
were the major fatty acids in the crude seed oil and its lipid classes. The
ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acid, was higher in neutral
lipid classes than in the polar lipid fractions. The oil was characterized by
a relatively high amount of phytosterols, wherein the sterol markers were β-sitosterol
and stigmasterol. β-Tocopherol was the major tocopherol isomer with the
rest being d-tocopherol (Ramadana et al., 2006).
Bauhinia purpurea seed is a source of galactose and lactose binding lectin,
a peptide which interact with carbohydrate. The amino acid sequence of peptide
that bind with lactose is Asp-Thr-Trp-Pro-Asp-Thr-Glu-Trp-Ser and is obtained
of Bauhinia purpurea lectin by affinity chromatography of peptide with
Asp-N endoproteinase or trysin on column of lactose-Sepharose 4B or lactose-,
maltose-, fucose- and di-N-ucetylchitobiose-Sepharose and by solid phase synthesis.
of novel flavone glycoside
This peptide exhibits lactose binding activity in the presence of calcium (Yamamoto
et al., 1991).
PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF B. PURPUREA
Antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties:
The aqueous extract of leaf of B. purpurea possesses good antinociceptive,
anti-Inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic. The crude dried extract was prepared
in doses of 6.0, 30.0 and 60.0 mg kg-1 and subjected to the respective.
They have used antinociceptive (abdominal constriction, hot plate and formalin
tests), anti-inflammatory (carrageenan-induced paw edema test) and antipyretic
(brewers yeast-induced pyrexia test) assays. The 6.0 mg kg-1
AEBP exhibited the highest antinociceptive activity, the 30.0 mg kg-1
AEBP exhibited an equieffective anti-inflammatory activity when compared to
the 100 mg kg-1 ASA only between the interval times of 1-4 h, The
dose-independent antipyretic activity was observed only at the concentration
6.0 and 30.0 with the former showing remarkable activity even when compared
with 100 mg kg-1 ASA (Zakaria et al.,
2007). In Zakaria et al. (2009) established
the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of chloroform extract of
B. purpurea leaves using animal models. The different dose 20, 100, 200
mg kg-1 were prepared in dimethyl solfoxide were 100 mg kg-1
extract showed a less remarkable anti-inflammatory activity compared to the
other doses tested. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of ethanolic
extract of stem of B. purpurea was subjected. Different CNS depressant
paradigms like analgesic activity (Eddys hot plate method and acetic acid
writhing method) and anti-inflammatory activity (carrageenan induced paw edema)
were carried out following the intra peritoneal administration of extract at
dose level 50 and 100 mg kg-1. Dose of 100 mg kg-1 was
comparable with standard drugs (Shreedhara et al.,
2009). The aqueous and methanolic extract of the stem bark of Bauhinia
purpurea were tested for anti-inflammatory activity at dose level 300 mg
kg-1 by carageenan induced rat paw edema. Both the extract were tested
against standard drug diclofenac were ethanolic extract showed maximum activity,
However the extracts activity is less than standard drug (Chandrashekar
et al., 2009a, b).
||Structure of oxepins, flavones and bibenzyls
The ethyl acetate extract of stem bark of Bauhinia purpurea were found
good analgesic activity tested at dose level 400 mg kg-1 by acetic
acid induced writhing model and hot plate method (Chandrashekar
et al., 2009a).
Antimalarial, antimycobacterial, antifungal and cytotoxicity activities:
The isolated compounds from roots exhibited antimycobacterial activity with
MIC valve ranging from 24.4 to 740.7 μM. Among all compounds bauhinoxepin
J is a potent antimycobacterial agent activity having MIC 24.4 μM. Among
the isolated metabolites, compounds 6, 7, 8 and 13 exhibited antimalarial activity
(IC50 5.8-11.2 μM), while compounds 1, 4, 9, 15 and 18 exhibited
antifungal activity (IC50 49.6-130.1 μM). Compounds 1, 2, 4,
6, 7, 8 and 18 exhibited cytotoxicity towards KB and BC cell line with IC50
values ranging from 10.5 to 72.3 μM. Compound 4 and 7 posses potent anti-inflammatory
activity inhibiting the COX-2 enzyme with IC50 value of 6.9 and 10.1
μM respectively (Fig. 8) (Boophong
et al., 2007).
Anti-diabetics: The rat showing blood glucose level 250-350 mg dL-1
were considered as diabetic rat, induced by alloxan. The hypoglycemic activity
of ethanolic extract and purified fraction-1 of stem of B. purpurea were
studied and found that the dose of 100 mg dL-1 (i.p.) reduces serum
glucose level of Wister rats due to inhibition of cyclooxygenase and promote
β-cell regeneration (Muralikrishna et al., 2008).
Cardiac activity: The cardiotonic activity of purified fraction-1 of
ethanolic extract of stem of B. purpurea were studied and found that
the fraction-1 has exhibited positive inotropic and chronotropic effect on isolated
frogs heart. Its action is blocked by β2-adrenergic blocker
propranolol. The characterization of the isolated compound based on structural
studies is under progress (Muralikrishna et al.,
Hormone regulation: The aqueous alcoholic bark extract of B. purpurea
(2.5 mg kg-1 b.wt.) and aqueous root extract Withania somnifera
(1.4 g kg-1 b.wt.) on daily administration for 20 days, stimulating
thyroid function in female mice. Both the plant extracts showed an increase
in hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase) activity and antiperoxidative effects
as indicated either by a decrease in hepatic lipid peroxidation (LPO) and/or
by an increase in the activity of antioxidant enzyme(s). Serum triiodothyronine
(T3) and thyroxine (T4) concentrations were increased
significantly by Bauhinia, Withania could enhance only serum T4
concentration (Panda and Kar, 1999). In Panda
et al. (2003) studied the role of Emblica officinalis L. and
Bauhinia purpurea L. extracts in regulating thyroid functions was studied
in male mice. Oral administration of Emblica officinalis L. fruit extract
at 30 mg kg-1 body weight (b.wt.) each day for 20 days decreased
serum T3 and T4 concentrations and hepatic O2
consumption. In contrast daily administration of B. purpurea at 2.5 mg
kg-1 b.wt. each day for 20 days increased serum T4 concentration
and O2 consumption. Both the plant extracts exhibited hepatoprotective
effects as evidenced by decreased lipid per oxidation (Panda
et al., 2003).
Antioxidant activity: The antioxidant activity of ethanolic extract
(95% v/v) of leaves of B. purpurea exhibited significant free radical
scavenging activity and reducing power activity when compare with ascorbic acid.
The IC50 values were found to be 78.31 and 59.37 μg mL-1
for ethanolic extract of leaves of B. purpurea and ascorbic acid, respectively
(Joshi et al., 2009). The ethanolic extracts
of aerial parts do not shows antioxidant activity (Silva
et al., 2005).
Nephroprotective: The ethanolic extract of leaves and unripe pods of
B. purpurea shows protective action on kidney induced by gentamicin induced
nephrotoxicity. Extracts were administered intraperitoneal at dose level 300
mg/kg/day for eight days reduces blood vessel congestion, epithelial desquamation,
accumulation of anti-inflammatory cells and necrosis of kidney cells. This normalizes
the increased level of serum creatinine, uric acid, urea and blood urea nitrogen
(Lakshmi et al., 2009).
Wound healing activity: Four different models excision, incision, burn
and dead space wound were used to determine wound healing properties of chloroform
and methanol extracts of leaves of B. purpurea. Low dose 2.5% (w/w) and
high dose 5% (w/w) of chloroform and methanol extracts were prepared in hydrophilic
and hydrophobic bases for excision, incision, burn wound models applied topically.
Aloe vera 5% (w/w) was used as a standard. For dead space wound model 100 and
500 mg kg-1 and as a standard Aloe vera 300 mg kg-1 were
given orally. B. purpurea is having almost equal activity with Aloe vera
in all four wound healing models (Ananth et al.,
Anti-diarrheal activity: The ethanolic extract of leaves shows inhibitory
effect at different dose level on animal models castor oil induced diarrhea
in rats and gastrointestinal motility test by using charcoal meal. This inhibitory
effects support the use of the leaves of B. purpurea in folklore medicine
(Mukherjee et al., 1998).
The scientific research on B. purpurea is suggests a huge biological potential of this plant. It is strongly believed that detailed information as presented in this review on the phytochemical and various biological properties of the extracts might provide detailed evidence for the use of this plant in different medicines. The phytochemical variations and efficacy of the medicinal values of B. purpurea is dependent on geographical locations.
Even today, plants are the almost exclusive source of drugs for a majority of the world population. Therefore, it remains a challenge for scientist to provide efficient, safe and cheap medication especially for rural area. These Bauhinia species and their quantification of individual phytoconstituents as well as pharmacological profile based on in vitro, in vivo studies and on clinical trial should be further investigated.
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