The main objective of this review is to provide advance information for the drug discovery research from rare medicinal plant Kalanchoe pinnata, which has potential anticancer and insecticidal compounds etc. This plant leaf and stem and leaf portions contains significant chemicals which are most needed in medicinal industry, e.g., Bufadienolides. It is potential anticancer and insecticidal active compound. The other phytochemicals proved against UTI, parasitic, bacterial infections, antiulcer active and antidepressant. Now it becomes endangered plant which needs to be conserved as well as explored for its significant green chemistry.
How to cite this article:
B. Joseph, S. Sridhar, Sankarganesh , Justinraj and Biby T. Edwin, 2011. Rare Medicinal Plant-Kalanchoe Pinnata. Research Journal of Microbiology, 6: 322-327.
Medicinal plants have been known for millennia and are highly esteemed all
over the world as a rich source of therapeutic agents for the prevention of
diseases and ailments (Sharma et al., 2008; Joseph
and Priya, 2010a, b; Joseph et
al., 2010). Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam) (syn. Bryophyllum pinnatum)
succulent plant native to Madagascar. This Wonder plant or Divine plant (Kane,
2004) Leaf, Stem and Root portions and its chemicals has high index in therapeutic
values (Simoes-Wust et al., 2010). This is commonly
known as a Master herb or a cure for all by a large community of Tribal and
Herbal practitioners (Nayak et al., 2010) of
various countries. Kalanchoe is rich in alkaloids, triterpenes, glycosides,
flavonoids, steroids and lipids. The leaves contain a group of chemicals called
bufadienolides. They are very similar in structure and activity as two other
cardiac glycosides, digoxin and digitoxin (drugs used for the clinical treatment
of congestive heart failure and related conditions).
It is a perennial, succulent, stout, erect herb with tuberous and glabrous
stem which are mottled with purple scales. The leaves are simple, opposite,
3-5 lobed, thick, fleshy and blackish with crenate margins. The inflorescence
is terminal paniculate cyme with orange-red colored and pendulous flowers. The
fruits are follicles. This plant is specially noted for developing small plantlets
on the outer edges of its leaves, when its leaves are detached (Jessica,
Species: K. pinnata
Air plant, balangban, bruja, clapper bush, coirama, coirama-branca, coirama-brava, curtain plant, dipartenga, farine chaude, fel pavo, floppers, folha-da-costa, green love, hoja de aire, life leaf, live forever, mexican loveplant, miracle leaf, motta patti, paichecara, pashipadeh, paochecara, pirarucu, potagoja, sayao, saiao, siempre viva
||The leaves are useful in burns, boils, bites of insects, congestive
othalmia dysuria, diarrhoea, dysentery, impetigo, polyuria, plegmon, swellings,
tuberculosis, ulcers and wounds
||The leaf juice 3 g, jeera 3 g and ghee 6 g is mixed and given
for blood mixed diarrhoea
||The leaf poultice is applied on wounds, sprains, swellings
||The leaf juice is useful in cholera
||The leaf juice mixed with Kali Mirch is useful in blood oozing
piles and haemorrhoids
||The leaf powder with Kali Mirch is also useful in inflammation,
burning in urination and blocked urination and leprosy
The leave contains:
||Caffeic acid, citric acid, isocitric acid, malic acid
||Flavnoids as quercetin, kaem pferol
||Two homologous phenanthrene derivatives 2(9-decenyl)
phenanthrene (I) and 2 (undecenyl) phenanthrene (II)
The aerial part contains:
||Alpha and β-amyrins and their acetates
||24-epiclerosterol [24(R)stigmasta-5, 2-dien-3 β-oI]
||24 (R)5 α-stigmasta-7, 25-dien-3 β-oI
||5 α-stigmast-24-en-3 β-oI and 25-methyl-5 α-stigmast-24-en-3
β-oI and 25-methyl-5α-ergost-24 (28)-en-3 β-oI
||Glutamic acid was major amino acid of the 16 amino acids detected
in leaf protein hydrolysate, methionine, tryrosine and phenylalanine identified
as three limiting acids
Many of Kalanchoe's traditional uses can be explained by the clinical research conducted thus far on the plant. The traditional use for infectious conditions (both internally and externally) is supported by research indicating Kalanchoe leaves have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, anti-insecticidal activity.
(1) Antibacterial: The leaf and leaf juice have demonstrated significant in vitro antibacterial activity towards Staphylococcus, E. coli, Shigella, Bacillus and Pseudomonas, including several strains of multi-drug resistant bacteria
(2) Anticancer: Bryophyllin compounds have marked anticancer therapeutic
value against cancer cells (Supratman et al., 2001).
Bersaldegenin-1,3,5-orthoacetate inhibited cancer cell growth on several cancer
(3) Antiparasitic: A aquous extract of Kalanchoe leaves (administered
topically and internally) has been shown to prevent and treat leishmaniasis
(a common parasitic disease in tropical countries which is transmitted by the
bite of sand flies) in both humans and animals. Quercitrin, a potent antileishmanial
flavonoid present in the leaves (Muzitano et al.,
2006). This plant extract showed anti-plasmodial activity against CQ resistant
Plasmodium falciparum (Chenniappan and Kadarkarai, 2010)
(4) Anti-insecticidal: Bryophyllin A showed strong insecticidal activity against third instar larvae of the silkworm (Bombyx mori)
(5) Anti-allergic: In addition to its antibacterial properties, Kalanchoe's
traditional uses for upper respiratory conditions and coughs might be explained
by research demonstrating that the leaf juice has potent anti-histamine and
anti-allergic activity. In an in vivo study (with rats and guinea pigs)
the leaf juice was able to protect against chemically induced anaphylactic reactions
and death by selectively blocking histamine receptors in the lungs.
(6) Anti-inflammatory: Other in vivo research confirms that Kalanchoe can reduce fevers and provides anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving and muscle relaxant effects. Its anti-inflammatory effects have been partially attributed to the immunomodulatory and immune suppressant effect.
(7) Anti-deprassent: Kalanchoe has also shown sedative and central nervous system depressant actions in animal studies. These effects were attributed partially to the leaf extract demonstrating the ability to increase the levels of a neurotransmitter in the brain called GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid).
(8) Anti-ulcer inducer: A leaf extract protected mice from such ulcer-inducers
as stress, aspirin, ethanol and histamine and reduces Hyper tension (Lans,
(9) The plant leaf contains Hydroxyproline heals the wounds (Nayak
et al., 2010) and the Quercetin has neproprotective and antioxidant
role (Yadav and Dixit, 2003).
Traditionally this plant parts were used against fever (Willcox
and Bodeker, 2004). Interestingly, the plant leaf extracts were recently
explored against drug resistant malarial parasites has been proved its potential.
But specific chemicals which active against malarial parasitic is still remains
elusive. It should be explored very much to control such drug resistant organisms.
Chenniappan, K. and M. Kadarkarai, 2010. In vitro antimalarial activity of traditionally used Western Ghats plants from India and their interactions with chloroquine against chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum. Parasitol. Res., (In Press). 10.1007/s00436-010-2005-9
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