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Salacia reticulata Wight: A Review of Botany, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology

Authors:

KKIU Arunakumara ,

Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
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S Subasinghe

Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ruhuna, Mapalana, Kamburupitiya, LK
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Abstract

Salacia reticulata is a large woody climbing shrub naturally found in Sri Lanka and Southern region of India. It is widely used in treating diabetes, a chronic disorder in metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fat due to absolute or relative deficiency of insulin secretion with/without varying degree of insulin resistance. The decoction of S. reticulata roots is also used in the treatment of gonorrhea, rheumatism, skin diseases, haemorrhoids, itching and swelling, asthma, thirst, amenorrhea and dysmenorrheal. Presence of mangiferin (a xanthone from the roots), kotalanol and salacinol (from the roots and stems) have been identified as the antidiabetic principles of S. reticulata. Chemical constituents such as 1,3-diketones, dulcitol and leucopelargonidin, iguesterin, epicatechin, phlobatannin and glycosidal tannins, triterpenes, and 30-hydroxy-20(30) dihydroisoiguesterin, hydroxyferruginol, lambertic acid, kotalagenin 16-acetate, 26-hydroxy-1,3-friedelanedione, maytenfolic acid have also been detected in the roots of S. reticulata. The antidiabetic property of Salacia is basically attributed to the inhibitory activity of intestinal enzymes (α-glucosidase and α-amylase). Inhibition of intestinal enzymes delays glucose absorption into the blood and suppresses postprandial hyperglycemia, resulting in improved glycemic control. Furthermore, mangiferin has been reported to inhibit aldose reductase activity delaying the onset or progression of diabetic complications. Though diabetes has now become an epidemic affecting millions of people worldwide, neither insulin nor other modern pharmaceuticals has been shown to modify the course of diabetic complications mainly due to the multifactorial basis that involves both genetic and environmental risk factors. Therefore, effort is being devoted to find new therapeutics aimed at multiple targets, which has become a new paradigm in drug discovery. In this context, the discoveries on S. reticulata have lead to increase the consumption of the species across the world and it has now become a subject of broad studies for diabetes management.

Key words: Salacia reticulata; Mangiferin; Kotalanol; Salacinol; Diabetes

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/tare.v13i2.3137

Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension 13(2) 2010 pp.41-47

How to Cite: Arunakumara, K. & Subasinghe, S., (2011). Salacia reticulata Wight: A Review of Botany, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology. Tropical Agricultural Research and Extension. 13(2), pp.41–47. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/tare.v13i2.3137
Published on 22 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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