- Plumbago is a genus of 10-20 species of flowering plants in the family Plumbaginaceae, native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the world.
- Three main species in the genus Plumbago are Plumbago zeylanica, P. auriculata, and P. indica, of which P. zeylanica is the more popular because of therapeutic properties.
- Etymology: The genus name Plumbago derives from Latin words plumbum (lead) and agere (to resemble, to convey). The specific epithet zeylanica means 'from Sri Lanka', formerly called Ceylon.
Sangdikit is a spreading or somewhat climbing,
half-woody plant, 1 to 2 meters high, and smooth except for glandular calyces.
Leaves are oblong-ovate, 4 to 10 centimeters long, pointed at the tip, the base
of the stalk dilated and clasping the stem. Spikes are 5 to 25 centimeters long.
Calyx is green, about 1 centimeter long and covered with long-stalked glandular
hairs. Corolla is white or very pale blue, about 1.5 centimeter in diameter,
with a slender tube, about 2 centimeters long, and spreading limb.
- Native to the Philippines.
In thickets and along roadsides at low and medium altitudes in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Batangas, Rizal, and Laguna Provinces in Luzon; and in Palawan.
- Native range is Tropics and Subtropics. Grows primarily in seasonally dry tropical biome.
- Roots contain plumbagin.
- Leaves and stems contain a little plumbagin, fixed oil and volatile
- Fresh roots yield a greater proportion of plumbagin than stored roots.
- Phytochemical screening with various extracts yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavanoids, glycosides, saponins, steroids, and tannin.
- Study of various extracts of aerial parts and roots yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, flavonoid, polyphenols, saponins, steroids, with absence of triterpenes. (34)
- Preliminary screening for major secondary metabolites of roots yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, and anthraquinones. (see study below) (35)
- Roots contain plumbagin and other constituents such as 3-chloroplumbagin, binaphthoquinone named as 3′, 6′-biplumbagin, 3,3′-biplumbagin and four other pigments reported as isozeylanone, zeylanone, elliptone, and droserone. Phenolic extract of roots have yielded isoshinanolone and a new napthalenone i.e., 1, 2(3)-tetrahydro-3, 3′-biplumbagin. Study of roots have also isolated two plumbagic acid glucosides; 3′-O-beta-glucopyranosyl plumbagic acid and 3′-o-beta-glucopyranosyl plumbagic acid methylester along with five naphthoquinones (plumbagin, chitranone, maritinone, elliptone and isoshinanolone), and five coumarins (seselin, methoxyseselin, suberosine, xanthyletin and xanthoxyletin). (45)
- Qualitative analysis of leaves have yielded alkaloids, glycoside, reducing sugars, simple phenolics, tannins, lignin, saponins and flavonoids. (45)
- Stem contains plumbagin, campesterol, sitosterol, stigmasterol, isozeylanone and zeylanone. Leaves contain chitanone, plumbagic acid and plumbagin. Seeds mainly contain plumbagin. Stem revealed the presence of plumbagin, zeylanone, isozeylanone, sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol, and dihydroflavonol. Flowers contain plumbagin, zeylanone and sitosterol. Fruits have yielded confirmed the presence of plumbagin, glucopyranoside and sitosterol. (45)
- Considered anti-rheumatic, carminative, antiphlogistic.
- Leaves minty, pungent, toxic.
- Roots, bitter tasting; considered anti-atherogenic, cardiotonic, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective. -
- Studies have shown antibacterial, antitumor, antifertility, anticoagulant, hypolipidemic, anthelmintic, antiatheroslcerotic, anti-H. pylori, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, antifungal, analgesic, wound healing, hari-growth promoting properties.
Roots, leaves and stems.
- Promotes appetite, helps digestion.
- Used for dyspepsia, piles, and skin diseases.
- Roots have been used as abortifacient in some indigenous practices,
internally or as an irritant to the os uteri.
- Pounded roots for blistering; anti-scabies; ecbolic.
- Rheumatic bone pains and gouty arthritis: decoction of dried roots.
- Snake bites and boils: 3 - 4 leaves, pounded with other herbs, and applied
as poultice for 15 minutes only to avoid blistering. Not to use in pregnant
- In some parts of India, root is considered
abortifacient. Also used for diarrhea, dysentery, piles and peptic ulcers,
as expectorant and diuretic, for abscesses, anemia, ascites, liver ailments,
coryza, hoarseness and sore throat. In India, paste of fresh roots applied to filarial legs. Paste made from roots of P. zeylanica and stem barks of Erythroxylon monogymum and M. olifera ground in cow's milk used as external application of leg edema.
- In India, paste of root of PZ, Nerium oleander and stem bark of S. anacardium and H. integrifolia with pigeon excreta is applied to abscesses to induce maturation, facilitate rupture and healing. Root paste prepared with curd or butter used to relieve piles.
- Paste from fresh roots soaked in cow's urine used for scabies.
- Used for wound healing.
- Fine root paste instilled into the vagina to the ostium uteri to induce abortion.
- In Ethiopia, used for a variety of skin diseases.
- In Nigeria, used for parasitic diseases, scabies, and ulcers.
- In West
Africa, crushed roots or leaves used as counter-irritant and vesicant. In Nigeria, pounded roots with vegetable oil used for treatment of rheumatic swellings. In Ethiopia, powdered bark, root, or leaves used for treatment of gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, rheumatic pains and swellings. In other parts of Africa, past of roots in vinegar, milk, and water used to treat influenza and black water fever. Root infusion used for shortness of breath. Root decoction with boiled milk drunk for inflammation of the mouth, throat, and chest. (32)
• Prolonged Bleeding Time by Decreased Platelet
showed chronic administration of PZ extract prolongs bleeding time through alteration
of platelet adhesiveness and coagulation. (1)
• Anti-Helicobacter pylori Activity:
In a Taiwan study of 50 medicinal plants, Plumbago zeylanica showed
to have the highest inhibitory effect against H pylori. This study evaluated various extracts and solvents for anti-H. pylori activity. An ethyl acetate extract exhibited the lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against five H. pylori strains. (3)
• Anthelmintic / Leaves / Roots: A polyherbal
anthelmintic preparation of P zeylanica leaves, Hyoscyamus niger roots
and Abultion indicum leaves showed the ethanolic superior to the aqueous
extracts and concluded that the herb mixture preparation is an effective
and better anthelmintic preparation. (4) Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of various extracts of roots of P. zeylanica. A methanolic extract showed higher activity than the water extract. Piperazine citrate was the reference standard drug. (29) Study of PZ for anthelmintic activity showed both root crude extract and fractions of PZ paralyze and kill worms in less time than controls at almost all concentrations. (31)
• Antiviral activity: Study showed
PZ to have inhibitory activity against Coxsackie virus B3, with an weak
anti-influenza A virus activity. (5)
• Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study yielded plumbagin, zeylanone among other napthaquinone
derivatives, confirmed the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties
of the extract probably through inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis
and peripheral inhibitory mechanisms. (6)
• Dermatotoxicity Study: Study on dermatotoxicity showed showed limited toxic effects as a moderate irritant, without overt signs of toxicity. (7)
• Antioxidant / Plumbagin: Study of alcoholic/aqueous extracts of roots of P zeylanica and its active ingredient, plumbagin, showed antioxidant activity using FRAP, DPPH, ABTS, lipid peroxidation, along with estimation of phenolic and flavonoid content. (8)
• Antibacterial / Phytochemicals: Study of alcoholic extract of Pz exhibited strong antibacterial activity against all test bacteria (S paratyphi, S aureus, E coli, Shigella dysenteriae). Phytochemical study of the crude extract yielded flavonoids, saponins and naphthoquinone. (9)
• Alleviation of Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity: Study showed extract alleviated delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice, an effect attributable to the inhibition of proliferation and differentiation of T lymphocytes as well as anti-inflammatory activities. (10)
• Hepatoprotective: Study of methanol extract of aerial parts of Pz showed significant hepatoprotection against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in wistar rats. Histopathologic studies confirmed the hepatoprotective nature of the extract. (11)
• Antifertility / Stems / Leaves: Study showed the acetone extract of stems to be the most effective in interrupting the normal estrous cycle of rats., with a prolongation of the diestrous stage of the estrous cycle and consequent temporary inhibition of ovulation. Results indicated antifertility activity of Pz stem extract in female Wistar rats. (12) Study evaluated a hydroalcoholic extract of P. zeylanica leaves for anti-fertility activity in female Wistar rats. Results showed very significant anti-implantation activity in doses of 200 mg/kg, with antiextrogenic activity with overall structural and functional changes in the uterus. (39)
• Hyperglycemic Effect : Ethanolic root extract was investigated for induction of hyperglycemia. Results of enzyme activities suggest a possible increase in liver gluconeogenesis while the excessive accumulation of glycogen indicates the presence of active principles that reduced glycogen phosphorylase activity in the liver. An inhibition of phosphofructokinase activity, consequent decrease in glycolytic flux, glucose uptake and utilization of the glycolytic pathway probably contribute to the observed hyperglycemia. (13)
• Antiplasmodial / Antimalarial Effect : Study of 80 ethanol extracts from 47 species or antiplasmodial properties showed Pz as one of five species of interest for further antimalarial studies. (14)
• Antimutagenicity : Study of four Ayurvedic medicinal plants all showed varying levels of antimutagenicity, Pz showing fourth in the study. The total phenolic content did not correlate with the mutagenic activity. (15)
• Toxicity Studies / Protective Effect : Study of selected doses of PZ extract were not toxic but potent enough to significantly reduce the toxic effects induced by ethinylestradiol in cultured human peripheral blood lymphocytes. (17)
• Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol-Induced Liver Toxicity: Study of showed a petroleum ether root extract of Plumbago zeylanica exhibited significant protection against paracetamol-induced hepatocellular injury. (18)
• Analgesic : Study of an ethanol extract of root and callus exhibited significant peripheral analgesic activity. A root extract showed significant analgesic activity compared to the callus extract.
• Wound Healing : Study of a methanol root extract of PZ showed significant wound healing activity in an excision wound model in rats. Alkaloids and terpenoids may play a major role in the wound healing process. (19)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Roots: Methanol extract of roots of a methanol exhibited inhibition of acute inflammation in the carrageenan-induced paw edema model. (20) A saline extract of roots was evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity. The extract exhibited a biphasic response—reduced enzymatic activities of acid and alkaline phosphatases and stimulation of adenosine triphosphatase activity—suggesting anti-inflammatory action. (23)
• Antibacterial / Roots: Study evaluated various extracts of roots for antibacterial activity against S. aureus and B. subtilis. Methanol and ethanol extracts showed moderate antibacterial activity. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins, steroids and saponin. (24)
• Hepatoprotective / Roots: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effects of methanol extracts of root on paracetamol, CCl4 and alcohol induced hepatic injuries in rats. Results showed marked dose-dependent hepatoprotective potential against experimentally induced liver toxicity. (25)
• Benefits on Learning and Memory / Roots: Study investigated the effect of PZ roots on learning and memory of mice. Results showed promising memory enhancing effect in mice. There was also significant reversal of amnesia produced by scopolamine, probably due to facilitation of cholinergic transmission in mice brain. The antioxidant, hypolipidemic and anti-atherosclerotic properties may also contribute to the memory enhancing effect. (26)
• Cardioprotective / Roots: Study evaluated the cardioprotective effect of PZ in isoproterenol ( ß-adrenergic agonist) induced myocardial injury. The hydroalcoholic extract showed significant cardioprotective effect and antioxidant activities, with better cardiac protection when compared to standard propranolol. The cardioprotective effect may be due to stabilization of the myocardial membrane. (27)
• Antifungal / Anti-Trichosporon Activity: Study evaluated various solvent extracts of Plumbago zeylanica for anti-Trichosporon activity. Yeast Trichosporon asahii was found to be most sensitive to methanol extract of PZ compared to ethanol, acetone and chloroform extracts. (30)
/ Roots:Study evaluated an aqueous extract of roots of Plumbago zeylanica in diet-induced hyperlipidemic rats. The aqueous extract at all doses showed significant (p<0.05) increase in fecal cholesterol excretion indicating a reduction in intestinal cholesterol absorption. The extract also significantly (p<0.05) reduced the total lipid content in the liver and potential antioxidant capacity in DPPH and TBARS in vitro antioxidant assay. Results showed a potential beneficial role in ameliorating hyperlipidemic conditions that lead to atherosclerosis. (33)
• Plumbagin / Roots and Aerial Parts: Study showed the concentration of plumbagin in aerial parts was greater compared to roots, 2.4% and 1.9%, respectively. (34)
• Antioxidant / Antimicrobial / Roots: Crude extracts of roots showed antimicrobial activity against against S. aureus, MRSA, S. pneumonia, K. pneumonia, S. boydii, E. coli, and C. albicans. Crude extracts showed high ferric reducing activity, DPPH activity, with a strong correlation with TPC. (see constituents above) (35)
• Antibacterial / Plumbagin / Roots: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methylnaphthalene-1-4-dione) and of methanol, chloroform, and aqueous extracts of PZ roots against various pathogenic bacteria. Plumbagin and chloroform extract of roots showed antibacterial activity against different pathogenic bacteria. (36)
• Antiulcer / Oral Toxicity Study / Roots: Study evaluated the anti-ulcer activity of aqueous extract of roots of P. zeylanica on aspirin and indomethacin-induced acute gastric ulceration in albino Wistar rats. Omeprazole was used as standard drug. Results showed statistically significant (p<0.05) dose-dependent inhibition of both aspirin induced gastric and indomethacin induced mucosal damage. Oral toxicity study showed an LD50 greater than 5000 mg/kg, indicating a wide margin of safety of the root extract. (37)
• No Effect on Hematological Parameters / Root: Study evaluated the hematological effects of P. zeylanica root extract in Wistar rats. Oral toxicity was more than 5000 mg/kbw. The root extract showed no hematological toxicity and no effect on hematological parameters of the laboratory animals. (38)
• CNS Stimulatory Activity / Roots: Study evaluated a 50% ethanol extract of P. zeylanica roots for effects on locomotor behavior and central dopaminergic activity in rats. The root extract enhanced the spontaneous ambulatory activity without inducing sterotypic behaviour. The neurochemical estimations showed elevated levels of DA and HVA in the striatum. Behavioral and biochemical results indicated stimulatory properties of the root extract, which may be mediated by dopaminergic mechanisms in the rat brain. (41)
• Anticancer Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of P. zeylanica against Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma in an animal model. Results showed significant anticancer activity and reduced level of elevated lipid peroxidation due to higher content of terpenoids and flavonoids. Results suggest great potential for therapeutic application against cancer. (42)
• Nanoparticles / Antimicrobial / Roots: Study reports on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles using an aqueous extract of roots. Screening yielded secondary metabolites like alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, phenols, saponins, steroids, tannins, and triterpenoids. The silver nanoparticles showed high toxic effects towards microorganisms against resistant bacterial and fungal strains, more than the plant extract, with higher toxicity towards bacterial species than fungal species. (43)
• Anti-Helicobacter / Cytotoxic Activity / Roots: Study evaluated the anti-Helicobacter pylori and cytotoxic activity of detoxified root ethanol extracts of P. auriculata, P. indica, and P. zeylanica. P. zeylanica root extract showed 1.35 ± 0.07 cm zone of inhibition, compared to P. indica at 0.47 ± 0.06. The three plants showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity against HGE-17 cell lines, with P. zeylanica with IC50 of 199.94 µg/ml. (44)
• Hair-Growth Promoting / Roots: Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a common type of baldness characterized by progressive hair loss. Study evaluated the preventive potential of P. zeylanica roots in AGA and the inferences of cellular senescence of DP (dermal papilla) cells in prevention of AGA. Results showed up-regulation in the expression of 5α-reductase type II (SRD5A2) gene in senescent DP cells. The root extract enhanced growth of DP cells and slowed down-regulation in expression of SRD5A2 in DP cells. (46)
• Anticancer / Antimicrobial: Study evaluated chloroform, hexane, methanol, and petroleum ether extracts of P. zeylanica for antimicrobial activity against Gram positive S. aureus and B. cereus bacteria and Gram negative E. coli and cytotoxicity activity against cervix carcinoma cell lines (HeLa and SiHa cell lines). Methanol and chloroform extracts showed significant high zones of inhibition against test bacteria. The four extracts showed significant cytotoxicity against HeLa and SiHa cell lines. The chloroform extract showed IC50s of 238.93 and 142,71 µg/ml against the cell lines. (47)
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