MEMECYLON SPECIES: A REVIEW OF TRADITIONAL INFORMATION AND TAXONOMIC DESCRIPTION
The present review is to avail the comprehensive information on taxonomy, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Indian Memecylon species. Memecylon is one of the complex genus of flowering plants and it is an important source of traditional medicine. Owing to complexity in morphological characters, identification of Memecylon species has become very difficult. Nomenclature status of most of the Indian Memecylon species is not clear. Phylogenetic studies report on this genus are also very few. Memecylon species reported having potential pharmacological activities. This background made us present a review on Indian Memecylon species. Information on this plant genus was searched using various electronic databases in reference to the terms Indian Memecylon species taxonomy, phylogeny, pharmacological activities and phytoconstituents along with Indian classical texts, journals, etc. There is a confusion regarding the taxonomic status of Memecylon malabaricum, M. amplexicaule, M. depressum, M. wightii. M. umbellatum and M. edule. Several chemical constituents like memecylaene, umbelactone, amyrin, sitosterol, tartaric acid, malicacid, oleanolicacid, ursolicacid and tannins, triterpenes, and flavonoids have been identified in this genus. The plant extracts of this genus have been demonstrated to have potential pharmacological activities. Some of the phytoconstituents are attributed to the pharmacological potential of this genus. Further, there is a need to validate its taxonomic status and pharmacological properties by using modern biological techniques. If future studies throw a light on these aspects, definitely it will help in developing a potential biopharmaceutical product.
Keywords: Biological activities, Taxonomy, Memecylon species, Phylogeny
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