A Review on Ethnomedicinal, Phytochemical and Pharmacological Aspects of Myrica esculenta
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research, Punjabi University, Patiala-147 002, India
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research, Punjabi University, Patiala-147 002, India, E-mail: [email protected]
Myrica esculenta (Myricaceae) commonly known as box berry or kaphal is an important Indian medicinal plant. It is found in foothill tracks of Eastern Himalayas, Meghalaya, Nepal, China and Pakistan. Local tribes mainly use its fruits to prepare pickle and refreshing drinks. Traditionally, the bark has been used for the treatment of cough, asthma, fever, chronic bronchitis, diarrhoea, rheumatism and inflammation; roots have been used in bronchitis, asthma, cholera and flowers claimed to treat earache, diarrhoea, paralysis. Phytochemical studies of the different parts of plant revealed the presence of various bioactive phytoconstituents such as phenolic compounds, alkaloids, glycosides, triterpenoids and volatile oils. The plant is also reported to have innumerable significant pharmacological activities like analgesic, anxiolytic, antiallergic, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, antiulcer, antioxidant and antiinflammatory evaluated by using various animal models. The objective of the present review article is to compile all the relevant published information regarding traditional uses, phytochemistry and therapeutic potential of M. esculenta. For this purpose various databases and books were examined. The review clearly demonstrates the importance of this plant in ethnomedicine and its immense potential in modern medicine.