Synthetic chemicals are widely used as medicines in the treatment of diseases encompassing various side effects. Different plants were explored as a source of bioactive agents for the treatment of ailments like cancer. The plant possesses immense biological properties due to the presence of different chemical substances which perform several important physiological functions. Among 4,22,000 flowering plants reported from the whole world, more than 50,000 plants are reported to have medicinal and pharmacological uses. A rich diversity of medicinal plants is found in India . Utilization of plants for medicinal usage has been documented long back in ancient works of literature. Such documentation of prime traditional knowledge on medicinal plants provided many important drugs of the modern era. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. (Oleaceae) is an important medicinal plant having a lot of medicinal uses since ancient times. Different parts of this plant have been used as local and traditional medicines. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis is utilized in Ayurveda, Siddha-Ayurveda, and Yunani systems of medicines as a laxative, diuretic, as anti-venoms, digestives, mild bitter tonic, and expectorant . Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. (Division: Magnoliophyta; Class: Magnoliopsida; Order: Lamiales; Family: Oleaceae), commonly known as Harshingar and Night jasmine , is a well-documented plant. It is a shrub or small tree growing to 10 m tall terrestrial woody perennial plant having 5–20 years of lifespan. It is a well-known tree having a wide range of pharmacological activities and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world [4,5]. In India, it is distributed in the outer Himalayas and tracts of Jammu and Kashmir, Nepal to the east of Assam, Bengal, Tripura extended through the central region up to the Godavari in the South . It usually grows in red and black soils, having pH of 5.6–7.5 and prefers arid and semi-arid climatic conditions . Previously, the systemic position of the Nyctanthes arbor-tristis was not clear. It was placed in the Oleaceae by Bentham and Hooker. An investigation was taken to assign the best matching family by Vaishampayan and Sharma, 1983. It is being used in folk medicine for antibilious, gynecological troubles, and hepatoprotective activity since the ancient time . In central India, various parts of this plant are used by the tribal people to relieve cough, hiccup, dysentery, snakebite, and sores. In addition, N. arbor-tristis has screened by researchers for antihistaminic, CNS, analgesic and anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, amoebicidal, anthelmintic, antidepressant, antiviral, antioxidant, and anticancer activities . Present review reports a comprehensive collection of studies based on pharmacological, anticancer, and antioxidant activities of different plant parts of N. arbor from 1987 to till date. Reports of some important pure bioactive compounds extracted from different parts of this plant have also documented which can be investigated for their possible use as therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancer. N. arbor-tristis is wonder tree and hub of medicinal properties. The present study may provide information to different research groups to validate its ethnomedicinal uses using advance technologies and to explore the proper mechanism of action of biological compounds found in this plant. This review is prepared to document almost all pharmacological studies performed on this plant in vitro and in vivo till date and second, a detailed survey of antioxidant and anticancer activities including information regarding effective doses of crude extracts as well as isolated pure compounds in Tables 1 and 2, respectively. Isolated pure compounds like 4-hydroxy hexahydrobenzofuran-7-one which is Benzofuran derivative , Naringenin (5, 7, 4′-trihydroxy flavonone), a bioflavonone isolated from stem , Arbortristoside A and 6-β Hydroxyloganin (Iridoid glycosides) isolated from seeds  are reported to possess significant anticancer activities tested on different cell lines. Isolated compounds were chemically transformed to obtained derivatives, which enhance their anticancer potential. The plant is also a rich source of antioxidants which can serve as a source for agents used in cancer therapy. Highly branched polysaccharides which are present in leaves reported for dose-dependent antioxidant potential .
|Table 1: A detailed survey of pharmacological activities of different extracts/compounds from different parts of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis.|
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2. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
Indeed, N. arbor is among the wonder of medicinal plants as it has a wide variety of medicinal properties. All the pharmacological studies done so far are of a preliminary kind. These studies need identification and characterization of the bioactive compound and their molecular mechanism elucidation. Studies related to immunostimulatory, immunomodulatory, antipyretic, analgesic, anti-arthritic, hepatoprotective, antistress, anxiolytic, antiulcerogenic, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic activities should be checked for its toxicity level and finally for human intervention. Studies like antimalarial, antitrypanosomal, antifilarial, antileishmanial, and larvicidal activities are generally cured effectively with some herbal formulation or paste preparations and crude extracts. One should go for combinatorial formulation with some other similar medicinal property containing plant for better results. Overall, a significant number of in vitro antioxidant studies provide substantial evidence that N. arbor and its ethanolic fraction of acetone (NEA), butanolic extract, and dried extracts of plant parts are effective against the carcinogenic process. Phenolic acid and flavonoids, Naringenin, a bioflavone, should be studied In vitro and in vivo for its anticancer activity and further steps for molecular chemistry and molecular docking analysis to gain an insight into its molecular interactions with cellular component would give the path for designing drug and then finally human trials against human cancers. Only a few references were found explaining the molecular mechanism of isolated compounds. Hence, rest of the study on the antioxidant and anticancer activity should be undertaken for research to address responsible phytoconstituents and its mechanism of actions which would support the said therapeutic action and then in vivo study will give the lead for drug development. Further research should focus on how genetic variability and environmental factors influence on its anticancer property attributed to N. arbor. Moreover, molecular marker-assisted selection study to improve desired traits; use of plant tissue culture technique and recombinant technology can be undertaken to increase the production of bioactive molecules.
|Table 2: Different extracts from various parts of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis showing antioxidant and anticancer activities.|
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