Abstract
MEDICINAL AND THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF CATHARANTHUS ROSEUS LINN (APOCYANACEAE): AN UPDATED REVIEW

Subhankari Prasad Chakraborty* and Rudrani Mukherjee

ABSTRACT

Ayurveda is the Indian traditional system of medicine which focuses on the potentiality of medical plants which are a rich source of compounds for the development of clinically useful therapeutic agents. Catharanthus roseus, a well recognized evergreen plant in Ayurveda, found in many tropical and subtropical regions around the World, is cultivated as an ornamental plant almost throughout the tropical world. It is abundantly naturalised in many regions, particularly in arid coastal locations. The flowers of this plant may vary in colour from pink to purple and leaves are arranged in opposite pairs. It produces nearly 130 alkaloids mainly ajmalcine, vinceine, resperine, vincristine, vinblastine and raubasin. Vincristine and vinblastine are used for the treatment of various types of cancer such as Hodgkin's disease, breast cancer, skin cancer and lymphoblastic leukemia. It has many pharmacological properties such as anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, wound healing, anti-ulcer, hypotensive, antidiarrhoeal, hypolipidemic and memory enhancement. Alkaloids are one of major phytochemicals responsible for its anti-cancer properties followed by phenolic compounds such as flavonoids. It is an endangered species and need to be conserved using techniques like micropropagation. It has high medicinal values which need to be explored extensively. The purpose of the current study was to document updated data about traditional uses, isolated bioactive compounds and pharmacological activities of C. roseus.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, Catharanthus roseus, phytochemicals, vinblastine, pharmacological activities.


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