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Review Article

SRP. 2019; 10(1): 73-80

Therapeutic Potential of Phytochemicals Isolated from Simarouba glauca for Inhibiting Cancers: A Review

Asha Jose, Elango Kannan, Palur Ramakrishnan Anand Vijaya Kumar, SubbaRao Venkata Madhunapantula.


Simarouba glauca DC (Family: Simaroubaceae, abbreviated as S. glauca / SG), commonly known as ‘Laxmitaru’ or ‘Paradise tree’ is an eco-friendly tree that grows in tropical areas of America, The West Indies and Brazil. Nutritionally, SG has been used as a potential source of edible oil. Medicinally, the decoction prepared from SG leaves has been demonstrated to exhibit antitumor, antimalarial, antiviral activities. Objectives: Address various existing gaps in the research on Simarouba glauca and provide future directions to promote address these grey areas. Methods: Literature pertaining to Simarouba glauca and various related plants was collected using PubMed search engine with key words Simarouba glauca, Simaroubaceae, Paradise tree, Laxmitaru. Articles pertaining to anti-cancer activity were filtered and information collected for preparing the review article. Although pharmacological potential of Simarouba glauca is well documented; not much is known about the mechanism(s) of action of the isolated phytoconstituents. In addition, many gaps pertaining to the efficacy of pharmacological agents for inhibiting cancers does exist. Therefore, future studies should focus on (a) screening and isolating key pharmacological agents that exhibit better safety and efficacy profiles for treating cancers; (b) evaluating the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of phytochemicals in experimental animal models; (c) testing the compounds in clinical trials; and (d) developing better strategies to effectively deliver the isolated compounds from SG. Studies are also warranted to determine whether isolated compounds of SG are better or the crude extracts that contain a combination of agents are better. Extensive research is required to address various unanswered questions. Therefore, future studies should focus on providing answers to fill the existing gaps about the utility of Simarouba glauca phytochemicals for treating cancers.

Key words: Laxmitaru, Paradise tree, Quassinoids, Simarouba glauca.

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