Meyna spinosa Roxb.: An unexplored ethnomedicinal plant

Saikat Sen


Traditional and folk remedies are known to mankind for thousands of years and continue to be the source of new medicines in future. Meyna spinosa Roxb., belonging to the family Rubiaceae, is a promising folk medicinal plant of India. The plant is distributed in the North Eastern and Southern part of India, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, and Malaya. This plant has a long history of use in folk medicine, especially among the different tribes and ethnic people of India. M. spinosa traditionally been used for the treatment of skin infection, headache, diabetes, hepatic disorder, dysentery, indigestion, intestinal worm, and painful urination. It is also important for its abortifacient activity. In spite of its huge ethnomedicinal use very few phytochemical and pharmacological investigations have been carried out on M. spinosa. The plant parts have been investigated for antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, cytotoxic, hepatoprotective, and nephroprotective activity. Few flavonoids, triterpenes, phytosterols, hydroxy acid, and fatty alcohol are isolated from the plant. The present article includes details exploration of morphology, taxonomy, folk medicinal use and pharmacological and phytochemical aspects of M. spinosa in an attempt to provide a direction for future research.

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