A review on a lesser known Indian mangrove: Avicennia officinalis L. (Family: Acanthaceae)

Mamta B. Shah


Introduction: The genus of Avicennia consists of total eight species which survive at intertidal zones from tropical and temperate regions of world, the foremost species being Avicennia officinalis and Avicennia marina. The plants belonging to this genus have both therapeutic and economic (industrial) benefits. Among all the species, A. officinalis is an important Indian mangrove differentiated greatly by its antibacterial and anticancer activities. This article is an effort to compile all the essential information of A. officinalis in a comprehensive manner, including pharmacognostic features, traditional and ethnomedicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of the plant. Materials and Methods: All the information regarding traditional aspects and modern studies of A. officinalis were gathered through a massive literature survey of traditional and Ayurvedic books along with scientific resources. Results and Discussion: Different parts of A. officinalis have traditional medicinal applications for the treatment of various diseases such as cancer, rheumatism, diarrhea, ulcer, Alzheimer and bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Laboratory investigations so far have resulted in isolation and identification of more than fifty bioactive compounds from different parts of the plant majorly targeting antibacterial activity. The phytochemicals reported as characteristic constituents of this plant are flavanoids, steroids, terpenoids with polyisoprenoids, and tannins. Further, records appertaining pharmacological evaluation have revealed significant activities such as antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, antiviral, and many more. Conclusion: The article summarizes the diversity and distribution of A. officinalis, in addition to in-depth coverage of traditional medicinal usage and phyto-pharmacological investigations done on this medicinal plant so far, highlighting the need for further studies on the phytoconstituents responsible for the validated traditional and folklore claims of its enormous medicinal usage.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22377/ijgp.v15i1.3010


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