Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Potential of Terminalia arjuna L.  

Z. M. Halleys Khan , Hossain Md. Faruquee , Md. Munan Shaik
Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Islamic University, Kushtia-7003, Bangladesh
Author    Correspondence author
Medicinal Plant Research, 2013, Vol. 3, No. 10   doi: 10.5376/mpr.2013.03.0010
Received: 07 Aug., 2013    Accepted: 12 Aug., 2013    Published: 15 Aug., 2013
© 2013 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Khan et al., 2013, Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Potential of Terminalia arjuna L., Medicinal Plant Research, Vol.3, No.10 70-77 (doi: 10.5376/mpr.2013.03.0010)


To cure human diseases, medicinal plants have been a major source of therapeutic agentssince ancient time. Terminalia arjuna is one kind of widely used medicinal plant throughout Bangladesh and used in various indigenous system of medicine like Ayurveda, Sidda and Unani. This plant has been reported to contain active constituents including arjunolic acid, gallic acid, terminic acid, pyrocatechols, β-Sitosterol, calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper etc. which proved to be effective pharmacological agents as antimicrobial, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiacne, antihelmintic, antiinflammatory, anticholinesterase, antioxidant, antiasthmatic as well as wound healing, cardioprotective and insecticidal activities.It is considered to be an ideal agent for treating cancer, coronary artery disease, hypertension and ischemic cardiomyopathy. The present comprehensive update review is therefore an effort to give detailed information on phytochemical and pharmacological studies of T. arjuna.

Terminalia arjuna; Arjunolic acid; Phytochemistry; Cardio-protective activity; Antimicrobial activity

Terminalia arjuna is a native Bangladeshi tree with simple leaf, smooth and thick bark belonging to the family Combretaceae. Flowers are small, regular, sessile, cup-shaped, polygamous, white, creamy or greenish-white and robustly honey-scented and flowering from April to July. The inflorescences are short axillary spikes or small terminal panicles and fruits are obovoid-oblong, dark brown to reddish brown fibrous woody, indehiscent drupe and ripening from February to May (Orwa et al., 2009; Bhat et al., 2003). All the parts of the plant have been used for their therapeutic beneficiary effect from ancient times. T. arjuna helps to maintain a healthy heart and decrease the effects of stress and anxiety (Emran et al., 2011). It has antibacterial (Perumalsamy et al., 1998), antimutagenic, hypolipidemic, antioxidant and hypocholesterolaemic and anti-inflammatory effects (Tripathi et al., 2005). T. arjuna have the capability to protect the liver and kidney tissues against CCl4-induced oxidative stress by increasing antioxidative defense activities (Manna et al., 2006). Its chemical constituents act as a gastro-protective agent (Devi et al., 2007). Different types of bioactive compound have been isolated from this medicinal plant possesses enormous value in medicine among then arjunolic acid is very well known. The aim of the present study was to deliver the literal studies of T. arjuna with its phytochemical and pharmacological characteristics.

It was initially reported that the bark had 34% ash content consisting entirely of pure calcium carbonate. The water extract existence 23% calcium salts and 16% tannins, whereas the alcoholic extract contained very little coloring matter and tannins (Dymock et al., 1891). The chemical analysis of the bark showed confirmation of sugar, tannins (12%), coloring matter, glycoside, and carbonates of calcium, sodium and traces of chloride of alkali metals (Ghoshal, 1909). The chemical constituents of T. arjuna are shown in Table 1.

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