An updated Review on Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz.

 

N.CH. Ramya Krishna Priya1, K. Sudhakar1*, M. Chinna Eswaraiah1, M.M. Eswarudu2, K. Prasanna Kumar2.

 

1Department of Pharmacognosy, Anurag Pharmacy College, Ananthagiri (V), Kodad (M), Nalgonda (Dt), Andhra Pradesh, India.508206.

2Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, Anurag Pharmacy College, Ananthagiri (V),  Kodad (M), Nalgonda (Dt), Andhra Pradesh, India.508206.

 

 

ABSTRACT:

Herbal medicine is the oldest form of health care known to mankind and it will not be an exaggeration to say that use of herbal drug for human health care is probably as ancient as mankind. Prosopis is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. The plant is also known as Algarrobo. The plant is found in the arid and semi-arid regions with ground water of between 3 and 10 m below the surface. It contains apigenin 8-glucoside, apigenin 6-glucoside, quercitin 3-glucoside, quercitin 3-rhamnoside, quercitin 3-rutinoside, and traces of myricetin 3-rhamnoside, luteolin, kaempferol-3-OMe quercetin, and quercitin 3-OMe. This plant is used for shade, timber, fuel, and concentrated forage for food, High protein content of the seeds suggests that they may be useful as protein supplement to poor grass. The pods are used as food. It is a good source of nectar and pollen.The bark exudes an amber-colored translucent gum used in mucilage and an ingredient in medicine. Water infused with the mesquite leaves can be used as eye drops. A ten percent infusion of the leaves shows some antibiotic activity.

 

KEYWORDS: Prosopis chilensis, Algarrobo, Fabaceae, apigenin 8-glucoside , nectar and pollen.

 

INTRODUCTION:

Herbal medicine is the oldest form of health care known to man kind and it will not be an exaggeration to say that use of herbal drug for human health care is probably as ancient an mankind.1 Herbal medicines include herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations and finished herbal products that contain parts of plants or other plant materials as active ingredients.2 Plants are potent biochemists and have been components of phytomedicine since times immemorial; man is able to obtain from them a wondrous assortment of industrial chemicals.3 Prosopis is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae. It contains around 45 species of spiny trees and shrubs. The plant Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz or Chilean Mesquite, also known as Algarrobo, is one of the most common wild plant species of the arid and semi-arid regions.4 this tree is native to South America, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay. In Andhra Pradesh, very common in wastelands, coming up singly and in groups along roadsides5. Algarrobo offers several environmental benefits like fixes atmospheric nitrogen in its root nodules.6 Algarrobo bark has been used in rheumatism and scorpion sting etc.7

 


 

Figure 1 Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz

 

Taxonomical profile 8

Kingdom: Plantae

Sub kingdom: Tracheobionta

Super division: Spermatophyta

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Subclass: Rosidae

Order: Fabales

Family: Fabaceae

Genus: Prosopis

Species: chilensis (Molina) Stuntz

Binomial name: Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz

 

Vernacular names 4, 9

Telugu : Sarkar tumma, Sarkarmullu

Africans : Suidwesdoring

Arabic : Temer musa

English : Mesquite

Hindi: Kabuli kikkar, Vilayati babul

Spanish: Algarroba

Folk : Khejaraa,

 

Synonyms 6

Acacia siliquastrum Lag.,

Ceratonia chilensis Molina.,

Prosopis siliquastrum (Lag.) DC

 

Common names

Chilean algarrobo,

Chilean mesquite

Kiawe,

Mesquite,

Algarrobo,

Algarrobo blanco,

Algarrobo de Chile

 

Botanical description 10

Prosopis chilensis (Molina) Stuntz) is a small to medium-sized tree. It has a shallow and spreading root system. It branches freely and its wood is hard and reddish, with brown and fissured bark.

 

 

Figure 2:  Bark

 

Leaves, flowers and spines description:

Its leaves are 4-7.5 cm long, compound, each with numerous leaflets along several pairs of pinnae. The flowers are greenish-white to yellow or cream, about 5 mm long, abundant and occur in spike-like 5-10 cm long racemes. Calyx tube 5-toothed, campanulate. Petals 5, pilose within. Stamens 10; anthers with a deciduous gland; flowers regularly in spring and sometimes sporadically again in late summer. Spines a pair, stout, yellow, glabrous;

 

 

Figure 3: Leaves, flowers and Spines

 

Pods and seeds description:

The pods are slender, slightly curved or straight, flat at maturity, 10-20 cm long, yellow when ripe, borne in drooping clusters. Seeds are bean-shaped, oblong, 6-7 mm, light brown, each in 4-angled case.

 

Figure 4:Pods 

 

Figure 5: Seeds

 

Distribution and habitat:

The plant is found in the arid and semi-arid regions with ground water of between 3 and 10 m below the surface.  It grows between 340-1230 m, in mean annual temperatures of 12-45°C under average annual rainfall of 350-400 mm. It is found in sandy, alkaline soils and has been observed to grow in seawater salinity. It has been widely distributed in the Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and United States of America. Due to its deep rooting habit, it is a candidate for erosion control and soil stabilization in arid lands.

Chemical constituents 11

It contains apigenin 8-glucoside, apigenin 6-glucoside, quercitin 3-glucoside, quercitin 3-rhamnoside, quercitin 3-rutinoside, and traces of myricetin 3-rhamnoside, luteolin, kaempferol-3-OMe quercetin, and quercitin 3-OMe. Pipecolic and 4-hydroxy pipecolic acid also occur, but varying concentrations of pipecolic acid and proline are interpreted as reflecting a plastic response to changing environmental conditions. Fresh pods, but not dry pods, are said to be harmful to horses. Seeds contain small quantities of saponins. Bark and root contain tannin. Young leaves contain 1.8% alkaloids, intermediate leaves, 1.7%, and mature leaves, 0.9%.

 

Uses 4

·         Used for shade, timber, fuel, and concentrated forage or food

·         A staple food for cattle in arid regions.

·         High protein content of the seeds suggests that they may be useful as protein supplement to poor grass

·         The pods are used as food

·         It is a good source of nectar and pollen

·         The bark exudes an amber-colored, translucent gum used in mucilage and an ingredient in medicine.

·         Water infused with the mesquite leaves can be used as eye drops.

·         A ten percent infusion of the leaves shows some antibiotic activity.

 

Flowering and fruiting 6

The plant flowers regularly in spring and sometimes sporadically again in late summer

 

Recent developments in the research area of Prosopis chilensis:

Berta B Escobar et al in 2009 conducted a study use of algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis (Mol) Stuntz) flour as protein and dietary fiber source in cookies and fried chips manufacture. It can be concluded that the use of algarrobo cotyledon" flour in cookies and chips manufacture increases the contribution of available lysine; their protein and dietary fiber content, improving the soluble/insoluble fiber ratio, without affect neither their physical nor their sensory acceptance. 12

 

Giovannetti et al in 2008 conducted a study starch grain characterization of Prosopis chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz and P. flexuosa DC, and the analysis of their archaeological remains in Andean South America. It can be concluded that no significant statistical differences were found in the structure (morphology, size and hilum) of the starch of the same species from both localities 13.

 

PP Cerezal Mezquita et al conducted a study, Development of a high content protein beverage from Chilean mesquite, lupine and quinoa for the diet of pre-schoolers. It can be concluded that after 90 days of storage time, the beverage got a protein content of 1.36%, being tryptophan the limiting amino acid; for its part showed no statistical significant differences (p < 0.05) maintaining the "dark pink" tonality, the viscosity and the sensory evaluation were acceptable for drinking. 14

 

Munoz and Maureira conducted a study, Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on antioxidant capacity, mineral and starch bioaccessibility of a non conventional food: Prosopis chilensis seed. They concluded that the antioxidant capacity, mineral and starch content of the seed may be underestimated in the literature because the extraction solvents usually used do not allow a complete release of antioxidant compounds and, additionally, non-extractable polyphenols with a high antioxidant capacity are ignored. This correspondingly applies to the starch and mineral content. On the other hand, the analysis of in vitro digestive enzymatic extracts suggests that the antioxidant activity, minerals and starch of seed in the human gut may be higher than what might be expected from literature data based on measurements of aqueous-organic extracts.15

 

Jose J Delatorre et al conducted a study, Effects of water stress and high temperature on photosynthetic rates of two species of Prosopis. Finally they concluded that in both Prosopis species, the interaction between high temperature and water deficit affects photosynthesis responses greater than each individual stress, and that the interactive effect is more pronounce in Algarrobo than in tamarugo.16

 

Gabriele G Lehner et al conducted a study, Differences in wound-induced changes in cell-wall peroxidase activities and isoform patterns between seedlings of Prosopis tamarugo and Prosopis chilensis. Finally they concluded that P. tamarugo is more tolerant to wound stress than P. chilensis.17

 

GG Lehner et al conducted a study, Field studies on the photosynthesis of two desert Chilean plants: Prosopis chilensis and Prosopis tamarugo. Finally they concluded that Photosynthetic pigment analyses indicated possible photo damage in P. chilensis trees. Such photo damage was absent in P. tamarugo. There was a considerable change in the flavonoid pattern between noon and afternoon hours in both species at both study sites. The physiological implications of these changes indicate that P. tamarugo is more adapted to high solar radiation than P. chilensis.18

 

CC Ortiz et al conducted a study, Heat-shock responses in two leguminous plants: a comparative study. From these data it is concluded that P. chilensis is more tolerant to acute heat stress than soybean.19

 

JG Rodríguez et al conducted an analysis, Cell wall proteins in seedling cotyledons of Prosopis chilensis. These analyses revealed that there are two groups of related cell wall proteins in the cotyledons. The first group comprises the proteins of M(r)s 180,000, 126,000, 107,000 which are rich in glutamic acid/glutamine and aspartic acid/asparagine and they have almost identical NH2-terminal sequences. The second group comprises the M(r) 63,000 protein which is rich in proline, glycine, valine and tyrosine, with an NH2-terminal sequence which was very similar to that of soybean proline-rich proteins.20

 

Propagation method 4, 6

Seed are propagated by seed propagation method.

 

Species 21, 22

1.       Prosopis alba (Algarrobo blanco)

2.        Prosopis Africana (African mesquite)

3.        Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)

4.        Prosopis alpataco

5.        Prosopis argentina

6.       Prosopis burkartii

7.        Prosopis caldenia

8.       Prosopis calingastana (Cusqui)

9.        Prosopis campestris

10.     Prosopis castellanosii

11.     Prosopis chilensis (Algarrobo)

12.     Prosopis cineraria (Jand)

13.     Prosopis denudans

14.     Prosopis elata

15.     Prosopis farcta (Syrian mesquite)

16.    Prosopis ferox

17.     Prosopis fiebrigii

18.     Prosopis glandulosa (Honey mesquite)

19.     Prosopis hassleri

20.     Prosopis humilis

21.     Prosopis juliflora (Mesquite)

22.     Prosopis kuntzei

23.     Prosopis laevigata (Smooth mesquite)

24.     Prosopis nigra (Algarrobo negro)

25.     Prosopis pallida (Kiawe)

26.     Prosopis palmeri

27.     Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean mesquite)

28.    Prosopis pugionata

29.     Prosopis reptans (Tornillo)

30.     Prosopis rojasiana

31.     Prosopis ruizlealii

32.     Prosopis ruscifolia

33.     Prosopis sericantha

34.     Prosopis strombulifera (Argentine screwbean)

35.     Prosopis tamarugo (Tamarugo)

36.     Prosopis torquata

37.     Prosopis velutina (Velvet mesquite)

 

REFERENCES:

1.        Vishal R, Tandon.Medicinal uses and biological activities of Vitex negundo.Natural product radiance. 4 (3); 2005: 162-165.

2.        Swarnamoni Das et al. Hepatoprotective activity of Ocimum sanctum alcoholic leaf extract against paracetamol-induced liver damage in albino rats. Pharmacognosy Res. 3(1); 2011: 13–18.

3.        Priyabrata Pattanayak et al. Ocimum sanctum Linn. A reservoir plant for therapeutic applications: An overview. Pharmacognosy Review. 4 (7); 2010: 95-105.

4.        http://www.worldagroforestrycentre.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=1349

5.        http://www.horticultureunlimited.com/landscape-plants/chilean-mesquite.html

6.        http://www.feedipedia.org/node/553

7.        K.Sambandan et al. Studies on the phyto diversity of a sacred grove and its traditional uses in Karaikal District, U.T. Puducherry. Journal of Phytology. 4(2); 2012:16-21.

8.        http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PRCH2

9.        http://www.springerreference.com/docs/html/chapterdbid/69219.html

10.     K. Madhava chetty, K.Sivaji and K.Tulasi Rao. Flowering plants of Chittoor District Andhra Pradesh, India. Students offset printers, Tirupati. 2008; second edition: Page no: 553.

11.     http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Prosopis_chilensis.html

12.     Berta B Escobar et al. Use of algarrobo (Prosopis chilensis (Mol) Stuntz) flour as protein and dietary fiber source in cookies and fried chips manufacture. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 59(2); 2009: 191-198.

13.     Giovannetti et al. Starch grain characterization of Prosopis chilensis (Mol.) Stuntz and P. flexuosa DC, and the analysis of their archaeological remains in Andean South America. J Archaeol Sci. 35(11); (2008):13.

14.     P P Cerezal Mezquita et al. Development of a high content protein beverage from Chilean mesquite, lupine and quinoa for the diet of pre-schoolers. Nutr Hosp. 27(1); 2012: 232-243.

15.     Munoz and Maureira. Effect of high hydrostatic pressure on antioxidant capacity, mineral and starch bioaccessibility of a non conventional food: Prosopis chilensis seed. Food Res Int. 44 (4); 2011: 9.

16.     Jose J Delatorre et al. Effects of water stress and high temperature on photosynthetic rates of two species of Prosopis. J Photochem Photobiol B. 92(2); 2008: 10.

17.     Gabriele G Lehner et al. Differences in wound-induced changes in cell-wall peroxidase activities and isoform patterns between seedlings of Prosopis tamarugo and Prosopis chilensis. Tree Physiol . 23(7); 2003: 443-452.

18.     G G Lehner et al. Field studies on the photosynthesis of two desert Chilean plants: Prosopis chilensis and Prosopis tamarugo. J Photochem Photobiol B. 64 (1); 2001:36-44.

19.     C C Ortiz et al. Heat-shock responses in two leguminous plants: a comparative study. J Exp Bot. 52 (361); 2001: 1711-1719.

20.     JG Rodríguez et al. Cell wall proteins in seedling cotyledons of Prosopis chilensis. Phytochemistry. (1994); 35(2):281-6.

21.     http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PROSO

22.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosopis

 

Received on 25.01.2013

Modified on 05.02.2013

Accepted on 09.02.2013

© A&V Publication all right reserved

Research Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 5(2): March-April 2013, 54-58