A Study on Phytochemical and Pharmacological activity of

Terminalia arjuna: A Review

 

Rupak K. Swain1*, Satya N. Tripathy2, Rabinarayan Rana1, Sujit K. Patro1, Satyajeet Behera1

1Department of Pharmacology, Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

BPUT, Berhampur, 760010, Odisha, India.

2Department of Pharmaceutical Analysis, School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences,
Centurion University of Technology and Management, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha.

3Department of Pharmacology, Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

BPUT, Berhampur, 760010, Odisha, India.

4Department of Pharmacognosy, Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

BPUT, Berhampur, 760010, Odisha, India.

5Department of PA & QA, Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences,

BPUT, Berhampur, 760010, Odisha, India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail: rupak.55@gmail.com

 

ABSTRACT:

The demand for the natural drugs obtained from plant source have been ever increasing due to its negligible side effects. Arjuna scientifically known as Terminalia arjuna belongs to family Combretaceae. Arjuna finds its place in many indigenous systems of medicines like Ayurveda. Cardiovascular diseases have been a major source of death world wide, since then the evolution of many drugs happened to be the cure for cardiovascular diseases. Arjuna bark is found to be one of the potential herb with maximum cardiotonic properties. Several literature reviews confirms its potentiality. The bark of Arjuna is traditionally used in many Ayurvedic formulations for its cardiotonic, styptic, febrifuge and diuretic activities.  Arjuna bark is found to contain many bioactive compounds like Gylcosides, tannins, flavonoids possessing active pharmacological actions specially Hypolipidemic activities and Antioxidant activity. The main aim of the study is to focus on the clinical and experimental studies on cardiovascular activities of Arjuna with reference to its phytochemical compounds.

 

KEYWORDS: Antiinflammatory, Cardiotonic, Antioxidant, Tannins, Phytochemicals.

 

 


INTRODUCTION:

Plants are found to be the one of the reliable source of food and medicines since ancient civilisation, more than 85% of the medicines found in traditional systems of medicines come from plants. So the importance and value of the traditional systems of medicine is appreciable.1 herbal drugs finds its special attention due to its low cost, low toxicity and wide availability.2

 

The research practice to use this drugs singly or in combination with other drugs is increasing for the treatment of living beings. Widely the organised and unorganised drugs are widely used for medicinal activities as they are found to be less harmful.3 Terminalia arjuna commonly known as “Arjuna”,4 it is a deciduous indigenous plant belongs to family Combretaceae.5 Traditionally the bark was used as Astringent, expectorant, styptic and febrifuge with antidiarhhoeal properties. Apart it has some other features like cardiotonic properties.6 a large number of literature studies have reported about the pharmacological activities of the Terminalia arjuna like hypolipidemic7,8, Cardioactive9,10,11. Antioxidative properties12,13,14,15,16 plants of Terminalia are reported to contain rich source of secondary metabolites like flavonoids, tannins and triterpenes.17 more peculiarly the bark is said to posses active pharmacological actions against cardiac failure, cardiac ischemia, myocardial infraction, atherosclerosis. The stem bark contains active source of glycosides, flavonoids, tannins. The flavonoids are having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hypolipidemic property.the glycosides are having cardioprotective activity.18-22

 

Terminalia species plants are widely distributed throughout the world with more than 250 species, mainly in South asia, South Africa and Australia. Out of these around 50 species are consumed as food.23 several species of terminalia possess neutraceutical properties and demonstrates health benefits like treatment of ailments.24 phytochemical studies in several species have shown 368 chemicals including terpenoids, flavonoids, phenylpropranoids and phenolic compounds.25

 

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Myrtales

Family: Combretaceae

Genus: Terminalia

Species: T. arjuna Roxb26

 

PHARMACOGNOSTIC CHARACTERS:

The height of Terminalia Arjuna tree is around 60-80 feet. With fortified trunk, descended branches and parallel spreading corona widely found in India. Burma and srilanka.27-29 in india most popularly found in Delhi, odisha, W.B, U.P, Bihar M.P.30

Leaves of Terminalia arjuna are simple (undivided), obtuse base, crenate margin, obtuse or subacute apex, petioles are short, upper surface is pale or green colour, lower surface is pale brown in colour.a pair of oil glands observed at bottom of petiole.31

 

Bark is even, bright, and greenish-grey externally and peeled off in large flat pieces regularly. Found in irregular pieces, and curved, not flat pieces. It is also of appreciable importance in Ayurveda.32

 

Fruit is oval in shape, it is drupe type of fruit, hard with five angles moving upwards from the axis.33

 

Flowers are creamy white to yellowish with a sweet fragrance, produced at bottom of shoots like spikes in groups, petals absent.34

 

PHYTOCHEMICAL EVALUATION:

Terminalia arjuna is a potent drug having cardio vascular properties. The bark is known to be used widely in Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine as a Cardiotonic drug.35,36 The chemical contents of the plant arjuna is reported to be located in the roots and barks of stem, leaf, seed and in fruits. Triterpenoids and glycosides are mainly located in roots. The Fruits of arjuna is found to contain triterpenoid and flavoinoids, flavonoid and glycosides are mainly found in the seeds. The bark is reported to be chief medicinal source of many Important phytochemical constituents present in it. Many secondary metabolites of importance like glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, phenols, saponin, carbohydrates, are found in arjuna bark.37,38. The bark was first considered to contain around 34% ash constituent of pure calcium carbonate. Aqueous extract of the bark consist of 23% and 16% of calcium salts and tannins respectively.39

 

Table No.1 Chief chemical constituents of T.arjuna

PLANT PART

CHEMICAL CLASS

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS

REFERENCES

Stem Bark and Roots

Triterpenoid

Arjunin

45

 

 

Arjunic acid

46

 

 

Arjungenin

47, 48

 

 

Arjunolic acid

49, 50

Stem Bark

Glycosides

Arjunoside I, II

51, 52

 

 

Arjunolone

53, 54

 

 

Arjunetin

55, 56

 

 

Arjunolitin

57

 

 

Terminoside A

58

Stem Bark

Tannins

Pyrocatechols

59

 

 

Punicallin

60

 

 

Punicalagin

61

 

 

Terchebulin

62

 

 

Terflavin C

63

Stem Bark

Flavonoids and Phenolics

Arjunone

64

 

 

Luteolin

65

 

 

Ethyl gallate

66

 

 

Gallic acid

67

 

 

Kempferol

68

 

 

(ž)-catechin, (ž)-gallocatechin and (-)-epigallocatechin

69

Stem Bark

Minute Elements

Calcium, magnesium, copper, silica, zinc.

70


Minute quantity of colouring material and tannins were observed in alcoholic extract of the bark. Subsequently the presence of tannins, flavonoids, glycosides, phytosterols were confirmed. Arjunic acid and Arjungenin are the chief triterpenoids present. other chemicals of therapeutic importance are Pyrocatechols, Punicallin, Kempferol, Ethyl gallate, Arjunolon, Flavones.40 various organic solvents were used for the extraction of several phytoconstituents. Technical instruments like HPLC, UPLC, RP-HPLC were used for the compulsive of chemical structures of different phytochemicals.41-44

 

Terpenoids, triterpenoids and glycosides:

Initially the ethanolic and benzene extract of the bark was found to contain a triterpenoid named arjunin and arjunetin respectively. Arjunic acid and arjungenin are also present as a part of triterpenoid. Arjunoglucoside I and II are the type of glucosides observed in the bark of arjuna.71,72 Arjunoside III and IV and terminic acid are found in the ethyl acetate extract of the roots of arjuna.73, 74 Terminoside A is found to contain in the ethanolic extract of stem bark of arjuna.75 the nitric acid level is inhibited by terminoside A and stimulates macrophages.76,77 Termiarjunoside I and II are obtained from the ethanolic extract from the bark of T. arjuna is found to be a glycoside.78 Arjunglucoside IV and V are found to contain in the ethanolic extract of the bark.79,80

 

 

Figure.1 Arjunic acid

 

 

Figure.2 Arjunolic acid           

 

 

Figure.3 Arjungenin

 

Figure.4 Arjunolone

 

 

Figure.5 Arjunone  

 

TANNINS:

The bark of T.arjuna contains tannins and their related compounds were isolated from it. and their chemical structures are determined with analysis of spectra. The hydrolysable tannins determined are pyrocatechols, punicallin, punicalagin, terchebulin and terflavin C.81 The tannins are popularly known to posses astringent, antimicrobial and wound curative properties.82, 83 Tannins inhibit LDL and platelet aggregation possessing anti-oxidant property and anticancer property 84, 85

 

FLAVONOIDS AND PHENOLICS:

T.arjuna bark contains appreciable percentage of flavonoids like luteolin, kempferol, are found to have positive effect on cardiovascular diseases. this flavonoids are having antibacterial effect and antimutagenic effect with strong antioxidant property. The aqueous extract is demonstrated to contain (ž)-catechin, (ž)-gallocatechin and ()-epigallocatechin; gallic acid, ellagic acid86, 87, 88 around 70% of polyphenols have been noticed in the water extract of T.arjuna 89 gallic acid and ellagic acid are the phenols found in all species of the terminalia plant. This phenolic compounds posses antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. 90

 


Table No.2 Preliminary phytochemical screening of T.arjuna bark

PHYTOCHEMICALS

TEST

COLOUR

REMARKS

REFERENCE

Glycosides

Keller- Killiani test.

Bluish green colour

++

 

 

 

92

Triterpenoid

liebermann- Burchard’s test

Reddish violet colour

+

Flavanoids

Lead Acetate test

Yellow colour

++

Saponin

Foam test

Foam formation

+

Alkaloid

Dragendroff’s test

Orange brown ppt.

+

Phytosterols

Salkowski reaction

Brown clour

++

Phenolic Compounds and Tannins

5% Fecl3 Test

Greenish to black colour

++

 


 

 

MINERALS:

A number of minerals are found along with small fractions of minerals like calcium (3133µg), magneiusm (4000mg), zinc (119mg), copper (19mg). (65) and few amino acids like tryptophan, tyrosine, histidine and cysteine91

 

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES:

CARDIOPROTECTIVE PROPERTIES:

T.arjuna has produced remarkable stimulating action of hearts of rabbit and frog. Glycosides are the main cardiotonic property found in the bark of the plant.93 the force of diminution of frog’s heart muscle increases with the alcoholic extract of the bark. The alcoholic extract of T.arjuna when injected intravenous it increased auricular and ventricular contractions in rabbit.94 water extract of the bark administered in rabbit enhanced the coronary flow.95

 

A research experimental study was conducted to study the effect of T.arjuna bark in broiler chicks. Around 72 days old nestling chicks were used for the study. Four increasing modes of dosage of arjuna powdered drug were designed in the .00%, .50%, .75%, 1% were administered with the diet for five weeks. The dosage administration lasted for around 35 days. It was recorded that T.arjuna bark powder significantly lowered serum cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL level.96, 97, 98

 

ANTI-OXIDANT PROPERTY:

The antioxidant activity of T.arjuna bark along with choco vanilla dairy drink was demonstrated and recorded in wistar rats fed with high cholesterol diet for 60 days. The outcome of the results was because of the presence of secondary metabolites present in encapsulated T.arjuna reported hypolipidaemic and antioxidant properties. Thereby acting as a potent cardiotonic drug.97, 98

 

The antioxidant and free radical scavenging property was demonstrated. The yield from the extract is around 6.66-19.09g/100gm(w/w). on basis of dry weight. Measurable amount of TPC (6.02-11.00g/100gm, in form of gallic acid.) the Total flavonoid content range was found to be (1.75-5.96gm/100 as catechin.) 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) exercising radical scavenging activity was found to be (IC50 2.71-7.68μg/ mL). and peroxidation reticence was (64.79-71.43%) here the study was analysed from the research reports that T.arjuna is a good source of anti-oxidant.99,100,101,102

 

ANTIHYPERGLYCEMIC PROPERTY:

Streptozotocin (STZ) induced diabetic rats were used for the research study, where STZ is found to produce tissue injury and free radical production. Impressive amount of arjunic acid like arjunoglycoside (I, II, III and IV), arjungenin, arjunolone, arjunetin, tanins, ellagic acids are found in the ethanolic extract of T.arjuna bark. These remarkably reduced the free radical damage, which was noticed after 21 days administration of the etahnolic extract.103

 

ANTIINFLAMMATORY PROPERTY:

Arjunolic acid demonstrates potent anti-inflammatory activity by significantly inhibiting arachidonic acid ear edema. It also affects COX enzymes possessing its anti-inflammatory activity.104,105,106 standard hydroalcoholic extract of T.arjuna was determined for overall photochemical constituents and the antioxidant property was examined using DPPH radical scavenging activity. The hydroalcoholic extract having a good concentration of total polyphenol concentration and also it was high in antioxidant activity.107,108,109 Termiarjunosides I and II obtained and isolated from the stem barks of T.arjuna was found to be inhibiting the conglomeration of platelets and declined the release of Nitric oxide and superoxide from macrophages.110

 

ANTILIPIDEMIC PROPERTY:

The hypolipidemic property of T.arjuna was carried out in rabbits fed with high cholesterol diet. The powder bark weighing around 250mg/kg helped decline cholesterol level significantly (p˂0.020) than control group in rabbits. (77) This research work states that the ethanolic extract of T.arjuna decreases serum cholesterol volume by (p<0.05) and Triglyceride measure by (p˂0.001). Arjunic acid a major component of the drug undergoes hepatic metabolism to produce active metabolites which are mainly regulating the lipid lowering activity. This study was conducted in type-2 diabetic rats with ethyl alcoholic extract of T.arjuna.111, 112,113

 

CONCLUSION:

The scientific screening of Terminalia arjuna plant marks it as a vital medicinal plant containing lot of phytochemicals like phenolic compounds, tannins, glycosides and many more bioactive compounds possessing pharmacological actions on living tissues, responsible for mediating many chronic conditions and biological parameters like having cardioprotective properties, antilipidemic effect, antidiabetic properties, anti-inflammatory and anti oxidant activities. The current literature review suggests this physiological property which enables the drug to be of service to mankind. The cardioprotective and antioxidant activity was carried out in different experimental animal models. Further research should be carried out on nano particle enabled drug formulation for better therapeutic results at a predetermined rate and time. Also scientific study should be carried out to know the molecular mechanism of the drug arjuna for better evaluation and better outcome to a healthier world.

 

CONFLICT OF INTEREST:

We have no conflicts of interest

 

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Received on 07.09.2022         Modified on 14.12.2022

Accepted on 21.02.2023       ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Res. J. Pharmacognosy and Phytochem. 2023; 15(2):111-117.

DOI: 10.52711/0975-4385.2023.00017