- The genus Hydnocarpus (Flacourtiaceae) includes approximately 40 species of shrubs and trees occurring in south western India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Indo-China, southern China, Thailand (7 species), Peninsular Malaysia (12), Sumatra (12),Java (2), Borneo (17), Philippines (5) and Sulawesi (2). Hydnocarpus kurzii, Hydnocarpus alcalae and Hydnocarpus anthelmintica used to be cultivated, but with the advent of synthetic leprosy drugs in the 1960’s, this cultivation has lost its importance. (1)
- The oil and its isolated acids showed potential activity against Mycobacterium leprae, and was used in treating early cases of leprosy.
- Chaulmoogra oil appeared in Western medicine only in the 19th century but it had been used in the east against leprosy and various skin diseases for many hundreds of years.
- One of the traditional stories on the discovery of the use of oil for leprosy is from a tale in Burmese folklore: A Burmese prince who contracted leprosy was advised by the gods to withdraw from the world and meditate in the forest where he was directed to a tree with a large fruit with many seeds. He was told to eat the seeds, thereupon he was cured of leprosy.
Chaulmoogra tree is an evergreen tree growing to a height of 7 to 20 meters, sometimes up to 30 meters in dense jungles. Occasionally, depending on unfavorable climate and soil conditions they grown as shrubs. Trunk is upright and straight, covered by a gray-brown bark. Leaves are oblong or lanceolate. leathery-textured on both sides, green when fresh to reddish-brown while drying. Inflorescences have 2 or 3 flowers, yellowish or pinkish, pleasantly fragrant. Fruits are more or less globular, 8 to 15 centimeters in diameter, orange-brown when fresh, dark-brown with white dots when dried. Each berry encloses 30 to 50 large seeds which contain a fatty oil with an acrid taste. (4)
- Found in East Asia: southern China, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Seeds yield cyanogenic glycosides.
- Yields a mixture of glycerols, fatty acids like hydnocarpic acid, chaulmoogric acid, gorlic acid, oleic and palmitic acid.
- Chaulmoogra oil is the fixed oil obtained from fresh ripe seeds of Hydnocarpus species. H wightiana is the major source of chaulmoogra oil, along with H. kurzii and H. anthelminthicus. Fixed oil is characterized by presence of cyclopentenyl fatty acids (CFAs), hydnocarpic, chaulmoogric and
gorlic acids as major constituents
- Study of seeds yielded compounds including p- hydroxybenzaldehyde, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy benzaldehyde, 5-hydroxyindole-3-aldehyde, ω-hydro- xypropioguaiacone, evofolin-B, daucosterol, oleanolic acid, chrysoeriol, 5,40-dihydroxy-7-methoxyflavone and luteolin (Junfeng W et al., 2011). (4)
- Study of seeds isolated of three new compounds, anthelminticans A-C (1-3,res,) and the two known ones, namely chalmoogric acid (4) and ethyl chalmoograte (5).
- Study evaluated the nutrient composition and mineral content of Hydnocarpus anthelminthicus pulps. The pulps yielded 1.64-7.24% of protein, 17.96-26.15% of fat, 7.99-12.75% of fiber, 16.90-32.91% of moisture. The potassium, calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, and chromium contents of pup per 100g of dry weight were in the range of 423.95-721.67, 34.72-122.47, 0.91-5.23, 0.82-3.30, 47.79-86.58 and
0.19-1.67 mg, respectively. Water-soluble vitamins: B1, B2 and B12 were 0, 0.123-7.491 and 0-0.275 ?g/g of dry weight, respectively. Fat-soluble vitamins: A, D and E were 0-0.029, 1.049-3.580 and 14.617-58.334 mg/g of dry weight, respectively. (7)
- Study of ethyl acetate extract of seeds yielded 13 compounds identified as
1-acetoxy-4-ethoxy-benzene (1), hydnocarpin (2), luteolin (3), chrysoeriol (4), 5-hydroxyindole-3-aldehyde (5), isohydnocarpin (6), trans-coniferyl aldehyde (7), p-hydroxylbenzaldehyde (8), 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzoic acid (9), syringic acid (10), sinapic aldehyde (11), trans-p-hydroxycinnamic acid (12), 2,6-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone (13). (10)
- Phytochemical studies have reported the presence of two cyclopentenoid cyanohydrin glucosides, taraktophyllin and epivolenin (Jaroszewski et al., 1987). It also contains cyclopentenoid fatty acids anthelminthicus A-C and the flavonolignana anthelminthicol-A, isohydnocarpin, hydnocarpin D,, hydnocarpin, and sinaiticin (Wang et al., 2011). (14)
- Principal constituents of oil are chaulmoogric acid (8%), ethyl chaulmograte and hydnocarpic acid (67%), together with homologs of hydnocarpic acids including alepric acid, alprestic acid, alprylic acid, aleprolic acid, oncobic acid, and manoaic acid. It also contains general fatty acids, such as myristic, palmitic, stearic, palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. (14)
- Cyanogenic glycosides, in excess, can cause respiratory failure and death.
- Of historical interest, anti-leprosy.
- Studies have suggested anti-inflammatory properties.
- Pulp of the fruit is edible.
In an old Chinese pharmacopoeia, Tia Foong chee was used for the treatment of leprosy, and consisted of a powder made up of: Tai foong chee (Hydnocarpus anthelminthicus) pak chut lai (Tribulus terrestris), and foh mah yan (Cannabis indica) in proportions of 2:1:1. (13)
- Oil from seed, Lukrabao or Chaulmoogra oil, has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide range of dermatologic problems, including leprosy.
- Seeds also used for elephantiasis, dermatosis, and syphilis.
- Used as topical application for elephantiasis, rheumatism, sprains and bruises, sciatica and chest complaints, and for dressing wounds. (3)
- Seeds used as vermifge.
- Bark used for fevers.
- Oil: Seeds yielded a non-drying oil. used for illumination, making soap. (3)
- Bark: Fibrous bark used for making cordage.
• Cytokine Secretion of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells / Anti-Inflammatory / Seed: Hydnocarpus anthelminthicus was primarily used for the treatment of leprosy. The clinical course of leprosy and susceptibility were related to the host immune response. Study evaluated the effect of seed oil and extracts on the secretion of cytokines from PBMCs involved in immune regulation. Results sowed PS treated PBMCs significantly increased IL6 and TNF-α secretion. Extracts of H. anthelminthicus seeds demonstrated various effects on the proinflammatory cytokine secretion of PBMCs. The Inhibitory effect on proinflammatory cytokines should be considered as anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, including SIRSm severe sepsis, cancers, and autoimmune diseases. (2)
• Chaulmoogra Oil as Scientific Knowledge / Construction of Treatment for Leprosy: This article investigates the process of assimilation of medicinal plan knowledge. It focused on the use of chaulmoogra oil to treat leprosy and how the information was incorporated and transformed into scientifically validated knowledge when "Brazilian chaulmoogra " came onto the scene. It narrates Chaulmoogra place in the treatment of leprosy, the controversy and doubts until its ultimate demise with the arrival of sulfones. (6)
• Cytotoxic Mycoepoxudiene Derivatives / Epiphytic Fungus: Study isolated mycoepoxydiene (1) and derivatives, deacetlmycoepoxydiene (2) and 2,3-dihydromycoepoxydiene (3) from a broth extract of endophytic fungus Phomopsis sp. isolated from H. anthelminthicus. Compounds 1 and 2 exhibited potent cytotoxicity, which was attributed to the α,ß-unsaturated lactone moiety in mycoepoxydienes. (9)
• Chaulmoogra Oils / Cosmetic / Harmonizing of Skin Pigmentation / Invention: H. anthelminthicus is a component in an invention relating to use of oils of chaulmoogra and derivatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, particularly for harmonizing pigmentation and tanning. (11)
- Chaulmoogra oil in the cybermarket.