- Ichnocarpus was first described as a genus in 1810.
Ichnocarpus frutescens is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family Apocynaceae.
- Etymology: The genus name derives from Greek ichnos meaning 'vestige' and karpos meaning 'fruit'; frutescens means 'becoming shrubby'.
Ichnocarpus frutescens is a liana up to 10 m. Branchlets pubescent when young, soon glabrous. Petiole 0.5-1.5 cm; leaf blade 5-11 X 2.5-4.5 cm, pubescent or glabrous abaxially; lateral veins 5-7 pairs. Inflorescences many flowered, 3-8 cm, most flowers in pedunculate heads. Calyx densely pubescent. Corolla tube ca. 2.5 mm; lobes narrowly oblong, ca. 5 mm. Anthers elliptic; disc lobes free, linear, longer than ovary. Ovaries pubescent. Follicles cylindric, 8-15 cm X 4-5 mm, slightly torulose, pubescent. Seeds linear, coma ca. 2.5 cm. (Flora of China)
- Native to the Philippines.
- Also native to Andaman Is., Assam, Australia, Bangladesh
, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, China, Himalaya, Hainan, India, Jawa, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., Northern Territory, Pakistan, Queensland, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Thailand, Vietnam. (1)
- Studies have shown presence of phenylpropanoids, phenolic acids, coumarins, flavanoids, sterols, and pentacyclic triterpenoids. (4)
- Studies of crude extract showed the presence of amino acids, amides, carboxylic acid, carbonyl compounds, organic hydrocarbons, halogens. SEM-EDX showed presence of calcium, magnesium, silicon, chloride, potassium and carbon in ethanolic extract of. I. frutescens.
- Study of ethanol extract of stems isolated five compounds: n-butyl oleate (1), n-octyl tetracontane (2), tetratriacontadiene (3), n-nonadecanyl benzoate (4), and benzocosanyl arachidate (5).
- Study of ethanolic extract of stems isolated tetracyclic triterpenic ester lanosteryl oleate (6), two new monoterpenic esters, menth-1(7)-en-9-olyl dodecanoate (7), and 2-(4-methylcyclohex-3-enyl)propyl dodecanoate (8).
(see study below) (19)
- Systematic fractionation of ethyl acetate portion of methanolic extract of defatted roots led to isolation of triterpene acid, ursolic acid.
- Phytochemical screening yielded glycosides, carbohydrates, flavonoids, tannins, and proteins. (see study below)
- Studies have suggested antioxidant, antihyperlipidemic, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, wound healing, antitumor, antimicrobial, anticonvulsant, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antipyretic, nephroprotective properties.
Seeds, leaves, roots.
- Seeds used for treatment of rheumatism; stems and leaves for acute urticaria. (2)
used for treatment of asthma, cholera , and fever.
- In Ayurveda, used for atrophy, bleeding gums, convulsions, cough, delirium, mystery, glossitis, hematuria, measles, etc.
- Leaves and roots used as substitute for Indian sarsaparilla (Hemidesmus indicus) as alterative, antidysenteric, antipyretic, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypoglycemic, and tonic. Used for anorexia, leucorrhea, skin diseases, syphilis, and urinary calculi. (4)
- In Rajasthan, warm leaves applied to swelling to cure guinea worm infection. Decoction of leaves and stems used for fever and skin eruptions.
- In Bihar, India, tribes of Chotanagpur and Santal use a mixture of roots of Ichnocarpus frutescens, Cissampelos pareira, Bauhinia vahlii and Ardisia solanacea for treatment of stomach cancer. (18)
- Ethnic communities of south India use the preparations from whole plant for rheumatism, asthma, cough, blood purification, bronchitis, bone fracture, cholera, constipation, dysentery, fever, night blindness, measles, ulcer, vomiting, and as tonic. (32)
- Tribals of Mayurbhanj district of north Orissa apply root paste to scabies.
- In southern India, Paliyan tribes of Sirumalai hills use a leaf paste with honey orally for treatment of ulcers. (35)
- Fiber: Strong fiber from inner bark used for making ropes and sacks. (2) Fiber can be extracted from stems. (see study below) (31)
• Hepatoprotective / Paracetamol Toxicity / Antioxidant / Whole Plant: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective effect of chloroform and methanol extract of whole plant of I. frutescens in paracetamol-liver damage in Wistar albino rats. The extracts at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg produced significant (p<0.05) hepatoprotection as evidenced by decreased activity of serum enzymes, bilirubin, and lipid peroxidation, while significantly increased levels of GSH, SOD, and CAT in a dose-dependent manner. Extract effects were comparable to standard drug Silymarin. Results showed hepatoprotective activity and significant (p<0.05) antioxidant activity. (3)
• Antidiabetic / Antihyperlipidemic / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-diabetic and anti-hyperlipidemic effects of polyphenolic extract (PPE) of I. frutescens leaves in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of alloxan. The PPE at doses of 250 and 300 mg/kbw resulted in significant reduction of fasting glucose levels. At 300 mg/kbw for 21 days, there was significant decrease in hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity. The PPE showed significant hypolipidemic effect and significantly enhanced the release of lipoprotein lipase enzyme. PPE also inhibited ADP-induced platelet aggregation in vitro. Results suggest therapeutic potential of the PPE against diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and atherosclerosis and their complications and cardiovascular risks. (5)
• Wound Healing / Leaves / Stems: Study evaluated the methanol extract of I. frutescens roots for wound healing potential using ointment formulations (1% and 2% w/w of root extract in simple ointment base) in excision and incision wound model in rats. Both concentrations showed significant responses in both wound models in measures of wound contracting ability, wound closure time, regeneration of tissues at wound site, tensile strength of wound and histopathological characteristics, which were comparable to standard drug framycetin sulphate cream. (7) In a comparative study of hydro-alcoholic extracts of leaves, stems, and roots for wound healing activity, the stem extract showed remarkable wound healing potency. (16)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Analgesic / Roots: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of roots for anti-inflammatory activity using carrageenan and cotton pellet induced granuloma for acute and chronic phase inflammation and analgesic activity in mice. Dose of 300 mg/kg blocked writhing response by 57.54% compared to 73,73% with Indomethacin. The ME showed significant (p<0.05) antinociceptive action in hot plate reaction time in mice. Maximum inhibition (54.63%( was obtained at 100mg/kg dose in carrageenan induced paw edema, compared to indomethacin at 57.65% inhibition. In the chronic model, the ME decreased granuloma tissue formation by 22.64% compared to 29.63% and 34.84% with indomethacin and dexamethasone, respectively. (8)
• Antihyperlipidemic / Leaves: Study evaluated crude methanol extract of leaves and fractions for antihyperlipidemic effect in triton WR-1339-induced and high-fat diet (HFD) obese animals. The ME significantly reduced total cholesterol by 29.63% and triglyceride by 51.10% in triton WR animals and significant reduced TC (27.81%) and Tg (37.03%) t 400 mg/kg in HFD animals. Fraction 3 also showed significant reduction in TC and Tg. Results validate the folk medicinal use for amelioration of hyperlipidemia. (9)
• Antidiabetic / Roots: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of aqueous extract of roots of Ichnocarpus frutescens in streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced type 2 diabetic rats. The root extract at 250 and 500 mg/kg p.o. induced significant reduction (p<0.05) of fasting glucose levels. In OGTT, there was increase in glucose tolerance. (10)
• Antitumor / Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma / Whole Plant: Study evaluated the antitumor and antioxidant activity of methanol and chloroform extracts of whole plant of Ichnocarpus frutescens in mice transplanted with Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC). Treatment with CE remarkably decreased tumor volume, packed cell volume, viable cell count and increased nonviable cell count of EAC tumor bearing mice when compared to the ME. Both extracts exhibited significant decrease in lipid peroxidation and significant increase in level of antioxidant enzymes such as GSH, SOD, and CAT. Results suggest both CE and ME exhibited significant antitumor and antioxidant activity in EAC bearing mice. (11)
• Antioxidant / Modulatory Effect on Oxidative Stress in Diabetes: Study evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic potential of polyphenolic extract of I. frutescens in STZ-neonatal diabetic rats (pups).
Results showed decreased fasting blood sugar, a favorable (p<0.01) effect on reduced tissues antioxidant levels, liver glycogen level, HDL, and a significant (p<0.01) reduction of elevated lipid peroxidation products. Results suggest the polyphenolic extract can be useful for hyperglycemia treatment. (13)
• Antioxidant / Membrane Stabilizing Properties: I. frutescens extracts showed significant antioxidant activities in all assays (DPPH, H2O2, nitric oxide, reducing power, lipid peroxidation inhibition and RBC membrane stabilization) in a dose dependent manner. Suppression of lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide scavenging may be the probably mechanism of RBC membrane stabilization. (14)
• Antiurolithiatic / Roots: Study evaluated the inhibitory effect of root of I. frutescens on nephrolithiasis induced by ethylene glycol water in rats. Supplementation with ethyl acetate extract of I. frutescens significantly reduced elevated urinary oxalate, suggesting a regulatory action on endogenous oxalate synthesis. There was lowered deposition of stone forming constituents in the kidneys of calculogenic rats. Results suggest the root has antiurolithiatic activity. (15)
• Antimicrobial / Roots: Study evaluated the antimicrobial effect of ethanolic extract of roots of I. frutescens against five bacterial and two fungal strains by disc diffusion method. Broad spectrum activity was seen against Gram-positive S. aureus and B. subtilis and Gram negative E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and S. typhimurium. B. subtilis showed lower MIC (62,5 µg/mL). Extract showed significant effect against Candida albicans and no effect against Aspergillus niger. (17)
• Anticancer / Triterpenes and Roots: Study evaluated the in vitro anticancer activity of residue of methanolic extract of I. frutescens and isolated triterpenes by MTT assay against MCF-7, BEL-7402, SPC-A-1, and SGC-7901 cancer cell lines. The ME showed significant anticancer activity against the four cancer cell lines with IC50s in range of 112.4 to 163.5. Ursolic acid showed anticancer activity with IC50 range of 6.2 to 9.9, while α-amyrin showed IC50 range of 5.0 to 8.2. (18)
• Triterpenic and Monterpenic Esters / Drug Likeness Potential / Stems: Study of ethanolic extract of stems isolated triterpenic and monoterpenic esters. Based on current database, Derek Nexus predicted the molecules are not mutagenic, carcinogenic, genotoxic, hepatotoxic, hERG channel inhibitor, nephrotoxic, neurotoxic but StarDrop found them as probable developmental toxic. The phytoconstituents have drug-likeness potential and can be evaluated for possible targets. (see constituents above) (19)
• Anticonvulsant / Roots: Study of evaluated the anticonvulsant activity and possible mechanism of action of methanol root extract of I. frutescens using different experimental animal models viz., MES-, PTZ-, INH-induced convulsions in mice. The ME (200-400 mg/kg p.o.) protected animals in all behavioral models used. The anticonvulsant activity was via modulation of GABAergic system and oxidative stress in the rat's brain and attributed to phytoconstituents i.e., phenolics, terpenoids, and steroids. Results suggest potential for roots in the management of convulsion. (20)
• Immunomodulatory / Roots: Study of evaluated the immunomodulatory activity of roots of Ichnocarpus frutescens using models for non-specific immune response (E. coli induced abdominal sepsis, Carbon clearance test) and models for specific immune response (Cell-mediated immune response to SRBC, T-cell population test, Delayed type hypersensitivity, Humoral immune response, sheep erythrocyte agglutination test). Results showed the methanolic fraction of ethanolic extract of roots exerted significant immunomodulatory activity by enhancing both Specific immune response and Non-specific immune response. The immunomodulatory activity was attributed to the presence of flavonoids. (21)
• Amelioration of Glucocorticoid Induced Hyperglycemia: Study evaluated the antidiabetic activity of polyphenol extract of I. frutescens using dexamethasone (DEX) induced hyperglycemia in Wistar rats. DEX for 21 days resulted in insulin resistance evidenced by significant increase in fasting blood sugar. Extract treatment markedly reversed DEX induced mean fasting glucose level (p<0.01). The polyphenol extract mechanism may be via potentiation of insulin sensitivity and enhanced transport of blood glucose to peripheral tissues. Results suggest a potential glucose lowering agent to ameliorate glucocorticoids induced hyperglycemia. (22)
• Antipyretic / Roots: Study evaluated a meethanol extract of root for anti-pyretic potential on normal body temperature and yeast-induced pyrexia in albino rats. The ME at doses of 100, 200, and 300 mg/kbw p.o. produced significant reduction in normal body temperature and yeast-provoked elevated temperature in a dose dependent manner. The antipyretic effect lasted up to 5 hours and was comparable to paracetamol (150 mg/kbw p.o.), a standard anti-pyretic agent. (23)
• Wound Healing / Ointment Formulation from Polyherbal Tea Bag Infusion: Study evaluated a 5% and 10% ointment from an infusion from a polyherbal tea bag (Ichnocarpus frutescens, Ficus dalhousiae, Crateva magna, Alpinia galanga and Swetia chirata plants) using an excision wound model. The percentage closure of excision wound area with ointment formulations F1 and F2 were 96.81 and 98.13%, respectively, compared to chloramphenicol drug solution at 99.15%. Results suggest the polyherbal ointment can be used clinically for diabetic and nondiabetic wounds. (24)
• Nephroprotective / Cisplatin Toxicity: Study evaluated the nephroprotective activity of ethanolic extract of I. frutescens against cisplatin induced nephrotoxicity in rats. Results showed supplementation of extract reduced the elevated serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, lipid peroxidation level and improved the creatinine clearance. The dose-dependent protective effect was attributed to free radical scavenging property. (25)
• Anti-Inflammatory / Antinociceptive / ß-Sitosterol Glucoside / Roots: Study evaluated roots of I. frutescens for anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities. HPLC analysis yielded 2-hydroxy tricosanoic acid (1), stigmasterol glucoside (2), stigmasterol (3), β-sitosterol (4) and β-sitosterol glucoside (5). The test molecules showed significant anti-denaturation, anti-proteinase and analgesic effect validated with docking study. Compounds exhibited anti-inflammatory and pain killing action due to dexamethasone-like phytosterol property. Compound 5, ß-sitosterol glucoside, showed promising anti-denaturation and anti-proteinase activity, and potential as arthritis treatment. It showed considerable anti-inflammatory activity with 90% protection against inflammatory cytokines at 50 µM dose. Its acute anti-inflammatory action and peripheral antinociceptive pain killing action suggest potential as a good in-vivo bio available anti-inflammatory agent. (27)
• Chemomodulatory / 4-Vinylcyclohexane Induced Ovarian Cancer: Study evaluated the ethanolic extracts for anticancer activity against 4-vinylcyclohedane induced ovarian cancer. Extract treatment brought the elevated levels of urea, creatinine, marker enzymes and lipid peroxidation and decreased uric acid, enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant back to near normal levels. Histopath exam showed marked edema of lamina propria in cancer induced animals. No such alterations were seen in extract and cisplatin treated groups. (28)
• Skeletal Muscle Relaxant / Leaves: Study evaluated the skeletal muscle relaxant activity of ethanol and aqueous extract of I. frutescens leaves in Swiss albino mice. Results showed significant skeletal muscle relaxant activity at doses of 200 and 400 mg/kg at 30, 60, 90, and 120 min duration. (see constituents above) (29)
• α-Glucosidase Inhibitory Activity / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated an alcohol-water extract of I. frutescens for α-glucosidase inhibitory and antioxidant activities. The HAE extract significantly suppressed postprandial elevation of blood glucose after sucrose administration. DPPH, superoxide anion radical scavenging and H2O2 scavenging activities were evaluated to determine total antioxidant capacity. (30)
• Fiber from Stems: A natural fiber was extracted from stems by sinking the stems in 4% NaOH solution for a week. FTIR analysis of the IF fiber showed the presence of alcohol, carbonyl, hydrocarbons and halogen groups, with no absorption band around 2260-2200 cm-1. There was absence of a cyanide group, suggesting it is non-toxic in nature. (31)
• Inhibitory Effects on Carbohydrate Digestive Enzymes: Study on polyphenolic extract of I. frutescens showed inhibitory effect on α-amylase and α-glucosidase activities, which may delay carbohydrate digestion and absorption with subsequent lowering of blood glucose level to prevent postprandial hyperglycemia and complications. (34)