Traditional
medicinal benefits of
leaves, bark, fruit and seed of A.
muricata have been the emphasis of myriad medicinal
routines. The most significantly used preparation in traditional medicine is
the decoction of bark, root, seed or leaf and applications are wide-ranging.
The ingestion of leaves decoction is used as analgesic and also it is used to
cope with discomfort accompanying colds, flu and asthma; and to treat cutaneous
(external) and internal parasites. The use of leaves to treat malaria is very
substantial. The fruit is not only cherished as food, but the juice is used as
galactogogue to treat diarrhea, heart and liver diseases, and against
intestinal parasites. Customary therapeutic qualities of A. muricata have been recognized in
tropical locales to ponder different afflictions, for example, fever, torment,
respiratory and skin disease, bacterial infections, hypertension, aggravation,
diabetes and cancer. There have been a number of reports on the
ethno-

medical uses of A.
muricata leaves
including treatments for hypertension, diabetes and cancer. Most
parts of the A. muricata tree, similar to that of the  other Annona species,
namely A. squamosa and A. reticulata are
widely used as local and habitual medicines contrary to a large number of human
inflamations, infections and disorders. The pulp of the fruit is used as natural
medicine for joint pains, dysentery, neuralgia, diarrhea, rheumatism, fever,
malaria, parasites, skin rushes and worms, and 
also is eaten to increase mother’s milk after parturition. The leaves
are used to control cystitis, , body aches and diabetes. Additionally, the
administration of the leaf’s decoction is thought to display anti-rheumatic and
neuralgic effects. In addition, the cooked leaves are topically used to treat
abscesses and rheumatism that was reported by de Sousa OV and
colleagues.(9)

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 The crushed
seeds are thought to have anthelmintic activities antaagonistic to external and
internal worms. In tropical Africa, the plant is employed as an astringent
pesticide, and insecticide; along this it is used to treat coughs, pain and
skin diseases. In India, the fruit and flower are used as remedies against
catarrh, while the root-bark and leaves are well known to have an anti
phlogistic and anthelmintic activities which was worked upon
by Adewole SO, Ojewole J.(2)

In
Malaysia, the crude extract of A. muricata and A.
squamosa is used as a syrup on the head to buffer from fainting. In South
America and tropical Africa, including Nigeria, leaves of A.muricata are
implemented as an ethnomedicine opposed to tumors and cancer. Moreover, the
smooth muscle relaxant, hypotensive hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, sedative,
and antispasmodic effects accredit to the leaves, barks and roots of A.
muricata. Moreover along with the ethnomedicinal uses, the fruits are
widely employed for the preparation of beverages, ice creams,and syrups (3, 21, 23, 26) .

 

1.   
Phytoconstituents:

There
are more than 200 chemical compounds that have been documented and isolated
from this plant; the foremost being the alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids and
acetogenins. Based on the in vitro studies, extracts and phytochemicals of A. muricata have been sorted out as
anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-protozoan, antioxidant, insecticide,
larvicide, and cytotoxic to
tumor cells. Studies on the extracts and isolated compounds of A. muricata showed contraceptive,
antitumor, anti-ulceric, wound healing, hepato-protective, anxiolytic,
anti-stress, anti-inflammatory, anti-icteric and hypoglycemic activities.
Furthermore, there have been clinical studies carried out in order to boost the
hypoglycemic activity of the ethanolic extracts of A. muricata leaves. Mechanisms of action of a few pharmacological
activities have been explicated, such as cytotoxic, antioxidant, antimicrobial,
anti-nociception and hypotensive activities. Nonetheless, some phytochemical
compounds isolated from A. muricata
have shown a neurotoxic effect in vitro and in vivo. Thus, these crude extracts
and isolated compounds requires further studies to define the magnitude of the
effects, optimal dosage, long-term safety, and potential side effects. (32)

Constant examinations on diverse parts
of the A. muricata have shown the occurrence of varieties of phyto
constituents and compounds, including flavonol triglycosides (FTGs) alkaloids
(ALKs), phenolics (PLs), megastigmanes (MGs), cyclopeptides (CPs) and essential
oils. The existence of various minerals such as Ca, Na, Fe, K, Cu and Mg imply
that regular intake of the A. muricata fruit can help furnish essential nutrients to the
human body. However, Annona species, including A. muricata, have been
shown to be a vital source of annonaceous acetogenin compounds (AGEs). Almost
all the parts inclusive of the fruits, leaves, stems and
roots of this plant are known to be rich in flavonoids, isoquinoline alkaloids
and annonaceous acetogenins. (23,25,26,28,35,42)

Acetogenins are a unique category of C-35/C37 secondary
metabolites obtained from long chain (C-32/C34) fatty acids in the polyketide
pathway. They are basically illustrated by combining fatty acids with  2-propanol unit at C-2 that gives a methyl-substituted
?, ?-unsaturated ?-lactone. Starting with the discovery of uvaricin from Uvaria
accuminata in 1982, there have been several acetogenins that are
identified. About 500 have been reported from numerous parts of the plants in
the Annonaceae family. Because of the exceptional structures and broad spectrum
of biological activities, AGEs have drawn significant scientific interest of
late. The active annonaceous acetogenins have shown to be successful in
inducing death in cancer cells that are resistant to even chemotherapeutic
drugs. Besides their remarkable anti proliferative efficacy, these annonaceous
acetogenins have been endorsed to debilitating side effects such as
neurotoxicity suggesting that these components can easily traverse the
blood–brain barrier and are known to cause atypical Parkinson’s disease, thus
restricting their development as new drug entities. Various biological
activities have been reported for AGEs, including antimalarial, anti-parasitic
and pesticidal activities. However, the physiological activities of AGEs are
initially characterized by the toxicity against cancer cells and inhibitions of
the mitochondrial complex I. (11)