ArticlePDF Available



Abstract and Figures

In recent times the blind dependence on synthetics has got over and people are returning to the naturals with hope of safety and security. Herbs are thus staging a comeback as the only solution to insidious and debilitating effects of synthetic drugs. Plumbago zeylanica is one such important medicinal plant which is being used the world over in the traditional system of medicines. With a herbal 'renaissance' occurring across the globe, the plant is being used extensively in commercial preparations of medicines owing to its wide range of biological activities. The present study summarizes our current knowledge of botany, major bioactives, traditional and medicinal uses of P zeylanica as a foreword to further studies on mass propagation of this valuable species.
Content may be subject to copyright.
International Journal of Pharmaceutical Applications
ISSN 0976-2639.Online ISSN 2278 – 6023
Vol 3, Issue 3, 2012, pp 399-405
Manu Pant*, Ankita Lal, Swati Rana, Anju Rani
Department of Biotechnology, Graphic Era University, Dehradun-248002
Corresponding author: Email:, Tel: +91-9917292899 ; Fax: 0135-2644025
[Received-19/06/2012, Accepted-17/08/2012]
In recent times the blind dependence on synthetics has got over and people are returning to the naturals with
hope of safety and security. Herbs are thus staging a comeback as the only solution to insidious and debilitating
effects of synthetic drugs. Plumbago zeylanica is one such important medicinal plant which is being used the
world over in the traditional system of medicines. With a herbal ‘renaissance’ occurring across the globe, the
plant is being used extensively in commercial preparations of medicines owing to its wide range of biological
activities. The present study summarizes our current knowledge of botany, major bioactives, traditional and
medicinal uses of P zeylanica as a foreword to further studies on mass propagation of this valuable species.
Keywords: Plumbago zeylanica, morphology, traditional value, chemical constituents, medicinal properties, in
vitro studies
Plumbago zeylanica L. (Synonym: P.viscosa
Blanco) (chromosome number 2n=24) is a
multipurpose medicinal herb of family
Plumbaginaceae. A native of South Asia, the
species is distributed throughout most of the
tropics and subtropics; growing in deciduous
woodland, savannas’ and scrublands from sea-
level up to 2000 m altitude [1, 2, 3, 4]. The sap
of P. zeylanica causes discoloration of the skin
resembling the colour of lead accounting for its
Latin name Plumbago and the popular name
leadwort. The species is also known by several
names in different parts of the world viz.
bleiwurz/zahnkraut (in German), sanza (in
Swahili), mosikomabe (in Tswana) and ensain
(in Arabia). In India the plant enjoys a wide
distribution ranging from Central India to West
Bengal, Maharashtra and various parts of
Southern India. The plant has several vernacular
names in the country viz. chitraka/chitramol (in
Hindi), chitra (in Sanskrit), agni/vahini (in
Gujarati), chitramula (in Kannada), chitrakmula/
bilichitramula (in Malyalam), veellakeduveli (in
Punjabi), chitra (in Bengali), chita (in Tamil),
kodiveli/chitramoolam (in Telugu) [3]. The trade
name, however, remains to be Chitraka [5, 6].
1.1 Morphology
There is no consistency in the literature citing
the classification of P. zeylanica as herb or
shrub. Some authors have described it as a
perennial dicot herb [7,8] while it has also been
designated as a shrub by others [9].P. zeylanica
plant attains a height of about 0.5–2 m (1.6–6.6
ft) (Figure 1A). The leaves are alternate, simple,
ovate or ovate-lanceolate, elliptical or oblong,
0.5–12 cm in length with a tapered base and
often with a hairy margin. The stipules are
Manu Pant, et al. 400
absent and the petiole is narrow (0–5 mm long)
with small auricles in young leaves.
The inflorescence is of terminal raceme-type
about 6–30 cm long and many-flowered.
Flowers are white in colour [4, 7] and are borne
in axillary and terminal elongated spikes (Figure
1B, C). They are bisexual, regular, pentamerous,
pedicellate and sweet-scented. The stamens are
free, included. The style is filiform with five
elongated stigma lobes and the ovary is superior,
single-celled. The flowers are also characterized
by having a tubular calyx (7–11 mm long and 5-
ribbed) with glandular trichomes (hair) secreting
a sticky mucilage. The plant flowers round the
year and pollination is primarily by insects. The
mucilaginous glands aid in trapping insects and
fruit dispersal by animals.
The fruit of the plant is an oblong (7.5–8 mm
long) five-furrowed capsule containing single
seed. Each seed is oblong in structure, 5–6 mm
long and reddish- brown to dark brown in
colour. Roots are straight, smooth, branched or
unbranched, with or without secondary roots and
about 30 cm or more in length and 6 cm in
diameter [3]. They are light- yellow when fresh
and become reddish-brown on drying. The roots
have a strong and characteristic odour with acrid
and bitter taste [7].
1.2 Traditional Uses
P. zeylanica is a popular medicinal herb
throughout Africa and Asia. It has been used as
a remedy for skin diseases, infections and
intestinal worms viz. leprosy, scabies, ringworm,
hookworm, dermatitis, acne, sores and ulcers
since time immemorial. The traditional systems
of medicine in different parts of the continents
have been utilizing all parts of P. zeylanica for a
variety of treatments. In West Africa the root or
the leaves crushed with lemon juice, are used as
a counter-irritant and vesicant. In Nigeria the
roots pounded with vegetable oil are used as a
treatment for rheumatic swellings. Powdered
bark, root or leaves are used as a conventional
method to treat gonorrhoea, syphilis,
tuberculosis, rheumatic pain, swellings and
wounds treatment system in Ethiopia. In other
regions of Africa a paste of the root in vinegar,
milk and water is used to treat influenza and
black water fever; root infusion is taken orally to
treat shortness of breath; root decoction with
boiled milk is swallowed to treat inflammation
in the mouth, throat and chest. In Mauritius and
Rodrigues a root decoction is also used to treat
diarrhoea and dyspepsia.
In India P. zeylanica commands an important
place among medicinal herbs in India since
ancient times. Ayurveda, the Indian indigenous
system of medicine dating back to the Vedic
ages (1500-8000 BC), has described chitraka as
tumor-negating and anti-dyspepsic. In Charaka
Samhita (an important work on Ayurvedic
system of medicine) P. zeylanica has been
categorized as an appetizer, anti-saturative, anti-
anorexic, anti-haemorrhoidal and pain-reliever
[3]. Herbal medicines such as Dabur Chitrak
Haritaki, Medohar Guggulu, Morslim-Z, Divya
Chandraprabhavati etc. use P. zeylanica extracts
in different amounts (Figure 4).
1.3 Chemical constituents and medicinal
P. zeylanica contains a variety of important
chemical compounds. Different plant parts of the
plant possess naphthaquinones, alkaloids,
glycosides, steroids, triterpenoids, tannins,
phenolic compounds, flavanoids, saponins,
coumarins, carbohydrates, fixed oil and fats and
proteins [1, 10, 11, 12, 13]. Of all the chemical
constituents’ plumbagin is the principle active
compound. Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,
4- naphthoquinone- C
) is primarily
present in roots in higher amounts with only
about 1% in the whole plant [14]. The important
chemicals reported in P. zeylanica can be
classified as in Figure 5.
A wide range of medicinal properties of P.
zeylanica are attributed to Plumbagin and other
secondary metabolites. Plumbagin has shown
antibacterial activity against both gram-positive
(e.g. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus,
Pneumonococcus sp.) and gram-negative (e.g.
Salmonella, Neisseria) bacteria. It is also active
against certain yeasts and fungi (Candida,
Trichophyton, Epidermophyton and
Microsporum spp.) and protozoa (Leishmania)
[1, 11, 15, 16]. In low concentrations, plumbagin
exhibits antimitotic activity comparable to that
Manu Pant, et al. 401
of colchicine. Plumbagin also has strong
antifeedant and moulting inhibiting effects on
insects and has nematicidal and acaricidal
activities. The various biological activities
exhibited by P. zeylanica (Table 1) account for
the products of this plant being traded
worldwide as Ayurvedic and homeopathic
[II] Propagation
P. zeylanica can be propagated by seeds, rooted
shoots from the base of the plant or by semi-ripe
cuttings, treated with a growth hormone. Seeds
germinate in 21–30 days. However, prolonged
storage of seeds (over 3 months) results in a
drastic decline in germination rate. Sowing seeds
in a nursery with subsequent transplantation into
the field at a density of 60 x 60 cm is a preferred
method of P. zeylanica plants propagation.
Although the species can be grown in a variety
of soils, ranging from red soil, with very little
topsoil, to deep black soil; the plants prefer well
drained/deep sandy loam to clayey loam soil
with high organic content. In natural habitats,
the plants thrive well in moist soil with high
organic content and partially shaded locations
with intermediate to warm temperatures.
However, conventional methods of propagation
have proven to be difficult and inadequate to
meet the escalating demand of plant in market.
This is mainly attributed to poor seed
germination and premature death of seedlings on
plantation under normal conditions [52].
Alternatively, the technique of in vitro
propagation has been successfully utilized for
mass multiplication of this species using nodal
explants, axillary buds, leaf or root explants and
callus cultures (Table 2).
[III] Prospects
Despite a descent hold of P. zeylanica in the
herbal industry and a lot of efforts being made to
develop an alternate method of mass
propagation of the species, unsystematic
collection of plants from the wild continues.
This poses a threat to the existing natural stands
of P. zeylanica. Besides, collection of plants for
medicinal preparations without proper
identification poses a risk of adulteration in
medicinal preparations requiring P. zeylanica as
a major constituent. Rapid multiplication of elite
genotypes through micropropagation and
refining as well as shortening the breeding
process using marker-aided selection positively
contributes to crop improvement. Application of
in vitro developed techniques for large scale
multiplication and subsequent field plantations
shall be immensely useful in meeting the ever
increasing demand of this important medicinal
[1] Vijver LM et al. [1971] Antibacterial Activity In
Roots of Plumbago zeylanica Planta Med. 20: 8-13.
[2] Aditi G et al. [1999] Medicinal plants used in
traditional medicine in Jimma zone, South West
Ethopia Pharm. Biol. 37: 321-323.
[3] Vishnukanta et al. [2010] Evaluation of
anticonvulasant activity of Plumbago zeylanica Linn
leaf extract Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and
Clinical Research 3(1): 76-78
[4] Lubaina A.S. et al. [2011] Shoot multiplication
and direct organogenesis of an important medicinal
plant Plumbago zeylanica L. (Plumbaginaceae).
Journal of Research in Biology 6: 424-428.
[5] Nguyen AT et al. [2004] Cytotoxic constituents
from Plumbago zeylanica Fitoterapia. 75(5): 500-
[6] Mandavkar YD et al. [2011] A comprehensive
review on Plumbago zeylanica Linn.African journal
of Pharmacy and Pharmacology African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 5(25): 2738-2747.
[7] Chetty KM et al. [2006] Pharmaceutical studies
and therapeutic uses of Plumbago Zeylanica L. root
Ethnobotanical Leaflets. 10: 294-304.
[8] Kumar R et al. [2009] Hepatoprotective activity
of aerial parts of Plumbago zeylanica linn against
carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats
Int J.Pharma Pharma Sci. 1:171-175.
[9] Dhale, D.A. et al. [2011]Antimicrobial and
phytochemical screening of Plumbago zeylanica
Linn.(Plumbaginaceae) Leaf Journal of Experimental
Sciences 2(3): 4-6.
[10] Ahmad I et al. [2006] In vitro efficacy of
bioactive extracts of 15 medicinal plants against
Esbetal-producing multidrug-resistant enteric bacteria
Microbiol Res 162(3): 264-275
[11] Ravikumar VR et al. [2011] Phytochemical and
antimicrobial studies on Plumbago zeylanica (L)
(Plumbaginaceae). International Journal of Research
In Pharmacy and Chemistry. 1(2): 185-188.
Manu Pant, et al. 402
[12] Kodati D R et al. [2011] Evaluation of wound
healing activity of methanolic root extract of
Plumbago zeylanica L. in wistar albino rats. Asian J.
Plant Sci. Res. 1(2):26-34.
[13] Ming Y et al. [2011] Chemical constituents of
Plumbago zeylanica. Advanced Materials Research.
[14] Krishnaswamy M et al. [1980] Plumbagin: a
study of its anticancer, antibacterial and antifungal
properties. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology
[15] Burkill HM [1985] Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew. 4: edition 2
[16] Ahmad L et al. [1998] Screening of some Indian
medicinal plants for their antimicrobial properties. J.
Ethnopharmacol. 62: 183-193.
[17] Hiradeve S. et al. [2010] Evaluation of
anticancer activity of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. leaf
extract. IJBR 1(2): 52
[18] Chen, C.A. et al. [2009] Plumbagin, isolated
from Plumbago zeylanica, Induces cell death through
apoptosis in human pancreatic cancer cells.
Pancreatology: 9(6): 797-809
[19] Jordan M et al. [2011] Plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-
methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone), isolated from
Plumbago zeylanica, inhibits ultraviolet radiation-
induced development of squamous cell carcinomas.
Carcinogenesis 33(1): 184-190.
[20] Kofi A et al. [2009] Acaricidal effect of
Plumbago zeylanica L. against Amblyoma
variegatum. Pharmacog. J. 1: 190-194.
[21] Poosarla A et al. [2007] Alleviation of collagen-
induced arthritis by Plumbago zeylanica. in mice.
Pharma. Bio.45: 54-59
[22] Mehmood Z et al. [1999] Indian medicinal
plants: a potential source for anticandidal drugs.
Pharmaceutical Biology 37(3): 237-242.
[23] Dai Y et al. [2004] Inhibition of immediate
allergic reactions by ethanol extract from Plumbago
zeylanica stem. Biol Pharm Bull. 27(3): 429-432.
[24] Abdul KM et al. [1995] Modulatory effect of
plumbagin (5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4-
naphthoquinone) on macrophage functions in
BALB/c mice. I. potentiation of macrophage
bactericidal activity Immunpharmacol. 30(3): 231-
[25] Jeyachandran
R et al. [2009] Antibacterial
activity of plumbagin and root extracts of Plumbago
zeylanica L. Acta Biologia Cracoviensa Series
Botanica 51(1):17–22.
[26] Durga, R. et al. [1990] Effects of plumbagin on
antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Indian J Med Res.
[27] Mossa JS et al. [2004] Antimycobacterial
constituents from Juniperus procera, Ferula
communis and Plumbago zeylanica and their in vitro
synergistic activity with isonicotinic acid hydrazide.
Phytother. Res. 18(11): 934-937.
[28] Pendurkar, S. et al. [2009] Antihyperlipidemic
effect of aqueous extract of Plumbago zeylanica roots
in diet-induced hyperlipidemic rat. Pharmaceutical
Biology. 47(10):1004-1010.
[29] Devarshi P et al. [1991] Effect of Plumbago
zeylanica root powder induced preimplantationary
loss and abortion on uterine luminal proteins in
albino rats. Indian J Exp Biol. 29(6): 521-522.
[30] Edwin S et al. [2009] Antifertility activity of
leaves of Plumbago zeylanica Linn. in female albino
rats. Eur.J.Contracept Reprod.Health Care.4(3):
[31] Bhargava SK [1984] Effects of plumbagin on
reproductive function of male dog. Indian J. Exp.
Biol. 22:153-156.
[32] Singh M et al. [2011] Ethnomedicinal,
traditional and pharmacological aspects of Plumbago
zeylanica Linn. Pharmacologyonline. 3: 684-700.
[33] Marian TG et al. [2006] Antiviral activity of
some Ethiopian medicinal plants used for the
treatment of dermatological disorders. Journal of
Ethnopharmacology 104(1-2): 182-187
[34] Alpana R [1996] Effect of Plumbago zeylanica
in hyperlipidaemic rabbits and its modification by
vitamin EIndian J. Pharmaco. 28: 161-166
[35] Sathya S et al. [2010] 3β-Hydroxylup-20(29)-
ene-27,28-dioic acid dimethyl ester, a novel natural
product from Plumbago zeylanica inhibits the
proliferation and migration of MDA-MB-231 cells.
Chemico–Biological Interactions. 188: 412-420.
[36] Zahin M et al [2009] The in vitro antioxidant
activity and phenolic content of four Indian mediicnal
plants. Int.J.Pharma.Pharm.Sci. 1:89-95.
[37] Tilak JC et al. [2004] Antioxidant properties of
Plumbago zeylanica, an Indian medicinal plant and
its active ingredient, plumbagin Redox Rep. 9: 219-
[38] Nile SH et al. [2010] Antioxidant activity and
flavanoid derivatives of Plumbago zeylanica. Journal
of Natural Products 5:130-133.
[39] Simonsen HT et al. [2001] In vitro screening of
Indian medicinal plants for antiplasmodial activity J
Ethnopharmacol. 74(2): 195-200.
Manu Pant, et al. 403
[40] Chopra RN et al. (1956) Glossary of Indian
medicinal plants, 1st Edn., National Institute of
Science Communications, New Delhi, India.
[41] Kanchana N et al. [2011] Hepatoprotective
effect of Plumbago zeylanica on paracetamol induced
liver toxicity in rats. Int1ernational Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 3(1): 151-
[42] Sakamoto S et al. [2008] Development of an
enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using
highly-specific monoclonal antibodies against
plumbagin. Anal. Chim. Acta. 607: 100-105.
[43] Checker R et al. [2009] Anti-inflammatory
effects of plumbagin are mediated by inhibition of
NF-kappaB activation in lymphocytes. Int.
Immunopharmacol. Vol- 9, issue 7-8, pg 949-958
[44] Tsai WJ et al. [2008] Seselin from Plumbago
zeylanica inhibits phytohemaglutinnin (PHA)
stimulated cell proliferation in human peripheral
blood mononuclear cells. J. Ethnopharmacol. 119:
[45] Patil SV et al. [2010] Larvicidal efficacy of
Some Indian medicinal plants against mosquito
vector species Aedes aegypti L and Anopheles
stephensi L. Trop. Biomed. 3: 360-365.
[46] Oyedapo OO et al. [1996] Study on the root
extract of Plumbago zeylanica Pharmaceutical
Biology 34(5): 365-369
[47] Arunachalam KD et al. [2010] Anti-
inflammatory and cytotoxic effects of extract from
Plumbago zeylanica African Journal of Microbiology
Research 4(12):1239-1245.
[48] Demma J et al. [2009] Genotoxicity of plumbagi
and its effect on catechol and NQNO-induced DNA
damage mouse lymphocyte cells Toxicol .In Vitro
23(2): 266-271.
[49] Nazeem S et al. [2009] Plumbagin induces cell
death through copper-redox cycle mechanism in
human cancer cells Mutagenesis 24(5): 413-418.
[50] SivaKumar V et al. [2005] In vitro-studies in
Plumbago zeylanica: rapid micropropagation and
establishment of higher plumbagin yielding hairy
root cultures Drug Chem Toxicol. 28:4 (499-507).
[51] Bopaiah CP et al. [2001] Central nervous system
stimulatory action from the root extracts of Plumbago
zeylanica in rats Phytother. Res. 15:153-156.
[52] Sivanesan I et al. [2009] Shoot regeneration and
somaclonal Variation from leaf callus cultures of
plumbago zeylanica Linn. African Journal of
Biotechnology (16): 3761-3768.
[53] Rout GR et al. [1999] Plant Cell Tiss Org Cult.
56: 46-51.
[54] Selvakumar V et al. [2001] In vitro propagation
of the medicinal plant Plumbago zeylanica L.
through nodal explant In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Plant
37: 280-281.
[55] Verma PC et al. [2002] In vitro-studies in
Plumbago zeylanica: rapid micropropagation and
establishment of higher plumbagin yielding hairy
root cultures Journal of Plant Physiology 159 (5):
[56] Chaplot BB et al. [2006] A valued medicinal
plant - Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica Linn.):
successful plant regeneration through various
explants and field performance. Plant Tissue Cult.
Biotech. 16(2): 77-84.
[57] Mallikadevi T et al. [2008] In vitro regeneration
of the medicinal plant, Plumbago zeylanica L. with
reference to a unique population in Maruthamalai, the
Western Ghats, India. Plant Cell Biotechnology
18(2): 173-179.
[58] Chinnamadasamy K. et al. [2010] Rapid
micropropagation of Plumbago zeylanica L. : am
important medicinal plant. Journal of American
Science 6(10): 1027-1031.
[59] Kanungo S et al. [2012] Development of a
simplified protocol for in vitro propagation of a
valuable medicinal plant Plumbago zeylanica Linn.
through nodal explants found in Odisha, India.
Journal of Medicinal Plants Research 6(13): 2627-
[60] Gbadamosi T et al. [2010] Micropropagation of
Plumbago zeylanica L (Plumbaginaceae) in Ibadan,
Southwestern, Nigeria Journal of Medicinal Plants
Research 4(4): 293-297.
[61] Jain AK et al. [2011] An efficient regeneration
and plantlet development protocol from somatic
tissues of Plumbago zeylanica L Journal of
Pharmacy Research 4(9): 2860-2863.
S.N. Activity Reference
Anticancer [17], [18], [19]
Acaricidal [20]
Antiarthritic [21]
Anticandidal [22]
Anticonvulsant [4]
Antiallergic [23]
Antibacterial [24], [25], [27],
Antimycotic [25], [27]
Artherosclerotic [28]
Anti-fertility [29], [30], [31]
Anti-diabetic [32]
Antiviral [33]
Hyperlipidaemic [34]
Manu Pant, et al. 404
Anti-invasive [35]
Antioxidant [36], [37], [38]
Antiplasmodial [39]
Cardiotonic [37], [38]
Cytotoxicity [5]
CNS stimulant [3], [40]
Hepatoprotective [8], [41]
Immunomodulatory [42], [43], [44]
Larvacidal [45]
Neuroprotective [37], [38]
Anti Inflammation [46], [47]
Genotoxicity [48], [49], [50]
Central Dopaminergic [51]
Table 1: Biological activities of P. Zeylanica
Explant Shoot initiation In vitro multiplication Rooting Percent survival
Node 1.0 mg/l BAP + 0.01
mg/l IAA 1.0 mg/l BAP + 0.01
mg/l IAA 1/2X + 0.25 mg/l
IBA 95% [53]
Node 27.2 µ M adenine
+2.46 µ M indole-3-
butyric acid (IBA)
27.2 µ M adenine
+2.46 µ M indole-3-
butyric acid (IBA)
4.92 µ M IBA 90% [54]
Node 8.87 µmol/L
BAP + 0.49 µmol/L
MS 09+ 4.43 µ mol/L
BAP + 0.25 µ mol/L
½ X MS + 0.49 µ
mol/L IBA - [55]
Node 6.7 mg/l BA and 1.4
mg/l IAA 4.4 mg/l BA and 1.4
mg/l IAA IBA (1.2 mg/l) 96% [56]
Leaf callus from leaf- 6.7
mg/l BA, 1.42 mg/l
IAA and 160 mg/l
organogenesis- - 6.7
mg/l BA, 1.42 mg/l
IAA and 160 mg/l AdS
Leaf callus- 2.0 mg/l 2,4-
D organogenesis- BAP
3.5 mg/l + NAA 0.3
3.0 mg/l NAA 80% [57]
Node 1.0 mg/l BAP +1.0
mg/l GA3 1.0 mg/l BAP +1.0
mg/l GA3 ½ X 1.0 mg/l BAP
+0.5 mg/l IAA 60% [58]
Nodal 20mg/l BAP+1.5mg/l
IAA+1.0mg/l IBA 2.0 mg/l BAP+1.5mg/l
IAA+1.0 IBA 1.5mg/l
IAA+2.0mg/l IBA
95% [59]
Node and
Shoot tip Liquid MS + 1.0 mg/l
BAP + 0.5 mg/l IBA
+2.0 mg/l Ads
1.0 mg/l BAP + 0.5
mg/l IBA +2.0 mg/l
1/2X + 0.5 mg/l
NAA 100% [52]
Stem 2.0 mg/l BAP + 1.5
mg/l IAA
0.75 mg·L-1 BAP +
1.0 mg·L-1 IAA + 1.0
NAA + 1.0 mg/l
Node M4 + 0.4 mg/l NAA + 3.5 mg/l BAP 55% [60]
Embryo 20 mg/l NPK + 20 mg/l citrus sinensis juice 100%
M1 + 0.01 mg/l NAA + 2 BAP 80%
Node 1.5 mg/l BAP+0.75
mg/l IBA + 0.75 mg/l
Ads + 10% coconut
1.5 mg/l BAP+0.75
mg/l IBA + 0.75 mg/l
Ads + 10% coconut
1/2X + 0.75 mg/l
IBA 100% [61]
Node 1.0 mg/l BAP 1.0 mg/l BAP + 0.5
mg/l GA3 1.5 mg/l IBA 90% [4]
Leaf 1.5 mg/l BAP 1.5 1.5 mg/l IBA 90%
Table 2: In vitro propagation studies on P. zeylanica
Manu Pant, et al. 405
Figure 4: Chemical constituents of Plumbago zeylanica
... Different parts of plant act as treasure of several bioactive compounds like flavonoids, alkaloids, nathoquinones, glycosides, steroids, saponins, phenols, tri-terpenoids, coumarins, tannins, carbohydrates, and amino acids. P. zeylanica is used to treat different diseases such as skin infections, leprosy, scabies, ringworm, hook worm, dermatitis, acne, sores, ulcers, rheumatic swellings, gonorrhea, syphilis, tuberculosis, rheumatic pain, influenza and black water fever, diarrhea, and dyspepsia (Pant et al. 2012). P. zeylanica have various pharmacological activities such as antibacterial, antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, antihyperlipidemic, antiviral, antiobesity, antiinflammatory, antimalarial, antifungal, antifertility, antiallergic, and antiplasmodial as shown in Fig. 1. ...
... The root color is light yellow that on drying converts to reddish brown. Root possesses strong acrid odor with bitter taste (Kishore et al. 2012;Pant et al. 2012). P. zeylanica has different regional names, viz., Agni and vahini (Sanskrit), leadwort, and ceylon leadwort (English), Chitra (Hindi), Chitrakmula (Gujarati), Bilichitramalla (Kannada), Vellakeduveli (Malayalam), and Chita (Bengali). ...
... The Indian indigenous system of medicine, Ayurveda, has described chitraka as tumor-negating and anti-dyspepsic plant. In traditional scriptures like "Charaka Samhita," the plant has been categorized as anti-saturative, appetizer, anti-anorexic, anti-hemorrhoidal, and also as pain reliever (Pant et al. 2012). ethanolic extract of P. zeylanica. ...
... KA was introduced by Acharya Sharangdhara in Ayurveda pharmaceutics, and this was repeated thereafter in [15] Carpesterol, gluco alkaloid solanocarpine, cycloartanol, stigasterol, campesterol, cholesterol, glucoside, methyl ester of 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid and 3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid (caffeic acid), isochlorogenic, neochlorogenic, chlorogenic acids (fruit); flavonal glycoside, quercetin-3-0-β-D-glucopyranosyl-0-β-D-mannopyranoside, apigenin, sitosterol (flower); solanocarpine and amino acids (seeds); coumarins, scopolin, scopoletin, esculin and esculetin (leaves, roots, and fruits); tomatidenol, norcarpesterol and solasonine (plant) Guduchi [16] Berberine, palmatine, tembetarine, magnoflorine, choline, tinosporin, isocolumbin, palmatine, tetrahydropalmatine, magnoflorine, norclerodane, glucoside, furanoid, diterpene, glucoside, tinocordiside, tinocordifolioside, cordioside, cordifolioside, syringin, syringin-apiosylglycoside, palmatosides, palmatosides, furanolactone, clerodane derivatives, tinosporon, tinosporides, jateorine, columbin, sitosterol, hydroxyecdysone, ecdysterone, makisterone, giloinsterol. Tinocordifolin, octacosanol, heptacosanol, nonacosan, tetrahydrofuran, jatrorrhizine, tinosporidine, cordifol, cordifelone, N-trans-feruloyl tyramine as diacetate, giloin, giloinin, tinosporic acid Chavya [17] Piperin, citosterol piperine, alkaloid, retractamidde Chitraka [18] Naphthaquinones, alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, triterpenoids, tannins, phenolic compounds, flavanoids, saponins, coumarins, carbohydrates, fixed oil and fats and proteins. Of all the chemical constituents, plumbagin is the principle active compound Musta [19] Alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, starch, glycosides, furochromones, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, sitosterol, fatty oil containing a neutral waxy substance, glycerol, linolenic, myristic and stearic acids. ...
... There are no conflicts of interest. [31] Anti-allergic, antipyretic, febrifuge, carminative anti-inflammatory activity, immunoprotective, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral rejuvenating anti-cancerous, laxative, hypotensive, precipitating and colligating red blood cells, anti-oxidants, hypoglycemic, anti-urolithiatic, natriuretic, tumoricidal Guduchi [32] Anti-spasmodic, antipyretic, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, tonic property Chavya [33] Larvicidal Chitraka [18] Anti-saturative, antianorexic, analgesic Musta [34] Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antibacterial, anti-pyretic, analgesic, anticonvulsant activity, antiseptic activity, gastroprotective activity, antioxidant activity, anticancer activity, antimalarial activity Karkatashringi [35] Antiasthmatic, astringent and expectorant properties, antibacterial, antimicrobial Maricha [36] Hypoglycemic effect, antidotal activity against snake poison Pippali [37] Immunoregulatory, anti-allergic and anti-asthmatic activities, analgesic, sedative, carminative Dhanvayasaka [38] Anti-inflammatory antioxidative, hepatoprotective, anticancer, antibacterial and antifungal, antimicrobial, antipyretic, anti-ulcer, urease inhibition, antiproliferative, gastroprotective, anti-ulcerogenic Bharangi [25] anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, wound healing Rasna [39] Anti-bacterial, anticarcinogenic Shati [40] Anti-asthmatic, anti-oxidant, tranquilizing Sunthi [41] Antiulcer, cholagogic, antiemetic, antiserotoninergic, hypolipidemic, antiatherosclerotic, antidiabetic, cardiotonic property Vamshalochana [42] Ant diabetic, antifertility, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory ...
Full-text available
Avaleha (linctus) is a unique dosage form of Ayurveda pharmaceutics, which is frequently used in various disorders and especially in respiratory disorders. Kantakari Avaleha (KA) is one such formulation being used extensively for Shwasa (asthma) and Kasa (cough) along with its classical use in various other disorders too. Because of its demand in clinical settings, many pharmaceutical companies are also preparing this, and hence freely available in market. This review was carried out to get thorough idea related to its composition, method of preparation, and therapeutic uses along with its pharmaceutical standards. For this review, classical and compiled texts having subject of Ayurveda pharmaceutics were screened from Central Library of Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda, Jamnagar. Out of total 15 texts screened, 7 texts had mentioned KA, and hence reviewed for its ingredients, dose, Anupana, and therapeutic uses. Synonyms, Rasapanchaka (Ayurveda principles of drug action), and Dosha Karma (therapeutic action) of ingredients were compiled from Bhavaprakasha Nighantu. Pharmaceutical parameters of KA were compiled from original research articles from peer‑reviewed journals through Google Scholar, PubMed, ResearchGate, and J‑Gate portal. After review, it was found that Acharya Sharangdhara (12th Century) had described this formulation for the first time. There are four variations available in formulation composition. Milk or water should be the Anupana for this drug as per Ayurvedic Formulary of India and Pharmacopoeia of India (API). Almost all references have recommended its use in Shwasa and Kasa, along with Arati (distress), Shula (colicky pain), Gulma (a type of lump), Hikka (hiccup), and Hradroga (heart disease) mentioned in one and the other classics. Maximum ingredients of this formulation possess hot potency (12 out of 18 drugs) and pungent biotransformation property (11 out of 18 drugs). As per available original research works, two laboratory samples and one market sample of KA had fulfilled almost all analytical parameters, mentioned in API. The current review work may be helpful as stepping stone for various researches on KA such as network pharmacology, in silico, pharmacology, and longitudinal cross‑sectional, clinical study.
... Chitrak Gonorrhoea, syphilis, tuberculosis, rheumatic pain, swellings, appetizer, antisaturative, antianorexic, antihaemorrhoidal, and pain relieve [28] Continued Senna alexandriana ...
Herbal raw materials have been widely utilized around the world since antiquity, especially for primary health care. They have been acknowledged for their superior therapeutic value over contemporary medications. The diverse indigenous systems of medicine in India such as Siddha, Ayurveda, Unani, and Allopathy employ many herbal formulations to cure different types of diseases. Herbal raw materials are important as traditional remedies and as trade commodities that satisfy the needs of far-flung markets. During postharvest storage, the raw materials of herbal drugs are prone to contamination by different microorganisms and their associated toxic chemicals that deteriorate the active principles of drugs and make them unsafe for consumption. Nanoencapsulated plant essential oils (EOs) could be used as a green preservative agent for herbal raw materials against the microbes and their associated toxins. The present chapter deals with the therapeutic efficacy of herbal raw materials, possible toxic contaminants, and their management by using nanoencapsulated plant EOs. In addition, it also highlights the current challenges and future perspectives that lie in the use of herbal raw materials in the global market.
... properties, increases the global market demand and requires a huge biomass of plants (Roy and Bharadvaja 2018a). In the current situation, the plant is unsystematically exploited from its wild habitat to meet the required biomass, which poses an inevitable threat to the very natural sources (Pant et al. 2012). Keeping that in mind, it is necessary to look for sustainable biomass production of the plant viz-a-viz nonconventional synthesis of plumbagin in order to deal with the current requirement of plumbagin while protecting the natural sources. ...
Full-text available
Plumbago zeylanica L. is commonly known as chitrak, consumed since long time owing to its potent medicinal benefits. It is a major source of the yellow crystalline naphthoquinone called plumbagin, which is highly acclaimed for its anticancerous activities on different cancers i.e. prostrate, breast, ovarian, etc. The growing urges for this compound make this plant extremely demanding in the global market; hence, the plant is indiscriminately harvested from its very natural habitat. Therefore, in vitro biomass production of this plant can be a sustainable alternative for plumbagin production. In this present study, it has been found that, compared to other cytokinins, biomass production was enhanced by using aromatic cytokinin meta-topolin (mT). The highest shoot buds produced by mT (1 mg/l) was 13.60 ± 1.14 after 14 d of culture establishment. After 84 d in the same medium, 129.8 ± 2.71 shoots were produced, and the fresh weight of the total biomass was 19.72 ± 0.65 g. The highest number of roots was induced (37.80 ± 0.84) with 1.0 mg/l Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA). The well rooted plantlets were acclimatized in field condition with 87%survival. The regenerated plants' genetic fidelity was accessed through molecular markers i.e. Inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR), Start codon targeted (SCoT) and cytology studies. The monomorphic bands amplified by the primers across in vivo and in vitro plants confer the genetic homogeneity of the regenerants. The plumbagin content from different parts of the in vitro grown plants in vivo mother plant was quantified through High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), and found that they do not differ significantly. Even all parts of the in vitro plants produce plumbagin, roots contain the maximum amount (14.67 ± 0.24 mg/g dry weight basis).
... Plumbago zeylanica L., a member of the Plumbaginaceae family, is a rambling subscandent perennial herb or under shrub [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]. Phytochemical analysis of Plumbago zeylanica extracts showed the presence of many constituents, including plumbagin, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, nonylnonanoate, stigmasterol acetate, lupeol acetate, friedelinol, lupeol, lupanone, sitosterone, and stigmasterol. ...
Full-text available
The Present investigation was aimed to recognize the most responding explants, plant growth regulators and calculate their optimal concentrations and other physical aspects unveiling in vitro morphogenesis in higher rates via culturing nodal sections and leaf discs explants. Leaf disc and nodal section explants of Plumbago zeylanica were inoculated on basal media amended with diverse concentrations and combinations of different auxins and cytokinins as alone as well as in amalgamations. For inoculated nodal section, nutrient medium MS2N.5B (MS+2. 0 mgl-1 NAA+ 0. 5mgl-1 BA) evidenced appropriate for higher degree of callus initiation (91.69%), whereas culture medium MS2B (MS+2.0 mg l-1 BA) displayed higher shoot proliferating competence (84.14%). While, nutrient medium MS2B.5N (MS+2.0 mg l-1 BA+0.5 mgl-1 NAA) formed shoot(s) in higher numbers (11.12) along with of bigger length (7.11 cm). For cultured leaf disc, inoculation medium MS2N (MS+ 2.0 mgl-1 NAA) induced callus in higher percentage (91.12%), nevertheless greater morphogenic calli formation (45.58%) and plantlets regeneration were attained on culture medium MSN.5Td (MS+1.0mgl-1 NAA + 0.5 mgl-1 TDZ). In current investigation, MS medium amended with either IBA or NAA at the concentration of 0.1 mg l-1 was proved to be optimal for inducing higher in vitro rooting response i.e., root proliferation, number(s) of roots and root length. Regenerants were established efficaciously under the field conditions after hardening with normal phenotypic characters.
... This plant grows in many countries and is recognized by the community as having many benefits on human health; for example, in treating joint pain and skin diseases. 1 Several previous studies have found other benefits of this plant, namely as a nephroprotective agent, antiproliferation of cancer cells, anti-parkinsonism agent, antibacterial agent, analgesic, and anti-inflammation. [2][3][4][5][6][7] However, only a few of those studies were conducted using Plumbago zeylanica from Indonesia. ...
Full-text available
Introduction: Plumbago zeylanica grows widely in many tropical countries. In Indonesia, this plant, known as Daun Encok, has some beneficial effects on human health. Aim: This exploration study aimed to identify the plumbagin compound in P. zeylanica roots from Indonesia. Materials and methods: Dried roots of P. zeylanica were manually ground and then the powder was macerated using ethanol and chloroform for 24 hours at room temperature. All extracts of P. zeylanica were then analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Plumbagin concentration was measured by comparing the extract with pure plumbagin. Results: GC-MS analysis of ethanol extract and chloroform extract of P. zeylanica roots showed the presence of plumbagin as the highest peak. Plumbagin concentration in ethanol extract was 13%, while in chloroform extract it was 81%. Conclusions: The chloroform extract of P. zeylanica root from Indonesia demonstrates a higher concentration of plumbagin compared to ethanol extract.
Full-text available
Background: Numerous studies have been conducted on antimicrobial properties that may be useful to overcome the emerging antimicrobial resistance. Plumbago zeylanica (Ela nitul) is especially known as Ceylon leadwort. Plumbago zeylanica has been used in traditional medicine to treat various diseases, including skin rashes, scabies, ringworm, hookworms, dermatitis, acne, sores, and ulcers. Objectives: The objective of this study was to study the antimicrobial activity of P. zeylanica against a selected panel of pathogenic microorganisms in vitro and to screen the presence of phytochemicals in the aqueous extracts of P. zeylanica root, leaf, stem qualitatively. Material and Methods: The antibacterial effect of aqueous extracts of roots, leaves and stems of Plumbago zeylanica against Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumanniii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and antifungal effect against Candida albicans were studied using well diffusion assay and macro-dilution method. Qualitative screening of the phytochemicals was done using standard methods. Results: Among the panel of organisms, Candida albicans exhibited the highest susceptibility against root extract of P. zeylanica followed by other organisms including Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, respectively. In qualitative analysis, secondary phytochemicals including alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, saponins, taninns, chalcones, were determined in the aqueous extract root, leaf and stem, respectively. Conclusion: Plumbago zeylanica root extract has exhibited stronger antifungal and antibacterial activity rather than the leaf extract. Stem extract of Plumbago zeylanica didn't show antimicrobial activity against selected organisms. The presence and absence of phytochemicals in different plant materials explain the antimicrobial properties of root, leaf and stem of P. zeylanica.
Plumbago zeylanica is a perennial herb or straggling shrub and is greatly valued in ayurvedic treatment of cough, asthma and gastrointestinal disorders. Propagation of the species through seed is unreliable due to poor seed quality, erratic germination and seedling mortality under natural field conditions. Hence, it’s Propagation through tissue culture was sought. The nodal explants were taken as the starting material for the establishment of cultures. After washing the explants were surface sterilized by different sterilants viz. HgCl2, NaOCl and H2O2 with different concentrations and time duration where 0.1% of HgCl2 for 5 minutes was found the best. After sterilization nodal segments were inoculated on MS medium with different hormonal concentrations under aseptic conditions. Bud break was observed after two weeks of culture in 1.0 mg/l of BAP. These axillary shoots were excised and transferred to MS medium supplemented with different hormonal concentrations. A very high rate of multiplication occurred on MS + BAP (1.0 mg/l) + KIN (0.4 mg/l) and NAA (0.2 mg/l). In vitro grown shoots were rooted in ½ strength MS medium supplemented with different concentration of IBA (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 mg/l), IAA (0.5, 1.0, 1.5 mg/l). Maximum rooting was recorded in 0.5 mg/l IBA. After one month on rooting medium healthy roots were developed and there after plantlets were transferred to mist chamber for acclimatization.
Full-text available
The root of Plumbago zeylanica is widely used by traditional Yoruba healers in Ibadan, Southwestern Nigeria, in the management and treatment of various infections and diseases. The plant is mainly harvested from the wild. The indiscriminate collection of the roots and non -cultivation of the plant has many implications for biodiversity. The plant is becoming scarce due to increasing demand for its use in ethnobotanical practice. These factors necessitate the study of micropropagation of P. zeylanica via tissue culture to ensure its sustainability. The embryos and nodal cuttings of P. zeylanica were used to evaluate the effect of culture media and growth regulators on the in-vitro shoot production and growth. The embryos were significantly viable on Nitrogen -Phosphorus Potassium (NPK) basal media. The highest multiplication rate of the explants was obtained using Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium supplemented with naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) (0.01 -0.05 mg/l) and benzyl amino purine (BAP) (2.0 -4.5 mg/l). The single nodes of established plantlets were repeatedly sub-cultured on MS-NAA-BAP media at 4 week intervals for six months; the media enabled multiple shooting, rooting and mass multiplications without decline. The phytochemicals found in the in-vitro plantlets were saponins and tannins. The rooted plants which were successfully acclimatized in a green-house, then transferred to soil, showed a normal growth.
Full-text available
Efficient micropropagation protocol was developed for Plumbago zeylanica L., a species threatened due to over exploitation for medicinal purposes and habitat destruction in Southern Peninsular India. Multiple shoot induction was more successful using nodes as explants on Murashige and Skoog's (MS) medium supplemented with 1mg/L benzyl amino purine (BAP) . Shoots, when transferred to MS medium containing 0.2 - 0.5 mg/L gibberellic acid (GA3) showed variable elongation. Further, MS medium fortified with 1.5 mg/L BAP induced highest frequency of shoots through adventitious de novo organogenesis. Shoots developed were rooted on full strength MS medium with either α-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) or indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). Optimum shoots and root multiplication were obtained within 8 weeks. In vitro derived plantlets were successfully weaned and transferred to soil and showed 90 % survival rate.
Full-text available
The in vitro regeneration of Plubago zeylanica exhibited that the callus was initiated in the basal medium containing BAP, NAA, 2, 4-D, and IBA. The high amount (90%) of organic calli was induced in the basal medium supplemented with 2, 4-D, alone at 2.0 mg/l. In the subculture the adventitious shoot formation was prominently higher (83%) in the basal medium containing BAP, and NAA at 3.5 and 0.3 mg/l, respectively. IAA (1.0 mg/l) effectively produced higher percentage (90) of roots and root growth. After sequential hardening, survivability rate was observed to be significantly higher (80%) in the hardening medium containing garden soil, sand and vermicompost in the ratio of 1 : 1 : 1 by volume under greenhouse condition.
Full-text available
Protocols for plant propagation through axillary bud proliferation and organo-genesis were established for Chitrak-Plumbago zeylanica Linn. (Plumbaginaceae). MS medium with 4.4 mg/l BA and 1.4 mg/l IAA elicited the maximum number of shoots (12 multiple shoots) from nodal explants. Leaf based callus differentiated into more than 30 shoots on MS with 160 mg/l adenine sulphate. The regenerated shoots were rooted on MS with 1.2 mg/l IBA within ten days. Almost, 96% of the rooted shoots survived hardening when transferred to the field. The regenerated plants did not show any morphological change and variation in levels of secondary metabolite when compared with the mother stock.
Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicinal system being practiced for thousands of years. Considerable research on pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, pharmacology and clinical therapeutics has been carried out on ayurvedic medicinal plants. Natural products, including plants, animals and minerals have been the basis of treatment of human diseases. Plumbago zeylanica L. commonly known as white chitrak (family: plumbaginaceae) is a perennial herb that is grown in most parts of India. Leaf extract of this plant were evaluated for anticonvulsant activity using PTZ induced convulsion and maximum electro shocked induced convulsion. It was found that extract has no anticonvulsant activity.
Petroleum ether extract of root of Plumbago zeylanica was investigated for hepatoprotective activity against paracetamol induced liver damage. Various biochemical parameters were studied to evaluate the hepatoprotective activity of ethanolic extract. In serum total bilirubin, total protein, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, γ-Glutamyl transferase, Total Cholesterol and serum triglycerides were determined to assess the effect of the extract on the paracetamol induced hepatic damage. The study was also supported by histopathology of liver sections. Results of this study revealed that the markers in the animals treated with paracetamol recorded elevated concentration indicating severe hepatic damage by paracetamol, whereas the blood samples from the animals treated with petroleum ether extract of roots showed significant reduction in the serum markers indicating the effect of the plant extract in restoring the normal functional ability of the hepatocytes. The dosage of extract of plant roots used was 300 mg/kg bodyweight of rat. The present study reveals that the petroleum ether root extract of Plumbago zeylanica could afford a significant protection against paracetamol-induced hepatocellular injury.
The bioassay-guided fractionation of the dichloromethane extract of aerial parts of Plumbago zeylanica led to the isolation of beta-sitosterol, beta-sitosteryl-3beta-glucopyranoside, beta-sitosteryl-3beta-glucopyranoside-6'-O-palmitate (1), lupenone, lupeol acetate, plumbagin and trilinolein. Compound 1 showed cytotoxic activity against MCF7 and Bowes cancer cell lines (IC50 113 microM and 152 microM, respectively), beta-sitosterol inhibited Bowes cell growth (IC50 36.5 microM) and plumbagin was cytotoxic against MCF7 and Bowes cells (IC50 1.28 microM and 1.39 microM, respectively). Cytotoxic constituents from Plumbago zeylanica. Available from: [accessed Apr 6, 2015].
The present review aimed to compile up to date and comprehensive information of Plumbago zeylanica with special emphasis on its phytochemistry, various scientifically documented pharmacological activities, traditional and folk medicine uses. Traditional system of medicinal consists of large number of plants with various medicinal and pharmacological uses and hence represents a priceless tank of new bioactive molecules. P. zeylanica is one amongst these, found all over the world. In this review, we have attempted to highlight the work carried out on P. zeylanica. It is commonly known as 'Chitraka', and has been recognized in different traditional system of medicines for the treatment of various diseases of human beings in the form of paste and powder. Plant mainly contains naphthoquinones and steroidal compounds. Different parts of this plant are traditionally claimed to be used for the treatment of ailments including anti-fungal, anti-tumor, disease of heart, rheumatic pains, liver diseases, fever, diabetes, and kidney disease to list of few.