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Table of Contents
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 41-47

Pharmacognostical, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Quisqualis indica: An update

1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Babu Banarasi Das University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, Babu Banarasi Das University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
3 Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Babu Banarasi Das University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Pharmaceutics, Sunderdeep Pharmacy College, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication6-Jun-2018

Correspondence Address:
Mayank Kulshreshtha
Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Babu Banarasi Das University, Babu Banarasi Das City, Faizabad Road, Chinhat, Lucknow - 227 105, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_20_18

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Nature is a big and important source of lots of things, in which plants are the living gifts of nature. Plants play an important role in various fields, but the role of these plants as herbal medicines is a big achievement. Drugs are obtained from plants have very low side effects and very popular in worldwide. Here, this review represents the pharmacology, pharmacognosy, and various molecular aspects of Quisqualis indica which may be helpful in near future based on available published data. This review opens the various doors or acts as a backbone for various researches in near future.

Keywords: Pharmacognosy, pharmacology, Quisqualis indica

How to cite this article:
Kulshreshtha M, Shukla KS, Tiwari GA, Singh MP, Singh A. Pharmacognostical, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Quisqualis indica: An update. J Nat Sci Med 2018;1:41-7

How to cite this URL:
Kulshreshtha M, Shukla KS, Tiwari GA, Singh MP, Singh A. Pharmacognostical, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Quisqualis indica: An update. J Nat Sci Med [serial online] 2018 [cited 2023 Mar 23];1:41-7. Available from: https://www.jnsmonline.org/text.asp?2018/1/2/41/233814

  Introduction Top

Medicinal plants are defining various types of plants which have a capability to cure different diseases due to the presence of lots of primary and secondary metabolites. Such plants act as a backbone of traditional medicine.[1] These plants play an important role in various research, development of formulations, prepare the monograph, etc.[2] Herbal medicines are also known as botanical medicines or phytomedicines because different parts of plants using various purposes.[3] On behalf of Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur (approximately 5000 years old), the medicinal plants must needed for the preparation of medicines.[4] The Chinese book on roots and grasses “Pen T'Sao,” written by Emperor Shen Nung circa 2500 BC, treats 365 drugs (dried parts of medicinal plants), many of which are used even nowadays such as the following: Rhei rhizoma, camphor, Theae folium, Podophyllum, the great yellow gentian, ginseng, jimson weed, cinnamon bark, ephedra, etc.[5],[6] The Indian holy books Vedas mention treatment with plants, which are abundant in that country. Numerous spice plants used even today originate from India: Nutmeg, pepper, clove etc.[7] According to the World Health Organization, 80% of people from developing countries are depend on traditional system of medicine for curing the disease at beginning whereas in Indian materia medica includes about 2000 drugs of natural origin almost all of which are derived from different traditional systems and folklore practices. Out of these drugs derived from traditional system, 400 are of mineral and animal origin while the rest are of the vegetable origin. India has a rich heritage of traditional medicine and the traditional health care system has been flourishing in many countries.[8] It is also famous as “Botanical garden of world” whereas medicinal herbs are used before thousands of years in one form or another. Global estimates clearly proved that over 3/4th of the 5 billion world population cannot afford the products of the Western pharmaceutical industry and have to depend on traditional medicines from plants source.[9],[10] On behalf of literature survey, it is concluded that there is a lack of complete scientific data available on Quisqualis indica (Q. indica) so that this compiled data may serve as a supporting reference for future research work, anatomy and physiology of the plant, formulation development, preparing monograph and may act as a backbone to cure various diseases in future.

Q. indica Linn, family - Combretaceae, is a strong climber, ligneous vine that can reach from 2.5 meters to up to 8 meters. It is commonly known as Rangoon creeper. It is indigenous in Africa, Indo Malaysian region and cultivated all over India.[11] It is vining and evergreen plant which is having vigorous growth needing sturdy support and can get quite out-of-hand on its favorable growing site; it does not require deep and anchoring roots.[12] It generally requires an area with full sunlight, regular watering to keep the soil moist, and need a support stand for the vine to grow on. For the proper growth of any plant, it should be provided with basic requirements having well-maintained conditioning, i.e., sunlight, water, and fertilizer.[13] It is a widely known garden climber; the scarlet Rangoon creeper is a native of Africa which was introduced in the tropics as a popular ornamental. Botanically known as Q. indica, the creeper can often be seen as a hedge plant or covering compound walls. Genus name Quisqualis is derived from the Malay name “Udani” and refers to the variable habit and coloring of the plant. Species name indica refers to being from India.[14],[15]

  Plant Botany Top

Common Names – Rangoon Creeper, Drunken Sailor, Akar Dani, Akar Suloh, Dani, Ara Dani, Akar Pontianak, Red Jasmine.

Vernacular name – English: Rangoon Creeper; Hindi: Madhumalti; Marathi: Rangoonvel, Madhumalalati, Vilayati Chameli; Gujarathi: Barmasivel; Bengali: Malati, Modhumalati; Telugu: Radha Manoharam; Manipuri: Parijat.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Order: Myrtales
  • Family: Combretaceae
  • Genus: Combretum
  • Species: Combretum indicum
  • Binomial name: C. indicum (L.) De Filipps
  • Synonym: Q. indica L [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Quisqualis indica

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Plant propagation requirements; Light preference: Full Sun; Water preference: Moderate water; Plant growth rate: Fast; Propagation method: Seed, Stem cutting.[15],[16],[17],[18]

  Cultivation and Collection Top

Q. indica requires full sunlight with regular watering, but in hot season, it requires more water. Few varieties of Q. indica are distinguished, showing variations in flower color and leaf size. The plant is easily raised from layers, cuttings, or divisions of the root. It grows well in good soil. It grows rapidly, requiring a strong trellis for its support. It is also grown on an arch or on a tree. It can keep within bounds as a bush by removing the long new growths. The plant is in profuse blooming throughout the year. Flowers open in the evening as white flowers, gradually assuming pink tinge by morning and deepening to deep red by late afternoon. They are sweet-scented. Plant bears fruits in Northern India.[18]

  Traditional Uses Top

Q. indica is cultivated as an ornamental plant due to its bright flowers with pleasant fragrance. It is used as ascariasis, ringworm disease, and infant malnutrition.[19] Seeds decoction in oil is applied topically in skin diseases. Seeds are the source of fatty oil which is purgative in action.[20]Q. indica (Fruits and seeds) are reported to have anthelmintic potential due to the presence of an active principle resembling Santorin. Seeds are found to cause colic in some cases and possess soporific properties. An overdose causes unconsciousness. Roasted ripe seeds are and given in diarrhea, fever, and in case of rickets in China. Seeds are also useful in skin diseases. The extracts of roots and leaves are also effective as anthelmintic. Leaf juice is used by Malays as a lotion for boils and ulcers. Long stems are used for basketry, fish wires, and fish traps in Togoland. Roots are used to treat rheumatism, also can be used to expel parasitic worms or for alleviating diarrhea.[21] In Amboyna, the leaves are given in compound decoction for flatulent distension of the abdomen.[13] It is also made into pills or powder. For adults, the cooked herb is chewed, with 10-20 pieces taken for one dose. For children, the number of pieces to be taken is 1.5 multiplied by the child's age, with the total number not to exceed 20 pieces/day.[22]

  Pharmacognostic Parameters of Q. Indica Top

Morphological characters

Flowers are fragrant, tubular, showy, first white, then becoming red, reddish-purple or orange, exhibiting the range of colors in clusters, on the same flower stalk.[23] Eisikowitch and Rotem justified the near about 3 days are reported to have flowering period of Q. indica. In the night, the flowers are treated by hawk moths while flowers are red color completely avoided by night visitors. In a day both types of flowers are treated by solitary bees, honeybees, flies, and sunbirds. Pollen grains germinate well on the stigmatic fluid during the first few hours, but germination is decreases during the day. Pollen tubes do not penetrate into the style, and seeds are not produced in Israel. Nectar flow begins at flower dehiscence, reaches its peak at early morning, and then is absorbed by the flower. During the 1st h of blooming, the flower is typically “hawk moth” but, by the next morning, attracts visitors other than hawk moths.[24] Fruit is narrowly ellipsoid, 2.5–3 cm long, with five, sharp, longitudinal angles, or wings. Seeds are pentagonal and black.[23]

Fresh leaves of Q. indica are dark green color, compound, alternate arrangement, 8–10 pairs of veins are present, slightly crenate to entire margin, acuminate apex, ventral surface is smooth, dorsal surface is rough, pinnate venation, base symmetrical ovate shaped, bitter taste and odorless.[25]

Microscopical characters and powder analysis of leaves

Mayank et al. studied the microscopic characters of leaf-like upper epidermis, lower epidermis, parenchymatous cells, colenchymatous cells trichomes, xylem, and phloem. Whole of the midrib filled with collenchymas with different types of trichomes such as covering and glandular. Midrib is almost triangular shows the presence of endodermal layer; it is a single layered, surrounds with vascular bundle, packed with starch grains. Endodermis covers vascular bundle and contains a number of starch grains. Leaf surface (upper and lower surface) study shows the presence of epidermal cells, paracytic stomata, and subsidiary cells. Powder microscopy proved the presence of vessels, covering trichome, glandular trichome calcium oxalate crystals, epidermal cells, paracytic stomata.[25]

Phytochemical screening, physiochemical analysis, and quantitative microscopy

Various primary and secondary metabolites reported in different extracts of Q. indica are shown in [Table 1]. Physiochemical analysis and quantitative microscopy of leaves are shown in [Table 2] and [Table 3].[25],[26],[27],[28]
Table 1: Phytochemical analysis of different extracts of Quisqualis indica

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Table 2: Quantitative microscopy of leaf of Quisqualis indica

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Table 3: Physiochemical analysis of leaves of Quisqualis indica

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  Pharmacological Investigation and Molecular Research Top

Antimicrobial activity

Mukherjee and Chandra investigated the antimicrobial activity of petroleum ether extract of Q. indica flowers using agar well-diffusion method against pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus Scientific Name Search  (S. aureus),  Escherichia More Details coli (E. coli),  Pseudomonas aeruginosa Scientific Name Search . aeruginosa), Bacillus subtilis Scientific Name Search  (B. subtilis) and showed best antimicrobial activity. MIC values were 27.0, 30.0, 38.0, and 40.0 μg/ml for S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and B. subtilis respectively.[29] Mayank et al. proved the antimicrobial activity of Q. indica leaves against S. aureus, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, B. subtilis and Aspergillus tubingensis where it was found that leaves extract (aqueous and ethanolic) were active against all species but least affected with E. coli.[30] Fatima and team were investigating the antimicrobial potential of Q. indica bark against various microbial species, and it was found to be good antimicrobial property.[31] All parts of this plant have good antimicrobial property, but leaves were found to be better one.

Antiviral activity

Antiviral activities of Q. indica leaf extracts on three selected avian viruses were evaluated. The assay was performed in 10-day-old embryonated chicken eggs by chorioallantoic membrane and the allantoic sac inoculation for infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) and new castle disease virus (NDV), respectively. The viral replication in the tests and controls was estimated by hemagglutination assay of harvested allantoic fluid for NDV and reduction in pocks formation when compared with controls as an indication of viral inhibition in feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and IBDV. At a concentrations of 400 mg/ml, 200 mg/ml and 100 mg/ml Q. indica yielded a percentage inhibition of 50.0%, 50.0%, and 43.0% for aqueous extract; 86.0%, 50.0% and 50.0% for ethanol extract; and 94.6%, 90.5%, and 42.6% for methanol extraction, respectively, on NDV. The challenged virus FPV recorded no activity with Q. indica and hundred percentage (100%) egg mortality was observed at the end of the experiment with IBDV.[32]

Control lungworm infection

Ida et al. studied the application of 10% extract of wudani leaf (Q. indica Linn) may decrease the potential of becoming embryos of eggs of Fasciola gigantica and Paramphistomum sp. worms under in-vitro evaluation and concluded infection of lungworm predominantly occurs in cattle, the present results may revealed the opportunity of applying the wudani leaf extract to control lungworm infection in cattle.[33]

Anthelmintic activity

Anthelmintics activities of different leaf extracts of Q. indica were evaluated separately on adult Indian earthworm (Pheretima posthuma). It was found that methanolic extract and aqueous extract of Q. indica showed anti-helminthes activity at a concentration of 60 mg/ml of each.[34]

Insecticidal activity

Methanolic and ethyl acetate extracts of Q. indica L. flowers were used for their antifeedant and insecticidal action against third in star larvae of Spodoptera litura under laboratory condition. The results revealed that antifeedant activity was significantly superior in crude methanol extract of Q. indica flowers.[35]

Anti lymphatic filariasis activity

Chen was proposed that Q. indica in this study to be a source of drug candidates to treat lymphatic filariasis because it has been used against parasitic infections in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1700 years. Its aqueous extract (2.62, 2.94, and 3.24 mg/mL) was shown effective in eliminating parasites of all three life stages (L3, adult male, and adult female).[36]

Silver nanocrystals of Quisqualis indica against malaria and zika virus mosquito vectors

Marimuthu et al. were focused on the biophysical properties and the mosquitocidal action of Q. indica-fabricated AgNPs. AgNPs were characterized using spectroscopic (UV, FTIR, and XRD) and microscopic (AFM, SEM, TEM, and EDX) techniques. AFM, SEM, and TEM confirmed the synthesis of poly-dispersed AgNPs with spherical shape and size ranging from 1 to 30 nm. XRD shed light on the crystalline structure of these AgNPs and concluded that the proposed one-pot biogenic fabrication of AgNPs using Q. indica is a low-cost and eco-friendly tool in the fight against zika virus, malaria, and filariasis vectors, with little impact against non-target aquatic mosquito predators.[37]

Against the inflammation of esophagus

In this study, effect of ethanolic flower extract of Q. indica on experimental esophagitis in albino Wister rats at 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg were subjected to pylorus and forestomach ligation. Results revealed that treatments with pantoprazole and flower extracts significantly inhibited the gastric secretion, total acidity, and esophagitis index.[38]

Analgesic activity

The aim of the present study was designed to evaluate the analgesic activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Q. indica Linn. leaves in Wistar rats at 100 and 200 mg/kg p.o. and concluded that the hydroalcolic extract possessed dose-dependent, significant (P < 0.05) analgesic activity against experimentally induced pain.[39]

Antioxidant activity

This study focused on the sequential extraction from Q. indica leaves using four different solvents (petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol, and water); however, the help of using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity, reducing power assay, total antioxidant activity, and reduction of ferric ions and aqueous extract showed highest DPPH radical scavenging activity compared to other extracts, while chloroform extract demonstrated strongest antioxidant activity for rest of the three methods. Petroleum ether and methanol extract exhibited moderate antioxidant property.[40]

Anti-inflammatory activity

Yashraj et al. evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Q. indica in Wistar rats and established some pharmacological evidence to support the folklore claim that Q. indica L. is used as anti-inflammatory agent.[41]

Antidiarrheal activity

Petroleum ether extract of leaves of Q. indica L. used against experimentally induced diarrhoea at the doses (100, 200 mg/kg, p.o) and concluded that possessed dose-dependent, significant (P < 0.05) antidiarrheal activity.[42]

Acetylcholinesterase inhibition

In the search for new acetylcholinesterase inhibitors from plant origin, it was demonstrated that methanolic extract of Q. indica flower exhibited this activity. The extract inhibited electric acetylcholinesterase in dose-dependent manner with an IC50 value of 0.77 μg/ml. The Michaelis–Menton constant (Km) for the hydrolysis of acetylcholine iodide was 0.034 mM. The Km value in the presence of the extracts (Kmapp) at first decreased, and then increased by 60%–88.9%. The Vmax was 0.017 μM/min/μg protein. The Vmax value in the presence of the extracts (Vmaxapp) decreased by 2.8%–52.3%. The estimated value of KI was 1.41 mM, respectively.[43]

In case of hyperlipidemia

The effect of two different doses (100 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg) of ethanolic extract of aerial part of Q. indica on cholesterol diet (coconut, biscuit, and milk powder) induced hyperlipidemia was investigated in rats and concluded that methanolic extract was more effective than aqueous extract but at the dose of 200 mg/kg of methanolic extract had markly showed effects comparable antihyperlipidemic as that of standard atorvastatin.[44]

Anticancer activity

In this study, 25-O-acetyl-23, 24-dihydro-cucurbitacin F identified as a cytotoxic constituent from Q. indica fractionated by chromatographic techniques and elucidated the chemical structures by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass spectrometry (MS). The IC50 values for miltirone of 60 National Cancer Institute cell lines were associated with the microarray-based expression of 9706 genes.[45]

Antidiabetic activity

Bairagi et al. investigated the antidiabetic potential of Q. indica flowers using alloxan-induced diabetes models at doses of 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg, p.o. for 43 days and concluded that plant extract significantly decreased the blood sugar level.[46]

Immunomodulatory activity

Yashraj et al. proved the immunomodulatory activity of Q. indica flowers using carbon clearances test, cyclophosphamide-induced myelosuppression models at the dose of 100 and 150 mg/kg and concluded that higher dose showed significant immuomodulatory activity. Levamisol (50 mg/kg, p.o.) was used as standard drug. Cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg) was used to induce myelosuppression.[47]

Improves benign prostatic hyperplasia

Ub Wijerathne et al. investigated therapeutic efficacy of Q. indica extract on treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in LNCaP human prostate cancer cell line and a testosterone-induced BPH rat model. LNCaP cells were treated with Q. indica plus testosterone propionate, and androgen receptor and prostate-specific antigen expression levels were assessed by Western blotting. Therefore, findings suggest that Q. indica at attenuates the BPH state in rats through antiproliferative and proapoptotic activities and might be useful in the clinical treatment of BPH.[48]

Passive smoking-induced hyperlipidemia

Jyoti et al. investigated that hypolipidemic activity of methanolic extracts of aerial parts of Q. indica including flowers on passive smoking (PS) induced hyperlipidemia in rats had been evaluated. Hyperlipidemia was induced by PS in a closed chamber having one burning cigarettes inside it. The hypolipidemic activity was analyzed by reading the blood serum level in UV at 505 nm after treated with reagent present in auto span diagnostic kit. Dose of methanolic extracts of Q. indica had been prepared by using distilled water, i.e., 200 mg/kg p.o. and significantly reduce the harmful lipid layer in blood serum at varying concentration and dose-dependent manner which shows that the plant carries the hypolipidemic properties and concluded that the plants extracts recover the disorders in lipid metabolism noted in hyperlipidemic state.[49]

  Analytical Analysis Top

High performance thin layer chromatography

Mayank et al. performed the high-performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) of leaves of Q. indica for urosolic acid and lupeol and found out the good concentration in extract and screened out various proteins through the western blotting technique. The screened proteins were found to be good antimicrobial potential.[25]

Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Gas chromatography-MS was performed using aerial part with methanol, ethyl acetate and hexane extracts and found the various compounds as shown in [Table 4].[50]
Table 4: Phytochemicals detected in different extracts of Quisqualis indica

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  Future Prospects Top

The plant Q. indica have various primary and secondary metabolites that are responsible to cure various acute and chronic diseases, so there is lack of various pharmacological activities which are not reported yet. The new researchers may be easily plain for those activities for the best exploration of plant. Lots of phytochemicals are detected in various parts of Q. indica, they may be curable for diseases and open the new doors for various researchers in future.

  Conclusion Top

Nowadays, the human population depends on herbals to cure the diseases and to choose the herbal medicine for primary action just because of low side effects. Q. indica is a beautiful ornamental plant but has lots of pharmacological activity and found to be safe at various level of research. Pharmacognostical parameters of plant proved the anatomy and physiology where as HPTLC analysis clearly raveled the Q. indica is a good source of ursolic acid and lupeol which are responsible to cure various diseases such as hepatic, cardiovascular, and neurological problems. The plants have major qualities which act as backbone of various field of research, and it needs to be good exploration in society. HPTLC analysis clearly ravealed the Q. indica is a good source of urosolic acid and lupeol which are responsible to cure various diseases such as hepatic, cardiovascular, and neurological problems.


The author would like to express my hearty thanks to BBD University and National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, for providing library facilities to access the journals and books.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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  [Figure 1]

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]


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