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Review Article Open Access

Medicinal Value of Euphorbia tirucalli : A Review

Abstract

Natural products play an important role in drug discovery and many approved therapeutics as well as drug candidates have been derived from natural sources. They have been the source of most of the active ingredients of medicines. The beneficial medicinal effects of plant materials typically result from the combinations of secondary products present in the plan. These secondary metabolites constitute the medicinal value of a drug plant, which produces a definite physiological action on human body. The plant of Euphorbia tirucalli belongs to family- Euphorbiaceae is commonly known as Barki-thohar. This plant is native of America but has become acclimatised and grows freely in all parts of India. This is a common medicinal plants of India; the plant parts used milky juice and stem bark. Milky juice in small doses is a purgative but in large doses it is acrid, counter-irritant and emetic. E. tirucallilatex seems to reduce the specific cellular immunity associated with the virus Epstein-Barr injection by activating the virus lytic cycle. The bark / latex of E. tirucallipresents pharmacological activities as anantibacterial, molluscicide, antiherpetic and anti-mutagenic. It also shows co-carcinogenic and anticarcinogenicactivities.In the northeast of region in Brazil, the latex of E. tirucalliis used as a folk medicine against syphilis. As an antimicrobial; a laxative agent to control intestinal parasites to treat asthma, cough, earache, rheumatism, verrucae, cancer, epithelioma, sarcoma and skin tumors. E. tirucallicontains a large quantity of terpenes and sterols among its constituent and the following substances which have been isolated; alcohol eufol, alfaeuforbol and taraxa sterol e tirucallol (Imai, 1994 This review highlights on the existing information particularly on the phytochemistry and various pharmacological properties of Euphorbia tirucalli which may provide incentive for proper evaluation of the plant as a medicinal agent.

Nishi Gupta, Garima Vishnoi, Ankita Wal, and Pranay Wal

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