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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 85-87 Table of Contents     

Leucas aspera: A review


1 Kalol Institute of Pharmacy, Gujarat University, Kalol, India
2 Pharmacognosy Department, LM College of Pharmacy, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India

Date of Submission14-Mar-2010
Date of Decision27-May-2010
Date of Web Publication10-Jul-2010

Correspondence Address:
M B Shah
Pharmacognosy Department, LM College of Pharmacy, Gujarat University, Ahmedabad - 380 009
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-7847.65330

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  Abstract 

Leucas aspera commonly known as 'Thumbai' is distributed throughout India from the Himalayas down to Ceylon. The plant is used traditionally as an antipyretic and insecticide. Medicinally, it has been proven to possess various pharmacological activities like antifungal, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antinociceptive and cytotoxic activity. Further, studies reveal the presence of various phytochemical constituents mainly triterpenoids, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and b-sitosterol, nicotine, sterols, glucoside, diterpenes, phenolic compounds (4-(24-hydroxy-1-oxo-5-n-propyltetracosanyl)-phenol). These studies reveal that L. aspera is a source of medicinally active compounds and have various pharmacological effects; hence, this drug encourage finding its new therapeutic uses.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, lamiaceae, Leucas aspera, triterpenoid


How to cite this article:
Prajapati M S, Patel J B, Modi K, Shah M B. Leucas aspera: A review. Phcog Rev 2010;4:85-7

How to cite this URL:
Prajapati M S, Patel J B, Modi K, Shah M B. Leucas aspera: A review. Phcog Rev [serial online] 2010 [cited 2018 Nov 17];4:85-7. Available from: http://www.phcogrev.com/text.asp?2010/4/7/85/65330


  Introduction Top


Leucas aspera (Willd.) Linn. (Family: Lamiaceae) commonly known as 'Thumbai' [1] is distributed throughout India from the Himalayas down to Ceylon. [2] The plant is used traditionally as an antipyretic and insecticide. Flowers are valued as stimulant, expectorant, aperient, diaphoretic, insecticide and emmenagogue. Leaves are considered useful in chronic rheumatism, psoriasis and other chronic skin eruptions. Bruised leaves are applied locally in snake bites. [1],[3]


  Other Names Top
[1]

Sanskrit: Dronapushpi, Chitrapathrika, Chitrak-shupa

Punjabi: Guldora

Bengali: Darunaphula, Hulkasha

Gujarati: Kulnnphul

Hindi: Goma madhupati

Sindhi: Kubo

Maharashtra: Bahuphul

Bombay: Tumba

Telugu: Tunni


  Taxonomical Classification Top
[4]

Kingdom: Plantae, Plant

Subkingdom: Tracheobionta, Vascular plant

Super division: Spermatophyta, Seed plant

Division: Angiosperma

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub-class: Gamopetalae

Series: Bicarpellatae

Order: Tubiflorae

Family: Labiatae

Genus: Leucas

Species: aspera


  Botanical Description Top


Leucas aspera is an annual, branched, herb erecting to a height of 15-60 cm with stout and hispid acutely quadrangular stem and branches. Leaves are sub-sessile or shortly petiolate, linear or linearly lanceolate, obtuse, pubescent up to 8.0 cm long and 1.25 cm broad, with entire or crenate margin; petiole 2.5-6 mm long; flowers white, sessile small, in dense terminal or axillary whorls; bracts 6 mm long, linear, acute, bristle-tipped, ciliate with long slender hairs; calyx variable, tubular, 8-13 mm long; tube curved, contracted above the nutlets, the lower half usually glabrous and membranous, the upper half ribbed and hispid; mouth small, very oblique, not villous, the upper part produced forward; teeth small, triangular, bristle-tipped, ciliate, the upper tooth being the largest. Corolla 1 cm long; tube 5 mm long and pubescent above, annulate in the middle; upper lip 3 mm long, densely white-woolly; lower lip about twice as long, the middle lobe obviate, rounded, the lateral lobes small, subacute. Fruit nutlets, 2.5 mm long, oblong, brown, smooth, inner face angular and outer face rounded. [5],[6]


  Microscopic Description Top
[7]

Stem

Diagrammatic TS of young stem is quadrangular in outline with four distinct collenchymatous ridges, covered with hairs. It shows a narrow cortex and a ring of vascular tissue encircling the wide stele.

Detailed TS shows an epidermis covered with thick cuticle, traversed occasionally with stomata and bears simple, multicellular (three to four-celled) uniseriate lignified trichomes and sessile, glandular trichomes with multicellular head; narrow parenchymatous cortex, except under the ridges where it is collenchymatous, distinct endodermis and parenchymatous pericycle, especially; stellar region consisting of a ring of vascular bundles connected with interfascicular sclerenchymatous band; very narrow parenchymatous phloem, and radially arranged xylem tissue.

In old stem, trichomes are few, phloem tissue is wide and found on either side of the wide xylem band; pith is parenchymatous, wide and embedded with acicular crystals of calcium oxalate.

Leaf

TS of leaf passing through the midrib is broadly convex on the lower side and slightly grooved or flat on the upper side, a centrally located conjoint and collateral meristele associated with a parenchymatous pericycle layer on lower side, collenchymatous tissue underneath both the epidermis; dorsiventral lamina epidermis covered with thick cuticle, traversed with stomata, bears simple and glandular trichomes of the same type as found on stem, 1 to 2 layered palisade tissue occupying the major area of the section and spongy parenchyma.


  Phytochemical Studies Top


Preliminary chemical examination of L. aspera revealed presence of triterpenoids in entire plant. [8] Whole plant is reported to contain oleanolic acid, ursolic acid and 3-sitosterol. [9] Aerial parts are reported to contain nicotine, [10] sterols, [11] two new alkaloids (compound A m.p. 61-2, α-sitosterol and β-sitosterol) (m.p. 183-4 o ), reducing sugars (galactose), glucoside (230-1 o ), [12] diterpenes (leucasperones A and B, leucasperols A and B, isopimarane glycosides (leucasperosides A, B and C), together with other compounds like asperphenamate, maslinic acid, (-)-isololiolide, linifolioside, [13] nectandrin B, meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid, macelignan, acacetin, apigenin 7-O-[6′-O-(p-coumaroyl)-3-D-glucoside], chrysoeriol, apigenin, erythro-2-(4-allyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenoxy)-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)propan-1-ol, myristargenol B, and machilin C, (-)-chicanine, (7R,8R)- and (75,85)-licarin A. [14] Among the 25 compounds identified from the leaf volatiles, u-farnesene (26.4%), x-thujene (12.6%) and menthol (11.3%) were the major constituents. The flower is reported to contain 10 compounds; among them amyl propionate (15.2%) and isoamyl propionate (14.4%) were dominant. [15] Seed is reported to contain palmitic acid (6.25%), stearic acid (2.84%), oleic acid (42.07%), linoleic acid (48.11%), and linolenic acid (0.65%). The unsaponifiable fraction contained 3-sitosterol and ceryl alcohol. [16],[17] Shoot contained novel phenolic compounds (4-(24-hydroxy-1-oxo-5-n-propyltetracosanyl)-phenol), [18] aliphatic ketols (28-hydroxypentatriacontan-7-one, 7-hydroxydotriacontan-2-one), [19] long-chain compounds (1-hydroxytetratriacontan-4-one, 32-methyltetratriacontan-8-ol), [20] nonatriacontane, [18] 5-acetoxytriacontane, β-sitosterol[19] and dotriacontanol. [20] Leucolactone (I), isolated from the root of L. aspera have been characterized as 3, 3, 16c-dihydroxyoleanan-28-1,3-olide. [21]


  Pharmacological Studies Top


Antifungal activity

In vitro study of chloroform and ether extracts of L. aspera revealed its antifungal activity against Trichophyton and Microsporum gypseum. The minimum inhibitory concentration was found to be 5mg/mL. Leucas aspera had both fungistatic and fungicidal actions. [22]

Prostaglandin inhibitory and antioxidant activities

Leucas aspera was tested for its prostaglandin (PG) inhibitory and antioxidant activities. The ext. showed both activities, that is, inhibition at 3-4 g/mL against PGE1- and PGE2-induced contractions in guinea pig ileum and a 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging effect. Phytochemical investigation suggested the presence of nectandrin B, meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid, macelignan, acacetin, apigenin 7-O-[6′-O-(p-coumaroyl)-3-D-glucoside], chrysoeriol, apigenin, erythro-2-(4-allyl-2,6-dimethoxyphenoxy)-1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)propan-1-ol, myristargenol B and machilin C, (-)-chicanine, (7R,8R)- and (75,85)-licarin A. [14]

Toxicity evaluation of herbal smoke and synthetic mosquito mat on Culex quinquefasciatus

The smoke of leaves of Vitex negundo and L. aspera are more toxic to the filarial vector mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus than the synthetic mosquito mats, which contain 4% d-allethrin. [23]

Antimicrobial activity of Leucas aspera flowers

The methanol extract of L. aspera flowers, its fractions, the alkaloidal residue and the expressed flower juice showed good antibacterial activity for methanol extract and methanol fraction with maximum activity for the alkaloidal residue. [24]

Antimicrobial action of some essential oils.

The essential oils from L. aspera possessed bacteriostatic activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae,  Salmonella More Details typhi, Klebsiella aerogenes,  Escherichia More Details coli, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas pyocyanea and Dys. Flexneri.[25]

Antinociceptive, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of Leucas aspera root

The ethanolic extract was subjected to acetic acid induced writhing inhibition, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl hydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay and brine shrimp lethality bioassay for screening of antinociceptive, antioxidant and cytotoxic activity, respectively. The ethanolic extract of L. aspera root produced significant inhibition in acetic acid induced writhing in mice at the doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg. The extract showed a significant free radical scavenging activity with an IC50 of 8 μg/ml. The extract showed significant lethality to brine shrimp. [26] .

 
  References Top

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2.Nadkarni KM. Indian Materia Medica. Mumbai: Popular Prakashan; 1976. p. 739.  Back to cited text no. 2      
3.Shirazi AM. Studies on Leucas aspera. Indian J Pharm 1947;9:116-7.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Trease GE, Evans WC. A taxonomic approach to the study of medicinal plants and animal derived drugs. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. Singapore: Harcourt Brace and Company Asia Pvt. Ltd.; 2002. p. 20, 33.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. Indian Medicinal Plants. New Delhi: Periodical Experts; 1975. p. 2019-20.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Hooker JD. The Flora of British India. London: The Muston Company; 1984. p. 690.  Back to cited text no. 6      
7.Anonymous. Quality Standards of Indian Medicinal Plants. New Delhi: Indian Council of Medicinal Research; 2008. p. 265-74.  Back to cited text no. 7      
8.Kamat M, Singh TP. Preliminary chemical examination of some compounds in the different parts of the genus Leucas. Geobios 1994;21:31-3.  Back to cited text no. 8      
9.Chaudhury NA, Ghosh D. Insecticidal plants: Chemical examination of Leucas aspera. J Indian Chem Soc 1969;46:95.  Back to cited text no. 9      
10.Mangathayaru K, Thirumurugan D, Patel PS, Pratap DV, David DJ, Karthikeyan J. Isolation and identification of nicotine from leucas aspera (willd). Indian J Pharm Sci 2006;68:88-90.  Back to cited text no. 10    Medknow Journal  
11.Khaleque A, Huq ME, Huq MS, Mansoor MH. Chemical investigations on Leucas aspera. I. Isolation of compound-A, 3-sitosterol and et-sitosterol from the aerial parts. Scientific Res 1970;7:125-7.  Back to cited text no. 11      
12.Chatterjee SK, Majumdar DN. Chemical investigation of Leucas aspera. J Inst Chem 1969;41:98-101.  Back to cited text no. 12      
13.Sadhu SK, Okuyama E, Fujimoto H, Ishibashi M. Diterpenes from Leucas aspera inhibiting prostaglandin-induced contractions. J Nat Prod 2006;69:988-94.  Back to cited text no. 13  [PUBMED]    
14.Sadhu SK, Okuyama E, Fujimoto H, Ishibashi M. Separation of Leucas aspera, a medicinal plant of Bangladesh, guided by prostaglandin inhibitory and antioxidant activities. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2003;51:595-8.  Back to cited text no. 14  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
15.Kalachaveedu M, Ghosh A, Ranjan R, VedamVenkat K. Volatile constituents of Leucas aspera (WilId.). J Essent Oil Res 2006;18:104-5.  Back to cited text no. 15      
16.Jam MP, Nath HB. Examination of the component fatty acids of the oil from the seeds of Leucas aspera. Lab Dev 1968;6:34-6.  Back to cited text no. 16      
17.Badami RC, Patil KB. Minor seed oils. X: Physico-chemical characteristics and fatty acid composition of seven minor oils. J Oil Technol Assoc India 1975;7:82-4.  Back to cited text no. 17      
18.Misra TN, Singh RS, Pandey HS, Singh S. A novel phenolic compound from Leucas aspera Spreng. Indian J Chem Br 1995;34:1108-10.  Back to cited text no. 18      
19.Misra TN, Singh RS, Prasad C, Singh S. Two aliphatic ketols from Leucas aspera. Phytochemistry 1992;32:199-201.  Back to cited text no. 19      
20.Misra TN, Singh RS, Pandey HS, Singh S. Long-chain compounds from Leucas aspera. Phytochemistry 1992;31:1809-10.  Back to cited text no. 20      
21.Pradhan B, Chakraborty D, Subba G. A triterpenoid lactone from Leucas aspera. Phytochemistry 1990;29:1693-5.  Back to cited text no. 21      
22.Thakur DK, Misra SK, Choudhuri PC. In vitro trials of plant extracts and chemicals for their antifungal activity. Indian J Animal Health 1987;26:31-5.  Back to cited text no. 22      
23.Selvaraj R, Revathy C, Charles A, Manoharan. Toxicity evaluation of herbal smoke and synthetic mosquito mat on Culex quinquefasciatus. Geobios 1994;21:166-8.  Back to cited text no. 23      
24.Mangathayaru K, Lakshmikant J, Shyam Sundar N, Swapna R, Grace XF, Vasantha J. Antimicrobial activity of Leucas aspera flowers. Fitoterapia 2005;76:752-4  Back to cited text no. 24      
25.Rao B, Narasimha GV. Antimicrobial action of some essential oils. IV. Effect of organic compounds. Riechstoffe, Aromen, Koerperpflegemittel 1971;21:10,12,14,16.  Back to cited text no. 25      
26.Rahman MS, Sadhu SK, Hasan CM. Preliminary antinociceptive, antioxidant and cytotoxic activities of Leucas aspera root. Fitoterapia 2007;78:552-5.  Back to cited text no. 26  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  



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