Fructus Psoraleae

The most amazing aspect of this plant is that every part of it is useful. Roots, stems, leaves, seeds, and whatever blooms it has, all are used to treat a variety of skin problems, such as leukoderma, skin rashes, infections, and others.[42] It is given the name “Kushtanashini” (leprosy destroyer).[21] P. corylifolia is a very ancient remedy for leukoderma; it has been tried extensively not only by the practitioners of the Indian medicine but also by the followers of the Western system.[4] The furanocoumarins, which contain psoralens, promote pigmentation.[26] The powder is used by Vaidyas internally for leprosy and leukoderma and externally in the form of paste and ointment.[5,9] Oil has a powerful effect on the skin Streptococci.[27] It helps fight vitiligo, a disorder in which patches of skin lose their pigmentation.[11] It is used in the inflammatory diseases, mucomembranous disorders, dermatitis, and edematous conditions of the skin.[7,23,27] It also alleviates boils and skin eruptions. The plant has blood purifying properties. It is used to treat itching red papules, itching eruptions, extensive eczema with thickened dermis, ringworm, rough and discolored dermatosis, dermatosis with fissures, and scabies.[16] It has shown to improve the color of skin, hair, and nails.[20,25] Seeds are given in scorpion-sting and snake bite.[5,9] Seeds are useful in bilious disorders.[5,6] P. corylifolia extracts have found to possess antitumor, antihyperglycemic, antidepressant, and antioxidant activities.[43] Its water extract possesses antibacterial property.[44] Seed and extract powder are used as diuretic, anthelminthic, laxative, and for healing wounds.[3,27] Seeds are used as stomachic, stimulant, aphrodisiac,[3] and diaphoretic.[7] It is used in the treatment of various kinds of disorders, such as asthma, cough, nephritis, and others. The major components psoralen and isopsoralen have antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.[45] It is a good hair tonic and hence used in alopecia areata and hair loss.[24,37]

It is an effective invigorant against impotence, menstruation disorder, and uterine hemorrhage.[39] It is a cure for gynecologic bleeding.[36] It is also useful to treat spermatorrhea and premature ejaculation.[14] It shows coronary vasodilatory activity.[39] The seeds act as deobstruent and heal ulcer, heart troubles, and cure blood disorders and elephantitis.[38]

The crude drug has been used for the treatment of enuresis, pollakiuria, painful feeling of cold in the waist and knees, and weak kidney.[46,47] It is used in the treatment of debility and other problems related to kidney inefficiency, such as febrile disorders, low back pains, frequent urination, incontinence, and bed wetting.[11]

The root is useful in treating the caries of the teeth. P. corylifolia is used to promote bone calcification, making it useful for treating osteoporosis and bone fractures.[10–12] Leaves are used to alleviate diarrhea.[10] Fruit is bitter, helps to prevent vomiting, cures difficulty in micturition, used in treating piles, bronchitis, and anemias and improves complexion.[12] P. corylifolia contains bavachinin, corylifolinin, and psoralen all of which inhibit the multiplication of osteosarcoma and lung cancer cells.[11] They are also useful in fibrosarcoma, malignant ascites, and leukemia. It has hepatoprotective properties.[48]

P. corylifolia is used in lumbago and tuberculosis.[13,24] Essential oil is used as tonic and aphrodisiac. Seeds are sweet, bitter, acrid, and astringent. They impart vigor and vitality; improve digestive power and receptive power of mind.[12] Seeds are antipyretic and alexiteric.[19] P. corylifolia is a well-known nervine tonic in vata diseases.[30] It is used in the treatment of intestinal amebiasis.[49] The herb is cytotoxic, antimutagenic, and antirepellant.[2]

Other uses: Seeds are used to make perfumed oil.[9] The ethanolic extract has been used as a food additive for the preservation of some processed foods or pickles in Japan.[37] The seed cake rich in nitrogen and minerals is used as feed or manure.[10]

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Essential oil has a distinct stimulatory action on voluntary muscles in high dilutions (1 in 100,000).[27] It produced contraction of isolated rectus abdominis muscle of frog.[8] Also, the isolated uterus of guinea pig showed tonic contractions. Well-marked contraction of the arterioles of the frog was seen on perfusion of oil.[4] Petroleum ether extract of seeds produced a rise in the blood pressure on anesthetized dogs and caused stimulation of the intestinal smooth muscle.[6] Corylifolinin isolated from the benzene extract produced coronary vasodilation and inhibitory action on HeLa cells and an estrogenic effect.[8,22]

The essential oil in dilution of 1 in 50,000 and 1 in 10,000 has been found to kill paramecia and streptococci within 15 and 10 min, respectively.[27] The oil also showed selective antifungal activity.[6] The fruit extract inhibits the growth of Staphylococcus citrates, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus albus, including strains resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics. Psoralen shows strong inhibition of bacteria, such as Microsporium canis, Microsporium gypseum, Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, S. aureus, Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, P. aeruginosa, and others.[11] Katsura et al proved that bakuchiol is a useful compound against oral pathogens and has a great potential for use in food additives and mouthwashes for preventing and treating dental caries. The cell growth of S. mutans was inhibited in a bakuchiol concentration-dependent manner and the growth of S. mutans was completely prevented with 20 μg of bakuchiol/mL.[50] Psoralidin showed stronger antibacterial activity against Gram-negative bacteria Shigeua sonnei and Shigeua flexneri.[47]

Bavachinin A isolated from fruits revealed a marked anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and mild analgesic properties at a dose of 25–100 mg/kg. It has demonstrated better antipyretic activity than paracetamol and showed no effect on the central nervous system, and the maximum lethal dose was greater than 1000 mg/kg in mice.[27] It also showed anti-inflammatory activity against carrageenan-induced edema in rats.[6]

Bakuchiol, one of the major constituent of P. corylifolia, has been shown to possess a prominent cytotoxic effect on L929 cells in all cultures. It also showed cytotoxicity against cultured human cell lines, namely, A549, SK-OV-3, SK-MEL-2, XF-498, and HCT-15.[32] Psoralidin, a coumestan derivative isolated from the seeds, showed a cytotoxic effect on stomach cancer cell line with IC50 values of 53 μg/ mL in SNU-1 and 203 μg/mL in SNU-16[27] Byung et al showed antitumor and cytotoxic activity of the drug.[38] Guo and co-workers proved that psoralen and isopsoralen had antitumor activity against BGC-823 cancer cells.[51]

The water-soluble extract containing bakuchiol has been found to possess hepatoprotective activity in tacrine-induced cytotoxicity in human liver-derived HepG2 cells. The EC50 value of bakuchiol was 1 μg/mL and of silymarin was 5 μg/mL.[27]

Bakuchiol and 2 of the flavonoids, isobavachin and isobavachalcone, showed broad antioxidant activities in rat liver microsomes and mitochondria.[27]

P. corylifolia seed extract has been reported to stimulate the immune system in mice. Administration of the seed extract was also found to inhibit EAC ascitic tumor growth and stimulate natural killer cell activity, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity, antibody forming cells, and the antibody complement-mediated cytotoxicity during tumor development.[27]

A potential antifilarial activity of P. corylifolia leaves and seeds on cattle filarial parasite Setaria cervi was observed.[27] The alcoholic extract produced death of microfilariae and showed antimycobacterial activity.[8] Khatune et al proved pesticidal activity of 6-(-3-methylbut-2-enyl)-6’,7-dihydroxycoumestan.[38]

It was observed that flavonoids, mainly corylin and bavachin, have osteoblastic proliferation-stimulating activity and thus might stimulate bone formation and act against osteoporosis.[27] Rashid Ali and Agarwal showed that psoralen accelerates the photooxidation of DOPA under sunlight as well as photo flood lamplight.[6] The oleoresinous extract of seeds given to nonsyphilitic leukoderma patients has been found to be effective.[6] Topical application prepared from P. corylifolia gave positive results in epilating folliculitis. The coumarinic extracts from seeds showed photosensitizing activity in guinea pigs. Topical application of active fraction from seeds inhibited the growth and delayed the onset of papilloma formation.[8] Psoralen, when orally taken by rabbit at a dose of 4 mg/g and exposed in sun, there was pigment deposition.[11] Petroleum ether extract of the seeds showed anthelminthic activity against earthworms.[6] Chandhoke and Ray reported that isopsoralen showed tranquillosedative, anticonvulsant, and central muscle-relaxant properties in rats, mice, and rabbits.[6]

Methanolic extract of seeds containing isobavachalcone and neobavaisoflavone inhibited the aggregation of platelets.[11] Bakuchiol prevented mitochondrial lipid peroxidation.[8] Psoralen extended sleeping time in mice induced by phenobarbital sodium. Psoralen has an effect on medicine metabolism. It increases liver microsome protein concentration thus increasing the concentration of P-250 and NADPH–cytochrome C.

Anti-early pregnancy experiment showed that 10 mg injection of isopsoralen to mice uterus released strong anti-early pregnancy effects. Anti-skin transplantation rejection effects of isopsoralen was proved by 2 mg/cap isopsoralen dose to rabbit, one capsule daily for 20–30 days.[11] Psoralen, only in large doses, induces embryo deformity in guinea pigs.[44] Bakuchiol possesses DNA polymerase inhibitory activity.[14]

The glucoside of the isoflavonoid, diadzein, called diadzin, inhibits the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and NAD-dependent alcohol aldehyde dehydrogenase. These enzymes catalyse the oxidation of acetaldehyde, the primary product of alcohol metabolism. So, when diadzin is present, alcohol levels in the bloodstream increase and cannot be metabolized by the enzymes. An important consequence of this is that alcoholics soon lose their appetite for alcohol.[17]

Chen et al studied the antidepressant activity of total furanocoumarins present in P. corylifolia (TFPC) in the chronic mild stress model of depression in mice. The results revealed that TFPC possess potent and rapid antidepressant properties that are mediated via MAO, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, and oxidative symptoms. Thus, it makes P. corylifolia, a potentially valuable drug for the treatment of depression in the elderly.[52] Xu and co-workers also proved psoralen's antidepressant effects, using forced swimming test model of depression in male mice.[53]

Guo and co-workers proved that the powder and extracts of P. corylifolia possessed strong antioxidant properties when tested in lard at 100°C by using oxidative stability instrument. Antioxidant activity of compounds decrease in the following order: Psoralidin > BHT > α-tocopherol > bakuchiol > corylifolin > corylin > isopsoralen > psoralen.[54]

Matsuda et al stated that from the ethanol soluble fraction of P. corylifolia, ∆1,3-hydroxybakuchiol; ∆3,2-hydroxybakuchiol, bavachin, and psoralidin showed inhibitory activities against antigen-induced granulation in RBL-2H3 cells.[41]

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