Gynura nepalensis DC: A Potential Wonder Medicinal Plant
Keywords: Gynura nepalensis; ethno-medicine, medicinal plants; phytochemistry
AbstractThis is a review of published studies on Gynura nepalensis DC, a medicinal plant locally known as Philippine Ashitaba. Although it is utilized as an ethno-medicine to cure a wide array of human sickness such asindigestion, diabetes, cuts/wounds, cough, asthma, kidney stones, urinary tract bleeding, hepatitis, gall bladder stones, hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, blood poisoning, septicemia, fertility problems, skin allergy, rheumatism, high cholesterol levels, and high-low blood pressure,only its hypolipidaemic, hepatoprotective, antimutagenic, anti-oxidant and radioprotective potentials using either ethanolic or methanolic extracts have been directly investigated based on reported studies. There are no reported studies on the antibacterial, antifungal, and cytotoxic potentials of G. nepalensis DC extracts using other solvents like water, DCM, DMSO, chloroform, ether, and others.Thus, many of the pharmacological claims that are based on anecdotal report need scientific validation. Preliminary phytochemical screening of the leaf extract of the plant indicated the presence of alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, steroid (with 2-deoxysugars), flavonoid (leucoanthocyanin), and saponin.G. nepalensis DC is often taken as similar with other Gynura spp. No molecular studies to establish the DNA barcode or fingerprint of the plant have been reported. Therefore, since many cures have been attributed toG. nepalensis DC, making it a potential wonder medicinal plant, the scientific community needs to conduct more researches - bioassays, molecular studies, and chemical profiling - on this plant.