You are hereA REVIEW ON BIOLOGICAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF FICUS SPECIES

A REVIEW ON BIOLOGICAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF FICUS SPECIES


FLOWERS:
The tiny flowers of the fig are out of sight, clustered inside the green "fruits", technically a synconium. Pollinating insects gain access to the flowers through opening at the apex of the synconium. In the case of the common fig the flowers are all female and need no pollination. There are 3 other types, the Capri fig which has male and female flowers requiring visits by a tiny wasp, Blastophaga grossorum; the Smyrna fig, needing cross-pollination by Capri figs in order to develop normally; and the San Pedro fig which is intermediate, its first crop independent like the common fig, its second crop dependent on pollination.

FRUITS:
The common fig bears a first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season's growth. The second crop is borne in the fall on the new growth and is known as the main crop. In cold climates the breba crop is often destroyed by spring frosts. The matured "fruit" has a tough peel (pure green, green suffused with brown, brown or purple), often cracking upon ripeness, and exposing the pulp beneath. The interior is a white inner rind containing a seed mass bound with jelly-like flesh. The edible seeds are numerous and generally hollow, unless pollinated. Pollinated seeds provide the characteristic nutty taste of dried figs.

LEAVES:
leaves are 12–25 centimeters (4.7–9.8 in) long and 10–18 centimeters (3.9–7.1 in) across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The complex inflorescence of the common fig consists of a hollow fleshy structure called the syconium .

LATEX:
The ficus produces a liquid-type latex, which is more plentiful in the early morning. This latex is used in tropical America for washing dishes, pans and pots. It used to be used in earlier household commercial detergents for the same purpose; however, its negative affect on the hands of housewives resulted in a discontinuation of it for that use in the United States, according to Purdue University.

COMMERCIAL POTENCIAL:
Because of losses in transport and short shelf life, figs are a high-value fruits of limited demand. The best outlet is direct sale at roadside or farmers markets, but do not permit handling of the fruit. Figs for shipping are collected daily just before they reach the fully ripe stage, but yield to a soft pressure, usually indicated by small cracks in the skin. They should be immediately refrigerated. For commerce, choose a cultivar that parts readily from the branch and does not tear the neck. Ficus trees have many uses. A Ficus, or fig tree, can be grown and used in the home landscape to provide shade. The ficus, as a deciduous shrub, can work as a hedge, providing privacy by screening in the landscape, or as a food source, by growing edible fig fruit. This fig tree is even used to produce latex for cleaning dishes.

WORK REPORTED ON FICUS SPECIES:

FICUS BENGHALENSIS
Telugu Name: Marri chettu.
English name: The banyan
Sanskrit Name: Bahupada.
Hindi name: Bar.
Parts used  : Barks, flowers.

TRADITIONAL USES:
The milky juice is externally applied for pains and bruises and as an anodyne in rheumatism and lumbago. It is also used as a remedy for toothache(2).It helps in wound healing and suppresses inflammation. It acts as a good pain reliever. It also improves vision of eyes. It helps in easy absorption and purifies blood. It produces anti tumor activity. It is used in the treatment of diarrhea, piles. Various extracts were screened for its anti allergic activity in asthma. It is acrid, sweet, astringent, alternative, tonic, maturant, stypic, cooling and used in erysipelas, vomiting, biliousness, vaginal complaints, ulcers leprosy, piles, disease to nose, gonorrhea, syphilis, dysentery, bruises, atrophy, cholera, scabies.(3)

PHYTO CONSTITUENTS REPORTED:
ß-sitosterol, a-D-glucose and meso- inositol were reported from the stem bark. The leaves  are isolated for  petunidin di-glycoside and quercentin 3-galactoside. (4)The fruits are reported for  cyaniding, rhamnoglycoside and polysaccharides.  Bengalenosides that is, glycosides or flavonoids, ketones, flavonols, pentacyclictriterpenes and triterpenoids, coumarin, sterols, tiglic acid esters, alpha-D-glucose, catechin and genistin  and meso-inositolwere reported fromtheplant. (5).It offered teraxasteroltiglate, rutin, methyl ethers ofleucanthocyanins, 2-tetra-triaconten-2-one-sitosterol,friedelin(6).

BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES REPORTED:
The bark of ficus benghalensis has a significant effect in Inflammatory bowel disease in rats. The results indicated  that the methanolic extract of ficus benghalensis produces protective effect in inflammatory bowel disease due to the presence of flavanoids, terpenoids, phenolic compounds.(7)The bark has shown the hypoglycemic activity and diabetic activity .The anti diabetic properties of ficus benghalensis has been concluded due to the presence of phytoconstituents like bengalenoside, glycoside of pelargonodin, leucocyanidin ,leucopelargonin.(8) The anti atherogenic and antioxidant activities have been reported from the bark of ficus bengalensis due to the presence of flavanoids(9)The hydro alcoholic extract from  bark of ficus  bengalensis  was proved  effective against Actinomyces viscous (MTCC 7345) and  the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was determined to be 0.08mg/ml. (10)The immuno modulatory effect of methanol extract was found to stimulate cell mediated and antibody mediated immune responses in rats. It also enhanced the phagocytic function of the human neutrophiles, in vitro. The  aqueous bark of F.benghalensis exhibited significant antibacterial activity against pathogenic bacterial like Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella premoniae (11)

FICUS GLOMERATA
Telugu Name: Athi.
Hindi Name:  Gular, Umar.
Marati Name:  Athi.
English Name: Cluster fig.
Parts used:  Stembark, fruit and latex.

TRADITIONAL USES:
It is used as astringent, cooling, acrid, galactogogue, aphrodisiac, cooling carminative, expectorant. It is also used in burning sensations, fatigue, urinary discharge, leprosy, piles ,non-bleeding, intestinal worms, chronic bronchitis, diseases of kidney and spleen, inflammation, stomachic, diarrhoea, dysentery smallpox, cancer, diabetes, urinary diseases, gonorrhea, toothache, backache.(12).

PHYTO CONSTITUENTS REPORTED:
It  was reported for alkaloids glycosides like friedelin, lupeol, tetra cyclic triterpene-glucanol acetate, leucanthocyanins, amyrin acetate, flavanoids , amino acids.(13) The leaves of plant were characterized for  glauanol acetate ,tetratriterpene. The fruit was isolated for  glucose, tigilic acid, sitosterol, hentriacontane, lupeolacetate and other phytosterol. Amyrin cycloeuphordenol, cycloartenol and its esters euphol, euphorbenol, isoeuphorbenol, palmiticacid,taraxerol, trimethyl ellagic acid have been reported from latex.(13)

BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES REPORTED:
The fruits, barks and leaves of methanolic extract of ficus glomerate have been reported for  anti microbial activity, free radical scavenging activity and anti oxidant activity. The anti microbial studies were carried out  by using methanolic plant extract against four micro organisms namely Bacillus substilies, Pseudomonas aeruiginosa, salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aeriusand  the fruit  extracts showed moderate efficacy compared to antibiotic clarithromycin.(14)The leaves showed highest activity against p. aeruginosa.  Free radical scavenging activity has been concluded  by using DPPH  method and the absorbance was absorved as  0.980±0.02 at 557nm. (15)The total anti oxidant activity of the extracts was determined through phosphor molybdate assay(16)

FICUS RELIGIOSA
Telugu:  Ravichettu.
English:  The peepal.
Hindi    :  Peepal, pipul.
Sanskrit :  Ashvatha.
Guajarati  :  Piplo, Jari, Piparo, Pipalo .
Kashmiri:  Bad
Tamil     : Ashwarthan, Arasamaram, Arasan, Arasu, Arara.
Parts used :  Bark, leaves.

TRADITIONAL USES:
It is bitter, sweet, acrid, used as anti-bacterial, refrigerant, alternative, astringent, aphrodisiac, purgative, laxative, glandular swellings of neck. Root bark is good for stomatitis. It is astringent in leucorrhoea. Roots are said to be good for gout. The fruit is laxative, promotes digestion, aphrodisiac and checks vomiting. The seeds are cooling, laxative. The leaves alone are used to treat constipation. The leaves and young shoots together are purgative (strong laxative). It is used in the treatment of diseases of blood,vagina, uterus, burning sensation,  thirst, biliousness, diseases of heart, ulcers, urinary discharge, inflammation, scabies, asthma, obstinate hiccup, cracked foot, fistula, toothache, snake venom, skin disease, atrophy, cachexia, fever cholera, otitis, pimples, sores.(17).

PHYTO CONSTITUENTS REPORTED
The stem bark of F. religiosa were reported for the constituents like  phenols, tannins, steroids, alkaloids and flavonoids, β-sitosteryl-d-glucoside, vitamin K, n-octacosanol, methyl oleanolate, lanosterol, stigma sterol, lupen-3-one.The active constituent β-sitosteryl-d-glucoside, were reported from  the root bark  of F. religiosa. The fruits of F. religiosa were reported for  4.9% protein (isoleucine and phenylalanine), flavonols namely kaempeferol, quercetin, and myricetin.The seeds contain phytosterolin, β-sitosterol, and its glycoside, albuminoids, carbohydrate, fatty matter, coloring matter, caoutchoue 0.7-5.1%(18).   Leaves and fruits were reported for carbohydrate, protein, lipid, calcium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus.  The aqueous extract of dried bark of F. religiosahas been reported to contain phytosterols, flavonoids, tannins, furanocoumarin derivatives namely bergapten and begaptol.(19)


The fruit of F. religiosacontained appreciable amounts of total phenolic contents, total flavonoid, and percent inhibition of linoleic acid.

BIOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES REPORTED:
The isolated  β-sitosteryl-d-glucoside from the root bark of F. religiosa was  showed a per oral hypoglycemic effect in fasting and alloxan-diabetic rabbits and in pituitary-diabetic rats.       The bark of F. religiosa possesses significant anti-ulcer activity in animal models. It has a gastric anti secretory and acid neutralizing effect that are comparable to the drug ranitidine. A significant (P<0.05) reduction in  ulcer index of all assays like Indomethacin induced gastric ulcers, cold resistant stress induced ulcers, pylorus ligation induced ulcers in rats were reported (20). F. religosa produced, a  pronounced reduction in blood glucose levels of normal, glucose-loaded hyperglycemic and streptozocin (STZ)induced diabetic rat and effect was compared with glybenclamide an anti diabetic drug.(20). The  leaves of f. religosa exhibited an  anti inflammatory activity. stem  bark  of   methanolic extract  of F. religosa reported for the analgesic activity against  acetic acid-induced mice at the doses of 250 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg and also the methanolic extracts ofF. religiosareported for  anti helminthes activity(21)F. religiosahad anticonvulsant activity against maximum electroshock (MES) and picrotoxin-induced convulsions, with no neurotoxic effect, in a dose-dependent manner.  There was a significant decrease in the duration of tonic hind limb extension at all the three doses of extract (25, 50, and 100mg/kg) in MES model with maximum protection at 100mg/kg dose, as compared to control group. (22)Wound healing activity of the hydro alcoholic extract of Ficus religiosa leaves were studied in rats. (23)

FICUS CARICA
English:  common fig tree.
Hindi    :  anger.
Sanskrit:  angira.
Telugu  : anjuru,

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