SYSTEMATIC PHARMACEUTICAL OVERVIEW ON: ABELMOSCHUS ESCULENTUS

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About Author:
Shankul kumar
Assistant professor, Dept. of Pharmacognosy
GHB Pharmacy College, Aniyad, Shehra, Gujarat, India
Kumar.sankul@gmail.com

Abstract:
Abelmoschus esculentusL., is commonlyknown as lady's fingers, bhindi, okra or gumbo, is a flowering plant belongs to family malvaceae. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.The species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2 m tall. Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. It is also a good source of calcium and potassium. In addition, the plant has been used medicinally in treatment of several disorders like Anti-cancer, antimicrobial, hypoglycaemic and anti-ulcer activity etc.It is also known for being high in antioxidants.The aim of present review is to highlight the Pharmacognostical, phytochemical, pharmacological, and pharmaceutical investigation carried out on the plant and its constituents.


REFERENCE ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1861

Introduction
Plants have been the traditional source of raw materials for medicines. A rich heritage of knowledge on preventive and curative medicines was available in ancient scholastic work included in the Atharva veda, Charaka, Sushrutha, etc. An estimate suggests that about 13,000 plant species worldwide are known to have use as drugs. Thus from the very beginning of his existence, man has familiarized himself with plants and used them in a variety of ways. Therefore some plants came to be widely used as food, while other showed beneficial effects against various human sufferings such as injuries and diseases. This relationship has grown between plants and knowledge to cure diseases continues at an accelerating pace and the number of new plants.      According to an all India ethno biological survey carried out by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, there are over 8000 species of plants being used by the people of India1,2.There has been resurgence in the consumption and demand for medicinal plants. These plants are finding use as pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, cosmetics and food supplements. Even as traditional source of medicines and they continue to play pivotal role.


Abelmoschus esculentusL., is commonlyknown as lady's fingers, bhindi, okra or gumbo, is a flowering plant belongs to family malvaceae. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.The species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2 m tall. It is related to such species as cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus. Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. It is also a good source of calcium and potassium. Greenish-yellow edible okra oil is pressed from okra seeds has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid3,4.In addition, the plant has been used medicinally in treatment of several disorder5,6 like Anti-cancer, antimicrobial, hypoglycaemic and anti-ulcer activity7,8 etc.It is also known for being high in antioxidants.The aim of present review is to highlight the Pharmacognostical, phytochemical, pharmacological, and pharmaceutical investigation carried out on the plant and its constituents so that the more scientific studies could be conducted to investigate the unexploited potential.

Plant Profile:
Abelmoschus esculentusL., is commonlyknown as lady's fingers, bhindi, okra or gumbo, is a flowering plant belongs to family malvaceae. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.The species is an annual or perennial, growing to 2 m tall. It is related to such species as cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus.

Botanical Description4:

  • The leaves are 10–20 cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 5–7 lobes,Alternate and stipulate.
  • Stem is erect, aerial, herbaceous or woody, usually solid, cylindrical and branched.Herbaceous portion of stem is covered with scaly hairs, woody part is fibrous.
  • The flowers are 4–8 cm in diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal.
  • The fruit is a capsule up to 18 cm long, containing numerous seeds.


Other Names:
Kacang Bendi, qiu kui, Okra, okura, Okro, Quiabos, Ochro, Quiabo, Okoro, Gumbo, Quimgombo, Bamieh, Bamya, Quingumbo, Bamia, Ladies Fingers, Bendi, Gombo, Bhindi, Kopi Arab

History: Okra was first found in former Abyssinia (present Ethiopia), and was later distributed to the Caribbean, South America, North America, Africa, India, and Eastern Mediterranea.

Chemical Composition:
The chemical composition of okra bast fibre (Abelmoschus esculentus variety) are 67.5% a-cellulose, 15.4% hemicellulose, 7.1% lignin, 3.4% pectic matter, 3.9% fatty and waxy matter and 2.7% aqueous extract.

Edible Uses:

  • Immature fruit - cooked on their own or added to soups etc. They can be used fresh or dried. Mucilaginous, they are commonly used as a thickening for soups, stews and sauces. The fruits are rich in pectin and are also a fair source of iron and calcium. The fresh fruits contain 740 iu vitamin A.
  •  Seed - cooked or ground into a meal and used in making bread or made into 'tofu' or 'tempeh'. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute. The seed contains up to 22% of an edible oil.

Medicinal Uses

  • As Antispasmodic; Demulcent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emollient; Stimulant; Vulnerary.
  • The roots are very rich in mucilage, having a strongly demulcent action. This mucilage can be used as a plasma replacement. An infusion of the roots is used in the treatment of syphilis. The juice of the roots is used externally in Nepal to treat cuts, wounds and boils.
  • The leaves furnish an emollient poultice. A decoction of the immature
  • Capsules are demulcent, diuretic and emollient. It is used in the treatment of catarrhal infections, ardor urinae, dysuria and gonorrhoea.
  • The seeds are antispasmodic, cordial and stimulant. An infusion of the roasted seeds has sudorific properties9.

According to Sylvia Zook, a qualified nutritional specialist, states that okra can favour one's body due to its properties4:

  • Okra contains special fibre which takes sugar levels in blood under control, providing sugar quantity, acceptable for the bowels.
  • Mucilage, found in okra, is responsible for washing away toxic substances and bad cholesterol, which loads the liver.
  • Purgative properties okra possesses are beneficial for bowel purification. Due to okra fibre content, sufficient water levels in faces are ensured. Consequently, no discomfort and constipation bothers the patient. Wheat bran, applied for this purpose, can impose certain irritation on the bowels, while okra makes it smooth and all-convenient and safe for the user. Mucilage provides soft effect on the bowels. Stimulating bile movement, okra washes excess cholesterol and harmful substances from the body. This benefits the organism in general, as the toxins and bad cholesterol can induce various health conditions. Okra poses no threat to the organism, causes no addiction; it is completely safe and reliable. Moreover, it contains a bunch of useful nutrients and is cheaper than chemical alternatives.
  • Fibre okra contains is a valuable nutrient for intestine microorganisms. This ensures proper intestine functionality.
  • Okra ensures recovery from psychological and mental conditions, like anxiety, depression and general weakness.
  • Okra is an effective remedy for ulcers and joint healthiness. It is used to counteract the acids, due to its alkaline origin. It also guards the mucous membranes of the digestive system, by covering them with additional layer.
  • Okra is additionally applied for pulmonary inflammations, bowel irritations, and sore throat.
  • According to Indian researches, okra is a complex replacement for human blood plasma.

Other Uses
A fibre obtained from the stems is used as a substitute for jute. It is also used in making paper and textiles. The fibres are about 2.4mm long. When used for paper the stems are harvested in late summer or autumn after the edible seedpods have been harvested, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be stripped off. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then put in a ball mill for 3 hours. The paper is cream coloured. A decoction of the root or of the seeds is used as a size for paper10.

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