Terminalia arjuna: Phytochemistry, pharmacognosy and pharmacological studies

About Author:
Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
Govt. College of pharmacy, Kathora naka,
Amravati-444604. (M.S.), INDIA.

The herbal remedies have been employed in various medical systems for the treatment and management of different diseases. The plant Terminalia arjuna has been used in different system of traditional medication for the treatment of diseases and ailments of human beings. The plants contain Arjunilic acid, Triterpine glycosides like Arjunetosides I, II, III, IV, Arjunine and Arjunetein. The bark is rich in Saponnins, natural anti-oxidants (flavonoids-arjunone,arjunolone,leteilin), gallic acid, ellagic acid , phytosterols, rich in minerals like ca,  mg, zn and co, reducing sugars & coloring matter. It has been reported as Cardio tonic, Hepato-protective, Immunomodulatory, Antihyperglycemic, Antihyperlipidemic, Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory, Antibacterial and Antiulcer properties.The current study is therefore carried out to provide requisite phytochemical and Pharmacological detail about the plant. The plant is cultivated in different parts of India on a small scale at present However; systematic information on different aspects of this species is not available. In this review, an attempt has been made to present this information.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1193

Terminalia arjuna is a large, evergreen tree, with a spreading crown and dropping branches. It’s grown in most parts of India and has been used in Ayurvedic formulation since ancient times. Besides its wide range of medicinal uses, Terminalia arjuna is planted for shades and ornamental purposes. The powder of Arjuna is produced from the grinding and sieving of stem bark. It has following advantages like free of storage, Easy for intake for all ages of life; suitable form for Medicine can be prepared. Terminalia’s active constituents include tannins, cardenolide, triterpenoid saponins (arjunic acid, arjunolic acid, arjungenin, arjun glycosides), flavonoids (arjunone, arjunolone,luteolin), gallic acid, ellagic acid, phytosterols, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.1,2.Improvement of cardiac muscle function and subsequent improved pumping activity of the heart seems to be the primary benefit of Terminalia. It is thought the saponin glycosides might be responsible for the inotropic effect of Terminalia, while the flavonoids provide free radical antioxidant activity and vascular strengthening.3 A dose-dependent decrease in heart rate and blood pressure was noted in dogs given Terminalia intravenously.4 Recently, two new cardenolide cardiac glycosides were isolated from the root and seed of Terminalia.5,6 The main action of these cardenolides is to increase the force of cardiac contraction by means of a rise in both intracellular sodium and calcium.

Terminalia arjuna is a deciduous tree found throughout India growing to a height of 60-90feet. The thick, white-to-pinkish-gray bark has been used in India’s native Ayurvedic medicine for over three centuries, primarily as a cardiac tonic. Clinical evaluation of this botanical medicine indicates it can be of benefit in the treatment of coronary artery disease, heart failure, and possibly hypercholesterolemia. It has also been found to be antiviral and antimutagenic.








Species:T. arjuna

cork consists of few layers of tangentially running and radially elongated cells;phellogen,2to4 celled thick, phelloderm narrow, consisting of 4 to 6 rows of tangentially elongated and radially arranged cells, Phloem, very broad, traversed by uniserriate medullary rays running straight and parallel occasionally becoming slightly curved near the rosette crystal; groups of phloem fibres, lignified, thin-walled, tangentially arranged, associated with idioblasts containing clusters and rossetes of calcium oxalate. Some parenchymatous cells of cortex and secondary phloem contains  reddish brown pigment and some cells contain starch grains.

PHYTOCHEMISTRY: Arjuna contains specific active constituents namely     Arjunilic acid, Tomentosic acid, Sitossterol, Triterpine glycosides like Arjunetosides I, II, III, IV, Arjunine and Arjunetein. The bark is rich in Saponnins, natural anti-oxidants (flavonoids-arjunone,arjunolone,leteilin), gallic acid, ellagic acid,  phytosterols, rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper, reducing sugars & coloring matter.


the anthelmintic activity of Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) bark done by Hafiz Allah  Bachaya. Lethal median concentration (LC50 values) of methanolic extract of T. arjuna bark in egg hatch and Larval development tests against Haemonchus contortus ova and larva were found to be 645.65 and 467.74 μg mL-1, respectively. In adult motility assay, efficacy of the extract was evident by the mortality of H. contortus at different hours post exposure. In vivo results revealed maximum (87.3%) egg count percent reduction (ECR) in sheep treated with crude methanolic extract 3 g kg-1 body weight on day 11 post-treatment (PT). The data revealed dose-dependent anthelmintic activity both in the in vitro and in vivo studies, thus justifying its use in the traditional medicine system of Pakistan.

Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) is a well-known hepatotoxin and exposure to this chemical is known to induce oxidative stress and causes liver injury by the formation of free radicals. Acute and chronic renal damage are also very common pathophysiologic disturbances caused by CCl4. The present study has been conducted to evaluate the protective role of the aqueous extract of the bark of Termnalia arjuna (TA), an important Indian medicinal plant widely used in the preparation of Ayurvedic formulations, on CCl4 induced oxidative stress and resultant dysfunction in the livers and kidneys of mice.          

Methods: Animals were pretreated with the aqueous extract of TA (50 mg/kg body weight) for one week and then treated with CCl4 (1 ml/kg body weight) in liquid paraffin (1:1, v/v) for 2 days. Serum marker enzymes, namely, glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were estimated in the sera of all study groups. Antioxidant status in both the liver and kidney tissues were estimated by determining the activities of the antioxidative enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST); as well as by determining the levels of thiobarbutaric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, free radical scavenging activity of the extract was determined from its DPPH radical quenching ability.

To study the interaction between antiobesity drug, topiramate, and hypolipidemic drug, atorvastatin, in rats.
Methods: Obesity was induced in Wistar albino rats by administering cafeteria diet (CD) for 40 days and divided into 5 groups. While one group served as control, each other group received either alone or in combination with either topiramate, atorvastatin ortopiramate plus atorvastatin. The animals were treated with the drugs for 7 days. On 7th day, 2 hr after drug administration, the body weight, organ weights, rectal temperature, locomotor activity and various biochemical parameters like serum glucose, total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were determined. The data were analyzed statistically.


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