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Girendra Kumar Gautam*1, Chandra Shekhar Singh2, S C Dwivedi3 and G Vidyasagar4
1,3,4 Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur, Rajsthan, India
1 Malhotra College Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.
2 Shambhunath Insitute of Pharmacy, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India.

From last two or three decay, there is a large growth in the sector of plant medicine means herbal medicine. It is due to increase of awareness and knowledge about plant. In India and China, the ratio of this growth is more than any other country of the world.  Interest the usage of various medicinal plants from traditional system of medicine for the treatment of different ailments is also history of India and China. Abutilon is an Indian medicinal genus which has a number of herbs specie,is noted for their medicinal benefits in traditional system of medicine. Abutilonis a large genus of approximately 150 species of broadleaf evergreens in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus includes annuals, perennials, shrubs, and small trees from 1–10 m tall, and is found in the tropical and subtropical regions of all continents. Some medicinally important attributes have been assigned to the plants of this species. In sort of this, the present work aim is to find out different pharmacological activity done on this Indian medicinal plant.


Abutilons are popular garden plants in subtropical areas. It occurs in plains throughout Pakistan, more common in Sindh, Tropical Africa, Arabia, India and China. In India, it found the region of kutch gujrat.The family of Abutilon is Malvaceae comprises more than 150 annual or perennial herbs, shrubs or even small trees widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical countries of America, Africa, Asia and Australia [1]. Many plants of Abutilon species are traditionally claimed for their various folklore use or varied pharmacological and medicinal activities.  Different parts of plants contain different phyto-constituent those responsible for their pharmacological activity. Some of the plants belonging to this genus are much acclaimed Ayurvedic herbs and in recent there has been a renewed medicinal use to take interest of exploring this family [2].

More than 150 different species of Abutilon have been reported, in which those species proven pharmacological activities are:
1. Abutilon grandiflorum.
2. Abutilon indicum.
3. Abutilon muticum.
4. Abutilon theophrashti.
5. Abutilon eremitopetalum.
7. Abutilon pannosum.

Present work mainly covers above first four Indian medicinal plants belonging to the Abutilon Genus.

1. Abutilon grandiflorum
Abutilon grandiflorum is aPerennial herb or shrub, 0.5-2 m tall, or even small trees widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical countries of America, Africa, Asia and Australia [3].  

Locally and Traditional Uses
The seeds are eaten in China and Kashmir. The leaves are also edible. The flowers and plants have a fruity scent. Velvetleaf grows primarily in cropland, especially corn fields, and it can also be found on roadsides and in gardens [4].

Medicinal and Pharmacological Properties

i. Antimalarial Activity
The extracts Abutiolon grandiflorun showed in vivo and in vitro studies on anti-malarial effects. Sikorska et al [5].  reported for the first time the presence of flavanoids and phenolic acids in the leaves of Abutilon grandiflorun G. Don. On the other hand, the most interesting flavonoids, which structures were elucidated by means of acid hydrolysis and spectroscopic methods were hypolaetin and isoscutellarein 8- O-β-glucuronopyranoside 3-O-sulfates, together with hypolaetin 8-O-β-glucuronopyranoside found in Abutiolon grandiflorun leaves. Flavones: luteolin, chrysoeriol together with luteolin, chrysoeriol, apigenin 7-O-β-glucopyranosides were found only in the flowers of Abutiolon grandiflorun.
G. Don. Are used equal amounts of dried and pulverized leaves and root bark and administered as a tea, traditionally in the Tanzania for treating malaria, infectious venereal diseases and mental disorders [6].   

ii. Diuretic Activity
Seed extract of Abutiolon grandiflorun (250 and 500 mg/kg) were evaluated for its diuretic effect wherein the aqueous extract at 500 mg/kg exhibited statistically significant effect when compared with reference standard Furosemide. The study further reported that the extract at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg produced significant dose dependant increase in urinary excretion and urinary sodium loss but no effect on intrinsic potassium sparing effect. Hence, study elucidated that extract posses significant diuretic and natriuretic effect but not potassium sparing effect [7]

2. Abutilon indicum
Common name are peely, booti, karandi etc. is an erect, woody, shrubby plant, widely distributed in the tropical countries. In Hindi, It is known as “Atibala” and found in the outer Himalayan tracts from Jammu to Bhutan up to an altitude of 1500m and extending through the whole of northern and central India [8].   

Locally and Traditional Uses
Traditionally, the plant is used in inflammation, piles, gonorrhea treatment and as an immune stimulant. Root and bark are used as aphrodisiac, anti diabetic, nervine tonic, and diuretic. Seeds are used in urinary disorders. The seeds are used as a laxative in piles and in the treatment of cough. The bark and the root are used as a diuretic, anthelmintic, pulmonary sedative and in fever. The juice from its leaves has been used to formulate into an ointment for quick ulcer healing. It is also effective in the treatment of leprosy[9]

Medicinal and Pharmacological Properties
i. Anti-inflammatory Activity
Anti-inflammatory action of Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet leaves by HRBC membrane stabilization technique was investigated by Rajurkar et al [10].  The ethanolic, chloroform and aqueous extracts of the leaves were screened for anti-inflammatory activity. They have taken the prevention of hypotonicity induced HRBC membrane lysis as a measure of anti-inflammatory activity. All Three fractions showed a biphasic effect on the membrane stabilization. Their activities were found to be comparable to that of standard drug diclofenac sodium. However their activities decreased with time. The extracts were supposed to be act either by inhibiting the lysosomal enzymes or by stabilizing the lysosomal membrane.

ii. Anti Hyperlipidemic Activity
Giri et al [11]. Studied the lipid lowering activity of Abutilon indicum (L.) leaf extracts in rats using triton and diet induced hyperlipidemic models. The ethanolic and water extract at 400mg/kg dose levels inhibited the elevation in serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels on Triton WR 1339 administration rats. The extracts at the same dose level significantly attenuated the elevated serum total cholesterol and triglycerides with an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemic rats. The lipid lowering activity of the EtOH and aqueous leaf extracts of A. indicum may be attributed to the phytoconstituents present, such as triterpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, glycosides, and saponins in it, as reported for other plant extracts. Saponin derived from Medicago sativa were reported to reduce blood cholesterol by competing with cholesterol at binding sites or interfering with cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver. Phenolic active principle present in Anethum graveolens were observed to be responsible for lowering TC and LDL-C and elevating HDL-C in hypercholesterolaemic rats. Furthermore, it was supposed to be act by interfering with the biosynthesis of cholesterol and utilization of lipids [11-16]

iii. Analgesic Activity Analgesic potential of various extracts of root of Abutilon indicum Linn was evaluated by Goyal et al [17].   They subjected the powdered root (900 g) to successive solvent extraction with solvents in increasing order of polarity viz. petroleum ether (60-80 C°), methanol and ethanol by soxhlet apparatus for 72 hrs. They extracted marc by cold maceration for 72 hrs to obtain water soluble extract. Peripheral analgesic activity was studied using acetic acid induced writhing method in Swiss albino mice (20-30 g) while central analgesic activity was evaluated by tail flick method and tail immersion method. Results indicated that all the tested extracts except methanol extract exhibited significant analgesic activity in both animals’ models. Petroleum ether extract showed higher analgesic activity. The activity may be related with central mechanism or due to peripheral analgesic mechanisms. Thus they authenticated the traditional use of A. Indicum.

iv. Antioxidant and Antibacterial Activity
Kashmiri et al [9]. Investigated the antioxidant and antibacterial activity of A. indicum and A. muticum. Total antioxidant activity of both oils was checked by ABTS, FRAP, DPPH and oleic acid peroxidation methods. These methods indicated the presence of both the slow reacting and fast reacting components in the seed oils of both the herbs. The seed oil of Abutilon indicum and Abutilon muticum showed broad spectrum activity as they were active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The findings reveal seeds of Abutilon species, indigenous to Pakistan to be potentially valuable herb for oil production, delivery of drugs and cosmetic active ingredients.

v. Antidiabetic Activity
Krisanapun et al [18].   Evaluated the antidiabetic effects of the aqueous extract derived from the Thai Abutilon indicum Sweet plant and to explore its effects on intestinal glucose absorption and insulin secretion. Administration of the extract (0.5 and 1 g/kg body weight) in an oral glucose tolerance test led to a significant reduction in plasma glucose levels in 30 minutes after the administration in moderately diabetic rats, as compared with untreated rats (P > 0.05), and this was at a faster rate than the use of an antidiabetic drug, glibenclamide. The inhibition of glucose absorption through the small intestine was investigated using an everted intestinal sac. The results showed that the extract at concentrations of 0.156 to 5 mg/mL caused a reduction of glucose absorption in a dose response manner. The maximum response was noted at a dose of 2.5 mg/mL. The promotion of the extract on insulin secretion was confirmed by incubating β cell of pancreatic islets and INS-1E insulinoma cells with the extract at 1 to 1000 μg/mL. These observations suggested that the aqueous extract from the A indicum plant has antidiabetic properties, which inhibited glucose absorption and stimulated insulin secretion. Phytochemical screening also revealed that the extract contained alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, glycosides, and saponins that could be probably responsible for observed pharmacologic effects of the plant extract.



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vi. Hepatoprotective Activity
Hepatoprotective activity of Abutilon indicum on experimental liver damage in rats was studied by Porchezhian and Ansari [19].   They used carbon tetrachloride- and paracetamol-to induce hepatotoxicities in rats. A. indicum exhibited significant hepatoprotective activity by reducing carbon tetrachloride- and paracetamol-induced change in bio-chemical parameters that was evident by enzymatic examination. The plant extract may interfere with free-radical formation, which may conclude in hepatoprotective action. Acute toxicity studies revealed that the LD50 value is more than the dose of 4 g/kg body wt. They attributed the hepatoprotective activity to the inhibitory effects of drug on cytochrome P450 or/and promotion of its glucuronidation.

vii. Hypoglycemic Activity
Seetharam et al [20]. Studied the hypoglycemic activity of Abutilon indicum leaf extracts in rats. Blood glucose level was measured by using oxidase-peroxidase method. The petrol and CHCl3 extract of A. indicum leaves did not show a significant hypoglycemic activity. On the contrary, the alcoholic extract after oral administration of 400 mg/kg exhibited significant reduction in the blood glucose levels. Similarly, the aqueous extract had shown significant reduction in blood glucose level. The significant hypoglycemic activity was attributed to the presence of flavanoids and glycosides since, flavonoids are known to regenerate the damaged pancreatic β-cells and glycosides stimulate the secretion of insulin in β -cells of pancreas.

viii. Anti-Diarrhoeal Activity
Leaf extracts of Abutilon indicum were evaluated for anti-diarrhoeal activity by gastro-intestinal motility, castor oil-induced diarrhoea and prostaglandin E2- induced enteropooling in rats wherein the methanolic and aqueous extracts showed significant antidiarrhoeal activity in castor oil-induced diarrhoea and prostaglandin E2- induced diarrhoea. These extracts were reported to reduce diarrhoea by inhibiting intestinal peristalsis, gastrointestinal motility and PGE2 induced enteropooling [21].

ix. Anti Asthmatic Activity
This study reported the effectiveness of powder of dried aerial parts of Abutilon indicum in decreasing the severity of commonly observed symptoms of bronchial asthma i.e. dyspnoea, cough, chest tightness and wheezing. It was also found to significantly increase the pulmonary function measured as forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 Sec (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) in patients having mild to moderate bronchial asthma [26]. In another study, methanolic extract inhibited experimentally induced rat peritoneal mast cell degranulation and edema formation. The significant decrease in carageenan induced rat paw edema at the dose of 250 and 500 mg/kg, p.o. indicated anti inflammatory activity, and this activity was postulated towards the anti-asthmatic effect [22].   

x. Immunomodulatory Activity
Dashputre et al [23].   Studied the immunomodulatory activity of ethanolic and aqueous extract of leaves of Abutilon indicum (200mg/kg and 400 mg/kg) by heamagglutination antibody (HA) titre, delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH), neutrophil adhesion test and carbon clearance test. Study revealed that extract showed a significant increase in both primary and secondary HA titre. It also showed significantly potentiated DTH reaction and increase in percentage neutophil adhesion test. The results of the study reported that both the extracts were found to have a significant immunostimulatory activity on both the specific and non specific immune mechanisms. This activity was said to be attributed to the presence of flavonoids (quercetin), alkaloids, tannins, saponin glycosides and phenolic compounds.

xi. Anti-Estrogenic Activity
Johri et al [24]. Studied the anti-estrogenic effect of methanolic extracts of Abutilon indicum on uterotropic and uterine peroxidase activities in ovariectomized rats. This extract was found to cause significant suppression of enzyme activity as well as uterotropic response induced by estradiol, whereas in the group, not treated with estradiol, a marginal stimulation in peroxidase activity was observed. These changes in peroxidase activity suggested that Abutilon indicum must be a highly potent estrogen antagonist with an extremely low degree of estrogenicity.

3. Abutilon muticum
Abutilon muticum
basically occurs in plains throughout Pakistan especially more common in Sindh, however it is also observed in India especially in the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra [9]

Locally and Traditional Uses
Leaves of A. muticum is used in bronchitis, catarrhal bilious diarrhoea, gonorrhoea, inflammation of the bladder and fever. The flowers and leaves are used as a local application to boils and ulcer. Seeds are used in treatment of cold, cough and bronchial infection, inflammation of the urinary tract, gonorrhea, diarrhoea, and ulcers. Seeds are also used as diuretic and demulcent. The seeds cakes are used for dairy cattle and fertilizer [25-26]

Medicinal and Pharmacolical Properties
i. Antimicrobial Activity

20 g of the leaves of A. muticum (Malvaceae) were extracted using petroleum ether, chloroform and 80% methanol. The methanolic extracts were partitioned using ethyl acetate and n-butanol. Agar diffusion assay was used to test the extracts against human pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The chloroform extracts of the leaves of A. muticum showed significant activity against Bacillus subtillus. The ethyl acetate fraction showed significant activity against B. subtillus, Escherichia coli, Proteus. vulgaris and Staphylococcus aureus [27]. The seed oil of Abutilon muticum was active against both gram positive as well as gram negative bacteria and thus showed broad spectrum activity (Kashmiri et al, 2009). In another study, methanol and acetone extracts were evaluated for antimicrobial activity against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria and three fungi strains. Antibacterial activity was shown by methanolic extract against Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia and Proteus mirabilis as well as all three fungal strains i.e Candida tropicalis, Cryptococcus luteolus and Candida albicans. Study reported that methanolic extracts were more potent than acetone extracts [28]

ii. Antioxidant Activity
The seed oil of A. muticum exhibited significant antioxidant activity assayed by ABTS, FRAP, DPPH and linoleic acid peroxidation method. These methods indicated the presence of both slow and fast reacting components in the seed oil [4]. In another study, the methanolic extract and its subsequent n- butanol soluble fraction revealed significant antioxidant activity. Further phytochemical studies reported the isolation of a new phenolic glucoside named mutiniside and flavonoidal glucoside cephacoside from the n-butanol soluble fraction out of which mutiniside showed significant antioxidant activity and moderate inhibitory activity was observed against the enzyme lipoxygenase [29]

iii. Anti-Diabetic Activity
Gautam at al. Anti-Diabetic Activity of Aqueous and Methanolic Extract of Abutilone Muticum in IJPTP. This extract was found to significant Anti-Diabetic Activity.[30].

4. Abutilon theophrashti
Abutilon theophrasti
(medic.) is a quantitative short-day herbaceous annual that colonizes highly disturbed habitats such as agricultural fields and waste areas in eastern and central North America. Time to flowering in this species is most rapid under short photoperiods, although A. theophrasti does eventually flower under longer photoperiods. Under glasshouse conditions, plant height, fruit weight, internode length, and shoot weight of Abutilon theophrasti plants were found to increase with increasing photoperiod [31]

Locally and Traditional Uses
It is sweet, cooling, digestive, laxative, expectorant, diuretic, astringent, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, demulcent and aphrodisiac. It is useful in gout, tuberculosis, ulcers, bleeding disorders, and worms. Decoction used in toothache and tender gums. Demulcents of leaves are locally applied to boils and ulcers. Roots are prescribed in fever, chest affection and urethrities. [32]

Medicinal and Pharmacolical Properties
i. Physical Dormancy

Nurse et al [33]. Studied the effect of varying natural photoperiod on the germinability of Abutilon theophrasti seeds and seedling vigour as measured by the initial rate of radicle growth. Seeds of Abutilon theophrasti exhibit physical dormancy. Differences in the growing environment of parent plants may influence the germinability of seeds and vigour of seedlings produced by this species because of variation in resource allocation to seed development. They investigated the germinability of seeds and subsequent seedling vigour for Abutilon theophrasti plants grown in monoculture at a density of 4.2 plants m2 under varying natural photoperiods in central New York State. Treatments were established by transplanting Abutilon theophrasti seedlings on three dates. Seeds produced under the shorter photoperiod (13 h) weighed, on average, 1.5 mg less than seeds produced under the longer photoperiod (15 h). Contrary to expectations, seeds of A. theophrasti that matured under shorter photoperiods had lower germinability (80%) than seeds produced under longer photoperiods (98%). Early radicle growth, a measure of seedling vigour, did not differ between the photoperiod treatments. They have concluded that seed dormancy increased in A. theophrasti individuals maturing under shorter (peak 13 h) versus longer (peak 15 h) photoperiods.

ii. Antimicrobial Activity
Kremer studied the antimicrobial activity of Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) Seeds. Seeds were bioassayed on 241 microbial isolates to assess their antimicrobial activity. Seeds placed on agar plates inoculated with test microorganisms released a diffusible substance(s) that inhibited the growth of 117 of 202 (58%) bacteria and all of the fungi tested. Antimicrobial activity of the seeds appeared to be nonselective as the extent of inhibition was not related to type of microorganism or their origin. Hard, water-impermeable seeds had greater inhibitory activity than imbibed (soft) seeds. The intensity of inhibition was affected by prior leaching of seeds with various solvents and by the stage of seed development. Chemical analysis of diffusion zones from agar plates and seed leachates revealed the presence of phenolic compounds. The presence of antimicrobial substances in velvetleaf seeds may contribute to the persistence of viable seeds in soil by inhibiting potential seed-deteriorating microorganisms [34]

iii. Wound Healing Activity
The ethanolic extract of Abutilon theophrasti was studied for wound healing activity-using incision, excision and dead space wound models in albino rats. This extract at a dose of 500-mg/kg showed significant increase in wound contraction rate, skin breaking strength, granuloma strength and dry granuloma weight. Moreover, the decrease in epithelisation period was observed as compared to control and standard. This pro-healing was dedicated to increase in collagenation deposition as well better alignment and maturation [35].   

Plenty of medicinal plants are used from traditional system of medicine for the treatment of varied ailments. Many herbs belonging to the specie Abutilon are documented for their various medicinal benefits. Also, the plants from Abutilon spp. are claimed for other medicinal properties for the treatment of different disorders, but still they are not satisfactorily exploited. Furthermore, phytochemical investigation of the plant extracts is an important tool for the determination of the phytochemicals, responsible for specific pharmacological activity. The various plants of the Abutilon spp., because of their different phytochemicals, possesses different pharmacological activities and hence used for the treatment of associated disorders.

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