Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences

: 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 158--159

Bioactivity monograph: Rhamnus nakaharai

Roopesh Jain, Archana Tiwari 
 School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Roopesh Jain
School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Airport Bypass Road, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Bioactivity monograph: Rhamnus nakaharai.Arch Med Health Sci 2016;4:158-159

How to cite this URL:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Bioactivity monograph: Rhamnus nakaharai. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Feb 5 ];4:158-159
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The search of and use of bioactive medicinal agents derived from plants have been accelerated in recent years. Plants are a rich source of a variety of secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, phenols, saponins, tannins, and terpenoids, etc. More than 25% of modern drugs have been derived from plants. Plants are generally studied because of their use in traditional medicinal properties and offer an opportunity to find new compounds and therapeutic uses. It is necessary to explore various plants used in traditional medicine across the globe to fulfill unmet need of human healthcare.[1]

Rhamnus nakaharai is a herb that is used as a traditional medicine for gastrointestinal ailments, inflammation, tumors, and asthma in Taiwan.[2] This herb belongs to the family Rhamnaceae and is reported to contain naphthalenic compounds 6-methoxysorigenin, different glycosides, and acylates i.e. 6-methoxysorigenin-8-O-glucoside, alpha-sorinin, 6-methoxysorigenin-8-rutinoside, peracetate. and perpropionate in the stem bark along with several known compounds.[3]Rhamnus nakaharai is a source of several flavonoids such as quercetin, quercetin 3-O-methyl ether, and kaempferol; it also contains isotorachyrsone and derivatives.[4]

A moderate research data for Rhamnus nakaharai is available. 6-methoxysorigenin, glycosides, and acylates derivatives have been studied for antioxidant activity. 6-methoxysorigenin was found to possess strong radical scavenging, metal chelating, and anti-lipid peroxidation activities than other derivatives.[2] Isotorachrysone was also reported to inhibit iron-induced lipid peroxidation in rat brain homogenates (IC50 value of 1.64 ± 0.08 µM).[5] Results were comparable in potency to butylated hydroxytoluene and more potent than alpha-tocopherol or desferrioxamine. Quercetin glycosides, specifically 3-O-methylquercetin was found to suppress inflammation by managing nitric oxide production induced by lipopolysaccharide through the inhibition of inducible nitric oxide synthase DNA transcription.[2] 3-O-methylquercetin was also reported to inhibit total cAMP- and cGMP-phosphodiesterase of guinea pig trachealis. These in vitro and in vivo studies have confirmed anti-inflammatory and bronchodilating effects of 3-O-methylquercetin.[6]

Although Rhamnus nakaharai has been used historically in Taiwan in folk medicines, but not enough information is available about the percentage of chemical constituents present in the plant, proper dosages, and safety. A detailed research can propel its use globally.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


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2Jiang JS, Shih CM, Wang SH, Chen TT, Lin CN, Ko WC. Mechanisms of suppression of nitric oxide production by 3-O-methylquercetin in RAW 264.7 cells. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;103:281-7.
3Ng LT, Lin CC, Lu CM. Antioxidative effects of 6-methoxysorigenin and its derivatives from Rhamnus nakaharai . Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2007;55:382-4.
4Wei BL, Lu CM, Tsao LT, Wang JP, Lin CN. In vitro anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin 3-O-methyl ether and other constituents from Rhamnus species. Planta Med 2001;67:745-7.
5Hsiao G, Ko FN, Lin CN, Teng CM. Antioxidant properties of isotorachrysone isolated from Rhamnus nakaharai . Biochim Biophys Acta 1996;1298:119-30.
6Ko WC, Shih CM, Chen MC, Lai YH, Chen JH, Chen CM, et al. Suppressive effects of 3-O-methylquercetin on ovalbumin-induced airway hyperresponsiveness. Planta Med 2004;70:1123-7.