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THE PHARMA REVIEW (NOVEMBER 2009)

Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile of Leaves of Aegle Marmelos (Linn)

Narayan P. Yadav, C. S. Chanotia

Abstract: Aegle marmelos (Linn) correa, commonly known as bael (or bel), belonging to the family Rutaceae, is a moderate-sized, slender and aromatic tree. A number of chemical constituents and various therapeutic effects of leaves of A. marmelos have been reported by different workers. Extensive investigations have been carried out on different parts of Aegle marmelos and as a consequence, varied classes of compound viz., alkaloids, coumarins, terpenoids, fatty acids and aminoacids have been isolated from its different parts. Broadly, Aegle marmelos leaves contain alkaloids, Phenylpropanoids, terpenoids and other miscellaneous compounds whereas potential pharmacological activity of the leaves are hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, radioprotective, chemopreventive and anti-oxidative activity. Anhydroaegeline can be used as marker to standardize the plant material with respective to its potential anti diabetic activity.
 
Introduction
Aegle marmelos (Linn) correa, commonly known as bael (or bel), belonging to the family Rutaceae, is a moderate-sized, slender and aromatic tree. It is indigenous to India and is abundantly found in the Himalayan tract, Bengal, Central and South India. It is extensively planted near Hindu temples for its wood and leaves which are generally used for worship. Its branches are armed with sharp straight spines. The bark is soft, light grey and exfoliating in irregular flakes. The bright green leaves are alternate and trifoliolate (rarely five-foliolate). The flowers are greenish white and sweet-scented, fruits are yellowish grey and globose with woody rind and seeds are numerous, oblong and compressed. The roots are fairly large, woody and often curved Fresh leaf juice is used in asthmatic complaints and jaundice. The Chinese used the leaves and young fruits to adulterate Opium. In Bengal it is used for dysentery. In Konkan, small and unripe fruits are used for piles. The juice of bark is a remedy for poverty of seminal fluid.
 
The plant has been used in the Indian traditional medicines from time immemorial. It is associated with various important medicinal properties. Chemical investigation on the different parts of the plant has resulted in the isolation of a large number of novel and interesting metabolites. Some of the compounds have been screened for bioactivity.

Phytoconstituents
Extensive investigations have been carried out on different parts of Aegle marmelos and as a consequence, varied classes of compound viz., alkaloids, coumarins, terpenoids, fatty acids and aminoacids have been isolated from its different parts. Notably, majority of reports on the isolation and compound characterizations have been reported by many Indian workers. Broadly, Aegle marmelos leaves contained γ-sitosterol, aegelin, lupeol, rutin, marmesinin, β-sitosterol, flavone, glycoside, O-isopentenyl halfordiol, marmeline and phenylethyl cinnamamides. The detailed investigations on isolated compound classes are as under:

  

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