Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 571–599 | Cite as

Genus Erythrophleum: Botanical description, traditional use, phytochemistry and pharmacology

  • Ninh The SonEmail author


Genus Erythrophleum belongs to family Fabaceae, which is commonly found in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Erythrophleum species have been employed as digitalis-related drugs because of its various effects on the heart. Medicinal plants from this genus also bring positive results when employed as agents to invigorate and promote blood circulation, and as emetic drug, anesthetic, anthelmintic, anti-malaria, analgesic, disinfectant, dermatitis, convulsion, inflammation, cardiac problems, venom intoxication, headaches, oedemas, gangrenous wound, and rheumatism. This account is an overview of almost isolated compounds from this genus, along with their biological evaluations. The literature databases for this current manuscript were obtained from literature published from the 1960s to now, utilizing data from ACS journals, Taylor Francis, Springer, IOP Science, SCI-finder, Chemical Abstracts, the Web of Science, Scopus, Science Direct, Pub Med, and Google Scholar. In addition, books about herbal medicines and Ph.D. dissertations were used in relating to taxonomy and chemical components. Genus Erythrophleum contains the various classes of compounds, consisting of alkaloids, terpenoids, phytosterols, saponins, flavonoids, and their derivative glycosides. Many in vitro and in vivo pharmacological results, such as cytotoxicity, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-convulsant, anti-inflammation, anti-cancer, anti-angiogenesis, sedative activity, cardiac activity, and toxicity indicated that the extracts, fractions, and isolated compounds of Erythrophleum species can become valuable resources for developing natural new drugs. Particularly, E. fordii species, with the high content of alkaloids, showed potential use for toxicological drugs. No account has been conducted for a general view about this genus. Further researches on isolating bioactive compounds and determining basic mechanisms are necessary.


Genus Erythrophleum Traditional uses Phytochemistry Pharmacology 


IUCN Red List

International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List


Human epidermoid cancer cell line


Human colon cancer cell line


Human hepatoma cell line


Human gastric carcinoma cell line


Human lung epithelial cell line


Human ovarian cancer cell line


Human malignant melanoma cell line


Human embryonic kidney cell line


Human gastric adenocarcinoma cell line

BT-549 and BT-20

Breast carcinoma cell lines


Prostate carcinoma cell lines


Human colon adenocarcinoma cell line


Human T lymphocyte cell line


Human breast cancer cell line


Lung adenocarcinoma cell line


Lung large cell carcinoma cell line


Human kidney cancer cell line


Cervial carcinoma cell line


Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand




3-(4,5-Dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide




Butylated hydroxytoluene






L-NG-Nitroarginine methyl ester


Minimum inhibitory concentration


Minimum bactericidal concentration


Minimum fungicidal concentration



This work was supported by a grant from Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, Vietnam-2019.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Bioactive Products, Institute of Natural Products ChemistryVietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST)HanoiVietnam

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