Justicia pectoralis, a coumarin medicinal plant have potential for the development of antiasthmatic drugs?

Abstract

Justicia pectoralis Jacq., Acanthaceae, is a medicinal plant found Central America. In the Northeast of Brazil, it is popularly known as “chambá” being extensively used in homemade preparations for the treatment of cough, bronchitis and asthma. The species is part of a public phytotherapy program in Brazil entitled “Farmácias Vivas”, National Record of Plants of Interest to the National Health System and the National Formulary of Herbal medicines. This paper aims to critically review the available scientific literature regarding the health promoting effects of J. pectoralis var. stenophylla. The traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, toxicology, quality control and potential interactions with conventional drugs were included in the present review. Botanical, chemical and pharmacognostical studies stablished several parameters useful for quality control of plant drug, extracts and phytomedicine from aerial parts of J. pectoralis using as markers two bioactive coumarins. A wide range of evidence have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, anti-spasmodic, smooth muscle relaxant and anxiolytic effects of J. pectoralis and its chemical constituents. Pilot clinical studies showed the efficacy of a syrup preparation of J. pectoralis in the treatment of mild and moderate asthma. The pharmacological potential make these medicinal plants good candidates for the development of new phytomedicine for the treatment of asthma. However, a strong collaboration to bridge the gap between preclinical and clinical study is still necessary for the development of an effective medicine from J. pectoralis.

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Correspondence to Luzia Kalyne Almeida Moreira Leal.

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LKAML, AHS and GSBV contributed to the concept, literature search, writing and/or revising critically the manuscript.

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Leal, L.K.A.M., Silva, A.H. & de Barros Viana, G.S. Justicia pectoralis, a coumarin medicinal plant have potential for the development of antiasthmatic drugs?. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 27, 794–802 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2017.09.005

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Keywords

  • Phytotherapy
  • Coumarin
  • Umbelliferone
  • Quality control
  • Antiasthmatic activity