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      Ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of Sterculia lychnophora Hance (Pangdahai)

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          The matured, ripen, and dried seeds of Scaphium affine (Mast.) Pierre, known as Pangdahai (PDH) in Chinese and recorded as Sterculia lychnophora Hance (scientific synonym) in the 2015 edition of the Chinese Pharmacopeia, have been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine, Japanese folk medicine, Vietnamese traditional medicine, traditional Thai medicine and Indian traditional medicine. The decoctions of the seeds are used as a remedy for pharyngitis, laryngitis, constipation, cough, menorrhagia, and pain management. This review is aimed at fully collating and presenting a systematic and comprehensive overview of the ethnophar-macological uses of PDH, its phytochemical constituents, pharmacological activities, and toxicological profile. Additionally, this review aims to reveal the therapeutic potentials as well as the important scientific gaps in the research of this traditional medicine that need to be filled so as to provide a comprehensive data for its development, utilization and application. From our extensive review of literatures, the teas (water decoctions) of PDH, which largely contain very polar constituents like polysaccharides, are used in the treatment of constipation, pharyngitis, and pain traditionally and ethno-medicinally and their use have been justified by pharmacological studies carried out on the polysaccharides and aqueous extracts. Additionally, this review has revealed that the organic (ethanolic and methanolic) extracts of PDH possess diverse pharmacological (anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, anti-pyretic, anti-microbial, anti-obesity and analgesic) effects, yet have received little attention. Most studies on PDH have been focused on the polysaccharides (large molecular weight metabolites), resulting in a major scientific gap in our knowledge on PDH. Furthermore, this review has also shown that few studies have been done in the areas of quality control, pharmacokinetics, and toxicological studies of PDH.

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          Fatty acid synthase and cancer: new application of an old pathway.

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          Fatty acid synthase (FAS), the sole mammalian enzyme capable of de novo fatty acid synthesis, is highly expressed in most human carcinomas. FAS is associated with poor prognosis in breast and prostate cancer, is elaborated into the blood of cancer patients, and its inhibition is selectively cytotoxic to human cancer cells. Thus, FAS and fatty acid metabolism in cancer has become a focus for the potential diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
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            Overexpression of fatty acid synthase is an early and common event in the development of prostate cancer.

            The expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS), a key lipogenic enzyme and potential target for antineoplastic therapy, was analyzed in 87 frozen needle biopsies of prostate cancer using a highly sensitive immunohistochemical detection technique (Envision). In comparison to normal or benign, hyperplastic glandular structures, which were all negative for FAS staining, immunohistochemical signal was evident in 24/25 low grade prostatic epithelial neoplasia (PIN) lesions, in 26/26 high grade PIN lesions and in 82/87 invasive carcinomas. Staining intensity tended to increase from low grade to high grade PIN to invasive carcinoma. Cancers with a high FAS expression had an overall high proliferative index. No correlation was found between FAS expression and lipid accumulation. These findings indicate that increased FAS expression is one of the earliest and most common events in the development of prostate cancer, suggesting that FAS may be used as a general prostate cancer marker and that antineoplastic therapy based on FAS inhibition may be an option for chemoprevention or curative treatment for nearly all prostate cancers. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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              Molecular genetic analysis and regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis.

              Aflatoxins, produced by some Aspergillus species, are toxic and extremely carcinogenic furanocoumarins. Recent investigations of the molecular mechanism of AFB biosynthesis showed that the genes required for biosynthesis are in a 70 kb gene cluster. They encode a DNA-binding protein functioning in aflatoxin pathway gene regulation, and other enzymes such as cytochrome p450-type monooxygenases, dehydrogenases, methyltransferases, and polyketide and fatty acid synthases. Information gained from these studies has led to a better understanding of aflatoxin biosynthesis by these fungi. The characterization of genes involved in aflatoxin formation affords the opportunity to examine the mechanism of molecular regulation of the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway, particularly during the interaction between aflatoxin-producing fungi and plants.

                Author and article information

                Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines
                20 October 2018
                : 16
                : 10
                : 721-731
                1Tianjin State Key Laboratory of Modern Chinese Medicine and School of Chinese Materia Medica, Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin 300193, China
                2Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, University of Ghana, P.O. Box, LG 43, Legon, Ghana
                Author notes
                *Corresponding authors: Tel: 86-22-59596223, FANG Shi-Ming, E-mail: fang_shiming@ ; QIU Feng, 20070118@

                These authors have no conflict of interest to declare.

                Copyright © 2018 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
                Funded by: National Standardization Project of Traditional Chinese Medicine
                Award ID: ZYBZH-C-JS-29
                Funded by: State Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China
                Award ID: 81430095
                This work was supported by the National Standardization Project of Traditional Chinese Medicine (No. ZYBZH-C-JS-29) and State Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81430095).


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