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Properties of Prunus Persica Linn

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Review on Phytochemical and Pharmacological Properties of Prunus persica Linn.

Monika Rana *1, Deepak Kashyap2, Atul Kabra3

 

ABSTRACT

Prunus persica Linn. Batsch (Family: Rosaceae), commonly known as Peach tree in English and Aru in Hindi, is native to Persia, China and also distributed in Australia, India and USA. Traditionally, the plant used in the treatment of constipation, laryngitis, menostasis, dermopathy and contusion. The major phytoconstituents reported in the plant include amygdalin, prunasin, persicaside, β-sitosterol, quercetin etc. Pharmacological studies reported in this plant are antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antiphotoaging, antitumor and spasmogenic effects. This review provides valuable information on phytochemical, pharmacological and traditional properties of the Prunus persica which will help the researcher for further studies.

Keywords: Prunus persica Linn.; phytochemical; pharmacological; amygdalin.

INTRODUCTION

According to the World Health Organization, more than 80% of the world’s population mostly in poor and less developed countries depend on plant-based medicines for their primary health care needs.[1] About 35,000 plant species are being used in various human cultures around the world for medicinal purposes.[2] About 170 active compounds currently isolated from higher plants are widely used in modern medicine. Even today, approximately 80 % of such compounds depict a positive correlation between their modern therapeutic use and the traditional use of the plants from which they are derived. At least 7,000 medicinal compounds in the modern pharmacopoeia are derived from plants.[3,4]

Prunus persica Linn. Batsch (Family: Rosaceae), commonly known as Peach tree in English and Aru in Hindi, is native to Persia, China and also distributed in Australia and USA. In India, it is cultivated only in the Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.[5-7] Traditionally, the plant used in the treatment of constipation, laryngitis, menostasis, dermopathy and contusion.[8]

Synonymns

P. persica Linn. is also known by other names i.e. Pygeum persica Linn., Amygdalus persica Linn.[5]

Vernacular Names

P. persica Linn. has various vernacular names[6,8,10] as mentioned in Table 1.

Table 1. Various vernacular names of Prunus persica Linn.

Bengali

Peech

Chinese

T’ao

English

Peach Tree

Gujrati

Peech

Hindi

Aru, Shaftalu

Malta

Peech

Malyalam

Pochad paxam

Marathi

Peach

Oriya

Piccu

Persian

Aru

Punjab

Aru, Bem

Urdu

Adud

BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION

The peach is a small, deciduous and glabrous tree which grows upto 6m in height (Figure 1). The leaves of the plant are simple, alternate, long-lanceolate, serrulate, 8-15 cm long, 15-35 mm wide, petioles 1-1.5 cm, with glands and small stipules. The flowers of the peach are 1-2 cm in diameter, bisexual, pink, sepals pubescent on exterior, sepals and petals 5, stamens many, inserted with the petals on the calyx tube, pistil1, with 2 ovules. The fruit of the plant is 1-5 cm in diameter, tomentulose, drupe, with a fleshy outer layer surrounding a hard stone containing the seed, the stone deeply sculptured in the month of April- May. The fruit is matured in the season of August- September.[8]

D:\snabs\DSC02318.JPG

Figure 1: Plant of Prunus persica Figure 2: Fruit of Prunus persica

Geographical Distribution

Prunus persica is native to China and Persia. This plant is also cultivated in USA, New Zealand, Australia and Temperate Asia. In India, it is cultivated in Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Utttar Pradesh, and to a limited extend in Nilgiris. The plant is also distributed in the Pakistan, Japan and in the Deccan Region.[5-7]

Ethnomedicinal Use

The leaves of the plant are used as anthelmintic, insecticidal, laxative, sedative and vermicidal and also in the treatment of piles, leucoderma, and whooping cough. The fruit is used as an aperients, aphrodisiac, antipyretic, antiscorbtic, brain tonic, demulcent, mouth freshener, stomachic and useful in thirst, biliousness and “kapha”. [5,6,10] The oil from the seeds is abortifacient, good in piles, deafness, earache, stomach troubles of children.[10] The flowers are used as an anthelmintic and purgative.[7]

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS

Prunus persica Linn. contains cyanogenetic glycosides, namely, amygdalin and prunasin[11,12] as the major constituents isolated from the seeds along with the glycerides,[13,14], sterols[15] and emulsin[16]. Rho et al. (2007) reported a new alkaloidal compound, persicaside, isolated from methanol soluble extract of the seed.[17] The stem bark of the plant contains 6-hydroxy 4-methoxy 2-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, Crysophenol 8-O-β-D-glactopyranoside, β-sitosterol and Quercetin[18]. The leaves of the plant contains the caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, p-coumaric acid, kaempferol, quercetin, quercetin-3-glycoside, quercetin-3-rhamnoside, quinic acid, tannin, urosolic acid and zeaxanthin[19]. The essential oil from the plant contains the 130 compounds, the most important of which are benzaldehyde, limonene, 1-methylethylhydrazine, 4-ethenyl-1,4-dimethyl cyclohexene and 3-carene.[21] Fixed oil, called persic oil extracted from the seeds contains β-sitosterol, and squalene [Figure 2].[7]

Amygdaline

Prunasin

Caffeic acid

Quercetin

Benzaldehyde

Kamepferol

         

R=H Persicaside

Chlorogenic acid

β-Sitosterol

Limonene

Figure 2. Various chemical constituents present in Prunus persica Linn.

Traditional Uses

About ½ teaspoon of young leaves, pounded and mixed with water, is given twice daily after meal in dysentery. The leaves warmed over fire are rubbed against insect bite and pain in eyes. The pounded young leaves are applied on wounds for killing the wound worms in case of animals such as cow and mithun.[21] The paste of the plant along the table salt and water is applied on affected skin twice a day to kill germs in wounds and fungal infection.[22] The powdered seeds is mixed with water and usually applied on hands as vulnerary during winters.[23] The fruits of the peach is used in the treatment of damaged hair.[24]

Therapeutic uses

The plant is used to remove maggots from wounds and also used as demulcent and lubricant.[25,7] Crushed leaves are used to stain palms and feet, in wound healing, burning sensation, colouring palms and feet.[26] The oil extracted from seeds is applied externally for massaging in rheumatism.[27]

Veterinary uses

The plant leaves are used as a anthelmintic in traditional veterinary practices for the treatment of helminthosis in animals.[28,29]

Non-medicinal Uses

The fruits of the plant are edible, leaves serve as fodder and stem as firewood.[23] Root bark is used as a dye.[30]

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITIES

Anti-inflammatory activity

Prunus persica Linn. possessed anti-inflammatory activitiy against rat osteoblast sarcoma cells whereas in carregenan induced paw edema it showed anti-inflammatory activity at a dose of 250 mg/kg. .[17,18,31]

Antiallergic activity

The ethanolic extract of the plant inhibits mast cell-mediated allergic inflammatory reaction by controlling calcium influx and NF-jB signaling.[32]

Antiphotoaging effect

The plant possesses the anti-photoaging effect which was assessed by DPPH, Western blot and reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction analysis. A compound named 2-methoxy-5-(2-methyl propyl) pryazine isolated from the peach was responsible for this activity.[33]

Antitumor activity

The cyanogenic glycosides, amygdalin and prunasin, isolated from Prunus persica seeds, significantly inhibited the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen activation induced by tumor promoter and showed anti-tumor activity.[12]

Protection against skin carcinogenesis

The Ku-35 extract of the plant showed protection against UV-induced DNA damage and carcinogenesis when applied topically.[34]

Protection against UV-induced skin damage

The protective effects of the flower extract of the plant (KU-35) were evaluated against solar ultraviolet (UV)-induced skin damage using in vivo models of UVB-induced erythema in guinea pigs and ear edema in ICR mice. Ku-35, a new cosmetic ingredient, showed protection from UVB-induced skin damage by topical application.[35]

Spasmogenic effect

The aqueous extract of peach leaves caused a dose-dependent spasmogenic effect at the dose range of 1–10 mg/ml in isolated guinea pig ileum.[36]

 

 

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