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Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae): a review of its traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Apr 22; 164:340-56.JE

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE

Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae), widely distributed in South and Southeast Asia, is a popular traditional herbal medicine that can be chewed for the purpose of dispersing accumulated fluid in the abdominal cavity and killing worms. The present paper aims to provide an up-to-date review on the traditional uses and advances in the botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of this plant. Furthermore, the possible trends and a perspective for future research of this plant are also discussed.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

A literature search was performed on A. catechu based on classic books of herbal medicine, PhD. and MSc. dissertations, government reports, the state and local drug standards, scientific databases including Pubmed, SciFinder, Scopus, the Web of Science, Google Scholar, and others. Various types of information regarding this plant are discussed in corresponding parts of this paper. In addition, perspectives for possible future studies of A. catechu are discussed.

RESULTS

The seeds of A. catechu (areca nut) have been widely used in clinical practice in China, India and other South and Southeast Asian Countries. Currently, over 59 compounds have been isolated and identified from A. catechu, including alkaloids, tannins, flavones, triterpenes, steroids, and fatty acids. The extracts and compounds isolated from A. catechu have many pharmacological activities. These include antiparasitic effects, anti-depressive effects, anti-fatigue effects, antioxidant effects, antibacterial and antifungal effects, antihypertensive effects, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, anti-allergic effects, the promotion of digestive functions, suppression of platelet aggregation, regulatory effects on blood glucose and lipids, etc. Although arecoline is the primary active constituent of A. catechu, it is also the primary toxic compound. The main toxicities of arecoline are the promotion of oral submucosal fibrosis (OSF) and cytotoxic effects on normal human cells, which involve inducing apoptosis.

CONCLUSION

As an important herbal medicine, A. catechu has potential for the treatment of many diseases, especially parasitic diseases, digestive function disorders, and depression. Many traditional uses of A. catechu have now been validated by current investigations. However, further research should be undertaken to investigate the clinical effects, toxic constituents, target organs, and pharmacokinetics and to establish criteria for quality control for A. catechu-derived medications. In addition, it will be interesting to investigate the active macromolecular compounds and active constituents other than alkaloids in both raw and processed products of A. catechu.

Authors+Show Affiliations

College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China.College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China.College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China.College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China.College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China.College of Basic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China. Electronic address: gaoyxcdtcm@126.com.College of Pharmacy, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, PR China. Electronic address: wucjcdtcm@163.com.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25681543

Citation

Peng, Wei, et al. "Areca Catechu L. (Arecaceae): a Review of Its Traditional Uses, Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 164, 2015, pp. 340-56.
Peng W, Liu YJ, Wu N, et al. Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae): a review of its traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015;164:340-56.
Peng, W., Liu, Y. J., Wu, N., Sun, T., He, X. Y., Gao, Y. X., & Wu, C. J. (2015). Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae): a review of its traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 164, 340-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2015.02.010
Peng W, et al. Areca Catechu L. (Arecaceae): a Review of Its Traditional Uses, Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicology. J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Apr 22;164:340-56. PubMed PMID: 25681543.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae): a review of its traditional uses, botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology. AU - Peng,Wei, AU - Liu,Yu-Jie, AU - Wu,Na, AU - Sun,Tao, AU - He,Xiao-Yan, AU - Gao,Yong-Xiang, AU - Wu,Chun-Jie, Y1 - 2015/02/12/ PY - 2014/09/24/received PY - 2015/02/04/revised PY - 2015/02/04/accepted PY - 2015/2/15/entrez PY - 2015/2/15/pubmed PY - 2016/1/13/medline KW - Areca catechu L KW - Areca nut KW - Botany KW - Pharmacokinetics KW - Pharmacology KW - Phytochemistry KW - Toxicology KW - Traditional uses SP - 340 EP - 56 JF - Journal of ethnopharmacology JO - J Ethnopharmacol VL - 164 N2 - ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae), widely distributed in South and Southeast Asia, is a popular traditional herbal medicine that can be chewed for the purpose of dispersing accumulated fluid in the abdominal cavity and killing worms. The present paper aims to provide an up-to-date review on the traditional uses and advances in the botany, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of this plant. Furthermore, the possible trends and a perspective for future research of this plant are also discussed. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A literature search was performed on A. catechu based on classic books of herbal medicine, PhD. and MSc. dissertations, government reports, the state and local drug standards, scientific databases including Pubmed, SciFinder, Scopus, the Web of Science, Google Scholar, and others. Various types of information regarding this plant are discussed in corresponding parts of this paper. In addition, perspectives for possible future studies of A. catechu are discussed. RESULTS: The seeds of A. catechu (areca nut) have been widely used in clinical practice in China, India and other South and Southeast Asian Countries. Currently, over 59 compounds have been isolated and identified from A. catechu, including alkaloids, tannins, flavones, triterpenes, steroids, and fatty acids. The extracts and compounds isolated from A. catechu have many pharmacological activities. These include antiparasitic effects, anti-depressive effects, anti-fatigue effects, antioxidant effects, antibacterial and antifungal effects, antihypertensive effects, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, anti-allergic effects, the promotion of digestive functions, suppression of platelet aggregation, regulatory effects on blood glucose and lipids, etc. Although arecoline is the primary active constituent of A. catechu, it is also the primary toxic compound. The main toxicities of arecoline are the promotion of oral submucosal fibrosis (OSF) and cytotoxic effects on normal human cells, which involve inducing apoptosis. CONCLUSION: As an important herbal medicine, A. catechu has potential for the treatment of many diseases, especially parasitic diseases, digestive function disorders, and depression. Many traditional uses of A. catechu have now been validated by current investigations. However, further research should be undertaken to investigate the clinical effects, toxic constituents, target organs, and pharmacokinetics and to establish criteria for quality control for A. catechu-derived medications. In addition, it will be interesting to investigate the active macromolecular compounds and active constituents other than alkaloids in both raw and processed products of A. catechu. SN - 1872-7573 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25681543/Areca_catechu_L___Arecaceae_:_a_review_of_its_traditional_uses_botany_phytochemistry_pharmacology_and_toxicology_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378-8741(15)00088-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -