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Sceletium tortuosum: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2022 Apr 06; 287:114711.JE

Abstract

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE

Sceletium tortuosum (L.) N.E.Br., the most sought after and widely researched species in the genus Sceletium is a succulent forb endemic to South Africa. Traditionally, this medicinal plant is mainly masticated or smoked and used for the relief of toothache, abdominal pain, as a mood-elevator, analgesic, hypnotic, anxiolytic, thirst and hunger suppressant, and for its intoxicating/euphoric effects. Sceletium tortuosum is currently of widespread scientific interest due to its clinical potential in treating anxiety and depression, relieving stress in healthy individuals, and enhancing cognitive functions. These pharmacological actions are attributed to its phytochemical constituents referred to as mesembrine-type alkaloids.

AIM OF THE REVIEW

The aim of this review was to comprehensively summarize and critically evaluate recent research advances on the phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities of the medicinal plant S. tortuosum. Additionally, current ongoing research and future perspectives are also discussed.

METHODS

All relevant scientific articles, books, MSc and Ph.D. dissertations on botany, behavioral pharmacology, traditional uses, and phytochemistry of S. tortuosum were retrieved from different databases (including Science Direct, PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science). For pharmacokinetics and pharmacological effects of S. tortuosum, the focus fell on relevant publications published between 2009 and 2021.

RESULTS

Twenty-five alkaloids belonging to four structural classes viz: mesembrine, Sceletium A4, joubertiamine, and tortuosamine, have been identified from S. tortuosum, of which the mesembrine class is predominant. The crude extracts and commercially available standardized extracts of S. tortuosum have displayed a wide spectrum of biological activities (e.g. antimalarial, anti-oxidant, neuromodulatory, immunomodulatory, anti-HIV, neuroprotection) in in vitro or in vivo studies. While the plant has been studied in clinical populations, this has only been in healthy subjects, so that further study in pathological states remains to be done. Nevertheless, the aforementioned studies have demonstrated that S. tortuosum has potential for enhancing cognitive function and managing anxiety and depression.

CONCLUSION

As an important South African medicinal plant, S. tortuosum has garnered many research advances on its phytochemistry and biological activities over the last decade. These scientific studies have shown that S. tortuosum has various bioactivities. The findings have further established the link between the phytochemistry and pharmacological application, and support the traditional use of S. tortuosum in the indigenous medicine of South Africa.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa.School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 4001, South Africa.Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa; SAMRC Unit on Risk and Resilience in Mental Disorders, Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience Institute, University of Cape Town, South Africa.Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa.Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa.Centre of Excellence for Pharmaceutical Sciences, North-West University, Private Bag X6001, Potchefstroom, 2520, South Africa. Electronic address: frank.vanderkooy@nwu.ac.za.

Pub Type(s)

Published Erratum

Language

eng

PubMed ID

34758918

Citation

Olatunji, T L., et al. "Sceletium Tortuosum: a Review On Its Phytochemistry, Pharmacokinetics, Biological, Pre-clinical and Clinical Activities." Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 287, 2022, p. 114711.
Olatunji TL, Siebert F, Adetunji AE, et al. Sceletium tortuosum: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 2022;287:114711.
Olatunji, T. L., Siebert, F., Adetunji, A. E., Harvey, B. H., Gericke, J., Hamman, J. H., & Van der Kooy, F. (2022). Sceletium tortuosum: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 287, 114711. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2021.114711
Olatunji TL, et al. Sceletium Tortuosum: a Review On Its Phytochemistry, Pharmacokinetics, Biological, Pre-clinical and Clinical Activities. J Ethnopharmacol. 2022 Apr 6;287:114711. PubMed PMID: 34758918.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Sceletium tortuosum: A review on its phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities. AU - Olatunji,T L, AU - Siebert,F, AU - Adetunji,A E, AU - Harvey,B H, AU - Gericke,J, AU - Hamman,J H, AU - Van der Kooy,F, Y1 - 2021/11/08/ PY - 2021/11/12/pubmed PY - 2021/11/12/medline PY - 2021/11/11/entrez KW - Aizoaceae KW - Antidepressant KW - Mesembrine KW - Psychoactive KW - Sceletium tortuosum KW - Serotonin KW - Zembrin® SP - 114711 EP - 114711 JF - Journal of ethnopharmacology JO - J Ethnopharmacol VL - 287 N2 - ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Sceletium tortuosum (L.) N.E.Br., the most sought after and widely researched species in the genus Sceletium is a succulent forb endemic to South Africa. Traditionally, this medicinal plant is mainly masticated or smoked and used for the relief of toothache, abdominal pain, as a mood-elevator, analgesic, hypnotic, anxiolytic, thirst and hunger suppressant, and for its intoxicating/euphoric effects. Sceletium tortuosum is currently of widespread scientific interest due to its clinical potential in treating anxiety and depression, relieving stress in healthy individuals, and enhancing cognitive functions. These pharmacological actions are attributed to its phytochemical constituents referred to as mesembrine-type alkaloids. AIM OF THE REVIEW: The aim of this review was to comprehensively summarize and critically evaluate recent research advances on the phytochemistry, pharmacokinetics, biological, pre-clinical and clinical activities of the medicinal plant S. tortuosum. Additionally, current ongoing research and future perspectives are also discussed. METHODS: All relevant scientific articles, books, MSc and Ph.D. dissertations on botany, behavioral pharmacology, traditional uses, and phytochemistry of S. tortuosum were retrieved from different databases (including Science Direct, PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science). For pharmacokinetics and pharmacological effects of S. tortuosum, the focus fell on relevant publications published between 2009 and 2021. RESULTS: Twenty-five alkaloids belonging to four structural classes viz: mesembrine, Sceletium A4, joubertiamine, and tortuosamine, have been identified from S. tortuosum, of which the mesembrine class is predominant. The crude extracts and commercially available standardized extracts of S. tortuosum have displayed a wide spectrum of biological activities (e.g. antimalarial, anti-oxidant, neuromodulatory, immunomodulatory, anti-HIV, neuroprotection) in in vitro or in vivo studies. While the plant has been studied in clinical populations, this has only been in healthy subjects, so that further study in pathological states remains to be done. Nevertheless, the aforementioned studies have demonstrated that S. tortuosum has potential for enhancing cognitive function and managing anxiety and depression. CONCLUSION: As an important South African medicinal plant, S. tortuosum has garnered many research advances on its phytochemistry and biological activities over the last decade. These scientific studies have shown that S. tortuosum has various bioactivities. The findings have further established the link between the phytochemistry and pharmacological application, and support the traditional use of S. tortuosum in the indigenous medicine of South Africa. SN - 1872-7573 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/34758918/Sceletium_tortuosum:_A_review_on_its_phytochemistry_pharmacokinetics_biological_pre_clinical_and_clinical_activities_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0378-8741(21)00940-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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