OPUNTIA FICUS-INDICA: ESCALATING FROM FARM TO PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIONSAbstract
Medicinal plants are a reservoir of biologically active compounds with therapeutic properties, and in that context, Opuntia ficus indica and other Opuntia species are of immense importance because of their nutraceutical and pharmaceutical values along with their anti-inflammatory effects, hypoglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic effects, anti-atherogenic and anti-spermatogenic potential. The cactus Opuntia is a xerophytic plant grown in more than thirty countries, including Mexico, South America, South Africa and India. All parts of the plant, including pear, roots, cladodes, seeds and juice, have these pharmacological properties, which have been attributed to the presence of high content of phenolic acids, flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, anthocyanin and ascorbate etc., and pigments such as carotenoids, betalains, tannins etc. Other reported phytochemical components such as biopeptides, phytoalbumins, minerals such as vitamin B1, B2, B3 and Vitamin C, soluble fibers also add to the medicinal properties of Opuntia spp. presence of these bioactive has made Opuntia a high potential plant that can be investigated for commercial production and consumption as a neutraceutical. The present review provides an up-to-date report on phytochemical composition, distribution, and habitat-cultivation conditions, various pharmacological and nutraceutical properties of Opuntia. The contribution of this herb to medicinal activities has been demonstrated by numerous studies carried out in-vitro and in-vivo and it can be considered as an important medicinal plant that has enormous potential which has not yet been fully evaluated.
Aakriti Jain, Shivani Sharda and Anupama Sharma Avasthi *
Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Amity University, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
18 January 2021
29 April 2021
28 May 2021
01 December 2021