Ethnobotanical and pharmacological importance of Taxus wallichiana Zucc.
Dwaipayan Sinha (Department of Botany, Government General Degree College, Mohanpur, Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal 721 436, India)
Taxus wallichiana Zucc. or the Himalayan Yew is a gymnosperm growing along the Himalayan region of Indian and adjoining countries. The plant is extensively used by local people for treatment of various diseases such as fever, headache, diarrhea, fractures, problems of nervous system etc. It also finds usage in Unani system of medicine. The plant is rich in various bioorganic compounds natural products such as hydrocarbons, terpene alcohols, terpenoids (including taxoids), organic acids etc. The plant has been explored for anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, anticonvulsant, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective and anticancer activity with satisfactory outcome. The pharmacological activity of the plant is largely due to the presence of large number of terpenoids. The bioactive constituents present in the plant interacts with a large number of biochemical pathways involved in inflammatory processes, cell division cycles and inhibits a number of enzymes to bring about its protective action against various diseases. In this review, an attempt have been made to highlight the beneficial properties of Taxus wallichiana in various levels of usage starting from its fundamental ethnobotanical use to pharmacological use involving both in-vitro and in-vivo studies. Insights into the molecular mechanisms of action of the active constituents in bringing about the beneficial activity have also been illustrated. The plant can very well become a source of medicine for better management of a large number of diseases including cancer.Show more [+] Less [-]