Adenanthera pavonina, an Asian native leguminous, is a well known highly used plant in traditional medicine. Such broad herbal medicine applications motivated several researchers to study its chemical composition, mainly of its leaves, seeds, and barks, besides the pharmacological effects aiming to demonstrate scientific evidence of its empirical uses. Most studies have been conducted with plant derivatives, and more recent studies have focused on isolated compounds. The phytochemical screening revealed various secondary metabolites with diverse biological effects, including flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, steroids, triterpenoids, polyphenols, anthraquinones, coumarins, glycosides and polysaccharides. Experimental studies of this plant have shown numerous pharmacological activities such as antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and others. Advances in the studies of phytochemistry and biological activity on this plant species over the last years led to the increasing interest of researchers in the protection of inventions focusing on its cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food applicability. This review summarizes the tremendous therapeutic and technological potential of A. pavonina that should be explored, opening new perspectives for future researches and the development of new products.
Key words: Febaceae, herbal medicine, leguminosae, plant extracts, toxicity.
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