The genus Macaranga Thou. (Euphorbiaceae) comprises of about 300 species that are native mainly to the tropics of Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific regions. Plants of this genus have a long history of use in traditional medicine to treat cuts, swellings, boils, bruises and sores. Phytochemical work on this genus has reported over 190 secondary metabolites being isolated mainly from the leave extracts of different species of this genus. The isolated compounds included stilbenes, flavonoids, coumarins, terpenoids, tannins and other types of compounds. The crude extracts and isolated compounds showed a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and anti-plasmodial activities. The aim of this review is to coherently document the valuable but scattered reports on the phytochemistry and pharmacology of medicinal plants of the genus Macaranga collected from different parts of the global.
Key words: Macaranga species, Euphorbiaceae, phytochemistry, pharmacology.
GA, Gallic acid; HPLC, high performance liquid chromatography; K, kinetin; MS, Murashige and Skoog medium (1962); 2,4-D, 2,4-Dicholorophenoxyacetic acid.
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