Traditional Uses and Pharmacological Potential of Ficus exasperata Vahl

Systematic Reviews in Pharmacy,2012,3,1,15-23.
Published:Jan, 2012
Type:Invited Review

Traditional Uses and Pharmacological Potential of Ficus exasperata Vahl

Faiyaz Ahmed1,2, Mueen Ahmed KK3, Md. Zainul Abedin2, Alias A. Karim2

1Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India, Pudukkottai Road, Thanjavur, India, 2Food Technology Division, School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia, 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Clinical Pharmacy, King Faisal University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabi


In traditional medicine, different parts of Ficus exasperata Vahl. (Moraceae) are used as analgesic, antiarthritic, diuretic, wound healing, antiparasitic, vermifuge, abortifacient, ecbolics and for treating hemorrhoids and venereal diseases. The plant parts are also used as animal fodder. The present review is aimed to comprehend the fragmented information available on the botany, traditional uses, pharmacology and toxicology of F. exasperata to explore its therapeutic potential and find potential research opportunities in the near future. Among different parts of F. exasperata, leaves are of particular importance from the traditional medicinal point of view. Major ethno-medicinal usage has been reported throughout Africa; Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone being the folkloric hubs. The extracts used are mostly remains uncharacterized and no detailed informations are available on the active components except for the class of compounds such as phenolics and tannins being major components. Crude extracts have been reported to exhibit a wide spectrum of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological activities like, antidiabetic, anticonvulsant, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, antiulcer, anxiolytic and hypotensive. Conflicting results on the toxicity F. exasperata has also been reported. Experimental studies have validated a number of traditional claims, however reports suggests some degree toxicity involved. Additionally, not much scientific information is available on the bioactive compounds. Thus, an in-depth research on the standardization and characterization of the extracts and their toxicological evaluation is the need of the hour for its safe and better therapeutic utilization.