Family Clusiaceae Lindley 1826 nom conserv the Mangosteen Family

Physical description: The family Clusiaceae, or Guttiferae, consists of 50 genera and 1200 species of tropical plants which are thought to have originated from the family Theaceae. These are trees, climbers or herbs, exuding a sticky yellow gum resin and often contain proanthocyanidins, tannins, and various sorts of phenolic substances including xanthones. The leaves are simple, without stipules, decussate or whorled, principally entire, and often showing long, thin and parallel secondary nerves. The petiole is often clasping and small. The flowers are often showy, fragrant, unisexual, regular and hypogynous, joined together in terminal and cymose inflorescences, or less often solitary and terminal. The sepals are free and overlapping, and there are 2-14 free, imbricate or convolute overlapping petals. The andrecium consists of limited trunk-bundles of stamens initiated in a centrifugal sequence, and the anthers open by longitudinal slits. The gynecium comprises of 1 to several carpels forming a compound superior ovary with axillary placentation, including as many locules as carpels and a single style. The stigma is big, lobed or peltate. The fruits are berries, drupes or nuts, and the seeds are often oily.

Pharmaceutical interest: Classical examples of Clusiaceae are Garcinia mangostana L. (mangosteen fruit tree), Mammea americana L. (mammee-apple), Pentadesma buty-racea Sabine (butter or tallow tree), Garcinia kola Heckle (bitter kola), Garcinia morella, Calophyllum inophyllum L. (Alexandrian laurel, Indian poon), Mesua ferrea (iron wood) and Ascyrum hypericoides (St. Andrew's cross). The yellow gum resin of Garcinia han-buryi Hook. f. (gamboges tree) was used (gamboje, British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934) to relieve the bowels of costiveness (dose: 30 mg-60 mg). The solid fat expressed from the seeds of Garcinia indica (Thouars) Choisy or kokum butter (Indian Pharmacopoeia) has been used to make suppositories. The flowering tops of Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's Wort) has been used to promote urination (Hypericum, Russian Pharmacopoeia, 1961, tincture prepared by

percolation with alcohol 40%). Most of the medicinal Clusiaceae have healing properties. The flowering tops Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's Wort) although photosensitizing, are used to treat depression, and to heal wounds. In Ceylon, the oil of Calophyllum calaba L. is a remedy for irritated skin. The gum-resins of Caraipa fasciculata (Brazil) and Clusia flava Jacq. (West Indies) are used to heal wounds.

Of recent interest in this family are a series of neoflavonoids, preny-lated xanthones, dipyranocoumarins, and quinones, which display experimentally monoamine oxidase (of MAO A and to a lesser extent of MAO B), antifungal, antibacterial, anti-platelet aggregation, anti-inflammatory and antiHuman Immunodeficiency Virus activities. Hypericin and calanolides characterized from the Hypericum species and Calophyllum species respectively, are undergoing clinical trials as anti-Human Immunodeficiency Virus drugs. The therapeutic development of natural products characterized from the family Clusiaceae would not be surprising. In Southeast Asia, about 50 species of plants classified within the family Clusiaceae are used for medicinal purposes. The resin is often used to treat skin diseases and to heal wounds whereas the bark is astringent.

Continue reading here: Calophyllum inophyllum L

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