Pharmaceutical interest

Naphthoquinones: Rhinacanthin Q, a naphthoquinone characterized from Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz is cytotoxic and inhibits the aggregation of platelets (Wu TS et al, 1998). Other naphthoquinones of interest characterized from this plant are rhinacanthin C and D which inhibit the replication of the Human Cytomegalovirus with IC50 values of 0.02 ^g/mL and 0.22 ^g/mL respectively (Sendl A etal., 1996) and 3,4-dihydro-3,3-dimethyl-2H-naphtho-[2,3-^ ]-pyran-5,10-dione, which is antifungal (Kodama O etal., 1993). It would be interesting to known what is the precise molecular mechanism involved here.

Lignans: Rhinacanthins E and F inhibit the replication of the Influenza Virus type A (Kernam MR etal., 1997).

Common names: Ubat kurap (Malay); tongpan chang (Thai).

Uses: In Malaysia, the pounded roots mixed with vinegar or alcohol are used to treat herpetic-like eruption. For the same purpose, the leaves are applied with benzoin and sulphur. In Indonesia, the flowers and young leaves are rubbed with vinegar and lime to treat skin diseases.

Rhinacanthin Q

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