Pharmaceutical interest

Embelin: Embelin is interesting because it is anthelmintic, antibacterial, analgesic, antitumor, anti-inflammatory (Chitra M et al., 1994) and binds to opioid fi- and k-opioid receptors (Zutshi U et al., 1989). Rats infected with 10 adult Hymenolepsis diminuta tapeworms recover with a diammonium salt of embelin given at 100mg/kg (Bogh HO et al., 1996). The precise mechanism of action of embelin remains an unanswered and interesting question. In an attempt to answer it, one might set the hypothesis that embelin acts on k-receptors and therefore modifies the transfer of calcium ions through the cell membrane of helminthes. Praquizantel is an example of a molecule which controls schistosomiasis and Taenia sp. infection through a mechanism involving the transfer of calcium ions. Embelia ribes Burm. f. is most probably antibacterial on account of embelin which exhibits significant inhibition against five and moderate activity against three strains of 12 bacteria cultured in vitro (Chitra M etal., 2003). Potassium embelate subjected to subacute, chronic and reproductive toxicity tests in rodents and monkeys did not cause severe adverse properties (Johri RK etal., 1990).

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