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The biological active compounds and biological activities of Desmodium species from Indian region: a review

Abstract

Background

India is a diverse source of medicinal and aromatic plants. Desmodium species are one among them having importance in curing many human diseases. This herbaceous plant's species diversity minimizes problems with its pharmaceutical or herbal formulation. As a result, a detailed analysis of the phytochemistry of the Desmodium genus will allow for the proper use of this plant.

Main body

This review explores the distribution of Desmodium species and their various biological activities. Worldwide, 17 Desmodium species are found, while 13 species of Desmodium are found in India. Plants are mainly used in ayurvedic preparation for curing various diseases. Phytochemical examination of Desmodium species indicated the presence of isoflavones, glycosyl-flavonoids, coumarone-chromones, pterocarpons, triterpenoids, saponins, tetrahydroiso-quinolones, phenylethylamines, indole-3-alkylamines, lipids, and alkaloids. These genera also display various pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, analgesic, depressive, antipyretic, antidepressant, anti-diabetic, and antioxidant properties. Also it is valuable for febrifuges, remedies for dysentery and liver disease, wound healing, ulcer, antidote against snake bites, catarrh, abscesses and eye diseases, abdominal tumor, asthma, fever, nasal polyps, menstrual disorder, fever, colds and helps in kidney problems.

Conclusion

This review describes the distribution of various Desmodium species recorded by a different author, focusing on species recorded in Gujarat, India. Again, the review helps in the documentation of bioactive compounds from the Desmodium genus that may help rectify multiple severe diseases. Furthermore, the numerous biological potencies of the specific bioactive substance may characterize the interest in various pharmaceuticals and cosmeceuticals sectors.

1 Background

Plants contribute plentifully to human beings for their better health. Different bioactive chemicals with therapeutic properties are thought to be recorded in medicinal plants. The value of plants as medicines has been thoroughly studied over centuries. The plant has curing potential, including anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antitumor, anticancer, antimalarial, and analgesic activity [1]. Bioactive compounds are produced during secondary metabolism, responsible for plant biological activity, like treating infectious diseases [2]. In various countries, plants are a helpful resource for many treatments. They are a potential source of a wide range of bioactive chemicals, which are useful in the drug industry [3]. Organic products have biological and pharmacological properties, which play a crucial role in drug preparation [4]. In addition, the plant-based material can be utilized as a phytomedicine to cure ailments [5].

Most Desmodium species were herbs, shrubbery, and infrequently trees or climber. A leaf is pinnately 3- or 1 foliolate due to lateral leaf reduction and stipulation. Often single or binate, the flowers are pretty small and grow in racemes or panicles in the axils of the leaves. The calyx is campanulate, 4 or 5-lobed, and bilabiate: the corolla is white, green-white, pink, purple, or violet. Stamens are mainly diadelphous and hardly monadelphous. The ovary typically has 1 or 2 sessile, ovule-bearing cells. Mostly stipitate or occasionally sessile, this legume family has oblong, reniform, or sub-quadrangular seeds. In Gujarat, the Desmodium genus has thirteen species, all of which are wild. Only Desmodium oojeinense (Roxb) is a tree; the other twelve species are smaller herbs or shrubs with few climbers [6].

1.1 Distribution of Desmodium species

A total of 38,811 occurrences of Desmodium species were recorded worldwide. The latest occurrence was assessed via GBIF on June 27, 2022. Figure 1 shows the worldwide distribution of Desmodium species during 1991–2022.

Fig. 1
figure 1

Source: GBIF (https://www.gbif.org/species/2967050)

Map showing the worldwide distribution of Desmodium species.

Table 1 represents the Worldwide distribution of Desmodium species, and Fig. 2 illustrates the distribution of various Desmodium species in India and Gujarat. However, some species were not mentioned on the map because the location of some species was still unknown. This map was generated through QGIS-3.10. As this genus is a wild plant, they flourish well during the rainy and post-rainy seasons. So, the survey was done during that period in different parts of Gujarat (India) and handpicking was employed for sampling randomly from the flourishing area for the present work (Fig. 3). All the species were brought to the laboratory for plant identification. Each species was authenticated in the Botany Laboratory, Department of life sciences, HNGU, Patan, Gujarat. The classic book Flora of Gujarat State (G. L. Shah) was used to classify the Desmodium genus systematically.

Table 1 Distribution of various Desmodium species in the world and Gujarat (India)
Fig. 2
figure 2

A. Map showing the distribution of various Desmodium species throughout India B. Map showing the distribution of various Desmodium species throughout Gujarat

Fig. 3
figure 3

Some original photographs taken during collection A. Desmodium gangeticum B. Desmodium laxiflorum C. Desmodium triflorum

Desmodium adscendens (Sw) DC was found in Center province, Cameroon, Southern Uganda, Eastern Nicaragua, and West-Central Africa. The plant especially leaf juice has been used to treat snake bites [7]. A mixture of a young leaf (200 ml) is given orally daily to help with children's potty-training aid. A leaf is used in cold cases to relieve back and abdominal pain, alleviate digestive ailments, stop postpartum abdominal pain, and help prevent vaginal diseases. A decoction made from the plant's roots, leaves, and entire plant is administered orally to dispel spells. The herb helps treat asthma and disorders linked to muscular contractions [7,8,9,10,11,12,13]. Desmodium barbatum (L) Benth is also known as Desmodium dimorphum Welw. ex found in Zimbabwe and South Africa, is used when mixed with Faureasaligna, and is given orally to treat epilepsy [14]. Desmodium Canum and Desmodium incanum were distributed in Eastern Cuba and Nicaragua. The plant's root is used in Gallons as a herbal mixture to cure asthma and impotence, as well as helpful in lower fever, easing back and abdominal pain, stopping postpartum stomach pain, and curing vaginal infections [15]. Desmodium Cajanifolium (Kunth) DC. is found in Popoluca, Mexico, and Panama and is used to treat hepatic diseases and as an anti-abortifacient [16, 17]. Desmodium gangeticum (L) DC. is found in Uganda, Satpuda Hills, Uttar Pradesh, and Assam (India). The root is used to cure premature ejaculation when mixed with honey and helps to cure mouth ulcers. Leaves are combined with Aloe vera and applied externally to prevent hair fall; leaf paste helps cure eczema when layered to infection [18,19,20,21]. Desmodium heterophyllum (Willd.) DC plant was located in West Java, Indonesia. The leaf is helpful in postpartum remedies and lack of appetite [22]. Desmodium macrophyllum Desv. and Desv. Wild plants were found in Yunnan Province, China. Whole plant decoction cures colds and fevers [23]. Desmodium molliculum DC was found in Peru and Ecuador. The aerial parts of the plants were helpful in anti-inflammatory action. Whole plant infusion was used to heal wounds, help with kidney problems, and as a disinfectant [24, 25]. Desmodium mollicum (HBK) DC. was located in Northeastern Peru. The extract of the plant has anti-inflammatory activity. Leaves of plant infused with roots of Equisetum bogotense are drunk to rehabilitate prostate cancer [26]. Desmodium oojeinense (Roxb) was found in Dadeldhura, Nepal; the bark pastes of the plant an appealing outwardly are used to cure wounds and cuts [27]. Desmodium ramosissimum G.Don was found in Cameroon and utilized in abortions. Two tablespoons of leaves were crushed with 1 L of water, mixed with Basella alba or Basella Pilosa, and drank once a day for 2–3 days; this water is adequate for the healthiness of the skin. The whole plant was infused in a leaf of Momordica and Gloriosa superba used to bathe infants [28]. Desmodium styracifolium Merr was found in Guangdong, China. Decoction of the whole plant is used in cholecystitis [29]. Desmodium triangulare (Retz) is distributed in Tamil Nadu, India. Leaves paste mixed with external application of Scilla indica and aloe vera is recommended to stop hair loss [30]. In Bulamogi, Uganda, Desmodium triflorum (L.) DC was found, and root infusions were used orally to promote [18]. Desmodium triquetrum (L.) DC., a plant native to Central Laos, is used to cure liver parasites by boiling the plant [31]. Desmodium tortuosum (Sw.) DC. is located in Bulamogi, Uganda, Ecuador. The whole plant is used to cure uterine fibroids. Leaves and stems aqueous infusion drunk to treat stomach pain, menstruation pain, and psychomotor development [18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25]. Desmodium velutinum (Willd.) DC plant was distributed in Bulamogi, Uganda; root infusion is drunk to cure sterility [18]; plant is also found in Northern Nigeria. Leaves are utilized to treat various types of cancers [32]. Desmodium sp. Desv. found in Ecuador. Old and young leaves are boiled and bear on wounds [25]. Desmodium dichotomum (wild) DC./Desmodium diffusum DC is used in fever and stomach ache. Desmodium gangeticum (L) DC. Syn, Desmodium hetrocarpum, Desmodium microphyllum, Desmodium polycarpum, Desmodium gyrans, Desmodium motorium, Desmodium gyroides, Desmodium parvifolium are helpful in asthma, cough, vomiting, rheumatism, fever, and dysentery. Root utilizes as febrifuge, expectorant, diuretic, an antidote to snake venom, and medicine for abortion. The whole plant helps promote conception and bronchitis and works as a tonic for eye infections. Leaves and fruit of the plant are utilized in lumbago and wounds. The infusion was used for cold; the herb was used for convulsions. The roots of Desmodium heterophyllum (Willd) DC have diuretic and carminative properties. Leaves act as a galactagogue. Desmodium laxiflorum DC root is helpful in smallpox, vomiting, unconsciousness, and fever. The root of Desmodium styracifolium (osbeck) Merr. Syn, Desmodium retroflexum, Desmodium pulchellum is utilized as a stomachic, emmenagogue, and medicine for burning sensation in the abdomen and is mildly purgative, the flower in dental cavities, and acts as a repellent for bed bug and stem bark in headache. Desmodium triangular (Retz) Merr Syn, Desmodium tortuosum (Sw) DC, Desmodium cephalotes are used for diarrhea, rheumatism, eye cataracts, and stomachaches. Desmodium triflorum (L) DC whole plant and leaves are utilized as a medicine in toothache, diarrhea, wounds, swelling, abscess, eruptions, breast pain, body ache, sores, dysentery, nail disorder, whitlow, colic, menorrhea, and spleen complaints. Desmodium cephalotes is used to treat diarrhea, rheumatism, and eye cataracts. Desmodium triquetrum (L) DC leaves are an antidote for snake bites, while plant roots treat fever, stomachaches, and colds [33, 34]. Desmodium alysicarpoides only one time appeared in Vyara Forest in South Gujarat (India). Desmodium dichotomum, commonly known as Pandariyosamero, is very common on roadsides, weed in cultivated farms, in forest undergrowth, and on railway lines. Desmodium gangeticum, known as Shalparni, was common throughout the fields, forest, and shaded areas along roadside and railway lines. Desmodium heterocarpon was primarily found in Surat and Dangs districts. Desmodium laxiflorum is found throughout Gujarat in fields and forests, except in the Kachchh district. Desmodium neomexicanum was present sometimes. It is explored undergrowth of the forest and shaded spots. Desmodium oojeinense was commonly known as Tanachh but not so common and found in the deciduous forest. Desmodium renifolium local name is Nano pandariyo, located in Saurashtra (Barda hills),

Desmodium scorpiurus was mainly distributed in open dry places in Gujarat. Desmodium triangulare was found in the south Gujarat region, along river banks in forest and undergrowth. Desmodium triflorum was distributed mainly in moist and gregarious ground throughout the present. Desmodium velutinum is occasionally present in forest undergrowth and rarely distributed along the roadside and riverbanks in central and south Gujarat [6]. It has been noted that the genus Desmodium has a diverse type of species. Still, the biological activity of all the species is not well documented, and each specie actual medicinal value is still unknown. Thus, a critical review work on the bioactive compound of Desmodium species is required. So, the selected review work was conducted on the main bioactive compounds distributed in various Desmodium species.

2 Main text

2.1 Phytoconstituents present in Desmodium species

Desmodium contain tryptamine alkaloid, and chemical investigation concludes the presence of isoflavones, glycosyl-flavonoids, coumarone-chromones, pterocarpons, triterpenoids, saponins, tetrahydroiso-quinolones, phenylethylamines, indole-3-alkylamines lipids, and glycolipids [35,36,37,38]. Desmodium gangeticum was enriched in alkaloids, terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, pterocarpans, volatile oil, coumarins, Phenol, isoflavonoid, glycoside, pterocarpenoid, and Saponin [39,40,41,42,43]. According to early phytochemical investigation, Desmodium triflorum contains phenols, terpenoids, glycosides, tannins, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids, [44]. A water solution of Desmodium triflorum confirmed the appearance of protein, alkaloid, phenol, steroid, and saponins. It indicated the absence of carbohydrates, glucoside, flavonoids, and amino acids. Desmodium triflorum in methanolic extract shows the presence of phenol, alkaloids, glucoside, steroids, flavonoids, carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids [45]. Phytochemical examination confirmed the existence of alkaloids in n-butanol and methanol fraction of Desmodium trifolium of the whole plant. HCL-Mg reaction test indicates the presence of flavonoids in methanol, ethyl acetate, and n- butanol fraction [46]. Desmodium triquetrum phytochemical test confirmed the existence of phenol, glycoside, flavonoids, amino acids and sterol; the leaf shows alkaloids, hipaforin, trigonelline, tannins, silicic, and tanning material; this plant's roots contain flavonoids, tannins, and saponins, while its fruits include saponins and flavonoids [39]. Desmodium adscendens leaves confirmed the presence of phenylethylamines, triterpenoid, indole-3-alkyl amines, tetrahydroisoquinolones, and saponins [47]. Identify three active components from Desmodium adscendin dehydrosoyasaponin 1 (DHS- 1), soyasaponin 1, and soyasaponin 2 [48]. Desmodium adscendens confirmed the appearance of tyramine and hordenine [49]. A methanolic extract of Desmodium adscendens showed the presence of glycosides, flavonoids, saponins, tannin, and alkaloids [50]. Desmodium ramosissimum confirmed the appearance of flavonoids, anthocyanins, tannins, and saponins [51]. Ethanolic leaf extract of Desmodium velutinum confirmed the existence of resin, saponins, glycosides, and flavonoids [52].

2.2 Major phytoconstituents found in D. gangeticum and D. triflorum

Desmodium gangeticum contains alkaloids, flavonoids, and pterocarpans examined as major bioactive substances (Fig. 4). Indole-3-alkylamines have been separated from the plant's aerial portions. Pterocarpans, like gangetial, separated from the chloroform extract of the root. Flavones include 4-O-alfha-L-rhamnopyranosyl- (1–6)-ß-d-glucopyranoside. Phytosterols like stigmasterol and lupeol had been separated from aerial parts. Amino glucosylglycero-lipid is isolated from seed. Other phytoconstituents like 3, 4-dihydroxy benzoic acid, kaempferol, salicylic acid, uridine triacetate, 5-omethylgenistein-7-O-ß-d-glucopyranoside, trans-5-hexadecenoic acid were also reported [39]; Desmodium gangeticum phospholipids, flavones glycosides, sterol, 4,5,7-trihydroxy-8-prenylflavones 4-O-l-rhamnopyranosyl-(1–6)-d glucopyranoside, and 8-C-prenyl-5,7,5- trimethyoxy-3,4- methylenedioxy flavones [53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60]. Desmodium gangeticum content N, N-dimethyl tryptamine, oxides, and sterol derivatives have been found in aerial parts. [61]. Desmodium gangeticum contains pterocarpans containing gangetin [54, 62] and desmocarpin, desmodin, and gangetinine [55, 62]. Aerial parts contain alkaloids like N, N-dimethyl tryptamine [58], 5- methoxymethyl tryptamine [33], 5-methoxyamineoxide [33,34,35,36,37], hordenine, candicine, ß-phenylethylamine, and hypaphorine [53, 63] N-methyl tyramine [33]. Flavonoid glycosides include rutin, quercetin-7-O-ß-D glycopyranoside, kaempferol-7-O-ß-D glycopyranoside [33], 4,5,7 trihydroxy-8-prenylflavone 4-O-L-rhamnopyranosyl (1–6) D glycopyranoside [60], 8-C-prenyl-5,7,5, trimethoxy [37] and 3,4-methylene dioxy flavones [60]. Sterols include ß-sitosterol [33, 37], phenolic acid-like salicylic acid [64] caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, 3,4-dihydro benzoic acid, and gallic acid [33, 37, 64]. Terpenoids include ß-Amyrone [37].

Fig. 4
figure 4

Schematic diagram represents the phytoconstituents present in D. gangeticum

Desmodium triflorum water extract, methanol extract, and petroleum ether extract show the presence of starch, terpenoids, anthocyanin, tannin, flavonoid, polyphenol, steroid, alkaloid, and coumarin [65]. Vitexin, genistin, fucosterol, ursolic acid and rare diholosylflavane, 2-glucosylvitexin were isolated from the plant. Leaves contain major alkaloidtyrumine, phenethylamine, indole- 3-acetic acid, trigonelline, choline, and hypaphorine, while hypaphorine was major alkaloid found in the root [39, 65].

Leaf content includes alkaloids like hypaphorine, ß-phenylethylamine, tyramine, and flavonoids. Root shows the presence of alkaloids. [44]. Desmodium triflorum contain major alkaloid N, N-dimethyltryptophan, hypophorine, and choline (Fig. 5). The leaves have a total alkaloid, 0.01- 0.015% 2-O glucosyl vitexin, and rare diholosyl flavone [66]. Desmodium triflorum root contains flavonoids flavones like flavonoids apigenin, 2-O-glycosylvitexin, 2-O-ß -D xylosylvitexin, vitexin, and iso-vitexin [66, 67]. The whole plant contains alkaloids indole-3-alkylamine like N, N-Dimethyltryptophanmethyl, methyl ester, hypaphorine, indole-3-acetic acid, bufotenine N-oxide. Pyrrolidine alkaloids include tyramine, stachydrine, hordenine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenethyltrimethyl ammonium hydroxide, and other alkaloids like trigonelline [68, 69]. The root contains steroids like 24-methylcholesta-5-en-3B-ol, 24-ethylchoesta-5,22-dien-3B-ol, 24- ethylcholesta-5-en-3B-ol and fucosterol and volatile oil like pinitol [67].

Fig. 5
figure 5

Schematic diagram represents the phytoconstituents present in Desmodium triflorum

It was noted that the main bioactive compounds gangetinin, desmocarpin, desmodin of Desmodium are from the pterocarpan class of phenolic derivatives. All these compounds have a significant biological activity that is directly active in the human body by fighting against harmful foreign particles. The active compound binds with the host cell and kills the dangerous cell in the human body. Furthermore, active compound targets lipid breakdown, which contributes to the pathogenesis of several liver disorders.

2.3 Traditional use and other biological activities of Desmodium species

Table 2 shows that bioactive compounds have responsible for various biological activities across multiple Desmodium species. The roots of Desmodium gangeticum are the main ingredients of famous ayurvedic preparations like Dasmularistha, Dasmulakwath, ChitrakHaritika, DasmoolaKadha, Brahma Rasayana, Dashmoola ark, Dashmoolataila, Dhanvantratailum, and several other ayurvedic preparations. Desmodium gangeticum, due to the presence of phenol and other phytochemical compounds, was responsible for antioxidant activity through FRSA, DPPH and ARP analysis [64]. Desmodium gangeticum protects the heart against mycocardialishemia reperfusion injury [70]. Desmodium gangeticum showed therapeutic activity because of the presence of the alkaloid component. The root of Desmodium gangeticum showed antioxidant activity against revascularization, anti-inflammatory, analgesic activity, and free radical scavenging potential. Dried roots in the plant's chloroform, water, and ethanolic extract show anti-asthmatic action [39]. Desmodium gangeticum showed anti-microbial action by Agar well diffusion assay with a different dilution of 1 mg/ml concentration; plant extracts (20–100 µl) were used and ampicillin (100 µl) was used as a control to compare the anti-microbial potential of plant extract against Enterococcus faecalis (diarrhea), Staphylococcus aureus (wound infection), Streptococcus pneumonia (throat and respiratory problem), Proteus mirabilis(enteric bacteria), Pseudomonas aeruginousa (ear infection), Klebsiella pneumonia (lung infection), and Salmonell typhi (typhoid bacteria), Escherichia coli (enteric bacteria) and Candida albicans (dental infection). The plant shows the presence of gangetin, a pterocarpenoid glycoside, and antileishmanial and antioxidant activity [41]. Ethanolic extract of Desmodium gangeticum aerial part confirmed the presence of antioxidant activity by the DPPH method [42]. Due to the presence of alkaloids, vitamins, oils, and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, Desmodium gangeticum, was used by Ayurvedic and Unani specialists to treat piles, thyroid, and dysentery as well as cataract, typhoid, fever, dysentery, bronchitis, asthma, and other conditions [39]. Various extracts of Desmodium gangeticum, showed antibacterial activity against pathogenic bacteria like Echerichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Streptococcus mutants using standard antibiotic kanamycin, penicillin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, and amoxicillin. Among all the extracts, the methanolic extract exhibited the highest inhibition against the S. mutants and the aqueous extract exhibited less activity against P. aeruginosa [71]. Desmodium gangeticum has the component Gangetin, a pterocarpnoid, shown to possess analgesic and anti-inflammatory action [72]. Desmodium gangeticum leaf showed anti-microbial effect against P. aeruginosa, S. cerevisiae, C. albicans, E. coli and B. subtilis. The presence of phytochemicals like tannins, flavonoid saponins, and alkaloids helps inhibit bacterial and fungal infection. Methanolic extract showed the best activity among the extract like aqueous, chloroform, and hexane. Traditionally, Desmodium gangeticum leaves are mixed with water to cure several bacterial and fungal infections [73]. Desmodium gangeticum showed anti-inflammation, antioxidant, antileishmanial, immunomodulatory, cardioprotective, anti-ulcer, anti-writhing, renal protective, anti-diabetic, hepatoprotective, and wound healing activities [74]. Due to alkaloids such as berberine, Desmodium gangeticum showed anxiolytic and antidepressant activities [75]. Pleiocarpine, kopsinine, galanthamine [76]; atropine [77] are the root alkaloid extracted from the Desmodium gangeticum and showed moderate CNS depression without agitation and had potent antidepressant properties [78]. Desmodium gangeticum contains alkaloids with smooth muscle, CNS stimulant activities, and anticholinesterase [53, 61]. Desmodium adscendens have dehydrosoya saponin, which is the major component, having the potential to act as a potassium channel opener [49]. Desmodium adscendens stem and leaf showed antioxidant activity by DPPH assay and FRAP assay due to the excessive amount of phenol and flavonoids [79], also giving gastroprotective treatment against ethanol-induced ulcer [50]. Desmodium trihydrate Linn has a variety of chemicals that may scavenge free radicals, including nitrogen compounds, terpenoids, phenolics, and carotenoids, which are a significant source of antioxidant activity. For the treatment of piles, leaf extract was employed [80]. Desmodium triflorum leaf was applied in convulsion, diarrhea, and galactagogue [65, 80]. Desmodium triflorum cold water extract, methanol extract and petroleum ether extract exhibited anthelmintic activity. Young leaves from the plant are used to treat ulcers and injuries that are hard to cure. Applying leaves paste relieves itching and sores. Fresh juice from the plant is used in dysentery and to treat as a laxative. Dried powder of the whole plant Desmodium triflorum when consumed on an empty stomach is helpful in curing bone. The infusion of the root is used to promote labor and vertigo. When applied to the forehead, leaf paste in water helps bring down fever [65]. Anti-microbial activity of Desmodium triflorum of whole plant parts in aqueous and methanol solvent shows the different zone against different strains like Micrococcus luteus, Bacillus pumilus, Psuedomaonas uorescens, Escheria coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus [45]. Ethyl acetate extract of Desmodium triflorum exhibited the greatest antioxidant potency against various antioxidant assays. Due to the high number of phenolic compounds, plants show antioxidant activity. The flavonoid substance in Desmodium triflorum can help in cardiovascular disease, scavenging excess free radicals, and delay aging and degenerative diseases [46]. Desmodium triflorum different extracts showed anti-proliferative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory activities, and antioxidant action [81, 82]. Desmodium triflorum is traditionally used as a laxative and dysentery [83], a plant used for fever [66] and plant help to cure bone fracture [84]. Desmodium triflorum ethanolic leaves extract showed anticonvulsant activity [85]. The plant showed anti-microbial activity [45]. Desmodium triflorum leaf aqueous extract confirmed the potential for anticonvulsant properties [86]. Desmodium ramosissimum showed great antifungal and antibacterial activities [51].

Table 2 biological activities of Desmodium species

Desmodium velutinum ethanolic leaf extract showed anti-inflammatory activities due to the presence of tannins. The plant also showed antipyretic activity [52]. Desmodium elegans methanolic extract showed antibacterial and cytotoxic effects [87]. Desmodium caudatum showed anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic activities, and analgesic action [88]. Desmodium podocarpum showed anti-pyretic activities, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory [89]. Desmodium sequaxis most potent medicinal plant for antioxidant activity due to chemical constituents like chlorogenic acid [90]. Desmodium heterocarpon showed anti-microbial activity against gram-positive bacteria (B. megaterium, Staphylococcus aureus, Sarcinaleutea, Bacillus cereus, B. subtilis), and the plant negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeroginosa, Salmonella thyphi, V. parahaemolyticus, S. paratyphi, Shigella boydii, S. resultseriae, Vibrio mimicus, Escheriachia coli). standard antibiotic, kanamycin (30 μg/disc). Desmodium heterocarpon shows potent cytotoxicity by brine shrimp lethality bioassay. The plant shows significant antioxidant activity by DPPH assay [91]. Desmodium heterocarpon leaves in methanolic solvent showed positive results toward anti-microbial activity by using bacteria like Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi, Esherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonaie and fungi like Aspergillus niger, Penicillium chrysogenum, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans (standard antibiotic—ketoconazole.) [92]. Desmodium heterophyllum (Willd) DC's roots were used for diuretic, carminative, and tonic.

3 Conclusion

The review concludes that Desmodium species are distributed worldwide and many species are located in Gujarat. It has been noted that plant metabolite types and quantities can vary from species to species and depend on environmental factors such as drought stress, the effect of temperature and light on biosynthesis, and the development of bioactive compounds that support their biological activity. The alkaloid and phenolic groups, which comprise most of the bioactive chemicals from the Desmodium species, may be the reason for various biological activities. Biological activities include anti-diabetics, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant. Based on the review, it has been noted that tribal people use many Desmodium species as a phytomedicine for cold, cough, fever, wound healing, and febrifuge. These properties encourage many pharmaceutical industries the production of medicine. Thus, organized work on the phytochemical analysis of various parts of popular Desmodium species will help develop novel medications that may be utilized to cure various human ailments.

Availability of data and materials

Data and materials are available upon request.

Abbreviations

DPPH:

2,2-Diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate

FRSA:

Free radical scavenging activity

sARP:

Antiradical power

ABTS:

2,2'-Azino-bis 3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid

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Joshi, B.R., Hakim, M.M. & Patel, I.C. The biological active compounds and biological activities of Desmodium species from Indian region: a review. Beni-Suef Univ J Basic Appl Sci 12, 1 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s43088-022-00339-4

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Keywords

  • Desmodium
  • Distribution
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Biological activity