Dietary intake and incidence of cancer are correlated, which suggests that modification of
food habits can be of great benefit for cancer prevention and cure. Fruits and vegetables are rich
sources of anticancer agents such as antioxidants and antimutagens and with the advent of vinca
alkaloids, the search for novel anticancer compounds from plants has seen a rapid growth. The leaves,
seed pods and flowers of the plants of the genus Sesbania belonging to the family Leguminosae, are used as cuisine and
traditional medicine in many parts of the world and have potential roles in improving animal nutrition. Sesbania is oftquoted
to have a blend of antitumor, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and chemopreventive properties.
These diverse pharmacological properties can be attributed to the presence of several active metabolites and
pharmacologically active compounds. Research from various groups have shown the pharmacological safety of different
parts of various Sesbania species, both in vitro and in vivo, endorsing the need of instant clinical trials to validate their
anticancer potential. Most of the information regarding antitumor activity of this genus is on Sesbania grandiflora which
demands more deep-rooted studies on this species. This review highlights the importance of the genus Sesbania,
indicating the need of including it as a major dietary component and as a target genus that has to be excavated further for
identifying novel molecules, which can prevent and cure cancer.
Keywords: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, anticancer, chemoprevention, Sesbania grandiflora, toxicity.
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