Background: The plant secondary metabolites have an outstanding therapeutic potential and success over
the years. In fact, it is the foundation of numerous clinically used drugs. Similarly, these is a general perception that
these products are inherent safety. However, such products might have toxic/unwanted lethal effects therefore, along
with biological relevance, toxicological evaluation is equally important for clinical applications. Therefore, harmane-
β-carboline alkaloid was investigated for both therapeutic and toxicological potential.
Methods: The literature related to the therapeutic/toxicological effects of the alkaloid was searched using various
scientific data bases including Google, ScienceDirect, PubMed, SpringerLink, ASC. The peer reviewed articles were
Results: The harmane-β-carboline alkaloid has shown several pharmacological activities such as antianxiety, antidepressant,
antiplatelet, antidiabetic, acetylcholinesterase and myeloperoxidase inhibition, antioxidant, antiparasitic,
hypotensive, morphine withdrawal syndrome alleviation, and antinociceptive effects. On the other hand, it exhibited
tremorogenic effect, for a symptom of Parkinson's disease. Adverse effect of the alkaloid on learning and memory
have also been observed.
Conclusions: All together, it is, concluded in this review that harmane elicited marked pharmacological effects but
simultaneously, it possessed some serious side effects that could be the primary hurdle in the way of its clinical testing.