Background: Decalepis arayalpathra (J. Joseph and V. Chandras.) Venter is used primarily
for nutrition besides its therapeutic values. Traditional preparations/formulations from its tuber are
used as a vitalizer and blood purifier drink. The folklore medicinal uses cover inflammation, cough,
wound healing, antipyretic, and digestive system management. A comprehensive review of the current
understanding of the plant is required due to emerging concerns over its safety and efficacy.
Objective: The systematic collection of the authentic information from different sources with the critical
discussion is summarised in order to address various issues related to botanical identity, therapeutic medicine,
nutritional usage, phytochemical, and pharmacological potentials of the D. arayalpathra. Current
use of traditional systems of medicine can be used to expand future research opportunities.
Materials and Methods: Available scripted information was collected manually, from peered review
research papers and international databases viz. Science Direct, Google Scholar, SciFinder, Scopus,
etc. The unpublished resources which were not available in database were collected through the classical
books of ‘Ayurveda’ and ‘Siddha’ published in regional languages. The information from books,
Ph.D. and MSc dissertations, conference papers and government reports were also collected. We thoroughly
screened the scripted information of classical books, titles, abstracts, reports, and full-texts of
the journals to establish the reliability of the content.
Results: Tuber bearing vanilla like signature flavor is due to the presence of 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde
(HMB). Among five other species, Decalepis arayalpathra (DA) has come under the
‘critically endangered’ category, due to over-exploitation for traditional, therapeutic and cool drink
use. The experimental studies proved that it possesses gastro-protective, anti-tumor, and antiinflammatory
activities. Some efforts were also made to develop better therapeutics by logical modifications
in 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxy-benzaldehyde, which is a major secondary metabolite of D.
arayalpathra. ‘Amruthapala’ offers the enormous opportunity to develop herbal drink with health benefits
like gastro-protective, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
Conclusion: The plant has the potential to generate the investigational new lead (IND) based on its
major secondary metabolite i.e. 2-Hydroxy-4-methoxy-benzaldehyde. The present mini-review summarizes
the current knowledge on Decalepis arayalpathra, covering its phytochemical diversity, biological
potentials, strategies for its conservation, and intellectual property rights (IPR) status.
Chemical Compounds: 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde (Pubchem CID: 69600), α-amyrin acetate
(Pubchem CID: 293754), Magnificol (Pubchem CID: 44575983), β-sitosterol (Pubchem CID: 222284),
3-hydroxy-p-anisaldehyde (Pubchem CID: 12127), Naringenin (Pubchem CID: 932), Kaempferol
(Pubchem CID: 5280863), Aromadendrin (Pubchem CID: 122850), 3-methoxy-1,2-cyclopentanedione
(Pubchem CID: 61209), p-anisaldehyde (Pubchem CID: 31244), Menthyl acetate (Pubchem CID:
27867), Benzaldehyde (Pubchem CID: 240), p-cymene (Pubchem CID: 7463), Salicylaldehyde
(Pubchem CID: 6998), 10-epi-γ-eudesmol (Pubchem CID: 6430754), α -amyrin (Pubchem CID:
225688), 3-hydroxy-4-methoxy benzaldehyde (Pubchem CID: 12127).