A Review on Opuntia Species and its Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, Pharmacology and Bioapplications

Author(s): Dharmendra Kumar*, Pramod K. Sharma

Journal Name: Current Nutrition & Food Science

Volume 16 , Issue 8 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Opuntia species, locally known as prickly pear was used for various purposes as food, medicine, beverage, source of dye and animal food. Many studies have revealed its pharmacology activity from time to time. This review is a collection of chemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmacology and bioapplications of the cactus family.

Methods: Many sources were used to collect information about Opuntia species such as Pub med, Google scholar, Agris, science direct, Embase, Merk index, Wiley online library, books and other reliable sources. This review contains studies from 1812 to 2019.

Results: The plants from the cactus family offer various pharmacological active compounds including phenolic compounds, carotenoids, betalains, vitamins, steroids, sugar, amino acids, minerals and fibers. These bioactive compounds serve various pharmacological activities such as anticancer, antiviral, anti-diabetic, Neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, Hepatoprotective, antibacterial, antiulcer and alcohol hangover. According to various studies, Opuntia species offer many bioapplications such as fodder for animal, soil erosion, prevention, human consumption and waste water decontamination. Finally, different parts of plants are used in various formulations that offer many biotechnology applications.

Conclusion: Different parts of Opuntia plant (fruits, seeds, flowers and cladodes) are used in various health problems which include wound healing, anti-inflammatory and urinary tract infection from ancient times. Nowadays, researches have extended several pharmacological and therapeutic uses of Opuntia species as discussed in this review. Many in-vitro and in-vivo models are also discussed in this review as the proofs of research findings. Various research gaps have been observed in current studies that require attention in the future.

Keywords: Bioapplications, cactus, opuntia species, pharmacology, phytochemical, prickly pear, toxicity, traditional uses.

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Year: 2020
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