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
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.