Background: Cephaelis ipecacuanha and Cephaelis acuminate commonly called Ipecac
are the important medicinal plants of Cephaelis species belonging to Rubiaceae family. Ipecac is
cultivated throughout the world due to their vast of therapeutic applications in gastrointestinal disorders
and poisoning cases.
Methods: In the present review paper medicinal importance of Ipecac and their main active phytoconstituents
cephaeline have been discussed and presented in concise manner to explore their hidden
potential. Phytochemical aspects of Ipecac and overview of cephaeline have been also discussed
in the present paper. However important Pharmacological activities of cephaeline on gastrointestinal
tract, cardiovascular system, Zika virus, Ebola virus, leishmania and malaria have
been mainly focused in the present paper. Further important analytical techniques of detection and
separation of cephaeline have also been presented in the present paper. Present paper also contains
information of Tissue culture techniques of Ipecac for the better production of cephaeline to fulfil
the industrial demands.
Results: Cephaeline is colourless crystalline active compound of Ipecac plant which is having
chemical formula C28H38O4N2. Claimed pharmacological activities of Ipecac such as diaphoretic, expectorant
and anti-amoebic are mainly due to the presence of alkaloidal class chemical emetine and
cephaeline. Result also revealed that ethanol extract of Ipecac has been used as emetic agents. Phytochemical
analysis of the Ipecac revealed the presence of emetine, cephaeline, protoemetine, psychotrine,
emetamine, O-methylpsychotrine and psychotrine methyl ether. Pharmacologically
cephaeline induces vomiting through acting on stomach lining but it is more toxic and irritant compared
to the emetine.
Conclusion: The presented information will be beneficial to the scientific communities to know
the importance of Ipecac and their main active phytoconstituents cephaeline for the treatment of numerous
health related complication.