Ethnopharmacological Relevance: The plant of the genus Sarcococca (Buxaceae) is widely distributed, and have long been used in folk medicine for the treatment of various ailments particularly ulcer, tumour, diarrhoea, fever, gastritis, syphilis, infections, muscular pain, inflammations and malaria.
Aim of the Review: In present review we emphasized the recent progress in the chemistry and biology of this genus as well as its traditional uses. This database may provide guidance for researchers, chemists and herbologists for further investigations in the field.
Materials and Methods: All literature available on the genus Sarcococca was collected via electronic search (using SciFinder, Google Scholar, Pubmed, Scirus, and Web of Science), books, theses and journals. This review covers the traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology from 1964 to December 2013.
Results: Ethnobotanical uses of different species of genus Sarcococca have been reported from China, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka for their different types of ailments. Genus Sarcococca possesses different chemical constituents including steroids, alkaloids, glycoside, triterpenoids, sugar and their alcohol. Crude extract, fractions and isolated secondary metabolites of genus Sarcococca have shown a wide range of pharmacological activities including antibacterial, antifeedant, antifungal, antileishmanial and cholinesterase inhibiting activities.
Conclusion: The leaves and shoots of Sarcococca plants have been used for the treatment of rheumatic fever in the folk medicine system for years without any adverse effects. However, there is a need to search for individual secondary metabolites responsible for these actions and study their mode of actions, and physiological pathways in sufficient detail.
Keywords: Anti hyperglycaemic activity, Buxaceae, S. vagans, Steroidal alkaloids.