Medicinal plant latex: A comparative study of the phytochemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties
Anita Joy, Anjali Jayan, Shilpa Babu
Latex is a milky fluid and is present in about 10% flowering plants. Latex is in fact a compound emulsion comprising of sugars, oils, tannins, resins, gums etc. and harden up or coagulate when exposed to air. Tissue injury usually leads to exudation of latex out of the plants. Latex evolved mainly as a defense mechanism in plants against herbivores and insects. Latex is different from plant sap and have entirely different functions. Distinct plant latexes contain a variety of chemicals that have different anti-invasion properties. They protect plants from herbivores, insects, fungi, parasites, bacteria, and viruses, among other things. For millennia, mankind has used latices and their preparations for their beneficial influence on human health due to the presence of pharmacologically active chemicals. Most of these compounds have been used in traditional medicine for analgesic, wound healing, anti-pathogenic (antiviral and antibacterial), anti-parasitic, anti-diabetic, and other purposes. This study examines common latex applications and future prospects in medicine, agriculture, and industry. It is proven that plant latex comprises of several defense chemicals and proteins in high concentrations. Here, the relevance of latex in defense against bacteria, as well as its phytochemical and antioxidant properties are analyzed based on recent studies, and the unique characteristics of latex and leaf extracts of Calotropis gigantea, Plumeria rubra and Carica papaya are discussed. Studies concluded high rate of antioxidant, antibacterial and phytochemical activities in the latex of all the three plants studied than in leaf extracts. Effectivity was observed more in ethanol and methanol dilutions in phytochemical and antibacterial assay. Some of the chemical compositions are recorded more effective in distilled water also by phytochemical screening.
Anita Joy, Anjali Jayan, Shilpa Babu. Medicinal plant latex: A comparative study of the phytochemical, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. International Journal of Botany Studies, Volume 7, Issue 1, 2022, Pages 533-541