A Review on the Properties and Effectiveness of Azadirachta indica, Ocimum tenuiflorum, and Cymbopogon citratus
Lakhnarayan Kumar Bhagarathi, Ferial Pestano, Zenesia Phillips-Henry, Chalasa Cossiah, Phillip N. B. DaSilva & Dharamdeo Singh
Published: December 10, 2021 • Book of Abstracts – Student Research, Volume 2 [Forthcoming]
Lakhnarayan Kumar Bhagarathi ✉️, Ferial Pestano, Chalasa Cossiah, Phillip N.B. Da Silva Division of Natural Sciences, University of Guyana – Berbice Campus, Tain, Corentyne, Guyana.
Zenesia Phillips-Henry, Division of Agriculture. University of Guyana – Berbice Campus. Tain, Corentyne, Guyana.
Dharamdeo Singh, Department of Agriculture. Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. University of Guyana – Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana.
Herbal and medicinal plants possess therapeutic potential such as for curing diseases, producing synthetic drugs, and developing chemicals used in pest management and disease control. Formal research on the usefulness of herbal and medicinal plants has received attention as early as 1935. This study reviewed academic literature on the properties and effectiveness of biological activity of the phytocompounds found in three widely available plants in Guyana: Azadirachta indica (neem), Ocimum tenuiflorum (tulsi), and Cymbopogon citratus (lemongrass). Research papers published between 2000 and 2020 were retrieved from academic search engines using search terms such as medicinal plants, herbal plants, and the plants’ scientific and common names. A total of 64 research articles were identified for this review, of which 24 focused on neem, 22 focused on tulsi, and the remaining 18 focused on lemongrass. The textual data was assessed using descriptive and content analysis. Results showed that tulsi contains the largest quantity of biologically active chemicals (82) among the three plants, followed by neem (65) and lemongrass (64). Neem was found to possess the most therapeutic properties (18) compared with tulsi (12) and lemongrass (6). The antimicrobial properties of tulsi and neem make them effective against different bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Both plants are used in pharmaceuticals for their antifertility effects, and for pest control and wound healing. They both have hypoglycemic/antidiabetic potential, act as powerful anticancer agents, and are used for their anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic effects. Neem also is used as a means of zoonotic control against the dengue and malaria mosquito; contains dermatological, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects; and has shown success in anti-ulcerative, immunostimulant, and antioxidant uses. Among the additional properties of tulsi are its anti-tissue activity, anti-hyperlipidemic activity, and immunomodulatory and stress-releasing agents. Lemongrass was found to demonstrate potential for two antimicrobial (antibacterial and antifungal) properties, and possesses anti-obesity, antihypertensive, and anxiolytic properties. This study indicated that neem, tulsi, and lemongrass are among the most important plants used in medicine today due to their wide range of therapeutic properties.
Keywords: Medicinal Plants, Therapeutic, Phytochemicals, Biological activity, Drugs.