Ethnopharmacology, bioactivities and chemical constituents of some anti-cancer plants in Malaysia

  • Chooi, Ong-Hean (Biomedical Sciences Sectiona Institute of Biological Sciences Faculty of Science University of Malaya)
  • Published : 2000.05.01


Many plant species are used in Malaysia in folk medicine for the treatment of cancer. This paper presents some of these species with details on other ethnopharmacological uses, the known bioactivities and some chemical constituents of each of the species given. It is normal practice in traditional medicine that one species of plant is used to treat various ailments. Thus the plant species listed are all used to treat cancer but have various other ethnophrmacological uses as well, some with few other uses and rest with many other uses. Information on bioactivities of each species resulting from tests on human and experimental animals are also given. Proven bioactivities give strength to ethnopharmacological claims on the efficacies of plant resources in the treatment of cancer and various other ailments but will but will not necessarily lead to the production of new pharmaceutical drugs. Many of the known chemical constituents of each species are given. This shows the richness and variety of chemicals containes in each of the species listed. The chemicals listed may or may not prove to be important in the pharmaceutical sciences but is an indication of what each species contatin in thrms of plant chemicals. It is a well known fact that many of the pharmaceutical prescriptions in present day use are of plant origin and semi-synthetic or fully synthetic chemicals produced using knowledge gained from studies of phytochemicals. Thus the paper presented will give useful information and also shows the richness of plant species that have high potentials for the development of anti-cancer resources from plants in Malaysia.