Generic placeholder image

Current Traditional Medicine


ISSN (Print): 2215-0838
ISSN (Online): 2215-0846

Review Article

Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn.: A Review on its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacological Activities, and Toxicity

Author(s): Antica Barua, Md. Junaid, Tahmida Shamsuddin, Muhammad Shaiful Alam, Nusrat Jahan Mouri*, Rasheda Akter, Tania Sharmin and S.M. Zahid Hosen

Volume 9, Issue 1, 2023

Published on: 27 August, 2022

Article ID: e120522204668 Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/2215083808666220512141937

Price: $65


Background: Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. (Oleaceae) is a traditional therapeutic plant, highly used in Ayurveda for a wide range of activities, such as anthelmintic, antipyretic, laxative, rheumatism, skin ailments, and sedative.

Aims of the Review: This review aims to furnish up-to-date details on botanical characterization, geographical distribution, traditional uses, phytochemical constituents, pharmacological activities, and toxicity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. with the exploitation of future research on more curative treatments as well.

Methods: The available information was reviewed using different e-tools, including PubMed (National Library of Medicine), ScienceDirect, Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer. The scientific name is verified by 'The Plant 'List' ( and 'Kew Royal Botanic 'Gardens' (

Results: Crude extracts and isolated compounds of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. have been found pharmacologically active as hepatoprotective, anti-leishmaniasis, antiviral, antifungal, antipyretic, antihistaminic, antimalarial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities; it was widely for intermittent fevers and arthritis treatment. The major classes of biologically active compounds are their iridoid, glucosides, essential oils, hydrocarbons, alkaloids, benzofurans, cyclohexylethanoid, fatty acids, sterols, and terpenoid.

Conclusion: Phytochemical studies and Nyctanthes arbour-tristis Linn's pharmacological activities indicated it as a potential medicinal plant for various ailments. However, more research is crucial to investigate the mode of action of the plant's bioactive constituents and its therapeutic potential.

Keywords: Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn., botanical characterization, geographical distribution, traditional uses, phytochemical constituents, pharmacological activities.

Graphical Abstract
Meshram MM, Rangari SB, Kshirsagar SB, Gajbhiye S, Trivedi MR, Sahane RS. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis a herbal panacea. Int J Pharm Sci Res 2012; 3(8): 2432-40.
Priya K, Ganjewala D. Antibacterial activities and phytochemical analysis of different plant parts of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (Linn.). Res J Phytochem 2007; 1(2): 61-7.
Kannan M, Singh AR. An immuno-pharmacological investigation of Indian medicinal plant Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. World Appl Sci J 2010; 11(5): 495-503.
Nadkarni KM. Indian Materia Medica. (3rd ed.), Mumbai: Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd 1982.
Kirtikar KR, Basu BD. Indian Medicinal Plants 1st ed Bahadurganj: Panini Office;. 1918.
Agrawal J, Pal A. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn--a critical ethnopharmacological review. J Ethnopharmacol 2013; 146(3): 645-58.
[] [PMID: 23376280]
Tuntiwachwuttikul P, Rayanil K, Taylor WC. Chemical constituents from the flowers of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Sci Asia 2003; 29(1): 21-30.
Gond SK, Mishra A, Sharma VK, et al. Diversity and antimicrobial activity of endophytic fungi isolated from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, a well-known medicinal plant of India. Mycoscience 2012; 53(2): 113-21.
Rathore A, Rivastava V, Srivastava K, Tandon J. Iridoid glucosides from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Phytochemistry 1990; 29(6): 1917-20.
Rout G, Mahato A, Senapati S. In vitro clonal propagation of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn.-a medicinal tree. Hortic Sci (Prague) 2007; 34(2): 84-9.
Ibrahim SR, Mohamed GA. Litchi chinensis: Medicinal uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacology. J Ethnopharmacol 2015; 174: 492-513.
[] [PMID: 26342518]
Nahrin A, Junaid M, Afrose SS, et al. A review of Saurauia roxburghii Wall.(Actinidiacaea) as a traditional medicinal plant, its phytochemical study and therapeutic potential. Mini Rev Med Chem 2020; 20(19): 2036-51.
[] [PMID: 32646358]
Santosh J, Manojkumar P. A review on: Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Rejuvinating herbs. Int J Res Pharm Pharm Sci 2016; 1(1): 54-62.
Rohilla AK, Sindhu A, Sharma RK, Khatri P, Jamdagni P, Rana J. Molecular assessment of genetic diversity among accessions of medicinal shrub Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (L.) from north and central India. Res Crops 2017; 18(1): 176-84.
Chauhan NS. Medicinal and aromatic plants of Himachal Pradesh. New Dehli, India: Indus Publishing Company 1999.
Banerjee A, Poddar A, Ghanta S, Chakraborty A, Chattopadhyay S. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn.–Spectrum of its bioactivity potential. Planta Med 2007; 73(09) 006
Chatterjee S, Bhattacharjee I, Chandra G. Bactericidal activities of some common herbs in India. Pharm Biol 2007; 45(5): 350-4.
Nair R, Kalariya T, Chanda S. Antibacterial activity of some selected Indian medicinal flora. Turk J Biol 2005; 29(1): 41-7.
Bhattarai N. Folk anthelmintic drugs of central Nepal. Int J Pharmacol 1992; 30(2): 145-50.
Jain A, Katewa SS, Galav PK, Sharma P. Medicinal plant diversity of Sitamata wildlife sanctuary, Rajasthan, India. J Ethnopharmacol 2005; 102(2): 143-57.
[] [PMID: 16154303]
Ratnasooriya W, Jayakody J, Hettiarachchi A, Dharmasiri M. Sedative effects of hot flower infusion of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis on rats. Pharm Biol 2005; 43(2): 140-6.
Jaiswal V. Culture and ethnobotany of Jaintia tribal community of Meghalaya, Northeast India-A mini review. Indian J Tradit Knowl 2010; 9(1): 38-44.
Jaiswal Y, Tatke P, Gabhe SY, Ashok V. Antioxidant activity of various extracts of leaves of Anacardium occidentale (cashew). Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci 2010; 1(4): 112-9.
Bindseil KU, Jakupovic J, Wolf D, Lavayre J, Leboul J, van der Pyl D. Pure compound libraries; a new perspective for natural product based drug discovery. Drug Discov Today 2001; 6(16): 840-7.
[] [PMID: 11495757]
Chin Y-W, Balunas MJ, Chai HB, Kinghorn AD. Drug discovery from natural sources. AAPS J 2006; 8(2): E239-53.
[] [PMID: 16796374]
Afrose SS, Junaid M, Akter Y, Tania M, Zheng M, Khan MA. Targeting kinases with thymoquinone: Molecular approach to cancer therapeutics. Drug Discov Today 2020; 25(12): 2294-306.
[] [PMID: 32721537]
Nirmal SA, Pal SC, Mandal SC, Patil AN. Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity of β-sitosterol isolated from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaves. Inflammopharmacology 2012; 20(4): 219-24.
[] [PMID: 22207496]
Gupta P, Bajpai SK, Chandra K, Singh KL, Tandon JS. Antiviral profile of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. against encephalitis causing viruses. Indian J Exp Biol 2005; 43(12): 1156-60.
[PMID: 16359127]
Srivastava V, Rathore A, Ali SM, Tandon J. New benzoic esters of loganin and 6β-hydroxyloganin from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. J Nat Prod 1990; 53(2): 303-8.
Gupta R, Kachhawa J, Sharma R. Antispermatogenic effects of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis in male albino rats. Pharmacologyonline 2006; 2: 261-73.
Tandon JS, Srivastava V, Guru PY. Iridoids: New class of leishmanicidal agents from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. J Nat Prod 1991; 54(4): 1102-4.
[] [PMID: 1791475]
Rathore A, Juneja R, Tandon J. An iridoid glucoside from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Phytochemistry 1989; 28(7): 1913-7.
Mishra V, Shukla A, Pandeti S, et al. Arbortristoside-A and 7-O-trans-cinnamoyl-6β-hydroxyloganin isolated from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis possess anti-ulcerogenic and ulcer-healing properties. Phytomedicine 2013; 20(12): 1055-63.
[] [PMID: 23746957]
Purushothaman KK, Venkatanarasimhan M, Sarada AJP. Arbortristoside A and B, two iridoid glucosides from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Phytochemistry 1985; 24(4): 773-6.
Singh KL, Roy R, Srivastava V, Tandon J, Mishra A. Arborside D, a minor iridoid glucoside from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. J Nat Prod 1995; 58(10): 1562-4.
Stuppner H, Müller E, Mathuram V, Kundu A. Minor iridoid glycosides from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Planta Med 1992; 58(7): 716-7.
Satyal P, Paudel P, Poudel A, Setzer WN. Chemical composition and biological activities of essential Oil from leaf and bark of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. from Nepal. J Med Aromat Plants 2012; 3(1): 1-4.
Kumari S, Singh R, Gurav N, Mehta N. Isolation and characterization of bioactive compounds from stem of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. and effect of different fractions on phytopathogens. Asian J Chem 2017; 29(4): 787-91.
Biswas I, Ukil S, Mukherjee A. Determination of n-alkane constituents and their phenological variation in the epicuticular wax of mature leaves of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. Nat Prod Res 2014; 28(5): 330-2.
[] [PMID: 24144021]
Turnbull J, Vasistha SK, Wilson W, Woodger R. Nyctanthic acid, a constituent of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. J Chem Soc 1957; 569-73.
Bhadouria R, Bhargava S, Pancholi S. Isolation and characterization of two alkaloids from the ethanolic extract of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. leaves. Adv Res Pharm Biol 2012; 2(4): 342-4.
Gadgoli C, Shelke S. Crocetin from the tubular calyx of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Nat Prod Res 2010; 24(17): 1610-5.
[] [PMID: 20954088]
Khatune NA, Islam ME, Rahman MAA, Mosaddik MA, Haque M. In-vivo cytotoxic evaluation of new benzofuran derivative isolated from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. on Ehrlich Ascite Carcinoma cells (EAC) in mice. J Med Sci (Faisalabad, Pak) 2003; 3(2): 169-73.
Khatune NA, Mossadik MA, Rahman MM, Khondkar P, Haque ME, Gray A. A benzofuranone from the flowers of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis and its antibacterial and cytotoxic activities Dhaka Univ J Pharm Sci 2005; 4(1)
Susan T, Muzaffer A, Purushothaman K. Inhibitory activity of arbortristoside A on fibrosarcoma in albino rats. Arogya J Health Sci 1986; 12: 122-30.
Dinamani M, Savaiah S, Rao A. Chemoprevention of DMBA induced skin tumorigenesis in swiss albino mice: Study with Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaf extract. Bioscan 2009; 4(2): 295-9.
Vohora SB, Kumar I, Naqvi SA. Phytochemical, pharmacological, antibacterial and anti-ovulatory studies on Annona squamosa. Planta Med 1975; 28(1): 97-100.
[] [PMID: 1178793]
Saxena RS, Gupta B, Lata S. Tranquilizing, antihistaminic and purgative activity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaf extract. J Ethnopharmacol 2002; 81(3): 321-5.
[] [PMID: 12127232]
Omkar A, Jeeja T, Chhaya G. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis and Onosma echioides. Pharmacogn Mag 2006; 2(8): 258-60.
Gupta P, Srimal R, Srivastava M, Singh K, Tandon J. Antiallergic activity of arbortristosides from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Int J Pharmacogn 1995; 33(1): 70-2.
Mishra AK, Upadhyay R, Chaurasia JK, Tiwari KN. Comparative antioxidant study in different flower extracts of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (L.)(Oleaceae): An important medicinal plant. Rev Bras BotBraz J Bot 2016; 39(3): 813-20.
Suresh V, Arunachalam G. Pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical studies of bark of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Int J Pharma Sci 2012; 4(1): 356-63.
Oguntibeju O. Antioxidant-Antidiabetic Agents and Human Health London, UK: IntechOpen. 2014.
Sharma V, Pooja MA. Hypoglycemic activity of methanolic extracts of Nyctanthes arbortristis Linn. root in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci 2011; 3(3): 210-2.
Pattanayak C, Datta PP. Analgesic activity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaves in rodents. J Intercult Ethnopharmacol 2013; 2(2): 105-12.
Scott JA, King GL. Oxidative stress and antioxidant treatment in diabetes. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2004; 1031(1): 204-13.
[] [PMID: 15753146]
Nanu R, Raghuveer I, Chitme H, Chandra R. Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Pharmacogn Mag 2008; 4(16): 335.
Suresh V, Jaikumar S, Arunachalam G. Anti diabetic activity of ethanol extract of stem bark of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Res J Pharm Biol Chem Sci 2010; 1(4): 311-7.
Rahman MM, Rokeya B, Shahjahan M, Ahmed T, Roy SK, Ali L. Hypoglycemic effect of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn extracts in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Malays J Pharm Sci 2013; 11(1): 21.
Rangika BS, Dayananda PD, Peiris DC. Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities of aqueous extract of flowers from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. in male mice. BMC Complement Altern Med 2015; 15(1): 289.
[] [PMID: 26285827]
Ezenyi IC, Salawu OA. Approaches, challenges and prospects of antimalarial drug discovery from plant sources.Rodriguez- Morales AJ, EdCurrent Topics in Malaria. London, UK: IntechOpen 2016; p. 187.
BADAM L. Rao T, Wagh U, Antarkar A. Antimalarial activity of fresh leaf juice of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, Linn. in vitro. Indian J Parasitol 1987; 11(1): 13-4.
Simonsen HT, Nordskjold JB, Smitt UW, et al. In vitro screening of Indian medicinal plants for antiplasmodial activity. J Ethnopharmacol 2001; 74(2): 195-204.
[] [PMID: 11167038]
Misra P, Pal N, Guru P, Katiyar J, Tandon J. Antimalarial activity of traditional plants against erythrocytic stages of Plasmodium berghei. Int J Pharmacogn 1991; 29(1): 19-23.
Karnik S, Tathed P, Antarkar D, Gidse C, Vaidya R, Vaidya A. Antimalarial activity and clinical safety of traditionally used Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Indian J Tradit Knowl 2008; 7(2): 330-4.
Tripathi S, Tripathi P, Vijayakumar M, Rao CV, Singh P. Anxiolytic activity of leaf extract of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis in experimental rats. Pharmacologyonline 2010; 2: 186-93.
Darokar M, Mathur A, Dwivedi S, Bhalla R, Khanuja SP, Kumar S. Detection of antibacterial activity in the floral petals of some higher plants. Curr Sci 1998; 75(3): 187-9.
Ahmad I, Beg AZ. Antimicrobial and phytochemical studies on 45 Indian medicinal plants against multi-drug resistant human pathogens. J Ethnopharmacol 2001; 74(2): 113-23.
[] [PMID: 11167029]
Bhatt L, Lim J, Baek S. Antimicrobial activity of Nepalese medicinal plants on skin microbial inflammation pathogens. J Cosmet Public Health 2005; 1: 6-9.
Mahida Y, Mohan J. Screening of plants for their potential antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus and Salmonella spp. Indian J Nat Prod Resour 2007; 6(4): 301-5.
Kumar KCS, Müller K. Medicinal plants from Nepal; II. Evaluation as inhibitors of lipid peroxidation in biological membranes. J Ethnopharmacol 1999; 64(2): 135-9.
[] [PMID: 10197748]
Dasgupta N, De B. Antioxidant activity of some leafy vegetables of India: comparative study. Food Chem 2007; 101(2): 471-4.
Thangavelu NR, Thomas S. In vitro anti-oxidant studies on ethanolic extracts of leaves and stems of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. L (night-flowering jasmine). Int J Biol Med Res 2010; 1(4): 188-92.
Vankar PS. Antioxidant activity of the flower of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. Int J Food Eng 2008; 4(8)
Ratnasooriya W, Jayakody J. Diuretic activity of hot flower infusion of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis in rats. B Latinoam Caribe Pl 2004; 3(5): 84-7.
Hukkeri V, Akki KS, Sureban R, Gopalakrishna B, Byahatti V, Rajendra S. Hepatoprotective activity of the leaves of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Indian J Pharm Sci 2006; 68(4): 542-3.
Deshmukh R, Pokharkar R, Takate S, Gite V. Amelioration of CCl4 induced hepatosuppression by Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn leaves in wistar albino rats. Pharmacologyonline 2007; 1: 203-8.
Vishwanathan M, Juvekar AR. Hepatoregenerative effects of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. on acetaminophen induced oxidative damage in rats. Int J Pharm Tech Res 2010; 2(2): 1291-7.
Kashaw V, Nema AK, Agarwal A. Hepatoprotective prospective of herbal drugs and their vesicular carriers–a review. Int J Res Pharm Biomed Sci 2011; 2(2): 360-74.
Verma NS, Dwivedi S, Panigrahi D, Gupta S. Antibacterial activity of root bark of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Int J Discov Herb Res 2011; 1(2): 61-2.
Verma N, Kaur J, Bhatia A. Stimulation of acetylcholinesterase activity with Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaves extract in the malathiontreated immunosuppressed mice. Int J Environ Stud 2001; 58(5): 645-54.
Poojashree V, Sumeet D, Kushagra D, Hemant J. Investigation of in vitro anthelmintic activity of fresh juice, aqueous and hydroalcoholic extracts of leaves of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis Linn. Nutracos (Milano) 2011; 10(6): 54-6.
Das S, Sasmal D, Basu SP. Evaluation of CNS depressant activity of different plant parts of Nyctanthes arbortristis linn. Indian J Pharm Sci 2008; 70(6): 803-6.
[] [PMID: 21369448]
Nirmal SA, Pal SC, Mandal SC. Antiasthmatic activity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis leaves. Lat Am J Pharm 2011; 30(4): 654-60.
Shukla AK, Patra S, Dubey VK. Deciphering molecular mechanism underlying antileishmanial activity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, an Indian medicinal plant. J Ethnopharmacol 2011; 134(3): 996-8.
[] [PMID: 21291983]
Khatune NA, Mosaddik MA, Haque ME. Antibacterial activity and cytotoxicity of Nyctanthes arbor-tristis flowers. Fitoterapia 2001; 72(4): 412-4.
[] [PMID: 11395266]
Shukla AK, Patra S, Dubey VK. Iridoid glucosides from Nyctanthes arbor-tristis result in increased reactive oxygen species and cellular redox homeostasis imbalance in Leishmania parasite. Eur J Med Chem 2012; 54: 49-58.
[] [PMID: 22608855]

Rights & Permissions Print Cite
© 2024 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy