E-HERBARIA

  • Name : Bakuchi
  • English Name :Psoralea
  • Scientific Name :Psoralea corylifolia

 

Habitat:

Bakuchi consists of dry ripe fruits of Psoralea corylifolia Linn. (Fam. Leguminosae), an erect, 0.3-1.8 m high annual herb, distributed throughout India, found commonly in Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Maharashtra.1

 

Morphology Description (Habit):

Fruits, dark chocolate to almost black with pericarp adhering to the seed-coat, 3-4.5 mm long, 2-3 mm broad, ovoid-oblong or bean shaped, somewhat compressed, glabrous rounded or mucronate, closely pitted, seeds campylotropous, nonendospermous, oily and free from starch, odourless, but when chewed smell of a pungent essential oil felt, taste, bitter, unpleasant and acrid.1

 

Parts Used:

Fruit / Seed

 

Phytochemistry:

Essential oil, fixed oil, Psoralen , psoralidin, isopsoralen and bakuchiol.1

 

As per Ayurveda:

           Rasa (Taste)                 : Pungent, bitter

           Guna (Property)           : Rough

           Veerya (Potency)         : Cold

           Vipaka (End Result)      : Pungent

 

Pharmacological Actions:

The seed of Psoralea corylifolia L. (PCL), a well-known traditional Chinese medicine, has been applied as a tonic or an aphrodisiac agent and commonly used as a remedy for bone fracture, osteomalacia and osteoporosis in China.2

Bakuchi is Shleshmapittahara; its primary pharmacological actions are summarized as under:

 

Central Nervous System: 

i. Psoralidin, an active component in seeds, possesses potent antidepressant-like properties that were observed to be mediated via the monoamine neurotransmitter and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis systems.3

ii. Psoralen possesses potent antidepressant-like properties which were at least in part mediated by improving the abnormalities in the serotonergic and the HPA axis systems.4

iii. A seed isolate Delta(3),2-hydroxybakuchiol (BU) can inhibit dopamine uptake in dopamine transporter (DAT) transfected Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, and dopamine reuptake blockade may provide an alternative approach for ameliorating parkinsonism. BU acts by protecting dopaminergic neurons from MPP(+) injury and preventing against MPTP-induced behavioral and histological lesions in the Parkinson's disease (PD) model, possibly by inhibiting monoamine transporters, which suggests that BU could be meaningful in PD treatment.5

 

Digestive System : 

i. Psoralea corylifolia L. demonstrates strong anti-Helicobacter pylori activity.6

ii. The seed extract inhibits ROS production and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by oxidative stress in hepatocytes.7

 

Endocrinal System : 

i. Possesses synergistic antidiabetic effect when used with Methi seeds.8

 

Cardiovascular System : 

i. Exhibits anti-platelet activity.9

 

Musculoskeletal System: 

i. It might be a potential candidate for treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis because orally administrated Bakuchi extract can decrease urinary calcium excretion and decrease serum osteocalcin in ovariectomized rats, resulting in positive effects on bone mineral density as well as bone formation. 10

ii. Buguzhi (Bakuchi) extract in collagen matrix has the effect of increasing new bone formation locally in vivo. Buguzhi extract in collagen matrix can be used as a bone graft material.11

 

Skin and Hair : 

i. The seed extract exhibits significant antifungal activity.12

ii. Babchi oil is used because its chief constituent psoralen is a photoactive furocoumarin that binds to DNA when exposed to UV light to form photoproducts with pyrimidine base. This action inhibits DNA synthesis and causes decrease in cell proliferation. Moreover, babchi oil, in addition to providing psoralen, also acts as an oily phase for microemulsion system. The presence of surfactant and cosurfactant increases the permeation.13

 

Others : 

i. Psoralen and isopsoralen contribute to anticancer effect of P. corylifolia L.14

ii. Psoralidin may be useful as a potential lead compound for development of a better radiopreventive agent against radiation-induced normal tissue injury.15

iii. P. corylifolia has protective effects against oxidative stress-induced retinal damage, and may be considered as an agent for treating or preventing retinal degeneration. 16

iv. The plant extracts have been reported to possess antibacterial, antitumor, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and immunomodulatory activity. 17

v. Psoralen is a bone-modifying agent and a potential therapeutic to treat patients with bone metastases. 18

vi. Psoralidin, bakuchicin, psoralin and angelicin, isolated from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia, showed significant antibacterial activities against a number of Gram (+) and Gram (−) bacteria. 19

 

Indications:

Psoriasis

Skin (and scalp) ulcers, infections and inflammations

Osteoporosis and Osteopenia

 

References:

1. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Part-1, Vol-1.

2. Xin D, Wang H, Yang J, et al. Phytoestrogens from Psoralea corylifolia reveal estrogen receptor-subtype selectivity. Phytomedicine. 2010 Feb;17(2):126-31.

3. Yi LT, Li YC, Pan Y, et al. Antidepressant-like effects of psoralidin isolated from the seeds of Psoralea Corylifolia in the forced swimming test in mice. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2008 Feb 15;32(2):510-9. Epub 2007 Oct 16.

4. Xu Q, Pan Y, Yi LT, Li YC, et al. Antidepressant-like effects of psoralen isolated from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia in the mouse forced swimming test. Biol Pharm Bull. 2008 Jun;31(6):1109-14.

5. Zhao G, Zheng XW, Qin GW, Gai Y, Jiang ZH, Guo LH. In vitro dopaminergic neuroprotective and in vivo antiparkinsonian-like effects of Delta 3,2-hydroxybakuchiol isolated from Psoralea corylifolia (L.). Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 May;66(9):1617-29.

6. Zaidi SF, Yamada K, Kadowaki M, et al. Bactericidal activity of medicinal plants, employed for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments, against Helicobacter pylori. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 21;121(2):286-91.

7. Seo E, Oh YS, Kim D, Lee MY, Chae S, Jun HS. Protective Role of Psoralea corylifolia L. Seed Extract against Hepatic Mitochondrial Dysfunction Induced by Oxidative Stress or Aging. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:678028.

8. Bera TK, Ali KM, Jana K, Ghosh A, Ghosh D. Protective effect of aqueous extract of seed of Psoralea corylifolia (Somraji) and seed of Trigonella foenum-graecum L. (Methi) in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat: A comparative evaluation. Pharmacognosy Res. 2013 Oct;5(4):277-85.

9. Wei-Jern Tsai , Wen-Chi Hsin , and Chien-Chih Chen. Antiplatelet Flavonoids from Seeds of Psoralea corylifolia. Journal of Natural Products. 1996; 59(7): 671-672.

10. Tsai MH, Huang GS, Hung YC, Bin L, Liao LT, Lin LW. Psoralea corylifolia extract ameliorates experimental osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(4):669-80.

11. Wong RW, Rabie AB. Effect of Buguzhi (Psoralea corylifolia fruit) extract on bone formation. Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24 Suppl 2:S155-60.

12. Rajendra Prasad N, Anandi C, Balasubramanian S, Pugalendi KV. Antidermatophytic activity of extracts from Psoralea corylifolia (Fabaceae) correlated with the presence of a flavonoid compound. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Mar;91(1):21-4.

13. Ali J, Akhtar N, Sultana Y, Baboota S, Ahuja A. Antipsoriatic microemulsion gel formulations for topical drug delivery of babchi oil (Psoralea corylifolia). Methods Find Exp Clin Pharmacol. 2008 May;30(4):277-85.

14. Wang Y, Hong C, Zhou C, Xu D, Qu HB. Screening Antitumor Compounds Psoralen and Isopsoralen from Psoralea corylifolia L. Seeds. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:363052.

15. Yang HJ, Youn H, Seong KM, et al. Psoralidin, a dual inhibitor of COX-2 and 5-LOX, regulates ionizing radiation (IR)-induced pulmonary inflammation. Biochem Pharmacol. 2011 Sep 1;82(5):524-34.

16. Kim KA, Shim SH, Ahn HR, Jung SH. Protective effects of the compounds isolated from the seed of Psoralea corylifolia on oxidative stress-induced retinal damage. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013 Jun 1;269(2):109-20.

17. Chopra B, Dhingra AK, Dhar KL. Psoralea corylifolia L. (Buguchi) - Folklore to modern evidence: Review. Fitoterapia. 2013 Oct;90:44-56.

18. Wu C, Sun Z, Ye Y, Han X, Song X, Liu S. Psoralen inhibits bone metastasis of breast cancer in mice. Fitoterapia. 2013 Dec;91:205-10.

19. Khatune NA, Islam ME, et al. Antibacterial compounds from the seeds of Psoralea corylifolia. Fitoterapia. 2004; 75(2): 228-230.

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