Mutagenic and antimutagenic activities in philippine medicinal and food plants

Clara Y. Lim-Sylianco, W. Thomas Shier

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9 Scopus citations


In developing countries there is increasing interest and research in the area of herbal medicines as an approach to reducing costs of health care. The chemically complex nature of these medicinal preparations results in a significant increased risk of toxicity, including genotoxicity. A total of 138 medicinal plant preparations used in the Philippines have been examined for genotoxicity using various short term bacterial and mammalian tests. Of the plants examined only the following 12 exhibited detectable genotoxicity in any system: Alli um sativum L., Aloe barbadensis Miller, Archangelisa flava (L.) Merr., Canarium luzonicum (Blume) A. Gray, Capsicum frutescens L., Entada phaseoliodes (L.) Merr., Moringa oleifera K., Nfrium indicum Mill., Piper betle L., Pithecellobium dulce (Roxb) Benth., Pittosporum pentandrum (Blanco) Merr., and Plantaqo major L. Little is known about the chemical nature of the mutagenic agents in these preparations. Some plants also contain substances which reduce genotoxicity either by acting directly on the mutagen (desmutagens) or by acting on the affected organism (antimutagens). Examination of Philippine food and medicinal plants has identified numerous plants which contain antimutagenic activity. The chemical nature of the antimutagens has not been established but it has been speculated that part of the activity could be related to the vitamin content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-105
Number of pages35
JournalToxin Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1985


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