Edible medicinal and non medicinal plants

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Edible medicinal and non medicinal plants

  1. 1. 18T.K. Lim, Edible Medicinal and Non-Medicinal Plants: Volume 6, Fruits, DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-5628-1_4, © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013 Scientific Name Dimocarpus longan Lour. subsp. longan Leenhout var. longan Leenhout. Synonyms Dimocarpus longan Lour., Euphoria echinulata Radlk., Euphoria longan (Lour.) Steudel, Euphoria longana L., Euphoria longana Lamk. nom. illeg., Euphoria sinensis Gmel., Nephelium bengalense G. Don., Nephelium didymum Craib, Nephelium longana (Lam.) Cambess., Nephelium longan (Lour.) Hook., Nephelium longana Cambess., Nephelium longana var. pallida Trim., Nephelium longana var. acuminata Pierre, Nephelium pupillum Wight. Family Sapindaceae Common/English Names Dragon’s eye, Dragon’s eye fruit, Longan, Lonagn Tree, Lungan. Vernacular Names Brazil: Olho-De-Dragão (Portuguese); Burmese: Kyet Mouk; Chinese: Lóng Yǎn, Longan, Lung Ngaan, Gui Yuan, Yang Yan Guo Shu, Yuan Yan; Cuba: Mamoncillo Chino (Spanish); Dutch: Lengkeng; French: Longan, Longanier, Oeil De Dragon; German: Longane, Longanbaum, Longanbeere; India:Ash-Fol(Bengali),Kanakindeli(Kannada), Chempoovana, Chempunna, Malampoovathi, Malampuvanna, Mulei, Pasakotta, Poripuna (Malayalam), Kattupuvam Shempuvam (Tamil); Indonesia: Kalengleng (Madurese), Lengkeng; Japanese: Rongan, Ryugan; Khmer: Mien, Laos: Lam Nhai, Nam Nhai; Malaysia: Lengkeng, Longan Lungan; Philippines: Longan (Tagalog); Russian: Longan, Longana; Portuguese: Longana, Pitomba Longana; Spanish: Longán, Mamoncillo Chino; Sri Lanka: Mora (Sinhalese); Thailand: Lamyai Pa, Ma Lamyai; Vietnam: Nhãn, Long Nhãn. Origin/Distribution The longan is native to southern China, in the provinces of Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Schezwan and Fukien, Hainan, Yunnan, between elevations of 150–700 m. The species has also reported to be found in India, Sri Lanka, Upper Myanmar, North Thailand, Kampuchea, North Vietnam and New Guinea. The crop is mainly grown in Dimocarpus longan subsp. longan var. longan
  2. 2. 19Dimocarpus longan subsp. longan var. longan southern China, Taiwan and north Thailand, Kampuchea, Laos and Vietnam with small acre- ages elsewhere in India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Queensland (Australia) and Florida (United States). Scattered trees are found at higher eleva- tions in South-East Asia. Longan is also grown in the Reúnion and Mauritius. Agroecology Longan is adapted to the warm subtropical areas, or at higher elevation in the tropics where there is a distinct fluctuations in temperatures for satis- factory flowering. Longan requires a short (2–3 months) of cool (mean temperature 15–22°C) winter season for prolific bloom or a short drought in winter may assist flowering, especially in the more tropical types. From fruit set onwards high temperatures do not hamper development, but nightsshouldnotbewarmerthan20–25°C.Annual rainfall of 1,500–2,000 mm is probably required in the absence of irrigation. Ample soil moisture is needed from fruit set until maturity. Longan pre- fers rich well-drained sandy loams, it does well on oolitic limestone. Moderately acid sandy soils are moremarginalandonorganicmucksoilsflowering is deficient, probably because of protracted vege- tativegrowth.InnorthernThailandlonganorchards are often situated on the lighter alluvial soils along former river courses. Edible Plant Parts and Uses The fruit pulp (arilloid) is edible, extremely sweet, juicy and succulent. It is best eaten fresh, out-of-hand or frozen, thawed and eaten. The fruit is also eaten cooked in various cuisines, dried or canned in its own juice or in syrup. Canned longan is usually used in various hot or cold desserts. Dried longan is commonly used in Asian herbal soups, as snacks, dessert, beverage and sweet-and-sour food. Dried longan is a bupin fruit used to make bupin which is equivalent to home-made, therapeutic, tonic food to revitalise and strengthen the body (Hu 2005). The dried longan is dark-brown to almost black, leathery and smoky in flavor and is mainly used to prepare a cold or warm infusion drink for refreshment and vitality. A liqueur is made by macerating the longan flesh in alcohol. Canned and dried lon- gans are mainly exported from China and Thailand to USA, Europe and elsewhere. Both lycee and longan are deemed as ‘warm fruit’. Botany An evergreen tree, growing to 20 m with a rough corky trunk with diameter reaching 1 m and dark- brown, lenticellate twigs. The leaves are alternate, petiolate 2–10 cm long, paripinnate with 2–6 jugate, leaflets opposite on 1.5–10 mm long petiolules. Leaflet is oblong-elliptic to oblong- lanceolate, 6–15 by 2.5–5 cm, upper surface glossy deep green, lower pale green, chartaceous, both surfaces glabrous, lateral veins 12–15 pairs, only prominent abaxially, base extremely asymmetrical, apex acute, blunt to obtuse (Plates 1 and 2). New growth is wine-colored and showy. Inflorescences terminal or axillary near apex, large, many branched, 8–40 cm long, densely tufted tomentose. Panicle comprise staminate, pistillate and hermaphrodite flowers. Cymules 3–5 flowered and distinctly stalked. Pedicels short 2–4 mm, bracts patent, 1.5–5 mm long; calyx lobes deltoid-ovate, 2–5 mm×1–3 mm; petals 5, 1.5–6 mm×0.6–2 mm, milky-white, lanceolate, nearly as long as sepals; stamens 6–8, filament 1–6 mm, hirsute in hermaphrodite flowers which Plate 1 Foliage and developing longan fruits
  3. 3. 20 Sapindaceae have bicarpellate, densely hairy ovary with a bilobed stigma. Stamens non-functional in pistil- late flowers. Fruit drupaceous, 1.25–3 cm in diam- eter, subglobose, usually yellowish brown or sometimes grayish yellow, mostly pusticulate to granulate and nearly smooth (Plates 2–4). Seed globular with shining blackish-brown testa and enveloped by a fleshy, translucent, white arilloid (Plates 3–4). Nutritive/Medicinal Properties The nutrient composition of raw longan (exclude 47% refuse of shell and seed) per 100 g edible portion is: water 82.75 g, energy 60 kcal (251 kJ), protein 1.31 g, fat 0.10 g, ash 0.70 g, carbohydrate 15.14 g, dietary fibre 1.1 g, Ca 1 mg, Fe 0.13 mg, Mg 10 mg, P 21 mg, K 266 mg, Na 0 mg, Zn 0.05 mg, Cu 0.169 mg, Mn 0.052 mg, vitamin C 84.0 mg, thiamine 0.031 mg, riboflavin 0.140 mg, niacin 0.3 mg, threonine 0.034 g, isoleucine 0.026 g, leucine 0.054 g, lysine 0.046 g, methion- ine 0.013 g, phenylalanine 0.030 g, tyrosine 0.025 g, valine 0.058 g, arginine 0.035 g, histidine 0.012 g, alanine 0.157 g, aspartic acid 0.126 g, glutamic acid 0.209 g, glycine 0.042 g, proline 0.042 g, and serine 0.048 g (USDA 2012). Longan fruit had the highest vitamin C content (60.1 mg/100 g) among the three specialty fruit tested (lycee, longan and rambutan) (Wall 2006) and a range of 55.3–63.3 mg/100 g. Longan was found to compare favourably to fresh papayas (61.8 mg/ 100 g), oranges (53.2 mg/100 g), and strawberries (58.9 mg/100 g) for vitamin C con- tent. Longans were found to be a good source of potassium (K) and copper (Cu). Fresh longans (100 g) can supply 7% of the DRI (Daily Recommendation Intake) for K and 29% of the DRI for Cu. Copper ranged from 0.23 to 0.30 mg/100 g in longan fruit. Longans also may provide 3–5% of the DRI for phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and zinc (Zn). Longan fruit had been reported to contain significant amounts of bioactive compounds such as corilagin, ellagic acid and its conjugates, 4-O-methylgallic acid, flavone glycosides, glycosides of quercetin and kaemp- ferol, ethyl gallate 1-b-O-galloyl-D-glucopyra- nose, grevifolin and 4-O-a-L-rhamnopyranosyl -ellagic acid (Yang et al. 2011). Sun et al. (2007) extracted two polyphenol compounds identified as 4-O-methylgallic acid and (−)-epicatechin from longan fruit pericarp. Plate 2 Compound 3-6-jugate leaves and young fruits Plate 3 Harvested ripe longan fruits Plate 4 Ripe longan fruit with translucent flesh and glossy black seed
  4. 4. 21Dimocarpus longan subsp. longan var. longan Longan fruit pericarp was found to con- tain 1.101 mg/mL of total flavanone (Huang et al. 2006). From the pulp of longan, three cerebroside molecular species have been isolated. Six known cerebrosides, soyacerebrosides I and II, 1-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-(2S,3R,4E,8E)-2- (2¢-lignoceroylamino)-4,8-octadecadiene-1,3- diol (longan cerebroside I) and its 8Z isomer (longan cerebroside II), momor-cerebroside I, and phytolacca cerebroside, were identified as major components of these cerebroside molecular species (Ryu et al. 2003). All the cerebrosides were shown to be a mixture of geometrical isomers (8E and 8Z) of sphingosine-type or phy- tosphingosine-type glucocerebrosides possessing 2-hydroxy fatty acids. Cerebrosides are impor- tant components in animal muscle and nerve cell membranes. HPLC analysis of acid hydrolyzed extracts of longan peel showed that the majority of the flavones were glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol (Jaitrong et al. 2006). Similar analyses also showed evidence of ellagic acid glycosides. Purified oligosaccharides extracted from longan fruit pericarp were found to com- prise Gal (71.5%), Glc (24.6%), and GalA (3.9%) (Jiang et al. 2009). The analysis of glycosidic linkages showed that the backbone consisted of → 3-Gal-(1→, →6)-Gal-1→, Glc-(1 → and →3)-GalA-1→with a molar proportion of 13:5:6:1. Longan fruit was found to contain the lowest total dietary fibre (0.19%) and the lowest phytate content (0.37%) compared to dragon fruit, durian, guava, mango, and pineapple (Nititham et al. 2004). Longan fruit arils also contained adenosine, adenine, uridine, and 5-methyluridine (Okuyama et al. 1999). Phytochemicals extracted with 70% methanol from peel, pulp, and seed tissues of longan fruit, yielded the following major components gallic acid, corilagin (an ellagitannin), and ellagic acid (Rangkadilok et al. 2005). There was a large variation in the contents of gallic acid, corilagin, and ellagic acid in different plant tissues and cul- tivars. Seed contained the highest levels of the three phenolics, and pulp contained the lowest. Among commercial Thai cultivars, Biewkiew and Edor contained the highest levels of gallic and ellagic acid while Srichompoo contained the highest content of corilagin. The authors main- tained that utilization of this byproduct material will support the use of thousands of tons of waste longan seeds after the production of canned longan pulp. Longan seed was found to contain a rich array of phenolic compounds which could be utilized as health-beneficial bioactive compounds rather than just discarded as waste (Soong and Barlow 2005). Gallic acid, ellagic acid, monogal- loyl-glucose, monogalloyl-diglucose, digal- loyl-diglucose, penta- to heptagalloyl-glucose, ellagic acid-pentose conjugate, galloyl-HHDP (Hexahydroxydiphenoyl)-glucopyranose, penta- galloy-HHDP-glucopyranose, procyanidin A-type dimer, procyanidin B2 and quercetin- 3-O-rhamnoside were found to be present in lon- gan seed along with a number of, unidentified compounds. The hexane extract of longan seeds was found to be predominated by long-chain fatty acids with major levels of palmitic (35%) and oleic (28%) acids (Sudjaroen et al. 2012). The polyphenolic fraction (80.90 g/kg dry weight) was dominated by ellagic acid (25.84 g/kg) and the known ellagitannins corilagin (13.31 g/kg), chebulagic acid (13.06 g/kg), ellagic acid 4-O-a- L-arabinofuranoside (9.93 g/kg), isomallotinic acid (8.56 g/kg) and geraniin (5.79 g/kg). The seed oil of longan, was found to contain 17.4% of 9,10-methyleneoctadecanoic (dihy- drosterculic) acid, 16:0 (19%), 18:0 (7%), 18Ð1 (36%), 18:2 (6%), 18:3 (5%) and 20:0 (4%) and less than 1%, of cyclopropanoid fatty acids (Kleiman et al. 1969). Sixty-one volatile com- pounds were identified in longan fruit (Wong et al. 1996). Esters (68.4%) and terpenoids (27.1%) were quantitatively the most significant among longan volatiles, and ethyl acetate (66.2%) and (E)-ocimene (26.7%) were clearly dominant. Three acetylenic amino acids: 2-amino-4-meth- ylhex-5-ynoic acid, 2-amino-4-hydroxymethylhex- 5-ynoic acid, and 2-amino-4-hydroxyhept-6-ynoic acid were characterised from longan seeds (Sung et al. 1969). In recent years, some pharmacological activi- ties such as anti-tyrosinase, anti-glycated and anticancer activities, and memory-enhancing effects of longan aril, pericarp or seed extract have been found, implicating a significant contribution to human health (Yang et al. 2011). Other
  5. 5. 22 Sapindaceae pharmacological properties that have been reported on the fruit, seeds, flowers and leaves include antioxidant, hypolipidemic, antiobesity, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, antibac terial, cytotoxic, anxiolytic, analgesic, antimuta- genic, neuroprotective, osteoclastogenic, adapto- genic and antifatigue activities. Antioxidant Activity In DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and superoxide radicals scavenging activity, longan seed extract was found to be as effective as Japanese green tea extract while dried longan pulp and mulberry green tea extracts showed the least scavenging activities (Rangkadilok et al. 2007). In the ORAC assay, both fresh and dried longan seed also exerted higher activity than dried pulp and whole fruit. Longan extracts contained corilagin ranging from zero to 50.64 mg/g DW, gallic acid from 9.18 to 23.04 mg/g DW, and ellagic acid from 8.13 to 12.65 mg/g DW depending on the cultivars. However, the results demonstrated that these three polyphenolics may not be the major contributors of the high antioxidant activity of lon- gan water extracts but this high activity may be due to other phenolic/flavonoid glycosides and ellagitannins present in longan fruit. Of the two polyphenols extracted from longan pericarp, 4-O-methylgallic acid exerted higher reducing power and DPPH-, hydroxyl radical-, and super- oxide radical-scavenging activities than (−)-epi- catechin (Sun et al. 2007). He et al. (2009) reported that the ferric reducing antioxidant activity of lon- gan pericarp was highly correlated to polyphenol content of which 52.9 mg/g (dry matter) poyphe- nol was extracted. Their results suggested that gal- lic and ellagic acids were not the main contributors; 15 other phenolic compounds were found in lon- gan pericarp, all contributing to a synergistic defence system against oxidation. High pressure- assisted extract of longan fruit pericarp exhibited excellent antioxidant activity as assessed by DPPH radical scavenging activity, superoxide anion radi- cal activity, total antioxidant and lipid peroxida- tion inhibitory activity (Prasad et al. 2009). It contained higher level of total phenolic contents 20.8 mg/g gallic acid equivalent/g dw compared to conventional extract of longan with 14.6 mg gallic acid equivalent/g. Similarly longan fruit pericarp extract from ultra-high-pressure-assisted extraction at 500 MPa (UHPE-500) showed the highest antioxidant activities as assayed using sim- ilar antioxidant models (Prasad et al. 2010). Three phenolic acids, namely gallic acid, ellagic acid, and corilagin were identified. Oligosaccharides extracted from longan fruit pericarp exhibited strong and dose–dependent antioxidant activities as evaluated using the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryldydra- zyl (DPPH) and superoxide anion radical scaveng- ing assays (Jiang et al. 2009). The methanol extract of longan seeds exhib- ited potent antioxidant capacities with an IC50 of 154 mg/mL for reactive oxygen species scavenge on salicylic acid and 78 mg/mL for inhibition of xanthine oxidase in the hypoxanthine/xanthine oxidase assay (Sudjaroen et al. 2012). The extracts were less effective in the 2-deoxyguanos- ine assay (IC50 =2.46 mg/mL), indicating that gal- lates along with ellagic acid and its congeners exerted their potential antioxidant effects pre- dominantly by precipitation of proteins such as xanthine oxidase. This was confirmed for the pure compounds gallic acid, methyl gallate, ellagic acid and corilagin. The total phenolic content of longan fruit peel extracted with 95% ethanol using micro- wave-assisted extract of longan peel (MEL) and Soxhlet extract of longan peel (SEL) reached 96.78 mg/g and 90.35 mg/g dry weight, respectively, expressed as pyrocatechol equiva- lents (Pan et al. 2008). MEL and SEL showed excellent antioxidant compared to synthetic antioxidant 2,6-di-ter-butyl-4-methylphenol (BHT) in all test systems employing various established systems in-vitro including DPPH radical scavenging assay, hydroxyl radical scavenging assay using a new resonance scattering (RS) method, reducing power and total antioxidant capacity. The antioxidant activities of MEL were all superior to those of SEL. MEL and SEL treatment significantly reduced lipid oxidation in peanut oil compared to the control. Longan flowers exhibited suppressive effects in lipopolysaccharide-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells (Ho et al. 2007). Abundant levels
  6. 6. 23Dimocarpus longan subsp. longan var. longan of phenolic compounds including flavonoids, condensed tannins, and proanthocyanidins were found in water or ethanolic extracts prepared from dried longan flowers. The antioxidative effect of longan flower extract was similar to the effect exhibited by pure antioxidants (gallic acid, myricetin, and epigallocatechin gallate). Longan flower extract also showed prominent inhibitory effectsonprostaglandinE2production.Significant concentration-dependent inhibition of nitric oxide production was detected when cells were cotreated with lipopolysaccharide and various concentrations of longan flower extracts. These inhibitory effects were further attributed to sup- pression of inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression and not to reduced enzymatic activity. These results suggested that longan flower crude extracts, especially ethanolic extract, had antioxi- dant and anti inflammatory effects, and the mech- anism may involve inhibition of inflammation by proanthocyanidins. Hiesh et al. (2008) reported that the methanol extract of longan flowers exerted the highest antioxidant activity, followed by ethyl acetate and n-hexane extracts as evaluated using the DPPH free radical scavenging effect, the oxy- gen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay, and the inhibition of Cu(2+)-induced oxidation of human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) assays. On further fractionation of the methanol extract, the ethyl acetate fraction was found to have the high- est activity of delaying LDL oxidation and to con- tain two major compounds, (−)-epicatechin and proanthocyanidin A2. The petroleum ether, chloroform and ethyl acetate fractions of ethanol extract of longan leaf and stem exhibited potent antioxidant activity with the ethyl acetate and chloroform leaf frac- tions displaying the highest with IC50 values of 44.28 and 44.31 mg/mL respectively (Ripa et al. 2010). Anticancer Activity High pressure-assisted extract of longan fruit pericarp exhibited higher anticancer activity on HepG2 (Human hepatocellular liver carcinoma), A549 (Human lung adenocarcinoma epithelial cell line) and SGC 7901 (human gastric carcinoma) cancer cell lines than conventional extracted lon- gan (Prasad et al. 2009). Three phenolic com- pounds identified gallic acid, ellagic acid and corilagin were identified in the extract. Studies by Chung et al. (2010) showed that longan seed polyphenols (LSP) (25–200 ug/mL) inhibited the proliferation of 3 human colorectal carcinoma cells Colo 320DM, SW480 and HT-29, but not LoVo. LSP induced S phase arrest of the cell cycle and apoptotic death in three CRC cell lines by reducing the expression of cyclin A and cyclin D1. Longan flower extract (LFE) (25–400 mg/ mL) inhibited proliferation of two colorectal can- cer cell lines, SW-480 and Colo 320DM in a dose- and time-dependent manner by inducing S phase arrest of the cell cycle (Hsu et al. 2010). An apoptotic mechanism induced by LFE involv- ing a loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and caspase 3 activation was found in Colo 320DM cells but not in SW480 cells. Anti-tyrosinase/Skin-Whitening Activity Longan seed extract showed tyrosinase inhibi- tory activity with IC50 values of 2.9–3.2 mg/mL (Rangkadilok et al. 2007) and may have poten- tial as a new natural skin-whitening agent. Yang et al. (2008) reported that polysaccharides extracted from longan fruit pericarp (PLFP) acted as non-competitive inhibitor of tyrosi- nase. They found that ultrasonic treatment of PLFP increased the inhibition of tyrosinase activity. Longan fruit pericarp extract from ultra-high-pressure-assisted extraction at 500 MPa (UHPE-500) showed showed moder- ate tyrosinase inhibitory activity (Prasad et al. 2010) Anti-glycated Activity Studies showed that longan pericarp had anti- gylcation activity. An anti-glycation agent inhib- its the glycation process and prevents the formation of AGEs, advanced glycation end products (e.g. free radicals, a-dicarbonyl species,
  7. 7. 24 Sapindaceae protein cross-links, etc.) associated with deleterious health effects. Yang et al. (2009) reported that ultrasonic extraction of polysaccharides of lon- gan fruit pericarp impacted on its anti-glycated activity. The optimal ultrasonic conditions for obtaining the highest anti-glycated activity were predicted to be 276 W, 24 min and 69°C. The pre- dicted anti-glycated activity was 60.4%. Antihypertensive Activity Acetonylgeraniin, an active principle isolated from the seeds of longan reversed the fall in arte- rial blood pressure in conscious hypertensive rats (SHRs) with orthostatic hypotension induced by injection of hexamethonium into animals (Hsu et al. 1994). However, acetonylgeraniin failed to affect prazosin-induced orthostatic hypotension. Plasma noradrenaline (NA) and mean blood pressure were elevated dose-dependently by an intravenous injection of acetonyl-geraniin into the rats; this increase in blood pressure was totally abolished by prazosin. Results showed that a direct release of noradrenaline from the nora- drenergic nerve terminals by acetonylgeraniin seems responsible for the reversing of orthostatic hypotension. In an additional study, administra- tion of corilagin, one of the ellagitannins purified from longan seeds, into conscious spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR)at 5 mg/kg produced an antihypertensive effect equivalent to that induced by 1 mg/kg of guanethidine (Cheng et al. 1995). This dose-dependent hypotensive effect was comparable with that observed in anesthetized SHR rats. Corilagin reduced plasma noradre- naline in a dose-dependent fashion, an effect that was maintained in adrenalectomized rats. Moreover, corilagin attenuated the pressor effects of methoxamine and Bay K8644 to a similar degree, indicating the direct effect of corilagin on vascular activity in rats. These results suggested that corilagin possessed the ability to lower blood pressure through the reduction of noradrenaline release and (or) direct vasorelaxation. Tsai et al. (2008) showed that male Sprague- Dawley rats fed with high-fructose diet resulted in oxidative stress and affected the antioxidant status including plasma thiobarbituric acid and liver antioxidant enzyme activity. Treatment with longanflowerwaterextractsignificantlyincreased the antioxidant system. High fructose diet caused insulin resistance and elevation of the blood pressure. Logan flower extract treatment ameliorated insulin resistance by enhancing the expression of insulin signalling pathway related proteins, including insulin receptor substrate-1 and glucose transporter 4 and decreased systolic blood pressure. Hypolipidemic/Antiobesity Activity Studies showed that longan flower extract rich in polyphenols (phenolic acids and flavonoids) exhibited antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects in hypercaloric-dietary rats (Yang et al. 2010). Ingestion of the extract for 9 weeks by hyperca- loric-dietary rats reduced significantly body weight, size of epididymal fat, serum triglyceride level and atherogenic index, and hepatic lipids. This was postulated to result from down-regulation of pancreatic lipase activity, sterol regulatory ele- ment binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and fatty acid synthase (FAS) gene expressions, and upreg- ulation of LDL receptor (LDLR) and peroxisome proliferator-activated-receptor-alpha (PPAR- alpha) gene expressions. Faecal triglyceride excretions were also increased. Anxiolytic/Analgesic Activity The longan aril extract exhibited significant anxi- olytic activity at a dose of 2 g/kg, s.c. in mice, and results of the bioassay-oriented isolation revealed adenosine to be the active principle (Okuyama et al. 1999). Adenosine produced the anti-conflict effect significantly at a dose of 30 mg/kg, s.c. Adenine, uridine, and 5-methyluridine did not exhibit the effect, although these compounds were isolated from the extract. Some other related com- pounds such as AMP and c-AMP showed no effect, except for inosine. Adenosine also contrib- uted to the analgesic effect which was observed in the extract by the writhing method.
  8. 8. 25Dimocarpus longan subsp. longan var. longan Immunomodulatory Activity Polysaccharides from longan pulp at doses of 100–200 mg/kg exhibited potent immunomodu- latory effects in S180 tumour mice model and also displayed marked effect on delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) response, macrophage phagocytosis and ConA-stimulated splenocyte proliferation as compared with the control treat- ment (Zhong et al. 2010). Longan pulp polysac- charides also exhibited excellent scavenging activity on hydroxyl and DPPH radicals. Yi et al. (2011a, b) found the three polysaccharide-protein complexes of longan pulp (LP1-3) to be princi- pally composed of glucose, arabinose and man- nose.LP3displayedmaximalmoistureabsorption, and thermal stability of LP2 was higher than that of LP1 and LP3. Oral administration of 100 mg/ kg/day of longan pulp polysaccharide-protein complex (LP3) significantly increased against chicken red blood cell, concanavalin A (ConA)- induced splenocyte proliferation, macrophage phagocytosis, NK cell cytotoxicity against YAC-1 lymphoma cell, and interferon-gamma (INF-g) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) secretion in the serum (Yi et al. 2011b). The beneficial immunomodula- tory effects of 50–100 mg/kg/day LP3 were com- parable to those of 50 mg/kg/day ganoderan, confirming longan pulp polysaccharide to have good potential as an immunotherapeutic adjuvant due to their immunomodulatory activities. Antibacterial and Cytotoxic Activities Longan seed but not the pulp nor whole fruit exhibited antifungal activity against the opportunistic yeasts (Candida species and Cryptococcus neoformans) (Rangkadilok et al. 2012). Of the seed polyphenols, ellagic acid showed the most potent antifungal activity fol- lowed by corilagin and gallic acid, respectively. Ellagic acid was more effective against Candida parapsilosis and C. neoformans than against Candida krusei and some Candida albicans clinical strains. The Baidam cultivar possessed higher antifungal activity (MIC=500–4,000 mg/mL) as it contained higher contents of ellagic acid and gallic acid than the Edor cultivar (MIC= 1,000–8,000 mg/mL). For antibacterial activity, only corilagin and gallic acid demonstrated weak to moderate inhibitory effects against Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans, respectively. Chloroform crude extracts of longan leaf and stem (500 mg/disc) showed excellent antibacte- rial activity with the average zone of inhibition of 13–21 mm among the tested bacteria (Ripa et al. 2010). In contrast the petroleum ether extracts showed activity only against Escherichia coli. The ethyl acetate crude extracts showed good activity against the growth of Sarcina lutea (20 mm), Vibrio mimicus (18 mm), Salmonella typhi(18mm),E.coli(17mm)andStaphylococcus aureus (14 mm). In the brine shrimp lethality bioassay, all the crude extracts of longan leaf and stem displayed considerable cytotoxic activity. The chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of leaf and stem had significant cytotoxic potentials with the LC50 val- ues of 8.802, 9.587, 9.248 and 10.45 mg/mL respectively. Neuroprotective Activity Studies by Chen et al. (2011) found that longan fruit polysaccharides were capable of alleviating cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in rats by a mechanism that may involve decreasing oxida- tive stress. Longan polysaccharides were found to reduce the neurological score, the infract vol- ume, the brain water content, malondialdehyde content, myeloperoxidase activity, tumour necro- sis factor-a and interleukin -1b level, expression of Bax, and increase superoxide dismutase, glu- tathione, glutathione peroxidase activity and expression of Bcl-2. Antifatigue Activity Studies by Zheng et al. (2010) demonstrated that longan seed polysaccharides (50 to 100 mg/kg doses), extended swimming time, increased hepatic glycogen, reduced blood urea nitrogen
  9. 9. 26 Sapindaceae and decreased blood lactic acid in mice. The result indicated that longan seed polysaccharides may have potential as an antifatigue agent. Antimutagenic Activity Three unusual amino acids were identified as anti- mutagens against spontaneous mutation of Salmonella typhimurium TA100 from longan seeds : 2-amino-4-methylhex-5-ynoic acid (3), hypoglycin A (4), and (2S,4R)-2-amino-4- hydroxyhept-6-ynoic acid (Minakata et al. 1985). Osteoclastogenic Activity Methanol extract of D. longan was one of the dozen Korean medicinal plants screened samples exhibited ability to induce osteoclast differentia- tion (Youn et al. 2008). Bone resorption and loss are generally attributed to osteoclasts. Differentiation of osteoclasts is regulated by receptor activator of nuclear factor NF-kB ligand (RANKL), a member of tumor necrosis factor family. When the balance is disturbed, pathologi- cal bone abnormality ensues. Memory–Enhancing Activity Results of studies by Park et al. (2010) suggested that subchronic administration of aqueous extract longan fruit enhanced learning and memory in mice. Its beneficial cognitive activity was found to be mediated partly by increase in BDNF, pCREB, or pERK ½ expressions in the hip- pocampal dentate gyrus and CA1 regions, and by immature neuronal survival. Adaptogenic Activity ALG an extract from longan arils and gecko at a dose of 20 ml/kg/day for 10 days administered by gastric intubation (i.g.) significantly enhanced mice tolerance to low and high temperatures and anoxia (Nong and Li 1989). The extract also increased the body-weight of normal mice, while ALG at 15 ml/kg/day (i.g.) for 2 weeks protected body-weight from decreasing in reserpinized mice. ALG ig 15 ml/kg/day for 10 days elevated the clearance rate of iv (intra-venous) charcoal particles in normal mice. Prostaglandin E2 Enhancing Activity Studies found that water extracts of the ‘heating foods’, litchi, longan, or dried longan applied to RAW264.7 macrophages in absence of LPS (lipopolysaccharide) had a dose-dependent enhanc- ing effect on PGE(2) prostaglandin E2 (well-known proinflammatory mediator) production, with EC50 valuesof8.4,16,and11mg/mLrespectively(Huang and Wu 2002). In contrast, LPS-induced PGE(2) production was inhibited in a dose-dependent man- ner by the water extracts of the ‘cooling foods’, chrysanthemum flower, bitter gourd, and lotus seed plumule.Itwasconcludedthatwater-solubleextracts of foods traditionally regarded as ‘heating’ enhanced basal PGE(2) production, while those from ‘cool- ing’ foods significantly inhibited LPS-induced PGE(2) production by the macrophage cell line. Traditional Medicinal Uses In traditional herbal medicine, the dried flesh of the fruit is administered as a stomachic, febrifuge and vermifuge, and is regarded as an antidote for poi- son. A decoction of the dried flesh is taken as a tonic and treatment for insomnia and neurasthenic neuro- sis. In both North and South Vietnam, the “eye” of the longan seed is pressed against a snake bite in the belief that it will absorb the venom. Longan fruit has been used in the traditional Chinese medicinal formulation, serving as an agent in relief of neural pain and swelling (Yang et al. 2011). Leaves and flowers are sold in Chinese herb markets. The leaves contain quercetin and quer- citrin. Dried flowers are exported to Malaysia for medicinal purposes. The seeds are administered to counteract heavy sweating and the pulverized kernel, which contains saponin, tannin and fat, serves as a styptic.
  10. 10. 27Dimocarpus longan subsp. longan var. longan Other Uses The seeds are rich in saponins and are used as hair shampoo. Both the seed and the fruit flesh of longan have several medicinal uses. The leaves, which contain quercetin and quercitrin, and flowers are sold in Chinese herb markets. The red, hard longan timber is not often cut for tim- ber; the wood is used for posts, agricultural implements, furniture and construction. The heartwood is red, hard, and takes a fine polish. Studies found longan fruit shell to have stron- ger adsorbability toward Pb(II) and Hg(II) ions than most natural sorbents reported and to be more low cost effective and more environmental friendly than all synthetic and even seminatural sorbents (Huang et al. 2010), making longan shell attractive as a highly cost-efficient sorbent for the selective removal of hazardous heavy metal ions. Longan fruit shell displayed highly selective sorption to Pb(II) over light metal ions with an adsorbability order of Pb(II)>Hg(II) >>Zn(II)>Cu(II)>Ca(II) >Mg(II) >>Fe(III,II), indicating that the shell could efficiently purify drinking water and nutri- tious liquids by just eliminating the harmful metal ions and still retaining the nutritious metal ions. Comments Leenhouts divided the species Dimocarpus lon- gan Lour. into two subspecies, ssp. longan and ssp. malesianus each with several varieties. The former was revised into 3 varieties, var. longan, the commercially cultivated taxon, var. longepeti- olatus found in Vietnam, and var. obtusus found in Thailand. All three varieties are also found wild in southern China. The later subspecies malesianus encompasses the more tropical assemblage and was further subdivided into var. echinatus and var. malesianus which is covered in greater detail in a separate chapter. Three edible longan types are distinguished in Thailand, which presumably all belong to ssp. longan (Subhadrabandhu 1990). The first one is a large forest tree with small fruits and a very thin aril, possibly of interest for breeding purposes. The second one is the common longan (‘lamyai kraduk’), growing in the northern part of the country as an erect tree, producing small fruits with large seeds and is recommended as a root- stock for commercial cultivars. The third type is formed by the commercial cultivars (‘lamyai kraloke’) which produce large fruits and small seeds. Selected References Adema F, Leenhouts PW, van Welzen PC (1994) Sapindaceae. Flora Malesiana, Ser 1, vol 11, Part 3 Noordhoff-Kolff Djakarta, pp 419–768 Anonymous (1986) Dimocarpus longan (longan). In: Genetic resources of tropical and subtropical fruits and nuts (excluding Musa). International Board for Plant Genetic Resources, Rome, pp 120–122 Burkill IH (1966) A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint, 2 vols. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, vol 1 (A–H), pp 1–1240, Vol 2 (I–Z), pp 1241–2444 Chen J, Chen X, Qin J (2011) Effects of polysaccharides of the Euphoria Longan (Lour.) Steud on focal cere- bral ischemia/reperfusion injury and its underlying mechanism. Brain Inj 25(3):292–299 Cheng JT, Lin TC, Hsu FL (1995) Antihypertensive effect of corilagin in the rat. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 73(10):1425–1429 Chung YC, Lin CC, Chou CC, Hsu CP (2010) The effect of longan seed polyphenols on colorectal carcinoma cells. Eur J Clin Invest 40(8):713–721 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand, 44 pp He N, Wang Z, Yang C, Lu Y, Sun D, Wang Y, Shao W, Li Q (2009) Isolation and identification of polyphenolic compounds in longan pericarp. Separ Purif Technol 70(2):219–224 Ho SC, Hwang LS, Shen YJ, Lin CC (2007) Suppressive effect of a proanthocyanidin-rich extract from longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) flowers on nitric oxide production in LPS-stimulated macrophage cells. J Agric Food Chem 55(26):10664–10670 Hsieh MC, Shen YJ, Kuo YH, Hwang LS (2008) Antioxidative activity and active components of lon- gan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) flower extracts. J Agric Food Chem 56(16):7010–7016 Hsu FL, Lu FH, Cheng JT (1994) Influence of aceto- nylgeraniin, a hydrolyzable tannin from Euphoria lon- gana, on orthostatic hypotension in a rat model. Planta Med 60(4):297–300 Hsu CP, Lin YH, Zhou SP, Chung YC, Lin CC, Wang SC (2010) Longan flower extract inhibits the growth of colorectal carcinoma. Nutr Cancer 62(2):229–236
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