Heliotropium indicum L.: From Farm to a Source of Bioactive Compounds with Therapeutic Activity

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2021 Jun 1:2021:9965481. doi: 10.1155/2021/9965481. eCollection 2021.


This study aimed to summarize the available data on the ethnomedicinal and phytopharmacological activities of Heliotropium indicum L. based on database reports. For this purpose, an up-to-date literature search was carried out in the Google Scholar, Scopus, Springer Link, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, ResearchGate, PubMed, Chem Spider, Elsevier, BioMed Central, and patent offices (e.g., USPTO, CIPO, NPI, Google patents, and Espacenet) for the published materials. The findings suggest that the plant contains many important phytochemicals, including pyrrolizidine alkaloids, indicine, echinitine, supinine, heleurine, heliotrine, lasiocarpine, acetyl indicine, indicinine, indicine N-oxide, cynoglossine, europine N-oxide, heleurine N-oxide, heliotridine N-oxide, heliotrine N-oxide, heliotrine, volatile oils, triterpenes, amines, and sterols. Scientific reports revealed that the herb showed antioxidant, analgesic, antimicrobial, anticancer, antituberculosis, antiplasmodial, anticataract, antifertility, wound healing, antiinflammatory, antinociceptive, antihyperglycemic, anthelmintic, diuretic, antitussive, antiglaucoma, antiallergic, and larvicidal activity. In conclusion, in vitro studies with animal models seem to show the potential beneficial effects of H. indicum against a wide variety of disorders and as a source of phytotherapeutic compounds. However, clinical studies are necessary to confirm the effects observed in animal models, determine the toxicity of the therapeutic dose and isolate the truly bioactive components.

Publication types

  • Review