The therapeutic potential of this herb is because of the presence of diverse bioactive compounds such as α-amyrin, β-amyrin, ferulic acid, luteolin, diosmetin, rutin, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, hentriacontanol, a triterpene alcohol simiarenol, apigenin, reticulin, deniculatin, and leptaculatin. However, most biological studies on Leptadenia reticulata are restricted to crude extracts, and many biologically active compounds are yet to be identified in order to claim the traditional uses of Leptadenia. reticulata into evidence-based uses.
At present, Leptadenia reticulata is a threatened endangered plant because of over exploitation, unscientific harvesting, and habitat loss. The increased demand from pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and veterinary industries has prompted its large-scale propagation. However, its commercial cultivation is hampered because of the non-availability of genuine planting material and the lack of knowledge on its agronomical practices. In this regard, micro propagation technique will be useful to obtain true-to-type Leptadenia reticulata planting materials from an elite germplasm to meet the current demand.
Adopting other biotechnological approaches such as synthetic seed technology, cryopreservation, cell culture, and genetic transformation can warrant conservation as well as increased metabolite production from Leptadenia reticulata. The present review summarizes scientific information on the botanical, agronomical, phytochemical, pharmacological, and biotechnological aspects of Leptadenia. reticulata. This comprehensive information will certainly allow better utilization of this industrially important herb towards the discovery of lead drug molecules.
Botanical aspects of Leptadenia reticulata
The Ayurvedic herb Leptadenia reticulata (Jivanti) is a member of the Asclepiadaceae plant family. Its taxonomic position is detailed as follows.
Leptadenia reticulata is referred by many names in Ayurveda such as Jivanti, Jivaniya, Jivapushpa, Hemavati, Jivana, Shakashreshtha, Payaswini, Maangalya, and Madhusrava. In Siddha medicine, it is known as Keerippaalai. In India, Leptadenia reticulata is also called by vernacular names as listed in below The genus Leptadenia is comprised of four species namely, Leptadenia pyrotechnica (Forssk.), Leptadenia. arborea (Forssk.), Leptadenia hastata (Pers.), and Leptadenia reticulata (Weight and Arn.). Among them, Leptadenia pyrotechnica is a desert herb with straight stems and mostly leafless, while others are twining shrubs and bear leaves. Because of its taxonomic complexity, these three species are further stated to be comprised as a single species. Most of these Leptadenia species are economically valued for their therapeutic properties. Among them, Leptadenia reticulata is one of the most important medicinal herbs used in Ayurveda for promoting vitality and life.
English: Jivanti or Jeevanti
Gujarati: Methidodi, Dodi saka / Dodi Saag, Dori
Marathi: Haranvel, Hiranvel
Sanskrit: Madhusrava, Jivniya, Jivapushpa or Jivani
Black soil is found to be good for cultivation; however, red laterite soil is also suitable for its satisfactory growth. Open sunlight and support is necessary for healthy and vigorous growth.
High humidity was maintained by covering the planting material with clear plastic bags. After rooting, the plastic bag can be removed. Treating the cuttings with root-promoting compounds is found to be a valuable tool in stimulating root formation. Newly rooted cuttings should not be planted directly. The plants can instead be transplanted into a container or a bed before transferring them to a permanent location to increase the chances of survival. Although the fruits contain fairly large quantity of seeds, the number of seedlings was less because of low germination rate and limited availability. Fruits turn ripe during November to December.
Seeds are collected before the fruits dehisce, and they are dried and stored. After soaking in water for 4–5 h, the seeds are sown on nursery bed with thick layer of sand. About 1–1.5-month-old seedlings were transferred to the main field.
The period of February-March is suitable for planting the cuttings. The cuttings of 12–15 cm long with 3–4 nodes were treated in anti fungal agent and root-inducing hormones to get better rooting response. Rooted cuttings were transferred to poly bags filled with Farm Yard Manure (FYM) and red earth in the ratio of 1:1 after 45 days. Three-month-old saplings intact in the soil were transferred to the plot prepared in the main field.
Leptadenia reticulata grows well in sandy loam to clay soil with pH 7.5–8.3. High content of FYM in soil was found to be more suitable for maximum growth and biomass. Different fertilizers such as arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) (100 g soil/plant), FYM (8–10 tons/ha; 5.77 g/plant), Hexameal (an organic manure; 40 q/ha; 2.31 g), nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (NPK): full dose (60:40:30 kg/ha), and NPK: half dose (30:20:15 kg/ha) were evaluated for optimum growth.
Results revealed that FYM-treated plants showed better plant growth compared to NPK treated plants after four months. The application of NPK (100:200:200 g/vine) showed a superior increase of plant growth, number of primary branches, plant spread, leaf area, and stem girth.
To protect the crop from termites, the soil mixture should be treated with phorate granules before transplanting them. The use of Chlorpyrifos 20 EC in 20 mL L-1 water solution is beneficial to control termite attack. Methyl parathion dust 20 kg ha-1 and Nevacron 1 mL L-1 are used to control the manifestation of grasshoppers in the rainy season and aphids and ladybird beetles in the winter season, respectively. Leaf wilting is occasionally noticed at various stages and can be controlled by phytosanitary measures and drenching the affected vines with 0.15% carbendazim.
Intercropping is recommended for this plant to achieve the benefit of economizing water cost and controlling diseases and pests. Pests are less abundant when planted as intercrops than monocrops. The requirement of huge land space and physical support for climbing are other factors that increase the cost of cultivation when planted as a monocrop.
At this stage, the fresh yield of dry roots and biomass was found to be the maximum. Fruiting of Leptadenia reticulata takes place between December and February, maturation continues until May, and dehiscence takes place between June and July. The favorable season for harvesting is between January and February when the leaves dry up.
After harvesting, the roots and leaves are cut into required size and dried retaining the moisture content at 10% for storing. 500 to 600 kilograms of dry weight areal part per Acre per year yield was reported. Second year yield is incrase up to 1200 to 1300 kg. Third year yield is increase upto 2500 to 3000 kg.