Ethnobotanical uses, phytochemistry and biological activities of Salix tetrasperma roxb. (Salicaceae) - A review
Prashith Kekuda TR, Vinayaka KS and Raghavendra HL
Ethnobotany is the study of relationship of people and plants. Salix tetrasperma Roxb.(Indian willow), belonging to the family Salicaceae, is a deciduous undershrub or a small tree found distributed in various countries such as India, China, Malaya Peninsula and Archipelago. Literatures on ethnobotanical survey highlighted medicinal and non-medicinal potential of the plant. The non-medicinal applications of the plant includes the use of plant as fodder, soil binder on embankments and fuel and in making baskets, agricultural tools, sports articles, furniture and roofing material. Different parts of S. tetrasperma have been used as traditional medicine. Ethnomedicinally, the plant is used to treat ailments such as diabetes, fever, piles, epilepsy, rheumatism, swellings, stones in bladder, wound, ear pain, dysentery, cough and cold. Studies on the chemical components of different parts of the plant revealed the presence of compounds such as catechol, salicin and its derivatives. The plant is found to be rich in mixtures of flavonoid and phenolic acid derivatives. The plant is shown to exhibit a range of bioactivities such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, cytotoxic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, CNS activities, laxative and diuretic activity. The presence of these phytochemicals can be responsible for the therapeutic potential of S. tetrasperma. The plant appears to be a promising candidate for developing drugs with potential therapeutic traits.