• Article highlight
  • Article tables
  • Article images

Article History

Received : 31-08-2021

Accepted : 11-09-2021

Available online : 28-10-2021

Article Metrics

Downlaod Files


Article Access statistics

Viewed: 62

PDF Downloaded: 42

Rekha, Meena, and Kumar: Ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological profile of Trichosanthes tricuspidata: An updated review


Plants considered being very rich sources of secondary metabolites which are having therapeutic importance. Majority of world’s population in developing countries still relies on herbal medicines to meet its health needs. In recent times, focus on herbal research has increased globally and evidence collected from different research survey shows the immense potential of medicinal plants used in Indian system of traditional medicines.1

The important advantages of medicinal plants in various treatments are due to their fewer side effects, less expensive, more efficacy and availability throughout the world.2 The World Health Organization has estimated more than 80 % of the world’s population in developing countries depends primarily on herbal medicines for their basic healthcare needs. 3 The practitioners of traditional system of medicine treat about 80% of patients in India, 85% in Burma and 90% in Bangladesh. 4, 5 Medicinal plants are the richest bio resource of drugs for traditional systems of medicine, modern medicines, Nutraceuticals, food supplements, folk medicines, pharmaceutical intermediates and chemical entities for synthetic drugs. Medicinal plant plays a main role in the growth of new herbal drugs. The majority of the medicinal plants are collected from the wild and recently some medicinal plants are cultivated by farmers. 1, 6

Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) system of medicines are the science of life or longevity is more than 5000 years old and is believed to be the oldest healing science in existence. Medicinal plants are renowned in the prehistoric Ayurvedic classics. 7 ASU system of medicine is important surprising medicinal systems of Indian’s. Now a day whole world is interest in India’s Ayurveda and other traditional systems medicine. In this current paper we study a review focus on the update of Trichosanthes tricuspidata because of it is a very important medicinal plant.

Trichosanthes tricuspidata, a traditional medicinal plant is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicines. The various plant parts are used for the treatment of various human diseases. The plant possess diverse functions as antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, larvicidal, antioxidant, anti-hyperglycaemic, anti- inflammatory activity and gastro protective activity etc.

This review details the morphology, distribution and systemic classification, Ethnobotanical uses, therapeutic uses, phytoconstituents of Trichosanthes tricuspidata plant and various research findings related to its pharmacological activities.

Materials and Methods

Published scientific literature about Trichosanthes tricuspidata medicinal plant was downloaded and retrieved from different databases such as Google scholar, Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science and other sources using the key words, botanical description, plant distribution, Ethnobotanical & therapeutic uses, uses in Indian system of medicine (Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani) bioactive compounds and pharmacological activity. The information obtained on Trichosanthes tricuspidata regarding ethno botany, Phytochemistry and pharmacology was summarized in the article. To assure the validity of data, two co-authors reviewed all the information based on citation.

Results and Discussion

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Plantae

Family: Cucurbitceae (Pumpkin family)

Genus: Trichosanthes

Species: tricuspidata

Authority: Lour.

Synonyms: Trichosanthes palmata Roxb., Trichosanthes bracteata Lamb., Trichosanthes pubera Blume or Modeccca bracteata.

Earlier researchers identified and reported as Trichosanthes tricuspidata belong to Trichosanthes bracteata, but recently researchers revised the reported classification and identified the Trichosanthes tricuspidata and Trichosanthes bracteata both are two different species in India. 8, 9

Vernacular name

Common name of Trichosanthes tricuspidata is Indrayan; English - Red ball Snake gourd; Hindi - Mahakal, Indrayan; Marathi - Kaundal; Tamil - Ankorattai, Korattai; Malayalam -Kakkattonti; Telugu - Avaduta; Kannada – Avaguda - Hannu; Gujarati – Ratan indrayan; Sanskrit -Kakanasa, Shvetpushpi, Dhvamksanasa. 8

Plant Distribution

Trichosanthes tricuspidata is a climber which is found at an elevation of 1200 to 2300 m. Trichosanthes tricuspidata is found west Bengal and Southern India. 10 It ranges from the Eastern Himalayas in India and southern China through southern Japan, Malaysia and tropical Australia. 11 Widely spread in Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, West Malaysia and East of the Moluccas. 12

Botanical description

Trichosanthes tricuspidata plant is a large woody tendril climber attaining a 5 - 20 meters long height; occasionally monoecious; minutely hairy, early glabrescentrichosanthes. The fresh plant is green in colour after drying brown colour. The petals white colour, cystoliths obvious. Stem old part light grey colour younger part smooth green it is2–4 mm diam. Probract (broadly) elliptic or obovate. Tendrils are 2or 3-branched. Leaves are variable, palmately 3-5lobed dark green in above, glabrous beneath dark coloured circular gland the lower side; broadly ovate or orbicular in outline, the base cordate, the mid-lobe triangular or ellipsoid, the apex acute, the apex of side-lobes regularly down-curved, the margin entire coarsely dentate, petiole 3-7.5 cm long. Male flowers are raceme 7-16 cm long, hairy, peduncle 5-11 cm long, rachis with 3-20 flowers. Flowers are unisexual. Male flowers axillary racemes, bracts broadly ovate, many nerved, fringed and gland dotted. Female flowers are solitary and axillary. Fruits glabrous red when ripe with 10 orange streaks, exocarp leathery, smooth, coarsely wrinkled on drying; pulp green-black; fruiting pedicel 1-2 by 0.3-0.4 cm. Seeds dark brown, numerous, smooth, obovate-elliptic or oblong, 9- 10 by 5-6 by 1.5- 2 mm, the margin absent, edge square or rounded, entire. 11, 12, 13

Ethanobotanical uses

The paste of Trichosanthes tricuspidata fruits is applied to cure headache (natural head balm), reducing macular swelling and pain, various types of skin infections, itching, lesions of fungal infections on feet during rainy seasons, it is used for kill the head lice and clear dandruff problems on head and helps to cure domestic cattle mouth inflammation also 14.The root paste of Trichosanthes tricuspidata is externally applied on infected part to cure gonorrhoea 15. Root juice is used to reduce the blood sugar. 16 The seeds powder is given to treat jaundice and it is also used to cure jaundice with tantani and gulwel. 17, 18 The Trichosanthes tricuspidata warm seed oil is applying for changing white hair colour to black hair. 19

Therapeutic uses

Trichosanthes tricuspidata is considered as a medicinally important plant in Indian system of traditional systems (Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani) and other traditional medicinal systems.

The fruits of Trichosanthes tricuspidata are bitter used to cure carminative, purgative, migraines, asthma, earache and ozoena. Fruit is used in asthma, lung disorder, as a violent hydrogogue cathartic, abortifacient, to reduce inflammation, reduce heat of the brain, opthalmia, leprosy, weakness of limbs, epilepsy, stomatitis and rheumatism. Thai traditional system of medicine the plant is used to cure ant fever, anthelmintic, laxative and migraine. The seeds are emetic and purgative. 13, 20 The roots part helpful to treat lung diseases in cattle, diabetic carbuncles and headaches. 21 Plant used to treat bronchitis and seed paste help to cure hoof and cattle mouth disease. 22 The plant is used for curing snakebite poisoning and the juice of the plant is applied externally for skin eruptions In Nepal the roots are used to cure bleeding in chickens. 11

Chemical Constituents

Fruit contains cucurbitane glycosides cucurbitacin 2-O-b-glucopyranoside and 25-O-acetyl-cucurbitacin 2-O-b-glucopyranoside, khekadaengosides A–J, M–N, cucurbitacin K 2-O-b-glucopyranoside and cucurbitacin J 2-O-bglucopyranoside, a hexanorcucurbitaneglucoside (khekadaengoside K and octanor cucurbitane khekada engo side L. 20

Seed contain fatty acid like n-Hexadecanoic acid, Octadecanoic acid, 9,12-Octadecadienoic acid, 9-Octadecenoic acid, methyl ester, (E) cis-vaccenic acid cis-10-Nonadecenoic acid, Oleic acid, methyl ester ethanone, n-hexylamine, N-acetyl-1-cyno-[1.,2.,3]triazole-4-carboxylic acid, Butyl 9,12-octadecadienoate, Methyl 9,12-heptadecadienoate, 9,12-octadecadienoic acid, 2-Methyl-z,z3,13-octadecadienol 9-Octadecenal and (z)-cyclopropaneoctanal etc. 23

The root contains trichotetrol, tetrahydroxypentacyclic triterpenoid. 24 methyl palmitate, palmitic acid, suberic acid, α-spinasterol 3-o-beta-D-glucopyranoside, α-spinasterol, stigmast-7- en-3-beta-ol, stigmast-7-en-3-beta-ol-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside, glyceryl 1-palmitate, glyceryl 1-stearate, 23,24-dihydrocucurbitacin D, bryonolic acid, cucurbitacin B, isocucurbitacin B, isocucurbitacin D, 3-epi-isocucurbitacin B and D-glucose. 11, 25

The leaf of Trichosanthes tricuspidata contains cyclotrichosantol and cycloeucalenol, cycloartane glycosides named cyclotricuspidosides A, B and C. 24, 26

Stem part of Trichosanthes tricuspidata contain three cycloartane glycosides, named cyclotricuspidosides A, B and C. 26

Pharmacological activity of Trichosanthes tricuspidata

In this review, the pharmacological effects of Trichosanthes tricuspidata have been collected from various sources of literature.

Antibacterial activity

Bhardwaj et al. reported the different plant root extracts (ethanolic, aqueous ethanol and aqueous extracts) of Trichosanthes tricuspidata plant shows antibacterial activity against Klebisilla pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Saboo et al. 27, 28 reported the chloroform extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata root shows a significant antibacterial activity. The different extracts (n-butanol, acetone, methanol and aqueous extracts) of Trichosanthes tricuspidata fruits were shows antibacterial activity against Streptococcus pyogenes, compare to all extracts methanolic extract shows more active. 14

Trichosanthes tricuspidata leaves petroleum ether, chloroform, ethanol, methanol and acetone extract was tested against Gram positive and Gram negative pathogens. 29 Ethanol extract showed greater inhibitions against Bacillus cereus Klebsiella pneumonia, Klebsiellaoxytoca and Brevebacterium paucivorans. Ethanol extract shows a significant antibacterial activity when compare the other extracts.

Anthelmintic Activities

Ethano- botanically this plant was used by tribals to treat an intestinal worm infection which shows significant anthelmintic activity reported in experimental laboratory model. Anthelmintic activity of Trichosanthes tricuspidata was carried out by Dubey. 30 In this investigated the aerial parts of Trichosanthes tricuspidata extracted with ethanol and water. Both extracts showed a more active when compared with standard drug albendazole. Anthelmintic activity of both extracts was dose-dependent manner. Ethanolic extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata showed more active then aqueous extract.

Antioxidant Activity

Antioxidant activity of different plant parts (leaf and fruit) of Trichosanthes tricuspidata were reported by Rodge et al. 31 In this study fruit part of the Trichosanthes tricuspidata was showed more antioxidant activity compared to leaf was reported in the chloroform extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata. 28 root showed more antioxidant activity compared to standard. It was reported the methanolic extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata leaves exhibited good antioxidant activity. 32

Antifungal Activity

Anti-Fungal Activity of Trichosanthes tricuspidata roots was carried out in chloroform extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata roots showed a significant antifungal activity screened by agar- well diffusion method. 28

Larvicidal activity

Trichosanthes tricuspidata used as natural mosquito repellent, it may be helpful in the house to kill the mosquitoes, mice, etc. Sonwalkar et al., 33 was reported the Trichosanthes tricuspidata fruit used as larvicidal activity. In this investigated two different extracts (methanol and petroleum ether) showed significantly high active mortality comparing with control. Methanolic fruit extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata showed more larvicidal active then petroleum ether fruit extract.

Anti-hyperglycaemic activity

Trichosanthes tricuspidata root extract was reported to cure the antidiabetic and hypollipidamic activity, 34 studied carried out the ethanolic extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata root was used to estimate the anti-diabetic activity of alloxan induced diabetic rats and biochemical parameters like cholesterol, triglyceride, serum protein, SGPT, SGOT, and ALP. Alloxan treated rats contain high blood glucose level when compared with normal control. Oral administration of ethanolic extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata root was showed significantly decreased blood glucose level.

Gastro protective activity

Kannan et al reported the different extracts (Hexane, Chloroform, Ethanol and Water) of Trichosanthes tricuspidata leaves were compared with standard Ranitidine drug 35. The Hexane extract showed significant high gastro protective activity when compared with all other extract.

The anti-haemolytic activity

Anti-haemolytic activity of methanolic extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata leaves was reported by36 anti-haemolytic activity screened by haemolysis of cow erythrocyte the plant extract was compared with the standard butylated hydroxy toluene (BHT).The methanolic extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata showed 26.7% inhibition at 500 μg/ml concentration whereas standard BHT shows 89.63% at 500μg/ml.

Anti-pyretic activity

Kannan et al 37 reported the different extract (ethanol and aqueous extract) of Trichosanthes tricuspidata Linn. Leaves contain anti-pyretic activity. Experimental analysis of the extracts was significantly reducing the body temperature of rats when compared to the standard paracetamol drug. Trichosanthes tricuspidata ethanol extract showed more antipyretic activity when compare to the aqueous extract.

Anti-inflammatory activity

The Trichosanthes tricuspidata ethanol extract showed the anti-inflammatory activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS-) stimulated macrophages and mouse models of acute inflammatory disease. 38

Anticonvulsant activity

The Epilepsy prevails to be a neurological disorder in anticipation of safer drugs with enhanced anticonvulsant efficacy as presently available drugs fails to offer adequate control of epileptic seizures in about one-third of patients. 32 Evaluate the effect of Trichosanthes tricuspidata ethanolic extract (TTME) against epilepsy mediated oxidative stress in pilocarpine induced mice. The seizure was accompanied by significant increase in lipid peroxidation and the hippocampal nitrite content in pilocarpine group when compared with control. Moreover, the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione levels were decreased in pilocarpine administered groups. Methanolic extract administration attenuated oxidative damage as evident by decreased lipid oxidative damage and nitrite– nitrate content and restored the level of enzymatic antioxidant defences in hippocampus. Involvement of free radicals during epilepsy is further confirmed by histopathological analysis which showed the loss of neuronal cells in hippocampus CA1 and CA3 pyramidal region. The findings strongly support the hypothesis that TTME has anticonvulsant activity accompanied with the strong antioxidant potential plays a crucial role in reducing the oxidative stress produced by seizure. 32

Anticancer activity

Chloroform extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata root was showed most promising anticancer activity. 28 They investigated the chloroform extract of roots contain 32 mg/gm of gallic acid and 28.5mg/gm of tannic acid. The chloroform extract exhibited potent cytotoxicity with an IC50 of 42.88, from the data obtained, it was observed that chloroform extract effective against L1210 and MCF-7 whereas extract have moderate effect on PC3 comparable to the standards Adriamycin.


The World Health Organization has estimated more than 80% of the world’s population in developing countries depends primarily on herbal medicines for their basic healthcare needs. A thorough review of the published literature on Trichosanthes tricuspidata shows that it is a popular remedy in a variety of ethnic groups, as well as Ayurvedic and traditional practitioners for the treatment of a range of ailments. A perusal of the literature shows that Trichosanthes tricuspidata has been widely used for curing asthma, migraine, fever, diabetic carbuncles and other diseases. From, the above research survey, it was concluded that the, traditional medicine is safe and has many therapeutic applications. The present review deals with its distribution, plant description, phytochemical properties, pharmacological activity, and therapeutic uses of Trichosanthes tricuspidata. Therefore, the information will help the scientists and researchers to screen the compounds responsible for different bioactivities, and to elucidate the mechanism of action.


The authors are very grateful to the Director-General, CCRAS, Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi, for providing encouragement. The authors also want to share thanks to those who are either helped directly or indirectly and gave valuable suggestions for preparing this manuscript. The authors gratefully acknowledge the researchers and scholars whose findings were cited in this review while apologizing to authors whose work might have been inadvertently missed.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

Source of Funding




A K Meena P Bansal S Kumar M M Rao Plants herbal wealth as potential source of ayurvedic drugAsian J Tradit Med2009445169


A K Meena A Yadav M M Rao Ayurvedic uses and pharmacological activities of Calotropis procera LinnAsian J Tradit Med2011624553


A K Meena Ch V Narasimhaji P Rekha D Velvizhi R Ilavarasan Comparative preliminary phytochemical and HPTLC fingerprint profile studies of two cinnamon species commonly used in ASU formulationsAsian J Res Chem201811234450


WHO survey, 1993. In medicinal plants (Eds. Haq. I.) Hamdard Foundation Press, Karachi. 13


M Siva K R Shanmugam B Shanmugam Venkata G Subbaiah S Ravi Ocimum sanctum: A review on the pharmacological propertiesInt J Basic Clin Pharmacol20165355865


C P Kala P P Dhyani B S Sajwan Developing the medicinal plants sector in northern India: challenges and opportunitiesJ Ethno Botany Ethno Med2006232115


H Vishnoi A K Garg G C Meena Singh Chandan L N Sharma Pharmacognostical and Pharmacological evaluation of Withania Coagulans - An important ethno medicinal plantWorld J Pharm Med Res201731010611


B K Duvey R Goyel B Parashar D Verma H Dhameja D Sharma Trichosanthes tricuspidata: Exploration of its medicinal valueAsian J Pharm Tech201221268


S Pandey T S Rana K N Nair Revision of the Trichosanthes tricuspidata bracteata complex (Cucurbitaceae) in IndiaRheedea20162628393


K M Nadkarni 1976. Indian Material Medica, Bombay Popular Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., 1, 1238


S Bhandari U Dobhal M Sajwan N S Bisht Trichosanthes tricuspidata A medicinally important plantTrees for Life J20083514


BE.E Duyfjes K Pruesapan The genus Trichosanthes L. (Cucurbitaceae) in Thailand Thai Forest Bull (Botany)20043276109


P K Warrier V. P. K. Nambiar C. Ramankutty Indian medicinal plants A compendium of 500 speciesJ Pham Pharmacol 19944611935/10.1111/j.2042-7158.1994.tb05722.x


P K Tripathy S Kumar MA Ofoeze S Gouda NR Singh PK Jena Validation of Traditional Therapeutic Claims through Phytochemical Screening and Antibacterial Assessment: A Study on Mahakaal (Trichosanthes tricuspidata L.) From Similipal Biosphere Reserve Forest, Odisha, IndiaAlgerian J Nat Prod2014238597


AG Devi Prasad TB Shyma M P Raghavendra Traditional herbal remedies used for management of reproductive disorders in Wayanad District, KeralaInt J Res Pharm Chem20144233341


P K Tripathy Kumar Jena Sanjeet P K Nutritional and medicinal values of selected wild cucurbits available in Similipal biosphere reserve forest, OdishaInt J Pharm Sci Res2014510543037


MV Bankar NP Bhosle Ethno botanical survey of medicinal plants in Ajanta region (MS) IndiaJ Pharm Biological Sci20171265964


U S Patil O G Kutemate Ethno-medicinal plants used by the Korku tribes from southern Melghat, Buldana district, Maharashtra, India in the treatment of hepatic disordersInt J Curr Res2017910590824


P Juyal J C Ghildiyal Medicinal phyto-diversity of Bhabar Tract of Garhwal HimalayaJ Med Plants Stud2013164357


T Kanchanapoom R Kasai K Yamasaki Yamasaki Kazuo Cucurbitane, hexanorcucurbitane and octanorcucurbitane glycosides from fruits of Trichosanthes tricuspidataPhytochemistry200259221528


R N Chopra S N Nayar T C Chopra Glossary of Indian Medicinal PlantsCouncil of Scientific & Industrial ResearchNew Delhi1956247


R D Gaur Flora of the district Garhwal North West Himalaya, Srinagar, Uttarakhand (India)Transmedia Publishers1999811


C Jayakumar V Mansa Devi P D M Reddy R Sridar Oil extraction from Trichosanthes tricuspidata seed using conventional soxhlet apparatusAsian J Chem2020321912


C P Khare Indian Medicinal Plants An Illustrated Dictionary With 215 Pictures of Crude Herbs 123, 1/211JanakPuri, New Delhi-110058, India20076712


J Kitajima A Mukai Y Masuda Y Tanaka Studies on the constituents of Trichosanthes root. III. Constituents of roots of Trichosanthes bracteataYakugaku Zasshi1989109426570


R Kasai A Sasaki T Hashimoto K Ohtani K Yamasaki Cycloartane glycosides from Trichosanthes tricuspidataPhytochemistry1999518038


S Bhardwaj Rashmi Phytochemical evaluation and antibacterial potential of Trichosanthes tricuspidata root extracts against human pathogenic bacteriaInt J Life Sci Pharm Res201552305


S S Saboo K Priyanka Thorat G G Tapadiya Evaluation of phytochemical and anticancer potential of chloroform extract of Trichosanthes tricuspidata Lour roots (Cucurbitaceae) using in- vitro modelsInt J Pharm Pharm Sci2013542038


X T Francis G Dhanasekaran In Vitro Antibacterial potential of Trichosanthes tricuspidata Lour. Against pathogenic bacteriaWorld J Pharm Pharm Sci201872143641


B K Dubey Evaluation of phytochemical constituents and anthelmintic activity of aerial part of Trichosanthes tricuspidata LourInt J Pharm Phytopharmacol Res2013321046


S Rodge S D Biradar Antioxidant activity of some medicinal plants of family CucurbitaceaeWorld J Pharm Res20176494651


S Bell A G Thilagar Sivasudha Mohan Suganya R K Angappan Trichosanthes tricuspidata modulates oxidative toxicity in brain hippocampus against pilocarpine induced status epilepticus in miceNeurochem Res2013388171525


R P Sonwalkar P S Kadam Trichosanthes tricuspidata methanol and petroleum ether extract effect on CulexWeekly Sci20131613


K Srinivasan P Bajpai S K Thangavel Antihyperglycemic activity of Trichosanthes tricuspidata root extractBangladesh J Pharmacal2013830510


M Kannan R Pugazenthi M Karthikeyan S Rajasekar Evaluation of gastro protective effect of Trichosanthes tricuspidata LinnInt J Pharm Sci Rev Res2012121112


Smilin Bell A G Manthra V Ireen C Thilagameena S Akshaya S Clara Free radical scavenging potential and antihaemolytic activity of methanolic extract of Pouteria campechiana (Kunth) Baehni. And Trichosanthes tricuspidata LinnBiocatalysis Agricultural Biotechnol20191818


KMM Koriem GF Asaad HA Megahed H Zahran MS Arbid Evaluation of anti-pyretic effect of Trichosanthes tricuspidata Linn on albino ratsInt J Res Pharm Biomed Sci201124171820


A Ahuja D Jeong MY Kim JY Cho Trichosanthes tricuspidata Lour. methanol extract exhibits anti-inflammatory activity by targeting SYK, SRC and IRAK Kinase ActivityEvidence-Based Complement Altern Med201911410.1155/2019/6879346


© This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Wiki in hindi