Hygeia journal for drugs and medicines


Plant toxins-useful and harmful effects

Hygeia.J.D.Med.4 (1), April2012-October 2012,79-90

Authors: Chandra Sekhar J, Sandhya S*, Vinod KR, David Banji,Sudhakar K, Chaitanya RSNAKK

Affiliations:Department of Pharmacognosy,Nalanda College of Pharmacy, Cherlapally, Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh,India-508001.



Received: 29 November, 2011,

Revised: 20 December 2011,

Accepted: 25 December 2011,

Available online: 5 April 2012


Plan: To review the useful andharmful effects of plant toxins.

Prologue: Poisonous chemicals found in plants are normal biochemicals.They have been developed as an evolutionary response for self-protection.Therefore, plants are deliberately poisonous and their toxicity to humans andother animals is an example of natural selection.. The surviving plants,therefore, have not been subjected to selective pressures which might influencethem to produce toxins. The alkaloids are by far the most predominant of planttoxins and because of their enormous structural diversity and various modes ofaction, examples may be chosen from among them to serve as paradigms forvirtually every type of plant-herbivore interaction.

Outcome: Since plant toxins show many useful effects they can be usedin treating respective diseases. They can be modified to show better affinityand efficacy. Regardless of the structure of a particular toxin, it is likelyto have evolved and been elaborated biosynthetically under pressure from aspecific predator or limited group of predators. Commercial crops for humanfood usage must therefore have optimal concentration of biologically activenatural products, low enough to be nontoxic to the consumer (at least wheneaten in reasonable quantities) but sufficiently great to repel or limit pests.

Key words: Toxins, secondarymetabolites, alkaloids, herbivore, adverse effects

Article outline:

1. Intorduction

2. Methods

3. Conclusion


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