Pharmacological and cosmeceutical applications of Bixa Orellana L.: A review of the scientific and patent literature

Pillai, Sindhu ; Soni, Seema ; Dhulap, Sivakami ; R, Hirwani R


Medicinal plants or herbs belonging to different traditional medicinal systems have been used as therapeutic agents for curing a number of diseases and infections. Hence, the application of such traditionally known medicinal plants and its phytoconstituents have increased considerably even in modern medicines. Bixa orellana L. — an Indian medicinal plant which belongs to the family Bixaceae is an Ayurvedic herb used since ancient times. This review aims to highlight the ethnopharmacology, pharmacological and cosmeceutical uses of B. orellana not only from scientific literature but also from patent documents. The prior art review of the phytoconstituents shows that B. orellana contains a wide variety of biologically active compounds such as bixin, norbixin, β-carotene, lutein, tocotrienol, tocopherols, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, etc. Pharmacological review revealed that this plant is useful as anti-inflammatory, anti-asthma, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-convulsant, hepatoprotective, antifungal, anticancer agent. This review also highlights the year wise patent filing trends and the major assignees active in filing patents in this area. Such a review will provide useful insights for further biological or clinical investigations of the bioactive or active fractions from the plant.


Annatto; Anti-oxidant; Bixa orellana; Bixin; Lipstick tree; Norbixin.

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