ARECANUT (ARECA CATECHU L.) POLYPHENOL AS ANTI-VENOM: COMPILATION OF LITERATURE
Envenomation is a common public health problem in several countries, especially in rural areas. Though several synthetic anti venom drugs are available to treat poison bite patients, transportation of victims to hospitals, improper storage facilities of such drugs in rural areas are some of the hurdles in the management of such victims. Plants have rich source of phytochemicals with lots of medicinal properties. Such medicinal values are being used widely by traditional healers. Several researchers have now validated the ethnomedical properties of such plants with proper scientific data. Polyphenols of plants are known for anti-venom properties since very long time. Application of such knowledge might be very useful as first aid in the treatment of poison bites. The fruit of areca palm, Areca catechu L, commonly called as arecanut or betel nut is mostly chewed for its medicinal values. This medicinal plant also contain good amount of polyphenols (35 to 55%) in its nuts. However, very less research work has been done on the antivenom properties of this medicinal plant. Present review is focused on compiling such works by searching Google scholar, Pub Med, textbooks and old journals until June 2017 and urged the researchers for further detailed studies on these lines. It was reported that the aqueous extract of the seeds of arecanut was reported to inhibit the action of the venom of the monocellate cobra, Naja naja kaouthia. The medium effective dose of arecanut was reported to be 62.0µg/mouse. The necrotizing activity caused by the venom was also successfully inhibited by injecting arecanut extract at a dose of 30.0µg/mouse. Processed tender arecanuts, known as chikni supari were also reported to be effective in absorbing the venom from the bite wounds of scorpions, lizards and even snakes. This knowledge could be used as the basis for further detailed studies on the anti-venom properties of this plant.