Cassane-type diterpenoids from the genus Caesalpinia

R. A. Dickson1, T. C. Fleischer1, P. J. Houghton2

1Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical, KNUST Kumasi, Ghana.

2Pharmacognosy Research Laboratories, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Division, King’s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK

Pharmacognosy Communications,2011,1,1,63-77
Published: July 2011
Type: Research Article


Medicinal plants belonging to the Caesalpinia (Ceasalpiniaceae) genus are widely distributed in most tropical countries and have been frequently employed in folkloric medicine worldwide in the treatment of various ailments including skin diseases, malaria, cancer, infections, erectile dysfunction, pain and wounds. Interest in this genus has increased considerably over the years and the biological properties of different phytoconstituents, such as the cassane-type diterpenoid isolates, have been studied. Over the past 60 years, a number of cassane-type diterpenoids have been isolated from species of this genus and some of them possess interesting biological activities. Recently, three novel cassane-type diterpenoids, benthaminin 1, 2 and 3, which demonstrate antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, have been isolated from Caesalpinia benthamiana growing in Ghana. This review seeks among other things to collate all these isolated compounds, recognising their diversity and commenting on their relevance as bioactive compounds.

Key words: Cassane-type diterpenoids, Caesalpinia, Ceasalpiniaceae, Biological activity.

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