, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 233-239
Date: 09 Nov 2012

Phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of Siraitia grosvenorii, luo han kuo

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Abstract

Siraitia grosvenorii, an herbaceous perennial vine, is native to Southern China and Northern Thailand. This species is well known for its fruit, which is commonly called “luo han guo” or “luo han kuo” in Chinese; “la han qua” in Vietnamese; or arhat, Buddha, or monk fruit in English. Phytochemical research has shown that the fruit of this species is rich in triterpene glycosides that are very sweet, low in calories, and may be used as a substitute for sugar. In addition, many compounds have been isolated from the vines and leaves of S. grosvenorii, including β-amyrin, aloe emodin, aloe-emodin acetate, 5α,8α-epidioxy-24(R)-methylcholesta-6,22-dien-3β-ol, p-hydroxyl benzyl acid, n-hexadecaoic acid, 12-methyltetradecanoic acid, β-sitosterol, and daucosterol. Moreover, a new flavandiol, siraitiflavandiol, has been obtained from ripe S. grosvenorii fruit, while 2 kaempferol glycosides have been isolated from the unripe fruit. Pharmacological results have also shown that S. grosvenorii extracts and purified mogrosides exhibit antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiallergic effects. Overall, S. grosvenorii could potentially serve as an important source of pharmaceutical and sweetener compounds for a wide range of food products.