Ailanthus altissima (the Tree of Heaven): In Vitro Culture and the Formation of Alkaloids and Quassinoids

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Ailanthus species (Simaroubaceae) have a history of use in traditional medicine, particularly for the treatment of dysentery (Steck 1972), A. altissima is particularly noted as an antibacterial, anthelmintic, amoebicide and insecticide (Polonsky 1973; Ohmoto et al. 1976; Varga et al. 1980, 1981); A. excelsa (Mehta and Patel 1959) is noted as a specific for respiratory problems and A. malabarica is noted for the treatment of dyspepsia, bronchitis, opthalmia and snake bite (Khan et al. 1982).