The Phytochemical Content and the In vitro Antifungal Properties of Senna alata (Linn.) Roxb.: A Review

  • Charisse Leanne B. Legaspi
  • Cecilia C. Maramba-Lazarte
Keywords: antifungal, Senna alata, akapulko


Infections caused by invasive fungal species continue to rise due to various contributing factors including the changes in the environmental and weather conditions, lifestyle, the occurrence of natural disasters, and the weakened human immune system. Even though synthetic drugs effectively cure fungal diseases, their unwanted side effects, as well as the rapid rise in resistance, have compelled researchers to develop new antifungal agents. Several medicinal plants are folklorically known to have antifungal activities. Among the traditionally used antifungal herbal plants is Senna alata, commonly known as akapulko and ringworm bush. In the current review, phytochemical analysis and numerous non-clinical studies on akapulko have been performed and confirmed its activity against several fungi pathogenic to humans. Anthraquinone compounds seemed to be the major phytochemicals responsible for its antifungal activity. In the Philippines, clinical trials have also confirmed its utility as a topical agent in treating cutaneous fungal infections. Research gaps that need to be addressed include the determination of the exact molecular mechanisms of their fungal killing action.