Erythrina alkaloids: Recent advances in their synthesis, isolation and pharmacology

Olimpo García-Beltrán, Miguel Moreno-Palacios

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The genus Erythrina (subfamily Papilionoidae) comprises between 110 and 118 species with a mainly pantropical distribution. However, some species are also found in subtropical regions such as South Africa, Southeast United States and the Himalayas. Out of 118 species, 43 occur in the Old World, while 75 are distributed only in the New World. They inhabit a broad range of ecosystems, spanning from lowland dry and humid forests, including floodplains, to Andean highland humid forest above 3000 m. Erythrina species are widely grown as ornamental plants, the edible fruits of some are sought after for their broad nutritional spectrum. The trees are planted as soil and watershed protectors, the leaves serve as high quality forage, are used as pet food and widely used in folk medicine in various parts of the world. This genus is known to produce various secondary metabolites found between C-prenylated flavanones, isoflavones, isoflavanones, pterocarpans, indole alkaloids and erythrinane alkaloids. However, the erythrinane skeleton plays an important role because of its curare-like, hypnotic and pharmacological effects associated with it including sedative, hypotensive, neuromuscular blocking and CNS activity. This chapter summarizes the literature relating to the alkaloids isolated from the genus Erythrina, synthetic approaches since 2010, like its pharmacology.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlkaloids
Subtitle of host publicationBiosynthesis, Biological Roles and Health Benefits
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781634820752
ISBN (Print)9781634820745
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2015

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