Holy mangrove (Acanthus ilicifolius) is a viny shrub which contains a wide range of secondary metabolites used in Indian and Chinese medicine. Mangrove is considered to be a rich source of steroids, triterpenoids, saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and tannins.
Liver protective properties: When high-dose alcohol extracts of A. ilicifolius are combined with 200 mg/kg day of acyclovir (ACV) (dissolved in double-distilled water), the combination of drugs has shown to have a significant protective effect on liver damage caused by Duck Hepatitis B Virus (DHBV). The oral administration of the alcoholic extract (250 and 500 mg/kg) significantly reduced CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats as judged from the serum and tissue activity of marker enzymes.
Anti-cancer properties: Alcoholic extract from A. ilicifolius (250, 500 mg/kg body weight) demonstrated promising proof for its effectiveness against tumor progression and carcinogen-induced skin papilloma formation in mice.