Pharmacological properties of cashew (Anacardium occidentale)
Anacardium occidentale L. is a tree native to Brazil, which is rich in phenolic lipids. Nowadays, the cashew bark (Cashew Nut Shell Liquid) has received great attention in the pharmaceutical industry, due to its economy, abundance and important chemical compounds. Net of cashew nut shell is classified according to the method of production of: (1) net of the shell of natural cashew nut (60-65% anacardic acid; 15-20% cardol and 10% of cardanol) and (2) liquid from the technical cashew nut shell (60-65% of cardanol, 15-20% cardol and 10% of polymeric material). This work aims to report the pharmacological properties of liquids from cashew nut shells. Results suggest that both liquids have antifungal, antibacterial, antiparasitic, anti-tumor, antiulcerogenic, molluscicides, antimutagenic and antioxidant activities. Natural cashew nut liquid is non-genotoxic, whereas technical liquid is genotoxic in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, although there is no evidence of their mutagenic effects on eukaryotic cells. In conclusion, the excellent antioxidant and non-mutagenic activities of cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) provide opportunities for CNSL in the cosmetic and/or pharmaceutical industries, but continuous study is needed to allow safe and efficacious preparations.
Keywords: Cashew liquid, cosmetics, pharmacological, pharmaceutical, preparation