• The genus Erythrina is popularly known for its ornamental and medicinal properties.
• E. latissima trees are widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics, taking 20 to 30 years to form a reasonable canopy, and living for over 100 years.
• The seeds of E. latissima contain the tetrahydroisoquinoline type of alkaloids and the betaine of tryptophan (an ionic compound) as the major compounds.
• The Erythrina alkaloids and hypaphorine are responsible for therapeutic properties of E. latissima seeds.
• Some Erythrina alkaloids from the seeds of E. latissima possess paralysis potency and curare-like neuromuscular blocking activities.
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