Plants of the genus Bauhinia (Leguminosae) are widely distributed in most tropical countries and have been frequently used in folk medicine to treat several ailments, especially diabetes. In recent years, the interest in these plants has increased considerably in all world. This review shows the main chemical and pharmacological aspects of these plants. The studies carried out with the extracts and purified compounds from these plants support most of their reported therapeutic properties. It also gives an account of some compounds including terpenes, steroids and flavonoids that were isolated from the genus Bauhinia
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