Antibacterial and anticancer activity of the purified cashew nut shell liquid: implications in cancer chemotherapy and wound healing
The cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) from the cashew nut shell of Anacardium occidentale L. has been used to treat skin infections, cracks on soles of feet and cancerous ulcers. In this study, we have purified the technical CNSL, systematically evaluated its anticancer, antibacterial and wound healing activity. The LC-MS data revealed that the purified CNSL contains the compounds, cardanol, anacardic acid and methylcardol. It inhibited the proliferation of HeLa cells with an IC50 of 0.004%(v/v) and caused moderate mitotic block with spindle abnormality. It induced apoptosis in HeLa cells and accelerated wound closure in L929 cells. It inhibited the growth of Bacillus subtilis with an IC50 of 0.35%(v/v) and the treated cells exhibited elongated morphology indicating that suppression of cell division is one of the possible mechanisms of its action. The study suggests that the purified CNSL might have potential applications in anticancer and antibacterial drug development.