chapter  1
Bakuchiol: A Retinol-Like Functional Compound, Modulating Multiple Retinol and Non-Retinol Targets
ByRatan K. Chaudhuri
Pages 18

Bakuchiol (Figure 1.1; Phenol, 4-[1E, 3S]-3-ethenyl-3, 7-dimethyl-1, 6-octadienyl) was rst isolated by Mehta et al. from the Psoralea corylifolia seed in 1973.1 Absolute conguration of bakuchiol was established in the same year by Parakasarao et al.2 Bakuchiol has one asymmetric center and is shown to possess (S)-chirality.3 Mechanistically, both the 4-hydroxystyryl and terpenic moieties of the compound seem to be important for its bioactivity. Total synthesis was also accomplished in 1973.4 Banerji and Chintalwar reported the biosynthesis of bakuchiol and established the pathway by using phenylalanine and mevalonic acid as substrates.5,6

Bakuchiol is mainly obtained from the seeds of the plant Psoralea corylifolia, which is widely used in Indian as well as in Chinese medicine to treat a variety of diseases.7 Traditional medicine practition ers in India and China have utilized the plant for centuries. Psoralea corylifolia is known by a wide variety of names, suggesting its widespread use. For example, babchi, baguchi, babachi, Bakchi in Hindi and by many other names depending on the Indian languages; Ravoli in Sri Lanka; Boh-gol zhee in Korea; Buguzhi in Chinese.7 A recent chapter on P. corylifolia describes its botany, phytochemistry, and ethnopharmacology, along with the various pharmacological activities of the plant.8 Bakuchiol has also been isolated from other plants, such as P. grandulosa,9,10 P. drupaceae,11 Ulmus davidiana,12 Otholobium pubescens,13 Piper longum,14 and Aerva sangulnolenta Blum.15