Tag Archives: ayurveda

Ethnobotanical Use of Medicinal Plants in Sheikhupura District, Punjab, Pakistan


An ethnopharmacological evaluation of Navapind and Shahpur Virkanin district Sheikupura, Pakistan for their herbal medicines

Zahoor M, Yousaf Z, Aqsa T, Haroon M, Saleh N, Aftab A, Javed S, Qadeer M, Ramazan H
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017 May 8;13(1):27
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5422909

Punjab Province, Pakistan
Punjab Province, Pakistan [Source: TUBS, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators from the Lahore College for Women University conducted an ethnopharmacological survey to document the medicinal uses of wild plants in the villages of Nava Pind and Shahpur Virkanin in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab province in eastern Pakistan. This is the first quantitative ethnobotanical documentation of medicinal plants to be undertaken in the region.

“The village[s] NavaPind and ShahpurVirkan [of the] district Sheikhupura are floristically quite rich tropical regions of Punjab. Ethnobotanical study of this area has never been conducted. The climate of the area is subjected to extreme variations. Wheat, Rice and Sugarcane are the main cash crops. Guavas, Strawberries and Citrus are grown at a larger scale in this district. Literacy rate of the villages is very low. Generally it is observed that most men in these areas are engaged in unskilled labor, while women are self-employed in petty trade of agriculture especially in the collection and trade of wild food and medicinal plants. Mostly plants are used for many purposes like food, shelter and therapeutic agents. However, lack of scientific knowledge about the useable parts, proper time of collection and wasteful methods of collection lead to mismanagement of these plants. So, the indigenous knowledge is going to be depleted. Hence ethnobotanical survey is planned for NavaPind and ShahpurVirkan district Sheikhupura, province Punjab to document the traditional uses of medicinal plants in the area before the information is lost.”

Ocimum sanctum
Ocimum sanctum [Photo: WAH]
Working with indigenous local informants, the team identified 96 plant species used for medicinal purposes, including 12 species that had not been previously reported for medicinal properties: Allium roylei, Asthenatherum forkalii, Carthamus tinctorius, Conyza erigeron, Digitaria ciliaris, Digitaria nodosa, Jasminum nudiflorum, Malva verticillata, Melilotus indica [Melilotus indicus], Ocimum sanctum, Schoenoplectus supinus, and Tetrapogon tenellus. Therapeutic applications included abdominal pain, respiratory disorder, cholera, and use as a skin tonic, among others.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

Send email to avery@williamaveryhudson.com for information about submitting qualified published research for sponsored posts on this blog.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

The Medicinal Plants of Bhutan’s Lower Kheng Region


Pharmacological, ethnopharmacological, and botanical evaluation of subtropical medicinal plants of Lower Kheng region in Bhutan

Wangchuk P, Yeshi K, Jamphel K
Integr Med Res. 2017 Dec; 6(4): 372–387
PubMed Central: PMC5741394
Zhemgang Dzongkhag (District), Bhutan
Zhemgang District, Bhutan

Investigators at James Cook University, Wangbama Central School, and the Bhutan Ministry of Health conducted an ethnobotanical study to identify subtropical medicinal plants from the Lower Kheng region in the Zhemgang District of Bhutan, where Bhutanese Sowa Rigpa medicine has been practiced for centuries:

“In Bhutan, while some traditional physicians argue that Sowa Rigpa originated in the 8th century CE with the advent of Mahayana Buddhism, many scholars believe that it was only in 1616 that Lama Zhabdrung Nawang Namgyal laid written foundation to this medical system. The Bhutanese Sowa Rigpa medicine (BSM) belong to the larger corpus of the Tibetan scholarly medical (TSM) system, which was derived from Chinese Traditional Medicine, Indian Ayurvedic Medicine, Greco-Roman medicine, and the Persian medicine (Galenos). However, the country’s culture, tradition, local medical practices, geography, and vegetation influenced the way BSM evolved independently over many centuries, making it specific to Bhutan.”

The authors note that theirs is the first ethnobotanical study to be conducted in the Lower Kheng region:

“The criteria and reasons for choosing these areas as our ethnobotanical study areas were: (1) there was unsubstantiated/anecdotal claim about the lush growth of LAMP in the region; (2) no ethnobotanical study has been conducted in this region to date; and (3) Lower Kheng people are poor and their engagement in the medicinal plants collection, cultivation, and marketing programs could help them generate cash income.”

Aquilaria malaccensis
Aquilaria malaccensis [Source: W. Saunders – Illustrations of the botany and other branches of the natural history of the Himalayan Mountains. Volume 2 (Public Domain)]
The research team identified 61 medicinal plants, 30 of which were found in abundance, including Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica, and Phyllanthus emblica, together known as “King of Medicine” (Mengi-Pawo) or “Three Powerful Medicines.” Another species, Aquilaria malaccensis, which is considered rare in other parts of the world, was found to be abundantly cultivated in household and community gardens throughout the region. More than 20 species were found in all the villages surveyed. These included Bombax ceiba, Canarium strictum, Cassia tora, Cautleya spicata, Choerospondias axillaris, Cinnamomum impressinervium, Erythrina arborescens, Justicia adhatoda, Knema tenuinervia, Mucuna imbricata, Otochilus lancilabius, Phlogacanthus thyrsiformis, Piper mullesua, Rhus chinensis, Stephania glabra, Symplocos sumuntia, and Tinospora cordifolia.

In their conclusion, the authors recommend further work toward sustainable development and commercialization of the region’s medicinal plants:

“Many plant species have commercial and economic values. While MSP is currently viewed as the sole domestic market for these medicinal plants, many species have international significance (especially applicable to countries that practice Tibetan Sowa Rigpa medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine including India, Nepal, Mongolia, Tibet, Europe, and Northern America). The communities would largely benefit by domesticating or cultivating them in the household gardens or as cash crops in their family orchards. This medicinal plants program has the potential to alleviate poverty in these three Gewog communities and could enhance the happiness, wellbeing and development in Bhutan. Since the communities consume 28 medicinal plants as food grains, spices, herbs, and fruits, it can be assumed that the local people are also deriving health benefits.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Antimalarial Plants of Eastern Uttar Pradesh


Ethnobotanical perspective of antimalarial plants: traditional knowledge based study

Qayum A, Arya R, Lynn AM
BMC Res Notes. 2016 Feb 4;9:67
PubMed Central: PMC4743172

Uttar Pradesh in India
Uttar Pradesh in India [Source: Wikimedia Commons, By Filpro]
Investigators from Jawaharlal Nehru University and Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy conducted an ethnobotanical study to find plants with antimalarial activities used by local people in the Gorakhpur, Kushinagar, and Maharajganj districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The team documented 51 plants used for the treatment of malaria, including Adhatoda vasica, Cassia fistula, and Swertia chirata.

Justicia adhatoda (Adhatoda vasica)
Justicia adhatoda (Adhatoda vasica) [Photo: Wikimedia Commons, By ShineB]
The authors note that many important medicinal plants in the area are becoming rare and some of them are critically endangered because of overexploitation, loss of water reservoirs, and changes in land use.

From the conclusion:

“The work carried out revealed the plants recorded are highly valuable for antimalarial application and in future, bio-prospecting projects can be further initiated for sustainable harvesting towards developing antimalarial drug for curing malaria at large. It would help researchers to find out suitable lead molecules with antimalarial activity towards drug discovery. The study provides ample ground to believe that the traditional medicinal system practice using native medicinal plants is alive and well functioning in the selected area. Many communities use antimalarial plant parts and whole plant for their primary healthcare. It is primarily due to lack of modern medicines, medications, self-reliance on herbs, poor economic condition and more importantly faiths in TK System. The treatment of malaria with plants and plant parts causes little or no side effects and also it is very cheap and affordable. Some plants are nearly extinct in the region, the reason being change in land use pattern and shrinking of water bodies along with over harvesting of herbs. The bio-depletion of these antimalarial plants is due to the burgeoning population and unscientific management of the natural resources.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.


Ethnomedicinal Knowledge of the Indigenous People of Malda District, West Bengal


Indigenous knowledge of plants in local healthcare management practices by tribal people of Malda district, India

Saha MR, Sarker DD, Kar P, Gupta PS, Sen A
J Intercult Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Oct-Dec;3(4):179-85
PubMed Central PMC4576813

Malda District, West Bengal, India
Malda District, West Bengal, India [Source: GDibyendu, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators from the University of North Bengal conducted an ethnobotanical study aimed at exploring the indigenous knowledge of native tribes on the utilization of wild plant species for local healthcare management in Malda district of West Bengal.

From the Introduction:

“The region is covered with plentiful natural vegetation, which makes it verdant. River beds, ponds, marshy land etc. are good habitats for the wetland undergrowth. Most of the remote villages are covered by jungles, which consist chiefly of thorny scrub bush and large trees showing wide distribution of flora. The soil of the western region of the district is particularly suited to the growth of mulberry and mango, for which Malda has become famous. Various ethnic communities, including Santala, Rajbanshi, Namasudre, Polia, Oraon, Mundas, Malpaharias etc. are the inhabitants of this region. Of these Santala, Oraon is different from others due to their unique culture and tradition. They are quite popular to treat several types of local ailments of human and veterinary purposes.”

Consulting with traditional healers and practitioners, the team documented 53 medicinal plants frequently used to treat 44 types of ailments.

Andrographis paniculata
Andrographis paniculata [Source: J.M. Garg, Wikimedia Commons]
Predominant among the most important medicinal plants used in the treatment of several diseases are Andrographis paniculata, Amaranthus spinosus, Alstonia scholaris, Cuscuta reflexa, Jatropha gossypiifolia, Caesalpinia crista, Tamarindus indica and Sida rhombifolia.

Azoospermia was the most commonly treated disease, followed by different types of pains, ankle sprain, diabetes, dysentery, inflammation, menstrual disorder, rheumatism, skin disorders and leucorrhea.

This first study of ethnomedicinal knowledge of the ethnic people of Malda district could be a crucial first step toward the conservation of cultural traditions and biodiversity in the region:

“Now-a-days the traditional knowledge is in the way of erosion due to environmental degradation, deforestation, agricultural expansion and population pressure. Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and their use by indigenous cultures are not only useful for conservation of cultural traditions and biodiversity but also for community healthcare and drug development at present and in the future. Therefore, recording of indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants is an urgent task.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Biomedicines of the Rongmei tribe of Manipur, India


Indigenous traditional knowledge and usage of folk bio-medicines among Rongmei tribe of Tamenglong district of Manipur, India

Prakash N, Ansari MA, Punitha P, Sharma PK
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2014 Apr 3;11(3):239-47
PubMed Central PMC4202445

Tamenglong District (Manipur, India)
Tamenglong District (Manipur, India) [Source: Abhijitsathe, Wikimedia Commons]
Investigators from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research conducted a field survey to document and preserve ethnomedicinal knowledge of the indigenous Rongmei tribe of the village of Charoi Chagotlong (Tamenglong district, Manipur, India).

Justicia adhatoda/Adhatoda vasica
Justicia adhatoda/Adhatoda vasica [Source: ShineB, Wikimedia Commons]
The team identified 60 species of plants used for medicinal purposes, including Adhatoda vasica, Centella asiatica, Dioscorea bulbifera, Dioscorea pentaphylla, Eryngium foetidum, Euphorbia antiquarum, Ficus retusa, Michelia champaca, Oroxylum indicum, Rhus semialata, Zanthoxylum acanthopodium, and Zingiber officinale.

From the paper’s Discussion section:

“The villagers expressed concern at the possible loss of native plant species and indigenous traditional knowledge about the utility and usefulness of different plant species. They attributed it to strong dis-interest shown by the youths in the acquisition of traditional knowledge from the village elders. This decrease in usage of native species of edible plants is likely to continue in the future as more non native edible plants are made easily available to them in nearby shops. Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants can provide leads for further scientific studies on species and genetic diversification with certain desirable traits that can be used or transferred into the modern biomedicine for prevention and cure of certain chronic diseases. It is important not only to put such traditional knowledge on record and conduct further studies, but also to take steps to conserve the species and genetic diversity of folk biomedicine before they are lost to humans.”

The authors recommend focused efforts to promote the preservation of ethnomedicinal knowledge within the Rongmei community and exploration of their biomedicines for the prevention and cure of various human diseases.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Formulations of Kuch Healers in Bangladesh


Medicinal formulations of the Kuch tribe of Bangladesh

Rahmatullah M, Haque ME, Mondol MR, Hasan M, Aziz T, Jahan R, Seraj S
J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Jun;20(6):428-40
PubMed PMID: 24738615

Sherpur District of Bangladesh
Sherpur District of Bangladesh [source: Nafsadh, Wikimedia Commons]
Mohammed Rahmatullah and colleagues at the University of Development Alternative conducted an ethnomedicinal study to document medicinal formulations of tribal medicinal practitioners in the Kuch (also known as Koche or Koch) indigenous community of the Sherpur district of Bangladesh.

Interviews conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and guided field-walks resulted in documentation of 49 plants used in various preparations.

Justicia adhatoda
Justicia adhatoda [source: ShineB, Wikimedia Commons]
The team found similarity between use by Kuch healers and Indian traditional medicinal practice for 12 of the species: Justicia adhatoda, Acorus calamus, Costus speciosus, Mimosa pudica, Litsea glutinosa, Stephania glabra, Piper longum, Drynaria quercifolia, S. dulcis, Centella asiatica, Cissus quadrangularis, and Curcuma caesia.

The authors note the precarious existence of the community:

“The Kuch (otherwise known as Koche or Koch) tribe is a small indigenous community whose present territory includes primarily the Sherpur district and also scattered locations of the Rangpur, Dinajpur, Joypurhat, and Naogaon districts in northern Bangladesh. According to an 1872 population census, the tribal population numbered around 1 million and the tribe was then also present in the Pabna, Bogra, and Rajshahi districts of the country. In a population census conducted in 1913, the population was 156,000. The present population is estimated to be around 3000. Thus, there appears to have been a drastic decline in the tribal population in the last 140 years, which the Kuch attribute to frequent warfare and resulting moves to new areas. As result the tribe has had to adapt to their new places of residence, which is not easy because they face hostility from previous residents. Food shortage under these conditions leads to eventual decline in the economic status of the tribe, with consequent malnutrition, diseases, and mortality. In addition, the tribe faces continuous assimilation with the mainstream population….

“The Kuch, although they owned vast tracts of land in the past, are landless at present. They work as agricultural laborers in lands belonging to the mainstream Bengali-speaking population. As a consequence, their economic status is extremely poor. The men work in the fields and women supplement their family income by making various items from bamboo and selling them in the local village markets. Their main diet consists of rice consumed with dried fish and vegetables. Meat is primarily obtained from hunting rabbits, boars, and porcupines from forest areas. Fermented rice wine forms a major part of their diet and religious festivals. A favorite food is khaji or kanthamuri, which consists of steamed dried fish in combination with powdered rice and vegetables.”

The authors conclude that the medicinal plants of the Kuch tribe show potential for further scientific studies, particularly in research for treatments for malaria and, with limitations, diabetes.

Read the complete article at PubMed.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Plants Used by the Deb Barma Clan of Bangladesh


A survey of medicinal plants used by the Deb barma clan of the Tripura tribe of Moulvibazar district, Bangladesh

Kabir MH, Hasan N, Rahman MM, Rahman MA, Khan JA, Hoque NT, Bhuiyan MR, Mou SM, Jahan R, Rahmatullah M
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2014 Feb 6;10:19
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3996145

Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh
Moulvibazar District, Bangladesh [source: Nafsadh, Wikimedia Commons]
Mohammad Humayun Kabir and colleagues at the University of Development Alternative conducted a survey of the ethnomedicinal practices of the Deb barma clan of the Tripura tribe, residing in Dolusora Tripura Palli of Bangladesh’s Moulvibazar district.

The survey is part of a larger project to document the medical ethnobotany of Bangladesh:

“Towards building up a comprehensive database of medicinal plants of the country and their traditional uses, we had been interviewing and documenting the traditional medicinal practices of folk and tribal medicinal practitioners for a number of years. The Tripura (also known as Tripuri, Tiprah or Tipperah) tribe is one such indigenous community in Bangladesh, whose various clans can be found in the Chittagong and Sylhet Divisions in the southeast and northeast parts, respectively, of the country. The various clans of the Tripura tribe include Deb barma (also known as Tiprah), Reang or Bru, Jamatia, Koloi, Noatia, Murasing, Halam, Harbang, and Uchoi. We have previously documented the ethnomedicinal practices of the Harbang clan of the Tripura tribal community residing in Chittagong Division of Bangladesh.”

On the basis of interviews of the tribal healer and the tribal community regarding their ethnomedicinal practices, with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and guided field-walks, the team documented 44 medicinal plants used by the tribal healer for treatment of a variety of ailments, including malaria, skin infections, tuberculosis, respiratory disorders, bleeding from external cuts and wounds, chest pain, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, burning sensations during urination, bone fracture, snake bite, toothache, headache, bleeding from gums, paralysis, skin disorders, helminthiasis, chicken pox, diabetes, jaundice, eye disorders and weakness.

Persicaria glabra
Persicaria glabra [source: J. M. Garg, Wikimedia Commons]
Several plants were found to be unique in their use for medicinal purposes by the Deb barma healer, including Physalis micrantha, Persicaria glabra, Smilax macrophylla, Sansevieria hyacinthoides, Garcinia cowa, Pouzolzia zeylanica and Lantana camara, and are proposed for scientific examination for their relevant pharmacological activities.

From the Conclusion:

“…In recent years, the Deb barma clan members may have started to prefer allopathic system more than their traditional medicinal system. If this happens, the ethnomedicinal wisdom of the Deb barma clan may be lost forever, if not documented. Since already the usage of a number of their traditional medicinal plants has been validated through scientific research, it is important that the yet to be studied plants be examined scientifically as to their pharmacological properties and their phytochemical constituents. Such studies can be beneficial to human beings if new and more efficacious medicines can be discovered from these plants.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Properties of Sri Lanka Cinnamon


Medicinal properties of ‘true’ cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): a systematic review

Ranasinghe P, Pigera S, Premakumara GA, Galappaththy P, Constantine GR, Katulanda P
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013 Oct 22;13:275
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3854496

Priyanga Ranasinghe of the University of Colombo (Sri Lanka) and colleagues at the University of Colombo and the Industrial Technology Institute conducted a comprehensive systematic review of the scientific literature to provide a comprehensive summary of the potential medicinal benefits of Sri Lanka cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum (C. verum).

The authors begin by making an important distinction between two main varieties of cinnamon, C. zeylanicum and C. cassia, based on the coumarin content of the two:

Sri Lanka cinnamon (C. verum/C. zeylanicum)
Sri Lanka cinnamon (C. verum/C. zeylanicum) [Source: USDA photo, Wikimedia Commons]

“Cinnamon is a common spice used by different cultures around the world for several centuries. It is obtained from the inner bark of trees from the genus Cinnamomum, a tropical evergreen plant that has two main varieties; [C. zeylanicum] and [C. cassia] (also known as Cinnamomum aromaticum/Chinese cinnamon)…. [C. zeylanicum], also known as Ceylon cinnamon (the source of its Latin name, zeylanicum) or ‘true cinnamon’ is indigenous to Sri Lanka and southern parts of India…. One important difference between [C. cassia] and [C. zeylanicum] is their coumarin (1,2-benzopyrone) content. The levels of coumarins in [C. cassia] appear to be very high and pose health risks if consumed regularly in higher quantities. According to the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), 1 kg of [C. cassia] powder contains approximately 2.1-4.4 g of coumarin, which means 1 teaspoon of [C. cassia] powder would contain around 5.8-12.1 mg of coumarin. This is above the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) for coumarin of 0.1mg/kg body weight/day recommended by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The BfR in its report specifically states that [C. zeylanicum] contains ‘hardly any’ coumarin. Coumarins are secondary phyto-chemicals with strong anticoagulant, carcinogenic and hepato-toxic properties… The EFSA advocates against the regular, long term use of [C. cassia] as a supplement due to its coumarin content. In addition, according to currently available evidence coumarin does not seem to play a direct role in the observed biological effects of [C. cassia]. Hence, although [C. cassia] has also shown many beneficial medicinal properties, [its] coumarin content is likely to be an obstacle against regular use as a pharmaceutical agent, unlike in the case of [C. zeylanicum].”

Reviewing the literature, the authors found that available in-vitro and in-vivo evidence suggests that C. zeylanicum has anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-oxidant and free radical scavenging properties, and that it lowers blood glucose, serum cholesterol and blood pressure. They caution, however, that because of the paucity of studies in humans, and other limitations of the current evidence, further randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trials will be required to establish therapeutic safety and efficacy of C. zeylanicum as a pharmaceutical agent.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Ethnomedicinal Herbs of Phyllanthus Species


An overview of important ethnomedicinal herbs of Phyllanthus species: present status and future prospects

Sarin B, Verma N, Martín JP, Mohanty A
ScientificWorldJournal. 2014 Feb 3;2014:839172
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3932249

Bharti Sarin of the University of Delhi and co-authors from the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid present an overview of studies on pharmacognostics, phytochemistry, species identification, and genetic diversity of Phyllanthus herbs.

From the introduction:

“The genus Phyllanthus (Phyllanthaceae) consists of approximately 1000 species, spread over the American, African, Australian, and Asian continents. All three major habits [sic], that is, trees, shrubs, and herbs, are seen amongst the Phyllanthus species. Most of the herbs belonging to genus Phyllanthus have been shown to contain different combinations of secondary metabolites which render them with medicinal properties. The major class of bioactive compounds like alkaloids, flavonoids, lignans, phenols, tannins, and terpenes has been isolated from these herbs.”

Phyllanthus urinaria
Phyllanthus urinaria [Source: Raffi Kojian – http://Gardenology.org, Wikimedia Commons]
The team focused on 12 species: P. ajmerianus, P. amarus, P. debilis, P. fraternus, P. kozhikodianus, P. maderaspatensis, P. rheedii, P. rotundifolius, P. scabrifolius, P. tenellus, P. urinaria, and P. virgatus. Except P. ajmerianus, P. rotundifolius, and P. scabrifolius, the 12 have been scientifically investigated and shown to be of pharmacological value. Many of the herbs form an integral part of the Ayurveda system of medicine:

“The ethnic tribes of India and other Asian countries have used the herbs of Phyllanthus species since ancient times, as traditional home remedies. The decoctions of various parts of the herbs are used for treating hepatic, urinary, and sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and wounds. Taking cue from the ethnic medications and potential of herbal treatments, the modern society is now eager to resort to green medicines which are without adverse side effects.”

Considering the medicinal properties of the Phyllanthus herbs, the authors recommend that these species should be assessed for pharmacognostics and pharmacological properties, and the assessment of genetic diversity of these species, which will have implications for formulating conservation strategies in the future.

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.

Medicinal Properties of Gymnema sylvestre


Phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Gymnema sylvestre: an important medicinal plant

Tiwari P, Mishra BN, Sangwan NS
Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:830285
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3912882

Pragya Tiwari, B. N. Mishra, and Neelam S. Sangwan of the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and Gautam Buddh Technical University review the phytochemistry and pharmacological activities of the Ayurvedic medicinal herb Gymnema sylvestre and its phytoconstituents.

From the abstract:

Gymnema sylvestre
Gymnema sylvestre [Source: Vinayaraj, Wikimedia Commons]

Gymnema sylvestre (Asclepiadaceae), popularly known as “gurmar” for its distinct property as sugar destroyer, is a reputed herb in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The phytoconstituents responsible for sweet suppression activity includes triterpene saponins known as gymnemic acids, gymnemasaponins, and a polypeptide, gurmarin. The herb exhibits a broad range of therapeutic effects as an effective natural remedy for diabetes, besides being used for arthritis, diuretic, anemia, osteoporosis, hypercholesterolemia, cardiopathy, asthma, constipation, microbial infections, indigestion, and anti-inflammatory. G. sylvestre has good prospects in the treatment of diabetes as it shows positive effects on blood sugar homeostasis, controls sugar cravings, and promotes regeneration of pancreas. The herbal extract is used in dietary supplements since it reduces body weight, blood cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and holds great prospects in dietary as well as pharmacological applications.”

The team reviews published literature on the medicinal plant’s history; taxonomy; phytochemical profile; biosynthesis and genomics; mechanism of action; pharmacological activities (antidiabetic, antiarthritic, anticaries, antibiotic/antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer/cytotoxic, antihyperlipidemic, immunostimulatory, hepatoprotective, wound healing, ethnobotanical); and bioavailability/toxicity.

Noting the increasingly endangered status of G. sylvestre, the authors recommend alternative methods of cultivation and conservation of this and other medicinal plants with pharmacological importance:

“One major factor that comes into play is that many medicinal plants of commercial importance face threat of extinction due to increase in demand and destruction of their habitats due to urbanization and industrialization. The prime initiative should focus on the cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants with pharmacological importance. Although, the herb has immense prospects in drug development, but it faces threat of extinction due to continuous deforestation and absence of established lines and varieties. The in vitro propagation of plants, in plant tissue culture offers a promising alternative for the production of valuable secondary metabolite. G. sylvestre, being a valuable medicinal plant and source of bioactive substances, needs to be propagated and conserved. In vitro propagation of plants with high bioactive content and cell culture technologies for large-scale production of such secondary metabolites with medicinal significance will be highly prospective and will provide new dimensions to this area of research.”

Read the complete article at PubMed Central.

The information on my blog is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice but is to be used only as an aid in understanding current medical knowledge. A physician should always be consulted for any health problem or medical condition.