Tag Archives: ayurveda

Medicinal Plants of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

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Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

Jahangeer A Bhat, Munesh Kumar, Rainer W Bussmann
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
2013 Jan 2;9:1
PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3560114
Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary entrance from Chopta
Kedarnath Wild Life Sanctuary entrance from Chopta (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Flikr user: Dirk Hartung)

Researchers at H.N.B. Garhwal University and Missouri Botanical Garden documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya to serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and help strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

Podophyllum hexandrum
Podophyllum hexandrum (Source: Wikimedia Commons User: Pekaje)

The authors report 152 medicinally important plant species in the area, of which 18 species fall into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories: Aconitium hetrophyllum, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum hexandrum, Rosa sericea, Roscoea alpina, Salvia hians, Saussurea auriculata, Sorbus aucuparia, Sorbus cuspidata, Synotis alatus, Bistorta amplexicaulis, Coriaria nepalensis, Hypericum choisianum, Morina longifolia, Jurinea dolomiaea, Swertia chirayita, Polygonatum verticillatum and Zanthoxylum armatum.

From the Conclusions:

“Considering the ecological importance and population status of important ethnomedicinal species, we recommend the preparation of micro-plans for each important medicinal species, including data on best harvesting practice and quantity to be harvested. Most of this data is unknown for most medicinal plants. Propagation of plants using tissue culture techniques and conventional methods to allow for their transplantation into natural habitats and niche areas of the species will be an important step towards their conservation. Additional ecological studies, including population assessments using standard ecological methods are needed to effectively plan the conservation and management for threatened, rare and endangered species. The development of agro-production techniques for certain species of Garhwal Himalaya can help to meet the requirement of raw material for commercial use and reduce the pressure on the existing populations in natural habitats.”

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.

A Primer on Ayurvedic Pharmaceutics

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Savrikar SS, Ravishankar B.
Bhaishajya Kalpanaa – the Ayurvedic pharmaceutics – an overview.
Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2010 Apr 3;7(3):174-84. Review.
PubMed PMID: 21461144

The authors, from Gujarat Ayurved University, present an overview of Bhaishajya Kalpanaa, the sub-discipline of Ayurvedic medicine devoted to drug formulations. They cover the historical background, basic principles, methods of preparation, and major influences on the activity of the compounds.

Drawing from the Ayurvedic Formulary of India (current version available online via the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India), the authors detail 21 drug formulations, 16 are mainly plant-based and the rest mineral- and metal-based.

Free full text is available via PubMed. Clinical trials related to Ayurvedic medicine can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

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.

A Review of Curcumin in Head and Neck Cancer

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Wilken R, Veena MS, Wang MB, Srivatsan ES.
Curcumin: A review of anti-cancer properties and therapeutic activity in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Mol Cancer. 2011 Feb 7;10:12. Review.
PubMed PMID: 21299897.

The authors, from the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, present an overview of data on therapeutic activity of curcumin (diferuloylmethane, derived from Curcuma longa), commonly known as turmeric, in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the sixth most common cancer worldwide.

From the abstract:

Curcumin has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, as it is nontoxic and has a variety of therapeutic properties including anti-oxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic activity. More recently curcumin has been found to possess anti-cancer activities via its effect on a variety of biological pathways involved in mutagenesis, oncogene expression, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, tumorigenesis and metastasis.

After an overview of head and neck cancer and the current therapeutic options, the authors describe curcumin in detail and the current preclinical and clinical data on its anti-cancer effects. the conclude that “curcumin is both nontoxic as well as diversified in its inhibitory effects on a multitude of pathways involved in carcinogenesis and tumor formation.”

Free full text is available via PubMed. A list of open clinical trials of curcumin in cancer can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov.

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.