Chemical constituents of Asparagus

JS Negi, P Singh, GP Joshi, MS Rawat, VK Bisht

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):215-220

Asparagus species (family Liliaceae) are medicinal plants of temperate Himalayas. They possess a variety of biological properties, such as being antioxidants, immunostimulants, anti-inflammatory, antihepatotoxic, antibacterial, antioxytocic, and reproductive agents. The article briefly reviews the isolated chemical constituents and the biological activities of the plant species. The structural formula of isolated compounds and their distribution in the species studied are also given.

Hygrophila spinosa : A comprehensive review

AD Kshirsagar, KG Ingale, NS Vyawahare, VS Thorve

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):167-171

Hygrophila spinosa T Ander, belonging to the family Acanthaceae, is a promising medicinal plant with great economic potential. The medicinal value of H. spinosa has been appreciated in the ancient medical literature. The plant contains terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and is traditionally known as an aphrodisiac, renal tonic, and for its health-promoting properties. The plant is cultivated throughout India. However, systematic information on the different aspects of this species is not available. In this review, an attempt has been made to present this information.

Crocus sativus L.: A comprehensive review

R Srivastava, H Ahmed, RK Dixit, Dharamveer , SA Saraf

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):200-208

Crocus sativus L. belonging to the family Iridaceae (syn – kesar) comprises the dried red stigma and is widely cultivated in Iran and other countries such as India and Greece. Saffron contains more than 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds mainly terpenes, terpene alcohol, and their esters. The bitter taste and an iodoform or hay-like fragrance are caused by chemicals picrocrocin and safranal. C. sativus possesses a number of medicinally important activities such as antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, antitussive, antigenototoxic and cytotoxic effects, anxiolytic aphrodisiac, antioxidant, antidepressant, antinociceptive , anti-inflammatory, and relaxant activity. It also improves memory and learning skills, and increases blood flow in retina and choroid. The present review explores the historical background, chemical constituents, pharmacological actions, uses, substitutes and adulterants, and toxicity. It also deals with its evaluation, formulations, and chemical tests in detail.

A review on Cressa cretica Linn.: A halophytic plant

S Priyashree, S Jha, SP Pattanayak

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):161-166

Herbal medicine is used by up to 80% of the population in developing countries. Cressa cretica L. is a popular holophytic plant and is used in folklore medicine for ailments including diabetes, ulcers, asthma, anthelmintic, stomachic, tonic and aphrodisiac purposes, enriches the blood, and is useful in constipation, leprosy, and urinary discharges. The plant is traditionally used in Bahrain as expectorant and antibilious agent. Scientific evidence suggests its versatile biological functions East Inflatable Rentalssuch as its antibacterial, antifungal, antitussive, anticancer with some other plants, anti-inflammatory, and improving testicular function in rats. In this article, a comprehensive account of the morphology, phytochemical constituents, ethnobotany, and biological activities are included in view of the recent findings of importance on the plant, C. cretica.

The genus Gelsemium: An update

V Dutt, S Thakur, VJ Dhar, A Sharma

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):185-194

The review includes 103 references on the genus Gelsemium, and comprises ethnopharmacology, morphology, phytoconstituents, pharmacological reports, clinical studies and toxicology of the prominent species of Gelsemium. Alkaloids and iridoids constitute major classes of phytoconstituents of the genus. Most popular species of the genus are the Asian G. elegans and the two North American related species, G. sempervirens and G. rankinii. Gelsemium species are categorized under medicinal as well as poisonous plants. Amongst various species, G. elegans and G. sempervirens possess medicinal value, and have been traditionally used as nervous system relaxant. These plants have been explored exhaustively for their anticancer activity. In the concluding part, the future scope of Gelsemium species has been emphasized with a view to establish their multifarious biological activities and mode of actions

Pistia stratiotes (Jalkumbhi)

P Tripathi, R Kumar, AK Sharma, A Mishra, R Gupta

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):153-160

Pistia stratiotes (Family: Araceae) is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine. This review article is a compilation of all the updated information on its phytochemical and pharmacological activities, which were performed by different methods. Studies indicate that P. stratiotes possesses diuretic, antidiabetic, antidermatophytic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties. These results are very encouraging and indicate that this plant should be studied more extensively to confirm the reproducibility of these results and also to reveal other potential therapeutic effects, along with some “leads” with possible isolation of active biomoieties and their mechanism of action.

Argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) sweet: A comprehensive review

VJ Galani, BG Patel, NB Patel

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):172-178

Argyreia speciosa (Linn. f.) Sweet is a popular Indian medicinal plant, which has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for various diseases. This plant is pharmacologically studied for nootropic, aphrodisiac, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, antihyperglycemic, antidiarrheal, antimicrobial, antiviral, nematicidal, antiulcer, anticonvulsant, analgesic and central nervous depressant activities. A wide range of phytochemical constituents have been isolated from this plant. A comprehensive account of the morphology, phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activities reported are included in view of the many recent findings of importance on this plant.

Erythrina variegata Linn: A review on morphology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological aspects

A Kumar, S Lingadurai, A Jain, NR Barman

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):147-152

This review gives an account of the current knowledge on the morphology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological aspects of Erythrina variegata. E. variegata also called Erythrina indica is a thorny deciduous tree growing to 60 feet tall. A wide range of chemical compounds have been isolated, mainly alkaloids, flavonoids, triterpenoids, and lectin. Different parts of the plant have been used in traditional medicine as nervine sedative, collyrium in opthalmia, antiasthmatic, antiepileptic, antiseptic, and as an astringent. The alkaloids extracted from the leaves of E. variegata are reported to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. Isoflavonoids isolated from E. variegata having antibacterial and anthelmintic activity. E. variegata shows several other characteristic pharmacological effects like neuromuscular blocking, smooth muscle relaxant, CNS depressant, and hydrocholeretic, which are consistent with the reported uses of the plant extracts in the indigenous system of medicine Aufblasbare Hüpfburgen. Hence the present article includes the detailed exploration of morphology, phytochemistry, and pharmacological aspects of E. variegata in an attempt to provide a direction for further research.

Salvadora persica

M Khatak, S Khatak, AA Siddqui, N Vasudeva, A Aggarwal, P Aggarwal

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):209-214

Salvadora persica (kharijal) is a large, well-branched, and evergreen shrub or a tree resembling Salvadora oleoides (meethijal) found in the dry and arid regions of India. Chewing sticks have been used for centuries for tooth cleaning, and are recommended by the World Health Organization in areas where their use is customary. Salvadora persica has enormous reported activities. It has potential medicinal and research activities. Salvadora persica is a promising product and is useful to produce antiplaque, analgesic, anticonvulsant, antibacterial, antimycotic, cytotoxic, antifertility, deobstruent, carminative, diuretic, astringent, and also used in biliousness, and rheumatism. This review highlights the pharmacologic effects and therapeutic effects of Salvadora persica. The chemical constituents present in different parts of the plant are also discussed.

A potential of some medicinal plants as an antiulcer agents

R Gadekar, PK Singour, PK Chaurasiya, RS Pawar, UK Patil

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):136-146

Peptic ulcers are a broad term that includes ulcers of digestive tract in the stomach or the duodenum. The formation of peptic ulcers depends on the presence of acid and peptic activity in gastric juice plus a breakdown in mucosal defenses. There are two major factors that can disrupt the mucosal resistance to injury: non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) example, aspirin and Helicobacter pylori infection. Numerous natural products have been evaluated as therapeutics for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including peptic ulcer. There has been considerable pharmacological investigation into the antiulcer activity of some compounds. In this work, we shall review the literature on different medicinal plant and alkaloids with antiulcer activity. This article reviews the antiacid/anti-peptic, gastroprotective and/or antiulcer properties of the most commonly employed herbal medicines and their identified active constituents. The experimental parameters used for antiulcer activity were cold restraint stress-induced ulcer model, Diclofenac-induced ulcer model in rats, (HCl-ethanol)-induced ulcer in mice and water immersion stress-induced ulcer in rats. The ideal aims of treatment of peptic ulcer disease are to relieve pain, heal the ulcer and delay ulcer recurrence. About 70% of patients with peptic ulcer disease are infected by Helicobacter pylori and eradication of this microorganism seems to be curative for this disease. This article reviews drugs derived from medicinal plant more commonly used in the world for peptic ulcer and, if reported, the antiulcer activity. This article will be concerned only with the antiulcer and gastro-protective effects.

Anethum graveolens: An Indian traditional medicinal herb and spice

S Jana, GS Shekhawat

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):179-184

Anethum graveolens L. (dill) has been used in ayurvedic medicines since ancient times and it is a popular herb widely used as a spice and also yields essential oil. It is an aromatic and annual herb of apiaceae family. The Ayurvedic uses of dill seeds are carminative, stomachic and diuretic. There are various volatile components of dill seeds and herb; carvone being the predominant odorant of dill seed and a-phellandrene, limonene, dill ether, myristicin are the most important odorants of dill herb. Other compounds isolated from seeds are coumarins, flavonoids, phenolic acids and steroids. The main purpose of this review is to understand the significance of Anethum graveolens in ayurvedic medicines and non-medicinal purposes and emphasis can also be given to the enhancement of secondary metabolites of this medicinal plant.

Medicinal mushrooms: Towards a new horizon

A Ganeshpurkar, G Rai, AP Jain

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):127-135

The arising awareness about functional food has created a boom in this new millennium. Mushrooms are widely consumed by the people due to their nutritive and medicinal properties. Belonging to taxonomic category of basidiomycetes or ascomycetes, these mushrooms possess antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. They are also one of the richest source of anticancer and immunomodulating agents. Thus these novel myochemicals from these mushrooms are the wave of future.

Phytopharmacology of Ficus religiosa

SB Chandrasekar, M Bhanumathy, AT Pawar, T Somasundaram

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):195-199

Herbs have always been the principal form of medicine in India. Medicinal plants have curative properties due to the presence of various complex chemical substances of different composition, which are found as secondary plant metabolites in one or more parts of these plants. Ficus religiosa (L.), commonly known as pepal belonging to the family Moraceae, is used traditionally as antiulcer, antibacterial, antidiabetic, in the treatment of gonorrhea and skin diseases. F. religiosa is a Bo tree, which sheltered the Buddha as he divined the “Truths.” The present review aims to update information on its phytochemistry and pharmacological activities.

Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health

V Lobo, A Patil, A Phatak, N Chandra

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):118-126

In recent years, there has been a great deal of attention toward the field of free radical chemistry. Free radicals reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species are generated by our body by various endogenous systems, exposure to different physiochemical conditions or pathological states. A balance between free radicals and antioxidants is necessary for proper physiological function. If free radicals overwhelm the body's ability to regulate them, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues. Free radicals thus adversely alter lipids, proteins, and DNA and trigger a number of human diseases. Hence application of external source of antioxidants can assist in coping this oxidative stress. Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole have recently been reported to be dangerous for human health. Thus, the search for effective, nontoxic natural compounds with antioxidative activity has been intensified in recent years. The present review provides a brief overview on oxidative stress mediated cellular damages and role of dietary antioxidants as functional foods in the management of human diseases.

Current knowledge and future direction of research on soy isoflavones as a therapeutic agents

V Kalaiselvan, M Kalaivani, A Vijayakumar, K Sureshkumar, K Venkateskumar

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2010 4(8):111-117

Isoflavones, the most abundant phytoestrogens in Soy beans, are structurally similar to 17beta-estradiol. The antioxidant property of the soy isoflavones, namely, genistein and daidzein is well established in different experimental models and also in clinical studies. The compounds have been found effective in the management of diabetes by acting on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors. It reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing the level of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides. Soy isoflavones have the potential in the treatment of osteoporosis to act on osteoclasts further to inhibit tyrosine kinase. Among the soy isoflavones, genistein is the potential compound found effective in the treatment of cancer by acting on androgen receptor further to inhibit tyrosine kinases. In this article, various aspects of the diverse biological activities of soy isoflavones and their potential clinical implications with mechanism of action, especially in the treatment and prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, osteoporosis, neuroprotection, and also future area of research on soy isoflavones are reviewed and discussed.

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