Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): A systematic review

Anil Pareek, Manish Suthar, Garvendra S Rathore, Vijay Bansal

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):103-110

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.) (Asteraceae) is a medicinal plant traditionally used for the treatment of fevers, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites, infertility, and problems with menstruation and labor during childbirth. The feverfew herb has a long history of use in traditional and folk medicine, especially among Greek and early European herbalists. Feverfew has also been used for psoriasis, allergies, asthma, tinnitus, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. The plant contains a large number of natural products, but the active principles probably include one or more of the sesquiterpene lactones known to be present, including parthenolide. Other potentially active constituents include flavonoid glycosides and pinenes. It has multiple pharmacologic properties, such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, antispasmodic, an emmenagogue, and as an enema for worms. In this review, we have explored the various dimensions of the feverfew plant and compiled its vast pharmacologic applications to comprehend and synthesize the subject of its potential image of multipurpose medicinal agent. The plant is widely cultivated to large regions of the world and its importance as a medicinal plant is growing substantially with increasing and stronger reports in support of its multifarious therapeutic uses.

Novel approaches for stability improvement in natural medicines

Lovely Thakur, Umang Ghodasra, Nilesh Patel, Mahesh Dabhi

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):48-54

Natural product market has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. It results in the formulation of a number of proprietary herbal products, majority of them being multi-component formulations. With the advancement of herbal drug treatments, it has now been observed that many of the constituents present in the drug may react with each other, raising the serious concern about the stability of such formulations which is an important issue in the field of phytochemistry and natural medicines. Natural products are often prone to deterioration, especially during storage, leading to loss of active component, production of metabolites with no activity and, in extreme cases, production of toxic metabolites. This area needs to be addressed in order to determine the efficacy of the formulation. Understanding the problems related to natural product stability can give the idea of dealing with the stability issues. Modifications of the conventional herbal formulations can deal with the stability problems to a large extent. This article deals with the stability problems and is aimed to provide some tools and techniques to increase stability of natural medicines and herbal formulations.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.): An overview

Ompal Singh, Zakia Khanam, Neelam Misra, Manoj Kumar Srivastava

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):82-95

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) is a well-known medicinal plant species from the Asteraceae family often referred to as the "star among medicinal species." Nowadays it is a highly favored and much used medicinal plant in folk and traditional medicine. Its multitherapeutic, cosmetic, and nutritional values have been established through years of traditional and scientific use and research. Chamomile has an established domestic (Indian) and international market, which is increasing day by day. The plant available in the market many a times is adulterated and substituted by close relatives of chamomile. This article briefly reviews the medicinal uses along with botany and cultivation techniques. Since chamomile is a rich source of natural products, details on chemical constituents of essential oil and plant parts as well as their pharmacological properties are included. Furthermore, particular emphasis is given to the biochemistry, biotechnology, market demand, and trade of the plant. This is an attempt to compile and document information on different aspects of chamomile and highlight the need for research and development.

Phytoestrogens in postmenopausal indications: A theoretical perspective

P Sunita, SP Pattanayak

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):41-47

This review discusses plant-derived compounds with estrogenic activity. The authors rightly emphasize the need for the intake of foods containing phytoestrogens in view of their positive effects on postmenopausal indications. This is particularly significant in the light of the current wave of enthusiasm for vegetarian food, in general, and phytoestrogens, in particular. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived hormone-like diphenolic compounds of dietary origin. These compounds are weakly estrogenic and could play a role in the prevention of other estrogen-related conditions, namely, cardiovascular diseases, menopausal symptoms, postmenopausal osteoporosis, neuroprotective effects, and hormone-dependent cancers (breast and endometrium cancer).

Cuminum cyminum and Carum carvi: An update

RK Johri

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):63-72

Cuminum cyminum and Carum carvi are the sources of cumin and caraway seeds respectively, which have been used since antiquity for the treatment of various indications in traditional healing systems in wide geographical areas. Cumin and caraway seeds are rich sources of essential oils and have been actively researched for their chemical composition and biological activities. In recent times (especially during the last 3 years) considerable progress has been made regarding validation of their acclaimed medicinal attributes by extensive experimental studies. In this attempt many novel bioactivities have been revealed. This review highlights the significance of cumin and caraway as potential source of diverse natural products and their medicinal applications.

Role of natural herbs in the treatment of hypertension

Nahida Tabassum, Feroz Ahmad

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):30-40

Hypertension (HTN) is the medical term for high blood pressure. It is dangerous because it makes the heart work too hard and contributes to atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries), besides increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. HTN can also lead to other conditions such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and blindness. Conventional antihypertensives are usually associated with many side effects. About 75 to 80% of the world population use herbal medicines, mainly in developing countries, for primary health care because of their better acceptability with human body and lesser side effects. In the last three decades, a lot of concerted efforts have been channeled into researching the local plants with hypotensive and antihypertensive therapeutic values. The hypotensive and antihypertensive effects of some of these medicinal plants have been validated and others disproved. However, ayurvedic knowledge needs to be coupled with modern medicine and more scientific research needs to be done to verify the effectiveness, and elucidate the safety profile of such herbal remedies for their antihypertensive potential.

Flavonoids: A versatile source of anticancer drugs

Maheep K Chahar, Neelu Sharma, Mahabeer P Dobhal, Yogesh C Joshi

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):1-12

An exponential increase in the number of studies investigating how different components of the diet interact at the molecular and cellular level to determine the fate of a cell has been witnessed. In search for anticancer drugs compelling data from laboratories, epidemiologic investigations, and human clinical trials showed that flavonoids have important effects on cancer chemoprevention and chemotherapy. In many molecular mechanisms of action for prevention against cancer, flavonoids play a major role by interacting between different types of genes and enzymes. Many mechanisms of action have been identified, including carcinogen inactivation, antiproliferation, cell cycle arrest, induction of apoptosis, inhibition of angiogenesis, antioxidation, and reversal of multidrug resistance or a combination of these mechanisms. This review focuses on the anticancer activity of flavonoids as well as their molecular mechanisms, including the treatment of mammary and prostate cancer. This review also highlights some advanced derivatives of flavonoids, which play an important role against cancer.

α-glucosidase inhibitors from plants: A natural approach to treat diabetes

Sunil Kumar, Smita Narwal, Vipin Kumar, Om Prakash

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):19-29

Diabetes is a common metabolic disease characterized by abnormally high plasma glucose levels, leading to major complications, such as diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular diseases. One of the effective managements of diabetes mellitus, in particular, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) to decrease postprandial hyperglycemia, is to retard the absorption of glucose by inhibition of carbohydrate hydrolyzing enzymes, such as α-glucosidase and α-amylase, in the digestive organs. α-Glucosidase is the key enzyme catalyzing the final step in the digestive process of carbohydrates. Hence, α-glucosidase inhibitors can retard the liberation of d-glucose from dietary complex carbohydrates and delay glucose absorption, resulting in reduced postprandial plasma glucose levels and suppression of postprandial hyperglycemia. In recent years, many efforts have been made to identify effective α-glucosidase inhibitors from natural sources in order to develop a physiologic functional food or lead compounds for use against diabetes. Many α-glucosidase inhibitors that are phytoconstituents, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids,anthocyanins, glycosides, phenolic compounds, and so on, have been isolated from plants. In the present review, we focus on the constituents isolated from different plants having α-glucosidase inhibitory potency along with IC50 values.

Tamarindus indica : Extent of explored potential

Santosh Singh Bhadoriya, Aditya Ganeshpurkar, Jitendra Narwaria, Gopal Rai, Alok Pal Jain

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):73-81

Tamarindus is a monotypic genus and belongs to the subfamily Caesalpinioideae of the family Leguminosae (Fabaceae), Tamarindus indica L., commonly known as Tamarind tree is one of the most important multipurpose tropical fruit tree species in the Indian subcontinent. Tamarind fruit was at first thought to be produced by an Indian palm, as the name Tamarind comes from a Persian word "Tamar-I-hind," meaning date of India. Its name "Amlika" in Sanskrit indicates its ancient presence in the country. T.indica is used as traditional medicine in India, Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria,and most of the tropical countries. It is used traditionally in abdominal pain, diarrhea and dysentery, helminthes infections, wound healing, malaria and fever, constipation, inflammation, cell cytotoxicity, gonorrhea, and eye diseases. It has numerous chemical values and is rich in phytochemicals, and hence the plant is reported to possess antidiabetic activity, antimicrobial activity, antivenomic activity, antioxidant activity, antimalarial activity, hepatoprotective activity, antiasthmatic activity, laxative activity, and anti-hyperlipidemic activity. Every part of the plant from root to leaf tips is useful for human needs. Thus the aim of the present review is to describe its morphology, and explore the phytochemical constituents, commercial utilization of the parts of the plant, and medicinal and pharmacologic activities so that T. indica's potential as multipurpose tree species can be understood.

Structure pre-requisites for isoflavones as effective antibacterial agents

Alka P Mukne, Vivek Viswanathan, Avinash G Phadatare

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):13-18

Recent reports reveal that there is increasing incidence of infections of multidrug-resistant bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). Flavonoids and related compounds have been shown to possess potent antimicrobial activities. Most of the flavonoids are considered as constitutive antimicrobial substances recently termed as "Phytoanticipins," especially those belonging to prenylated flavonoids and isoflavones. The current review highlights the structure prerequisites for isoflavones as antibacterial agents. Structure-activity relationship (SAR) conclusions have been drawn by comparing the reported minimum inhibitory concentration values for the various isoflavones against S. aureus and MRSA. There exists a significant co-relationship between the presence of certain functional groups (prenyl group, phenolic hydroxyl) at particular positions and antibacterial activity of the compounds. These trends have been postulated with a view of assisting better drug designing of future next-generation antiinfectives, particularly against the bothersome multidrug-resistant microbes. The SAR of these isoflavones has also proved to be a basis to explore the mechanism of antibacterial action. Thus, the study would prove extremely useful to synthesize antibacterial isoflavones in future, which would eventually be beneficial for optimizing the lead molecule for the antibacterial action

Ficus hispida Linn.: A review of its pharmacognostic and ethnomedicinal properties

Mohammad Ali, Nisha Chaudhary

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):96-102

Ficus hispida (FH) Linn. is a moderate sized tree found throughout the year and is grown wild or cultivated for its edible fruits and folklore value. Traditionally, different parts of the plant have been used in the treatment of ulcers, psoriasis, anemia, piles jaundice, vitiligo, hemorrhage, diabetes, convulsion, hepatitis, dysentery, biliousness, and as lactagogue and purgative. FH contains wide varieties of bioactives from different phytochemical groups like alkaloids, carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids, sterols, phenols, flavonoids, gums and mucilage, glycosides, saponins, and terpenes. Various scientific works have been published to establish the scientific basis of traditional medicinal values attributed to FH. Furthermore, newer pharmacological activities like antineoplastic, cardioprotective, neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects were also reported recently. Till now, no work has been published to elaborate the pharmacognostic features of FH Linn. The present review is, therefore, an effort to give a detailed account on its pharmacognosy and phytochemistry, and an extensive survey on its pharmacological activities. Moreover, we are trying to establish the mechanism of action behind its earlier reported pharmacology. The review also looks at the future formulation based delivery approaches of its lipophilic bioactives, which is done to enhance its dissolution so as to increase its bioavailability, and thus the associated pharmacological action.

A review on Balanites aegyptiaca Del (desert date): phytochemical constituents, traditional uses, and pharmacological activity

Daya L Chothani, HU Vaghasiya

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2011 5(9):55-62

Balanites aegyptiaca Del. (Zygophyllaceae), known as 'desert date,' is spiny shrub or tree up to l0 m tall, widely distributed in dry land areas of Africa and South Asia. It is traditionally used in treatment of various ailments i.e. jaundice, intestinal worm infection, wounds, malaria, syphilis, epilepsy, dysentery, constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoid, stomach aches, asthma, and fever. It contains protein, lipid, carbohydrate, alkaloid, saponin, flavonoid, and organic acid. Present review summarizes the traditional claims, phytochemistry, and pharmacology of B. aegyptiaca Del reported in scientific literature.

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