Pharmacological aspects of Nerium indicum Mill: A comprehensive review

Priyankar Dey, Tapas Kumar Chaudhuri

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):156-162

Phytomedicine is the oldest medical practice known to man. Since the dawn of mankind, various plant resources are used to cure different diseases and also for a long and healthy life. The ancient knowledge of plant based medicine has transferred from generations to generations and accumulated as ethnopharmacological knowledge among different ethnic groups. India is the spanning bed of traditional phytomedicinal system where Ayurveda was born out of the knowledge of traditional medicine. In various other countries of South-Eastern Asia, South America, and in Arabian countries, still today, a great number of people rely primarily on phytomedicines to cure diseases. In the complementary and alternative medicinal systems, Nerium indicum is one such plant which is famed for its therapeutic efficiency in different diseases globally. In the present time, when the pharmaceutical companies are concentrating more toward the plant based traditional medicines to avoid the side-effects and resistance against synthetic drugs, N. indicum has proved its efficiency in different disease models. Therefore, this review comprehensively covers the medicinal and pharmacological activities of different parts of the plant N. indicum.

Rubus fruticosus (blackberry) use as an herbal medicine

Rameshwar Verma, Tushar Gangrade, Rakesh Punasiya, Chetan Ghulaxe

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):101-104

Wild grown European blackberry Rubus fruticosus) plants are widespread in different parts of northern countries and have been extensively used in herbal medicine. The result show that European blackberry plants are used for herbal medicinal purpose such as antimicrobial, anticancer, antidysentery, antidiabetic, antidiarrheal, and also good antioxidant. Blackberry plant (R. fruticosus) contains tannins, gallic acid, villosin, and iron; fruit contains vitamin C, niacin (nicotinic acid), pectin, sugars, and anthocyanins and also contains of berries albumin, citric acid, malic acid, and pectin. Some selected physicochemical characteristics such as berry weight, protein, pH, total acidity, soluble solid, reducing sugar, vitamin C, total antioxidant capacity, antimicrobial screening of fruit, leaves, root, and stem of R. fruticosus, and total anthocyanins of four preselected wild grown European blackberry (R. fruticosus) fruits are investigated. Significant differences on most of the chemical content detect among the medicinal use. The highest protein content (2%), the genotypes with the antioxidant activity of standard butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) studies 85.07%. Different cultivars grown in same location consistently show differences in antioxidant capacity.

Cytotoxicity of dietary flavonoids on different human cancer types

Katrin Sak

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):122-146

Flavonoids are ubiquitous in nature. They are also in food, providing an essential link between diet and prevention of chronic diseases including cancer. Anticancer effects of these polyphenols depend on several factors: Their chemical structure and concentration, and also on the type of cancer. Malignant cells from different tissues reveal somewhat different sensitivity toward flavonoids and, therefore, the preferences of the most common dietary flavonoids to various human cancer types are analyzed in this review. While luteolin and kaempferol can be considered as promising candidate agents for treatment of gastric and ovarian cancers, respectively, apigenin, chrysin, and luteolin have good perspectives as potent antitumor agents for cervical cancer; cells from main sites of flavonoid metabolism (colon and liver) reveal rather large fluctuations in anticancer activity probably due to exposure to various metabolites with different activities. Anticancer effect of flavonoids toward blood cancer cells depend on their myeloid, lymphoid, or erythroid origin; cytotoxic effects of flavonoids on breast and prostate cancer cells are highly related to the expression of hormone receptors. Different flavonoids are often preferentially present in certain food items, and knowledge about the malignant tissue-specific anticancer effects of flavonoids could be purposely applied both in chemoprevention as well as in cancer treatment.

Psidium guajava: A review on its potential as an adjunct in treating periodontal disease

K. Ravi, P. Divyashree

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):96-100

Plants for thousands of years have been used to enhance health and for medicinal purposes. Psidium guajava is one which has an enormous wealth of medicinal value. It for long has been known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiarrheal, antimutagenic properties. Despite of its widespread biologic uses there is a dearth of information on its therapeutic effect in the treatment of periodontal disease. Hence, this review is an attempt to highlight the potential of P. guajava in the treatment of periodontal disease. Internet databases PubMed, Google Scholar were searched and the most relevant articles were considered for review.

Molecule mechanism of stem cells in Arabidopsis thaliana

Wenjin Zhang, Rongming Yu

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):105-112

Plants possess the ability to continually produce new tissues and organs throughout their life. Unlike animals, plants are exposed to extreme variations in environmental conditions over the course of their lives. The vitality of plants is so powerful that they can survive several hundreds of years or even more making it an amazing miracle that comes from plant stem cells. The stem cells continue to divide to renew themselves and provide cells for the formation of leaves, stems, and flowers. Stem cells are not only quiescent but also immortal, pluripotent and homeostatic. Stem cells are the magic cells that repair tissues and regenerate organs. During the past decade, scholars around the world have paid more and more attention toward plant stem cells. At present, the major challenge is in relating molecule action mechanism to root apical meristem, shoot apical meristem and vascular system. The coordination between stem cells maintenance and differentiation is critical for normal plant growth and development. Elements such as phytohormones, transcription factors and some other known or unknown genes cooperate to balance this process. In this review, Arabidopsis thaliana as a pioneer system, we highlight recent developments in molecule modulating, illustrating how plant stem cells generate new mechanistic insights into the regulation of plants growth and development.

Intensification of bioactive compounds extraction from medicinal plants using ultrasonic irradiation

Renata Vardanega, Diego T. Santos, M. Angela A. Meireles

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):88-95

Extraction processes are largely used in many chemical, biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries for recovery of bioactive compounds from medicinal plants. To replace the conventional extraction techniques, new techniques as high-pressure extraction processes that use environment friendly solvents have been developed. However, these techniques, sometimes, are associated with low extraction rate. The ultrasound can be effectively used to improve the extraction rate by the increasing the mass transfer and possible rupture of cell wall due the formation of microcavities leading to higher product yields with reduced processing time and solvent consumption. This review presents a brief survey about the mechanism and aspects that affecting the ultrasound assisted extraction focusing on the use of ultrasound irradiation for high-pressure extraction processes intensification.

Value addition in sesame: A perspective on bioactive components for enhancing utility and profitability

Niti Pathak, A. K. Rai, Ratna Kumari, K. V. Bhat

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):147-155

Sesame seed is a reservoir of nutritional components with numerous beneficial effects along with health promotion in humans. The bioactive components present in the seed include vital minerals, vitamins, phytosterols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols and unique class of lignans such as sesamin and sesamolin. The presence of phenylpropanoid compounds namely lignans along with tocopherols and phytosterols provide defense mechanism against reactive oxygen species and increases keeping quality of oil by preventing oxidative rancidity. In this article, we have reviewed the nutraceutical, pharmacological, traditional and industrial value of sesame seeds with respect to bioactive components that hold high antioxidant value. Valuable information on superior functional components of sesame will strongly promote the use of sesame seeds in the daily diet world-wide. In spite of huge repertoire of sesame germplasm collection, limited research efforts on the use of conventional and biotechnological methodologies have resulted in minimal success in developing nutritionally superior cultivars. In consequence, value addition efforts in sesame would enable development of genotypes with high antioxidant activity and subsequently prevention of free radical related diseases. Modification of bioactive components in sesame would enable production of stabilized sesame oil with enhanced shelf life and better market value.

Role of complementary and alternative medicine in geriatric care: A mini review

Mohammad Jamshed Siddiqui, Chan Sze Min, Rohit Kumar Verma, Shazia Qasim Jamshed

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):81-87

Since time immemorial homo sapiens are subjected to both health and diseases states and seek treatment for succor and assuagement in compromised health states. Since last two decades the progressive rise in the alternative form of treatment cannot be ignored and population seems to be dissatisfied with the conventional treatment modalities and therefore, resort to other forms of treatment, mainly complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The use of CAM is predominantly more popular in older adults and therefore, numerous research studies and clinical trials have been carried out to investigate the effectiveness of CAM in the management of both communicable and non-communicable disease. In this current mini review, we attempt to encompass the use of CAM in chronic non-communicable diseases that are most likely seen in geriatrics. The current review focuses not only on the reassurance of good health practices, emphasizing on the holistic development and strengthening the body's defense mechanisms, but also attempts to construct a pattern of self-care and patient empowerment in geriatrics. The issues of safety with CAM use cannot be sidelined and consultation with a health care professional is always advocated to the patient. Likewise, responsibility of the health care professional is to inform the patient about the safety and efficacy issues. In order to substantiate the efficacy and safety of CAMs, evidence-based studies and practices with consolidated standards should be planned and executed.

Polyherbal formulation: Concept of ayurveda

Subramani Parasuraman, Gan Siaw Thing, Sokkalingam Arumugam Dhanaraj

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):73-80

Ayurveda is one of the traditional medicinal systems of Indian. The philosophy behind Ayurveda is preventing unnecessary suffering and living a long healthy life. Ayurveda involves the use of natural elements to eliminate the root cause of the disease by restoring balance, at the same time create a healthy life-style to prevent the recurrence of imbalance. Herbal medicines have existed world-wide with long recorded history and they were used in ancient Chinese, Greek, Egyptian and Indian medicine for various therapies purposes. World Health Organization estimated that 80% of the word's inhabitants still rely mainly on traditional medicines for their health care. The subcontinent of India is well-known to be one of the major biodiversity centers with about 45,000 plant species. In India, about 15,000 medicinal plants have been recorded, in which the communities used 7,000-7,500 plants for curing different diseases. In Ayurveda, single or multiple herbs (polyherbal) are used for the treatment. The Ayurvedic literature Sarangdhar Samhita' highlighted the concept of polyherbalism to achieve greater therapeutic efficacy. The active phytochemical constituents of individual plants are insufficient to achieve the desirable therapeutic effects. When combining the multiple herbs in a particular ratio, it will give a better therapeutic effect and reduce the toxicity. This review mainly focuses on important of the polyherbalism and its clinical significance.

Modulation of diabetes-mellitus-induced male reproductive dysfunctions in experimental animal models with medicinal plants

Gyan Chand Jain, Ram Niwas Jangir

Pharmacognosy Reviews 2014 8(16):113-121

Today diabetes mellitus has emerged as a major healthcare problem throughout the world. It has recently broken the age barrier and has been diagnosed in younger people also. Sustained hyperglycemia is associated with many complications including male reproductive dysfunctions and infertility. Numerous medicinal plants have been used for the management of the diabetes mellitus in various traditional system of medicine and in folklore worldwide as they are a rich source of bioactive phytoconstituents, which lower blood glucose level and/or also act as antioxidants resulting in the amelioration of oxidative-stress-induced diabetic complications. The present review describes the ameliorative effects of medicinal plants or their products, especially on male reproductive dysfunctions, in experimental diabetic animal models.

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