All about Pharmacognosy

All about Pharmacognosy

Archive for October, 2010

Anethum graveolens: An Indian traditional medicinal herb and spice

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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.

Written by S Jana

October 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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Medicinal mushrooms: Towards a new horizon

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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.

Written by A Ganeshpurkar

October 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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Phytopharmacology of Ficus religiosa

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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.

Written by SB Chandrasekar

October 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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

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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.

Written by V Lobo

October 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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

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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.

Written by V Kalaiselvan

October 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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