Kaumarbhritya a branch of Asthanga Ayurveda deals with neonatal, infant and child health care. Multicentric studies conducted in various developed and developing countries have indicated that Infant Mortality Rate (I.M.R.) is very high in developing countries, and infection has been observed as the major cause. Immune system in neonates is not yet fully functional. Bala compound having the ingredients of
Atibala (Abutilon indicum Linn), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis Linn), Vidanga (Emblica ribes burn), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia Welld Miers), Pippali (Piperlongum linn), Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn), Shankhapuspi (Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois ), Vacha (Acorus calamus Linn), Musta (Cyperus rotundus Linn) and Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum wall) are Medhya as well as Rasayana drugs mention in Ayurvedic classics. ‘Bala compound” was tried in infants in the form of oral drops for a period of six months and result was assessed for serum immuoglobulins IgG, IgM, IgA for three months of interval of two follow ups (i.e., third and six month of infant). There is significant increase of immunoglobulins observed after six months administration of ‘Bala compoumd”
In recent years, many Ayurvedic formulations are being researched to provide an effective antidepressant and anxiolytic drug in the field of psycho-pharmacology. The present study was planned to evaluate the anti-depressant and anxiolytic activity of Rasayana Ghana Tablet comprising three herbs Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia Miers), Aamalaki (Emblica officinalis Garten) (RGT) and Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris Linn). Swiss albino mice were divided into four groups of six animals each, comprising of both male and female in each group. Group I received water served as normal control (WC), group II received vehicle and served as vehicle control (VC), group III received Rasayana Ghana tablet and group IV received standard drug diazepam (2 mg/kg) for anxiolytic study in elevated plus maze and standard antidepressant imipramine (5 mg/kg) for anti-depressant activity in behavior despair test. Rasayana Ghana tablet along with ghee and honey as vehicle is found to be having antidepressant and anxiolytic activity in experimental animals. Thus, this formulation can be used in prevention and treatment of depression and anxiety.
Aamalaki (Emblica officinalis Garten); Anti-depressant; anxiolytic; Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris Linn); Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia Miers); Rasayana Ghana
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia wild miers) is a well-known medicinal plant, which is abundantly used in different ayurvedic formulations utilizing varieties of media. The drug has properties like Rasayana (rejuvenating property), Krimighna (anthelmintics), and Kushtghna (used in skin disorders), as described in ayurvedic literature. Taila (oil) and Ghrita (ghee) are used as media in Ayurvedic Sneha (oleaginous) formulations. Both the test drugs, Guduchi Taila and Ghrita, are prescribed in Vatrakta (gout) and also indicated for Kushtha (skin disorder). With all these details, the Guduchi Taila and Guduchi Ghrita samples, prepared by using Taila and Ghrita as media, have been subjected to comparative pharmacological investigations, to assess the impact of the media on the expression of pharmacological activity. The formulations have been evaluated for immunomodulation, anti-inflammatory, and anti-stress activities. Both the formulations have been found to be active in most of the experiments, however, with the change of media, their results vary at different levels. Taila prepared from Guduchi was found to have an immunostimulating activity. The formulation prepared with Ghrita exhibited an anti-stress effect with an immunosuppressing activity.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia wild miers); Guduchi Taila; Guduchi Ghrita; Immunomodulation; Anti-inflammatory; Anti-stress
Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) is widely used in folk medicine/ ayurvedic system of medicine, also in ayurvedic ‘Rasayanas’ to improve the immune system and used as general tonic, anti-periodic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-diabetic agent. Numerous studies have been reported on the health benefits of individual parts or whole Guduchi plant. However, most of the work has focused on the extracts of T. cordifolia. In this study, T. cordifolia leaf and stem extract powders were prepared using spray drying at 90 °C outlet temperature of the spray dryer. The powder morphology has also been studied by scanning electron microscopy. The antioxidant activity was followed by DPPH method. The leaf extract powder showed higher retention of antioxidant activity than stem extract powder.
Spray drying; Antioxidant activity; Polyphenol; Outlet temperatures; DPPH
In this study, the RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA) technique was employed for determination of the components in an Ayurvedic herbal prescription, Rasayana Churna. One-hundred-and-twenty decamer oligonucleotide primers were screened in the RAPD analysis to identify three Ayurvedic medicines, dried stem of Tinospora cordifolia, dried fruit of Emblica officinalis and dried fruit of Tribulus terestris, the Ayurvedic prescription. Primer OPC-6 simultaneously generated three distinct amplicons, each specific to one component. The marker with 600 bp is specific to Tinospora cordifolia; the marker 500 bp is specific to Emblica officinalis and the remaining marker >1000 bp was present in Tribulus terestris. Presence of three herbal medicines was determined when RAPD reaction with OPC-6 was performed. The technique was proved to contribute to the identification of components in Ayurvedic herbal preparation and thus helping to serve as a complementary tool for quality control.
DNA fingerprinting; herbal medicine; RAPD; standardization
Several medicinal plants have been described to be beneficial for cardiac ailments in Ayurveda like Ashwagandha and Arjuna. Ashwagandha-categorised as Rasayanas, and described to promote health and longevity and Arjuna primarily for heart ailments. coronary artery disease, heart failure, hypercholesterolemia, anginal pain and can be considered as a useful drug for coronary artery disease, hypertension and ischemic cardiomyopathy.
There are no scientific clinical studies showing effect of both these drugs on exercise performance after regular administration when given as supplements The present study was therefore designed and performed to assess the effects of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) and Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna) individually and as a combination on maximum velocity, average absolute and relative Power, balance, maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and blood pressure in humans.
Materials and Methods:
Forty normal healthy. Subjects (either sex, mean age 20.6 ± 2.5yrs and mean Body Mass Index 21.9 ± 2.2) were recruited after written informed consent was obtained. Institutional Ethics Committee permission was also obtained. Thirty participants were assigned to experimental group of which 10 received standardized root extracts of Withania somnifera, 10 received standardized bark extract of Terminalia arjuna and the rest of the 10 received standardized root extract of Withania somnifera in addition to bark extract of Terminalia arjuna both. Both the drugs were given in the form of capsules (dosage 500mg/day for both the drugs). Ten participants received placebo (capsules filled with flour). All the subjects continued the regimen for 8 weeks. All variables were assessed before and after the course of drug administration
Our study showed that Withania somnifera increased velocity, power and VO2 max whereas Terminalia arjuna increased VO2 max and lowered resting systolic blood pressure. When given in combination, the improvement was seen in all parameters except balance and diastolic blood pressure.
Withania somnifera may therefore be useful for generalized weakness and to improve speed and lower limb muscular strength and neuro-muscular co-ordination. Terminalia arjuna may prove useful to improve cardio-vascular endurance and lowering systolic blood pressure. Both drugs appear to be safe for young adults when given for mentioned dosage and duration.
Absolute and relative power; balance; blood pressure; maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max); Terminalia arjuna; velocity; Withania somnifera
This study was undertaken to investigate the impact of formulation factors and adjuvants on the expression of biological activity of Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers. The adaptogenic effect of three samples of Guduchi ghrita, prepared using plain ghee (clarified butter) obtained from three different sources was studied in albino rats and compared with expressed juice of stem of Guduchi. The test preparations were evaluated against forced–swimming induced hypothermia, gastric ulceration and changes in the hematological parameters. The test drug given in the form of 'ghrita' produced better effect in comparison to the expressed juice. Among the three 'ghrita' preparations evaluated, only the 'Solapur Guduchi ghrita' (SGG) was found to produce significant inhibition of stress hypothermia and gastric ulceration. The other two preparations 'Nanded Guduchi ghrita' (NGG), and 'Wardha Guduchi ghrita' (WGG) could produce only a marginal effect. In hematological parameters 'Guduchi' juice produced better reversal of the stress-induced changes in comparison to the test 'ghrita' preparations. The present study provides evidence highlighting the importance of formulation factors for the expression of biological activity.
Ayurveda; adaptogenic activity; 'Guduchi ghrita'; 'rasaayana'; Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers
Clinical efficacy and safety of a herbomineral drug containing withania somnifera Asparagus racemosus glycyrrhiza glabra, mucuna pruriens, Myristica fragrans, Anauchus pyrethrum, Ipomoea digitata, sida cordifolia, zine ash complex and high energy carbohydrate molecules were evaluated in an open study. All patients treated with the drug reported good improvement in the various symptomatology of general weakness appetite, sleep mood, and concentration the overall improvement ranged between 69-77% The drug was well tolerated.
Withania Somnifera Dunal know as Ashwagandha belong Solanaceae family. It is extensively used in most of the Indian herbal pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals. The current study, evaluate in vitro cytotoxicity in 50% ethanol extract of root, stem and leaves of Withania Somnifera against five human cancer cell lines of four different tissues i.e. PC-3, DU-145 (prostrate), HCT-15 (colon), A-549 (lung) and IMR-32 (neuroblastoma). Root, stem and leaves extracts showed cytotoxicity activity ranging 0-98% depending on the cell lines but maximum activity was found in 50% ethanol extract of leaves of Withania Somnifera. Ethanol extract of leaves obtained from treatments T2, T3, T4 and T5 showed strong activity against PC-3 and HCT-15 with 80-98% growth inhibition, while the 50% ethanol extract of leaves from T1 treatment showed a minimum of 39% and T3 treatment showed a maximum of 98% growth inhibition against HCT-15. This investigation is the first report of the anticancer activity in various parts of Withania Somnifera cultivated in fly ash amended soil.
Anticancer; cytotoxicity; fly ash; PC-3; HCT-15; prostrate; Withania Somnifera
Over the centuries, herbs have served as a major source of medicines for prevention and treatment of diseases including diabetes mellitus. These herbs are getting more importance around the globe and many studies have provided safety and efficacy of such herbal drugs in different condition. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia [Willd.] Miers) is reported as highly potent Pramehahara (anti-diabetic) herb in Ayurveda and Guduchi Satva (GS) is popularly used to treat Paittika type of Prameha. In the present study, GS prepared from the stem of T. cordifolia was evaluated for hypoglycemic and anti-hyperglycemic activity in 18 h fasted mice. GS was suspended in distilled water and administered to animals at the dose of 130 mg/kg that showed the marginal reduction in blood sugar level (BSL) at all the time intervals in normoglycemic mice. In anti-hyperglycemic activity, administration of GS prior to glucose over load failed to attenuate BSL at all-time interval in comparison to glucose control group. The study concludes that mild hypoglycemic insignificant anti-hyperglycemic activities of GS.
Guduchi Satva; anti-hyperglycemic; hypoglycemic
Traditional Medicines derived from medicinal plants are used by about 60% of the world’s population. This review focuses on Indian Herbal drugs and plants used in the treatment of diabetes, especially in India. Diabetes is an important human ailment afflicting many from various walks of life in different countries. In India it is proving to be a major health problem, especially in the urban areas. Though there are various approaches to reduce the ill effects of diabetes and its secondary complications, herbal formulations are preferred due to lesser side effects and low cost. A list of medicinal plants with proven antidiabetic and related beneficial effects and of herbal drugs used in treatment of diabetes is compiled. These include, Allium sativum, Eugenia jambolana, Momordica charantia Ocimum sanctum, Phyllanthus amarus, Pterocarpus marsupium, Tinospora cordifolia, Trigonella foenum graecum and Withania somnifera. One of the etiologic factors implicated in the development of diabetes and its complications is the damage induced by free radicals and hence an antidiabetic compound with antioxidant properties would be more beneficial. Therefore information on antioxidant effects of these medicinal plants is also included.
medicinal plant; India; antidiabetic; antioxidant; diabetes
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) (WS), a “rasayana” drug, is recommended for balavardhan and mamsavardhan. The study was intended to evaluate dose-related tolerability, safety, and activity of WS formulation in normal individuals. The design was prospective, open-labeled, variable doses in volunteers. Eighteen apparently healthy volunteers (12M:6F, age:18-30 years, and BMI: 19-30) were enrolled. After baseline investigations, they received WS capsules (Rx) (aqueous extract, 8:1) daily in two divided doses with increase in daily dosage every 10 days for 30 days (750 mg/day ×10 days, 1 000 mg/day × 10 days, 1 250 mg/day × 10 days). Volunteers were assessed for symptoms/signs, vital functions, hematological and biochemical organ function tests. Muscle activity was measured by hand grip strength, quadriceps strength, and back extensor force. Exercise tolerance was determined using cycle ergometry. Lean body weight and fat% were computed from skin fold thickness measurement. Adverse events were recorded, as volunteered by the subjects. Repeated measures ANOVA, McNemar's test, and paired t test were employed. All but one volunteer tolerated WS without any adverse event. One volunteer showed increased appetite, libido, and hallucinogenic effects with vertigo at the lowest dose and was withdrawn from study. In six subjects, improvement in quality of sleep was found. Organ function tests were in normal range before and after the intervention. Reduction in total- and LDL- cholesterol and increase of strength in muscle activity was significant. Total body fat percentage showed a reduction trend. WS, in escalated dose, was tolerated well. The formulation appeared safe and strengthened muscle activity. In view of its traditional Rasayana use, further studies are planned to evaluate potential of this drug in patients of sarcopenia.
Ayurvedic plant drug; exercise tolerance; muscle activity; muscle strength; Rasayana drug; Withania somnifera
During April–June 2010, red two—spotted carmine spider mites Tetranychus urticae Koch (Trombidiformes: Tetranychidae) were found on aerial apical parts of Ashwagandha Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (Solanales: Solanaceae) plants in the Amritsar District of Punjab Province in the North Indian plains. The mites fed on the leaves, making them shiny white in color, which gradually dried off and were later shed. The pest was identified as T. urticae. To best of our knowledge, this is the first record of this pest infesting W. somnifera in India.
Ashwagandha; medicinal plant; pest management; Tetranychidae
Atherothrombotic diseases such as myocardial or cerebral infarction are serious consequences of the thrombus formed in blood vessels. Thrombolytic agents are used to dissolve the already formed clots in the blood vessels; however, these drugs have certain limitations which cause serious and sometimes fatal consequences. Herbal preparations have been used since ancient times for the treatment of several diseases. Herbs and their components possessing antithrombotic activity have been reported before; however, herbs that could be used for thrombolysis has not been reported so far. This study's aim was to investigate whether herbal preparations (aqueous extract) possess thrombolytic activity or not.
An in vitro thrombolytic model was used to check the clot lysis effect of six aqueous herbal extracts viz., Tinospora cordifolia, Rubia cordifolia, Hemidesmus indicus, Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn, Fagonia Arabica and Bacopa monnieri Linn along with Streptokinase as a positive control and water as a negative control.
Using an in vitro thrombolytic model, Tinospora cordifolia, Rubia cordifolia, Hemidesmus indicus, Glycyrrhiza glabra Linn, Fagonia Arabica and Bacopa monnieri Linn showed 19.3%, 14.5%, 20.3%, 17.8%, 75.6% and 41.8% clot lysis respectively . Among the herbs studied Fagonia arabica showed significant % of clot lysis (75.6%) with reference to Streptokinase (86.2%).
Through our study it was found that Dhamasa possesses thrombolytic properties that could lyse blood clots in vitro; however, in vivo clot dissolving properties and active component(s) of Dhamasa for clot lysis are yet to be discovered. Once found Dhamasa could be incorporated as a thrombolytic agent for the improvement of patients suffering from Atherothrombotic diseases.
Dhatryarishta has been described for the first time in Charaka Samhita, in the context of Panduroga. The same reference is available in Chakradatta, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Sahastrayogam too. Generally Dhatri Swarasa [Amalaki (Emblica officinalis Gaertn.)] is used in the preparation of Dhatryarishta as per classical reference, but fresh Amalaki is not available in every season, so in the present study, Amalaki Kwatha (decoction) is used instead of Swarasa. A total of 13 batches of Dhatryarishta were prepared, out of which nine batches were prepared with Dhatri Swarasa and four batches with Dhatri Kwatha. For Dhatryarishta prepared by using Dhatri Swarasa, three methods were applied and in Dhatryarishta prepared by using Dhatri Kwatha two methods were applied. The study revealed that Dhatryarishta could only be prepared by using Amalaki Swarasa as quoted in the classics and not by using Amalaki Kwatha.
Dhatri; Dhatryarishta; Kwatha; Panduroga; Swarasa
Sandhigatavata is described under vatavyadhi in all ayurvedic classical texts. Osteoarthritis is the most common articular disorder which begins asymptomatically in the second and third decades and is extremely common by age 70. Here Matra Vasti (therapeutic enema) was given with Bala taila as Vasti is the best treatment for vatavyadhies. It has vatashamaka and rasayana properties. Indigenous compound drug containing Guggulu, Shallaki, Yastimadhu, Pippali, Guduchi, Nirgundi, Kupilu and Godanti was given in one group along with Matra Vasti. In this study, 33 patients of Sandhigatavata completed the treatment. Patients were randomly divided into two groups. Sixteen patients in Group-A (sarvanga Abhyanga-swedana + matravasti) and 17 patients in Group-B (sarvanga Abhyanga–swedana+ matravasti + indigenous compound drug). The results of the study indicate that the patients of both the groups obtained highly significant relief in almost all the signs and symptoms of Sandhigatavata.
Abhyanga; indigenous compound drug; Matra Vasti; osteoarthritis; Sandhigatavata; swedana; vatavyadhi; therapeutic enema.
To investigate the neuropsychopharmacological effect of a polyherbal formulation (PHF) on the learning and memory processes in rats.
Materials and Methods:
PHF contains Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), Nardostachys jatamansi (Jatamansi), Rauwolfia serpentina (Sarpagandha), Evolvulus alsinoides (Shankhpushpi), Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari), Emblica officinalis (Amalki), Mucuna pruriens (Kauch bij extract), Hyoscyamus niger (Khurasani Ajmo), Mineral resin (Shilajit), Pearl (Mukta Shukhti Pishti), and coral calcium (Praval pishti). Its effect (500 mg / kg, p.o.) on the learning and memory processes was tested. The activity of PHF on memory acquisition and retention was studied using passive avoidance learning and elevated plus maze model (EPM) in rats.
The animals treated with PHF showed a significant decrease in transfer latency as compared to the control group in EPM. PHF also produced significant improvement in passive avoidance acquisition and memory retrieval, as compared to the controls and reduced the latency to reach the shock free zone (SFZ) after 24 hours.
The PHF produces significant improvement in passive avoidance acquisition and memory retrieval in rats, which needs further investigation.
Elevated plus maze; passive avoidance learning; short-term memory; transfer latency
The herbal vendors are the mobile tribal medicinement seen on the busy streets of many Indian cities selling crude medicinal plants and their products. They prescribe herbal treatment for several diseases, a skill they inherited from their forefathers through several generations of experience. They claim to have specific herbal remedies for the complete cure of some urino – genital disorders such as dysuria, hematuria, syphilis and gonorrhea. Cocculus villosus, pedalium murex, Tribulus terrestris, Tinospora cordifolia, Withania Somnifera, Asparagus racemosus and Curculigo orchoides are the herbal drugs of choice used in the treatment.
Withania somnifera (L) Dunal is a perennial shrub from the Solanaceae family and well known medicinal plant. Traditionally it is known as Aswgaandha. The root extract has been traditionally used as a tonic and as a sedative but recent research shows that the leaf extract contains Withanolides which have been found to have regenerative properties on brain cell synapses in human cell lines in laboratory studies. Withania somnifera seeds are harvested in the month of March, April. Seed storage under ambient conditions is a very problematic due to prevailing high humidity and atmospheric temperature. If seeds stored under uncontrolled conditions, the viability may go down below ten percent after monsoon. So to maintain the vigour and viability of Withania somnifera seed during storage was essential for ensuring better crop stand.
Withania somnifera seed were dry dressed with finely powdered pharmaceutical formulations (aspirin, active ingredient ortho acetylesalicylic acid @ 100 mg / kg of seed; celin, active ingredient ascorbic acid @ 500 mg / kg of seed), chemicals (common bleaching powder, active ingredient calcium hypochlorite @ 2 g / kg of seed) and crude plant materials (finely powdered dried fruit of Capsicum frutescens (red chilli powder) and Catharanthus roseous leaf powder @ 2 g / kg of seed). After treatments germination test were carried out by standards germination test method and seed vigour also studied by the measurement of root and shoot length.
Seed deterioration was very fast after monsoon months in uncontrolled storage. More or less all dry dressing treatments significantly slowed down seed deterioration in comparison to untreated control under subsequent storage conditions.
The result indicates that pre storage dry dressing treatments of Withania somnifera seed with aspirin and red chilli powder are suggested for the maintenance of seed viability during storage period and they are inexpensive.
Results of an exploratory trial suggested activity trends of Zingiber officinale-Tinopsora cordifolia (platform combination)-based formulations in the treatment of Osteoarthritis (OA) Knees. These formulations were “platform combination+Withania somnifera+Tribulus terrestris” (formulation B) and “platform combination+Emblica officinale” (formulation C). This paper reports safety of these formulations when used in higher doses (1.5–2 times) along with Sallaki Guggul and Bhallataka Parpati (a Semecarpus anacardium preparation).
Materials and Methods:
Ninety-two patients with symptomatic OA knees were enrolled in a 6 weeks investigator blind, randomized parallel efficacy 4-arm multicenter drug trial. The 4 arms were (I) formulation B, 2 t.i.d.; (II) formulation B, 2 q.i.d.; (III) platform combination+Sallaki Guggul; (IV) Bhallataka Parpati+formulation C. A detailed enquiry was carried out for adverse events (AE) and drug toxicity as per a priori check list and volunteered information. Laboratory evaluation included detailed hematology and metabolic parameters. Patients were examined at baseline, first and fourth weeks, and on completion. Standard statistical program (SPSS version 12.5) was used for analysis.
None of the patients reported serious AE or withdrew due to any drug-related toxicity. Mild gut–related (mostly epigastric burning) AE was reported. A mild increase in liver enzymes [serum glutamic pyruvate transaminase (SGPT), serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT)] without any other hepatic abnormality was reported in 2 patients (group IV). Other laboratory parameters remained normal. The mean improvement in active pain visual analog scale (1.4, CI 0.5–2.22), WOMAC (functional activity questionnaire) pain score (1.37, CI 0.22–2.5), and urinary C-TAX (cartilage collagen breakdown product) assay was maximum (NS) in group IV. Lower dose group I showed numerically superior improvement compared with higher dose group II.
The results suggested that despite higher doses, standardized Ayurvedic formulations demonstrated a good safety profile. An improved efficacy and likely chondroprotective effect was shown by group IV intervention. A confirmatory drug trial with adequate power and sample size was planned based on the learning from this trial.
Ayurveda; osteoarthritis; WOMAC; Pain VAS; chondroprotective
The roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra, Withania somnifera, Asparagus racemosus, and Chlorophytum borivilianum and seeds of Sesamum indicum are ayurvedic medicinal plants used in India to treat several ailments. Our previous studies indicated that these plants possess hypolipidemic and antioxidant potential. The present study was aimed at investigating the composite effects of these plants on hypercholesterolemic rats. Three different combinations (5 gm%, given for four weeks) used in this study effectively reduced plasma and hepatic lipid profiles and increased fecal excretion of cholesterol, neutral sterol, and bile acid along with increasing the hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity and bile acid content in hypercholesterolemic rats. Further, all three combinations also improved the hepatic antioxidant status (catalase, SOD, and ascorbic acid levels) and plasma total antioxidant capacity with reduced hepatic lipid peroxidation. Overall, combination I had the maximum effect on hypercholesterolemic rats followed by combinations II and III due to varying concentrations of the different classes of phytocomponents.
The increasing prevalence of environmental pollution, especially soil contamination with heavy metals has led to their uptake in the human food chains through plant parts. Accumulation and magnification of heavy metals in human tissues through consumption of herbal remedies can cause hazardous impacts on health. Therefore, chemical profiling of nine heavy metals (Mn, Cr, Pb, Fe, Cd, Co, Zn, Ni and Hg) was undertaken in stem and leaf samples of ten medicinal plants (Acacia nilotica, Bacopa monnieri, Commiphora wightii, Ficus religiosa, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Hemidesmus indicus, Salvadora oleoides, Terminalia bellirica, Terminalia chebula and Withania somnifera) collected from environmentally diverse regions of Haryana and Rajasthan states in North-Western India. Concentration of all heavy metals, except Cr, was within permissible limits in the tested stem and leaf samples. Leaf samples had consistently more Cr compared to respective stem samples with highest concentration in leaf samples of Bacopa monnieri (13.19 ± 0.0480 ppm) and stem samples of Withania somnifera (4.93 ± 0.0185 ppm) both collected from Bahadurgarh (heavy industrial area), Haryana. This amount was beyond the permissible limit of 2.0 ppm defined by WHO for raw herbal material. Other two most perilous metals Pb (2.64 ± 0.0260) and Cd (0.04 ± 0.0274) were also recorded in Bahadurgarh region, although below permissible limits. Concentration of Hg remained below detectable levels in all the leaf and stem samples tested. These results suggested that cultivation of medicinal plants and other dietary herbs should be curtailed near environmentally polluted especially industrial areas for avoidance of health hazards.
AAS; Heavy metals; Herbal plants; Soil pollution; Toxicity
T. cordifolia (Guduchi) is a large, glabrous, perennial, deciduous, climbing shrub of weak and fleshy stem found throughout India. It is a widely used plant in folk and Ayurvedic systems of medicine. The chemical constituents reported from this shrub belong to different classes, such as alkaloids, diterpenoid lactones, glycosides, steroids, sesquiterpenoid, phenolics, aliphatic compounds and polysaccharides. Various properties of T. cordifolia, described in ancient texts of Ayurveda, like Rasayana, Sangrahi, Balya, Agnideepana, Tridoshshamaka, Dahnashaka, Mehnashaka, Kasa-swasahara, Pandunashaka, Kamla-Kushta-Vataraktanashaka, Jwarhara, Krimihara, Prameha, Arshnashaka, Kricch-Hridroganashak, etc., are acquiring scientific validity through modern research adopting "reverse pharmacological" approach. Potential medicinal properties reported by scientific research include anti-diabetic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-stress, anti-leprotic, antimalarial, hepato-protective, immuno-modulatory and anti-neoplastic activities. This review brings together various properties and medicinal uses of T. cordifolia described in Ayurveda, along with phytochemical and pharmacological reports.
Ayurveda; potential herb; reverse pharmacology; Tinospora cordifolia
A high-performance liquid chromatographic method for the estimation of berberine in the stem of Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers. ex Hook.f. and Thoms. and Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merrill is described. The dried stems of T. cordifolia and T. sinensis were defatted with petroleum ether (60-80°). The marc was dried and further extracted with methanol. The concentration of berberine in methanol extract was determined using a C-18 reverse phase column with a mobile phase of acetonitrile:water (10:90 v/v) at a flow rate of 0.6 ml/min and with UV detection at 266 nm. TLC and HPLC comparison of both the species revealed significant variation in the chemical constitution of the two species. This observation becomes important in the context of the use of T. sinensis in place of the genuine drug T. cordifolia.
Tinospora cordifolia; Tinospora sinensis; berberine; HPLC
Phytochemicals are dietary phytoestrogens that may play a role in prostate cancer prevention. Forty percent of Americans use complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) for disease prevention and therapy. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) contains flavonoids and active ingredients like alkaloids and steroidal lactones which are called ‘Withanolides’. We hypothesize that the immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of Ashwagandha might contribute to its overall effectiveness as an anti-carcinogenic agent. The goal of our study was gain insight into the general biological and molecular functions and immunomodulatory processes that are altered as a result of Ashwagandha treatment in prostate cancer cells, and to identify the key signaling mechanisms that are involved in the regulation of these physiological effects using genomic microarray analysis in conjunction with quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analysis. Ashwagandha treatment significantly downregulated the gene and protein expression of proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-1β, chemokine IL-8, Hsp70 and STAT-2, while a reciprocal upregulation was observed in gene and protein expression of p38 MAPK, PI3K, caspase 6, Cyclin D and c-myc. Furthermore, Ashwagandha treatment significantly modulated the JAK-STAT pathway which regulates both the apoptosis process as well as the MAP kinase signaling. These studies outline several functionally important classes of genes, which are associated with immune response, signal transduction, cell signaling, transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and cell cycle regulation and provide insight into the molecular signaling mechanisms that are modulated by Ashwagandha, thereby highlighting the use of this bioflavanoid as effective chemopreventive agent relevant to prostate cancer progression.
Ashwagandha; bioflavonoids; genomics; immunomodulation; microarrays; prostate cancer; signal transduction