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Chitlange SS, Kulkarni PS, Patil D, Patwardhan B, Nanda RK. High-performance liquid chromatographic fingerprint for quality control of Terminalia Arjuna containing Ayurvedic churna formulation. J AOAC Int. 2009;92(4):1016-20. Http://


Because Ayurvedic herbal preparations contain a myriad of compounds in complex matrixes, it is difficult to establish quality control standards for raw materials and to standardize finished Ayurvedic drugs. A novel, accurate, and valid fingerprint method was developed using HPLC for quality control of a traditional Ayurvedic Arjuna churna formulation, which is used as a cardiotonic drug. Comprehensive comparison of chromatograms of standardized formulation of Arjuna churna and marketed formulations revealed eight characteristic peaks in chromatograms, which unambiguously confirmed the presence of authentic raw material used in the formulation on the basis of their retention time values and UV data. An HPLC fingerprint was also developed for total sapogenins present in Terminalia Arjuna. The six common peaks observed in chromatograms of isolated sapogenins, standardized formulations, and marketed formulations can serve as a quality control tool for qualitative estimation of total saponin glycosides

present in an Arjuna churna formulation.

Choudhury RP, Kumar A, Garg AN. Elemental characterization of trifala powders and tablets by instrumental neutron activation analysis, thermal analysis and spectral studies of gallic acid. J Herb Pharmacother. 2007;7(2):15-29. Http://


Trifala is one of the most popular herbal formulations, marketed either as powder or a tablet and is used in all parts of India. It is an effective laxative, antioxidant, anticancer and antidiabetic agent, and is used to refresh the eyes. In order to understand the therapeutic uses of trifala, the powder and tablet forms from Zandu Pharmaceuticals, Mumbai, were analyzed for six minor (Na, K, Mg, Ca, Cl and P) and 23 trace (Al, Ba, Br, Cd, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, Fe, Eu, Hf, Hg, La, Mn, Ni, P, Pb, Rb, Sb, Se, Th, V and Zn) elements. The elements were determined by employing instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) and atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS). A comparison of the elemental contents in the powder and tablets showed wide variations. The powder was rich in Cr, Fe, Se and Zn, whereas the tablet contained a four-fold higher Mn compared to the powder. Column and thin layer chromatography (TLC) in ethyl acetate/methanol (7:3) were used for the separation of gallic acid in ethanolic extract. It was further

confirmed by elemental analysis and spectral methods and quantitatively estimated to the extent of approximately 2%. Thermogravimetric decomposition studies show a three stage process, first a slow process with approximately 20% wt loss at temperatures up to 200 degrees C followed by a fast process losing another 30-35% wt at approximately 300 degrees C for both the powder and tablets. At 700 degrees C metal oxide residue of 7.5 and approximately 16% were left for powder and tablets, respectively.

Das T, Sa G, Saha B, Das K. Multifocal signal modulation therapy of cancer: ancient weapon, modern targets. Mol Cell Biochem. 2010;336(1-2):85-95. Http://


Although safe in most cases, ancient treatments are ignored because neither their active components nor their molecular targets are well defined. This is not the case, however, with curcumin, a yellow-pigment substance and component of turmeric (Curcuma longa), which was identified more than a century ago. Recently, extensive research has addressed the chemotherapeutic potential of this relatively nontoxic-plant-derived polyphenol. Because most cancers are caused by deregulation of as many as 500 different genes, agents that target multiple gene products are needed for prevention and treatment of cancer. In this regard, curcumin has been reported to have immense potentiality for being used in cancer chemotherapy because of its control over the machineries of cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and angiogenesis. The mechanisms implicated are diverse and appear to involve a combination of cell signaling pathways at multiple levels. This review seeks to summarize the unique multifocal signal modulatory properties of the "ancient weapon," curcumin, which may be exploited for successful clinical cancer prevention.

Govindarajan R, Singh DP, Rawat AK. High-performance liquid chromatographic method for the quantification of phenolics in 'Chyavanprash' a potent Ayurvedic drug. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2007;43(2):527-32. Http://


Quantification of bioactive principles through modern analytical tools is essential for establishing the authenticity, credibility, prescription and usage of Ayurvedic medicines/herbal formulations. 'Chyavanprash' is one of the oldest and most popular Ayurvedic preparations, used widely as a health promotive and disease preventive 'Rasayana' drug in India and elsewhere. The rejuvenating and tonic properties of 'Chavanprash' are considered mainly due to their antioxidant principles, which in turn is due to the presence of phenolic compounds. A simple high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method for the separation and quantitative determination of the major antioxidant compounds from 'Chyavanprash' has been developed. The use of Waters Symmetry column and an acidic mobile phase enabled the efficient separation of phenolic compounds (catechin, quercetin-3-O-rutinoside, syringic acid and gallic acid) within a 35 min analysis. Validation of the method was done with a view to demonstrate its selectivity, linearity, precision, accuracy and robustness. In addition optimization of the complete extraction of phenolic compounds were also studied.

Pakade YB, Kumari A, Singh S, Sharma R, Tewary DK. Metals in herbal drugs from Himalayan region. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol.2011;86(1):133-6. Http://


Various herbal products from Himalayan region may provide a huge source of supply in the domestic and international markets. In this study, the heavy metal load in various herbal drugs of the region was investigated. The studied toxic elements were present in the herbal drugs (0.2-8.34 mg/kg As, 0.11-0.48 mg/kg Cd, 2.5-6.0 mg/kg Pb). Zinc was found in the range 7-32 mg/kg and all the samples were free from mercury contamination.


Berman Josh. Clinical development of dietary supplements: The perils of stArting at Phase III.Fitoterapia.2011;82(1):80-84.


Dietary supplements are in worldwide use Particularly for diseases for which conventional agents are ineffective. Many of the diseases have subjective endpoints and variable natural histories which lead to large placebo effects. Phase III studies with their large resource requirements should not be undertaken until the commonly used dose of the dietary supplement has been evaluated vs placebo, and if necessary raised until specific efficacy is demonstrated, in phase II testing. If phase II tests precede phase III evaluation, a product destined to fail will not consume important resources, and the optimum dose of products destined to succeed can be identified.

Marks William H. Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. versus Sulfasalazine in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: A well-designed clinical trial of a botanical demonstrating effectiveness. Fitoterapia.2011;82(1):85-87.


Claims that Traditional/Alternative medicine (TM/AM) remedies are effective are routinely ignored by Western Medicine. However, the results of a clinical trial that demonstrated the clinical efficacy of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F. (TW), a TMused as an anti-inflammatory, were recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Why this Article was published in a peer reviewed Allopathic medical journal is an important question that begs examination and may lay the future promise of TM/AM therapeutic interventions.

Shulman Lee P, Banuvar Suzanne, Fong Harry H.S, Farnsworth Norman R. Discussion of a well designed clinical trial which did not demonstrate effectiveness: UIC center for botanical dietary supplements research study of black cohosh and red clover. Fitoterapia.2011;82(1):88-91.


The performance of a clinical trial for pharmaceutical agents is usually undertaken only after there is likely benefit demonstrated from the use of the putative agent. The consideration of botanical products as pharmaceutical agents must similarly go through a rigorous evaluation process. The present work reviews the recently published phase II study evaluating the effectiveness of black cohosh and red clover in a randomized trial with conjugated equine estradiol/medroxyprogesterone acetate and placebo for the treatment of menopausal symptoms. We analyze the possible reasons why this study failed to show benefit for either botanical product in reducing menopause-related vasomotor symptoms.


Jadhav Dinesh.Ethnobotanical plants used in leaf therapy in Ratlam district(Madhya Pradesh). Ethnobotany.2009;21:84-90.


Leaf therapy is an old practice among the tribals in Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh. In this therapy, locally available plant species are used for the prevention and cure of disease. The tribals in the area were contacted and information on 70 species belongings to 64 genera under 39 families from different pockets was documented. This knowledge has not been recorded earlier from the reported site.

Joshi Kunjani.Indegenous uses of wetland plant diversity of two valleys (Kathmandu and Pokhara) in Nepal.Ethnobotany.2009;21:11-17.


The paper enumerates traditional uses of 54 plant species belonging to 46 genera representing 36 families used by local communities of wetland in two valleys of Nepal (Kathmandu and Pokhara) for the treatment of diseases and other uses. Some of the useful species are under serious threat due to unsustainable activities and changing land- use patterns.In this paper, some recommandations have been made to integrate conversation measures for the habital preserVation and documentation and sustainable management of the useful wetland plants with indigenous ethnic-Knowledge and practices before some of these are endangered.

Meena A K, Yadav Ajay Kumar, Singh Uttam, Singh Brijendra, Nagariya Amit K , Sharma Kiran, Gaurav Anand, Sharma Surabhi, Rao M M. “A Review on Calotropis Procera. Linn And Its Ethanobotany Phytochemical, Pharmacological Profile”.Drug Invention Today. 2010;2(2):185-190.


Calotropis procera Linn is small, erect and compact shrubs, which is used in several traditional medicines to cure various diseases. This shrub has been known to posses’ Analgesic, Antitumor, Antihelmintic, Antioxidant, Hepatoprotective, Inflammatory, Antidiarrhoeal, Anticonvulsant, Antimicrobial, Oestrogenic, Antinociceptive, and Antimalarial activity. A wide range of chemical compounds including- Benzoyllineolone, benzoylisolinelone and ß-amyrin. The root bark contains the calotropoleanyl ester, proceroleanenol A and proceroleanenol B. The latex contains the calactin, calotropin, uscharin, sitosterol, and calotoxin. The presented review summarizes the information concerning the ethnobotany, Pharmacological, phytochemistry, biological activity and toxicity of the calotropis procera shrubs.

Mukherjee PK, Wahile A. Integrated approaches towards drug development from Ayurveda and other Indian system of medicines. J EthnoPharmacol. 2006;103(1):25-35. Http://


Biodiversity of natural resources has served not only for the primary human needs but also for health care, since time immemorial. The Indian subcontinent, with the history of one of the oldest civilization, harbors many traditional health care systems. Their development was supported by the diverse biodiversity in flora and fauna due to variations in geographical landscaping. Ayurveda, whose history goes back to 5000 one of the ancient health care systems. The Ayurveda was developed through daily life experiences with the mutual relationship between mankind and nature. The ancient text of Ayurveda reports more than 2000 plant species for their therapeutic potentials. Besides Ayurveda, other traditional and folklore systems of health care were developed in the different time periods in Indian subcontinent, where more than 7500 plant species were used. According to a WHO estimate, about 80% of the world population relies on traditional systems of medicines for primary health care, where plants form the dominant component over other natural resources. Renewed interest of developing as well as developed countries in the natural resources has opened new horizons for the exploration of natural sources with the perspectives of safety and efficacy. The development of these traditional systems of medicines with the perspectives of safety, efficacy and quality will help not only to preserve this traditional heritage but also to rationalize the use of natural products in the health care. Until recent past, the nature was considered as a compendium for templates of new chemical entities (NCEs). The plant species mentioned in the ancient texts of these Ayurveda and other Indian systems of medicines may be explored with the modern scientific approaches for better leads in the health care.

Muthu C, Ayyanar M, Raja N, Ignacimuthu S. Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu, India. J EthnobiolEthnomed. 2006;2:43. Http://


An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken to collect information from traditional healers on the use of medicinal plants in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu during October 2003 to April 2004. The indigenous knowledge of local traditional healers and the native plants used for medicinal purposes were collected through questionnaire and personal interviews during field trips.The investigation revealed that, the traditional healers used 85 species of plants distributed in 76 genera belonging to 41 families to treat various diseases. The documented medicinal plants were mostly used to cure skin diseases, poison bites, stomachache and nervous disorders. In this study the most dominant family was Euphorbiaceae and leaves were most frequently used for the treatment of diseases.This study showed that many people in the studied parts of Kancheepuram district still continue to depend on medicinal plants at least for the treatment of primary healthcare. The traditional healers are dwindling in number and there is a grave danger of traditional knowledge disappearing soon since the younger generation is not interested to carry on this tradition.

Newmaster G Steven, Murugesan Maruthakkutti, Ragupathy Subramanyam, Nallasamy Nagarajan, Balasrbramaniam Velusamy.Ethnobotany genomics study reveals three new species of the genyus Biophytum DC. (Oxalidaceae-Geraniales) friom Velliangiri hills in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Western Ghats, India.Etnobotany.2009;21:1-10.


Our research utilized Traditional Tribal Knowledge (TK) and Scientific Knowledge (SK) to explore the relationship between scientific and trible system of botanical classification and the corresponding valorisation(s) of biological diversity in the western Ghats of southern India. We worked with two tribal communities, namely, ‘Irulas’ and ‘Malasars’ of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve with an objective of evaluating the ability of different Knowledge system (SK and TK) to distinguish species belonging to the genus Biophytum. We discovered that the tribal informats identified three ethnotaxa representing three new species, namely, Biophytum velliangirianum, B. tamilnadense, which we confirmed using quantitative morphometric analysis of the taxomic evidence including comparisons with several closely related taxa: Biophytum insignis Gamble, B. longipedunculatum Govind. And Biophytum proliferum (Arn.) Wight. The recognition of these taxa has several consequences for conservation of plant diversity in the Nilgiri Biosphere and possible applications to society-at- large given the ethnobiological importance of these new taxa to the local tribals.

Ragupathy S, Steven NG, Maruthakkutti M, Velusamy B, Ul-Huda MM. Consensus of the 'Malasars' traditional aboriginal knowledge of medicinal plants in the Velliangiri holy hills, India. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2008;4:8-10. Http://


There are many vanishing cultures that possess a wealth of knowledge on the medicinal utility of plants. The Malasars of Dravidian Tamils are an indigenous society occupying the forests of the Western Ghats, South India. They are known to be exceptional healers and keepers of traditional aboriginal knowledge (TAK) of the flora in the Velliangiri holy hills. In fact, their expertise is well known throughout India as evidenced by the thousands of pilgrims that go to the Velliangiri holy hills for healing every year. Our research is the first detailed study of medicinal plants in India that considers variation in TAK among informants using a quantitative consensus analysis. A total of 95 species belonging to 50 families were identified for medicinal and general health purposes. For each species the botanical name, family, local name, parts used, summary of mode of preparation, administration and curing are provided. The consensus analysis revealed a high level of agreement among the informants usage of a Particular plant at a local scale. The average consensus index value of an informant was FIC > 0.71, and over 0.80 for some ailments such as respiratory and jaundice. Some of the more common problems faced by the Malasars were gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illness, dermatological problems and simple illness such as fever, cough, cold, wounds and bites from poisonous animals. We also discovered several new ethnotaxa that have considerable medicinal utility. This study supports claims that the Malasars possess a rich TAK of medicinal plants and that many aboriginals and mainstream people (pilgrims) utilize medicinal plants of the Velliangiri holy hills. Unfortunately, the younger generation of Malasars are not embracing TAK as they tend to migrate towards lucrative jobs in more developed urban areas. Our research sheds some light on a traditional culture that believes that a healthy lifestyle is founded on a healthy environment and we suggest that TAK such as that of the Malasars may serve toward a global lifestyle of health and environmental sustainability.

Rout SD, Panda T, Mishra N. Ethnobotanical studies of Similipal Tiger Reserve, Orissa. Ethnobotany.2009;21:80-83.


This ethnobotanical study was conducted in Similipal Bioshphere Reserve of Mayurbhanj district. The dominant tribes involved in using plants as medicines in the district are Santhal, Kol, Bhumija, Bhuiyan,Mahalis, Sounti and Saharas. This paper deals with the ethnobotanical information on fifteen plant species obtained through field surveys and taxonomic identification of plants.

Sahu SC, Dhal NK, Mohanty RC. Ethnobotanical study of Deogarh district (Orrissa) with respect to plants used for treating skin diseases.Etnnobotany. 2009;21:46-50.


The present ethnobotanical study was carried out in diffirent forest pockets of Deogarh district of Orrissa.The paper reports 21 plant species belonging to 17 families usesd in treatment of 11 ailments related to the skin diseases.


Aqil F, Zahin M, Ahmad I. Antimutagenic activity of methanolic extracts of four Ayurvedic medicinal plants. Indian J Exp Biol. 200;46(9):668-72. Http://


Methanolic extracts of Acorus calamus (Rhizome), Hemidesmus indicus (Stem), Holarrhena antidysenterica (Bark) and Plumbago zeylanica (Root), were tested for their antimutagenic potential. These extracts, at tested concentrations, showed no sign of mutagenicity to Salmonella typhimurium tester strains. The extracts of the plants exhibited varying level of antimutagenicity. At a dose of 100 microg/plate, the extracts exhibited the inhibition of His+ revertants from 18.51% to 82.66% against direct acting mutagens, methyl methanesulphonate (MMS) and sodium azide (NaN3) induced mutagenicity in Salmonella tester strains TA 97a, TA 100, TA 102 and TA 104. However, at lower concentrations (25 and 50 mcirog/plate) of the plant extracts, a decrease in antimutagenic activity was recorded. Dose dependent antimutagenic activity of the extracts is also evident from linear regression analysis of the data. The over all antimutagenic potential of above four extracts was found to be in order of A. calamus > H. indicus > H. antidysenterica > P. zeylanica. Further, total phenolic content of these extracts did not correlate with its antimutagenic activity in A. calamus and P. zeylanica.

Sharma U, Velpandian T, Sharma P, Singh S. Evaluation of anti-leishmanial activity of selected Indian plants known to have antimicrobial properties.Parasitol Res. 2009;105(5):1287-93. Http://


The severe toxicity, exorbitant cost and the emerging resistance of Leishmania spp. against most of the currently used drugs led to the urgent need for exploiting our traditional Ayurvedic knowledge to treat visceral leishmaniasis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro anti-leishmanial activity of various extracts from ten traditionally used Indian medicinal plants. The methanolic extract from only two plants, Withania somnifera Dunal (ashwagandha) and Allium sativum Linn. (garlic), showed appreciable activity against Leishmania donovani. Further active compounds from these two plants were isolated and purified based on bioactivity-guided fractionation. HPLC-purified fraction A6 of ashwagandha and G3 of garlic showed consistently high activity with 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of 12.5 +/- 4 and 18.6 +/- 3 microg/ml against promastigotes whereas IC(50) of 9.5 +/- 3 and 13.5 +/- 2 microg/ml against amastigote form, respectively. The fraction A6 of ashwagandha was identified as withaferin A while fraction G3 of garlic is yet to be identified, and the work is in progress. Cytotoxic effects of the promising fractions and compounds were further evaluated in the murine macrophage (J774G8) model and were found to be safe. These compounds showed negligible cytotoxicity against J774G8 macrophages. The results indicate that fraction A6 of ashwagandha and fraction G3 of garlic might be potential sources of new anti-leishmanial compounds. The in vivo efficacy study and further optimization of these active compounds are in progress.


Adil MD, Kaiser P, Satti NK, Zargar AM, Vishwakarma RA, Tasduq SA. Effect of Emblica officinalis (fruit) against UVB-induced photo-aging in human skin fibroblasts. J EthnoPharmacol.2010;132(1):109-14. Http://



Emblica officinalis fruit (EO), commonly known as Amla is a reputed traditional medicine and functional food used in Indian subcontinent. It has long been used in Indian folk medicine to treat liver diseases, stomach ulcers, inflammatory diseases, metabolic disorders, geriatric complaints, skin disorders and beauty care.


Recently, it has been shown to promote pro-collagen content and inhibit matrix metalloproteinase levels in skin fibroblast. The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy of EO to inhibit UVB-induced photo-aging in human skin fibroblasts.


Mitochondrial activity of human skin fibroblasts was measured by MTT-assay. Quantifications of pro-collagen 1 and matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) release were performed by immunoassay techniques. Hyaluronidase inhibition assay was studied in vitro using bovine testicular hyaluronidase and human umbilical cord hyaluronic acid. Cell cycle analysis was performed by flowcytometry using propidium iodide. RESULTS: EO stimulated, the otherwise UVB inhibited cellular proliferation and protected pro-collagen 1 against UVB-induced depletion via inhibition of UVB-induced MMP-1 in skin fibroblasts (10-40 μg/mL, p>0.001). EO exhibited inhibitory activity of hyaluronidase (10-40 μg/mL, p>0.001). Treatment with EO also prevented UVB disturbed cell cycle to normal phase.

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