General overview of medicinal plants

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2019

31 Pages, Grade: A




Litterature Review

List of Plant Species




Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs. Countries wealth resides in its plant inheritance. Researchers suggested that approx two out of three of world’s plant species is medicinal. Most of the plants are found having high value of antioxidant potential. Antioxidants helps to reduce oxidative stress in the cell. This property is also helpful in treating many diseases like cancer, inflammatory diseases and cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidant potential are extracted from stems, roots, bark, fruits, seeds and leaves of several important medicinal plant. Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxylanisole (BHA) are currently used as food additives, and many plant species have similar antioxidant potentials as these synthetics. The literature reveals that these natural antioxidants represent a potentially side effect-free alternative to synthetic antioxidants in the food processing industry. They are also used in preventive medicine. Medicinal plants have been discovered and used in traditional medicine practices since prehistoric times also hundreds of chemical compounds for functions including defence against insects, fungi, diseases, and herbivorous mammals were known since then. Numerous phytochemicals with potential or established biological activity have been identified and were researched with interest. A single plant contains widely diverse phytochemicals, the effects of using a whole plant as medicine are uncertain and needs a wide knowledge and understanding. Drug research discovered hundreds of useful compounds by the use of ethnobotany to search for pharmacologically active substances in nature. These contain the common drugs aspirin, digoxin, quinine, and opium. The compounds that are found in plants are of many kinds, but most are in four major biochemical classes as alkaloids, glycosides polyphenols, and terpenes


Chattopadhyay and Bhattacharrya, 2007 studied the Terminalia chebula (Combretaceae) is being used for the treatment of various types of diseases, because of its strong power of healing with a wide spectrum of biological activity. Terminalia chebula chemical constituents, has been achieved regarding the biological activity and medicinal applications of the herbal plant. It is a development of medicines and industrial products against diseases. It possess anti-oxidant activity, anti-diabetic activity, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-microbial, anti-pyretic, anti-tumor and anti-mutagenic activities etc. The bioactive components gallic acid, ellagic acid, tannins, chebulinic acid, chebulagic acid, bellericanin, rutin, quercetin etc are presence in the herbal plant.

Gowda et al., 2012 reviewed on Triphala is one of the most powerful herbal drug used in medicine. Triphala is a combination of Terminalia chebula, Phyllanthus emblica, and Terminalia belerica species. It is also in the treatment of Acquired immune deficiency syndrome and various diseases. It contains many polyphenolic components, gallic acid, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), ellagic acid, chebulinic acid, chebulagic acid, and flavonoids (quercetin and rutin). It shows the different pharmacological activities like anti-inflammatory activity, anti-cancer activity, anti-oxidant activity, anti-ulcer activity, anti-microbial activities etc.

Amit Kumar, 2014 states that Ayurveda is the oldest medical system. In the last some years the field of ayurveda herbal medicine and drugs are gaining positions in various countries. The medicinal herbs are shows natural origin and without side effects. The WHO has selected up to twenty one thousand herbal plants, which are used for medicinal purposes around the world. Mostly number of professional scientists discovered that one of the most value of all Ayurvedic combination - Triphala (Terminalia chebula, Phyllanthus embilica and Terminalia bellirica) in different ratios exhibits a number of health benefits, including various pharmacological activites like antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic etc.

Padmaa Paarakh , 2010 says that Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) Wt. and Arn. (Arjuna; Combretaceae) is a widely used medicinal plant throughout India and popular in various Indigenous System of Medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. In the Indian System of Medicine, the bark are used as astringent, cooling, tonic, aphrodisiac, cardiotonic, in fractures, ulcers, spermatorrhoea, leucorrhoea, diabetes, cough, tumour, excessive perspiration, asthma, inflammation and skin disorders etc.

Bariya Aditi Hemrajbhai et al., 2016 Medicinal plants have been a major source of therapeutic agents to cure human diseases, since ancient time. Terminalia arjuna is one kind of widely used medicinal plant used in various indigenous system of medicine like Ayurveda, Sidda and Unani. This review has been conducted to pile up phytochemical as well as pharmacological information that is available in different scientific literatures. This plant has been reported to contain phytochemical constituents like Triterpenoids (arjunolic acid, arjunic acid, arjunin, terminic acid, etc.), Glycosides (arjunetin, arjunosides, arjunglycosides etc.), Flavonoids (Arjunone, arjunolone etc.), Tannins (casuarinin, gallic acid, pyrocatechols etc.), β-Sitosterol, Minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper etc.). which exhibit various pharmacological activities like Antimicrobial, Anti cancer, Cardioprotective, Anti fungal, Anti diabetic, Antioxidant, Anti inflammatory, Hypolipidemic, Anthelmintic, Insecticidal, Wound healing, Anti acne, Gastroprotective etc. The present comprehensive review is therefore an effort to give detailed information on phytochemical and pharmacological studies of T. arjuna.

Anindita Deb et al., 2016 Terminalia bellerica Roxb (combretaceae) is found widely throughout the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, South- East Asia, Bangladesh as a medicinal plant. Plant and plant parts are used in the traditional system of medicines like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani & Chinese medicine. The plant is constituted of Glucoside, Tannins, Gallic acid, Ethyl Gallate, Chebulinic acid which serves as an antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiarrheal, anticancer, antihypertensive, hepatoprotective& antipyretic agent. This review sites the information on pharmacological activities of Terminalia bellerica which may serve as a source for further research studies.

Ravi Kant Upadhyay (2016) Onion is a traditional nutraceutical and medicinal herbal plant.That is cultivated around the world. It contain phenolic compounds and flavonoids that havepotential anti-anaphylaxis, antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anti-cancer properties. Onions contain water (89%), protein (2%), and B1, B2, and C vitamins. It also contains polysaccharides such as saccharose, fructosans, quercetin essential oil and peptides. Onion contains numerous sulfur compounds (thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates) and sulfoxides. Onion is highly nutritional and its dietary use improves digestion and mental health and lower down toxigenicity of oils. Onion has potential in treating cardiovascular disease, hyperglycemia, and stomach cancer. Onion contains an important antioxidative, quercetin that is derived from Allium cepa on aldehyde oxidase lowdensity lipoprotein which reduces hepatocytes apoptosis in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat. Onion has great ethno medicinal importance as native remedies used against diabetes, and related complications are from onion.

Guo-Qing Shi et al (2016) the anti-proliferative activity of flavonoids from onion skins, extraction by ethanol (50% v/v), soxhlet polar fractionation, thin-layer chromatography, pH gradient separation and recrystallization methods were used to isolate and purify flavonoids from dry onion skins. Anti-proliferative activities of some flavonoids obtained on leukemia K562 cell line were deter-mined by MTT assay method. Results showed that flavonoids of onion skins were mainly in form of quercetin, isorhamnetin, rutin, kaempferol, apigenin-7-O-Dglucopyranoside, quercetin-3-O-D-glucopyranoside, kaempferol-7-O-D-glucopyranoside. Kaempferol and Quercetin decreased K562 cell viability, and quercetin had stronger effect. However, rutin and isorhamnetin exhibited certain proliferation-promoting effects.

Olanrewaju Sam Olayeriju et al. (2015) The effects of ethylacetate extract of red onion (Allium cepa) tunic on some hemodynamic and biochemical parameters were evaluated in normotensive albino rats. Blood pressure parameters were determined in anaesthetized rats orally administered ACTE (10-, 20-, or 40 mg/kg) for 14 days. Respectively, 10-, 20-, or 40 mg/kg ACTE produced significant (P < 0.01), dose-dependent fall in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, DBP (6%, 10%, 16%), pulse pressure, mean arterial blood pressure, HR (4%, 5%, 7%), MAPB (13%, 18%, 23%), SBP (21%, 27%, 33%) and PP (42%, 49%, 56%), and heart rate. The highest effective dose (40 mg/kg) compared well with ramipril (1 mg/kg) with regards to DBP (19%), SBP (41%), HR (10%), MABP (29%) and PP (70%). Similar trends (decreases) were recorded for 40 mg/kg ACTE and ramipril, respectively, as regards the activities of serum enzymes: ALT (18% and 14%), creatine kinase (60% and 65%) and ALP (28% and 16%). High Pressure Liquid Chromatography fingerprints of the flavonoid-rich ACTE revealed that rutin, quercitrin, kaempferol, and isoquercitrin are the active flavonoids.

Lee J and Mitchell AE (2011). In the following study, the flavonoid composition was determined in coproduct materials and the press cake (material generated after juice extraction) in several commercially important onion varieties. Bio flavonoids were characterized and quantified using LC-(ESI) MS/MS and HPLC analysis. The long-term stability of quercetin glycosides was assessed in dried coproduct materials stored at 5 and 21 °C over one year. In all varieties, the predominant forms of quercetin were the quercetin and 4'-O-glucoside.quercetin 3,4'-O-glucoside. Onoin contained the highest levels of flavonoids (1613 mg/100 g on a dry weight basis (DW).

Praveen Kumar A and Bhawana S. (2013) Ginkgo biloba L., a plant belongs to the Ginkgoaceae family. Rutin is that the major flavonoid glycoside found in gingko that has been referred to as vitamin P. The isolation of rutin by completely done with chromatographically methodology. The isolated rutin was known by measure its FTIR spectra, HPLC, TLC, melting point and ultraviolet absorption. It shows various pharmacological effects and controls the various diseases.

Maria Isabel Cardona et al (2017) Physalis peruviana is an exotic fruit highly valued for its bioactive compounds. This work evaluates the effect of some variables of the extraction process of P. peruviana calyces extract on total phenolic content (tpc), total flavonoid content, and in vitro antioxidant activity of the extracts obtained. The response variables were then evaluated using in vitro assays such as NO and DPPH uptake for antioxidant activity; the Folin- Ciocalteu method for total phenolic content; and the external standard method by HPLC-DAD for quantification of flavonoids.

Fatemeh Fathiazada et al (2006) the potential of tobacco waste as a viable source of flavonoids like quercetin and rutin has been investigated. These flavonoids have been isolated from waste tobacco leaves, and their identities have been confirmed by 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR spectroscopy and UV-visible. The amount of rutin present in the tobacco leaves by using HPLC analysis.

Stevenson DG et al (2017) Twelve pumpkin cultivars (Cucurbita maxima D.), cultivated in Iowa, were studied for their seed oil content, fatty acid composition, and tocopherol content. Oil content ranged from 10.9 to 30.9%. Total unsaturated fatty acid content ranged from 73.1 to 80.5%. The predominant fatty acids present were linoleic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic. Significant differences were observed among the cultivars for stearic, oleic, linoleic, and gadoleic acid content of oil. Low linolenic acid levels were observed (<1%). The tocopherol content of the oils ranged from 27.1 to 75.1 microg/g of oil for alpha-tocopherol, from 74.9 to 492.8 microg/g for gamma-tocopherol, and from 35.3 to 1109.7 microg/g for delta-tocopherol. The study showed potential for pumpkin seed oil from all 12 cultivars to have high oxidative stability that would be suitable for food and industrial applications, as well as high unsaturation and tocopherol content that could potentially improve the nutrition of human diets.

Li T et al (2012) Taeniasis refers to the infection with adult tapeworms of Taenia spp. In the upper small intestine of humans, which is also a cause of cysticercosis infection in either both humans and/or animals. Currently the most commonly applied anthelminthics for treatment of taeniasis are praziquantel and niclosamide. Praziquantel is very effective, but has the risk of induction of epileptic seizures or convulsions in carriers with asymptomatic concurrent neurocysticercosis. In contrast, niclosamide is safe and effective, but is not readily available in many endemic countries including China. In the current community-based study, we assessed the curative effect of either pumpkin seeds or areca nut extract alone in taeniasis, and also looked at synergistic effects of these two herb drugs on tapeworms. In the study group with the pumpkin seed/areca nut extract treatment, 91 (79.1%) of 115 suspected taeniasis cases (with a history of expulsion of proglottids within the previous one year) released whole tapeworms, four (3.5%) expelled incomplete strobila, and no tapeworms or proglottids were recovered in the remaining 20cases. In these 115 persons, 45 were confirmed as taeniasis before treatment by microscopy and/or coproPCR. Forty (88.9%) of 45 confirmed cases eliminated intact worms following treatment. The mean time period for complete elimination of tapeworms in 91 taeniasis cases was 2 h (range 20 min to 8 h 30 min), and 89.0% (81) of 91 patients discharged intact worms within 3h after drug administration. In Control Group A with treatment of pumpkin seeds alone, 75.0% (9/12) of confirmed taeniasis cases expelled whole tapeworms, but the mean time period for complete elimination was about 14 h 10 min (range 3 h 20 min to 21 h 20 min), which was much longer than that (2h) for the study group, whereas in Control Group B treated with areca nut extract alone, only 63.6% (7/11) of taeniasis cases discharged whole tapeworms, and the mean time period was 6 h 27 min (range 1-22 h). Mild side effects included nausea and dizziness in about 46.3% of patients with the pumpkin seeds/areca nut extract treatment, but all discomforts were transient and well tolerated. In conclusion, a synergistic effect of pumpkin seed and areca nut extract on Taenia spp. tapeworms was confirmed in the current study, primarily in producing an increased rate of effect on tapeworm expulsion (average time 2 h for combination vs 6-21 h for individual extracts). The pumpkin seed/areca combined treatment was indicated to be safe and highly effective (89%) for human taeniasis.


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General overview of medicinal plants
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Disha Kumari (Author), 2019, General overview of medicinal plants, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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