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Rubia cordifolia: a review

  • Published : 2009.03.31

Abstract

Medicinal herbs are significant source of synthetic and herbal drugs. In the commercial market, medicinal herbs are used as raw drugs, extracts or tinctures. Isolated active constituents are used for applied research. For the last few decades, phytochemistry (study of plants) has been making rapid progress and herbal products are becoming popular. According to Ayurveda, the ancient healing system of India, the classical texts of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were written around 1000 B.C. The Ayurvedic Materia Medica includes 600 medicinal plants along with therapeutics. Herbs like turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, garlic and holy basil are integral part of Ayurvedic formulations. The formulations incorporate single herb or more than two herbs (poly-herbal formulations). Medicinal herb contains multitude of chemical compounds like alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, resins, oleoresins, sesquiterpene, lactones and oils (essential and fixed). Today there is growing interest in chemical composition of plant based medicines. Several bioactive constituents have been isolated and studied for pharmacological activity. R. cordifolia is an important medicinal plant commonly used in the traditional and Ayurvedic system of medicine for treatment of different ailments. This review illustrates its major constituents, pharmacological actions substantiating the claims made about this plant in the traditional system of medicine and its clinical applications.

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