Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa formerly named Cimicifuga racemosa) is native of America and member of Ranunculaceae family. It should not be misunderstood with blue cohosh (also known as Caulophyllum thalictroides). It is been extensively used in women related disorders in America since old times. Generally roots and rhizomes are widely used for the treatment in replacement to hormone therapy for the postmenopausal women. Excessive sweating, Mood change, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness are the major issues used to treatment (Beer2013). Exact mechanism of action is not been understood, it is a matter of study. In a randomized trial study it is found that direct correlation to treatment of gynecological disorders can’t be established with the black cohosh, even when it is been used as drug since 18th century in north America. Prolong use of Cimicifuga racemosa has been found to be having hepatotoxicity in some cases. While it shows some side effects also as like headaches, dizziness, vomiting and nausea in some cases. In contrast, in a study done in Germany the relevant and direct correlation of these side effects as registered in Herbal medicinal products Committee in America to the use of isopropanolic and Ethanolic extracts of Cimicifuga racemosa couldn’t be established (Beer2013). Triterpenes, acetin and 27-deoxyactein glycosides and formononetin is some of major Isoflavone present in it as active constituents. Also tannins, resins, aromatic acids, fatty acids are found to be important constituent of black cohosh. Its rhizome extract is a marketed formulation in United States of America, under the trade name Remifemin, and most widely studied drug for the effect of black cohosh as anti-osteoporotic (Cui 2013).
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Cuscuta chinensis: -
Cuscuta is commonly known as “dodder seed” or “Amarvel” in Hindi. It is native of south Asia like India and China. It is traditional medicine used in Indian traditional medicinal system as liver and Kidney tonic since old times. Rutin, Kampferol, Isorhamnetin, Lignans and Hyperoside are some common isoflavonoids found in the Cuscuta (Hajimehdipoor2012). It has found to be very potent antioxidant because of presence of Isoflavones in the extracts. Besides isoflavonoids Tannis, Resins, Organic acids are also found to be present in the Cuscuta. In a study it is found to be protective against osteoporosis (Yang, 2011), and anti-inflammatory effects have also been observed in Cuscuta (Yen 2008). It also has been found that Cuscuta has aphrodisiac activity too (Sun2013). It increases the water channel AQP 2,3 and Na,K-ATPase expression in renal disorders and hence used in treatment (Shin2011). It is also found to be effective against hepatotoxicity by enhancing the liver function (Yen2007). It also found to be having immune modulatory compounds which can enhance the T-Cell proliferation and hence increasing the immunity (Wang2000). It also possesses neurotrophic activity by inhibiting MAPK, leading to prevent the apoptosis of cells (Liu2003). Cuscuta has been used in traditional drug system extensively and hence modern approaches like nanoformulation to give a better drug delivery has also been approached to it (Yen2008a). But present days it can be used to develop a potent anti-osteoporotic drug because of its positive effects in bone healing and decreasing the bone depletion (Yang 2009).
Cissus quadrangularisis native plant of Southeast Asia, majorly in India and Sri Lanka but also found to be present Africa and Arabia. It is a perennial plant of family Vitaceae. Commonly it is known asVeldt GrapeorDevil's Backbone. It has been used in Indian traditional medicinal system very commonly in curing the bone related disorders, heal broken bones, and known as “asthisamharaka” (that which prevents the destruction of bones).
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It has its potent antioxidant activity because of the presence of known anti-oxidants like kaempferol, quercetin and resveratrol. It also has other flavonoids like δ- amyrone, d-amyrin , β-sitosterol present. Together with these triterpenes, Stilbenes, Aliphatic acids were also found to be present in the stem of Cissus quadrangulari (Thakur 2009). It also found to be having sedative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-oxidative, Analgesic, anti-obesity, Hepatoprotective properties (Viswanatha Swamy 2009, Chidambara Murthy 2003,Panthong 2007,Oben 2008,Viswanatha Swamy 2010).
In a study if was found that ulcer-protective acitivity of C.quadrangularis extract is similar to standard drug not only ulcer, but mucosal mucin secreation, cell proliferation, glycoportiens and cell life span has also found to be enhanced. Thus it shows it potential as anti-ulcerogenic drug as well (Jainu2004). Anti-inflammatory activity of C. quadrangularis is found to inhibit Cycloxygenase (COX-1), Cycloxygenase (COX-2), and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) enzyme activity also (Bhujade2012). Bone healing property of Cissus quadrangularis is known very well everywhere, possible mechanism of study is done one SaOS-2 Human osteoblast like cells and it was found that it is increasing the expression of IGF-IR. This shows there is positive regulation of bone cells by C.quadrangularis.
Puerariae radix is native plant of eastern asia it is majorly found in China, Japan and Korea. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine system for the treatment of diarrhea, acute dysentery, deafness and cardiovascular diseases (Arao1997). Common name for Radix puerariae is “Yege”. P. radix have also been found to decreasing the risk of cardio vascular disease by decreasing the production and secretion of atherogenic lipoproteins as diet supplements as safe and effective solution (Lee 2002).
One unique property as drug for P. radix was found to be having protection against alcohol toxicity by regulating the nitric oxide levels in cells and modulating the cell proliferation, which shows protection against toxic effects of alcohol (Keung1996, Jang2002). It shows positive effect against hepatotoxicity activity by inhibiting the Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), which is more comparable to marketed available drugs and more than several other plants (Arao1997). P.radix has been found to have estrogen-like effect on liver, which regulates the lipid metabolism. It has high amount of isoflavones which acts as anti-oxidant. Due to the presence of different Isoflavonoids in the P.radix it is found to be preventing bone loss, and increasing the bone mass significantly which is the onset of post menopausal osteoporosis (Wang2005).
P.radix have found to be rich in saponins, three new saponins have been found in the plant of group sophoradiol, cantoniensistriol, and soyasapogenols B and A named kudzusapogenols C, A and B methyl ester respectively (Kinjo1985). Important isoflavonoids from P.radix which is isolated is puerarin, and together with known isoflavones like daidzein, and genistein, the plant shows positive effect on stimulating estrogenic activity. It also have positive effect on breast Cancer cells through Caspase-3-dependent pathway, leading to chance of potent drug against one of the most common cancers (Lin2009). Puerarin also been used as vasodilator in treatment of Angina, and myocardial dysfunctions (Cai2011, Chen2011).
Cornus officinalisis a native plant from Japan, used in traditional medicinal system of Eastern Asia mainly China, Japan and Korea (MIYAZAWA1989). It is used as fruit plant is generally used in treatment of menstrual disorders in post menopausal women.
The fruit of Cornus officinalis is known as San-syu-yu (Japanese) or Shan-zhu-yu (Chinese) is majorly used for the drug development. It contains essential oils, mainly fatty acids which gives a fruity smell to it (MIYAZAWA1989). It is a member of Cornaceae family. The plant containsoleanolic acid, ursolic acid and several polysaccharides (Wang2007). These polysaccharides have found to be effective in enhancing the non-specific immunity or humoral immunity. And increase in specific cellular immunity is also been observed (Du 2008). 1, 2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, butyl 2-methylpropyl ester, and isopropyl myristate are also found to be present in supercritical CO2 extraction from C. officinalis (Han2003). C.officinalis is a potent anti-oxidant and thus shows several biological activities like anti-neoplastic, Anti-inflammatory, Diabetic nephropathy, cerebral infarction, increase of plasma insulin etc. (Xu2004, Hsu2006, Li2005, and Chang2004). Glycosides like loganin, sweroside and cornuside from C.officinalis were found to be neuroprotective and cognitive enhancers in nature (Lee2009, Kwon2011, Jeong2012). C.officinalis found to be having anti-proliferative and Hepatoprotective activity also (Telang2011, Lee2012).
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A.serratus is member of Sapindaceae family, native of South Asia, majorly India and Sri-Lanka.
It is a large shrub and is widely distributed in hilly areas of south India and Assam. Allophylusserratus possess positive effect on inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders, elephantiasis, osteoporosis etc.The Ethanolic extract of the plant was reported for its antiulcerogenic and antiosteoporetic action, majorly due to presence of anti-secretory and cytoprotective nature (Dharmani 2005).
Asparagus racemosus is member of family Liliaceae. It is one of the most extensively used medicinal plants in Traditional medicinal system of India in Unani, Ayurveda and Siddha. Commonly it is known as “Shatavari”. Which mean “Shat-a-Var” “Women with hundred men”. This name is given because of its aphrodisiac activity, and potency to be used as effective drug for women related disorders. A. racemosus is rich in many active phytomolecules; it contains Saponins, tannins, glycosides, Flavonoids and Organic acids etc. (Satti2006). The plant is used to be preventive in neurodegenerative disorders, alcohol abstinence-induced withdrawal symptoms, Immunomodulatory activity, pregnant women for reducing complications during Child birth, Hepatoprotective activity, hypolipidimic activity (Hussain 2011, Gautam 2009, Jameela 2011). Due to vast use as medicine, A.racemosus if found to be a great interest for researchers.
Phytomolecule present in A.racemosus roots are steroidal saponins like Shatavarins (I-IV) member of Sarsasapogenin glycoside, Fruits and Flowers have Flavonoids like quercetin, Rutin, Hyperoside; while in leaves diosgenin is present (Hayes 2008, Saxena 2001). Hence A.racemosus is used for many purposes in variety of diseases. But even due to its huge applications availability of A.racemosus is limited as it has been considered as endangered plant, and its conservation is needed (Negi 2011).
Saraca asoca (Lin. Saraca indica)
Commonly called as “Ashoka” and it is most ancient Plant used in Indian traditional Medicinal system since ages in Ayurveda, Sidhha and Unani. It belongs to family “Caesalpinaceae”. Ashoka word is derived from Sanskrit which means “No worry or Without Sorrow” (Pradhan 2009). Each part of asoca is considered to be used as medicine. All over the India it is treated as Sacred, since in every religious ritual it is used. Flowers are also used in temples. Important phyto constituents in Saraca asoca are Tannins, Saponins, glycosides, steroids, Flavonoids (Saha 2012). It is found to be having anti-microbial, anti-depressant, uterine sedative (Kashima 2012), anti-hypoglycemic (Preethi 2010}, anti-cancerous (Varghese 1992), anti-inflammatory (Li 2011), antimutagenic and genoprotective (Nag 2013), Serum progesterone level enhancer (Rajkumar 2008) etc. Saraca asoca is one of the most used plants in treatment of women related disorders as Ashokarisht (Kumar 2009). It has seen that after menopause women face problem in maintain the mental and physical balance in some cases; hence it may be very useful in these cases. Calcium level and progesterone level also decreases due to change in hormonal level after menopause (Arjmandi 2001). Due to which several complications like Osteoporosis (Wood1998) and postmenopausal rheumatoid Arthritis (Jochems2005). While in treatment of these disease Asoca isoflavones and Lignans can be very useful (Arjmandi2001, Sadhu2007). Not just in women related disorders, S.asoca has found to be effective against skin cancer and radiation mitigation by repairing the damaged cells through its potent anti-oxidant property (Cibin2010, Rao2010). S.asoca have found to be useful in preventing malaria cases by reducing the larva’s of mosquitoes and killing them inside the water body so decreasing the chance of mosquitoes to carry the malaria and several other severe harmful diseases (Mehdi2011, Mathew2009). During the regulation of oestrus induction, macro minerals regulation during the reproduction by regulating the serum progesterone is also been reported as one of the activity of S.asoca (Rajkumar2008a).