Herbal therapy has been an important part of health and wellness for hundreds of years. The renewed interest in medicinal plants has focused on herbal cures among indigenous populations around the world. Recent surveys have indicated that worldwide people now make more visits to healthcare professionals who specialize in alternative medicine than to doctors who practice conventional medicine. It is hoped that extracts from herbs will add new medicinal plants to the world’s pharmacopoeia before they are lost forever that too particularly against viral infection. Based on the ethnobotanical data and the information collected from Siddha/Ayurvedic practitioners of India, extracts obtained from Boerhavia diffusa, Eclipta alba and Phyllanthus amarus will be having great potential in curing various viral infections.
- Boerhavia diffusa
- Eclipta alba
- Phyllanthus amarus
For hundreds of years, herbal therapy has played a major role in maintaining the health and wealth of people around the world. For treatment of various illnesses, herbs are widely used. In most of the developing countries, nowadays, people prefer alternative medicine than conventional medicine indicated by a recent survey. Many publications and books claim the proficiency of herbs for the treatment of various illnesses including cirrhosis, hepatitis, and other deadly diseases. It has been observed widely that the medicinal plants and traditional medicines are used as a normative basis for maintaining good health .
In the process of developing many drugs, an increasing demand for the use of medicinal plant-derived products in the industries has been found . For personal health maintenance, herbal remedies have become more popular in treatment of minor ailments. Due to increasing demand, there is a great risk that the existing medicinal plants on earth might disappear. Thus an important component of the health care system in a country like India is medicinal plants.
Chemical compounds obtained from plant source are termed as secondary plant products. Alkaloids and glycosides are the two major compounds present. In 4000 plant species, more than 3000 alkaloids have been identified. The difference between a toxic and medicinal effect of many alkaloids depends upon the dosage. When a sugar molecule gets attached to component which is active, it is called as glycoside which is categorized by the nature of the active component or nonsugar.
Clinical research of the present era has confirmed the ability of many medicinal plants in treating various viral diseases, while many recent scientific research have discovered the exact mechanism by which many different plants provide their therapeutic advantages. Three such plants are
2. Boerhavia diffusa
2.1 Origin and distribution
Kingdom - Plant Kingdom
Sub class -Monochlamydeae
Binomial name -
Br, Brl, O, [+], P5, A, G
2.2 Chemical constituents
The main component 2-glucopyranose-4-hydroxy-5-[P-hydroxyphenyl]-propionyldiphenyl methane was found in the roots of the plant. Many steroids, triterpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, lipids, lignins, proteins, carbohydrates and glycoproteins are mostly found . Punarnavine, hypoxanthine 9-L-arabinofuranoside, ursolic acid, boeravinone, punarnavoside and liirodendrin have been purified and elucidated in detail for their biological activity with antiviral properties. Large amount of potassium nitrate is mostly found in this plant. The entire plant has huge percentage of proteins and fats. It also contains 14 amino acids in root, out of which 7 are essential amino acids. Punarnavoside is an antifibrinolytic compound isolated from the roots of
Pharmacological studies have demonstrated strong antiviral properties. Wide diuretic properties have been found in punarnavoside obtained from Punarnava, apart from that anthelmintic, antifibrinolytic, anticonvulsant, antibacterial, antihepatotoxic, antiasthmatic and antinematodal activity have also been observed. Against various abnormal production of liver enzymes AST, ALT and pigment bilirubin, the aqueous root extracts of
Drugs obtained from this herb, given either alone or in combination with other drugs were found to be effective in killing many virus for disorders pertaining to liver, infections of the respiratory tract and heart disease . Against various bacteria, the purified form of glycoprotein obtained from
2.4 Antiviral activity of
Against potato virus X,
3.1 Origin and distribution
In the tropical and subtropical regions of the earth.
Binomial name -
Br, Brl, O, %, Kα, C, A, G
3.2 Chemical constituents
In the year 1991, a new aldehyde was isolated from this plant. The leaves of this plant contain a-terthienyl methanol, 2-formyl-terthienyl, stigmasterol, de-me-wedelolactone 7-O-glucosides and wedelolactone . Aerial parts of the plant contain β-amyrin, wedelolactone, phytosterol A, luteolin-7-glucoside and its glucosides .
In Ayurveda and in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, this species is widely used. It is used as liver tonic, rejuvenative and also widely used for better growth of hair . The whole plant is used as ophthalmic, purgative, astringent, deobstruent, depurative, emetic, febrifuge, tonic and styptic. It is used internally for the treatment of anemia and diphtheria, dropsy and liver complaints , tinnitus, premature greying of the hair and tooth loss. It is also widely used for many external applications like oil for hair loss, dermatitis, wounds and even for athlete’s foot . For treating scorpion stings, its leaves are used. The plant juice is widely used for catarrhal problems and for those having increased production of bilirubin.
At the time of flowering, this plant is mostly harvested and is dried for further use. The roots are purgative and emetic. In cattle, it act as antiseptic to cure ulcers and wounds. In Ayurvedic medicine, the leaves of this plant are used a liver tonic. The dye produced from
To treat eczema and dermatitis,
3.4 Antiviral activity of
Against many viruses, the extracts of
4.1 Origin and distribution
In all tropical regions of the planet,
Kingdom - Plantae
Division - Angiospermae
Class - Dicotyledoneae
Order - Tubiflorae
Family - Euphorbiaceae
Binomial name -
Br, Ebrl, p, A5 G
4.2 Chemical constituents
Some of the secondary metabolites that are present in
Parts of this plant
4.4 Antiviral activity of
Evaluation of antiviral activity of
In conclusion, in the existing scenario, there is an essential need for the development of new antiviral drugs. As on date there are many epidemiological studies that have evaluated different targets of these antivirals and promising results were obtained. Still a lot of research is needed to find out the actual potential for human use. In comparison to synthetic counterparts, extracts obtained from
|Plant||Parts used||Benefits||Information obtained from||Reference|
|Roots||In the treatment of piles. Root paste is used to cure bloody dysentery. It is also used for leukorrhea, rheumatism and stomach ache. The root juice is used in treating asthma, scanty urine and internal inflammation disorders.||India||Mitra and Gupta |
|Flowers, leaf and roots||Remedy for catarrh in infants, toothache, headache and roots are emetic and purgative||India||Puri |
|Entire plant||Remedy for the treatment of bleeding, hemoptysis, hematuria and itching, hepatitis, diphtheria and diarrhea||Taiwan|
|Entire plant||As a cooling and restorative herb, which supports the mind, nerves, liver and eyes||China|
|Aerial parts of the plant||Used in the treatment of liver, kidney and bladder problems. Also used for diabetes and intestinal parasites||Many parts of the world||Chevallier |
|Entire plant||Kidney stones||Spain||Houghton et al. |
|Entire plant||Used to eliminate gall bladder and kidney stones, and to treat gall bladder infections||South America|
|Entire plant||Used in traditional medicine to treat liver diseases, asthma and bronchial infections||India||Foo |