Possible therapeutic potential of Helicteres isora (L.) and it’s mechanism of action in diseases
Renu Dayal, Amrita Singh, Rudra P. Ojha, K. P. Mishra
Many indigenous medicinal plants possess promising therapeutic properties, but experimental demonstration of specific active compound is lacking. Recent research findings suggest that bioactive fractions derived from a reverberated medicinal plant, namely, Helicteres isora (L.) possesses many therapeutic properties. Different plant extracts are known to cure diarrhea, diabetes, snakebite, weakness and various skin ailments. The present review is an attempt to briefly provide a scientific rationale for indigenously claimed therapeutic potential of bioactive fractions derived after extraction from H. isora against various diseases. Reports have shown that the extracts from bark, fruits and root possess antioxidant, anti-dysenteric, anti-diabetic and antimicrobial properties. The fruit extract of H. isora have been reported to exhibit free radical scavenging activities, ability to induce toxicity in tumor cells and protection to normal cells. However, most of the reports are limited to in vitro systems. Therefore, comprehensive laboratory studies and clinical trials are warranted to ratify the indigenous medicinal claims on H. isora plant. This paper is aimed to contribute to better understanding and in establishing a base for the development of H. isora related herbalformulation(s) that may enable us fight against many diseases including cancer.
Fig.: Pictures showing (a) Shade dried leaves, (b) Fresh fruit, (c) Shade dried fruits of Helicteres isora with seeds (on a centimeter scale). All the images are from our own collection.