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Phytomedicinal importance of Saraca asoca (Ashoka): an exciting past, an emerging present and a promising future

Singh, Satpal and Krishna, Anantha TH and Kamalraj, Subban and Kuriakose, Gini C and Valayil, Jinu Mathew and Jayabaskaran, Chelliah (2015) Phytomedicinal importance of Saraca asoca (Ashoka): an exciting past, an emerging present and a promising future. In: CURRENT SCIENCE, 109 (10). pp. 1790-1801.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/48/42/423001 ...

Abstract

Since the dawn of civilization, natural resources have remained the mainstay of various remedial approaches of humans vis-a-vis a large number of illnesses. Saraca asoca (Roxb.) de Wilde (Saraca indica L.) belonging to the family Caesalpiniaceae has been regarded as a universal panacea in old Indian Ayurvedic texts and has especially been used to manage gynaecological complications and infections besides treating haemmorhagic dysentery, uterine pain, bacterial infections, skin problems, tumours, worm infestations, cardiac and circulatory problems. Almost all parts of the plant are considered pharmacologically valuable. Extensive folkloric practices and ethnobotanical applications of this plant have even lead to the availability of several commercial S. asoca formulations recommended for different indications though adulteration of these remains a pressing concern. Though a wealth of knowledge on this plant is available in both the classical and modern literature, extensive research on its phytomedicinal worth using state-of-the-art tools and methodologies is lacking. Recent reports on bioprospecting of S. asoca endophytic fungi for industrial bioproducts and useful pharmacologically relevant metabolites provide a silver lining to uncover single molecular bio-effectors from its endophytes. Here, we describe socio-ethnobotanical usage, present the current pharmacological status and discuss potential bottlenecks in harnessing the proclaimed phytomedicinal worth of this prescribed Ayurvedic medicinal plant. Finally, we also look into the possible future of the drug discovery and pharmaceutical R&D efforts directed at exploring its pharma legacy.

Item Type: Journal Article
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Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the INDIAN ACAD SCIENCES, C V RAMAN AVENUE, SADASHIVANAGAR, P B #8005, BANGALORE 560 080, INDIA
Keywords: Drug discovery; herbal medicine; Saraca asoca; natural products; plant extracts
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2016 09:44
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2016 09:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/53009

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