Overview of Himalayan Medicinal Plants and Phytomedicine


Authors : Prashant Neupane, Janardan Lamichhane

Volume/Issue : Volume 5 - 2020, Issue 2 - February

Google Scholar : https://goo.gl/DF9R4u

Scribd : https://bit.ly/39E6JZc

Abstract : Modern exploration of medicinal plants, used in traditional systems for curing infection and maintaining holistic health, have revealed high therapeutic value against infectious and chronic conditions. Traditional medicines which rely on multicomponent mixtures of medicinal plants and their complex interactions are finding renewed relevance in disease management. Recent understanding that majority of diseases are multi-factorial and targeting a single cause of a disease by a single drug may not deliver satisfactory treatment results has increased the acceptance of multicomponent therapies in western medicine. Such strategies have been particularly important in treating diseases such as HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, different Cancers, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Diabetes, Hypertension and Inflammation among others. The increasing popularity and acceptability of herbal medicine has raised concerns regarding the standardization, therapeutic efficiency, chemical integrity, drug-herb and herb-herb interaction and adverse reactions. Hence, coordinated research and clinical trials are necessary to study the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines as well as to determine the mechanism of actions. Moreover, it is imperative to develop delivery systems that target multiple and overlapping pathways in order to effectively deliver multiple active agents, increase bioavailability and concentration of therapeutic agents at the target. Himalayan medicinal plants from remote and virgin habitats long been regarded as sources of new therapeutic lead remain unexplored under modern technological advancement. Ethnopharmacology guided selection and high-throughput bioactivity screening can translate the potential of these medicinal plants into therapeutically significant biopharmaceuticals.

Keywords : Medicinal Plants; Phytotherapy; Drug Discovery; Active compounds; Disease Management; Ethnopharmacology.

Modern exploration of medicinal plants, used in traditional systems for curing infection and maintaining holistic health, have revealed high therapeutic value against infectious and chronic conditions. Traditional medicines which rely on multicomponent mixtures of medicinal plants and their complex interactions are finding renewed relevance in disease management. Recent understanding that majority of diseases are multi-factorial and targeting a single cause of a disease by a single drug may not deliver satisfactory treatment results has increased the acceptance of multicomponent therapies in western medicine. Such strategies have been particularly important in treating diseases such as HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, different Cancers, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Diabetes, Hypertension and Inflammation among others. The increasing popularity and acceptability of herbal medicine has raised concerns regarding the standardization, therapeutic efficiency, chemical integrity, drug-herb and herb-herb interaction and adverse reactions. Hence, coordinated research and clinical trials are necessary to study the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines as well as to determine the mechanism of actions. Moreover, it is imperative to develop delivery systems that target multiple and overlapping pathways in order to effectively deliver multiple active agents, increase bioavailability and concentration of therapeutic agents at the target. Himalayan medicinal plants from remote and virgin habitats long been regarded as sources of new therapeutic lead remain unexplored under modern technological advancement. Ethnopharmacology guided selection and high-throughput bioactivity screening can translate the potential of these medicinal plants into therapeutically significant biopharmaceuticals.

Keywords : Medicinal Plants; Phytotherapy; Drug Discovery; Active compounds; Disease Management; Ethnopharmacology.

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