Phytochemical, Botanical and Biological Paradigm of Astavarga Plants-The Ayurvedic Rejuvenators
Balkrishna A, Mishra RK, Sharma N, Sharma VK and Misra L*
Journal Title:Journal of Natural & Ayurvedic Medicine
Astavarga is nature's most extravagant group of flowering plants found in Himalayan region. As the name Astavarga indicates, it contains eight medicinal plants belonging to Zingiberaceae, Orchidaceae and Liliaceae family viz, Kakoli, Kshirakakoli, Meda, Mahameda, Jeevak, Risbhaka, Riddhi and Vridddhi. As per Ayurveda this group of medicinal plants is classified as Rasayana (Rejuvenation) and is important constituents of preparations like Chyawanprasha rasayan, Ashtavarga churna, Brimhanigutika and Vajikaraghrita, etc. Astavarga plants are mostly used to treat sexual disorders, physical weakness, body pain, strengthen the immune system and as an overall tonic. The plants under this group have been the subject of limited biochemical phytochemical and biological activities investigations. Taking into consideration the therapeutic significance of Astavarga plants as described in the ancient Ayurvedic system of medicine, the detailed phytochemical and pharmacological studies appear imperative to scientifically validate the ancient claims. Thus, the present review article provides detailed information on the Ayurvedic uses, habit and habitats, botanical descriptions, chemical constituents and biological activities reported for this important group of plants. The chemical structures of the isolated compounds from these plants and their reported biological activities in the literature have also been included. The information provided in the present review may stimulate the researchers to explore their phytochemical and pharmacological properties which have not yet been attempted, comprehensively. It will generate the interest on “reverse pharmacology” approach to validate the knowledge that has been known from ancient times.