Medicinal Plants Used For Liver Diseases

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Botanicals have been used traditionally by herbalists and indigenous healers worldwide for the prevention and treatment of liver disease. Clinical research in this century has confirmed the efficacy of several plants in the treatment of liver disease. Basic scientific research has uncovered the mechanisms by which some plants afford their therapeutic effects. Silybum marianum (milk thistle) has been shown to have clinical applications in the treatment of toxic hepatitis, fatty liver, cirrhosis, ischemic injury, radiation toxicity, and viral hepatitis via its anti-oxidative, anti-lipid per-oxidative, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, unaccommodating, and liver regenerating effects. Picrorhiza kurroa, though less well researched than Silybum, appears to have similar applications and mechanisms of action. When compared with Silybum, the hepatoprotective effect of Picrorhiza was found to be similar, or in many cases, superior to the effect of Silybum.

Indian Medicinal Plants Used in Liver disease: A Short Review

Liver disease is one of the serious health problems. Herbal drugs play a major role in the treatment of hepatic disorders. In the absence of reliable liver hepatoprotective drugs in modern medicine, in India a number of medicinal plants and their formulations are used to cure hepatic disorders in traditional system of medicines In Himalayan region there are many plants which are use in liver diseases. In this review, Indian medicinal plants having hepatoprotective property are summarized in terms of their biological source, active constituents and biological activity.

Chronic liver diseases are a major health burden worldwide, with liver cirrhosis being the ninth leading cause of death in Western countries.1 Treatments of chronic viral hepatitis B and C have greatly improved lately, whereas therapies of metabolic, toxic, and genetic liver disease are still at best modestly effective. Largely unmet is the need to treat established cirrhosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLDs) and prevent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). With this in mind, the widespread and increasing use of herbal drugs in patients with liver disease is not surprising. Herbals that interfere with progression of liver fibrosis have been studied extensively in experimental and clinical settings, and some are currently tested in clinical trials on chronic viral hepatitis, NAFLD, and HCC. Prominent examples of herbals used to treat liver diseases are listed in Table (Silymarin is addressed in a separate article in this series.

1 Introduction

As a proverb goes, “a closed mouth catches no flies.” Selecting the best food for the mouth is essential for good health, especially the health of the liver. The liver is the largest digestive gland in the body playing a major role in metabolism of various substances. The liver is also under the great load of conducting various functions for the survival of the host, including detoxification, breakdown of red blood cells and substances, synthesis of proteins and hormones, and storing glycogen, as well as holding a reservoir of blood . Any damage that weakens the functioning of the liver is called liver disease including liver cancer . Currently food of plant origin is consumed more frequently for human health and leafy plants or plant parts are eaten usually as vegetables Generally speaking, all the plants, plant parts, and their ingredients which we ingest are related to the health of the liver because of the existence of enterohepatic circulation and hepatic detoxification

Dietary and medicinal prevention or treatment of liver disease by plant-based stuff is an essential constituent of complementary and alternative medicine [7]. Human has a long history of consuming edible plants for food and survival and now still consumes a wide variety of wild and semi-domesticated food plants, domesticated crops, vegetables, fruits, and plant food supplements, as well as plants for medicinal use [8–11]. In spite of the long history and wide distribution of use, the knowledge of the impact of these plants on the liver remains incomplete [12]. In addition, the known knowledge of botany-hematology as a discipline can be used to learn new knowledge in the era of molecular medicine, and many of the traditional views and opinions gained through experience need to be confirmed by modern technology on the basis of evidence . In a tremendous body of countless plants, finding the best ones with edible or potable elements for liver health presents too much a challenge to the researchers of liver disease. Based on the most recent literature s in the area, this paper reviews the impact of plants consumption on the health of the liver, with special emphasis on the positive and negative influence of dietary and medicinal plants on liver function.

2. Wild and Semi-domesticated Food Plants Good for Liver

There is a very long history of consumption of domesticated and cultivated food plants including crops, fruits, and vegetables. People should have gained a lot of knowledge about the effects of these foods on human health. For example, the earliest domestication of common millet in East Asia can be dated to the Neolithic era 10,000 years ago . However, both animal and human studies on many of these plants, like berries, carrot, grapes, ginger, green tea, pistachio, pomegranate, tomato, and wheat, have yielded conflicting results; thus, it is now still very hard to recommend what is the best estimate of the amount of these plants a person consumes for liver health

The wild and semi domesticated food plants are now consumed as supplements to the domesticated foods and as main foods to suppress hunger at times of food shortage in underdeveloped world . For example, the Northeast region of Thailand is regarded as the largest and poorest portion of the country. In anthropocentric areas there, wild food plants are a fundamental part of the diet for vulnerable farmer households and acquisition of wild food plants improves the readiness of seasonal crop throughout the year . Forms of wild food plants include aquatic herb, bamboo, climber, rattan, terrestrial herb and tree, and edible parts of these plants cover shoot, flower, fruit, whole plant, leaves, clad-ode, seed, tuber, rhizome, stalk of flower, and stem

Reduction-oxidation (re dox) state represents a crucial background of various liver disorders. There is always the paradox of oxygen use in metabolism for the existence of life. On one hand, oxygen is fundamental for the organism to survive. On the other hand, oxygen as a strong reactive molecule devastates the organism by generating reactive oxygen species. The organism in turn develops an antioxidant network to prevent this damage. Oxidation reaction can generate free radicals which can damage cell membranes and cause diseases. The imbalance between production of reactive oxygen species and the system’s defense represents oxidative stress which is one of the essential pathogenic factors in numerous liver diseases including inflammatory, metabolic and proliferative ones and antioxidants are chemicals rich in many food plants and can be used as prevention and treatment of such diseases . Almost all chronic liver diseases are under the background of elevated oxidative stress. The organism maintains various systems of antioxidants which could be simply divided into enzymatic and non enzymatic categories

Protective role of Indian medicinal plants against liver damage Ram VishalIndia is the largest producer of medicinal plants. The medicinal plants have very important role in the health of human beings as well as animals. As per the WHO estimates, about three quarters of the world’s population currently use herbs and other traditional medicines to cure various diseases, including liver disorders. Hence, several phytomedicines (medicinal plants or herbal drugs) are now used for the prevention and treatment of various liver disorders.Herbal drugs have gained importance and popularity in recent years because of their safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness. The Indian Traditional Medicine like Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani are predominantly based on the use of plant materials. The association of medical plants with other plants in their habitat also influences their medicinal values in some cases. One of the important and well documented uses of plant products is their use as hepatoprotective agents. Hence, there is an ever increasing need for safe hepatoprotective agent. In spite of tremendous strides in modern medicine, there are hardly any drugs that stimulate liver function, offer protection to the liver from damage or help regeneration of hepatic cell. Many formulations containing herbal extracts are sold in the Indian market for liver disorders. But management of liver disorders by a simple and precise herbal drug is still an intriguing problem. Several Indian medicinal plants have been extensively used in the Indian traditional system of medicine for the management of liver disorder. Some of these plants have already been reported to posse’s strong antioxidant activity.Liver Diseases and Medicinal Plants Liver, the largest gland is a vital organ. It is the metabolic “engine-room of the body”. Almost all the drugs, foods and water constituents are metabolized and detoxified in the liver, and as such it is often exposed to maladies resulting in a number of clinical syndromes. Many chemicals, foods, drugs and infections (parasitic, bacterial, viral or fungal) can cause variety of liver diseases such as hepatitis, jaundice, cirrhosis, liver cancer, etc. Liver has a pivotal role in regulation of physiological processes. It is involved in several vital functions such as metabolism, secretion and storage. Furthermore, detoxification of a variety of drugs and xenobiotics occurs in liver. The bile secreted by the liver has, among other things, an important role in digestion. Liver diseases are among the most serious ailment. They may be classified as acute or chronic hepatitis

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