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J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jul;71(1-2):23-43.

Review on some plants of Indian traditional medicine with antioxidant activity.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Bologna, Via Irnerio, 48, 40126, Bologna, Italy.


A lot of medicinal plants, traditionally used for thousands of years, are present in a group of herbal preparations of the Indian traditional health care system (Ayurveda) named Rasayana proposed for their interesting antioxidant activities. Among the medicinal plants used in ayurvedic Rasayana for their therapeutic action, some of these have been throughly investigated. In the present paper seven plants (Emblica officinalis L., Curcuma longa L., Mangifera indica L., Momordica charantia L., Santalum album L., Swertia chirata Buch-Ham, Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) are viewed for their historical, etymological, morphological, phytochemical and pharmacological aspects. The plants described contain antioxidant principles, that can explain and justify their use in traditional medicine in the past as well as the present. In order to identify the plants with antioxidant activity in Ayurveda, a formulation of some rasayanas with well defined antioxidant properties has been examinated. For this purpose, we have considered Sharma's work on the preparation MAK4, MAK5, MA631, MA 471, MA Raja's Cup, MA Student Rasayana, MA Ladies Rasayana.

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