Nature has provided humankind with a complete ware house of restorative medicines to treat minor to major diseases.
Natural medicines are those which are obtained from the stuff of nature. This includes plant parts such as leaves, fruits, bark, roots, flowers, vines, and effective vitamins and minerals contained in them. They are of natural origin that so technically can’t be regulated by the FDA but quality of any foreign excipiente must be regulated.
Natural sources as anti-inflammatory agents is gaining importance due to toxicity profile and adverse effects of allopathic medicines. In-spite of the progresses in modern medicine, it has been outlined that more than 70% of the world’s population in developing countries still depends on conventional and alternative systems of medicine.
Inflammation can lead to redness, pain and swelling and it is tied to cardiovascular risk, Alzheimer disease, rheumatoid arthritis etc. It is a hallmark of all diseases.
The medicinal plants contain chemical constituents which chemically resembles in structure with steroids and clinical inspections by modern researchers have supported their importance as anti-inflammatory medications. Several tissue factors or mechanisms are known to be involved in the inflammatory reactions of phytochemicals such as release of histamine, bradykinin, prostaglandins and several inflammatory mediators.
Below I am describing an overview of 10 different medicinal plants which can be modified into low side effect pharmaceuticals to tackle inflammation.
- Malva neglecta Wallr:
It is a very commonly found herb in almost all regions of the world. It reduces the expression and production of inflammatory agents which has been found to be less with ibuprofen and betamethasone as compare to Malva neglecta extract. This extract has been described to be effective in preventing and treating other maladies associated with inflammation and tissue damage.
- Malva sylvestris:
Malva sylvestris is used in traditional medicine has numerous clinical indications, such as gastrointestinal diseases, skin disorders, menstrual pains, urinary tract infections, respiratory tract infections which are connected to inflammatory responses.
The extracts of aerial parts of this plant possess distinctive substances which are responsible for main anti-inflammatory outcomes. The extract of leaves is also able to reduce topical inflammation because of anti-bacterial activity. Active compounds present in it are scopoletin, quercetin, malvidin and ferulic acid which are responsible for anti-inflammatory activity.
- Hibiscus rosa- sinensis:
It is a very powerful plant in inhibiting prostaglandin responsible for inflammation,pain and fever. Synthesis of this inflammation causing agent is blocked by Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Leaves of this plant produced anti-acute inflammatory activity. It is involved in the inhibition of cyclooxygenase, a mediator of inflammation, and the white Hibiscus specie is more potent than the red specie.
- Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn:
Essential oil extracted from aromatic plants have been shown to exhibit significant anti-inflammatory activity. Essential oil are regarded as food supplements/ingredients and they are one form of natural medicine. Ethanolic extract of H. sabdariffa calyx show significant inhibition of ear swelling. The essential oil extracted from H. Sabdariffa has a beneficial effect against inflammatory diseases.
- Sida cordifolia Linn:
Aerial parts of S. cordifolia has been popular from the previous decade in Indian Ayurveda system of medicine. Its traditional medicinal uses include inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory activity has been established in edematous conditions. Inflammation worsens the edema in all parts of the body.
- Sida acuta Burm:
Sida acuta produced the effect by inhibiting inflammatory receptors, preventing release by interference with excitation secretion coupling or by antagonizing the interaction between antigen-antibody complex and mast cells. Flavonoids contained in Sida acuta are one of its main active anti-inflammatory constituent.
- Adansonia digitata:
Adansonia digitata possess large number of biological properties including antimicrobial and antiinflammatory activities among all family members. Phytochemical composition indicated the the presence of flavonoids, sterols, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Particularly seeds are composed of significant amounts of amino acids, calcium and iron.
- Pelargonium graveolens:
P.graveolens is medically used to treat inflammation related disorders, has been reported in Iran, India, Turkey, and most of European countries. The extract of its flowers is very effective in inflammatory phase of wound healing. P. graveolens whole plant extract showed anti-inflammatory potential in colitis treatment.
Traditionally, the paste formed from fruits, leaves and roots of Thespesia populnea is applied locally for their anti-inflammatory effects to reduce swelling of joints. Gossypol was found to important constituent of Thespesia populnea which is responsible for anti-inflammatory effects. It is very beneficial in the treatment of arthritis because of its excellent anti-inflammatory potential.
- Malva parviflora:
Dry powder and infusion made by roots and leaves of Malva parviflora is used by traditional herbalists to treat inflammation in wounds and sores in South Africa. A hot poultice made from leaves is used to treat swelling and is formulated into a lotion to treat bruised and damaged limbs. It is very commonly found in all regions and all weather conditions.
Author: Sana Khalid
Sana Khalid, the Inspired Pharmacist, through her inspirational articles wants to let people know that while treating any disease, we should always give nature the first chance. Her research-driven articles are about evaluating and experimenting natural substances.