A review on ethnopharmacological utility, traditional knowledge and phytochemistry of Aristolochia species in Assam, India
Aristolochia L. (Aristolochiaceae) is widely used throughout South-East Asia for the treatment of several diseases. Different species of this genus are known by similar local names in Assam. This review aims to provide up-to-date information on Aristolochia species distributed in Assam, including its traditional uses, phytochemical and pharmacological properties, in exploring future therapeutic and scientific potentials. The information on ethnobotany, phytochemistry and pharmacological aspects were collected by performing literature searches. Assam hosts a total of six species of Aristolochia. The taxonomy and distribution are presented. Traditionally the tubers are used by the local people to treat stomach pain, malaria, dysentery, high blood pressure, body pain, urinary tract infections, headache, impotency etc. It has considerable pharmacological properties including antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, anti-fertility, anti-venom, anti-diarrhoeal, anti-pruritic, anti-feedant and toxicological activities. Approximately a total of 200 compounds have been isolated from these species. So far, pharmacological investigations are only done on three Aristolochia species, whereas the other three are simultaneously used for the same purposes. Most of the medicinal properties attributed to these Aristolochia, have not yet been investigated and proven under a scientific study. This highlights the importance of Aristolochia as a valuable candidate for future studies.
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