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International Journal of Pharmacology

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 5  |  Page No.: 535 - 550

Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. is Really a Plant of Heaven

Dinesh Kumar, Z.A. Bhat, P. Singh, M.Y. Shah and S.S. Bhujbal

Abstract

Over the past decade, herbal and ayurvedic drugs have become a subject of world importance, with both medicinal and economical implications. A regular and widespread use of herbs throughout the world has increased serious concerns over their quality, safety and efficacy. Thus, a proper scientific evidence or assessment has become the criteria for acceptance of herbal health claims. Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. is a tree belonging to family Simaroubaceae, indigenous to Central and Southern India. Commonly it is known as a plant of Heaven. The traditional claims, phytochemical investigations and pharmacological evaluation and some ayurvedic formulations provide the backbone to make this tree as a plant of Heaven. This is not wrong to say that it is largactil because it has number of activities. This review article explores the traditional knowledge or claims along with pharmacognostical, phytochemical, pharmacological and future aspects of this plant. Over many centuries humans have been mining the bounties of nature for discovering new phytoconstituent that have been used for the treatment of number of diseases; many such treatments are useful even today as modern day medicine. Emerging evidence also suggests that search is still continuing for harnessing active compounds from nature in combating human illnesses and it also leads the path to search out new active natural and novel semisynthetic or synthetic compounds.

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