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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2012  |  Volume: 15  |  Issue: 16  |  Page No.: 754 - 774

Immunomodulatory and Therapeutic Potentials of Herbal, Traditional/Indigenous and Ethnoveterinary Medicines

Mahima, Anu Rahal, Rajib Deb, Shyma K. Latheef, Hari Abdul Samad, Ruchi Tiwari, Amit Kumar Verma, Amit Kumar and K. Dhama    

Abstract: Herbs/Botanical plants are considered as God’s gift to human beings in the form of natural medicines, like the one well known “Sanjeevani booti” described in Hindu Mythology. The traditional and ethno-veterinary practices have been in use for centuries, transferring the knowledge from generation to generation and they are accessible, easy to prepare and administer, with little or no cost at all. Even though the modern developments in therapeutic field brought about a rapid decline in traditional medicine, the plant-based remedies are still having a crucial role as potential source of therapeutic aids in health systems all over the world for both humans and animals. Among the 21,000 medicinal plants listed by the World Health Organization (WHO), 2500 species are native to India, which stands first in the production of medicinal herbs. This innumerable treasure of medicinal herbs brings India the distinction of ‘the botanical garden of the world’. Nowadays immune-based therapies are gaining more importance than monovalent approaches which are having limited benefits. Apart from the actions like treating diseases, control of ecto- and endo-parasites, fertility enhancement, bone setting and poor mothering management, an array of herbal medicines have been reported which are having immunomodulatory effects like modulation of cytokine secretion, histamine release, immunoglobulin secretion, class switching, cellular co-receptor expression, lymphocyte expression, phagocytosis and so on. The present article describes in brief few of these important ones viz., ashwagandha, amla, tulsi, arjuna, aloe vera, garlic, turmeric, ginger, shatavari, neem, guduchi, kiwifruit, tut, kamala, palashlata, kokilaksha etc. being used for human and animal health benefits.

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