Immunomodulatory and Therapeutic Potentials of Herbal, Traditional/Indigenous
and Ethnoveterinary Medicines
Shyma K. Latheef,
Hari Abdul Samad,
Amit Kumar Verma,
Herbs/Botanical plants are considered as Gods 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.
to cite this article:
Mahima, Anu Rahal, Rajib Deb, Shyma K. Latheef, Hari Abdul Samad, Ruchi Tiwari, Amit Kumar Verma, Amit Kumar and K. Dhama, 2012. Immunomodulatory and Therapeutic Potentials of Herbal, Traditional/Indigenous
and Ethnoveterinary Medicines. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 15: 754-774.
Received: October 04, 2012;
Accepted: December 10, 2012;
Published: February 11, 2013
In 21st century, world is facing the problem of population growth, increase
in the incidences of the disease, unemployment and change in ethical values
(Mahima et al., 2012a). Due to development of
antibiotic resistance by the bacteria (Verma et al.,
2007; Lambey et al., 2009; Kumar
et al., 2011, 2012a, b)
and antiviral resistance (Verma et al., 2012)
by the viruses, the researchers are now thinking towards immunomodulation. The
term immunomodulation is generally used to describe the pharmacological manipulation
of the state of activity of the immune system. Immunomodulators either make
an increase or decrease in the magnitude of immune response. The augmentation
of immune response is known as immunostimulation/immunopotentiation while suppression
of immune responsiveness is termed as immunosuppression (Chauhan,
2010). From a therapeutic point of view, immunomodulation refers to a process
and a course of action in which an immune response is altered to a desired level
(Archana et al., 2011). The development of science
and biotechnology particularly in field of nutrition leads to the formation
of designer milk (Mahima et al., 2012b) and
designer eggs (Mahima et al., 2012c) that can
also be used for enhancing the immunity (Mahima et al.,
2012d). The uses of herbal plants as health promoters are gaining increasing
attention in both consumer and scientific circle (Upadhayay
et al., 2011; Hashemi and Davoodi, 2012).
Various physiological products, microbial products, synthetic chemicals, cow
therapy (panchgavya) (Verma, 2005) and herbal products
have immunomodulation property. Among these, the herbs exhibit an array of diverse
biological activity such as antistress, adaptogenic, anti-ageing and immunomodulatory
activity. Many herbs are being used by veterinarians fruitfully to treat a variety
of conditions of animals as well as in birds (Dhama et
al., 2012). Herbs provide potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral
and antifungal benefits. Improvements have been shown or reported with those
suffering from flu, allergies, colds, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial/viral
infections, hepatitis, heart disease, asthma, skin infections, ageing, chemical
intoxication etc. and effective in treating cancers (Mathew
et al., 2010; Umashanker and Shruti, 2011).
Apart from infectious and systemic diseases, topical botanical/herbal application
is also effective for specific conditions like ear infections, wounds, burns
and skin irritations (Mizaei-Aghsaghali, 2012).
Herbs, traditional/indigenous plants and ethnoveterinary medicines, having
multiple beneficial advantages, have been used since long for strengthening
of body and its immune system and to keep away or fight against diseases. Nakul
Samhita, an Indian ancient literature, describes the treatment of animals
with many herbs, written about 5000 B.C. Our Ayurveda system of medicine, an
ancient medicinal system, is a good knowledge store for herbs and minerals having
medicinal properties. Several medicinal plants used in Indian traditional medicine
called Rasayanas which increases the resistance of the body against a variety
of infections have attracted the attention of many scientists. It is one among
the eight branches of Ayurveda which has been meant for nourishing and rejuvenating
drugs with multiple applications for longevity, memory enhancement, immunomodulation
and adaptogenic (Patwardhan and Gautam, 2005). Herbal
therapy is also popularly called as Rasayana Chikitsa. In our country
the ancient medicinal system of Ayurveda is a vast repository of knowledge in
herbals and minerals of medicinal properties. The rasayana drugs are endowed
with multiple properties like delaying ageing, improving mental functions and
preventing diseases (Sharma, 1983). Burgeoning interest
in medicinal herbs has increased scientific scrutiny of their therapeutic potential
and safety, thereby providing practitioners with data to help farmers make wise
decision about their use (OHara et al., 1998).
Ethnoveterinary medicine deals with peoples knowledge, skills, methods,
practices and beliefs about the care of their animals and to keep them healthy,
which are acquired through practical experience and has traditionally been passed
down orally from generation to generation (Toyang et al.,
2007). Since centuries before the introduction of western and allopathic
medicines, all livestock keepers relied on these traditional practices. According
to the World Health Organization, at the moment, at least 80% of people in developing
countries depend largely on these practices for the control and treatment of
various diseases. Limitations of synthetic drugs and chemicals in terms of higher
cost, anticipated toxicity and adverse effects are becoming known to the people.
On the other hand, the natural medicines are more suitable for animal and human
health care with the advantages of low cost and total safety (Rahal
and Kumar, 2009a). Some of them are studied scientifically by in vitro
and in vivo studies but most of them are yet to be scientifically validated.
In the era of emerging antibiotic resistance and residual effects in food products,
food safety concern, these can play wonderful role for safeguarding health of
humans and animals.
In the last few years there has been an exponential growth in the field of
herbal medicine and these drugs are gaining popularity both in developing and
developed countries because of their natural origin and less side effects. Many
traditional medicines in use are derived from medicinal plants, minerals and
organic matter. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed 21,000 plants,
which are used for medicinal purposes around the world. Among these 2500 species
are in India, out of which 150 species are used commercially on a fairly large
scale. India is the largest producer of medicinal herbs and is called as botanical
garden of the world (Umashanker and Shruti, 2011).
The country has one of the richest plants medical traditions in the world. There
are estimated to be around 25,000 effective plant-based formulations, used in
folk medicine and known to rural communities in India. There are over 1.5 million
practitioners of traditional medicinal system using medicinal plants in preventive,
promotional and curative applications. It is estimated that there are over 7800
medicinal drug-manufacturing units in India, which consume about 2000 tonnes
of herbs annually (Verma and Singh, 2008).
In literature many plants have been listed having immunomodulatory effect and some of them have been proved by using modern scientific methodologies. In this paper, few important herbs are discussed with their immunomodulatory action/properties either on laboratory animals, domestic animals or human beings.
IMMUNOMODULATORY AND MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF HERBAL AND TRADITIONAL/INDIGENOUS DRUGS
||Possess potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral
and antifungal benefits (Rios and Recios, 2005; Mizaei-Aghsaghali,
||Alleviate, reduces and/or helpful in preventing suffering from infectious
and systemic diseases (flu, allergies, colds, rheumatoid arthritis, bacterial/viral
infections, hepatitis, heart disease, asthma, skin infections, ageing, chemical
||Multiple immunomodulatory actions including modulation of cytokine secretion,
histamine release, immunoglobulin production, immunoglobulin class switching,
cellular co-receptor expression, lymphocyte proliferation and phagocytosis
promotion (Spelman et al., 2006)
||Topical application gives relief from ear infections, wounds, burns and
||Effective in treating and fighting the deadly malady of cancers (Kamiyama
et al., 2005)
||Helpful in delaying the process of ageing.
||Exhibit beneficial biological activity-antistress, adaptogenic and cytoprotective
(Patwardhan and Gautam, 2005)
||Improving mental functions and preventing diseases
||Enhances vaccine responses (Ragupathi et al.,
||Being natural medicines, they are safer
||Easily accessible, easy to prepare and administer
||Part of own traditional culture
||No perceived danger of evolving drug resistance
||Are cost effective
||Apart from their wide use in human health, many are also being used by
veterinarians to fruitfully treat a variety of conditions of animals, as
described below. (Blecha, 2001)
Benefits of herbal medicine over conventional therapies:
||Conventional medicine usually addresses symptoms while herbal
therapies can often improve or even reverse a condition by identifying and
treating the root cause. Therefore, are also effective in chronic conditions,
such as asthma, allergies, recurring skin conditions and cancers
||Works soothingly and are generally well tolerated by most animals
||Being natures medicine, are effective for many different conditions
||With fewer harmful side effects pose less risk than many pharmaceutical
||Easier to administer: Many herbal medicines are dispensed as a tincture
or tea that can be mixed with food or water thus can be much easier than
||Less adverse reactions
||Higher efficacy over time
||Do not show drug-resistance and serious environmental effects (Patwardhan
et al., 2004)
Documented systems of medicinal herbs include Chinese medicine, Japanese Kampo,
Tibetan herbs, Indian Ayurveda and African healing herbs. The promotive, preventive,
corrective and curative approach in health care and the medicinal plants pocessing
such properties are indeed the strength of the Indian Systems of Medicine (ISM).
The ancient masters of Ayurveda and Siddha organized, codified and synthesized
the medicinal wisdom with sophisticated theoretical foundation and philosophical
explanations. They adopted the fundamental doctrines of Darshana philosophy,
particularly the Nyaya, Sankhya and Vaiseshika, which encompassed
all sciences-physical, chemical, biological and spiritual. Nevertheless, the
holistic approach of ISM, more particularly of Ayurveda, which internalize all
aspects of health and diseases, is perhaps the greatest contribution of Indian
medicine (Pushpangadan, 2006). Indian medicinal plants
provide a rich source for antioxidants that are known to prevent/delay different
disease conditions. The medicinal plants also contain other beneficial compounds
like ingredients for functional foods. Hence, the global knowledge about Ayurveda
and Indian herbals are hopefully be enhanced by information on the evidence-base
of these plants. This ultimately helps in yielding rich dividends (Vaidya
and Devasagayam, 2007).
Modulation of immune response to alleviate diseases has long since been of
interest. Herbal medicines have always been a form of therapy for livestock
among resource poor smallholder farmers (Mizaei-Aghsaghali,
2012). Recently, there has been progress on the ethnomedicinal plants as
immunomodulatory agents because of the fact that plant extracts have been widely
investigated during last few decades in different parts of the world for their
possible immunomodulatory properties. In due course, several studies have demonstrated
the isolation of potential bioactive molecule and few have been tested as herbal
formulations. Several plant extracts, compounds and formulations have also been
Herbal medicines for infectious diseases: The use of herbs and botanical
extracts for antimicrobial property and immune enhancement has been practiced
from very old days in nearly every culture across the globe (Ahmad
et al., 2006; Roxas and Jurenka, 2007).
A number of plants, plant extracts and constituents have been identified as
having anti-microbial, antiviral or antifungal activities and are often considered
as immune enhancing (Rios and Recios, 2005). Spices such
as onion, garlic, mustard, red chilli, turmeric, clove, cinnamon, saffron, curry
leaf, fenugreek and ginger are some medicinal plants and dietary constituents
having antimicrobial, immunestimulating and antioxidant property (Rajendhran
et al., 1998; Tilak and Devasagayam, 2006).
Herbal medicines for non-infectious diseases and disorders: Herbal medicines
have a complex mode of action on various organs and systems due to active ingredients
present in them. They are supposed to have greater impact on different factors
that promote growth and health, by improving physiological and immunological
functions of body. Thus, they can be considered as more sustained and long term
solutions. Special contribution of these products has been proved on microsomal
system against liver dysfunctions and thereby is shown to be as efficient liver
protectants. Interestingly, it has been found that Nelumbo lucifera Gaertn
(Nymphaeaceae) is a well-known aquatic plant which has been used for the treatment
of several disorders including skin disease, cough, inflammation, fever etc
(Mukherjee et al., 2010).
Anti-cancer: Several herbal preparations are proved to boost up the
immune system and make the body to defend against future or existing cancer.
Some of the Indian herbs with anti-tumor property are echinacea, Aloe vera,
tulsi, turmeric, satavar, garlic, aqueous extracts of black pepper and cardamom
etc. Aromatherapy encompassing the use of essential oils derived from different
types of plant materials or parts that are claimed to possess therapeutic properties
is proven as an effective anticancer therapy (Boehm et
al., 2012). Another unique anticancer herb is green tea or black tea
which contains tumor growth inhibiting factors as well as other polyphenols,
vitamin C, carotene, fluoride, zinc, selenium (Mahima et
al., 2012e), manganese, potassium, niacin and folic acid. The black
tea contains theaflavins, which inhibits the chymotrypsin-like activity of the
proteasome and proliferation of human multiple myeloma cells (Mujtaba
and Dou, 2012). Chinese medicine also reveals various anticancerous herbal
preparations which are gaining attention nowadays (Efferth
et al., 2007). Moreover, in Chinese medicine, the anti-cancer activity
of a mushroom called Ling Zhi which contains triterpene as the active ingredient
has been evaluated by researchers. The cytotoxicity exerted by triterpene is
due to alteration of proteins involved in cell proliferation and or cell death,
carcinogenesis, oxidative stress, calcium signaling and ER stress (Majdalawieh
and Carr, 2010; Yue et al., 2010).
Immune enhancing activities: Several botanicals are found to have immune
enhancing activity, demonstrated by especially Chinese workers from time to
time. The immunostimulating activities of many of these components have been
most widely studied in mouse, chicken and human cell lines. Emerging evidence
indicates that herbal plants exert their beneficial effects on animal immune
system mostly by plant secondary metabolites. For example, Coriolus versicolor
extracts has unique potency for using as an adjuvant since it contains glucans
containing (1,4) backbone with (1,3) and (1,6) glucocytic linkages (Ng,
1998). Ginseng with its steroidal saponine, has immune-stimulating properties
including cytokine production (IL-2, IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ), macrophage
activation and lymphocyte activity. Saponins have ability to stimulate the cell-mediated
immune system, as well as to enhance the antibody production. Saponins reportedly
induce the production of cytokines such as interleukins and interferons. Meyer
saponins, Quillaja saponins and the butanol extract of Lonicera japonica
and de-acetylated saponin-1 administered on the nasal mucosa all stimulate
the immune response in vivo. Herbal plant polysaccharides, also has been
extensively studied for immunomodulatory effects. The polysaccharides obtained
from four Chinese herbs, Astragalus root, Isatis root, Achyranthes root and
Chinese Yam, considerably improves the antibody titre in vaccinated chicken
(Hashemi and Davoodi, 2012). Commercial preparations
of immunomodulatory herbs is shown in Table 1.
|| Commercial preparations of immunomodulatory herbs
IMPORTANT HERBAL AND TRADITIONAL MEDICINES
Neem (Azadirachta indica)
||Common names: Nimba/holy tree/vembu
||Active principle/compound: Azadirachtin, nimbin, gedunin, gallic
acid, catechin, NB-II peptidoglycan
Neem tree is known as the tree of the 21st century (United Nations Declaration).
It is regarded as a highly exploited medicinal plant of Indian origin, with
its every part (namely root, bark, wood, twig, leaf, flower, fruit, seed, kernel
and oil) having medicinal use. Neem plant extract stimulates phagocytic activity
and antigen presenting ability of macrophages. It stimulates cytokines and thereby
the immune system (Thatte and Dhanukar, 1997). It enhances
mitogenic response of spleenocytes to concanavalin-A (Con-A). It stimulates
production of IL-1, IFNγ and TNF-α reflecting activation of Th1 type
of response. Also enhances antibody titres against Newcastles disease
antigen in broiler chickens (Renu et al., 2003).
It is an effective antiseptic for the treatment of small pox. Aqueous extract
of neem possess anti-complement activity. The plant extracts are effective against
allergic disorders and limiting anaphylactic reactions. Feeding of neem leaves
increases immunity in immunosuppressed condition like IBD; antiviral activity
against duck plague virus in poultry (Xu et al.,
2012) and increase the survival rate in Asian seabass Lates calcarifer fingerlings
against Vibrio harveyi infection (Talpur and Ikhwanuddin,
2013). It prevents leukocyte apoptosis mediated by cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil
in mice. Neem oil selectively activates the cell mediated immune response by
activating macrophages and lymphocytes. As a bioinsecticide, neem has been reported
effective in the control of 400 insect species, including flies, spiders and
nematodes. It enhances DTH in psoriasis patients and has anti-leprotic action
Giloy (Tinospora cardifolia)
||Common names: Guduchi/giloy/amrita
||Active principle/compound: Tinosporone, tinosporic acid, berberine,
giloin. Alkaloids, diterpenoids, flavonoids and lignins
Guduchi means to rejuvenate dead cells. It is widely used in veterinary folk
medicine and has also been claimed to be beneficial according to Ayurveda
for the cure of jaundice, skin diseases, diabetes, anemia, emaciations and various
infections for its anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-allergic
properties (Chopra, 1982). It has immunopotentiating activities
and is anti-bacterial, anti-allergic, anti-diabetic, analgesic and diuretic.
It stimulates reticuloendothelial system, bone marrow cellularity and proliferation
of stem cells and enhances the haemopoietic growth factor and IL-3. It enhances
GSH and Vitamin C and so function as an effective antioxidant (Prince
et al., 2004). The aqueous extract of this plant is capable of increasing
leukocyte count in mice and it is also proven to have hepato-protective effect
(Ganguly and Prasad, 2011). This plant extracts showed
anti-neoplastic activity in cultured HeLa cells. The Cordifolioside A and syringing
present in the plant extract have immunomodulatory activity (Sharma
et al., 2012). It has anti-complementary activity and is a potent
hepatoprotectant so effective in preventing hepatotoxicity. Immunomodulatory
proteins in its stem increase the number of macrophages and its phagocytic activity
(Rege et al., 1999; Aranha
et al., 2012). It has been shown that mice pre-treated with G1-4A
exhibited protection against mortality due to lipopolysaccharide (Desai
et al., 2007). It is also helpful in prevention of cyclophosphamide
induced immunosuppression in mice. It has synergistic effect with cyclophosphamide
in reducing animal tumours. Also, the alcoholic extract of Tinospora cordifolia
has shown to activate tumor associated macrophages and showed antitumor
effect on the spontaneous T-cell lymphoma and may have some clinical implications
(Singh et al., 2004). It is being used as an
immunostimulant in HIV patients and also has action against avian influenza
viruses. Inhibition of ochratoxin A induced suppression of chemotactic activity
and production of IL-1 and TNF-α by mouse macrophages has been reported.
Polyclonal B cell mitogen (G1-4A) found in its stem extract enhanced immune
response in mice. By the activation of macrophages, it increases the granulocyte-macrophage
colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), leading to leukocytosis and improved neutrophil
function. It is having effect on classical complement pathway by inhibiting
C3-convertase (Thatte et al., 1994). Immunosuppression
due to cholestasis (obstructive jaundice) can be overcome by the use Giloy (Thatte
and Dahanukar, 1989).
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
||Active components: Triterpenoid saponins (Astragalosides), flavonoids
Astragalus membranaceus root has a long tradition in Chinese medicine. It is generally considered to have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and adaptogenic (stress-relieving) properties. Research shows that Astragalus root stimulates the immune system in many ways. It increases the number of stem cells in bone marrow and lymph tissue and encourages their development into active immune cells.
It also enhances the bodys production of immunoglobulin and stimulates
macrophages and can activate T-cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells Astragalus
stimulated NK-cell activity of human peripheral blood lymphocytes and restored
steroid-inhibited NK-cell activity (Mills and Bone, 2000).
Its traditional and modern usage is primarily for immune-related complaints
(frequent infections) or malignancies. Astragalus extracts and constituents
have been shown to enhance the activity of NK cells and lymphocyte activated
killing of tumors, as well as stimulate the activity of other immune cells such
as macrophages and B-cells. Much of the research on this herb is published in
Chinese and its usage is most often combined with several other herbal preparations
making specific dosing recommendations difficult. Astagalus is generally considered
safe with few reported adverse events (Cho and Leung, 2007).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
||Common names: Winter cherry/Indian ginseng
||Active principle/compound: Steroidal alkaloids and lactones (Withanolides,
Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen or vitalizer, with immunomodulatory (Kushwaha
et al., 2012), antitumour and cytoprotective properties (Mishra
et al,, 2000). It possess both immunostimulatory and immunosuppressive
properties. It prevents myelosuppression induced by cyclophosphamide, azathioprin
and prednisolone. It has the property of mobilization and activation of macrophages
(phagocytosis), increases activity of lysosomal enzymes and antistress activity
in mice and rat. These pharmacological activities are attributed to the presence
of several alkaloids and withanolides. Extracts of Ashwagandha has antioxidant
(Blecha, 2001) and detoxifying properties and reduces
tumor incidence in mice and increases serum T3 and T4 in mice. Anti-carcinogenic
effects in animal and cell cultures are due t o decreasing the expression of
nuclear factor-kappa B, suppressing intercellular tumor necrosis factor and
potentiating apoptotic signalling in cancerous cell lines. It has been shown
to be immunoprotective against Bordetella pertussis infection in animals
and possess better efficacy in inhibiting growth of breast and colon cancer
cell lines in compare to doxorubicin. It induces inhibition of delayed hypersensitivities.
Aswagandha has been proven to prevent stress induced changes in adrenal function
and enhance protein synthesis. Milk fortified with it increases total proteins
and body weight. Bharavi et al. (2010) has proven
that Withania somnifera root powder can prevent Cadmium-induced oxidative
stress in chicken.
Amla (Emblica officinalis)
||Common names: Indian gooseberry/amla
||Active principle/compound: Flavonoids, Kaempferol, ellagic acid
and gallic acid
Amla is well known for its anti-oxidant and detoxification properties along
with tonifying and antiaging effect (Saini et al.,
2008). As an adaptogen, amla improves immunity and augments both cell mediated
and humoral response. It enhances IL-2 and gamma-IFN production and inhibits
apoptosis. It enhances NK cell activity and Antibody Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity
(ADCC). It acts as an immunomodulator in repeated respiratory infections in
human beings. Amla possess anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. It
is a potent immunosuppressant as that of dexamethasone and can be used in arthritis
(Ganju et al., 2003). It helps to reduce inflammation
and oedema (Baliga and Dsouza, 2011). As a tonic, it
is prescribed for rejuvenation, recuperation and vitality. It inhibits immunosuppressive
effects of Chromium on lymphocyte proliferation. A high amount of Ascorbic acid
is present in the fruits of amla. It is useful for anaemia, jaundice and dyspepsia
in combination with iron (Sai Ram et al., 2002).
It can also be used to treat and prevent cancer (Baliga
and Dsouza, 2011).
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
||Common names: Tulasi/holy basil
||Active principle/compound: Oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, rosmarinic
acid, carvacrol, eugenol, β-caryophyllene
Tulsi is regarded as the Queen of plants/The mother medicine
of nature. It is an analgesic, anticancer, adaptogen or antistress agent
and also having antidiabetic property (Hussain et al.,
2001; Rahal and Kumar, 2009b). Its anti-oxidative
property and inhibition of lipid peroxidation are due to the presence of eugenol
(Gupta et al., 2002). Immunostimulant potential
of Tulsi is helpful in treatment of immunosuppression. It shows its immunomodulatory
effect by increase in IFN-Y, IL-4, T helper cells, NK cells (Mondal
et al., 2011) thus reducing total bacterial count, increasing neutrophil
and lymphocyte count and enhancing phagocytic activity and phagocytic index.
Oil from Tulsi seed can mediate GABAergic pathways and by this it can modulate
both humoral and cell-mediated immunity (Mediratta et
al., 2002). Aqueous extract showed immunotherapeutic potential in bovine
sub-clinical mastitis. It inhibits mast cell degranulation and histamine release
in presence of allergen. It is useful in constipation and wounds. Tulsi plant
has shown to enhance the production of RBC, WBC and haemoglobin in rats. It
is more potent than dexamethasone in the treatment of acute viral encephalitis.
Tulsi is suggested to shorten the course of illness, clinical symptoms in patients
suffering from viral hepatitis and also enhances survival of viral encephalitis
patients. It is also useful in allergic and inflammatory disorders due to the
action of its oil and has shown to decrease significantly the symptoms of arthritis
and edema (Reghunandan et al., 1995; Singh
et al., 2010). It has been proven as a herbal adaptogen in reversing
the Cadmium-induced oxidative stress in chicken (Bharavi
et al., 2010).
Pipali (Piper longum)
||Common names: Pippali/Indian long pepper
||Active principle/compound: Alkaloid-Piperine
It has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities by suppressing the
proinflammatory cytokines. It can also act as a bio-enhancer and anti-tumor
agent (Patwardhan and Gautam, 2005). Its alkaloid piperine
has a variety of pharmacological activities like nerve depressant, antagonistic
effect on electroshock and chemo-shock seizures as well as muscular incoordination.
Piperine increases bone marrow cellularity in mice and rats. It helps in prevention
and control of Giardiasis in human beings. The root and fruit decoction are
used in acute and chronic bronchitis and cough.
Arjuna (Terminalis arjuna)
||Common names: Arjun tree/neermarunthu/arjuna/ koha/kahu/arjan,
||Active principle/compound: Arjunic acid, arjunantin, β-stilbesterol,
It is used for wound/fracture healing with immunopotentiation. The extract
from stem bark of this plant has the property of inhibition of HIV-protease.
It is used in fracture and wound treatment of animals for its immunopotentiation
properties. It is a cardiac tonic herbal medicine for man. It is an antineoplastic
agent due to the cancer cell growth inhibitory constituents residing in its
bark, stem and leaves(gallic acid, ethyl gallate and the flavone luteolin) (Pettit
et al., 1996).
||Common names: Guarpatha/ghrita kumari/star cactus/ barbados/katraazhai
||Active principle/compound: Polysaccharides (Glucomannan, acemannan,
mannose derivatives, hemicellulose, carboxypeptidase and salicylate), aloin,
ρ-coumaric acid, aldopentose, calcium oxalate (Bensky
and Gamble, 1993)
It promotes wound healing by stimulating macrophage and fibroblast activity.
The active principle Acemannan induces apoptosis in cancer cells,
stimulate leukocyte and lymphocyte and cause the release of IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-α.
It can modulate immune response by augmenting secondary humoral immunity in
rats (Halder et al., 2012). Mucilaginous leaf-gel
(Acemannan) has anti-inflammatory property. It prevents ultraviolet induced
suppression of DTH by reducing keratinocyte derived immuno-suppressive cytokines.
It can selectively stimulates cytokines and activates lymphocytes (Egger
et al., 1996). Its isolates have shown to exert inhibitory properties
against Staphylococcal infections (Lorenzetti et al.,
1964) and Candidiasis (Stuart et al., 1997).
It also shows some beneficial effect in antiretroviral therapy (Awodele
et al., 2012).
Garlic (Allium sativum)
||Common names: Lasun/dasuan/vellai poondu
||Active principle/compound: Allin, allicin, allyl sulfides
It is having antiseptic property which was first demonstrated by Louis Pasteur
(Tyler, 1994). Allyl sulfides are known for antitumor,
anticarcinogenic and antistress action. Organosulfur compounds of garlic-inhibit
growth of tumors in animals and modulate activity of diverse chemical carcinogens.
It increases NK cells production and activation and helps in maintaining homeostasis
of immune function. Garlic is having effect on multiple cytokines like reduction
of proinflammatory cytokines (IL1, IL6, IL8 and TNF) and stimulation of IL10
(Spelman et al., 2006). It enhances production
of IL-2, augment macrophage (oxidative burst) and T lymphocyte (blastogenesis)
functions. Due to its ability to influence multiple proinflammatory cytokines,
it is having hypoglycaemic action and protection against inflammatory bowel
disease (Ebadi, 2002). Garlic is useful in food poisoning,
tympany, sterility, FMD, skin infection, contact hypersensitivity, stomach-ache,
arthritis, internal parasites and rheumatism. Garlic boosts IL-10 and IL-4 and
is useful in treating psoriasis (OHara et al.,
1998). It possess antioxidant property also (Tilak et
al., 2005). Researchers are focusing on an extract of A. sativum
called ajoene, which appears to protect CD+ cells from attack by HIV early
in the viral life cycle. At low concentrations, the drug appears to have little
toxicity and its anti-HIV activity is 45 times more powerful than the drug dextran
sulfate. Ajoene is found only in fresh A. sativum and is not readily
procurable. Recent investigations reveal that A. sativum impairs the
activity of the liver enzymes that process protease inhibitors and raises the
protease inhibitor levels. The in vitro antiviral activity of A. sativum
extract (GE) on human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has also been evaluated in
tissue cultures, plaque reduction and early antigen assay. A dose-dependent
inhibitory effect of GE is evident when GE was applied simultaneously with HCMV
(Guo et al., 1993). Allicin can protect against
plasmodium infection by enhancing the hosts innate as well as adaptive
immunity (Feng et al., 2012).
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
||Common names: Haldi/Indian saffron/yellow ginger
||Active principle/compound: Zingiberene, curcumin, α and β-turmerone
It is used as a general tonic, immunostimulant and blood purifier. It possesses
anti-inflammatory activity and antioxidant activity (Devasagayam
et al., 2001). Curcumin inhibits growth of ovarian cancer cells and
induce apoptosis in lung cancer cell lines. Anti-cancer effects are also observed
in various cancer cell types including skin, colon, duodenal and ovary in the
laboratory animals. Anti-cancer properties of curcumin may be mediated, at least
in part by inhibition of inducible form of NO synthase. It increase intestinal
IgA in animals fed a high fat diet. It is useful in mouth blisters, sprains,
internal parasites, skin disease, constipation, internal injury, eye diseases,
wounds, galactagogue, external parasites, sprains, mastitis, cough, cold, bone
fracture, heatstroke, wounds, FMD, haematuria, broken horn and stomach-ache.
Anti-inflammatory effect gives relief from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
It is also an anti-Alzheimer's agent. It also acts as HIV-1 and HIV-2 protease
inhibitor, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic agent (Jain
et al., 2007; Goyal et al., 2010).
Ginger/Adarak (Zingiber officinale)
||Active principle/compound: Citral, curcumin (sesquiterpene)and
Ginger which is called The Great Medicament in Ayurveda, is effective
against a variety of ailments. It is useful in constipation, food poisoning,
diarrhoea, eye diseases and haematuria. It is also useful in conditions like
indigestion, tympany, dysentery, stomach-ache and skin diseases. The most effective
principle in exerting antimicrobial activity is citral, along with Curcumene,
a sesquiterpene, which is found to inhibit Rhizoctonia solani (Agrawal
et al., 2001). The ethanol extract of ginger is also bactericidal,
especially against gram positive bacteria (Alzoreky and
Nakahara, 2003). It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property
(Chang et al., 2012; Park
et al., 2012).
Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
||Active principles/compounds: Ginsenosides, saponins (panaxadiol,
Panaxatriols) and ginsan (acidic polysaccharide)
Ginseng has been in use for centuries in reducing stress and boosting energy
and it has been shown to stimulate every aspect of the immune system in vertebrates
(Bensky and Gamble, 1993). It is used to regenerate liver
cells after toxicity or injury, even in cases of chronic disease. It is being
used as anti-stress factors for very long years in human and animal medicines
with proven results (Blecha, 2001). The saponins from
its root stimulate lymphocytes and cytokines (Cho et
al., 2002) and those cytokines include IL-1, IL-12, TNFα and INFγ
(Song et al., 2002). It is used as a restorative
tonic and known as an adaptogen. Panax enhances NK cell activity and increase
immune cell phagocytosis. It has protective role in cancer and also possess
anti-inflammatory activity. Ginseng is often used to treat feline leukemia and
secondary conditions in animals arising from cancer, such as rapid weight loss
cachexia and blood infections. It improves endocrine and liver function in dogs
(Kwon et al., 2003) and in horses increases
antibody response against Equine herpesvirus 1 when given for a few weeks prior
to being vaccinated (Pearson et al., 2007).
Sitaphal (Annona squamosa)
||Common names: Custard apple/sugar-apple
||Active principle/compound: Squamosamide, acetogenin
It has anti-inflammatory properties and contains high content of vitamins which
helps in healing and enhances immunity. High content of Tannin is present in
its leaves. It modifies the expression of Th1-and Th-2 cytokines. It up-regulates
CD4+, CD8+ and CD19+ cell population and increases splenic T and B cellular
proliferation. It has shown analgesic, anti-inflammatory and significant anti-tumor
property against human hepatoma cells. It is also having anti-cancer property
(Sun et al., 2012).
Echinacea/Cone flower (Echinacea purpurea)
||Common names: Indian head/Indian comb, purple coneflower
||Active principle/compound: Alkamides, echinacoside, arabinogalactan,
caffeic acid, chicoric acid
It has anti-inflammatory action and stimulates macrophage cytokine production
and Natural Killer (NK) cells. It can stimulates neutrophil and B-lymphocyte
activity. Liquid preparations have been shown to have immune-stimulating property
(Uluisik and Keskin, 2012) and enhance several white
blood cell types as well as phagocytes (Burton Goldberg Group,
1999). It enhances production of specific IgG in mice. It is well known
among humans as a first line of defense against the common cold and flu (Blumenthal,
2004). Extracts of Echinacea enhance phagocytosis and protect the gut from
harmful microorganisms. The herb may inhibit the growth of some tumors. It is
very effective in treating canine seasonal and chronic upper respiratory infections,
including kennel cough (Reichling et al., 2003).
The juice from the aerial portion of E. purpurea and aqueous and alcohol extracts
of the roots have viral inhibition properties in cell culture (Wacker
and Hilbig, 1978).
Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare)
||Common names: Fennel/finocchio/saunf
||Active principle/compound: Phenylpropene-anethole
It has anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property. Immunostimulatory
action has been shown by murine peritoneal macrophages in vitro and boosting
immune system of humans (Naeini et al., 2009).
It is useful in diarrhoea, stomach-ache, dysentery, FMD and paraplegia (Cherng
et al., 2008).
Makoy (Solanum nigrum)
||Common names: Black nightshade/wonderberry/ manathakali
||Active principle/compound: Glyco-alkoloids-solasodine
The water-extractable and the alkali-extractable polysaccharides from Solanum
nigrum have been proven to possess potent antitumour activity (Li
et al., 2009) which may be associated with their potent immunostimulating
effect (Ding et al., 2012). It causes significant
increase in IFN-α, IL-2 and IFN-γ production and decrease in IL-10
expression. Its antitumor activity is reflected in activation of different immune
responses in mice rather than by directly attacking cancer cells (Li
et al., 2009).
Bach (Acorus calamus)
||Common names: Sweet flag/calamus/vasambu
||Active principle/compound: Beta-asarone, eugenol
Ethanolic extract of A. calamus rhizome is having immunosuppressant
action which inhibited proliferation of mitogen (phytohaemagglutinin) and antigen
(purified protein derivative) stimulated human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear
Cells (PBMCs). It also inhibited production of Nitric Oxide (NO), interleukin-2
(IL-2) and tumor necrosis factor-α (Mehrotra et
al., 2003). It inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines,
posses anti-inflammatory activity and has applicability against IgE mediated
disorder. It has anti-obesity property, inhibits adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 cells
and reduces lipid accumulation in fat cells. It is also effective against cattle
ticks. Belska et al. (2010) demonstrated that
the pectic polysaccharide from A. calamus L. in low concentrations was able
to stimulate in vitro IL-12 and nitric oxide production by murine macrophages
(Belska et al., 2010).
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
||Common names: Caryophyllus/kiraambu
||Active principle/compound: Eugenol, eugenol acetate, α and
Anti-inflammatory action of plant is exhibited by eugenol due to the suppression
of the nuclear factor-κB pathway. It is also found that eugenol in noncytotoxic
concentrations exert immunomodulatory/anti-inflammatory action on cytokine production
by murine macrophages (Bachiega et al., 2012).
In a study by Halder et al. (2011) it was found
that clove oil can modulate the immune response by augmenting humoral immunity
and decreasing cell mediated immunity (Halder et al.,
Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
||Active principle: Glycyrrhizic acid, glabridin, sterine etc.
It has hepatoprotective property, modulatory effect on the complement system
and inhibits replication of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-associated
virus. It causes an increase in the resistance to herpes simplex virus-1 infection
and Candida albicans by IFN and Th2 cytokines secretion. Glycyrrhizic
acid and its aglycone have actions like modulation of NF-kB and IL-10 production
which explains reduction of inflammation in liver (Yoshikawa
et al., 1997). It is a popular remedy for throat infections. Glycyrrhizin
inhibits ROS generated by neutrophils and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
at the site of inflammation. It also possesses anti-viral activity against HIV
(Akamatsu et al., 1991). Its anti-inflammatory
action is based on its weak deoxycortisone-like and ACTH action. It is also
a potent immunomodulatory (Borsuk et al., 2011)
with anticomplimentary and antioxidant activity (Ablise
et al., 2004). Glabridin from it prevents LDL oxidation (Belinky
et al., 1998). Its anti-infective property is due to its effect on
the production of INF and Th2 cytokines (Patwardhan and
Gautam, 2005). The components of its root can modulate Bcl-2/Bax (the family
of apoptotic regulatory factors) which attributes for their cytoprotective activity
(Jo et al., 2004).
Cats claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
||Active principles: Pentacyclic and tetracyclic oxindoles
It is effective for immunological and digestive disorders. It induces positive
influence on IL-1, IL-6 and IFN-γ production and found to exhibit immune
adjuvant activity with pneumococcal vaccine (Winkler et
al., 2004). Its anti-inflammatory effects are due to negation of NF-KB
activation and suppression of TNF-α synthesis (Sandoval-Chacoan
et al., 1998; Sandoval et al., 2000).
Other actions like modulation of apoptosis, tumor cell proliferation and DNA
repair lead to cytoprotective effect (Sheng et al.,
1998) and induce apoptosis selectively, leading to antitumor activity (Sheng
et al., 2000). Quinic Acid (QA), active ingredient of Uncaria tomentosa,
enhances the DNA repair and immunity and able to generate neuroprotective effects
in neurons (Zhang et al., 2012).
Harsinghar (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis)
Nyctanthes arbor-tristis is a biopesticidal plant and its aqueous extract
has been found to have potent immunomodulative, hepatoprotective, antileishmanial,
antiviral and antifungal activities (Puri et al.,
1994). It contains tertiary and quarternary alkaloids which increases immunobioactivities.
In a study by Kannan et al. (2007) an ethanolic
extract of N.arbor-tristis when fed orally enhanced the circulating antibody
while its chronic administration of increased the total counts of White Blood
Cells (WBC) and potentiated the Delayed-type Hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions
(Kannan et al., 2007).
Kirayat (Andrographis paniculata)
||Common names: Charita/kalmegh
||Active principle/compound: Diterpene lactones (andrographolide,
It has the ability to enhance immune function (Naik and
Hule, 2009). Ethanol extract of Kirayat stimulates antibody production in
mice and enhances production of IFN-gamma and TNF-α. It has been found
to stimulate macrophage migration, phagocytosis of E. coli and in
vitro proliferation of splenic lymphocytes (Puri et
al., 1993). The dichloromethane fraction of its methanolic extract was
proven to possess the anticancer and immunomodulatory activity (Kumar
et al., 2004). This plant showed hepatoprotective activity in mice
and anti-malarial activity in dogs. It enhances IgG antibody level against S.
typhimurium in mice.
Kiwifruit (Actinidia macrosperma)
||Active principle/compound: Polysaccharides, alkaloids, saponins
and organic acid
It is distributed throughout the world, especially in East Asia. Traditionally,
it has been used to treat different cancers, including those of the digestive
system and mammary gland (Lu et al., 2007).
There is a renewed interest in its chemical composition and biological activities.
It has been extensively employed to treat various ailments such as leprosy,
abscess, rheumatism, arthritis inflammation, jaundice, abnormal leucorrhea and
so on (Lai and Zhang, 2002). Moreover, it is also useful
for the treatment of cancers, especially those of lung, liver and digestive
Satavar (Asparagus racemosus)
||Common names: Satavar/shatavari/shatamull
Asparagus is used in transplantation immunology. It has been employed for preventing
leucopenia produced by cyclophosphamide. A steroidal sapogenin acid from the
roots of Asparagus racemosus is having potent immunomodulating property
(Sharma and Varmal, 2011). Its immunomodulatory action
is by significant increase of CD3+ and CD4/CD8+ % T cell activation and immunoadjuvant
action is by significant up-regulation of Th1 (IL-2) and Th2 (IL-4) cytokines
(Guatam et al., 2004). It is considered as a
good candidate for evaluation in patients receiving cytotoxic drugs. It inhibits
the carcinogen ochratoxin A induced suppression of chemotactic activity and
production of IL-1 and TNF-α by mouse macrophages. It contains an anticancer
agent asparagin which is useful against leukaemia. It also contains active antioxytocic
saponins which have got antispasmodic effect and specific action on uterine
musculature (Syamala, 1997; Gautam
et al., 2009).
Kutakai (Picrorhiza kurroa)
||Common name: Kutki and kuru
||Active principle/compound: Kutkin, picroside, vanillic acid, D-mannitol
androsin and apocynin
It boosts the immune system by increasing both the cell mediated and humoral
immunity. It has protection property against the worm Leishmania donovani
which causes leishmaniasis and can be used as adjunt to antileishmanial chemotherapy
(Sane et al., 2011). The biopolymeric fraction
RLJ-NE-205 from it improves the immune system and considered as a biological
response modifier (Gupta et al., 2006). It possess
hepatoprotective activity, anti-inflammatory activity and is used in the management
of bronchial asthma. It has role in enhancing DTH response, antibody production,
macrophage migration, phagocytic activity and skin graft rejection. It inhibits
ochratoxin-induced suppression of chemotactic activity and production of IL-1
and TNF-α. It also Increases haemagglutinating antibody titer, plaque-forming
cells and DTH response to SRBC.
Onion (Allium cepa)
||Common name: Pyaj
It is a very useful medicine in food poisoning, internal parasites, diarrhoea,
FMD, dysentery and loss of appetite. It is also found to be effective in skin
diseases and hoof diseases. It has lipid lowering effects and shown to inhibit
oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (Ahmed et al.,
2009). It is having profound antibacterial effect which is mentioned even
in the Egyptian Papyrus Ebers. The aqueous extract of the plant has shown to
increase the CD4 and total WBC counts in a dose dependent manner, revealing
its immune boosting capabilities (Mirabeau and Samson, 2012).
Every part of the plant is having one or another medicinal properties like,
leaf juice extract is administered ophthalmically to treat jaundice, dried shoot
is taken orally as a cicatrizing agent and to treat insect bites, root is taken
orally to facilitate expulsion of the placenta, essential oil from fresh bulb
is administered by inhalation to treat cold etc. (Ross, 2001).
Mustard (Brassica campestris)
||Common name: Sarsaun
||Active principles/compounds: Glucosinolates and sterols
It is useful in constipation, food poisoning, stomach-ache, fever, indigestion,
dysentery, external parasites, mastitis, mouth blisters and burn. It exerts
action against hoof diseases and other skin diseases like eczema. Mustard is
rich in calcium and iron and helps to restore bacterial balance in the intestines.
The mustard's greens are rich in vitamin A, iron and zinc and are best when
eaten raw or steamed. White mustard has been used throughout the world to relieve
pain and as a diuretic and an antibiotic. Mustard flour is an antiseptic and
can also be used as a deodorizer. The mustard's oil can be used for pain relief
of arthritic conditions and chilblains. Mustard is also an excellent expectorant
and a very powerful natural emetic. Due to its chemical components, seeds can
be widely employed in cancer, non-genetic diabetes, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia
and hypercholesterolemia (Szollosi, 2011).
Coriander (Coriander sativum)
||Common name: Dhanyiya, dhunia, kothimbir
Traditionally it has been found useful in tympany, diarrhoea, food poisoning,
constipation, haematuria, fever, indigestion and loss of appetite (Wagensteen
et al., 2004). Its methanol derived stem extract is having antibacterial
property, due to its ferrous sequestering activity (Wong
and Kitts, 2006). The aqueous crude extract has shown to stimulate the peripheral
blood mononuclear cells and increases INF-γ secretion (Cherng
et al., 2008).
Asafoetida (Ferula asafoetida)
||Common name: Heeng
||Active principle/compound: Resin (asaresinotennol), ferulic acid,
umbelliferone, sugars, sesquiterpene coumarins and polysulfides
It possess antifungal, antiviral, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-mutagenic
activities. Recent studies have shown new promising antiviral sesquiterpene
coumarins from this herb. It is also shown to be a remedy of great value as
a carminative in flatulence and colic. The essential oil is eliminated through
the lungs and is excellent for asthmatic bronchitis and whooping cough. It also
exerts a significant anthelmintic action against roundworms and pinworms. It
has been found useful in treating neck sore, paralysis, stomach-ache and indigestion
(Iranshahy and Iranshahi, 2011).
Banana (Musa paradisiacal)
Banana is the best natural source of vitamin B6. This vitamin is required for
the production of antibody for having a healthy immune system. The presence
of high quantity of vitamin B6 in banana also makes it a food item that helps
human boy in making hemoglobin. Beneficial in galactagogue, tympany, diarrhea,
haematuria, prolapse of uterus, heat-stroke, sterility, dysentery, loss of appetite,
indigestion, mastitis, food poisoning and post partum complaints. Banana is
rich in potassium, an agent that helps in keeping the nervous system and heart
healthy. The presence of high amount of potassium in banana makes it a beneficial
fruit for the bones and kidneys. Antifungal and antibiotic principles are found
in the peel and pulp of fully ripe bananas (Sampath Kumar
et al., 2012).
Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa)
It possess immunomodultory effects due to the immunosuppressive action (Sen
et al., 2002). Ethanolic extract of Boerhaavia diffusa was
shown to inhibit the cell proliferation significantly (Mungantiwar
et al., 1999). Extracts of B. diffusa roots inhibited human
NK cell cytotoxicity in vitro, production of nitric oxide in mouse macrophage
cells, interleukin-2 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), in human
PBMCs, demonstrating its immunosuppressive potential effect (Mehrotra
et al., 2002). It also exhibits antidiabetic, anti-metastatic, antioxidant,
antiproliferative and antiestrogenic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial
Datura (Datura metel)
||Common names: San, dhustura Hin., kaladhatura Ben, dhatura mal,
ummam Kan; dattura tam, vellummattai Tel, tellavummetta
||Active principles: Hyoscyamine, hyoscine and meteloidine
It is having anticancerous and anthelmintic actions. Inhalation with its leaves and seeds is found useful in whooping cough, asthma and other respiratory diseases. Root, leaf and seed are febrifuge, antidiarrhoeal, anticatarrhal and are effective in insanity, cerebral complications and skin ailments. Leaf can be used as antitumour, antirheumatic and vermicide agent. Its warm leaf smeared with an oil is used as a bandage or as a poultice for treating rheumatic swellings of joints.
Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus)
||Common names: Nityakalyani, Sadabahar, Baramassi, Ushamalari
||Active principle/compound: Vinblastine, vincristine, raubasine,
reserpine and serpentine
The alkaloids present in the leaves are effective antimicrobial (Dhankhar
et al., 2012) and anticancerous drugs. Vinblastine is used in combination
with other anticancer agents for the treatment of lymphocytic lymphoma, Hodgkins
disease, testicular carcinoma and choriocarcinoma (Narayana
and Dimri, 1990).
Tut (Morus alba)
||Common name: Mulberry
The roots are considered as an anthelmintic and vermifuge, whereas root bark
and stem bark of this plant are reported to act as vermifuge and purgative (Akhtar
et al., 2000). It increases both humoral as well as cellular immune
response (Bharani et al., 2010). Its fruit contains
Pyrrole alkaloids, which activate the macrophages and enhance the immune response
(Kim et al., 2013).
Kamala (Mallotus phillippinensis)
The fruit has been used as an anthelmintic, cathartic, aphrodisiac, lithotropic
and styptic. It has also been used in external applications for the control
of parasitic infections of the skin, as an antiseptic for ears and systemically
for urinary disorders (Sharma and Varmal, 2011); antituberculous
drug (Hong et al., 2010); against keratinocyte
hyper-proliferative disorders (Valacchi et al.,
Kokilaksha (Asteracantha longifolia)
It is commonly used in traditional ayurvedic and unani medicine as aphrodisiac,
tonic, sedative and blood diseases etc (Pawar et al.,
2010). Methanol extracts of this plant has got in-vitro antimicrobial activity
against bovine mastitis pathogens like S. aureus and E. coli
(Mubarack et al., 2011).
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES
Herbal and traditional botanical products ideally have multiple effects and are helpful in a variety of disease conditions, for beneficial effects on human health as well as their companion/domestic animals. When considering on a global basis, the use of plant products as immunostimulants has a traditional history not only in India but also in almost all ancient civilizations including Chinese, Arab and American. These are good alternatives to conventional chemotherapy. Same immunomodulatory herbs at a glance are shown in Fig. 1.
|| Immunomodulatory herbs at a glance
As India is having a rich biodiversity of herbs and medicinal plants, efforts should be made in their identification and testing/validation for their immunomodulatory properties and to prepare prophylactic and therapeutic formulations for safeguarding animal health and production, as well as for human health. Research and development (R and D) programs should be encouraged for their scientific validation. By quality control approach, adulterations of these precious preparations with pesticide, heavy metal residues or other drugs could be avoided. Integrated and holistic monitoring of biological process is necessary to achieve clinical success (Multiple immunomodulating approaches). Historical knowledge from the great traditions like Ayurveda and others will have an important role in bioprospecting-drug discovery utilizing traditional knowledge of herbs, medicinal plants and indigenously well known drugs being used since ancient times. Integration of modern medicine, traditional knowledge and use of science and technologies with a systems biology approach can be most suitable in this regard. Herbal and traditional/indigenous preparations need to be popularized for their wide application and acceptance, for which promotional approaches need attention so that their full potential can be utilized for safeguarding health and production in livestock, pet and domestic animals, poultry and laboratory animals apart from numerous human health benefits.
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