Image: Evaluating the biological activities of each herbal variety of the Ayuverdic tonic Shankhpushpi

(Natural News) In this study, researchers from India evaluated the neuropharmacological effects of four herbs commonly identified as sources of the Ayurvedic tonic Shankhpushpi. Their results were published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

  • Shankhpushpi is an Ayurvedic drug widely used for its positive effects on the central nervous system. These effects include improving intellect and boosting memory.
  • Four botanicals, namely, Canscora decussata (CD), Clitorea ternatea (CT), Convolvulus pluricaulis (CP) and Evolvulus alsinoides (EA) are considered by Ayurveda practitioners as sources of Shankhpushpi. But this is based only on the morphological descriptions given in ancient texts.
  • To evaluate these herbs’ neuropharmacological effects, the researchers used methanol extracts to determine if they can protect against B-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity, inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AchE) and lipoxygenase (5-LOX), and exhibit antioxidant potential in vitro.
  • They also used rat models for in vivo evaluation and performed scopolamine-induced memory retrieval using pole climbing apparatus and Morris water maze.
  • The researchers found that the neuroprotective effects of EA and CD against B-amyloid-induced neurotoxicity were significantly higher than those of CT and CP.
  • In terms of antioxidant activity and AchE and LOX inhibitory activities, EA proved superior to the other herbs.
  • In vivo, EA also showed higher neuroprotective activity than CD, CT and CP based on the performance of rat models in tests. This may be attributed to the presence of steroids (stigmasterol and betulinic acid), coumarins (scopoletin) and flavonoids (B-carotene and chlorogenic acid) in EA.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that EA can be used as a promising candidate drug for the management of neuronal disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Read the full study at this link.

Journal Reference:

Sethiya NK, Nahata A, Singh PK, Mishra S. NEUROPHARMACOLOGICAL EVALUATION ON FOUR TRADITIONAL HERBS USED AS NERVINE TONIC AND COMMONLY AVAILABLE AS SHANKHPUSHPI IN INDIA. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2019;10(1):25–31. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaim.2017.08.012

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