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Andrographolides and traditionally used Andrographis paniculata as potential adaptogens: Implications for therapeutic innovation

Ajit Kumar Thakur 1 Shyam Sunder Chatterjee 2 Vikas Kumar 1

1Banaras Hindu University
2Stettiner Straße 1

ABSTRACT

Andrographis paniculata (Burm. F.) Wall. Ex Nees (Family: Anthaceae) is a traditionally known Ayurvedic medicinal plant. Several well-controlled clinical trials conducted during recent years have consistently reconfirmed that Andrographis paniculata extracts are effective in suppressing cardinal symptoms of diverse inflammatory and infectious diseases. Despite extensive efforts though, many questions concerning bioactive constituents of such extracts and their modes of actions still remain unanswered. Amongst diverse diterpene lactones isolated to date from such extracts, andrographolide is often considered to be the major, representative, or bioactive secondary metabolite of the plant. Therefore, it has attracted considerable attention of several drug discovery laboratories as a lead molecule potentially useful for identifying structurally and functionally novel drug. Critical analysis of available preclinical and clinical information on Andrographis paniculata extracts and pure andrographolide strongly suggest that they are pharmacologically polyvalent and that they possess adaptogenic properties. Aim of this communication is to summarize and critically analyze such data, and to point out some possibilities for more rationally exploiting their adaptogenic properties for discovering novel therapeutic leads, or for obtaining pharmacologically better standardized phyto-pharmaceuticals.

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