Synonym: Rheumatism root, yam
Biological source: It consists of the dried tubers of Dioscorea
deltoidea,D.composita belonging to the family Dioscoreaceae.
Geographical distribution: D.deltoidea is grown in U.S and Mexico .It is
cultivated from Nepal to an altitude of 3000-10,000 ft.
The main active constitute are diosgenin.
The other consists are starch and phenolic compounds.
1.In the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteosarcoma.
It is said to cause apoptosis of synoviocytes by cox-2 upregulation.
2.Diosgenin is used for the synthesis of important drugs e.g. oral
contraceptives and corticosteroids.
3.It is also said to have hypocholestremic effects.
Biological source: It consists of the dried and full grown berries of
Solanum khasianum belonging to the family Solanaceae.
Geographical distribution: Grows on the Khasia mountains in Assam.
It consists of the steroidal saponin solasonine which has the Aglycone
solasodine present in it.
Solakhasianin and diosgenin are the other aglycones present.
1.It has several glucocorticoids like effects since it increases its levels by
binding to adrenal glands.
2.A dose of 5mg/kg causes short acting cerebral stimulation and improves
3.They also have selective cytotoxic effects against cancer cells.
4. It is a hypocholestremic and anti atherosclerotic.
It consists of the dried roots and leaves of the naturally occuring plant
known as Asparagus racemosus,family: liliaceae.
It is widely distributed throughout the tropical regions of Africa, Australia
and Asia .
In India , its found in the Himalyan range at an altitude of 4000-4500 ft. It
is wildly grown in the dry and deciduous forests of Maharashtra.
The active constituteShatavarin 1-4 which are present to the extent of
Shatavarin 1 is the most important constituent.
2. It is used as a cytoprotective because it can reduce drug induced
fibrosis e.g bleomycin causes intra alveolar fibrosis.
3. In the management of nervine disorders ,Rheumatism.
4. Widely used in threatened abortion.
5. It helps digestion.
6. It has anti bacterial effects due to 9,10 dihydrophenanthrene ring.
Synonym: Panax, pannag.
Biological source: Ginseng is the dried root of different naturally occuring
species of Panax , namely Panax ginseng or Aralia quinquefolia .
Found extensively in Korea, Russia and China .Commercially it is cultivated in
Japan, Canada and U.S.
It has two variety
Chemical constitute :
It comprises of triterpenoid saponins which may be steroidal or pentacyclic.
3 major components include
3. Chikusetsu saponins.
1. In chinese system , ginseng is used as a general tonic, stimulant
,carminative and diuretic activities.
2. Used for the treatment of diabetes, insomnia, gastritis and
3. It is known to enhance natural resistance and overcome exhaustion.
4. It can be used in coronary artery disease and to lower blood pressure.
5. It is also used for maintenance of bone.
Synonym: Glycyrrhiza, liquorice root.
It consists of the dried , peeled or unpeeled roots or stolons of Glycyrrhiza
Family : leguminosae.
It is grown in the sub-himalayan regions and in baluchistan.
It is cultivated in large scale in Spain, Sicily and Yorkshire.
It consists of saponin glycosides known as Glycyrrhin.
glycyrrhetinic acid + 2 glucuronic acid
Glycyrrhetinic acid is of the beta amyrin type.
Other chemical constituents present are umbelliferone,
herniarin,liqueritin, isoliqueritin, rhanoliqueretin etc..
1.Glycyrrhizin has demulscent and expectorant properties.
2.It is used as a masking agent for bitter tasting drugs like quinine,aloes
3.Ammonium glycyrrhizinate is used as a flavouring agent in
confectionaries and beverages.
1. Text book of pharmacognosy by Trease and evans 13 th edition page
2. Pharmacognosy and pharmacobiotechnology by Ashutoshkar 2nd
edition page no:183-194