A Brief Review of Indigenous Plants as Sources of Pharmacological Interests

A Brief Review of Indigenous Plants as Sources of Pharmacological Interests

Faculty of Pharmacy, World University of Bangladesh

International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine

The knowledge base of pharmacy medicine is changing. Even five decades ago rural people used to visit kobiraj doctors for traditional medication mostly obtained from the roots and leaves of the remote plants (As seen in old dramas and movies). During 70’s to 8o’, a modern allopathy system taken over most of it and plant medicines were completely became obsolete. Even talking about those medicines means people are looking at you saying “what old age are you living?”. Interestingly the same concept is back in the name of modern herbal medicine, anybody will be surprised to know that the sales volume of herbal medicines jumped to Tk 1,000 crore in 2010 against Tk 1 crore in 1980 in Bangladesh. In the language of the philosophers it is “the Circle of Life”. Of course, there’s no denying the effectiveness of modern medicine. The drugs used in modern medicine are powerful but quite often, the risks with these drugs are also high. Purpose of the study: An illustrated review of traditional plants, their nature and use, both pharmacological and pharmaceutical. Findings: Traditional plants are used from ancient time for various human well-being, both as life-saving and lifestyle drugs. A careful use of these plants can bring dramatic changes in the history of medicine, on the contrary abuse/misuse is just waste of money and also creates potential health hazards. The emerging use of plant derived medicines should have a proper quality control and system control of sales, distribution and use through strict vigilance.Materials and Methods: A comprehensive literature review, consulting books, technical newsletters, newspapers, journals, and many other sources are done with this review. Health professionals like qualified doctors, hospital staff, nurses are interviewed. A few folk healers’ shops are also visited to see the real situation includes their sales policy, misleading claims without valid references. Pharma company representatives are also interviewed who are selling herb medicines as white-collar business. A few company high officials also paid interest in giving suggestion about research work considering their future scope of herbal drug project extension, although no promise of funding. Few students of mine helped me by their feedback from previous experiences in visiting rural areas and use of folk medicine there. The article comprises both plant medicine and plants used for pleasure by general people.Research limitations: The limitation lies with the unlimited information about traditional medicines. Validity of those are very hard to prove. Only data obtained from books, newsletters, national and international research-based articles are given here along with surrounding facts mostly visible. A few many interesting things cannot be shared because of the relevancy with this article. It was very difficult to bring out facts of irrational use, vigilance and pharmacists’ role in those aspect because business mentality of the providers and very little knowledge about healthcare access and prospect crippled the facts. And also, a little more information could be added about poisoning and side effects from these plants derived medicine but not added with thought that article might loss its focus. A few many plant medicine books consulted earlier but article has fewer scope to add from them.Practical Implication: the article is based on plant medicine which is an easily understandable topic if we keep aside a few medical terms used. Students, researchers and professionals of different background and disciplines, e.g. Pharmacists, marketers, doctors, nurses, hospital authorities, public representatives, policy makers and regulatory authorities along with general people of optimum literacy have to acquire much from this article.Social Implication: Along with healthcare facilities, vigilance, rational use of drugs and rational prescribing from qualified doctors through pharmacists should be the integral part of healthcare system in a country like Bangladesh as there is a scarcity of resources, fewer access to general people for adequate and better treatment, treatment providers, superstition and misbeliefs about plant medicine. The article should contribute an integrated guideline for pharmacists’ role in rational use of plant medicine, for both treatment intervention or as lifestyle drugs.

Keywords: Medicinal Plants, Medical Pluralism, kobiraj Doctors, Herbs and Dietary Supplements (HDS), Western Australian Poisons Information Centre (WAPIC)

Free Full-text PDF

How to cite this article:
AK MOHIUDDIN.A Brief Review of Indigenous Plants as Sources of Pharmacological Interests.International Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 2019, 4:13.


1.Ariful Basher, Quazi Tarikul Islam Plants and Herbal Poisoning in Bangladesh Clinical Toxinology 2014, pp 1-19 DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-6288-6_28-1
2.Amber Nawab, Najaf Farooq Review on green tea constituents and its negative ef-fects The Pharma Innovation Journal 2015; 4(1): 21-24
Avijit Hazra Adverse reactions to henna Indian Journal of Pharmacology 2002; 34: 436-437
3.Dong, J.C. The Relationship between Traditional Chinese Medicine and Modern Medicine. Evid. Based Complment. Altern. Med. 2013, 2013
Doo Jin Paik and Chang Ho Lee Review of cases of patient risk associated with ginseng abuse and misuse J Ginseng Res. 2015 Apr; 39(2): 89–93. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2014.11.005 PMID: 26045681
4.Girish K, Dhiren JP, Shah VD, Prajapati VC; Gums and mucilages: versatile excipi-ents for pharmaceutical formulations Asian J. Pharm. Sci., 2009; 4(5): 309-332.
5.Guo X, Mei N Aloe vera: A review of toxicity and adverse clinical effects J Environ Sci Health C Environ Carcinog Ecotoxicol Rev. 2016 Apr 2;34(2):77-96. doi: 10.1080/10590501.2016.1166826. PMID: 26986231
6.Haidan Yuan 1,2, Qianqian Ma 1, Li Ye 1 and Guangchun Piao 1,2 The Traditional Medicine and Modern Medicine from Natural Products Molecules 2016, 21, 559; doi:10.3390/molecules21050559
7.I.P. Tripthi Chemistry, Biochemistry, And Ayurveda of Indian Medicinal Plant 2013 Book Preface Page IV
Jou-Fang Deng, Jiin Ger, Wei-Jen Tsai, Wei-Fong Kao, and Chen-Chang Yang Acute Toxicities of Betel Nut: Rare but Probably Overlooked Events Clinical Toxi-cology, 39(4), 355–360 (2001)
8.Kumar KJ, Sonnathi S, Anitha C, Santhoshkumar M. Eucalyptus oil poisoning. Toxicol Int 2015; 22:170-1.
9.Khan, M.A. and Chowdhury, S.K. (2002) “Traditional medicine in Bangladesh.” Traditional Medicine in Asia. WHO, SEARO Regional Publications No. 30, New Delhi, 2002, 275–278.
Laura Boemeke1, Aline Marcadenti2,3, Fernanda Michielin Busnello2,
Catarina Bertaso Andreatta Gottschall Effects of Coconut Oil on Human Health Open Journal of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, 5, 2015, 84-87. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ojemd.2015.57011
10.Laxmi S Joshi and Harshal A Pawar Herbal Cosmetics and Cosmeceuticals: An Overview Nat Prod Chem Res 3: 170. doi:10.4172/23296836.1000170
11.Lisa Kaaki Medicinal plants: Use and misuse Arab News 10.10.2009 URL: http://www.arabnews.com/node/328835
12.Mohammed Ali Textbook of Pharmacognosy 2005
Philippe Assouly Hair Loss Associated With Cucurbit Poisoning JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(5):617-618. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.6128
13.Robindra Teron, S. K. Borthaku Folklore claims of some medicinal plants as anti-dote against poisons among the Karbis of Assam, India
14.Rownak Jahan, Khoshnur Jannat, Maidul Islam MM, Nasrin, Akhter Shova, Rifat Shah MD, Jannatul Ferdoes Shoma, Taufiq Rahman, Mohammed Rahmatullah A Review of Two Plants Used Traditionally in Bangladesh for Treatment of Snake Bites J Pharmacol Clin Toxicol 6(3):1113.
15.Saifur rashid Chapter 5 Heritage, Folk Medicine and Kaviraji Treatment in Bangla-desh Traditional Medicine Sharing Experiences from the Field Eivind Falk URL: http://www.ichngoforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Traditional-Medicine-Final-Web-3.pdf
16.Sohel Parvez Herbal medicines get new lease of life The Daily Star July 11, 2009
URL: https://www.thedailystar.net/news-detail-96489
17.Talal Aburjai and Feda M. Natsheh Plants Used in Cosmetics Phytother. Res. 17, 987–1000 (2003) DOI: 10.1002/ptr.1363
18.Tsai H. H., Lin H. W., Simon Pickard A., Tsai H. Y., Mahady G. B. Evaluation of doc-umented drug interactions and contraindications associated with herbs and dietary supplements: a systematic literature review Ernst. Int J Clin Pract 2012; 66: 1019‐20. doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-1241.2012.03008
19.Unb Dhaka Herbal medicine market to cross Tk 2,500cr by 2020
URL: archive.thedailystar.net/newDesign/cache/cached-news-details-234863.html
20.Varro E. Tyler, Lynn R. Brady, James E. Robbers Pharmacognosy 19th Edition 1988
WebMD Vitamins and Supplements URLs: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-154/rosemary
21.WHO Traditional Herbal Remedies for Primary Health Care URL: apps.who.int/medicinedocs/documents/s22298en/s22298en.pdf
22.William Charles Evans Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy Chapter 2, 16th Edition, Page 5-6

Terms of Use/Privacy Policy/ Disclaimer/ Other Policies:
You agree that by using our site, you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by all of our terms of use/privacy policy/ disclaimer/ other policies (click here for details).

This work and its PDF file(s) are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.