Tue, Jun 27, 2017 | updated 09:15 PM IST

Most Indian traditional medicines with 'Ashoka' ingredient are spurious, Indo-Canadian study reveals

Updated: Sep 20, 2016 15:21 IST      
Most Indian traditional medicines with 'Ashoka' ingredient are spurious, Indo-Canadian study reveals
Bangalore (Karnataka) [India], Sept.20 (ANI): A joint study by a team of Indian and Canadian scientists has suggested that traditional medicines with Ashoka (botanical name Saraca asoca) as an ingredient are mostly adulterated.

The bark extracts of Ashoka tree are used for the treatment of leucorrhea and other uterine disorders. It also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-pyretic, anti-helminthic and analgesic characteristics.

The study carried out by scientists from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Kuvempu University, Shimoga, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Bangalore, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, Punjab and University of Guelph, Toronto, Canada, analysed samples from outlets in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and found 80 percent of the samples were spurious.

This is the first comprehensive and large-scale study to demonstrate the widespread adulteration of market samples of Ashoka in India. The study was published in International Journal of Legal Medicine.

"In this paper, we have confined only to the bark extracts of Ashoka where we found 80 percent are spurious. In other medicinal plants, the adulteration ranges from 20 to 100 percent ," Dr. G. Ravikanth, Associate Professor at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore told Indian Science Journal.

Indiscriminate and rampant extraction of the wood of Ashoka to meet the ever-increasing market demand has led to a sharp decline of the plant population. Consequently, it has recently been classified as 'vulnerable' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

"In the absence of any regulatory agency to check the quality of traditional medicines, no studies have been carried out in India to assess the implication of adulterations," said Dr. Ravikanth.

He added, "Studies abroad have shown adverse consequences of adulteration in Indian traditional medicines. For example, more than 100 women suffered kidney failures due to admixtures of roots of anti-inflammatory agent 'Stephania tetrandra' by the roots of a toxic herb Aristolochia fangchi in the United States. Similarly, Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) barks that were adulterated with C.Cassia and C. Malabatrum have a bitter and burning flavour. C.cassia contains 1 per cent coumarin, a naturally occurring flavouring substance, which causes hepatotoxicity."

The researchers suggested DNA bar coding to detect and quantify adulteration in raw herbal trade of a variety of medicinal plants. A limitation of this technique, however, is the raw herbal trade material is in the form of powder, billets, or even dried plant material and is extremely recalcitrant to extraction. In such cases, chemical fingerprinting, using techniques such as NMR spectroscopy could be used in conjunction with DNA bar coding to identify herb species and admixtures.

In recent years, there has been great demand for medicinal plants as alternative health care system. India exports over 5000 metric tonnes of herbal products annually and the demand is growing approximately by 10-15 percent.

Most of the herbal medicines are used in the crude forms (unlike the chemical drugs) and have to be taken for a prolonged period. There are no regulatory standards for traditional medicines, as in the case of modern pharmaceutical drugs. (ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): Relax your mind if you have a heart disease, as a study has found that people, who persistently experience moderate to severe mental distress are at increased risk of death.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): Beware if you work in late night shifts, as according to a study, working at night may hinder your body's ability to repair damaged DNA caused by normal cellular processes.

Full Story >>

Study finds why osteoarthritis is more common in females

Updated: Jun 27, 2017 07:31 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): Osteoarthritis -- a disease of joints -- is reported more among women than men. According to experts, fluid in the knee holds clues why women are more prone to it.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): According to a new study, premature infants still have a greater risk compared to full-term babies of dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other sleep-related infant deaths.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 27 (ANI): A recent study has found that early antiretroviral treatment (ART) at the time of diagnosis may lead greater bone loss compared with deferring ART.

Full Story >>

Untreated polyarthritis can deform joints permanently

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 13:45 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 26 (ANI): Chikungunya, the bone breaking fever, being one of the reasons for polyarthritis , may become a rampant disorder.

Full Story >>

Education, training needed to help human trafficking victims

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 12:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 26 (ANI): Knowing a little bit more about human trafficking could help save someone and so, a recent research has highlighted the need for education and training.

Full Story >>

Boozing makes ageing clock tick faster

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 10:57 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 26 (ANI): Next time you reach for that glass of whiskey, you may want to rethink as a recent research has revealed that the more alcohol you drink, the more your cells appear to age.

Full Story >>

Improving cancer detection with help of body noise

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 07:40 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 26 (ANI): According to a recent research, body's own 'seismic noise' can help improve the cancer detection.

Full Story >>

Wound healing goes up in cigarette smoke

Updated: Jun 26, 2017 07:35 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 26 (ANI): When it comes to wound healing, vaping may be better than cigarette smoking, according to a recent research.

Full Story >>

Paracetamol during pregnancy can put unborn boys at risk

Updated: Jun 25, 2017 14:45 IST     

New Delhi [India] June 24, (ANI): Pregnant? You may want to rethink popping those paracetamol pills as a recent study has suggested that doing so can harm the masculinity of your unborn son.

Full Story >>

Excessive texting is bad for your wrists

Updated: Jun 25, 2017 11:48 IST     

New York [US], June 25 (ANI): Texting, the thing we do most with our phones, takes a toll on our health.

Full Story >>

Ozone exposure ups autism odds in at-risk people

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 19:47 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Jun 24 (ANI): Elevated exposure to ozone can put individuals with high levels of genetic variation at an even higher risk for developing autism than would be expected by adding the two risk factors together, according to a recent analysis.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 24 (ANI): People suffering from advanced kidney cancer, we have some good news for you.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 24 (ANI): In a recent study, leisure activities like going for a walk outside, reading, listening to music and other fun activities can reduce blood pressure for elderly caregivers of spouses with Alzheimer's disease.

Full Story >>

Anti-epilepsy drug to treat Alzheimer's disease?

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 10:09 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 24 (ANI): According to a recent study, the scientists have tested an anti-epileptic drug for its potential impact on the brain activity of patients with mild Alzheimer's disease.

Full Story >>

Take these measures to keep oral cancer at bay

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 16:04 IST     

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): Oral Cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in India. Evidence suggests that India bears the largest burden of oral cancers in the world, with an incidence of around 11.28 percent in Indian men.

Full Story >>

Don't eat but sleep, to beat office blues!

Updated: Jun 23, 2017 10:59 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], June 23 (ANI): Stressful day at work leads to binge-eating at night. A new study suggests a good night's sleep can serve as a protecting factor between job stress and unhealthy eating in the evening.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], June 23 (ANI): According to a recent clinical trial, intensive blood pressure lowering benefits patients with chronic kidney disease.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India], June 22 (ANI): J K Organization, in collaboration with Pushpawati Singhania Hospital and Research Institute Multispecialty Hospital, organized a two-day blood donation camp in New Delhi to collect 4043 units of blood.

Full Story >>