A REVIEW OF MEDICINAL PLANTS WITH HEPATOPROTECTIVE ACTIVITY

 

  • Andrographis lineataNees: Hepatoprotective effect of Andrographis lineata (Acanthaceae) extracts in CCl4 induced liver injury in rats. Male Wistar rats with chronic liver damage, induced by subcutaneous injection of 50% v/v CCl4 in liquid paraffin at a dose of 3 mL/kg on alternate days for a period of 4 weeks, were treated with methanol and aqueous extracts of A. lineata orally at a dose of 845 mg/kg/day. The biochemical parameters such as serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase, serum bilirubin and alkaline phosphatise were estimated to assess the liver function. Histopathological examinations of liver tissue corroborated well with the biochemical changes. The activities of extracts were comparable to a standard drug [9].
  • Azadirachta indica: Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) is perhaps the most commonly used traditional medicinal plant of India. In India, Neem is known as "Divine Tree", "Heal All", “the village pharmacy”, because of its healing versatility, and it has been used by various traditional means of medicine due to its multiple medicinal properties [45]. The aqueous extract of Neem leaf was found to offer protection against paracetamol induced liver necrosis in rats. The elevated levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) indicative of liver damage were found to be significantly reduced on administration of the Neem leaf aqueous extract. In the present study we have evaluated the hepatoprotective role of Azadirachta indica [46].
  • Careya arborea: The methanol extract of Careya arborea bark, (myrtaceae) was tested for antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) tumor-bearing mice. Tumor control animals inoculated with EAC showed a significant alteration in the levels of antioxidant and hepatoprotectiven parameters8. The extract treatment at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight doses given orally caused a significant reversal of these biochemical changes towards the normal in serum. Liver and kidney when compared to tumor control animals indicating the potent antioxidant and hepatoprotective nature of the standardized extract [11].
  • Cassia fistula: Hepatoprotective activity of the n-heptane extract of Cassia fistula (Fabaceae) leaves was investigated by inducing hepatotoxicity with paracetamol in rats. The extract at a dose of 400 mg/kg body wt. exhibited orally, significant protective effect by lowering the serum levels of transaminases (SGOT and SGPT), bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). The effects produced were comparable to that of a standard hepatoprotective agent [12].
  • Cleome viscosaLinn: The hepatoprotective activity of the Cleome viscose Linn (Capparidaceae) extract was assessed in CCl4 induced hepatotoxic rats. The test material was found effective as hepatoprotective, through in vivo and histopathological studies. The extract was found to be effective in shortening the thiopental induced sleep in mice poisoned with CCl4. The hepatoprotective effect of ethanolic extract was comparable to that of silymarin, a standard hepatoprotective agent [13].
  • Eclipta alba: The hepatoprotective effect of the ethanol/water (1:1) extract of Eclipta alba (Asteraceae) was studied at subcellular levels in rats against (CCl4) induced hepatotoxicity. The loss of hepatic lysomal acid phosphatase and alkaline phosphatase by (CCl4) was significantly restored by Eclipta alba. The study shows that hepatoprotective activity of Eclipta alba is by regulating the levels of hepatic microsomal drug metabolising enzymes [14].
  • Fumaria indica: Fumaria indica(Fumariceae) were studied for their hepatoprotective activity against carbontetrachloride, paracetamol and rifampicin-induced heptatotoxicites in albino rats. The petroleum ether extract against carbonetrachloride, total aqueous extract against paracetamol and methanolic extract against rifampicin induced hepatotoxicities showed similar reductions in the elevated levels of some of the serum biochemical parameters in a manner similar that of silymarin indicating its potential as a hepatoprotective agent [15].
  • Morinda citrifoliaLinn:The hepatoprotective effects of Noni juice (NJ) (Rubiaceae) against CCl4 induced chronic liver damage in female Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. Histopathological examination revealed that liver sections from the NJ + CCl4 appeared similar to controls, whereas typical hepatic steatosis was observedmin the placebo + CCl4 group. Serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels were increased in the placebo group compared with the NJ group. In contrast, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) was increased in the NJ group and decreased in the placebo group. Thus, NJ juice appears to protect the liver from chronic exogenous CCl4 exposures [16].
  • Phyllanthus amarus: Ethanolic extract of Phyllanthus amarus (euphorbiaceae), at (0.3g kg (-1) BW 0.2 ml (-1) day (-1) was given to all groups except control groups (gp. I and gp. V), after 30 min of aflatoxin administration. The entire study was carried out for 3 months and animals were sacrificed after an interval of 30 days till the completion of study. Phyllanthus amarus extract was found to show hepatoprotective effect by lowering down the content of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and enhancing the reduced glutathione level and the activities of antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathionetransferase (GST), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) [17].
  • Phyllanthus emblica: Ethanol extract of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. (Euphorbiaceous) (PE) induced rat hepatic injury. PE (0.5 and 1 mg/ml) increased cell viability of rat primary cultured hepatocytes being treated with ethanol (96 μl/m) by increasing % MTT and decreasing the release of transaminase. Pretreatment of rats with PE at oral dose of 25, 50 and 75 mg/kg or SL (silymarin, a reference hepatoprotective agent) at 5 mg/kg, 4 h before ethanol lowered the ethanol induced levels of AST, ALT and IL-1beta. The 75 mg/kg PE dose gave the best result similar to SL. Treatment of rats with PE (75g/kg/day) or SL (5 mg/kg/day) for 7 days after 21 days with ethanol (4 g/kg/day, p.o.) enhanced liver cell recovery by bringing the levels of AST, ALT, IL- 1beta back to normal [18].
  • Phyllanthus polyphyllus: Methanolic extract of Phyllanthus polyphyllus (euphorbiaceae) was evaluated for hepatoprotective and antioxidant activities in rats. The plant extract (200 and 300 mg/kg, p.o.) showed a remarkable hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity against acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity as judged from the serum marker enzymes and antioxidant levels in liver tissues. The activity of the extract at dose of 300 mg/kg was comparable to the standard drug, silymarin (50g/kg, p.o.). Histopathological changes of liver sample were compared with respective control [19].
  • Phyllanthus reticulates: Two partially purified organic fractions designated by PR1 and PR2 of the fat free ethanol (95%) extract of aerial parts of Phyllanthus reticulatus (Euphorbiaceae), were tested for the hepatoprotective activity in rats against CCl4 induced liver damage. The rats receiving the fractions showed promising hepatoprotective activity as evident from significant changes of pentobarbital-induced sleeping time, changes in serum levels of sGPT, sGOT, sALP and bilirubin and also from histopathological changes as compared to CCl4 intoxicated rats [20].
  • Picrorhiza kurroa: Administration of picroliv, a standardized fraction of alcoholic extent of Picrorhiza kurroa (Scrophulariaceae) (3-12 mg/kg/day for two weeks) simultaneously with P. Bergheim infection showed significant protection against hepatic damage in Mastomys natalensis. The increased levels of serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT), alkaline phosphatase, lipoprotein-X (LP-X) and bilirubin in the infected animals were marked reduced by different doses of picroliv. In the liver, picroliv decreased the levels of lipid peroxides and hydroperoxides and facilitated the recovery of superoxide dismutase and glycogen [21, 22].
  • Polygala arvensis: Chloroform extract of leaves of Polygala arvensis (polygalaceae), in 0.3% carboxy methyl cellulose (CMC) was evaluated for hepatoprotective activity in Wistar albino rats by inducing hepatic injury with d-galactosamine (400 mg/kg). The chloroform extract of Polygala arvensis at an oral dose of 200 mg/kg and 400 mg/kg exhibited a significant (P<0.001, P<0.01 and P<0.05) protection effect by normalizing the levels of aspartate amino transferase. (ASAT, GOT), alanine amino transferase (ALAT, GPT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total bilirubin (TB), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TGL), albumin, total protein (TP) which were significantly (P<0.001) increased in rats by treatment with 400 mg/kg i.p. of dgalactosamine. Silymarin (25 mg/kg), a known hepatoprotective drug used for comparison exhibited significant activity (P<0.001) [23].
  • Pterocarpus santalinus: The aqueous (45 mg/ml) and ethanol (30 mg/ml) extracts of Pterocarpus santalinus (Fabaceae) stem bark in 1% gum tragacanth was administered orally for 14 days and the hepatoprotective activity studied in CCl4 induced hepatic damage model. There was a significant increase in serum levels of bilirubin, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase and alkaline phosphatase with a decrease in total protein level, in the CCl4 treated animals, reflecting liver injury. In the extracts treated animals there was a decrease in serum levels of the markers and significant increase in total protein, indicating the recovery of hepatic cells. Ethanol extract treated animal’s revealed normal hepatic cords without any cellular necrosis and fatty infiltration [24].
  • Ptrospermum acerifolium: The hepatoprotective activity of the ethanol extract of the leaf of Ptrospermum acerifolium (Sterculiaceae) was investigated in rats. Hepatotoxicity was induced in male Wistar rats by intraperitoneal injection of carbon tetrachloride (0.1 ml/kg/d p.o. for 14 d). Ethanol extract of Pterospermum acerifolium leaves were administered to the experimental rats (25 mg/kg/d p.o. for 14d). The Hepatoprotective effect of these extracts was evaluated by liver function biochemical parameters (total bilirubin, serum protein, alanine aminotransaminase, asparatate aminotransaminase and alkaline phosphates activites) and histopathological studies of liver. In ethanol extract-treated animals, the toxicity effect of carbon tetrachloride was controlled significantly by restoration of the levels of serum bilirubin and enzymes as compared to the normal and standard drug silymarin-treated groups [25].
  • Solanum nigrum: In Ayurveda, the drug is known as kakamachi. Aromatic water extracted from the drug is widely prescribed by herbal vendors for liver disorders. Although clinical documentation is scare as far as hepatoprotective activity is concerned, but some traditional practitioners have reported favourable results with powdered extract of the plant [43].
  • Swertia chirata: Simultaneous treatments with Swertia chirata (Gentianaceae). (in different doses, viz, 20, 50, and 100 mg/kg body wt daily) and (CCl4) caused improvement at both biochemical and histopathological parameters compared to that of (CCl4) treatment alone but it was most effective when Swertia chirata was administered in a moderate dose (50 mg/kg body wt) [27, 28].
  • Wedelia calendulaceaLinn: Hepatoprotective activity of the ethanol leaf extract of Wedelia calendulacea (Asteraceae) (EEWC) was studied by estimating serum enzyme activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), protein and bilirubin. The treatment with EEWC showed a dose-dependent reduction of CCl4 induced elevated serum levels of enzyme activities with parallel increase in total protein and bilirubin, indicating the extract could preserve the normal functional status of the liver[29].
  • Ixora coccineaLinn: A small shrub with attractive flowers, widely distributed throughout India and grown in gardens. The flowers are extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine and have been reported to exihibit significant hepatoprotective effect against paracetamol induced hepatotoxicity in rats as judged by reduction of elevated levels of serum marker enzymes and liver lipid peroxide levels [39, 40].

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