The liver plays an astonishing array of vital functions in the maintenance and performance of the body. Some of these major functions include carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism, detoxification, and secretion of bile. Unfortunately, the liver is often abused by environmental toxins, poor eating habits, alcohol, and prescription and over-the-counter drug use, which can damage and weaken the liver and eventually lead to hepatitis, cirrhosis, and alcoholic liver disease. These plants may offer new alternatives to the limited therapeutic options that exist at present in the treatment of liver diseases or their symptoms, and they should be considered for future studies. Many of these herbs have been evaluated in clinical studies and are currently being investigated phytochemically to better understand their actions. The presented review suggests that biologically active molecules derived from herbal extracts may serve as suitable primary compounds for effective and targeted hepatoprotective drugs.

The authors are grateful acknowledge to Manav Bharti University, Solan, for providing help and assistance.

1.Nadeem M.P.C, Dandiya P.C, K.V., Pasha M., Imran D., Balani K, Vohora S.B. Hepatoprotective activity of Solanum nigrum fruits. Fitoterapia., 1997, 68, 245:51.
2.Lewis H.W& Elvin-Lewis M.P.H. Medical Botany: Plants Affecting Man’s Health. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 1977, 217-18.
3.Sharma S.K., Ali M and Gupta J., plants having Hepatotprotective activity. Phytochemistry and Pharmacology., 2002, 2, 253-70.
4.Momin A., (1987): Role of indigenous medicine in primary health care. 1st International Seminar on Unani Medicine, New Delhi, India. 1987, 54.
5.Rai MK. Herbal medicines in India; retrospect and prospect. Fitoterapia 1994; 65 : 483-91.
6.Schuppan D, Jia JD, Brinkhaus B, Hahn EG. Herbal products for liver diseases: a therapeutic challenge for the new millennium. Hepatology 1999; 30: 1099-104.
7.Sharma A, Chakraborti KK, Handa SS. Antihepatotoxic activity of some Indian herbal formulations as compared to silymarin. Fitoterapia 1991; 62 : 229-35.
8.Subramonium A, Pushpangadan P. Development of phytomedicines for liver diseases. Indian J Pharmacol 1999; 31 : 166-75.
9.Sangameswaran B, Reddy T.C. Jayakar B., (2008): Hepatoprotective effect of leaf extracts of Andrographis lineata nees on liver damage caused by carbon tetrachloride in rats. Phytother Res., 2008, 22(1), 124-6.
10.Chattopadhyay R.R, Sarkar S.K, Ganguly S, Banerjee R.N, Basu T.K, Mukherjee A., Hepatoprotective activity of Azadirachta indica leaves on paracetamol induced hepatic damage in rats. Indian J Exp Biol., 1992, 30(8), 738-40.
11.Senthilkumar N, Badami S, Dongre S.H, Bhojraj S., Antioxidant and hepatoprotective activity of the methanol extract of Careya arborea bark in Ehrlich ascites carcinomabearing mice. J. Ethnopharmacol., 2008, 116(1), 1-6.
12.Bhakta T, Banerjee S, Subhash C. M, Tapan K. Maity, Saha B.P, Pal M., Hepatoprotective activity of Cassia fistula leaf extract. Phytomedicine., 2001, 8(3), 220-24.
13.Gupta N.K, Dixit V.K., Evaluation of hepatoprotective activity of Cleome viscose Linn. Extract. Indian journal of pharmacology., 2009, 41, 36-40.
14.Saxena A.K, Singh B, Anand K.K., Hepatoprotective effect of the ethanol/water extract of Eclipta Alba. J Ethnopharmacol., 1993, 40(3), 155-61.
15.Rao K.S, Mishra S.H., Hepatoprotective activity of the whole plants of Fumaria indica. Indian journal of pharmaceutical science. 1997, 59(4), 165-70.
16.Wang M.Y, Anderson G, Nowicki D, Jensen J., Hepatic protection by noni fruit juice against CCl(4)-induced chronic liver damage in female SD rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2008, 63(3), 141-5.
17.Naaz F, Javed S, Abdin M.Z., Hepatoprotective effect of ethanolic extract of Phyllanthus amarus Schum. et Thonn. On aflatoxin B1- induced liver damage in mice. J. Ethnopharmacol., 2007, 113(3), 503-9.
18.Pramyothin P, Samosorn P, Poungshompoo .S and Chaichantipyuth C., the protective effects of Phyllanthus emblica Linn. Extract on ethanol induced rat hepatic injury. J Ethnopharmacol., 2006, 107(3), 361-64.
19.B.R, Y.V, J.A, N.H, M.G, V.R., Protective effect of Phyllanthus polyphyllus on acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical science., 2008, 21(1), 57-62.
20.Das B.K, Bepary S, Datta B.K, Chowdhury A.A, Ali M.S, Rouf A.S., Hepatoprotective activity of Phyllanthus reticulates. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences., 2008, 21(4), 333-7.
21.Chander R, Dwivedi Y, Rastogi R, Sharma S.K, Garg N.K, Kapoor N.K, Dhawan B.N., Evaluation of hepatoprotective activity of picroliv from Picrorhiza kurroa in Mastomys natalensis infected with Plasmodium berghei. I J Medicinal Res., 1990, 92, 34-7.
22.Ansari R.A, Tripathi S.C, Patnaik G.K, Dhawan B.N., Antihepatotoxic properties of picroliv: an active fraction from rhizomes of Picrorhiza kurrooa. J Ethnopharmacol., 1991, 34(1), 61-8.
23.Dhanabal S.P, Syamala G, Satish Kumar M.N, Suresh B., Hepatoprotective activity of the Indian medicinal plant Polygala arvensis on Dgalactosamine- induced hepatic injury in rats. Fitoterapia., 2006, 77(6), 472-4.
24.Manjunatha B.K., Hepatoprotective activity of Pterocarpus santalinus L.f., an endangered medicinal plant. Indian journal of pharmacology., 2006, 38, 25-28.
25.Kharpate S, Vadnerkar G, Jain D, Jain S., hepatoprotective activity of the ethanol extract of the leaf of Ptrospermum acerifolium. Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences., 2007, 69(6), 850-52.
26.Sultana S, Perwaiz S, Iqbal M, Athar M., Crude extracts of hepatoprotective plants, Solanum nigrum and Cichorium intybus inhibit free radical-mediated DNA damage. Journal of Ethnopharmacol., 1995, 45(3),189-92.
27.Karan M, Vasisht K, Handa S.S., Antihepatotoxic activity of Swertia chirata on paracetamol and galactosamine induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Phytotherapy Research., 1999, 13(2), 95-01.
28.Mukherjee S, Sur A, Maiti B.R., Hepatoprotective effect of Swertia chirata on rat. Indian J Exp Biol., 1997, 35(4), 384-8.
29.Murugaian P, Ramamurthy V, and Karmegam N., Hepatoprotective Activity of Wedelia calendulacea L. Against Acute Hepatotoxicity in Rats. Research Journal of Agriculture and Biological Sciences., 2008, 4(6), 685-87.
30.Wu Jin-Bin, Lin Wei-Lii, Hsieh Chang-Chi, Ho Hui-Ya, Tsay Hsin-Sheng, Lin Wen-Chuan. The hepatoprotective activity of kinsenoside from Anoectochilus formosanus. PhytotherapyResearch. 2007, 21, 58-61.
31.Sumathi T, Nongbri A, Hepatoprotective effect of Bacoside-A, a major constituent of Bacopa monniera Linn, Phytomedicine, 15, 2008, 901-905.
32.Mumoli N, Cei M, Cosimi A (2006). "Drug-related hepatotoxicity". N. Engl. J. Med. 18;354 (20):2191–3; author reply 2191–3. doi:10.1056/NEJMc060733. PMID 16710915.
33.Bénichou C (1990). "Criteria of drug-induced liver disorders. Report of an international consensus meeting". J. Hepatol. 11 (2): 272–6. doi:10.1016/0168-8278(90)90124-A. PMID 2254635.
34.Jaeschke H, Gores GJ, Cederbaum AI, Hinson JA, Pessayre D, Lemasters JJ (2002). "Mechanisms of hepatotoxicity". Toxicol. Sci. 65 (2):166–76. doi:10.1093/toxsci/65.2.166. PMID 11812920.
35.Patel T, Roberts LR, Jones BA, Gores GJ (1998). "Dysregulation of apoptosis as a mechanism of liver disease: an overview". Semin. Liver Dis. 18 (2): 105–14. doi:10.1055/s-2007-1007147. PMID 9606808.
36.Beaune P, Dansette PM, Mansuy D, et al. Human anti-endoplasmic reticulum autoantibodies appearing in a drug-induced hepatitis are directed against a human liver cytochrome P-450 that hydroxylates the drug. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1987;84: 551-5.
37.Robin MA, Le Roy M, Descatoire V, Pessayre D. Plasma membrane cytochromes P450 as neoantigens and autoimmune targets in drug-induced hepatitis. J Hepatol 1997;26:Suppl 1:23-30.
38.Honig PK, Woosley RL, Zamani K, Conner DP, Cantilena LR Jr. Changes in the pharmacokinetics and electrocardiographic pharmacodynamics of terfenadine with concomitant administration of erythromycin. Clin Pharmacol Ther 1992;52:231-8.
39.Yun CH, Okerholm RA, Guengerich FP. Oxidation of the antihistaminic drug terfenadine in human liver microsomes: role of cytochrome P-450 3A(4) in N-dealkylation and C-hydroxylation. Drug Metab Dispos 1993;21:403-9.
40.Trauner M, Meier PJ, Boyer JL. Molecular pathogenesis of cholestasis. N Engl J Med 1998;339:1217-27.
41.Reed JC. Apoptosis-regulating proteins as targets for drug discovery. Trends Mol Med 2001;7:314-9.
42.Pessayre D, Berson A, Fromenty B, Mansouri A. Mitochondria in steatohepatitis. Semin Liver Dis 2001;21:57-69.
43.Mukharjee PK. Quality control of herbal drugs. New Delhi: Business horizon; 2002. p. 195-6.
44.Awouters F, Niemegeers CJ, Lenaerts FM, Jansen PA. Delay of castor oil diarrhoea in rats: A new way to evaluate inhibitors of prostaglandin biosynthesis. J Pharm Pharmacol 1978;30:41-5.
45.Puri HS (1999). Neem the Devine Tree, Azadirachta indica. Harwood Academic Publishers, The Netherlands.
46.Bhanwra S, Singh J and Khosla, P (2000). Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 44:64–68.
47.Chang-Chi H, Hsun-Lang F, Wen-Chuan L. Inhibitory effect of Solanum nigrum on thioacetamide-induced liver fibrosis in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 2008, 117–121.


SUBMIT YOUR ARTICLE/PROJECT AT articles@pharmatutor.org

Subscribe to Pharmatutor Alerts by Email