Use of herbal medicine for cure of ailments is a tradition from time immemorial and still it is practiced among the community. Tribal community are dependent on forest products and they use different parts of plants for various purposes including medicinal use.In past decades, lot of scientific research and development is focussed on herbalmedicine for treatment of various health challenges in different national healthcare settings. Herbal medicine is used across the Globe in a large scale and very often it is used along with other drugs.Among theTraditional medicinepractice most commonly used practice in developing countries isherbal medicine.Majority in Africa use herbs in their day to day life to treat ailments.
In China, traditional herbal medicine along with western medicine was tried to tackle SARS though the expert committee suggestedto ensureeffectiveness of conventional Chinese medicine based on herbs andmaintain utmost standard and quality.
Active constituents present inside the different part of the plant, determine the therapeutic value of the plant including secondary metabolites.Saponin, is an alkaloidfound in the leaves, and. Sapogenin which is aglucosideispresent and seeds of this plant. Various Photochemical studies on this wonder treeascertained the presence steroids, saponin, flavonoids and many active ingredientsincludingnewercomponents likemadhucic acid (penta cyclic triterpenoids), madhushazone, four new oleanane type triterpene glycosides and madhucosides A and Bwhich have medicinal properties.
Traditionally its bark has been used against diabetes, rheumatism, ulcers, bleeding and tonsillitis. Its different parts have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic properties. Its use has been evidenced against infertility, hyperglycemias, bacterial infections and cancer.Long back, I had prescribed acyclovir for an adult who had herpes with blisters all over his trunk. After few days he came to me and I saw thepatient was asymptomatic. I was happy thinking that the antiviral has worked. But the patient told that he could not purchase the drug because it was costly for him. As per the advice of local traditional healer he took seedcake of MadhucaLongifoliaand burnt it. He exposed his body to the smoke or fumes of the seedcake andall the blisters were fallen. Its antiviral property needs to be confirmed by further research.
The Medicinal properties of this wonderful Mahua tree are not known to the researchers of today. On the backdrop of antimicrobial resistance, lack of affordability of people of developing countries, researchers should show interest and work intensively towards finding different ingredients of this plant and conduct experiment for treating ailments which will benefit Mankind in terms of less cost, minimal side effect and socio-cultural acceptability of herbal medicine by the community.