A review of pharmacology of Ativisha, Musta and their substitutes

Kumar, Subrahmanya K A review of pharmacology of Ativisha, Musta and their substitutes. Journal of Ayurveda & Integrative Medicine. pp. 1-13. ISSN 0975-9476

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The Ayurvedic literature during the medieval period suggests the use of Musta (Cyperus rotundus), a common weed, as a pratinidhi dravya (substitute) for Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), an endangered species. Contemporary Ayurvedic practice also uses Cryptocoryne spiralis, (known as Naattu Atividayam in South India) and Nagaramusta (Cyperus scariosus) as substitutes for Ativisha and Musta, respectively. This article reviews published literature on the pharmacology of the above four species. Both A. heterophyllum and C. rotundus are reported to possess antiinfl ammatory, antipyretic, antibacterial and antidiarrhoeal properties, while antiinfl ammatory and antibacterial activities are attributed to C. scariosus. No reports exist on the bioactivity of Cryptocoryne spiralis. It is interesting to note that other than the veerya which is different, the biological properties of Ativisha and Musta are similar according to Ayurvedic classifi cation of dravyaguna. This is also supported by modern pharmacological studies, which show that, both A. heterophyllum and C. rotundus have antidiarrheal, antipyretic, antiinfl ammatory, antihyperlipidemic and hypoglycemic activities. However, the similarities between the discussed species cannot be attributed to their phytochemical composition or taxonomical classifi cation as these are quite distinct. The dravyaguna method of classifying materials, which we are calling as “pharmaco-taxonomy”, offers a unique way of classifying those plant materials which lack similarity at the botanical or chemical level, but are similar at the level of biological functions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aconitum; Ativisha, Ayurveda; Cryptocoryne; Cyperus; Musta; pharmacology.
Subjects: Research > Research Center - Health Sciences
Depositing User: KMC Manipal
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2015 11:47
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2015 11:47
URI: http://eprints.manipal.edu/id/eprint/141973

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