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SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON INGREDIENTS

1. Shankhpushi (Convolvulus pluricaulis)

 

Health benefits Of Shankhpushpi

Improves Cognitive Functioning:

Shankhpushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, and alertness of an individual. Being a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhpushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities. The neuroprotective elements in the plant prevent loss of memory and relieve tension from the brain.

Reduces Mental Fatigue:

Mental fatigue is a condition of excessive and prolonged cognitive activity. It mostly occurs due to excessive work using a computer, watching television for hours, learning or memorizing activities, etc., and causes a person to lose concentration and feel lethargic. Shankhpushpi is a powerful memory booster that helps in enhancing the brain’s working capacity and reduces the loss of concentration.

Intake of a decoction of a spoonful of shankhpushpi powder with a glass of water daily can do wonders in boosting your memory.

Shankhpushpi for Depression

Shankhapushpi holds high significance due to its potent anti-stress, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety properties are extremely useful for treating different types of psychotic problems like depression, dementia, restlessness, etc. It balances the brain chemicals i.e. neurotransmitters and ups potent anti-stress, antidepressant, and anti-anxiety properties that are extremely useful for treating different types of psychotic problems like depression, dementia, restlessness, etc. It balances the brain chemicals i.e. neurotransmitters and ups the secretion of dopamine which in turn keeps the serotonin level under control and helps to reduce various symptoms of anxiety which include restlessness, uneasiness, cold hands, and feet, and helps in relaxing the mind and body.

Enhances Cardiac Functioning:

Shankhpushpi is extremely effective in treating various heart ailments due to its strong antioxidative nature. It strengthens the heart muscles and prevents lipid buildup in the blood vessels. The bioactive constituents like the ethanolic extract reduce the levels of non-esterified fatty acids i.e. NEFA, and hence reduce the risk of heart attacks, heart blocks, blood clots, etc. It also plays a key role in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

The crude herb and its metabolites have exhibited a wide range of in vitro and in vivo neuropharmacological effects, including memory enhancement, anxiolytic, tranquilizing, anti-depressant, anti-stress, neurodegenerative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, sedative, anti-convulsant, and Alzheimer’s disease-reversing effects. Network pharmacology results indicate that compounds from C. pluricaulis interact with various proteins, neuro synapses, signaling pathways, and serotonergic synapses which plays a crucial role in neurotransmission, Alzheimer’s disease, long-term depression, addictions to alcohol, cognitive disorders, psychological conditions, and increasing serotonin concentration in synapses.

Shankhpushpi Has been traditionally used for improvement in memory and cognitive function in cases of dementia, epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Studies have shown that this herb has the potential to enhance memory recall, increase brain plasticity, and boost learning ability. The plant species has several active metabolites including alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and terpenoids that interact with protein, and neurological signaling pathways and demonstrate pharmacological effects, such as anti-amnesiac, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, analgesic, antioxidant, neuroprotective, memory and learning improving, sedative-hypnotic and anticonvulsant activity, which have been linked to brain health and the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, leaf explants of C. prostratus were cultured on MS (Murashige and Skoog’s medium) medium supplemented with 1mgL-1 2, 4-D shows optimum callus induction. Moreover, several biotechnological approaches could be used for a better understanding of its memory-enhancing mechanism, such as phytochemical analysis for active compounds, in vitro and in vivo studies for safety and efficacy, metabolomics for potential health benefits, and tissue culture for large-scale production of this medicinally potent plant species in a controlled environment. At present, there are many commercial medicinal products available in the market consisting of Shankhpushpi as an ingredient or whole.

 

2. Brahmi (Bocapa monnieri)

 

Bacopa monnieri has been used by Ayurvedic medical practitioners for centuries for a variety of purposes, including improving memory, reducing anxiety, and treating epilepsy.

Research shows that it may boost brain function and alleviate anxiety and stress, among other benefits.

A class of powerful compounds called bacosides in Bacopa monnieri is believed to be responsible for these benefits.

Contains powerful antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that help protect against cell damage caused by potentially harmful molecules called free radicals.

Research suggests that damage caused by free radicals is linked to many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

Bacopa monnieri contains powerful compounds that may have antioxidant effects.

For example, bacosides, the main active compounds in Bacopa monnieri, have been shown to neutralize free radicals and prevent fat molecules from reacting with free radicals.

When fat molecules react with free radicals, they undergo a process called lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is linked to several conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Bacopa monnieri may help prevent damage caused by this process.

For example, an older study showed that treating rats with dementia with Bacopa monnieri reduced free radical damage and reversed signs of memory impairment.

Help to boost brain function

Older studies suggest that Bacopa monnieri may help enhance brain function.

For example, one study in mice showed that supplementing with Bacopa monnieri improved their spatial learning and ability to retain information.

The same study also found that it increased dendritic length and branching. Dendrites are parts of nerve cells in the brain that are closely linked to learning and memory.

Additionally, a 12-week study in 46 healthy adults observed that taking 300 mg of Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual.

Bacopa monnieri daily significantly improved the speed of processing visual information, learning rate, and memory, compared with the placebo treatment.

Another 12-week study in 60 older adults found that taking either 300 mg or 600 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily improved memory, attention, and the ability to process information, compared with the placebo treatment.

May help reduce ADHD symptoms

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by symptoms like hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattentiveness.

Interestingly, research has shown that Bacopa monnieri may help reduce ADHD symptoms.

One study in 31 children aged 6-12 years found that taking 225 mg of Bacopa monnieri extract daily for 6 months significantly reduced ADHD symptoms, such as restlessness, poor self-control, inattention, and impulsivity in 85% of the children.

A study is reported on the effects of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) on human memory. Seventy-six adults aged between 40 and 65 years took part in a double-blind randomized, placebo-control study in which various memory functions were tested and levels of anxiety measured. There were three testing sessions: one before the trial, one after three months of the trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial. The results show a significant effect of the Brahmi on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that Brahmi decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information. Tasks assessing attention, verbal and visual short-term memory, and the retrieval of pre-experimental knowledge were unaffected. Questionnaire measures of everyday memory function and anxiety levels were also unaffected.

Potential Uses of Brahmi for Brain:

For cognition

Some researchers Bhattacharya et al. 1999 have reported that the Brahmi extract was found to reverse the cognitive deficits (loss of memory and thinking) in animal models. In a human study conducted by Roodenrys et al. 2002 with people ages 45 to 65 years, it was seen that the rate of learning was unaffected, implying that brahmi might reduce the rate of forgetting newly acquired information. The cognitive effects of Brahmi might be due to its antioxidant properties. 2 There is a need for further research to say that Brahmi might benefit human cognition.

For Sedation

Some studies by Aithal et al. 1961 and Prakash et al.1962 have found that Brahmi extract and the extract of the whole plant may have sedative and tranquilizing (reduces anxiety, tension, and fear) effects on animals. 2 There is a need for more studies on humans to suggest that Brahmi may have sedative properties as these studies are very old and also done on animals.

For anxiety

In Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional use of Brahmi as an anti-anxiety medication may be supported by both human and animal studies. In a human study by Singh R et al. 1982, Brahmi showed reduced symptoms of anxiety, level of disability and mental fatigue, level of anxiety, and an increase in memory span. This information is insufficient and requires more studies to back this claim.

 

3. Vacha (Acorus calamus)

 

Acorus calamus (Acoraceae), also known as Calamus or Sweet Flag is a commonly used herbal medicine in the Ayurvedic system. Roots and rhizomes of the Acorus calamus have been used as a single drug or as a component of certain compound drug preparations in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine for psychoneurosis, insomnia, hysteria, epilepsy, and loss of memory. It is also used in the treatment of cough, fever, bronchitis, inflammation, depression and other mental disorders, tumors, hemorrhoids, skin diseases, numbness, and general debility. It contains volatile oil with active constituents such as a-asarone and ẞ-asarone. Its saponine content is also identified. Various studies indicated that the calamus possesses anticonvulsant, antioxidant, neuroprotective, and immunomodulatory properties. Various other effects like anticellular, antibacterial, and central muscle relaxant properties of the calamus have also been reported. It is also reported that some species of calamus possess carcinogenicity. In the present review, an attempt has been made to explore different ethnopharmacological aspects of Acorus calamus.

The Acorus calamus has shown statistically significant increase in memory in Step down passive avoidance, Sodium nitrite induced amnesia and Elevated plus maze paradigm

  1. calamus rhizomes are used for the treatment of host diseases such as mental ailments like schizophrenia, psychoneurosis, insomnia, hysteria, epilepsy and loss of memory in the Indian ayurvedic system of medicine (Prajapati et al. 2003; Nadkarni 1998). Vacha Taken with milk for one month improves ‘pragya’ and ‘shrutidhara’ i.s.intellectual, grasping, and memory (Shah 2005). Traditionally the newborn child is given vasambu (rhizome paste) with honey and gold for proper brain development, speech ability, better visual power, and increased seminal power. It stimulates the nervous system(i.e. vatanadi sasthana) to get relief from depression. It is useful in improving speech in stuttering and other disorders. After birth its paste is applied on the tongue with ghee, gold, and water to improve memory and grasping qualities (Jadhav 1994). It is a good sedative so the extract is used for epilepsy, insanity, and as a tranquilliser along with Valeriana jatamamsi and Nardostachys gran- diflora. It’s An ingredient of the ayurvedic preparation”Brahmi Bati” (Budhivardhar) which is indicated in epilepsy, coma, and hysteria and in cases of mental retardation: the same uses are prescribed for an Acorus containing Unani drug “Ma’junBaladur”. In headache, drowsiness, sinusitis, and more sleepy feelings the ‘Pradhaman nasya’ its dry powder is inhaled in the nostrils (Jadhav 1994)

 

4. Vidanga (Embelia ribes)

 

Vidanga is a potent herb that is highly beneficial for indigestion and also helps to treat constipation due to its laxative property. Incorporating prescribed doses of Vidanga churna on a routine basis might help to keep obesity in check while also lowering lipid levels and improving the overall metabolism of the body. The cardioprotective and antioxidant property of the herb shields the heart against cellular damage by free oxygen radicals. Vidanga having strong anti-anxiolytic properties might also be beneficial in mitigating anxiety and depression by improving mood as well as brain functions.

Relieve Stress And Anxiety

It has powerful adaptogenic quality, Vidanga is highly vital in treating numerous psychotic situations like depression, dementia, Parkinson’s etc. It normalises the Vata and Pitta doshas in the body which in turn maintains the serotonin levels under control and helps to curtail various symptoms of anxiety which includes restlessness, uneasiness, cold hands, feet, etc.

The dominant antidepressant trait of the herb also helps in studying the mind, lessening all sorts of physical and mental stress, and irritability and boosting energy and stamina.

Antitumor and anti-inflammatory activities: Embelin, a plant-based benzoquinone derivative, has been found to exhibit significant antitumor activity in methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma in albino rats besides enhancing their survival time. The drug also has an appreciable action on pain and inflammation. The changes in DNA, RNA and RNA and protein levels in various organs in the tumour-treated animals were also studied.

 

5.Malkangani /Jyothishmati (Celastrus paniculata)

Jyothishmathi is an important medicinal plant that belongs to the celastraceae family, generally known as Malkangani or black oil plant. The plant of Jyothishmathi is broadly used  in the ayurvedic system of medicine to cure many diseases and symptoms such as arthritis, asthma, antipyretic, amenorrhea, anti-paralysis, thermogenic, intellect promoting, leprosy, leucoderma, nephropathy, abdominal dis- orders, sores and treatment of snake bite. This plant is naturally used in the treatment of vaginal discharge, burning sensation, blood purification, asthma, paralysis, abdominal disorders, etc. The seeds of Celastrus paniculatus have very hot potency, which means seed powder produces heat in the body and gives a feeling of warmth after its consumption. This effect generally appears with the larger dosage of Mālakāriganī. However, smaller dosages may also increase heat in the body, but up to tolerable levels. Therefore, its higher doses are chosen to be used in the winter season, and lower dosages for the hot season. Its lower dosage is effective in the management of several diseases. Celastrine and paniculatine are the two alkaloids present in the seeds.

According to Ayurveda, Malkangani powder can be taken along with honey or water to help manage pain and swelling due to osteoarthritis due to its vata-balancing property.

Consuming Malkangani oil with lukewarm water once a day helps in enhancing memory due to its Medhya (improves intelligence) properties.

Weak memory

Malkangani helps to enhance memory. According to Ayurveda, poor memory is due to the inactivity of Kapha or the aggravation of Vata dosha. Malkangani helps in balancing Vata and improves memory. This is due to its Medhya (improves intelligence) property.

Anxiety

Malkangani is useful for managing the symptoms of anxiety. According to Ayurveda, Vata governs all the movement and actions of the body and nervous system respectively. Anxiety is mainly due to Vata imbalance. Malkangani helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. This is due to its Vata balancing and unique Medhya (improve intelligence) properties.

The seed oil of Malkangani has the potential to reduce stress. This is due to its nerve-protective and antioxidant properties. It reduces oxidative stress and destroys free radicals responsible for stress.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

Malkangani is an effective remedy to manage stress or anxiety. According to Ayurveda, stress is due to an aggravated Vata. Malkangani has Vata balancing property and helps reduce stress. It also has Medhya (improves intelligence) property which calms and relaxes the mind.

Antidepressant-Like Activity of Celastrus Paniculatus Seed Oil- Celastrus paniculatus seed oil administered for 14 successive days to mice produced a significant antidepressant-like effect in mice behavioral models like TST and FST probably by interaction with dopamine-D2 receptors

Role of “Jyothishmati mati” in the treatment of CNS disorders- By studying the various uses and benefits of Jyotishmati, it is clear that it has a significant effect on various disorders and in treating various illness not only nervine disorders but also problems related to skin, fever and cardiac disorders etc.

Neuroprotective effect of Celastrus paniculatus on chronic stress-induced cognitive impairment- Celastrus paniculatus oil treatment for 14 days showed a beneficial effect on chronic restraint stress-induced cognitive deficits. It restored spatial learning and memory and showed anti-anxiety activity in stressed conditions. This work provides a novel perspective on the beneficial effect of herbal therapy on stress-induced cognitive dysfunctions. However, further studies are necessitated to identify cellular and molecular mechanisms of this herb on cognitive-enhancing activity in stress and stress-associated disorders.

 

6. Ustukhadoos (Lavandula stoechas)

The plant is also used in folk medicine as an antispasmodic in colic pain and for various diseases of the central nervous system, such as epilepsy and migraine. L. stoechas also has positive effects on wounds, urinary tract infections, against eczema, and has analgesic, sedative, and antiseptic properties.

The results of behavioral studies found by elevated plus maze, one of the most famous models of assessment of memory, indicated that aqueous fraction significantly, (P < 0.001) reduced both initial and retention transfer latencies in mice which is an indication of improvement of memory. Similarly, the inflexion ratio was observed to be enhanced in extract-treated animals which indicates improved learned activities by rodents. Comparison of treated and amnesic animals indicated that pretreatment of mice with different doses of aqueous extract protected the mice’s brains from the harmful effects of scopolamine and learned tasks were retained in treated animals as compared to diseased mice.

The findings of the light-dark paradigm indicated that animals treated with aqueous fraction spent a maximum of time in a dark box as they learned to go to dark areas and retained their memory as compared to animals only treated with scopolamine that lost their learned tasks. This is evidence of the usefulness of this model in the assessment of enhancement of memory along with the efficacy of plant extract.

Hole-board paradigm was based on the concept that the increased number of hole-pokings by mice indicated their natural explorative behavior, However, animals treated only with scopolamine lost their memory of exploration and presented a decreased number of hole-pokings. The results indicated a significant (p<0.001) increase in several hole-pokings on both days by animals treated with an aqueous fraction of L stoechas. Results of behavioral studies were further supported by an assessment of the level of ACHE, MDA, SOD, CAT, and GSH in brain homogenates of mice.

Findings suggested that an aqueous fraction of L stoechas significantly (p<0.001) reduced the level of AChE in mice as compared to scopolamine-treated animals. The degradation of acetylcholine takes place by AChE at the level of synapses and agent promoting AChE

The findings of this study show that the constituents of aqueous fraction of Lavandula stoechas prevent dementia by slowing down cholinergic decay as well as providing protection for brain neurons against oxidizing agents. Thus, the study supports the claimed benefits of Lavandula stoechas in managing memory-related disorders.

The aqueous fraction of L. stoechas is a memory-enhancing agent. Its antioxidant activity prevents the loss of memory by providing a defense against neurodegeneration. Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase, Elevated plus maze, Behavioural studies, Lavandula stoechas, Malondialdehyde