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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-207

Compilation of herbal drug substitutes suggested in selected classical ayurvedic texts


1 Research Scholar, Department of Botany, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Botany, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, Kerala, India

Date of Submission30-Sep-2020
Date of Decision17-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance02-May-2021
Date of Web Publication25-Sep-2021

Correspondence Address:
C N Shanti Vasudevan
House No. 83, LPS Road, Palarivattom, Kochi - 682 025, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/joa.joa_169_20

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Ayurvedic literature suggests the use of readily available substitute drugs (Abhava Pratinidhi Dravya) with similar properties (rasa, guna, and veerya) for genuine drugs in its scarcity or absence (Abhava Dravya). Data Source: Ayurvedic texts – Yogaratnakara, Bhavaprakasha, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Vaidya Chintamani. Review Methods: The present review focuses on enlisting such alternative substitute plants or plant parts suggested in ayurvedic texts – Yogaratnakara, Bhavaprakasha, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Vaidya Chintamani. The International Plant Names Index and the Plant List were referred for citing the latest scientific names. Results: The compiled list of original substitute drug pairs includes Sanskrit name, scientific name, family, and their habit. Two of the pairs were found repeated in all the four texts while five pairs were found in three texts. Fourteen pairs were found repeated in two texts. Some of the plants for whom substitutes are being suggested come under, Ashtavarga Rare Medicinal Plants. Conclusion: This concept needs to be scientifically analyzed for identifying genuine substitutes. Comparative scientific studies on original and substitutes suggested can help to avoid adulteration in medicinal plants and can also act as a conservation strategy to protect rare medicinal plants.

Keywords: Abhava Pratinidhi Dravya, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Bhavaprakasha, drug substitutes, Vaidya Chintamani


How to cite this article:
Vasudevan C N, Neerakkal I. Compilation of herbal drug substitutes suggested in selected classical ayurvedic texts. J Ayurveda 2021;15:198-207

How to cite this URL:
Vasudevan C N, Neerakkal I. Compilation of herbal drug substitutes suggested in selected classical ayurvedic texts. J Ayurveda [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Oct 21];15:198-207. Available from: http://www.journayu.in/text.asp?2021/15/3/198/326706




  Introduction Top


Large number of plant species has become vulnerable to extinction due to urbanization and deforestation. The increasing demand for the medicinal plants by various processing industries (pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics, perfumes, etc.) have led to overexploitation of plants.[1] Hence, there is an urgent need to develop methods for the conservation of plants.[2] Among the various strategies adopted for medicinal plant conservation, the concept of drug substitution mentioned in the ayurvedic literature can be considered a method of sustainable use of medicinal plant. The concept of drug substitution is accepted in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic literture suggests the use of readily available substitute drugs with similar properties (rasa, guna, and veerya) for genuine drugs in its scarcity or absence.[3] The concept of substitute has been mentioned in texts such as Charaka Samhita,[4] Bhavaprakasha Nighantu,[5] Bhaishajya Ratnavali,[6] Yogaratnakara,[3] Chikitsasara Sangraha,[7] and Ayurveda Saukhyam.[8] Of the different substitutes being suggested for several plants in ayurvedic texts, the present study focuses on enlisting such herbal drug substitutes enlisted in classical texts such as Yogaratnakara, Bhavaprakasha, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Vaidya Chintamani. The list includes Sanskrit names, binomial names, family, and habit of the plants.


  Materials and Methods Top


Yogaratnakara

Yogaratnakara is a compilation work of the Indian Medical system. It is a well-known treaties on Indian Medicine as discussed in the several books of the ancient period to the later part of the 17th century A. D. In the chapter on basic concepts of Ayurveda in Yogartnakara, the concept of abavavarga (substitute drugs) has been suggested.[9]

Bhavaprakasha

Bhava Prakasha Nighantu written in the 16th century by Bhavamishra is renowned Ayurvedic pharmacopeia mostly of plant origin along with a concise description of drugs of metal and mineral origin with processing techniques and therapeutic uses. The book is unique as it includes information on contemporary drugs.[10]

Vaidya Chintamani

Vaidya Chintamani written by Vallabhacharya, an important treatise of Ayurveda from Andhra Pradesh is a bilingual work in the Sanskrit and Telugu language. The book contains large information about different Ayurvedic formulations with the details of their ingredients, method of preparation, mode of administration, anupana, and dose, etc. Details are very elaborative.

Bhaishajya Ratnavali

Bhaishajya Ratnavali is a classic work of Govindadas Sen compiling different categories of herbal and herbomineral formulations.[11]

Compilation of substitutes mentioned in selected Ayurvedic texts

Botanical identities of Sanskrit names of drugs mentioned in Ayurvedic texts were verified using The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India[12] and Madanapala Nighantu[13] Herbs with controversial identity were excluded. The list of original and substitute drugs mentioned in Yogaratnakara, Bhavaprakasha, Bhaishajya Ratnavali, and Vaidya Chintamani were tabulated along with their scientific names, families, and their habit. The International Plant Names Index[14] and the Plant List[15] were referred for citing the latest scientific names.


  Results Top


Original and substitute plant drug pairs suggested in the selected Ayurvedic texts were tabulated [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4]. Among the enlisted pairs, two of the pairs were found repeated in all the four texts, whereas five pairs were found in three texts. Fourteen pairs were found repeated in two texts [Table 5]. Substitute drugs were suggested for plants coming under Ashtavarga – rare medicinal plants category.
Table 1: List of some herbal drugs and their substitutes according to Yogaratnakara

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Table 2: List of some herbal drugs and their substitutes according to Bhavaprakasha

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Table 3: List of some herbal drugs and their substitutes according to Vaidyachintamani

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Table 4: List of some herbal drugs and their substitutes according to Bhaishajya Ratnavalli

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Table 5: List of original (Abhava Dravya) and substitute drug (Abhava Pratinidhi) with repetitions in the texts - Yogaratnakara, Bhavaprakasha, Bhaishajya Ratnavali and Vaidya Chintamani studied

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  Discussion and Conclusion Top


Most of the original and substitute drugs mentioned in the Ayurvedic texts belonged to different angiosperm families. In few cases, gymnosperm drugs such as Taxus baccata L. and Abies spectabilis (D. Don) Mirb. were substituted by angiosperm plants Tagetes erecta L. and Elettaria cardamomum (L.) Maton, respectively. Angiosperms are ecologically dominant and more advanced group with potential for prolific reproduction, rapid colonization, and fast growth.[16]

In few cases, the substitute drug suggested came under the same family, which may be due to morphological similarity with the original drug as in case of Saccharum officianarum and its substitute Arundo donax both coming under Poaceae and Pimpinella anisum and its substitute Carum carvi coming under Apiaceae. Some original and substitute pairs suggested came under the same genus like, Piper longum-Piper nigrum and Solanum surattensis-Solanum indicum. The logic behind suggestion of these pairs could be justified by the presence of common phytoconstituents between them as reported in earlier works.[17] Substitution of sparsely available plant part with easily available ones is also mentioned, as in place of latex of Calotropis gigantea with its juice was being suggested.

Mention of the substitutes Plumbago indica and Solanum xanthocarpum for the original drugs Semecarpus anacardium and Clerodendrum serratum, respectively, in all the four texts referred can be supported by the common therapeutic uses suggested for the original and the substitute in The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India.[18] List of original drugs suggested included the drugs coming under Ashtavarga – rare medicinal plant.[19] Substitutes were suggested for such drugs.

Drugs coming under this group, Malaxis muscifera,[20] Fritillaria cirrhosa,[21] Lilium polyphyllum,[22] Polygonatum verticillatum,[23] Crepedium acuminatum,[23] Habenari intermedia,[24] and Platanthera edgeworthii are reported to be critically endangered, endangered, or threatened. Substitutes suggested for these drugs if scientifically studied can help in encouraging the usage of substitutes and thus act as a strategy for medicinal plant conservation. Several strategies such as in situ and ex situ conservation, cultivation practices, resource management, biotechnological approaches, and sustainable use of medicinal plant resources are being suggested for medicinal plant conservation.[25]

Ayurvedic literature on substitution is not supported by the scientific proof. Hence, the different substitutes suggested have to be systematically studied by further phytochemical and pharmacological studies to confirm the legitimacy behind the concept of Abhva Pratinidhi Dravya. The concept of drug substitution has been scientifically validated in pairs like Ativisha–Musta by pharmacognostic, phytochemical,[26] and pharmacological studies.[27] A review on herbal drug substitutes acting on the digestive system has been reported.[28] The legitimacy of the substitutes suggested can be evaluated by phytochemical and pharmacological studies and scientifically proven may help in reducing adulteration.

Financial support and sponsorship

Corresponding author thank UGC for receiving Teacher Fellowship under Faculty Development Programme during XIIth Plan period, from UGC, SWRO, Bangalore.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.





 
  References Top

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Barata AM, Asdal A. 36 Medicinal and Aromatic Plants ECPGR Working Group: Objectives and Achievements. Agrobiodiversity Conservation Securing the Diversity of Crop Wild Relatives and Landraces; 2011. p. 292.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
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3.
Kumari A, Tewari P. Yogaratnakara. Part-1. A Complete Treatise on Ayurveda. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan; 2002. p. 191-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Pandeya G. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesa with Cakrapanidatta Tika. Varanasi: Chaukhambhavisva Bharathi; 1997. p. 191-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Kumari A, Premvati TP. Yogaratnakara. Part- 1: A complete treatise on Ayurveda. Varanasi: Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan 2002;191-5.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Jagtap CY, Prajapati PK, Patil R, Chaudhary SY. Therapeutic uses of Tamra (copper) bhasma – A review through Bhaishajya Ratnavali. Ayurpharm Int J Ayur Alli Sci 2014;3:128-35.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi; 1987.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Sastry JLN. Madapala Nighantu. Varanasi: Chaukhamba orientalia. A House of Oriental, Antiquarian and Ayurvedic Books 2009.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Available from: https://www.ipni.org/. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 02].  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/. [Last accessed on 2019 Jun 02].  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Bond WJ. The tortoise and the hare: Ecology of angiosperm dominance and gymnosperm persistence. Biol J Linnean Soc 1989;36:227-49.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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Hamrapurkar PD, Jadhav K, Zine S. Quantitative estimation of piperine in Piper nigrum and Piper longum using high performance thin layer chromatography. J Appl Pharm Sci 2011;1:117-20.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
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Anonymous. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India. 1st ed. New Delhi Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Health; 1989. p. 1.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
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Singh AP. Ashtavarga: Rare medicinal plants. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 2006;2006:11.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
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Suyal R, Bhatt D, Rawal RS, Tewari LM. Status of Two Threatened Astavarga Herbs, Polygonatum cirrhifolium and Malaxis muscifera, in West Himalaya: Conservation Implications. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences; October 9, 2019. p. 1-0.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
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Rana SK, Rana HK, Ghimire SK, Shrestha KK, Ranjitkar S. Predicting the impact of climate change on the distribution of two threatened Himalayan medicinal plants of Liliaceae in Nepal. J Mountain Sci 2017;14:558-70.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
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Dhyani A, Nautiyal BP, Nautiyal MC. Distribution, status and conservation of Lilium polyphyllum (Liliaceae), a critically endangered medicinal plant from India. Plant Biosystems-An. Int J Dealing Aspects Plant Biol 2018;152:608-11.  Back to cited text no. 22
    
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Balkrishna A, Srivastava A, Mishra RK, Patel SP, Vashistha RK, Singh A, et al. Astavarga plants-threatened medicinal herbs of the North-West Himalaya. Int. J. Med. Arom. Plants 2012;2:661-76.  Back to cited text no. 23
    
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Bisht VK, Negi JS, Bhandari AK. Check on extinction of medicinal herbs in Uttarakhand: No Need to Uproot; 2016. p. 233-5.  Back to cited text no. 24
    
25.
Chen SL, Yu H, Luo HM, Wu Q, Li CF, Steinmetz A. Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants: Problems, progress, and prospects. Chin Med 2016;11:37.  Back to cited text no. 25
    
26.
Adams SJ, Kuruvilla GR, Krishnamurthy KV, Nagarajan M, Venkatasubramanian P. Pharmacognostic and phytochemical studies on Ayurvedic drugs Ativisha and Musta. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 2013;23:398-409.  Back to cited text no. 26
    
27.
Nagarajan M, Kuruvilla GR, Kumar KS, Venkatasubramanian P. Pharmacology of Ativisha, Musta and their substitutes. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2015;6:121-33.  Back to cited text no. 27
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28.
Vidhate S, Deogade MS, Khobragade P. Abhava Pratinidhi Dravya (substitutes for herbal drugs) acting on digestive system – A brief review. J Indian Syst Med 2015;3:155.  Back to cited text no. 28
    



 
 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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