Author(s): PV. Neeraja and Elizabeth Margaret*
The last decade has seen a global upsurge in the use of traditional medicine (TM) and complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) in both developed anddeveloping countries. Various forms of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines are playing a progressively more important role in health care globally and therefore their safety, efficacy, and quality control are important concerns today. Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers. (Amruthavalli or Guduci), is one of the most versatile rejuvinative herbs widely used as a traditional medicine. It is mentioned in various classical texts of Indian Medicinal Systems and is cultivated throughout the Indian subcontinent and China. The therapeutic efficacy makes for its extensive usage in various systems of medicine. Pre clinical and clinical pharmacological studies affirm the importance of this herb. The notable medicinal properties are anti-diabetic, anti-periodic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-oxidant, anti-allergic, anti-stress, anti-leprotic, anti-malarial, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory and anti-neoplastic activities. The principle constituents present in the plant are alkaloids, diterpenoid lactones, glycosides, steroids, sesquiterpenoid, phenolics, aliphatic compounds and polysaccharides. The present paperreviews the pharmacological and phytochemical aspects of the herb and its usage in different medicinal systems. However, the molecular mechanism of these activities of Tinospora cordifoliafor its medicinal properties is to be elucidated.