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A Review of Aristolochia indica: Ethnomedicinal Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacological and Toxicological Effects

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 3 ]


Gopal Krishna Padhy*   Pages 371 - 385 ( 15 )


Background: Aristolochia indica L. of the family Aristolochiaceae is a twining perennial herb with an ancient history of medicinal use. In the Indian Ayurvedic system, it is used for the treatment of snake venom, scorpion venom, pimple, fever and worm infections.

Objective: This studay aimed to make accessible the current information on the traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of Aristolochia indica. Additionally, the purpose was to emphasize the potential uses of this plant to treat various diseases and to bring a foundation for further research.

Methods: The present review is carried out by compiling literature from 1935 to 2020, concerning the morphology, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, and toxicological aspects of Aristolochia indica.

Results: Diverse chemical compounds including aristolochic acids, aristolactam, Phenanthrenes, alkaloids, lignans, steroids and terpenes have been isolated from this plant. Mostly in-vivo models indicated several pieces of evidence on the use of this plant particularly to regulate fertility. Few in-- vivo studies also proved the usefulness of this plant in inflammation and diabetes. In some in-vitro studies, the anti-snake venom, larvicidal, and anti-oxidant properties have been proved.

Conclusion: Preclinical studies have demonstrated remarkable activity that supports the conventional use of the plant as an antivenum, antifertility, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent. Although few phytochemicals isolated (aristolic acid, (12S)-7,12-secoishwaran-12-ol, aristololactam- I N-β-D-glucoside, aristolochic acids, β-sitosterol, (-)hinokinin and aristolactam-I) from the plant exhibited remarkable biological activity, it was only confined to preclinical studies. Even though the isolated aristolochic acids showed significant anti-snake venom activity, but it was found to be nephrotoxic and mutagenic. More detailed safety data pertaining to the dose of crude extracts or pure compounds needs to be generated.


Ethnomedicine, Aristolochia indica, phytochemical, pharmacology, toxicity, anti-inflammatory.


Centurion University of Technology and Management, Odisha

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