Practice and Re-Emergence of Herbal Medicine

Evidence-Based Potential Leads for Antimalarial Drug Development: An Insight into Classical Ayurveda Treatment

Author(s): Bidhan Mahajon, Rupashri Nath, Raja Chakraborty, Manajit Bora, Saikat Sen, Biplab Kumar Dey and Manish Kumar Gautam *

Pp: 122-134 (13)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815080414123010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Ayurveda is not merely a branch of medicine; this is a 'knowledge system' that deals with the unremitting association between the living and its contiguous environment to maintain the state of equilibrium and health of human beings as well as the environment. Historical records suggest Malaria has infected humans since the early commencement of mankind. Human Malaria is caused by single-cell protozoan parasites present in the Plasmodium genus, which is transmitted through the bite of female mosquitoes, Anopheles. The World malaria report (WMR) 2019 estimates that globally, there were estimated 228 million cases of Malaria in 89 countries. According to the WMR 2019, India represents 3% of the global malaria burden. In Ayurveda, Malaria is well thought-out under the portrayal of Vishama Jvara (irregular), which means 'irregular' in every aspect, including- its origin, symptoms, and periodicity. This is generally involved in the rasa dhatu (nourishment tissues), and irregularly attacks the body to manifest the symptoms. Hence, even if the fever subsides, the patient feels fatigued, heavy and exhausted. These signs and symptoms of Vishama Jvara are classically reverberating with conventional malarial fever, wherein the fever subsides and reappears at fixed intervals. This feature of the fever is described in Ayurveda as Muktaanubandhitvam (reappearing at regular intervals). To date, no effective vaccines are commercially available to prevent this endemic crisis. Research-based traditional knowledge system has significantly contributed by yielding two potent antimalarial drugs: alkaloid quinine derived from the bark of Trinayanani (Cinchona tree) and artemisinin derived from the plant Damanaka (Artemisia annua L.). In the midst of increasing problems of drug resistance along with difficulties in affording and accessing effective antimalarial drugs in underprivileged areas, therefore traditional medicines like Ayurveda have become an important and sustainable source of treatment of Malaria. The present review focused on evidence-based potential leads in Ayurveda for the treatment as well as drug development for Malaria. The information from different classical texts along with research papers, including books, journals and documents of different universities and institutes, has been collected and analyzed for the evidence-based lead on different single and multidrug plant-based formulations used for Malaria.

Keywords: Malaria, Vector born infectious disease, Vishama Jvara, Traditional medicine

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