History of Diabetes & Diabetics

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The active adaptogenic constituents are diterpene compounds, polyphenols, and polysaccharides, including arabinogalactan polysaccharide (TSP). A large number of compounds have been isolated from the aerial parts and roots of T. cordifolia . In the early 1900s, giloin, gilenin, and gilosterol, as well as the bitter principles columbin, chasmanthin, and palmarin, were identified in the plant. A wide variety of sesquiterpenes and diterpenes have been isolated from the stems of the plant. The major isolated compounds include the norditerpene furan glycosides cordiofolisides ; the daucane-type sesquiterpenes tinocordifolin and tinocordifolioside; the furanoid diterpene glucosides palmatosides C and F, and amritosides ; the clerodane diterpenoids cordioside, tinosponone, and tinocordioside ; tinosporaside, a novel norclerodane diterpene glucoside, and tinocordiside, a cadinane sesquiterpene glycoside. In addition, syringin, cordiol, cordioside, and the phenylpropene disaccharides cordifoliosides A and B were identified as the active principles with anticomplement and immunomodulatory activities. The stems of the plant contain the alkaloid berberine. Cultures of the stem callus have the capability of synthesizing this compound. Ecdysterone, makisterone A, and beta-hydroxyecdysone are phytoecdysones isolated from the aerial parts of the plant.

Other constituents reported from T. cordifolia include a phenolic lignan, octacosanol, nonacosan-one, heptacosanol, beta-sitosterol, tinosporidine, cordifol, cordifolone, magnoflorine, tembetarine, syringine and syringine apiosylglycoside, and a glucan polysaccaride. The roots of T. cordifolia contain isocolumbin, palmatine, tetrahydropalmatine, magnoflorine, and jatrorrhizine.

Uses of Tinospora

T. cordifolia is used in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine for the treatment of jaundice, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and is also used as an immunostimulant. Limited studies have examined its antineoplastic, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, hypolipidemic, and immunologic properties.

Antineoplastic effects

Tinospora plant extracts made with water, ethanol/methanol, or methylene chloride extracts have been evaluated for antineoplastic effects in various animal experiments.

A dose-dependent cytotoxic effect of Tinospora extract in HeLa-cultured cells comparable with doxorubicin has been reported

Tumor mass reduction and increased survival time have been observed with administration of the extract in several experiments in mice with induced carcinomas. Tinospora extract showed a regulatory effect on serum cytokine, with consequent angiogenesis inhibition in mice melanoma cells.

Survival time was increased after irradiation, and body weight loss was decreased in mice pretreated with a single dose of Tinospora extract.

At low doses, an ethanol extract of Tinospora increased bone marrow cell counts, while higher doses resulted in decreased counts in mice with induced lymphoma. In similar experiments, Tinospora extracts restored thymus homeostasis, retarded tumor growth, and prolonged survival times.

Antidiabetic and hypolipidemic effects

Aqueous and ethanol extracts of T. cordifolia root administered to alloxan-induced diabetic rats caused a dose-dependent reduction in blood glucose levels, similar to glibenclamide and insulin.

In similar experiments, serum and tissue cholesterol, phospholipid, and free fatty acid levels were reduced.

Antioxidant effects

The antioxidant properties of T. cordifolia roots were studied by administering the aqueous extract to alloxan-induced diabetic rats. After 6 weeks, the levels of the plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances ceruloplasmin and alpha-tocopherol were reduced, while the levels of glutathione and vitamin C were increased. The root extract at a dose of 5 g/kg was the most effective. In other in vitro studies, guduchi extract inhibited lipid peroxidation and generation of superoxide and hydroxyl radicals.

In experiments with rat hippocampal slices, extracts of T. cordifolia demonstrated antioxidant effects such as inhibition of nitric oxide synthase activity and direct nitric oxide-free radical scavenging..

Immunologic effects

T. cordifolia is widely used in the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine as an immunostimulant. Syringin, cordiol, cordioside, and cordifoliosides A and B are considered the active principles responsible for anticomplement and immunomodulatory activities. An arabinogalactan polysaccharide isolated from the dried stems of T. cordifolia showed polyclonal mitogenic activity against B-cells. An aqueous extract of the aerial parts of the plant containing an alpha-D-glucan was demonstrated to increase the activation of natural killer cells and exert a dose-dependent effect on the production of cytokines

Other effects

Other reported properties of the plant include a decreased infarct size in rats and hepatoprotection with a return to normal levels of ALT, AST, serum alkaline phosphatase, and serum bilirubin in carbon tetrachloride-injured rats

A standardized extract from Tinospora known as Tinofend has been studied clinically. One small study in 75 patients with allergic rhinitis showed statistically significant reduction of symptoms compared to placebo. An independent review of this study concluded that "larger and more rigorously designed clinical trials are warranted" for an accurate evaluation of Tinofend's effectiveness.

Tinospora cordifolia and related species such as Tinospora crispa and Tinospora rumphii Boerl are used in Ayurvedic and Jamu herbal medicine. Recent research has demonstrated that a combination of T. cordifolia extract and turmeric extract is effective in reducing the hepatotoxicity which is induced by the combination of isoniazid, rifampicin, pyrazinamide and ethambutol for treating tuberculosis.

Guduchi is an Indian medicinal plant and has been used in Ayurvedic preparations for the treatment of various ailments throughout the centuries. Ancient Hindu physicians prescribed it for gonorrhea. European medical men in India became interested in the tonic and diuretic properties of T. cordifolia . Today, the drug and a tincture prepared from it have received official recognition in the Indian Pharmacopoeia . It has been used to treat general weakness, fever, dyspepsia, dysentery, gonorrhea, secondary syphilis, urinary diseases, impotency, gout, viral hepatitis, skin diseases, and anemia. In compound formulations, guduchi is used clinically to treat jaundice, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. The root is considered to be a strong emetic and is used for bowel obstruction.


Scientific classification



Botanical Name : Curcuma longa

Other names : Kunyit, Haridra, Haldi, Halada, Manjal, Zirsood, terre merite, Holdi, Indian Saffron, curcuma, Pasapu, Arishina are the other related names used for the Turmeric Kunyit, Haridra, Haldi, Halada, Manjal, Zirsood, terre merite, Holdi, Indian Saffron, curcuma, Pasapu, Arishina are the other related names used for the Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to tropical South Asia and needs temperatures between 20 °C and 30 °C and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes, and propagated from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

When not used fresh, the rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, for dyeing, and to impart color to mustard condiments. Its active ingredient is curcumin and it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.

In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as Indian saffron, since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice.

Nizamabad, a city in the south Indian state of Andhra pradesh, is the world's largest producer and most important trading center of turmeric in Asia. For these reasons, Nizamabad in history is also known as "Turmeric City". Sangli, a town in the southern part of the Indian western state of Maharashtra, is the second largest and most important trading center for turmeric in Asia. Kasur district of Pakistan is the largest producer of turmeric in Pakistan. Mayo cultivators introduced different varieties of turmeric in Kasur. Turmeric is commonly called Pasupu in Telugu, Kaha in Sinhala, Manjal in TamilArisina in Kannada, Haridra in Sanskrit and Haldar or Haldi in Hindi. Attempts to patent turmeric have been defeated.


The plant of Turmeric is a herbaceous perennial, which is 60 -90 cm high. It has a short stem. It has large leaves oblong and up to one meter long. Flowers of the turmeric appear on a spike like the stalk. Its flowers are yellow white in colour. They are sterile and donot produce viable seed. The lamina is green above and pale green below, and is 30 -40 cm long and 8 -12 cm wide. Approximately 30 flowers are produced in a spike. Inflorescence is a central spike of 10 -15 cm in length. Its pant looks like the ginger pant.

The rhizome consists of two distict types of tubers: The primary tuber has a round shape and a striped appearence due to the presence of old scale leaves; it is the base for the growth of shoots. Finger-like, moderately branched lateral rhizomes develop over time. In trade, the former are referred to as Curcma rotunda and the latter as Curcuma longa, although their properties do dot differ much.

Those two trade names are no botanical binomials; rather, both products stem from Curcuma longa.

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