An update on Shankhpushpi, a cognition-boosting Ayurvedic medicine

Herbal Drug Technology Laboratory, Department of Pharmacy, the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine 11/2009; 7(11):1001-22. DOI: 10.3736/jcim20091101
Source: PubMed


Shankhpushpi is an Ayurvedic drug used for its action on the central nervous system, especially for boosting memory and improving intellect. Quantum of information gained from Ayurvedic and other Sanskrit literature revealed the existence of four different plant species under the name of Shankhpushpi, which is used in various Ayurvedic prescriptions described in ancient texts, singly or in combination with other herbs. The sources comprise of entire herbs with following botanicals viz., Convulvulus pluricaulis Choisy. (Convulvulaceae), Evolvulus alsinoides Linn. (Convulvulaceae), Clitoria ternatea Linn. (Papilionaceae) and Canscora decussata Schult. (Gentianaceae). A review on the available scientific information in terms of pharmacognostical characteristics, chemical constituents, pharmacological activities, preclinical and clinical applications of controversial sources of Shankhpushpi is prepared with a view to review scientific work undertaken on Shankhpushpi. It may provide parameters of differentiation and permit appreciation of variability of drug action by use of different botanical sources.

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Available from: Neeraj Sethiya, Jul 26, 2014
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    • "Mangiferin is a polyphenolic xanthone, whereas scopoletin is a coumarin, and they are responsible for the antioxidant and memory enhancing activities (Sethiya et al., 2009a). There are some reports on the application of colorimetry (Jubert et al., 2012), spectrophotometry (Krivut et al., 1976), spectrofluorimetry (Nahata and Dixit, 2008; Sethiya et al., 2008), thin layer chromatography (TLC) fingerprinting (Sethiya et al., 2009b), high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC), liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) methods (Risner, 1994; Kapadia et al., 2006; Rastogi et al., 2007; Suryawanshi et al., 2007; Xia et al., 2007; Shastry et al., 2009; Upadhyay et al., 2013) for analysis of mangiferin and scopoletin. Among these analytical methods, mangiferin and scopoletin were analyzed either alone or in combination with one or two other secondary plant metabolites, but attempts for simultaneous quantitative analysis of both by HPTLC in a herbal drug and formulation to establish distinct chemical profiling of C. decussata from other related herbs are http://dx.doi. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mangiferin (polyphenolic xanthone) and scopoletin (phenolic coumarin) are well-studied biological markers present in Canscora decussata (Roxb.) Roem. & Schult., Gentianaceae. The objective set for the present studies is to establish and develop a new, simple, selective, sensitive, and precise high performance thin layer chromatography method for the simultaneous estimation of mangiferin and scopoletin in hydroalcoholic extract of C. decussata. The thin layer chromatographic separation of these biomarkers was carried out on aluminum plate pre-coated with silica gel 60F254, eluted with ethyl acetate:acetic acid:formic acid:water (10:0.5:0.5:1.5). The plate was then dried and densitometric scanning was performed at 254 nm using a Camag TLC scanner III. The system was found to give compact spots for mangiferin (RF 0.22) and scopoletin (RF 0.78). A good relationship of linear precision between the concentrations (100–600 ng/spot) and peak areas was obtained with correlation coefficient (r) of 0.9979 (mangiferin) and 0.9962 (scopoletin), respectively. The limits of detection and limit of quantification were determined to be 46 and 94 ng/spot for mangiferin and 31 and 78 ng/spot for scopoletin respectively. The percentage of recovery was found from 99.91 to 99.94% for mangiferin and 99.75 to 99.86% for scopoletin. Results obtained from recovery studies showed excellent reliability and reproducibility of the method. Present communication on validated high performance thin layer chromatography method may provide a new, selective, sensitive, and precise method to estimate mangiferin and scopoletin as phytomarkers in the hydroalcoholic extract of C. decussata used in Ayurvedic formulations.
    Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 04/2015; 2015(25):193-198. DOI:10.1016/j.bjp.2015.04.002
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    • "Pharmacological studies have confirmed that Clitoria ternatea exhibit a extensive range of active biochemical constituents are found in different parts of the plant, are tannins, resins, starch, taraxerol, taraxerone, alkaloids , flavonoids, saponins, proteins and anthocyanins, Which are responsible for its various pharmacological activities such as nootropic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, sedative, anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidative, anti-stress (Jain et al., 2003), immunomodulatory, larvicidal, proteolytic, antihelmintic, diuretic, anti-microbial and memory enhancing activity (Giurgea et al.,1973). Previous studies on hippocampus of rat had demonstrated that CT root extract has enhanced memory (Sethiya et al., 2009; Rai et al., 2002; Mukherjee et al., 2007). The mechanism behind the neuroprotective action is still incomprehensible, consequently Clitoria ternatea leaf extract has potential to enhance the levels of enzymatic and nonenzymatic antioxidants (Zheng et al., 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present investigation aims to know the exact mechanism of Clitoria ternatea (CT) extract as protective and therapeutic agent against neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease induced by Aluminum maltolate (AlM) in the hippocampus of albino rats. Animals were divided into four groups, six for each, control, AlM treated group, CT administered group and AlM plus CT treated group for one month. After experimental period, the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in hippocampus were assayed. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBA-RS) levels were measured as a marker of lipid peroxidation. The results demonstrated that AlM could induce TBA-RS levels and decrease SOD, CAT and GPx activities in hippocampus. However, treatment with C. ternatea significantly attenuated the lipid peroxidation process and restored the levels of antioxidant enzymes. These findings strongly implicate that CT has potential to protect hippocampus from oxidative damage resulting from AlM toxicity.
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    • "The most widespread application of E. alsinoides is for mental problems [5] . E. alsinoides has been proved to possess scientific potential in central nervous system depression, anxiolytic, tranquillizing, antidepressant, antistress, neurodegenerative, antiamnesic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiulcer, anticatatonic and cardiovascular activity [6] . E. alsinoides is reported to P E E R R E V I E W A B S T R A C T K E Y W O R D S Enzyme inhibition, Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, Lactate dehydrogenase "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To investigate the effect of standardized methanol extract of Evolvulus alsinoids Linn. (E. alsinoids) on Plasmodium falciparum specific lactate dehydrogenase (PfLDH) enzyme inhibition. Methods To carry out enzyme inhibition studies, lactate dehydrogenase was cloned from Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 strain using expression vector pET28a and expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3). Protein purification was carried out by Ni-affinity chromatography. This protein was used for the inhibition study. Methanol extract of E. alsinoids was standardized by high performance thin layer chromatography described by previous literature and screened for PfLDH enzyme inhibitory activity and compared with gossypol (a known PfLDH enzyme inhibitor). Results It was found that E. alsinoids possesses a compond scopoletin and potentially inhibits PfLDH [(25.04依0.51)%]. Conclusions Methanol extract of E. alsinoids showed significant PfLDH inhibition as evidenced from the experiments performed. The activity may be attributed to the presence of various polyphenolic and flavanoids compounds.
    Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease 12/2014; 4(6):489–491. DOI:10.1016/S2222-1808(14)60612-5
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Questions & Answers about this publication

  • Alok Nahata added an answer in Pharmacognosy:
    Do any plants contain scopoletin at a concentration of at least 0.5 - 1%?
    Scopoletin is a coumarin present in many plants, but I haven't found any plants which contain this chemical in an appreciable amount. Does anyone know of such a plant?
    Alok Nahata
    I have found scopoletin in shankhpushpi and Urtica dioica and also quantified it spectrofluorimetrically. You can access my papers via the following links:

    Hope the information proves helpful for you.

    Gud Luck
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      ABSTRACT: In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, the whole herb of 'Shankhpushpi' has been employed clinically for centuries for its memory potentiating, anxiolytic and tranquilizing properties. The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of Evolvulus alsinoides (EA), considered as Shankhpushpi on learning and memory in rodents. Nootropic activity using Cook and Weidley's pole climbing apparatus, passive avoidance paradigms and active avoidance tests were used to test learning and memory. The ethanol extract of EA and its ethyl acetate and aqueous fractions were evaluated for their memory enhancing properties. Two doses (100 and 200 mg/kg p.o.) of the ethanol extract and ethyl acetate and aqueous fractions were administered in separate groups of animals. Both doses of all the extracts of EA significantly improved learning and memory in rats. Furthermore, these doses significantly reversed the amnesia induced by scopolamine (0.3 mg/kg i.p.). Nootropic activity was compared using piracetam as the standard. EA also exhibited potent memory enhancing effects in the step-down and shuttle-box avoidance paradigms.
      Phytotherapy Research 11/2009; 24(4):486-93. DOI:10.1002/ptr.2932

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