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Traditional Indian Herbs Punarnava and Its Medicinal Importance

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Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 46
Traditional Indian Herbs Punarnava and Its Medicinal
Importance
Debjit Bhowmik , K.P. Sampath Kumar *,Shweta Srivastava, Shravan Paswan, Amit Sankar
Dutta Dutta
1. Karpagam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2. Department of Pharmaceutical sciences, Coimbatore medical college, Coimbatore,Tamil Nadu, India
3. R. K. Pharmacy college, Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, India
Ayurveda considers man as an integral part of Mother Nature. Therefore the laws of nature are
very well applicable for him also. Ancient philosophy which ponders the “secret of life and
beyond” gives prime importance for health. It has understood the need of longevity and
effectiveness to attain the supreme goal. Punarnava helps maintain efficient kidney and urinary
functions with its diuretic, laxative, stomachic, diaphoretic, anthelminthic anti-spasmodic and
anti-inflammatory action. According to Ayurveda, Punarnava is bitter, cooling, astringent to
bowels, useful in biliousness, blood impurities, leucorrhoea, anaemia, inflammations, heart
diseases, asthma, alternatives etc. The leaves are useful in dyspepsia, tumours, spleen
enlargement and abdominal pains. According to Unani system of medicine, the leaves are
appetizer, alexiteric, useful in opthalmia, in joint pains. Seeds are tonic expectorant, carminative,
useful in lumbago, scabies. The seeds are considered as promising blood purifier.
Keyword: Punarnava, kidney and urinary functions
INTRODUCTION: Ayurveda aims for a
holistic man with sharp intellect which can pierce
in to the hidden truths of nature, and a heart
concerned about the fellow beings, well
supported with a physical efficiency to perform
duties properly. The most ancient scriptures and
the reference point of Indian life are Vedas.
Ayurveda is an offshoot of Vedas. The umbilical
cord connection of Ayurveda with the Vedas
explains its strong philosophical basement.
Earlier Ayurveda was taught in Gurukulas where
the disciples stay serving their guru learning both
Corresponding Author’s Contact information:
K.P. Sampath Kumar*
Karpagam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
E-mail: debjit_cr@yahoo.com
theory and practical of life in a very organic way.
Life is a journey. For those who know the
destination and the road map it is a pleasure and
source of enlightment. Ayurveda is that science
and art of living which guides you in the journey
of life. It is the Indian wisdom for global health.
In fact the Indian sciences were always concerned
about the wellbeing of not only the mankind but
also of the other living things and even non-living
things. The bits of knowledge about the laws
governing the universe in general got
consolidated as man started living in groups. In
the light of this knowledge, he formulated the
laws governing the health and illness using his
scattered experience of healing he had gathered
Debjit Bhowmik , K.P. Sampath Kumar *,Shweta Srivastava, Shravan Paswan, Amit Sankar Dutta
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 47
as the raw material. This gave rise to the science
called Ayurveda. The prime effort of Ayurveda is
to ensure health. The preventive aspects are
described in great detail. The daily regimen and
seasonal regimen are mentioned separately.
Promotive medicine is another major area where
Ayurveda has greater say. The rejuvenative and
aphrodisiac treatments cater this need. Finally, in
the curative domain, the etiology is analyzed and
the imbalance it has created is evaluated before
deciding the mode of treatment. The cardinal
reasons for all diseases are the derailed intellect,
weak will, and impaired memory together is
termed as Pranjaparadha. To conceive the right
practice of health one need clear intellect. To put
them in to practice one need a strong will. To
avoid the wrong doings of the past, memory has
to be intact. So Pranjaparadha remains the reason
behind all the reasons that cause diseases. Apart
from this, environmental and genetical reasons of
disease are also recognized by Ayurveda. In all
diseases in spite of varying reasons, the basic
reason is the imbalance of Tridosha and the
treatment principle is to bring back the normalcy.
The disease can manifest as somatic, psychiatric,
or psycho somatic. The balance is achieved by
internal purification, external treatment
modalities, administering medicine internally and
also using holistic methods addressing both body
and mind. It ranges from pancha karma,
Rasayana, Yoga, meditation and so
on.Panchakarma is a unique treatment package
which is meant to cleanse both body and mind.
They are emesis, purgation, enema, nasal
medication, and bloodletting. Rasayana is the
rejuvenative therapy which delays aging,
provides immunity, enhances memory and
increases sensory perception. Personal health is
the sum total of good food, good regimen, good
emotions and good environment. Ayurveda
elaborate the science of diet stating the pros and
cons of different food items. The quantity and
quality of food is instructed. Ayurveda warns
against the improper combination of food stuffs
in detail and enlist the diseases it can cause.About
exercise, sleep, and sex, Ayurveda gives clear
guidelines. The timings and frequency have to be
adjusted according to the seasonal variations. Six
seasons have been identified in the Indian context
and detailed seasonal regimens are given along
with the method of changing one regimen to
another in a gradual smooth manner. This helps
to prevent seasonal disease and position the body
against the seasonal variations. Punarnava is
primarily used for kidney and urinary disorders.
An extract from the root extract is used as a
kidney and liver tonic. It improves the
functioning of kidneys damaged by diabetes.
Being a diuretic and mild laxative, it helps in
detoxification and prevents fluid retention. It also
helps in treating obesity. It is hepatoprotective,
used in treatment of jaundice and other liver
problems. It provides relief from joint pains and
inflammation, works as a blood purifier, gives
immunity to the body, and improves functioning
of lungs. Some researchers have suggested that it
has antibacterial properties and used in treatment
of gonorrhea.
BIOLOGICAL SOURCES
Punarnava (Hogweed) literally means ‘bring
back to life’ or ‘renewer’. It is a creeper that
grows wild in India and Brazil throughout year
but dries during the summer. It bears small fleshy
leaves, small reddish pink flowers and fruits in
winter. It is bitter in taste and has cooling effect.
It has very high medicinal value.
Figure-1 punarnava
Debjit Bhowmik , K.P. Sampath Kumar *,Shweta Srivastava, Shravan Paswan, Amit Sankar Dutta
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 48
Similar to its name it rejuvenates the whole body
i.e. with routine use of Punarnava a fellow
become young again full of vigor and
vitality. Punarnava corrects the digestive
system, alleviates fluid retention and very useful
in managing heart diseases. Punarnava also
benefits in anemia, hernia and respiratory
distress. Punarnava can also be taken in liver
problems and managing lipids and cholesterol in
healthy limits.
Biological name: Boerhavia diffusa
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nyctaginaceae
Genus: Boerhavia
COMMON NAMES:-santhi, moto satado,
ataki,sanadika, gonajali, sanadika, sothaghna,
etc..
NATURE:-it is a herb mostly spreads on the
ground ..
LEAVES:-leaves are small with whitish on the
lower surface and upper green.
FLOWERS:-flowers are very small reddish in
color.
FRUITS:-fruits with five coloring glandular.
MEDICINAL USES:-this plants root is useful.
The drug punarnava made up by this plants leaves
and seeds.
This drug consists the alkaloid. Real use of this
drug is diuretic.. but large dose can
bring regarding vomiting
The Indian names of Punarnava
Languages/Regions/Countries
Names
1) Bengal Punurnava
2) Gujarati Vakhakhaparo,
Dholia-saturdo
3) Marathi Tambadivasu,
Ghetuli
4) Tamil Mukaratee-Kirei
5) Hindi, Sanskrit & Telugu
Punernava,
Raktakunda,
Shothaghni,
Varshabhu
6) Kanarese Kommegida
7) English Hogweed
Part used: Herb, root
Description/Habitant: This Ayurvedic herb is
found throughout India. Growing to 70
centimeters in height. It has a large root system
and produces yellow and white flowers. It can be
found in many tropical and warm-climate
countries.
Chemical composition: Major components are
sitosterol, esters of sitosterol, punarnavine,
boerhaavic acid, boeravinone, palmitic acid and
many other compounds.
Parts used: Whole herb, roots and seeds.
Contraindications: Punarnava is a laxative;
dosage should be determined by a qualified
medical professional. Children below 12 years of
age and pregnant women should not take this
herb.
Debjit Bhowmik , K.P. Sampath Kumar *,Shweta Srivastava, Shravan Paswan, Amit Sankar Dutta
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 49
THERAPEUTIC USES:
Herb is used as diuretic
Expectorant
Stomachic
Prescribed in the treatment of jaundice
Given in the loss of digestive power
Enlargement of spleen
Used for relieving abdominal pains
MEDICINAL USES
1. Punarnava, the spiderlings, is a genus of
about 40 species of annual or perennial
herbaceous plants in the four o'clock
flower family, Nyctaginaceae. The
common name refers to the appearance of
a spider or spider's web given by the
numerous long, slender and interlocking
stems of the inflorescences.
2. Punarnava is found in India and is a
valuable medicinal plant.
3. Therapeutic use:
4. Punarnava is beneficial in treating
obesity.
5. Punarnava is effective in treating a disease
called dropsy, a condition wherein excess
of watery fluid gets accumulated in the
tissues and body cavities. A liquid extract
of this plant stimulates urine secretion and
discharge.
6. It is also useful in treating Ascities, a
condition caused by fluid accumulation in
the abdominal lining and is particularly
useful in treating specific types of Ascities
caused by certain liver diseases.
7. The roots of the plant help in killing
intestinal worms.
8. It promotes mucous removal from
bronchial tubes and hence beneficial in
treating Asthma. When the paste made out
of the roots of this plant, is applied
externally on the skin, it forms a
beneficial dressing for edematous
swellings, ulcers and skin diseases.
9. Other benefits include treatment of
anemia, nervous weakness, paralysis,
constipation and cough.
10. Studies have revealed that punarnava is an
excellent diuretic, anti-inflammatory, mild
laxative and is a heart tonic.
11. Punarnava is also used in treating obesity,
improving appetite, jaundice, and general
fever.
REMIDIES OF PUNARNAVA AND ITS
MEDICINAL IMPORTANCE
Punarnava in India where it has a long history of
use by indigenous and tribal people, and in
Aruyvedic or natural/herbal medicine in India.
There, the roots are employed for many purposes
including liver, gallbladder, kidney, renal and
urinary disorders. Bitter, stomachic, laxative,
diuretic, expectorant, rejuvenative, diaphoretic,
emetic Root-purgative, anthelmintic, febrifuge,
White-laxative, diaphoretic.
Punarnava gives flowers and fruits in rainy
season. It has two varieties as described in
ayurvedic text i.e. white and red variety of
Punarnava.one more variety i.e. blue Punarnava
can also be found as mentioned in other
ayurvedic text named rajnighantu. It has been
mentioned in the ayurvedic text that the white
Punarnava variety is what we commonly call
Punarnava i.e. boerhaavia diffusa and the red
Punarnava variety is Trianthema portulacastrum
which is generally used to adultrate Punarnava
roots. Thus white Punarnava is basically used for
the medicinal purpose. The white variety of
Punarnava works as all the three dosha (vata,
pitta and kapha) shamak i.e. it suppresses all the
three aggravated doshas whereas the red
Punarnava variety aggravates the vata dosha and
suppresses the pitta dosha. As a whole both the
varieties of punaranava are laghu (light) and
ruksha (dry) in properties.
Punarnava also known by the botanical name of
red hogweed is a very effective diuretic
It works very well on the urinary system and it
Debjit Bhowmik , K.P. Sampath Kumar *,Shweta Srivastava, Shravan Paswan, Amit Sankar Dutta
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 50
targets directly the damaged nephrons(kidney’s
basic functional unit) which get damaged
specially in cases of high blood sugar level i.e in
diabetic people. Punarnava speeds up the
filtration process of kidneys and flushes out the
excessive fluids and other waste products
Punarnava is very effective in treating obesity
thus it is a very important ingredient for a variety
of patent Ayurvedic medicines used to treat
obesity. It also acts as anti-inflammatory drug. It
is good for respiratory problems as well as it acts
on the kapha dosha and thus suppresses the
mucous formation. Thus Punarnava forms an
integral part of many ayurvedic medicines that
helps curing asthma, dysnoea and other breathing
problems as it helps in the removal of mucus
from the bronchial tubes. In conditions like
pneumonia or dysnoea (difficulty in breathing)
Punarnava is given along with Vacha (another
Ayurvedic herb)
As Punarnava works as a diuretic it can cure the
conditions like Anasarca ( i.e. generalized body
swelling). It can even be used in serious
conditions like congestive cardiac problems. One
of the Ayurvedic preparation that is used to treat
anemia i.e. Punarnava mandoor has purnanava as
an integral part .This preparation is used to
increase the Hb levels in the body and thus cures
iron deficiency anaemia.
Punarnava along with other ayurvedic herbs as
Rasna, Shunthi etc is used to treat swelling in
conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. In such cases
rasna works as analgesic, shunthi works as
amahar i.e. does detoxification and Punarnava
relieves the swelling.
Punarnava works as a very good tonic as well in
general debilities cases. It works as rasayana for
the body as it rejuvenates the body by cleansing it
with its unique property of flushing out the mala
(toxins) from the dhatus (body tissues), balances
the doshas and opening and nourishing the
various body channels so that each and every
tissue and cell of the body gets proper nutrition
and keeps the body fit and fine.
Punaranava is a very good nerve rejuvenator and
it is given in cases of sciatica or nervous
weakness or even paralysis condition. Externally
also it is used for various purposes as in various
panchkarma procedures like swedan
(fomentation) where Punarnava roots mainly and
punaranva plant as a whole is used to relive pain
and swelling.
When Punarnava is used in enemas it works as a
purgative and treats flatulence. It works as a mild
laxative and it enhances the appetite thus can be
given in various gastric troubles including
constipation which is a most common trouble
faced by people these days.
Punarnava can even be used to treat jaundice. It
can be given in cases where intoxication due to
serpent and rat bites has occurred. Sometimes
fresh root juice of Punarnava is put into eyes so
as to get relief from various eye ailments like
night blindness and conjunctivitis.
Paste made from Punarnava roots is applied on
the injured wounds as it helps drying up the
oozing out of that wound.
Also Punarnava can be used as in the form of
dressing for various swellings or ulcers.
Punarnava is also helpful for many skin disorders.
Punarnava is very effective in treating disease
like dropsy which is a condition where excess of
fluid gets accumulated in the tissues and cavities
of the body,
Punarnava can also be used to treat ascetic where
fluid gets accumulated in abdominal cavity.
Mainly it treats the ascitis which is caused due to
some liver disorder. According to Ayurveda
ascitis is described as jalodar roga where pradhan
dosha is vata which blocks the channels of air
within the body thus making the water gets
accumulated in the peritoneal cavity of abdomen
i.e. between muscles and abdominal skin.
Debjit Bhowmik , K.P. Sampath Kumar *,Shweta Srivastava, Shravan Paswan, Amit Sankar Dutta
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 51
TRADITIONAL USES
Punarnava has a diuretics, Anti-
inflammatory and carminative properties.
For anti-inflammatory
effect, Punarnava should use with
sunthi.
Punarnava is also a good Rasayana so
useful in Aamavata.
Punarnava Root is anticonvulsant,
analgesic, expectorant, CNS depressant,
laxative, diuretic, abortifacient.
Punarnava has been reported to increase
serum protein level and re duce urinary
protein extraction in clinical trials in
patients suffering with nephrotic
syndrome.
Punarnava is used for local application in
the form of poultice or fermentation in
oedema.
Punarnava leaf juice is used in the eyes
for topical application.
Punarnava act as diuretic in dysuria.
Punarnava roots rubbed in honey are
locally applied for cataract, chronic
conjunctivitis, blepharitis.
Punarnava useful in reducing swelling
and foul smelling in skin disorders.
Punarnava is useful in heart disease,
anemia, edema.
Punarnava leaves vegetable is consumed
to reduce edema.
Ayurvedic Applications
White-edema, anemia, heart disease, cough,
intestinal colic, kidney disorders; same uses as
red.
Red-nervous system, heart disease, hemorrhoids,
skin diseases, kidney stones, edema, rat and snake
bites; chronic alcoholism, wasting diseases,
insomnia, rheumatism, eye diseases, asthma
(moderate doses), induces vomiting in large
doses, jaundice, ascites due to early liver and
peritoneal concerns; urethritis.
Leaf juice with honey, dropped into the eyes for
chronic ophthalmia.
No side effects have been noted so far.
According to Ayurveda, herbs are taken in
combination with other herbs to neutralize the
toxicity of one herb with the opposing effect of
the other or to enhance the particular effect of one
herb with the help of other.
CONCLUSION
Punarnava herb is most widely used in treatment
of renal and urinary problems. Punarnava is
excellent anti-inflammatory and diuretic. It is
used as a heart tonic and kidney tonic. It is found
throughout the India especially in rainy season.
Punarnava is excellent anti-inflammatory and
diuretic. It tastes bitter and pungent. The whole
plant has medical benefits especially roots.
In Ayurveda, Punarnava herb is most widely used
in treatment of renal problems and urinary tract
infections. Punarnava Himalaya Herb is used to
treat jaundice, general fever and obesity. It is also
used as anti-inflammatory and diuretic agent. It is
used as a heart tonic and kidney tonic. The juice
of Punarnava root is useful for the people having
night blindness. Externally Punarnava is used to
reduce the pain and swelling. It helps to remove
mucous from bronchial tubes hence it is effective
against asthma. The roots of the plants are useful
to kill intestinal worms. One of the best natural
herbal cure for respiratory diseases. Recent
studies have shown its effectiveness in fever like
malaria, jaundice and constipation complaints.
Due to its high diuretic properties it is very
beneficial in the swelling recovery.
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19. "These statements have not been evaluated
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product is not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease."
... The details of various opinions regarding gana/varga and synonyms mentioned by ancient scholar is tabulated in the (Bhowmik, Sampath, Srivastava, Paswan, & Sankar, 2012;Rajpoot & Mishra, 2011;Sahu et al., 2008;Stevens, 2016) In modern era all the crude drugs are classified and studied according to their taxonomy classification. In view of this classification, the Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) is categorized as- Mishra, 2011;Sahu et al., 2008;Samy, Thwin, Gopalakrishnakone, & Ignacimuthu, 2008) Ethnic population at Purulia (West Bengal) eat that plant as vegetable. ...
... Phytochemistry: (Anomymus, 2001;Apu et al., 2012;Banjare et al., 2012;Bhope, Gaikwad, Kuber, & Patil, 2013;Bhowmik et al., 2012;Pradhan et al., 2020;Sahu et al., 2008) Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) contains number chemical compounds i.e. flavonoids alkaloids, steroids, triterpenoids, lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and glycoproteins. Punarnavine, boeravinone A-F, hypoxanthine, ursolic acid, punarnavoside, lirodendrin, arachidic acid, α-2sitosterol, palmitic acid, ester of β-sitosterol, tetracosanoic, hexacosonoic, stearic, hentriacontane, β-Ecdysone. ...
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Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa) belongs to family Nyctaginaceae. It is also named as spreading hog weed and used comprehensively in Ayurvedic system of medicine to cure diseases like Hridya rog (cardiac disorders), Pandu (anaemia), Vayasthapana/Rasayana (rejuvenator), Sotha (inflammation with swelling), Mutravahshortogat vikar (urinary tract disorders), Jwara (fever), yonirog (vaginal disorders), sutikarog (female disorder), kustharog (skin diseases) mrida bhakshana janya rog (disorders originated due to eating of clay), Basti karma (enema), balarog (disorders of children's), madhumeha (anti-diabetic) etc. Its synonyms, morphology, therapeutic potential is described in Ayurvediya Samhitas and Nighantus. In this synoptic work attempt has been done to summarize the synonyms, therapeutic potential and phytoconstituents of Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa).
... It is a continuous, widespread hogweed, mostly in waste sites, ditches, and marshy sites after rainfall. In West Bengal the plant is also very cultivated [7,8,9,10,11]. The plant is abundant in rainy season. ...
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The need is to integrate various spheres of drug discovery and to bring them under one roof to achieve the target of producing effective malaria drug to save whole humanity. Considering the demand of antimalarial plants it has become essential to find and locate them for its optimal extraction for anti-plasmodic actions. Native communities have been using their unique TKS, culture, indigenous skills and expertise since ancient times. India has witnessed its legacy from the time of Charaka and Susruta for such knowledge of the medicinal plants and their folklore. An exponential increase in mosquito-borne diseases have been reported in the recent past. It is primary because of the development of drug resistance in previously contained diseases and discovery of novel diseases. Various other reasons including indiscriminate use of pesticides, excessive deforestation and demographic shifts. Malaria is a major health problem in the tropical and subtropical world and especially to the world which are socio-economically backward. In India, 89% population resides in malaria endemic regions and it is a major public health problem in most parts of the country. The objective of the work is to carry out inter-disciplinary work by integrating ethnomedicinal findings using geographical information system (GIS) tools under ArcGIS environment to develop spatial maps of antimalarial plants prevalent in the study region. We report results of the three rural districts of vi Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India as a prototype study which may be scaled up to develop national level antimalarial maps with equivalent detail. Our initial aim is to find anti-plasmodic plants used locally from ancient times as well as to develop knowledge maps of antimalarials with a spatial distribution analysis. Epidemiology of the study area was also mapped and compared with similar maps of factors responsible for malaria incidence. The work was further extended to include socio-economic factors as a third dimension of the study. The area was studied initially against socio-economic, epidemiology and geographical features independently which are overlaid to predict malaria vulnerable villages defined as “malaria hotspots”. A survey was performed to list herbal use of antimalarials prevalent in the study region and was augmented and cross-validated with literature sources and with the findings of other ethnobotanical surveys. GPS coordinates were recorded for marked locations and under GIS environment maps of antimalarials are generated and analysed with respect to a plant’s natural habitat. Ethno-medicinal utilities of plants were extracted. The botanical name, family, local name, plant part used, folk-lore, geographical location and image of plants were recorded. The survey identified major plants families, plant part used, response of people/patients and folklore, methods of plant identification and people’s preferences of TKS. Natural resources were mapped to establish their possible linkage with malaria incidence. The study was done at a macroscopic level of primary health centres (PHCs) level initially and later it was extended to microscopic level (villages/pockets/clusters). Seasonal variation of malaria, comparison of epidemiology indices and development of medical facility was also studied. Later, twelve independent GIS maps on socio-economic features like population size, child population, literacy and workforce participation; epidemiology features like API and slide collected-examined and geographical features such as settlement, forest cover, water body, rainfall, relative humidity and temperature were mapped and studied. These twelve maps are overlaid using a weight matrix to predict and indicate malaria hotspots. Consequently, a correlation matrix was obtained to study inter and the intra-weaving relationship of all three malaria dimensions and malaria hotspot outcomes. vii In the study area 51 plants belonging to 27 families were reported with their geographical locations. It was found that there is a large use of TKS among rural masses. The root (31.75 %) of the antimalarial plant is mainly used through a decoction (41.2 %) mode of administration. Most popular plants found include Adhatoda vasica, Cassia fistula and Swertia chirata. Geographical distribution of plants is illustrated through a series of GIS maps. For the malaria hotspot identification, it was observed that the dimensions considered are primarily interweaving factors of malaria incidence. The regions with water logging, high rainfall, and proximity to forest area supplemented with the poor socio-economic condition are hotspot regions. The work at the microscopic level is presented through a series of maps, tables, figures and graphs to classify the entire area into ‘very high’, ‘high’, ‘moderate’ and ‘low’ category of malaria and to publish a list of all such villages. ‘Very high’ categories of villages are termed as malaria hotspots which may be used to define government policy for the focused intervention towards malaria control measures. Informatics tools such as GIS and remote sensing can be used in the field of vector-borne diseases including malaria. The malarial mappings enable easy update of information and effortless accessibility of geo-referenced data to policy makers to produce cost-effective measures for malaria control in the endemic regions. Computerised spatial database and GIS mapping software provide powerful tools for the management and analysis of malaria control programs. Spatial distribution highlights the geographical location of antimalarials and facilitates easy access of such anti-plasmodic plants. Mapping of plants would help researchers to source material suitable for the discovery of lead molecules and novel antimalarials.
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