, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 5409-5424
Date: 24 Dec 2011

Nain-e Havandi Andrographis paniculata present yesterday, absent today: a plenary review on underutilized herb of Iran’s pharmaceutical plants

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Abstract

Nain-e Havandi (Andrographis paniculata Nees.) (AP) is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the family Acanthacea. Only a few species of Andrographis genus out of 28 are medicinally concerned of which AP is the most important. Knowledge about the arrival of AP to Iran is extremely lacking but most probably it has been imported from India. However, evidence implies the familiarity of Iran’s folkloric medicine with this plant, but it has been disappeared from contemporary medicine for unknown reasons. Presence of active ingredients from diterpenoids group such as andrographolide, neoandrographolide and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide has given incredible unique medicinal properties to the plant. Traditionally, Nain-e Havandi has been used in the role of a non-farm plant as a remedy for skin problems, flu, respiratory disease, and snakebite in East and Southeast Asia for centuries. Recently, it has been utilized as a treatment for HIV, hepatitis, diabetes, cancer and kidney disorders. Intensive cultivation of the herb started only in the past decade in countries such as China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, West Indies, Mauritius and to some extent, in Malaysia. Availability of different ecological zones in Iran complies with reestablishment of AP in tropical and temperate regions of the country. This is killing two birds with one stone, supporting the conservational and economic aspects.