, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 643-651
Date: 22 Sep 2013

Medicinal herbs and antioxidants: potential of Rhinacanthus nasutus for disease treatment?

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Abstract

This review covers the biological activities of the medicinal herb, Rhinacanthus nasutus, which is part of the Acanthaceae family. This herb and the compounds isolated from it have the potential to be used for the treatment of a vast array of diseases, including neurological, (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and depression), viral and bacterial infections (such as hepatitis and herpes virus), skin disorders, and control sugar levels in diabetic patients. Many diseases involve oxidative stress, particularly neurological diseases, where oxidative stress leads to neurodegeneration. Medicinal herbs such as R. nasutus appear to be effective at protecting against such oxidative stress. Herein we discuss the potential mechanisms by which they have their antioxidant effects, and their effects on other cellular pathways, which are involved in various disease states.