M. P. Khinchi and Nishant Singh Katiyar*


Liver plays a pivotal role in metabolism, secretion and storage and is sometimes referred as the “great chemical factory” of the body, because the body depends on the liver to regulate, synthesize, store and secrete many important proteins, nutrients, chemicals and to purify and clear toxins or unnecessary substances from the body.[1] The risk of the liver intoxication has recently increased by the higher exposure to environmental toxins, pesticides and frequent use of chemotherapeutics. Liver damage is always associated with cellular necrosis, increase in tissue lipid peroxidation and depletion in the tissue glutathione (GSH) levels. In addition, serum levels of many biochemical markers like serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (SGOT/AST) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT/ALT) triglycerides, cholesterol, bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase are elevated.[2,3] Hepatoprotective effect was studied against chemicals and drugs induced hepatotoxicity in rats like alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, galactosamine, paracetamol, isoniazid and rifampicin, antibiotics, peroxidised oil, aflatoxin etc. AYURVEDA, an ancient Indian system of medicine, described various plants for the treatment of hepatotoxicity. Since times immemorial plants have been used therapeutically in a variety of conditions and with the advent of modern synthetic drugs and their convenience of standardized dosage forms, dramatic efficacy in acute conditions and most of all simplicity of usage, there was a decline in the use of plant medicines till the herbal revolution. In contrast to the narrow spectrum of activity of synthetic drugs with their possible risk of side effects and also chemophobia, herbal drugs as traditionally preferred however, herbal drugs are often mild in action and need to be taken for a long period to be effective especially in chronic conditions. Herbal medicines have been used in the treatment of liver diseases for a long time. A number of herbal preparations are available in the market. The present review is aimed at compiling data on different medicinal plants with hepatoprotective activity on various models of hepatotoxicity.

Keywords: Hepatoprotective activity, Medicinal plants, Hepatotoxicity, Liver diseases, CCl4, Thioacetamide, Paracetamol.

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