An update on Ayurvedic herb Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy.
Convolvulus pluricaulis Choisy (C. pluricaulis) is a perennial herb that seems like morning glory. All parts of the herb are known to possess therapeutic benefits. The plant is used locally in Indian and Chinese medicine to cure various diseases. It is used in Ayurvedic formulation for chronic cough, sleeplessness, epilepsy, hallucinations, anxiety etc. Based on the comprehensive review of plant profile, pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, pharmacological and toxicological data on the C. pluricaulis, there will be more opportunities for the future research and development on the herb C. pluricaulis. Information on the C. pluricaulis was collected via electronic search (using Pub Med, SciFinder, Google Scholar and Web of Science) and library search for articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Furthermore, information also was obtained from some local books on ethnopharmacology. This paper covers the literature, primarily pharmacological, from 1985 to the end of 2012. The C. pluricaulis is an important indigenous medicine, which has a long medicinal application for liver disease, epileptic disease, microbial disease, cytotoxic and viral diseases, central nervous system (CNS) disease in Ayurvedic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and other indigenous medical systems. The isolated metabolites and crude extract have exhibited a wide of in vitro and in vivo pharmacological effect, including CNS depression, anxiolytic, tranquillizing, antidepressant, antistress, neurodegenerative, antiamnesic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, immunomodulatory, analgesic, antifungal, antibacterial, antidiabetic, antiulcer, anticatatonic, and cardiovascular activity. A chemical study of this plant was then initiated, which led to the isolation of carbohydrats, proteins, alkaloids, fatty acids, steroids, coumarins, flavanoids, and glycosides as active chemicals that bring about its biological effects. A series of pharmacognostical studies of this plant show that it is a herb, its stem and leaves are hairy, more over it has two types of stomata, anisocytic and paracytic. A herb, C. pluricaulis has emerged as a good source of the traditional medicine for the treatment of liver disease, epileptic disease, microbial disease, cytotoxic and viral diseases, and CNS disease. Pharmacological results have validated the use of this species in traditional medicine. All the parts of the herb are known to possess therapeutic benefits. Expansion of research materials would provide more opportunities for the discovery of new bioactive principles from C. pluricaulis.