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Therapeutic potentials of Houttuynia cordata Thunb. against inflammation and oxidative stress: A review

Ethnopharmacological relevance: Houttuynia cordata Thunb. (Family: Saururaceae) is an herbaceous perennial plant that grows in moist and shady places. The plant is well known among the people of diverse cultures across Japan, Korea, China and North-East India for its medicinal properties. Traditionally the plant is used for its various beneficial properties against inflammation, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, muscular sprain, stomach ulcer etc.

Oxidative stress and inflammation were found to be linked with most of the diseases in recent times. Many ancient texts from Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda and Siddha, and Japanese Traditional medicine have documented the efficacy of H. cordata against oxidative stress and inflammation.

Aim of the study: This review aims to provide up-to-date and comprehensive information on the efficacy of H. cordata extracts as well as its bioactive compounds both in vitro and in vivo, against oxidative stress and in-flammation

Materials and methods: Relevant information on H. cordata against oxidative stress and inflammation were collected from the established scientific databases such as NCBI, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Elsevier, and Springer. Additionally, a few books and magazines were also consulted to get the important information. Results: Herbal medicines or plant products were traditionally being used for treating the oxidative stress and inflammation related diseases in diverse communities across the world. Scientifically, H. cordata has shown to target several signaling pathways and found to effectively reduce the oxidative stress and inflammation. Phyto-constituents such as afzelin, hyperoside and quercitrin have shown to reduce inflammation both in vitro and in vivo models. These molecules were also shown to have strong antioxidant properties both in vivo and in vitro models.

Conclusions: H. cordata extracts and its bioactive molecules were shown to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. As both in vitro and in vivo studies were shown that H. cordata did not have any toxicity on the various model systems used, future clinical studies will hopefully make an impact on the future direction of treating inflammation-related diseases.