Potentilla fulgens is a significant medicinal herb found in Northeast India, a region of rich biodiversity. These parts have been blessed with more than 6,500 species of medicinal plants. The locals out here have an extensive knowledge of traditional medicines and their natural remedies, which have been passed down generations.
Potentilla fulgens is commonly called as the Himalayan Cinquefoil and Lyngniangbru by the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya. It grows in regions with a temperate climate and at a high elevation of about 1800 – 4350m above sea level. This medicinal herb finds its habitat in open meadows and grassy slopes of this hilly paradise. In the wild habitats of Meghalaya, Potentilla fulgens has been reported to have a symbiotic association with an endophytic fungus Penicillium verruculosum. This fungus contributes to the vigorous growth of the plant, even in extreme rainfall habitats.
Plenty of natural remedies has been attributed to this herb. According to Bio-medical reports by the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (CSIR), this plant contains important chemical constituents such as polyphenols, tannins, flavonoids, and triterpenoids, which result in its anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic, antitumor and antioxidant properties.
It is widely used for medicine in the Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha systems of medicine, since the plant contains rich amounts of polyphenols in its stem, leaves and roots parts. Anti-oxidants present in P. fulgens helps prevent damage from free radicals and antigens. While its polyphenols constituents form stable and complex compounds with metal ions, proteins and polysaccharides. This helps in healing wounds, burns, inflammations and prevents gut infection by protecting the underlying interior from toxins.
Traditionally, in Meghalaya, the root-stock and the whole Potentilla fulgens is utilized as astringent and tonic for curing the gums from tooth ailments such as pyorrhea, toothache and caries. It is also used for the treatment of diarrhea, stomach ailments, cough and cold, diabetes and cancer.
Looking at all these health benefits of P. fulgens, this article is to tell you about its various natural remedies, as cited in scientific papers.
Potential of Potentilla fulgens in Pharmaceutical Industry
Here are a few citations of experiments performed using the plant extracts of Potentilla fulgens and the various results to prove the active properties of this medicinal herb.
How can Potentilla fulgens prevent cell death and inhibit carcinogenic activity
DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) present in our cells are repetitively damaged and repaired. Factors responsible for its damage may be external or internal. Unrepaired DNA lesions will block its further replication and transcription and will lead to cell death. Furthermore, cancer or carcinogenic activity of the cells are caused due to mutation of the DNA strand. The best possible way to decrease the occurrence of mutation and cancer is to avoid the exposure to mutagens.
An Experiment done to demonstrate the anti-mutagenic activity of P. fulgens:
Extracts and fraction of Potentilla fulgens plants were drawn out by the method of Ames histidine reversion assay by using the tester strain of Salmonella bacteria against direct acting mutagens. The results indicated that n-butanol and water fractions, with the tester strain, strongly inhibit and work against the mutagens. In this case, the anti-mutagenic activity of the fractions may be caused due to their free radical scavenging abilities. Thus, this study reveals the anti-mutagenic potential of the Potentilla fulgens plant.
How can P. fulgens aid in chemotherapy
Potentilla fulgens possesses anti-neoplastic properties which are used for the treatment of colon cancer and is also applicable as a chemotherapy agent to treat other forms of cancers.
An Experiment done to demonstrate the anti-neoplastic activity of P.fulgens:
The methanolic root extract solution of P.fulgens is transplanted into Swiss-albino mice showing signs of lymphoma cancer, via injection. After a week of transplantation, the mice displayed a control value of about 154% (250 mg/kg) against the cancer cells. This study reveals the antitumor activity or anti-neoplastic property of P. fulgens. In addition to this, the whole plant and roots of P. fulgens is reported to be active against murine ascites neoplastic tumors.
How can P. fulgens aid in diabetes
Potentilla fulgens contains anti-hyperglycemic properties which helps in reducing the effects of diabetes and regulation of insulin.
An Experiment done to demonstrate the hypoglycemic or anti-hyperglycemic activity of P. fulgens:
Methanol extract of P.fulgens roots is evaluated for its anti-hypoglycemic activities by inducing the solution in normal and alloxan-induced diabetic mice. Both these mice were administered carefully with the extract via injection at varying doses of 150-450 mg/kg. The blood glucose level was measured at different intervals up to a period of 5 days. The results indicated blood glucose level reduced by 31% in the normal mouse and 63% in the diabetic mouse. This study reveals the hypoglycemic activity of P.fulgens.
How can P. fulgens helps manage cholesterol levels
Potentilla fulgens contains anti-hyperlipidemic properties, which helps in maintaining recommended levels of HDL and LDL cholesterols.
An Experiment done to demonstrate the anti-hyperlipidemic activity of P. fulgens:
This experiment also includes the testing of anti-hyperlipidemic activity of P. fulgens with the use of methanol root extract and injecting the solution into alloxan-induced diabetic mice. About 250mg/kg was injected into the mice on alternate days for a period of one week. On the 8th day, the blood samples were collected for checking the estimation of cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels. The result showed about 72% reduction in cholesterol serum and improvement of HDL cholesterol level to normal level.
These reports and experiments performed using Potentilla fulgens, supports the traditional uses and natural remedies of this plant. It is thus a valuable source that is effective in fighting a variety of ailments.
Natural remedies based on plant products are important sources for further research and have the potential to become future medicines for the pharmaceutical industry. Potentilla fulgens is a relatively untapped natural medicine and interest in developing it as a potential medicine is growing!
Do you know of any traditional medicinal plant that can become the next potential for pharmaceutical industries? Let us know in the comment section below.