Recent Advances of Research on Rasayana Herbs
Palitha Serasinghe, D.A.M.S., PGCert HE, PhD – Medicine & Pharmacology, FAMA, MIBiol, MAPA, UK
Amalaki and Guduci are two major herbs used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine and are well known as ‘rasayana’ drugs. These drugs mainly deal with the preservation and promotion of health by strengthening the body against ageing and disease. Rasanaya drugs act by modulating the neuro-endocrine-immune systems and they have been identified as rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants can prevent or correct oxidative damage by free radicals produced in the living cells causing damage to DNA and other biological molecules producing conditions such as cancer. This study evaluated the antioxidant activity of the two herbs and the potential contribution in complementing the cancer chemotherapy. This paper will review recent advances on research on Rasayana herbs and present our own research on Amalaki and Guduci.
The water and 50% water and ethanol extracts were prepared using Soxhlet apparatus. The antioxidant activity of the extracts was measured using DPPH scavenging assay. The herbal extracts as well as FDU (an established chemotherapy drug) were evaluated on their effect on the proliferation rate of acute leukaemia cell lines (MOLM 13). Untreated cells were used as negative control. The results of this study confirm the antioxidant activity of the herbs and in concomitant use and clearly indicate the anti-proliferative effect of the extracts, Amalaki alone possessing more inhibitory effect on MOLM 13 cell lines.