Export Potential of Indian Phyto-Pharmaceutical Products

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Indian Trade in Medicine and Aromatic Plants

Indian phyto-pharmaceutical products, which are in demand in the international market for their quality and potency.




Indian phyto-pharmaceutical products, which are in demand in the international market for their quality and potency, are:

Artemisinin: This is sesquiterpene lactone obtained from herb Artemisia annua, family Asteraceae, effective in treating malaria including cerebral malaria.


Berberine hydrochloride and berberine sulphate: This is benzyl isoquinoline alkaloidal salt obtained from Berberis spp. viz. B. aristata, B. vulgaris. It is used as tonic astringent, febrifuge, hepatic dysfunction, diabetes and in gastroenteritis.

Colchicine: This is a yellowish benzyl tetra-hydroiso-quinoline type alkaloid, obtained from many species of Colchicum (e.g. C. luteum., C. speciosum) and also from genera Androcymbium, Gloriosa, Iphigenia, Littonia and sandersonia. It is used to relieve gout and rheumatic problems.


Diosgenin, Hecogenin and Solasodine: These are natural steroidal sapogenins, obtained from Dioscorea species (e.g. D. deltoidea, D. maxicana, D. compositae and D. floribunda); Agave spp. and Solanum spp. Respectively used in various hormonal preparations including birth control pills.


Ephedrine: It is a protoalkaloid obtained from various spp. of Ephedra (Ma-huang) and may also be prepared by synthesis. It is used for the relief of asthma and hay fever.


Hyoscine and Hyoscyamine: These are tropane alkaloids obtained from D. stramonium, Hyoscyamus niger and H. muticus. It is used as sedative in preoperative medication before the induction of anaesthesia and in ophthalmic practice to dilate the pupil of the eye.


Morphine, Codeine and Papaverine: These are the opium alkaloids obtained from the latex of Papaver somniferum. It is used as a pain killer (morphine) and antitussive (codeine).


Psoralen: This is furanocumarin obtained from Psoralea corylifolia. It is used in leucoderma and skin problems.


Quinine and Quinidine: These are quinoline alkaloids obtained from various spp. of Cinchona bark used as antimalarials.


Reserpine, Ajmalicine: These are the indole alkaloids obtained from Rauwolfia serpentine,used to treat hyperten-sion and as a vasodilator.


Rutin: This is yellow coloured crystalline flavonol glycoside obtained from buckwheat, i.e. Fagopyrum esculentum (Polygonaceae). It is included in dietary supplements and claimed to be benefit in treating conditions characterized by capillary bleeding.


Sennosides A and B: This is anthraquinone glycoside obtained from Cassia senna and is used to treat habitual constipation.


Taxol (Paclitaxel): This is diterpene ester obtained from Taxus species (e.g. T. brevifolia and T. wallichiana; Taxaceae), used as anticancer agent.


Xanthotoxin: This is furanocoumarin obtained from Ammi majus and Heracleum candicans, used in leucoderma and other skin problems.


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