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Review Article Open Access
Increasing knowledge of metabolic process and the positive effects of plants on human physiology have enlarged the range of application of medicinal plants. From the centuries, herbal medicines have been used to treat various diseases and now they had become an item of global importance, with both medicinal and economic implications. Selecting the right scientific and systematic approach to biological evaluation of plant products, based on their use in traditional medicine is the key to ideal development of new drugs from plants. One such plant is Averrhoa carambola (Oxalidaceae), traditionally known as ‘kamrakh’ and commonly known as star fruit because of its peculiar shape It has widely been used in Ayurveda, preparations of its fruit and leaves are used to pacify impaired kapha, pitta, skin diseases, pruritis, worm infestations, diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhoids, intermittent fever, over-perspiration and general debility. It is also used in traditional medicines in countries like India, China, Phillipines, Brazil for various ailments. Although review articles on this plant are already published, but the present attempt is to review and compile all the updated information on botany, phytochemical and pharmacological properties, drug interaction, contraindication and toxicity studies of Averrhoa carambola. These results are very encouraging and indicate that this plant should be studied more extensively to confirm the reproducibility of these results and also to reveal other potential therapeutic effects, along with some “leads” with possible isolation of active biomoieties and their mechanism of action.
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Author(s): P. Dasgupta, P. Chakraborty, N. N. Bala