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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 808302, 19 pages
Review Article

Phytochemical, Therapeutic, and Ethnopharmacological Overview for a Traditionally Important Herb: Boerhavia diffusa Linn.

1Department of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi 110062, India
2Department of Pharmaceutics, ITS Pharmacy College, Muradnagar, Ghaziabad 201006, India
3Department of Natural Products, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education & Research, S.A.S. Nagar, Punjab 160062, India

Received 2 February 2014; Revised 14 March 2014; Accepted 8 April 2014; Published 14 May 2014

Academic Editor: Kazim Husain

Copyright © 2014 Shikha Mishra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Boerhavia diffusa (BD) is a plant of rasayana category as per ayurvedic claims. It is reported to possess antiaging, disease prevention, and life strengthening activities which hold enormous influence in disease burden and affordability/availability of healthcare in the world. Objective. This paper has been compiled to comment on the studies reported for BD to highlight its chemical and therapeutic potential along with its ethnopharmacological considerations. Methods. In the present paper, a detailed account of chemical constituents and pharmacological activities has been presented. All the findings were correlated with modern pharmacological activities to appraise the value of BD. Results. Chemical analysis of BD gives a wide variety of chemical constituents, namely, rotenoids, flavonoids, xanthones, purine nucleoside, lignans, and steroids. Various ethnopharmacological reports emphasize its role in disorders of reproductive system, gastrointestinal system, respiratory system, urinary system, hepatic system/jaundice, cardiovascular system, and cancer. Conclusions. The studies on the therapeutic activities of BD range from studies on crude extracts to isolated compounds; however some of the studies require sophistication and validated results. BD is a plant of enormous importance in the purview of its chemical and therapeutic properties.