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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9232593, 32 pages
Review Article

Genus Tinospora: Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology

1School of Chinese Pharmacy, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100102, China
2National Institute of Metrology, Beijing 100013, China

Received 3 May 2016; Revised 10 July 2016; Accepted 13 July 2016

Academic Editor: Nunziatina De Tommasi

Copyright © 2016 Sensen Chi 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.


The genus Tinospora includes 34 species, in which several herbs were used as traditional medicines by indigenous groups throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia. The extensive literature survey revealed Tinospora species to be a group of important medicinal plants used for the ethnomedical treatment of colds, headaches, pharyngitis, fever, diarrhea, oral ulcer, diabetes, digestive disorder, and rheumatoid arthritis. Indian ethnopharmacological data points to the therapeutic potential of the T. cordifolia for the treatment of diabetic conditions. While Tinospora species are confusing in individual ingredients and their mechanisms of action, the ethnopharmacological history of those plants indicated that they exhibit antidiabetic, antioxidation, antitumor, anti-inflammation, antimicrobial, antiosteoporosis, and immunostimulation activities. While the clinical applications in modern medicine are lacking convincing evidence and support, this review is aimed at summarizing the current knowledge of the traditional uses, phytochemistry, biological activities, and toxicities of the genus Tinospora to reveal its therapeutic potentials and gaps, offering opportunities for future researches.