The concept of Ayurvedic expert guided drug discovery and development is defined and put to test systematically for the first
time in literature. Western Science has explored only ~5% of the approximately 25,000 species of higher plants for drug leads. The
ancient medical science of Ayurveda has however employed a much larger spectrum of plants for clinical treatment. Clerodendrum
viscosum (CV), a commonly growing weed in the Indian subcontinent has been employed by S. Nirmalananda (Ayurvedic expert) for the
treatment of cervical cancer. Here we isolate and characterize a water extract fraction (Cv-AP) from the root of CV and evaluate its anticervical
cancer cell bioactivity. Our results indicate that Cv-AP possesses pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative, and anti-migratory activity in
a dose-dependent fashion against cervical cancer cell lines. In contrast, primary fibroblasts (control healthy cells), when exposed to
similar concentrations of this extract, fail to undergo apoptosis and remain relatively unaffected. These findings suggest that
Clerodendrum viscosum (CV) is a readily available source of components with potent anti-cancer activity and selective bioactivity
against cervical cancer cells. The major component in CV-AP was identified as a glycoprotein via SDS Page and Concanavalin-A
binding studies. This study serves to illustrate that systematic collaboration with Ayurveda is a practical and powerful strategy in drug
discovery and development.
Keywords: Ayurveda, cervical cancer, clerodendrum viscosum, drug discovery, green drug.
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