Joshanda: A Traditional Herbal Approach for Treatment of Respiratory Catarrh
Vijay K. Ahuja,
Joshanda, a polyherbal Unani (Greco-arab) formulation is extensively used in the treatment of upper and lower respiratory catarrh. After the renewed attention and interest in the use of traditional medicines at the global level, Joshanda is extensively being used for the treatment of URC (Upper Respiratory Catarrh), particularly in the chronic cases. This polyherbal mixture contains a variety of expectorant, anticatarrhal and respiratory demulcent herbs that help in relieving the debilitating cough. The key to success of this highly effective phytotherapy lies in the use of a combination of antitussive agents that act by different modes e.g. reflex expectorants, central expectorants, parasympathetomimetics, stimulants of secretory cells and secretomotorics. Although a large volume of work has been reported on its individual constituents, there is hardly any literature available on Joshanda, as a formulation. Contrary to the common belief that the phytoconstituents are always safe, the individual constituents are known to cause long term toxicity and show some drug interactions. As a result, the formulation may show certain adverse effects on very long term use. The review presents the rationale behind the use of various drugs used in this polyherbal combination. It also gives a detailed account of the chemistry and pharmacology of the various active phytoconstituents. The side effects and drug interactions related to the constituents of the formulation are also discussed.
Keywords: Respiratory, catarrh, Joshanda, herbal, phytoconstituents, Unani
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