The stem bark of Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) is used by the Ayurvedic physicians in India for the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases, collectively referred to as hritroga. It has been extensively studied in animal models to demonstrate cardioprotective properties, ranging from positive inotropic- , hypolipdemic-, coronary vasodilatory- and antioxidant effects to induction of stress protein in heart. Various bioactive compounds, like triterpinoids, tannins, flavonoids and minerals have been isolated from the stem bark. A number of clinical studies have also reported its beneficial effects in patients of chronic stable angina, endothelial dysfunction, heart failure and even ischemic mitral regurgitation. However, there are some identified lacunae, like standardisation of the ‘drug’, toxicity studies along with pharmacological interactions with other drugs and large multicentre randomized clinical trials, before its use by modern medicine is acceptable.
Keywords: Terminalia arjuna, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, clinical trial, preconditioning, ayurveda, medicinal plants, hritroga, inotropic, hypolipdemic, coronary vasodilatory, antioxidant effects, stress protein, angina, endothelial dysfunction, regurgitation, reserpine, Digoxin, morphine, quinine/quinidine, physostigmine, over the counter (OTC), chronotropic effects, Tetragalloyl glucose, Ellagic acid, Leucocyanidin, superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione, catalase (CAT), arjunglucoside, polymorphonuclear cells, echocardiography, hyperlipidemia, hypocholesterolemic, Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), LACUNAE, new chemical entity (NCE)
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