Background: The Himalayan region has been reported as rich accumulation of natural wealth, particularly of aromatic and medicinal plants. Indian Ajuga species (Ajuga brachystemon, Ajuga integrifolia, Ajuga macrosperma and Ajuga parviflora) belonging to Lamiaceae family have been reported from different parts of Uttarakhand. Phytochemical studies revealed presence of various bioactive compounds including neo-clerodane diterpenoids, steroids, phytoecdysteroids, sphingolipids, triterpenoids, flavonoids, fatty acids, iridoids, triglycerides, withanolides, phenylethanoid glycosides and quinols. Modern pharmacological activities of Ajuga species including anti-inflammatory, anti plasmodial activity, anti-platelet activity, antioxidant activity, analgesic assay, anti diabetic activity, antifungal activity, insecticidal activity and cytotoxity have been published by various researchers.
Objective: The present study is aimed at exploring chemical composition, pharmacological and biological activities of Ajuga species as worked out by researchers and scientific community. Due to the excessive use of Ajuga species it needs to be conserved and requires important measures for its conservation.
Methods: The analysis of essential oils and plant extract has been reported through solvent extraction, steam distillation method, GC-MS analysis and HPLC.
Results: Literature survey revealed reports of Ajuga L. to be used against various ailments such as stomach-ache, dermatitis, malaria, snake-bite, ear-ache, arthritis, bleeding, wounds, asthma, pneumonia, respiratory problems, fever, dysentery, and joint pain.
Conclusion: The detailed description would be helpful in future studies. Recent biotechnological approaches have been reported useful to conserve A. bracteosa due to over exploitation for research purpose whereas A. brachystemon and A. macrosperma have been reported rarely in the wild.