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Genital warts. Applying podophyllum resin, also called podophyllin, as a 10% to 25% suspension or as a 2% to 4% gel, is effective for removing genital warts. Podophyllum seems to work just as well as other treatments, such as cryotherapy (freezing) or a medicine called imiquimod. But podophyllotoxin (podofilox, Condylox), a chemical found in podophyllum that is also an FDA-approved drug, is usually used instead. It is less toxic and seems to work better than other treatments.
Indian podophyllum rhizomes are subcylindrical, flattened pieces with a very short internode as compared to American podophyllum. The pieces are about 2–4 cm long and 1–2 cm in diameter, it shows the scars due to cutting of branches and roots. Rhizomes are brownish coloured with characteristic odour and acrid, bitter taste. It breaks with horny fracture but very hard. The transversely cut surface shows a ring of vascular bundle and central pith.A transverse section of the Indian podophyllum rhizome shows the thin-walled, tubular cork. Cortex is made up of cellular parenchyma containing large number of starch grains and cluster crystals of calcium oxalate. The vascular bundles are arranged in a ring with phloem on the outer side and a bit irregular xylem at the inner side. In certain regions fibrovascular bundles are found entering the aerial stem. The central pith shows the crystals of calcium oxalate. The major distinguishing features in P. hexandrum and P. peltatum are the size of the starch grain and the crystals of calcium oxalate.
Also known as the Himalayan mayapple, Podophyllum hexandrum is a succulent erect herb, glabrous, up to 30 cm tall with creeping long knotty rhizome. The plant produces podophyllotoxin, an anticancer metabolite, and hence can also be used for the treatment of cancer. The roots have also reported anticancer lignans, including podophyllotoxin and berberine. The root is harvested in the autumn and either dried for later use or the resin is extracted. Due to the plant has been overexploited due to medicinal properties and is now enlisted as an endangered species. Therefore, there is a need to grow this plant at a greater scale so as to utilize its medicinal potential to the fullest. Unsuccessful attempts have been made to grow the pant in vitro. Hence, this problem needs to be countered and methods to increase the metabolite production by the plants are also needed in order to maximize the utilization of its medicinal properties. This review focuses on providing solutions to the researchers to develop new techniques to grow the plant in vitro as well as ex situ and also gives an insight on the various methods that have been proved fruitful for increasing the production of podophyllotoxin in P. hexandrum. (Source: www.intechopen.com)