Chlorophytum borivilianum: a white gold for biopharmaceuticals and neutraceuticals.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2009 Nov;10(7):650-66. PMID: 19751181
Chlorophytum borivilianum Santapau&Fernandes (Liliaceae) also known as 'Safed Musli' is a traditional rare Indian medicinal herb which has many therapeutic applications in Ayurvedic, Unani, Homeopathic and Allopathic system of medicine. Its roots (tubers) are widely used for various therapeutic applications. It is used to cure physical illness and weakness, as an aphrodisiac agent and revitalizer, as general sex tonic, remedy for diabetes, arthritis and increasing body immunity, curative for natal and postnatal problems, for rheumatism and joint pains, increase lactation in feeding mothers, as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antitumor agent, also used in diarrhea, dysentery, gonorrhea, leucorrhea etc. It has spermatogenic property and is found useful in curing impotency, now it is considered as an alternative 'Viagra'. Its root contains steroidal and triterpenoidal saponins, sapogenins and fructans which act as therapeutic agents and play vital role in many therapeutic applications. It is a rich source of over 25 alkaloids, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, steroids, saponins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phenol, resins, mucilage, and polysaccharides and also contains high quantity of simple sugars, mainly sucrose, glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose and xylose. The commercial exploitation of this plant and their secondary metabolites, germplasm conservation and in vitro production of secondary metabolites for quality control are some of the major prospects of this rare medicinal herb. The focus of the present review is to galvanize the potential of therapeutic and nutritive values of this herb and production of their secondary metabolites. The in vitro tuber induction, extraction, purification and characterization of saponins are also discussed in the present review.