Biological Databases on Medicinal Plants : A Review

Bhagya Unni, Sindura K P, Swapna Alex, Soni K B



Medicinal plants have remained the mainstay of traditional medicine since antiquity.They provide a plethora of bioactive compounds with numerous biological effects.  The low cost, safety, and efficacy of herbal medicines with less or no detrimental effects have given plant-derived drugs an upper hand over synthetic medicines.  Over 80% of people worldwide still use conventional medications.  Nevertheless, the pharmacological aspects of many plants are poorly understood. Due to the lack of access to traditional verbal knowledge, the heterogeneity in the worldwide distribution of medicinal plants, and the stringent enforcement of safety profiles of herbal medications; exploring, screening, and discovering lead compounds from plants is quite challenging.  It is preferable to consolidate the enormous data on medicinal plants to encourage plant-based drug discovery.  Bioinformatics has aided biological research by substituting time-consuming and labour-intensive methods with high-throughput technologies.  Medicinal plant databases are electronic sources of information utilized for quick searches and retrievals of data on medicinal plants, providing a better and more comprehensive understanding and expanding research on medicinal plants.  The data can be sorted according to geographic region, type of ailment, secondary metabolites produced by plants, traditional medicinal systems, and others in a number of medicinal plant databases.  Coherent information provided by the bioinformatic tools linked to the database will enable the discovery of novel lead compounds with enhanced pharmacokinetics.  A complete literature assessment, methodical compilation, safe data storage, and periodic data updating and maintenance are all necessary for a reliable medicinal plant database.


Medicinal Plants, Bioinformatics, Traditional Medicine, Database, Drug Development, Secondary Metabolites

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