Lions Ear

L. nepetifolia (Lamiaceae) is an important medicinal plant which has been used to treat bronchial asthma,
diarrhoea, fever, influenza and malaria and is also an analgesic. This plant exhibited various biological
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activities such as antifungal and anti bacterial activities. Phytochemical examination of this plant parts
indicated the presence of different bioactive compounds. Traditionally, it was used to treat kidney
diseases, rheumatism, dysmenorrheal, bronchial asthma, diarrhoea, fever, influenza.
In India, the medicinal uses of the selected plant are reported for burns, breast swelling, ring worm,
scalds, skin afflictions, malaria and rheumatic pain. Roots of Leonotis nepetifolia is considered as the
botanical sources of Granthiparna (An ayurvedic herb) which is included in the formulations such as
Brihat Guduchi taila, Himasagar taila, Nakula taila and Mritasanjivani sura [4].
The studies have reported that the plant exhibits following important constituents and activities:
The antioxidant and antiproliferative potential of the plant have been reported [5]. The wound healing
capabilities of drug obtained form Leonotis nepetifolia has also been reported [6]. Researchers have
reported the anti bacterial properties from the drug obtained from the plant [7]. The anti–rheumatic and
anti-inflammatory action of plant has been described by researchers [8;9]. The analgesic and anti-cancer
activities of the plant were demonstrated by the studies undertaken on selected cell lines [10]. The works
supporting the anti-bacterial activity of Leonotis nepetifolia have been reported [9;11]. The traditional
utilization of the plant as a medicine, an infusion is used against fever, cough, womb prolapsed and
malaria has been presented [12]. It has been reported that plant exhibit various biological activities viz.
antifungal, analgesic, anti-cancer, hypotensive, laxative, narcotic, antimicrobial [13;14].
The plant is used in cases of asthma and also for epilepsy in S. Africa [15; 16; 17]. The decoction of the
leaves is used to treat coughs, burns and skin ailments. Other species of the Leonotis were reported to
possess anti-malarial activity [18]. The earlier phytochemical studies carried out have reported the
presence of Labdanic acid, Laballenic acid [19] nepetaefolinol and leonotinin and a coumarin,
characterized as 4, 6, 7-trimethoxy-5-methylc-hromen-2-one [20]. The plant is used in traditional
medicine in therapy of bronchial asthma, diarrhoea, fever, malaria and as an analgesic agent in menstrual
pains; also to treat common cold and to alleviate cough [15; 21; 22]. Researchers have reported the
presence of antidiabetic activity of ethanolic whole plant extract of Leonotis nepetifolia in alloxan induced
diabetic rats. [23]
The whole plant is used for menstrual pain and unspecified female complaints. [24] The plant has been
evaluated for its hypotensive potential [25], anti inflammatory activity [26], anti plasmodial activity [18],
and anti bacterial activity [27]. The flowers of the plant are used in case of hardly healing wounds, scars
and burns. To burn healing, the seeds are used as well [28; 29; 30]. Researchers have reported the use of
the plant ash, paste and leaf steam bath for the cure of paralysis, skin diseases, rheumatism and post natal
swelling [31].
The plant has been reported to posses the qualities that can regulate periods and can control diarrhoea
[32]. Workers have reported the febrifuge properties of L. nepetifolia [33]. The role of paste from plant in
controlling the body swelling has also been described by some workers [34]. The decoction of the plant
has inhibitory effects on the joint pain as believed by the tribes of Andhra Pradesh [35].
Various workers reported the utilization of flowers from the plant in scalds and burns as followed in the
Ethnomedicinal system followed in India [36; 37; 38]. Kokani tribals of Nasik region of India region has
been utilizing the paste of inflorescence of the plant with groundnut oil for wound healing [39; 40]. The
possible role of root paste and flower ash of the plant for breast inflammation has been described by
some researchers [41; 42].
The potential role of plant flower juice with sugar as a cure of night blindness has been described in
Ethno-pharmaceutical claims by the Vanrjari of Maharashtra State, India [43]. The role of plant
inflorescence ash mixed with mustard oil for the post natal breast pain as followed and prescribed by the
Tribals of Kota Hills in Andhra Pradesh, India [44]. The possible role of plant flowers and seed paste with
Ghee for controlling cough and curing cuts, wounds and burns has also been reported [45]. Workers
reported the possible treatment of Eczema by leaf paste of L. nepetifolia [46].
Workers reported the possible role of leaf juice from L. nepetifolia for curing malaria.[4, 12, 18] The
depurative, febrifuge and antihelmenthic properties of plant leaf infusion have been described by [32].
The tribes of Andhra Pradesh have been utilizing the plant leaf paste to treat the burning sensation of
scorpion sting [47].The possible role of decoction of plant (leaf, stem, and flower) has been reported [32].
The tribe culture of Adilabad district, Andhra Pradesh has records of utilization of root of this plant to
control pre-natal vomiting [48]. The traditional knowledge of Bidar district of Karnataka state has been
utilizing the plant seed paste for curing head sores [49]. Workers have reported the ethno medicinal
utilization of the plant roots for burn cure from the Eastern Himalayan region of India [30].
Despite its luxurious growth in the tropical and sub tropical regions of South East Asia, the plant merits
consideration due to it’s over exploitation. The national Medicinal Plant Board has prioritized and
recommended this herb for cultivation [50]. The over exploitation of the plant duly necessitates a proper
investigation of the available genotypic diversity and its conservation through commercial cultivation by
Dhawan et al
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employing proper agrotechniques. The exploration of best varieties and improved cultivation practices
would ease off the pressure on natural collection help to achieve to urgent goal of its conservation.