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Herbal Immunomodulators - A Remedial Panacea for Designing and Developing Effective Drugs and Medicines: Current Scenario and Future Prospects

[ Vol. 19 , Issue. 3 ]


Ruchi Tiwari*, Shyma K. Latheef, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Hafiz M.N. Iqbal, Mohammed Hussen Bule, Kuldeep Dhama, Hari Abdul Samad, Kumaragurubaran Karthik, Mahmoud Alagawany, Mohamed Ezzat Abd El-Hack, Mohd Iqbal Yatoo and Mayada Ragab Farag   Pages 264 - 301 ( 38 )


Background: Constant exposure to various stressors, such as immune pressure, rapidly increasing population, deleterious changes in the ecosystem, climate change, infection with emerging and re-emerging pathogens, and fast-paced lifestyle, is a critical factor in the globally increasing incidences of immunocompromising health conditions, as well as stress. Synthetic chemotherapeutic agents, which are widely available in the commercial market, may be highly efficacious, but most are immunosuppressive and exert many side effects.

Methods: Herein, we comprehensively reviewed current literature from various scientific databases such as Bentham Science, PubMed, Scopus, Elsevier, Springer, etc. The inclusion/exclusion criteria based on literature with high importance was adopted to analyze and compile salient information from the authentic bibliographic sources.

Results: Undoubtedly, the pivotal characteristics of immunostimulants and immunomodulators in the maintenance of the health and productivity of humans, as well as animals, cannot be overlooked. Numerous herbs used in ethnoveterinary medicine can be successfully employed as adjuvant rehabilitators to negate the deleterious effects of chemotherapeutics. The sources of these medicinal remedies are part of long traditions in different regions of the world, such as Indian Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which have been developed through empirical experience. Traditional medicine employs a holistic approach to the prevention of disease, and traditional herbal medicines are a source of many components with a high therapeutic value that are used in modern allopathic medicine. Globally, many studies have been conducted on these herbs and have revealed unique active constituents that activate the innate immune system through the stimulation of macrophages and lymphocytes, and modulation of the cytokine profile, which leads to a state of alertness with a subsequent reduction in the incidence of infection. Immunomodulatory constituents with herbal origins are termed as phytochemicals, including flavonoids, glycosides, polysaccharides, terpenoids, essential oils, various bitters, and alkaloids; all these compounds exert vital, multidimensional effects. Efforts have focused on screening plant preparations to identify adjuvant immune properties; furthermore, several potent phytol adjuvants have been experimentally proven to downregulate inflammatory reactions in addition to enhance specific adaptive responses to vaccines.

Conclusions: In summary, this review summarizes the current status and future prospects regarding the immunomodulatory potential of various herbs and plants and their promising utility for designing and developing effective drugs and medicines in safeguarding the health of humans, animals, and poultry.


Herbs, plants, immunomodulation, drugs, medicine, health, therapy.


Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Sciences, UP Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwavidyalay Evum Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura, Uttar Pradesh 281001, Immunology Section, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly 243122, Uttar Pradesh, School of Medical Science, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Southport, Queensland 4222, Tecnologico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Campus Monterrey, Ave. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Monterrey, N.L., CP 64849, Department of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ambo University, Ambo, Division of Pathology, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly 243122, Uttar Pradesh, Division of Physiology and Climatology, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly 243122, Uttar Pradesh, Central University Laboratory, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Madhavaram Milk Colony, Chennai, Tamil Nadu - 600051, Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Krishi Vigyan Kendra Nyoma, Sher-E-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar 190025 Jammu and Kashmir, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 4451

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