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Meswak

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Salvadora persica is a species of Salvadora. It is an evergreen small tree belonging to family Salvadoraceae, commonly known as ‘Tooth brush tree’ and is widely distributed in India, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel and Pakistan. Salvadora persica is a small tree or shrub with a crooked trunk, seldom more than one foot in diameter. Its bark is scabrous and cracked, whitish with pendulous extremities.
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Botanical Names
Salvadora persica
Indian Names
INDIAN NAMES Sanskrit : Gudaphala, pilu Hindi : Meswak, Peelu Marathi : Khakan, pilu Tamil : Uka Telugu : Gunnangi Kannada : Gonimara Gujrati : Peeludi
Chemical Constituents
According to chemical and phytochemical analysis of Salvadora persica, there was an occurrence of carbohydrates and trimethylamine; an alkaloid which may effectively be salvadorine; chlorides; sulfur; terpenes; vitamin C; glycosides; large amounts of fluoride and silica; small amounts of tannins, saponins, flavonoids and sterols. Miswak extract showed a high content of sodium chloride and potassium chloride as well as salvadourea and salvadorine, saponins, tannins, vitamin C, silica, and resin in addition to cyanogenic glycoside and benzylisothio-cyanate. (1) Primary analysis also showed that S. Persica contains Tri-Methyamin, Salvadrin, Chloride, Fluoride, Silica, Sulfur, and a small amount of Sapo-nine Tanin. There are many studies showing that Miswak have strong anti caries effects due to large amounts of fluoride in it. (2). The phytochemical screening reveals that the alcoholic extract of S. persica contains alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, sterols, terpenoids, protein and carbohydrates (3). Meswak contains more than 10 different natural chemical compounds as fluoride, tannins, resins, alkaloids -Salvadoricine-, volatile oils -sinigrin-, sulfur, sodium bicarbonate, chlorides, calcium, benzyl isothiocyanate and others, including silica -salicylic acid-, sterols, trimethylamine, saponins and fl avonoid. Five fl avonoid compounds (kaempferol, quercetin, quercetrin, rutin and quercetin glucoside) were isolated from the root of this plant (4).
Pesticide Limits
A limit for pesticide is one of the major issues in standardization of medicinal plants and products in view of the worldwide widespread use of pesticides in cultivated plants. The presence of pesticides in extracts increase the health risk by many folds. The pesticides can be extremely irritant on skin as well as in the internal organs, it is essential to monitor its concentration as a part of GMP. Various analytical methods for the quantitative determination of pesticides by gas chromatography coupled with mass-spectrophotometer are in use. Konark Research Foundation (KRF), a NABL certified lab is well equipped with the latest technology and instruments and monitors the pesticide limit as part of its GMP.
Chromatographic Profile
From the pharmacopoeial perspective, a better quality control of raw material can be achieved by specifying quantitative test procedure for the determination of the range or a minimum content of the active ingredient or marker substances. A chromatographic finger profile represents qualitative/ quantitative determination of various components present in a complex plant extract, irrespective whether or not their exact identity is known. Thin layer chromatographic technique is the simplest and least expensive method that provides plenty of information on the composition of raw herbs and its preparation. For quantitative analysis of active ingredients or marker substances with simultaneous separation and detection High Pressure liquid chromatography is the best technique. We use the latest model of HPLC for all its analysis.
Limits of Impurities
A test requirement for foreign organic matter would ensure the extent of contamination of extraneous matters such as filth and other parts of botanicals not covered by the definition of the herbal drug. Since sand and soil are predictable contaminants of botanicals, test requirements for ‘total ash’, water soluble ash’, ‘acid soluble ash’, residue on ignition and sulphated ash would be expected to limit such contaminants. Test requirement for heavy metals in botanical raw material are probably more relevant for parts of plants growing under ground than for the aerial parts of the plant. The presence of high levels of minerals interacts with the final product there by affecting its keeping quality.
Microbial Limits
If the raw herbs are to be used directly without boiling in water prior to consumption, restrictive limits on microbial contaminants are required for pathogens such as Salmonella sp. Enterobacter and E. coli which are causative agent for various gastrointestinal diseases. A lower level of yeasts and molds and a limit on total aerobes are considered appropriate in plant material for topical use. The presence of aflatoxins detected by chemical means is generally independent of the number of viable molds that are detected using microbiological methods. Aflatoxins in microgram quantity are capable of giving serious hypersensitivity reactions which can be extremely harmful to human health.
Pharmacology
Research suggests that Salvadora persica contains a number of medically beneficial properties including abrasives, antiseptics, astringent, detergents, enzyme inhibitors, and fluoride. Salvadora persica has antiurolithiatic properties. Used for centuries as a natural toothbrush, its fibrous branches have been promoted by the World Health Organization for oral hygiene use. Salavadora Persica is a medical plant whose roots, twigs or stems have been used for centuries as oral hygiene tools in many parts of the world, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Many studies have demonstrated that extracts of Salvadora Persica possess various antiplaque, antiperiopathic, anticaries, anti-inflammatory and antimycotic effects (5). It has been reported that extracts of miswak posses various biological properties, including significant antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-plasmodial effects. S. persica is reported to be effective against bacteria that are important for the development of dental plaque. The aqueous extract of Meswak had promising inhibitory activity against all oral bacteria, especially Strep. faecalis and Strep. mutans. Previous studies have reported that S. persica extracts were effective against Strep. mutans and Strep. faecalis, even using low extract concentrations (6) It has been claimed in traditional literature that Salvadora persica is valuable against a wide variety of diseases. The leaves are also beneficial in the treatment of various diseases. It is used in the treatment of nose trouble, piles, scabies, leucoderma, inflammation, scurvy, gonorrhea and pain. The bark is useful in the treatment of low fever and amenorrhea. The root is useful in the treatment of toothache and chest disease. Miswak is a chewing stick prepared from the roots, twigs, or stems of Salvadora persica. (7)
Health Benefits
Salvadora persica is locally called as miswak and also as tooth brush tree. Chewing sticks that are made from the roots, twigs, or stems of S. persica are commonly used in the Middle East as a means of maintaining oral hygiene. Studies indicate that S. persica extract is somewhat comparable to other oral disinfectants and anti-plaque agents, such as triclosan and chlorhexidine gluconate, if used at a very high concentration. Scientific studies had shown amazing antibacterial effects of Miswak on Streptococcus Mutant and Fecalis. Olsson reported that chewing sticks are more effective in decreasing dental caries than tooth-brush. Al-lafi and Ababneh investigated antibacterial effects of Miswak in three ways and showed that deriva-tives if these sticks have strong effects on the growth of Streptococcus and staphylococcus aurous. Danielsen, et al. studied two groups of students in Kenya. One group used chewing sticks plus toothpaste and the other group used only chewing sticks. Meswak also showed good enhanced antimicrobial activity against drug resistant bacteria when used in combination with synthetic drugs (2, 8).
Research References
1. U. BHADORIYA, A. SUTHAR, S. DUBEY, N. AGGARWAL DIURETIC ACTIVITY OF METHANOLIC EXTRACT OF LEAVES OF SALVADORA PERSICA L. ROM. J. BIOL. – PLANT BIOL., 55(1): 3–7 2. Fatemeh Ezoddini-Ardakani Efficacy of Miswak (salvadora persica) in preventing dental caries journal/HEALTH/ 2010 2(5):499-503 3. MANSOOR A., HINA I., ZAHRA Y., ZAKIR-UR R., ATIQ-UR-R., NUDRAT F. AND TEHMINA S. PHARMACOLOGICAL PROFILE OF SALVADORA PERSICA Pak. J. Pharm. Sci., 2011 24(3):323-330 4. El-Kholy K. H., Seleem T.S.T., El-Aasar T.A. and Hanaa Abdelharith A. EFFECT OF DIETARY ADDITION OF ARAK (SALVADORA PERSICA) ON GROWTH AND REPRODUCTIVE PERFORMANCE IN BLACK BALADI RABBIT MALES World Rabbit Sci. 2008, 16: 21 - 27 5. Nawal A. K., Abdul-Khalik K., Sheikh A. and Mahmoud Y. T. THE ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF SALVADORA PERSICA SOLUTION (MISWAK-SIWAK) AS ROOT CANAL IRRIGANT (A COMPARATIVE STUDY) University of Sharjah Journal of Pure & Applied Sciences. 4(3): 69-91 6. Firas A. A. and Khudir D. S. In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Salvadora persica L. Extracts Against Some Isolated Oral Pathogens in Iraq Turk J Biol 2008, 32: 57-62 7. Manavalan R., Venkappaya D. and Geetha K. Pharmacognostical Standardisation of aerial parts of Salvadora persica Phcog J 2010, 2(5) 8. Zafar A., Shaukat S. K., Mahnaaz K., Arshiya T. and Zahoor A. L. Synergistic Effect of Salvadora persica Extracts, Tetracycline and Penicillin Against Staphylococcus aureus African Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences 2010, 2 (1-2): 25-29
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