Mundi (Sphaeranthus indicus Linn): The best blood purifier and immunomodulatory Unani herb with versatile ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities
Sphaeranthus indicus Linn. (Mundi) belongs to the family Compositae, Indian aromatic weed. Since the ancient time, its whole plant and flowers have great medicinal value. It is used for medicinal purpose in Unani and other traditional medicines as a blood purifier, aphrodisiac, eye tonic, tonic for vital organs, and anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, useful for neurological, eyes, cardiac, gastrointestinal, integument and urogenital disorders. This article intent to highlight the Unani ethnomedicinal properties and therapeutic uses, other traditional medicinal properties, to signify its potential in the treatment of various ailments as mentioned in Unani medicine and likewise to survey its phytoconstituents, pharmacological and clinical studies. Thisplant details were explored in classical Unani texts for its ethnobotanical Unani description, temperament (Mizaj), medicinal properties and therapeutic uses. Further, for phytochemicals and pharmacological/clinical studies information various scientific search engines such as PubMed, Science Direct, Ovid, Springer, Medline, Research Gate and Google Scholar were browsed. All relevant articles up to 2020 were referred including 24 Classical Unani and Medicinal plant books, 60 research and review papers. Mundi has been used in Unani and other traditional medicine for ages and used in the aforementioned ailments. The organic phytoconstituents include alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, tannins, resins, flavonoids, steroids, proteins volatile oils, sterol and terpenoid. In-vitro or in- Vivo studies have proven pharmacological activities of S. indicus such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, immunomodulatory, anti-ulcer, anti-pyretic, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, antiageing and anti-cancer Hence, the aforesaid ethnomedicinal and therapeutic uses, pharmacological and clinical research studies rationalize the potential benefits of S. indicus mentioned in the classical Unani literature. However, future randomized clinical trials are proposed to approve its efficacy and safety for various ailments.