The roots of Boerhaavia diffusa L., commonly known as 'Punarnava', are used by a large number of tribes in India for the treatment of various hepatic disorders. In the present study the effect of seasons, thickness of roots and form of dose (either aqueous or powder) were studied for their hepatoprotective action to prove the claims made by the different tribes of India. The hepatoprotective activity of roots of different diameters collected in three seasons, rainy, summer and winter, was examined in thioacetamide intoxicated rats. The results showed that an aqueous extract (2 ml/kg) of roots of diameter 1-3 cm, collected in the month of May (Summer), exhibited marked protection of a majority of serum parameters, i.e. GOT, GPT, ACP and ALP, but not GLDH and bilirubin, thereby suggesting the proper size and time of collection of B. diffusa L. roots for the most desirable results. Further, the studies also proved that the aqueous form of drug (2 ml/kg) administration has more hepatoprotective activity than the powder form; this is probably due to the better absorbtion of the liquid form through the intestinal tract.
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