Moorva – A Drug Of Controversial Identity: Review

Published: May 7, 2022


  • Gulsheen
  • Anupam Sharma
Moorva, Ayurveda, Controversial species, Sandigdhadravyas, Charaka


Introduction: Over the past few years, there has been a huge surge of interest towards Ayurvedic system of medicine, and it has become a subject of intensive research for various aspects. However, variation in the languages and prevalence of folklore medicines has led to confusion in the true identity of different plants having similar name. Moreover, the description of a plant in the ancient literature is found in verses, having ample use of synonyms. These synonyms have caused controversy in the identification of plants and, hence, the correct source of the plant could be misleading.
Background: Since herbal products are generally prepared using extracts of plants known for particular activity, the controversial source sometimes may lead to preparation of inefficacious medicines.
Review Results: Substantial efforts are being made to standardize the Ayurvedic crude drugs as well as finished Ayurvedic medicines. However, these initiatives imperatively need establishing correct identity of the plant drug. Moorva is an important controversial drug in Ayurveda. Its roots are used for thetreatment of various disorders. Five different plants are considered as Moorva throughout India. Only preliminary pharmacognostic reports are available on these five species.
Conclusion: The present review aims at differentiating these five sources of Moorva roots, i.e., C.fragrans, H.isora, M.arenaria, S.roxburghiana and Marsdeniatenacissima.


Akila, B., &Manickavasakam, K. (2014). ChandrakanthiChoornam: Siddha Medicine indicated for Oligospermia – A Review. Indo American Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 4(7), 3118-3125.

Arulanandraj, C.N., Punithavani, T., &Indumathy, (2011). Effect of moorva (Maeruaoblongifolia) on alloxan induced diabetes in rats. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 2(10), 2754-2756.

Baka, Z.A.M. (2010). Antifungal activity of six Saudi medicinal plant extracts against five phyopathogenic fungi. Archives of Phytopathology and Plant Protection, 43(8), 736-743.

Basniwal, P.K., Suthar, M., Rathore, G.S., Gupta, R., Kumar, V., Pareek, A., &Jain, D. (2009). In vitro antioxidant activity of hot aqueous extract of Helicteresisora Linn. Fruits. Natural Product Radiance, 8(5), 483-487.

Bean, M.F., Antoun, M., Abramson, D., Chang, C.J., McLaughlin, J.L.,&Cassady, J.M. Cucurbitacin B and Isocucurbitacin B: cytotoxic components of Helicteresisora.Journal of Natural Products, 48(3), 500-500.

Bhavsar, S.K., Foller, M., Gu, S., Vir, S., Shah, M.B., Bhutani, K.K., Dev, D.S., &Lang, F. (2009).  Involvement of the PI3K/AKT pathway in the hypoglycemic effects of saponins from HelicteresisoraJournal of Ethnopharmacology, 126(3),386-396.

Bhat, B.A.,Elachezhiyan, C., &Sethupathy, S. (2012). In vitroantioxidative role of Helicteresisora. International Journal of Bioassays, 1(12), 177-183.

Chakrabarti, R., Vikramadithyan, R.K., Mullangi, R., Sharma, V.M., Jagadheshan, H., Rao, Y.N., Sairam, P., &Rajagopalan, R. (2002). Antidiabetic and hypolipidemic activity of Helicteresisora in animal models. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 81(3), 343-349.

Chandra, A. &Rajput, R. (2011).Chonemorphafragrans, An endangered medicinal plant: a review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Erudition, 1(3), 10-16.

Chandra, A., &Rajput, R. (2011). Standardization and phytochemical screening of Chonemorphafragrans root powder. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 3(1), 759-765.

Chandrachood, P.S., Kamble, G.S., Kulkarni, M., Nirmala, R., &Kashalkar, R.V. (2016).  Identification of Metals Found in the Leaves of ChonemorphaFragransBiosciences Biotechnology Research Asia, 6(2), 811-814.

Dayal, R., Singh, A., Ojha, R.P., &Mishra, K.P. (2015). Possible therapeutic potential of Helicteresisora (L.) and it’s mechanism of action in diseases. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies, 3(2), 95-100.

Dhevi, R., Gayathri, K., Shabi, M.M., Subashini, U., Dubey, G.P., Rajamanickam, G.V., &Chitra, M. (2008). A preliminary biochemical screening of Helicteresisora L. stem bark in carbon tetrachloride induced toxicity in rats. Bulgarian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, 11(4), 235-242.

Dobriyal, R.M., &Ananthanarayana, D.B. (2009). Controversial Nomenclature of Ayurvedic drugs. Challenges for Scientists, 3(5), 1-7.

Duraisankar, M., Manjula, D., &Shanmugasundram, P. (2015).Hepatoprotective activity of alcoholic extract of Chonemorphafragrans root in against Paracetamol and Isoniazid-induced liver damage in rats. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology and Research, 8(7), 232-242.

Ekero, D., Legesse, M., Lelago, A., &Agize, M. (2018). Extraction, Isolation and Characterization of Maeruaoblongifolia (Sanagana). International Journal of Current Researchin Biosciencesand Plant Biology, 5(3), 42-48.

Goel, A., Nishkam,A., &Gautam, S. (2006). Physical properties of Agro-based Textile Fibre: Murva (Sansevieriatrifasciata). Pantnagar Journal of Research, 3(24),72-76.

Haldar, P.K., Kar, B., Bhattacharya, S., Bala, A., &Kumar, R.B.S. (2010).  Antidiabetic activity and modulation of antioxidant status by Sansevieriaroxburghiana rhizome in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. DiabetologiaCroatica, 39(4), 115-123.

Huang, Z., Lin, H., Wang, Y., Cao, Z., Lin, W., & Chen, Q. (2013). Studies on the anti‑angiogenic effect of Marsdeniatenacissima extract in vitro and in vivo. Oncology Letters5(3), 917-922.

Jiang, S., Qiu, L., Li, Y., Li, L., Wang, X., Liu, Z., & Wang, H. (2016). Effects of Marsdeniatenacissima polysaccharide on the immune regulation and tumor growth in H22 tumor-bearing mice. Carbohydrate Polymers, 137(2), 52-58.

Kulkarni, P.H., &Shahida, A. (2004). The Ayurvedic Plants. Sri Satguru Publications, Indological and Oriental publishers, New Delhi, 177-181.

Kulkarni, A. V., Patwardhan, A. A., Upadhye, A. S., &Malpathak, N. P. (2011). Pharmacognostic evaluation of Chonemorpha grandiflora, an endangered medicinal plant. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research2(10), 2690.

Kumar, R.R., Ray, N.M., &Das, A.K. (2005). Skeletal muscle relaxant effect of Chonemorphamacrophylla in experimental animals.Indian Journal of Pharmacology, 37(2), 116-120.

Kumar, G., &Murgesan, A.G. (2008).Hypolipidaemic effect of extracts of Helicteresisora L. bark extracts in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Journal of Pharmacology, 116(1), 161-166.

Kumar, T.M., Christy, A.M., Ramya, R.C., Malaisamy, M., Sivaraj, C., Arjun, P., Raaman, N., &Balasubramanian, K. (2012). Antioxidant and anticancer activity of Helicteresisora dried fruit solvent extracts. Journal of Academic and Industrial Research, 1(3), 148-152.

Kumar, N., &Singh, A.K. (2014). Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Avartani (Helicteresisora Linn.): A review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 4, S22-S26.

Lambade, P., &Thorat, A. (2017). Efficacy of murva (SansevieriaroxburghianaSchult. and Schult. f.) as a suture material in closure of incisions in third molar surgeries: A prospective study. National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, 8(1), 19-22.


Li, C., Yang, S. C., Guo, Q. S., Zheng, K. Y., Shi, Y. F., Xiao, X. F., & Long, G. Q. (2014). Determining the geographical origin of the medicinal plant Marsdeniatenacissima with multi-element analysis and data mining techniques. Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems, 136, 115-120.

Lochan K. Ayurvedic Thesaurus or ParyayaKosa (Herbs and Diseases). Chaukhambha Publications, New Delhi, 2007.

Madhavan, V., Shukla, A. K., Murali, A., Usha, M., &Yoganarasimhan, S. N. (2010). Antipyretic activity studies of two botanical sources of the drug Murva.Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines, 5(5), 171-180.

Madhavan, V., Munisamy, U., Yoganarasimhan, S., Gurudeva, M., Rajamanickam, D., Saravanan, S., &Mythreyi, R. (2012).Pharmacognostical studies on the roots of Maeruaoblongifolia (Forsk.) A  Rich (Capparaceae). Asian Journal of Traditional Medicines, 7(1), 29-38.

Moideen, M.M.J., &Raffick, M.M. (2012). Antibacterial. Antifungal Activity and Phytochemical Analysis of Sanseviveriaroxburghiana root. International Journal of Phytopharmacology,3(1), 21-26

Moglad, E.H.O, Abdalla, O.M, Algadir, H.A., Koko, W.S., &Saadabi, A.M. (2014).In vitro antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity of MaeruaoblongifoliaInternational Journal of Medical Sciences, 1(3), 32-37.

Nair, R. V. (2004). Controversial drug plants. Universities Press., 129-131.

Obydulla, O. (2016). SansevieriaroxburghianaSchult. &Schult. F., Agavaceae: phytochemistry, traditional uses and its pharmacological activities-a review. World Scientific News, 59, 24-34.

Pang, X., Kang, L. P., Fang, X. M., Zhao, Y., Yu, H. S., Han, L. F., & Ma, B. P. (2017). Polyoxypregnane glycosides from the roots of Marsdeniatenacissima and their anti-HIV activities. Planta Medica, 83(01/02), 126-134.

Quattrocchi, U. (2012). CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology (5 Volume Set). CRC press.

Rao, J. K., &Reddi, T. V. V. (2018). Ethnomedicine for aphrodisiac by the tribes of North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources (IJNPR)[Formerly Natural Product Radiance (NPR)], 9(3), 267-272.

Rathore, M. S., &Shekhawat, N. S. (2011). Micropropagation of Maeruaoblongifolia: A rare ornamental from semi arid regions of Rajasthan, India. Journal of Developmental Biology and Tissue Engineering, 3(8), 92-98.

Roy, J., Kuddus, M., Begum, B., & Choudhury, H. (2012). Evaluation of analgesic, cytotoxic and antioxidant activities of SansevieriaroxburghianaSchult. and Schult. f. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, 2(2), S723-S726.

Sabale, P. M., Grampurohit, N. D., Banerjee, S. K., Gaikwad, D. D., &Gadhave, M. V. (2012). Recent advances on the phytochemical and pharmacological profile of plant Helicteresisora Linn. International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 3(4), 14-7.

Shriram, V., Jahagirdar, S., Latha, C., Kumar, V., Dhakephalkar, P., Rojatkar, S., &Shitole, M. G. (2010). Antibacterial &antiplasmid activities of Helicteresisora L. Indian Journal of Medicine Research, 132, 94-99.

Sethiya, N. K., Nahata, A., Mishra, S. H., & Dixit, V. K. (2009). An update on Shankhpushpi, a cognition-boosting Ayurvedic medicine.  Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 7(11), 10.3736/jcim20091101

Sethiya, N. K., Thakore, S. G., & Mishra, S. H. (2009). Comparative evaluation of commercial sources of indigenous medicine shankhpushpi for anti-stress potential a preliminary study. Pharmacology Online, 2, 460-467.

Singh, A. (2008). Contribution of dravyaguna to herbal materiamedica. Ethnobotanical Leaflets, 2008(1), 79.

Sethi, P. (2013). Biological characterisation of the rhizome of SansevieriaroxburghianaSchult. Schult. f.(Agavaceae). Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 7(17), 1201-1203.

Shah, V. C., D’sa, A. S., & de Souza, N. J. (1989). Chonemorphine, stigmasterol, and ecdysterone: steroids isolated through bioassay-directed plant screening programs. Steroids, 53(3-5), 559-565.

Sundara, K.S., Madhavan, V. (2016). Anticonvulsant activity of ethanol and aqueous extract of Maeruaoblongifolia (Forsk.) A. Rich. Root in albino mice. International Journalof Pharmaceutical Sciences, 8, 46-49.

Tambekar, D. H., Khante, B. S., Panzade, B. K., Dahikar, S. B., &Banginwar, Y. S. (2008). Evaluation of phytochemical and antibacterial potential of Helicteresisora L. fruits against enteric bacterial pathogens. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 5(3), 290-293.https://doi.org10.4314/ajtcam.v5i3.31285

Vaidya, B. G. (1982). Some controversial drugs in Indian medicine (No. 33). ChaukhambhaOrientalia.

Van Vuuren, S. F., &Viljoen, A. M. (2006). The in vitro antimicrobial activity of toothbrush sticks used in Ethiopia. South African Journal of Botany, 72(4), 646-648.

Varghese, E., Narayanan, S.S., Gopal, R.V., Nair, A., Chittethu, A.B., &Anson, T.A. Anticancer activity of chloroform extract of Helicteresisora. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology, 3, 2560-2564.

Wang, P., Yang, J., Zhu, Z., & Zhang, X. (2018). Marsdeniatenacissima: a review of traditional uses, Phytochemistry and pharmacology. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 46(07), 1449-1480.

Wilson. (1864). On the medical and surgical sciences of the Hindua. Oriental Magazine, London, 3, 269-76 and 380-93.

Ye, B., Li, J., Li, Z., Yang, J., Niu, T., & Wang, S. (2014). Anti-tumor activity and relative mechanism of ethanolic extract of Marsdeniatenacissima (Asclepiadaceae) against human hematologic neoplasm in vitro and in vivo. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 153(1), 258-267.

How to Cite

Gulsheen and Anupam Sharma. Moorva – A Drug Of Controversial Identity: Review. J. Pharm. Technol. Res. Manag.. 2022, 01, 3-11
Moorva – A Drug Of Controversial Identity: Review

Current Issue

ISSN Print2321-2217
ISSN Online2321-2225
RNI No.CHAENG/2013/50088
OA Policy

Publisher's policy of the journal at Sherpa UK for the submitted, accepted, and published articles. Click OAPolicy

Plan-S Compliance

To check compliance, one has to use the Journal Check Tool (JCT). This tool provided by cOAlition S (European funders) for the researchers (fundee) to check the compliance with the journal.

Recommend journal to your library

You can recommend the journal being a researcher or faculty member to your library. We will post a copy of the Journal to your library on your behalf at free of cost.
Click here: Recommend Journal

Preprint Arxiv Submission

The authors are encouraged to submit the author’s copy (preprint) to appropriate preprint archives e.g. and/or on or institutional repositories (e.g., D Space) before paper acceptance by the editor of Journal. After publications of the paper author(s) should mention the citation information, title and abstract along with DOI number of the publication carefully on the required page of the depository(ies).

Contact: Phone: +91-172-2741000, +91-172-4691800

Email :;

Abstract and Indexing


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Articles in Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology, Research and Management (J. Pharm. Tech. Res. Management) by Chitkara University Publications are Open Access articles that are published with licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- CC-BY 4.0 International License. Based on a work at This license permits one to use, remix, tweak and reproduction in any medium, even commercially provided one give credit for the original creation.

View Legal Code of the above-mentioned license,

View Licence Deed here

Creative Commons License

Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology, Research and Management by Chitkara University Publications is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at