The ethno medicinal plant Basella alba belongs to the family Basellaceae, and commonly known as malabar spinach, indian spinach, ceylon spinach and vine spinach. Although it has been reported in ancient systems of medicine, it did not gain much importance and has always remained controversial. It has been found to be a good source of calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C. In the Indian system of medicine, the plant has immense potential in androgenic activity, antiulcer activity, antioxidant, cytotoxic and antibacterial activity, anti-inflammatory activity, central nervous system (CNS) depressant activity, nephroprotective and wound healing properties etc. The present is therefore, an effort to give a detailed survey of literature on pharmacognostical, phytochemical, ethnopharmacology as well as the pharmacological activities of the plant.
Key words: Nephroprotective, cytotoxic, androgenic, antiulcer activity, antioxidant, spinach.
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