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Samayita Basu, Tanaya Ghosh, Prasenjit Mitra and Prasanta Kumar Mitra*


Amaranthus spinosus Linn. (Family Amaranthaceae) commonly known as ‘spiny amaranth’ or ‘pig weed’, is a plant known for its medicinal properties since long. In past in the traditional system of medicine (Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Folk medicine etc.) various parts of the plant were used for treatment of different diseases. The tradition, however, is still continuing. In present day research phytochemical investigations were carried out which confirmed presence of bioactive molecules like linoleic acid, rutin, catechuic acid, tannins, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponin, betalain, b-sitosterol, carotenoids, stigmasterol, phenolic acids, steroids, amino acids, terpenoids etc. in different parts of the plant. Pharmacological studies were also conducted. Different parts of the plants showed analgesic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antidiabetic, antitumor, spermatogenic, antifertility, antiinflammatory, hepato-protective, spasmolytic, bronchodilator, antimalarial properties. In spite of all these studied there are many more work to be done in near future. Other phytochemicals present in the plant are to be isolated. Isolated phytochemicals need thorough experimental studies to confirm their medicinal values. More clinical trials will have to be undertaken to prove efficacy of the isolated phytochemicals as drug. The aim of the present work was, therefore, to make a comprehensive review on past and present studies on the plant and the possibilities of future work for its maximum medicinal use in near future. Further, Amaranthus spinosus Linn. is an excellent food due to its high nutrient content. Research is also needed for its maximum yield for greater interest of mankind.

Keywords: Amaranthus spinosus Linn., ancient time, modern era, further research.

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