New Delhi: If things go according to their plan, doctors at AIIMS may soon be able to treat cardiac patients with the bark of medicinal tree Arjuna.
Clinical trials with extracts from the bark are being tried on cardiac patients to check for its efficacy. This is already used by some ayurvedic physicians for different kinds of heart problems.
"Bark of the Arjuna tree is already being tried by ayurveda physicians for treating cardiac patients. The department of biotechnology wanted to check the efficacy of these claims," said Dr S K Maulik of the department of pharmacology at AIIMS and the principal investigator in this clinical trial.
"That is why they decided to fund this clinical trial. Pre-clinical safety studies on animals have proved to be effective. As is done to test the efficacy of a new chemical drug we are doing a random trial on cardiac failure patients with this product for the past two years and we are hopeful about it."
Dr Y K Gupta, head of the department of pharmacology at AIIMS, is the member of the monitoring committee of this clinical trial which is being done in collaboration with department of cardiology and pathology of AIIMS.
Arjuna tree grows up to 25m high and has a huge trunk. All its parts have many curative properties which are used in different kinds of medicine systems like Unani and Siddha. Maulik said the product has been standardised before considering it for cardiac patients.
"Before trying it on humans we have to have to conduct many checks. It has to be botanically identified, we have to ascertain that it is not toxic and there are no microbes or fungus or any heavy material in it. We have done its phytochemical fingerprinting."