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Abutilon indicum (Linn.) (Malvaceae) is a shrub distributed throughout India. The various parts of the plant (leaves, roots, seeds and seed oil) are widely used by various tribal communities and forest dwellers for the treatment of variety of ailments. The plant is documented to possess beneficial effects as sweet, cooling, digestive, laxative, expectorant, diuretic, astringent, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anthelmintic, demulcent and aphrodisiac. Following various folk claims for cure of numerous diseases, efforts have been made by researchers to verify the efficacy of the plant through scientific biological screenings. The plant contains saponins, flavonoids, alkaloids, hexoses, n-alkane mixtures (C22-34), alkanols, and amino acids as main classes of compounds. A scrutiny of literature revealed some notable pharmacological activities like antibacterial, antipyretic, antimalarial, antifertility, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic and wound healing. The present review is an attempt to highlight the various ethnobotanical and traditional uses as well as phytochemical and pharmacological reports on A. indicum.
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