Sacred groves and nakshatravan trees - A comparative analysis for their medicinal properties and volatile compounds for human health

Pitchaimuthu Mariappan, Kodsara Ramachandra Kiran, Puthanvila Surendrababu Swathy, Arya Kaniyassery, Sachin Ashok Thorat, Pradeep Bhagyashree, Muthu Thiruvengadam, Annamalai Muthusamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sacred natural sites are considered part of human beings and communities, consisting of unique medicinal plant species with specific therapeutic properties. Among the sacred trees, Nakshatravan comprises an impressive range of medicinal and aromatic plants, mainly trees, which may help as a source of readily available raw materials from temple premises for traditional medicine. Therefore, the review aims to analyze and compare the medicinal properties and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of nakshatravan trees, which are associated with 27 nakshatras/constellations used in Vedic tradition since 2nd Century. Various scientific databases, such as Pubmed, Scopus, and Google Scholar, were used. The keywords such as constellation, nakshatravan trees, human health, sacred groves, volatile oil, essential oil, and influence on human diseases were used. The 27 nakshatravan trees belong to 20 families, of which the Moraceae family contributes five trees; Fabaceae, Papilonaceae, and Sapotaceae contribute two trees, whereas the remaining 16 family consists of 1 tree each. There are 92 different medicinal properties, and 132 Volatile Compounds (VCs) and 36 non-volatile compounds (NVCs) noted from 27 trees, which are reported from nakshatravan trees and used for the treatment and prevention of various human diseases. An innovative approach to conserving these plants diversity has been emerging as ‘Star Garden’ comprising imperative medicinal trees with several unique or common medicinal properties. This approach will facilitate establishing and maintaining important, unique medicinal tree species. In the present study, we have analyzed common and unique medicinal properties, volatile and non-volatile compounds of 27 nakshatravan trees, and their potential pharmacological values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-638
Number of pages16
JournalSouth African Journal of Botany
Issue numberPart B
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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