Background: In recent decades, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become very popular in the treatment of several chronic diseases. Natural products as one of the CAM modalities offer potential opportunities to discover lead compounds for novel drug development. The use of CAM or natural products in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases is comparatively a newer area.
Method: A structured online literature search for peer-reviewed research articles was conducted on the PubMed, Europe PMC, Medline and Google Scholar portals, using phrases: natural products for neurologic disorders, phytomedicine for neurodegenerative diseases, natural therapeutics for neurological symptopms etc.
Results: The retrieved data showed the natural therapeutics with anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory salutations evidently plays a crucial role in protecting neurons. Of these, the most promising are caffeine, trigonelline, shogaol, curcumin, resveratrol, baicalein, wogonin, ginsenosides, tanshinones, withanolides, picrosides, parthenolide, cannabinoids, Devil's claw and white willow bark, including Chinese formulations Renshen Shouwu and Shengmai San. Though several herbs and their active ingredients have been studied in laboratory and clinical settings, only a few have been investigated for their molecular mechanisms of action. Notably, despite the promising and safe therapeutic benefits of CAM/herbal medicines, there exists a possible risk when combining them with prescription drugs. As a result, many drugs have shown changes in blood pressure, hepatotoxicity, seizures etc. when combined with certain herbs.
Conclusion: Certainly, extensive work is needed to make sure that patients should take a regimen of protective and restorative therapy under an experienced healthcare professional. This article updates on the current knowledge of promising natural products used in neurological disorders.