Author(s): Malay K. Das and Bhupen Kalita
Novel drug delivery system aims to improve the shortcomings of conventional and traditional delivery systems. The novel delivery approach towards plant based drugs is gearing up and tremendous success have achieved in making phytoconstituent more bioavailable and stable. Polyphenolic phytoconstituent of flavonoid class have been known for centuries possessing diverse health giving properties but not extensively formulated to modern dosage forms due to problem in gastrointestinal absorption. A covalent complex of such phytoconstituent with phosphatidylcholine – the principle phospholipid of biological membrane makes them significantly bioavailable and stable. The complex such developed is a patented technology and given the name Phytosome. The phytosome technology markedly enhances the bioavailability of phytomedicine by making them soluble in GI fluid and enhancing lipid solubility. Important herbs including Milk thistle, Ginkgo biloba, Grape seed, Green tea, Hawthorn, Ginseng, etc. are currently available in phytosome form in the market. Phytosomal delivery is not restricted to flavonoids (polyphenol) class of phytoconstituents only, but any beneficial molecule possessing structural requirement for direct binding with phosphatidylcholine can be converted to phytosome, e.g. Andrographolide Phytosome, clarithromycin-phospholipid complex, glycerrhetinic acid-phospholipid complex, aceclophenac-phospholipid complex. Knowing the underlying objective, potentiality and diverse application of this novel phytosome technology, an attempt is accomplished to review the available literatures with research related to clinical aspect and formulation as well as success of this newer approach.