BELLAMYA BENGALENSIS: A REVIEW ON ITS ECOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE, NUTRITIONAL VALUES AND ETHNO MEDICINAL IMPORTANCE
Bellamya bengalensis (Lamarck, 1822) is a fresh water edible snail, distributed throughout Asia and Africa. The snail's flesh part is widely used in ethno medicine as well as food. It has a very high protein content which is even greater than some common fish and red meat group. It plays an important role in fresh water ecosystem. It has been traditionally used in the treatment of various human ailments like chronic gastric disorders, arthritis, joint pain, rheumatism, controlling blood pressure, asthma, rickets, calcium metabolism, nervousness, giddiness and has been recommended for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, conjunctivitis, night blindness, diarrhoea. In vivo and in vitro studies have provided the support against traditional demands of the snail as anti-inflammatory, immune booster, anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, anti-hypersensitive uses. However, further studies are required to define the active chemical compositions and to validate its clinical utilisation for human uses. This review provides an overview of ecological importance, nutritional values and traditional applications, current knowledge on Bellamya bengalensis.
Keywords: Freshwater snail, Drug development, Ethno medicine, Bioindicator species, Nutritional values.
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