Feb 12, 2014
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CAPSELLA BURSA-PASTORIS

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(Linn.) Moench.

Family ► Cruciferae; Brassicaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India as a weed in cultivated areas and waste places, particularly in the temperate regions up to an altitude of 4,200 m.

English ► Shepherd’s Purse, St. James’s Wort.

Folk ► Mumiri.

Action ► The herb or its juice extracts are employed to check menorrhagia and haemorrhages from renal and genitourinary tract. Also used in diarrhoea and dysentery and as a diuretic.

Key application ► In symptom-based treatment of mild menorrhagia and metrorrhagia. (German Commission E.) The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia reported antihaem- orrhagic action.

Aerial parts contain flavonoids, polypeptides, choline, acetylcholine, histamine and tyramine.

The extract of dried or green plant causes strong contraction of the small intestines and uterus of guinea pigs. A quarternary ammonium salt has been isolated from the herb which is reported to be responsible for its pharmacological activity.

Young leaves contain vitamin A (5,000 IU/100 g) and ascorbic acid (91 mg/100 g); among other constituents are hesperidin and rutin, which reduced permeability of blood vessel walls in white mice. A neoplasm inhibitory substance has been identified as fumaric acid. An inhibitory effect of the extracts of the herb on Ehrlich solid tumour in mice was found to be due to the fumaric acid.

Major constituent of the essential oil is camphor.

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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