Feb 12, 2014
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Family ► Cucurbitaceae.

Habitat ► Throughout India.

English ► Colocynth Bitter Apple.

Ayurvedic ► Indravaaruni, Indraval- li, Indravaarunikaa, Gavaakshi, Chitraa, Chitraphalaa, Indraasuri, Mrigaani, Mrigairvaaru, Vishaalaa, Vishaalyka, Indraayana. Ain- dri (also equated with Bacopa monnieri).

Unani ► Hanzal.

Siddha/Tamil ► Kumatti.

Action ► Dried pulp of ripe fruit— cathartic, drastic purgative, irritant and toxic. The pulp is used for varicose veins and piles. A paste of root is applied to various inflammations and swellings. The cataplasm of leaves is applied in migraine and neuralgia.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India indicated the use of the fruit in jaundice; the root in diseases of the liver and spleen and the leaf in cutaneous affections and alopecia.

Colocynth contains up to 3% cucur- bitacin. The drug and its preparations cause drastic irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa and haemorrhages.

Cucurbitacins include cucurbitacin E-, J-, L-glucosides. In addition, the pulp contains caffeic acid derivatives (chlorogenic acid).

Roots contain aliphatic compounds. Ethanolic extract (50%) shows significant anti-inflammatory activity in albino rats.

Leaves and flowers contain querce- tin and kaempferol. The ethanolic extract of leaves and flowers exhibits antibacterial activity against a number of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria.

The powder is toxic at 0.6-1.0 g. The fruit exhibited carcinogenic activity in animal studies.

Dosage ► Dried fruit—125-500 mg powder. (API Vol. III.) Root—1- 3 g. powder. (CCRAS.) Dried leaf— for external use. (API Vol. II.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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