Feb 12, 2014
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Family ► Liliaceae.

Habitat ► The temperate Himalayas from Kashmir to Chamba. Major supplies of the drug are received from Kashmir.

English ► Hermodactyls, Colchicum, Meadow Saffron, Golden Collyrium (Indian substitute). (C. luteum is a good substitute for C. autumnale L. which is official in the B.P.)

Ayurvedic ► Hiranyatuttha.

Unani ► Suranjaan Talkh.

Action ► Non-steroidal antiinflammatory, anti-gout (relieves inflammation and pain of acute gout but does not increase expulsion of uric acid, is used with an alkaline diuretic), emetic, cathartic. Anti-chemotactic, antiphlogistic, inhibitor of mitosis. Highly toxic. Used for external application to lessen inflammation and pain.

Key application ► In acute gout attack. (German Commission E.)

The fresh corms and aerial parts of a sample from Jammu yielded 0.94% and 070% of total alkaloids, the major being colchicine 0.40% and 0.20% respectively. Colchicine analogs— decteyl thiocolchicine (DTC), decetyl- methylcolchicine (DMC) and tri- methylcolchicinic acid (TMCA) were effective in the treatment of gout; DTC may elicit agranulocytosis.

Colchicine binds to tubulin, the protein subunit of microtubules. Its most important biological effect is the inhibition of processes that depend upon microtubule function by blocking polymerization. In preventing micro- tubule formation, colchicine has been shown to inhibit catecholamine secretion from adrenal medulla, iodine secretion from thyroid gland and pro- lactin secretion from pituitary tumour cells. It inhibits stimulated insulin secretion from isolated perfused pancreas and islets in vitro.

The use of Colchicum for long periods is not recommended owing to its toxicity in larger doses (even 7 mg of colchicine has caused death) and its depressant action upon central nervous system.

Prolonged use of Colchicum autum- nale may cause agranulocytosis, aplas- tic anaemia and peripheral nerve inflammation. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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