Feb 12, 2014
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EUPATORIUM CANNABINUM

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Linn.

Family ► Compositae; Asteraceae.

Habitat ► The temperate Himalayas up to 3,600 m and in Khasi Hills between 1,000 and 2,000 m.

English ► Hemp Agrimony, Water Hemp, Hemp Eupatorium.

Folk ► Bundaar (Maharashtra), Tongollati (Assam).

Action ► Diuretic, cathartic, anti-tumoral. Used under strict medical supervision for blood impurities and tumours. Internal administration is not advised unless the hepatotoxic alkaloids are shown to be absent from the sample.

The herb contains volatile oil (about 0.5%); sesqiterpene lactones, the major one being eupatoriopicrin; flavonoids, pyrrolizidine alkaloids; immunoactive polysaccharides.

Eupatoriopicrin has shown to be cy- tostatic as well as cytotoxic; it delayed transplanted tumour growth in mice in a dose-dependent manner.

An aqueous extract of the plant exhibited anti-necrotic activity against carbon tetrachloride-induced hepato- toxicity in rats. The effect is attributed to the presence of flavonoids, rutoside, hyperoside and quercetin; phenolic acids, caffeic and chlorogenic; and not due to the presence of eupatoriopicrin.

Acrylic acid and the lactic, malic and citric acids, present in the plant, also exhibited protective effect against acute toxicity induced by ethanol in mice.

The polysaccharides have immuno- stimulatory activity and enhance phagocytosis in a number of immunolog- ical tests. The leaf oil is reported to exhibit fungicidal effect.

A related species, Eupatorium odorum Linn., is known as Gondri in Ori- ssa.

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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