Hin: Chirvel, Charivel;
Mal: Atapathiyan, Atapotiyan, Atakotiyan;
Tel: Palagurugu; Mar: Dudurli, Shidodi;
Guj: Kharner, Khiravel
Importance: Holostemma is a twining shrub with large flowers. The roots of Holostemma are useful in ophthalmopathy, orchitis, cough, burning sensation, stomachalgia, constipation, fever and tridoshas. The leaves, flowers and fruits are eaten as vegetable. The root is also used in spermatorrhoea. It is used in preparations of Vidaryadiganam, Dhanwandharam thaila, Manasamithravatakam, Balarishta and Anuthaila. It is also useful in eye diseases and it imparts resistance to diseases.
Distribution: The plant occurs in tropical countries. In India, it is found in Himalayas, Dehradun, Konkan, Bombay, Deccan, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu. It grows over hedges and in open forests especially on the lower slopes of the hills. It is also distributed in Sri Lanka, Burma and W. China.
Botany: Holostemma ada-kodien Schult. syn. Holostemma annulare (Roxb.) K. Schum.
Holostemma rheedii Wall. belongs to the family Asclepiadaceae. It is a laticiferous twining shrub with large conspicuous flowers. Leaves are simple, opposite and cordate. Flowers are purple, arranged in axillary umbellate cymes. Fruits are thick follicles, 9 cm long, cylindrical and bluntly pointed. The roots are long upto 1 m or more, irregularly twisted, thick and cylindrical. When dry it is yellowish brown to brown black in colour with nearly smooth surface bearing white scars and small depressions. A mature root is about 1-2 cm thick when extracted for use (Warrier et al, 1995).
Agrotechnology: Holostemma prefers a tropical climate. The plant is propagated vegetatively by stem cuttings, but mainly by seeds. The seeds are collected from the plant in November-December before being dispersed. Seeds are cleaned, dried and stored for sowing. The stored seeds after soaking in water for 4-5 hours are sown in the seedbeds. About one month old seedlings are then planted in polybags of size 14x10cm which are filled with soil, sand and dried cowdung in 1:1:1 ratio, respectively. Polybags should be kept in shade and irrigated. About 1-1.5 month old seedlings are ready for transplanting. Pits of 30cm cube size are taken at 1-1.2m distance and filled with 10kg dried cowdung and sand. This is covered with surface soil and formed into a mound. Seedlings are transplanted on to the mounds from the polybags carefully. Regular irrigation is to be given till flowering. To aid in trailing, staking is given one month after planting. Flowering and fruiting occurs in November-December. Harvesting can be done at the end of second year when the vines start drying up. Harvesting is done by digging up the tubers. The tubers are cut into pieces of 10cm length and dried in sun before sale (Prasad et al, 1997).
Properties and activity: Holostemma tubers give -amyrin, lupeol and -sitosterol. Alanine, aspartic acid, glycine, serine, threonine and valine were detected chromatographically (Hussain et al, 1992). The root is antidiabetic, antigonorrhoeic, bechic, alterative, tonic, lactative, ophthalmic, emollient, stimulant, aphrodisiac, expectorant and galactagogue.
BLACH MUSALE Curculigo orchioides Amaryllidaceae
Hin: Kalimusali, Mushali;
Tel: Nelatadi Kelangu;
Importance: Musali is a small, geophilous herb, the tuberous rootstock of which is used as a rejuvenating and aphrodisiac drug. It cures morbid vata and pitta, improves complexion and is useful in general debility, deafness, cough, asthma, piles, skin diseases, impotence, jaundice, urinary disorders, leucorrhoea and menorrhagia (Nadkarni, 1954; Aiyer and Kolammal, 1963; Mooss, 1978). Rootstock is the officinal part and it enters into the Ayurvedic formulations like Vidaryadighrta, Vidaryadi lehya, Marmagulika, Musalyadi churna etc. The Pharmacognosy of C. orchioides has been discussed by Aiyer, Kolamma l (1963), Raghunathan, and Mitra (1982). A bibliographical study on C. orchioides has been done by Pandey et al (1983).
Distribution: The plant is found in all districts of India from near sea level to 2300m altitude, especially in rock crevices and laterite soil. It has been recorded to occur in the sub tropical Himalayas from Kumaon eastwards ascending to 1800m, the Khasia hills, Bengal, Asssam, Konkan, Kanara, the western peninsula and Madras extending south as far as a Cape Comerin. It is also distributed in Sri Lanka, Japan, Malaysia and Australia.
Botany: Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. syn. C. malabarica Wight, C. brevifolia Dryand, Hypoxis dulcis Stand belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae. Musali is a small herbaceous plant with cylindrical rootstock. Leaves are simple, sessile, crowded on the short stem with sheathing leaf bases. Flowers are bright yellow. Seeds are black, deeply grooved in wavy lines.
A detailed description of the plant is as follows (Victoria, 1998). Rootstock is straight, cylindrical, tuberous, 5-22cm long, 0.5-0.8 cm thick, brownish surfaces marked with closely spaced prominent transverse wrinkles in the upper or basal half. It bears a few stout lateral roots of 5 or more cm long. Lateral roots are dull white in colour and spongy externally. The fresh cut surfaces of the rootstock has a starch white colour and mucilaginous. A few fibrous roots also occur. Leaves are sessile or short petiolate with sheathing bases, 15-45×1.2-2.5 cm size, linear or linear lanceolate, membranous, glabrouus or sparsely sofly hairy and plicate in bud. The leaf tips when contacts the soil, develops roots and produce adventitious buds. Inflorescence is axillary, scapose racemose, the scape very short and hidden among the bases of leaves underground, clavte, flattened with the pedicels, bracts and the ovary concealed in the leaf sheaths. The lower big flowers on the scape are mostly bisexual and the upper small ones staminate. Flowers are epigynous bright yellow, bisexual or unisxual with lanceolate, memb ranous bract.. Perianth gamophyllous, rotate & six lobed, locate at the top of a slender sterile long extension of the ovary by means of which the perianth is exposed above the ground. Perianth lobes similar, elliptic oblong 1.2-1.6 cm long, 0.2-0.3 cm broad, outer lobes hairy on the back, inner ones sparsely hairy along nerves. Stamens 6 in number, filamentous filiform, short 2mm long, adnate to the base of the perianth lobes, Anthers linear or linear lanceolate, basifixed and sagittate,.Ovary inferior, hidden among the leaves usually below the ground, tricarpellary syncarpous, lanceolate and trilocular with a fairly long slender beak or extension -the stipe. Ovules many in each cell attached by a distinct long funicle. Style short columnar, 2mm with a 3 lobed stigma. Lobes elongate, erect and appressed. Fruit is a capsule about 1.5-2cm long, 8mm broad, oblong, glabrescent with a slender beak and spongy septa. Seeds 1-many, oblong, black, shiny with crustaceous testa grooved deeply in wavy lines.
Properties and activity: Rao and Beri (1951) have identified glucose, mannose, xylose and glucuronic acid from the rootstock of C. orchioides. The rootstock is also reported to contain glycoside, polysaccharides (hemicellulose and other polysaccharides), starch, resin, tannin, mucilage, fat and calcium oxalate. The hexane extract contains an alkaloid-lycorine, sterols including -sitosterols and sapogenin identified as yuccagenin (Rao et al, 1978). The flavone glycoside from the rootstock has been identified as 5,7- dimethoxy glucopyranoside (Yadav et al, 1974; Sharma et al 1975). Mehta et al (1980) have isolated a number of fatty acids from C. orchioides root oil by GLC techniques. They are palmitic, oleic, linolenic linoleic, arachidic and behenic acid. Kubo et al (1983) isolated a new phenolic glycoside namely, curculigoside from the rhizomes and its structure has been elucidated as 5- hydroxy-2-0- -d-glucopyranosyl benzl 1,2,6-dimethoxy benzoate. Yamasaki et al (1994) developed HPLC method for estimating the curculigoside content in curculigo rhizome.
Two new aliphatic hydroxy ketone 27-hydroxy tricontan-6-one (M. P. 84-85o C) and 23- hydroxy tricontan-2-one (M. P. 109-110 o C) were isolated from the rhizome by Misra et al (1984). They also isolated 21-hydroxy tetracontan-20-one and 4-methyl heptade canoic acid from the root stock. Porwal et al (1988) have isolated and identified three new compounds from the rhizome as N- acetyl-N-hydroxy-2-carbamic acid methyl ester, 3-acetyl-5-carbomethoxy-2H-3,4,5,6-tetrahydro-1,2,3,5,6-oxatetrazine and N, N, N’, N’-tetra methyl succinamide. The rhizomes of C. orchioides yielded a new phenolic glycoside corchioside a, characterised as orcinol-3- -D-xylopyranosyl- (1 6)- -D-glucopyranoside and hentriacontanol (Garg et al, 1989).
A new aliphatic compound has been isolated from the rhizomes and characterised as 25- dihydroxy-33-methyl pentatricontan-one (Mehta et al, 1990). Misra et al (1990) isolated a new natural triterpene alcohol-Curculigol charactrised as 24-methy cycloart-7-en-3-beta-20-diol. A novel pentacyclic triterpene has been isolated from the rhizomes of C.orchioides and characterised as 31- methyl-3-oxo-20-ursen-28-oic acid (Metha and Gawarikar,1991). Xu and Xu (1992) and Xu et al (1992 a, b) have isolated 13 cycloartane type. Triterpene glycosides from C. orchioides rhizome and characterised them as curculigo saponin A-M.
The root stock are mucilaginous, sweet, cooling, bitter, emollient, diuretic, aphrodisiac, depurative, alternative, appetiser, carminative, viriligenic, antipyretic and tonic (Sivarajan and Indira, 1994; Warrier et al, 1994).
The uterine stimulant activity of the flavone glycoside extracted from C. orchioides has been studied by Dhawan and Saxena (1958), Sharma et al (1975) and Dhar et al (1979).
The plant extract of C. orchioides showed hypoglycaemic, spasmolytic and anticancer properties (Dhar et al,1968). Phagocytic activity (Kubo et al, 1983) and immunoadjuvant activity (Oru et al, 1982) of phenolic glycosides, curculigoside isolated from the rhizome of the plant have been reported. Porwal and Mehta (1985) discussed the medicinal importance of the plant and its use in indigenous system of medicine as a tonic. Sharma et al (1991) reported the influence of MAK an ayurvedic food supplement constituting C. orchioides against Dimethyl benz anthracene induced mammary tumours in rats. Samanta (1992) reported the modulation of male infertility by Ayurvedic drug, which constitutes C. orchioides. Immunostimulant activity of C. orchioides has been demonstrated by Saxena (1992). Immunological activites of curculigo saponin G were assayed in mice and the results showed that it promoted proliferation of spleen lymphocyctes very significantly and increased the weight of the thymus in vivo in mice (Xu et al,1992).
Pharmacological studies in China, on the alcoholic extract obtained from the plant showed several active effects such as adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, sedative, androgenic and immunopromoting activities (Xu et al, 1992).
Curculigo orchioides is distributed widely throughout the country. The demand of the raw materials and derivatives of the plant for the indigenous drug industries are satisfied mainly from the wild source, depleting the natural population and thus the species have become extinct or endangered. Ansari (1993) have reported C. orchioides as a threatened plant from Madhulia forest of Garakhpur. Augustin and Souza (1995) also considered the plant as an endangered species. As the information on the cultivation of C.orchioides is scanty, it is very necessary to develop suitable agrotechniques for the domestication and large-scale cultivation of the plant.