Feb 12, 2014
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Family ► Balsaminaceae.

Habitat ► Cultivated in plains throughout India.

English ► Garden Balsam. (Balsam Apple is not related to Impatiens. It is the fruit of Momordica balsamina.)

Ayurvedic ► Tarini (provisional synonym).

Unani ► Gul-menhdi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Kasittumbai.

Action ► Cathartic, diuretic, antirheumatic. Flowers—used in burns and scalds.

The plant is reported to contain cyanochroic constituents, antibacterial substances and an alkaloid. The seeds contain the triterpenoid hosenkol A, the first baccharance triterpenoid from natural source. The seeds also contain a protein-associated amyloid, galac- toxyloglucan and beta-sitosterol.

In China, the aerial parts are used for the treatment of articular rheumatism. In Korea, the plant is used for treating tuberculosis. In Brunei, a decoction of the root is given in irregular menstruation. In Japan, the juice, obtained from the white petals, is applied topically to treat several types of dermatitis, including urticaria.

The flowers contain flavonols, flavo- noid pigments, phenolic compounds and quinones.

An ethanolic extract (35%) of flowers shows significant anti-anaphylactic activity in mice.

The methanolic extract of the whole plant exhibited strong antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis and Salmonella typhimurium; antibacterial and antifungal activity has been attributed to a naphthoquinone derivative.

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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