Feb 12, 2014
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PICRASMA QUASSIOIDES

Written by

Bennett.

Family ► Simaroubaceae.

Habitat ► Garhwal, Himachal Pradesh and Kulu.

English ► Quassia (substitute for P excelsa Lindtl).

Ayurvedic ► Bhurangi, Nimbi. (Clerodendrum serratum and its related species represent Bhaargi or Bhaarangi.)

Folk ► Nimatotaa.

Action ► Wood—a non-astringent bitter tonic and stomachic, amoe- bicidal, anthelmintic (used as enema), insect repellent. Used as a supporting medicine for temporary relief in cirrhosis of liver.

Many indole alkaloids of beta-car- boline, canthin-6-one and beta-carbo- line dimer type, have been isolated from the wood. These are reported to increase the blood flow rate in the intestine and stomach of rabbit; also exhibited antiviral activity on Herpes simplex virus.

Nigaki lactone and methylnigaki- none, isolated from the wood, showed antigastric ulcer activity in rats. The extract of the wood is reported to prevent the secretion of gastric juice in a dose-dependent manner in rats. The extract also showed the same effects on rats having aspirin-induced gastric ulcer.

Family ► Scrophulariaceae.

Habitat ► The alpine Himalayas from Kashmir to Sikkim.

English ► Picrorhiza.

Ayurvedic ► Katukaa, Katurohini, Kattarohini, Katuki, Katukikaa, Krishnabhedaa, Kaandaruhaa, Matsyashakalaa, Chakraangi, Shat- parvaa, Arishta, Ashokarohinya, Shakuldaani.

Unani ► Kutki, Kharbaq-e-Hindi.

Siddha/Tamil ► Kaduguragini.

Action ► Root—stomachic, antidiar- rhoeal, cholagogue, hepatoprotec- tive. Used in hepatitis, chronic dysentery, amoebiasis.

Key application ► In jaundice, intermittent fever, dyspnoea and skin diseases. (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIndia.)

The roots yield a glycosidal bitter principle, kutkin, found to be a mixture of two iridoid glycosides, picro- side I and kutkoside. Also obtained were D-mannitol, kutkiol, kutkisterol and a ketone (identical with apocynin).

Kutkin exhibited hepatoprotective activity in CCl4-induced toxic rats.

Picroliv, a standardized fraction from the alcoholic extract of the root and rhizome, containing 55-60% of a mixture of picroside I and kutkoside (1:15) showed dose-dependent protective activity on isolated hepatocytes in vitro against thiocetamide-induced hepatic damage in rat and was found to be more potent than Silymarin, a known hepatoprotective agent. Pi- croliv is reported to show protective effect against rifampicin-induced hep- atotoxicity in rats. It also exerts hy- polipidaemic effect in normal, triton- treated and cholesterol-fed rats.

Kutkin, picroside I and kutkoside exhibit anti-inflammatory property.

The phenolic glycoside, androsin, isolated from the plant, prevents allergen and platelet activating factor- induced bronchial obstruction in guinea-pigs in vitro.

Cucurbitacin glycosides, isolated from the root, exhibit liver protective, tumour inhibitory and anti-inflammatory activity.

Dosage ► Root—1-3 g; 3-6 g as purgative. (CCRAS.)

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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