Feb 12, 2014
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Synonym ► W. floribunda Salisb.

Family ► Lythraceae.

Habitat ► Throughout North India, rather scarce in South India.

English ► Fire-flame Bush, Shiran- jitea.

Ayurvedic ► Dhaataki, Dhaatri, Kun- jaraa, Taamrapushpi, Bahupushpi, Vahnijwaalaa.

Siddha/Tamil ► Velakkai.

Action ► Dried flower—purifies blood, heals ulcers, astringent, prescribed in haemetemesis, erysipelas, dysentery, diarrhoea, menorrhagia, leucorrhoea. Flowers are used in alcohol-based tonics for fermentation (a yeast strain, saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been isolated). Bark—uterine sedative.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia ofIn- dia recommends the flower in acute diarrhoea, haemorrhages, ulcerations and erysipelas.

The dried flowers are powdered and sprinkled over ulcers and wounds. The flowers also enter into an ointment used on pustules of smallpox.

In small doses the plant stimulates, while in large doses depresses the central nervous system.

The flowers and leaves gave polyphe- nols—ellagic acid, polystachoside and myricetin-3-galactoside. Flowers also gave anthocyanins—pelargonidin- 3,5-diglucoside and cyanidin-3,5-di- glucoside; octacosanol, chrysopha- nol-8-O-beta-D-glucopyranoside and beta-sitosterol. Hecogenin, mesoinos- itol and flavone glycosides—quercetin- 3-rhamnoside, naringenin-7-glucoside and kaempferol, have been reported from flowers.

The bark contains C-glucoside, ber- genin.

The flowers, leaves and bark contain tannins—24.1, 12-20 and 20-27% respectively. Dimeric hydrolyzable tannins—woodfordins A, B and C, and trimeric tannins woodfordin D and oenothein A and B have been isoalt- ed from dried flowers. A new tannin monomer, isoschimawalin A and five oligomers—woodfordin E, F, G, H and I, have also been isoalted.

Oenothein A and B exhibited remarkable host-mediated antitumour activity. Woodfordin C and D also showed antitumour activity. Woodfordin C showed inhibitory activity toward DNA topoisomerase II.

Dosage ► Flower—3-6 g powder. (API, Vol. I.)

English ► Pala Indigo Plant.

Ayurvedic ► Shveta Kutaja. (white- flowered), Punkutaja, Indrayava (seeds).

Unani ► Inderjao Shireen.

Siddha/Tamil ► Irum-paalai, Nila- paalai.

Action ► Bark—antidysenteric. Also used in piles and skin diseases. Seeds—antidysenteric, astringent, febrifuge, anthelmintic. Bark and seeds—prescribed in flatulence and bilious affections.

Pods, without seeds, contain the cycloartanes, cycloartenone and cy- cloeucalenol along with alpha- and beta-amyrin, beta-sitosterol, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and the terpene, wrightial. The leaves contain beta- amyrin. Stem bark gave beta-amyrin, beta-sitosterol and lupeol.

The seeds, leaves and roots have been shown to contain an indigo- yielding glucoside.

The flowers gave 3-O-rhamnogluco- side which exhibited significant anti- inflammatory activity in carrageenan- induced hind paw oedema.

The bark is commonly used as an adulterant of Kurchi Bark (obtained from Holarrhena antidysenterica).

Article Categories:
Indian Medicinal Plants

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