Botanical Name :Borreria hispida
Family : Rubiaceae
Synonyms: Spermacoce hispida Linn.
Spermacoce muriculata Blanco
Spermacoce mutilata Blanco
Spermacoce scaberrima F.-Vill.
Local names: Landrina (Tag.); ligad-ligad (Sul.); shaggy button weed (Engl.).
Common Name : Thaarthaaval
Habitat : The plant is found from the Batan Islands to Batangas and Laguna in Luzon, and in Mindoro, Panay, and Basilan, in open, dry places at low and medium altitudes. It occurs also in India to China and Malaya.
Borreria hispida (BHE), a weed is a procumbent, branched, hairy or rough herb 10 to 14 centimeters in length. The branches are greenish or purplish, ascending, stout, 4-angled. The leaves are ovate, spatulate, or elliptic, 1 to 3.5 centimeters long, 0.8 to 1.7 centimeters wide, and pointed or rounded at the tip. The flowers are 4 to 6, and occur in a whorl in the axils of the leaves. The calyx-teeth are linear-lanceolate. The corolla is pale blue or white, and is 5 to 10 millimeters in length. The fruit is a hairy capsule about 5 millimeters in length. The seeds are oblong, granulate, opaque, usually variable, and 3 millimeters or less in length.
In the Philippines Guerrero reports that the leaves brewed in decoction are used as an astringent in haemorrhoids.
Dymock, Warden, and Hooper state that in the Konkan the plant is eaten with other herbs as a vegetable. It is used as a tonic and stimulant in Martinique. The plant is also prescribed to cure haemorrhoids.
According to Drury and Dymock the roots possess properties similar to those of sarsaparilla. They are prescribed in decoction as an alternative.
Ridley reports that the leaves are applied to the head in cases of headache. They appear to merely cool off the head and so allay the pain somewhat.
Nadkarni says that the seeds, as a confection, are cooling and demulcent, and are given in diarrhea and dysentery. The seeds have been recommended as a substitute for coffee. Dymock, Warden, and Hooper state that the seeds are thought to be aphrodisiac.
Borreria hispida (BHE), a weed of Rubiaceae family, is being used from time immemorial as an alternative therapy for diabetes. To evaluate the scientific background of using BHE as therapy to reduce cardiovascular risk, a group of rats were given BHE for a period of 30 days, whereas control animals were given the vehicle only. The animals were sacrificed, the hearts were isolated, and perfused with buffer. All the hearts were subjected to 30-minute ischemia followed by 2-hour reperfusion. Compared with vehicle-treated rats, BHE-treated rat hearts showed improved post-ischemic ventricular function and exhibited reduced myocardial infarct size and cardiomyocyte apoptosis. The level of cytochrome c expression and caspase 3 activation was also reduced. BHE elevated antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and heme oxygenase-1 and stimulated the phosphorylation of survival protein Akt simultaneously decreasing the apoptotic proteins Bax and Src. In addition, BHE enhanced the protein expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-delta, and Glut-4, probably revealing the antiobese and antidiabetic potential of BHE. These results indicate that treatment with BHE improves cardiac function and ameliorates various risk factors associated with cardiac disease, suggesting that BHE can be considered as a potential plant-based nutraceutical and pharmaceutical agent for the management of cardiovascular diseases.
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