Herbs & Plants

Dendrophthoe falcata

Botanical Name: Dendrophthoe falcata
Family: Loranthaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Santalales
Genus: Dendrophthoe
Species: D. falcata

Common Names: Baro Manda, Assamese:Raghumala,Gujarati: Vando, Hindi: Banda or Banda Patha, Irula :Ottuchedi, Kannada : Badanike or Maduk,

Habitat: Dendrophthoe falcata is found in foothill scrub jungles and deciduous forests from plains to 1000m. Common IN India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indo-China and Australia.

Dendrophthoe falcata is a partial parasite and can not be grown in soil. It can not grow on even a guava tree because it needs cracked bark to hold and penetrate in to the rind. It can be made to grow on Bottle Brush, Cork Tree, Parijatak, Acacias and many other trees..

The plant is Simple Elliptic, Broadly ovate, Alternate distichous, Lanceolate
Flower. Leaf type is simple, leaf arranged alternate-distichous. In axillary racemes; yellow turning red, curved above the middle. Flowering from November-March.

Fruit is a drupe, epicarp thick; seed solitary. Fruiting throughout the year.

Field tips : Branchlets terete, nodes dilated. Leaves thickly coriaceous. Dried flowers reddish.

Leaf Shape is lanceolate or elliptic-ovate, leaf apex is obtuse,leaf base is acute-cuneate and leaf margin is entire.


Cultivation & propagation:
Seed dispersal and pollination is usually mediated by the birds that thrive on fruits from the parasite and/or host. Particularly in southern India, Tickel’s flowerpecker (also called the pale-billed flowerpecker) is reported to facilitate seed dispersal of D. falcata among Neem through fecal excretions or regurgitations (Karunaichamy et al., 1999; Hambali, 1977 and references therein). Studies conducted at the higher altitudes of the Western Ghats (where both the mistletoes and the flowerpeckers occur predominantly), which parallel the western coast of India infer that the flowerpecker pollinated mistletoes have particularly developed feature specialized to attract a unique vector both to facilitate pollination and seed dispersal: the fruit and flowers have similar resemblance and more significantly, the fruiting time overlap with the next flowering season (Davidar, 1983). The hair-crested drongo (sometimes called the spangled drongo) and sunbirds are also known to feed on the nectar from the D.falcata flowers adding to the list of pollinators to this mistletoe .

Medicinal Uses:
Dendrophthoe falcata is used as traditional medicine through South and Central Asia. It possesses remarkable potential as a medicinal plant, as is evident from the wound healing, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant and antinociceptive properties of its ethanolic extracts (Pattanayak and Sunita, 2008, Shihab et al., 2006). Medicinal properties of this hemiparasite may vary in effects respective to different hosts it establishes a relation with (Mallavadhani et al., 2006).

The whole plant is used in indigenous system of medicine as cooling, bitter, astringent, aphrodisiac, narcotic and diuretic (Alekutty e al., 1993) and is useful in treating pulmonary tuberculosis, asthma, menstrual disorders, swelling wounds, ulcers, renal and vesical calculi and vitiated conditions of kapha and pitta (Anarthe et al., 2008; Sastry, 1952; Pattanayak et al., 2008 ). Also, the decoction of plant used by women as an anti-fertility agent has been evidenced to possess anticancer activity (Nadkarni, 1993). The leaf ethanolic extract significantly and dose dependently inhibits the acetic acid induced writhing in mice (Shihab et al., 2006) and has indicated a low level toxicity in the brine shrimp lethality assays. Besides, a more recent work by Pattanayak et al. (2008) shows significant tumor reduction in induced mammary carcinogenesis in Wistar female rats when fed with hydroalcoholic extracts of D. falcata.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.