Botanical Name: Gloriosa superba
Species: G. superba
Syn : Methonica superba Lamk., Gloriosa simplex Don.
Common names: flame lily, climbing lily, creeping lily, glory lily, gloriosa lily, tiger claw, and fire lily.
Names in other languages: kalihari (Hindi), Kaanthal (Tamil), lis de Malabar (French), aranha de emposse (Portuguese), bandera española [Spanish flag] (Spanish), mkalamu (Swahili), klänglilja (Swedish), riri (M?ori), and jia lan (Chinese).
English names: Malabar glory lily, Glory lily.
Sanskrit names: Agninukhi, Agnisikha, Ailni, Garbhaghatini, Kalikari, Lanyli, Vishalya.
Vernacular names: Asm : Utatchandal; Ben: Bishalanguli, Ulatchandal; Guj : Dudhiovachnay, Varhvareli; Hin : Kalihari, Kaliari, Kulhari, Languli; Kan : Agnisikha, Akkatangaballi, Karadikanninagadde, Kolikuttuma, Sivasaktiballi, Mal: Kantal, Medoni, Mattamara, Mettonsi, Mentonni; Mar: Bachnag, Indai, Kariannag, Khadyanag, Nagharia, Nag karia; Mun : Bulung chukuru; Orn : Jhagrahi; Ori : Agnisikha, Garbhhoghhatono panjanyulia, Meherlaphulo, Panchaangula; Pun: Kariari, Mulim; Sad: Jhagar; San: Siricsamano; Tam: Akkinichilam, Kalappaikkilanku, Kalaippaikkishangu, Kannuvalikkodi, Nabhikkodi, Tel: Adabhinabhi, Agnisikha, Gangeri, Kalappagadda.
Habitat: Bishalanguli is native to much of Africa and Asia, but it is known worldwide as an ornamental plant, a medicine, a poison, and a noxious weed.Common in forests. Under cultivation in fairly large areas of India.Throughout tropical India ascending up to 2000 m on the hills; Indo-China, Malaysia.
Useful Parts: Tubers, leaves, and flowers.
Herbaceous, tall, stout climbing herb. Root-stock of arched, solid, fleshy-white cylindric tubers. Leaves sessile. Ovate lanceolate, tip ending in a tendril-like spiral. Flowers large solitary, axillary, changing colors from greenish yellow, orange, scarlet and crimson from blooming to fading. Fruits cupsule. Flowering time July in October to Indian conditions.Fruiting: throughout the year.
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Height: Climbing 1.5 m or more. Leaves:Long-lanceolate to narrowly ovate-lanceolate.Leaf length: 10.2-12.7 cm . width:1.3-2.5 cm. Flowers: linear to narrow lanceolate. Flower length: 5.1-7.6 cm. Flower color:Yellow changing to red
Cultivation: Kalihari is under cultivation in many states of India particularly in South India.
Propagation: From its ‘V’ shaped tubers.
Maturity: 170â€“180 days after sowing.
Yield: 200 kg seed and 150 kg pericarp.
Related Species: Six tuberous-rooted species in tropical Africa and Asia have been reported. Difference between two major varieties G. superba and G. rothschildiana
Chemical Constituents: Seed contain high level of colchicines. Cornigerine, 3-demethyl-N-formyl-N-deacetyl-b-lumicolchicine, 3-demethyl-g-lumicolchicine, 3-demethyl colchicines have been isolated from plant. b-sitosterol, its glucoside, a long chain fatty acid, b and g-lumiccolchicines from fresh tubers and luteolin, colchicines, N-formyldeacetylcolchicines and glucosides of 3-demethylcolchicine have been isolated from flowers.
Root: colchicine, b-sitosterol and its glucoside, band t-Iumicolchicine, 2-0H-6-MeO benzoic acid; Young leaf: cholidonic acid; Flower: luterlin and its glucosides, N-formyl-de-Ac-colchicine, lumicolchicine; Seed: colchicine.
Medicinal Properties and Uses: In Ayurveda and Yunani systems of medicine it is a reputed medicine. According to Ayurveda, tuber is pungent, bitter, acrid, heating, anthemirtic, laxative, alexiteric, abortifacient, and useful in ulcers, leprosy, piles, iflommations, abdominal pains, itching and thirst.
Traditional use: ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF NORTH-EAST INDIA: Root: in gout, stomachache and as tonic; MUNDA AND ORAON: Tuber: for antifertility purpose; SANTAL : (i) Tuberous root: for abortion purpose, in intermittent fevers, wounds; (ii) Plant: in spleen complaints, syphilis, tumours; (ii) Leaf: in asthma; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF BIHAR: Root: in cholera, to facilitate childbirth; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF ORISSA: Tuber : as abortifacient; TRIBES OF VARANASI : Root: in gout; TRIBES OF PITHORAGARH: Tuber: in gonorrhoea, leprosy, piles; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF DEHRA DUN AND SIWALIK: Root: as anthelmintic; ETHNIC COMMUNITIES OF GARHWAL : Tuberous root: for abortion;
CHARAKA SAMHITA : useful in itching, skin diseases including wounds and ailments caused by vitiated kapha (phlegm) and vata (wind); SUSHRUTA SAMHITA: can be administered to a delivered mother along with spirituous drink to give relieve to her postnatal complaints, roots are poisonous; RAJANIGHANTU: it is pungent, thermogenic, eliminates deranged kapha (phlegm) and vata (wind), terminates pregnancy; DHANVANTARI NIGHANTU: in addition to the above, it is also useful in dropsy, labour pain, wounds, and as a purgative; MADANADI NIGHANTU : it is bitter, pungent, thermogenic, abortifacient, removes abdominal pain, expels the placenta, cures phlegm, skin diseases; BHAVAPRAKASHA : it is apperient, alkaline, astringent, pungent, bitter, highly potent, light, abortifacient, helps storing up energy, excites pitta (bile), it cures dropsy, piles, wounds, acute spasmodic pain, and removes worms; CHAKRADATTA : Root-paste: if smeared over’ the palms and feet of a pregnant woman, delivery of child becomes easier.
AYURVEDA : (i) roots are abortifacient, acrid, alexiteric, anthelmintic, antipyretic, bitter, depurative, digestive, emetic, expectorant, gastrointestinal irritant, highly poisonous, purgative, rejuvenating, stomachic, thermogenic, tonic, beneficial in vitiated conditions of kapha (phlegm) and vata (wind), debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, haemorrhoids, helminthiasis, inflammations, in promoting labour pain and expulsion of the placenta; (ii) root-paste is effective against paralysis, rheumatism, snake bite, insect bites; (iii) leaf-juice effective against lice.
Modern use: Root (aq. extract) : ecbolic in humans and other animals; Plant (50% EtOH extract) : spasmolytic, Central Nervous System depressant; Leaf-juice: piscicide. Phytography : Herbaceous tendril climber; rootstock tuberous, naked; stem 3-6 m long, sparingly branched; leaves sessile or nearly so, opposite or 3-nately whorled, tip tendrillar; flowers axillary, solitary, nearly 10 cm, at first greenish, becoming yellow and finally scarlet or red; capsules nearly 5 cm long.
Remarks: It is getting less attention in India, though extensive researches are on abroad.
Known Hazards: This plant is poisonous, toxic enough to cause human and animal fatalities if ingested. It has been used to commit murder, to achieve suicide, and to kill animals. Every part of the plant is poisonous, especially the tuberous rhizomes. As with other members of the Colchicaceae, this plant contains high levels of colchicine, a toxic alkaloid. It also contains the alkaloid gloriocine. Within a few hours of the ingestion of a toxic amount of plant material, a victim may experience nausea, vomiting, numbness, and tingling around the mouth, burning in the throat, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea, which leads to dehydration. As the toxic syndrome progresses, rhabdomyolysis, ileus, respiratory depression, hypotension, coagulopathy, haematuria, altered mental status, seizures, coma, and ascending polyneuropathy may occur. Longer-term effects include peeling of the skin and prolonged vaginal bleeding in women. Colchicine is known to cause alopecia. One case report described a patient who accidentally ate the tubers and then experienced hair loss over her entire body, including complete baldness. Poisonings can occur when the tubers are mistaken for sweet potatoes or yams and eaten. The plant can be dangerous for cats, dogs, horses, and livestock, as well.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.