Herbs & Plants

Michelia champaca (Sharnachampa)

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Botanical Name :Michelia champaca
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Michelia
Species: M. champaca

Other scientific Names : Michelia aurantiaca   ,Michelia pubinervia Blume

Common Names:Champaka (Tag.),Champaka-laag (Sul.)Champaka-pula (Tag.) ,Sampaka (Tag.) ,Tsampaka (Tag.),Tsampakang pula (Tag.) ,Champaca (Engl.),Joy perfume tree (Engl).

Other Common names include champaca, champak, Sonchaaphaa, Michelia champaca Shenbagam in Tamil, Chenbagam in Malayalam or golden champa,  Sorno champa in  Bengali, champa, cempaka, sampenga and sampangi in Telugu sampige and shamba. All other names above apply to plumeria varieties as well with the exception of Sonchaaphaa which is exclusively this particular subvariety as considered in the western regions, with some half a dozen varieties of Plumeria along with Michelia Champaka (three varieties) and two varieties of Ylang Ylang covered under the generic name Chaaphaa in Marathi, and some given independent names ending in the generic Chaaphaa; red plumeria variety for instance is Dev Chaaphaa or God’s Champa, and the two Ylang Ylang varieties each have a separate name as well.

Habitat :Native to South Asia and Southeast Asia.

A small tree, growing to a height of 6 meters or more. The bark is smooth and grey; the wood, soft with a white sapwood and a light olive-brown heartwood. Young shoots are silky; branchlets are appressed-pubescent. Leaves are ovate-lanceolate, 12 to 20 cm long, 2.5 to 6 cm wide, narrowing upward to a long pointed apex. Flowers are fragrant, pale yellow or orange, 4 to 5 cm long. Perianth segments are usually 15 to 20, deciduous, in whorls of 3, the outer ones oblong, the inner ones linear. Fruiting spike is 8 to 15 cm long. One- to two-seeded, brown when old, polished and variously angled.

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Michelia champaka is cultivated and used as an ornamental tree in temperate climate gardens, such as in coastal California.


*Volatile oil, 0.2% – cineol, iso-eugenol, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol, benzaldehyde, p-cresol methyl ether; alkaloids.
*The bark contains a volatile oil, fixed oil, resin, tannin, mucilage, starch and sugar.
*Studies have reported an alkaloid in M. parvifolia and M. champaca.
*Champacol, a camphor, has been obtained from champaca wood by distillation.
*The flower, seeds and bark contain a bitter and aromatic principle.
*A study reports a volatile oil from the leaves.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used: Leaves, root, root-bark, flowers, fruit and oil.

*The bark is bitter, tonic, astringent, antiperiodic and alterative.
*Root is purgative and the root-bark, emmenagogue, purgative and demulcent.
*The flowers are stimulant, tonic, carminative, demulcent and diuretic.

*Fever: Take 1% decoction of bark as tea.
*Powdered bark also used for fevers.
*Rheumatisim: Crush leaves, mix with oil, and apply on affected joints.
*An infusion or decoction of the flowers used for dyspepsia, nausea and fevers.
*The flowers, macerated in sweet oil, used for cephalalgia and ophthalmia and fetid nasal discharges; vertigo, rheumatism and gout.
*Seeds are used for rheumatism and for healing cracks in the soles of the feet.
*Flowers, seeds and bark reported to be abortifacient.
*In India, flower buds used for diabetes and kidney diseases.

• Cytotoxic / Antitumor: Study showed ethanol extract of bark of Michelia champaca showed activitya against human epidermo0id carcinoma of the nasopharynx test sytem. Active constituents isolated were sesquiterpene lactones – parthenolide and costunolide.
• Antiinflammatory : Study of the methanolic extracts of flowers of M. champaca showed anti-inflammatory activity presumed to be due to the presence of flavonoids in the flowers.
• Antidiabetic: Study of the ethanolic extract of M champaca exhibited significant dose-dependent antihyperglycemic activity but did not produce hypoglycemia in fasted normal rats. Results support the traditional use of the plant for various diabetic-associated complications.
• Antifungal: Study of crude extracts of M champaca yielded the maximum number of growth inhibiting compounds against Cladosporium cucumerinum.
• Leishmanicidal Activity : One of the timber extracts that showed potent leishmanicidal activity.
• Wound Healing Activity : Study showed the co-administration of dexamaethasone and M champaca significantly increased the breaking strength and increased hydroxyproline content. Results conclude M champaca is an effective agent for healing wounds in immunocompromised patients.
• Antiinfective Activity : Study showed the dichlormethane extract of M champac and A madagascarienjse showed the maximum number of growth inhibiting compounds against Cladosporium cucumerinum; the crude extracts showed activity against several phytophathogenic filamentous fungi.
Antihyperglycemic Activity : Study of the ethanolic extract of M champaca exhibited significant dose-dependent antihyperglycemic activity but did not produce hypoglycemia in fasted normal rats. Results support the traditional use of the plant for various diabetic-associated complications.
• Flower Phytochemicals : Study of flowers of M champaca yielded flavonoid quercetin and an unidentified flavonoid glycoside togetgher with 3-sitosterol, unsaturated aliphatic ketones and hydrocarbons.

Others Uses:
* Flowers used for scenting rooms; also, as floral decorations strewn on briday beds.
* Flowers yield an essential oil used in perfume.
* Yields a fine timber for construction, toy making, carving.

The flowers are used in Southeast Asia for several purposes. They are primarily used for worship at temples whether at home or out, and more generally worn in hair by girls and women as a means of beauty ornament as well as a natural perfume. Flowers are used to be floated in bowls of water to scent the room, as a fragrant decoration for bridal beds, and for garlands.

“Michelia champaka however is more rare and has a strong perfume, and is not that commonly or plentifully used – for example in hair it is worn singly or as a small corsage but rarely as a whole garland, and for bridal beds it is most often jasmine and roses while for bowls of water to be placed around rooms usually other, more colourful for visual decoration and less strongly perfumed flowers are used.”

The flower is the main scent present in the French perfume “Joy” and is sometimes commonly called the ‘Joy perfume tree.’

Flowers and used for making  scented floral necklaces or the perfuming of clothes in storage. Also used to scent hair oils.

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.


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Herbs & Plants


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Botanical Name : Gmelina elliptica Sm.
Family: Verbenaceae/Lamiaceae
Genus: Gmelina
Species:  Gmelina elliptica
Order: Lamiales

Other Scientific   Names :Gmelina asiatica Linn. ,Gmelina villosa Roxb. ,Gmelina elliptica Sm.

Common Names : Bañgana (Bag.),Talauan (P. Bis.),Bohol (C. Bis.),Taluñgud (Sul.), Danhañgas (Mag.) Tantuñgun (P. Bis.) ,Gimelina (Tag.) Tuluñgun (P. Bis.) ,Kaluñgun (P. Bis.) Tuñgolnol (P. Bis.) ,Puhang (Sul.) Rais madre de Dios (Span.) ,Saonad (Sub.)

Habitat :
Taluñgud is common in thickets and secondary forest at low altitudes in Quezon Province in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Masbate, Panay, Guimaras, Negros, Cebu, Bohol, Mindanao, Basilan, and Bongao. It also occurs in Burma, through Malaya to the Moluccas and the Palau Islands.


This is a thorny, scrambling shrub or small tree growing up to 8 meters in height. The leaves are elliptic or ovate, 4 to 9 centimeters long, 2 to 6 centimeters wide, blunt or slightly pointed at both ends, woolly-felted or white-hoary on the lower surface, furnished with minute, green glands at the base, and having somewhat entire or coarsely toothed margins. The flowers are about 3.5 centimeters in length, with rather large bracts. The calyx has 5 to 6 flat, green glands on one side, and small, toothed lobes. The corolla has a bell-shaped, 4-lobed mouth, and a very narrow tube below. The fruit (drupe) is nearly round, less than 2 centimeters in width, and yellow when ripe, with watery flesh.


click to see…the pictures..

Propagation: Seed

Study of aerial parts yielded 22 compounds from a chloroform extract, its prevailiing compound, 1,2- benzenedicarboxylic acid, diisoctyl ester (31.22%); and 12 compounds from an ethanolic extract, its major constituent, monolinoleoylglycerol trimethylsilyl ether (38.51%).

*Bark and roots are demulcent and alterative.
*Leaves are cathartic.
Medicinal Uses:
Parts used : Leaves, fruit.

*Poultices for headaches; mixed with lime, poulticed for swellings.
*Leaves are cathartic.
*Roasted fruit applied to foot itching caused by stagnant waters.
*Infusion from fruit used as eye lotion.
*Juice from the fruit or leaves used for otalgia.
*Boiled leaves used for inflammed gums.
*In Thailand, the bark of Uvaria spp. and Gmelina elliptica is used to treat nausea and vomitiing during pregnancy.

• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: Study of the alcoholic extract of root of Gmelina asiatica showed significant dose-dependent blood glucose reduction in normal and diabetic rats. The effect was compared with the drug tolbutamide.
Antiinflammatory: Study of the root powder in male albino rats showed the crude drug may exert anti-inflammatory activity by anti-proliferative, anti-oxidative and lysosomal membrane stabilisation.
Study showed the hexane and chloroform extract of G asiatica roots showed significant antipyretic activity with no toxic activity.
• Antimicrobial: T
he ethanolic extract of roots of G asiatica exhibited a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity, particularly against E coli, P vulgaris and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Antiproliferative / Anti-Breast Cancer: Study results suggest the efficacy of G. asiatic roots as antiproliferative agents on human breast cancer cells, supporting the hypothesis that plants containing lignans have beneficial effects on human breast cancer.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Asteracantha longifolia Nees (Bengali Name : Kuliakhara)

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Botanical Name : Asteracantha longifolia Nees

Family: Acanthaceae
Genus: Astercantha
Species: A. longifolia
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Syn. / Hygrophila spinosa T. Anders. /Asteracantha longifolia (Linn.) Nees. (Acanthaceae).
English Name : Hygrophila
Sanskrit Names : Kokilaksha, Ikshura, Ikshuraka, Chulli
Hindi Name:Talimakhana
Bengali Name : Kuliakhara

Habitat : It grows throughout India.Throughout the Philippines in stagnant streams, fresh-water swamps, and  ponds.

It is a robust, erect, annual herb. The stems are sub-quadrangular with thickened nodes; the leaves are oblanceolate, with a yellow spine in its axil; the flowers pale, purple blue, densely clustered in  axils; the fruits are oblong, glabrous capsules, 4-8 seeded.
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A smooth, widely spreading vine, with the stems trailing on mud or floating on water. Leaves are oblong-ovatem 7-14 cm long, with a pointed tip and heart- or arrow-shaped base, long petioled, the margins entire or angular, and sublobed.
The pedcuncles are erect, 2.5 to 5 cm long, with 1 or 2 flowers in the axils of the leaves. Sepals are green, oblong, about 8 mm. The corolla is narrowly bell-shaped, about 5 mm long, and purplish with the tube deeper purple inside.

Principal Constituents:
The seeds contain large amount of tenacious mucilage and potassium salts.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots, leaves and seeds have been used in Indian systems of medicine as diuretics and also employed to cure jaundice, dropsy, rheumatism, anasarca and diseases of the urinogenital tract.
The plant contains abundant mucilage and potassium salts, which ultimately increases blood circulation in the body. The whole plant possesses tonic and diuretic properties. The seeds are given for gonorrhoea. The root, in decoction, is administered in dropsical cases and gravel; The leaves are also used as a diuretic after being boiled in vinegar. The ashes of the dried plants are considered

Click to see :
Kuliakhara herb Asteracantha longifolia plant for liver health and sexual enhancement :
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia  :
Asteracantha longifolia plant health benefit  :

Tops are mildly laxative.
The purplish variety used for diabetes because of assumed insulin-like principle it contains.
Juice used as emetic.
Dried latex is purgative.
Poultice of buds used for ringworm.
In Ayurveda, exgtracts of leaves are used for jaundice and nervous debility.
Juice used as emetic in opium and arsenic poisoning.
In Sri Lanka, used for liver disease, eye problems, constipation.

Studies :
• Hypoglycemic / Anti-Diabetic: (1) Study showed the boiled whole extract of I. aquatica to exert an oral hypoglycemic effect in healthy, male, Wistar rats after a glucose challenge. (2) An aqueous extract of the green leafy vegetable Ipomoea aquatica is as effective as the oral hypoglycaemic drug tolbutamide in reducing the blood sugar levels of Wistar rats.(3) Inhibitory effect of Ipomoea aquatica extracts on glucose absorption using a perfused rat intestinal preparation: Study showed a significant inhibitory effect on glucose absorption. Furthermore, results suggest the inhibition of glucose absorption is not due to the acceleration of intestinal transit. (3) Study showed the consumption of shredded, fresh, edible portion of IA for one week, effectively reduced the fasting blood sugar of Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.

• Antioxidant / Antiproliferative: Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica Forsk) constituents: Study showed the water extract of stems had the highest antiproliferative activity. The ethanol extract of the stems had the highest total phenolic compounds. The ethanol extract of leafves had the highest amount of flavonoids.

Diuretic: Study on the diuretic activity of the methanol extract of Ipomoea aquatica in Swiss albino mice showed good diuretic activty. In all cases, the excretion of electrolytes and urine volue increase was higher than the standard diuretic, furosemide.

• Antioxidant: Study of a methanol extract yielded a compound ( 7-O-B-D-glucopyronosyl-dihydromquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside) that exhibited antioxidant activity with an EC50 value of 83 and showed very strong lipid peroxidation-inhibitory activirty in a liposome model system.

• Antimicrobial: Study investigating the antimicrobial efficacy of the leaf extract of three herbs – A longifolia, I aquatica and E fluctuans – on four pathogenic bacterial strains (E coli, P aeruginosa, S aureus and M luteus). Ipomoea aquatica exerted the higher amount of antimicrobial activity against the bacterial strains, better than the two other herb extracts.

• Antiulcerogenic: Study in an aspirin-induced ulcer model in rats found Ipomoea aquatica to possess potent anti-ulcerogenic and ulcer-healing properties and can act as a potent therapeutic agent against peptic ulcer disease.

• Cytotoxicity: Study isolated a purified bioactive compound from the leaf of Ipomoea aquatica – 7-O-B-D-glucopyranosyl-dihydroquercetin-3-O-a-D-glucopyranoside (DHQG). Results showed DHQG showed cytotoxicity towards cancer cell lines tested.

• Nootropic / Memory Enhancing Potential: Study suggests that MEIA markedly improves brain Ach level. MEIA treatment may be of value in reinforcing depressed cholinergic transmission in certain age related memory disorders and to improve memory and learning in normal individuals.

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.


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