Herbs & Plants

Operculina turpethum

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Botanical Name :Operculina turpethum
Order:    Solanales
Family:    Convolvulaceae
Genus:    Operculina
Species :Operculina turpethum

Synonyms:Ipomoea turpethum,  Turpeth Root. Indian Jalap. Trivrit. Nisoth. Operculina Turpethum.

Common Names: Turpeth, Fue vao, and St. Thomas lidpod.

Vernacular Names: Indian Jalap, St. Thomas lidpod, transparent wood rose, turpeth root, white day glory • Hindi: nisoth, panila, pitohri • Kannada: aluthi gida, bangada balli, bilitigade, devadanti, nagadanti • Malayalam: tigade • Marathi: or  nisottar • Sanskrit: nishotra,triputa,trivrutt, trivrutha • Tamil: adimbu, caralam, civatai, kumpncan, paganrai • Telugu: tegada, trivrut tellatega • Bengali: tevudi • Arabic: turbuth.

Parts Used: Dried root, stem.

Habitat:  India. Ceylon, Pacific Islands, China, Australia

:Operculina turpethum is perennial herbaceous, hairy vines growing 4 to 5 meter in length, endemic to India. It is commonly found in North Circars and Deccan region up to 3000 ft. The leaves are alternate, very variable in shape, ovate, oblong and truncate or cordate at the base. The flowers are large, axillary and solitary. Fruit is a capsule with conspicuous enlarged sepals and thickened pedicles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Resin, a fatty substance, volatile oil, albumen, starch, a yellow colouring matter, lignin, salts, and ferric oxide. The root contains 10 per cent of resin, which is a glucoside, Turpethin, insoluble in ether, but soluble in alcohol, to which it gives a brown colour not removable by animal charcoal. To obtain pure, the alcoholic solution is concentrated; the resin is precipitated by, and afterwards boiled with, water, then dried, reduced to powder, digested with ether, and finally redissolved by absolute alcohol and deposited by ether. After being treated several times in this way, it is obtained in the state of a brownish resin, yielding on pulverization a grey powder, which irritates the mucous membrane of the nostrils and mouth. It is inflammable, burning with a smoky flame and emitting irritant vapours. With strong bases it acts like jalapin, takes up water, and is transferred into a soluble acid, while with dilute acids it is decomposed into turpetholic acid, and glucose.

Medicinal  Uses: Cathartic and purgative. It is rather slow in its action, less powerful and less unpleasant than jalap.

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.


Herbs & Plants

Polyalthia longifolia

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Botanical Name :Polyalthia longifolia
Species: P. longifolia

Common Names : Polyalthia longifolia’s common names include False Ashoka, the Buddha Tree, Indian mast tree, and Indian Fir tree. Its names in other languages include Ashoka or Devadaru in Sanskrit, Debdaru in Bengali and Hindi, Asopalav (Gujarati), Glodogan tiang (Indonesian), Devdar in marathi and Nettilinkam in Tamil, and araNamaram: (Malayalam). There are two important traditions associated with the tree in India (presumably in its full, untrimmed, form with spreading branches), one being of Sita taking shelter in the shade of Ashoka when in captivity (found in the Ramayana) and another that of the Ashoka tree requiring a kick from a beautiful woman on spring festival day before it would bloom (in the Malavikagnimitra, for example). However, these associations are linked to the real Ashoka tree not the false Ashoka tree (Polyalthia longifolia).

Habitat : Polyalthia longifolia is native to India and Sri Lanka. It is introduced in gardens in many tropical countries around the world. It is, for example, widely used in parts of Jakarta in Indonesia.

Polyalthia Longifolia  is  a evergreen, tall and slender tree grows symmetrically and produces fresh and shining green foliage. A Polyalthia Longifolia tree grows as tall as 12 meter. The entire length of the plant is covered by long and wavy leaves. The beautiful contrast of new golden and coppery brown leaves against old dark-green leaves make a spectacular show.

Mast-trees Polyalthia longifolia
Mast-trees Polyalthia longifolia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Click to see the pictures:

Polyalthia Longifolia flowers during spring for a brief period (approximately two to three weeks). During this period, the entire tree is covered with small star-shaped flowers of pale green color. The flowers grow in clusters and attract birds and butterflies.Flowering is followed by egg-shaped fruits that are visited by bats and flying foxes.

The trunk of Polyalthia Longifolia has grey bark. Both the trunk and the bark are used in manufacturing of fiber. Timber is used for making boxes, pencils and long masts – that is why it is also known as the mast tree. In India and Sri Lanka, where the mast tree is held in high esteem, its leaves are used in religious ceremonies and for decorating arches and doorways.

Cultivation:Polyalthia Longifolia can be grown easily from seed or cuttings. It is a fast growing tree and requires good exposure to sunlight and moderate watering.

Chemical constituents:
Leaves have been reported to contain an azafluorene alkaloid, polylongine and three aporphine N-oxide alkaloids, (+)-O-methylbulbocapnine- ?-N-oxide,  (+)-O-methyl bulbocapnine- ?-N-Oxide and (+)-N-methylnandigerine- ?-N-oxide. Pentacyclic triterpenes, tarexasterol, stigmasterol, ?-sitosterol, campesterol, ?-amyrine and ?-amyrin have also been identified in the leaves. Clerodane diterpenoids have been isolated from the bark and seeds of this plant (Ghani, 2003). A new proanthocyanidin (I) along with ?-sitosterol and leucocyanidin have been isolated from stem bark (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).

Medicinal Uses:
Plant pacifies vitiated vata, pitta, inflammation, fever, skin disease, diabetes, hypertension and worm infestation. Its bark is used as an adulterant for Saraca asoka.

The bark is used as a febrifuge in the treatment of fever. Alcoholic extract of the leaf possesses strong antifungal and antibacterial properties against wide range of pathogens (Taniya, 2004).

Other Uses:Polyalthia longifolia is a prime choice for land scaping. It can be prooned to beautiful shape & size.

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


Herbs & Plants

Clerodendrum serratum

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Botanical name : Clerodendrum serratum (Linn.) Moon
Family : Verbenaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Species: R. serrata
Sanskrit Synonyms
:Brahmanayashtika, Kharashakha, Padma, Kasajith, Barbura
Common Names : Baharangi, Kasaghni, Phajuka, Vatari, Beetle killer, Blue glory
Hindi :  Bharangi
Malayalam :  Cheruthekku
Sansk. : Angaravalli, Brahmanayashtika
Beng. : Bamun Hatee, Baman hatee, Bhuijam
Guj. : Bharangee
Kan. : Gantubarangee
Mar. : Bharangee, Bharang
Ori. : Chinds
Punj. : Bhadangee
Tam. : Cheruteku
Tel. : Ganttubrarangee
Urdu. : Bharangi, Baharangi

Habitat : Clerodendrum serratum is  native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the world, with most of the species occurring in tropical Africa and southern Asia, but with a few in the tropical Americas and northern Australasia, and a few extending north into the temperate zone in eastern Asia.


A slightly woody shrub with bluntly quadrangular stems and branches, leaves usually three at a node, sometimes opposite oblong or elliptic, serrate; flowers blue, many in long cylindrical thyrsus; fruits 4 lobed purple durpe, somewhat succulent with one pyrene in each lobe.

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Characteristics and Constituents : A sterolglucoside has been isolated. The root bark yields a glycosidic material, phenolic in nature. D-mannitol was isolated from the root bark with a yield of 10.9%. The powdered stem contains D-mannitol, ?-D glucoside of ?-sitosterol, ?-sitosterol and cetyl alcohol. From the bark the sapogenin mixture contains three major triterpenoid constituents-olconolic acid, queretaroic acid and serratagenic acid.

Medicinal Uses:
Ayurvedic Properities:-
Rasam    : Tikta, Katu
Gunam   : Lakhu, Rooksha
Viryam   : Ushna

Useful part
:    Root and Leaves.
Plant pacifies vitiated kapha, pitta, inflammations, anorexia, dyspepsia, flatulence, helminthiasis, cough, asthma, bronchitis, hiccough, chronic skin diseses, leucoderma, leprosy and fevers. The leaves can be used or external application in headache.

A decoction of roots is used in asthma and bronchitis. The leaves are applied in the form of poultice in skin suppurations. The drug is used in fever. It is also used in sinusitis. It is recommended in inflammations of the eye.

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

Caesalpinia sappan

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Botanical name : Caesalpinia sappan Linn.
Family : Caesalpiniaceae
Sanskrit Synonyms :Kuchandana, Lohita, Patanga, Ranjana, Patranga

Common Names :Patanga, Raktamukta, Basiletta, Sappan wood, Sappanga

Local names: Hapang (Sbl.); sapang (Ilk., Bis., Tag.); sappan (Ilk., Tag.); sibukau (Tag., Sul., Bis.); sappan wood, bukum wood (Engl.).

Name in Other Languages :
English : Japan wood, Sappan wood, Brazil wood
Hindi : Patamg, Bakam
Malayalam : Chappgnga, Sappanga, Patumukam

Habitat :Sapang is found locally abundant throughout the Philippines at low and medium altitudes in dry thickets, parang, etc. It is perhaps an introduced plant in the Archipelago, and if so, is of prehistoric introduction. It occurs also in India to Malaya. In dry deciduous forests in India, also cultivated.

It is a small tree, 3 to 5 and sometimes 10 meters high, with scattered prickles. The leaves are compound, and up 50 centimeters long. The pinnae are about 20, opposite, and 10 to 20 centimeters long. The leaflets are 20 to 30, obliquely oblong to oblong-rhomboid. The flowers are yellow, on terminal panicles, and 2. To 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Fruits small woody pods, with 2-3 seeds. The pod is oblong to oblong-ovate, about 7 centimeters long, and 3.5 to 4 centimeters wide, hard, shinning, with a hard, recurved beak at the upper angle.Stem covered with woody thons.

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Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used :   Heartwood.
Plant pacifies vitiated pitta, burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, skin diseases, diarrhea, menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, diabetes, and stomatitis.

A decoction or infusion of the wood is reputed to be powerful emmenagogue and a strong astringent, and is medicinally recommended as a substitute for logwood. It also used in atomic diarrhea, dysentery, etc. The decoction is also administered in cases of haemorrhage, especially from the lungs. It is commonly given to women after confinement, chiefly as a tonic. The decoction is considered useful in some forms of skin diseases. It is also used as a diuretic. The roots, stems, and seeds are used as sedatives and vulnerary.

Ayurvedic properities

Rasa    : Tikta
Guna   : Guru, Rooksha
Virya   : Seeta
Vipaka : Madhura

Other Uses:
Sapang is chiefly used as a dyewood, being very popular in the Filipinos for coloring the native fabrics.

According to Dymock the coloring matter of sappan wood appears from Bolleys investigation to be identical with chevreul’s brazilin obtained from brazilwood. Dey states that it contains a principle resembling haematein. He quotes Dr. Warden, who states that the resinous extract of the sappan tree contains a crystalline principle which, fused with potash, yields resorcin. Nadkarni includes as the additional constituents, besides brazilin, Gallic and tannic acids. Studies made by Bacon confirmed the discovery that the coloring matter of sappan wood is brazilin. Burkill declares hat the leaves (19 percent), bark, and fruit walls (44 percent) contain tannin. Volatile oil, suggesting pepper, is present in the leaves. Wehmer records the following constituents of the volatile oil (0.16 to 0.25 percent) of the leaves: d-c-phellandrene, terpene, and methyl alcohol.

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.


Click to access sapang.pdf

Herbs & Plants

Caesalpinia digyna

Botanical Name :Caesalpinia digyna
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Caesalpinioideae
Tribes: Caesalpinieae
Genus: Caesalpinia
Species: Caesalpinia digyna
Order: Fabales

Synonym(s):  Caesalpinia oleosperma Roxb.

Common Names : Vakerimool
English Names :Teri Pods
Sanskrit Names :Udakiryaka
Hindi Names : Udakiryaka
(Burmese) : tari
(Cambodia) : khvaw banla
(Filipino) : teri-pod plant
(Lao (Sino-Tibetan)) : kachaay
(Thai) : khee raet
(Vietnamese) : moc meo xanh (Dong Nai)

Habitat : Caesalpinia digyna is found in thickets, light forests and forest borders, in Indo-China up to 1200 m. In Indonesia C. digyna occurs in drier areas up to 200 m. The plant  has a distribution comparable with the preceding species, but is not found further north than Hainan in China.

It grows wild  in the scrub forests,of the eastern himalays, in Asam & West Bengal. It is also found in the Eastern Ghat in Andhra Pradesh & Madha Pradesh.

A prickly climber or scandent shrub, 2-5 m tall with long recurved prickles. Pinnae in 8-13 pairs, leaflets in 6-12 pairs, oblong-elliptic, 5-13 mm x 2.5-5 mm, subsessile. Flowers in long racemes, fairly large, with petals 8-10 mm long, yellow with red dot at base of red veins in terminal or axillary racemes, dark brown sub-globose seeds in short beaked fruits. Pods oblong-elliptic, 3-6 cm x 1.5-2 cm, constricted between the seeds (1-)2-3(-4)-seeded.


Plants are propagated by seed. The seeds of C. digyna plant are very hard and must be scarified before sowing.

Constituents : They yield bergenin (vakerin). A novel supermidine alkaloid, caesalpinine A (C25H3103N3) has also been isolated.

Medicinal Uses:
The roots have marked astringent and anti-pyretic properties. They also have antioxidant activity and are given internally in debility.
Caesalpinia digyna is reported to treat tuberculosis and diabetes.

The plant is used for curing senile pruritis with excellent result. The drug is also reported to exhibit anti-fatigue effect in rats. The roots have marked astringent and antipyretic properties.

You may click to see :Antioxidant activity of Caesalpinia digyna root.

Other Uses:
Tannin or dyestuff: The pods of C. digyna and C. coriacaria are very rich in tannin, and is used in tanning industry. For tanning leather, the tan-stuff from the pods is generally used as a blend, mixed with other tanning materials. The pods can also serve to prepare a blackish or blueish dye and a black ink, and are sometimes employed as a mordanting agent. The wood is reported to contain a red dye.

Fodder: The seeds of C. digyna can serve as cattle feed. Lipids: Teri-pod contain an oil which can be used in lamps.

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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