Sunday, June 7, 2009


Radermachera xylocarpa

(Roxb.) K. Schum.

Synonym Bignonia xylocarpa Roxb.

Stereospermum xylocarpum (Roxb.)


Family Bignoniaceae.

Habitat Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil


English Padri tree.

Siddha/Tamil Vedanguruni, Pathiri.

Folk Paadiri. Kharsing, Kadashing,

Bairsinge (Maharashtra).

Action Plant—antiseptic. Resin—

used for the treatment of skin

diseases. Rootbark—bitter, astringent;

used as substitute for

Stereospermumpersonatum (Hassk.)

D. Chatterjee and S. suaveolens DC.

(Trumpet-Flower, Yellow Snake

tree, also known as Padri).

The leaves gave flavonoids, dinatin

and its glycoside. Roots yielded Oacetyl

oleanolic acid, stigmasterol and

a red pigment, radermachol.

Randia dumetorum Poir.

Synonym R. spinosa Poir.

R. brandisii Gamble.

R. longispina W. & A.

R. tomentosa W. & A. non Blume.

Xeromphis spinosa Keay.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Assam, Naga and

Khasi Hills, Travancore and the


English Common Emetic Nut.

Ayurvedic Madana, Chhardana,

Pindi, Shalayaka, Vishapushpaka.

Unani Mainphal, Jauz-ul-Qai.

Siddha/Tamil Marukkaaraikai,


Folk Mainphal.

Action Fruit—nervine, calmative,

antispasmodic, emetic,

anthelmintic, abortifacient. Used as

a substitute for ipecacuanha.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the dried fruit in

chlorosis, common cold, rhinitis and

obstinate skin diseases.

The activity of the drug is attributed

to the presence of saponins which occur

to the extent of –% in fresh fruits

and about % in dried whole fruit.

The saponins are concentrated mostly

in the pulp. Amixture of two saponins,

viz. randialic or neutral saponin and

randialic acid or acid saponin has been

isolated from the pulp. On complete

hydrolysis both the saponins yield oleanolic

acid as sapogenin. Ursosaponin,

isolated from the ethanolic extract of

the dried whole fruit, gave ursolic acid

and glucose. Randianin, isolated from

the fruit, gave a haemolytic triterpenoid



536 Randia uliginosa DC.

In experimental animals, the drug

caused haemolysis both in vitro and in

vivo. Crude saponin fraction showed

haemolytic, molluscidal and immunostimulating


Oleanolic acid -glucoside, isolated

from the seed, exhibited anti-arthritic

activity in exudative and proliferative

phases of inflammation in rats.

Dosage Fruit—.–. g powder

for decoction, – g for induction

vomiting. (API, Vol. I.)

Randia uliginosa DC.

Synonym Catunaregam uliginosa

(Retz.) Sivarajan.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Southern, Central and

Eastern India, including Assam and


Ayurvedic Pindaalu, Pinditaka.

Siddha/Tamil Wagatta, Perunkarai.

Folk Mainphal, Pindaar, Pendraa,


Action Unripe fruit—astringent.

Root—diuretic; used for biliousness,

diarrhoea and dysentery.

Unripe fruits are roasted and used as

a remedy for dysentery and diarrhoea.

The root, boiled in purified butter, is

also prescribed for dysentery and diarrhoea.

The fruits, like those of Randia

spinosa, contain a toxic saponin of

oleanolic acid. They also contain leucocyanidin

and mannitol. The flowers

yield an essential oil similar to Gardenia


Ranunculus arvensis Linn.

Family Ranunculaceae.

Habitat The Western Himalayas

from Kashmir to Kumaon.

English Corn Buttercup.

Folk Chambul (Punjab). Gagerkanda


Action Used in intermittent fevers,

asthma and gout.

The active principle of the herb is

protoanemonin (.%) and its glycosidic

precursor, ranunculin. The herb

yields hydrocyanic acid in very small


The leaves contain the antifungal

lactone protoanemonin which inhibited

growth of Epidermophyton floccosum

and the yeast Rhodotorula glutinis.

Ranunculus sceleratus Linn.

Family Ranunculaceae.

Habitat The plains of northern

India, and the warm valleys of the

Himalayas from Kashmir to Assam.

English Blister Buttercup, Celeryleaved


Ayurvedic Kaandira, Kaandakatuka,

Naasaa-samvedana, Toyavalli,


Folk Jal-dhaniyaa.

Action Fresh Plant—highly acrid,

rubefacient, vesicant and toxic;


Raphanus sativus Linn. 537

causes inflammation of the digestive

tract. Used after drying or as

a homoeopathic medicine for skin


The plant contains anemonin, protoanemonin,

ranunculine, serotonin

and other tryptamine derivatives.

Serotonin (-hydroxytryptamine)

is a potent vaso-constrictor. Protoanemonin

possesses strong antibacterial,

antiviral, cytopathogenic and

vermicidal properties, and is effective

against both Gram-positive and Gramnegative

bacteria, similar to penicillic

acid. It inhibits the growth of E. coli,

Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans.

It inactivates in vitro diptheria


Dosgae Whole plant—– g

powder. (CCRAS.)

Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix.

Synonym R. aquatilis Linn. var.

capillaceus DC.

Family Ranunculaceae.

Habitat Kashmir to Sikkim.

English Water Crowfoot, Water


Ayurvedic Kaandira (var.).

Folk Tohlab (Kashmir).

Action Herb—used in intermittent

fevers, rheumatism and asthma.

Ranunculus muricatus Linn. (Punjab

and Kashmir) is used in intermittent

fevers, gout and asthma in Europe.

The herb is rubefacient, vesicant and


Raphanus sativus Linn.

Family Cruciferae; Brassicaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Uttar

Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra and


English Radish.

Ayurvedic Muulaka, Laghumuulaka,

Muulakapotikaa, Visra,

Shaaleya, Marusambhava. Pods—

Sungraa, Singri, Mungraa.

Unani Muuli, Turb Fajal.

Siddha/Tamil Mullangi.

Action Radish—preparations

are used in liver, gallbladder and

urinary complaints. Green leaves—

diuretic and carminative. Seeds—

diuretic, purgative, expectorant.

A decoction of dry radish is given

orally in piles. Extract of the dry root

is given for hiccough, influenza, dysentery,

colic and urinary troubles.

Key application In peptic disorders,

especially those related to dyskinesia

of the bile ducts; and in catarrhs

of the upper respiratory tract.

(German Commission E.)

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the juice of the whole

plant in sinusitis; juice of the root in

diseases of the throat and sinusitis; and

the seed in amenorrhoea, cough and


The fleshy root and seeds contain

trans--methyl-thiobutenyl isothiocyanate

glucoside (the pungent principle),


538 Rauvolfia serpentina Benth. ex Kurz.

side, pelargonidin diglycoside, cyanidin

diglycoside, -methyl-L-cysteinesulphoxide

(methiin), steroidal sapogenins

and sulphorophene.

The enzymes present in the radish

are phosphatase, catalase, sucrase,

amylase, alcohol dehydrogenase and

pyruvic carboxylase.

Radish contains caffeic acid and ferulic

acid which exhibit hepatoprotective

and choleretic properties. It contains

choline which prevents deposition

of fat in liver. Amino acids, ornithine,

citrulline, arginine, glutamic

acid and asparatic acid remove toxins

from the body and urea acumulation.

Radish is a good source of ascorbic

acid (– mg/ g), trace elements

include aluminium, barium, lithium,

manganese, silicon, titanium, also iodine

(upto  mcg/ g) and ascorbigen.

Roots, leaves, flowers and pods are

active against Gram-positive bacteria.

The seeds are reported to contain

a broad spectrum antibiotic, machrolysin,

specific against Mycobacterium

tuberculosis. Raphanin, extracted from

the seeds, is active against Grampositive

and Gram-negative bacteria.

A purified basic protein, homologous

to nonspecific lipid transfer proteins,

fromseeds showed antifungal activity.

Raphanus caudatus Linn., synonym

R. sativus var. caudatus, is known as

Rat-Tail Radish.

A native to Java, it is cultivated in

northern and western India. The root

is not used; pods, purple or violet in

colour, are consumed for properties

attributed to Raphanus sp. These are

known as Mungraa or Sungraa.

Dosage Whole plant—– ml

juice; root—– ml juice. (API,

Vol. II.) Seed—– g powder. (API,

Vol. III.)

Rauvolfia serpentina

Benth. ex Kurz.

Family Apocynaceae.

Habitat The sub-Himalayas tract

from Punjab to Nepal, Sikkim,

Bhutan, Assam, Western Ghats and

the Andamans.

English Rauvolfia root, Serpentina

Root, Indian Snakeroot.

Ayurvedic Sarpagandhaa

of Ayurvedic texts was not

the Sarpagandhaa of modern

medicine. (Sarpagandhaa was

equated with Naakuli, Sarpachhatrikaa

and Varshaasu Chhatrikaaraa.

Sarpagandhaa and

Sarpasugandhaa were synonyms of


Folk Chhotaa Chaand.

Action Root—decoction is

employed to increase uterine

contractions and for expulsion

of foetus in difficult cases. The

total alkaloidal extract of the root

induces bradycardia, hypotension,

sedation. It finds application

in hypochondria, neuropsychiatric

disorders, psychosis and


Key application In mild, essential

hypertension (borderline

hypertension, especially with elevated

tension of the sympathetic

nervous system, for example,


Rauvolfia tetraphylla Linn. 539

sinus tachycardia, anxiety, tension

and psychomotor irritation,

when dietetic measures alone

are not sufficient. (German

Commission E.)

(Average daily dose:  mg drug

corresponding to  mg total alkaloid.)

Treatment is usually administered with

a diuretic to prevent fluid retention

which may develop if Rauvolfia root is

given alone. (WHO.) Contraindicated

in depression, bleeding disorders, gastric

and duodenal ulcers. (Sharon M.

Herr.) Also contraindicated in pregnancy,

since it has both teratogenic

and abortifacient potential. (Francis


The root and root bark are rich in

alkaloids, the most important being

reserpine, others, around , which include

ajmaline, ajmalicine (raubasine),

ajmalicine, yohimbine, coryanthine,

iso-ajmaline, neo-ajmaline, papaverine,

raubasine, rauwolscine, rescinnamine,

reserpine, sarpagine, serpentine,

serpentinine, serpinine and deserpidine.

Reserpine is hypotensive and tranquilizer,

used for certain forms ofmental

disorders. Ajmalicine (raubasine)

and rescinnamine are also hypotensive

and tranquilizer. Deserpidine is

sedative, as well as hypotensive. Ajmaline

exhibits antiarrhythmic activity.


number of Rauvolfia species are

found in India: R. beddomei Hook. f.;

R. densiflora Benth ex Hook. f. (Himalayas,

Khasi and Aka Hills; Western

and Eastern Ghats); R. micrantha

Hook. f; known as Malabar Rauvolfia,

(Kerala, up to an altitude of  m)

The roots of R. beddomei contain

ajmalicine, sarpagine and serpentine,

but no reserpine. R. densiflora yielded

.% of total alkaloids (reserpine

.%). R. micrantha gave ajmalicine,

raunamine, reserpiline, sarpagine,

neosarpagine, in addition to reserpine.

(In classical Ayurvedic texts, Nakuli

and Gandha-naakuli were included in

compound formulations for mental


Rauvolfia tetraphylla Linn.

Synonym R. canescens L.

Family Apocynaceae.

Habitat Abundant in moist and

warm regions of West Bengal,

particularly in  Parganas and

Howrah, and Kerala (as a weed).

Folk Badaa Chaand.

Action Root—sedative, hypotensive.

Plant juice, mixed with castor

oil, is applied to skin diseases and

to destroy parasites.

The plant contains a number of

alkaloids, including rauvolscine, ajmalicine,

canescine, reserpine, pseudoyohimbine;

yohimbine, corynanthene,

raunescine, iso-raunescine and


The major alkaloid is rauwolscine

(alpha-yohimbine), present in the root

bark (.%), stem bark (.%) and

leaves (.%).

The roots are often used as a substitute

or adulterant of those of R. serpentina,

though the reserpine content

of the dried root was found to be comparatively

low (.–.%).


540 Reinwardtia indica Dum.

Reinwardtia indica Dum.

Family Linaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas from

Kashmir to Sikkim; commonly

grown in gardens.

English Winter-Flax, Yellow Flax.

Ayurvedic Baasanti.

Folk Abai (Maharashtra).

Action Plant—used for the

treatment of paralysis in Bihar.

The crushed leaves and stems are

applied to wounds infested with


Reissantia grahamii

(Wight) Ding Hou.

Synonym Hippocratea grahamii


Pristimera grahamii

A. C. Smith.

Family Celastraceae; Hippocrateaceae.

Habitat Konkan, and the South


Folk Danshir, Daushir, Lokhandi,

Yesti, Zerwati (Maharashtra).

Action Root—used for the

treatment of respiratory affections,

common cold and influenza.

The roots contain about twice the

amount of pristimerin as in R. indica

and show similar antibiotic properties.

Pristimerin is found active against

Streptococcus viridans, causative organism

for sore throat and tonsilitis,

and S. pyogenes.

Reissantia indica Halle.

Synonym Hippocratea indicaWilld.

Pristimera indica A. C. Smith.

Family Celastraceae; Hippocrateaceae.

Habitat North-eastern India.

Siddha/Tamil Odangod.

Folk Kazurati, Tirruli (Maharashtra),

Atari-lataa, Kathapahaariaa,

Lokhandi (Bengal).

Action Root bark—used for the

treatment of respiratory troubles.

Stem—febrifuge. Leaves—scorched

and given to women during

confinement. Powdered leaves

and roots are applied to sores and


The roots contain dulcitol. The root

bark contains an antibiotic principle,

pristimerin (.%) which shows considered

in vitro activity against several

Gram-positive cocci, both haemolytic

and non-haemolytic. Pristimerin

also inhibits in vitro growth of different

strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Clinical trials have shown that

pristimerin is effective in the treatment

of inflammatory conditions of

the naso-pharyngeal mucosa resulting

from common cold and influenzal infections.

It is found useful as an adjunct

to the common antibiotic therapy of

respiratory inflammations of both bacterial

and viral origin, and is reported

to possess antitumour properties, but

its high toxicity precludes its use as

a cancero-static agent.


Rhamnus purshiana DC. 541

Remusatia vivipara Schott.

Family Araceae.

Habitat Maharashtra, Karnataka.

Folk Rukhaalu, Maanakand

(Maharashtra). Lakshmanaa is

a doubtful synonym

Action Root—use for obstinate

skin diseases and pruritus; also

for disinfecting genitourinary tract

and for promoting conception.

Alocasia indica and Eulophia nuda

are also known as Maanakanda in

Indian medicine. Alocasia indica

is used in Siddha medicine as an

anti-inflammatory and diuretic


Reseda luteola Linn.

Family Resedaccae.

Habitat Indigenous to western

Europe; grown in gardens in India.

English Dyer's Rocket, Weld.

Action Plant—diuretic, diaphoretic,


Aluteolin glucoside, luteoloside, has

been isolated from the fresh blossoms

and outer parts of the plant. It has a low

toxicity andmild influence oncapillary

resistance and possesses diuretic properties.

Reseda odorata Linn., known as

Mignonette, is indigenous to North

Africa and cultivated in gardens in


The herb is reported to allay irritation

and ease pains. The seeds are

applied externally as a resolvent. The

root is acrid and is used in Spain as

a laxative, diuretic and diaphoretic.

Rhamnus procumbens Edgew.

Family Rhamnaceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas from

Simla to Kumaon at an altitude of

, to , m.

English Buckthorn (related


Action Plant—anticonvulsant,

anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer.

The plant contains kaempferol,

kaempferol--O-methyl ether and

kaempferol--O-methyl ether.

The ethyl acetate soluble portion

of the alcoholic extract showed antinociceptive,

anticonvulsant and antiinflammatory

activity. Kaempferol--

O-methyl ether was found to exhibit

central nervous system depressant,

cardiac stimulant, antispasmodic and

anti-inflammatory activity.

The plant also contain emodin,

which exhibited cardiac and intestinal

stimulant, central nervous system

depressant and analgesic activity in

experimental animals.

Rhamnus purshiana DC.

Synonym Frangula purshiana (DC)

A. Grey.

Family Rhamnaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe;

introduced in Kashmir, Himachal

Pradesh, Bhutan and the Nilgiris.


542 Rhamnus virgatus Roxb.

English Buckthorn (related

species), Cascara Sagrada, Sacred


Action Bark—stool-softener,

non-habit forming stimulant

laxative, pancreatic stimulant.

Used for dyspepsia and habitual


Key application In occasional

constipation. (German Commission

E, ESCOP, WHO.) As a stimulant

laxative. (The British Herbal


The bark contains up to % anthraquinone

glycosides, consisting of

the cascarosides A, B, C and D, about

%of the total; other glycosides inminor

concentrations include barbaloin,

frangulin, chrysanol, glycosides based

on emodin, aloe-emodin, emodinoxanthrone

and chrysophanol; dianthrones,

and free aglycones.

The cascarosides act on large intestines

and stimulate peristalsis. The

emodin exhibits antispasmodic activity

in isolated rat intestine. Its antiinflammatory

and antiseptic action

was also demonstrated.

Rhamnus catharticus Linn., is equated

with common Buckthorn, R. purpurea

Edgew. with Purple Buckthorn.

R. purpurea is found in the Himalayas

from Kashmir to Nepal.

Dried bark of Rhamnus frangula

L. (Alder Buckthorn) and dried ripe

berries of Ramnus catharticus are also

used against constipation. (German

Commission E, WHO.)

Long term use or excessive amounts

may cause albuminuria, haematuria,

slowingof intestinal transit and cardiac

irregularities. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Rhamnus triquetra Brandis (known

as Gudlei, Fagoraa, Gardhan in Punjab;

Gaunt in Garhwal and Kumaon

and Katheraa in Jaunsar) is found in

theHimalayas fromKashmir to Nepal.

The bark is used as a tonic, astringent

and deobstruent. Kaempferol, its -Omethyl

ether and -O-methyl ether,

physcion- beta-D-glucoside, emodin

and its  beta-D-glucoside were isolated

from the whole plant. Emodin

exhibited CNS depressant activity. (Fitoterapia,

, .) The plant exhibited

significant anti-inflammatory and

a nonspecific antispasmodic activity.

It induced cardio-stimulation which

might be due to the endogenous release

of catecholamines.

Rhamnus napalensis Wall. ex M.

Laws. (known as Archal in Nepal;

Biringa and Birringguli in Assam) is

found in eastern Himalayas and the

hills and plains of Assam, Bihar, Orissa,

Madhya Pradesh and northernAndhra

Pradesh, ascending up to an altitude

of , m. The fruit, pounded and

macerated in vinegar, is prescribed for

the treatment of herpes.

Rhamnus virgatus Roxb.

Family Rhamnaceae.

Habitat Throughout Himalayas,

Khasi and Jaintia Hills, hills of

Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, and the


English Indian Buckthorn.

Folk Chhaduaa, Tadru (Punjab),

Chadolaa (Garhwal).

Action Ripe fruit—purgative,

emetic. Given in the affections of


Rheum emodi Wall. ex Meissn. 543

spleen. (Purgative action not found

in the bark.)

The bark showed only traces of hydroxymethyl

anthraquinones and did

not exhibit purgative action on experimental


The plant contains the enzyme,

rhamnodiastase, capable of hydrolyzing

flavonoid glycosides.

Rhamnus wightii Wight & Arn.

Family Rhamnaceae.

Habitat Hills of Peninsular India,

up to an altitude of , m.

Ayurvedic Rakta-Rohidaa (a name

applied to several other astringent


Action Bark—bitter, astringent and


The leaves gave chrysophanol, physcion,

musizin, lupeol, rhamnazin,

rhamnocitrin, emodin, frangulin A

and beta-sitosterol. A naphthaleneglucoside


O-beta-D-glucoside has been isolated

from the stem bark. Cynodontin,

chrysophanol, physcion, musizin, lupeol,

emodin, beta-syriogenin, betasitosterol

and its glucoside were also


Rhaphidophora laciniata

(Burm. F.) Merr.

Family Araceae.

Habitat Deccan Peninsula,

Coromandel Coast, Malabar and

southwards to Sri Lanka.

Folk Ganesh-kand (Maharashtra);

Aaanaiittippili (Tamil Nadu).

Action Antidote to poisonous

inflictions; used against bites of

poisonous raptiles.

Rheum emodi Wall. ex Meissn.

Synonym R. australe D. Don.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Sub-alpine Himalayas,

from Kashmir to Sikkim at altitudes

of ,–, m.; also cultivated in


English IndianRhubarb,Himalayan


Ayurvedic Amlaparni, Pitamuuli,

Gandhini Revatikaa. Revandachini


Unani Revandchini.

Siddha/Tamil Revalchinikattai,


Action Purgative, astringent,

aperient. Used for constipation

and atonic dyspepsia. Not advised

for patients suffering from gout,

rheumatism, epilepsy. (When given

internally, the root imparts a deep

tinge to the urine.)

The root gave emodin, emodin-

-monomethyl ether, chrysophanol,

aloe-emodin, rhein. These occur free

and as quinone, anthrone or dianthrone

glycosides.The astringent principle

consists of gallic acid together

with small amounts of tannin. The

drug also contain cinnamic and rheinolic

acids, volatile oil, starch and


544 Rheum nobile Hook. f. &Th.

calcium oxalate. Two major glycosidic

active principles, sennosideAand

B, are present along with free anthraquinones.

At low doses, the tannin exerts astringent

effect and relieves diarrhoea;

at higher doses anthraquinones stimulate

laxative effect and relieve constipation.

(Natural Medicines Comprehensive

Database, .)

There are three main types of rhubarbs—

Chinese, Indian or Himalayan,

and Rhapontic.

The Chinese rhubarb consists of the

rhizomes and roots of Rheum palmatum

and R. officinale.

TheIndian rhubarb consists of dried

rhizomes of R. emodi and R. webbianum;

rhizomes and roots of R.

moorcroftianum and R. spiciforme are

also reported to be mixed with the

drug. R. rhaponticum is the Rhapontic


Rheum moorcroftianum Royle (the

Himalayas at altitudes of ,–

, m., chiefly in Garhwal and Kumaon)

possesses properties similar to

those of R. emodi and the roots are

mixed with the latter.

Rheum spiciforme Royle (drier

ranges of Kumaon and Sikkim at altitudes

of ,–, m.) also possesses

purgative properties. The rhizomes

and roots aremixed upwithHimalayan


Rheum webbianum Royle (the western

and central Himalayas at altitudes

of ,–, m.) is the source of

Himalayan rhubarb.

Rheum palmatum is esteemed as

the best type of (Chinese) rhubarb.

Two new stilbene glycosides, -Omethylpiceid

and rhapontin, isolated

from the roots, exhibited moderate

alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity.

Anthraquinone glucoside, pulmatin,

isolated from the roots, along

with its congeners, chrysophanein and

physcionin, showed cytotoxic activity

against several types of carcinoma

cells. Polysaccharides, isolated from

the roots and rhizomes, contained lyxose,

glucose, galactose, xylose, rhamnose,

mannose and ribose.

Dosage Root—.–. g powder.


Rheum nobile Hook. f. &Th.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas from Nepal

to Bhutan at ,–, m.

Folk Tehuka (Sikkim).

Action The roots resemble those

of Rheum emodi, but are spongy

and inert. Stems are acidic, used as

salad. Dried leaves are sometimes

used as a substitute for tobacco.

Rheum officinale Baillon.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Southeast Tibet,West and

Northwest China.

English Rhubarb.

Unani Usaare Rewand.

Action Astringent and cathartic

(anthraquinones are laxative and

tannins astringent), stomachic, aperient,

cholinergic, gastric stimulant,

antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory,


Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz. 545

antiseptic. Used for indigestion,

diarrhoea, dysentery and disorders

of liver and gallbladder.

Key application In constipation.

Contraindicated in acute intestinal

inflammation and obstruction.

(German Commission E, ESCOP,

The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia,


Rhubarb contains ,-dihydroxyanthracene

derivatives. The laxative

effect of the herb is primarily due to its

influence on the motility of the colon,

inhibiting stationary and stimulating

propulsive contractions. Stimulation

of the chloride secretion increases the

water and electrolyte content of stool.

(German Commission E.)

The plant extract of R. officinale

is found to be strong and effective

scavenger of oxygen radicals in xanthine/

xanthine oxidase and other systems

in vitro.

Rheumrhaponticum, known asRhapontic

or English rhubarb, is extensively

cultivated all over Europe andAmerica;

also cultivated to a small extent in

India in the Khasi Hills, the Nilgiris

and West Bengal.

Rhubarbs contain anthraquinones

but English rhubarb contains only

chrysophanic acid and some of its glycosides.

Stilbene glycosides, present in

other types, are also found in English

rhubarb. The roots contain rhapontin.

(.%), reported to restore oestrus

cycle in castrated female rats.

Rheum webbianum Royle.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas.

Folk Archa.

Action Antispasmodic, muscle

relaxant, antiseptic.

The rhizomes contain desoxyrhapontigenin.

The compound, like papaverine,

exhibited smooth muscle relaxant

activity in a wide variety of in

vitro and in vivo tests. Aqueous alcoholic

extract showed papaverine-like

non-specific spasmolytic activity.

The paste of fresh rhizomes is applied

on burns, blisters and boils to

prevent scar formation.

Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz.

Synonym R. communis Nees.

Justicia nasuta L.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Throughout the greater

part of India.

English Snake Jasmine.

Ayurvedic Yuuthiparni, Yuuthikaparni.


Unani Gul-baglaa.

Siddha/Tamil Nagamalli.

Action Leaf, seed and root—used

for skin diseases. A paste of the

root, with lime juice, is applied

externally to eczema, ringworm and

Dhobi's itch.

The roots are reported to contain an

antiseptic and antiparasitic active principle,

rhinacanthin (.%). The plant is

rich in potassium salts; also contains

oxymethyl anthraquinones.

The flowers contain rutin.


546 Rhizophora mucronata Lam.

Dosage Leaf, seed, root—– ml

juice; – g powder. (CCRAS.)

Rhizophora mucronata Lam.

Family Rhizophoraceae.

Habitat The Sunderbans and along

the Coromandel Coast and the


English True Mangrove.

Siddha/Tamil Peykkandal, Kandal,


Folk Kamo (Bengal), Kandal


Action Bark—astringent. Used

in the treatment of haemorrhages,


The leaves contain ., unripe fruits

., ripe fruits ., twig bark –, and

wood –% tannins.

Theleaves gave campesterol, cholesterol,

-isofucosterol, beta-sitosterol,

stigmasterol and stigmast--en- betaol.

The plant gave alpha-and betaamyrins,

betulin, lupeol, oleanolic and

ursolic acids; gibberellins have also

been reported.

Honey collected from the flowers is

reported to be poisonous.

R. apiculata Blume, also known as

Kandal, is foundmixed up with R. mucronata

in the tidal marshes of India

and the Andamans.

Rhododendron anthopogon

D. Don.

Family Ericaceae.

Habitat The alpine Himalayas from

Himachal Pradesh to Bhutan, from

, to , m.

Folk Taalisri (Punjab), Taalish

(Tibet), Tazaktsum, Taalis-faz


Action Leaves—stimulant. The

plant yields an incense. The leaves

of R. anthopogon get mixed up with

those of Abies webbiana (used for

respiratory diseases).

The leaves contain quercetin, myricetin,

taxifolin, kaempferol derivatives,

ursolic acid and its acetate, epifriedinol,

beta-sitosterol, betulinic acid

and rutin.

The leaves of R. lepidotum Wall. ex

G. Don, known as Taalisfur in Punjab;

and R. setosum D. Don, known as

Tsalluo in Bhutan, possess properties

similar to those of R. anthopogon.

Rhododendron arboreum Sm.

Synonym R. puniceum Roxb.

Family Ericaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas

from Kashmir to Bhutan, the

Nilgiris, KhasiHills and Travancore.

English Tree-Rhododendron,


Folk Burans (Kumaon), Kurbak,


Action Leaf—anticephalalgic

(applied to the forehead). Leaf and

stem-bark—spasmolytic. Flowers—

used in diarrhoea and dysentery.

The green leaves contain a glucoside,

ericolin. The extracts of leaves,


Rhododendron campanulatum D. Don. 547

stems and bark cause hypotension in

cats and inhibit intestinal movements

in rabbits. The acetone and chloroform

extracts and a resinous fraction

from the alcoholic extract of leaves depress

respiration. The petroleum ether

extract decreases the rate of heartbeat

and contraction in isolated heart of


An alcoholic (%) extract of the

flowers lowered blood pressure in dogs

and albino rats.

Cyanidin--galactoside and cyanidin-

-arbinoside are present in the

pigments of flowers. The leaves of

var. nilgiricum and var. cinnamonum

contain ursolic acid, friedelin, epifriedelanol,

quercetin. A triterpenoid,

campanulin, has been isolated from

the leaves of var. nilagaricum.

Rhododendron barbatum

Wall. ex G. Don.

Family Ericaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas from

Kumaon to Bhutan, extending to


English Giantblood Rhododendron.

Folk Chimal (Nepal), Kurbak,


Action Respiratory depressant,

emetic, toxic.

The leaves and flowers gave andromedotoxin

which resembles tertiary

amine veratrum alkaloids, particularly

protoveratrine, in pharmacological

action. Intravenous administration

of andromedotoxin to dogs

resulted in –% reduction in blood

pressure. It also closely resembles

protoveratrine in its stimulating effect

on the barostatic-pressor-reflexmechanism,

respiratory effects and

emetic action. It produces reflex vasodepressor

responses in intact animals;

in debuffered dogs, it produced

vasopressor responses. It also produced,

both direct and indirect, positive

ionotropic effects, the latter being

more pronounced.

The leaves contain ursolic acid,

alpha-amyrin, epi-friedelinol, campanulin

and hyperoside. Chloroform

extract of the leaves and shoots showed

a depressant action. The honey from

flowers is poisonous; contains andromedotoxin.

Rhododendron campanulatum

D. Don.

Synonym R. aeruginosum Hk. f.

Family Ericaceae.

Habitat Throughout the Himalayas

at altitudes of ,–, m.

Folk Chimal (Kumaon, Nepal),

Gagger vurmi, Nichnai (Kashmir).

Cherailu, Taalis-far.

Action Leaves—used in chronic

rheumatism and sciatica. As a snuff,

in colds and hemicrania.

The leaves gave a toxic substance

which resembles andromedotoxin; besides

ericolin, ursolic acid, alpha-amyrin,

friedelin, epi-friedelinol, campanulin,

quercitin. The pigments of flowers

contain myricetin and quercetin.


548 Rhododendron cinnabarinum Hook. f.

Petroleum ether and chloroform extracts

of leaves, stems and flowers lower

blood pressure in cats and inhibit intestinal

movements in rabbits.

Rhododendron cinnabarinum

Hook. f.

Family Ericaceae.

Habitat Eastern Himalayas,

extending into the Balipura tract

and Aka hills of Assam at altitudes

of ,–, m.

Folk Balu, Sanu, Chimal (Nepal).

Action Plant—vasodepressor.

The plant contains a toxic principle,

andromedotoxin. The leaves

are reported to contain friedelin, epifriedelinol,

alpha-amyrin, campanulin,

ursolic acid, triterpenes and quercetin.

The flowers are reported to be poisonous.

R. falconeri Hook. f., known as Korlinga

in Nepal, Kegu and Kalma in

Bhutan, is found in the Himalayas

fromNepal to Bhutan, Aka Hills, Naga

Hills andManipur at altitudes of ,–

, m.

The leaves and stem contain andromedotoxin;

leaves also contain ursolic

acid, alpha-amyrin, friedelin,

campanulin and quercetin. The flowers

contain -rhamnoside and -galactoside

of quercetin. Thebark gave taraxerol,

betulinic acid and quercetin.

Petroleum ether extract of the leaves

and stems lowers blood pressure in cats

and inhibits intestinal movements in


Rhus chinensis Mill.

Synonym R. javanica Linn.

R. semialata Murr.

Brucea javanica (L.) Merill.

Family Anacardiaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas

from Kashmir to Bhutan at ,–

, m.

Folk Tatri, Arkhar (Punjab).

Action Galls—astringent and

expectorant. Used in ointments

and suppositories employed in

the treatment of haemorrhoids,

swellings and wounds. Fruits—

spasmolytic. Used for colic,

diarrhoea and dysentery.

Dry galls contain  to % tannin

(in the form of Gallo tannic acid);

small amounts of fat, resin and gum.

The stem-bark contains .% tannin.

The fruit contains tannin, gallic acid

and potassium acid salts, together with

small amounts of aluminium, calcium,

magnesiumand iron acid salts ofmalic,

tartaric and citric acids.

The heartwood contained the flavonoids,

pongapin, tetramethoxyfisetin

and demethoxykanugin, and a dibenzoylmethane,


Rhus hookeri Sahni & Bahadur, synonym

R. insignis Hk. f. is found in Sikkim

Himalaya from Nepal to Bhutan

at ,–, m and in Khasi Hills at

,m. Juice of the plant is a powerful

vesicant. The fruit contain a fat similar

to that found in the fruit of R. javanica.

Rhus coriaria Linn.

Family Anacardiaceae.


Rhus succedanea Linn. 549

Habitat Mediterranean region.

English European or Sicilian

Sumach (used in Unani medicine).

Unani Sumaaq, Taatraak.

Action Leaves and seeds—

astringent, styptic.

Limonene, nonanal and dec- (Z)-

enal were obtained from pericarp oil,

whereas the leaf oil contained betacaryophyllene

and patchoulane. Cembrane

and beta-caryophyllene were

isolated from branch and bark oil.

Rhus parviflora Roxb.

Family Anacardiaceae.

Habitat Dry hot slopes of the

Himalayas from Punjab to Nepal

and in the hills of Madhya Pradesh

and South India.

English Sumach.

Ayurvedic Tintidi, Tintindeeka.

Unani Sumaaq.

Folk Raitung, Tung (Kumaon).

Action Fruit juice—vermifuge.

The leaves contain the flavonoids,

myricetin, quercetin and kaempferol

and their -O-rhamnosides; the stems

and leaves also gave hentriacontane,

hentriacontanol, beta-sitosterol, lignoceric

acid and iso-rhamnetin--alpha-


Smooth Sumach and Sweet Sumach

(Canada and USA) are equated with

Rhus glabra L. and R. aromatica Ait.

Smooth Sumach is astringent and diuretic.

Sweet Sumach is used for its

antidiabetic activity; the root bark is

used for irritable bladder, bed-wetting

and urinary incontinence. (NaturalMedicines



Dosage Fruit—– g powder.


Rhus succedanea Linn.

Synonym R. acuminata DC.

Family Anacardiaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas,

from Kashmir, Sikkim to Bhutan at

altitudes of –, m.

English Japanese Wax tree, Wild

Varnish tree.

Ayurvedic Karkatashringee.

(Used as a substitute for Pistacia

integerrima galls.).

Unani Kaakraasingi.

Siddha/Tamil Karkatakasringi,

Kadukapoo (galls).

Action Thorn-like excrescences

on the branches—astringent, expectorant;

prescribed in diarrhoea,

dysentery and vomiting. Fruits—

expectorant (used as an adjuvant in


The sapwood and heartwood contain

polyphenols. The sapwood contains

gallo tannin; the heartwood gave

fisetin, and its --glucoside, fustin, garbanzol,

,,-trihydroxyflavone, gallic

and ellagic acid. The bark is reported

to contain % of tannin.

Thejuice fromthe leaves causes blisters.

Leaves contain % tannin (dry

basis), a flavone glycoside rhoifolin, corilagin

and shikimic acid. Ethanolic


550 Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC.

extract of the leaves is reported to exhibit

anticancer and antiviral activities.

Latex fromthe stemalso causes blisters.

Mesocarp of the fruit contains ellagic

acid. An acid isolated from the

fruit is reported to be cardiotonic and

sympathomimetic. It was found to be

toxic to rabbits. However, the fruits

are used in the treatment of tuberculosis.

Hinokiflavone, isolated from the

fruits, showed cytotoxic activity in vitro

against KB culture cells.

Drupes are rich in biflavones.

The wax obtained from the pulpy

mesocarp of the fruit contains palmitic

, stearic , dibasic , oleic %, and

linoleic acid (a trace). It is used as

a substitute for beeswax.

Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC.

Family Papilionaceae.

Habitat All over plains and in the

Himalayas up to , m.

Folk Raan-ghevaraa (smaller var.)

(Maharashtra); Jhinki, Kammervel

(Gujarat); Chittavarai (TamilNadu).

Action Leaves—abortifacient.

Seeds—bitter, toxic.

The leaves afforded isovitexin and

apigenin derivatives.

Aerial parts gave steroidal glycosides,

along with ergosterol peroxide,

stigmasterol and lupeol; bergapten,

isopimpinellin, umbelliferone and

beta-sitosterol have also been isolated.

The seed coat and pericarp contained

gallic and protocatechuic acid,

prodelphinmidine and hydroquinone

diacetate and C-glycosyl flavones.

The extract of seeds shows agglutinating

activity with certain type of

human red blood cells.

R. bracteata Benth. ex Baker (upper

Gangetic plains) and R. jacobii Chandra

& Shetty (Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu)

contain vitexin, isovitexin, orientin,

iso-orientin and apigenin derivatives.

Ribes nigrum Linn.

Family Grossulariaceae.

Habitat Cold temperate regions

extending from Himalayas to

northern Asia and Europe.

English European Black Currant.

Folk Nabar.

Action Dried leaves and twigs—

a home remedy for coughs.

Leaves—diuretic, hypotensive,

refrigerant. An infusion is used

for inflammatory conditions,

sore throat, hoarseness. Fruits—

refrigerant, mildly spasmolytic,

vasoprotective, anti-inflammatory.

Black currents are very rich in vitamin

C (average  mg/g) and contain

.–.% pectin as calcium pectate,

alsominerals, potassium(mg/

 g). Theacidity of the fruit ismainly

due to citric acid; malic acid is present

in small amounts. Glucose and fructose

are principal sugars; sucrose is

a minor component.

The flavonoids in the fruits include

kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin.

About .% anthocyanosides, concentrated

mainly in the skin, consist of

glycosides of cyanidol and delphinidol.


Ricinus communis Linn. 551

The anthocyanosides are reportedly

bacteriostatic and exhibit vasoprotective

and anti-inflammatory activity.

They are antisecretory against cholera

toxin-induced intestinal fluid secretion

in vitro.

The leaves contain an anti-inflammatory

principle, pycnometol and minute

quantities of an essential oil composed

mostly of terpenes.

Polyphenolic extract of buds inhibited

lipid peroxidation by rat liver microsomes.

Polyphenols present in R. nigrum

and R. rubrum (Red Current, Western

Himalayas from Kumaon to Kashmir)

exhibit free radical scavenging activity.

The seed oil lowers VLDL and total


Contraindicated in bleeding disorders.

(Sharon M. Herr.)

Ricinus communis Linn.

Family Euphorbiaceae.

Habitat Cultivated chiefly in

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra,

Karnataka, and Orissa.

English Castor seed.

Ayurvedic Eranda, Chitrabija,

Triputi; Tribija, Vaataari,

Chanchu, Manda, Uruvaka,

Gandharva-hastaa, Panchaangula,

Vardhamaana, Uttaanpatraka,

Vyaaghrapuchha, Chitraa.

Unani Bedanjeer, Arand.

Siddha/Tamil Ammanakku.

Action Oil from seeds and young

leaf—purgative. Oil is used in

dermatosis and eczema. Leaves—

used as poultice to extract the worm.

Root—a decoction is administered

for lumbago and allied complaints.


The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the decoction of the

dried,mature root in rheumatism, pain

in the urinary bladder, lumbago, diseases

of the abdomen and inflammations;

fresh leaf in helminthiasis, dysuria,

arthritis, pain in the urinary bladder,

dysuria, abscesses; dried seed powder

in constipation, rheumatism, diseases

of the liver and spleen, piles, lumbago,


The root extract exhibited significant

anti-inflammatory activity against

carrageenan-, bradykinin-, -HT-and

dextran-induced rat hind pawoedema.

N-Demethylricinine showed dose-dependent

anticholestatic and hepatoprotective

activities in rats.

Castor oil, derived from the seeds,

is a well-known purgative (dose –

 ml).

Castor seed contains toxic components

(.–.% on whole seed; about

% in the flour) which are highly poisonous

to human beings and animals.

The principal toxic substance is the albumin,

ricin. Allergens and a feebly

toxic alkaloid ricinine is also present.

An ulcerative factor in the seed is reported.

Like other toxalbumins, ricin

agglutinizes the mammalian red bleed

corpuscles. (Ricin loses its toxicity

and antigenic action on treatment with

potassium permanganate.)

Castor oil consists principally of ricinoleic

acid. Stearic, oleic, linoleic

and dihydroxystearic acids are present

in small amounts. The strong laxative


552 Rivea corymbosa Hallier f.

property of castor oil is reported due

to the local irritant action caused in

the intestines by ricinoleic acid formed

by hydrolysis under the influence of

lipolytic enzymes. (The oil should not

be used with fat-soluble vermifuge, it

may increase its absorption and toxicity.)

Dosage Root—– g for

decoction. (API, Vol. I.) Leaf—–

 ml juice; – g powder; seed—

.– g powder. (API, Vol. III.)

Rivea corymbosa Hallier f.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Native to tropical America;

cultivated as an ornament in gardens

in Mumbai, Pune and Belgaum.

English Ololiuqui, Snake Plant.

Action Seeds—narcotic.

The psychic effect produced by the

ground seeds have been ascribed to the

presence of ergot-type alkaloids (up

to .%) found in embryo. Among

the principal alkaloids identified in the

seeds are: ergine, isoergine, elymoclavine,

lysergol and chanoclavine. Ergometrine,

clymoclavine, penniclavine

and ergometrinine have also been reported.

Ergine has been reported to be

themost and lysergol the least effective.

A glucoside, turbicoryn, isolated

from the seeds, was found to have

a CNS stimulant action. (Doses exceeding

. mg/kg proved fatal to test

animals in – min.)

Ergine and isoergine are present in

the leaves (.%, dry basis) and stems

(.%, dry basis) but not in the roots.

Rivea hypocrateriformis Choisy.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat Throughout India.

English Midnapore Creeper.

Ayurvedic Phanji.

Siddha/Tamil Budthi-kiray.

Folk Kalmi-lataa, Phaang.

Action Root—a tonic after

childbirth. Leaves—astringent;

used in haemorrhagic diseases,

diarrhoea, dysentery.

Rivea ornate (Roxb.) Choisy.

Family Convolvulaceae.

Habitat South India.

Ayurvedic Phanji (var.).

Siddha/Tamil Machuttai.

Folk Baravat, Phaang.

Action Juice of the plant—used

topically in haemorrhagic diseases

and piles.

Rivina humilis Linn.

Synonym R. laevis Linn.

Family Phytolacaceae.

Habitat Native to warmer parts

of America; introduced into Indian


English Baby Pepper, Dog Blood,

Blood Berry, Rouge-Plant.

Action Berries—febrifuge, intestinal



Rosa alba Linn. 553

A betaxanthin, humilixanthin, has

been isolated from the berry.

A decoction of the herb is used for

cold, chest congestion and pain, diarrhoea

and jaundice. Berries alleviate

dysentery and amenorrhoea.

Pounded leaves are used for woundhealing

and for treating catarrh.

Robinia pseudoacacia Linn.

Family Fabaceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas and

Jammu & Kashmir.

English Locust tree, False Acacia,

Robinia, Black Locust.

Action Leaves—laxative, antispasmodic

(an infusion is prescribed

in digestive disorders). Flowers—

diuretic, antispasmodic.

The bark, leaves and roots contain

a toxalbumin, robin (.% in the bark),

which resembles ricin present in the

castor seed. The bark also contains

a glucoside robinitin (%), syringin,

tannin (up to about .%). Inner bark

contains amygdalin and urease.

The leaves are rich in calcium, phosphorus

and potash. The presence of

glycosides, acaciin, apigenin--bioside,

apigenin--trioside and indican, have

also been reported.

The flowers are powerfully diuretic

due to a glycoside, robinin. Flowers

also contain l-asparagine.

The roots are rich in asparagine, also

contain robin. Root bark, if taken in

excess, is emetic and purgative.

The bark and young shoots are poisonous

to livestock.

Rorippa dufia Hara.

Synonym R. indica Hiern.

Nasturtium indicum DC.

Family Brassicaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, in damp

places, ascending up to , m in

the Himalayas.

Unani Khoobkalaan (also equated

with Sisymbrium iro Linn., Hedge

Mustard, London Rocket).

Siddha/Tamil Kattu-kadugu.

Action Plant—antiscorbutic,

stimulant, diuretic (given in

diarrhoea, dysentery and fever).

Seeds—laxative, prescribed in the

treatment of asthma.

Glucosinolates of -methylthio-octyl,

-methylsulphinyloctyl and -phenylethyl

have been isolated from the


R. islandica (Oeder) Borbas (Bihar,

Bengal, Kerala) and R. montana Small

(Punjab to Sikkim) are used for antiscorbutic,

digestive and diuretic properties.

Rosa alba Linn.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Asian Minor region.

Cultivated in Indian gardens.

English Common English Dog

Rose, White Cottage Rose.

Ayurvedic Sevati, Shveta Taruni.

(Flowers—white or bluish.)

Unani Sevati. Garden var.—

Gul-safed Bustaani, Vard Abyaz.


554 Rosa bourboniana Desportes.

Wild var.—Gul-safed Sahraai, Vard

Abyaz Barri.

Action Flower—cardiac tonic,

prescribed in palpitation of heart,

febrifuge. Petal—laxative.

Rose hip contains pectin, citric acid

and malic acid which are responsible

for its laxative activity.

The pollen contains carotene (.

mg/ g), free and bound amino acids

and sugars.

The major constituents of the essential

oil are geraniol, beta-phenylethyl

alcohol, beta-geranic acid, geraniol esters,

nerol, citronellol, eugenol, methyleugenol

and benzoate.

R. Canina Linn. is equated with (Indian)

Dog Rose. The anthocyanin,

isolated fromthe petals, exhibits radioprotective

effect. The scavenging and

antilipoperoxidant activitiesof the fruit

depend on the polyphenol content.

Rosa bourboniana Desportes.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Cultivated throughout

India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh

on commercial scale, for rose water.

Ayurvedic Taruni, Desi Gulaab,

Baaraamaasi, Cheenia-Gulaab.

(Flowers—usually purple.)

Siddha Rojapoo (Tamil).

Action Fruit—applied to wounds,

injuries, sprains, foul ulcers.

Rosa centifolia Linn.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Cultivated chiefly in Uttar

Pradesh and Bihar.

English Cabbage Rose, Provence

Rose, Hundred-leaved Rose.

Ayurvedic Shatapatri, Shatapatrikaa

(Shatapatra is equated with Nelumbo

nucifera.), Taruni, Devataruni,

Karnikaa, Chaarukesharaa, Laakshaa,

Gandhaaddhyaa. (Flowers—

usually pink and double.)

Unani Gul-e-Surkh.

Siddha/Tamil Iroja, Rajapoo.

Action Flowers—a decoction is

prescribed for inflammation of the

mouth and pharynx, and ulcers

of the intestine. Powder of rose

buttons and seeds—astringent in

haemorrhage and diarrhoea.

The flowers and leaves contain .

and .% of saponin respectively. Petels

are reported to contain methionine


Cabbage rose yields a volatile oil

(.%) consisting mainly of citronellol,

geraniol, nerol, phenylethanol, linalool

and citral. It contains % tannins

(oligomeric proanthocyanidins).

Dosage Dried flower—– g

powder. (API, Vol. III.)

Rosa chinensis Jacq.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Cultivated chiefly in

Kannauj, Kanpur and Hathras.

English Bengal Rose, Monthly



Rosa macrophylla Lindl. 555

Ayurvedic Taruni-Kantaka (nonclassical).

(Flowers—crimson or


Unani Chini Gulaab.

Folk Kaantaa-Gulaab.

Action Hips—applied to wounds,

injuries, sprains and foul ulcers.

R. chinensis Jacq. and R. borbonianaDesp.

are synonyms of Rosa indica,

found and cultivated throughout India.

This variety is also known as Edward

Rose or Kat Gulaab.

Rosa damascena Mill.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Cultivated chiefly in

Aligarh, Ghazipur and Kannauj,

grown in gardens throughout India.

English Damask Rose.

Ayurvedic Taruni. (Flowers—red,

pink or white.)

Unani Gul-e-Surkh, Vard, Varde-

Ahmar. Stamens—Zard-e-Vard.

Fruit—Dalik, Samar-ul-Vard,


Siddha/Tamil Irosa.

Folk Fasali Gulaab.

Action Flower buds—astringent,

expectorant, laxative; used as

a cardiac tonic and aperient.

Stamens and fruits—astringent.

Petals—Gulkand (a confection in

sugar)—laxative, anti-inflammatory

(used in sore throat and tonsilitis.

Rose water—cooling, refrigerant,

antiseptic, anti-inflammatory (used

as a remedy for skin irritation, also

for sore eyes).

All parts of the rose plant yielded

quercetin, kaempferol and cyanidin.

Lycopene, rubixanthin, zeaxanthin,

xanthophyll and taraxanthin have been

isolated from the hips. The flowers

contain an essential oil with citronellol,

nerol, geraniol, beta-phenylethanol

and its glucoside, eugenol and methyl

eugenol; other constituents include

organic acids, chlorogenic acid, tannin,

cyanin, cyanidin and its ,-diglucoside,

quercitrin, carotene and

sugars. Pollen from flowers contain

carotene (.mg/ g), sugars (.%)

and chlorogenic acid (.%). Their proline

content is found unusually high.

The red colouring matter consists

of cyanin (–% on dry weight basis);

a yellow glucoside of quercetin

and quercitrin is also present. Flowers,

usually, yield .% oil or otto of


Dog Rose, extensively cultivated in

Europe, North Africa and parts of

Asia, is equated with Rosa canina Lin.

The rose hip contains vitamin C (.–

.%), malic and citric acid, pectins

(%), invert sugar (–%), tannins

(%), carotenoids, flavonoids.

Preparations of Rose hips are used

for the prevention and treatment of

colds and influenza-type infections, for

the treatment vitamin C deficiencies;

and for increasing resistance.

Rosa macrophylla Lindl.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas

from Punjab to Sikkim at altitudes

of ,–, m.


556 Rosa moschata Hook. f. non-Mill. nec Herrm.

Ayurvedic Vanya Taruni (nonclassical).

(Flowers—pink, fruits—


Folk Ban-gulaab.

Action Fruits—rich in vitamin C

( mg/ g).

Rosa moschata

Hook. f. non-Mill. nec Herrm.

Synonym R. brunonii Lindl.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Central and Western

Himalayas, ascending to , m.

English Himalayan Musk Rose.

(Flowers—white, fruit—orange red

or dark brown.)

Ayurvedic Kubjaka (non-classical).

Folk Kujai, Kuujaa.

Action Plant—used in bilious

affections, irritation of the skin and

eye diseases. Rose water and otto

is extracted from the flowers in

Himachal Pradesh.

Rosa multiflora Thunb.

Synonym R. polyantha Sieb. &


Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in Kulu.

Occasionally found in hedges and

abandoned coffee plantations in

Upper Ghats.

Ayurvedic Rakta-Taruni (nonclassical).

Folk Gulaab.

Action Fruit—antiseptic, applied

to wounds, injuries, sprains and

foul ulcers.

Thefruit yieldedbeta-sitosterol, scoparone,

salicylic and gallic acid. Fruits

contained multiflorin; flower petals

gave astragalin. A purgative compound,

multinosideAacetate, has been

isolated from the fruit. Quercetin--

O-xyloside, isoquercitrin and hyperin

were also isolated.

Floral absolute oil contains eugenol

(.), phenylethanol (.) and heneicosane


The root gave a triterpenoid, tormentic


The plant extract, along with kojic

acid or its derivatives, produced excellent

skin-lightening and sun-burn preventing


Rosa rubra Blackw.

Synonym R. gallica Linn.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Indian gardens.

English French Rose.

Ayurvedic Rakta-Taruni (nonclassical),


Action Dried petals—tonic

and astringent. Used in debility,

excessive mucous discharges and

bowel complaints. The oil and rose

water—used in bronchial asthma

and as a remedy for skin irritation.

The flowers yield .–.% of

an essential oil. It contains geraniol

–, l-citronellol –, nerol –,


Rosmarinus officinalis Linn. 557

phenyl ethyl alcohol –, eugenol , esters

–, phenyl acetic acid traces; and

stearoptene –%; citronellol, citral,

farnesol, l-linalool and nonylaldehyde

are also present. (The flowers, unlike

those of Rosa damascena, develop their

perfume when dried.)

Thepetals also contain fatty oil, sugars

(–%as invert), tannin (Rosa tannic

acid –%), cyanin (up to %),

cyanidin and quercitrin.

The pollen contains carotene (.

mg/ g), free and bound amino acids

and sugars.

Fresh hips and their pulp contain

 and  mg/ g vitamin C respectively.

Rosa sericea Lindl.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas

from Chamba eastwards to Bhutan

and Assam at altitudes of , to

, m.

Folk Jangali Gulaab. (Flowers—

white or yellow, fruit—red.)

Action Fruits—rich in vitamin C.

Rosa webbiana Wall.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Dry and inner Himalayas

from Kashmir to Kumaon at

altitudes of –, m.

Ayurvedic Laddaakhi-Sevati.

(Flowers— pink or deep red, fruit—


Action Fruits—rich in vitamin C

( mg/ g,) concentration up to

% in dry pulp.

Roscoea procera Wall.

Family Zingiberaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas at altitudes

of ,–, m, in grassy slopes.

Ayurvedic Kaakoli, Kshira-Kaakoli.

Action Tuberous root—revitalizing

tonic, age-sustainer; used in

restorative tonics.

One of the ingredients of the "Eight

Tonic Herbs" (Ashta-varga) ofAyurvedic


Rosmarinus officinalis Linn.

Family Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat Native to the Mediterranean

region, cultivated in Nilgiri


English Rosemary.

Folk Rusmari.

Action Essential oil from flowers

and leaves—anti-inflammatory,

astringent, antiseptic, stomachic,

carminative; used externally in

circulatory disorders. Flowering

tops and leaves—carminative,

diuretic, emmenagogue; vapor

baths afford relief in incipient

catarrh, rheumatism and muscular


Key application Leaf—internally in

dyspeptic complaints; externally in


558 Rotula aquatica Lour.

supportive therapy for rheumatic

diseases and circulatory problems.

(German Commission E.) Shows

improvement of hepatic and biliary

function.(ESCOP.) Carminative,

spasmolytic of hepatic and biliary

function. (ESCOP.) Carminative,

spasmolytic. (The British Herbal


In research using rats, the essential

oil and ethanolic extract of rosemary

decreased drug-induced hepatotoxicity

and the suppression of bonemarrow

cells. Phenolic compounds in the herb

exhibit antioxidant activity. (Sharon

M. Herr.)

The herb contains volatile oil (.–

.%), composed mainly of , -cineole

(–%), alpha-pinene (–%),

camphor (–%), others include borneol,

isobutyl acetate, camphene, limonene,

linalool, -octanone, terpineol,

verbenol; flavonoids including apigenin,

diosmetin, diosmin; rosmarinic

acid and other phenolic acids; diterpenes;

rosmaricine; ursolic acid, oleanolic

acid and their derivatives.

The anti-inflammatory effect of

Rosemary has been attributed to rosmarinic

acid, ursolic acidandapigenin.

Among flavonoids, diosmin is reported

to be more effective in decreasing

capillary fragility than rutin. A rosmaricine

derivative exhibits stimulant

and mild analgesic activity.

The phenolic fraction, isolated from

the leaves, also from the oil, exhibits

antioxidant activity.

Pressed juice of leaves possesses

a strong antibacterial action on Staphylococcus

aureus, E. coli and Bacillis subtilis.

An infusion of the plant with borax

is used as a hair wash for preventing

hair loss.

Rosemary oil, in combination with

the essential oil from thyme, lavender

and cedarwood, showed improvement

in hair growth by % after  months

of treatment for alopecia areata. (NaturalMedicines



Rotula aquatica Lour.

Synonym Rhabdia lyciodes C. B.

Clarke in part non Linn.

Shretia cuneata Wt.

Family Borginaceae.

Habitat Kumaon to Assam and

in Central, Western and Southern

India, and the Andamans.

Siddha/Tamil Cheppu-nerinjal.

Folk Paashaanbheda (Karnataka).

Action Root—diuretic; used for

stone in the bladder; also in venereal

diseases. The diuretic action of the

root is attributed to the presence of

allantoin; a sterol, rhabdiol, has also

been isolated from the roots.

Rourea minor (Gaertn.) Alston.

Synonym R. santaloides Wight &


Connarus santaloides Vahl.

Family Connaraceae.

Habitat Western parts of the

Peninsula, from Konkan southward

and in West Bengal and Assam.

Ayurvedic Vridha.


Rubia cordifolia Linn. 559

Folk Kal-vidhaaraa, Vaakeri

(Maharashtra), Vardaar.

Action Roots and twigs—bitter

tonic; prescribed in rheumatism,

pulmonary complaints, scurvy,

diabetes; externally for ulcers and

skin diseases. Wood—a decoction

is administered after parturition

and as a febrifuge. Wood, roots and


The plant is credited with antiseptic

and antitubercular properties.

The roots contain beta-D-glucoside

of beta-sitosterol, hentriacontane and


Roylea cinerea (D. Don) Baillon.

Synonym R. elegansWall. ex Benth.

R. calycina (Roxb.) Briq.

Family Lamiaceae.

Habitat Himalaya from Kashmir

to Nepal, at ,–, m.

Folk Patkarru; Titpaati, Karanoi,

Karui (Kumaon); Kaur, Kauri


Action Leaves—a decoction is used

as a bitter tonic and febrifuge; also

as a tonic in contusions. The leaves

contain betulin, beta-sitosterol,

beta-amyrin, stigmasterol, cetyl

alcohol, glucose, fructose, arabinose

and palmitic, stearic, oleic, gallic,

oxalic and tartaric acids. The leaves

and stems contain the diterpenes,

calyenone, precalyone and calyone,

and a triterpene, moronic acid.

Precalyone exhibited antitumour

activity against P- lymphocytic


Aerial parts exhibited spasmolytic

and CNS-depressant activity.

Rubia cordifolia Linn.

Synonym R. munjesta Roxb.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Throughout India,

ascending to an altitude of , m.

English Indian Madder, Bengal


Ayurvedic Manjishthaa, Vikasaa,

Samangaa, Yojanavalli, Kaalameshika,

Raktaangi, Raktayashtikaa,

Arunaa, Gandira, Jingi.

Unani Manjeeth.

Siddha/Tamil Manjitti.

Action Roots and dried stem—

blood purifier, astringent, diuretic,

emmenagogue, deobstruent,

antidysenteric, antiseptic, alterative.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the use of the dried

stem in blood, skin and urinogenital

disorders; dysentery; piles, ulcers, inflammations;

erysipelas, skin diseases

and rheumatism. (Roots, leaves and

seeds of R. cordifolia, R. tinctorum and

allied species are used in amenorrhoea,

liver diseases, gall and spleen complaints.)

(Mutagenic and carcinogenic

aspects of the drug are under investigation.)

It is reported that after oral administration

of the root decoction, the urine

and bones of the patient show a red


Theroots are rich in anthraquinones

and their glycosides (around ), the


560 Rubia tinctorum Linn.

important ones include purpurin (trihydroxy

anthraquinone), munjistin

(xanthopurpurin--carboxylic acid);

besides xanthopurpurin, peudopurpurin

(purpurin--carboxylic acid),

free alizarin as well as its glucoside.

Whole plant yielded pentacylic triterpenic

acids—rubicoumaric and rubifolic


Antitumour cyclic hexapeptides

have been isolated fromthe root (while

lucidin is thought to be carcinogenic).

The root extracts of R. sikkimensis

Kurz, known as Naaga-Madder (Nepal

eastwards toAssam,Nagaland andManipur);

are very similar to those of R.


Dosage Stem—– g. (API, Vol.


Rubia tinctorum Linn.

Family Rubiaceae.

Habitat Native to Southern Europe

and parts of Asia; also found in


English Alizari, European Madder.

Action Root—used for menstrual

and urinary disorders and liver


The root contains anthraquinone

and their glycosides, including alizarin,

purpurin, purpuroxanthin, pseudopurpurin,

rubiadin, ruberythric acid

and lucidin primeveroside. There are

indications that lucidin is carcinogenic.

All parts of the plant contained an iridoid,


Rubus ellipticus Sm.

Family Rosaceae.

Habitat Punjab toAssam, extending

southwards into theWestern Ghats

and Deccan.

English Gach Strawberry.

Folk Hinsaalu, Anchhu. Gouri-phal

(Kashmir), Tolu, Aselu (Nepal).

Action Root and young stem—

administered in colic pain.

Extract of the leaves showed anticonvulsant

activity against electricalinduced

convulsions, potentiated hypnotic

effect of pentobarbitone sodium

and had positive inotropic and

chronotropic effects. (Compendium of

IndianMedicinal Plants, Vol. .)

Rubus fruticosus Linn. (European

BlackBerry, EuropeanBramble, known

asVilaayatiAnchhu) is cultivated in the

valley of Kashmir and in Assam and

Tamil Nadu up to , m. A decoction

of the root is used for dysentery

and whooping cough. The plant gave

a triterpenic acid, rubitic acid, characterized

as  alpha-hydroxyursolic


Key application Rubus fruticosus

leaf—in nonspecific, acute diarrhoea,

mild inflammation of the

mucosa of oral cavity and throat.

(German Commission E.)

Rubus rugosus Sm. synonym R.

moluccanus auct non Linn., (known

as Kalsol in Kumaon) is found in Central

and Eastern tropical and temperate

Himalaya from Nepal to Sikkim and

in Assam. The plant contains triterpenes,

also afforded rubusic acid and


Ruellia tuberosa Linn. 561

beta-sitosterol; leaves gave tormentic

acid. Leaves exhibit astringent, emmenagogue

and abortifacient properties.

Rubus niveusThunb. (Mysore Raspberry,

Mahabaleshwar Raspberry) is

common in evergreen forests of Mahabaleshwar.

European Raspberry is equated with

Rubus idaeus Linn. The leaves contain

flavonoids, mainly glycosides of kaempferol,

quercetin and tannins. Raspberry

leaf tea has been used in Europe

to facilitate child birth. Its uterine relaxant

effects have been demonstrated

in animals (the extract appears to effect

only the pregnant uterus, no activity

has been observed on the nonpregnant


The leaves of European Raspberry

(Rubus idaeus) and other species exhibit

astringent, carminative and spasmolytic

activity. Leaves are used for

painful and profusemenstruation and,

as mentioned earlier, for making parturition

easier. An infusion is used for

bowel complains, also as a blood purifier.

Leaves contain ascorbic acid (about

 mg/ g). Polyphenol content of

the fruit (methanolic extract) exhibited

scavenging and antilipo-peroxidant


Rubus idaeus has been introduced

into India and is cultivated on a small

scale in South Indian hill stations.

The leaf of Rubus idaeus has been

included among unapproved herbs by

German Commission E, as its efficacy

has not been documented.

Ruellia strepens Linn.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Native to Central America;

introduced into Indian garden as


Folk Kiranti-takkaaram (Tamil


Action Herb—diuretic; used

for urinary disorders in Siddha


Ruellia suffruticosa Roxb.

Synonym Dipteracanthus suffruticosus


Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Native to central America;

introduced into Indian gardens as


Folk Chaarapaatu, Chaaraparaad


Action Plant—used in renal

affections, gonorrhoea, syphilis and

other venereal diseases.

Ruellia tuberosa Linn.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Native to central America;

grown in Indian gardens.

English Meadow-weed.

Siddha/Tamil Tapas-kaaya.

Action Herb—emetic; used

as a substitute for ipecacuanha.

A decoction is given in chronic

bronchitis; also used as a diuretic

for the treatment of stones in the



562 Rumex acetosa Linn.

Rumex acetosa Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas from

Kashmir to Kumaon.

English Garden Sorrel, Sorrel


Ayurvedic Chukram, Chuukaa.

Unani Hammaaz-Barri.

Action Laxative, diuretic, antiscorbutic,

refrigerant. Used for scurvy,

as a cooling drink in febrile disorders,

as a corrective of scrofulous

deposits. Seeds—astringent (in


Flowers—hepatoprotective and antihaemorrhagic.

Root—used for jaundice,

also for gravel and stone in the


Aerial parts gave rutin, hyperin

and vitexin and traces of oxymethylanthraquinone.

The roots contain

anthraquinones—chrysophanol, physcion

and emodin anthrones.

The leaves contain . mg/ g

ascorbic acid, about .% oxalic acid.

Free oxalic acid caused fatal hypoglycaemia

in rabbits.

Rumex acetosella Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Eastern Himalayas, Sikkim

and the Nilgiris.

English Sheep Sorrel.

Ayurvedic Chukrikaa, Chuko.

Unani Hammaaz, Shaaka-turshak,

Tursh, Jangali Paalak.

Action Diuretic, diaphoretic,

antiscorbutic, refrigerant. Fresh

plant is used in urinary and kidney


The herb contains anthraquinones,

chrysophanol, emodin and physcion.

Free ascorbic acid content (–

mg/ g) remains constant throughout

the year.

Rumex crispus Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe; found in

Mt. Abu.

English Yellow Dock, Curled Dock.

Ayurvedic Chukra, Chukrikaa,

Patraamla, Rochani, Shatvedhani.

Action Root—used as a laxative

in rheumatism, bilious disorders,

and as an astringent in piles and

haemorrhagic affections; also

used for skin eruptions, chronic

skin diseases, scrofula, scurvy,

congested liver and jaundice. Acts

like Sarsaparilla when used for

scrofulous skin affections and

glandular swellings. Seeds—

astringent. Used for dysentery.

The root contains anthraquinones

(about .–%) including nepodin,

and other glycosides based on chrysophanol,

physcion and emodin; also

tannins, rumicin and oxalates. Large

doses should be avoided. Disturbances

caused by the plant are attributed

to rumicin. The root and rhizome

are reported to stimulate bile production.

(Natural Medicines Comprehensive

Database, .)


Rumex nepalensis Spreng. 563

The leaves contain  mg/ g ascorbic


R. crispus is pharmacologicallymore

active than rhubarb, because the extracts

of the roots of the former contain

more quantity of anthraquinones

(.%) than the extracts of the latter


It has been suggested thatAmlavetas

should be equated with R. crispus.

Rumex dentatus Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat The Himalayas up to

 m, and in the plains from

Assam to Western and Southern


Folk Jangali Paalak.

Action Plant—astringent; used in

cutaneous disorders.

The leaves contain vitamin C  mg

and vitamin A value , IU/ g

and are a rich source of calcium and

beta-carotene. The dried leaves contained

.% of flavonoids and .% of

anthraquinone derivatives. Flavonoids

include rutin, avicularin, quercitrin,

quercetin. Roots contain chrysophanic

acid and emodin, the total anthraquinone

content being .%.

Rumex hastatus D. Don.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas from

Kumaon to Kashmir, between –

, m.

Folk Amlora, Chumlora (Kumaon);

Khattimal, Katambal (Punjab).

Action Astringent.

The root and bark yield –% tannin.

Rumex maritimus Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas,

Assam, Bengal, Western Ghats and

the Nilgiris.

English Golden Dock.

Ayurvedic Kunanjara.

Unani Seeds—Beejband, (siyah or

safed), Jangali Paalak.

Action Leaves—catharitic; externally

applied to burns. Seeds—

incorporated in sex-tonics as aphrodisiac.

(Seeds of Sida cordifolia

and Abutilon indicum are also used

as Beejband.) Roots are used as

a substitute for rhubarb.

The leaves contain anthraquinones

both in free and bound forms. The

fruits contain rumarin (.%) rutin

and hyperin. The seeds contain .%


The roots are purgative; contain

chrysophanic acid, saccharose and tannin


The seeds and leaves contain rumarin,

rutin, hyperin, chrysophanic

acid, charose, tannin, emodin and its

monoethyl ether, beta-sitosterol and

its glucoside.

Rumex nepalensis Spreng.

Family Polygonaceae.


564 Rumex scutatus Linn.

Habitat The temperate Himalayas,

Western Ghats and the Nilgiris.

Folk Kulli (Kumaon).

Action Root—purgative. A substitute

for Rheum palmatum. Leaves—

an infusion is given in colic,

externally applied to syphilitic


The roots contain nepodin, chrysophanic

acid, also .% tannin.

Rumex scutatus Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Western Himalayas up to

an altitude of , m.

English French Sorrel.

Action Plant—refrigerant, astringent;

given in dysentery. Juice of


The roots contain oxymethyl anthraquinone.

Rumex vesicarius Linn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Native to South-west Asia

and North Africa; cultivated all over

India, especially in Tripura, West

Bengal and Bihar.

English Bladder-Dock, Country


Ayurvedic Chukra, Chuko,


Unani Hammaaz.

Siddha/Tamil Shakkankeerai.

Action Plant—astringent antiscorbutic,

stomachic, diuretic, used

for disorders of lymphatic and

glandular system; for bronchitis,

asthma; constipation, dyspepsia,

diseases of liver and spleen; urinary

and renal disorders; alcoholism.


Anthraquinone glucosides, emodin

and chrysophanol, have been reported

from leaves, root and seeds. The

leaves contain large amounts of oxalate

(.% on dry basis); vitaminCcontent

is  mg and vitamin A , IU/ g.

The leaves of Rumex species are eaten

in salad or cooked like spinach.

They contain protein, carbohydrates,

potassium, magnesium, phosphorus,

calcium, manganese, copper, zinc, (iodine,

in some samples), ascorbic acid,

beta-carotene and thiamine; also oxalic

acid, potassiumbinoxalate and some

tartaric acid.

Rungia pectinata (L.) Nees.

Synonym R. parviflora (L.) Nees

var. pectinata C. B. Clarke.

Justicia pectinata L.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Throughout India, in waste

places and hedges.

Ayurvedic Parpata (as adulterant).

Siddha/Tamil Punakapundu.

Action Leaves—juice is aperient,

febrifuge, refrigerant; bruised leaves

are applied externally to disperse

swellings. Root—febrifuge. The

juice of leaves is given to children

suffering from smallpox.


Ruta chalepensis Linn. 565

Rungia repens Nees.

Family Acanthaceae.

Habitat Throughout India as

a weed in moist places.

Ayurvedic Parpata (substitute).

Siddha/Tamil Kodaga-saleh.

Folk Kharmor.

Action Herb—vermifuge, diuretic;

dried and pulverized herb is used

for cough and fever. Fresh, bruised

leaves, mixed with castor oil, are

applied to scalp to cure tinea capitis

(a scaly fungoid infection).

The flavonoid pigments in ivorywhite

and pale yellow flowers (the

plant also bears blue and pink flowers)

showed the presence of luteolin

and chrysoerial (-O-methyl luteolin)

and their glucosides. Deep yellow

flowers contain isosalipurposide; the

bluish pink flowers showed presence

of delphinidin-,-diglucoside.

Ruscus aculeatus Linn.

Family Liliaceae; Ruscaceae.

Habitat Native to western Europe,

Mediterranean region and Iran;

widely grown as ornament in India.

English Butcher's Broom, Jew's


Action Rhizomes—deobstruent,

anti-inflammatory, haemostatic.

Key application As supportive

therapy for discomforts of chronic

venous insufficiency and for complaints

of hemorrhoids.(German

Commission E, ESCOP.)

Aqueous-alcoholic extract of the

rhizomes contains steroid saponins (up

to % of the extract). The spirostanol

glycosides, degluconeoruscin and deglucoruscin

from the extract are absorbed

in human plasma after oral

administration. Besides, the rhizomes

contain two furastanol glycosides, degluconeoruscoide

and deglucoruscoside.

The extract is used for the treatment

of venous insufficiency and enters

into dermatological and cosmetic

compositions for the treatment of dark

skin under the eye and into anti-ageing

and anti-sun-tanning preparations.

Ruta chalepensis Linn.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Native to Southern

Europe and North Africa; cultivated

in Indian gardens. (Most of

the reports of the Garden Rue,

cultivated in India, refer to this

species and not to Ruta graveolens.)

Unani Jangali Sudaab.

Siddha/Tamil Aruvadam-chedi,


Action Plant—antispasmodic,

sudorific. Stimulates the nervous

system; commonly used in decoction

in convulsions and fever. Also

used as a fumigant in infant catarrh.

The plant gave an essential oil which

contains chiefly methyl heptyl ketone

(while Ruta graveolens contains –

% methyl nonyl ketone and methyl

heptyl ketone in small amounts). Rutin

is the most important active principle


566 Ruta graveolens Linn.

of the plant, responsible for its antiinflammatory

and tumour-inhibiting


Ruta graveolens Linn.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Native to Mediterranean

region; cultivated all over India.

English Garden Rue.

Unani Sudaab, Suddaab.

Siddha/Tamil Aruvada.

Action Herb—stimulating, antispasmodic,

stomachic; irritant,

abortifacient. Used as an emmenagogue,

in hysterical conditions,

cough and croupy affections, colic

and flatulence. Leaf—used in atonic

amenorrhoea, menorrhoea and

colic. Externally, used for sciatica,

headache, muscular chest pain,

bronchitis and arthritic conditions.

(Fresh juice of leaves, internally,

can lead to painful irritations of

the stomach and intestines). Oil—

antispasmodic, antiepileptic, emmenagogue,

rubefacient. (Toxic in

large doses.)

Ruta graveolens has been included

among unapproved herbs by German

Commission E.

The herb contains a volatile oil,

with -undecanone (.) -nonanone

(.), -nonyl acetate (.),

psoralen (.) and bergapten and xanthotoxin

(.%); rutin (about %).

The flavonoids include quercetin; coumarins

include bergapten, daphnoretin,

isoimperatorin, naphthoherniarin,

psoralen, pangelin, rutamarin, rutarin,

scopoletin and umbelliferone. Tissue

culture of the plant gave furacridone

alkaloids. Tissue culture of the root

gave gravacridondiol and its glucoside.

The spasmolytic activity of the herb

is attributed to the presence of bergapten,

xanthotoxin and the essential oil.

Anti-inflammatory and antitumour

activity is due to rutin. The furocoumarins

are responsible for the

herb's phototoxicity.

The herb is hepatotoxic, and is contraindicated

in kidney diseases and

bleeding disorders. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Maximum safe level is .% for

Rue and .% for the oil. (NaturalMedicines