Sunday, June 7, 2009


Fagonia cretica Linn.

Synonym F. arabica Linn. (Correct

name for Indian sp. is Fagonia

schweifurthii Hadidi. F. bruguieri

DC. is not a synonym of F. cretica,

according to CDRI.)

Family Zygophyllaceae.

Habitat Western India, upper

Gangetic plains and Peninsular


Ayurvedic Dhanvayaasa, Dhanvayavaasa,

Dhanvayaasaka, Duraalabhaa,

Samudraantaa. Gaandhaari,

Kachhuraa, Anantaa, Duhsparshaa.

(Alhagi pseudalhagi is used as

a substitute for F. cretica.)

Unani Dhamaasaa.

Action Astringent, antiseptic,

blood-purifier and febrifuge.

Applied to abscesses, scrofulous

glands and wounds; also given

as a prophylactic against smallpox.

Bark—used for dermatosis

Extract of aerial parts—antiviral,

antiamphetaminic, spasmogenic.

Plant ash—given to children

suffering from anaemia.

The aerial parts contain several triterpenoid

saponins which gave sapogenin,

nahagenin, oleanolic acid.

Aerial parts also gave diterpenes, fagonone

and its derivatives, besides


Theflavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol,

isolated from the leaves and

flowers, showed antimicrobial activity.

The fruits are rich in ascorbic acid.

Dosage Whole plant—– ml

decoction. (CCRAS.)

Fagopyrum esculentum


Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Native to Central Asia;

now grown as minor grain-crop in

hilly regions of North India and the


English Buckwheat.

Ayurvedic Kotu.

Folk Kutu, Phaapar.

Action Used for treating fragile

capillaries, chilbains and for

strengthening varicose veins. Used

at a supporting herb for treating high

blood pressure. Rutin is obtained

from fresh or dried leaves and

flowers. (Rutin is used in a variety

of haemorrhagic conditions.)

The seed are commonly used in colic,

choleraic diarrhoea and abdominal

obstructions. Root decoction is used

in rheumatic pains, lung diseases and

typhoid; juice in urinary disorders. In

China, used in pulmonary sepsis.

The plant is used as a venous and

capillary tonic, and for alleviating venous

stasis and vericose veins.

It is a potential source of rutin (yield

–%). The leaves and blossoms contain

most of the rutin (–%).


260 Fagopyrum tataricum Gaertn.

Quercetin caused significant decrease

in ulcer index in acute gastric

ulcer with respect to control group in

rats. Quercetin, rutin or kaempferol

inhibited, in dose-dependent manner,

gastric damage produced by acidifiedethanol

in rats.

The plant also gave hyperoside and

anthracene derivatives.

Buckwheat is a good source of lysine

and other amino acids. The flour

is reported to repress exogenous hypercholesterolemia

and promotes accumulation

of triglyceride in the liver

of rats.

Seed oil exhibits antimicrobial activity

against Bacillus anthrasis, E.coli and

Salmonella paratyphi.

Whole plant, dried or green, can

cause photosensitization.

Fagopyrum tataricum Gaertn.

Family Polygonaceae.

Habitat Cultivated in the Himalayas,

especially in the colder

parts of Ladakh, Zaskar and

Western Tibet.

English Tatary Duckwheat.

Ayurvedic Ukhal.

Folk Kutu (var.).

Action See F. esculentum. Duckwheat

is a better source of rutin

than the common Buckwheat.

It contains –% more rutin

than the latter, and maintains its

high rutin content for a longer


Fagus sylvatica Linn.

Family Fagaceae.

Habitat Cooler regions of northern

hemisphere. Distributed in Kulu

and the Nilgiris.

English European Beech, Common


Action Seeds and fatty oil—

used externally in skin diseases,

rheumatism and gout. Seeds—

poisonous. Saponins cause severe

gastrointestinal symptoms. Leaves

also contain saponins. Wood tar—

antiseptic, analgesic; mixed with

talc, used as a dusting powder for

gangrene and bed sores.

Farsetia hamiltonii Royle.

Family Cruciferae; Brassicaceae.

Habitat Mediterranean region,

eastwards to India and southwards

to tropical Africa.

Folk Farid-booti (Punjab).

Action Antirheumatic.

Farsetia species contain a volatile oil

which gave glucosinolates. Allylglucosinolate

is the major constituent.

Farsetia jacquemontii

Hook. f.Thoms.

Family Cruciferae; Brassicaceae.

Habitat Rajasthan and Northwestern

parts of India.

Folk Farid-booti.

Action Antirheumatic.


Ferula foetida Regel. 261

Feijoa sellowiana Berg.

Synonym Acca sellowiana Berg.

Family Myrtaceae.

Habitat Indigenous to western

Paraguay, southern Brazil, Uruguay

and parts of Argentina; cultivated

in South India in Nilgiris and

Kodaikanal hills.

English Feijoa, Pineapple Guava,

New Zealand Banana.

Action The fruit contains iodine

and vitamin C. Iodine content varies

according to locality and fluctuates

from year to year, usual range is

.–. mg/kg Fruit also contains

vitamin P-active polyphenols. The

fruit is found beneficial only in mild

cases of thyrotoxicosis.

Feronia limonia (Linn.) Swingle.

Synonym F. elephantum Corr.

Family Rutaceae.

Habitat Indigenous to South India;

cultivated throughout the plains of

India up to  m in the western


English Wood Apple.

Ayurvedic Kapittha, Dadhittha,

Dadhiphala, Surabhichhada,

Dantshatha, Kapipriya.

Unani Kuvet.

Siddha/Tamil Vilamaram, Vilangai,


Folk Kaith.

Action Fruit—antiscorbutic,

carminative, stimulates the digestive

system bark. Pulp is included in

a paste to tone the breast. Leaves—

astringent; used for indigestion,

flatulence, diarrhoea, dysentery and


Unripe fruit—prescribed in sprue,

malabsorption syndrome. (The Ayurvedic

Pharmacopoeia of India.)

Theleaves and stembark contain the

coumarins, luvangetin, xanthotoxin

and limonin and the steroids, sitosterol

and sitosterol-O-beta-D-glucoside.

Antifungal compounds, psoralene

from stem bark; xanthotoxin and osthenol

from root bark and ,-dimethoxybenzo-

quinone from the fruit shell

are reported. Roots contain xanthotoxin

and bergapten, used for the treatment

of leucoderma, characterized by


Dosage Dried pulp of mature

fruit—– g powder. (API Vol. II.)

Ferula foetida Regel.

Synonym F. assafoetida Linn.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Native to Iran, Afghanistan

and Pakistan. F. narthex occurs in


English Asafoetida.

Ayurvedic Hingu, Hinguka,

Raamattha, Baahlika, Jatuka,

Sahasravedhi, Vedhi.

Unani Hilteet, Hing.

Siddha/Tamil Perunkaayam.

Action Olea-gum-resin—stimulates

the intestinal and respiratory


262 Ferula galbaniflua Boiss. ex Buhse.

tracts and the nervous system bark.

Used for simple digestive problems

such as bloating, indigestion,

constipation; for congested mucus,

bronchitis, whooping cough, also

for neurological affections, epilepsy,

cramps and convulsions.

Key application In dyspepsia,

chronic, gastritis, irritable colon;

as spasmolytic. (The British Herbal

Pharmocopoeia.) Contraindicated

in bleeding disorders, pregnancy,

infectious or inflammatory G

diseases. (Sharon M. Herr.)

Ferula foetida contains: resins about

–%, consisting of asaresionotannols

and their esters; farnesiferols,

ferulic acid and other acids; about

% gum; about –% volatile oil,

major constituent being sec-propenylisobutyl

disulphide; sulphated terpenes,

pinene, cadinene and vanillin;

sesquiterpenoid coumarins. Some

compounds from Ferula sp. ehibit antifertility


Dosage Detoxified oleogum-

resin—– mg. (API

Vol. I.)

Ferula galbaniflua

Boiss. ex Buhse.

Synonym F. gummosa Boiss.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Native to Persia. Occasionally

grown North-Western


English Galbanum.

Unani Gaosheer, Jawaasheer.

(Galbanum has been wrongly

equated with Gandhbirozaa, the

oleo-resin of Pine.)

Action Oleo-gum-resin—digestive

stimulant, antispasmodic; used

for flatulence and colic; as an

expectorant; and as a uterine tonic.

Ferula gummosa contains resinuous

substances (%), major constituents

being galbaresenic and galbanic acids;

volatile oil (–%) containing monoand

sesquiterpenes, alcohols and acetates;

azulenes; thiol esters; undecatriens;

resinic acids (–%); gums;


Ferula jaeschkeana Vatke.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Jammu and Kashmir and

Himachal Pradesh from , to

, m.

Ayurvedic Hingupatri.

Action Abortifacient, antiimplantation.

Being investigated as

a potential contraceptive. A related

species, F. silphion, was used in

ancient Rome as a contraceptive.

The oil extracted from the leaves

possesses mycotoxic property against

dermatophytes, Trichophyton sp.

The ethanolic extract of the aerial

parts produced dilation and congestion

and hypertrophy in liver in rats.

The roots contain sesquiterpenoids.

A coumarin, ferujol, isolated from the

rhizome, showed abortifacient and

anti-implantation activity at a single


Ficus arnottiana Miq. 263

dose of . mg/kg in rats by oral administration

in a suspension of gum

acacia. The essential oil shows antimycotic


Ferula narthex Boiss.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Kashmir.

English Narthex asafoetida.

Ayurvedic Hingu (var.).

Unani Hilteet, Hing.

Siddha/Tamil Perungayam.

Action The gum-resin is used as


The oil is reported to be bacteriocidal.

It exhibited antimicrobial activity

against Gram-positive and Gramnegative


The essential oil, obtained from

seeds, shows antioxidant activity comparable

to BHT.

The plant gave coumarin derivatives

including umbelliferone and scopoletin.

Dosage Gum-resin—– mg.


Ferula persica Willd.

Family Umbeliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Native to Arabia and


English Sagapenum.

Unani Sakbeenaj, Sakbekh.

Action Resin—less strong than

asafoetida; used in the same way as

asafoetida and galbanum. Used in

Middle East for rheumatic affections

and backache.

Ferula sumbul Hook. f.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Native to Central Asia.

English Musk Root.

Folk Sumbul, Sambala.

Action Used as a sedative in hysteria

and other nervous disorders.

Also used as a mild gastrointestinal

stimulant. Formerly

used for asthma, bronchitis and


Ferula sumbul contains .–.%

volatile oil; –% resin; hydroxycoumarins

including umbelliferone;

sumbulic and angelic acids.

Ficus altissima Blume.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Assam, eastwards to


Ayurvedic Nandi vrksha (var),

Choraka-patra (var.).

Folk Gadgubar (Assam).

Action Leaves and bark—used in

skin diseases. The tree is one of

the recorded hosts of the Indian lac


Ficus arnottiana Miq.

Family Moraceae.


264 Ficus asperrima Roxb.

Habitat Cultivated in Rajsthan,

Madhya Pradesh, Bihar andWestern


Ayurvedic Nandi Vriksha, Prarohi,

Gajapaadapa, Paarasa Pipala.

Siddha/Tamil Kagoti.

Action Leaves—a moderate

sterilizer, given to women after

menses. Leaves and bark—used in

skin diseases.

Dosage Bark—– ml decoction.


Ficus asperrima Roxb.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Madhya Pradesh and

Western Peninsula.

Ayurvedic Kharapatra (nonclassical).

Siddha/Tamil Kal-arasu.

Folk Kaala-umar.

Action Juice of bark—iven for

enlargement of liver and spleen.

Ficus benghalensis Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tract and

Peninsular India. Planted along

roadsides, and in gardens.

English Banyan tree.

Ayurvedic Vata, Nyagrodha,

Bahupaada, Dhruv.

Unani Bargad, Darakht-e-Reesh.

Siddha/Tamil Aalamaram.

Action Infusion of bark—sed

in diabetes, dysentery, and in

seminal weakness, leucorrhoea,

menorrhagia, nervous disorders,

erysipelas, burning sensation. Milky

juice and seeds—pplied topically

to sores, ulcers, cracked soles of

the feet, rheumatic inflammations.

Buds— decoction in milk is given

in haemorrhages. Aerial roots—antiemetic, topically applied to

pimples. Leaves— paste is applied

externally to abscesses and wounds

for promoting suppuration.

Along with other therapeutic applications,

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia

of India recommends the aerial root in

lipid disorders.

Phytosterolin, isolated from the

roots, given orally to fasting rabbits

at a dose of  mg/kg, produced maximum

fall in blood sugar level equivalent

to %of the tolbutamide standard

after  h. The root bark showed antidiabetic

activity in pituitary diabetes and

alloxan-induced diabetes.

The alcoholic extract of the stem

bark also exhibited antidiabetic activity

on alloxan-induced diabetes in

albino rats, and brought down the

level of serum cholesterol and blood

urea. This activity is attributed to

a glucoside, bengalenoside and the

flavonoid glycosides, leucocyanidin

and leucopelargonidin. Bengalenoside

is half as potent as tolbutamide. The

leucopelargonidin glycoside is practically

nontoxic and may be useful in

controlling diabetes with hyperlipidemia.

The leucocyanidin, when combined

with a low dose of insulin, not

only equalled in response the effects


Ficus cordifolia Roxb. 265

brought about by a double dose of insulin,

but also excelled in amelioration

of serum cholesterol and triglycerides.

(Additional references: Indian J

Physiol Pharmacol, , (), –; J Ethnopharmacol, , (), –; Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, ,

(), –.)

Ficus benjamina Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat The Eastern Himalaya,

Assam, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh,

kerala and the Andaman Islands.

English Java Fig.

Siddha Malai Ichi, Pon Ichi,

Putrajuvi (Tamil).

Folk Pimpri (Maharashtra).

Action Diuretic. Leaves—decoction, mixed with oil, is applied

to ulcers.

The fruits gave bergapten. The latex,

in addition to bergapten, gave alphaamyrin

and imperatorin.

Ficus carica Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Native to the Mediterranean

region; now cultivated in

Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab,

Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

English Common Fig.

Ayurvedic Phalgu, Manjul,

Raajodumbara, Bhadrodumbara.

Unani Anjeer, Teen.

Siddha/Tamil Semaiatti.

Action Fruit—entle laxative

and expectorant. Syrup of figs—a remedy for mild constipation.

Fruit pulp-analgesic and antiinflammatory,

used for treating

tumours, swellings and gum

abscesses. Latex—nalgesic and

toxic. Used for treating warts, insect

bites and stings. Leaf—sed in

lucoderma. Bark—sed for eczema

and other skin diseases.

Key application As a laxative.

(Included among unapproved herbs

by German Commission E.)

The leaves gave bergapten, psoralen,

taraxasterol, beta-sitosterol, rutin and

a sapogenin. Calotropenyl acetate, lepeol

acetate and oleanolic acid have been

identified in the leaves.

Three peptides which exhibit action

against angiotensin I-converting enzyme

(ACE) have been isolated from

the fresh latex. Their inhibitory activity

is similar to that of ACE inhibitors

derived from casein. (ACE catalyzes

both the production of vasoconstrictor

angiotensin II and the inactivation of

the vasodilator bradykinin.)

Dosage Fruit—– ml juice; – g paste. (CCRAS.)

Ficus cordifolia Roxb.

Synonym F. rumphii Bl.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Throughout India, up to

, m in the hills.

Ayurvedic Ashmantaka (var.)


266 Ficus cunia Buch.-Ham.

Folk Gajanaa, Ashtaa, Paakar.

Action Fruit juice and latex—antiasthmatic and vermifuge.

Ficus cunia Buch.-Ham.

Synonym F. semicordata Buch.-

Ham. ex Sm.

F. conglomerata Roxb.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tract from

Chenab eastward to Bhutan and in

Assam, Bengal and Orissa.

English Indian Fig.

Ayurvedic Malayu, Chorakapatra,

Laakshaa-vrksha, Laghuudumbara.

Siddha Taragadu (Tamil).

Action See F. carica. Fruits—spasmolytic; used in aphthous

complaints. Root—sed for

bladder and visceral troubles.

Bark-decoction—sed for washing

ulcers; juice and powdered bark—applied to wounds and bruises.

Syconium—sed for ulcers of

mucous membrane. Syconium and


The tree is one of the recorded hosts

of the Indian lac insect.

Ficus dalhousiae Miq.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Tamil Nadu.

Ayurvedic Soma-valka (doubtful


Siddha/Tamil Kal Aal, Pei Aal.

Action Fruit—ardiotonic. Leaves

and bark—sed in affections of the

liver and skin diseases.

Ficus heterophylla Linn. f.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Throughout the warmer

parts of India.

Ayurvedic Traayanti, Traayamaanaa.

Siddha/Tamil Kodi Athi.

Folk Daantiraa (Rajasthan).

Action Fruits—sed for constipation

during fevers. Leaf-juice—antidysenteric. Root bark—ixed

with water, given internally in

coryza, asthma and bronchial

diseases. Root—ntispasmodic.

Ficus hispida Linn. f.

Synonym F. daemona Koen. ex


F. oppositifolia Roxb.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Outer Himalaya from

Chenab eastwards to West Bengal

Assam, Central and South India

and the Andaman Islands.

Ayurvedic Kaakodumbara,

Kaashtodumbara, Phalgu, Malayu,


Unani Anjir Dashti.

Siddha/Tamil Peyatti, Chona Atthi.

Action Syconium—alactagogue.

Bark and seed—urgative, emetic.


Ficus palmata Forsk. 267

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the fruit in jaundice,

oedema and anaemia; fruit and root in

leucoderma, vitiligo.

The fruits, seeds and bark contain

beta-sitosterol, beta-amyrin, ntriacontanyl

acetate, gluacol acetate,

hispidin, a phenanthraindolizidine alkaloid,

bergapten and psoralen. A leucocyanin

has been isolated from the

root; oleanolic acid from the leaves.

Dosage Fruit—– g; root—– g powder. (API Vol. III.)

Ficus lacor Buch.-Ham.

Synonym F. infectoria auct. non-


F. viren Aiton.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Plains and lower hills of


English White Fig.

Ayurvedic Plaksha, Karpari, Pitana,


Siddha/Tamil Kurugu, Itthi,


Action Bark—ecoction is used

for washing ulcers, as a gargle in

salivation; also used for menstrual

disorders and leucorrhoea. Leaf—estrogenic. Plant—used in

erysipelas, ulcer, epistaxis.

Fresh ripe fruit or powder of dried

fruits is used to treat diabetes.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

indicates the use of the fruit and

stem bark in syncope, delirium and illusive

and unstable state of mind.

The stem bark of the plant yield acetates

of long-chain alcohols, methylricinolate,

beta-sitosterol, lanosterol,

caffeic acid, bergenin and sugars. The

triterpenoids, lupeol and alpha- and

beta-amyrin, are also present in the

leaves. Flavonoids including sorbifolin

and scutellarein derivatives, have been

isolated from the leaves.

Dosage Stem bark— g powder

for decoction (API Vol. II); dried

fruit—– g. (API Vol. IV.) Leaf,

root—– g paste. (CCRAS.)

Ficus microcarpa Linn. f.

Synonym F. retusa auct. non Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat WestBengal, Bihar, Central

and Peninsular India and Andaman

Islands. Grown in gardens, and as

an avenue tree. Quite common in

New Delhi.

Ayurvedic Plaksha (related sp.).

Siddha/Tamil Kal Ichi.

Folk Itti.

Action Bark—ntibilious. Leaf—antispasmodic. Root bark and leaf—used in preparations of oils and

ointments for ulcers, skin diseases,

oedema and inflammations.

Ficus palmata Forsk.

Synonym F. caricoides Roxb.

F. virgata Wall. ex Roxb.

Family Moraceae.


268 Ficus racemosa Linn.

Habitat North-western India and

Rajasthan, from Kashmir eastward

to Nepal, ascending to , m.

English Indian Fig.

Ayurvedic Phalgu, Anjiri.

Siddha Manjimedi (Telugu).

Action Fruit—emulcent and

laxative. Latex is applied on

pimples. Ripe fruits—ypotensive.

Leaves gave bergapten and betasitosterol.

Ficus racemosa Linn.

Synonym F. glomerata Roxb.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Throughout India. Grows

wild in forests and hills. Often

found around subterranean water


English Cluster Fig, Country Fig.

Ayurvedic Udumbara, Sadaaphala,

Hema-daudhaka, Jantuphala,


Unani Anjir-e-Aadam, Anjir-e-

Ahmak, Gular.

Siddha/Tamil Atthi.

Action Astringent and antiseptic;

used in threatened abortions,

menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, urinary

disorders, skin diseases, swellings,

boils, haemorrhages. Unripe

fruits—stringent, carminative,

digestive, stomachic; used in diarrhoea,

dyspepsia, dysentery,

menorrhagia and haemorrhages.

Ripe fruits—ntiemetic, also

used in haemoptysis. Root and

fruit—ypoglycaemic. Bark—decoction is used in skin diseases,

inflammations, boils and


The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the use of the bark in

lipid disorders and obesity.

Leaves and fruit contain gluacol.

The fruit also contains beta-sitosterol,

lupeol acetate, friedelin, higher hydrocarbons

and other phytosterols.

Petroleum ether extract of the stem

bark significantly reduced blood sugar

level of rats with streptozotocininduced

diabetes. It completely inhibited

glucose--phosphate dehydrogenase

from rat liver. Extracts of fruit

and latex did not show any significant

effect on blood sugar level of diabetic

rats, they inhibited only glucose--

phosphate but not arginase from rat


An alcoholic extract of the bark has

been found to be very effective in reducing

blood sugar in alloxan-induced

diabetic albino rats. It helped in improving

the damaged beta cells of islets

of Langerhans, thus exerting permanent

blood sugar lowering effect.

The ethanolic extract of seeds also

showed hypoglycaemic activity.

Lignin, the main fiber constituent

of the fruit, prevented the rise in

serumcholesterol levels of someextent.

Fresh whole fruits, used as a source of

dietary fibre, exhibited more hypocholesterolemic

activity than pure cellulose.

Dosage Bark—– g for

decoction. (API Vol. I.)


Flacourita indica (Burm. f.)Merr. 269

Ficus religiosa Linn.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Sub-Himalayan tracts,

West Bengal, Central and South

India; planted throughout India as

an avenue tree.

English Peepal, Bot-tree.

Ayurvedic Ashvattha, Bodhidru,

Bodhivrkisha, Sebya, Chalapatra,

Gajabhaksha, Kshiradruma,


Unani Peepal.

Siddha/Tamil Arasu, Ashvatham.

Action Bark—stringent, antiseptic,

alterative, laxative, haemostatic,

vaginal disinfectant (used in

diabetes, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea,

menorrhagia, nervous disorders;

also in skin diseases.) Applied

externally on unhealthy ulcers

and wounds. Leaves and twigs—laxative.

Thebark contains beta-sitosteryl-Dglucoside.

Vitamin K, n-octacosanol,

methyl oleanolate, lanosterol, stigmasterol,

lupen--one are reported from

the stem bark.

Ahypoglycaemic response is reported

for beta-sitosterol-D-glucoside obtained

from the bark.

Aerial roots are given to women, also

used in prescriptions, for inducing

conception. The dried fruits are used

as a uterine tonic.

The fruits contain .% protein having

the essential amino acids, isoleucine

and phenylalanine. The chloroform

extract of fruits exhibited antitumour

and antibacterial activities in


Various plant parts are included

in formulations used for menorrhagia,

metrorrhagia, blood dysentery,

bleeding piles, haematuria and haemorrhages.

Dosage Bark, fruit—– ml

decoction. (CCRAS.)

Ficus talbotii G. King.

Family Moraceae.

Habitat Peninsular India.

Ayurvedic Plaksha (related species).

Siddha/Tamil Itthi, Kal Itthi.

Action Bark—ntileprotic (used for

ulcers and venereal diseases). Aerial

parts exhibit diuretic, spasmolytic,

CNS depressant and hypothermic


Fimbristylis ovata Kern.

Synonym F. monostachya Hassk.

Family Cyperaceae.

Habitat Throughout warmer

regions of India, as a weed.

Ayurvedic Ibha-muulaka. (Also

equated with F. annua.)

Action Used in adenitis, scrofula,

syphilis; also in cough, bronchitis

and asthma.

Flacourita indica (Burm. f.)Merr.

Synonym F. ramontchi L'erit.

Family Flacourtiaceae.


270 Flacourtia jangomas (Lour.) Raeusch.

Habitat Cultivated in Assam,

Maharashtra and Bengal.

English Ramontchi, Madagascar

Plum, Mauritius Plum, Governor'


Ayurvedic Vikankata, Yajnyavrksha,

Gopakantaa, Sruva-vrksha.

Siddha/Tamil Sottai-kala, Katukala.

Folk Poniol (Assam), Kataaya,


Action Gum—nticholerin. Used

as a gargle. Applied to eczema and

skin diseases. Bark—ntidysenteric,

astringent, diuretic. Seed—antirheumatic. Fruit—tomachic.

Root—pplied externally in skin

diseases. Leaves and young shoots—astringent and stomachic.

The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India

recommends the use of the leaf and

stem bark in jaundice, oedema and diseases

due to vitiated blood.

The bark contains a phenolic glucoside

ester, ()-flacourtin. The heartwood

contains the steroid, ramontoside,

beta-sitosterol and its beta-Dglucopyranoside.

The fruits contain .–.% protein,

vitamin C and mineral matter

.%; calcium . and phosphorus

. mg/ g. Fruits are given in jaundice

and enlarged spleen.

Dosage Leaf—– g for

decoction. (API Vol. IV.) (Also


Flacourtia jangomas

(Lour.) Raeusch.

Synonym F. cataphracta Roxb.

Family Flacourtiaceae.

Habitat Bengal, Assam, Orissa,

Andhra Pradesh and Eastern Ghats.

English Puneala Plum.

Ayurvedic Praachinaamalaka,

Paaniyaamalaka. (Taalispatri (Hindi),

Taalispatra (Gujarati), Taalisam

(Malyalaam), Taalispatramu (Telugu)

are confusing synonyms of


Unani Taalisfar, Nabaq Hindi,

Zarnab. In National Formulary of

Unani Medicine, Zarnab, synonym

Telispattar, is equated with F.

catapracta, also with Cinnamonum

tamalaNees. (Zarnab is also equated

with Salix aegyptiaca Sprengel and

Taalisfar with Rhododendron

anthapogon D. Don or R. lipidotum

by Unani scholars.)

Siddha/Tamil Saralu, Vayangarai.

Folk Paniyaalaa (Bihar).

Action Leaves—stringent,

antidiarrhoeal, stomachic. Used

in chronic bronchitis. Fruit—sed

in affections of the liver. Bark and

fruit—ntibilious. Infusion of bark

is used as a gargle. Fruits contain

(dry basis) protein .%; vitamin C

, Ca , K , P , Fe , Mg

mg/ g.The fruit stembark and

bark yielded a coumarin, ostruthin,

and limonoids, jangomolide and


(Taalisha, Taalisam, Taalisapatri,

Taalisapatra—ll the synonyms are

now equated with Abies spectabilis

(D.Don) Spach., synonym A. webbiana

Lindl., Pinus webbiana Wall.)


Foeniculum vulgare Mill. 271

Flacourtia sepiaria Roxb.

Family Flacourtiaceae.

Habitat Kumaon and n the dry

forests of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and

South India.

Ayurvedic Vikankata (related

species), Kinkini (provisional

classical synonym).

Folk Kondai, Kondari.

Action The bark of the plant,

triturated in sesame oil, is used as

liniment in gout and rheumatism.

Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Family Umbelliferae; Apiaceae.

Habitat Native to the Mediterranean

region; now cultivated

mainly in Punjab, Assam, Maharashtra

and Vadodara (Gujarat).

English Fennel. (Poison hemlock

has been misidentified as fennel.)

Ayurvedic Mishreyaa, Mishi, Madhurikaa,

Madhuraa, Shatapushpaa,

Shataahvaa. (Shatpushpaa is equated

with Saunf and Shataahvaa with

Soyaa. Some authors treat these as


Unani Baadiyaan, Saunf.

Siddha/Tamil Sombu.

Action Carminative, stomachic,

antispasmodic, emmenagogue,

galactagogue, anti-inflammatory,

diuretic. Relieves bloating, nausea,

settles stomach and stimulates

appetite. Also used in amenorrhoea

and enuresis.

Key application In dyspepsias such

as mild, spastic, gastrointestinal

afflictions, fullness, flatulence.

Fennel syrup or honey can be

used for the catarrh of the upper

respiratory tract in children. Fennel

oil preparations not recommended

during pregnancy. (German

Commission E, ESCOP, WHO.)

German Commission E reported that

fennel seed promotes gastrointestinal

motility and in higher concentrations

acts as antispasmodic. In

experiments anethole and fenchone

have been shown to have a secretolytic

action in respiratory tract. The

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Indian

Herbal Pharmacopoeia report its

carminative and spasmolytic property.

Fennel seed contain about % volatile

oil (about –%anethole, among

others –% fenchone and methylchavicol),

flavonoids, coumarins (including

bergapten) and sterols.

The extract of seeds inhibits the

growth of micro-organism, especially

Streptococcus mutans, that are responsible

for dental caries and periodontal


The essential oil from the seed is reported

to be antibacterial, antifungal,

antioxidant, emmenagogue, oxytocic

and abortifacient.

The fatty acid, petroselenic acid, obtained

from the oil, exhibited antimicrobial


Anethole, amajor constituent of fennel

seed/oil has been found to be an

active estrogenic agent with minimal

hepatotoxicity and no teratogenic effect.


272 Fraxinus griffithii Clarke.

The oil also exhibits anticarcinogenic

activity and can be used as a chemoprotective


It possesses antioxidant activity close

to BHT.

Anethole and limonene are used in

pharmaceutical compositions for decreasing

the side effects of chemotherapy

and increasing the immune function.

Limonene showed the capacity to inhibit

mammary tumours in rats.

The boiling water extract of leaves

shows hypotensive effect in rats.

The methanolic extract of seed

showed antispasmodic activity, while

aqueous extract accelerated the spontaneous

movement of rabbit stomach.

Dosage Dried fruit—– g powder.

(API Vol. I.)

Fraxinus griffithii Clarke.

Family Oleaceae.

Habitat Arunachal Pradesh

(Mishmi Hills).

Action Toxic to CNS.

Theextract of the bark and leaves are

used as an adulterant of illegal opium

and are sold in the black market in

certain areas in Indonesia.

The bark contains an iridoid glucoside,

ligstroside, and the phenolic

glucosides, syringin and sinapaldehyde


Fraxinus hookery Wenz.

Synonym F. excelsior auct. non L.

Family Oleaceae.

Habitat F. excelsior Linn.—reat

Britain, Europe and North America.

F. hookery—estern Himalaya at

,–, m.

English European Ash, Weeping


Folk Kum, Sum, Hum, Sinnun

(Punjab, Kashmir).

Action F. excelsior—axative, antiinflammatory,

febrifuge. The bark

and leaves are used for arthritis and


The herb gave coumarin derivatives,

including fraxin, fraxetin and fraxinol;

flavonoids based on aesculetin, including

aescin, also rutin and quercetin.

A coumarin derivative is actively diuretic.

A saccharine exudate, manna, consisting

principally of mannitol, is obtained

by incising the stem barks of

some Fraxinus sp. found in India. The

manna of commerce is derived from

F. ornus. F. hookery (bark)—stringent,

febrifuge, bitter tonic. Leaves—athartic.

Ash Bark is used, in decoction, in

the treatment of intermittent fever and

ague, as a substitute for Peruvian bark.

Also used for treating obstructions of

the liver and spleen and in rheumatism

and arthritic affections.

Preparations of European Ash Bark

showed an analgesic, anti-exudative

and antiphlogistic action. (German

Commission E.)

Fraxinus ornus Linn.

Family Oleaceae.


Fucus vesiculosus Linn. 273

Habitat Indigenous to the coasts

of the Mediterranean from Spain to


English Flake Manna.

Unani Turanjeen.

Action A children' laxative.

Usually prescribed with other

purgatives. (Not to be used in the

presence of ileus.)

Key application In constipation

where an easier elimination and

a soft stool are desirable; in

animents such as anal fissures,

haemorrhoids and post-rectal and

surgery. (German Commission E.)

The exudation contains –%

mannitol, –% stachyose and mannotriose,

glucose, fructose.

Fritillaria cirrhosa D. Don.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Central and Western

Himalaya between , and

, m.

Folk Yathu.

Action Corm—ntiasthmatic, used

for bronchitis and tuberculosis.

Fritillaria imperialis L.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Kashmir at ,–, m.

English Crown Imperial, Imperial


Action Bulbs—mollient, diuretic,

resolvent, spasmolytic, hypotensive,


The bulbs contain steroidal alkaloids—ebeinone, eduardine, edpetilidine,

verticinone, isoverticine and

isobaimonidine and pimaradienic diterpene,

oblongifolic acid.

Ebeinone exhibited anticholinergic


Fritillaria roylei Hook.

Family Liliaceae.

Habitat Western temperate

Himalaya fromKashmir to Kumaon

at ,–, m.

Ayurvedic Kshira-Kaakoli, Viraa,

Kaayasthikaa, Vaaysoli.

Action Used in the treatment of

asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis.

(Withania somnifera is a substitute

for Kaakoli and Kshira-Kaakoli.)

The bulbs gave alkaloids—eimine,

peimisine, peimiphine, perminine,

permidine and permitidine. The bulbs

also gave neutral compounds—ropeimin

and a sterol. The plant gave kashmirine.

Dosage Bulb—– g powder.


Fucus vesiculosus Linn.

Family Fucaceae. (Laminaria sp.)

Habitat On the shores of the

United Kingdom, North Atlantic

Ocean, North Pacific Coast of

America; as a weed; found in Indian

Ocean on theManora Rocks. Allied

species—F. distichus Linn., and F.


274 Fumaria officinalis Linn.

nodosus Linn. (Included in Glossary

of Indian Medicinal Plants, CSIR,

also in its second supplement.) F.

nodosus is found in India along sea


English Bladderwrack, Black Tang,

Rockweed, Kelp.

Action Weed—ne of the richest

source of minerals, chiefly iodine,

sodium, manganese, sulphur, silicon,

zinc and copper. Effective

against obesity, antirheumatic.

Stimulates circulation of lymph.

Endocrine gland stimulant. Allays

onset of arteriosclerosis by

maintaining elasticity of walls of

blood vessels. Mild diuretic, bulk,

laxative, antibiotic. High sodium

content may reduce effectiveness of


(The herb contains trace metal, particularly

iodine from.–.%. Itmay

contain waste metals such as cadmium

and strontium,when grownin a polluted

environment. Variable iodine content

and arsenic contamination make

the herb unsafe.)

The herb should be used with caution

in hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Excess thyroid activitymay be

aggravated by the iodine content of the

herb; it may disrupt thyroid function.

One gramof Bladderwrack might contain

asmuch as mcg iodine (Ingesting

more than mcg iodine per day

may cause hyperthyroidism or exacerbate

existing hyperthyroidism.) (NaturalMedicines



Due to the antithrombin effects of its

fucan polysaccharides, consumption of

the herb in cases of G bleeding disorders

is contraindicated.

(Included among unapproved herbs

by German Commission E.)

Fumaria officinalis Linn.

Family Fumariaceae.

Habitat Native to Europe and

North America. Found at high

altitudes in Nilgiris and Salem

(Tamil Nadu).

English Fumitory.

Ayurvedic Parpata (related species).

Unani Shaahtaraa.

Action Antispasmodic and

amphicholeretic. Stimulant to liver

and gall bladder; used for eczema

and other skin diseases. Also

diuretic and mild laxative.

Key application In spastic discomforts

in the area of gallbladder

and bile ducts, as well as the

gastrointestinal tract. (German

Commission E, The British Herbal


The herb contains indenobenzazepine

alkaloids—umaritrin and fumarofine.

Other alkaloids include ()-scoulerine,

protopine, fumaricine, (+)-fumariline.

The plant also contain rutin,

fumaric acid and hydroxycinnamic

acid derivatives.

Protopine exhibits antihistaminic,

hypotensive, bradycardic and sedative

activity in small doses, but excitation

and convulsions in large doses. (NaturalMedicines




Fumaria vaillantii Loisel. 275

The seed oil contains myristic .,

palmitic ., stearic ., oleic .,

linoleic . and linolenic acid .%.

Theupper flowering part of the herb

is used for biliary disorders, various

skin diseases and fevers. The herb can

also treat arteriosclerosis by helping in

lowering blood cholesterol level and

improving the elasticity of arterial wall.

Fumaria parviflora Lam.

Synonym F. indica (Haussk.)


Family Fumariaceae.

Habitat At high altitudes in

Tamil Nadu; up to , m on the


English Fumitory.

Ayurvedic Parpata, Parpataka,

Varatikta, Renu, Kavacha,


Unani Shaahtaraa.

Siddha/Tamil Thura.

Folk Pittapaaparaa.

Action Detoxifying, laxative,

diuretic, diaphoretic.

The plant contains isoquinoline alkaloids—including protopine, sanguinarine,

cryptopine, d-bicuculline, fumaridine,

fumaramine. The leaves

contain kaempferol and quercetin glycosides.

Dosage Whole plant—– g (API

Vol. IV); – g powder; – ml

decoction. (CCRAS.)

Fumaria vaillantii Loisel.

Family Fumariaceae.

Habitat Throughout India on the


Ayurvedic Parpata.

Unani Shaahtaraa.

Folk Pittapaaparaa.

Action The plant is used as

a substitute for Fumaria parviflora.

A decoction of the herb is used for

blood purification and in skin diseases,

especially psoriasis.

Methanolic extract of the plant exhibits

antimicrobial activity against

Sarcina subflava.

The herb contains several isoquinoline

alkaloids which are common to

Fumaria officinalis and Fumaria parviflora.

Protopine showed smooth muscle

relaxant activity in guinea-pigs, rabbits

and albino rats and hydrocholeretic activity

in anaesthetized dogs. L-tetrahydrocoptisine

showed antipsychotic

(neuroleptic) activity in albino rats and

mice. Narceimine, narlumidine, adlumidine

and protopine nitrate exhibit

anti-inflammatory activity.

Alkaloids, narlumidine and protopine,

exhibit significant antifungal


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